Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Brooklyn Tabernacle, "Thou, Oh Lord"

Many are they increased that troubled me
Many are they that rise up against me
Many there be which say of my soul
There is no help for him in God

But thou, oh Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
Thou, oh Lord are shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head

I cried unto the Lord with my voice
And he heard me out of His holy hill
I laid me down and slept and awaked
For the Lord sustained, for he sustained me

Don't Forget to Laugh

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What is the worst thing that could happen to you?

I do not know why I have been thinking about this recently, but I guess we all at some points in our lives ask, what is the worse thing possible that could happen to me here on this earth (especially if you are not an optimist, but more of a realist)? I really want you to think about that. I used to think maybe losing a loved one tragically, or having a chronic disease, etc. But in reality the suffering here on earth is only temporal in light of eternity. Therefore, I believe the worst thing that could happen to me here right now is for one of my immediate family members to die, and to know without a doubt that they did not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I know the Lord would help me get through it, but I just do not know how Christians who lose a family member that is not saved, make it day after day with that knowledge. Right now,
Jackson is the only one in my family who has not accepted Jesus as his Savior from his sins. Obviously, he cannot even make sentences yet, but one day sooner than I can even imagine he will. What would I give up here on earth to encourage Jackson to accept Christ as his Savior? I would give up everything. I would sleep out in a tent, I would wear the same outfit every day of my life, I would go without much food, I would give up all my “necessities” to bring him up in the admonition of the Lord. Has God ever not provided for me all that I need and more? This is just my new found conviction, and I want my readers to really think hard about eternity. All this suffering here is just temporary. If I have to suffer some here on earth so that my stubborn heart can have a better relationship with my Jesus - my wonderful Savior - it is worth it. Are we living a life looking for eternity? Or are we looking just at the here and now? Are we storing up treasures in heaven or treasures here on earth? After looking at all the great men and women of the Bible, it sure seems that the ones that were staying in God’s will, were the ones who did things they were the most uncomfortable with. They were the men and women who did not try to take everything into their control, but where the ones who waited on the Lord, and trusted Him even when it made no logical sense. What is God calling you today to do that makes no logical sense? Will God get all the praise and honor or will you? Will people see a miracle in your life or will they just see the hard work of a man or woman? Maybe we should think about what the worst thing that could happen to us after all. I know some things are out of our control, but do we really live a life the demonstrates that we believe that God is indeed in control and that His death was sufficient for all? Charlie would now say "preach" to me, which I guess is more of a inside joke. Anyway, that is enough of my "preaching" for now.

“Raising Godly Children” by Hope Felts, Dr. Brown’s daughter

She started off by telling a great story about how we are going to fall but we should just try to fall forward. She was one of the most gifted speakers I have ever heard - she is definitely at Beth Moore’s level. She has received her father’s gift of proclaiming clearly and passionately the Word of God. She also quoted from a book called Snickers from the Pew, which was quite hilarious. However, she did report that sadly, one recent survey stated that 80% of preacher’s kids (PKs) struggle with depression. This survey did find that many preachers’ kids hear their parents say things like, “When you mess up you ruin daddy’s ministry and then we will not have a job or food.” Lord, please help us never to even hint at that to our children! Also, many preachers’ kids hear their father say things one week in the pulpit and then they do not live that way at home. Ouch! Is God really transforming our pastors today? Or are we just putting on a show and living a hypocritical life? Why would they want to follow a God who has not transformed his own father’s life?

She then quoted from a book called Know Your Child. She concluded that babies are born with a certain temperament, which I agree with. She asked us to consider Cain and Abel, the first children. They certainly had different temperaments. Three basic types of babies exist:

1. Easy Child, predictable

2. Slow to warm up Child (shy)

3. Difficult child, strong willed child

People used to think that people were born with a blank slate and that our environment was everything, but now there is strong evidence and studies against this theory. Paul names three “spiritual children” throughout the Bible (he calls them by name his sons):

1. Timothy, the easy child

2. Onesimus, the slow to warm up son

3. Titus, the bulldog, the problem solver but the difficult child Titus did not have to be encouraged like Timothy. Titus was a problem solver.

I had never really thought about these three men in this light, but I can see where she is coming from. Now, after having Jackson and seeing many babies his age, I really do believe that some babies are just born fighting and we like to label them “difficult.” I think God can use all men and women with different temperaments. I do believe it is important to know our children and how to encourage them. They might be shy and we can encourage them to step out in faith for the glory of God. Or they might be easy and need a lot of encouragement. Maybe they are difficult and we need to speak the truth in love to them daily. Paul certainly knew the differences between his spiritual children. I do not know if these categories are as cut and dry as these. Generally, Jackson is the easy child; however, boy does he have a temper! Right now for the last time we put him down at night it is war. The other night he really hyper-ventilated at 9:15 pm More on that latter…

She urged us to:

1. “Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him
.” Psalm 34:8

Taste the Lord, love God in front of them! Don’t be secretive with them about your relationship with God.

2. Love God’s house, have a positive attitude about it, do not look at it as work. Long to be in his house with all the imperfect people. Psalm 27:4:

“One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple

3. Pray with them every day before they go off to school. I am starting this now every morning with Jackson and it is such a blessing

4. Know your child!

"If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again"

If I had my child to raise all over again,

I'd finger-paint more, and point the fingers less.

I would do less correcting and more connecting.

I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.


I would care to know less and know to care more.

I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.

I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.

I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.


I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.

I'd teach less about the love of power, And more about the power of love.


By Diane Loomans

I am certain that concept of building up one's self-esteem is anti-Biblical, but besides that, I think this is a good poem for current moms to see. If we keep on telling our children how great they are at everything, why will they need a Savior to rescue them from their sins?

Ps-The picture is of Jackson in his high chair that we finally got up. Thank you so much Aunt Sandi for the high chair!

Monday, March 26, 2007

We Left Jackson for 2 nights for the first time!

Wow, we have been so busy. Today, is Charlie's 28th Birthday and the first two pictures are of Mrs. Tedder and her cake that she made Charlie for his birthday. We have the most caring church members! The next picture is my wonderful father, who along with my unbelievable mom, did a great job taking care of Jackson for 2 whole nights while we went to the "Empowered Church Conference" at Hickory Grove Baptist Church (Charlotte, NC). It was a wonderful conference and we learned so much. The first night the music was Brooklyn Tabernacle songs, and it was the best Christian music I have ever heard. They had a complete symphony and it was like we just stepped into the gates of heaven. We really had a wonderful time, and I hope to blog about some of the breakout sessions. It was good to get away for two night and have no bottles! But, when I heard him talking in the background on the second day, tears did come to my eyes. He started saying "daddy" to objects while we were gone. Jackson did great with my parents, but he definitely gave me lots of hugs and kisses when we got back. I also hope to blog about how he is doing soon and what are some issues we are struggling with. Charlie preached last night in our first of hopefully many contemporary services on Sunday night, and the service went great! Charlie's parents came and it was so good that they got to see Jackson--I think it had been a month since they had seen him!

“But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Update on Andrew-March 22nd 2007

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2007 08:31 PM, EDT
Andrew is doing a lot better today and is hoping to be moved back to his old room by tomorrow. He is still not eating and has the NG tube in as well. His best friend from high school is here to visit him, so it should be a good rest of the week for him. Thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement!

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2007 10:33 PM, EDT
I just got off of the phone with my mom. She says that she can tell a big difference in how Andrew is doing from this morning to tonight. He is still in a lot of pain, but he has turned the corner. A new issue has surfaced; his left kidney is now only producing half the amount of urine it was previously. They'll be performing a CT scan in the morning to determine what is going on. Please pray for him during that procedure; it is a very awkward and painful one. He did receive some great encouragement from Oliver North, who stopped by today to see how he was doing. According to my mom, God brought him over to encourage Andrew. He is a very Godly man and served as a great spiritual encouragement for him. He spoke to the heart of what Andrew is going through. He told Andrew, as Andrew now well knows, that God does not promise us easy times here on earth and that He often uses the lives of some to bless others. I think of Jesus and his ultimate sacrifice. He was God and yet gave His life to bless us so that we could know God. Mr. North was telling Andrew of all of the many people who have been blessed by Andrew's story and of the many who have come to know the Lord. I really believe that God is using Andrew's life in a mighty way in the lives of many. I know that Andrew would have it no other way. It is not in glorifying ourselves that true joy comes. When we 'lose' our lives, we gain. I know that now more than ever.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

We Got a Tot Rider!

Yesterday at Walmart I got Jackson a tot rider. Justin told us about it, we had never heard of it, and it was only $30. It is like a baby walker, and he loves being in the kitchen with us. This morning he zoomed around in it while I made his bottle. It is a great invention! Also, some people have asked about Jackson. He is doing great sitting up on his own some, crawling backwards, doing push ups, getting up on all fours like a cat, lifting almost his entire body up while on his stomach, and tearing off all the bumpers in his crib (he is strong). He loves to make noises and try to talk to us. He especially loves the phone and to say "hey" to his grandparents. He eats oatmeal cereal still 3 times a day and now we are slowing moving up the amount of cereal to 5 tablespoons a feeding (today he had 2 and tomorrow we are going to try 3 with just mixing about 2 1/2 tablespoons of formula with the cereal). I have also been trying to feed him cereal in the middle of his bottle and he is doing well so far with that. Next week, I think we are going to try squash consistently for 3 days (they say just to introduce one new food for 3 days to make sure he has no food allergies). We have given him pears before but he made a real disgusted face. That's all for now!

Pictures from Virginia's wedding

Update on Andrew-March 20th 2007

Andrew is now in a step-down unit instead of the ICU. He is still in a whole whole lot of pain. He's back to being hooked up to a heart monitor since his heart rate is still so very high. He has IVs in both arms again and is being fed through a vein. He has a NG (nasal gastric) tube in as well, that is keeping all of the stomach acids from traveling to the intestines so they can heal. All of this is just a reminder of a while ago when Andrew had these tubes, ivs, etc before. He had come so very far since then, so I know this is extremely hard for him. Mainly, the pain is just so much. It will be a while before his intestines heal up and are not inflamed anymore. For now, the doctors say, he is very sick. Please pray for his fast healing and for some alleviation for the pain. Pray for encouragement and peace throughout it all.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pictures of Jackson from March 17th weekend (Va's wedding)

Bailie meets Jackson!

Lucia meets Jackson!

Jackson is confused--there is another red team? As long as it is not an orange team, we are ok.

Update on Andrew-March 19th 2007

Andrew is hanging in there. He'll be in the ICU for a few more days so they can monitor him. His pain continues to be at high levels. He is allowed to self-medicate every 6 min. by pushing a button (which I believe he or someone else is pushing every 6 min.). The surgery last night did go well--it was just such a painful procedure and his bowels are still enflamed. Please just continue to pray for him a whole lot. He really needs it right now. It really is hard to describe what he has and is going through. I know you all understand. Thank you!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Great Picture

We had a great wedding weekend in Spartanburg. I have like 50 pictures from last weekend but this picture is one of the best and I just could not wait to post it. Aunt Kelly got Jackson his first pair of sunglasses at the beach last week. Yeah! He is such a ham.