Thursday, November 18, 2010

Baby Miscarriage

A miscarriage is a heart tugging event. My wife and I have had three, with the most recent last week. I am not writing this to prompt your sympathy cause I know most of you are very sympathetic and would be in prayer for us. I just wanted to put my thoughts out there. Our first miscarriage was back in March of 2007 with a loaded U-haul truck headed south moving from Iowa to Oklahoma. I remember the events play-by-play. They stick in my head so much because my human frailty became so evident during this time.

I have to share a little history, my wife and I had five children at that point practically by rubbing elbows the first 10 years of our marriage. :-) To conceive again and have complications was a shocker. When things were finally confirmed about the miscarriage I think I experienced every emotion known to man in a matter of 5 seconds (Anger, hurt, confusion, frustration, grief, sadness, etc.). This cycle of emotions left me numb and speechless, grasping for some form of context to try and comfort myself and comfort my wife. It was a tough time.

After some praying, tears, and hugs we proceeded back down the highway. My wife and I were in the bucket seats of our Chevy G20 van (named Old Betsy) when our second born son, whose was eight at that time, said, "I know why God allowed that to happen". We both looked at each other in amazement and said, "You do? Why?" Our son said, "Because God wanted to know if something happened that we didn't want to happen if we would still trust Him". As he spoke those words it is as if each word was being etched in my heart with a hot pen.

Lisa and I both looked at each other and at the same time teared up and then began to pray and affirm our trust in God. God just used an eight year old boy to secure our hearts and shore up our faith and put everything back in perspective. Little did we know seven months later we would face our second miscarriage and we didn't conceive again until January 2009. In a nutshell this is what I have learned:

  1. That it is easy to trust and have faith when things are going my way, but the true test is when things are not going my way.
  2. That control is an illusion. I am dependent. Jesus is not only savior but LORD.
  3. Trying to figure out how and why in these situations can take you under real quick unless you truly stop trying to figure it out and cast the care on the LORD.
  4. Either I trust God or I don't. Either God is sovereign or He's not.
  5. To value the conception of a child at day one, and enjoy each day even as the baby is maturing in the womb.
  6. To not allow a miscarriage to alter your plan or desire for more children. God can give you courage to move on. We are so thankful we proceeded forward and God blessed us with number six two years later!
  7. This was a friendly reminder that the whole process of conception needs to be done in faith and shouldn't be taken for granted. It taught me to take the season of child bearing years as a gift from God and to be a good steward of this time.
  8. That there is a real spiritual peace that God supplies that has this mysterious way of comforting the human heart.
  9. That God speaks through my children.
  10. That God's ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts. There are some things I may never understand but the lack of understanding does not have to cause me to doubt God's ability or His sovereign will.

Fear can truly attempt to take residence in couples heart after a miscarriage. Moving forward with intimacy and moving forward in procreation has to be done in faith. Personally, I believe the worry and fear associated with a past miscarriage produces stress that hinders the child bearing process. I am no doctor, but I do know that fear is not from God and the atmosphere that fear generates is not productive. I told my wife to not assume and jump to conclusions that something is wrong with her physically. I have seen crack addicts have healthy babies. I have seen women that have intentionally starved themselves and tumble down stairs end up with healthy babies. So it still boils down to the sovereign will of the Lord. No matter how much medical science discovers about hormone levels it still boils down to this. DO WE TRUST HIM EVEN WHEN THINGS HAPPEN WE DON'T WANT TO HAPPEN.

I thank God for our three miscarriages they have drawn me close to the bosom of my Heavenly Father, closer to my wife and the children I have been blessed with. The picture above was the pregnancy of our 6th baby, which is proof that there is life after miscarriage. I am a gratefully, dependent man that is blessed with a wonderful wife.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Resurrection of a Blog

You know I was enjoying keeping this blog up to date, but somehow time slipped away. I think I have conditioned myself through my twitter and facebook accounts to update my heart in 140 characters or less and the blog took a back seat. :-) Anyway I just wanted to break the silence.
What am I learning today?
That my life means more to God than it does to me. His investment in me makes Him the majority stake holder. So the more I use the way God designed me the more glory goes to God.
Let me know how you are doing.
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Raising a child or a man?-Justus turns 13

Just needed to break the blog silence. My son turned 13 today. What a humbling feeling to think I have raised and trained a living being for 13 years and he has turned out OK so far. I was reminded of the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
As a dad I have to remind myself that I don't need to treat my 13 year old like a child or he will take childish ways into his adult life. My mentality has to change from Justus my little boy to Justus the young man or else I will become a limiting factor in his development to manhood. Been praying alot lately on specific areas I need help my son on his road to manhood. I want to be strategic and innovative in his development. For me imparting to my son is done best through a close intimate relationship. My son should be able to smell my scent, feel my strength, and know how I think. Manhood is rubbed off through abrasion and contact of working together, praying together, and talking through issues. Justus being our first born has been our experiment. My wife and I cut our teeth on raising him so we have learned from our mistakes. A few mistakes we corrected early on in his development are:

  1. Stopped using fear and intimidation as correction
  2. When we argue in front of him make up in front of him.
  3. When we blow it as parents apologizing to him.
  4. Stopped doing everything for him so he can learn responsibility

I always heard you know you are a man when another man tells you you are a man. What I see in my son makes me proud and I think he is getting close. This Friday myself and few other men are going to take Justus out and impart principles of manhood we feel are important. Not sure we will get the tribal paint and ceremonial knives out, but we will make it a memorable time for him. Ultimately, I don't want my child to be like me...I want him to be a reflection of my Heavenly father. I blogged about this a year ago here: Like Father Like Son.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ask your Questions about God

Asking questions is one of the main ways to get answers. Like the phrase says, "the only dumb question is the one not asked." It takes courage to ask questions, especially if you think you are the only one with the question. We are taking a few Sundays to answer some common questions at Church Ablaze. We would like to know what are the questions people are asking today about, Jesus, the Bible, life, and the Christian faith? I have heard that the church at large has been accused of answering questions that people are not asking. Ouch! That is kind of harsh but there is a hint of validity to it. We want to hear from you, some questions have already started pouring in like:
  • What is speaking in tongues? Is it for the church today?
  • How do I know when God is talking to me?
  • How do you honor your father and mother but still not allow a controlling manipulative parent run your life and ruin your marriage?
  • Did God condone the killing of children and the slaughtering of nations in the Old Testament? How could this be?

Could you take a moment and send us your questions. Four ways you can do that.

  1. Comment to this post on my blog
  2. Email us at
  3. Call and leave us a voice mail at 405-200-1846
  4. Come and visit us at 10600 N. Council Rd., Oklahoma City, OK 73162 Sundays @11:00am

We won't be able to answer every question. But your question could be used anonymously during our message on Sundays.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

I'm a Witness-Two Churches Working Together

Wow! A church that practices what it preaches! St. Paul's Lutheran Church has a vision statement which is to Love, Serve, and Grow in Christ. Our Church (Church Ablaze) has seen God's hand operating through St. Paul's generosity.
Last year, my sister in law, Alicia, happened to allow her daughters to go to St. Paul's summer program for kids called Wild Wednesdays led by Risa Powell. One day after a field trip to the zoo, Alicia got off the bus and ran into this nice man in the church parking lot. She introduced herself and they exchanged a few cordial words. She mentioned the church she attended (Church Ablaze) and that we were meeting in a hotel banquet room temporarily. Then she discovered he was the Pastor of St. Paul's Church and he told her you all should consider meeting here. Well Alicia came back and told me and I said that was nice but didn't take it immediate action.

Eventually we arranged a meeting with Pastor Wally to see the building and introduce ourselves. We were floored, not just because it was a nice facility, but the fact that Pastor Wally went and opened every room. He shared with us enthusiastically as he went from room to room showing us the potential we could have as a church. Keep in mind this was his first time meeting us and he acted like we were old friends. Eventually, we met St. Paul's president Tom Todd who is another man of God with a solid gold heart. Actually the entire staff and Exec. committee were all in favor of us coming and using their facility.

We now meet at their facility in the sanctuary at 11:00 am after their 9:30 service. We are humbled every time we gather together.
Two weeks ago was a big day for Church Ablaze and St. Paul's Lutheran Church. We had a joint service where our two local churches chose to come together in an expression of unified worship before the Lord.
  • Different churches one service
  • Different traditions one Spirit
  • Different pastors one sermon
  • Different races from one blood
  • Different songs one voice of worship
Diversity in God's Kingdom shows unity. It was so great to see our greeters working together, our ushers working together, our secretaries working together, and our worship teams singing together. We even collected offering together. WATCH OUT NOW! LOL! Pastor Wally and I decided a couple of months ago that at this service we would preach together one message. We shared on "Being a Witness" (Acts 1:1-11; Luke 24:44-49). That was a great experience from preparing together to sharing together. The amazing thing is that two preachers stood in the pulpit together and preached in 25 minutes and 32 seconds, you know that had to be Spirit Led. :-) St. Paul's has a neat practice of having the children all come to the front and have a children's lesson. It was a glorious sight to see all of the children learning together.

Part of our elder team (Clarence Hill Jr., Nathan Williams, and myself) along with Pastor Wally served communion together, that was a glorious picture partaking in the Lord's supper with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

What does the future hold? We have no clue all we know is that it is bigger than us. We have naturally joined forces in outreach efforts. We determined to come together to fulfill the great commission together. We are feeding and clothing the poor, serving youth and being a Witnesses for our Lord TOGETHER! Hallelujah!
Church Ablaze is a non-denominational church intent on Spreading abroad the fame of Jesus Christ. Good News is Spreading! Lives are changing!
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday Recap-Core Foundations-God's Word

Yesterday it was fun preaching on the authority of Scripture and what we believe about the Bible. It was even more fun studying and preparing. We have started a series called CORE FOUNDATIONS that will take us back to reaffirm what the core foundations of the faith are. Like I said in my message all the resources I use I freely pass on so that you can do your own study. See Below:

  1. Here is a link to a resource I used from a sermon I preached in 2005 that gives some of the key scripture on the Word of God. Print it off and ENJOY!
  2. Here is a link to subscribe to get the free Magazine from the Voice of the Martyrs to stay up to speed on the persecuted church. This will give you a relevant perspective of modern martyrs for the Word of God.
  3. In my message I shared several scientific and medical facts that the Bible declared well before any scientist or Doctor. Some of them were found in this online article: That Amazing Book by Terry Watkins
  4. Here is a link to some facts about the Bible's 40 authors from an article that came from a book by Josh McDowell called Evidence that Demands a Verdict
  5. I also got some of the history of the Bible and elaboration on other theological jargon from the following resource:
    Training for Service-A survey of the Bible by Orin Root
    Systematic Theology-Wayne Grudem
    Systematic Theology-Dr. Norman Geisler-volume one

We had a great gathering yesterday! We welcomed our newest member Charlotte Triplette. We also got to encourage two of our members, Jedia Fuller and Nathan Williams, with wonderful words of blessing.

I love serving at Church Ablaze...this is going to be a fun and educating series...Next week..God's Nature! Find us on Facebook at:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dance Instructions-2010 Sweetheart Ball

We have exciting news to share! For the first time at our Sweetheart Ball the Eye to Eye Marriage Enrichment Community will be offering a 40 minute dance lesson to all that attend early. Maureen Coury has taught dance with Author Murray dance studios for 8 years. She loves dance and she loves teaching spouses how to work and flow together as one.

Maureen and her husband will be at the Ball giving some introductory group instruction on a few basic Ballroom Dancing steps. YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS OUT. Whether you have two left feet or no rhythm at all it will be fun to hold your spouse and improve your skills.

-Doors open at 5:00pm
-Dance instruction starts at 5:10 and will finish promptly at 5:50pm
-6:00pm the Event will begin

During this time there will also be early bird prizes given away at random. So come early and join the fun.
We only have two days until festivities begin and we have already SOLD OUT! If you would like to register and be put on a waiting list in case of cancellations please call 405-288-1393.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sweetheart Ball-Longest Married Couple Search

Things are coming together for the Eye to Eye Marriage Enrichment Community's 2010 Sweetheart Ball.
Just recently the Ball was featured in the Life section of the Daily Oklahoman. (Click here) Carla Hinton has issued a nice article describing the event and kicking off our search for the longest married couple.
We are searching the state of Oklahoma for the longest married couple. We hope to honor the couple at the ball, and if the couple cannot attend, Eye to Eye leaders want to tape a short video interview with them to be shown at the ball.

If you know of someone all we need is:
1) Number of years married
2) Brief history of the couple (i.e. number of children/grandchildren, why they should be honored)
3) Contact-Name, address, phone, and email

Submit your entry via email to or call 405-288-1393

Over 100 couples registered so far. Register today!

Price: $75 per couple
Group Seating: Four couples per table list couples at time of registration
Three ways to register:
1) Online (Preferred):
2) Phone: 405-288-1393
3) At Greg Jones State Farm Insurance Offices
1035A SW 19th St
Moore, OK 73160

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We need your help-2010 Sweetheart Ball

If you have ever been to the Sweetheart Ball or know someone who has. Please send me stories of how the Sweetheart Ball and or Eye to Eye has affected your marriage. Email all stories to: Your entry may be selected for a future publication. If you would like to remain anonymous please state such. Eye to Eye is pretty broad so the story could be the affect of the Facebook page, the monthly bible studies, or the Summer BBQ. Your story of impact could be from the November Getaway or the Sweetheart Ball. Maybe it is a specific couple within Eye to Eye that has come along side your marriage and shored it up. Please share your thoughts!

Momentum is building for the ball after Jan 15th the registration price for the ball will go up from $65 to $75 so hurry! Register on line here.

Help us spread the word in three ways:
  1. Get flyers that you can hand out to your neighbors, church groups, coworkers, and family. They can be be printed from the website (Click here). Also you can have flyers mailed or delivered if you are in the Oklahoma City Metro by emailing your name address and the amount you need to:
  2. Become a champion couple and take responsibility to fill up one or more tables with four couples. Group registration can be done on the website (Click here)
  3. Forward or link to this post and pass it to everyone you know.
Statistic: 80% of people that have attended our past balls found out through word of mouth! It is a massive grass roots effort..WATCH OUT COX CENTER HERE WE COME!!

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Eye to Eye Sweetheart Ball-How it began

Have you ever been apart of something that was bigger than you? Take a moment and read what happens when you obey the call of God in your heart. Below is an excerpt from the Sweetheart ball website.

In 2001, Clarence Hill and his good friend, Nathan Williams, got together to put on an evening of romance and fun for their wives and some of their friends on Valentine's Day. This wasn't the first time that they had done this, but it would prove to be the beginning of something special. The theme of the evening was "Eye to Eye" and the focus was "how can two walk together except they agree?" Some of their single friends got together and made a little storefront room into a romantic chamber of love and intimacy.To mix laughter with romance, Nathan and his wife Tina hosted their own rendition of Family Feud. They called it Couples' Feud. Everyone had a blast in an age old feud of women against men, but, for some reason, the records of who won...have been lost. Hmmm?After all of the good food and fun, the couples slow danced and shared words of appreciation and love to their spouses during what has become known as "Face to Face" time. As the evening was brought to a close, Nyrhone and Delanie Brewer were officially crowned as the first Mr. and Mrs. Eye to Eye. Everyone filled out comment cards and expressed interest in being part of a monthly couples' Bible study. This community of couples has come to be known as the Eye to Eye Marriage Enrichment Community.
Every couple that has actively been a part is excited about telling others of the friendships, the growth in their marriages and the change in their own personal lives that has come through being a part of the Eye to Eye community. Through monthly participation in Bible studies, along with a summer barbecue, a weekend getaway and most importantly the invaluable godly friendships that are born, the couples have discovered that a 2-hour-a-month commitment mixed with relationships with like minded couples is a combination for success in marriage and life.

Since the first ball in 2001 the ball has grown every year. What started with under ten couples is now expected to reach over 350 couples. I would like to invite you to join us in celebrating our 10th Annual Sweetheart ball. All of the information can be found at . I will be passing on more information about the community and about the Ball in future blogs. Right now think of every married and engaged couple you know and have them register online today. Registration is at a special rate until Jan 15th.

Become a fan of Marriage on Facebook: eyetoeyemarriage
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Call us: 405-288-1393
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