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New Baby!

So, in big news, we just gave birth to our third baby girl – Lydia Joy Gilbert – on April 7th, 2018!!! It was something we did not expect to go through upon moving down to Central, FL — nevertheless, God had other plans for us!

We were able to have a successful and smooth birth right at home – which is something we have never tried before. But God gave us tremendous peace about it, and everything worked out perfectly!!

The name “Lydia” comes from Lydia in the bible, and it derives from the Greek Λυδία, Ludía,[1][2][3] from λυδία (ludía; “beautiful one”, “noble one”.

What’s even more interesting is the biblical story behind Lydia in the New Testament. Lydia is a Biblical given name: Lydia of Thyatira, businesswoman in the city of Thyatira and deaconess in the New Testament’s Acts of the Apostles. She was the apostle Paul‘s first convert in Philippi and thus the first convert to Christianity in Europe. Lydia hosted Paul and Silas after their release from prison. It is possible that Lydia was the host for a house church during that time. According to Coleman Baker, “Lydia is described as a “worshiper of God” (probably synonymous with “God-fearer,” used elsewhere in Acts) “from the city of Thyatira” (located in Western Asia Minor) and “a dealer in purple cloth” (a luxury item in the ancient Mediterranean). She and her household are soon baptized and offer hospitality to the traveling preachers. Lydia’s house becomes the site for the church in Philippi, with her as its host and perhaps leader…. According to the book of Acts, Paul and his associates founded the church in Phillipi when Lydia and her household were baptized. One might conjecture that several of the women from the “place of prayer” were among those who joined with Lydia in this new movement.”[4]

So Lydia, in a sense, opened up her house as one of the first “Houses of Prayer” in the early Church days! How cool is that! We pray and believe for a special calling on Lydia’s life as she grows and discovers her purposes in God in the many years to come!!

Thank you for your continued prayers for us as we live as a family on mission for the cause of Christ.


Be Ready

Thought this was interesting. With our American norm of pursuing comfort and trusting in our society of safety, we often hide behind closed doors forgetting the cost of the Gospel.

The house churches in China teach 5 key “be ready” disciplines:

  1. Be ready to deepen your roots in the Word with prayer
  2. Be ready to testify about the Gospel
  3. Be ready to suffer for the Gospel
  4. Be ready to die for the Gospel
  5. Be ready to escape for the Gospel to carry on a ministry

I have to ask myself this question: Am I ready today to go out of my way to take a stand for the Lord? Am I ready at all times to die for the Gospel?

I’m afraid that’s not always the norm in our American/Western church-going life.    I think the true Worshipers of Jesus are exposed when trials of many kinds invade our lives.  Will we be willing to pursue Jesus as true worshipers off the stage as well as on? Let’s change our mindset that being a Worshiper is so much more than singing a few songs on Sunday morning, or performing church gathering programs.  Let’s “BE READY” to live out the things we’re singing about. Let us pray for the people around the world enduring trials — and be ready ourselves! Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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