Thirteen Weeks

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Photos

As of today, we are at thirteen weeks; we are now into the second trimester!

The nausea of the first trimester seems mostly to have passed, though it still returns on occasion - possibly due to the prenatal vitamins. Not too many esoteric food cravings so far, either. Though, I did have the pleasure last night of making a grocery-store run at 9:30 in search of a cream cheese danish - thankfully, Entenmann's makes something that fits the bill, that I was able to find.

Please tell Steph how great she continues to look:

Colleen's Wedding 007

Steph and I at Colleen's wedding two weeks ago.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Now, we begin looking forward to our first ultrasound and finding out the gender of our baby - though, Steph is convinced we're having a L'il Chip!

OYB October 21

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Jeremiah 37-38
NT: I Timothy 6
Ps: Psalm 89:38-52
Pr: Proverbs 25:28

Today´s notable verse:

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

I Timothy 6:6 (NIV)

What an eloquent statement of the Christian worldview: constantly pursuing the betterment of one's character, while always being content with one's circumstances. In so doing, we allow God to work through us freely, and not only thus participate in the advancement of His kingdom here on earth, but store up eternal reward for ourselves. Love not the pursuit of money, but the pursuit of the character of God.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB October 20

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 21 October 2006, back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Jeremiah 35-36
NT: I Timothy 5
Ps: Psalm 89:14-37
Pr: Proverbs 25:25-27

Today´s notable verse:

1 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

I Timothy 5:1-2 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB October 19

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 21 October 2006, back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Jeremiah 33-34
NT: I Timothy 4
Ps: Psalm 89:1-13
Pr: Proverbs 25:23-24

Today´s notable verse:

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

I Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

I often meditated upon this verse as a teenager, yet I believe Timothy was near - and just slightly older than - my current age when Paul wrote these words to him. So, I should continue to meditate upon these words! I pray that I am able, through Christ, to continue to set a good example to my fellow believers, and especially to my wonderful, soon-to-be wife and the blesed child we are eagerly expecting.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB October 18

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 21 October 2006, back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Jeremiah 31:27-40, Jeremiah 32
NT: I Timoty 3
Ps: Psalm 88
Pr: Proverbs 25:20-22

Today´s notable verse:

Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:
He[a] appeared in a body,[b] was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

[a] Some manuscripts God
[b] or in the flesh

I Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

This statement sounds like a very simple statement of belief - perhaps an early doctrinal creed? (I admit, my church history is lacking here.) I included the footnotes here, because I think "God appeard in the flesh" is consistent with the preceding phrase "mystery of godliness". Whether implicitly, as the NIV translates, or explicitly, as the footnotes expound, Paul's clear point is that Jesus Christ was God come to earth in human form.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB October 17

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 21 October 2006, back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Jeremiah 30, Jeremiah 31:1-26
NT: I Timothy 2
Ps: Psalm 87
Pr: Proverbs 25:18-19

Today´s notable verse:

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus...

I Timothy 2:5 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB October 16

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 21 October 2006, back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Jeremiah 28-29
NT: I Timothy 1
Ps: Psalm 86
Pr: Proverbs 25:17

Today´s notable verse:

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

I Timothy 1:15 (NIV)

I think that which makes this saying so trustworthy is the final phrase: Paul viewed himself as the worst sinner in the world - a view that each of us should in humility take for himself. I know that I have enough sin in my own life on which to concentrate; I don't need to worry about anyone else!

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB October 15

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 21 October 2006, back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Jeremiah 26-27
NT: II Thessalonians 3
Ps: Psalm 85
Pr: Proverbs 25:16

Today´s notable verse:

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

II Thessalonians 3:10 (NIV)

It seems I have often heard this maxim misquoted as, "If a man does not work, he shall not eat." The former is both fair and compassionate; the latter is Marxist. The former recognizes that one's responsibility is commensurate with his ability, and that society carries some burden for those who are unable to provide for themselves; the latter indicates that one who cannot work is a burden to society, and dispensible. The former recognizes the inherent worth of man as an endowment from his Creator; the latter implies that human worth is inherent only insofar as one is able to produce.

The significant difference lies in will and does. A man who will not work has the ability to work but chooses not to do so. Paul is speaking not against the failure to produce work but rather the failure to choose to uphold one's responsibility to the extent that he is able to do so.

If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit.

Provbers 25:16 (NIV)

Moderation is an important virtue in Christian living. This virtue applies to most areas of life, including the area from which the imagery of this verse is taken: diet. Having spent most of my youth and college years overweight, I have some experience with dieting and weight loss. Even though I lost a considerable amount of weight, I do not take the approach that any certain food is always and forever off-limits. The key, of course, is moderation. I have chosen a carbohydrate-restricted way of eating in which refined sugar, flour, and starch are a very minimal part of my diet; however, that does not mean that I have eliminated such foods forever from my diet. Rather, in moderation I might have a serving-spoonful of home fries with a breakfast meal once in a while, rather than three potatoes' worth every day.

This same principle applies to other areas of life. I may have a small glass of wine with dinner a few nights a week. I may go see a movie in a theater once a month. I may spend a few hours a week playing tennis or in some other form of exercise. I spend my time in the office working hard, with the mindset that I work to live rather than live to work. One of the keys to understanding the principle of moderation is, I think, found in Paul's words elsewhere:

"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything.

I Corinthians 6:12 (NIV)

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive.

I Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)

In other words, the key to moderation is keeping God as Lord of our lives, and maintaining our priorities according to His principles. In so doing, we make choices accordingly in our lives, and therefore are not mastered by anything. Moderation is a principle of self-denial of gratification or over-indulgence, in order to set apart our lives for the greater good.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB October 14

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted 21 October 2006, back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Jeremiah 23:21-40, Jeremiah 24-25
NT: II Thessalonians 2
Ps: Psalm 84
Pr: Proverbs 25:15

Today´s notable verse:

Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

Proverbs 25:15 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Kelly, Rest In Peace

Filed in Personal, ReligionTags: Christianity, Friends

As most of you know, this summer I moved in with a friend of mine to help be a caretaker for her, her house, and (most importantly) her kids (all her animals, and especially her two dogs). This friend, at 28 years old, was facing a third bout with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). After undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy and finding a suitable donor for a marrow transplant, she was one week away from having the transplant procedure.

A week ago yesterday, she was admitted into the hospital, complaining of difficulty breathing. The doctors discovered damage to her heart, due to the chemo. Apparently as the week progressed, her condition worsened. She developed an infection that the doctors could not find. I got a call from her mom last night, that her liver and kidneys were failing, and that her heart was operating at only 20% of capacity. This morning, her brother called to tell me that she passed away during the night.

The words of her mom on Kelly's Caring Bridge site journal from last night are an appropriate eulogy:

We are blessed to have a daughter as strong and bright as Kelly. She drives you crazy one second and has you laughing the next. She is always looking out for everyone and every animal. Even the mice that found their way into Kelly’s house were captured in live traps and released into the park. She loves life and animals. No matter what the animal. She is even trying to get over her fear of snakes by getting to know them.

Kelly took over our family once she was diagnosed the first time with ALL. By that I mean that she took care of us. She is the one who taught us how to fight and how to think only good things and not act terrified but to have a sense of humor. Not that she doesn’t get down from time to time but she always tries to show that she is doing well.

The last 10 years have been filled with all kinds of unknowns. Kelly never shows how scared she really is during these times. She puts on a brave face and finds something to occupy her mind. Terry and I had a difficult time during her transplant; we tried to protect Kelly from dirt, viruses, and people. But she jumped back into life full steam by buying a house of her own. She was determined to live her life, her way. We are so proud of how determined she can be and how much she can accomplish when she sets her mind to something. I should take a lesson from her because I always stick my toe into the water first; you know just to test it.

Kelly is always learning. She can’t have enough knowledge. There is always something new to learn. And she never turns down an opportunity to help someone with a pet. Whether that is advice on a certain problem or toenail clippings or someone to take care of them while they went out of town. She enjoys caring. It is a part of her.

There are not enough words to describe Kelly. I am finding it difficult to put everything down in this space. There are so many stories of Kelly and her animals, of Kelly and her brother and family, of Kelly and her friends, of Kelly and her work…..I could go on forever. But then again why do I have to put it into words, you already know Kelly because you have been there for her and helped not only her but us get through these past years.

Thank you to friends and family, for your support during this time. Thank you, especially, to Steph and her family for their words of support. As with her family, loved ones, and friends, I take comfort in knowing that she is no longer suffering. I pray that in some small way I was able to help her get the most out of the last few months of her life - and I pray for forgiveness for any ways in which I may have failed to do so.

Always remember: life is precious, and it is a gift - but also, life is meant to be lived. Kelly exemplified this truth; she made the most of every moment. These are the situations that compel in us a changed perspective. Perhaps I missed opportunities; perhaps at times I took a too-short-term perspective. Yet perhaps, in the future, I will miss fewer opportunities; perhaps I will choose to see each moment not through the lens of the present but through the lens of eternity.

"Carpe diem: sieze the day... make your lives extraordinary."