- My schedule is far less about what I have to get done and much more about who I want to become. - Bill Hybels
- There’s a king in every crowd. - Russell Wilson
- What is not made a priority will become optional. - Brian Cromer
- The leader who always offers advice is despised in the end. - Judah Smith
Hey guys, so we have some good news!
Dr Oaks at Children’s has looked at all the marbles and has come to this conclusion:
It doesn’t appear that it is anything severe enough to rush over there and deal with.
They are running cultures on her blood and will continue to do so for 5-7 days. So far so good with those, and if they continue to be negative as of tomorrow He wants us to take baby Emri HOME!
He doesn’t think she needs to continue antibiotics (so she gets to take her IV out of her head) and he doesn’t think that the spot on her back is severe enough to need any covering (which it has been covered).
He wants us to take her home and get some bonding time with her and then he wants us to come into the clinic at Children’s in two weeks to see what the next step in precious Emri’s journey looks like.
We are super excited about this great news.
Each and every one of you should be encouraged, for your heavenly Father cares and YOU so much that listens to YOUR prayers. Thank you for helping sweet Emri.
Our Father hears our cries and He LOVES enough to do something about it.
Be encouraged saints, God isn’t done being God just yet :)
We’ll update you all again soon.
Matt and Katie
~If she’s here, she’s perfect.
For all who don’t know Katie and I welcomed our wonderfully perfect daughter Emri Katelyn Legg into the world at 9:55pm on Saturday.
The doctors noticed a small dimple on her lower back which they believe to be a case of spina bifida occulta.
They have preformed an ultrasound here at Brookwood and have sent the results to Children’s Hospital.
We are awaiting word from them to know what our next move is. The doctor here encouraged us that, in his opinion, he thinks she only has a mild form of SBO. She is very active, has all her reflexes, is moving her legs/toes around like crazy, nursing great, and has been having both #s in her diapers :)
Katie and I can’t explain all the emotions we’ve had over these past 48+ hrs. We have been overwhelmed by extravagant love from all of you. We honor you guys and love you more than words.
We want you to know that our spirits are high and we know we have a Father who’s name is greater than SBO!
It is one thing to say you believe God’s got it all under control, it’s another to actually believe it.
Although we have been pretty emotional at times, we are unwavering in our faith and resting in the grace of His great love for us.
We know that whatever plans or ideas we have for our sweet Emri, His are immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine,
He gets the honor
He gets the glory
We love you all
Matt and Katie
~ If she’s here, she’s perfect.
You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile…you drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges. You soften the earth with showers and bless it’s abundant crops.
God never wastes a moment and never does anything without intentionality.
Never think anything you’re dealing with is not part of God’s plan, His plan to more perfectly show and reveal Himself to you.
I love how this passage describes how when rains (storms) come…they’re actually God taking care of the earth.
Making it rich…and fertile.
You see, we’ve been busy plowing…
busy trying to make and fix and work everything out all on our own.
But then the rains come…
Drenching what we’ve been plowing…
melting the clods…where we’ve messed up.
leveling out the ridges…where we’ve become proud, or self dependent.
Softening and blessing the earth,
making us rich and fertile!
So if you’re in the middle of the rain
know with confidence that the Lord is there.
That He’s in control.
And that he loves you and wants to bless you.
But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. (Galatians 5:5 NLT)
Never let anyone try and convince you that if you live by the Spirit you will be waiting on anything other than righteousness.
There is a huge difference between being sin conscious and righteous.
One is self led, self glorifying sin avoidance.
The Other is Spirit led, God glorifying, ‘deadness’ to sin (Rom 6:11)
Meaning…if you’re led by the Spirit,
the last thing you’re thinking about is the death that comes from sin.
But you are focused on the LIFE that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8 says that those dominated by the sinful nature can never please God, and those that do not have the Spirit do not belong to him.
So…are you merely avoiding your ever conscious sin? Living right-ish?
Or are you living by the Spirit, righteous?
Ask for His Spirit, today
…He’s craving to give it to you.
It’s the final day of the year. The day when everyone you know is mentioning, declaring, or putting the final touches on their new year’s resolutions.
We all have them, or have made them in the past. And over the years I have come to develop a pretty strong opinion about them.
Based off of my experiences and observations (and I don’t mean to sound like a Debby Downer) I would bet that, of all the resolutions made this year…close to 99% of them will either be compromised down, failed to be kept, or just straight up aborted, abandoned, or tossed in the trash.
It’s just the truth…And again, I’m not coming down on ‘everyone else’, I’ll be the first to admit that I have made plenty of new year’s resolutions that I have quite promptly failed to make good on.
And you want to know why?
Because when it comes right down to it, I personally just don’t have the capacity within myself to make good on anything I say, or proclaim, or resolve to do.
I’ve tried it
I just can’t…
You’ve probably tried it too. You either started off strong and just slowly slipped away from your goal, or you just flopped right from the get go. Can you relate? Or am I the only one?
Well here’s the good news…you CAN’T DO IT EITHER!
we can’t do it ourselves, we just can’t.
But there is great news for those who call themselves Christians, because guess what? Jesus can.
Jesus is God…(John 10:30, John 14:19)
Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)
When Jesus hung on the cross for all of humanity (that’s right, he died for everyone…1 John 2:2, John 3:16) he displayed God the creator’s perfect love for his creation. On the cross, Jesus cancelled the record of sin for all men, forever. This is true, beautiful, amazing Grace. Because of His goodness and love for us, he did what we could never do.
That’s great news
But because of this Grace, not only did he die for us, but he rose from the dead for us too.
The Resurrection can be described like this. Jesus became new. Don’t hear me wrong, there was nothing wrong with Jesus for him to need to be made new, but in order to relate to humanity, not only was he fully god, but he was fully man, and through the crucifixion and resurrection he LITERALLY died to his flesh and resurrected anew.
This my friends IS the gamechanger. Resurrection changes everything. Resurrection is life springing forth from death…and when we confess Jesus is Lord and BELIEVE in our hearts that he was resurrected, we are saved (Romans 10:9), and we too, die to our flesh and are now resurrected anew.
2 Corinthians 5:17 talks about the ramifications of confessing and believing Christ to be Lord. It says that when we do that we are “a new creation, the old has passed and behold, the new has come.”
I love that. Do you know why the old passes and new comes?
Just as Jesus demonstrated for us, the old passes and the new comes! Jesus becomes our lord and as Galatians 2:20 says, it’s no longer us who live, but Christ who lives in us.
Resurrection power…IN US. Romans 8:11 says the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is in us (who are in Christ).
Not a spirit of fear, or timidity, (or one that gives up on resolutions) but a Spirit of POWER, and LOVE, and SELF CONTROL! (2 Timothy 1:7)
Resurrection demands and brings forth a new life…and praise God, that Resurrection also supplies the power for the protection and preservation of that new life.
Resolutions without Resurrection power will prove to be quit irresolute!
Are you operating with the power of Resurrection?
It’s there…waiting to come alive in you!
1 Corinthians 14:1 says Pursue love and earnestly desire the gifts of Spirit.
“2011 will be your best year ever IF it is your best year spiritually” - Stovall Weems
I have this friend who is constantly complaining about how terrible their life is. They say things like “I hate my job…” “my parents are a nightmare…” “my girlfriend is so frustrating…”
Constantly making remarks about how much “life sucks”…
Well, I’ve talked with this friend multiple times, trying to help or give any kind of counsel… I ask questions such as,
“what’s going on with your parents?” “why do you hate your job?” “what’s up with this girl?”
To which all the responses had a common denominator, see if you can guess…
“They just don’t understand me, and are always trying to keep me from doing what I want, making my life miserable…”
“My boss is so rude to me, always making me do the little things. There are many other workers, why me?”
“She’s just always mean to me. She never wants to do what I want to do, everything is always about her..”
That last one pretty much summed it up if you hadn’t guessed it by now.
Everything is about me, me, me, I, I, I, my, my, my with this guy. If you’re around him for more than a few minutes you notice that this is a guy that thinks highly of himself, and hardly thinks about those around him. Ya know the type, the ones who always have to be first wherever they go, or always want to pick their seat at the movies, or always have to ride shot gun, or always want to try and catch the rice first at the Japanese steak house, and then if they miss it they blame it on a ‘bad throw’…
I’ve told this guy, very gently and lovingly, that it’s quite apparent that he has a pride issue. And I’ve tried to explain to him about how he is only setting himself up to be miserable by never thinking of anyone but himself.
Proverbs 16:18 say: First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
I tried to explain to him, that he was never created nor intended to live a life that was anything about him…but that he was made to serve others.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
You were created to do HIS work. And he is in the people business. People are what he cares about. His work, is loving, and caring, and providing for His people.
You were not made for yourself. You were made to love and serve others.
So back to my friend…I told him all of that…and he told me that he knew all of that, but that loving people is just so hard, and that there had to be some kid of key or trick to the whom thing…
I told him he was right…
I told him that the key to loving people, is to Honor people.
In Exodus 20 God commands us to honor others, namely our mother and father. This is the first of God’s commandments that has a promise attached to it.
Ephesians 6:3 “…so you will live well and have a long life.”
I told him the key to loving and serving was honor.
But see honor has a key too..
He could never honor his parents, employer, or girlfriend, as long as he was on this me, me, me,I, I, I trip…
Proverbs 29:23 Pride lands you flat on your face; humility prepares you for honors.
Humility is the key to honor, not only in receiving it, but in giving it as well.
Humility Is NOT: -self bashing -or “praising” others as better than you
Humility is: Being confident in who you are in Christ and knowing where all the glory, honor, and praise for anything good you do belongs…with Jesus.
I shared with him that if he truly wanted to honor, and love others…
the me, me, me, I, I, I had to take the back seat and that Jesus had to be center stage.
Not…what about me…
But man, how about Jesus…how great is He!?
So, can you relate? Have you been finding yourself flat on your face lately or hitting a proverbial wall with life…
Maybe it’s time for you to allow humility to prepare you for honor.
Jesus => Humility => Honor
When your life follows this equation.. God honors you…
Go ahead..try it.
If you’ve ever lived in or among christian culture you have undoubtedly heard the expression, “carry your cross”, or “pick up your cross daily”.
I’ve heard people use this expression in many circumstances. Most of these circumstances deal with the issue of carry a burden, or dealing with whatever is going on in your life at the time.
Maybe you’ve heard it like this, “we all have our cross to bear”, or maybe Jesus’s version is more familiar to you when he says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
I believe the people Jesus was communicating to at the time totally got the point of this statement. However I feel like, in our culture today, we are so “me-focused” that we’ve lost the beauty and freedom that comes with this statement.
You may see picking up your cross daily as pulling up your spiritual boot straps and working harder to please God; trying to be holier, or more spiritual, or ‘doing’ more things that you feel would make him proud.
In the Roman culture that Jesus was speaking to, everyone understood that in Jesus’s criminal execution he was forced to carry his own cross that he would die on. This signified his submission to Rome and stood as a warning to onlookers that they better submit as well.
Jesus used this phrase “take up your cross” as an understanding that following him requires exactly what carrying a cross in Roman times meant…you die.
So he wanted them to realize that following him required just that…that they better submit…to him, that is.
Jesus wanted those listening to him to realize that following him requires a life of total submission. Not one where you are consumed with thinking about yourself and how much you need to DO or ‘carry’ to please him. But one where you are completely willing to LOSE yourself, lose your life, lose your own works, and submit completely to HIM, abide completely in HIM, in HIS cross, in HIS death, and in HIS resurrection.
It was HIS love for US on THE cross (his cross) that tore the veil and brought us back to relationship with our heavenly father. Not by anything we could ever do. But by what he did.
When Jesus says “pick up your cross…”, this was a cultural reference or charge to simply “die to yourself…because of me and what I’m going to do,” (because of what he did) “leave all of the YOU behind, and focus on ME, have faith in ME, and I will DO what it takes to restore your relationship with the my father. (AND HE DID!)
Carry your cross…I think it means, “Love ME (Jesus) more than yourself, and through MY power and love, live for me…lose yourself, find me.”
"I don’t want you working harder as to boast in yourself…focus on me. I’ll give you rest. I’ll make you new. I’ll give you strength and power…I love you. I want you to be free…free to live an abundant life that honors and reflects the father."
The Greek word ‘in’ means: in, by, or with
If anyone is IN Christ, BY Christ, or WITH Christ, he is a new creation. Not by your power, but by HIS power and love. And our response to that should be to live for him, not by trying harder or carrying more, but by abiding in him and putting our faith in him.
2 Cor 5: 14,15 - For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Not DOING more, but truly having faith the he has DONE it all.
Our response to that kind of faith can only be total submission!
There is a story in the 8th chapter of the book of Luke that has my attention lately.
In this particular story, Jesus was heading to the house of a man named Jairus. Jairus was the ruler of the local synagogue and his daughter was deathly ill. He had come to Jesus begging for him to come to his house and heal his daughter.
As they made their way through town large crowds began to gather and press around Jesus. In the midst of the crowd was a woman who had been suffering for 12 years from a discharge of blood. Putting that into perspective in todays culture, this woman’s bleeding was equivalent to THREE U.S. presidential terms, or, an entire K-12 education.
Could you imagine bleeding from the time you cried when your parents left you in your first day of kindergarden until the day you graduated high school?
To make matters even worse, at this time and in this culture, if you were someone who was “bleeding” you were considered unclean and by LAW you were not allowed to have physical contact with another person.
WHAT? NO CONTACT with another person for 12 years.
The book of Mark also says that she had spent all she had seeking treatment from doctors and was actually growing worse!
So we have a physically, emotionally, financially, BROKE woman.
But her spirit was not broke.
In the midst of the crowd that was pressing around, the Gospels tell us, that she made her way to Jesus and with complete faith simply reached out for him, touching his garment, believing that if she did so she would be made well.
And she was. Immediately the bleeding was dried up and she felt in her body that she was healed.
Knowing that she could be chastised, even killed by law, this woman pushes through the crowd and reaches out for her Savior.
Jesus immediately knows what happens and turns to face her. She falls at his feet with fear and trembling and begins blabbing the whole story, no doubt thinking that she was about to be reprimanded in some way.
But Jesus simply looks at her and says, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace…”
How many of us out there today, can totally relate to this woman?
How many of us out there, desperately need the faith that this woman had?
Notice, there was a crowd pressing in upon Jesus. There were plenty of people crowded around him, just seeing what he was about, looking at him, talking about him, probably even praising him for some of the things they had heard he had done…
but this woman, who is at the end of her rope, throws all worldly caution to the wind in a simple moment of faith…and reaches for Jesus.
My prayer is that in this generation we would begin to see a people doing whatever it takes, going whatever distance necessary, and taking whatever risk out there…
…to simply reach out for Jesus, and not merely be another crowd surfer.