Sunday, September 30, 2007

How He Made Each Unique

While I was in the hospital with Kesed, I was reading Psalm 139 over him and it brought me to reflect on all 4 of our children.  As they have grown, the differences between them are countless.  But Brad and I got to laughing as we remembered the physical traits that we noticed within the first 2 weeks that stood out the most between the 4.  For example:


Selah:  born with red hair

Malachi: has a hole on the upper part of his right ear

Charis:  has a small hole on her lower back near her tail bone

Kesed:  after he eats, he burps, poops, gets the hiccups and sneezes twice.  No lie, almost every time



It’s been an overwhelming joy to realize how the Lord wove them together in my womb.  And how He has cared about each hole and each hair since the beginning of time.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sure signs we might be screwing up our son by living overseas

Things Malachi loves to eat. He even pleads for them at restaurants.

1. Raw Onions

2. Seaweed

3. Cold Bean sprouts with garlic

4. “I don’t like green peas unless they’re in my ice cream”

5. Tomato smoothies

6. Cucumber

7. Doufu (“Tofu”) noodles

8. Broccoli

9. Corn and Raisin Ice Cream

10. Spinach

But he says no to:

1. Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

2. Cheese (except on pizza)

3. Strawberries

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Girl Version

Carrie here. We are all at home and settling into what we like to call “our” normal. I’m feeling great. Just tired, but healing well. The guy version of the labor story is this: It’s a boy!

The girl version is below:

As Brad said, we had a friend take us to the dr. at 5 am on Wed. They got us into our room and basically left us alone. Our dr. was very into having as natural a childbirth as possible. I am all about natural childbirth, but was also considering a little modern medicinal help this go around. I just new I couldn’t do labor this time because I was just really tired. But au natural was our only option, so there we went. I had no monitors hooked up to me, no IV’s, no stitches, barely any nurses, nothing intrusive. Brad brought
music and was praying like a mad man during labor. It was actually one of the most worshipful times for me in labor. The Lord allowed me several ‘moments of mercy’ during the active labor stage. Which if you’ve ever had a baby you know that active labor affords you very little breaks. But I literally could sit and listen to hymns, pray and talk to Brad in the middle of it all. I had several breaks of 2-3 minutes during active labor. It was all really wonderful. And getting to watch Brad catch was so much fun and really ministered to him.

I immediately got to hold and nurse Kesed. Like as in the cord was still attached to the inside of me and I’m nursing. Brad got to cut the cord and then Kesed stayed with me for a long time. They bathed him a couple of hours later and then it was off to our own room. Again, the nurses were pretty hands off and I had to ask for just about everything. Tylenol, new bedding, water….But the staff was nice and put up with my inability to speak any Thai. I ate fried rice, broth and fruit for most of my meals and went on home the next day. I even had 2 nurses say to me “oh, you still fat.” So apparently Thai women walk out of the hospital looking as if they were never pregnant. I just nodded and laughed.

Just a few more pictures of the new one. We promise not to flood our blog with new baby stuff, but we figured that it’s what everyone wants to see for now. So here goes:

Doing a great job loving their brother

Brad trying to feel what pregnancy is like :)

our doctor

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Meaning of Kesed's Name

Some people are curious about the meaning of Kesed’s name, in Hebrew written dsx.

The name has special significance to us for a few reasons. First of all, it is arguably God’s favorite self designation in the Old Testament. It was the way God revealed himself to Moses when he said to God, “Show me your glory!” (Exodus 33:18-34:7). This passage is referenced again and again throughout the OT as the grounds for hope and joy. God is faithful in love to His covenant people. Second, and more personally, it was God’s primary instrument in freeing me (Brad) from much internal angst of heart. For various reasons, I discovered that my heart was constantly feeling apprehension even when I thought of the love of God. Like people in the past who had failed me or shown half-hearted love, I displaced this onto our Lord. In short, I realized that I looked at God’s love for me as if it were forced, something God was compelled to do because of Christ, but otherwise something he did not want to give. In other words, my heart often felt that I was on thin ice with Him, as if he would be easily angered and were not really that interested in my joy. Oh how wrong I had been!

The Lord had me spend a lot of time in the Scriptures last spring, doing a word study on “kesed” (also often transliterated hesed). Micah 7:18 was radical to my previous manner of thinking. “He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love”. Here is was, the grounds for genuine unconditional love. I could be assured of His enduring love not because of my inherent worth (even Rom. 3:12 says that in our sin, we have become worthless apart from Christ), but because of His worth and the delight He has in loving. Love does not arise from the worth of the object but in the Lover. God is free to give and to take and he chooses to lavish love on His “rescued remnant”, his people.

This naturally led me to wonder, what kind of love is this? The greatest picture of steadfast in the OT is actually masked by translation tradition, for Psalm 23:6 often used the phrase “goodness and mercy” in the place of one Hebrew word, “kesed”, translated everywhere else as “steadfast love”. Therefore, a consistent translation would be “Surely steadfast love shall follow me all the days of my life”. Again the Hebrew is liberating in its illumination. The word “follow” here is everywhere else used and translated as a military term to convey pursuing, persecuting, hunted, or chased. (i.e. Lam 5:5; Ex 15:9). In other words, kesed-love is an aggressive, unyielding love that hunts us down for the sake of our joy in Him. God’s steadfast love “persecutes” (in an obviously good sense) His children. This completely undermines my and many people’s conceptions of love, wherein we seek merely to do our duties of kindness and not do anything terribly bad to others. Rather, to love like God is to chase after, hunt down, and aggressively pursue other’s joy! Unconditional love does not look to the excellence of others’ heart; rather it arises when we find out greatest delight in lavishing such radical love.

When I turned to Romans 8:28-39, I found the clearest, most beautiful expression of kesed-love in the New Testament. It says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Therefore, I hope you will join with us in praying with the psalmist, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (Psalm 90:14)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kesed is Here!

We'll probably write more later but wanted to at least introduce you to our new son, Kesed Edwards. He was born 8 pounds, 6 ounces, 21.65 inches. Carrie and I went to hospital around 5 AM and he came at 9:09 Thailand time. They are both perfectly healthy. I actually was allowed to do the catching itself....what an awesome, profound experience. To join fear and love, gentleness and firmness when he cames out into my hands all at once is unlike anything else. We expect to be back in country in another month.

"Kesed" is a transliteration of the Hebrew word in the Old Testament often translated "steadfast love", as in Ex. 34:6, Micah 7:18, and throughout Psalm 136

"Edwards" is the last night of one of our family's heros, Jonathan Edwards, probably America's greatest mind and certainly its greatest theologian. He has influenced our family in immeasuarable ways. Wikipedia has a introductory summary of his life at

Here are a few picts.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What to Eye

Carrie here. I'll try and keep this short because I know that without pictures, people don't read as much. As my husband USED to say, "if it's longer than a comic strip, I don't want to read it." He's over that now. :)

This morning we got to go to church. You forget how satisfying being with other worshippers in a common meeting place to worship the same God can be. And when you don't normally get fellowship or music or teaching, it doesn't matter what is being said or sung, you are just glad to be in community and in worship. Anyway, to the point....the guy talked about Elijah and all the miraculous things he got to be apart of. Then he wandered. It was in the wandering that God was able to remind him of 3 crucial things to refocusing our lives.

1. Get your eyes off yourself.

Your world really does seem small when the walls to it are enclosed around just your circumstances and problems. We are naturally self-centered creatures. We never really grow fully out of the jr. high mentality that everyone is always looking at you and thinking about you.

2. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

3. Get your eyes to helping someone in need and do something about it.

While in the midst of serving someone who cannot repay you, suddenly the trivialities of your own problems fade away. We can get so focused on the day to day or on our own problems that we forget that we serve a God who has got the future already laid out for us and it is GOOD. He's promised us that much. So we've got to get our heads above water, believing that the next breath will prove from Him to be GOOD.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Well, we're still waiting.  We went to the dr. Friday to check things out and I came back home being 3 cm and 80%.  So we're on our way.  He offered to get things going today through induction, but we decided to go home and see what the weekend holds.  Because the baby is on the larger side, if it doesn't come this weekend then we will induce on Monday.  I'd love to not have to induce, so pray this baby comes on his own this weekend.  In the meantime, I need sleep.  I'm having contractions all night long.  Thursday night I was up all night and in the morning was able to report to Brad about the traffic patterns of the surrounding areas.  Pathetic.  We'll post something as soon as we can after the baby arrives.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"I wish I could take their place"

Here is a meditation and prayer I wanted to share as I am concluding my reading of a book entitled, “Suffering and the Sovereignty of God”. Particularly as we witness suffering on a regular basis and look ahead to a life promised to be filled with suffering (for 2 Tim 3:12 promises this to all who wish to live a godly life), some realizations have hit us. Not that we have mastered them, but are awed by this tremendously gracious calling:

It is a common though among parents and any who love to wish that they could suffer in the place of another whom they love and who is suffering in some way. “Can I just take their place?” we ask. “Can I suffer in order to ease their pain?” This is a Christian question, for at its heart we see Christ on the cross and the words of John 15:13 and 1 John 3:16ff. Yet, as we meditate upon the words of Colossians 1:24, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,…” are we not exactly in a position to do this for those around us and the thousands or millions whom they might influence?! When we go into the world, into relationships, into times of service or suffering, we accept the cost of pain and dieing to self in order that others might not endure the eternal torment of His wrath! Oh, children of God, we can take their place in a particular sense, on the basis of Christ’s absolutely satisfying death. Not only the death of their souls forever, but the curse of a daily, godless life. Paul writes, “So death is at work in us, but life in you” (2 Cor. 4:12). Apart from the Spirit, there is not hope from the “body of death” (Romans 7:23).

Shall we “put to death” (Col. 3:5) all that is fleshly in order to present Christ to those who are dead and dieing? Christ, whose life was wholly consecrated to God, who loved, suffered, died, and rose again—his life and death we reveal in our life! Oh Lord, this is too great a task! I desperately ask for your provision, protection, and our perseverance. Make us and keep us faithful!

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 could not make this message more clear to our hearts and minds, for we are called to carry “in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifest in our bodies” Who can do this be self-willing? No one! This is a Spirit graced miracle!

Be encouraged to press on and welcome (not simply tolerate) various trials, for to suffer well is for the glory of God and the good of human souls (2 Cor. 4:15ff). Oh my soul, daily practice the art of suffering well. Boast in weakness. To paraphrase one writer, for every 1 thought of our “slight momentary afflictions” (2 Cor. 4:17), let us think and speak 10 concerning Christ and the glory to be revealed!



Friday, September 07, 2007


(This was recently released by the AP)

Tibetans Oppose China on Reincarnations (September 2, 2007, AP)

A Chinese order claiming Beijing must approve all of Tibet's spiritual leaders is an attempt to further repress and undermine the religious culture of the Himalayan region, the Tibetan government-in-exile said Sunday. For centuries, the search for the reincarnation of lamas — including Tibet's spiritual head, the Dalai Lama — has been carried out by select Tibetan monks. The new order, which came into force Saturday, states that all future incarnations of living Buddhas related to Tibetan Buddhism "must get government approval," according to China's official Xinhua News Agency. It also prevents any outside source from having "influence" in the selection process, the agency reported Friday. China's officially atheistic communist government has increasingly sought to direct Tibetan Buddhism, for centuries the basis of Tibet's civil, religious, cultural and political life. Reincarnated lamas often lead religious communities and oversee the training of monks, giving them enormous influence over religious life in Tibet.

Wow…that really would be power to stop reincarnations J


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Cereal, Transgendered Thai's and babies

Sorry the pictures are lopsided. And I just deleted a sweet picture of a dancing Thai girl, but we're on dial-up and it takes 6 months to upload pictures. So I'm not fixing anything.... We're taking a stroll through the Sunday market. We stopped to have some roadside dessert of a crepe thingy with bananas, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk.

So it's been awhile since we've been able to write. I've just spent the last two minutes trying to get my legs from under me and into an Indian style position. I'm expecting twice as long to get them unfolded. Those of you who have been 38 weeks pregnant understand where I'm at. So this will be a full blog because I want to reward my efforts. Brad went to see "Bourne Ultimatum" and the kids are all wrestling as they try to fall asleep in the same room.

Thailand has been great. We've had some wonderful times with friends and are now moved into the apt. We'll stay here until we go back into country. If you've never been to Chiang Mai, Thailand, it's a great city. There's a ton of things to do and LOTS of Western food. A friend of mine and I got to laughing because a "tuk tuk" (taxi) driver was asking us where we had been. He's got all of these exotic excursions to take us on, he says. We replied "we have been to 7-11." But with 7 kids between the two familes and one incredibly fat pregnant woman, 7-11 and some good slurpies are exotic enough for now. We are just beside ourselves to be eating cereal and cheese. Oh ya, we've also seen lots of transgendered Thai men.

There's a beautiful pool on the complex that overlooks the mountains. I don't have a picture yet, but will soon. Our days are filled with language study, homeschooling and contractions.

I went to the doctor yesterday. He's got good english and lots of personality. I've never had a male describe a contraction and pushing down on pelvic muscles by means of charades. And then to reinact the baby's movements inside the womb. He reminds us of Doc from 'Back to the Future." Except this doctor isn't white. We aren't quite sure what nationality he is but he speaks 4 or 5 languages. (that's a for sure way of knowing he's not American! )

I was actually excited about the possibility of medication during this pregnancy. I've done the other 3 all naturally and quite frankly, I"m tired. With a cross country move and three kids in tow I just wanted to ride this one out. But this Dr. is BIG on having a totally natural childbirth. So here we go. He says I'm about 2 cm and 20% already. Although that doesn't mean a lot either. Just means this baby will come eventually. We've got lots of friends to help us here, including meals after the birth and even a baby shower!

That's all for now, this is entirely too long. I have much to share, but will try to spread things out a little better next time. I've gotta go unfold my legs.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Made It to Thailand

Well, we made it to Thailand. On the way here, our kids all got food poisoning.  Selah threw up all night in the hotel in Beijing.  Malachi lost it on the first plane flight and therefore went through the second airport with no shirt on.  Charis threw up in the airport during our layover and then finished the job on the second leg of the flight.  It got to the point of humorous. But we made it and did laundry thereafter.  Carrie had lots of contractions on the second flight, but no baby.

We've been here for almost 4 days now.  Carrie and the kids days were filled with time in the pool, exploring, daily trips to get slurpies (I feel the American burden to introduce my kids to slurpies) and great time with friends.  We'll move into an apartment on Sat. and stay there until we leave.  It will be nice to be a little settled.  Brad had lots of meetings.

All has gone well so far.  We will try and post some pictures and more details after we get into our apartment. 



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