Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy 12th Birthday, Amara!

It is with great joy that we celebrate Amara's 12th birthday!  Over the past year, Amara has really grown up and is becoming a lovely young lady.  It is a blessing to be able to train Amara in the ways of the Lord and to see her grow and learn.


Happy birthday!  We are indeed very grateful to the Lord that He has given you as a gift to our family and we praise God for allowing us the privilege of raising you as our dear daughter.  We have many joyful memories of the past with you and we look forward to the future knowing that the Lord has a plan and a purpose which includes giving you good works to accomplish that He has prepared in advance for you to do (Ephesians 2:10).  We love you, Amara, and we are committed to parenting you according to the truth of the Bible.

This year, we offer to you both a challenge and an encouragement in the following areas:
  • Gratitude - In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we read the following words: "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  What powerful words that God has given to us by giving us direct insight into His will.  Remember that as you show and cultivate a heart of gratitude, you will be walking in a way that is consistent with God's will.
  • Humility - The Bible teaches us the dangers of pride and the blessings of humility.  This principle is so important that God Himself will be opposing those that are prideful and giving grace to those that are humble.  Therefore, our encouragement to you is to follow the biblical admonition to "be clothed with humility." (1 Peter 5:5)
  • Diligence -  It is of critical importance that you be working hard and that you have an affection for work.  Without diligence, what you do will be of limited effectiveness and will have limited lasting impact.  The Bible teaches that we should observe the ways of the ant and emulate the model of diligence.  In Proverbs 6:6-8, we read: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest."  Notice how the diligence of the ant is not based on having someone or something else to prod it along.  Learn from the ant, follow after her ways, and you will be wise.
  • Servanthood - Service to others is a great gift that you can give to them and can provide you with joy and fulfillment unlike other activities.  View it as a privilege to serve others and look for opportunities to be able to bless those around you in this way.  If you keep your eyes open and have a heart to serve, you will be able to have many different ways that you can be a servant--not only in the future, but also right now.  Galatians 5:13 says: "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."
If you strive to grow in each of these areas and commit them to the Lord asking for His help, you will become more godly and righteous with each passing day.  In this growth, you will be blessed and you will have a great influence on others, spurring them on toward love and good deeds through your example.

Happy birthday, Amara!  We love you very much!

Love Always,

Dad and Mom

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday, Tirzah!

It is such a blessing to be able to celebrate the birthdays of each of those in our family!  As the Bible teaches, children are an heritage of the Lord (Psalm 127:3) and we are filled with joy that God has given us the reward of the fruit of the womb.  Birthdays are a great time to look back with gratitude at God's gift and to look ahead with great hope trusting in God's sovereign plan.  This post is in honor of our dear daughter Tirzah for her 4th birthday.


Happy birthday to you!  We are so very grateful that you are a part of our family.  God has given us a great blessing by giving you as our daughter and we are so excited to be able to celebrate your 4th birthday.  In many ways, it is hard to believe that 4 years have past since we were first able to gaze upon how God knit you together in the womb and to be able to first hold you in our arms.  You are growing up so quickly and it is a real blessing to see you learning and maturing day by day.  We are committed to raising you up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and it is our prayer that you will be a faithful daughter of the Lord Jesus Christ all the days of your life.

Always remember the importance of obedience and honor. Those two critical qualities are a tremendous key to being a godly girl and woman. The Bible states: "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." (Colossians 3:20, KJV) Every time that you obey Mom and Dad, you are pleasing God. Think about that--you please God by your obedience!  We hope that knowing that God is pleased will encourage you all the more to be joyfully obedient.  Honor is another way in which you can live in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord. One of the passages in God's Word about honor states: "Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:2-3, KJV)  What an incredible promise God attaches to this commandment of honor and that promise is indeed one that we pray you will know.  The two qualities of obedience and honor will provide you with a great foundation to live a godly life that will be pleasing to God and a blessing to others.

Tirzah, we love you very much!  May celebrating your birthday this year be a very joyful and special memory to you for many years to come!  Happy birthday!

Love Always,

Daddy and Mommy