Saturday, July 5, 2014

Reflecting on These Past Ten Years

As all of the Fourth of July celebrations are coming to a close, I am still thinking about that one Fourth of July that happened ten years ago.

It was around this time back in 2004 that we made the move from our home in Watford City to the Bismarck-Mandan area. I will never forget our first Fourth of July in Mandan. Due to getting moved in to our apartment, we didn't take in any of the celebrations. As we were still putting stuff away late into the night, I opened up the curtains and to my pleasant surprise, saw fireworks going off in the sky. 

“Look!” I exclaimed to my husband, “We can see the fireworks from here!” He picked up Faith and lifted her to the window so she could see too. We couldn't have known it then but in our next ten years here, we would be experiencing fireworks of many kinds - some bright and beautiful and others complete duds!
Faith playing in our first apartment
After living in Mandan and driving Faith back and forth into Bismarck for all of her appointments, we found another apartment right on seventh street close to where she needed to go several times throughout the week. This made things so much easier for us as Rob could simply walk Faith to all of her appointments, even in the colder weather.

Faith depended on a KidKart for her mobility at that time and it was relatively easy getting her and the Kart up and down the stairs. First, we would take Faith out, bring her upstairs then take apart her Kid Kart and bring up the base and then the seating system, although Rob could get it up and down the stairs in one trip.
Faith playing in her Kid Kart in Bismarck
When she graduated to her first “real” wheelchair, even though the seat came off the base, it was quite cumbersome to get up and down the stairs. Not to mention, carrying her up and down was getting difficult for me, the more she grew. God provided for us once again and the spring before starting kindergarten, we found an accessible place to live right next door to an elementary school.

In reflecting back on these past ten years, while we have faced many challenges and difficult situations, we have also been abundantly blessed. God has brought so many wonderful people into our lives these past ten years and it has been these connections that have helped us through some of the storms of life. 
Faith hanging out on the balcony
We will forever be grateful for the prayer warriors at the Healing Rooms, which is also one of the reasons we felt God was making a way for us to move here. A group of ladies I am especially thankful for are all the women in JOY who have provided companionship, prayer, encouragement and a wonderful ministry for which to involve myself.

These past couple of years, we have also been extremely thankful for our church family at New Life. What a huge blessing Pastor Marc and his family have been to us along with our wonderful church friends. We have grown especially close to our little group at the Redefinition service or the "quiet" service as Faith calls it. We have learned so much about God’s word in just these past couple of years and Faith has grown spiritually as well.
Faith hanging out with some pretty incredible people at a church picnic
Besides the spiritual family we have gained, most of my “real” family now lives in Bismarck too. I would have never thought when we made the move ten years ago, my brother and his wife would follow three years later. And then just a couple of years ago, my sister and her kids and my parents all moved here too!

As the fireworks, the parades, the barbecues and all of the excitement of the Fourth begins to fizzle out, I am grateful for the Lord’s provision and am looking forward to all He has in store the next ten years!
We are so thankful to have this amazing lady in our life who has been
helping us with Faith since we lived in Mandan

Faith and her auntie having fun together  this year on the 4th


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    What if a person is baptized for the forgiveness of sins as an infant or a small child, however, they then die as an adult before they have a chance to believe in Jesus as the Christ? Will they still be saved? The obvious answer is NO.

    John 8:24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (NKJV)

    What if an adult believes in Jesus but dies before he is baptized in water for the forgiveness of his sins? Will he still be saved? The obvious answer is No.

    Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved...(NKJV)

    The adult who was baptized as a child and refuses to believe is in the same situation as the adult who believes but refuses to be baptized for the remission of his sins. They are both rejecting the words of Jesus.

    The truth is that under the new covenant there is not one Biblical account of unbelievers being baptized prior to believing in the gospel terms for pardon. No unbeliever was ever baptized by the apostles.

    The Biblical fact is that all of those new covenant Christians believed first and were immersed in water before the Lord added them to His church.

    Acts 2:22-47......40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying. "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.......47....And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (NKJV)

    Those who received Peter's words were baptized. Infants and small children were not capable of believing Peter's words.

    None of the three thousand were added to their number before they were baptized in water. The Lord added no one to His church before they believed and were immersed in water.