July 15, 2009
I took a wonderful hometown 2-week vacation with the advent of my son, Benjamin Jackson Born on July 1. It was wonderful to slow down and just enjoy my family, now a family of 5. I avoided (for the most part) the urge to work on home projects and instead just enjoyed my life with my family on the farm. I spent my days serving meals, cleaning up, playing with Billy and Maria, reading, resting and mostly, staring at Benjamin in awe and wonder. Billy captured it well on the second day of Ben’s life when he said, “I just want to look at him all of the time because he’s so beautiful!” And I still find myself reluctant to break my gaze as I stare at my beautiful 3rd child. There is nothing in this world as amazing as a newborn – a human being created by God, bearing the very image of the Almighty. I wonder what this little man will become and pray for wisdom as I seek to help him to know God, worship him and use his unique talents to joyfully serve him all of his days. Of course Benjamin’s arrival kindles anew my love for Billy and Maria as well, remembering their coming into this world and rejoicing in who they are and who they are becoming as they grow up. Finally, I am in awe of my wife as I see her give her all to sustain this little infant, meeting his every need and gently and patiently loving him and comforting him as he tries to figure out what in the world has just happened.
These are the best of times. Leaving my family to go back to work after being together 24/7 for 2 weeks is hard, but going back to work is not hard at all. I praise God for what I get to go back to! Sunday was fantastic as we worshiped God together. I love my church family, those whom I lead with on stage, the rest of our worship team that assists from the back, and the congregation who is between us. (I just had a pleasant image of our worship team surrounding our church family, going before and behind as we point to God and invite all hearts to worship him.) There were many moments where the singing was so loud that I just backed off my mic to take it all in. Trinity Church practices this Psalm:
“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” (Psalms 9:1-2 ESVS)
Heavenly Father, I do not take this for granted. I praise you for my church family and pray that we may discover more and more the wonder of your gospel, and as a result grow more in love with Jesus, in our faith, in genuine love for one another and our love for those who are outside of fellowship with you. I’m grateful for those who “Rightly divide the Word of Truth” each week, teaching and exhorting us from your Word. Amen!
It’s worth checking out Mark Brown’s great sermon on The Promise of God’s Presence. The more I think about the promises of God the more I realize that believing them is what truly brings the Christian toward maturity in the faith, sustaining him through the challenges of this life and then finally bringing him into the presence of God in heaven. The most wonderful people I know are the ones who base their entire lives on these promises. I am most excited as we continue to worship through this series together.