Some Early Reflections on Being a Grandfather

819366_10151384534136505_1018635621_oAs I write this, it is 1:40 AM on January 31.  It is my son James’ 16th birthday, so first of all, Happy Birthday James!  At 11:30 AM yesterday morning our family began the long trip back to Staunton, VA after seeing the birth of our first grand child.  It was an amazing experience and well worth the wait.  The weather coming home was a little crazy, so between the coffee and trying to unwind, I’m still up and not quite ready to sleep.

That being the case, and the fact that Robert Benjamin Clement’s birth seems to have made me wax philosophical over the last day or two – lot’s of thoughts have been running through my head – thoughts that were different than when my children were born, so I thought I might share them.

  • I don’t know why, but little Robert laying my arms, just simply amazed me.  He was so tiny, much tinier than I remember our own.  Tuesday morning when I got to hold him for the first time, Immediately David’s words came to mind, “For I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  Seeing Robert reminded me of just how amazing God has made us.
  • When Pam and I found out that we were going to be grandparents, I was a bit in denial.  I thought to myself, “I’m too young,” but eventually I got over that…The full excitement didn’t really hit me until Robert was born – and then I became a pile of mush.  It was so hard to leave our kids in Ottawa and especially difficult to leave our grandson.
  • Another thought that came to me was how amazing the incarnation was – that Jesus came to earth in the flesh.  Robert is completely dependent on those around him.  How could it be that the creator of the world, humbled himself that he had to be completely reliant on his own creation to take care of him as a human?  That just boggled my mind this morning.  Jesus really loves us!  Jesus really loves you!
  • As I mentioned above, I was a bit in denial at first and on Tuesday morning when Robert was born, I said something about becoming a grandparent and someone reminded me that I was already a grandparent before Robert was born and you know, she was right.  The psalmist tells us that even when we were in our mother’s womb, God knew us.  That’s amazing!
  • It’s a different feeling being a grandparent vs. being a parent.  I haven’t been able to put it into words, yet and Pam mentioned it as well. Perhaps sometime next week, we’ll put our heads together and see what we come up with.

Well, that’s about it.  The wind has really picked up and sounds like it’s going to blow us off the hill.  I’m getting sleepy so, I’m going to sign off.  Blessings….

Welcome to Our World

The anticipation was so worth it. In the wee hours this morning our grand son Robert was born.  He looks so healthy and is 7 lbs. and 21 inches long.  I was reminded of the psalmist words from Psalm 139

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

Robert is so handsome. Of course I’m a little biased 🙂  I can’t believe how much I’ve fallen in love with him already.  It is amazing how that little bundle of joy will grow and grow and grow.  Those little fingers had quite the grip this morning.  Welcome to our world!


We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our grandbaby and all of us are starting to get a little punchy…so in honor of the little dude taking so long to make his arrival, here is Carly Simon’s “Anticipation.”

Song Story: Take My Life and Let It Be

havergal_fr_2During her relatively short life of 46 years, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and memorized the Psalms, the book of Isaiah, and most of the New Testament. She published four books, and composed more than 80 hymns, including I Gave My Life for Thee and God Will Take Care of You.

In 1873, Francis had a dramatic personal spiritual experience in which she realized the importance of complete surrender to God. Soon thereafter, she was visiting a home in which 10 people lived. Several of the 10 were unconverted; the others were uncommitted Christians. Frances, who was staying in the home for an extended visit, prayed “Lord, give me all this house.” Before her stay had ended, all 10 members of the household had committed their lives completely to Jesus. On the last night of her visit Francis was too excited to sleep – It was then and there she wrote the lyrics to the beautiful Take My Life and Let it Be.

This hymn has stirred many hearts towards a deeper commitment to Christ. Even as she was writing the words, Francis herself was motivated to submit more to her Lord. As she wrote the words Take my voice and let me sing…, she made a decision to give up her career as a concert soloist, and sing only for Him. As she wrote the words Take my silver and my gold…, she made a choice to donate her considerable jewelry collection for the sake of missions.

No less than seven melodies have been written to accompany Take My Life and Let it Be. The one most commonly seen in contemporary hymnbooks, was written in 1827, by Henri A. Cesar Malan (1787-1864), who was one of the men responsible for the hymn movemment within the French Reformed Church.

Take My Life and Let it Be

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)

via: ShareFaith

Sunday Night Thoughts

Sunday Night Thoughts

Baby It’s Really Cold Outside

It’s been a much less seasonable week in the Shenandoah Valley this week.  Many days this past week we had wind chills near zero and yet, I don’t have much to complain about, because Pam has been dealing with temperatures much colder than that.  She has had temps at zero with much colder wind chills in Ottawa.  I didn’t realize until James and I made the long trip to Ottawa over Friday and Saturday.  Why are we in Ottawa?  It is no secret that we are expectantly awaiting the birth of our first grand baby.  So we are in Ottawa for that blessed event.

It is cold here.  We woke up to a temp of 1 this morning.  That is the coldest temps we have experienced in several years – the most recent being 2010 just after we moved into the parsonage in Staunton.  However one of the things that we have not dealt with being here are bitter temps with strong wind and that has kept the wind chill very near the actual temp.  Tomorrow things warm up to 25 and later in the week it’s supposed to get even warmer here even climbing over freezing.  That would be the first time in about a week that James and I have experienced that and for Pam it’s been almost two weeks.

Family Worship

Being that we are in Ottawa, means that we didn’t worship with our church family this morning and while I missed that, our family worshiped together musically this morning before attending worship at Michael and Rebecca’s church.  They had church “on the road” because they had a special service and had many more guests than would have fit into their small sanctuary.  Michael is a wonderful musician.  During our musical worship this morning we started with How Great Is Our God and then How Great Thou Art and then moved in to several other songs: Agnus Dei, Revelation Song, and Holy, Holy, Holy.  Michael has a great feel for playing contemporary style music and is also quite the singer/songwriter and can play a mean classical organ as well.  I was impressed with his playing at church this afternoon.  It was fun to worship along with our family this morning.  I enjoyed hearing James sing both here at home and also in church, but we struggled a bit there because the songs were unfamiliar to us, except for the hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be.”


The next big item on our agenda is the birth of our grandbaby…we can’t wait and that is what we are looking forward to this week.  We will keep you posted and I’m sure that there will be pictures.  That’s about all I’ve got for now…It’s been a great weekend so far and I am looking forward to what God has in store this week.

Pressing On!


Sunday Set List

Sunday Set List Main3rd Sunday After Epiphany

January 27, 2013

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship and Invocation

Songs of Worship

Everlasting God

How Great Is Our God

How Great Thou Art

Worship Through Prayer

Song of Worship

Grace Greater Than Our Sin

Children’s Sermon

Worship Through Giving

Song of Worship

He Knows My Name

Worship Through God’s Word

Song of Commitment

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus



Prayer for the Week

Prayer_Banner_22-760x176Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Taking a Running Break

take-a-break-from-workBetween a planned trip to Canada, where it’s much colder than here in Virginia and the cold (for us) air here in the Dominion State, I’ve decided that I’m taking a break from running for about a week. It was way to cold to run on Tuesday and today’s not much better, especially with the wind.  It will be way too cold to run in Canada so, I’m on a forced break and that is probably a good thing.  I was really struggling before the weather got cold.  It seemed every time I went out there it was raining or snowing or just plain ugly.  Besides this is statistically the coldest week of the year.  Looking at the long-term forecast, it is suppose to get much better next week into February.

When I get back from my break, I’ll have 12 weeks to get ready for the Park-to-Park 1/2 Marathon for which I am now registered.  I’ve decided that I’m going to actually use a training plan this spring in hopes of breaking the 1:45 mark, which would mean I would have to run at an 8-minute mile pace.  I have been struggling to meet that on short runs, so we’ll have to see how it goes.

I’m expecting the break to help me in several ways. One, my body will get some much needed rest and it will also reset my metabolism.  Two, mentally I have not been the best runner of late, so this week or so off will help me reset that as well.  Yes, I’ll have to watch what I eat, but it seems like since Thanksgiving, I’ve lost the same 5 to 7 pounds over and over again anyway.  I’m feeling good about my decision and even in resting, I can be Pressing On!