Sunday, July 23, 2006

Covenant Child

Today Iain Zechariah Douglas was baptised at Covenant Presbyterian Church by our dear encourager and teacher, Dr. Warren Gage. Iain is now an official part of the visible church, and as his parents we are claiming God's covenant blessings for him and dedicating him back to God. Here is what Pastor Jay wrote in the bulletin:

This morning, we "See the Word of God," in the sacrament of baptism and by sensible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed, and applied. These are God's covenant promises:

For to you is the promise,
and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house. (Acts 2:39; Gen 17:7, Acts 16:31)

As t
hey present Iain to the church for Baptism, Brian and Jordan will be asked these questions:

1. Do you acknowledge your child's need
of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?

2. Do you claim God's covenant promises in his behalf and do you look in faith to the Lord Jeus Christ for his salvation, as you do for your own?

3. Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble relianceupon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before him a godly example, that you will pray
with and for him, that you will teach him the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God's appointment to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

And this is the vow that will be asked of the congregation:

Do you as a congregation undertake the responsibility of assisting the parents in the Christian nurture of this child?

I trust that you will take this vow and your obligation to assist the parents of every covenant child in this congregation very seriously. It is our privilege to participate in the Covenant of Grace and celebrate Iain's Baptism!

Dr. Gage read from Psalm

"But You are He who took me of the womb; You made me trust while on my mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From my mother's womb, you have been my God. "

He spoke briefly about the circumstances of Iain's conception and the meaning of his name, then he asked us the questions, took Iain in his arms, and baptised him. It was a beautiful moment in my life. I was surrounded by friends and family and together we entreated the Lord to remember Iain, to eventually bring him to Himself, to strengthen us as parents to raise him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and to dedicate his life to God's glory. After the service many friends joined us in our home for a little party. How good it is to rejoice in the richness of God's good gifts. Praise be to Him forever and ever!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

If you knew a murder was about to take place, what would you do?

Would you call in a surgeon to get the person's organs since they are going to die anyway?

I suppose you may have heard that President Bush vetoed his very first bill yesterday. That's right, his first veto. And what did he veto? In the words of Maggie Fox of Reuters: "The bill vetoed by Bush would have allowed federal taxpayer money to be used to do research on those embryos donated by the parents. It is not illegal to use private funds to do so..." All this veto does is deny federal funding to a practice that, unfortunately, is already happening. But to hear some of the acid comments that are made, you'd think that President was shutting down any hope of a cure for all the diseases that ail mankind. A second Pandora, if you will, unleashing sickness and evil onT an unsuspecting world. This article is particularly harsh.

The author writes "Fertility clinics destroy thousands of embryos every year, byproducts of the in-vitro fertilization process. The bill would have allowed federal funding only for stem cell lines made from embryos that were destined for destruction, not adoption. No lives will be saved by the president's veto, but it's quite possible that many will be lost, victims of complications of diseases that embryonic stem cells could one day cure." So since these children are going to be destroyed by the wishes of their parents, we might as well take advantage of it. Heaven forbid that we try to step in and help the victims.

Forgive me if my tone is a bit angry today. I have a hard time remaining calm enough to effectively dialog about this issue. It is upsetting to know that thousands of little ones just like my Iain are being destroyed by the whims of their parents. Why is Iain's life any more valuable than theirs simply because his genetic father decided that embryo donation was a good idea?

I'm so very thankful for my sweet baby. When I think about these things, the truth of God's sovereignty hits me hard, as well as the aptness of Iain's name. God was gracious to him and did remember him out of hundreds of thousands of children. Why Iain? I don't know. But I am so thankful and I want to raise my son with that gratitude in his heart.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Life in Babyland

Here's my beautiful boy with a full tummy. See how content he looks? He's been having a lot of tummy trouble so I took him to the doctor and it seems he has a mild case of acid reflux. :( Happily, the doctor gave him some Zantac and that seems to have done the trick!

He is really starting to grow! I don't know how much he weighs right now, but his 0-3 month clothes finally fit and he is outgrowing the newborn stuff. I was surprised that 0-3 months was too big for him since he was such a big baby. I wonder what the 5 pounders wear?

He can roll over already! He doesn't do it on purpose, but if he is on his tummy and really mad he can do it! He hates tummy time, so I don't do it very often.

He is smiling a lot now, especially right after he eats. It is so sweet, but very hard to catch on film! He loves to be sung to and read to. I think his eyes will be brown, but I don't know what color his hair is going to be. It has a lot of red tints in it and seems to be getting lighter!

And I'm proud to report that for the past three days he has been only waking up once in the night to eat. Once he went for 6 hours! I'm so happy to be getting so much sleep!

Here he is wide awake in his bouncy seat. He likes that pretty well, though he hasn't taken any swats at the hanging toys yet.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A leap of faith

"If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me
and your right hand shall hold me."

Psalm 139:9-10

This week we made a big decision. We are not going to wait to hear back from Highland sometime in October. Instead Brian will begin his PhD studies at the University of Sussex this fall, where he has already been accepted. We have a furnished flat there, he has been in good communication with the supervisor there for 6 months, and as I already said he has been fully accepted into that program. There has been so much uncertainty about what path we should take, and there are still many details to be ironed out. After meeting with one of his professors this week, we decided that since there has been a delay with Highland that we should move on through the open door at Sussex.

We are leaving the country September 22. We found an absolutely unbelievable deal on airfare, so we booked it (!). It is very scary to be buying a one ticket to a new country. I'm so thankful that the Lord is God wherever we go, and He is never afraid. I am overwhelmed with all there is to do and sad to be leaving a place where God has been so good to us: our family, our church, the seminary, dear friends... we have been richly blessed and nourished here. It is a relief to finally know what the plan is and to have a firm date of departure.

Assuming that all goes smoothly with our loans and visas, we will be living in Brighton for at least 1 year, probably 2. As you can see on the map, Brighton is on the southern coast of England. Highland Theological College is north of Edinburgh at the very top of the map-- brr! There are advantages to both locations, but it will be nice to have easy access to London. Both the British Museum and the National Gallery have free admission. Monet, anyone?

View a map of England here:

Monday, July 03, 2006

Who, me?

"A mother is a person who, upon seeing that there are 5 people and 4 pieces of pie, declares she never did care for pie."

As Iain approaches the one month mark, I'm still sorting through this whole experience of becoming a mother. I see my life changing in drastic ways that I don't even fully comprehend yet and I wonder what God is going to teach me through all this. I still haven't got my "sea-legs" and I still don't feel quite like a mom-- he is still new enough for it all to have a faint dream-like quality. Or maybe it's just the fact that I'm sleep deprived! :)

I think that being a mother does involve self-sacrifice. Sleeping, eating, being clean and well-dressed-- those are all things that the baby has to have before mommy does. As I sit breastfeeding, I ponder why God designed it the way He did. I feel that there is a deeper truth that I haven't quite grasped yet. This little guy is depending on ME for food. What I eat affects him. If I don't drink enough, I can't make enough milk. When I'm feeding him, I must sit for an hour and pay attention to keeping him awake or burped or in the right position. Both of my hands are usually occupied. I have to judge whether or not he is really full, or has just filled himself for the next 15 minutes. Hopefully, I'm learning patience and how to die to self in a whole new way.

I'm excited about the road ahead and I can't wait to see who Iain really is. As long as he loves the Lord Jesus, it doesn't matter all that much what his personality is like and what his talents are. Still, it will be very fun to see. More pictures are coming soon!