Something new...

Over the past few years, God has started breathing a new wind in my soul. I feel unsettled with the way things are and have started to long for new wine skin. I think HE is ready to pour out new wine. I see it happening all over the world. 

Perhaps he is transforming me into something new. 

I have a lot to repent of. 

I've made Christianity about me and how Jesus can help me feel good about my life. How he can take away my fears and discontentment and bad habits and make me a better person. 

Now, I never would have said that's what I believed, what I had reduced the gospel to, but take a look at my life and personal pursuit of goodness is all you would see. 

See, now I'm starting to think there's more to this gospel than personal sanctification. Personal sanctification, yes!  But, good news for the world. News that transcends all issues of life, informs all we are and what we do. Informs who we love and who we pursue. News that BLESSES others. News that befriends the fatherless, defends the widow, clothes the naked, mows the lawn of the elderly neighbor and news that serves like our King did. 

The church is not a gathering place on Sundays where I meet with my friends and learn about God. The church is a group of people on mission together to disciple one another and bring the good news to the whole world. 

I'm not sure where I got the notion that I didn't really need to do this on a regular basis. Where I got the notion that doing a service project was the same as giving my life to God wholly and obeying his commands (whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me). Where I got the notion that my "church" either could be my life or that it could be separate from my life. 

I'm scared. I don't exactly know what this will look like. I'm scared that I will get in the way and mess up relationships.  I'm afraid I won't know how to share this good news that has changed my life, while still being friends with neighbors and enjoying life together. Jesus loved SO well. I want to learn to love my neighbor. And actually do it. As in, TODAY and tomorrow and the next day. I want to serve the needs of my community and world, NOW. 

All I know is that this needs to be fueled by prayer. 

Holy Trinity, help me love and serve as you did. Go before me and speak truth to me. Help me to balance discipleship with mission. Bring your kingdom to this earth. Bring it soon. In Your name I pray, AMEN.


Asher is 18 months!!!!

Happy 18 months, Asher!!!

You are such a big boy!  In some ways you seem bigger than 18 months.  You've had to grow up a little faster with the arrival of a little brother, but you've taken it all in stride.  You adore him and I hope that you will be so close!  You also are beginning to really play with Caleb and enjoy him too!

You are our verbal boy.  You can say over 75 words and your vocabulary grows daily.  You are starting to combine words.  You LOVE books and animals.  Your favorite books are Eyewitness books where there are lots of little pictures of different animals.  You like to point to each one and have us tell you what it is.  You enjoy watching a Nursery Rhyme show on Netflix (it has pictures of kids and animals with music).  You will walk around saying, "show, show, show."  Your favorite animal is either a dog or a clown fish.  When you want a sea animal book, you walk around saying, "Oh where, Nemo?  Oh where, Nemo?"  You light up when your dad or big brother come in the room and are equally disappointed if they leave.  You are a hungry boy, eating almost as much as your big brother.  You are enthralled with Ethan, and will look for him in his room if you don't see him.  You love to point out each body part on "baby, baby, baby, baby."  You love fruit of any kind, raisins, your "vi" (vitamin), chicken, beans, goldfish, and lots more.  Playing with balls, puzzles, and books are your favorite.

You sleep through the night well and wake up around 7 am.  You go to sleep around 8pm and take a 1.5-2 hour nap around noon.  You sleep with your doggy and "buddies" (which are pre-fold cloth diapers that we used as burp clothes).  You wear size 3 diapers and 18ish month clothes (give or take).  You wear size 5-6 shoes.

You are a sensitive soul and easily cry if we scold you.  You want to be around your family, but are also independent enough to play on your own.  You play well alongside other kiddos your age and love to try to keep up with the big kids.  You love to play outside and help in the kitchen.  You are friendly and like to say "hi, hi, hi" to others (from the safety of mom's arms or your stroller.  You throw many more fits than your big brother, but are probably more typical of your age.  You are getting better though, as you learn to talk.

My dear Asher.  I love you so much.  I love you for who you are.  It's my hope that you know and understand that.  That you never feel overlooked because you are the middle child.  You are a delight and joy of a child.  The sense of wonder you hold for life is so refreshing.  Your little voice and face light up my day.  I pray daily that I will steward your life and raise you well.  That you will come to know Jesus and that you will trust him with your life.  That you will join in his work to bring mercy, grace, justice, and hope to the world.  Happy 1.5, Asher.  We are so lucky to have you.