"Choose you this day whom you will serve....as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." - Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Bye 2008

The last day of 2008 is upon us. Another year has come and gone. We will probably wrap up 2008 the same way we do every other year. I imagine that we will take my dad out to eat (today is his 54th birthday) and then come home and sit on the couch waiting for 2009. That sounds real exciting doesn't it? Well, any time we get my dad in public, you never know what to expect. We usually have to lock his windows when we take him anywhere. You see, he likes to roll down the window and talk to strangers. We always tell him that he is going to get us shot at one of these days. We will probably do a lot of laughing. Dad has been extra "giddy" since he found out he is going to be a Papaw, so there is no telling how he will act. I am pretty sure we will have a blast tonight.

PTL that I am off work on Friday. We are thinking about going down to my father-in-law's deer camp for the weekend. I don't know if we have made a decision on that yet or not. I will do whatever I am told. We always have fun when we go. There wouldn't be any hunting going on, just riding the four wheelers and shooting stuff. I am not thrilled about going, but I will. It is one of those things where you dread getting down there, but once you are there, you have a good time. We'll see what happens.

I wish everyone a very blessed New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good News!

I have very good news! Mollie and I are expecting our first child on August 4, 2009. We are very excited, well, I am probably a little more excited. I have been blogging about this since we found out the good news. You can find those blogs below as I am just now posting them (It's Almost Time & I Wish I Could Tell). I will probably use this blog to keep everyone updated on our progress. Please pray for Mollie because she will be carrying the load and doing all of the work. Pray for me that I will be the support she needs. Also, pray for our little baby. Pray that he/she will be healthy and that there will be no complications. Last, please pray that we will be Godly parents who raise up a child in the way of our Lord.

Until next time!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Time

Christmas is almost here. I can't believe how fast it has come around again. This will be my and Mollie's first Christmas in our new house. It has been a busy December for us. We had a Christmas Open House the first weekend of December and then spent the next two trying to Christmas shop. Last week we had Christmas Parties or events going on practically every night of the week. This Christmas will be a little bittersweet for Mollie and her family. Her brother and sister-in-law have traveled to the United Arab Emirates to be with her family for Christmas. Charisse's parents are missionaries. Her whole family will be together this year for Christmas. My mother-in-law asked Charisse when was the last time her whole family was together for Christmas and she said that she couldn't remember. I am happy for the Armstrong family, but I know that Preston and Charisse will be missed here this year.

Despite all that is going on, I have been trying to keep the real reason for Christmas in my mind. I received an email from a co-worker this morning that really ministered to me and helps put all of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season into perspective. I am including it below in hopes that it will minister to you as it did me.

"A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable; and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids. She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year - overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card. Finally the elevator doors opened, and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed, she couldn't take it anymore and she stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot." From the back of the car, everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, "Don't worry, we already crucified Him." For the rest of the trip down in the elevator, it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. This year, don't forget to keep "the One who started this whole Christmas thing" in your every thought, deed, purchase and words. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be."

We must not forget the true reason for Christmas. Over 2,000 years ago a Savior was born to us. You see we we are unclean people. By unclean I mean that we naturally live lives that are unpleasing to God. This is called sin. Because of this sin, we are forever separated from spending eternity with God (Romans 3:23). God is a loving God, but he is also a just God. The only punishment for our sin is death (Romans 6:23). However, God has given us a means of overcoming the sin in our lives. This means is Jesus, His only Son (Romans 6:23). Jesus was God in the flesh. He came to earth in the form of a human and lived a perfect life. He was ridiculed and mocked by many and was eventually crucified. The story did not end there. Three days after He was killed, Jesus rose from the dead, thereby conquering death, and ascended back into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. When Jesus died, He took the punishment for our sins upon his shoulders and paid the price (Romans 5:8). Now, because of this, we can spend eternity with God. All we have to do is confess that Jesus is the Lord and Son of God and believe that He died for our sins and that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9,10; 3:20). Once we do this, we become children of God (Romans 10:13). That is why we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate the birth of Jesus. If you have never put your faith in Jesus, why not now? Accepting the gift of eternal life will be the best gift you can receive this year. If you have never done this, I encourage you to speak with another Christian or even contact me. There is hope out there. No matter who you are or what you may have done, Jesus loves you and wants to spend an eternity with you. Always remember, no matter what is going on this holiday season, the real reason for the season is Jesus. May God bless each and every one of you this Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's almost time

Well, we had our first ultrasound. We are definitely pregnant. I knew we were all along, but it is just something about seeing the baby and hearing a heartbeat that makes it official. I haven't been this excited about Christmas since I was a kid. We have only told a few people. We told some friends of ours with twins just because we had some questions and we knew that they would know. We swore them to secrecy, but since they live in Lowell, I don't think that will be a problem. We also told Mollie's little brother and sister-in-law since they will be gone at Christmas. This is a funny story. They had come home from New Orleans for Thanksgiving. The night before, we were putting up lights on our Christmas tree. Charisse was reading the warning label and it said that the paint in the light cords had lead in it and may cause birth defects. Mollie dropped the lights and rushed to the sick to wash her hands. Preston asked if she was pregnant. We both just stopped and looked at him with that blank "uh-oh" look. He said, in a voice of disbelief, "You are aren't you?" Mollie nodded yes and his next response I will never forget as long as I live. He said, with no expression, "Sh-t!" He was totally dumbfounded. We laughed at him so long. I wish I could have caught that seminary student on tape at that given time. He was stunned. He wasn't mad or upset, I think he wasn't expecting her to say yes.

Now back to the ultrasound. Mollie hates going to the doctor. I mean she hates it. She had rather take a bullet than go to a doctor. She won't even talk about it. She didn't sleep the whole night prior to our first visit. I, on the other hand was very excited. I couldn't wait to see our baby. Well, when the technician showed us our child, well, I don't know if I can describe how I felt. When she let us hear its heartbeat, it was like sweet music to my ear. I could have listened to it all day. We are at 7 weeks as of this week (December 16). We really didn't want to tell until about 12 weeks, but with it being Christmas, we thought it would make for a really nice gift to our parents.

I can't wait. My dad has been wanting a grandchild for so long. We got him and my mom both sweat shirts that read, "PAPAW" and "GRANDMA," respectively, with "(finally!) underneath it. I hope to video their reactions. I never video at Christmas, so I have to come up with an excuse as to why we are videoing this particular Christmas. For Mollie's parents we bought a picture frame for three pictures. It reads "DAD + MOM = ME." We are going to put our pictures above our titles and a copy of the ultrasound picture above "ME." I am not sure what kind of reaction to expect from them. This isn't their first grandchild, but it is her mom's first blood related grandchild. I know they will be excited, but I am expecting two totally different reactions from each side of the family.

Well, we go back next month for another check up. We will find out the sex of the baby at 20 weeks. I am so excited. Everyone will just have to excuse me because I am going to be just crazy over this child. I am sorry if I talk so much about it that it annoys anyone. I guess that just comes with the territory. Again, I apologize that I am posting this late. I have to talk about it or else I may just let it slip before it is time. It won't be much longer now, just a few days! It's almost time!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I wish I could tell

I am writing this long before I will post it. I just can't contain myself. Two weeks ago when I came in from work and Mollie said that she had a present for me. We get gifts for each other all the time, so I thought nothing of this. She brought me a box. I had no idea what to expect. As I removed the lid from the box, little did I know that my life would change forever. I looked into the box and found 5 postive pregnancy tests. That's right, I am going to be daddy! I couldn't believe it. I had prayed for so long for a baby. God had answered my prayers. I always wondered how I would feel when this time came. Well, it wasn't quite like I thought it would be. This wasn't a bad thing though. I was so at a loss for words. We had to get it all together because my parents were coming over for dinner. It was all I could do to hold it in. My dad has wanted a grandchild for a long time. I sat and watched him eat and wanted to tell him so bad, but we are going to wait until Christmas to share the news. Each time I look at our parents, I want to tell them so bad, but I keep it to my self. I hope that I can wait until Christmas. I wish I could tell.

Monday, December 8, 2008

'Tis the Season

The holiday season is now in full swing. Thanksgiving has come and gone and next is Christmas. It has been a while since my last post. I know we are past Thanksgiving, but I wanted to take some time to mention a few things that I am thankful for.

1. My Savior: I am very thankful for Jesus Christ. This past year, He has become so real to me. It has been a long and stressful year. Without Him, I couldn't have made it. I am thankful for His sacrifice on my behalf.

2. My wife: I have the best wife in the world. She is just brilliant. She is always there for me and supports me in all that I do. I am so blessed to have her.

3. My home: I am very thankful for my new home. I never imagined that I would ever be blessed this much. It is my hope and prayer that it grow into a home that is pleasing to God.

4. My family: I have a very supportive family of which I am very thankful. I was very fortunate to have been raised in the family I was raised in. I am also thankful for my extended family on all sides.

5. My job: During a time when our country is reporting record high unemployment levels, I am very thankful to have a job.

6. My church: I am very thankful for Wynne Baptist Church. We have been blessed with a church that is biblically sound. Our pastor is one that loves God and is very wise beyond his years. Our church staff is the hardest working staff in the world!

These are just some of the things that come to my mind when I think of what I am thankful for. This list could go on and on. Mollie and I have been blessed far beyond what we deserve. I will be forever grateful for all of God's blessings.

This past weekend we had a Christmas Open House. We had so many people ask when we were going to do this that we finally decided to schedule it. There was a great turnout. I was really overwhelmed by the number of friends we have. Thank you to all who came out. I am sorry I didn't get to visit as much as I would have liked to.

Now that the Open House is over with, I can kind of breathe a little. Next week will be crazy. We have Christmas parties on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I am sure that by the end of next week, I will be completely wiped out, but bring it on. This is my favorite time of the year.

Please remember the true reason for Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season. I would encourage you to read Luke 2 when you get a chance. Can you imagine what it was like the night Christ was born? Imagine how Mary and Joseph felt as they experienced this. I wonder what the shepards thought when the sky was filled with angels proclaiming Christ's birth. I heard Pastor/Author Rick Warren say that his family actually has a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas. His family sings Christmas Carols and then they take turns telling what they are thankful for. They then have cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus. The youngest family member gets to blow out the candle on the cake. How cool is this? I would encourage you to start a new tradition this year.

Well, that is all for now. Before I quit, I want to leave you another blog to check out. It is the blog of my pastor, Matt Pearson. The web address is: www.mattwbc.blogspot.com.

Merry Christmas!