Thursday, December 16, 2010
Here's a poem written by my sweet friend, Amy Katterson.
See the donkey, bearing Mary,
See the dark and barren stall,
See the Christ Child, squirming, crying,
See the God who made us all.
See the shepherds, breathless, frightened,
See the sky alive with song,
See the travelers with their presents,
See King Herod’s rage grow strong.
See the Teacher, squatting, speaking,
See the crowd that mutters, eats,
See the broken-hearted mother
Hug her child whom Jesus treats.
See the leaders, growing darker,
See the hatred in their hearts,
See the Maker, quiet, moving
Toward the storm that broils, starts.
See the friend betray his Master,
See the frenzy of the crowd,
See the Sovereign Jesus, standing
Waiting there with head bowed.
See the fear in Pilot’s actions,
See the mocking soldiers laugh,
See them beat Him, bruise Him, break Him,
As He ripped the veil in half.
See the angels, vast, unnumbered,
Poised to smite the crowd below,
See the Father, silent, bidding
Evil men to crush their foe.
See the soldiers laughing, gambling,
For the tunic, smooth and whole,
See the broken body, bleeding,
By His wounds to save their soul.
See the realms of darkness shouting
As they view the death they crave,
See the silent women weeping,
Bringing spices to His grave.
See the first soft light of morning,
See the radiant Son arise,
See the claws of death are broken,
See the King has won His prize.
See Him, and in seeing, trust Him,
Let His coming be for you
Not just Christmas gifts and carols,
But awesome pardon, life made new.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I may never forget what I saw on Thursday morning, September 16, 2010. It appeared to be a “typical” morning in the Turner home, full of new mercies and fresh grace in Christ Jesus! I remember kissing my bride and saying good-bye to my little ones while I walked into the garage, closing the house door behind me.
As I opened my car door to throw my book bag in before heading off to the church office, I was abruptly met in my garage by a police officer. “Are you the pastor who lives here?” he asked quietly.
“Yes, I am” I responded.
“Your next-door neighbor is requesting you...her husband is dead,” he stated.
“DEAD!?” I thought. I had just seen Paul watering his flowers earlier that week.
So, I immediately threw my book bag into the car, slammed the door, and began to follow the police officer about 25 paces to my neighbor’s house, praying step-by-step for the Spirit to prepare me for what I might see and how I might serve in the midst of this early morning tragedy.
As I walked into the house, I was greeted by the uncontrollable sobbing of Patricia, my neighbor’s wife. Patricia was waiting on the coroner to come and take away Paul’s body because emergency officials had just left the house and had pronounced him dead. As she wept on my shoulder, out of the corner of my eye I saw Paul’s dead body covered by a black sheet, still sitting upright in his recliner, facing the TV. After a while, I went over to the recliner, lifted up the sheet and put my right hand on his cold, lifeless forehead. I saw the face of death. It was both shocking and surreal.
Patricia muttered to me through her tears, “We were supposed to go to our cabin in Detroit Lakes this weekend.”
These sobering events, along with Patricia’s statement regarding her and Paul’s presumed weekend plans, pointed my heart towards the Holy Spirit’s rebuke [to me] through the words of James,
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit,’ yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills we will live and do this or that..’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4.13-16, italics mine)
The Lord has used this tragedy and this text to pierce through the “pride of presumption” in my sinful heart.
There are times when I think ahead to the future and make personal, family or ministry plans with no conscious thoughts that worshipfully consider what “the Lord wills” above all. This is a kind of practical atheism, as I seek to determine the plans and even the outcome of my everyday life according to my own will, as though the only True, Sovereign, All-controlling God did not exist. God forbid!
There are 3 sharp truths regarding my not-Godness in this text that humble me and serve to puncture the presumptuous pride in my life:
I am utterly ignorant regarding the matrix of events that will occur on any given day in my life. “You do not know what tomorrow will bring.” (14a)
I am a mist that will not be alive for long on planet earth. “You are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (14b)
I am a sinful man with “arrogant” and “evil” tendencies. “You boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (16)
The good news is that King Jesus came into the world to rescue ignorant, sinful mists like me by bearing my “sin in His body on the tree, that I might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds I have been healed.” (I Pet. 2.24)
Through Christ’s glorious substitutionary death on my behalf, my presumptuous pride has been nailed to the tree and I have been healed of my self-boasting! I am forgiven because of Jesus’ blood! Thus, I can receive James’ rebuke with joy! This mighty gospel enables me to humble myself under the sovereign and good hand of my God, who lovingly rules over every detail of my mist-like life.
I thank our faithful Father for using my neighbor’s sobering death and James’ stabbing words to remind me that only if the Lord wills, will I even live.....to play basketball tomorrow morning or take my family to the zoo on Saturday or preach at the Awaken retreat next weekend or go on a missions trip to Haiti next year.
May the Lord continue to overcome all of my (and your) practical-atheistic-prideful-presumption by the power of the cross and grace us to gladly acknowledge His sovereign and good will over every moment of our fleeting lives.
O Lord, teach us and our children to joyfully say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
As I recall that I'm but dust,
only in You should I put my trust.
Lord, help me to stay sober...
Instead of being caught up in the latest fad,
let Your presence alone make me glad.
Lord, help me to stay sober...
When I become consumed with what I can be eating,
remind me that my life is fleeting.
Lord, help me to stay sober...
Let the idols of my heart be destroyed,
So that freedom in Christ will be enjoyed.
Lord, help me to stay sober...
Because this life is almost over.
Then You will come for me
And I'll live with You for eternity.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 1 Peter 4:7
Friday, October 1, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Each year, I get teary eyed as I think back to my pre-mature baby lying in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) wondering if he would live to see another day. Seven years later, I'm still in awe of God's goodness. It definitely has not been easy, but God has definitely been faithful! Praise the Lord that His faithfulness to us doesn't depend on our wavering faith. Most parents look forward to their 2nd grader learning how to add double digits or comprehend a reading passage. However, the Lord is teaching me that Christian's worth is not about his abilities or reaching man-made milestones. It's all about rejoicing in God's goodness and how He has uniquely made my son for His glory.
God will fulfill His purpose for my son (Ps 57:2, 138:8) even if that purpose includes being non-verbal, not potty-trained, having to be fed, bathed, etc. Lord, help me to joyfully embrace that. You are good beyond my understanding and on this first day of school, your goodness shines so brightly. In Christ, I rejoice!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Oh was she ever right! That has certainly been evident as I've watched my two older children grow. However, I was told a lot about how life would be with 3 children...BUT no one ever said that it would feel as if your 3rd child grows 3 times as fast as the others did. My precious Kalia Joy, I can't believe that you're already 1 month old!
Oh Lord, help me to redeem the time. Use my little, insufficient efforts to point her to Yourself and I pray that she will desire You at a young age!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
In a world where looks and appearance are everything, it’s very difficult to not feel isolated if you don’t fit the status quo. When you’re a family that has been affected by disabilities, you really feel the weight of the fact that you definitely don’t fit the world’s beauty standard. In my son's early years, I used to dread having to go out in public. I felt like my child was a magnet for stares and I would get asked personal questions as I mentioned in this post. Many times I would go into my car and weep. It’s been 7½ years now and it still bothers me, but the Lord has enabled me to be more prayed up and saturated with His Word when I’m about to enter those situations.
Focusing on biblical truths like the ones that I listed here has been a great help for me in not becoming an emotional wreck when we go in public with my son. The passage of scripture that encourages me the most says,
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
When I read that Jesus knows exactly what it’s like to not fit the world’s standard of beauty, my heart is truly encouraged. Whether you are a parent of a child with special needs or disabilities or if you just don’t fit the world’s view of beauty, I hope you will be encouraged today by knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ can relate. He endured more shame, rejection, and isolation than anyone has ever experienced. In spite of all that, He endured the agony of the cross on our behalf (Read the rest of Isaiah 53). Now that’s a Beautiful Savior!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
(pics coming soon!)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I will miss...
1) The Special Parking Spaces.
2) Mostly everyone (including strangers) are so friendly to smile & greet me.
3) Total strangers strike up conversations with me.
4) Most people open doors for me and let me go in front of them in line.
5) Feeling the baby move in my tummy (not when I'm trying to go to sleep though:-)
I will NOT miss...
1) The swollen hands & feet. I even have Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel...I never thought there was such a thing!
2) Feeling like a big heavy whale whenever I have to turn over at night.
3) Constantly going to the restroom.
4) Waking up tired in the morning even after sleeping for 8 hrs!
5) Contrary to #3 above, when total strangers strike up a conversation & ask when I'm due and look shocked when I tell them how much longer I have as if I should have already had the baby. Fortunately, I only got the "Are you carrying twins" once!
So, for those of you who've been pregnant before, what do you miss and not miss???
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
This milestone is huge for me! Many of you know that my first pregnancy ended at 25 weeks. However, many of you don't know that ever since then I've been labeled high-risk due to an incompetent cervix so I am monitored very closely during my pregnancies. I first have to get a cerclage surgical procedure between the 12 & 14th week. This is where they stitch your cervix. After that, I have to see the doctor and get an ultrasound every 2 weeks to check to see if my cervix is staying closed (I have enough ultrasound pics to fill a photoalbum :-). Then at 20 weeks, I have to start getting a weekly shot to help strengthen my uterus. Hallejuia...my last shot is this week! I also did this whole routine when I was pregnant with my daughter and the Lord blessed her to come full-term!
Now you know why I'm rejoicing over the Lord sustaining this pregnancy for 9 months! God has been so good! Please pray for me and this baby...energy during the last 3 weeks of pregnancy, safe delivery, c-section recovery, & the early months of family adjustments with this new little one. Unless the Lord has a different birth date planned for Baby Turner, my planned c-section date is Wednesday, July 28!
Nine months & counting...
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
"You have heard me often say that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, and although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me – even if it is from His left hand (better from His left hand, than no hand at all, right?!). Yes, it’s alarming, but rest assured that Ken and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope, and strengthen our witness to others…"
Read the entire Special Message from Joni. Please Pray for our beloved sister.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I am grateful to be your son because…
* You pray for me and give me blessings each day.
* You greet me every morning with joy.
* You care for my daily needs not as a chore, but as a loving choice.
* You are patient and gentle with me even when I am having a rough day.
* You give me sweet tender kisses every day.
* You smile with appreciation when others say we look alike.
* You show loving-kindness towards me no matter where we go.
Daddy, I feel dearly loved by you. By God’s grace, you are a true picture of a father’s love for a son. Your love towards me is a reflection of our Heavenly Father’s love for us.
Thank you for loving me…Just the Way I Am!
Happy Father's Day!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Look up the word complementary in the American Heritage Dictionary.
1. Forming or serving as a complement; completing
2. Supplying mutual needs or offsetting mutual deficiencies.”
The only way two things can be complementary is if they’re different. Each part of a complementary whole adds unique elements the other lacks.
Marriage is one of the greatest expressions of this. Scripture shows us that while men and women have equal worth, value, and dignity before God, He created them different from one another.
Have you been letting differences between you and your spouse irritate you? Do you sometimes wish there were no differences between men and women? Remember, God created you and your mate different for a specific reason. You are a complement to your husband, and he is a complement to you. How can you show respect for his uniqueness and use your strengths to complement him today?
Monday, May 31, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
* Children's and Infants Tylenol
* Children's and Infants Motrin
* Children's Zyrtec
* Children's Benadryl
Please visit this product recall site for more information. Be sure to check your medicine!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
• I delivered a 1 lb 13 oz baby boy.
• I was told that my baby may not live past 48 hrs.
• I was in a complete state of numbness, disbelief, and extreme sadness.
• My sadness quickly turned into anger, frustration, and bitterness.
At 25 weeks of pregnancy, 3 yrs ago…
• I was full of anxiety.
• Although I was getting all good news about the baby, my worries overshadowed any joy.
• I did not allow myself to enjoy my pregnancy because I didn’t know how long it would last.
• I remember crying in my doctor’s office because I was overwhelmed with fear that at any moment my pregnancy would turn around for the worst. Praise God that my doctor was a believer & able to minister to me.
At 25 weeks of pregnancy, today…
• I feel the best (emotionally & physically) than I’ve ever felt during any pregnancy.
• When I’m not thinking on things that are worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8), my mind wanders to...
- "What if I have this baby early?”
- “What if this baby has special needs?”
- “How I’m I going to handle 3 kids who are all very dependent on me?”
• I must rely on God’s grace to help me to meditate on truth. As Jeremiah did in Lamentations 3:21-25, after he recalled his anguish, he remembered God’s character -
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
• Whatever I must endure, God will ALWAYS shower me with His steadfast love, faithfulness, & goodness. I may not always think God’s plan is good for me, but it is. May God help me to rest in the fact that His thoughts & ways are greater (better) than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9). No matter what I go through, His goodness and mercy will follow me (Psalm 23:6)!
So, that’s where I stand today…
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
He waters the earth and causes it to be fruitful for everyone, whether he is acknowledged or not.
Every meal e eat is an expression of his sovereign care. Sometimes we pray and give thanks; more often we just eat and assume that the grocery store will have what we need for tomorrow.
He heals us day after day. Some researchers believe that cancer is always present in our bodies, but God sustains our bodies in a way that wards off its advances.
How many times have you had colds, infections, food poisoning, and a host of other physical maladies that you no longer have?
He protects us, without us knowing or asking, while traveling on an interstate when everyone around us is engrossed in their cell phone conversations.
How many times has the Good Shepherd fought wild beasts to keep us safe while we peacefully grazed, unaware of his heroic care?
Even before we get to the fullest expression of God’s love and care through Jesus Christ, we have reason to live in thankful dependence. As God has already demonstrated to us in the exodus, he doesn’t wait for crises to happen before he acts. He doesn’t wait for us to call out to him. Instead, he is always on the move, always sustaining, giving every breath to every living being every day.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I was elated! He had already asked my parents to watch the kids for 4 days in order for us to enjoy a Pre-Anniversary Trip. The Lord has blessed us with a trip each year for our anniversary. Because I will be 8 months pregnant (Lord willing) on our 11th anniversary (June 12), he thought it was a good idea to plan it sooner. I actually didn't think we would be going any where this year because of the new baby coming and because we had such a big get-away to the Dominican Republic less than a year ago.
After 4 hours of traveling with a layover in Phoenix, we finally arrived in Sunny San Diego! What a great city to visit when you've had to look at snow for the last 5 months! When we arrived, it was dinner time. We really like pizza so we had a casual dinner at a cute little spot called Espresso Pizza. Kempton had the whole trip planned out. All I had to do was sit back, relax, and be spoiled.
We had reservations at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. However, they overbooked for the night so they gave us a FREE night in their sister hotel - Hotel del Coronado.
On top of that, because of our "inconvenience" for the night, they told us that when we returned to the Resort for the remainder of our trip, they would upgrade us into a Luxury Suite. WOW!!!
I praise God for this sweet, unexpected blessing from the Lord. He has given me a romantic husband who regularly shows me that he loves me more than I can imagine. Thank you sweetie for striving to love me as Christ loves the church.
Below are a few snapshots from our trip.
Truluck's where you pay $25 for 1/2 lb of crab and don't get any side entrees. Very good though! :-)
Taking a break from hanging out at the Seaport Village.
5 month pregnancy pic
We had a good ole down-home breakfast like grandmama used to make at a well known restaurant called The Big Kitchen. The mouth-watering pancakes are as big as the plate!!!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
But by the knowledge of the gospel we are made children of God, brothers of Jesus Christ, fellow townsmen with the saints, citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, heirs of God with Jesus Christ, by whom the poor are made rich, the weak strong, the fools wise, the sinner justified, the desolate comforted, the doubting sure, and slaves free. It is the power of God for the salvation of all those who believe.”
—John Calvin, preface for Pierre Robert Olivétan’s 1534 French translation of the New Testament
(HT: Tony Reinke)
Monday, March 29, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Well, I have some good and bad news for all my faithful freedom journey buddies.
For the bad news first...
1) That pic in the "skinny jeans" post was one of the last days that I could fit into those jeans.
2) I have been eating a lot more than I was eating on my freedom journey.
3) I have gained about 8 pounds in 2 months.
Okay, before you start thinking that I completely jumped off the wagon and called it quits, let me share the good news.
I traded in my skinny jeans for maternity jeans...I'm almost 5 months pregnant!!!
So, after this baby comes in July (Lord willing), I will DEFINITELY need to work on jumping back onto the saddle...in my skinny jeans...I hope! :-)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I'll let you know when it's ready! :-)
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
–noun; a point at which the essential nature or character of a person, group, etc., is revealed or identified.
"Defining Moment." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 10 Feb. 2010.
Christian's Top Seven Defining Moments1. Feb. 10, '03 - Born at 25 weeks gestation.
2. Feb 20, '03 - 1st Surgery at 10 days old.
3. June 25, '03 - Came home from the hospital after 135 days. What a great celebration!
4. Nov. 16, '03 - 1st Seizure and diagnosis of Sturge-Weber Syndrome
5. Oct. 1, '05 - Started walking! Doctors are still shocked by this!
6. Feb 10, '06 - Woke up with paralysis on the entire right side of your body. Praise the Lord you recovered after 2 days in the hospital.
7. Today - Celebrating your 7th Birthday!!!
Christian, your defining moments are actually mommy's defining moments. Each one chiseled more of me; my pride, my selfishness, my worldliness. God is still molding me into His image. But by His grace, I see more of Christ in me which I know would not be there if I did not have you. The Lord is using you in my life in ways that I could not have imagined. I was not one of those "saintly" parents who choose to parent children with special needs. I came into this kicking and screaming...literally. But today, oh how my eyes have been opened to see things more eternally. God will always be working on mommy until I see my Savior's face. However, my prayer today is that I would love you even more as I continue to embrace God's plan for your life and our family. I love you Sugar Bear!
We celebrated Christian's birthday with his classmates at school.