Friday, April 20, 2007

Praise the Lord for a Good Day

Today has truly been a blessing from the Lord. We were woke up this morning by a phone call from our nurse saying that Baby James' breathing tube was taken out around 7:45 am. He has been off his breathing tube all day long without forgetting to breath. For those who don't know, the breathing tube was taken out a few days ago, but they had to continually keep an eye on him because he would forget to breath. They ended putting it back in because he was having such a hard time. So it is refreshing to see him back off the breathing tube and doing fine without it. The doctors see his independent breathing as an obvious big step for Baby James. We had a talk with Dr. Edwards tonight and he told us that James is doing extremely well considering his tramatic circumstances and considering the fact that he is only five days old. There are a few things that do concern Dr. Edwards, but he says that we just need to give James the time to heal. Please pray that Baby James would be better at swallowing, gagging (seriously--it is a necessity), regulating his body temperature, waking up for longer periods of time, and crying. These are all things that all full term babies are supposed to be able to do. Because of his injury he is slowly learning how to do all of these things. The doctors right now are still doing tests but are mainly directing their decisions based off of how Baby James is progressing.

Both Kristal and I were fortunate to hold James quite a lot today. Even though he is not all that active, he seemed to be quite content today. He is a cute little guy. Hopefully tomorrow Kristal will be able to start breast feeding him.

We do thank the Lord for all of you and for all of your prayers. The Lord has especially provided for Kristal and I through our parents. They have been so faithful to encourage us, spend time with us, get us whatever we need, and be an emotional support since the get go. Please pray that the Lord would doubly bless our parents (John, Kelly, Jim, and Lynn) for their goodness to us. Also, please pray for Kristal, she is quite sore and is having to get up throughout the night to pump and take medicine. She went through a lot during the delivery and is recovering quickly, but is still experiencing much discomfort.

One of the things that the Lord has taught Kristal and I through this trying time is how important it is for us to have our eyes on heaven. The Lord has been teaching me quite a lot about the doctrine of heaven throughout the past few months. I have been studying the book of 1 Peter and the book of Hebrews quite a lot, and the doctrine of heaven truly is the most prominent doctrine in both of those books. Surely the doctrine of CHrist and His work do recieve quite the attention, but the doctrine of Christ and His work is generally discussed to show exactly how assured we can be that our salvation is sure and unalterable. Some condemn certain Christians of being so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. This may be true depending on what you mean by "heavenly minded." But, I would suggest, that most Christians are on the opposite extreme--they are so earthly minded that they are no heavenly good. The doctrine of heaven is that which gives us the strength to praise God in the midst of terrifying circumstances. The doctrine of heaven is that which gives us confidence that no matter how bad things get here, we are looking forward to a place where there are no dissapointments. In the book of Hebrews and 1 Peter the doctrine of heaven is taht which specifically emboldens Christians undergoing persecution to continue in their profession of faith and bold proclamation. The doctrine of heaven seems to be deemphasized in most doctrinally driven churches because it has been distorted by our warped culture. Shows like Touched by an Angel seem to cause us to not want to emphasize it all that much in fear that people will see us as overly sentamental and fluffy. But God has given us much about the doctrine of heaven because it is a great help to us. It keeps a smile on our face and contentment in our hearts when nothing goes our way. Please read and reread and reread Hebrews and 1 Peter a few times in the next few days and feast on the wonderful truth of paradise. The doctrine of heaven to me is like a big fat juicy steak, it is filling and satisfying. It reminds me that discomfort and trouble are to be expected in this life, but that there is coming a day for those who know the Lord--a day of peace and rest. A day where we no longer fear anything. Feast on the wonderful REALITY of your eternal dwelling. Remember that you are just aliens and sojourners here on this earth, and live like it.

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