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!  

A Hedge For My Family!

     Many times, I have said to my kids, "I may not always guarantee your happiness, but you can guarantee I will always do my utmost to keep you safe!"  Protection for my kids is one of my top priorities, and I am always cognisant of the fact that I, as father, have a primary responsibility in this.  While still living in a world where tragedy often knocks at the door of "good people," there has to be something I can do to give my utmost for the safety and protection of my children! 

     Job's story in the Bible is often related to human suffering, but as I read his story, I find that had the test of his character not been allowed by God, this story looks completely different.  Job lived a life before God in such a way that He (God) had all things covered or better said.... hedged!  He was doing a great job of keeping his kids safe! 

   Check out this short exerpt from my last sermon! 

Order in the Home!

    My recent studies in the Scripture concerning the Presence of God have lead me to revisit a Word our Church received in January concerning "Order."  At this point, I am not completely clear on how order fits into a pursuit of the Presence of God, but I find it interesting that when the angel visited Zechariah with an announcement of a son, Zechariah was executing the Priest's office .... (you guessed it) in ORDER.. (Luke 1:8).        When pondering order in the home specifically, I must know God's design for such.  A knowledge of God's design for my home followed by my obedience to operate in the order that He has set forth in Scripture will align me to receive all God has for my family, and (I am hoping) to maintain a sweet environment of His Presence here with us!  Is this not a goal for every home?