Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I'm a granddad to another little girl!

Lucy Elize Page was born around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23, at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital. The proud parents are my daughter Jennifer and her husband Tim. Suzy and I were able to be there (in the waiting room) when Lucy came into the world. She's beautiful and doing great - just a little jaundice issue, but other than that she and Jennifer are doing fine.

The doctor put Jennifer on Pitocin early Tuesday to induce labor. Progress was slow throughout the day. Twelve hours or so later, Jenn was at about 4 cm dilated when Suzy and I decided we had time to run out for a sandwich at a local diner. We had no more sat down and ordered our food when Tim called to say, "Get back over here, Jenn's going to have a c-section!" So we left the diner and hurried back to the hospital in time to help gather up Jennifer's stuff and head to the waiting room. Apparently the baby's heartbeat indicated the possibility of trouble, so a c-section was the right course of action. In no time at all Jennifer was prepped and Lucy was delivered into the world without a hitch.

It was weird, but Jennifer seemed to be the only patient in the Women's Center that night. She and the baby got undivided and caring attention from her doctor and the nurses on duty. I was impressed.

Today everyone was resting up and recovering from the excitement of the night before. I'm so glad Suzy and I were able to be there to help Jennifer & Tim, and to welcome their daughter Lucy into the family.

Jennifer and Tim picked the name "Lucy" partly because of their affection for the Lucy character in C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. "Elize" was the name of my grandmother on my Dad's side, and it's also Jennifer's middle name.

The name Lucy is derived from "lux," which means light or radiance. I found that in the 4th century A.D. there was a Saint Lucy, the patron saint of the blind, for whom a festival of light is celebrated in some countries today.

Lucy Page, may the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," make his light shine in your heart to give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). And in turn may you "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grandbaby #5 on the way!

My daughter Jennifer, due to deliver her baby last Saturday, went to the hospital today (Tuesday) to be induced. So sometime later today, or perhaps early tomorrow, I anticipate that I'll be holding my fifth grandchild in my arms!

Jennifer and her husband Tim didn't want to know the sex of the baby ahead of time. So it'll be a big surprise and a wonderful blessing either way, boy or girl.

What we DO know is that God created this child's inmost being; he knit him or her together in Jennifer's womb. He or she was fearfully and wonderfully made. This child's frame was not hidden from God when he or she was made in the secret place. When he or she was woven together in the depths of the earth, God's eyes saw that unformed body. All the days ordained for this child were written in God's book before one of them came to be.

"How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!" (Psalm 139:13-17)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Talitha's Baptism

Last weekend my wife and I drove up to Tallahassee for the baptism of our granddaughter Talitha - our son David and his wife Lindsay's first child. I was honored they had asked me to perform the baptism. Their pastor, Mo Leverett, was kind enough to let me have that honor and to assist by holding the water and asking the congregational question.

I was moved to tears when, after explaining to the church the meaning of baptism as a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, I took Talitha in my arms and looked at David and Lindsay. It was time to ask them the three questions I always ask parents at baptisms. But I lost it. It was simply overwhelming to see how faithful God has been to me and my family. David and Lindsay love Jesus. They are also wonderful parents who will rear Talitha to know and follow Jesus.

As I stood there I also thought of my other children - Rebecca, Jennifer, and Michael - and recalled the promise that God gave Abraham 3,000 years ago: "I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you" (Genesis 17:7). God has been good to me beyond my deserving in giving me four wonderful kids. The three oldest ones are married, and they have equally wonderful spouses.

Something that made the baptism extra special was that Mo Leverett sang a song he had written for and about Talitha. It was truly beautiful and moving. Mo is an accomplished singer-songwriter and has made several records. I appreciate how he so thoughtfully ministers to his flock. Shortly after the baptism Mo preached an excellent sermon on Philippians 3:1-11.

After the worship service the whole church celebrated Talitha's baptism with a potluck lunch. I was touched by the love Centerpoint Church has for families like my son's. It's a warm, gospel-loving body trying to reach the urban neighborhoods of Tallahassee.

Lord, thank you for allowing me to experience the truth of Psalm 127:4-5 - "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons [and daughters!] born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."

Monday, March 01, 2010

Shutter Island

What do you get when you cross Martin Scorsese with Alfred Hitchcock, and throw in a little Twilight Zone as well? Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as U. S. Marshal Teddy Daniels.

It's 1954, and Daniels (a veteran of WWII, and still reeling from memories of the liberation of Dachau) is called on to investigate the escape of a patient from a maximum security hospital/prison for the criminally insane located on Boston's Shutter Island.

I really liked this film. I liked the old B-movie look, the haunting music (which perfectly contributes to the foreboding atmosphere), the acting, the special effects, and especially the engaging story. It's not as scary as the previews would lead you to expect. But it's a psychological thriller punctuated with several different disturbing plot lines. Director Scorsese keeps you guessing about what's really going on the whole 138 minutes. I won't give you any clues; you'll have to figure it out for yourself.

One of the underlying themes of the movie is the power of guilt and shame. We deal with our transgressions in all sorts of creative ways, but the point is we must deal with them - either by denial, repentance and faith in Jesus, or something else in between.

Fear is also a big theme of the movie. I like my son's analysis, which I'll quote from his review in the FSU newspaper: "Shutter Island, while obviously no slasher, is deeply, deeply rooted in every fear of the American 20th century, from insanities and lobotomies to the Atomic Bomb to the Holocaust to the advancement of technology to the perils of suburbia...."

Shutter Island is rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity. I didn't find those things objectionable. However, scenes of violence involving children will definitely offend some of you, so be advised.