Monday, March 5, 2012

The Heart of a Mother

      A year ago today we welcomed into our family are beautiful baby boy, Levi. He arrived a month early and this turned our world upside down. Still to this day I can not really think about that time without crying. What we thought would just be a long weekend in the hospital turned into a very long month. Countless hours spent sitting next to his bed wishing and hoping we could just hold him that day least of all touch him. As a mother not being able to take care of my sick baby was breaking my heart. I knew that if they would just let me hold him it would make everything better. After a week or so a very sweet night nurse told us that if we came in the NICU at 10pm that night that we would be able to hold him. As I walked up to the hospital that night I felt as if I were going on a first date or something. I was so nervous to hold this little baby that I had been waiting for for so many months. Needless to say I enjoyed every minute. After countless procedures and tests we finally were able to go home. In the months that followed, I have already seen so much happiness he is going to bring to this world. He has brought so much joy to so many people. I am already so proud of him and can not wait to see what great things he will do.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Heart that is Humbled

      The kids and I are just loving this fall weather so much because we get to go on long walks pretty much everyday. One of my daughters favorite things to do is to pick flowers along the way so we can bring them home and put them in a vase on our table. So like any other day we set out for a long walk and right away she started spotting those pretty flowers. I thought I could avoid the frequent stops so I pulled a big bundle right away for her to hold. Before I knew it she had destroyed all but one of the flowers which she held so tightly in her fingers. When I looked at her the only words she said were, "show daddy."  She wanted to show her daddy the one perfect flower she had picked just for him.
      So many times we think that we have to do so much to please our Heavenly Father by being the best Christian. We think that if we know all the facts about the Bible or do all the charitable things that we will build up this bundle that we label a "perfect Christian."  The truth is that when we are in the presence of God we don't need all this extra stuff to make us perfect in His sight. When we stand before Him humbled and broken and get rid of all the rest He is pleased. In my eyes I thought that a lot of flowers would be perfect to show her daddy but in my daughters mind that one little wilted flower was the best. Her daddy was very pleased. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Daniel 1:1-21

*The story of Daniel is one of the most well known in the Bible but there is still so many who have never really studied it, myself included. I pray that my eyes will be open to new things that I never knew.

Chapter 1:1-7
    When king Nebuchadnezzar (I will refer to him as Nezzer from now on) took over Jerusalem he had several of the sacred vessels taken from the temple along with the best men sent to Babylon. The men were taken from royalty ad nobility, considered to be without defect and high intellect. They were the best of the best. These men were to be trained 3 years and then serve in the kings army. Among those men were Daniel (God is my judge), Hananiah (The Lord has been gracious), Mishael (Who is what God is), and Azariah (The Lord has helped). Once they were in Babylon they were given new names but not by choice. They were Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
Chapter 1:8-16
    The king wanted the men to eat from his food which was a great honor. But Daniel and the three other men didn't want to go against their religious views in order to please the king. They asked that they only drink water and eat vegetables. But the commander was afraid that they would be weaker than the rest of the men. So a trial period was set up for 10 days. At the end of the test Daniel and the three men were healthier than all the rest so they were allowed to continue their diet. It is important to remember that these were young men who held firm to their faith even while they were on their own. Because of their faithfulness the Lord rewarded them with abundant knowledge.
Chapter 1:17-21 
     At the end of the three years the king had the men brought before him and of course Daniel and the other men were the top among all the rest. The King learned even more of all the things that the Lord had blessed them with. Daniel stayed there until the first year of Cyrus' reign.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Acts 28:1-31

Chapter 28: 1-10
      Once their ship had hit land they were greeted by the natives to the island along with a big fire. This was so nice for the men of the ship because the weather was cold and they were wet. Paul was helping pick up sticks when he was bitten by a poisonous snake on the hand. The natives began to say that it was his punishment from the gods for what he had done. But because God was protecting him he did not get ill in anyway. Instead he begins to minister and heal others. They stayed on this island for three months until the weather conditions were safe to travel.
Chapter 28:11-16
      They finally set sail for Rome again but not without a few more stops along the way. While in Puteoli Paul was allowed to go and stay with other believers but probably with a close watch by a guard. People were so excited about his visit that they travel several miles just to greet him. Both Paul and Luke were overwhelmed by the people's overall reaction to them. Once they were in Rome Paul was put back on house arrest but with some freedom.
Chapter 28:17-29
      After a few days of rest Paul calls several of the head leaders to meet with him in hopes of discussing his case with them. They wanted to hear all that he had to say so they made arrangements to meet up again. On that day Paul begins to preach and like in so many cases before some listened and received and some walked away. He began to speak on the things that the prophet Isaiah had spoken on about people's hearts growing dull. It did end with the promise that God would restore their hearts if they understood and returned.
Chapter 28:30-31
      For the next two years while he was still in prison he preached to whoever came to him along with writing his famous prison epistles. Other than that there is no definite description to what happens to him at the end of the two years in this book. Other books in the bible do shed a little light some of the events that happened.

* May we have boldness like Paul to preach even during the hard times and may our hearts never grow dull to His truths.

Acts 27:1-44

Chapter 27:1-12
       Paul along with a few other prisoners are being transported to Rome for their appeal to Caesar. They were guarded by a centurion named Julius. The first part of their voyage was spent on a small boat making frequent stops along the way and then they were find a larger boat to get on and finish there journey. It is said that they began this trip in the fall because of the wind conditions they were facing. Since Paul had had some experience in sailing he knew that this journey would be very dangerous if they continued on. The centurion didn't want to listen and kept them out at sea.
Chapter 27:13-20
      Once they were out to sea a terrible wind came out of no where and turned them from their original direction. They found shelter on an island called Clauda where they reinforced the boat with cables and lowered the anchor. The next day as they were in another storm they began to toss their cargo overboard to help lighten the boat. Many began to believe they were going to die.
Chapter 27:21-26
       The men on the ship had gone a long time without food and Paul knew why. He stood up and told them that if they had just listened to him then none of this would have happened. But he did have good news. He had a vision of an angel of the Lord standing before him. He was assured that there would be no lose of life because the Lord was not thought with them. Paul still had to meet with Caesar.
Chapter 27:27-44
      When I read this passage I was picturing a smallest boat like the size of a nice yacht, but that it was not. It says that there were 276 people on this ship. It also says that they cut ropes to another boat that was attached to the one they were on. Paul once again speaks out on what they should do and they decided to listen to him this time. They knew that they were going to wreck on the dry lad but they were trying to lessen the load anyways. The men had not eaten in 2 weeks and after they got their fill of the wheat they threw the rest overboard. In the end we see that the soldiers once again spare Paul's life by not killing him just because he was a prisoner.