New Beginnings

8788A708-373F-4F6F-9CFA-CF4CFCBCE48F“He who was sitting on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new.’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” Rev 21:5

The Lord has been so tender in his new mercies every morning and abounding grace to our little family in 2017.  Although the year brought much grief and heartache, at the same time it has given us some of the greatest blessings. It’s a paradox some can’t comprehend. While the peace we have experienced go beyond the realm of human understanding and are truly unbelievable; they should not be of surprise to believers.  Philippians chapter four promises to grant us peace that surpasses all understanding if we ask for it with thanksgiving.  Looking at all God has done in the past and what he promises to do in the future brings us much Hope.  God has overwhelmingly outpoured so much love, truth and provisions during this difficult time how could we not thank Him?

Recently God provided our little family with a beautiful new home! I had been frustrated looking at California real estate.  I’ve got to admit that I’d never had much of a passion to own my own home before.  It was Josh’s dream though.  He had been working hard to save for a down payment on a house.  When my title changed from wife to widow and my new role became ‘head of a household’ with two children, buying a home became a necessity.  After consulting with several wise elders and financial advisers I realized that buying a home was the wises stewardship of the resources God has miraculously provided.  However, when I started searching, I broke down and cried that first day.  It didn’t ‘feel’ right to be looking for a home without my husband.  Plus, we had lived in a four bedroom home with 300 archers all to ourselves in the gorgeous green country of Oregon! The first place I looked at felt more like a tiny two bedroom apartment than a home.  There were things that I felt we’re critical—one was a backyard.   At first, the condos I looked at that I could afford did not want have a yard.  Then, fear of living alone led me to take a break, save more money, and give up searching for a while.  Thus, another important factor was that I wanted to live in an area where we would be safe. However, I still fell short of funds by a small margin for all the places that had those two things that were important for us.   Then, one day the Lord gave me a thought. Why don’t I ask people if hey have a home for sale… I posted the simple question on social media and got one response. A woman said her landlord was selling her home and it had a big yard! She send me her landlords name and it ended up being a couple Josh and I had know for years. We both took time to pray about it.  We were then able to come to an agreement on a price and we both saved money in the escrow process since they had not even placed the home on the market yet. God worked this all in amazing ways!  We’ve also received much of the furniture and appliances we needed for free or near nothing.  The Lord truly takes care of the widow and the fatherless and he uses His body.

Our new church family has come around us in so many ways.  Just one was demonstrated again this weekend as many men stepped up to help our family move all our furniture.  We had my things in three different places and it ended up being a full day endeavor.  The guys were so gracious to stay and help till we were done.  The Downer family we live with have been so kind to us too.  They helped me feed the men and watch the boys during the move.  This wonderful family is always joyfully willing to help with the kids.  The boys and I are truly going to miss them.  As we say goodbye to 2017 there is sorrow yet also anticipation at what the Lord is going to do in 2018.  “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  This last year may be filled with bitter-sweet memories and even pain; yet the future for the Christian is one with Hope and joy as we look to Christ and His coming.

Christmas Blessings and Family Update!

 

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”  Isaiah 6:6-7

Newborn children are a joy and cause for celebration.  We rejoice when we hear news of friends and family welcoming a child into the world.  How much more so, should we rejoice at the advent of the Christ-child come into our world to dwell with mankind!  He was no ordinary child.  Jesus came in the fullness of deity, yet humbly stayed in the tent of an earthly body that He would sacrifice to death on a cross to bear all our sins.  This tender little baby was simultaneously the Mighty God who could bear the debt for our sins that would take all of eternity in hell for us to repay.  He overcame death and rose from the grave to give us eternal life through faith in Him.  One day He will come in power to establish an ever-lasting kingdom.  We look forward to the day when there will be no more pain, suffering and adversity.  This is a wonderful reason to celebrate this Christmas! A savior was born of a virgin just as God had prophesied.  And just as He who promised is faithful, so will His love with accomplish the promises He has made of his future reign and our reign with Him.

From our little family to yours, we wish you a most joyous Christmas Day and a Blessed New Year.  May you ponder anew the miracle of Christs’ birth and our redemption through His perfect life, perfect sacrifice and perfect righteousness.   No matter what your Christmas celebrations entail may you pause in prayer and reflect on the child that was gift to us.  This is the biggest and best gift given!  May you also enjoy the company of loved ones and cherish your time together.  None of us knows how much time the Lord has lent us upon this earth.  Today, I’m thankful that the Lord has taught me to not to take those whom I love for granted nor each day I wake up with breath and life with them.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers.  Thank you for your continued love and support.  Despite the distance or time between us, you are near and dear to our heart.  We covet your continued prayers for our little family.  We miss Josh and the holidays are not the same without him.  However, God is using this difficult season to draw us closer to Christ and to each other.  The boys are doing well and adjusting to many different changes and challenges.  Noah is almost half way through 6th grade!  We continue to home-school, and he is still getting straight A’s.  Go Noah! Little Nathan just achieved a major milestone as he learned to go potty on his own.  They are both growing by the day.  Noah grew four inches in just this year alone!  He is now taller than me.  Nathan’s preacher vocabulary keeps getting sharper.  We are excited to be  buying a home in Santa Clarita, CA.  The Lord has provided in amazing ways.  We love the home the Downer family has shared with us and are indebted to them for their kindness.  However, it will be so good to unpack all our stuff from storage and start life in our own home.   The church Josh pastored is in the final stages of selecting a new senior pastor.  We miss them dearly; but are all settling in at Grace Community Church and enjoying all its rich teaching.   I recently became a member again and am excited to serve in whatever capacity the Lord would have.  Progress is being made on Josh’s book…the transcribing for his last series on ‘Suffering and the Sovereignty of God’ is now done! We have big dreams for the new year and know we serve a big God.  Please pray for the boys to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord,  for writing job opportunities to open up, and for Josh’s book to be published and leave an impact on as many as God would touch through his life and legacy.

Hugs,

the Seibert’s

A Holy Child Given, to Make Us His Holy Children

0239ADDD-8AEA-4AF3-9BD3-E2AE099B2C75“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a

Earlier today, I had a to give a service man my email address and after I gave him the first part, “daughter of the king,” he commented that he really liked it.  My first thought was this man may be a Christian.  Then, he said my dad must feel proud of me calling him a king.  He was thinking of an earthly father.  My King, however, in my heavenly Father and he actually does rule the world!!

What a wonderful thought that the King of the universe is also my daddy!  It’s so humbling to ponder how this could be.  Especially, since I am no princess deserving of such an honor.  This privileged position is mine because of His great love for me.  It’s not only for me, but for all who would believe in His Son who came into this world to save sinners like you and me.  Christmas is about celebrating the Christ-child whom was full of power and deity yet veiled in human form to take on the punishment the human race incurred since Adam and Eve.  As we think about what this Christmas will mean to us, we may be consumed with the gifts we are able to get for others or on what we cannot afford to give.  Or we may dwell on the time we will spend with our loved ones, or the time we may not get to spend with them.  Depending on our circumstances these ponderings may leave us feeling joyful, melancholy or all over the map.  However, let us set our hearts on what Christmas truly means every year, every day and for the rest of eternity.  Do we think about how we will celebrate Christmas perfectly everyday in heaven?

In this life, seasons are ever changing, years pass us by, people may come and go.  Greek philosopher Heraclitus observed that, “nothing is more constant than change.”  Our location, friends, job, and title may change from one year to the next.  Yet if we are in Christ, we are His children forever and that will never change.  “My primary identity is, I’m loved by my Savior.  That is where I have to find everything I am.” (Elyse Fitzpatrick) No matter what this life throws at me, I can be content, yes even joyful without apologies; because I am ever loved by my Father.  When life hurts, disease prevails, things don’t go as planned or others misunderstand us; we can rest in knowing that our Savior understands humiliation, betrayal, pain, suffering and even death beyond anything we will ever have to experience.  He is on our side interceding on our behalf and working sanctification in our lives and others around us.   We have direct access to the throne of grace based on the finished work of Jesus on the cross.  What an impossible riddle to figure out why God would come down to earth to die for us… Why he would so passionately love such rebels and lawbreakers and make us His holy children to bear His name for all eternity.

Majestic Father and King, you are enthroned on high and seated in heavenly glory.  You need nothing of us.  How is it that you would set eyes on us while we lurked around naked trying to hide from your holy wrath? How are you able to love us to such heights and depths?  We are amazed and overwhelmed by your great love for us.  Yet at times we lose sight, when either everything seems to fall apart, or all is just functioning as normal.  Lord forgive us for falling prey to the mundaneness of life even with season such as Christmas.  Forgive us for our familiarity of the cross.  Thank you for coming into the world to save us!  Fill us with joy that would overflow to those around us.  May you keep your gospel light burning bright within our hearts and be that which catches the gaze of others around us. In Jesus’ name.

Awe & Wonder at God Knowing Us Intimately

D1F1EB0C-0B7C-4643-A14E-C050E299D987“You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue, you, LORD know it completely.  You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:3-7 ESV

Within the depths of our being and the profundities of our soul, we long for intimacy; we long for perfect union and complete harmony—for true peace.  Yet, while we live on this earth, our sin keeps us from experiencing peace to the fullest.  The closest human relationships that mirror oneness are marriage or a mother with an unborn child, but even these among the godliest of saints are marred by the effects of sin, pain and death.  During this Christmas season we celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace of whom Isaiah prophecies, “Of the greatness of his governance and peace there will be no end.” Is 9:7

Jesus was man born in deity as the Son of God and King of kings.  He will govern in perfect justice and rightlessness because he alone is omniscient.  This is a scary proposition because none can keep His law perfectly and merit citizenship into His holy kingdom.   But God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to accomplish peace.  He did this by taking the punishment for sin we rightly deserve though He had known no sin, and freely giving us His clean rap sheet by faith in order that we could be justly reconciled to God.  He knowns every detail about us and still he loves us with a relentless unconditional love.  If we have surrendered our lives to Christ, we have been given His Spirit who searchers our hearts, reveals our sin and empowers us to overcome it.  Peace is ours as we walk in the Spirit, relishing in God’s character and trusting what He is doing through us with each breath he lends us.

It is truly amazing to mediate on all of God’s goodness to us when we think of all the little ‘coincidences’ of life as truly providences from above.  “Who could marvel enough at the goodness of divine providence, at its power, its nobility in difficulties, its ease in managing awkward situations, its magnificence, its resourcefulness?”  (Odoret of Cyr, Discourse I.39) God is intimately acquainted with all our ways!  He knows our every decision beforehand, every word uttered, sees every thought pondered, holds every dream in his watchful eye, bottles every tear, and cares deeply about our soul.  It’s almost too good to take it all in!  It’s astounding to think about God knowing us individually so well– better than we do ourselves.  Not only that but He also knows every single person completely and is everywhere all at the same time!  He is perfect judge because he is an eye witness to every event– in action or thought—to ever occurrence in human history.  “Not only is humanity unable to understand the nature of God’s being, but also how he can be present everywhere simultaneously” (Chrysostom).

Abba, Heavenly Father! Creator of the all the mankind, creatures, planets and galaxies.  You hold the universe and yet also care about the little details of our day as well as the monumental events of our lives! Your love is endless, demonstrative and true.  You are our maker, refuge and solace.  Thank you for being there wherever we go and whoever far we may stray.  Forgive us for our doubts, fears and anxious thoughts.  Lord search us and reveal to us ways we may grieve you and grant us repentance that we may more fully worship you.  You are worthy of all our love, devotion and praise! In Jesus’ name.