Thursday, January 27, 2011

Some new pics from today...

Lilly Grace weighed in today at 3lbs .05 ounce. The Doctors tell us that the plan is to now just wait for her to grow, as there is not much else needed. The magic number is 1800 grams which I think is 4lbs. In that case then she will probably be at Moses Taylor for another 3 weeks approx. Here are some pics of her today.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A New Wind of Doctrine Blowing Your Way...

Contemplative spirituality (CS) is the latest fad sweeping through the evangelical church in America. It is actually a new term for a rather old heresy known as Mysticism. It seems to be very popular with those who have been subjected to church growth teaching and philosophy popularized by ministries such as Willow Creek, Saddleback Community, and Mars Hill which convinced many that numbers and large crowds rather than doctrinal faithfulness was the measure of true success. The effect was that vital Christian doctrines, essential to christian growth and development, were sidelined in favor of more appealing, self-help, therapuetic, man centered “talks” aimed at appeasing “goats”. The “sheep” that remained were left sick and starving. It is understandable then that many of these bewildered and confused sheep are attracted to a new teaching that promises them deeper fellowship with God and help in finding their “true self”.

CS is a blend of postmodern thought (there is no absolute truth, it is all subjective), monastic mysticism, eastern thought, new age theology, and modern psychology. CS relies upon techniques such as “centering prayer” which encourages the worshiper to clear their mind of all rational thought in order to focus more fully on the “presence of God” which they refer to as “practicing the presence of God”. Relaxation techniques, repetition of self selected “sacred words”, symbols both real and mental, as well as scents are some of the things employed in “practicing the presence of God” and finding the “true self”.

While much could be said, and needs to be re-said, I will mention one of the troubling, un-biblical aspects of CS. It is apparent that the focus of CS is human centered and inward focused. The worshiper is instructed to look inward, to seek and find the “true self”, to hear God speak to “them”. The Bible however instructs us to do the opposite. The Bible tells us to look away from ourselves, and to look by faith to Christ. CS tries to apprehend God through physical means such as iconic symbols, scents, special silent and solitary spaces, and warm emotive feelings. But this is not the way God will be sought or found. God has designed that he will only be discovered by faith alone (Heb 11:6), through Christ alone who now appears in the presence of God for us (Heb 9:24).

Man’s problem with faith though is that is difficult, unnatural and unappealing to our flesh. It is unappealing because we don’t want to look away from ourselves, it is unnatural because we prefer sight to faith, and it is difficult, even impossible, for faith is not a faculty we naturally possess, it is a gift (Eph 2:9). It is so much easier and appealing to try to seek after God through sight and feeling - that is the natural human way. God however demands the we come by way of faith (alone) through his son Jesus (alone).

CS is dangerous, deceptive, and deadly. While it promises to lead a person to a closer and deeper fellowship with God, it actually leads away, slowly and subtly, from a true and saving knowledge of the living God.

Here is link that will get you started on learning more:

Growing BIG...

Lilly is progressing fabulously! Her weight has hovered right around 3lbs for the past two days. Her color is great, as is her appetite. She is noticeably more active and alert seemingly responding to our voices. The more alert she grows the more intense our desire to have her home and care for her here. As you think of us, you pray that Lilly would continue to progress rapidly and that we would remain patient until the day she is good to come home.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Growing @ Moses Taylor Hospital

Ok, a quick update on Lilly! She arrived early Friday afternoon at Moses Taylor on via ambulance from Danville. As of Saturday she weighed a whopping 2 lbs, 150z! The Doctors have taken away all supplemental feeding leaving her to rely on solely on milk from mom. As far as when she might be released to go home, I have heard two criteria mentioned. The first is a weight of 4lbs. The second, she must be proficient at suck/swallow. We have heard various prognosises as to her length of stay. They vary between 4-7 weeks. Of course we are hoping sooner than later! When you think of us, please pray for her continued rapid development. So far, we have been able to visit every day for several hours. Thanks to all who have helped out by watching Calvin, Ben and Ellie while we make our trek to Scranton. We'll post another update in a few days. With love, the Rust's.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Great News!

Wendy is home as of last night! We also found out today that Lilly will be transferred to Moses Taylor this coming Friday, weather permitting. Both Mom and baby are doing great. We will be traveling back to Danville again tomorrow in the late afternoon which I pray will be our last trip for a long while. Thank you for praying and for your many well wishes. We love you all. The Rust's

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Closer to Coming Home...

Great news all around! Wendy will be coming home tonight (10 pm discharge), and Lilly came off her c-pap today which means that she is breathing solely on her own. Hopefully she will be transferred to Moses Taylor shortly. Overall, things are progressing rapidly for the good. We will post any further significant developments. We are grateful for all who have prayed for us these past few days.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lilly Grace...

3lbs, 1 oz. 15 inches long. She is doing very well for only being 30 weeks and 5 days. She no longer needs oxygen, but is still on a cpac. Thank you all for your prayer and concern on her behalf.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Arrival.

Well, Lilly is here! We have not seen her yet as she was whisked away to the NICU. Wendy is progressing well through recovery.

with deep gratitude to the Lord,

Wendy, Lilly, and Ben.

Update from the Rust's.

Early this morning Wendy was awakened by sever abdominal pressure. All signs pointed to labor, however her stomach remained flaccid during the contractions which confused us as to what was occurring. We called our doctor and she suggested we go and get checked out. Upon arriving at Wyoming Valley Geisinger they determined that her "water" had broke and that she was indeed in labor. They made the decision to transfer her to Geisinger in Danville via Life Flight (thanks Nate for the safe and smooth flight!) just in case the baby decided to come sooner than later. She arrived here around 11 am. The plan is to stop the contractions. They have administered several medications through and I.V to stop any further developments.

We are now awaiting the effect of the I.V. If the contractions can be reversed, she will presumably be kept another three weeks (until she reaches the 34th week) at which point they will perform the c-section. If the contractions continue to progress, they will be forced to take the baby in the next day or so. And if they are forced to take the baby sooner than later they at least hope to prolong the birth for 48 hours as that will provide Lilly's lungs critical time to develop and strengthen.

Thank you for your praying on our behalf! And as you think of us please continue to do so. If we need anything else, we will be sure to reach out to you. As of right now, we have no immediate needs. Thank you so much for your love and concern for us.

We will keep you updated through the blog as events unfold.

with deep appreciation,

The Rust's.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Beauty of the Psalms of David...

Our Bible reading schedule has brought us once again to the Psalms. Most of us are naturally drawn to Psalms for the comfort that they almost always provide us when life turns rough and uncertain. I am learning to love the Psalms more as I continue to discover their structure, intent, historical context, soaring poetic expressions, and their many messianic references. They are a wonderful treasure of divine truth as well as an unbiased record of the human experience of the faithful. Their worth and beauty cannot be over estimated or over appreciated.

I came across a quote in the McCullough biography of President John Adams that puts in stark perspective the literary treasure we call the Psalms. Adams is nearly 90 years old at this point, he is at home in Quicy Mass., enjoying the his library and correspondences with such friends as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Rush. He has spent a lifetime reading Shakespeare (once every year in retirement!), Cervantes, Cicero, and most all of the other essential classics. Now near the end of his incredible life he reflects and writes that: "The Psalms of David, in sublimity, beauty, pathos, and originality, or in one word poetry, are superior to all the odes, hymns, and songs in any language." Whether or not he was actually born again will only be known later, but what he did clearly understand was the true unparalleled worth of this part of our Bibles.

A favorite resource of mine that has greatly helped me in understanding and appreciating the Psalms more is the devotional commentary set by James M Boice. His exposition is simply wonderful. If you don't have them, get one and try it, you will not disappointed!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Got Spurgeon?

I'm doing the evening readings by Spurgeon this year. Wonderful! "'The Lord knoweth them that are His', is as true of the prodigals who are feeding swine as of the children who sit at the table" [January 4].

Monday, January 3, 2011

"What's left unsaid"

It's surprising, as McGrath points out, how unproblematic false teaching or incomplete teaching is for many evangelicals. Paul and Jude appear clearly concerned with such dangers from within the church, and church history has validated those concerns. Often what's being said is not necessarily untrue. Rather, it's what's left usaid that may lead us down a slow path to theological liberalism.

"We are privileged to serve with you at Grace Baptist"

As Pastors, we want to express to you how privileged we are to serve with you at Grace Baptist. You serve at Grace with great grace, and you love God’s Word and one another with the kind of love that God that God has loved us with in Christ. We’re grateful that God has given us a desire for both grace and truth. Truth without grace breeds legalism, and grace without truth breeds liberalism. But we’re grateful that God is given us both. And God has also given us growth. Our goal from the beginning was to grow no larger than approximately 300 people before we’d plant another church. For many churches, that might be a career goal for a local church. But praise be to God – we’re almost half way there, and in just six years. “Great things He has taught us, great things He has done!”