Our Miracle Son

On Sunday, November 20th, our precious son – Josiah Jisung Lee – was born at 4:20AM, at 29 weeks and 4 days, weighing in at 2 lbs. 6 oz. and 15 1/4 inches long.  His expected due date was February 1st, so he arrived into our world about 10.5 weeks early.

Josiah is currently in the NICU at the children’s hospital and is recovering well from his first surgery (which took place on Monday).  The picture above was taken on Monday before he went into surgery.

There is so much to share with so many at this point (and many questions to answer) – prayer requests, how Josiah is progressing, how we’re doing right now, what our life looks like, etc.  And we will do our best to share what we can, when we can, and this blog may just become the perfect place to do that with you all.

But above all else, there are two resounding truths that are permeating every hour of every moment these last five days – (1) we are just so grateful that Josiah is alive, that the Lord is ever so present and near to us, and that there are so many who are reaching out to help and support us on this long journey and (2) God’s Word is the final authority, He is the Great Physician, and He is not done with Josiah yet.

In the hours after I got discharged and we saw Josiah for the first time at the NICU…when we had to come home without our son for the first time…when we lay in bed praying and crying together for the first time as parents…when I felt the void in my womb…there was a clear answer that rang across the vast unknown of our souls.

This son will be a miracle…a testimony of the greatness of our God and that He is alive and able to do the impossible.  All for His glory and for His namesake.

So, we hold onto that truth today.  We cannot wait to see how our God will cause His Word to come to pass in our lives.

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Living According to the Implanted Word // The Book of James {Part Three}

There is something very powerful about the concept of being born-again.  Regenerated.  A new creation.  The old has gone, the new has come.

For a sinner like you and me, this is glorious news.  It’s hope at it’s finest.  It’s an invitation for redemption and relationship.

James 1:21 tells us that we must “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

The implanted word?

Just a few verses earlier, in verse 18, James reveals how God, “of His own will…brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures.”

The implanted word is the word of truth…Scripture…the Living Word…Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3).  By Him and through the Word, God makes us new…brings us into the newness of life as one of His own children.

That very word is implanted within us, a seed of the spirit of God sown deep within us, growing and bursting forth into a new life. Read more…

Count It All Joy // The Book of James {Part Two}

So, I’m going to be honest.

I really didn’t want to write this post.

You know when you read something in the Bible and it’s just too much to handle?  It’s just too much to face the reality that you don’t want to live by the truth of these words…that the Word of God really is a double-edge sword piercing through the joints and marrow and soul and heart of a person.  It’s irritating to know the truth and not live by it.

So you kind of just skim over those parts.  Push the dust-bunnies into the corners of the room (oh, you don’t do stuff like that??).  It’s like how I’ve always covered my eyes on any of the Jesus-being-crucified movie scenes from when I was a child (and yes, I still do it to this day).  I know it’s the truth, but it’s just too painful sometimes to come face to face with the gory, offensiveness of it all. Read more…

From Unbelieving Half-Brother to Bond-Servant // The Book of James {Part One}

I grew up in the church but didn’t really give my life to Jesus until the summer of 2007.  I was getting along just fine as a “Christian” – going to church, leading worship, and reading the Bible (anyone else do Awana?).  But I also got along just fine living the way I wanted.  As long as my “Christian world” didn’t intrude into my life and plans and what I thought was best, then all was well.

Until that fateful summer before my freshman year of college when the Lord in His great mercy revealed to me – Dear one…but you don’t really know me…

As I read Matthew 7:21-23, it was like I was reading the Word for the very first time…

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’   And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

I knew if I had died in that moment, I would have been one of those that would have said, “But God, did I not say I was a Christian?  Did I not lead worship at church?  Did I not…”  And yet the truth would have been revealed – but I did not know God…thus, I did not do His will in my life.

Everything changed after that day. Read more…

One Word for 2016

I’ve been pondering on my resolutions / goals / hopes / dreams / (whatever you call it) for 2016 for a while now.

Towards the latter half of 2015, I wrestled with the reality of “letting my ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and my ‘no’ be ‘no’” in my own personal life, thinking about the importance of speaking the truth in every possible way on a daily basis.  I am all for making goals, lists, plans of actions, etc.  But there is something sacred about committing to one thing, even a small thing, and carrying out that commitment with grace.

I was reading my friend’s blog today (she writes with such honesty, grace, and beauty…you need to read it for yourself) when I ran across the concept of One Word 365 (or I suppose it’s 366 this year since it’s a leap year!).

It is utterly brilliant.  Instead of having all of these resolutions, you pick one word that sums up your various goals, dreams, and hopes for the year, and you live with that one word in mind every day.

The funny thing is, I had already had one word floating through my thoughts and popping into my head at random times throughout the last couple of months.  I suppose this is best evidenced in my last blog post.

So here it is, 2016… Read more…

God With Us // Reflections on New Year’s Day

It was just short of a year ago, on January 10, 2015.  We had finished a week of honeymooning in Cabo San Lucas and it was on the plane ride home that this then two-weeks-a-bride wrote these words with a bit of fear and trembling in her journal – “Lord, as we are on our way home, starting this new season of life…please, please…be with us.”

It wasn’t until this afternoon, finally winding down from the joy and celebrations around our first anniversary, Christmas, conferences, and the New Year, that I finally read through my journal from 2015.

Sometimes weeks had gone by without a single word.  Other days, there were pages and pages of thoughts, wrestlings, tears, and fears.  But the common theme that kept reoccurring through my weak words was that despite our track record or our circumstances, somehow, we would love Him more.  That we would know His presence in our daily lives.  That we would trust in Him.  That we would know that He was present with us.   Read more…

The Greatest Gift of All

As fall fades into winter the sometimes cloudy, gloomy days are the best kind of weather for curling up on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book.  I recently indulged in Francine Rivers’ “A Lineage of Grace” series of five novellas, each portraying a fictional perspective based on the biblical accounts of the five women named in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Besides the fact that Francine Rivers is an amazing author, it was beautiful to read this book and ponder upon the reality that these five women were real women who faced real issues in their day.  In the midst of the messiness of life, they played a seemingly small yet significant part in bringing forth the Messiah.

But most of all, the novella about Mary was my favorite.  Although the major events are formed around the narrative written in the gospels, Rivers took some creative liberty to imagine what it would have been like to raise Jesus as a baby, child, teenager, and young adult.  He truly was the fullness of God and man in one human frame without sin.  What would it have been like to interact with Him, fully God yet fully man, perfect yet so real?

This quote from the book captured it so beautifully (p. 527) – Read more…