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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekly Update: Week 24!

How Evelyn's growing:

Evie is growing steadily, gaining about a quarter of a pound since last week, when she was just over a pound. Since she's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), that makes a pretty lean figure, but her body is filling out proportionally and she'll soon put on more baby fat. Evelyn's skin is thin, translucent, and wrinkled, her brain is growing rapidly, and her taste buds are developing. Her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" and cells that produce surfactant, a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. This information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Weekly Update: Week 23!!!!

How Evelyn's growing:

Evie is now around 11 inches long and probably weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango). Her skin is red and wrinkled. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare her for breathing. She can swallow, but she normally won't pass her first stool (called meconium) until after birth. Loud noises heard often in utero — such as your dog barking or the roar of a vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze Evelyn when she hears them outside the womb.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. This information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Call the Sabbath a Delight

I will admit that few topics have piqued my interest in the last couple years as much as the Sabbath principle. I just started reading Walter Chantry’s book, Call the Sabbath a Delight, and the introduction alone was enough to plunge me into the deep pool of conviction. He writes, “Whether or not people keep the Sabbath holy is not an incidental or insignificant matter. When God issued this fourth commandment he understood humanity much better than we do. Failure to practice this moral law is a root cause of moral decline, social disorder, and widespread human suffering. No successful recovery of mankind can be devised without the inclusion of the fourth commandment in the remedy” (12—italics mine). As you can see, he takes the Sabbath principle incredibly seriously.

However, I think he rightly notes that many Christians do not contemplate the moral law of God often enough, especially the honoring of the Sabbath. It is important for us to note that honoring this *day* (not two hours out of the day), is a moral precept right along with “You shall not murder.” It’s not just Chantry who takes the Sabbath seriously, it is God. But it seems so many of us have better things to do on the Sabbath, whether it’s getting household projects done, going to the beach (well maybe not in WI), sleeping all day, or, as Chantry also points out, we glue ourselves to the TV set on Sunday to watch sports, “Who has done more to destroy patters of worship than the professional athletes? You dare not say it again. Evangelicals themselves will fall all over one another to watch [sports] even on Sundays” (10).

A question Chantry asks is, “Is it practical to worship God for one whole day in each seven?” Or, as a pastor friend of mine often asks, “If there was a day set apart to worship God, a whole day, would you want it?” I fear for many the answer is just simply, “No.” We’ve grown bored with God, and we’ve grown bored with worship. We rush to church on Sunday mornings and rush to get home and identify ourselves once again with the unbelieving culture around us—there’s not much separate about Christians anymore these days. And Chantry cites this as one of the obvious reasons for the moral decadence in America. He says, “There can be no other answer to straighten out our crooked generation. Nothing but a weekly day of worship will begin to touch the ignorance which has gripped humanity. This alone, under God, can save families, churches, schools and governments from total moral collapse” (11).

How important is the Sabbath principle for you and your family? If you were asked the question, “Would you want to worship God for an entire day out of seven,” how would you answer? Is dishonoring the Sabbath one of the root causes of moral depravity in America, is it hurting families and churches?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Evelyn's Development

Below is some info on Evelyn's development. Tomorrow will mark week 22!! I've been reading these bulletins each week since we found out we were expecting. It's always super fun to read what's happening with the baby developmentally. I can't believe how fast time is going!

How Evelyn is growing (22 weeks):

Evie now looks like a miniature newborn, checking in at around 10.9 inches and almost 1 pound. Her skin will continue to appear wrinkled until she gains enough weight to fill it out, and the fine hair (lanugo) that covers her head and body is now visible. Her lips are becoming more distinct, and the first signs of teeth are appearing as buds beneath her gum line. Her eyes are developed, though the iris (the colored part of the eye) still lacks pigment. Eyelids and eyebrows are in place, and her pancreas, essential for hormone production, is developing steadily.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Rethinking the Concept of the Church

Another post from the Borg family! How fortunate for our one two readers.

Having grown up in a largely evangelical culture Rachel and I have had to rethink our understanding of the church. After all, many in the evangelical world (this is one of those broad, sweeping, generalizations I tend to make) don’t have well formulated ideas on what the church is and how the Christian relates to the church. This is obviously a very important subject for every family to consider, after all, when Christ finished his earthly ministry on earth he left the church to carry out his work, and it’s plain that Scripture assigns a very important status to the church. The church was purchased by Christ’s giving of himself and shedding his blood (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25), the church is called the Bride of Christ (Revelation 21), the church is the body of Christ (Colossians 1:18), and it is the church that the gates of hell shall not prevail against (Matthew 16:18). Granted the church consists of all God’s elect, it spans the divides of denominations, it is bigger than any race, nation, culture, or language, it is present on earth and in heaven. But the church has always been manifested in a visible and tangible way on earth, and under the gospel it is in local congregations—and it is the local congregation that Rachel and I have grown to love and cherish. But it also appears that the idea of the local church is being attacked by pragmatism and postmodern thought (I read an article in Newsweek a few months ago about the growing popularity of house churches—how awful!). So in light of all this, Rachel and I want to ask the following questions and would love to hear thoughts on them!

  1. How important is church in the Christian’s life?
  2. What is the purpose of church?
  3. Is church an “optional” thing for Christians?
  4. When considering a move should churches in the area affect someone's decision?
  5. Can church be supplanted with audio sermons on the Internet?
  6. Are para-church organizations *just as* important as the church (i.e. Christian camps, Christian organizations, etc).
  7. Is church membership important?
  8. How do you teach your children to love and value the local church?
  9. What should “church day” (i.e. the Sabbath) look like? Or, what are some things you and your family do to honor the Sabbath?
  10. And one more “fun” one: Should solos be allowed in church?

Well feel free to comment on any of the above questions. Hopefully, if we are fortunate enough, Rachel will pipe in with some of her thoughts—I know she’s really wrestled with this stuff lately.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

On a Somewhat Similar Note...

Kyle and I would like to announce the very exciting news that we are no longer the owners of a television. We actually haven't had access to TV channels since we got married (we just watched DVDs); however, this last Sunday we took the leap and removed the television set from our home. Jake and Jeff have been kind enough to "store" the TV and entertainment center for us until we can sell them. It's not that we view television as intrinsically evil or anything, we've just realized that it's a worldly distraction that we'd rather not battle against in our home (especially with the arrival of Evie). We desire to have a family that enjoys doing things together (reading, playing games, outdoor activities, singing, praying, etc) instead of spending our time in front of the TV.
I personally have LOVED this first week of not having a TV. It's bothered me for awhile that most Americans' living rooms are centered around the television. I want our home to be a sanctuary, a place of refuge, for our family and for guests. It already feels so much more peaceful without that extra noise and distraction. It's amazing how desensitized you can become to things without even realizing it. When I was staying in Austin a few weeks ago I watched a little TV, and I was appalled at some of the content/commercials. After not being exposed to much of that over the last year and a half, it was like I was viewing it with new eyes.
Again, we aren't suggesting that everyone goes and get rid of their televisions. This is just something that Kyle and I have been thinking about a lot lately and so we figured that we'd share some of our thoughts with all of you :) We would love to hear what you think!

~ Rachel