Thursday, February 26, 2009

Here I am! send me.

Mark is assigned a lot of reading. He loves it. Often he'll come across some great quotes and share them with me. Here is one from the book "The Art of Prophesying" for his Pastoral Ministry and the Reformation class. We thought it was convicting and challenging. The author is talking about men who are fearful to go into full-time ministry because of the risks involved, but I think it is applicable to everyone:


"Let such a man place himself in God's presence, enter into himself, search his conscience, find out his sins, confess and lament them to God, seek pardon in Christ's blood, and leave them, and not rest until he hears the voice of God's Spirit sounding in his conscience telling him: 'Your sins are forgiven.' Then when God asks 'Whom shall I send?' you will answer readily and with joy,'Here am
I! Send me.'"

I've found there's much that can happen in my heart when I take the time to focus on the Gospel - the good news. When I see how sinful I truly am, and how gracious God is to forgive me through Christ, then my ideas of how life should go seem a lot smaller, and God's seem a lot bigger.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring Fever

I ordered these dresses for the girls last week and they came in the mail today. If I could I would put Hope in a dress every day, but its just not realistic around these parts. Now I have 2 girls to put in matching dresses, and the stores are full of Spring weather clothing right now. Reality is, its not going to even start to maybe be Spring-like here for another 2 months, but I'll be ready!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Anna's Baby Dedication

Last Sunday was Anna's baby dedication at church. It was a special time for us to publicly commit to do what we had already committed to in our hearts in regard to raising Anna. It was also a special time for our church to pray for her, and to commit to serving along-side us in raising Anna to know God and to love Him with all of her heart.

Here are the questions we answered in the affirmative when asked by our pastor:


1. Do you this morning recognize this child as a gift from God and give heartfelt thanks to Him?

2. Do you promise to make it your regular prayer that, by God’s grace, your child will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of his/her sins and for the fulfillment of all His promises to him/her, especially His promise of eternal life?

3. Do you promise as parents that you will bring up your child “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord,” making every reasonable effort, with patience and love, to build the Word of God, the character of Christ and the joy of the Lord into his/her life?

4. Do you this morning acknowledge your need for help in this responsibility and will you humbly and wisely look to the strength of your own heavenly Father and the support of God’s people especially in the local church?

5. Do you recognize that this child belongs to God and therefore is to be freely given to His service and do you, with that in mind, present him/her to the Lord this morning?

I must admit that number 5 is the one that I have to struggle with the most - to truly give my children over to God, to His service, whatever He may ask of them. But I know that they are not mine to begin with, they belong to God, and are on a type of loan to us. It is sobering to think of the responsibility we have as Hope and Anna's parents. We really do want to please the Lord and to hear "well done" when they are grown. And we love them, and know that whatever God has planned for them is best.

The other babies and families.

Our pastor saying a dedication over Anna: "Anna Charlotte Rogers, together with your parents, who love you dearly, and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God, surrendering together with them all worldly claims upon your life, in the hope that you will belong wholly to God forever."

Us.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Humility

"Humility is crucial for Christians. We can only receive Christ through meekness and humility (Matt. 5:3, 18:3-4). Jesus humbled himself and was exalted by God (Phil. 2:8-9); therefore joy and power through humility is the very dynamic of the Christian life (Luke 14:11; 18:14; 1 Pet. 5:5).

The teaching seems simple and obvious. The problem is that it takes great humility to understand humility, and even more to resist the pride that comes so naturally with even a discussion of the subject.

We are on slippery ground because humility cannot be attained directly. Once we become aware of the poison of pride, we begin to notice it all around us. We hear it in the sarcastic, snarky voices in newspaper columns and weblogs. We see it in civic, cultural, and business leaders who never admit weakness or failure. We see it in our neighbors and some friends with their jealousy, self-pity, and boasting.

And so we vow not to talk or act like that. If we then notice 'a humble turn of mind' in ourselves, we immediately become smug - but that is pride in our humility. If we catch ourselves doing that we will be particularly impressed with how nuanced and subtle we have become. Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves. To even ask the question, 'Am I humble?' is to not be so. Examining your own heart, even for pride, often leads to being proud about your diligence and circumspection.

Christian humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less, as C.S. Lewis so memorably said. It is to be no longer always noticing yourself and how you are doing and how you are being treated. It is 'blessed self-forgetfulness.'

Humility is a byproduct of belief in the gospel of Christ. In the gospel, we have a confidence not based in our performance but in the love of God in Christ (Rom. 3:22-24). This frees us from having to always be looking at ourselves. Our sin was so great, nothing less than the death of Jesus could save us. He had to die for us. But his love for us was so great, Jesus was glad to die for us."

More from this article by Tim Keller.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

3 Months Old - Happy Valentine's Day!

Anna is 3 months old today. She seems to officially not be a newborn anymore, and is now a baby :) She had a check-up this week (they thought her head was shaped funny at her last appointment, so they wanted to check it out again - its fine), and she is 12 pounds and 14 ounces. She's a little above average. She continues to be the sweetest little baby. She smiles easily and is generally content. She does a lot of cooing. She even slept through the night a few times for us this week. She brings us much joy and we are continually thankful for her.
Smiling at Daddy.

Smiling at Hopey.

Serious.

Hope at lunch time (just thought I'd throw a Hopey pic in there :).



Happy girl!



Cuddling in Hope's bed.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Family Business

Lately, Hope has really wanted to help me out with bow stuff. So, I've been letting her "help."

Here she is packing up orders - she's actually pretty good at putting the bows for each order and a business card in each box.

And then here she is putting labels on her cheeks. Anna's our moral support!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Cutie-patootie

Anna at 11 weeks. She is the sweetest little thing!