My, How You’ve Changed

1 Corinthians 15:51–54 (ESV)
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

My, how you’ve changed
Was the regular refrain
Each time we met again
My Grandmother and I.

My, how you’ve changed.
How you’ve grown
In one year alone,
For distance has sped my advance.

My, how you’ve changed
Since I saw you last.
Too long has passed!
But alas we’re together again.

My, how you’ve changed
It’s hard to ignore
That you’ve changed more than ever before!

Or so it seemed to her.
For I seemed the same to me
And so did she.
Until the roles reversed.

My, how you’ve changed,
For more often than not
She forgot.
This was our journey now.

My, how you’ve changed.
We sit; we rehearse
Our story’s verse.
A final I love you.

My, how you’ve changed.
Jesus whispers, “Come.”
Her spirit runs.
And she begins to give thanks.

Now I look to the day when
In new bodies arrayed
We in unison say,
My, oh my, how you’ve changed!

Goodnight, Grandpa

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13–14 (ESV)

He’s fallen asleep. That’s all. No need to grieve like one with no hope. Grieve, but grieve in hope.

Jesus died. Moreover, Jesus is risen! This is the ground of our hope, Paul reasons.

Grandpa has fallen asleep. Oh, but what a precious reality of assurance it is to me that while he was awake, Grandpa treasured Jesus. And his treasuring Christ during his 83 years is his claim to the promise of resurrection with Jesus in the age to come.

I embrace so many fond memories of time with him when he was awake. His love for Jesus was evident. He modeled a life that showed Christ’s importance… his value. Service to Jesus’ church was ingrained in Grandpa. He wanted others to know and love Him. I never knew a time when he didn’t love God (though I recognize that his relationship with Christ did have a beginning… It just began before I, myself, woke up). I loved this about Grandpa.

Grandpa rejoiced in creation, and gave glory to its Creator. God was good to him, blessing him with a love for the outdoors and with many years post-work, where Grandpa could enjoy what He had made. Fishing. Hunting. Golfing. Shooting. Boating. Gardening. Mowing (you shoulda seen his yard!). My back yard exists as more than dirt because of Grandpa’s expertise with nature. I loved this about him.

Grandpa was an entrepreneur. An inventor and a creator after the image of The Creator. He understood things. He just… did. From business to mechanics to electronics… He just knew things. I loved this about him.

Not only did I love his creativity, I imitated it, myself… or at least I’m trying to. My interest in computing was directly related to the days at his house, sitting behind him, watching him use the computer. From the early days of DOS to modern iPhones and iPads, Grandpa loved computers and enjoyed sharing that experience with me. I’m grateful. I love software development, and I attribute that to him. But like Grandpa, my love for computing is not an end in itself. Rather, it is (and was, for him) a reflection of God’s own creative expression.

I could go on, and on, but more words would simply echo what’s already been said, just from different perspectives and experiences. I think I’ll pause here, while I have a few moments of quiet to wrap up (life with a two year old and a newborn is hectic, to say the least).

Goodnight, Grandpa. I’ll see you in the Morning.

Father's Day 2.0

How is it that the father of a 5.5 month old baby boy (me!) is claiming to celebrate “Father’s Day 2.0”??

My wife wrote a very compelling blog post last year around Father’s Day. You can find it over at her blog, “Eve’s Daughter”.

I love the argument she presents – how we wholeheartedly believe that life begins at conception and that our baby boy is 5.5 months old since birth, but he has existed as a human being for well over a year now. She wrote,

If we believe that life begins at conception…then why do we tell a mom that she isn’t really a mom until a baby is born?

Likewise, is a dad only a dad when his baby is born? Does not a baby exist prior to birth? If that’s what we hold to be true (which is what we’re saying when we say “life begins at conception”), then that baby must also have parents!

As I reflected on this today, I began to think of it like this:

If we agree with the assertion that Courtney and I only became parents on December 31, 2012 when Silas was born, this would mean one of two things:

1. Silas was not a person before he was born. However, we have already written that we do not hold this to be a true statement. Silas was a human being in the womb.

OR

2. Silas was an orphan before he was born.

A child without parents is by definition an orphan. And I assure you, my baby boy has never been without a mom and a dad who love and care for him.

So I am celebrating my second Father’s Day today because my baby boy had a daddy from the very start who loves him beyond what language can express.

How Old is Silas Allen?

“Ooooohh, now… how old is he??”  I love this question.  Really!  I do!  Every time I’m asked I get to talk about my kid, and that’s always fun.  But today, things just got even more fun.  Now, instead of just telling people his approximate age, I can show them his precise age down to the second!

As some of you know, I’ve been nerding out on learning to build iOS apps for iPhone and iPad.  Well, to celebrate Silas turning another month old, I built a little app that tells me how many years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds he is old.  I also built in functionality so that I can see how much longer it will be until his birthday (actually, I think I just thought of a bug with that part, but it won’t show itself until 2014 so I have time…it shouldn’t be nearly as bad as the Y2K panic – but date math is non-trivial, just so you know). 

And yes, for those of you who are just as OCD as I am, I did consider the fact that he was born at 12:06 AM (sorry…they didn’t give us the exact millisecond of his debut or I’d have that in there too).

Check out this video of the app showing his age as he turned 3 months old this morning!

Silas Allen Turns 3 Months Old! from Andrew Bancroft on Vimeo.

Review of "Love to the Uttermost"

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As a dad looking for a way to lead my family in devotions for Holy Week, I was thrilled when I heard that Desiring God had released a daily devotion guide for this week leading up to Easter. Courtney and I (and Silas, though he was still preparing for his big day) really enjoyed reading the Advent series during Christmas, so I was excited to see the Holy Week counterpart, “Love to the Uttermost”.

And I was not disappointed. I cheated… I read all of it already. I highly, highly recommend this simple, yet powerful book. It’s designed to ignite our joy in Jesus by causing us to pause and reflect on his love for us, most visibly demonstrated and felt when he laid down his life and took it up again, so that undeserving sinners can be happy in God forever.

The devotions are

  • Clear and concise
  • Eye-opening
  • Joy producing
  • Jesus-glorifying

If you don’t yet have a plan for this week, it’s not too late. The devotions are short but powerful. You could even catch up if you don’t see this recommendation until mid-week. Head over to Desiring God’s site and download this free eBook today. For your joy!

Meet The Bancrofts

I recently starred in a documentary.  Well…  Sort of…

By “starred”, I mean it was basically all about my son, Silas, and Courtney and I were in it as “support roles”.  But who needs the details, right?  It’s probably better that my face appears less anyway – Silas’ face is way cuter.

Seriously though, I was blown away by the talent of Ms. Jordan Moss.  She did this video as a project for her degree – I give it an A+ (but of course I may be a tiny bit biased).

Enjoy this little glimpse into the Bancroft family!

The Bancrofts from Jordan Moss on Vimeo.