Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sophie Update #5

Its hard to think what day it is right now... Sophie is doing much better! Thank you so much for all your prayers. She has been moved into a different room, but still in the NICU. Here is a picture of her new bed. We were able to bring her in a little stuffed giraffe and one of our students made her a sweet name tag! Charity also dressed her in some different clothes and got rid of the white hospital get-up she was in.
She has been taking her bottle at the fed times and that helps mom and dad feel much better. Thank you for praying for that. She took 60 cc's at her last feed. That is up from the 30 cc's she was at just about 36 hours ago.
There was talk of moving her up a floor and out of the NICU, but just before we left we were told that plan was scratched. It was kind of hard to hear, but we see the light at the end of tunnel approaching rapidly. She hasn't used her feed-tube in over 12 hours! The doctors put her on antibiotics for another day, so earliest we could leave would be tomorrow, Monday.
Today as I was changing her diaper she peed all over my hands. It was pretty nasty, but I am grateful that she is hydrated and doing better.
Please pray for:
* Sophie to keep eating
* Her appetite to increase
* She will keep eating her 50 cc's per fed
* Charity to get some rest
* Us to continue to be a light for Jesus
Thank you so much for all your prayers for our little girl, she is a true blessing from God and we are so thankful for all He has given us.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sophie Update #4

Sophie is officially four days old now. She was being funny and kept putting her arms up like she wanted to ride a roller coaster. Today was a somewhat tough and long last 24 hours. We were extremely encouraged at the progress she was making and were hoping she would have her feed tube out this morning or afternoon. Sophie has had some trouble eating (taking the bottle) and if she wont take the amount required she gets the rest fed to her through the tube.
Last night Charity and I were both pretty heart broken. She has used the tube about 3 times in the last 24 hours. Every time she uses the tube it means at least 48 hours longer she has to stay in the hospital.
The yawn that Sophie is doing is how all the Benson family is feeling right now. Please pray for Charity to get some rest, I think she goes the hardest of all of us. We are trying to go to most of Sophie's feed times (8, 11, 2, 5 am & pm) and its getting rough on us. Thank God the hospital is only 2 miles away. Our family is tired and stretched right now. Charity and I go to the hospital, stay with Sophie about an hour, come home, eat and do it all again. About half our time is spent going to see her.
Please pray for:
* Sophie's appetite to increase
* Successful feed times
* Mom and Dad to be an example for Jesus @ the hospital
* Mom and Dad to get time with Jesus and some rest
Thank you so much for your prayers. We really do want to honor Jesus with our lives and this has been a huge struggle for us. We know that God is going to use this for His glory and we want to be involved in that. We are so thankful for our beautiful little girl; she is truly amazing!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sophie Update #3

Sophie is doing better! Last night Charity and I were able to spend some time with her and she has been very tired. She will get on the bottle and just kinda fall asleep. The nurses have been very encouraging and telling us how she is getting better and her color is good. Last night Charity and I decided to just sleep through the night. It was hard being home without our baby. We sat in bed last night just talking about how weird it is.
This morning Charity went in at 5am. Thank God that her mom is here to help drive her. The nurse shared with her that at her 11pm feed she took her bottle in 30 min and then at her 2am feed she took it in 15 min! This is really what we need her to do so we can get her home sooner.

This morning we went to her 11am feed (we can't do the 8am or 8pm feeds because that is right after shift change) and she was the most awake we have seen her yet. Our nurse was very uplifting and reminding us how she is improving every day. At first Sophie would barely open her eyes to see us and was not that alert. Today she was looking all over the place and had great voice recognition. If you notice, this is her first picture with no oxygen. Please keep praying that she will be able to stay off and keep her oxygen levels up. It is so hard to see so many wires and tubes on our baby. Last night we had another win; she got her IV off!!! She still the deal in her hand, but they are not giving her fluids anymore.
Today I went to Starbucks and almost broke down when the lady casually asked how I was doing. I am not doing good. My daughter is in the NICU and I am confused. Charity and I both really appreciate all your prayers and continued support. Thank you for praying for Sophie.
Pray for:
* Quick recovery
* No more oxygen
* Desire to eat
* Mom and Dad to be strong and get rest
Thanks all!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sophie Update #2

Well, its official... Sophie is 48 hours old. Today was a good day for her. We are starting to know her nurses that are taking care of her and they are both amazing ladies. The NICU is open 24 hours a day, but closes between 6:30 and 8 am & pm.
Today we were able to give her a bottle and try to help her get some much needed food. Here is a pic of me being pretty focused on getting her food. She needs to take about 30 cc's of formula (pray Charity can breastfeed soon) every three hours per the NICU.
They want us to be able to hold her when she eats. If you notice the formula taped to my shirt; that goes down the tube into her tummy and gets her the food she needs. Sometimes its just hard to grab your baby who has all these tubes and wires on her, but it also makes me thankful that I have a baby.
<--Tired face after eating.
Its pretty weird for us right now; we left the hospital but Sophie stayed. She had a really good day, but her lungs are still having trouble.
The staff is pretty convinced that her throat is irritated from all the suctioning that took place after birth.
I had to throw in the picture of daddy changing his first diaper, boy was that a full diaper! I did my best and got rolling, but Sophie must have been saving up because she pooped two more times while I was wiping her. Don't worry, I didn't get any on my hands! But look at that face.
Tomorrow I will try to get some pictures of Charity with Sophie up here and some more face shots for you all. In all reality she is a healthy, beautiful, little girl that just had a rough start.
Some specifics to pray for:
* Sophie's throat to heal
* Sophie to want to suckle
* Sophie's lungs test to come back better
* Her lungs to get strong enough to get off the oxygen tubes
* Charity and I to get some rest and a good night sleep.
Thanks so much for all the prayers and love!

Baby Sophie Update #1

Sophie is doing really good. She is still in the NICU and getting all her antibiotics; really she is on the road to recovery. Yesterday was a good day, but hard. When we went into see her in the morning she had her "hood" on. The doctors were concerned with her oxygen levels in her blood and this hood was over her head being filled with 100% oxygen. Honestly, it was pretty scary seeing her like this.
The next time I went into see her, probably about 2:30pm it was off. I started to cry. I walked into her room and thought my baby was gone, but just the opposite. Her oxygen levels had risen and she was able to get the hood off.
Over the last 18 hours the percent of pure oxygen she has been given is dramatically decreasing. Thank you all for praying for our little baby.

Last night I was able to hold her for the first time (the one time I didn't bring the camera).
Charity was able to spend some time with her last night and tried feeding.
This morning when we got down she looked amazing. She had just finished eating (she gained about 4 ounces already) and was sleeping. This picture (to the right) is her this morning. She still has oxygen in her nose and a feeding tube down her nose. The oxygen level is down to 21% and the pressure is 1/2 a liter (down from a liter last night). I spoke with the doctor and she has "Meconium Asperation"; which means she pooped in the uterus and inhaled it. She will be on antibiotics for 5 days (total) and hopefully we can take her home Sunday or Monday.
Please keep praying for Sophie and us. This is a draining time emotionally. We are leaving the hospital today without our baby (not the first people in the world to do this I imagine). We are just scared.
Pray specifically for:
* Healthy Lungs
* To gain strength in suckling
* The antibiotics to work
Thank you all so much!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sophie Marie Benson 8-26-2008

Watch out world, here I come! Welcome Sophie Marie Benson into the world.
Charity and I went to the hospital at about 3pm. By 6pm she was dilated to 8cm and her water was broken. Around 8pm she was fully dilated and ready to go. Our doctor arrived to the hospital about an hour later and pushing began. At 9:44pm out came Sophie:

Here is the first time I held Daddy's hand:

Check me out! Sophie wanted to sit up and see Mommy, she was tired:

About 20 min later Sophie was taken to the NNICU (Neo Natal Infant Care Unit) because she had inhaled some meconium into her lungs. She will most likely be there for about 2-3 days. Please pray for God to work in a miraculous way in our baby's life!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2 days left

So I kinda messed up, missed the Sunday update and now its down to two days until our due date. Yesterday was fairly uneventful. We watched the Chargers game, they won, we went to bed. But at about midnight Charity started having contractions.
She timed them for an hour and was hurting pretty bad. After an hour and a half of those we went to the hospital at about 1:30am. I was pretty sure we were having a kid. She was crying from the pain and then we got there and no more contractions. Well... not no more, but much less frequent.
We stayed there till about 3am and then came home. Charity woke up at about 5:30 with more contractions, took a bath and started timing them. We called her doctor this morning and are going in at 11am to see what is going on. She has been having contractions all morning, so we are just in wait mode (that's what I call it).
Please keep praying that Sophie comes on or before the 28th. Thanks!

Monday, August 25, 2008

4 days left

Today has been a fairly mellow day. Charity is done with work so her and her sister went out and got their nails done. The contractions are not as frequent as they were a couple days ago, but much more intense. This is definitely running our lives right now. I go to work and keep my phone super close. Today is my day off, so I have been at home working on homework all day.
We are praying, and would love for you to join us, that baby Sophie Marie will come out sometime between now and August 28th (which is her due date). We were pretty sure we would have a kid already given how frequent and intense Charity's contractions were at the end of last week. But we are in peace that God knows when she will come.
Last night was the best night of sleep I have gotten since the contractions started. Charity slept through the night, mostly, and got rested up too. She is such a trooper, I have the best wife ever. Well, please keep us in your prayers.

The Weather is Crazy!

The weather is crazy right now. It was like 100 degrees today and now its all thunder, lighting and rain. The weather can turn crazy here in like 10 min and that is exactly what it did today! Rosie just jumped because the thunder is so loud, the lighting is getting worse as I write and I am kinda scared standing next to the widow as the rain pelts it! I love it when it does this!

What if...

I was talking with Jessica (Charity's sister) this morning and I was wondering; "What if Transformers, the movie, is really a documentary?" Wouldn't that be sweet! I grew up loving transformers and maybe the movie is a way to ease the public into the fact that robots live among us???
Ok, probably not realistic, but could be super cool!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We exist to impact lives

This summer we did a series from Doug Fields called "When People Meet Jesus". We looked at different parables of when people met Jesus and the change that took place in their lives. We decided that, every week of this series, we would have someone share their story about meeting Jesus.
Here is the video of Colton Scholfield's story of meeting Jesus. Colton is going to Carrol College and playing football. He is an amazing young man that loves Jesus and has such a great heart. This video is encouragement of why we do what we do. I came out here thinking that I was going to be a middle school pastor (now I'm the high school pastor) and realized that I am really a missionary in a dark place. I have the best job ever! I cant wait to see more and more of what God has planned for us to do here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

5 days left

Tonight it hits me again that in about 5 days I can be a dad. I don't want to say "will be" because who knows when Sophie will come out except Jesus. Today was pretty mellow, yet packed. I woke up early (for a Saturday to go to Men's Breakfast: amazing). Got home around 10 and spent some time with Charity and her sister.
Last night I started reformatting the hard drive on her computer because we got a Macbook. Apple is having a sweet deal right now, for the student program (working on my masters at Fuller Seminary) where you buy a Macbook and get a free iPod touch. We are selling her comp to help sweeten the deal and lower the price. Also going to sell the iPod on eBay to help out too (great idea I think).
Then Jessica (Charity's sister) had her boyfriend fly into town and we had lunch with them at the pad. After that Charity and I took a nap, read my Bible, bought a Dyson (comes with a free $40 gift card at Target), then went to Shaun and Krystal's house for dinner.
Today was pretty amazing. The contractions are not much today. She had for about an hour between 8-9pm, but they are almost done now. Not sure what to think. I know she wants the baby out, but God knows when is the best time. Thanks for all the prayers. We love you all!

Friday, August 22, 2008

6 days left

Today marks six days till Charity's due date. We are both pretty scared still. The contractions are still happening so I think we are just in wait mode. I have heard that it can take up to three weeks to get the baby out (not stoked). Charity is not in super bad pain, but I know she is feeling pretty bad. She had some gnarly contractions this morning during breakfast. It is so amazing having her sister her to help us through and work on all this. I am able to go to work and get some stuff done (nothing huge, too focused on making sure she is ok). It is nice, she just got a Macbook, so we can do video chat. I like to see how she is doing.
Please keep praying for us!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

7 days left

Today we went to the Doc and Charity is officially dilated. Our Doc says she is a 1 and 1/2. This means the baby can come at any time. She also was able to feel the head (sounds crazy to me). We had to stay around and Charity was put on a contraction monitor. She was on for about 25 min and had about 10 contractions (I think that is good). She has had a few contractions that lasted longer than 30 seconds, but we still need them to last longer. We are really in just wait mode right now.
I am super thankful that Charity's sister is here in town with us. She drove Charity around to do some errands today. I talked with her about an hour ago and she had some more contractions, please keep praying for us. Sophie will be here before we know it. Also our Doctor told us Sophie is about 6 and 3/4 pounds (not the average 8 pound Benson kid).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

8 days left

Today marks 8 days left until Charity's due date. We have the nursery set up already. The crib is there, the changing table, diapers, more clothes than I have, toys, books, bath tub things... you name it. I am so excited right now, but so scared. Charity's sister arrived in town last night, so we are pretty much covered (I think). Charity is getting pretty big but she is still so beautiful. I am so excited! The pic is kinda blurry, I took it with my phone, but it looks like she swallowed a bowling ball.
We have had so many people give us advice. I would love to hear one thing that you suggest for us. I don't care if you have kids or not, I just want to see what everyone is thinking.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SM Pool Party

We got a Pool Party tonight for all Student Ministry! This is gonna be sweet. Summer is ending and we gotta have some more fun before school starts. Well be at the McComb's house:
781 Vista Sereno
Henderson, NV 89002

Hit it up! Free BBQ, toothpick game, volleyball and some worship!
If you get lost call Marc: 702-553-5917

Lunch @ Pei Wei

Today I had lunch @ Pei Wei with an amazing pastor. Doug Meye came to Vegas about twenty five years ago to plant a church. Doug has some huge respect in the Valley and I was honored to have lunch with him (he even payed!).
We started talking about life and he shared his passion to lead and help younger pastors, I was so stoked. He shared some great advice with me and he is what I will take:

1) The Church is Fragile. This was just an all around statement. We need to be careful with it.
2) Ask people how they are doing: What are you excited about? What are you concerned about?
3) Care less about your impression and more about your relationship with God

He shared a story with me about pennies. He said that in every setting you have so many pennies. For example when you get hired, if people like you, you get 20 pennies to start with. If you got out and double the group and lead some key students to Christ in the first month you get 30 pennies. Lets say four months later you go to camp and something bad happens, like a discipline issue, you loose 10 pennies. He just asked me to make sure you make smart wagers with what you have. He shared about tenure and how that is so important. I am excited about his lunch and Doug speaking into my life.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Date Night

Tonight is the most important night of the week. Its not High School Ministry, Bible Study, Small Group or anything related to the church. Tonight is Date Night.
Charity and I do date night every Monday night. Its a time for us to put the computer away, turn the cell phone off and just have some us time. I love date night. It gives me the time I need with my wife.
To make date night effective we both have to really protect the time. There are about 100 things that I could be doing instead of date night. There are two things that are pressing right now: Pool Party tomorrow night and a fourteen page paper on Ephesians 6:10-20. Both of those can wait. Date night must be protected. If my marriage is not the second most priority in my life (God being number one) then anything can take precedence.
I think this is something good for anyone in ministry to consider and put down on their schedule. Show your wife that she is import and that you love; start date night and make it a priority. I'm out to dinner with my wife!

Why the waves stop

Have you ever been to the ocean and wondered why the waves stop where they do? I mean, really, what keeps them from just going and flooding the near by streets? Is it gravity? Is there not enough water in the ocean so it comes back? What about the gravitational pull?
Today I was reading in the book of Jeremiah and came across this scripture:

Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.
“Should you not tremble in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,
an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
they may roar, but they cannot cross it.
Jeremiah 5:22 (New International Version)

God tells the waves where to stop. God makes that happen. God is such a God of order that He will not allow crazy things happen. I am very thankful that this world was created on purpose and not on accident. If it was created on accident the waves may not know where to stop and many people could get hurt.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Great Quote

Do not be angry that you cannot make others as you would wish
them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
-- Thomas à Kempis


Charity just made the best cookies! I know this is random, but I have the most amazing wife ever. And there is nothing that tastes better than warm cookies washed down with cold milk.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

38 weeks

Today Charity and I went in for our 38 week baby appointment. If you are like me and didn't know all these baby terms at one time its all good. The baby is typically in the tummy (technical term) for 40 weeks. That means we are just two weeks away from the due date.
My thought (not medical advice) is that the due date is just a random guess to make women feel good and then they have a date that they can make their husbands due everything by. I am not insinuating that Charity is making me due things, I have actually self-initiated many projects. I want the house to be ready for Sophie.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Cardinal Sin

I think that yesterday I may have committed the "Cardinal Sin"...
I bought a scale and my wife is 9 months pregnant (its for me though!)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday Aug 10th

Yesterday was a really cool day church. The service wasn't the best ever (I am really talking about my part). I was the host for the day. That means I did the welcome and announcements. For the second service I was asked to lead communion. I found out in-between first and second service that it was my job because another pastor needed to go speak at one of our church plants.
I got up to do communion and talked about the need to remember. Then invited people forward to get their elements and return to their seat. Our staff was at the tables if people needed prayer. A man cam to me who is about 55 and rides Harley's. I could tell he was about to cry. He gave me the biggest hug and said: "Thank you for all you do with my boys". Those words made the day worth it.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Leadership Summit, Friday Morning

This morning a guy named Craig Groeschel spoke about "it". That sounds kinda funny, but he made some great points. I don't extensive notes or great points to write here (I will share some of what he spoke about). He shared about Acts 2:42-47 and what it would look like if "every day" people's lives were being transformed by the Holy Spirit. He talked about "it" and what churches that have it are doing. Churches that have it are committed to doing a few things and doing them well.
He shared his story about loosing it and being too focused on the ministry and not on his relationship with God, I know what that looks like and it hit home with me. He shared what he did to get it back and just what he needed to do.
"To reach people who no one is willing to reach you have to be willing to do things that no one else is doing."
Four things to ask yourself:
1) What are you doing that needs to stop? What can you cut out?
2) What is going trying to show you through what you love and are passionate about?
Those who have it are willing to fail, those who don't are scared to fail.
4) Organizations who have it are led by leaders who have it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My New Thought

Last night Charity and I went to meet a potential pediatrician. Upon getting there one thing crossed my mind: every high school kid in American needs to come here. After sitting in the lobby for about 30 min, I decided that this is the best birth control ever.
There was a sick side (Charity and I decided that the kids should have to wait on that side).
The lobby is loud!
All you hear is screaming kids and cartoons
There was one kid running all over and not listening to his mom
All this made me think that we need to send all students there to just see what it will be like, who knows it may increase purity in America.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Drop Kick Action

This last week at Hume Lake, they did something called: "The Gauntlet". It reminded me of American Gladiator meets Wipeout. The goal of the game was to get across five of these floating pads. You had the option to stop and dance on the third, for more points, and then you need to get the ref off at the end. Out of the 28 participants only one person successfully accomplished the goal.
My first attempt I got jacked. Then I swam back to pad four (the only to go backward), jumped back to number three and charged it. I did a sweet drop kick... but still lost.