After You Have Suffered A While...

    Suffering is not something we, as Americans like to experience, but in the Bible, suffering is far-too common to ignore as the people of God who follow the road map of Scripture to navigate our lives and families, as God orchestrates HIS-tory to usher in the Everlasting Kingdom.  

    In 2000-01, my family faced a great deal of challenge and pain.  This was a very transitional period in our lives, Carrie and I had just celebrated our first wedding anniversary and we moved home with no job ready for us, but it was the loss of a sister way too early in life that just about brought us down.  My 14-year-old sister-in-law suffered an ATV accident that would claim her life instantly.  We found ourselves in a season of great mourning, asking God a lot of questions and trying to understand it all.  In the same 6-month window, we would move again and transition jobs twice.  Then in 2005, after several years where we worked hard to try to build our family, fighting for financial and job stability and having our first child,  Carrie experienced a miscarriage while waking on a cool morning in April.  It's these types of situations and seasons of great difficulty that cause one to look deeply at suffering in Scripture, to seek to comprehend suffering from God's perspective and properly interpret these excruciatingly painful experiences in our own lives.  Since those days...  years ago, I have gathered much from Scripture on suffering and pain. One of my favorite verses is found in the first Letter of Peter (I Peter 5:10) that states, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."   In this, Peter states that suffering is something we WILL face, but after the suffering, God will work to bring stability and strength to our lives. 

“Suffering is not the end...”

    Recently, I was scheduled to preach on the weekend of the 16th anniversary of the ATV accident that claimed the life of my precious 14-year-old sister-in-law, Toni Ann Preece.  When considering what God would have me speak on, I was lead to the Book of Ruth and the life of Naomi.  This sermon follows Naomi, mother-in-law to Ruth and her challenging season followed by God's working in her life to stablish, strengthen, and settle her.  I hope the Lord gives revelation knowledge to those who struggle and suffer to shed His light on the experience from the Word of God as you check out the sermon below.  God Bless!  

The True Meaning of Easter

  In the days leading up to Easter, my son who has recently taken an interest in, of all things, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations approached his teacher with a request to do a presentation on Easter.  His teacher then allowed several of the students in the class to embark on this journey in small groups.  Having the preconceived idea that she would see presentations including Peter Cottontail, candy, and baskets, she received the surprise of her life.  The presentations were not cartoons at all.  These kids proceeded to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the true meaning of Easter!  

My Daughter's Baptism! - A Father's Journal

    It's Sunday and we have just arrived home from a weekend getaway in Tennessee.  Completely unprepared for what I am about to hear, my little princess who is now not so little says to us, "I want to get baptized."   "What was that you said?" I asked.  She repeated, "I want to get baptized."  I was ill prepared to hear this AWESOME news!  "That is great, sissy!  When?"  was all that I could muster, as I continued to bring luggage from the garage.

   It's now Wednesday and the plan is set and I am going to get to help do the honors!  I now have time and my attention focused to parse the thoughts of my beautiful daughter, who now has the capacity to make some important life decisions and has chosen to follow the Lord Jesus in obedience to His Will to be baptized in water!   I cannot even begin to fill my mouth with expressions of what I feel in my chest!  She has never been forced to this decision, only informed as to what it is all about as given in Scripture, but my prayer continually has been, "God, may my kids know that You are their God! May they have a relationship with You all by themselves!"  I'm feeling pretty good about how things are going so far with this petition before the Father, and I press on to the mark of this HIGH CALL, that my kids be fully espoused to Christ!  I hope between now and Sunday, I can fully realize this moment.  For now.... only "WOW!" 

   It's Sunday, the big day! Though delayed by weather from the original Sunday, we finally arrived.  Today, I joined our Pastor in the baptism of my daughter at our local Church.  I can't begin to express what I felt looking across the baptistery at my beautiful daughter robed and ready to enter into obedient worship!  I know that she could not fully understand or appreciate what she was about to do, but I also know our Heavenly Father must have been even more pleased than I as our daughter stepped into the water to bring full Glory to God!!  As quickly as she entered the water, the experience was over.  I tried to fully capture every second, in my inner man and on my GoPro. As we began to lay her into the water, I placed my hand on the back of her neck so as to be her protector.  I mean, she's going under water, I have to make sure she's safe, haha! When she rose out of the water, I couldn't hold back the smile that exploded from within.  Crucified with Christ, nevertheless, she lives!   Later that evening, as we talked briefly before bedtime, I said to her, "Watching you grow up so fast is not the easiest thing in the world, but you sure are making it easier."   Then, I commenced to express how proud I am of her responsibility and decision-making.  I blessed her and then walked out of the room, praising God for everything that I had experienced on this Sunday.     


   My wife and I continually emphasize the value of trust.  It is hard to build, but easily broken.  We as parents work to build trust by always being honest and real, and we hope that she as a young lady will continue to live so as to build trust.  We assure her that her home life will be better as our trust in her remains.   For now, she has done well!  I praise God for her and for this day!  May she continue this walk to glorify and honor the Name of the Father, of the Son , and of the Holy Spirit!      

Kingdom Rock... Professor Joey, Here to Serve!

    This week has been a full week for sure!  VBS nightly from 6:00-9:00 (toothache on top of that, but please ignore my complaining!). The interesting thing is....  I find myself full!   I have made it a focus to bless kids and pray for their families, and I have had a blast doing so.  The children have been great and very participatory, and their smiling faces causes joy to fill my spirit.  My service would not be complete, however, without the great team of people with which I have walked this week, Professor Richard, Professor Tim and "the Minions,"  (said in a thick French accent..) Austin & Maria.   I just love to walk with God's people!   So looking forward to this evening and the final night of VBS, I hope to capture all I can of the moment I have been given to walk with the finest team and to bless kids and their families so that their lives are eternally impacted! 

Our team in the Imagination Station at Kingdom Rock with some kids from the First Grade Group. 

Father-Daughter Connection at Miramar Beach

  On Day 1 of our family vacation 2013, I had a moment of connection with my daughter in the ocean, while enjoying the crystal clear waves of Miramar Beach, Fl. The New Testament ends with this statement in Malachi 4, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."      

  It is interesting that a curse was prescribed for the earth if not for the working of the Spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, etc. Connection to our kids is very important, especially in a day where these relationships are greatly impacted through divorce and other factors.  I truly treasured the moments with my family during vacation, most specifically this one with my daughter!!

    This video is pretty much RAW with only a transition between the 2 clips. Also I realize I need to shave, but "Hey, it is what it is and that's what this channel is all about!" :)  Real family... living real life!  

Welcome to My Family Dynamic!

I would like to welcome you to My Family Dynamic!  Thank you for considering a stroll with us on our journey of family life!  This opening video provides important revelation to all families.  There is opposing forces to your family environment, but thanks be unto God for the hope found in Jesus!