Category Archives: Family

A whole new world

Sooo… I don’t know if there is a better picture to currently depict my new state of fatherhood than this one.  I’ve officially received my license to carry a concealed baby as you try to keep cool sipping on a Capri Sun, hanging out by random brick walls.  Does life get any better than this?!  Ok, but real talk.  How did I get to this place over the last 9 weeks?  No idea.  But here I am, baby carrier and all.

In many cases, it’s been a whirlwind.  What a trip.  It’s been such a joy and yes, a sanctifying experience to say the least, up to this point.  I only anticipate that it gets better and more sanctifying in the days ahead.  One of the things I was looking forward to was seeing  how God revealed different facets of the Gospel for me through parenthood.  I received a good dose of this last Friday.

We took Bailey in for her 2 month check-up.  We knew this was not going to be a fun visit because it was going to be the first round of her vaccinations.  But apparently they didn’t tell Bailey that because she was in the best mood.  Little did she know what awaited her in the following minutes.  The doctor walks in and we do a little chit chat before he asks, “I’m going to need one of you to hold her arms down so she doesn’t nudge me or anything.”  Without thinking, I step in as the DAD and say “I will.”  As soon as I grab hold of her arms to hold them down on the examination table, it occurs to me… “this is going to suck.”

We heard a new cry that day.  A cry we hadn’t heard before.  A cry that broke my heart.  As the doctor gave her the first shot, her arms went limp.  No need to hold them down because she wasn’t restraining.  This was the first time she had felt real pain in her first 2 months of life.  Almost immediately, my mind went to the Gospel and I began to tear up.  The window I was peering through to the Gospel got a little bigger in that moment.  I had also felt a pain that was unfamiliar to me as well; the pain a parent feels watching their child suffer.

I understand the Gospel more clearly today than I did last Thursday.  God loves us greatly.  That love costs the life of His Son, Jesus.  That is the greatest love man will ever know.  I am now more grateful for the God’s love than I ever have been.  Thank you Father for the love you have for Your Son, Jesus, and for me.

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Discipleship begins at home

(This is a pic of me holding my daughter in the hospital)

My world was rocked in the summer of 2001.  I was headed into my senior year of high school and a lot of youth ministries from various local churches partnered together and put on a conference down at Panama City Beach, FL.  They were bringing in some killer speakers.  Hundreds of youth from our city.  Beautiful beaches.  It was just a recipe for a great experience.  Then things took a unexpected turn.  One of the speakers that was brought in was Voddie Baucham.  He was a rather large black man with a larger than life presence.  Little did I, as well as EVERYONE ELSE, know that the message Voddie was about to bring was about to significantly change the outlook of this little youth ministry beach trip.

Voddie, as he claimed during his sermon, is a youth ministry abolitionist.  That means he seeks to abolish or do away with youth ministry or atleast as we know it.  This came out pretty quickly as he began his sermon.  Haha.  You can just imagine what that scene looked like when those words dropped in a room of youth pastors, parents, volunteers, and a bunch of dumb-founded confused high schoolers who just heard that the youth pastors they so endeared should be out of the job.  What a blunder?!  I wonder who was in charge of bringing him in to speak?  There I was, a 17 year old kid who felt called into ministry and specifically youth ministry, with the wind knocked out of me.

As soon as Voddie finished his sermon, he was quickly approached about having a Q&A when the night finished up with anyone interested, which were a lot of people .  I somehow made my way into the room filled with a bunch of confused and angered youth pastors.  I remember leaving that trip thinking that Voddie was nuts.  He didn’t know what he was thinking, and at the same time thinking… “maybe he’s right?”

He preached on Deuteronomy 6:5-7You shall love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

10 years later, I couldn’t agree with Voddie more.  It’s not so much what Voddie was against as much as it was what Voddie was pleading for.  Fathers, take responsibility in discipling your children.  You should be the main discipler in your children’s life. Our kids should know what it looks like to love and pursue God by spending time with us.  He was simply saying that we’ve turned student ministries into day-care for youth. The extent of some parents’  role in their children’s faith is simply dropping their kids off and picking them up from a youth gathering or cutting a check for them to go to the church camp that they hope fixes their kids’ disruptive behavior.  Youth ministries should be supplemental to what the children are receiving at home.  What we need is an awakening amongst parents to actively be involved in the life of their children, especially when it comes to their faith.

That is the most important responsibility and honor God has given to us as parents.  May we be used by God in His saving work in the lives of our children.


The Final Countdown

I mean… come on.  Look at that foot.  I don’t care how much you detest feet.   Baby feet are one of the cutest things in the world.  My wife, Kristen, is 39 weeks pregnant today.  What does that really mean?  It means she’s very uncomfortable right now.  She’s having trouble sleeping.  She gets leg cramps in the middle of the night.  Her hands and feet are swollen.  It means that she is really close to giving birth to our daughter, Bailey Grace Osborne.  Now that’s pretty darn exciting!

My wife is such a trooper.  She has been a beautiful pregnant bride thus far.  I’ve enjoyed watching God grow her through the process of becoming a mother.  She really has the gift of joy.  She rarely complains unless she really needs help.  She’s definitely a “glass is half full” sort of girl.  I can’t wait to watch the interaction between the two most important girls (mom, don’t worry… you’re third) in my life in the days to come.

I’ve wanted to be a dad for years now.  I’ve always loved little babies even since I was a wee little boy.  And as God continues to grow me as His son, He grows my desire to be a father.  In recent years, I’ve really looked forward to wrapping my mind around the gospel from a different perspective.  Up to this point, I feel like I’ve only been able to comprehend one point of view of the gospel.  I understand more and more each day what it means to be loved as a son and still, I have trouble with that sometimes.   But, I’m eager to get the other side… the love of a Father for his children.  I know having children will drastically rock my world in light of the gospel.  I can’t wait.

I can’t wait to hold my daughter.  I can’t wait to watch Kristen be an incredible mom.  I can’t wait to understand God’s love for me more intimately.  My daughter will press me into Jesus even more.  Thank you, BGO.


Never be the same

 

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,The fruit of the womb is a reward. – Psalm 127:3

My wife is 34 weeks pregnant today.  This means that, God willing, in 6 weeks our lives will be forever changed with the arrival of our first child.  My wife is such a trooper.  She’s a beautiful bride and a loving mom-to-be.   We’ve been married two and a half years and they’ve been the best two and a half years of my life to date.  Come January, our lives together as a married couple will be very different, in a very good way.

It’s surreal to think that God will allow us to be parents.  It’s surreal that we will be responsible for loving, raising, feeding, teaching, protecting, disciplining, and caring for a baby.  Man, I can hardly get all the food in my mouth at meals let alone a baby that will be dependent on me to feed her.  I have a hard enough time as it is doing all those things for myself.  Haha, it’s comical at times.  Yet, I’m not nervous.  I think that’s the number one question that’s asked of soon to be parents… “Are you nervous?” as they say that nervously.  I’m not nervous because I know I will have to lean on God even more so than I ever had and He’s more than capable of making sure things get taken care of.

My aim as a husband and dad will be to love my family like God loves His.  But first, in order to love others that way, I must first understand that way God loves me.

We love because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. – Psalm 36:5

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever. – Psalm 136:26

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Ephesians 5:2

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,and chastises every son whom he receives. – Hebrews 12:6

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. – Titus 3:4-5

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – 1 John 4:9-10

I want to love my family without conditions.  To bathe them in grace and mercy.  To love them by sacrificing for them.  To love them by pointing them to Jesus in all things.  To love them by giving myself for them.  To love them no matter what.  My aim is to love them the way God loves me.  My life will never be the same because God loves me.


The Family of God

Here’s a great clip of Pastor Mark Driscoll preaching on the family of God.  This was very encouraging for me.  I hope and pray it is for you as well.


Consuming Fire

Hebrews 12:28-29 – Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

I turn 26 today.  I’m over a quarter century young.  I have many many things to be thankful for today.  I am married to my best friend whom I love more and more each day.  We have a baby on the way, which I couldn’t be more excited about.  Praying for a boy!  I have two sets of loving families that are incredible.  I have a dog that has a police baton for a tail, who is always happy to see me when I come home no matter how much trouble he’s gotten into while I’ve been away at work.  I belong to an incredible church which is a big extension of my family.  I have friends that would take a bullet for me, right after giving me the shirt off their back.  A roof over my head, a job, food on the table.  Life is good.

But life is great because I have a King who is worthy of praise.  He has brought me into an unshakable kingdom.  He is the only one worthy of praise.  He is more beautiful than the most majestic piece of scenery in the universe.  He is a consuming fire.  God is the biggest blessing in my life.  I understand that this seems strange to some people.  How could I consider God to be a greater blessing than my wife, kids, job, family, friends, etc?  He IS that good.  Those things are gifts, but God is the giver.  It’s because God is the giver, that I understand how great my wife is.  I wouldn’t look at those gifts in my life the same way if they were given to me by Hitler.  The goodness of gifts are dependent on the goodness of the giver.

God is a consuming fire.  Once your gaze is fixed on Him, you won’t want to fix your affections on anything else.  The only appropriate response is to worship, with reverence and awe. He is the greatest gift I will ever know.


Discipling your Family

As a husband and soon to be dad, I find myself considering more and more what it looks like to disciple my family.  There are numerous ways to shepherd your family and I don’t believe it should be limited to any one way in particular, but I do feel strongly about one aspect specifically.  Prayer.  I believe that praying with your family might have the most impact on the way you disciple your wife and kids.

We are commanded to first and foremost love God.  Secondly, we are commanded to love others as ourselves (Matt. 22:36-40).  All other commands fall under these two.  My responsibility as a husband and dad is to love my family.  The most loving thing I can do for my family is point them to Jesus in everything I do.  So discipleship for me means pointing people to Jesus in the way I work, play, talk, invest my time and resources, etc. and at the same time inviting them to join me on this journey.  Discipleship doesn’t always translate into walking through a book with someone, but it can.  Discipleship doesn’t always equal memorizing scripture together, but it can.  Discipleship ultimately means to invite someone to walk with you as you walk with Jesus.

Back to prayer.  I think that praying with others, at least in my experience, has so much impact on our lives.  What is more intimate then inviting someone to join you as you approach the throne of our heavenly Father?  It is a time of confession and encouragement.  It is a time to love God and praise Him.  It’s a time to pray for the lost.  It’s a time to ask for wisdom.  It’s a time to ask God to increase our faith.  It’s the time you seek after God in the most intimate setting that exist.  Spending that time with your wife and kids is precious.  They hear your heart for God and your passion for His kingdom.  You also get to hear their heart as they speak to our Father.  It’s not enough to pray for your family.  You must pray WITH your family.  Do both.  It will bless you as much as it will bless them.  There’s not much in this life that comes close to the time I spend praying with my wife.  Many times, it brings us both to tears.  Many times, it helps renew our marriage.  It always helps keep our marriage centered on Jesus.

Spending time praying to God is something we should seek more and more.  It’s a huge part in our journey after God.  Invite others to join you in that.