Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:12.
Christ rested in the tomb on the Sabbath day, and when holy beings of both heaven and earth were astir on the morning of the first day of the week, He rose from the grave to renew His work of teaching His disciples. But this fact does not consecrate the first day of the week, and make it a Sabbath. Jesus, prior to His death, established a memorial of the breaking of His body and the spilling of His blood for the sins of the world, in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, saying, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:26. And the repentant believer, who takes the steps required in conversion, commemorates in his baptism the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. He goes down into the water in the likeness of Christ’s death and burial, and he is raised out of the water in the likeness of His resurrection…to live a new life in Christ Jesus.
The angelic host were filled with amazement as they beheld the sufferings and death of the King of glory. But…it was no marvel to them that the Lord of life and glory…should break the bands of death, and walk forth from His prison house, a triumphant conqueror. Therefore, if either of these events should be commemorated by a day of rest, it is the crucifixion. But I saw that neither of these events was designed to alter or abrogate God’s law; on the contrary, they give the strongest proof of its immutability….
The Sabbath was instituted in Eden before the Fall, and was observed by Adam and Eve, and all the heavenly host. God rested on the seventh day, and blessed and hallowed it. I saw that the Sabbath never will be done away; but that the redeemed saints, and all the angelic host, will observe it in honor of the great Creator to all eternity.
The Faith I Live By p. 303
Prayer Requests
—-Please pray for a friend who just had a third mental breakdown! His name is Don. Also pray for his wife to be strong through this. Debbie
—-Please pray for my friend Linda. She just got a pacemaker. Rose
Dear Friends,
Today I’d like to share with you the full update on Xander age seven. As it is quite long, I am sharing it in lieu of a story.
“Xander Update 2/21/19
All the Time, God is Good
Journal entry by Bryan & Ruth — 1 hour ago
No surprise, I’m late again with an update. I apologize for the delay; sometimes I just don’t have the energy to take all of the things going on with Xander and form them into coherent sentences. By the end of each day, I am mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted and usually fall into bed too tired to sort and share what is going on, and just need to wait until I am more rested. I apologize for the wait; please know how much we appreciate every one of you, and how blessed we are by your prayers!
Dr. Falco is up now in the rotation, so we’ll have him for the next five days. He’s a wonderful Christian man who has prayed with us and encouraged us with scripture, and we deeply appreciate his compassion and care for our family. When I say that God has put every single person we have needed in our path at exactly the right moment, I really mean it. Dr. Falco was the first doctor to give us a small ray of hope after Xander was put on ECMO. He didn’t pretend that the chances were good, but he always reminded us that God can do whatever He wants, and that amazing things happen when His people come together to pray. This morning, we learned just how amazing those things are.
Dr. Falco shared something unbelievable with us today. He began by saying “I didn’t tell you this before because you just didn’t need to hear it, but I want to share it with you now. There are several markers that we use to evaluate chances of mortality in critically ill kids. We combine heart rate, blood pressure, lactate, blood gasses, etc. to get a number. 5-10 is typical for very sick kids; 30 is really, really bad. I’ve never seen it go above an 85.
“Xander’s number was 93.
“He shouldn’t be alive. God must have incredible plans for him.”
Xander is quite literally the sickest, least likely to survive child this doctor has ever seen. He’s been practicing medicine for many years and works in a pediatric intensive unit at a hospital that gets the worst of the critically ill children in a major metropolitan area, and he’s never seen a child sicker or more guaranteed to die than Xander. Xander, who is sipping apple juice, kissing his mama and whispering to the nurses about his best friend Jake.
God is so good!
This explains why all the PICU staff members keep coming in to his room to see him. Several people have told us they were here the night Xander came in and they just wanted to see for themselves how great he’s doing. No one can believe this child is still alive, let alone breathing on his own and speaking. Frankly, neither can I. Anyone who saw him lying gray and lifeless while the crash team performed chest compressions on his frail, little body would be never able to imagine where he’d be just two weeks later. Xander is, in every possible way, a miracle.
I need to stress that God is not good because Xander survived. Children die unfairly every day. Horrible things happen all the time, and God is always good. If Xander had not lived, God is good. If Xander survived but was profoundly brain damaged, God is good. If he loses his feet, if he cannot walk, if his kidneys never come back and he needs a transplant or has to remain on dialysis indefinitely, God is good. If Xander gets a secondary infection that he cannot fight or his heart isn’t able to continue to pump and we lose him, God is good.
He is good and while we are so thankful that He has chosen to answer yes to the thousands of prayers that have gone up for Xander all over the world, we know that even if the answer had been no, God is good.
These words from one of my favorite authors have carried me through some difficult times in my life, and they are a tremendous comfort to me now. They serve as a reminder that whatever our Heavenly Father allows, no matter how difficult or painful or impossible to understand, is for our good and we can trust ourselves fully to His care.
“The Father’s presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us… Whatever comes to [us] comes from Christ… Nothing can touch [us] except by our Lord’s permission, and ‘all things’ that are permitted ‘work together for good to them that love God.’ (Romans 8:28)”
Now, for the actual medical update…
Xander had a good day yesterday. He’s doing well without the breathing tube and gets a little help from high-flow oxygen through a nasal cannula. His respirations are a little fast, but he’s comfortable so there’s no real concern. He is SO happy to be free of that breathing tube!
He is experiencing some opiate withdrawals now that he’s being weaned off of the sedatives, but they are manageable and not causing him too much distress. He is constantly cold, has some slight tremors, and is still tachycardic and flip-flopping between hypertension and hypotension. These should all abate as his body adjusts to no longer being sedated.
He has been speaking to us in a faint, hoarse whisper, and while it usually takes several tries before I can understand what he is saying, it is wonderful to hear him speak and be able to communicate with us. He will be getting a communication board today with pictures of the things he most often wants or needs, so he can save his voice and allow his throat to heal.
Xander is coming off of CRRT again today to try and motivate his kidneys to kick back in. It can take several months for them to regain function, so there’s no panic at this point, but they do want to get them going as soon as possible. He is still a few days away from being able to eat or drink, but he is getting little sips of water and diluted apple juice from a swab, and he loves it. This poor kid hasn’t tasted anything in over two weeks, so that apple juice is making him VERY happy!
His feet are still in extreme pain, and he is able to move his feet a little but cannot move his toes. A non-pediatric vascular surgeon will be coming in to assess the extent of the nerve damage, since this level of neuropathy is so rarely seen in children.
Xander began some light physical therapy yesterday, so now we have several exercises to do with him three times a day. It is a little painful for him and wears him out, but he pushes himself each time. He’s such a fighter!
We’re praying especially for his feet, his kidneys and that he’ll be able to remain off of the breathing tube.
We would like to invite everyone to join us in a special season of praise for all God has done for Xander. Of course, we are praising Him constantly, but our family will be pausing at 5pm PST for 15 minutes of dedicated praise and thanksgiving. If you are able, we’d love to have hundreds of people praising God simultaneously for this unbelievable miracle.
We remain so grateful for your prayers!”

Baptism and the Passion of Christ