I have this seersucker suit (although it doesn’t look as cool on me as the guy in the picture). Anyhow, I bought it back in 2001 and well, let’s just say it doesn’t fit like it used to. So, I went to the alterations place today and the lady told me that it would need to be let out a whopping 2 1/2 inches. 2 1/2 inches? Wow. The only problem is that there are only two inches that can be let out. Therefore, I have three options: (1) lose weight, (2) buy another suit, or (3) suck in.

As I was listening to John Piper preach on The Echo and the Insufficiency of Hell this morning, I realized that when I die and am resurrected, I will be given a new body and the clothes that I wear will never need altering because my body will be sinless. Not only will my body be sinless but all the redeemed who live with horrible birth defects, who live in a vegetative state, who live in chronic pain, and who live lives where their bodies just don’t work like they used to, these too will be redeemed. What a wonderful day that will be!

If you’d like to hear a good message on why there is seemingly “pointless” suffering in the world (car accidents, murders, natural disasters, cancer) I highly recommend this message by Piper. You can download it on iTunes dated 6/16/08.

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On June 5, 2007, one year ago today, I was awoken by the smoke alarm at 5:45 am. I shot up out of the bed to see smoke rolling into my bedroom from the ceiling. I realized then that it was coming from across the hall – from my then 9-month old son’s room. I ran into his room half-asleep, half-confused, and half-afraid to what I was going to see. What I saw was a fire burning below his window. It was burning pretty well and was about three-feet high and two or so feet wide. I looked into my son’s crib and was astounded to see that he was not in there.

I went back into my room, where my wife had already left to call 911 in the other part of the house and saw my baby asleep on our bed. It was then that I remembered that he had woken up during the middle of the night, about two hours before. He had been doing this for the past week and the custom was to lay him in the bed with us, wait until he fell asleep and then put him back in his crib. I remember thinking that night, “Ahhh, he can just sleep with us tonight…”

I don’t remember picking him up off the bed during the confusion of the fire, which makes an almost silent noise by the way, but I do remember handing him off to my wife as she had the dog in one arm and our son in the other. Then they left the house. I grabbed the fire extinguisher and pulled the pin, however, the pin didn’t break the seal. So, I found my keys and ripped through the seal and then made my way back down the hallway and was astounded to see that in the less than one minute since I had been in the room, the fire had now caught the curtains beside the window and was billowing up the the entire wall. It was already out of hand. I tried to spray a few times but I couldn’t get closer than about five feet because it is at that point that smoke starts to enter your nose and you can feel it burn your lungs and your nostrils. I sprayed a few times…and ran out when I couldn’t breathe anymore and started feeling the room spin. At this point the long hallway that led to my son’s room was pitch black with smoke.

We went outside, the four of us (father, mother, son, dog) and looked at our house as it burned from the inside. It was quiet outside…the sun was rising, the birds were chirping, we were standing in our underwear, not embarrassed at all. But inside the house there was a raging inferno engulfing a glider and changing table as we watched the inside the room’s window turn orange.

Within two minutes the firetrucks came. Firemen knocked down the door and shot about 90 gallons of water in my son’s bedroom. Everyone was okay. The Lord had preserved us.

After the fire we got our son checked out by a pediatrician. His lungs were perfect. Had he been in his room, he would have had at the least severe lung damage for the rest of his life. At the worst, he could have lost his earthly life.

My wife and I have never looked back at that night and wondered, “Where was God? We lost so many items from his room and our house (there was soot damage throughout the entire house).”

Instead, we have always said, “Praise God. Praise him for his divine sovereignty over all things. Praise him for his mercy and grace and love. Praise him for him waking Jackson up and praise him for giving me a peaceful feeling about letting my son sleep with us that night. Praise him as not only the creator, but the preserver of life. Praise him to all the nations. Praise him because he does hold the entire world in his hands. Praise him that in his infinite plan he did not have to spare my son, me or my wife. Praise him that he still has a plan for our lives here on earth. Praise him for smoke alarms. Praise him for smoke alarms that work. Praise him for batteries. Praise him for family that let us stay with them. Praise him for insurance. Praise him for church members that gave us much money to help us get through the losses. Praise him for Jesus. Praise Him for dying a sinner’s death on a cross for our sins so that had we perished in the fire, we would not have to go to the eternal fire – which we all deserve. Praise him for firemen. Praise Him because He is God – the great I AM.

Below are some pictures of the aftermath of that night. By looking at these pictures I hope you will see how God spared us and how we are so undeserving of his love. However, He loves us anyway.

If God had not of saved our boy through that fire, we would never of had this:

or this

or this

or this

or this

or this

or this

or this

or this

or this

or this

I know that God has a plan for me. It is to raise my son. I also know that God has a plan for my son and that plan is to reach more people and tell more people about Jesus than I have ever dreamed of doing.

Playdates…

May 16, 2008

One of the good things about being employed on a pastoral staff at a church is that you typically do not have to be in the office on Fridays. Because on Sundays you spend about zero quality time with your family, Fridays are a time to make up for that. Our preschool ministry has several “playdates” throughout the summer at various locations. Today, the playdate (Have I already written that word twice?) was at the riverwalk area near the Broad River. Since my wife is 10 weeks pregnant and gets really tired really easy, I came along with her and my son.

Four mothers, eight kids, one dad. It wasn’t exactly what all dads would like to spend their days’ off doing. I’d much rather be playing bad golf somewhere. However, what an excellent time to spend with my family, church member families, and experience a day in the life of mothers. Let me just say that while us men are off at work slaving hard, our wives are taking strollers out of the car, buckling kids up, watching them run around and eat each others food, take each others passies (I have no idea how to spell that word) and do typical preschooler stuff.

Mothers everywhere, God bless you.