Four years ago today I walked out on an Albert Mohler sermon

Dr. Albert Mohler is President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and four years ago I was a student at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of that institution. In chapel on that chilly, drizzly Thursday morning Mohler was continuing his series on the Ten Commandments. This sermon was titled “The Seventh Commandment,” on “You shall not commit adultery.”

I’d just recently been introduced to the new hymnody of Keith and Kristyn Getty, whose song “The Power of the Cross.” They were in chapel that morning singing that very song.

Yet, as Mohler preached his sermon, four years ago at about this same time of day, my cell phone kept vibrating. And vibrating. And vibrating. I saw that it was my wife calling and at first, since she knew I was in chapel, I figured she was calling to leave me a voicemail. But as the calls kept coming my heart began to sink because I knew that something must be wrong. And what was worse is that I knew where she was supposed to be at that time? For a routine visit to her OB-GYN. We were very excited about our second child in her womb.

Very abruptly I got up from my seat about the fifth row on the right side of the chapel. I’m pretty sure Dr. Mohler and I locked eyes for a nanosecond. Nevertheless, there were more important things on my mind. The second I got out of the chapel I called my wife and by the time she answered I was always jogging/sprinting to my car, parked on the side of Godfrey Avenue by the Legacy Center. Her words on the phone, “We might’ve lost the baby,” were confirmed when I pulled up to the office and was escorted to the doctor’s office where my wife sat crying. It was official. She had miscarried.

The doctor would later call it a chromosomal abnormality, just one of those things that happens fairly commonly. She had no answers for us. The baby had not grown enough even for us to know if it was a boy or a girl.

If you are a regular reader of my blog or know me at all you have probably heard most of that story before. I’ve written about it before. By God’s grace and mercy I can honestly say that I never consciously blamed Him or, dare I say, even asked the question “Why?” The fact of the matter is that I know I have a better explanation for why 2 (which is what we call the child) died in the womb than any doctor could.

My second child died in the womb because death has entered the world through sin, and all men die, because all sinned (Rom 5:12-19). 2 didn’t ever disobey God, but the child who never made it past twelve weeks gestation was a sinner from conception (Ps 51:5). 2 didn’t die because of sins committed, but because there is sin.

I believe that God gave me a strength and peace when this happened that is otherworldly. Did I mourn? Yes. Did I cry? Absolutely. Did I ever doubt God’s goodness? Thankfully, no. In those days and weeks following the miscarriage I believe that God made me strong for my wife, who understandably took it pretty hard. Together, by the grace of God, we were able to persevere and see God’s goodness through the whole thing.

This is the first anniversary of the miscarriage in which my wife has not been pregnant, so there is a little different feeling this year than others. Until this year, ever since it happened, there has always been a baby on the way. Nevertheless, it’s not difficult to look around my house at my seven-year-old son, and the three girls who have been born to us in the last three years and not know for certain that the fruit of the womb is a reward, that children are a gift of the LORD (Ps 127).

Still, even 2 was a gift from God. While I never got to hold my child in my arms or change the diapers or feed it a bottle or even spank it, God blessed me because never before had I needed to practically rely on God as much as I did then. And God was (and is) faithful and true.

Today, as I look back on that day four years ago, I look out the window and am struck by the similar weather. I’m struck by the irony that David lost his child as punishment for adultery with Bathsheba, and I found out about losing my child while listening to a sermon about not committing adultery. But I look to the word of God and am reminded of what I believe to be true; namely, that 2 has it better than I do right now. 2 is without sin, apart from even the presence of sin, and thus is more alive than I can imagine. 2 is with Jesus, as I will be in due time. I can’t bring 2 back again, and ultimately I wouldn’t want to. I will go to 2, but 2 will not return to me. One day we will be together, though, but we won’t talk about the miscarriage. We’ll praise the name of Jesus, the One who, by God’s grace and for His glory, has saved us both.

Thank You, Father, for 2.

Dr. Albert Mohler is President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and four years ago I was a student at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of that institution. In chapel on that chilly, drizzly Thursday morning Mohler was continuing his series on the Ten Commandments. This sermon was titled “The Seventh Commandment,” on “You shall not commit adultery.”

I’d just recently been introduced to the new hymnody of Keith and Kristyn Getty, whose wrote the wonderful hymn “The Power of the Cross.” They were in chapel that morning singing that very song.

Yet, as Mohler preached his sermon, four years ago at about this same time of day, my cell phone kept vibrating. And vibrating. And vibrating. I saw that it was my wife calling and at first, since she knew I was in chapel, I figured she was calling to leave me a voicemail. But as the calls kept coming my heart began to sink because I knew that something must be wrong. And what was worse is that I knew where she was supposed to be at that time? For a routine visit to her OB-GYN. We were very excited about our second child in her womb.

Very abruptly I got up from my seat about the fifth row on the right side of the chapel. I’m pretty sure Dr. Mohler and I locked eyes for a nanosecond. Nevertheless, there were more important things on my mind. The second I got out of the chapel I called my wife and by the time she answered I was always jogging/sprinting to my car, parked on the side of Godfrey Avenue by the Legacy Center. Her words on the phone, “We might’ve lost the baby,” were confirmed when I pulled up to the office and was escorted to the doctor’s office where my wife sat crying. It was official. She had miscarried.

The doctor would later call it a chromosomal abnormality, just one of those things that happens fairly commonly. She had no answers for us. The baby had not grown enough even for us to know if it was a boy or a girl.

If you are a regular reader of my blog or know me at all you have probably heard most of that story before. I’ve written about it before. By God’s grace and mercy I can honestly say that I never consciously blamed Him or, dare I say, even asked the question “Why?” The fact of the matter is that I know I have a better explanation for why 2 (which is what we call the child) died in the womb than any doctor could.

My second child died in the womb because death has entered the world through sin, and all men die, because all sinned (Rom 5:12-19). 2 didn’t ever disobey God, but the child who never made it past twelve weeks gestation was a sinner from conception (Ps 51:5). 2 didn’t die because of sins committed, but because there is sin.

I believe that God gave me a strength and peace when this happened that is otherworldly. Did I mourn? Yes. Did I cry? Absolutely. Did I ever doubt God’s goodness? Thankfully, no. In those days and weeks following the miscarriage I believe that God made me strong for my wife, who understandably took it pretty hard. Together, by the grace of God, we were able to persevere and see God’s goodness through the whole thing.

This is the first anniversary of the miscarriage in which my wife has not been pregnant, so there is a little different feeling this year than others. Until this year, ever since it happened, there has always been a baby on the way. Nevertheless, it’s not difficult to look around my house at my seven-year-old son, and the three girls who have been born to us in the last three years and not know for certain that the fruit of the womb is a reward, that children are a gift of the LORD (Ps 127).

Still, even 2 was a gift from God. While I never got to hold my child in my arms or change the diapers or feed it a bottle or even spank it, God blessed me because never before had I needed to practically rely on God as much as I did then. And God was (and is) faithful and true.

Today, as I look back on that day four years ago, I look out the window and am struck by the similar weather. I’m struck by the irony that David lost his child as punishment for adultery with Bathsheba, and I found out about losing my child while listening to a sermon about not committing adultery. But I look to the word of God and am reminded of what I believe to be true; namely, that 2 has it better than I do right now. 2 is without sin, apart from even the presence of sin, and thus is more alive than I can imagine. 2 is with Jesus, as I will be in due time. I can’t bring 2 back again, and ultimately I wouldn’t want to. I will go to 2, but 2 will not return to me. One day we will be together, though, but we won’t talk about the miscarriage. We’ll praise the name of Jesus, the One who, by God’s grace and for His glory, has saved us both.

Thank You, Father, for 2.

RELATED LINK: What happens to babies that die?

My family’s 2010 Year-End Letter

I invite you all to read my family’s 2010 Year-End Letter, which amounts to more of a little magazine than a letter. It has been an eventful year in the Privett family, from the welcoming of another baby girl into the world to two moves, including one to Ohio. There are also a lot of fun pictures to check out. The file is 6.4 MB in PDF format and you can download it here. I hope you enjoy it and I want to thank you for visiting this site this year. May God bless you and keep you in His care, and may the gospel of Jesus Christ be even bigger to you in 2011 than it has been in 2010. To God be the glory. Great things He hath done!

The spiritually fatal agenda of some college professors

If you are in college, and maybe more aptly, have a child in college or about to go to college, you owe it to yourself to read a blog posted earlier this week by Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In the post, “And Then They Are All Mine” — The Real Agenda of Some College Professors, Mohler exposes the ideological agenda of some of our educators; namely, to separate young people from the moral convictions of their parents’ religion.

Here is a sample of the post:

The college experience, the argument goes, is the best (and perhaps last) opportunity for someone to break students’ commitments to the moral convictions of their parents’ religion.

Similarly, writing in a Seattle newspaper, a teacher of English and college adviser at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois reveals this ideological agenda in even more shocking terms. Bill Savage reacts to the fact that the so-called conservative “red” states are “outbreeding” the “blue” states, which are more liberal in their voting patterns. Identifying himself as a political liberal with no children of his own, Savage acknowledges that he and his fellow liberals have a lower fertility rate than conservatives. Nevertheless, he insists that educated urban liberals need not despair. He expresses confidence “that blue America’s Urban Archipelago can grow larger, more contiguous, and more politically powerful even without my offspring.” How?

“The children of red states will seek a higher educations,” he explains, “and that education will very often happen in blue states or blue islands in red states. For the foreseeable future, loyal dittoheads will continue to drop off their children at the dorms. After a teary-eyed hug, Mom and Dad will drive their SUV off toward the nearest gas station, leaving their beloved progeny behind.”

Then what? He proudly claims: “And then they are all mine.”

I shudder at the present and future of education is our nation. If ever you needed a warning to “long for pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Pet 2:2) now you have it. If ever you needed a reminder that, as a parent, you must “bring [your children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4) there it is.

I suspect this teacher at Northwestern is absolutely right about the trend of “blue” growing. Political affiliations aside, however, the more important threat is to the spiritual welfare of our sons and daughters. In the time of Jesus someone who is currently college-aged was already full-on into manhood. In the 21st century adolescence all too often extends into the mid-20s, thus, the time a father and mother have authority of their children is extended. The responsibility to keep training is longer and longer.

Be on the alert, as the Scriptures say. Your children aren’t theirs, they’re yours! Know what you and your children are up against with the educational system of this country, from kindergarten to the doctorate level. Be proactive and sacrificial in teaching your children the Scriptures, and in the way the Scriptures tell us to teach.

You can read Mohler’s full blog here: “And Then They Are All Mine” — The Real Agenda of Some College Professors.

Having my hands full: Godly fatherhood in an ungodly age

You can see it in their eyes. In the checkout line. In the restaurant. In the park. They’re looking at you wondering if you’ve really got everything under control.

You hear it in their comments. Not intentionally insulting. Not intentionally condescending. They’re think they’re being nice when they laughingly tell you it looks like you have your hands full.

No one is quite sure you can handle it. After all, you’ve got three children with you. One is six, one is two, the third will be one next week. I mean, “Can you really handle it?” Kids are crazy, they think! But worst of all? You’re a man!

I’m a daddy – a father of five. Three of them are around me all the time. One went to be with the Lord while still in the womb. The fifth will arrive in about two months. Therefore, by this point in my life I am, regrettably, well acquainted with the attitude our culture takes toward fathers. Continue reading “Having my hands full: Godly fatherhood in an ungodly age”

Be careful when you pretend scissors are crab legs

This story actually begins yesterday on the way home from church. Liz and Lilyann had stayed home because Lilyann had not been feeling well, so Joshua went to church with me. On the way home, all the sudden he decided to vomit all over the place, the inevitable result of a week of congestion and coughing.

After we got home he seemed fine, so Liz and I decided that, should he still feel fine later, because he was so good at church in her absence, we would let him decide where to eat dinner. I not so subtly suggested to him that we go to Red Lobster, since I was really wanting it and we hadn’t been in so long. He didn’t need much convincing, so when dinner time arrived, to Red Lobster we went.

Liz and I decided to share some crab legs, and as is our usual custom, we tried to get Joshua to try a little bit of the crab meat. He ate it, and in a completely shocking move, asked for more… and more… and more. He particularly liked playing with the crab legs and pretending they were pinching him, or eating him as it were. Continue reading “Be careful when you pretend scissors are crab legs”

My wife and the Oreos

So I was eating a couple of Oreo cookies today…

LIZ: You know, I didn’t get those for people to eat.

ME: Well, then what did you get them for?

LIZ: For a pie crust.

ME: Well, perhaps you should tell somebody beforehand.

LIZ: Maybe you should ask first.

ME: Ask if I can eat food from my own kitchen? (Liz starts laughing.) May I have some of this Sunkist or are you using it for a stew?

LIZ: (Trying hard not to laugh out loud, and failing) You’re terrible!