Tag Archives: child

Nathan Jin Kitani

you were supposed to be born in march like your dad and your older brother but you weren’t about to get your birthday lumped together with us, so as soon as midnight marked the passing of march into april you let your mother know you were ready to come out…pretty emphatically, actually.  within 30min of arriving at the hospital you surprised even the nurses when you started crowning before a doctor arrived or anyone could give your mom medicine to dull her pain.  she wasn’t sure if she could do it…but we prayed.  i’ve never seen your mother in so much physical pain before but thank you (and God) that you made it easier on your mom when you pretty much came out with only a couple pushes.

 

you entered into this world on 4/1/14 at 3:02am, on a late night with an unexpected but much needed spring rain, weighing in at 7 lbs 13 oz and 20.4 inches tall.   you were drinking mama’s milk within an hour of arriving.  right from the get go it seems you knew what you wanted and went straight for it.

 

so, as you know, a lot of people pull all sorts of pranks on your birthday.  in fact some people weren’t sure if your birth was a joke someone was pulling.  it seems like you tricked your parents really good because they got all relaxed when you gave your parents two false alarms in the earlier weeks before your birth.  i hope you don’t get discouraged if people don’t take your birthday seriously, because, son, your parents consider it a really significant day.  we are truly privileged to be your parents and excited to see your life unfold.   God makes every good and perfect gift…and He knows what He is doing.

 

in fact, did you know that’s what you first name means?  NATHAN means “gives” as in “he/she gives” or “God gives.”  your mom really loves your name as it’s the name of a really clever prophet in the bible (you should check out his story…not just because this prophet totally puts a guy with your dad’s name in his place) and wanted it for you very early on.  i wasn’t so sure because i had friends with sons named nathan and i wanted something more original.  but God woke me up early one morning to pray for you when you were still in the womb and that is the name He kept brining to mind.  later, i asked God what he wanted for you and i got this vision of an owl flying up into the sky then overlaid with gold on a coat of arms.  i asked God for an interpretation and this is the one i sensed i got: the owl meant that you would be wise and insightful (which reminded me of a word God gave to our friend gustavo, that you would be intelligent).  flying up meant that God will lift you up to interact with powerful people and powers.  gold meant that you would be honored in this role.

 

the coat of arms leads me to your middle name, JIN.  like your older brother, that name is a one syllable name that could work in japanese or korean, reflecting your mixed parentage.  there are different possible meanings for that name depending on the chinese characters you use to make that sound.  when we read “blade” as one possible meaning we laughed and mom said that’s the one that stuck out to her.  the more i thought about it, it seems fitting to the pointed nature of your arrival and even with nathan the prophet and his approach.  nathan was not a blunt instrument that just declared king david’s sin but was a blade that artfully and effectively cut to his heart.  with a story as a parable, nathan stirred up the king’s sense of justice and at the right time pointed to david’s culpability to deliver the conviction effectively, whereas with a blunt approach david may not have been able to objectively see the gravity of his sin and unjust act.

 

son, i pray that you would confront the powerful in an effective way, giving people the word they really need to hear from God.

nathan

 

“Here I will make a horn grow for David
    and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”

– Psalm 132:17-18 (the psalm God led us to and that we read together a couple hours after you were born)

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day 25: welcome!

Psalm 24:7-10; Luke 2:1-14

 “7 Lift up your heads, O gates!  And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! 9 Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!” – Psalm 24:7-10

“1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'” – Luke 2:1-14

***

open up them doors!  open up your hearts, that the King of Glory may come in.

who is this King of Glory?

He is mighty to fight AND WIN the battle for our souls!

– He grew up in a town that people thought no good could come from!

– He is simultaneously the Root (source) and the Branch (spread) of His family tree!

– He is born in the “house of bread” (bethlehem) and is our Bread of Life!

– He was born to a teenage mom!

– He was born to a dad, who wasn’t even His biological dad!

– He was born to low-income  parents!

– He was born into a world that didn’t have space for Him!

– He was born in a cave and his crib was a food trough for animals!

– He was born wrapped in death to die for us!

– He makes His best baby shower announcement EVER to a bunch of filthy nobodies in the dark!

– He is the I AM that even commands all the armies of heaven!

open up them doors!  0pen up your hearts, that the King of Glory may come in.

from infinite to finite, from the throne of heaven to the lowest place on earth, from most respected to most disrespected, from eternity to now…where could we ever find a more awesome King?!  Let’s welcome Him in and leave no room or space in our heart empty of Him!

thank you Lord that you came to us!!!

day 23: child king

Psalm 72:10-15; Matthew 2:1-11

10 “May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! 11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! 12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. 13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. 14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight. 15 Long may he live; may gold of Sheba be given to him!  May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day!” – Psalm 72:10-15

1 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

 6 “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

 7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.” – Matthew 2:1-12

***

why is this king worthy of worship? 

– He is a helper of the needy, He is compassionate (Psalm 72:12-13)

– He is a ruler with eternal origins, He is a ruler that will shepherd His people…He will care for them with the tenderness and thoughtfulness of a shepherd who lives with the sheep. (Micah 5:2, Ezekiel 34)

who actually worships Him?

not who you’d expect.

– the people of israel, the very insiders of the culture, knew about this king.  the “religious” people knew this…even pointing to the very prophetic scriptures that were theirs from God.  they even knew where the messiah was.  yet, what was their reaction?  they stayed right where they were.  they may have given lip service that they intend to worship (Matthew 2:8) but they did not go to worship Him.  in fact, they were “troubled” by Him.   the king, and later the religious rulers, were plotting to kill Him.  this child, this king of compassion, posed a huge threat.

– the wise men of the east, outsiders of the culture, learned about this king too.  not only were they foreigners…they were pagans…unfamiliar with the “right” religious practices.  they had to resort to astrology, which was forbidden in the scriptures, because they didn’t have the same access to the prophesies.  this king wasn’t even the king of the land they had come from.  yet, what was their reaction?  they gave true worship.  their worship was not just lip service.  it cost them a lot to make the long perilous journey…but they are the ones who “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” when they found Him.  they laid themselves on the ground in recognition of the greatness of this child.  in fact, they seemed to understand the significance of this child king better than His own people.  their gifts pointed out that He is a king (precious gold for royalty), He is a priest (frankincense used as incense in temple worship), and that He would sacrifice his life (myrrh used to embalm dead bodies).  (Matthew 2:11, more background into the significance of these three gifts)

so what is our response to this child king?  does His existence, His agenda (to help those in need), His reign threaten us?  would we rather have this season, our lives, be about what’s comfortable for us now?  or will we learn from the wise outsiders that sought Him out, and joyfully lay down our lives in worship?

thank you Lord that you reveal yourself to those who really seek.

day 20: victor

Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4; 1 John 3:8

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” – Genesis 3:15

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son,born of woman, born under the law,” – Galatians 4:4

“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” – 1 John 3:8

from the beginning satan fooled us and brought us down to his level.  this lie, that God is holding out on us…that we have to look out for ourselves.  but where has that gotten us?  we think we’ve got the medicine but it keeps making us sicker.  we just keep digging our graves deeper.  right where the devil wants us.  we were stuck in sin, this debilitating condition, with no way out.  we can’t get ourselves out.

yet, also from the beginning, God had a plan to lift us up to his level.  not only a plan to get us out of the mess we got ourselves in but to crush satan’s head and live in victory…through His own and simultaneously one of our own (“born of a woman, born under law”).  Jesus Christ is from God but also born of a woman…He is God and He is a man.  He had to be God to save man for only God has the strength to live without sin.  He had to be a man to save man for only a man could take the punishment for sin.  through Jesus alone, we are raised as kings and queens, victorious over sin, death, and satan…like Jesus is.

in what ways are we still giving into satan’s lies and sin?  how can we live today in the freedom we have in Him?

thank you Lord that you are victorious

being stolen from and receiving a son

we had our first piece of property stolen from us about a week ago.  it was only a matter of time living here.  our neighbor actually had a rock (or something) thrown into their window a couple weeks ago.  as of today, the neighborhood we have moved into is ranked 45th highest in violent crime out of 209 neighborhoods in Los Angeles County (according to the searchable “neighborhood” section in the LA Times <about one of the only things that the paper’s got going for it>.  so the other evening i walked outside to water our front lawn and realized our hose was missing…as well as the reel container the hose was in…that was nailed into the ground.

after getting over our initial surprise…we, oddly enough, just laughed.  Ji figured if they went through all the trouble of getting the nail pegs out of the ground they probably needed it a lot more than we did.  it is such a minor thing in the scope of things.  we have so little to complain about living here.  it is so much nicer than we had imagined in our minds as we prepared for the move.  i mean there are differences here on our street that you would never find in a more well to do neighborhood such as: dog poo all over the grass, random trash strewn about on our lawn (including a pair of panties a couple weeks ago!), condoms on the sidewalk, etc.  yet, we are still relatively insulated on our street (which is a quiet little spot of newer immigrant asians) compared to the other stuff that happens in the neighborhood.  north of the main street, that cuts through the neighborhood, is generally a lot more dangerous.  my wife and I are really trying to learn to have a looser grip on our possessions.  stuff doesn’t last.  stuff can be replaced.  by the grace of God, we have enough means and are connected to people who have means…Ji’s mom bought us a new hose on a reel.   this is not a luxury most in the community have.

the very next day, after i happened upon being stolen from, we found out that the child growing within my wife is a boy!  my wife was just only about 15 weeks (almost 4 months) a week ago and i heard that people usually can’t find out the gender of their child until about the 5th month.  so the morning we went in for the second ultra sound, i just lifted up a little prayer that our developing child wouldn’t be too shy.  sure enough the little guy was showing us everything as he was squirming all around: his spine, his legs (spread eagle even…hence the gender discovery…hahha!), his heart, his head (which you can see below):

an eerie shot of our son as he was looking straight at us….that’s his skull and eye sockets (to the left).

what an active helpful little guy.  it was so surreal to see him.  we’ve known about him for awhile now hidden in his mother’s belly but its a whole other experience to see life unfolding right before our eyes…so little but so many living moving details already…more real, tangible, and miraculous somehow even though its something very natural.  its like a peek into a world that is always there but normally invisible to the naked eye.  although i had a sweet spot for a daughter i see God’s wisdom in giving us a son.  we will learn so much.  Ji says she has no frame of reference for raising a son, as an only female child (and an avid watcher of gilmore girls…haha!).  it has really made me think more explicitly about what it means to be a man and what I want to pass down to my son…the sort of issues i don’t want him to inherit from me and the legacy i want to leave him.    it is as i am reminded by my wife, that he will catch from me not so much what i say is important, but what i actually am.  God grant us wisdom…grant us your indestructible life.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:21