He shall be called…

Thank you to all for your prayers, encouragement, & support through this pregnancy and in the season of Lisa’s labor. In what can only truly be described as a miracle beyond comprehension, our second son was born into this world at 1:10pm yesterday afternoon.

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Hello from our whole family

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How sweet to hold a newborn baby. And feel the pride and joy He gives. But greater still the calm assurance. This child can face uncertain day, because He lives.

Mommy with her first born son the day before baby’s birth and now with her second born son. 

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We have prayed, thought, and talked a lot about names these past nine months. Meanings of names, the character of those possessing the same names, the sound of names, the historical impact of names, etc. A name can give purpose, a cause to live for, qualities to exemplify, and an example to follow.

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Josiah’s initial visit with his new little brother!

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After much prayer and talking, the Lord confirmed in our hearts that this precious son’s name would be:

Titus Goforth Wilkes

In the Bible, Titus was a close companion of the Apostle Paul. The testimony of his life is of one who discipled and walked beside others in pursuit of a deeper relationship with Christ. 

Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also….But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. 2Cor. 8:6,16

Titus’ middle name, Goforth, is after the late Dr. Jonathan Goforth – missionary to China. The passion Dr. Goforth had for declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ is an example to follow. As one writer said of him:

He was an electric, radiant personality, flooding his immediate environment – wherever he might be – with the sunlight that was deep in his heart and shone on his face because his life was “hid with Christ in God.” ….With the sunshine of God’s love in his heart there was an irresistible enthusiasm and a tireless energy.

It is our prayer that the Lord would use Titus Goforth to stand in the gap, be a fisher of men, and to live his life in such a way that others are drawn to Christ and God is glorified.

Titus means hero, giant, & defender. The Lord reveals in Hebrews 11&12 who a hero is in his eyes. Hebrews 12:1-2 stands as a charge to our little Titus Goforth:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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Dwelling at Ease in Zion

“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria…” Amos 6:1

During dinner this evening, we read through a portion of our newest mailing from the Voice of the Martyrs. I am always impacted by this publication for so often I read accounts of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ around the world that either suffered persecution or death on specific dates that I can recall what I was doing on such a day. 

This leads me to an awareness of the decision I must make to daily take up my cross and follow Christ. I am challenged my how inconvenient it often is to be a testimony of Christ before the world around me, often due to the abundance of conveniences I have surrounded myself with.

This evening we read the account of an elderly man who used to live in N. Korea. The Lord gloriously saved him and today he makes frequent trips by boat under the cover of darkness and drops water proof gospel tracts into shore bound waters just off the coast of N. Korea. As the article recounts, he prays over each of these gospel tracts and for the ones that will read them. “This is now my profession,” he says, “the most important task of my life.” Oh what men and women of God are willing to do to fulfill the Great Commission!

At the conclusion of our meal, we pulled out the Scriptures for our evening reading. Our current reading has us in the minor prophets and tonight we read Amos 6. The very first verse leaped off the page, “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria…”

Oh how convicted I am of becoming at ease in Zion. I know Christ and am His child yet find myself often lacking motivation to proclaim Christ. I quickly find myself ‘at ease.’

Amos goes on to testify of those living ‘at ease’ and then drops another convicting phrase, “…they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.” (Amos 6:6b) When afflicted by his brothers, Joseph found none to pity or grieve for him. How many of us would be accused of the same in light of our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we grieved over their affliction and drawn to fervent prayer and searching of hearts as to whether or not we stand ready to be afflicted for the Gospel?

Today we may have freedom to proclaim Christ but to whom much is given much is required. So many of us are at ease. Now hear the words of God’s judgment upon Israel, “…Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the LORD.” Persecution is coming. How many classrooms, offices, government institutions, and more are commanding all to hold their tongue and make no mention of the name of the Lord?

Let us take heed that we dwell not at ease in Zion but rather:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1Peter 5:8-11)

Josiah’s snowy adventure

With about 1 foot of snow on the ground, there was much anticipation in our home to venture out into the great outdoors. We’re still waiting for the arrival of our little blessing so I had much motivation to clear the driveway incase Lisa’s labor began.

After watching the birds enjoy a feast of birdseed on the fresh fallen snow, Josiah eagerly received help in dressing warmly.

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The three of us soon headed out for a time of shoveling, sledding, and snowball fights. Josiah let out a good number of laughs as his Daddy & Mommy threw snowballs at him & each other.

Not so sure about walking in the snow, Josiah especially enjoyed being pulled in his little red sled.

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What is our confidence in?

Phil. 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Let us ponder together……

What is your cause, your passion, your foundation, your stamina, your source of strength, your purpose? What is your cause?

Jer. 2: 37 Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.

– Your cause will be manifested by what you are confident in. If the Lord were looking at what you are confident in, would He reject it?

– I am confident in the Lord, you may say. Is there anything in your life that causes you to fear, worry, or even become frustrated with? If so, then there are other things besides the Lord that your confidence is based upon. Are we prepared to ask Him to remove all that we are leaning upon besides Him (a potentially difficult prayer but one that if prayed and you truly mean it, God will likely answer. Be ready for great challenges as you are pressed into His mold and the flesh discarded)

– Who is Jesus Christ to you? Have you placed yourself fully upon His altar, forsaking all. If we understood who He truly is and what He has done for us, we would have confidence in none other and our affections would not be divided. Oh that we would truly forsake all and follow Him!

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1Cor. 15:58)

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Christmas Together

Christmas is a special time of year for us! The joy of celebrating our Savior birth. We are grateful for a time of year wherein so many are open to hearing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ministry opportunities abound.

There are so many joys around this time: decorating the house, playing Christmas music, making cookies, preparing special gifts for each other, caroling, reaching out to neighbors and others in the community.

With Josiah becoming more aware of his surroundings, we had so much fun decorating the house for Christmas:

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Hosting a memorable Cookies Decorating Contest

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Enjoying time together as a family

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Merry Christmas!

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A memorable trip to Colonial Williamsburg:

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Memorable 1sts for Josiah

The time had finally come. Now just over 15 months old, Josiah has been growing. And growing a lot – His arms, his hands, his legs, and…..his hair!

It was time for Josiah’s first hair cut!

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With help from Daddy, Josiah sat on a stool while Mommy cut and buzzed away leaving a nicely trimmed little man.

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Josiah has also been learning the important daily routine of brushing his teeth. Though he only has a couple teeth at this time, Josiah is enjoying this new sensation of having his mouth brushed each day with Mommy’s special home-made tooth paste.

Oh, all the ‘fun’ things that Daddy & Mommy do.

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Learning also to be Mommy’s big helper around the house.

Watkins Glen–a Testimony to God’s Creative Power

Few places have I been to on earth that can compare to the awe-inspiring magnitude of the creative power of God as this breathtaking park just south of the New York Finger Lakes, known as Watkins Glen.

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Privately owned and operated for many years, Watkins Glen is now a public park that provides several miles of trails into the heart of a treasure trove of Creation spectaculars with rainbow sparking waterfalls, deep gorges, tunnels, rock strata layers, and more. Pictures truly do not do it justice so hopefully this will whet your appetite to tour yourself.

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