12.24.2009

Thankful

A year ago today we found out that I miscarried a baby. Tonight, I'm holding my newborn son. I have a lot to be thankful for. The Lord was good then; the Lord is good now.
On Christmas Eve, I thank Him for my son...but I thank Him most of all for His Son.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.




12.23.2009

Happy Birthday Kate!

Yesterday was Kate's 5th Birthday! I can't believe she is actually 5!!! She is a joy and a blessing to us. We went to California Pizza Kitchen to celebrate. It's her favorite place to go. She's only been 3 times in her life (3rd, 4th and 5th Birthdays) but she loves it! Rick also took her to the movies and she was thrilled. Just the 2 of them went and she got all dressed up for their date. I can't believe that 5 years ago she was a little baby just like Jack and now she can read and write.
Time certainly does go by fast and I'm thankful for every minute I've had with her and I look forward to the rest of the time the Lord will give us.


12.19.2009

Ten Days

Jack has been with us for 10 days now. If you had been with us during those 10 days, here's what you would have heard.

Claire: Mommy, where's the girl?
Me: What do you mean?
Claire: I said I wanted a boy AND a girl

Kate: He (Jack) cries like a girl

(After explaining nursing to Kate)
Kate: So, you're sorta like a cow?

I've noticed a difference between girls and boys as well. When Jack cries, Kate and Claire run to him and try to pacify him. Henry runs to me and says "baby's crying." In other words...make him stop. Or a few days ago, he told Jack, "Stop crying baby."

Also, I think Kate is officially in love with baby Jack because I keep finding these notes all over our house:




12.13.2009

Christmas Play

Tonight was the children's Christmas play at church. Kate was Mary and Claire was a shepherd.

Aunt Emma and Henry loved the play...
Big Jack....not so much.

12.11.2009

John "Jack" Richard Hutchinson

He's here!

John "Jack" Richard
7 lbs 11 oz
20 1/4 inches long
3:49 pm
12-09-09

My original due date was 12/20/09...induction date was 12/15/09 but little boy decided to come early (I already LOVE him for that one!) The labor was really super easy (again...thanks baby boy.)
It was fun not knowing what we were having although I must say, it wasn't the first thing I was even thinking about when he was born. I was just so thankful to have a new baby that the gender thing wasn't even registering. I am excited that Henry will have a little buddy now. Kate and Claire are so good with each other and now I pray the same for Henry and Jack.

Kate has been the one who has been so excited about the baby coming but it seems that Claire is the one obsessed with him now. When I told them it was a boy, Kate looked a little disappointed that it wasn't a girl (although she likes him now.)
Claire had the BEST look on her face and said, "I WAS RIGHT!!!" ALL day Wednesday I heard from Claire, "Can I hold him? Can I hold him? Is it my turn?" Seriously...all day. One time when it was her turn to hold him, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I'll share my new little baby with you." It was so funny.
Henry, could care less.
One more thought: I do NOT recommend waiting until after delivery to name your child...I'm going to have to start working on the next one's name now if it took 10+ months with this one.

Here he is...with guess who :)




12.10.2009

And I'm not even a doctor....



During all the excitement with new baby, little (now quite big) Henry, hurt his elbow.  I could tell it really hurt bad because He would cry any time we moved him.  He would not lift his arm or use it for anything.  I immediately remembered the one thing Kate reminds me of at least once a month when she says, "Remember when daddy pulled my arm."  This was an event that occurred when she was about 2 1/2 years old.  We were playing and she got hurt.  It turns out the problem was nursemaid's elbow.

With Kate, we had xrays and a visit to the "specialist" (translate into 2 copays).  This time, I turned to Google.  This website gives an excellent walk-through for fixing this problem.  I tried it on Henry, and 2 seconds later, he was fine.

12.03.2009

Happy Birthday Henry!

Henry's 2nd Birthday is today! I wanted to show you a little difference between girls and boys or first born and 3rd born. This picture was taken on Kate's 2nd Birthday. This was the first attempt:
Now onto Henry. We attempted this picture about 50 times. Here's what we got:





Happy Birthday buddy!


11.27.2009

KCH

I've been bad about taking pictures so I took a few before we went to our Thanksgiving activities yesterday. Kate is 4 (will be 5 on December 22nd), Claire is 3 (but insists that she is really 3.5) and Henry will be 2 on December 3rd. They are a blessing and a joy.











11.21.2009

It's gettin' bigger

This picture was taken at 35 weeks and friends...it's gettin' bigger.


Is it embarrassing that I have on the same shirt today? Anyway, Kate weighed 6 lbs 7 oz, Claire weighed 7 lbs 6 oz, and Henry was 8 lbs 5 oz. If the trend continues, this one will weigh 9 lbs 4 oz. Yikes! and OUCH! But hey, I guess the bigger the baby, the less weight I'll have to loose right??





11.19.2009

Differences between #1 and #4

There are MANY differences between #1 and #4

1. The nursery - Kate's was planned and ready months before she was born. It all centered around the crib bumper. Baby #4 doesn't have a nursery ...s/he will be sharing a room with Henry and will NOT even have a crib bumper. They make changing sheets much too difficult.

2. The equipment - Kate had all the "must have" equipment (swing, bouncer, etc.) By now I've learned that this baby will be just as happy on the floor....maybe s/he will get to lay on a blanket...maybe not. :)

3. The shopping cart cover - I made one for Kate and took it EVERYWHERE...my sweet baby didn't need ANY stranger germs on her. This baby will never use a shopping cart cover. If chewing on the shopping cart will keep him/her happy, that's fine by me. The less crying with 4 children at the store, the better.

4. Errands - Speaking of the store, Kate never went to the store or anywhere else without me AND Rick, my mom or my sister for about the first 6 months. I just didn't know how I could handle it all! :) #4 will most likely go to the grocery store within the first 3 weeks of it's life with JUST Kate, Claire, Henry and me.

5. Dressin' up - This is a little embarrassing but hey, I am from the south. Kate never, and I mean NEVER, left the house unless she was in a smocked dress. No joke. Doctor's office - smocked dress. Grocery store - smocked dress. Post office - smocked dress. ON A WALK AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD - smocked dress. It was "church" clothes 24/7. Please don't be surprised if #4 just has on a side button T-shirt and a diaper on when you run into us...even at church. :)

5. Name - Kate had a name picked out as soon as I knew she was a girl. She had all kinds of stuff with her name on it. I mean it...this baby does NOT have a name. I guess we'll end up naming it at the hospital. (Has anyone actually done this before??) I do WANT to have a name ready but we just can't decide.

One thing that WILL BE the same is that I'm basically the sleep Natzi. I just like an orderly house with a schedule that everyone is on. The sleep training starts the first day home from the hospital. SO FAR, it's worked will the other kids. All have slept 8 hours between 4-5 weeks and all have slept 12 hours by 10-11 weeks (and yes, I nurse.) Plus, the 1:00 nap is essential to a happy household!

We'll see though...we have 24 days or less! I think! :) YES...I'm ready. YES...Rick is ready. Yes...the girls are ready. Henry...I don't know about him. Kate says it IS a girl but she'll like him even if he's a boy. Claire says it's 2 babies...the girl is inside the boy's tummy.

10.26.2009

Bed Update

Looks like this little guy has finally figured out how to fall asleep in the actual bed.

These 2 chatterboxes on the other hand, have figured out it's more fun to talk than sleep.

10.22.2009

Henry - A Big Boy??

Henry is 22 months now. He is potty trained (big boy) but apparently draws the line at actually sleeping in his big boy bed.



Baby Update: The nesting is now totally out of control. How many times can I rearrange the kids' rooms and clean out their closets? I'm ready for the baby to come already so I can relax! :) Hopefully we only have 7 weeks left! Kate still thinks it's a girl; Claire has decided it's either a boy OR a girl. I ask Henry if he wants a brother and he says, "No." Then I ask if he wants a sister and he says, "No." Then I say, "well, what do you want"? He says, "Barney!"
As far as names go....let's just say....we're working on it.



9.15.2009

This is going to be tricky....

Claire, like every 3 year old, love to cut paper. Give the girl scissors, a glue stick and construction paper and she's good for about 30 -45 minutes.
After she was finished with her "work" yesterday, she said, "Mommy, will you help me throw away my trash...but leave my work...don't throw that away." In the picture below you'll see the "work" and "trash" mixed together. Hmmm....

8.28.2009

Homeschooling - Week 4


Today we completed our 4th week of homeschooling. It has been a good month. I am not patient enough (you can ask my mother), I am not disciplined enough, and I'm not even creative enough to homeschool my children. However, the Lord has provided, equipped and sustained. Yes, I'm selfish and wonder if I'll ever have a minute to myself in the next 18+ years. I know though that the Lord will provide for all my needs, even if I don't know really what those needs are at this moment.
The end goal for our children is this: 1 Peter 3:15, "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." May the Lord work and move in our children's hearts and lives. May Rick and I show them the gospel. May we grow in love for our Savior and for each other.

8.25.2009

Vote in our new poll

Please vote in our new poll to the side. "Is baby Hutch a boy or a girl?"

Here are some things to consider:

My morning sickness says - BOY
The baby's movement says - GIRL

I have no cravings...I just want everything
How I'm carrying (high or low) - I have no idea...just out

Kate says - Girl
Claire says - Boy
Henry says - Boy

8.17.2009

I John 1:5-10

Introduction
  1. Reasons for the letter?
    • I John 1:4 - So our/your joy may be complete
    • I John 5:13 - So you may know you have eternal life
  2. v5 this is the content of the promise (message)
    • God is light and in Him is no darkness
    • NOT Light is aGod - Do not worship the rising sun
    • Light as shown in all of scripture
      • 1st manifestation of God in creation
      • The burning lamp passed between the pieces of animals in God’s covenant with Abraham. 
      • Before Israel in a pillar of fire
      • Descended in fire upon Sinai
Part 1
  1. What does it mean to say God is light? 
    • Reflection of light is what produces color
    • Mt 5:16 Let your light so shine...
      • Black objects reflect no light; White objects reflect all light
      • We reflect Him - How God makes Himself known in creation
    • Consider Rainbow - symbol of promise & beauty
      • Reflects all colors of visible spectrum
      • It is a reflection of God (Promise & beauty)
  2. What does it mean to walk in Darkness?
    • v6 No fellowship with God (*walk = course of life)
      • Fellowship - Close mutual association w/ idea of sharing generosity
    • James 1:17 Every good gift from God
      • Like Black t-shirt absorbs all light...
      • Likewise walking in darkness reflects non of its glory (presume on gift of salvation & patience)
      • Taking all God's good gifts for self
  3. What does it mean to walk in Light?
    • v7 Fellowship with one another
      • Reflecting God's gifts produces fruit of fellowship, communion, sharing, love
      • Regardless of other person's sins; Acceptance upon repentance
      • God's light = Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
        • Who wouldn't want to be friends with such a person
  4. What is the result of walking in the light?
    • I John 2:1 that you may not sin (Sanctification)
    • Sin = not perfectly reflecting God to the world
    • John 15:2 more light reflect; more light given
Part 2
  1. What does it mean to say God is light?
    • Illumination (revealer)
      • Obvious trait of light to even the non-scientific mind
    • wakeup at night, run into things in bedroom
      • Know all objects, but w/o sight (& w/ fatigue), still may run into them (I walked into the closet)
      • During day with lights on, and in right mind, navigate room w/ ease
    • God's presence enables us to reason properly (with scripture)
    • God's presence enables us to see properly (especially OUR sin)
  2. What does it mean to walk in Darkness?
    • No Confession
      • v8,10 If we say we have no sin, not sinned
    • v8 Deceive selves
      • If you think you are doing great and do not need to change, you're life is not illuminated by God's truth
    • V10 make God a liar
      • Never sinned and still continue sinless
        • This is someone who says there is no God to sin against
        • This is someone who considers their sin of little importance
        • This is someone who considers themselves "pretty good"
    • Truth is not in us because the LIGHT illuminates sin
  3. What does it mean to walk in Light?
    • v9 Confession
      • Eyes are opened to see truth about self
      • Holy Spirit reveals sin & encourages confession
    1. What is the result of walking in the light?
      1. v7,9 Cleansing
      2. 2:1 Advocate (Helper) - John 14:16 "Another" Helper sent by Jesus

    Conclusion
    1. Fellowship
      • We tend to join groups and keep our eyes open for reasons to leave them.  
      • We are taught to seek affiliations most beneficial to self.  
        • Staying at a job for 30-40 years is unheard of these days.  
        • People often bounce between churches regularly.
      • Walking in the light means communion with God and His people (the Church)
      • This grows as we reflect the good gifts from above (Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control)
    2. Confession
      • Illumination - Ability to see the kingdom (John 3:3) & to see wonderful things in God's law (Psalm 119:18)
      • When we see the wondrous, we also recognize the filth
      • Walking in the light means continually confessing sin to the Lord
        • Active (looking to root it out), not passive
      • This grows as we move closer to the light (2 Cor 6:14 what fellowship light w/ darkness)
      • We immediately point out our children's sin
        • Out heavenly father is immediately pointing out our sin through His spirit whether we see it or not
        • It is easier to see other people's sins (our children) (Matthew 7:5)
      • Psalm 32:1-5 Read this
    3. Forgiveness
      • God's good gifts includes salvation
        • Jeremiah 33:16 The Lord is our Righteousness
        • 1 John 5:13 So you may have eternal life
        • I John 1:4 So your joy may be complete
        • The "Message" is that forgiveness is found in the light of God
          • He has made some objects to reflect His light & others to not reflect it (objects of glory and objects of wrath)
          • John 3:19-20 
            • Light came into the world and the People loved darkness rather than light
            • We resist Spiritual light and embrace Spiritual darkness - We are not neutral
        • Examine your life in light of this message
          • Where is your fellowship?

      8.16.2009

      Attributes of God - Patience

      Attributes of God - Patience

      Patience Explained: Mercy looks to creature as miserable & patience as criminal (A.W. Pink)
      Q. How does God's patience relate to His Goodness, which we discussed last week?

      Mercy, patience, & goodness are closely related.  God is good; thus, He is merciful in         pardoning the sinner & relieving misery & patient in bearing with His evil enemies.
        
      Patience Proclaimed: Psalm 103:8 (c.f. Ex 34:6) - He is slow to anger 
      Q. How do we know God is patient?

      Scripture tells us God is patient by showing us He is slow to anger.  It is also evidence of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us (Gal 5:22).

      Patience Manifested: Romans 9:22 by his bearing with vessels of destruction (c.f. Rom 3:25)
      Q. How is God's patience ultimately made known to us?

      God did not destroy Adam and Eve immediately upon bringing sin into this world, and He has appointed a day when sin will be finally punished.  This bearing with His enemies is not slowness, but is a purposeful manifestation of His patience (Is 52:5 so His name might be known).  He is awaiting the full church (c.f. Rom 11:25).

      Patience Manifests: Nehemiah 9:17 It displays His self-control
      Q. What do we learn about God if we meditate on His patience?

      God had reason to destroy Israel, yet He did not.  He displayed His self-control.  Wrath is an attribute of God, and His patience manifests His self-control of that wrath.  His is not an uncontrollable vengeance, but a purposeful one that will come down on His enemies in all its fury at the great Day of the Lord.

      Patience Abused: Eccl. 8:11 Wicked men live in darkness; misunderstand His patience
      Q. What does it look like when someone acts arrogantly toward God's patience?

      Q. Can a believer take God's patience for granted?

      Those living in darkness interpret God's patience to mean He doesn't exist or that He does not punish sin.  This is a grave error.  It is only by God's forbearance or patience (c.f. Rom 3:25) that He passed over sins of His people prior to the death of Christ.  Those living by the light of Christ will see this and repent.  It must be noted, though, that believers can also presume on God's patience toward them.  They must be on guard against this as the Spirit seeks to draw God's people to repentance (c.f. John 16:7-11), but He can be quenched (c.f. 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

      Patience Communicated: Col 3:12 We are called to put on patience
      Q. Is patience a communicable or incommunicable attribute of God?

      Theologians speak of communicable and incommunicable attributes.  Communicable attributes are part of the image we bear as opposed to His incommunicable attributes (ex. Self existence, immutability), which we do not share in.  Patience is communicable in that it can be communicated to us.  In other words, we can be patient, but we cannot be self existent.  

      God not only allows us to be patient, but expects us to be patient.  We are called to put on patience.  It is something external to us that is given to us when we are transformed into a new creation.

      Patience Exemplified: 

        1. I Peter 3:20 God's patience waited on Ark to be built (c.f. Gen 6:5)
        2. Acts 14:16,17 God let nations walk in own ways in times page (c.f. Rom 1:19-26)
        3. Romans 3:25 God did not punish sin prior to Christ

      Patience is...
      Q. How would you define patience?

      Numerous times I have heard something to this affect, "I prayed for patience, and the Lord began teaching me by putting me behind this car driving so slow when I was late to work."  We think of patience as bearing with anything that annoys us or hinders our plans or desires.

      Words often change meaning over time or take on greater or less severity with different generations.  It is interesting to compare the entry for patience at www.dictionary.com against the entry in the 1828 edition of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language.  

      Dictionary.com Entry
      1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
      2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
      3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence:to work with patience.
      1828 Webster's Entry:
      1. The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. 
      2.  A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent.
      3. The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent.

      This puts the patience of God in a different light.  he is not simply annoyed by humans. He is not simply confronted with delay either.  God suffers affliction as His beloved creation turns against Him as His enemy and creates toil and calamity of His creation.  He bears with this evil without murmuring, discontent or losing His temper.  He awaits justice at the Day of the Lord.


      Notes:
      1. Ezekiel 33:11 God wishes no one to perish (not even wicked)



      8.11.2009

      Seminary

      Kate and Claire made this "mess." I asked them what they were playing and they said, "We're playing SEMINARY!"


      You might understand the above picture once you see how Rick "plays" seminary:

      8.08.2009

      8.07.2009

      Baby Hutch

      We had our ultrasound a few weeks ago for Baby Hutch. Everything looked great and we are thankful for that. We didn't find out what we are having. Since we found out with K, C and H, we thought we'd let this one be a surprise. Some days I like that, some days it drives me crazy.
      We do not have name picked out which IS driving me crazy but hey...I guess we'll have to at some point. I'm about sure we have a girl name but we're pretty stumped on a boy name. If you have any you'd like to recommend, I'm all ears.

      8.02.2009

      Attributes of God - Power

      Attributes of God - Power

      Why study about God's Power?

      1. God wants His power to be known
        • 2 Cor 4:7 God's power surpasses all other power
          • Surpassing - "Far beyond" in 2 Cor 4:17
        • Judges 7:2 Gideon's army reduced to show God's power
      2. It resurrects us (our benefit)
        • I Cor 6:14 God will raise us by His power
      3. Keeps us from Idolatry
        • Deut 8:17-20 Not by your power but MINE (remember)
      4. Danger of punishment
        • Isaiah 10:12,13 Arrogant king punished (v 13 "by my strength")
        • Remember Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall"

      Power Defined - Two Key words in NT

      1. Dunamis 
        • Inherent power or ability to accomplish a thing
        • Ex. Matthew 28:28 All power & authority in heaven and earth is given to me
        • God has inherent ability to do anything He pleases
      2. Exousia
        • Authority (sometimes translated "power")
        • Matthew 21:23  - by what authority are you doing these things?
        • Our power/authority is derived from what God give to us.

      Closer look at God's Power

      1. Nothing is impossible
        • Job 42:2 "“I know that you can do all things,and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
        • Genesis 18:12-15 "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
        • Jeremiah 32:17 Nothing is too hard for you (evidenced in creation)
        • Luke 1:37 literally each individual utterance of God can be done
        • Matthew 19:26 With God all things are possible (form of dunamis)
      2. Job 38  (cf Job 9:5-11) Over Nature
        • 4 laid foundations of earth
        • 8 shut seas in boundaries
        • 12 commands each day to begin
        • 35 controls lightening
        • 39-41 feeds lions and ravens
      3. Matthew 14:25 Christ walked on Water
        • Notice the boat was "taking a beating" because of the waves
        • Consider His Awesome Power over physics
      4. Contrast Psalm 115:4-8 Idols are mute, deaf, and dumb
      5. Restrains Evil
        • Genesis 20:6 - God restrains us from being as fully evil as we could
        • Romans 1:24 - God gave them up...Means he was restraining or does restrain
        • Psalm 81:12 - God gave Israel over to their stubborn hearts
      6. Hebrews 1:3 & Col 1:3 All things are sustained or held together by Him
      7. Psalm 66:9 keeps us alive
      8. Ephesians 3:20 Ability (dunamis) to do more than we ask or imagine

      Applying the Theology  
      (Romans 1:16-17)

      • v. 16 Power (dunamis) of God for salvation (deliverance, preservation, safety)
        • But, God is all-powerful inherently
        • Why does He need the Gospel?
      • v 17 "For" (causative) in it the righteousness of God is revealed
        • God's justice does not allow Him to ignore or overlook sin
        • cf. Romans 3:25,26 God is just in reconciling with sinners because of Gospel
      • Christ's atonement for sin enables God to reconcile with His people
        • Without denying His wrath, justice, etc.
      • God's power (ability) is limited only by His nature

      How does this affect us?


      1. Strengthens our faith
        • Wisdom is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action
        • Power is ability to carry the actions of these judgments
      2. Strengthens our understanding of "Whom shall we fear?"
        • Psalm 27:1, 23:4, Heb 13:6, Matthew 10:28
      3. Helps our prayer life
        • Lord's Prayer - Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever
      4. We begin to see that the "mighty works" are from God's hand
        • Psalm 111:6 - Israel received the promise land by the power of God
      5. It shows us God's kingdom in which we live
        • I Cor 4:19-20 Kingdom consists of power not talk
      6. Shows us how we produce good works
        • Eph 2:10 - God created good works for us to walk in (power of God enables this)
        • Without understanding God's power, we become defeated and fail to walk rightly, but as we grasp the power of God, we learn to lean on Him and the power living within in us
        • Eph 3:20 "power (dunamis) at work within us"
      7. We understand our role
        • Psalm 8:5-8 We are "given" dominion
        • Matthew 28:18-20 Christ was "given" authority and passes it to us
      8. Enhances our worship
        • Review lyrics of "O Worship the King"









      Conclusion 

      1. God is the source of power (omnipotent)
      2. His ability only limited by His nature (cannot overlook sin forever due to His justice)
      3. Do not fear
        • Easier said than done
        • We definitely have a reason to "not fear"
      4. God has power (dunamis, inherent ability) to control all things
        • More than we ask or imagine
        • Seek Him, Phil 4 "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
      5. Worship Him for His almighty power
        • Look for evidence of His power in your life
        • Rejoice when you see it in everyday activities
      6. Finally, do not fret
        • When God's power isn't seen, it is not missing due to lack of faith, prayer, or anything on our part.
        • We can definitely miss it or not see it, but...
        • God's wisdom and power cannot be thwarted by us 
        • Satan and man already tried this (see Eph 3:10-11)

      7.31.2009

      Pottery Barn Dolls on Sale

      Can I just jump back into blogging after this long without an explanation?? Thanks
      I'll give a baby Hutch update soon but for now...I saw this deal and thought it was too good not to share.


      They are normally $40 but are on sale for $23 plus free shipping! You have to follow this link though. If you try to find them through the site, they are listed at the regular price. I must admit, I bought my first Christmas gifts today...is that embarrassing...it's only July!

      7.25.2009

      Attributes of God - Wisdom

      I just completed my Sunday School lesson for tomorrow, and I found a feature in Google Docs I had not noticed before that let me publish the lesson to our blog. That is quite handy. I prepare many of my lessons in Google Docs, so I'll start sharing them on the blog.

      If they aren't interesting....just don't read them :).


      Attribute of God - Wisdom
      What is Wisdom
      • The power to see and the inclination to choose the highest end with the best means of attaining it
      • The ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.
      • Original languages suggest experienced and competent mastery of life and its problems
      • Webster's 1878 dictionary - The right use or exercise of knowledge
      • James 3
        • Multiple sources of wisdom (from above and from the earth)
        • v13/14 wisdom manifests in works
        • v16 earthly - Jealousy, selfish-ambition
        • v17 from above - pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial, sincere (harvest of righteousness)
      • Proverbs 15:2, 7
        • Scripture Contrasts Wisdom with Folly
        • Folly = acting rashly or stupidly
        • Folly finds expression in behavior
        • therefore, Wisdom is not simply theoretical, but shows forth in behavior
      • Wisdom from God must be contrasted with Cultural Wisdom
        • More general knowledge aimed at finding a secret that will give control as well as knowledge of the world.
        • The Old Testament does not give place for this kind of wisdom
      • Socrates
        • "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."
        • Sounds "wise", but it is not true
        • Should say "The only true wisdom is in God and leaning on His truth"

      From Whence does wisdom come?
      • Prov 2:6 Wisdom come from God
        • God Gave Solomon Wisdom
      • Psalm 111:10 begins with fear of Lord (notice focus on God) (Prov 9:10 also)
      • Prov 11:2 - associated with humility
      • Other Sources (not God's wisdom)
        • Acts 7:22 "wisdom of Egyptians"
        • I Cor 3:19 "wisdom of this world"

      Who gains or possesses wisdom
      • James 1:5 Those who ask for it
      • Prov 2:1-6 - Those who seek it
        • v3 Call out for insight
        • v4 Seek it like silver; hidden treasure
        • v5 Fear of the Lord again
      • Knowing God by J.I. Packer
        • Some suppose they can know the purposes behind all events in their lives if they are only studied and spiritual enough.
        • We will drive ourselves crazy trying to determine the reason for every event. This is hidden with God.
        • God does give us unusual events at times to confirm our guidance by application of principles, but He doesn't reveal the purpose behind every single unusual event in our lives.
      • Note: Seek wisdom in scripture; not in "signs from God"

      A comparison of God's wisdom to man's wisdom (in sin)
      • I Corinthians 1:18-31
        • V18/19 Cross of Christ is only wise to God
        • V21 Folly of Man's wisdom is plan of God's wisdom
          • Romans 1:18-24 - Cannot find God w/ our own reasoning
            • Suppress truth in unrighteousness
        • v23 Jews & Gentiles both agree cross is foolish (these 2 don't normally agree)
        • v26-29 For His Glory the cross maximized God's glory in His wisdom
          • Lowly of the earth are saved and the wise are shamed
        • v31 Boast in the Lord; not in self
          • Flesh is foolish; we are foolish if not transformed by renewal of minds (rom 12)
      • I Cor 13: 12 We see as in dim mirror (riddles, enigmatic, obscure)
        • Baffles the understanding & cannot be explained
        • We must first recognize that many things of this life are hidden with God
        • Our eyes are hazy because of the remaining affect of sin
      • God's Wisdom is essential to Him
        • Man's wisdom can be thwarted by our circumstances

      Paul's outlines Wisdom for us
      • I Corinthians 2
        • v5 Do not rest/trust in self or any man
          • Our faith rests in God's power rather than man's wisdom
        • v6 Sanctification related to wisdom
          • Maturity breeds wisdom from God or vice versa maybe? (feed each other)
          • Today - Young shun old & many old not wise
        • v7 Church is glorious mystery (Eph 3)
          • Secret wisdom is now proclaimed widely
          • As opposed to the Gnostics whose "wisdom" remains hidden to outsiders
        • v10 Wisdom comes from the Spirit (as does sanctification)
        • v14 But why God?
          • Total depravity is wisdom of God
          • We often ask "WHY?" when loved ones reject offer of salvation
          • Not for us to understand
          • Definitely difficult, sad, frustrating
        • v16 Who can understand the mind of the Lord? - Christ!
          • We have wisdom in Christ
          • In His life, recorded in Scripture

      What is the purpose of God's wisdom?
      • Knowing God page 81
        • End goal of God's wisdom is His Glory
      • God's Design
        • God intends that every choice we make, every thought we think, and every action we take would bring honor and glory to Him.
        • He doesn't say that will happen, He doesn't say we will feel like it, but He also doesn't excuse us when our wisdom does not honor Him.
        • When we take the sum of our knowledge and make a decision that stands against God or is not honoring to Him, we are not manifesting His wisdom in us.
        • For this reason, Christ died.
          • This world, this society, this sin filled flesh will push us toward the wisdom (or folly) of this world, and we must use the wisdom of God to overcome what may seem right in our own minds
          • AND we must rest in Christ when we fall short and feel like cursing God
          • AND when God restores the joy of HIS salvation; we give thanks!
      • Our feelings & experience
        • Man's wisdom can be thwarted by circumstances
        • God's end goal does not change
        • Life on this earth is not easy. Nor is it presented as easy in scripture.
        • The image of God's perfect wisdom in us was shattered at the fall
        • When we recognize God is perfectly wise, and we experience our own lack of wisdom as we walk through this earth, we are reminded of God's goodness and grace in sending Christ to the cross.

      Conclusion
      • God knows exactly what He is doing in the handling of our affairs
      • He knows His purpose in everything, which is to bring Glory to His name
      • He is perfectly wise & all-powerful
      • Wisdom is an attribute of His that we can participate in (communicable)
      • Man's wisdom can be frustrated by circumstantial factors outside man's control
        • If we act in an unwise manner, we do not cease to be who we are nor do we cease to be human.
      • God's wisdom is part of His essence
        • If God were to act in an unwise manner, He would cease to be God.

      Extra Questions if time permits
      • Leonardo da Vinci said "Wisdom is the daughter of experience." What are your thoughts on this?
        • Wisdom is not found in experience alone.
        • It is found when experiences are understood in light of God's truth
        • Experience is not necessary for wisdom, but we often gain it that way
          • Remember, Wisdom is the right use of knowledge and God gives it to the seeker
      • In America, we consider it a blessing to not have one ruler over us. Why is that?
        • The answer seems plain in that God is the only being with perfect wisdom
        • But it doesn't stop there. God also has omnipotent power to ensure His wisdom is carried out properly. Earthly rulers have neither.

      6.18.2009

      Who needs health insurance?

      I tried to write something funny about this, but it really just makes me angry so I'll leave it at that. Let's start a campaign to vote every single politician in America out of office regardless of their party. It's not possible for our leaders to get any worse than they are today is it?

      http://reason.tv/video/show/560.html

      5.29.2009

      Palin

      During the election, Christians painted Sarah Palin as the new right-wing, conservative, voice for change back to the roots of what the republican party is all about. Well, tonight I was studying Hebrews and came across the Greek word that is transliterated "Palin", and I thought the definition was somewhat humerous as it really manifest my own thoughts about the republican party.

      The definition I read is here: http://net.bible.org/strong.php?id=3825

      The Greek word means "repetition of the action" and it is rooted in the word that carries "the idea of oscillatory repetition". Hmmm...So, it seems I may have been right in thinking Sarah Palin would simply bring us more of the same thing.

      The only thing I can say from this is that it's wise to always check the Greek!

      5.07.2009

      Life Tip #731

      Never, under any circumstances, buy a 10 pack of razors from the Dollar Tree.


      5.01.2009

      Happy Birthday Peggy! The Big 3-0

      30 years ago today, Peggy was born. And it is by God's good grace and kindness to me that she was brought into our family as my wife. She has proven to be an awesome wife and a gentle mother to the three children she has given to me thus far. We know our heavenly Father upholds the entire creation by the might of His power, and in His great wisdom, He has given Peggy to our family to strengthen it, organize it, and basically manage each day excellently. As a mom, her days are filled with activities that benefit others, and the end of each day finds her concerned not with what she didn't get done for herself, but rather with what she did not complete that would help me. This is humbling.

      She is a true helper. She practices submission joyfully in Christ. She loves our children and seeks to raise them in light of God's truth daily even when it is extremely difficult and contrary to the actions of peers, which makes it even more difficult. In recent years she has grown to a deeper understanding of being satisfied in Christ. This fruit of God's Spirit is evidenced not only by her actions that we witness, but also through her own confession and renouncement of her fleshly desires and actions. Man's greatest danger is to come to a point where we consider ourselves good without a need to pursue greater Holiness (through the power of the Gospel of course). I have no concern of this for Peggy. While we see in her kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and the like, she has an unending desire for sanctification by drawing near to the Lord so that He might draw nearer to her and transform her even more than has already been accomplished.

      I love Peggy, and every day we have on this earth together causes me to desire to show more love to her. God has blessed our family greatly, and Peggy is central to that blessing. If you know her, I'm sure you agree with me. If you do not know her, you are missing out on a wonderful person. My bride. Happy Birthday Peggy. I hope you know how much we cherish and need you in our lives every day and thank God that He has seen fit to give you to us!

      4.28.2009

      Coming this December...

      ...A new baby Hutchinson! Baby Hutch is due December 20th. This will be our 3rd child born in December! When I was younger, I wondered why people had babies in December...now I know! We'll take them whenever the Lord gives them! We've seen the baby and the heartbeat and everything looked great. Claire saw the ultrasound picture, started laughing and said, "That baby looks SO FUNNY!"

      The girls are very excited. Kate wants a sister and Claire wants a brother. Kate has picked out "Sadie" if it's a girl and "Paul" if it's a boy. Claire has picked out "Salsa" (we must eat too much Mexican food) if it's a girl and "Nick and Jake" if it's a boy.

      We are not going to find out the sex of the baby until the birth day so I think that will be fun. Rick wants to wait and pick out the name once the baby is born but I'm not sure I can handle that. Either way, it'll be a while until we let you know if we've decided on "Salsa" or not....maybe we'll go with "Cheese Dip."


      4.23.2009

      Family Worship is not easy

      There seems to always be a reason to not set aside time each day to gather as a family in the same room and reflect on God's goodness to us. Over the past three weeks we have either had a sick child, been late getting home, or simply been worn out most nights of the week. This is not conducive to spending time in God's word together.

      We have skipped family worship several nights during this three week period, but we have been able to worship together a majority of the nights in each of these weeks. I attribute this partly to our not being extremely rigid in our worship activities. In other words, I do not have a detailed set of activities that we must complete each night in order to say we have worshiped together. Each evening of worship would be quite different if you were peering through our windows.

      For instance, if the children are sick, they need to be in bed quickly so the number and length of songs we sing is shortened because they will not be interested in singing if they are sick. Or we may even exclude singing altogether.

      Other times everyone will be keyed up because we came home late or they had long naps during the day so I will try to include more singing (and yes dancing at our house!) and we will recite scripture, read the Bible, and even read a prayer out of the Valley of Vision. My reading of scripture is often much more energetic on these evenings as well. I may also let the children stay up later on these evenings for more extended worship time because they will not go to sleep right away anyway.

      While lack of rigidity may help, though, I believe the main reason we continue in worship is the Holy Spirit. He is driving us to worship. My efforts are of little use if the Spirit of God is not involved at the core of our time, and so I realize my need to continue to pray that God would increase our desire to worship Him each evening as a family. It is fun to lead the family in worship, but I must continually be reminded that my efforts are of little value without God's Spirit.

      4.16.2009

      When the Lights Go Out

      What do you do when the lights go out for nearly 48 hours??


      You sit on the doghouse
      You give your sister a ride on your bike

      Then she returns the favor
      You practice fishing

      And you play basketball

      4.11.2009

      Family Worship during Holy Week


      If you have not read my initial post on family worship, Click Here.

      During Holy Week, our family met with our church at lunch each day for fellowship and a
      devotion from our pastor. We spent the evenings practicing for "The Risen Christ", which was presented by the church choir and others on Thursday and Friday evening.

      With that schedule, we did not spend time together as a family around the word of God in the evenings. Today was another busy day and we came home right at bedtime for the children. We need to be at worship tomorrow morning by 7 am so the children needed to go straight to bed. We sang 2 songs this evening: "Up from the grave he arose" and "Christ the Lord is Risen Today". Our girls did not know either of these songs. I then spent 1 minute explaining why tomorrow's corporate worship is special. I do not feel like the girls were really listening tonight, though.

      I hope to get back on a more regular schedule next week. Hopefully, this will increase their attentiveness.

      4.10.2009

      Deep and Wide

      Can you tell who's the loudest leader in this group??

      The Power of the Cross

      Click here to see/listen. Scroll down and click on "Power of the Cross"

      "The Power of the Cross"
      Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
      Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

      Oh, to see the dawn
      Of the darkest day:
      Christ on the road to Calvary.
      Tried by sinful men,
      Torn and beaten, then
      Nailed to a cross of wood.

      CHORUS:
      This, the pow'r of the cross:
      Christ became sin for us;
      Took the blame, bore the wrath—
      We stand forgiven at the cross.

      Oh, to see the pain
      Written on Your face,
      Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
      Ev'ry bitter thought,
      Ev'ry evil deed
      Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

      Now the daylight flees;
      Now the ground beneath
      Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
      Curtain torn in two,
      Dead are raised to life;
      "Finished!" the vict'ry cry.

      Oh, to see my name
      Written in the wounds,
      For through Your suffering I am free.
      Death is crushed to death;
      Life is mine to live,
      Won through Your selfless love.

      FINAL CHORUS:
      This, the pow'r of the cross:
      Son of God—slain for us.
      What a love! What a cost!
      We stand forgiven at the cross.

      4.07.2009

      Holy Week @ Third Presbyterian Church

      Our church, Third Presbyterian Church, is having a time of devotion followed by lunch each day during Holy Week. Our pastor's blog contains posts for each day's devotion. You may find it useful for meditation during this week. If you are down by UAB at 12 pm anytime in the next few days, drop by and spend time with us.

      Also, on Thursday and Friday evening, we are presenting "The Risen Christ: A Celebration of the Resurrection" featuring songs by Keith and Kristyn Getty as well as Stuart Townsend. The music is awesome and footage from the film MATTHEW will be shown along with a drama in a reader's theatre format.

      This presentation is pretty amazing. If you want to see a powerful presentation of the work of Christ on the cross or have friends that you think need to see and hear the Gospel, consider joining us at 7 pm on either Thursday or Friday night.

      See this blog post for information.