Three years ago today, Erin and I were heading to Richmond, KY to the hospital. Unlike when our daughter came things this time were scheduled out to the minute and we knew that in a few short hours we would be meeting our son. We checked into the hospital at 9:30 am and by 1 pm our little boy had arrived. Judah Andrew Owens was a healthy little boy weighing over 9 lbs with a full head of dark hair.
Three years later Judah still has a full head of hear only a little more blonde and a whole lot more curly. He is truly one of the sweetest kids you could ever meet. He loves his elephants, Winnie the Pooh, Baymax, and telling everyone how much he likes to “move it, move it!” While he definitely get’s his looks from my wife’s side of the family there are definitely sure signs that he is my boy. He can be stubborn, sleep through anything, loves his popcorn and pizza, and unfortunately for him has my big head that doesn’t always want to go through the neck hole of his shirts!
Perhaps the biggest thing that has happened this past year is the improvement in his speech. Judah has not progressed as fast in his speech as his sister did or a lot of the other kids near his age, but he is finally starting to slowly put together his sentences. The best sentence of all though, was a few weeks ago when I was putting him to bed and he said “Love you Dad.”
God has blessed me with an adorable, sweet, funny, cuddly, full of energy little boy. I can’t wait to see how he is going to grow and change in year 3!
Last night our family had the opportunity to go see Disney on Ice. We had a whole group of us as my wife and kids went, my mother-in-law, my parents, and my sister and one of her friends went with us. A host of Disney characters were there skating for us to enjoy from all sorts of Disney movies. Of course the classics of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy. My kids were jumping for joy and dancing as soon as their favorites skated out. Maeven went nuts for Arielle and Judah loved Mickey. I’ll admit I myself enjoyed the show as well as the other adults, but the main reason we were there and the main reason we had such a good time was being able to see the joy in my kids as their faces continually lit up with excitement throughout the entire night. As their faces lit up, I couldn’t help but smile as I really notices the joy that grandparents were getting from the kids. I know those of you who read this blog probably get tired of me talking about how blessed I am by the family God has given me, but it’s true. And nothing blesses me more than seeing all of us gathered together and true joy on display!
For a while it seemed like the winter of 2015 wasn’t going to be that bad. We made it through January relatively unscathed. However, in February all the snow and ice hit us with a vengeance and lasted into the first week of March. Finally though, this week things have warmed up and we are getting back to a regular schedule of sorts. With that return to good weather and normalcy also comes a return to our high school and middle school FCA Huddles.
With all the bad weather I have either not been able to get to either of the schools or one and not the other each week. Finally this week I was able to return to both schools and have our weekly FCA Huddles. With the layoff of not being there to share with the students, one of my concerns is always their relationship with Christ. Many of our students either aren’t involved in a church regularly or at all. Some I honestly worry about what and if they are being taught truth as well. So this week I concentrated on challenging the students about where they are in their walk with Christ. Are they daily growing closer to Him in a way that is visible to others, are they stagnant, are the regressing, or are they apathetic. It was exciting to be able to once again spend time with the students and see them interact very well with the devotions I shared.
Please keep praying for our students that they will grow and seek to allow Christ to be first in their lives! Also pray for myself and our teacher sponsors that we will be able to effectively communicate Christ’s love to our students!
This week for Photo Friday I chose a picture of me and my beautiful daughter Maeven having fun together. She loves when we get out my computer and enjoy the photo booth app with some funny faces. Love my snow days hanging out with this crazy little girl!
Today’s post comes out of a lot of thoughts I have been feeling since a Sunday School Lesson at church this past weekend. Our lesson was on slothfulness and our discussion led us to talking about how in Christ we are new creatures and that He calls us to be be different. As we discussed and processed the lesson together and then later on this week as I have thought about it a little more I couldn’t help but think of people I have known whether as friends, acquaintances, or just randomly met in ministry who have struggled with becoming the new creature that God wants them to be
2 Corinithians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV) When we accept Christ as our savior and truly make Him Lord and King of our lives, He calls us to be a new creation. He makes us something new, different, and better than the old sinful person that we were born as. He no longer looks at our past, He doesn’t hold it against us, He changes us into what we can be with His guidance and love in our lives. Unfortunatley, I know of several people who struggle with this. When talking to people in the past one thing that I have often heard is “Well, that’s just who I am!” People use who they were before Christ as a reason of why they fall back into sin and why they can’t be this new creature that Christ has called them to be.
Yes, “Just who I am,” is true if Christ is not present in our lives. However, with Christ in our lives we are called to and are able to be more than “just who we are.” We are able to be better than we can possibly imagine and we are able to have a huge impact on the world around us for Christ. He doesn’t just give us fire insurance so that we can escape eternity in hell and say just be who you are as if nothing has changed. Christ makes us a new creation, He makes us new, He makes us better, He makes us bolder, and He doesn’t stop working in our lives and causing us to grow as followers. Sanctification continues our whole life as we daily grow closer go God and become more than who we were in His power.
So, maybe your past is pulling at you and you are using it as an excuse to not grow in Christ and not be the new creation that He has called you to be. To you I say, stop it! Realize you have the power of the one and only Almighty God who wants to do great things in and through you. He doesn’t look at your past and say you are who you are and he can’t use you. He says, there is someone that I can do great things with. So please be the New Creation that God wants you to be!