Archive for March 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bubba & Sissy




Can you tell that someone was a little bit excited about actually being allowed to touch her brother? You would have thought I'd given the girl a cookie or something; it just blessed her so much to be able to hold her brother's hand. Who knew?

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Sunday




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Friday, March 21, 2008

Update on the Kids

I've got more posts in store about loving the church, but here are some pictures for those of you who are thinking, "The church is great and all, but what happened to those cutie little kids of yours?"







OWEN
Age:
3 months
Weight: 13.5 pds
Favorite Things: His sister, his swing, sucking his pointer finger
Sleep: On a good night, 5+ consecutive hours (good nights usually don't come in a row)
Reflux Update: When he is not in pain, this little guy is soooo happy! Despite medicine, Owen has continued to be in significant pain with his reflux. He's not just a baby who spits up a lot; he's a baby who spits up a lot and who is in a lot of pain! We just took him off of Zantac as I had some concerns about it. Right now we're monitoring him to see if he can do it w/out the prescription meds. Please continue to pray for him. Our Care Group prayed for his healing on Tuesday night and he has seemed to be in much less pain since then. We are praying that he is being healed...

TALI
Age:
16 months
Weight:
24 pds (I think)
Favorite Things:
Baby dolls, reading, playing outside, graham crackers, talking NONSTOP!!
Sleep: down to 1 nap that lasts a whoppin' 1 hr 25 min. It's not fun. But she sleeps from 7pm-7am so that's a huge blessing!
Words:
She pretty much repeats whatever we say, one word at a time. My current favorite things that she says are: Ehmo (Elmo), Tuhtuh (Cracker), Mahing (Good Morning), Sues (Shoes)

Thanks for bearing with the lack of posts. Life is full around here!

****************
Oops. Tali is 15 months, not 16!





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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Growing to the Love the Church, Part 2

During this time in my life, I was living at home and substitute teaching, preparing to come to graduate school at Wheaton College. Armed with a new-found desire to love what Jesus loves, I started looking on-line for churches in the Wheaton area. I knew that I desperately needed a local church that was doctrinally sound and Gospel-centered. In my on-line searching, I came across a church that was a part of Sovereign Grace Ministries that looked to be about a 1/2 hour from where I'd be going to school. I was so excited by the thought of being a committed part of a church that loved the Gospel and sought to apply it to daily life. So, I began praying that the Lord would lead me to the church that He wanted me to be a part of.

I moved to Wheaton and several days later, flew to the New Attitude conference in Kentucky with my life-long friend, Jessy. The Lord completely revolutionized my life through that conference. Not only did I meet my husband while I was there, I was spurred on to grow in loving the local church. This love for the church that God had been forming in my heart was shared by thousands worshiping around me. The Lord used New Attitude to ignite that fire that He had started in my heart for the church.

A part of that fuel was several messages that were given at previous NA conferences. (You can get those messages for free on the Sovereign Grace Resource Library.) The Lord used Josh Harris' messages entitled, "Commitment to the Church" and "Married to the Church" to help me form a picture about what practically loving the church can look like. I began to see that if I was to love the church the way that Christ does, I was going to need to be committed.

*Side note: if you are a single person or a young married couple, please check out NA's website and consider praying to see if the Lord would have you go to the conference this year and benefit. Josh & I, along with others from our church are looking forward to going. I guarantee that you will not regret it if you go!

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Growing to Love the Church

Growing to love the church was (and is) a process for me. After repenting before the Lord and asking for His help to change, I found that I needed to start applying Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." When I got ready for church on Sunday, I started praying, "Lord, You love the church. Help me to love the church as well. Help me to love these people that You died to redeem."

When I arrived and saw the people sitting around me, my thoughts began going down the sinful path of judging again and I would pray, "Lord, I don't know their hearts, only You do. Thank you for bringing them here. Please help me and help them to love You more through this time."

When we started to sing and it was more "slow" than I would like, I would ask the Lord to help me care more about praising Him than about musical styles. Then, I would try to focus on the words and worship rather than complaining in my heart about it simply not being "my preference."

The Lord started changing me and I began to enjoy being with His people on Sundays. But there was still more change to take place.

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Why Should I Love the Church?

As I mentioned in my last post, there was a time when (at my best moments) I tolerated church. There was nothing about the church that I loved. But God called me to change.

I had been thinking of the people around me as hypocrites; in other words, I was proud and sinfully judging those around me, not loving them. I had to ask for the Lord's forgiveness for that. And actually, if you happened to be at the same church as me during that time, would you forgive me for arrogantly judging your heart? I want to publically confess that I was sinning and I am very sorry for that.

The Lord began to convict me of this sin and I started to see more clearly that I had to change. Josh Harris puts it well in his book, "Stop Dating the Church"

"As Christians we're called to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1). We're to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). Can there be any question that part of being like Jesus is to love what He loves? Christians often speak of wanting God's heart for the poor or the lost. And these are good desires. But shouldn't we also want God's heart for the Church? If Jesus loves the Church, you and I should, too. It's that simple."

I did not love the church like God was calling me to. Where does scripture tell us that Christ loves the church? One passage is found in Ephesians 5:

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish."

According to God's Word, Christ loves the church so much that He gave up His life to redeem us. That is some serious love. Next, I'll share what it looked like practically as God began to grow in my heart a love for the church.

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