Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Not that anyone cares... in fact this might seem like “too little, too late” to the field of pundits, commentators, and reporters who have been talking and writing, seemingly non-stop about Tiger Woods and his many indiscretions over the past couple of weeks. Adding my two cents might be just more stuff that NOBODY WANTS TO READ about a story that is getting very old, very fast to the average, everyday person.
However, The nagging in my head and heart is this... how do we sift through all the sensationalism and 24-hour reporting to work toward a Biblical and Gospel-centered response to the whole situation.
I think there are three things I want to state before you read bits and pieces of this and get the wrong idea. (we are typically very bad with context in our culture)
1 - Tiger Woods made deliberate choices to have multiple illicit sexual relationships with women other than his wife... that is bad. Adultery against one’s spouse is, in Biblical light, is a sin. Plain and simple.
2 - As much as Tiger says that He was not being “true to his values”... i don’t believe that to be a true statement. I don’t think Tiger is intentionally mis-leading... but I would argue that everyone always acts in accordance with their values and is unable to act out-of-line with those values. (more on that in a moment)
3 - Either way, Tiger, like the rest of us, stands condemned under sin and in need of a Savior. I have been moved to pray for his realization of his need for a savior and that he would find salvation in Jesus. Because ultimately, full redemption is found only in Christ’s finished and complete work on the cross.
Point #1 - Sin is sin... but we know that... at least most of us are willing to take a stand on that and agree that there is a level of wrong-ness to Tiger’s actions. I’ll leave that for another post.
Point #2 is where I want to spend most of the rest of this post.
This whole thought began in my head after reading Tiger Woods’ first statement posted on his website...
“I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.”
He says, “I have not been true to my values...” and many of us read that and say “yeah... you should be better.”
To that I would say, “No, Tiger. You are being EXACTLY & wholeheartedly true to your values.”
I would argue that it is impossible for us to NOT act in accordance to our values. Our actions & behavior might not line up with our stated values but, let me say it this way... our actions ALWAYS line-up perfectly with what we TRUELY value... what we really believe deep in our hearts.
This does not excuse the wrong-ness of his actions... The Bible is clear about sin but, in reality, he is choosing his actions based on what is true in his heart... we all do it. We are unable to choose something and act in a way that is dissonant with our values.
We CONSISTENTLY act in contrast to our stated values. But we always act in accordance with what we really believe. One needs only to look at the the stories in the past 2-3 years of pastors & politicians who have committed adultery, admitted to drug-use, and lied to cover their tracks. Their public value statement is one of morality, and faithfulness but they really believed it was ok to do what they were doing. They were acting in a way consistent with their true values.
You see... the problem in all this isn’t the actions themselves. Again, this is not to minimize sin. I stand every day before the throne of God broken and needing repentance for the wickedness of my heart which leads to wicked action... but the action isn’t the main problem... it is a symptom of believing that something else is better, or more satisfying, or more saving, or more anything than Jesus.
If I say that I believe that God is omni-present... that He is always with me... that I am never alone... and yet I step into sin by choosing a dishonest business deal, or choosing to fill my eyes and mind with airbrushed images, or choosing to destroy myself with an overuse of chemicals or hurt myself with sharp objects says that although I SAY I believe that God is always present i do not really believe that is true. If I did I would chose behaviors and act in accordance with my values... what I believe.
So we come to this... I believe Tiger acted right in-line with what he truly believes. Which points to the issue that is greater than his transgressions... His need to have his heart transformed so that he might be able to believe and TRULY value what we all SAY that we value.
2 Chronicles 6:36
These verses remind us that none of us is free from this problem... we struggle under this weight without victory...
However, our hope to believe God comes in Christ. Only Christ brings transformation that changes our hearts. We can’t manufacture it. We put up morality police to deal with our heart issues. Oh yes, morality police and structures of “do and don’t” will point out our sin (and that isn’t bad to point out sin when it is seen) but it won’t deal with our issue... that we will always act in accordance with what we Truly Value and without Jesus we will always choose sin. We need a savior.
Matthew 19:26 - But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
I pray for Tiger Woods. That God would be merciful and grant his marriage restoration. They he would be repentant and seek true forgiveness from his wife and kids. I pray they his wife Elin would be soft in heart and find forgiveness in Jesus and, in Him, find forgiveness for her husband. And I am thankful for the wisdom to take a break from Golf to deal with his real life for a while... I pray He doesn’t try to fix the problem... but surrender to the creator who, from before time began, purposed to fix the problem and began the plan of redemption in the Son [Jesus], that we might be rescued from our false-belief and un-belief and, by the power of the Holy Spirit... see our terrible state and believe on Jesus.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
However there is a quote from the movie that struck me as particularly funny... And particularly accurate.
Please excuse the use of the word 'hell'... Although sometimes offensive, I find that, in this case it makes the line all the more funny when delivered.
I'd love to hear if you also see the truth in the statement...
"The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino." (Tom Hanks as Joe Fox in "You've Got Mail")
Monday, December 7, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
A great song that has served as a cup of fresh cool water to my soul.
It is from Sojourn Music. You can listen to a clip HERE!
The lyrics are fantastic!
In the Shadow of the Glorious Cross
Brooks Ritter and Rebecca Bales
In the shadow of the glorious cross
Compelled by grace to cast my lot
I’ll discard the loss and bare your name
Forsaking all for your own fame
Your hymn of grace sung over me
Abounding forth in glorious streams
My thirst is quenched by you my Lord
Sustained am I redeemed restored
Sustained am I redeemed restored
When death’s dark shadow’s at my feet
When I am plagued by unbelief
You place my hands into your side
By precious blood identified
By precious blood identified
These crowns I’ve clenched with fisted hands
I cast them down before the throne
Of Christ my God the worthy lamb
Christ crucified, the Great I AM
Christ crucified, the Great I AM
Christ crucified, the Great I AM
Download that Chord Chart HERE
Check out Sojourn Music on www.sojournmusic.com
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
The Supremacy of God's Son
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
The Holy Spirit has been bringing some conviction to me recently as I consider how I can in one breath both give thanks for the saving work of Christ Jesus and then add to Christ’s work one hundred other things on which hinges my own, or someone else’s Salvation. Now... I KNOW that Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone in Christ alone... but I see in myself a trend that is pervasive in those all around me... How quickly we are to move PAST the Gospel that Jesus Christ saves sinners. We keep it in our back pocket like a Trump Card for heaven but strip it of its power to continually transform those who by it [The Gospel] are gripped! In reality I am learning afresh that it is the GOSPEL that SAVES us but also is PRIMARILY at work in our Sanctification!
In Romans 1:15 - The Apostle Paul says that he is, “Eager to preach the gospel to you too who are in Rome.” Paul is writing to those “in the church” so that they might be sanctified and continually challenged and transformed BY the Gospel.
Are there deep, head-hurting, heart-wrenching, Biblical Doctrines to wrestle with and seek to understand as we mature and grow in Christ? Absolutely. However, we don’t move PAST the Gospel to get to them. We only mature in character and understanding THROUGH the continued application of the Gospel!
“We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else." - John Calvin
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This is from Paul Tripp... very good!
Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You (New Growth Press, 2007), pp. 161-62
Forgiveness and the Big Kingdom
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you get it right.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you step out of your little kingdom and into His.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you say that the Bible’s description of you and everyone around you is accurate.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you declare that your life does not belong to you, but has been created for the purpose of the Author.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you say that selfishness is your biggest sin and that grace is your only hope.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you are reminding yourself who you are and what you truly need.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you refuse to be comfortable with your rebellion.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you recognize that the biggest problems you face in life exist inside of you, not outside of you.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you are praying that God’s kingdom would come and his will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you make the kingdom of God visible for others to see.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you are worshiping the King of forgiveness and encouraging others to do the same.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, your sight is accurate, your head is clear, and your heart is in the right place.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you cry out for an eternity when forgiveness has finished its work once and for all.
- Every time you ask for forgiveness, you tell yourself that for all the good you have experienced in God’s kingdom, there is still more that is needed and more to come.
A lifestyle of forgiveness expands everything you are touching to the size of God’s kingdom.
Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You (New Growth Press, 2007), pp. 161-62
Monday, October 19, 2009
I don't want global conflict and war to tear apart whole regions, countries, cities, and families...
I don't want growing unemployment and hardship for hardworking men and women who want nothing more than to provide an honest living, put food on the table and a roof over their families heads...
So I am happy for things like doctors, and researchers, and vaccines...
And I am happy for diplomatic & military strategy and innovation...
and I am happy for entrepreneurial thinking and compassion to help motivate and motivate others to greater opportunity and productivity...
But I must be careful that my trust is ultimately not in those things. But instead, I must Trust in the one who skillfully crafted man to learn and think, create and work, by HIS design.. so we have the benefits of medicine, and innovation, of creativity and a strong work ethic... that come FROM Him... and work to His Glory.
"God is not displeased with the strength of a horse and the legs of a man as good things that He has made. He is displeased with those who hope in their horses and in their legs. He is displeased with the people who put their hope, for example, in missiles or in make-up, in tanks or tanning parlors, in bombs or body-building. God takes no pleasure in corporate efficiency or balanced budgets or welfare systems or new vaccines or education or eloquence or artistic excellence or legal processes, when these things are the treasure in which we hope, or the achievement in which we boast. Why? Because when we put our hope in horses and legs, then the horses and legs get the glory, not God"
~JohnPiper, The Pleasures of God , 208).
Monday, October 12, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Our desire and measure of success is that we are being shaped by the Gospel and proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed to those around us in need of Jesus. If we can find ways to challenge, assess and encourage the people of River City Church to THAT end… then we will have been faithful to God’s calling and Christ’s mission make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus… 2 Timothy 2:2.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I've been a little overwhelmed with all on my plate with this Church Plant... good stuff... just a LOT of stuff.
However, there is a small leadership team that has been doing a lot of work on River City and one of the resources we have been using is a book called "Total Church." We have found it to be most-helpful in helping us unpack the patterns in the New Testament of the advancement of the Church and how the basic principles can/should be applied today in a church-planting context.
So you can understand a little bit as to where my brain is... here is an excerpt:
"... two key principles should shape the way we "do church": gospel and community. Christians are called to a dual fidelity: fidelity to the core content of the gospel and fidelity to the primary context of a believing community. Whether we are thinking about evangelism, social involvement, pastoral care, apologetics, discipleship, or teaching, the content is consistently the Christian gospel, and the context is consistently the Christian community. What we do is always defined by the gospel, and the context is always our belonging in the church. Our identity as Christians is defined by the gospel and the community.
Being gospel-centered actually involves two things. First, it means being word-centered because the gospel is a word-the gospel is news, a message. Second, it means being mission-centered because the gospel is a word to be proclaimed-the gospel is good news, a missionary message.
So maybe we really have three principles. Christian practice must be (1) gospel-centered in the sense of being word-centered, (2) gospel-centered in the sense of being mission-centered, and (3) community-centered."
("Total Church" Chester & Timmis, pp. 15-16)
Soli Deo Gloria,
Monday, August 3, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Below is a letter that was sent yesterday to a number of people of which I have had the privilege of ministering with and to over the past seven years. The Lord has opened up an opportunity for our family to step out in faith in a new work. We will remain here in Fargo and we will be working with a team to plant a church here in the central part of town. Please feel free to contact us with questions after reading this post.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Friends of Bethel Church,
The Lord’s direction is clear, so Amy and I are taking a "leap of faith." We will be partnering with Brett Moser and his family to plant River City Church in the downtown area of Fargo beginning in September 2009. God has given us a heart for this city and although we will be stepping away from Bethel, we will remain engaged in ministry in Fargo.
I write these words with both grief and joy; grief for one reason and joy for two reasons. The grief comes because we have 7 years of ministry here in this place with students and young adults, and that has been no small thing. I came on staff as an intern with little experience. Over the past 7 years, I have been mentored and equipped for the ministry of the Gospel. We have seen many college students come though these doors and many of them equipped and sent back out to workplaces, churches, and mission fields half-way around the world! These are things we celebrate and hold dear. The relationships built, the time spent laughing and crying, all the intangible things… I cannot express enough my thankfulness to the Lord and to Bethel for my time here.
In the midst of grieving a change from Bethel College Director to "church planter," I find myself consumed with joy! We are excited for this new church and the people who will come to know Jesus in downtown Fargo! The challenge of the young/urban culture that is freely drifting and in need of Jesus is part of what inspires us to birth a fresh planting of the Gospel in that part of our city. We have a deep assurance that God has confirmed this direction for our family and cannot wait to see how He will work in our lives and the downtown community.
The second reason I write with great joy is that God is at work in shaping the ways in which Bethel will be able to more effectively make disciples among college students and serve as a mission outpost among the 25,000 college students in Fargo/Moorhead. We’ve laid some fantastic groundwork and I’m excited to see how Bethel will be impacting college students for years to come!
Amy and I celebrate that the partnership with Bethel in the mission of making disciples remains strong. I hear clearly from Bethel leaders and continue to feel the support from this body in commissioning and sending us out so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be heard and the Kingdom of God will expand for the sake of our city and for God’s glory.
It has been a joy serving in your midst and we look forward to serving along side of Bethel Church here in Fargo as part of River City Church.
Thank you for all your love and support!
In His Grip,
Jake & Amy Peterson
Monday, July 13, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
This one is a real challenge... enjoy the kick in the pants!
Suffering does not just belong to you
This really affirms much of my own thinking on the current state of corporate worship in Evangelical America and is a good challenge to consider or re-consider (as the case may be) the intentions of our hearts as those who gather together to worship... the Church.
The Post is HERE
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
"One of the greatest errors to be dreaded and watched and prayed against is that of excessive caution, under the guise of prudence, in anxiety to avoid giving offense to worldly people who never can be reconciled, by all you can do, to anything in the shape of a revival of religion."
William C. Burns (1815-1868), Scottish minister, missionary to China, writing in The Revival of Religion, page 350.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
~From "Total Church" by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
Monday, May 11, 2009
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…”
Ok… before some of you start singing The Byrds… (To everything... turn turn turn...)
For some time the winds of change have been blowing around the area of ministry where I serve here at Bethel Church here in Fargo. What has been 11 years of solid and Spirit-led ministry in Sunday nights to College Students and Young Adults has come to an end. Now, we usually have some kind of ending at the conclusion of the Academic Calendar however this time is different… this time it has ended and will never be the same.
I have been thinking about HOW to think about and celebrate with others the things that God has done and at the same time communicate the sincere Joy in my heart about the future? This has led me to Solomon and his wisdom from Ecclesiastes.
This post explains in a little more depth my heart and mind as it relates to my current ministry situation and perhaps can be helpful as you consider your own personal ministry and listening closely for the voice of the Shepherd directing His sheep.
The change in PRISM has been over a year in the works. To be honest, I (along with others) feel that, in many ways, PRISM has “run its course.” That is often a tag attached to something that has failed or is failing and that is unfortunate. There was a marathon here in Fargo this past weekend. The runners had a course… and a finish line. We celebrate and cheer them on as they race… where? To the end of the course! If the runner had “run his course” we would never deem him a failure. NO! We would lift him on our shoulders or pat him on the back and say, “Well Done!” and perhaps gather some friends to celebrate.
The hard part with something like PRSIM is that we don’t view it as a race… we view it as an expectation… an institution or structure that we build and when we are done it stands forever and I am learning in ministry… that is the real unfortunate part.
In reality there is one name and one institution that will remain when all else passes away... ONLY the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and HIS eternal Kingdom will last through the fire and come out on the other side glorious and everlasting!
(Psalm 45; Psalm 135; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 11:15)
We are seeing a great need to re-focus our task in ministering to College Students and fulfilling the responsibilities that Paul outlines in Ephesians 4… to “Equip the saints for the work of the ministry…” (Eph. 4:12).
We recognize that although a large group gathering can be inspiring and powerful doesn’t have the same traction to dig into the Word and into real life-on-life discipleship as do smaller groups and time really teaching and wrestling with the Word of God so that we are forced to do something with the text and surrender to the Holy Spirit to bury it deep in our hearts and lives.
Because names (like PRISM) are temporary and HIS Kingdom is eternal we are able to “turn the page” as it were, in ministry structure to more effectively call a generation to Christ and equip them with the Word of God to know how to wield THAT sword with conviction and authority.
We, as a local church, have been given the mandate to equip the saints. The leadership here at Bethel has placed in my hands the sub-group of College students. I want to see this local church thrive in making disciples among college students. So we stand on the shoulders of all that has come before us in looking to the future… an army of men and women dressed in the Armor of God, rightly handling the Word of God advancing a Kingdom that will never end!
Suiting up with you,
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Politics aside, I thought this was a very helpful (and enjoyable) visual example of our current Federal Spending Budget and the Administrations Desire to cut some $$ from our spending.
Monday, April 13, 2009
- 1 Corinthians 1:9
Wow... it is hard to know where to start...
First, sorry for the delay of this note. It seems like our return from Puebla was a whirlwind of activity and in all reality... it was. When we landed in Fargo, the Red River was on its way to a record crest level and we went right to work filling and placing sandbags to stave off the rising waters.
On the flood front we seem to have pass through the waters relatively unscathed! Praise the Lord! There is some damage and home loss in our region but not nearly what it COULD have been. For that we are grateful. I know many have been asking about the flooding so THANK YOU for your prayers!
ok... ON TO MEXICO!
As many of you know this was my 6th time to Puebla Mexico and the 4th time I have been able to participate in an English Camp. Some of the highlights:
- We had a number of students in our classes who participated in our camp LAST year so the relationships continued to be built. (Pray for Chucho, Maximo, & Sami)
- We has the privilege of seeing the 800th person come through one of the English Camps. 800 different individuals have participated in one of the 12 English Camps so far. Pray that many would continue to be curious about the Scriptures seek to learn more!
- We had a class of 8-10 women that met in the morning and 6 of them expressed interest in being a part of a Bible Study with some of the Missionaries and Mexican believers in the coming weeks. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open their hearts to a relationship with Christ!
- We were an encouragement (we hope) to the Mission team on the field and were able to see fruit of past teams' work with over 40 people in the house fellowship in Los Heroes! Pray they would multiply to reach others in their neighborhood for the sake of Christ Jesus!
- The missions team is still in transition. Some families reaching the 2-year anniversary of being on the field. Pray for strength for their families. Pray for clarity as the Lord continues to lead and guide. Pray for continued opportunities to live and share their faith in Christ Jesus with their neighbors around them.
- Pray for Neil and Cheryl Prentice as they give leadership to the team of Americans in Los Heroes. For wisdom, humility, and courage.
- Pray for the house fellowship (house church) that they would continue to seek the face of God to reach their neighborhood. Pray they would clearly hear how to multiply well so that others will hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ loud and clear in Los Heroes!
First, thanks for your prayer for Amy, Nat, & Ben while I was away. They had some good family time and some good friends from church even helped out on a couple of things (Thanks Mark!) so thanks for your prayers for my family as well.
I have two things:
- Pray that I would not slide into "been there, done that" attitude as I return to "normal" here at home. I had some refreshing and clarifying time in the Word and journaled about some of those things. I want to continue that deep time and I see how quickly I give that up for "urgent" things. I want to adjust to a new "normal" and I want to continue to be shaped by the things the Spirit of God was speaking to me while I was in Mexico.
- Pray that I might be an encouragement to a young man in Los Heroes named Lalo. This young man is a great guy and is striving to know and follow hard after Christ. I don't know what that looks like from Fargo to Puebla but with facebook and a number of other things I want to encourage and challenge this brother of mine and so would you pray for him and his family and for ways in which I might be able to stay more connected to him!
Soli Deo Gloria,
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
but to hold you over until then... I will leave you with this "kick you in the butt" rebuke of men who aren't being the men they should be.
Enjoy the butt-kicking guys! I am still sore!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Bible Study Magazine and Mars Hill are giving away 20 copies of Mark Driscoll’s new book, Vintage Church. Not only that, but they are also giving away five subscriptions to Bible Study Magazine and a copy of their Bible Study Library software! Enter to win on the Bible Study Magazine Mark Driscoll page, then take a look at all the cool tools they have to take your Bible study to the next level!
Monday, February 23, 2009
This blog post from Abraham Piper over at TwentyTwoWords on being busy (or "un-busy") which was timely for me as I continue to work to strike a balance between ministry, husband, father, etc... That one is HERE.
And the other is from a website called Wordle where you put in words and it makes a cool picture... this is from The Gospel of John chapter 1.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
His is a micro-blog in that he keeps (as often as possible)posts to only 22 words. The sub-title is "experiments in getting to the point"... which is good for me who often meanders around an idea for an inane amount of time...
Anywhoo... sometimes he (and his wife Molly -- who also has a blog) have fun giveaways and such.
You can check out the most current one here at TwentyTwoWords.
Perhaps I should consider giving something away if people subscribe to my blog... hmmm...
Thursday, February 5, 2009
In all these things, in good or bad, frustration or joy, I have been anchored in one thing... Jesus Christ, in His mercy and because of His death, saved my soul.
I have no other anchor on which to hold.
As I was preparing my thoughts for this belated post I loaded up my blog reader and right at the top was a posting from a blog I frequent called Between Two Worlds from a guy I greatly respect named Justin Taylor. His post was PERFECT for my thoughts today and so in good Ecclesiastes 1:9 fashion I post this puritan prayer taken from Valley of Vision).
May this be what I preach to myself every day!
"Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal light.
My Savior wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorned crown that I might have a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might uplift mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,
expired that I might for ever live."
A Puritan Prayer~Valley of Vision
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
It’s been an eventful year in the Peterson house.
Here are a few highlights:
Sweet baby Benjamin Jacob was born on September 15th. Weighing in at 7lbs 10oz, he was one and half pounds lighter than his sister at birth, which made delivery a breeze! We are just starting to catch glimpses of his personality as he smiles and laughs at us. He found his voice
early, and loves to serenade us on a regular basis. We are so grateful that God has blessed us with another baby to love, and we are excited to watch him grow up.
Natalie turned two in August and has the personality to match. There is never a dull, or quiet, moment when she is around. She has become quite the little mother, imitating me as I care for Ben. It is amazing to watch her imagination work. Recently she has been narrating conversations between her toys, or sippy cups, or anything that she can hold onto. Her bright smile and contagious belly laugh light up our home.
Jake and I had a great year. We found out we were pregnant in January (with Ben); Jake made his fifth trip to Puebla, Mexico in March; in July we hosted both our families in our home, and recovered from their visits by heading to a cabin for a relaxing, kid-free vacation with some dear friends; and in August we celebrated our sixth anniversary. Now our energy is focused on figuring out how to be the parents of two children—I think we’re up to the challenge.
We are excited about the opportunities to be ministers of the Gospel of Christ as a family in 2009. There are some great things happening with Jake’s ministry with College Students at Bethel Church. He is currently preparing to bring another team to Mexico in March.
As we stand here at the end of another year, we can’t help but marvel of God’s unrelenting goodness in our lives. And the greatest goodness He has shown mankind is sending His son Jesus to save the world. It is our prayer that you will experience God’s presence in the person of Jesus Christ in your life this coming year.
Jake, Amy, Natalie, and Ben Peterson