Sunday June 8, 2008

John 4:23-24
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

As my baby boy & I remain at home for (hopefully) this last Sunday morning before venturing out to worship with our church family again next week, I pray that God will continue to reveal Himself more & more, both to me and to my little Gabriel. Although Gabriel is not yet conscious of his Lord & Savior in an adult-like way, I have faith that God is revealing Himself to my son in baby-sized ways and is even now growing his baby-sized faith day by day.
This morning, I have been meditating upon Truth. And thinking & praying about tongue usage.
This morning, I have read a Psalm to my son.
This morning, I have sung service music to God, with Gabriel wide-eyed & listening.
This morning, God’s mercies have been renewed.
This morning, God has refreshed my spirit.

May He likewise bless, refresh, and strengthen you all as you worship Him today in spirit and in truth.

Psalm 15

A Psalm of David.

 O LORD, who shall sojourn in Your tent?
   Who shall dwell on Your holy hill?

 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
   and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
   and does no evil to his neighbor,
   nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
   but who honors those who fear the LORD;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest
   and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

Truth Talk
by Nancy Wilson, courtesy of

In Psalm 15:1-3 we see who is going to live in God’s house and who is not.

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in they holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.”

We’ve got parallel lists of behavior here. The wise walks, works, and speaks, and these actions are characterized by uprightness, righteousness, and truth. What he is not doing is important here as well. He is speaking the truth in his heart, not backbiting; he is working out righteousness, not doing evil; and he is walking uprightly, not taking up a reproach or grievance against his neighbor. This is the kind of company God keeps. If we want to dwell in His holy hill, we have to see and keep these do’s and don’ts, particularly as it relates to our tongues.

What is it to backbite? It is to spread slander; to be a tattler and a busybody, spinning the story to make someone look worse, attributing motives. This kind of thing always begins in the heart before it works its way out the mouth. From there it picks up and carries a grievance, and then, if not stopped, it begins crusading, gathering others to carry the grievance as well. It does evil to its neighbor. But it doesn’t just affect the neighbor who is being wronged; it infects and destroys those with the grievance, hurting them far worse than the neighbor they sought to destroy. God hates this stuff.

But those who speak the truth in their hearts are not interested in slandering, running down, grumbling and complaining about their neighbors. They recognize this stuff for what it is and agree with God about it. They want no part of it any more than they would want to expose themselves to an infectious disease. It is rot.

But what is this Truth and how do we speak it in our hearts?

Here’s a fly-by summary of just a few things the Bible says about Truth: God is the God of Truth, His word is Truth, His law is Truth, Jesus said He is the Truth, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth; we are to gird our waists with the Truth, love the Truth, speak the Truth, and be of the Truth, for the Truth is in us.

We are to be speakers of the Truth and this Truth is in our hearts. God is the very essence of all Truth. And the Bible tells us that Satan is the father of all lies. If we listen to lies, if we allow them to take up residence in our hearts, then we will begin speaking them aloud as well. If we listen to the Truth, we will speak the Truth in our hearts. And it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. So, if we are complaining and backbiting in our hearts, it will be just a few moments before we are speaking such things with our lips. From there we take up evil actions.

So here is a suggestion. Pay attention to what is going on in your heart. What kind of conversation are you listening to? Is it the Truth? Are you listening and believing lies? Or are you speaking the Truth in your heart?

So let’s apply this. If you wake up in the morning and start speaking to yourself about how no one appreciates you, how you have such a hard life, how the weather is bad, and how sad you feel, how your friends have wronged you (you get the idea), you are not speaking the Truth. You are being set up! But if you dismiss those thoughts and replace them with words about God’s goodness and graciousness, words of gratitude for His preservation and kindness toward you, you are speaking the Truth.

We often don’t realize how much bad dope we are listening to in our hearts. And this steady stream of stuff has an impact, leading us to take up a reproach against a neighbor, and that neighbor could be our husband, our parents, our children.  We must reject such foul heart-talk, and replace it, speaking the Truth day-in and day-out. This is obviously directly connected to walking uprightly and working righteousness. It all begins in the heart and works its way out. So if you’ve been wondering why you’ve been having trouble staying on the righteous path, do a heart and mouth check first.

Gloria in excelsis deo,
et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis
Laudamus te.
Benedicimus te.
Adoramus te.
Glorificamus te.
Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.
Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.
Domine fili unigenite, Jesu Christe.
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius patris.
Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Qui tollis peccata mundi suscipe deprecationem nostram.
Qui sedes ad dexteram patris miserere nobis.
Quoniam tu solus sanctus.
Tu solus Dominus.
Tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe.
Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you.
We bless you.
We adore you.
We glorify you.
We give thanks to you for your great glory.
Lord God, Heavenly King, God Almighty Father.
Lord Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.
You who take away the sins of the world have mercy on us.
You who take away the sins of the world hear our prayer.
You who sit at the Father’s right hand, have mercy on us.
For you alone are holy.
You alone, Lord.
You alone the Most High, Jesus Christ.
With the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Through Every Age
by Isaac Watts

Through every age, eternal God,
Thou art our rest, our safe abode;
High was thy throne ere heav’n was made,
Or earth thy humble footstool laid.

Long hadst thou reigned ere time began,
Or dust was fashioned to a man;
And long thy kingdom shall endure
When earth and time shall be no more.

But man, weak man, is born to die,
Made up of guilt and vanity;
Thy dreadful sentence, Lord, was just,
Return, ye sinners, to your dust.

A thousand of our years amount
Scarce to a day in thine account;
Like yesterday’s departed light,
Or the last watch of ending night.

Death, like an overflowing stream,
Sweeps us away; our life’s a dream,
An empty tale, a morning flower,
Cut down and withered in an hour.

Our age to seventy years is set;
How short the time! how frail the state!
And if to eighty we arrive,
We rather sigh and groan than live.

But O how oft thy wrath appears,
And cuts off our expected years!
Thy wrath awakes our humble dread;
We fear the power that strikes us dead.

Teach us, O Lord, how frail is man;
And kindly lengthen out our span,
Till a wise care of piety
Fit us to die, and dwell with thee.

Nunc Dimittis
(Song of Simeon)
Luke 2:29-32
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
   according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
   a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
   and for glory to your people Israel.”

Thursday June 5, 2008

You know you’ve been staring at your newborn practically nonstop when you pick up your banana for lunch, and before you peel it, you look at the top stem and think, “gosh, this kind of looks like my baby’s belly button when the cord stump was about to fall off.”

Thursday June 5, 2008

…with his doting Uncle Colin

…in one of his handy-dandy cloth diapers

…with Mommy, right after his first bath

…already learning to suck his thumb

…in our backyard, in one of Mommy’s Moby wraps — she has two so far and is hoping to order a third!

…a close-up, since everyone asks to see his red hair — it’s his daddy’s shade!

Saturday May 31, 2008

We’ve been putting the finishing touches on the nursery over the last two days… and by “we” I really mean everyone else. I just dictate. hehe. 🙂 You know: “hang that there; no wait, an inch to the right”. 😉
My father built the crib & changing table from scratch — by which I mean that the wood was from trees that were cut down from my parents’ property, and from there my dad had it cut & dried, and then he (with my mom’s help) designed the furniture & built it all by hand as a surprise for us!! So beautiful, and true family heirlooms.

For now, sweet Gabriel sleeps in our room in another family heirloom: the bassinet that originally his great grandma slept in as a newborn, then his grandmama, then his mommy & uncle. Now it is Gabriel’s bed! And we look forward to sharing the bassinet with his siblings and cousins, as well as another generation someday!

So: is anyone else a sucker for heirlooms like I am? Both using ones from the past & creating new ones for the future? I love it. 🙂

Saturday May 24, 2008

In God’s perfect timing, our sweet little redheaded boy has arrived into our open arms!

Gabriel David
born on Friday, May 23rd, 9:53am
6 lbs 8 oz, 20 inches

Rejoice with us in God’s great kindness!!
And isn’t he beautiful?!!
(I’ll be posting some better pics once they’re uploaded)

Wednesday April 23, 2008

This is the weather we are still enjoying… with intermittent bits of blue sky & sunshine occasionally peeking through.
So my question is this: has spring actually sprung yet?! 🙂
And yes, that’s our super cute Dilly May. She loves snow!

And as an aside, I have blisters on eight of my fingers.
My father restrung my broken harp strings for me, and I couldn’t resist playing for about an hour tonight.
Pretty music, but ouch! 🙂

Monday April 21, 2008

What’s funny is that my bridal shower was less than a year ago at this same house… the same adorable family from my church hosted last year’s bridal shower and this year’s baby shower! I am a very blessed little lady. 🙂
Anyway, I’m not going to post a host of pics of food, gifts, people, etc… but here is one of me & the cake (which the 35 or so women devoured even after a healthy brunch!), and then The Boy with his mama, grandmama, and auntie.

We were showered with wonderful gifts, encouragement, support, laughter — it was all such a blessing. I loved going through the pile of gifts back at home, showing my husband and watching him ooh & aah over things. I think he is especially exited to start reading the books to the baby. 🙂 I think we’ll be having a “read to the belly” date tonight after Bible study, hehe.
We went down to the hospital for the first time this weekend: we timed the drive for an estimate, and then got to tour the whole L&D floor. It was great. Made me nervous, though, for the first time. 😉 It’s going to be a really great place for us, and the nurses all spoke highly of our midwives. So that’s nice. 🙂
My husband also installed the carseat in the back seat of our Subaru — I’m so tempted to stick a baby doll in there for the next month until The Boy takes his place there. Haha.

Friday April 18, 2008

I’m wondering when the excitement of diapers will wear off. Probably after about twelve poopy diapers, huh? 🙂
Well… regardless… until the excitement wears into drudgery (may it never be!) or at least habit, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my newly ordered diapers & diaper covers. I have 14 Proraps diaper covers on the way along with two dozen more (for I already have a couple dozen) prefolds. I’m super thrilled at this point. 🙂

And I have a baby shower tomorrow!! I can hardly believe it. In fact, my bridal shower was just 51 Saturdays ago at the same family’s home. Isn’t that fascinating? (not like I actually counted the weekends… hehe)

And this might sound strange… but have any of you ever tried “natural induction” methods?
You know: ye olde wives’ tales about evening primrose, castor oil, sex, spicy food, exercise, on & on… I have this feeling I’ll end up carrying The Boy to 42 weeks, and around my due date I will probably start getting antsy… so I want to know if any of those things actually work for anyone.
In the end, God has it planned anyway. I do trust in His sovereignty and wisdom.
And He will probably just give me an extra exercise in patience in the meanwhile. 🙂

Also: since I am planning to give birth in a hospital, any tips on things (besides the obvious “norm”) to bring along??

Yes, I am starting that nesting thing. Not like I am not a natural nester anyway, so I don’t think it’s new for me. 😉

Blessings on all you mommies and preggies! I know there’s gotta be something in the water…