Baby: The First Dozen Days

Laura Marie turned12 days old last evening.  Some thoughts from the past couple weeks:

  • When Carolyn was in the throes of childbirth, at one point she stuck out her bottom lip.  She does this when she’s sad or hurt.  A moment later the baby came out and started crying, and she stuck out her lower lip.  She looked just like her mommy, only seconds after being born.  It was so cute!
  • Nothing could prepare us for how awesome it is to have a new little baby.  Nothing could prepare us for how extremely challenging it is to have a new little baby.  This whole experience has provided further evidence for the axiom which says that the most rewarding things in life can also be the most challenging.
  • Several days ago some friends stopped by.  It was a mom and her three small children.  As her four-year-old son looked at Laura Marie, he told me, “Um, Pastor Nathan?  Our mommy used to have some babies, and now they’re us!”  And he grinned real big.  It struck me that it really won’t be too long before Laura Marie is a smiling four-year-old whose mommy and daddy used to have a baby, and now it’s her.
  • The way people have treated us in recent weeks helps me to better understand the gospel.  So many people–and I mean sooo many!–have been so generous to us!  They gave us everything we needed for the baby.  They gave us money.  They came to four baby showers.  They sent cards–we still get at least one in the mail every day.  We have so many gift cards that we don’t even spend money anymore except for rent and utilities.  And our church family has brought us dinner 11 days in a row!  We are so grateful to so many people.  Those around us have been a tangible expression of God’s love, grace, and care.  There is simply no way to thank them enough or express how much their kindness means to us.  That’s how it is with the gospel: God has given us salvation in Jesus Christ, and there’s no way we could ever repay Him or thank Him enough.  All we can do is be thankful and love Him in return.  Wow, we are so crazy blessed.
  • Carolyn and I marked our fifth wedding anniversary yesterday.  They say that five years is the ideal time to have children.  You’ve had enough time to become established in your marriage relationship, but you’ve not become too set in your ways.  We hit the five-year mark when the baby was 12 days old.  Guess we couldn’t have timed it much better!
  • Carolyn and I were married at 2:00 in the afternoon, and that morning I sat in the living room wearing a tuxedo and watching The Andy Griffith Show with our friends Derrick and Joy while I waited for the big moment to arrive.  When Carolyn was in labor, there was an all-day Andy Griffith marathon that played in the background most of the time while we waited for the big moment to arrive.  Strange how The Andy Griffith Show has popped up to soothe me on the two biggest days of my life.
Published in: on June 20, 2009 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Laura Marie Hyde

Laura Marie is here!  She was born on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 5:01 p.m.  She weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces and 20.5 inches long.  We brought her home yesterday afternoon.  Mom & baby are both doing great!

I’ll write more whenever I get a chance…which could be after she goes to college.

Published in: on June 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

9 Months

Carolyn is nine months pregnant.  Now I understand the expression “pregnant with anticipation.”

Published in: on June 3, 2009 at 9:46 am  Leave a Comment  

The T-Ball Nats

A friend of mine from Australia is visiting D.C. later this month.  He’s interested in seeing a baseball game, so I was talking with my dad and my brother Dylan about it.  Since the Washington Nationals are so ridiculously bad, I told Dylan and my dad that I wasn’t sure if I should send Tom to watch the Nationals or a little kids’ t-ball game. 

I loved my dad’s response.  He said: “Send him to a Nats game, and tell him it’s t-ball.  He’ll be surprised at how big the kids are and how well they play for that level.”

Nice one, Dad!  (I’m not sure if the second part is true, but it’s still funny.)

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm  Comments (2)  

The Comeback Church

Yesterday at CrossWay we talked about the comeback church.  A comeback church is an underdog congregation that is headed toward decline but turns things around to begin reaching people for Christ.  A comeback church sees lives transformed by the power of the gospel. 

There are certain spiritual dynamics at work in a comeback church.  They include:

(1) A comeback church has a renewed commitment to the mission that Jesus Christ gave His church.  You can read about Christ’s commission to His church in Matthew 28:18-20.  At CrossWay we constantly remind everyone that our mission is to make lifelong followers of Jesus Christ throughout our community and around the world.  We will only do things that serve this purpose.

(2) A comeback church has a renewed commitment to servanthood.  We recognize that we’re not here just for ourselves.  Rather than turning inward and becoming collectively self-centered, we turn outward.  We recognize that nothing we have is really ours: our bodies, our time, our possessions, our abilities–they all belong to God.  He lends us these things to enjoy and meet our needs, but also to share with others.  You can read about the attitude of a Christian servant in Philippians 2:5-11.

(3) A comeback church has a renewed commitment to strategic prayer.  We pray seriously, continually, and strategically.  We pray for things that matter.  You can read an example of this in Acts 4:23-31.

Of course, the ultimate comeback story is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  After all, He was dead and buried–you can’t get more hopeless than that!  But He  conquered sin and death and made the ultimate comeback.  Since we’re His church, we too can make a comeback.  We can be a comeback church!

If you’re interested in learning more about this subject, I’d encourage you to check out Comeback Churches by Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson.

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm  Comments (2)