Monday, June 27, 2011

Aidan's Baptism

"Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
On you I was cast from my birth,
and from my mother's womb you have been my God."
Psalm 22:9-10 
On Sunday, June 26 our dearest son entered God's covenant family through the sacrament of baptism.  It was a very special day and, after having a lot of cool, rainy weather, we had the most perfect day - just like we had prayed for!
 Our vows.
 Daddy baptizes Aidan.
Prayer of blessing for our little man.  (I knew I wouldn't have a dry eye!)

Our families came to celebrate with us.  Mine traveled all the way from central MN and came on Saturday night.
 Uncle Andy & Callie

Great Grandpa & Grandma Wayt
My parents came too.  I missed them in my pictures Saturday...oops.

Brian's parents, grandparents, sister & her husband came for the service on Sunday.  Afterwards, we took family pictures.
Brian, me and our four-toothed wonder.  His top right tooth just poked through yesterday.
 The Lunds.
 Lunds, Lunds, Wayts
The Wayts
 Grandma Jane & A
Me, Grandma Jane, A and Uncle Andy

We invited all the family for a lunch celebration at our house.  Unfortunately, the main event went down for a nap and missed his party.
 Auntie Christie, Baby Girl Cousin Schmidt, & Uncle Alex
 A's great grandpas
 Grandma Jane & Grandpa Chuck
 Uncle Andy & Callie
 Grammie & Grandpa Lund
 Brian & Great Grandma Char
Two very happy, very grateful, and very thankful parents of a covenant baby.  May God grant our little A repentance and faith as he grows in the Triune Christian faith that we profess.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Favorites: Brownback & Fitzpatrick

Last winter at Desiring God's Pastor's Conference that Brian attended, I came across an "On-the-Go" devotional for women entitled "Contentment".  I was so desperately trying to be content in the new town God had just placed our family, and I was losing the battle.  We bought the devotional and I began reading an entry each morning during my quiet time.

I was so impressed with this little devotional by Lydia Brownback.  Each day I would underline nearly 1/3 of the devotion, writing notes to myself and praying over each Truth that I encountered.  It was just what I needed on my journey to contentment.  Ms. Brownback has also written devotionals on joy, trust, and purity.  They are so amazing; I just finished her joy devotional and am now reading the one on purity.
What makes Lydia Brownback's work so special?  It's "biblically rigorous" - I am daily challenged in my walk with Christ.  It's deep (and I've read a lot of devotionals).  It gives you a whole different, Christ-centered perspective on daily life.  
On the back cover, Nancy Leigh DeMoss is quoted,
"Lydia Brownback calls Christian women to lift their eyes upward and find security, rest, and peace in a sovereign God whose promises never fail!"
And Elyse Fitzpatrick:
"Skillful devotionals for those who face the challenge to 'fit it all in'.  Biblically rigorous and deeply perspective.  Godly insights from a godly sister."

They are sooo good.  Go to Amazon today and purchase one!  God has worked amazing, supernatural things in my heart through His Truths in Brownback's devotionals.  I pray that you are as blessed by her work as I have been.  Let me know what you think of them, if you decide to purchase one.

Another book that arrived in my Amazon box yesterday (I just had to spend $25 for free Supersaver shipping!) was Elyse Fitzpatrick's book Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus.  (Fun side-note: Elyse had some classes at Westminster Seminary California with Brian, and I had the wonderful opportunity of knowing her through some of the Wscal women's events!) I've only read the intro and first chapter so far, but it's been so good for me to read.  I am such a law-girl; black and white; it's right or wrong and you'd better...  Elyse discusses the immense importance of not driving law into your kids with a bunch of rules (that's why, according to her cited research nearly 88% of 'Christian' children 'are lost to utter rebellion or to works based cults'), but by gracious parenting.

I am an example girl; show me how it looks.  And Elyse does.  For example, Bennie is wiggling and talking during prayer time.  A gracious response would be:
"Do you know why we love to pray, Bennie?  We love to pray because our hearts were just like yours...all we wanted to do was have fun...but God changed our hearts...and showed us that even though we didn't love him or like to talk to him, he loved us anyway.  And when you find out how kind someone has been to you and how amazing his love is for you, it makes you want to talk to him..." 
I just pray and pray and pray that God would make me a wise, gracious parent whose children grow up to treasure Christ Jesus above all things.

I am so very thankful for women like Lydia Brownback and Elyse Fitzpatrick who write so that other women may benefit from their wisdom.
Enjoy!  (And if you live near me and want to borrow them, let me know!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why We're Having Mr. A Baptized

Sunday, June 26 will be a very special day, Lord-willing.  We are having Aidan baptized into God's covenant family.  Many people have asked us why we're having him baptized as an infant (well, OK, as an 11.5 month old).  Brian and I both grew up in Evangelical Free Churches and were baptized as adults (believers).  So why are we now paedo baptist?
We believe:
1. Children of believers are part of the Church
"I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you." 
-Genesis 17:7
In the New Testament, Peter supports Genesis 17 by saying, "For the promise is to you and to your children...." -Acts 2:39
Paul also assumes that children of believers are part of the church in his letter to the church in Corinth. "For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy."  -1 Corinthians 7:14  Holy means to be "set apart".  Children of believers are, therefore, "set apart" for God.
2. Children of believers were circumcised in the Old Testament.
"This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come, every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised...."  -Genesis 17:10-12
3. In the New Testament, baptism corresponds to circumcision.
In the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 19), Jesus told his disciples to go out and baptize believers, not circumcise them.
Also, in Deuteronomy, circumcision symbolized regeneration.  "The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.  -Deuteronomy 30:6  This is also found in Jeremiah 4:4 where believers are told to circumcise their hearts - a sign of conversion.
Paul says it in the New Testament: "For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh." -Philippians 3:3  We are the circumcision!
Colossians 2:11-12 links baptism and circumcision.  "In [Christ] you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead."  Baptism is a believer's circumcision.
But why infant baptism?  Because, in the Old Testament, God commanded that infants be circumcised on the eighth day.  Infants!

I am so excited for Sunday.  Not just because Mr. Aidan will be wearing a darling, white outfit with cuffed shorts and sleeves, but because of what it symbolizes:  God has promised to work faith in his life.  Psalm 22: 9 "You made me trust in you even at my mother's breast."  I pray daily that the LORD regenerates Aidan's heart, and that He would use his baptism to remind him of His promises and grow him in holiness each day of his life.  Baptism symbolizes what God promises to do in the life of Aidan.  This is not about dedicating him to the LORD and promising to bring him up in the LORD (that's a given!), but it's about what GOD, the author and perfecter of our faith, is promising to do in Aidan's life.  And what a great and wonderful promise it is!  Bring out the tissues Sunday - I'll be crying tears of joy!

[Baptists have many objections, but I'm not going to address those in this blog post.  If you are interested in further study of this subject, I'd recommend Danny Hyde's, pastor of Oceanside United Reformed Church and graduate of Westminster Seminary California, book Jesus Loves the Little Children: Why We Baptize Children.]

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I recently picked ALL this spinach and Vivian lettuce from my garden!
It's super exciting...and it looks just like the spinach from the store!  Well, only better.  And this is truly organic.  Yum yum yum.
On another note, this is my main man - army crawling style.  It's what he does best these days.  He's quick too.  His hair looks red in this picture...but it's not.  Mr. A is a sandy blonde.  And he only likes spinach if it's mixed with sweet potatoes. Yum.  Not.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Heritage is #1

Yesterday USC published their charter "School Performance Dashboard" and I am so proud to say that Heritage K-8 Charter School came in #1 for the state of California!  Woot woot!  I am so thankful to the LORD for the four wonderful years I was able to teach sixth grade there.  What an honor it was and I miss it terribly!  The students are the best, parents great too, and the teachers and admin are wonderful as well. 
Way to go, Heritage!  I am so proud of you!
You can read the article here. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cohabitation: the New Concubinage?

A few months ago, a student asked my husband if he and I lived together before we were married.  When he responded with, "Absolutely not!", the student was shocked.  She'd never heard of people NOT living together before they are married...and this was a student raised in the Church.  It is so sad that cohabitating has become the cultural norm today, even among "Christians".

Brian came across this article Cohabitation and it is super interesting.

What do you think?  Has cohabitation become the new concubinage?

May we, as lovers of Christ, be obedient to His Word and save sex for the marriage bed.  We must not let the world become our norm; the LORD and his Word is our norm.

"Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous."
Hebrews 13:4

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Produce Time!

So the title of this post assumes (note the exclamation point) that I am thrilled with my garden....and I am...sort of.  I am thrilled because my friend came over today and said, "Look!  Your spinach can be cut and eaten."
Yes, thrilling.  I never thought I'd see the day when I could eat something from my own hands (I've killed every houseplant I've ever owned except one.)

But if you'd asked me yesterday about my garden, I would have sighed, rolled my eyes, and broke out into song.

Two weeks ago, I hoed it and received a huge blister on my thumb.  (No, I stupidly didn't wear my cute gloves.)  It hurt to wash my hair in the shower for 4 days because it would rub in my blister.  I'm a whiner, I know.

Yesterday I hoed and hand-pulled weeds for two and a half hours (yes, I wisened up and wore gloves this time - no blister) and today I can't sneeze, laugh, or cough without some serious ache from my core.  Honestly, Health Magazine, your core workouts are nothing compared to hoeing.  You don't need to give your readers any more 'tips' or new methods for toning our cores, just tell us how to plant a garden.  Offer a free hoe with a new yearly subscription.

Speaking of magazines, someone gave me some trashy magazines (aka US Weekly & People) that I have trouble admitting that I sometimes read.  Anyway, I am so terrible at the Who Wore It Best game.  I lose...always.  Never, ever ask me for fashion advice.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Recommended Reads: Bonhoeffer & True North

Brian and I began reading Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas a few weeks ago.  I had heard his name floating around our house for quite some time, as Bonhoeffer wrote a number of theology books that Brian read in seminary.  Bonhoeffer was a pastor of the 'true church' in Germany during the reign of the Nazis and plotted to have Hilter killed.  The horror of what the Nazis did to the Jews is mind numbing, and I am left with questions such as why wasn't more done to stop what Hitler did?  The world definitely needed more faithful, courageous men like Bonhoeffer who was martyred just three weeks before Hilter committed suicide.

Although I must confess that I didn't read all of its 542 pages, I definitely recommend that you do!  [I skipped the church-y & government-y parts and read the chapters like Bonhoeffer in Love! ;) ]  It is such an inspirational read as it challenged me in my faith, particularly the parts when Bonhoeffer was in jail.  His fellow prison-mates often commented on his constant cheerfulness and how he'd help others out of their depression.  Sometimes I don't feel cheerful - if I have mounds of housework, a fussy baby, no friend dates scheduled, a busy husband, etc. - but how much more did Bonhoeffer have reason to not be cheerful (he was in an underground prison and didn't see the light of day for four months!).  Why was he cheerful?  Because of Christ.  The same Christ I have.  Therefore, I shall be cheerful in all circumstances too!

I love Bonhoeffer's last quote, as he walked up the steps to the gallows:
"This is the end...For me the beginning of life."
May all of us who cherish Christ above all things be able to say that when our 'end' comes.

Another book I just started reading is True North: Choosing God in the Frustrations of Life by Gary & Lisa Heim.  Kregel Publications sent it to me to review for their blog tour in July.  At first I was slightly skeptical, but now that I'm finished with chapter one, I am really enjoying it and am pleasantly surprised with their theology.  Please look for my review in July.