Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Resolutions

It's that time of year again. The time of year where everyone, including me, makes New Year's resolutions--some they stick to and some they don't. A few years ago, someone challenged me that while making resolutions, I should probably focus more on the ones that could really make an impact on my life. Yes, losing a few pounds is always good and makes me feel a lot better, but what are the resolutions that I can make that will benefit my soul.

So, in gearing up for your New Year's resolutions, I encourage you to ask yourself what God would have you work on over the next year:
  • Maybe you've never read the bible from cover to cover. Why not make it a goal to do this over the next year. There are many different plans to help you do this. One that I have found helpful is

  • Maybe there are some areas of your life that you are struggling to give over to God. Why not make it a goal to memorize 10 bible verses and pray for spiritual freedom on the area of struggle. (i.e. Unforgiveness- Matthew 5:44, Lust 5:27-28, etc...)

  • Maybe you desire to know the bible better. Why not make it a goal to memorize 52 random verses (1 per week) and do a focused study on one specific book of the bible?

  • Maybe your prayer life is struggling. Why not do a topical study from Scripture on prayer and commit to praying 5 & 5 (5 minutes / 5 days a week)? Of course you can pray longer, but start small and work up.
So, think about it. Pray over it. What would God have you do over the next year to benefit your soul. What changes need to take place in your life that will bring about more intimacy between you and your heavenly Father? What spiritual disciplines can you develop that will help you to foster an attitude of dependence on God for all things?

Blessings in the New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ellison Elizabeth Roberts Has Arrived

Just wanted to announce that at 3:01 pm this afternoon, Ellison Elizabeth Roberts was born at Palmetto Health Baptist hospital. She was 7 lbs, 12 oz and 20 inches long. The delivery went great and mother and baby are doing well. They are now resting. Thank you so much for all of your prayers.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Quick Updates

It's been nice being home in South Carolina visiting with family and friends.  Our first month has been rather busy.  Just thought I would give you a quick update to let you know what's been happening and what will be happening with the Roberts.

  • Baby #4 will be delivered at Baptist Hospital tomorrow, as we have a scheduled induction.  Kerri and I are interested to see how Maddie treats the new baby.  Her favorite toy is her baby doll.  So, we think we're going to have to keep an eye out to make sure she doesn't try to pick the new baby up.  Please continue to pray for mother and baby.
  • You might call us crazy, but we have also started the process for adopting when we return to Zambia.  We had our first home study last week and are trying to get a bunch of paperwork done so that we can be approved for adoption.  Please pray that all of the logistics and paperwork will go smoothly.
  • Since being back, we've got to spend time with some different friends.  A couple of weeks ago, we went down to Kiawah to run in the Kiawah Island marathon/half marathon with a group from our church.  It was a great weekend except for having to run such a long way.  It has been great getting to catch up with all of our friends.
  • The food has been great, but costly.  I've already gained 12 pounds and I'm not pregnant.  It wouldn't be that bad if I hadn't been running over that same period.
  • We've really enjoyed spending time with our parents.  We're staying with my parents, and Kerri's parents have been by often.  It has been such a blessing to see them again.
Thank you so much for continuing to pray for us.  We covet your prayers.

Monday, December 08, 2008

To be a Blessing

Genesis 12:1-3
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.  "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

Psalm 67
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, "Selah"  That your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

Why does God choose to bless us? And how should we express thankfulness for His blessings? Is it just by our words or is a heart of thanksgiving also dictated by our actions? These were just some of the questions I was pondering as I read some verses from Genesis12. Although this particular passage of Scripture was a promise from God to Abraham about the Messiah one day being born through his seed, God was also showing me that He blesses His children so that they can be a blessing to others.

As I thought about this, I then began to think about Psalm 67, where the Psalmist is asking the Lord to bless His people so that His ways would be known on the earth, His salvation among the nations. As I sat there and meditated on these two verses, I then began to think about how the Lord had blessed me. I have been blessed with a healthy and beautiful family, I have been blessed with a Godly and beautiful wife, I have been blessed with friends who love me, I have been blessed financially (compared to the rest of the world), and most importantly, I have received the spiritual blessings that can only be found in Christ (joy in the midst of trials, love in the midst of being wronged, hope in the life everlasting).

But why? Why does God choose to bless me? And why does He choose to bless me in so many ways? It's not because of anything that I've done. I'm a sinner. Apart from Christ, I have nothing to offer God. All of my works are useless chaff. And He doesn't bless me in certain ways because He loves me more than someone else. He loves everyone the same. So, why does He bless me? Why?

I believe that part of the answer lies in the above verses. He blesses me so that I can be a blessing. He blesses me so that His name may be great among all the peoples of the earth. He blesses me so that His salvation can be known by many. He blesses me so that I can be a blessing to others. He blesses me in the ways He has blessed me, both spiritually and physically, so that I can fulfill His purposes to those He wants me to reach. Too many times, I feel like I fail in this endeavor, but I press on knowing that His strength is perfected in my weakness and knowing that despite my flaws, He still wants to bless others through me.

What about you? How and why has God blessed you? How would He have you use these blessings to bless others?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

22nd or Bust!!!

Just wanted to give you a quick update on the pregnancy. Kerri had another scheduled checkup with the doctor yesterday. The baby is doing well. If she does not go into labor by the 22nd of December, she will be induced that morning. So in less than three weeks time we will be welcoming a new family member into the world. Please be in prayer for us during this time.