Sunday, March 31, 2013

Resurrection Sunday

We had a great worship service this morning. Obviously the overlying emphasis was that of Christ conquering death. I was crazy overcome with how significant this is in regard to our two kiddos we no longer have in our arms--Jordan Hope we miscarried at 3 weeks when Emma was 9 months old and then Malachi Stephen was born with severe medical conditions yet we were blessed with him for seven months. Christ's resurrection proves all that He said about Himself during His time on earth--He was and is God. Because of Christ's life, death, and resurrection we have hope, we have LIFE. Our babies LIVE!

So even though this is the visible reminder we have of our sons life on earth, we know that this is temporary. We know there is an eternity that goes far beyond this dark and depressing shadow that we call life. I'm thankful that Malachi will not have to experience the grief and heartache that I am left with until I die. (Side note: I'm learning a lot right now. If I can formulate my thoughts into coherent text, I'll share at some point)

Rejoicing in the resurrection led us here after morning service... Ashamedly, this is the first time we've been since his birthday. The cemetery is cold and depressing in the winter. Spring is my favorite. It's a reminder of God making all things new.

Exchanged the old flowers for new,
but kept the pink daisy Emma picked out from the last time...
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Emma was pretty emotional after John and I prayed at the gravesite. So we decided to take a picture of our sad faces...

But then we talked about how the tomb was EMPTY.... Jesus conquered the grave and saved her little brother. So this is us being SO EXCITED that Baby Chi isn't sick anymore!

It amazes me that death and grief and visits to the cemetery will be a normal part of our kids' lives. It definitely leads to many conversations I'm sure most parents try to avoid. I'm learning to be thankful. I'm reminded over and over again that death isn't natural. It wasn't supposed to be this way. It's a consequence of our sin--my sin and yours. But God made a way. He gave His Son. His Son lived a sinless life. Gave Himself up to a condemned death. Was raised three days later. Then raised in glory. Glory to be shared with sinners like me who believe in Him by faith. Faith that is life changing. Faith that desires to trust God and obey Him. Even if I can't see the eternal. Even in the grief. Because its not about me. It's not about Malachi. It's all about Jesus. And that's all I need.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

a "good game" gone wrong

 jackson just started crying... i asked what happened...
emma replied: I was giving him a high-five on the booty.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

E100 8-Isaac's Birth and Sacrifice

Genesis 21:1-22:19 God tests the faith of His people.

Wow. So this is what we read starting in chapter 21... The Lord visited Sarah as he had said and The Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son...Isaac.

God stayed true to His Word.

Chapter 22... God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!...Take your son, your only son Isaac...and offer him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."

Okay, God... You gave me this son which you promised would come a great nation. You are true to Your word. Now You want me to kill him???

Abraham obeys.

At the last minute, when Isaac is laying on top of the altar, bound to it, seeing his father standing above him with dagger raised, they hear and angel, "Abraham, Abraham! Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him..." And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns.

They named that mountain Moriah: "The Lord will provide"

My faith was tested in a big way with our son, Malachi. We trusted God for physical healing that never came. Our faith is still tested when it comes to the decision we made to stop his medical treatment (he was currently requiring artificial support to eat and to breathe, as well as over 60 doses of medication daily, with no working immune system). God sustained our son for seven months. Did we hold on for too long, pushing his treatment too far? Did we give up too early, not pushing hard enough?

How is your faith being tested?

E100 7-God's Covenant with Abram

Genesis 15--God's Covenant with Abram

15:5 and following: And he brought him (a childless Abram) outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them. Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed The Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

At first glance, I look at this and I'm awed at Abram's faith. Abram here knew full-well that it would require him in his old age (85-ish) to have a child with his wife (75-ish). A baby!

On the days where I'm transfixed on my Savior, this is the faith I'm granted. (I've already got Christ's righteousness)

But it's interesting, as I read further in the Bible. It seems like Abrams faith isn't quite as steadfast as it appears first glance. He lets his wife convince him that he should have sex with her servant.

God doesn't dismiss Abram, instead God stays faithful and God stays true to His Word.

Genesis 17... When Abram was NINETY-NINE YEARS OLD...

This was fourteen years after he had a child with his wife's servant. Fourteen years of waiting for Sarah to get pregnant. Fourteen years of more wondering and doubting. Fourteen years before God said...
"Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations..."

God is a covenant God. What He says, He means. What He says He'll do, He does.

No matter the circumstances. No matter my failures. No matter my doubts. My God clings to me when I have no strength to continue to cling to Him.

John and I stayed faithful to each other and to our God while Malachi was in the hospital not because we are strong and righteous, but rather because our God is strong and righteous and faithful and true to His Word. Because He has made a covenant with His people.

Do you serve the God of the Bible? The faithful, covenant-keeping God of Scripture.

E100 6-The Call of Abram

Genesis 12
The Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing...and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
So Abram went, as The Lord had told him.

Seems simple. God says go, man goes.

So many times I think, "If only I knew what I was supposed to do. If only I had a 'word from the Lord'..." But I do. Everything I am supposed to know about God is revealed to me in His Word--the Bible. I have all the "word from the Lord" that I need.

John and I know that God is calling us to full time ministry. We thought that meant moving to China. We believe God is making a way for us to share the gospel with international students who are studying here in the States. That is what we are pursuing, currently missionary interns with our local church and keeping current with a ministry connected with Iowa State University. Exciting times ahead!

To what is God calling you?