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Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Power of "If"

"If you embrace this kingdom life..."

Jesus says these words (in the Message paraphrase of the Bible) to his friends as they walk along the road. He has just cursed a fig tree that bears no fruit, and the tree shrivels on the spot. Jesus' followers gasp in amazement, and then Jesus offers these words, "If you embrace this kingdom life and don't doubt God, you'll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles." Jesus invites them to be part of a world that up to that time they have only observed through him. They are called to experience the power of God.

But this promise is preceded by the incredible word, "if". This one simple word can open up an entirely new world to them. IF they will embrace the kingdom life, incredible things can happen.

What does it look like to embrace something or someone? The word embrace brings to mind for me a mother hugging her daughter as she goes off to college, or a young military wife jumping into the arms of her husband as he returns from a tour of duty. When we embrace, we open our arms wide to someone or something and commit ourselves completely to it.

In this story, Jesus calls us to embrace a Kingdom way of life.

You know, I feel like a lot of the time I am more content to shake hands with the Kingdom life. When we shake hands, we remain more distant and free to do as we choose. When we shake hands, we still have another arm free and we're really not committing to anything. Isn't it easier to just shake hands with God's plans for us and the world, to give one hand to God but to also keep one for ourselves?

It may feel easier to just shake hands, but how much do we miss out on? Jesus calls us to embrace. If we will embrace the kingdom life, then a new realm of potential is ours. When we shake hands with God's way of life, we miss out on his power.

May you experience the power of God in your life as you EMBRACE the Kingdom.

Journey in His ways-

Nick

Friday, August 03, 2007

Our Miracle Arrives!


She chose to wake us up at 3 AM to get the process going, but we were delighted to finally welcome our second daughter into the world. Madelyn Grace was born at 10:56 AM on Tuesday morning, weighing an impressive 8 pounds 11 ounces. (I guess what's impressive is that she outweighed her sister by over 3 pounds!) She was 21 inches long and just a real cutie.

I know that you can scientifically and medically explain everything that happens at the time of birth, but it is still an amazing, miracle-type event. Every step of the process from the time Madelyn was just a single cell until the time she was born had to come together in such a precise and profound way. And to top it all off, not only does everything function properly, but she is endowed with beauty (like babies are) from day one. I'm not sure how anyone could be in a delivery room at a time like that and not believe in a good and loving Creator. We are blessed by the GRACE of our wonderful heavenly Father.

I pray that you are trusting in Him, as we are, in this journey.

Tired, but filled with incredible joy,

Nick