Okay gang, the Blogger website hasn't been working for us. I typed out the big long story of how we went to the hospital, got sent home, woke up Sunday morning at 5:30am with Susan's water breaking and Jack Thomas Wyattbusting into this world on December 24th @ 12:50pm....but blogger shut down on me and didn't get it posted....so I'll save you the fun story and just share what you all are wanting to see anyways! Over the next few days I'll try to post fun notes about Jack's first few days...till then enjoy these pictures of Jack's first day. Jack is eating a pooping great and Susan is doing wonderful. We're all real tired, but have hearts overflowing!
Jack getting his first hair stylin and first bath... With his Gran, Gramps, Pap and Uncle John looking on. (don't worry his head looks much better now) :-)
Jack with his Pap within an hour of his birth.
Here's Jack with Pap, Daddy, and the Hero thatt carried and birthed him.
Jack with Gran and Gramps! And Jack with Great Gran! Many more pictures to come...i've gotta get some sleep.
We had an exciting doctor’s appointment yesterday! I went for an ultra sound to check Jack’s growth and to our surprise he is estimated to weigh 8lbs. 11oz. right now. I think I’m still a little shocked, but if you’ve seen me you’re probably not too surprised.
It’s still a little too early for an induction because my doctor won’t induce till you’re at least 2 centimeters dilated and I’m not. She wanted us to go ahead and schedule a c-section for the end of next week, but that puts me at 38 ½ weeks and the doctors that are on call may not feel comfortable scheduling a c-section till you are 39 weeks. So the scheduling center is going to get back to us to see if next Friday or Saturday will work. The other option is waiting till I’m 39 weeks for a c-section, but that falls on Christmas Day and the hospital won’t schedule c-sections for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, so we would go for a day or two after Christmas. For right now we are in a waiting period, because it’s too early to do anything, but while we wait Jack continues to grow. The doctor said for me to be very active between now and Tuesday, when I go back, to try to get Jack to come on his own, so today Freddy and I are going to finish up Christmas shopping, go eat lunch, and do a lot of walking (if I don’t get too tired!). We’ll post as soon as we know what our plans are. It’s going to be an exciting week and a half at the Wyatt house. We can’t believe we’ll be meeting our little boy really soon.
For those of you who want to know if you still have a chance at the free Starbucks, were looking at a possible scheduled birth on the 22nd, 23rd, 26th, or 27th. However, if Jack comes on his own you still have a chance if you guessed anytime between now and the 27th!
Susan went to the doctor today. Before we post anything about the appointment, we'll give one last chance for folks to place their guesses on when Jack will be born. We will accept all guesses that are placed before midnight tonight and then tomorrow give the update from Sus' appointment today.
If none of this makes sense to you, read the posts below.
John Mark, you need to specify whether you want am or pm on your guess...you can't have both. ;-)
Mom had her surgery yesterday morning at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. Everything went good with no surprises. They will be examining and testing the lymphnodes that they took out to determine if she will need radiation treatment along with her 5 months of chemo. Good recovery and no need for radiation is our current prayer for mom. Lots of family and friends came up for support. I got to go down early yesterday morning and be with Mom and Dad before she went in for surgery. She's been a trooper and the Lord has been her strength. Mom is in room # 7318 with a phone number of 615.284.5288.
If you haven't placed your guess on the post below...be sure to do that for a chance at some free Starbucks.
Listening to the Passion podcast I was turned onto a video that my friend Francis has helped produce. You can see it at www.juststopandthink.com
Some of the folks over @ Southeast Christian Church have asked me to work with them on some video stuff similar to it and the Nooma videos. While at first I was a little hesitant not wanting to try to replicate something that is out there crankin, I've now settled into the idea and am really excited. We're looking to film probably about ten episodes early next year that SE will use in their ministry. Please pray that God will enable me to communicate his word powerfully through this medium and in turn develop an edifying resource for His church.
Exciting days as we await the arrival of our first child. In honor of Jack Thomas Wyatt we are having a little contest give-a-way. We are giving away 2 pounds of Starbucks coffee and a $5 Starbucks gift card to the person who guesses the closest to the day and time of his birth. As many of you know Jack is due January 1st. Also, as many of you know Susan looks as if he was due November 1st...well maybe not...but I bet you smiled. Either way, he seems to be getting close. He had the hiccups tonight...but I didn't try to scare him to make them go away. Okay here is the deal...Everyone who reads the blog and would enjoy a little Starbucks cheer or is just excited about Jack's arrival...vote. Place your guess. What day and time (down to the minute, but not seconds.) Be sure not to guess the exact time as anyone before you and to include someway to get in touch with you if we do not know. Let the contest begin!
Today Mom got the results back on her PET scan and MRI on her chest. The good news is that there were no hot spots identifying cancer anywhere other than her breasts. No cancer in the lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas...etc. What was found is two tiny spots in her right breast and one tiny spot in her left breast. All of these spots are extremely small. While there are a couple of different options, Mom is most comfortable with having a double mastectomy. This will likely take place on December 13 with 5 months of chemo to follow.
Thank you so much for your prayers. God is tenderly walking us all through these days. His grace is sufficient!
Thanks a ton to so many of you who are praying for Mom and my family during these days. Yesterday Mom had an appointment with a specialist/surgeon in Nashville. She felt good about the Doctor. This Wednesday she has the PET scan which will be looking over her whole body for any cancer hot spots. Very soon, probably next week she will have a MRI on her breasts. The doctor is confident that the MRI will show the source of the cancer. Thus far, we still do not know where the source of her cancer is. I am still praying daily that God would fully remove all the cancer in Mom's body. While if it is breast cancer it proves to be a more hopeful situation than if it the cancer was somewhere else, Our hope is strong regardless because it is in our faithful Lord. Please pray for my family that we will provide a peaceful and loving support for Mom during these trying days. Thanks!
Most of you reading this know by now that my Mom has some form of cancer. I never thought I'd be hoping that my mom had breast cancer, but right now it would be significantly better than many of the alternatives. I'm actually praying that God would completely heal her and purge all the cancer that is in her body. He is one who raises the dead you know. Thank you to so many of you who are praying for my family during these days. Today Mom had a bone scan and a CT scan and both have come back the way we hoped and prayed. Nothing in the bone. Nothing in the pelvic, lung, abdomen area. She will go and see the oncologist tomorrow and Lord willing have a pep-scan soon to try to find out exactly what/where we are dealing with. I will try to keep you posted...and until then thanks again for your prayers.
Jack is still growing and kicking. These are the last pregnant pictures of Susan that will find themselves on the blog (or so she says). Jack is due January 1st, but we are thinking he will come a little earlier than that...see if you agree. 23 weeks vs 33 weeks...
With all of life's issues, we are Trusting the Almighty today!
I don’t know where you are today in life, but Freddy and I find ourselves waiting and seeking God’s will for us as we look to the near future. Sometimes for me waiting is really hard. God has been so gracious to me to bring me to a place of contentment in this waiting period, but even then I have to guard myself against the sin of being in control of my life. I’m often tempted to want to write my own story, a story that sounds like it’s the best for me regardless of what God wants. I’ve been so convicted of the pride that lies beneath that mind set.
This morning the Lord spoke to my heart as I read what Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, has to say about this very subject.
After sanctification, it is difficult to state what your purpose in life is, because God has moved you into His purpose through the Holy Spirit. He is using you now for His purposes throughout the world as He used His Son for the purpose of our salvation. If you seek great things for yourself, thinking, "God has called me for this and for that," you barricade God from using you. As long as you maintain your own personal interests and ambitions, you cannot be completely aligned or identified with God’s interests. This can only be accomplished by giving up all of your personal plans once and for all, and by allowing God to take you directly into His purpose for the world. Your understanding of your ways must also be surrendered, because they are now the ways of the Lord. I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me. God is using me from His great personal perspective, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him. I should never say, "Lord, this causes me such heartache." To talk that way makes me a stumbling block. When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses. He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness. Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world. Doing this creates for me my own cozy "world within the world," and God will not be allowed to move me from it because of my fear of being "frost-bitten." (emphasis mine)
Today I’m 32 weeks pregnant. It’s been a fun journey, but I’m really starting to feel the ailments that come with the territory. Jack is taking full advantage of all the room he has and normally has his feet planted in my ribs. Every now and then he gives me a break, but it’s rare. So, some things we take for granted, like breathing, is much harder and that is just when I’m sitting down, let alone up and moving. I had a doctor’s appointment last Friday, she said everything looked good. He is measuring about a week and a half further along so he could be here by Christmas or a little before. I’d welcome him as soon as he is fully capable to live in the real world on his own.
We’ve had a few showers and people have been so generous. We’ve had a lot of fun getting Jack’s stuff organized and put away, now all we need is Jack! We’ll post a picture sometime this week. If you’ve seen me at all you know I’m huge. The doctor didn’t seem concerned. Freddy has been out of town for the past week and is due back tonight, I’ll get him to take a picture, but enjoy it… it’s probably the last one of me pregnant I’ll be willing to post. The next ones will have to be of Jack himself!
I apologize for the delay in posting. Thanks to all who have been waiting so patiently. Things have not be crazily busy, other things have just come before the blog. Some of my time has been given to a new inititative I have spearheaded called The Resource Network. It is a resourcing and retreat ministry for a network of good friends of mine who have been called into vocational ministry. It has been exciting to see the ministry get off its feet and begin in its infant stages. We share personal resources at the site above, and have retreats twice a year to get away for prayer, silence, solitude, fellowship..etc...We had our first retreat the first weekend in October and things are rocking right along.
Last Thursday night, Susan and i began our birthing classes. They did not waste anytime, as they showed us the video of a live birth...oh my. I had not previously seen the video as Susan did in High School, but oh man. I really don't know what to say about this video. I just gotta get ready for the real deal. We pick up our baby bed today! I'm very excited about putting it together. Susan has a couple of showers this coming weekend. While she is excited about all the goodies people will give Jack, she's more excited about just getting to see all the folks she hasn't seen in a while.
I will wrap up preaching at First Baptist on December 3rd. They will be renovating the old Sanctuary that we meet in through December and January. Because Susan and I want Jack to be born in the city we live in, and not have to drive back to Louisville after he is born, we will be staying in Louisville for Christmas. While I think it will be both of our first Christmas' away from home, I'm still excited. I know it will be a little sad, but I think it will be fun to have Christmas with just Susan and I as we are on the brink of having Jack. I'm actually counting on Jack coming around Dec. 18-20th even though he's due on Jan 1. I told folks we're gonna go eat mexican and jump on trampolines through December...ha! On Jack coming early, check this out....at our class on Thursday night, there was a lady due Nov 1st. Susan is due Jan 1st and was twice as big as this other lady...so oh yeah, I'm still holding out for two!
Five years ago today, Terror. Death. Fire. Smoke. Fear. Anger. Unbelief. Confusion. The graphic images of evil and its consequences matched the number of our emotions. Each of us were affected uniquely. We were all at different places, felt different emotions, and hold different memories of that day. I want to honor those who were killed on that day, and those who have continued to fight for our freedom by recounting our memories of that day. Where were you? How did you find out about the events that had taken place? What was that day and/or week like for you? Do you remember the emotions you felt? If you are reading this, I want to know your thoughts, memories and experience. Please don't pass this one by, but pause to honor those who fell that day, and those who fight for us this day. Share your experience of 9/11. It doesn't matter if you are not a great writer or even if you've never left a comment on this blog. Today I ask you to share.
I was at North Point Community Church getting ready to head out that evening on The Passion Experience tour. The next day was our first stop on the tour at LSU. I really on knew one person at that time on the tour. I was working as a roadie type person. We were working hard to get the lights and set just right when I began to hear about the events that had occurred. I was not really getting full information and could not put all the pieces together. The more information someone would bring to us in the auditorium the more I realized this was not your normal news flash. Naive confusion is the best description of my first emotions and thoughts. Interestingly enough, Chris Tomlin and his band were rehearsing and sound checking with this Delirious song
The world's shaking with the love of God
Great and glorious, let the whole Earth sing
And all you ever do is change the old from new
People we believe that...
God is bigger than the air I breatheThe world we'll leave God will save the day and all will say
My glorious! Clouds are breaking, heaven's come to earth
Hearts awakening let the church bells ring And all you ever do is change the old from new
People we believe that...
God is bigger than the air I breatheThe world we'll leave God will save the day and all will say
My glorious! My glorious! My glorious! My glorious! My glorious! God is bigger than the air I breathe The world we'll leave
God will save the day and all will say My glorious!
As we continued to get the news of what was going on, this song never left me and gave me a sense of peace in the midst of the horror. Louie and Shelley (the visionaries and leaders of Passion and the tour) came into the auditorium and gathered us all together. About 10 of us gathered round and though I had yet to see any images of what had happened I could tell the way Louie spoke to us that something terrible of historical nature had taken place. We all prayed together. A bit later I received a phone call from my mom who was frightened and shaken. I had yet to see any of the images. Because of the nature of my work with the tour, it was a day or so before I got to really see any video of what had happened. While many of us on the tour would have rather gone home and been with our families, we were expected to show up in 26 cities across the coutnry and lead in an evening of worship. I was stunned more than anything. I felt so buffered from what was going on, mainly because I did not have opportunity to watch much television during those days. As the details unfolded, the images I saw became forever etched in my mind.
Having visited ground zero since then and seen many images in a large 9/11 book, I am at a loss when trying to imagine how horrible it was for those in NYC, DC, and PA. This past Sunday, I found great hope for believers in the midst of times of terror. The hope came from God's word.
I am currently preaching through Micah and yesterday morning landed in chapter 4. Micah 4 is a chapter of hope for Israel after many promises of judgment. God is promising to gather a remnant to himself despite Israel's wickedness. In chapter one we find a great promise that will find its final fulfillment in the consummation of Christ's return. We he comes and sets up His everlasting kingdom he promises in 1:3
He shall judge between many peoples and shall decide for strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore;
This promise directs us all to look forward to that day. God is moving history toward a day when He will restore all of creation and there will be no more plans or training for or execution of war. Jesus Christ has engaged in the war to end all wars through His death and resurrection. When He returns He will finally end the war and usher in His kingdom of peace. Praise God in that day there will be no more days like 9/11. Come quickly Lord Jesus!
Please share, where were you, how did you find out, what was your experience with 9/11?
Susan and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary yesterday. We had a great time as we vegged watching six episodes of 24. We enjoyed desert at the Melting Pot Sunday night, and dinner at Rockey's by the River in Indiana yesterday.
God was truly good and gracious in giving Susan to me! It is hard to believe that two years have gone by. Time really does fly when you are having fun! We talked last night about wondering what it will be like in two more years. This is one of my favorite pictures of Sus two years ago.
If you live in Clarksville or ever pass through, or even live near there, an amazing Italian fine dining is opening tomorrow in historic downtown. The Gas Lantern's grand opening is this Friday. Good friends of mine, Jonathan and Rachel Vinson are the visionaries and owners of this new hot spot. I had the privilege this weekend of sampling many of their dishes. OH Man! It is good stuff! My favorites were the shrimp and artichoke bisque, the crab cakes, and the Pollo Rosa. I actually loved everything I tasted! formerly only open for lunch and known as the Rose Garden, The Gas Lantern is open for dinner and has taken on a whole new vibe that patrons will absolutely love. From specialty coffees to live music, The Gas Lantern might soon be the most desirable eatery in Clarksville.
To see pictures, scan their menus or read about the history of the location check out their website here. Make your reservations today! You will not be disappointed.
The other day when I got home from work there was a package on the front porch. Anyone who knows me well knows I love getting mail. I get so excited when I see a package waiting when I get home. Since Freddy T. and I’ve been married it’s always 50/50 as to whether or not the package is for me so I’ve learned to be excited, just not too excited, so disappointment doesn’t soon follow. Well, the other day when I bent down to see who the lucky one for the day was to my great surprise it said Jack Wyatt on the address label! I promise disappointment did not follow! I went inside and opened the envelope and there was a book titled I’m Jack! Inside was a note of love and excitement from his Great Aunt Bev! The book is precious. It takes you through the day of a little boy named Jack as he thanks God for making him able to move through all his activities. It makes me wonder if this is a foreshadowing of the little boy, who is quite active these days, growing inside of me. The back cover says “Like most preschoolers Jack is wiggly, squiggly, and bursting with energy…” I think Freddy T. and I have a lot to look forward to, we can’t wait!
Looks like from here on out the chances of a package being mine is only 33.3%.
Is there such a thing as an age of accountability? Were you ever taught that there is an age of accountability? It is interesting how many times I heard this phrase thrown around as I was growing up. The folks over at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals had given a brief biblical answer to to the question, "Is there an Age of Accountability?" Because I was having difficulty getting the link to work, I just pasted the article below. I highly reccomend reading the article as well as thoughtful consideration to the biblical passages the article cites.
Is There an Age of Accountability? Is there an age at which children become accountable for their salvation? Prior to this age, is it true that children are not morally responsible and that if they die they are immediately transported to heaven? Does this mean that until the age of accountability is reached we have no reason or duty to instruct children in the faith? Many evangelicals teach these things, often drawing the line at age 12 or 13, since Jesus was 12 when he accompanied his parents to the temple (Lk. 2:42).The first question to ask is whether the Bible teaches this doctrine. The answer is that no age of accountability is found in the Bible. Quite to the contrary, the Bible says that we are all accountable for all our sins. Psalm 58:3 says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb.” A six-year-old is guilty of breaking God’s law when he smashes his brother over the head with a toy block. No exceptions are noted in Scripture to the rule of Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul who sins shall die.” Supposed ignorance of sin is not an excuse, since all transgression of God’s law is sin, whether knowing or not. One passage that is used to teach that God does not hold children accountable is Deuteronomy 1:39. Here, Moses explains that while the exodus generation was denied entry into the Promised Land because of their sin in the desert, their children would be allowed to enter. “As for your little ones… who today have no knowledge of god or evil, they shall go in there.” But Moses’ point was not that the children were innocent of all sin because of their immaturity; they were innocent of their parents’ sin and so would not be punished with them. Other passages used to teach an age of accountability similarly fail to carry the weight assigned to them.Moreover, we are all guilty in Adam. Romans 5:12 says, “Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Paul explains, “One trespass led to condemnation for all men” (Rom. 5:18). The point is that we are guilty in Adam, our federal head under the covenant of works. Children, like adults, are accountable not only for their own sins but for Adam’s. This is why Paul says that by nature, we are all “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).When are children accountable to believe on Jesus and thereby be saved from their sins? The only biblical answer is “As soon as possible!” At increasing ages, they should exercise a faith suited for their ability. As they grow in nature, they should grow in grace, with their profession of faith being adorned by increasing evidences of spiritual life. As soon as possible and as appropriately as possible, our children should be led to Christ by their parents – through God’s Word and through prayer – and the church should assist through pastoral care, godly examples, prayer, and faithful teaching.But how can an infant exercise saving faith in Christ? I would agree that an infant cannot understand the gospel and cannot exercise saving faith. David’s claim in Psalm 22:9 is best taken as poetic license: “You made me trust you at my mother’s breast.” Any idea of infant faith serves only to evacuate the word “faith” of its biblical meaning. But according to 2 Samuel 12:23, infant children of believers who die will go ahead of us to heaven. How can this happen, if infants cannot believe? First, we do not have to explain but merely to proclaim the teaching of Scripture. Second, traditionally Reformed Christians hold that such children are elect, and are saved by Christ apart from faith because they are never in a situation where faith is possible: they pass from infancy (where faith is not possible) to the presence of Christ (where faith is not necessary). (The same is true for retarded and other impaired children). They are an exception to the biblical doctrine of salvation through faith alone, and one for which countless believers are grateful to the Lord.The unbiblical idea of an “age of accountability” can only undermine our parental duty to lead our children to Christ. Many churches today do not even allow children into the worship service, since there is no point and since they considered a hassle to the parents. What an offense this is to the Lord who called for the little children to be brought to him (Mt. 19:14)!Finally, let me point out that no parent is able to save his or her child. In every child’s case, we trust the Lord for the salvation and we are called to exercise our duty to raise them in the knowledge and fear of the Lord. When children profess faith in Jesus – in ways appropriate to their development state – we should rejoice while continuing with our duty. As they grow older, we should prayerfully labor to see more mature expressions of faith. All our children who die in infancy or who die professing Christ with a faith agreeable to their age and ability, have gone directly into heaven, because of the grace of God who numbered all their days and brought them safely to heaven in Jesus Christ. Rev. Richard Phillips is the chair of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology and senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church Coral Springs, Margate, Florida.Visit the Question
What has been your experience with the idea of an age of accountability? What are you thoughts about the article?
"In her youth, Capovilla liked to embroider, paint, play piano and dance the waltz at parties, the family said. She also visited nearby plantation, where she would drink fresh milk from donkeys as well as cows.
She always ate three meals a day and never smoked or drank hard liquor — “Only a small cup of wine with lunch and nothing more,” Irma told AP last December. "
The World's oldest person, Maria Esther de Capovilla, born September 14th 1889, died yesterday at age 116.
So here lately we've been bloggin a lot about our favorite coffee drinks. This morning John Calvin leads us try a little different drink. "We see that our salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ (Acts 4:12). We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is 'of him' (1 Cor. 1:30). If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth...If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross (Gal. 3:13); if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurection...In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other." - John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, II.16.9
Phil Auxier stirs us up on his blog with some hard questions and interesting insights. I've listed his entire post below. Any thoughts about his implications?
Tim Keller, in a recent sermon entitled Being the Church in Our Culture, said, “If you get self esteem by saying, "My identity and self-worth are based mainly on how I hard I work in religion, how moral I am, and therefore I have to look down on those who I perceive are lazy or immoral. I disdain and feel superior to 'the other'." What do I mean by that? If the reason you can look yourself in the mirror--if you don’t believe in the depths of your being in the radical grace of Jesus--then there’s something else your looking to as your main identity factor…you’re going to look at some other identity factor. You must feel superior to others because there is something in you. If your self esteem is based on how you have sound doctrine and nobody else does. You have to look down and feel superior to those who aren’t as doctrinally sound. Religion leads to all the conflicts."
Obviously Keller is using "religion" here in the end in a perjorative sense. I think I see this sometimes in the church. Instead of clinging to the grace of God expressed in the person and work of Jesus Christ, we are pridefully holding onto our right understanding of essential and non-essential doctrinal issues as our means of a right standing before God. This is the reason we cannot heartily agree with Paul who could tell us that "some are preaching Christ from envy and strife and some from good will, the latter doing it out of love, the former out of selfish ambition." What is Paul's conclusion, "Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice." Our doctrinal arrogance is what keeps us from rejoicing when Christ is preached, even when we don't agree 100% doctrinally.
What are some implications of this: 1) I am not affirming that rejecting of truth doesn't matter. Truth is important. We just must not put doctrinal precision on the same level as a work that is justifying us in God's eyes. 2) We should seek to compel those who don't understand the truth as we see it with our loving actions. A humble love for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ would compel them much more than our doctrinally arrogant positions. 3) Ultimately, as James affirms (4:1ff) the quarrels and strife among us come from the lusts of our heart and the evil desires found therein. It is not someone's doctrinal wrongness or rightness that causes conflict in the body of Christ. It is desires that are allowed to set doctrinal rightness as an idol that must be served. In doing this, we are putting something before God Himself. It is through loving our neighbor as ourselves that we fulfill the Law. Therefore, we need to be careful of setting an idol up that would lead to undone conflict in the body of Christ.
So the HS reunion went really great, I'll probably post on that soon. But now it is on to coffee again. If you don't like coffee of some kind, get off my blog. Just kidding. Sort of. We've talked about Starbucks and our fav drinks from there but now it is time to turn the corner. Most of us have been in other coffee shops that we really enjoy. Sometimes its the location, sometimes its the atmosphere. Sometimes other coffee shops may not be as busy as SBUX and can take the time giving your drink the kind of attention that results in the best velvety foam around. A good example of this is Sunergos Coffee right here in Louisville. These guys do it right! They roast their own beans and have a genuine passion for coffee. They have free wireless internet and they are just a couple minutes from the house. If you are in the Louisville area be sure to hit Sunergos.
So what are the special non-SBUX coffee spots for you?
Another one that is very dear to my heart is Small World Coffeein Princeton, New Jersey. Susan and I visited there as often as we could. Small World is located right across the street from Princeton's campus. They were extremely busy in the evenings but that did not stop them from making the best cappuccino foam I've ever had. The atmosphere at Small World Coffee can't be beat. One of my favorite date nights I've ever had with Susan ended with good conversation over a hazelnut cappuccino with chocolate powder on top at SWC. I do indeed miss Small World Coffee along with all the good people in NJ. Lord willing, I'll enjoy a good cappuccino with some of the dearly missed people from The Point as I venture up that way in November for a mission trip. Till then, just look over to the right and see what you are missing.
So where are your favorite non-SBUX coffee shops? Why do you like that shop so much? What are your favorite drinks there?
The Laughing and Learning Blog has undergone a slight renovation today. I've retired a handful of blogs that have not had enough sustaining activity and I've added several more of interest.
Faithful blogger Timmy Brewster over at Provocations and Pantings has compiled a great list of professors' blogs from which I've posted a Prof Blog Roll over on the sidebar. It is a little much, so only those that prove useful to me will stay up.
So I'll start back to Starbucks next week. My store is great to be so flexible with my crazy travels. I'm looking forward to getting back on the bar. On family vacation it came to my attention that our dearest Gran and Frank (Susan's Grandmother and cousin) did not know what to get when they went into a Starbucks. So I promised to post some recommendations. I remember the first Starbucks I ever visited and what drink I ordered. It was the big Starbucks right across from Vanderbilt that is always loaded with students. I went with my good buddy Jeff Bourque. I had a chai latte. It was my first...and it was good. I think my favorite Starbucks I have ever been to would have to be the one I worked at in New Brunswick, NJ on George Street. Classic feel. Close to the train station. 30 minute train ride to NYC. The store I met the VP of Victoria's Secret. (Oh I didn't tell you about that? He hooked me up with complimentary package that arrived at the apartment a few days later.) Nevertheless, I think its my favorite Starbucks. Now we need to help out Gran and Frank. There are often new drinks arriving on the menu. But I will try to give you a little direction and hopefully our readers will give their input as well. On a really cold day in the winter my favorite is either: Tall Black and White, 170 degrees Mocha, or Grande Gingerbread (tiny bit of eggnog) 170 degrees latte, and every now and then I'll get a Tall 170 degrees Peppermint Mocha. On a regular day but I need a big pick me up, my favorite is a Short White Mocha or a Double Tall ToffeeNut Latte. On a very hot day I'll usually go with an Iced Grande Caramel Macchiato or a Grande Mocha Frappuccinno. My favorite drink to enjoy in a mug is Grande Hazelnut dry 170 degrrees, chocolate powder on top, cappuccinno. So help us out! Beings that there are 122 Starbucks within 2 miles of NYU - You've probably been to one somewhere.
1) Where was the first Starbucks you ever entered? Was there a special occasion involved? 2) Where is your favorite Starbucks you've been to? 3) What is your favorite drink at Starbucks. (by all means you do not have to be as detailed as I was, but whatever you desire.)
For all those folks who want to type something about other coffee shops, be patient, another post is coming soon about other coffee shops.
I graduated from High School. This weekend, Susan and I will attend my 10-year Highschool Class Reunion. The folks planning it, seem to be very much on the ball. It is kind of funny that we are having ours at a Country Club and our crosstown rivals are having their's in the basement of a bowling alley. (Not that there is anything wrong with the basement of a bowling alley- some very good friends of ours had their wedding reception there...its just fun writing about it.)
Much could be said walking down memory lane. It is quite staggering how fast time goes by and how much of life I have experienced. It will be interesting to see people and their perspectives on life thus far. As I think about the last ten years, I shake my head in amazement at God's tender patience with me.
Jack Thomas Wyatt! He was tremendously cooperative this morning and clearly did not want to be mistaken for a girl. There's no doubt, he's Jack. Everything measured out healthy and on track. A great blessing from God. Lil'Jack was very active this morning. It was quite amazing getting to see all four chambers of his heart. It was fun to see him stretch and thrilling watching him lift his feet all the way to his head. He once opened his fingers all the way (I think he was waving at us). Needless to say we are overwhelmed with this wonderful step in the journey.
She ain't pushin it out. That's natural. Now you know why I'm still hanging on for two. Wow! We are so excited. Every day is like a fresh revelation that we are pregnant. Not that I've forgotten, but awe just freshly fills my heart when I see our kid growing in Susan's belly. She has long shaken morning sickness and has been feeling great!
The thought that has rested in my mind lately is that we are stewards. The little one growing inside Susan belongs to God. We will be the primary two people contributing to this person's growth and development in all of life's most essential categories. I know right now I only see the mantle of responsibility through a glass dimly, but every day it is coming into focus. What a weight of responsibility! Nevertheless, I am eager to embrace it. Some of you more experienced folks may laugh at my eagerness. But hasn't God said that children are a heritage and reward (Psalm 127:3-5)? What is so rewarding about changing dipers only to get peed on every 4th changing, or what is so rewarding about being wakened by a hungry, wet, angry, or scared baby at all hours of the night, or what is so rewarding when there are more than one or even three and you can't find two of them. What is so rewarding about that? Certainly some seasons of parenting may seem experientially more rewarding than others. However, experience is not our authority. God's word is. God has said it clearly. Children are a reward. All ages, all hours of the night...they are a blessing. How do we reconcile this with our exausting experience as a parent. We must fight in the depths of our heart to believe God's word and in our most difficult moments of parenting, by faith consider children a blessing. You may now be laughing even harder knowing I have yet to wipe a dirty behind. All I am saying is that based on God's word, I am very optimistic that I will find meaning in the mundane, purpose in the pee in the face, and significance in the sleepless nights, for it is a privlege to be a steward of the living God parenting the people he has knit together. May God grant us all the grace to see the glory in the humble task of parenting.
We head to the doctor this Thursday! Lord willing we'll get our first look at this little blessing. We'll keep ya updated.
An apology...the picture of Susan pregnant will not be posted till Monday. We tried to take the picture and the batteries in the camera went out. We scrounged around and found some more batteries from the TV changers. Before we could take the picture, batteries went dead again...and one more time we tried only to have dead batteries. Yes we could go get batteries and post today..but I'm about to head to Clarksville and she's running errands. Moral of the story...you must have batteries to see the belly.
I am really. Despite one of our biggest blogging droughts during a time when I anticipated many posts, the blog has sustained about the same amount of visits as usual. We do not boast a large readership compared to many blogs out there but are nevertheless still amazed at the blogging phenomenon.
Monday we finally landed back in Louisville after being away for over three weeks, only to find our air conditioner not working. We tried to sleep Monday night and it was terrible. Last night we stayed with our good friends Brent and Courtney Moore who are house sitting at a house with 7 bedrooms. They had a little extra space to say the least. We'll be with them again tonight as our landlord has promised the air conditioner will be working by tomorrow.
Our time away has been filled great times of preaching and seeing God do some really neat things, meeting some new people at the camps, and enjoying time with family on vacation. We are a little weary and trying to recover. Susan reports back to School Monday and gets students the following Monday. I'm taking two classes online that officially begin on the 14th. We are both pretty ready to get back into the groove.
Susan is pooching out pretty nicely. We'll get a picture up this week...promise. Next Thursday Lord willing, we'll find out the sex of the baby(s).
Our computer is jacked. Something is wrong with internet explorer and I was on the phone with Dell for 3 hours yesterday. I'm currently posting on someone elses computer down in Ocoee, TN. We're headed to Panama City for a camp tomorrow, and then visiting family in Atlanta next week, followed by vacation at a lake in East TN with Susan's family with some golfing and preaching in Clarksville in between it all. Needless to say, I am working hard to get the computer fixed, but really have no idea how long it will take. Lord willing will be back up and bloggin soon!
Here lately I have had a few very interesting comments. One from Janet Jackson, another from The National Security Agency of the USA, and finally from an anonymous "experienced mother" who supposedly pressed her belly up against a Doppler radar to hear her baby's heartbeat over the evening weather report. I appreciate good humor and got a few good laughs out of the comments. Thanks to those "anonymous commenters".
I do request however, that anyone who wants to post in the future, leave your real name.
All the times of feeling sick and being sick paid off in a big way today. We went to the doctor this morning and heard the most amazing sound we’ve ever heard in our lives. After what seemed like a long time of trying to find the heartbeat, which I’m pretty sure was only 5 or 10 seconds, relief flooded my heart to hear that baby’s strong, healthy heartbeat. As I relaxed to take it all in, Freddy kept saying “Wow! That’s amazing, Wow! The sound of that heart beating is one we could listen to all day long and never get enough of . I told Freddy, “I hope as long as I live I never forget what that sounded like today.” As some of you know this appointment was much anticipated, because the Daddy prayed for triplets. Unless we missed something today, we are pretty sure there is only one baby growing inside there. How can anyone who has ever heard the beating of their child’s heart for the first time doubt for one second that God does not exist? He is truly working a miracle inside of me right now.
Everything is right on track. The doctor said I was healthy and believe it or not I’ve actually lost 4 pounds being pregnant. Nothing to worry about though. January 1st is still the expected due date which means the holidays could be very interesting in our family this year. I’ll go back to the doctor in 3 weeks, and then after that we can schedule an ultra sound to determine if we have a girl or a boy.
I’m still in complete amazement of how good God has been to us. Thank you for all of you who are praying for us and our baby. We are looking forward to continuing to share our journey together.
I feel like a kid at Christmas and can't get to sleep. We are going to the doctor tomorrow and are supposed to be able to hear the babies' heartbeat(s). So, I was laying in bed wide awake. I got up and worked on some sermon stuff and then this little post. Its about 1am our blogger clock is off so the it wont read the proper time. If you will be upset to read the update tommorrow night on the blog...then call our cell's tomorrow sometime after 11:00 am. I know there are a few of you out there because of the heckling we've been getting. We are a little nervous and very prayerful, excited as all get out.
Great friends of ours, and intimate friends of Jesus, Craig, Lori, Lydia, Graham, and Isabella Clayton are missionaries in Celaya, Mexico. The Claytons are heroes of mine for too many reasons to list. Currently, they have abandoned many comforts, safeties, and simple pleasures I take for granted all for the sake of taking the gospel to the people of Celaya. They will probably cringe if they read this, for they do not think of themselves as heroes. Nevertheless, heroes they will forever remain in my heart. Their courage and faith in recent days have been a model for the church all over the world.
Life as a missionary is real. Missionaries get tired, frustrated, angry, and afraid.
Pause and pray for the Claytons with me today. Pray for a supernatural filling of the Spirit and power of God in their lives today. Pray specifically that God will raise up and grow strong indigenous leaders in their midst. Visit their their websiteto learn a little more about their ministry in Celaya and how to pray for them most specifically. Impact the world today through prayer for the Claytons!
I've been blogging for almost a year now. The first blog I ever heard about belongs to our good friends Lori and Dustin Walker. Props to the Walkers! Lori and Dustin, along with Susan were 3 of the first 5 people on the field in New Brunswick, New Jersey tilling the ground as they planted The Point Church. Lori keeps their blog up of their cute as can be twin girls here. To see two cutie patootie twins check out their blog.
The explanation is about the list of links over on the side of our blog, and what that is all about. Certainly, it is to expose visitors to the Laughing and Learning blog to some excellent web resources and other blogs they may enjoy following. By no means do I support/affirm all of the positions/opinions one may find on those sites. But rather the list of sites serves primarily as a one stop kind of home base for me. Many of the blogs and resources I have listed, I visit often. By posting them on this blog, I can get to them all very quickly just by coming to our blog. Sometimes I will list someone's blog site by way of encouragement hoping it will spur them on to more blogging. An example of that is found here. A hopeless cause of that is found here.
My list is always changing every 3 or 4 months or so. It is by no means a comprehensive list of all blogs or websites I visit, and it is not a representation of Susan's top blogs. Take Lori and Dustin's (noted above) for instance. Susan visits their blog all the time. Whenever there is a new cute picture of the twins she shows me - however because I'm not regularly checking the growth of the two cuties, I don't have their blog listed. I may change my approach in the future. I have thought about sometime soon, passing this whole blog to Susan and it being more of family and friends blog, while I start a fresh one that is a theological reflection only kind of thing. Thus far, our blog has had a more devotional tone, with theological reflection and family friend stuff sprinkled in from time to time. Some of you may have wondered, most of you probably haven't.
Why should the girls have all the fun? When you get married, it can be overwhelming all the goodies loved one's and friends pass along your way. Girls get the best end of the deal on this one because most of wedding gifts are more up her alley. Although, us guys definitely benefit in the long run from all the dishes (food eventually is cooked/served on those). About a year and a half ago I decided to turn the tables a little and host a book party for a buddy of mine. It is perfect for your seminary buddies or anyone who is an avid reader. We're excited because we're having one for my good buddy Kyle Barrett in a week or so. Every guy who comes will be invited to bring a book and verbal blessing for Kyle. It is a great way help build a brother's library. File this one away for future use fellas.
I flew over to Wilmington, NC Thursday to preach for a college event hosted by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The retreat is held at the beach of sorts at Ft. Caswell. Yesterday morning at 6:00 the alarm in the room connected to mine began to go off. It was loud. It was not stopping. I got up, went through the kitchenette, knocked on the door and hollered at no one to get up and turn the alarm off. I went outside (where I noticed it was beautiful at 6am) and knocked on the door and again hollered at no one to turn the alarm off. I came back to my room and got in bed. The noise did not seem as loud as it had previously been. The the air conditioner kicked off and the alarm clock returned to its original volume. I opened the drawer to the night stand and found a number to the retreat center. A security guard answered the phone. "I'm a speaker here this week, and I'm in room 12. The alarm in room...", "What building are you in?" He interrupted. "It is a long flat...", "That doesn't help me." He interrupted again. [apparently since there are about 20 different buildings on campus a description was not going to be that helpful.] So I found a map in the Guests Services Directory and was able to identify what building I was in, and finished telling the man on the other line what the problem was. Within about 12 minutes someone came with a key to room 11 and turned the alarm off. Back to bed I went. While up at 6am that morning I did notice the beauty of the campus and beach at that time of morning, so I decided to get up [on purpose] this morning and go for a run. My alarm went off at 6:15 and I awoke to find it raining and cloudy. Ahhh! It has been a great few days here. It is a fairly small group of about 50 college students and they are soaking the messages up. Last night, I went to eat with the director and a few others to a hole in the wall [best kind] seafood joint. It was actually at the site where they filmed part of the boat scene from the movie CapeFear. The boiled shrimp and crab cakes were so good! The retreat is going great, I just miss Susan like crazy. Some of you who read this, may be wondering why we didn't get her to come too. Well, they only allow a certain number of seats on each flight to be allotted for vouchers and we waited too late to try to snag a ticket. I've got three more messages and then back to Louisville. I'll miss the good folks at FBC tomorrow. I start a one-week summer term on World Religions Monday. Perhaps my flight home on Sunday will be as fruitful as this onewas.
I am a big fan of the girls over at the GirlTalkblog. Each Friday they post a Friday Funny and the one from last week was really good. The first image that popped into my head was one of my in-laws. I love my father-in-laws grilling by the way. The story below rings true for them and I think you’ll probably know some others who can relate as well.
After the long months of cold and winter, we will soon be coming up to summer and BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking as it's the only type of cooking a real man will do, probably because there is an element of danger involved. When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion: Routine...
1) The woman buys the food. 2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert. 3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill. Here comes the important part:
4) THE MAN PLACES THE MEAT ON THE GRILL. More routine....
5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery. 6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring him something to drink while he deals with the situation.
7) THE MAN TAKES THE MEAT OFF THE GRILL AND HANDS IT TO THE WOMAN.
8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces and brings them to the table. 9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
And most important of all:
10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts. 11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing women..."
By the way… So far this is not true at our house this year. Due to pregnancy and sensitivity to smell Freddy grilled and took care of most of the dinner details the other night and it was wonderful! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Help us name the babies! Calm down. We do not know how many we are having. However, during the weeks we were unaware if we would be able to have kids at all, I prayed that the Lord would give us three (at a time), and Susan agreed. And well, we conceived while Susan was on chlomid which increases your chances of multiples 10-20%. So, until the doctor tells us we are only having one, I am playfully counting on three.
We already have a few names in mind, but we are wide open to suggestions. So, lets have fun with this! Let's assume Sus and I are having three. You decide if you think we are having 2 boys and a girl, all girls, 2 girls and a boy...etc. And then give each of them a first and middle name. This will be fun...everybody take a stab!
I am humbly thrilled to share the great news...Susan and I are pregnant! Okay it may be more appropriate to say that she is pregnant considering she will be the super-mom that carries and births our baby. It just took the two of us. Nuff said there. Many people have been praying for us. A big Thank you to all of you. God has been gracious! We are so excited...I have been singing around the house and we've been laughing for joy. Susan has already begun to feel a little nauseous. Pray for her. We only pray it passes after her first tri-mester. Either way, it is a joyful sickness. Maybe I should let her speak for herself on that one. We are still in those very fragile stages as we are about 7 weeks along, but determined not to live in fear, we chose to enjoy the good news to the fullest, and share it with others. Obviously only 7 weeks along, this is not a picture of Susan's belly. While our joy is overflowing, our hearts grieve with many of our friends who yet to have children yet deeply long for them.
My good world travelin buddy Alex has arrived in the worldwide web with his new music. Alex and I go way back. I wonder if any of you Clarksville folks remember Alex. If you think you do...take a stab in the comments. For everyone else, Alex has been sleeping with his guitar (not really) as long as I've known him. I've had the opportunity to speak a couple of deals he's led at in the past. He loves leading worship and often plays with guys like Redman and Fee not to mention rockin it most weeks at 7:22. I'm really excited he has cut his own cd. You can purchase and listen to a couple of his songs at his website.
Exams are done. I finished yesterday. American Church History was the most difficult. While it has been my most difficult class this semester, it has also been my most enjoyable. Dr. Wills is a brilliant, passionate man. I still have one paper I'm finishing up that I received a gracious extension on, but I am breathing now and back to bloggin. Any shout outs for the "Laughing and Learning" blog will be greatly apprecieated as we enjoy building our small reading community. There is a new map down on the left side of the blog that you can click on and soom in to see where all folks are visiting the blog from. Right now I have it set to clear the map once a week.
His voice is not the only thing that is deep. His lyrics possess an enriching depth that are not found everyday. I've had the privlege of doing a retreat with Chad a year or so ago and then got to be on his basketball team last semester over at the seminary. He's the real deal, with honest ballads that search the heart. You can find links to listen to and purchace his music at his website.