Hangin' Out in Karongue

Hangin' Out in Karongue

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stand Firm in the Faith

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to preach at the Strong Man men's conference in Twin Falls, Idaho. Below is a link to the video of the sermon from Psalm 78 dealing with a father's role to stand firm in the faith for the sake of the next generation.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Ezra

Early in our marriage Gayle and I battled with infertility. We tried for over three-and-a-half years to become pregnant before being told by one of the country's leading infertility specialists that the chances of us having children on our own were nearly nonexistent.

God used this long event in our lives as very new Christians to teach us about what it meant to treasure Jesus over and above everything. Even over wonderful things like children.

But God, in His infinite grace, did indeed bless us with a child. And I can remember how we and our family and our church family and friends rejoiced to find out that after all of this time Gayle was finally pregnant. 

When the big day for Ezra to be born finally came there was great excitement. Over 25 people were at the hospital as Gayle went into labor. The child that the doctors had said was nearly impossible, that we had all been praying for for years, was getting ready to make his arrival. It was a time of great anticipation and joy.

But Ezra's arrival did not go exactly the way that we had planned it. When he arrived there were some unanswered questions about our little boy that the doctors had to look into. And less than 12 hours after Ezra's birth Gayle and I sat alone in the hospital room as Ezra was carted off to have some x-rays done of his skull and to see a neurosurgeon. Our half-day-old little boy was taken away to see what his future, and ours, would hold. This was not the picture that we had imagined for over four years.

As Gayle and I sat in that room we were exhausted, confused, and more than a little bit overwhelmed. And it was in that moment that the Lord laid a verse of Scripture on my heart that we had memorized together years earlier. It was Psalm 20:7 which reads, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God." And there in that hospital room in our time of need we were reminded of our great God. We were reminded of His sovereignty and His love and His care. We were assured that He was there and that no matter what this looked like or how this turned out that He was in control and that He was always good. He reminded us that He is a trustworthy God and when you cannot trace His hand you must learn to trust His heart.

Today Ezra turns ten years old. And Ezra is in perfect health. As I type this my eyes are filled with tears at the abundant blessing he has been to his father. We named him Ezra because of what was said about Ezra the scribe in Ezra 7:10: "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel." By God's grace we are getting a front row seat to see God make him into that kind of young man.

Our times of trusting God for Ezra are far from over. I am sure that there are many more bumps and bruises, both physically and emotionally, that we will endure as we move into the future. And when they come I pray that we, along with Ezra, will be able to say, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God." Happy birthday Ez! Thank you for blessing your father for the last ten years.