Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Amy, Abigail, Maria, and I are heading to Philadelphia for Abigail to have the first of probably several "rod lengthening" procedures she will need to get every 6 to 9 months until she is done growing. It is supposed to take about one hour. Thursday morning is the surgery - please pray that all goes well for her. The doctors have also been checking all our other children's backs for curves since scoliosis is genetic. So far, no one has any problems. This time it is Maria's turn to get looked at.
I praise God that He has dealt so bountifully with Abigail through all of this. The internal bracing has worked very well and Abigail has very few restrictions. Please pray that this will continue to work and that she will never need to get spinal fusion.
I want to let everyone know how thankful I am for the continuous stream of prayers that have gone up for Abigail over the last year and a half. God has blessed those prayers and helped her and my family tremendously.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The judges sat outside the law
And in their pride no evil saw
In setting teeth to Satan's jaw
And feeding him our children.
A curse A curse the law it cries.
A curse a curse on mankind's pride.
A curse on him who would deny
God's image in mankind.
When viewed in terms of cost and ease
An unborn child is a disease
A holocaust seen fit to please
Our own convenience.
Torn from out their mother's womb
Denied the sky - denied a tomb
Conceived in lust to their own ruin
A sacrifice to pleasure.
A curse a curse their blood cries out
A curse a curse the heavens shout
A curse on him who dares to flout
God's image in mankind.
The doctors with their blood red hands
Who love their money more than man,
With greed their god they lay their plans
The butchers of mankind.
O rid us of this evil, Lord
And turn our hearts by cross or sword.
Our nation cannot long afford
To live beneath your anger.
A curse a curse upon their heads
O save them Lord or slay them dead
And fill our country with your dread
And turn away Your anger.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Paul had to go back to the hospital for surgery today to "straighten" his arm. One of the two bones was at 28 degrees - and anything greater than 20 is unacceptable. So, they put him under and put lots of pressure on it. This reduced it to 5 degrees. They had to give him morphine twice (and they even said he has a high pain tolerance). Needless to say, he is wiped out - and so is Amy. I'm taking the other three and the dog to a park while these two crash on the couch for a while. Thanks to everyone for praying. Paul has really been through it with his poor arm, but we are confident all will be well with it now.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Could anything be more winsome than true self-forgetfulness, humility, and godliness? Would to God that all of us truly regard ourselves as crucified to all that is part of this world that is passing away. If only I could love another person as Christ loved me. May we always regard the most unlovable and the most personally repulsive as though they were the Lord Christ Himself in our midst. If only I could live as if I were to stand before the Lord Jesus Himself in person, with all of my heart-motions and motives laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom I must give an account. If only it did not take intense personal suffering to break us of inordinate affections and turn our eyes towards things eternal. Pain makes us long for that city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. One day of true humility, one day of true self-abasement, one day of heart-brokenness over my children’s and loved-one’s souls – If only God would grant this to His whole church. “Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom” – James 4:9. May God teach us all what this means.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
1. We miscarried.
2. Abigail fell while skipping around at an outdoor restaurant and got abrasions on her thigh, ankle, shin, and 10 stitches in her chin.
3. As Amy and Abigail were on their way home from the hospital, Paul was bumped off of a futon in our basement and broke both bones in his right arm - it was bent back just above his wrist. So, we spent from about 8:00 PM until 1:30 AM at Liberty Children's Hospital getting that fixed.
Just pray for us, we are exhausted and emotionally drained from all of this.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
How would you describe the color of the sky to a person who was born blind? To what in their experience could you compare it to bring home to their mind how dazzlingly blue it really is? Or how would you explain the opening bars to Beethoven’s piano masterpiece, The Appassionata, to a person who was born deaf? Would it be possible to get across to them just how soul-stirring the climax of the third movement is? Without a common point of reference, such communication would be impossible. For a person to make distinctions in color requires that they can see. For a person to feel the emotional power of the sound of music, they must be able to hear. Try as one may, to make a person blind from birth truly comprehend the real difference in color between yellow and blue would require them first to be given sight. And for the person deaf from birth to be moved by the middle section of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony would require them first to be given hearing.
Along these same lines, the Scriptures paint a very dark picture of man. Because of the fall of man into sin, man is unable to hear or see the truth of God. Apart from the supernatural intervention of God, the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ will be as alien to the unbeliever as the sound of music would be to the person deaf from birth. The Bible also describes all mankind as “hostile to God” – Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is hostile to God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” And as “enemies” – Col. 1:21, “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled.” This open rebellion against God into which all men are born causes them to turn away from the truth God has clearly shown them through what He created. Paul in Romans 1 teaches clearly that all men, in their hearts, do know the true God, but they suppress the truth about him in their unrighteousness.
Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking you are just neutral toward God. There is no middle ground. We are either for Christ or against Christ. We cannot serve two masters. No one is straddling the fence waiting to figure out where they stand with God. We are either reconciled to God, or we are God’s enemies. Those who live at war with God will have their understanding darkened. This darkened understanding renders Man completely inadequate to find answers to the most basic questions of life. Sinful man assumes at the outset that he is able to understand the world in which he lives. As proof that this is clearly not the case, we need only point out that the most learned and rigorous intellectuals through all of human history have failed miserably to agree with one another in their answers to life’s most basic questions: What are we? What is life? Is there a purpose to it? What is real? Where did it come from? What happens when we die? Why is the world so full of evil? Is there a god? What is he or she or it like? Is there an after life? When one surveys the history of unbiblical philosophies and their attempts to answer these questions, one can only throw their hands up in despair. If the most intelligent minds in all of our history can’t agree, how can regular people like us ever expect to have any certainty about anything? What apparently has simply escaped the notice of the unbelieving mind is this: Perhaps the answers to these questions must be given to us by someone else. Perhaps the answers must be given before they’re gotten. Perhaps we have gravely erred in assuming we are adequate in our reasoning and scientific abilities to answer these questions.
Just think of the ideas and the results of these ideas that prevail in the world of unbelief:
1. Nothing became something, then it blew up and became everything, then it got together for about 15 billion years, and then we climbed up out of the ooze onto the shore and lived happily ever after. Atheist philosopher, Bertrand Russell, was asked, “Dr. Russell what do you think will happen to you when you die?” To which he responded, “I’ll rot.”
2. Everything in the material world has been worshipped by man: the sun, the moon, the stars, animals, trees, and everything else. Man’s understanding is so dark that he will make a pile of rocks and then get down on his knees and pray to it as his God.
3. Men really believe the sole purpose for which they exist is to be complimented and praised by other people. And people will pursue this form of idolatry with relentless zeal.
4. Some philosophers in our day believe the greatest question facing any person is this: Why shouldn’t I just commit suicide? Many people have given into such an idea in the face of nothing being able to answer this question. In the United States between 1979 and 1999, 450,000 people died of AIDS. During that same time period of 20 years, over 600,000 people committed suicide.
5. In a book entitled, “The Day America Told the Truth: What People Really Believe about Everything that Matters” we find these staggering facts:
“…74% say that they will steal without compunction, 64 % say that they will lie if there is an advantage to be hand, 53% say that, given a chance, they will commit adultery, 41 % say that they intend to use recreational drugs, and 30% say that they will cheat on their taxes. … 86% admit to lying regularly to their parents, 75 % to a friend, 73% to a sibling, and … only 11% feel any serious level of shame. While 74% will steal without compunction, only 9% register any significant shame. While pornography has blossomed into a $21 billion industry that accounts for a quarter of all the videos rented in shops, in the thriving hotel business, and on cable, only 2% experience guilt about watching…”
Welcome to the glorious world of unbelief! Men cannot see. Men cannot hear. They are born deaf and blind, not to the world around them mind you, but to the truth. But thanks be to God, he has not left us to grope around in darkness. [Paul explaining his Damascus road experience to Agrippa]. Acts 26:17-18 (NKJV), “I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,  to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'”
[more to come]
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. [That is vanity.] They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better looking than others.... it is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest.... If I am a proud man, then, as long as there is one man in the whole world more powerful, or richer, or cleverer than I, he is my rival and my enemy." - Mere Christianity, p94.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Here we have two pictures of the kids with their friends from Pearl Presbyterian Church (we miss you all!!). There's a picture of the two back braces Abigail once wore - they are now *history* thanks be to God! Paul and Maria found their old Peter-Pan and Princess play clothes. Then we have Abigail's new and improved back. Finally, Maria built a Lincoln-Log tower out of every single piece we had - including all the little animals and people. We had fun knocking it down.
Things are going well with settling into my new job as the "Assistant Pastor Intern" at Grace Bible Presbyterian Church. I have tons of work to do - not the least of which is finishing seminary and studying for ordination exams this coming February. Working full-time in Christ's church is like a dream come true for me. I love it so very much. And I am so looking forward to being able to preach in my own church (Lord willing) one day. I also have a new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop me an email and let me know how you're doing and if you have any prayer requests. God bless!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
All of us are really missing and are going to miss our friends at Pearl Presbyterian Church. Those wonderful people were so good to us during our time there. They are all very special to me. We had some really good times together. I'm looking forward to seeing them this Winter when I go down to take one or two Winter courses.
I've got 72 hours done out of a 106-hour degree. I'm hoping to have all the coursework finished by next May or June. We'll see how that all shakes out...
I still have one final exam to take - apologetics. From what I've heard from others who have taken it - it is extremely difficult. In fact, everyone who has taken it has told me it was the most difficult exam they have ever taken in their entire educational life. So, I guess we're all going to fail it and then it will be curved. We'll see.... Other than this dreaded exam I have yet to take, it was a good semester. Courses were good and I did well.
Abigail is doing so well it truly amazes me. She's really almost all the way back to being her normal self. You wouldn't even know she's got a bunch of hardware in her back. It warms my heart to see her standing up so straight. What a blessing! God has dealt bountifully with us in that regard.
I'll try to blog more regularly now that we're home.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I saw them off this morning. Please pray for safe travels. I am going to miss them all so very much. I will not be seeing Amy and Abigail until May 1st. And I won't see my sons and Maria until May 15th. I feel sick just considering that. But, it is all in God's providence for my good and His glory. Blessings!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Amy found a video which describes what Abigail is going to be having done this coming April 21st. I enjoyed watching the video, but it was somewhat difficult because Abigail's curve is worse than any they show you in the video. She is actually having two surgeries at once - the one described in this video and the insertion of a titanium rib. Her curve is pretty bad and she currently wears a pretty tight brace. I couldn't be prouder of her. She has shown me how tough she really is - both physically and spiritually. How odd, that God would teach me humility and godliness through my 8-year-old daughter.
Amy and Abigail are going to be in Philadelphia for 3 weeks. The other children are going home to Cincinnati and will be staying with my parents. I will remain here in Mississippi to finish up the 18 hours I'm taking this semester.
We would appreciate everyone's prayers for Abigail's recovery and our faith and sanity. All of this, every minute detail, is from God's fatherly hand to us. If I did not believe that, I would lose my mind. These next three months are going to be a trial for me and my family. I will probably try to take a trip to Philadelphia shortly after Abigail's surgery - if that means I don't do as well as I'd like to in some of my classes, so be it. I know exactly what Bunyan meant when he said from prison that not being able to be with his blind daughter was worse than having the flesh torn off his bones. The idea of Abigail laying in a hospital bed without me there is more than I can stomach.
All of you have meant so much to us and I thank God for all of you.
Here is Abigail pretending to be asleep in a swing at a park - she's pretty funny, eh?
Saturday, March 15, 2008
We have a surgery date for Abigail's back - April 21st. Amy and the kids are going to be heading back to Cincinnati around April 12th. I'm going to be alone here in Mississippi for about 4 weeks! Yikes!
Here are some good pics I got of the girls and the dog yesterday....