Monday, March 28, 2011

Sophie at 8 & 9 months

Felt the need to share the cuteness:

Notice the curls on top

Another owl face!

With her cute polka dot tights

Sophie & Daddy

Mommy-Daughter shot!

Fun with Daddy

Picnic at the park

Who says girls can't play in the dirt?

Would have been a cute photo, except for my Michael Jackson hair.
Thanks B for calling me on it!

Bathtime curls

Plastic spoons make perfect bath toys!

Chase likes to help while standing on the stepstool

We are enjoying our sweet girl! These days she has 4 teeth, eats more solids, waves, gives high fives and is super fast! She's still fascinated with her tongue and makes lots of silly expressions and noises. She recently (finally!) got some chub on her (well, besides her plump cheeks) and her hair is starting to get curly. (I knew it was only a matter of time!) It's the same golden brown color as Chase's and everywhere I take them, people comment on how much they look alike!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Grace of Confession

I recently read John Piper's blog in which Paul Tripp talks about how confession is misunderstood. We often see it as a burden rather than a grace. But truly, confession is our active ability to plunge ourselves into His mercy and receive forgiveness. I have delved into many a "Christian" book that sways too heavily towards the "be like this Christian" or "model your life after this person and your life/marriage/ will be extraordinary". There is so much emphasis on "be like so and so..." But all of of these books skirt the issue that we cannot change without confession and that our aim is to be like Christ! "Change is all about measuring yourself against a standard, being dissatisfied with where you are because you see that you have fallen short of the standard, and seeking the grace to close the gap from where you are to where you need to be." (Tripp)

It's seems so obvious who we are are NOT to be like. Right? We so often can point a finger at the Pharisees who "just didn't get Jesus" or even the despicable Judas who betrays Jesus! But what was the difference between Peter (a beloved disciple of Jesus) and Judas "the betrayer"? They both grieved their denials of Jesus. Both wept. Judas even showed remorse. The Bible does not come out and say Judas was condemned and Peter was saved. At least not explicitly. But it does point to what real repentance looks like. Not just an appearance of repentance, but REAL repentance. This doesn't include feeling sorry for yourself (guilty me!) or wallowing in self-pity. Or better yet, stewing in angry self-justification. True repentance involves a heart change; a desire to turn away from our sin, and admit our folly, and ask forgiveness from the only One who can give it. The verse about godly sorrow versus worldly sorrow keeps coming to mind: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." (2 Corinthians 7:10) How can we possibly repent without confession? And yet this is so hard, so countercultural, so humbling!!

I think too often, we glorify humans as our models rather than seeing that even the greatest saints stumbled over their own sin. There are passages that tell us to be strong like Sarah or have faith like Abraham. But as I leafed through the Bible today, I just kept finding passages that evidenced the fallenness of even the most godly of saints. No human is without sin. Not Sarah (wife of Abraham), Noah, not Mary Mother of Jesus, not even the apostle Paul who we so often emulate to the point of making him our idol. The reality is, Christ is the only One worthy of emulating. The gospel of Christ is what transforms us. How many people would boast about Paul when they reflect on the passages of how he persecuted Christians? And Peter when he denied... well.. his denial. And how many of us today try to find some other human to model ourselves after? The Bible does have instances where God's people obey. And in those instances, we are encouraged to obey as those saints obeyed. But our obedience comes from emulating Christ as those saints did; not by emulating those saints. When it comes down to it, every decision we make can be for His kingdom or for our own selfish desires. And rather than a "be like Abraham" or "be like Mother Theresa" mentality, we need to confess where we've fallen short and then be like Christ!