Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Precious Gift

Isabella has been such a joy since the day she was born! Children are such a precious gift from God. I know she was lent to us from the Lord and words can hardly describe the pleasure I feel. 

"For He that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is His name."  -Matthew 1:49

She has really started to focus in on people and respond with coos & smiles. She's almost laughing too. It's just so sweet that I had to share it with you all. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meeting Great Grandma

Isabella had the privilege of meeting her Great Grandma Marie who is 89 years old. She is my dad's mom. She doesn't really remember much due to her age but it was still so nice to see her enjoying herself. It was such a special time. We took this photo of four generations! Amazing! 

While I'm on the subject of relations, I'm very thankful for "other" relations we have. You know, the brothers & sisters in Christ who have laid down their lives continually for me to know Jesus more. I know these people are committed to us forever and that makes me very grateful. Because of this, we are able to love our earthly relations. Without Christ there is no way we would care one tiny-bit for anyone. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Luther on Praise

God is not praised if He is not loved; He is not loved if He does not do good; He does not do good if He is not gracious; He neither is nor can be gracious if He does not forgive sins; and He does not forgive sins except for Christ's sake.

by Martin Luther from What Luther Says

One Month Today

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. -Psalm 139:14

Isabella is one month today and as selfish as ever! I've been figuring out that you can't take every whine, whimper, or cry seriously because they can sure turn it on & off. I snapped this photo and not 2 minutes later she was squawking. But, she is nice! She is such a special gift from the Lord that we certainly don't deserve.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Two Special Girls!

Now, you guess who they are?

Baby #1
Baby #2

Baby #1
Baby #2
If you answered Auntie Emily when she was a babe and her niece Isabella, you were right!!
Isn't that amazing? Obviously they have their differences, but overall they really look alike. Even more importantly, they are alike because they've both been called by the Gospel, enlightened with His gifts, and have been sanctified and kept with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. This is most certainly true.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

There is a Fountain

The baptism of any child is an amazing thing. But, to watch your own child be immersed in that baptismal water is an event too much to describe. It gave me, as a brand-new parent, a feeling of total helplessness which, I think, it's supposed to do. Thank God for committed friends, godparents, and aunts & uncles to which we can turn for help. I'm so glad Isabella isn't mine. She belongs to Jesus and His church. And I, by God's grace, like Paul can boldly tell her (in word & deed) to follow me as I follow Christ.

Thus, when someone steps up and answers Jesus' call to follow him, the church washes that person in water--baptism--which says, among other things, that the person has been reborn, started over, and has been adopted into a new God-formed family. It is as if the person gets a new name, "Christian," that takes precedence over that person's family name. It is as if the person has already died to old attachments and former relationships and has already been raised to new life. And the church is that fresh, new family that is composed of those who have heard Jesus' "Follow me" and have stepped forward and said "Yes." The chief act of Christian worship isn't some mysterious, dark, esoteric rite. It's a family meal with everyone around the table, the Sunday dinner that we call the Lord's Supper, family as God intended family to be.

Thus, when parents bring a child forward for baptism, Christian initiation, the pastor takes the child from them and says, in effect, "You are two wonderful people, but you are not knowledgeable enough, not skilled enough on your own, to raise a Christian. Therefore, we'll adopt your child, we'll take responsibility for this baby, we will help you raise a Christian." Bishop William H. Willimon

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blind Trust

You know that feeling you get when your little baby is looking right into your eyes and giving you that look that says, "I trust you mom for every thing," without uttering a sound? They do it without any thought otherwise. Well, I've been experiencing that feeling this week. Isabella has started to focus in on her daddy and I especially when we're talking to her. It makes my eyes fill with tears some days. As this happened this morning, I was reminded of what Luther says in his large catechism about the first commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

"A god means that from which we are to expect all good and to which we are to take refuge in all distress..."

It makes me cry, "Lord, continue to give me that child-like faith!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welcome Isabella Jean!

At 7:25pm on Saturday, November 20, 2010 the Lord blessed us with a precious baby girl. We named her Isabella Jean - "Isabella" means consecrated to God and "Jean" is after her Grandma Pamela Jean. She weighed 7 pounds & 1 ounce and was 19 inches long. We are so overjoyed to have such a special gift.

Psalm 127:3-5

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.