Saturday, October 31, 2009

Growing Belly

Well, here's the latest belly photo! I'm sorry we haven't posted more.... my camera disappeared from my suitcase on the way home from our honeymoon, and Devin's just recently died, so we're stuck with photobooth for now. But fear not! With a baby on the way, we'll definitely be getting a new one soon! ;)

This is me at 20 weeks and a few days with our precious baby boy!




We're definitely growing!


What's going on at 20 weeks? Well, I'm still wearing my non-maternity jeans thanks to Hannah who sent me the very cool and useful belly band. My shirts are beginning to get a little snug, so I'm busting out the maternity gear, which is kinda fun! I'm feeling much much better, dealing only with some ligament pains in my back and sides.

Feeling the baby move around has been wonderful and encouraging. Devin and I were both able to tickle his tiny feet the other day, as he stretched out his legs leaving some little round lumps on my stomach. We've been enjoying the second trimester! I'm regularly amazed at how much I already feel like a mom! Devin and I feel incredibly blessed that the Lord would trust us with a new life! :)


Related Posts:
Oh Big Baby!
Ity Bity Baby Bump

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

The holiday season in Israel is over and the city is finally starting to settle down again. I don't know how many of you have been watching the news, but things were pretty tense here in Jerusalem for a while. During the Feast of Tabernacles, many Palestinians were incited to riot in Jerusalem and there were talks of a 3rd Intifada. Praise the Lord that did not happen! I believe with all my heart that the Lord is preparing to pour out His Spirit upon this nation in a new way. Please continue to pray that the Lord would bring this forth. We in the Messiah know that only in Yeshua can true Salvation be found. Pray that all Israel would come to a place where she will cry out to the living God for salvation.

Callie and I have been thoroughly blessed in many ways over the past two weeks. Callie's father came to visit us and we had a wonderful time showing him Israel for the first time. He is the first from Callie's immediate family to come and visit us here in Israel. We were so blessed to have him and we hope the rest will come soon. In the middle of his time here, my parents both arrived in the Land and we were blessed to all share a Shabbat dinner together. We were also blessed by a few new things with our baby. We learned on Monday that we will be having a boy and I was able to feel him kick for the first time yesterday! The Lord's creative power is truly amazing! Please continue to pray for the Lord's protection of our child as he develops.

I have been struck recently by the astounding number of people within the Body that deal with a fear of rejection. Whether it is from the pains that we have felt in our personal lives or the hurt we received from the Body itself. Believers, like people in the world's system, are not immune to this fear and the havoc that it causes in our relationships. I would go further to say that sometimes it can be the most damaging when it is allowed into the Body of the Messiah. We are supposed to be brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God who should be willing to lay our lives down for one another. This closeness has the potential for great blessing, but also great hurt when we act in our flesh. I believe this is one reason why many congregations in the west are like community centers rather than an expression of the Lord's kingdom on the Earth. It is much easier to have a superficial gathering that does not ever gets close enough to be hurt by a brother or sister in the Lord. We keep ourselves at a distance for fear that we might be rejected. The good news is that Yeshua embodies all we need to overcome this fear.

First, we can know that we are 100% accepted by Him and we never need to fear that He will reject us. We are accepted by God for who we are and we can get as close as humanly possible with no fear of rejection. Our feeling of acceptance needs to be based on that and not what people do or say. Yeshua also spoke about walking in forgiveness. It is not enough that we are secure in OUR acceptance, we must carry the attitude of forgiveness so that our brothers and sisters will never feel rejection. It may be hard to believe that this could be possible, but we come again to the example of Yeshua. Yeshua walked for 3 years on this earth with one man who would deny Him and one man who would betray him, all the while loving them like brothers. We are the expression of His Body on the Earth and we must shed this unholy fear of rejection before more damage is done. We are in perilous times, and it will be the Body around us who will support us through them. Blessings to you!

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

Callie was playing with her belly the other day and she was surprised when the baby kick back for the first time! It is incredible to see how quickly this little one is developing in its mother's womb. I consider myself to be blessed among men to have such a wife who is carrying the promise of a new life that will glorify our Lord. The longing that is there in the lineage of every Jew, to live in Israel and bring forth children, is being fulfilled in front of my very eyes. I am blessed that this child will be the first of my family born here in Israel. The Lord has given this Land to Abraham and His descendants as an everlasting inheritance. Our child is now a part of that great covenant in action. Praise God for His faithfulness to those who will trust in Him!

Succot (Feast of Tabernacles) has come to Israel again and all over the city we see sukkot (booths or tabernacles) have been built. All of Israel will eat in these booths during the week and many will actually sleep in them. Israel is reminded through this that during the Exodus from Egypt, they lived in temporary dwellings with the promise of home in their own Land. Metaphorically, the booth represents the fact that even though we live now in temporary dwellings (or physical bodies), we look to the time when we will live in our promised dwellings (our glorified bodies). Sukkot also carries with it a sobering message for Israel during this time in it's history. While in these booths, there is not much protection. Israel sees the mounting threat of Iran and knows that there is not much protection for them. Their only hope is that the God of Israel would defend them as He has promised to. Please pray that the people of Israel will turn to their God and truly cry out for His salvation. Pray that as they cry out, Yeshua woujavascript:void(0)ld appear to them as their one and only, true Savior.

I was thinking the other day about the mountain of believing material there is available to all of us now. Some of it is good, and some of it is not so good. You would think that after 2000 years, and all the literature available, that the Body would be seen as being close to God. The truth of the matter is, that Abraham did not have all the written material. He did not have all the wonderful testimonies and miracles that were performed in front of his eyes. He did not have a believing community around him to point him in the right direction and hold him accountable. I am not saying that any of these things are wrong, I am merely pointing out the fact that even without all these things, Abraham was called a friend of God (Is. 41:8). We all tend to get lost in our religion and forget about the fact that we are called to be like Abraham. We are called to have such a relationship with the Lord that all who see us would know that we are "friends of God". It does not depend on the material we have (even though it is good), and it doesn't depend on the expression of our faith (which is also good). It depends on our fervent desire to wait on the Lord and act on what He says to us. Many of us are willing to do what the Lord says, but there are very few who are willing to wait on Him. When we are waiting on an answer to something specific, I know that I tend to focus my prayers on that one thing. It is good to persevere in prayer, but it is not good to neglect the other aspects of our relationship with Him, and focus on getting an answer. We as a Body must find again the simplicity of this faith so that those around us can see that we are friends of the Most High God. Blessings!

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie