OYB May 16

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: I Samuel 18:5-30, I Samuel 19
NT: John 8:31-59
Ps: Psalm 112
Pr: Proverbs 15:12-14

Gospel Thread - OT:

No direct gospel reference in today's OT reading.

Gospel Thread - NT:

"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."

John 8:56 (NIV)

Abraham knew that God's Promise to him would be completed and perfected in a coming Messiah. That Abraham "saw" Jesus' day means, in part, that Abraham had faith in that Messiah - evidenced by his gladness. Indeed, Jesus is that Messiah - the fulfillment of God's Promise and the perfection of His Law; the means of our redemption and the source of our salvation.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.

Psalm 112:4 (NIV)


The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Quick Lily Update

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

We've made it relatively smoothly through our first night at home. Steph and Lily seem to have taken to the glider in the nursery for feedings, and Lily seems to like to sleep in the bassinet in the living room during the day:

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Lily sleeping snug and sound in the bassinet she got from Aunt Jen
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Last night I went to sleep around quarter till ten while Steph expressed some milk to help with some milk relief. Before turning in to bed, we laid Lily down for her first night in her cradle - the same cradle that I and my sister both slept in. She seemed quite comfortable:

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Lily spending her first night in the crib her Daddy and her Auntie JuJu slept in
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

I woke up this morning around quarter till seven, rather well-rested, even with the two feedings Lily took during the night. Steph was still very tired (as is to be expected!), so while she took in-between-feeding naps this morning, Lily and I spent some time together:

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Lily taking a nap on Daddy's chest
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

This afternoon, I am going to try to get some of the housework caught up. Tomorrow morning is Lily's first appointment with her Pediatrician.

OYB May 15

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: I Samuel 17, I Samuel 18:1-4
NT: John 8:21-30
Ps: Psalm 111
Pr: Proverbs 15:11

Gospel Thread - OT:

45 David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

I Samuel 17:45-47 (NIV)

This response reveals David's character, and demonstrates why he - rather than Saul - is the type of person God would choose to be king of His people and the type of person God considers to be after His own heart. David demonstrates utmost faith in and reliance upon God, and desires to glorify God for the outcome of his circumstance. This faith is saving faith: understanding and confession that God provides the one and only way.

Gospel Thread - NT:

But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

John 8:23 (NIV)

Jesus was not just a "good man" or a prophet. As C.S. Lewis explains so succinctly in Mere Christianity, Jesus leaves no option available other than that he was a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord that He claimed to be. He cannot be a "good man" and a liar, just as he cannot be a prophet and a lunatic. He left the choice concerning him with no other options in order to force us either to accept him, or to reject him - he left no room for middle ground, for a non-decision.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name.

Psalm 111:9 (NIV)


The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Home From The Hospital

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

Today has been a busy and exciting day. After a very early morning (around 4:00 am) feeding and another one around 7:00, we began preparations to leave the hospital to head home. I got most of the rest of our things loaded in the car (I had taken a few things out yesterday evening) and then we ate breakfast. We took care of the last-minute paperwork and tests, and then got Lily ready for her First Foto hospital photos (WebNursery link coming in 3-5 days). Lily looked absolutely adorable in her pink princess dress she got from her Aunt Jenny:

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Lillian all dressed up for her First Photo hospital baby photos.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

L ily is so amazingly photogenic; all her poses turned out fabulously.We ordered enough photos to have plenty to give out. For most family, it won't be an 8x10, but it will be more than just a wallet photo. I wish we could do more, but I think you will all be quite pleased!

After her modeling session, we changed Lily into the Bennett Family dressing gown. For those who don't know the story of this gown: it is almost 80 years old, and was worn home from the hospital by my father and all of his brothers and sisters. All of their children, and all of their children, have also worn the dressing gown home from the hospital. We are proud to have Lily continue this tradition. And I couldn't imagine the gown having looked any cuter on anyone:

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Lillian prepared to leave the hospital, wearing the 80-year-old dressing gown worn by every child, grandchild, and great-grandchild of her Great Grandma Bennett.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Both Lily and Stephanie were checked a final time, and both were declared fit to go home. The lactation consultant who taught our breastfeeding class stopped in to see us, and let Steph know that she and Lily were doing a great job. (In fact, they have done so well that Stephanie's milk had come in fully by yesterday evening, and Steph never did experience any of the infamous engorgement or initial pain - of course, Lily has been nursing 20 minutes from each side every three hours or more, so not much is left to cause any pain!)

Having been declared ready to go home, we made our way down to the entrance, got Steph situated and Lily secured for the first time in her car seat, and headed off.

Let me take a moment to talk about our experience at St. John's Mercy Medical Center. Steph and I could not have been happier with the medical treatment, staff, and facilities; nor could we have imagined a better place to have our baby. At all times, Steph had an attending nurse and a nurse's aide, and Lily had an attending nurse of her own. All of the nursing staff and doctors were incredibly attentive, patient, and informative. (My only complaint - which has absolutely nothing to do with medical care - involves the coffee bar. Almost every time I went downstairs for coffee - even during posted hours of operation - the coffee bar was unattended. Given that my usual need for coffee was exacerbated by little sleep we were getting, I was less than happy with this situation.) Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I couldn't imagine having our next baby (which will not be coming any time soon - don't worry!) anywhere else.

We made it home and got both Steph and Lily up the stairs. I called Steph's OB to give him our pharmacy information so that he could call in her prescriptions, and then changed Lily's newest dirty diaper. I swaddled her and put her down to nap in the bassinet in the living room, and then got Steph and I some lunch.

After lunch, I went to pick up Steph's scripts, and when I came home she was feeding again. Apparently, she really likes mommy's nourishment, as not only was this an early feeding, but she also took it with relish:

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Got (Mommy) Milk?
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

So now the real fun begins: developing our family routines and bonding. Fortunately, I have another week and a half before I have to go back to work, so I can be here to help alleviate as much work as possible for Steph. I will continue to upload as many photos as I can take, so keep checking my Flickr photos.

What’s In A Name?

Filed in Personal, ReligionTags: Christianity, Family, Fatherhood

Many have asked why we named our daughter Lillian Nicole. Here is a glimpse into our thought process.

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Lillian Nicole
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

We believed it to be very important to give our children names with significant meanings. We believe in the power of speaking life over and into our children. Therefore, we wanted to give our children names that would reinforce the character and values we desire for them.

Lillian is of Latin origin, and means Lily. In the Bible, the lily symbolizes innocence, purity, beauty, and resurrection. Here is a thorough overview of the symbolism of the lily:

The lily's scepter or trumpet shape makes it a symbol of royalty. Its white color indicates purity, innocence, hope, and virtue...

We hope and desire for these virtues to describe the character of our daughter, and by God's grace, they will.

Nicole is the namesake of Lily's Aunt, Angela Nicole. The name is of Greek origin, and means, "the people's victory", or "victory of the people". We chose this name both to honor her namesake, and also to be the encouragement we speak into Lily - that through virtuous character by the grace of God, she will be victorious in her life and will bring glory to God.

OYB May 14

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: I Samuel 15-16
NT: John 8:1-20
Ps: Psalm 110
Pr: Proverbs 15:8-10

Gospel Thread - OT:

But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams."

I Samuel 15:22 (NIV)

Sacrifices were never the means by which God bestowed His grace upon man or credited man with righteousness; sacrifices were always a foreshadow of God's ultimate sacrifice, a symbol of the Messiah Who was to come, and an outward expression of an inward heart of obedience to to Word of the Lord. Still today, God desires not the outward expression, but rather the inward heart of obedience to His Word.

Gospel Thread - NT:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

John 8:12 (NIV)


Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

Psalm 110:4 (NIV)

In Jesus Christ, God establishes a new priesthood - a better priesthood. Paul speaks about this priesthood (Hebrews 6-9), and explains why the priesthood and covenant established in Christ perfects, completes, and excels beyond the Mosaic covenant and the Aaronic priesthood.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Catching Up: Lillian’s Birth and First Days

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

UPDATE: To see the complete photo sets: Lillian's Birth, Lillian - Newborn. Also, all of Lily's pictures are in the Lillian Collection.

So far, things are going well. Lily has just been fed, and Stephanie is taking a nap, so I will try to take this opportunity to catch everyone up on things so far.

Stephanie started showing signs of imminent labor Wednesday, so I decided to go ahead and start my vacation Thursday. That afternoon at her OB appointment, her doctor told her that she was already 3 cm dilated. We scheduled an induction for Monday, but her doctor said that he was 80% sure that she would go into labor on her own before then.

Friday morning, I woke up early (about 5:15 am). After breakfast and coffee, I made a quick trip to the store for some last-minute necessities, and another quick stop at the grocery store to have some food available for Steph's sister Angie, who was on her way for a surprise, early visit.

As I was finishing the the dishes in the kitchen before making lunch around 1:00 in the afternoon, Stephanie came out of the bedroom and said, "Are you ready to have this baby?" She then told me that her water had broken! We called her doctor, who told us to go ahead on in to the hospital. We made our last-minute preparations (toiletries, pillow, etc. - most of everything we needed was already packed in the car), made the requisite phone calls to family, and headed - finally! - the the hospital.

Stephanie was checked in and situated in her LDR a little before 3:00 pm. When the nurse checked her, she was 3-4 cm dilated. She progressed through labor throughout the afternoon and evening as various family members arrived at the hospital, until she reached 8 cm and 100% effaced at around 9:00 pm.

Unfortunately, her dilation stopped progressing at this point, and Stephanie began developing a low-grade fever. At 6 cm of dilation, the nurse had told us that the baby was already showing signs of developing a cone head - a sign that she might have problems getting through the birth canal. After a couple hours at 8 cm, the nurse told us that her cervix was beginning to swell - a further sign of potential difficultly with labor. After five hours of no further dilation from 8 cm, and a fever that continued to creep up, at 2:00 am we made the decision to deliver via c-section.

Surgery prep went by quickly, and I almost forgot to grab my camera and baby book(s) from the LDR. After gowning up and waiting for the surgery team to get prepared, I was invited into the OR for the procedure. Before it even seemed to have begun, I heard our doctor announce, "here she comes!" and I looked over the sheet just in time to see our beautiful baby girl out of the womb for the first time!

Her nurses quickly began cleaning her up, and determined her 1- and 5-minute APGAR scores (8 and 9).

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Lily's first cleanup and APGAR
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

The doctor began cleaning/stitching up Stephanie's incision, and commented on how fit she looked internally, and how good her tissue was - hopefully a sign that her incision will heal well. In the meantime, the nurse and I took Lily over to the scale for her official first weigh-in. Our little girl tipped the scales at a healthy 8 lbs, 6 oz:

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Lillian's official first weigh-in
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Once the doctor was finished taking care of Stephanie, we were moved to the OB recovery room at 3:00 am for two hours of recovery. Since Steph was still recovering, I got to spend a lot of quality time holding our little blessing. Even only hours old, Lily was quite active and attentive. Even though her little eyes couldn't yet focus, it was amazing to see her recognize and respond to the sound of my voice:

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Lillian swaddled, spending quality time with daddy
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Nana Bennett, Gee-Gee, and Aunt Angie got to come see Steph and Lily in the OB recovery room:

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Lillian with Nana Bennett and Aunt Angie
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Finally, at 5:00 am, Stephanie was taken up to her postpartum room. Lillian went to the nursery for additional check-ups, and Steph and I were able to get about an hour of sleep. At 6:00 am, Lillian was brought in for her first attempt at feeding. To our great pleasure, she latched on at her first try, and has been nursing like a champ ever since!

After nursing, mommy, daddy, and baby all slept for a couple of hours. Lily had another feeding around 9:00, while I went down to the cafeteria to have breakfast with Lily's Nana, Papaw, and Gee-Gee. Afterward, Lily got to spend a few minutes with everyone before they headed back to Indianapolis.

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Lillian with Gee-Gee, Nana Bennett, Papaw Bennett, and one of our first family photos
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

The rest of Saturday was spent sleeping and feeding. I had my first of what are sure to be many milestones: I changed my first diaper ever, and I was peed on while changing a diaper for the first time ever. My swaddling skills improved with each diaper change and breast-feeding. Lily seemed to be getting plenty of colostrum, as she continued to nurse well, and kept leaving her daddy plenty of presents in the form of dirty and wet diapers!

After being up for more than 24 hours straight the day before, and not getting much sleep while trying to help Steph as much as possible during the day Saturday, I finally crashed Saturday evening. I slept a couple hours between the 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm feedings, but by 11:00 pm I was out for good, and didn't wake up until 7:00 am Sunday.

After breakfast, Steph finally got the chance to sleep uninterrupted for 2-3 hours, most of which time I spent with Lily sleeping on my chest while I watched tv or just sat enjoying having our little angel sleeping so contentedly against me.

Sunday was Mother's Day, and an obviously special one for us! Stephanie got a little gift from the hospital, and although I was unable to get her the flowers that I wanted to before she went into labor, I was able to find a nice bouquet in the hospital gift shop:

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Stephanie's Mother's Day bouquet
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Most of Sunday was spent continuing to develop our routine with Lily: changing diapers, nursing, burping, sleeping, etc. Stephanie also progressed from an ice-only diet first to clear liquids, and then finally to solid foods. She continued her physical recovery, and was able to stand up to use the restroom and was even able to take a shower in the evening.

Sunday evening saw the three of us sharing some quiet time together. After nursing, Lily finally got the chance to snuggle with mommy, since Steph had recovered well enough to hold Lily a bit on her chest. Baby and mommy got to spend some much-needed quality time together:

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Lily and mommy having some quality time together
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Today finds us with more of the same: Lily had an early-morning feeding, and Steph and I had breakfast while Lily had another check-up in the nursery. After another feeding, Steph is getting some more very-much needed sleep. Later today Steph is going to try out the breast pump (she thinks her milk may be coming in), and if she is feeling up to it, we are going to go down to the courtyard early this evening to spend some time outside.

The normal hospital stay for a c-section recovery is four bed-nights, which means that we can be here until Wednesday morning; however, if all continues to go as well as it has been, we are planning to head home tomorrow morning. We are looking forward to getting settled in at home!

I will do my best to keep everyone updated!

OYB May 13

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: I Samuel 14
NT: John 7:31-53
Ps: Psalm 109
Pr: Proverbs 15:5-7

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Photo of the Day:

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Our first family photo!
Photo © Chip Bennett; all rights reserved

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Photos

And here's why it is especially happy for us today:

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One of our first family photos! (Lillian's birth photo set)
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

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One of our first family photos! (Lillian's birth photo set)
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

OYB May 12

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: I Samuel 12-13
NT: John 7:1-30
Ps: Psalm 108
Pr: Proverbs 15:4

Gospel Thread - OT, NT, Psalms/Proverbs:

I apologize if this is a cop-out, but my mind is elsewhere today. Rather than try to manufacture something to put here today, I am just going to say that I have nothing to add today, because my mind is on my daughter.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.