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!

Reflections on loss, hope, death, and life

One year ago today I was sitting in Alumni Chapel listening to Dr. Albert Mohler preach on the seventh commandment.  My phone would not stop vibrating and my wife knew where I was.  When it became apparent that she wasn’t calling to leave a voice mail I knew something wasn’t right.  A chill went down my spine because I knew that she was supposed to be at the OBGYN’s office for a routine appointment.

I conspicuously slipped out of chapel and immediately dialed my cell.  It was chilly and drizzling, at least it is in my recollection.  I was already running to my car by the time she picked up.  She told me I needed to get there.  I asked what was wrong.  She said we probably lost the baby.

I drove as fast as I could within the limits of reason, praying all the while that somehow Liz and I might be spared this.  When I got to the office a nurse was waiting for me to let me straight through and I knew it was real.  I was taken into the doctor’s office where my wife was, crying.  Our baby was dead, a reality reinforced two days later when a D&C was performed.

One year later I believe I can honestly say that not one second went by in which I blamed or questioned God.  Somehow, someway, I had a peace that surpasses all understanding, even in the midst of pain, even in the midst of tears.  Was I cold to what had happened?  Not at all.  I would find myself tearing up or outright shedding tears at random times for several days, even weeks.  But was there ever a time when that peace wasn’t there?  No.

And that, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, is the grace of God in action.  I suppose the pain was more real for Liz.  It was her body.  She had felt the pregnancy, and certainly the D&C.  One day there was a heartbeat in there and the next day there wasn’t, the result of what can best be explained as a chromosomal abnormality (which is really no explanation).  We don’t know what happened.  We just know that one moment we were going to have a baby and the next minute we weren’t.

Pain?  Yes.  But grace?  Absolutely.  The peace God gave me is a gift I surely didn’t deserve.  That said, I absolutely thank God that it happened when it did, and not later in the pregnancy (as one of my best friend’s recently experienced), or perhaps after the birth.  Does that sound callous?  I don’t think it does.  Maybe God protected us from even more pain by allowing what happened to happen when it did.

Ultimately, the peace God gave me was grounded in the confidence I have that my child was immediately, and still is, in the presence of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  That’s a belief I have been taught from I don’t know when, masked in the ambiguous and misleading language of an “act of accountability.”  Nevertheless, I believe in a state of accountability and have 100-percent confidence that my child is with the Lord.  I have a godly jealously of my child who never breathed a breath on this earth.  I will go to him/her, but he/she will not come to me.

One year later I praise God for His amazing grace.  He has given us another child… hope in the midst of hopelessness, riches in the midst of loss.  In one month our daughter will be born and we couldn’t be more excited.  God has continued to give us peace about our loss, and has provided us a Seth to take the place of Abel, so to speak.  Joshua, my four year old son, who is as excited as Mommy and Daddy are, is a reminder by name that Yahweh saves.  For that I praise God from whom all blessings flow.

In the aftermath of our miscarriage I sought to solidify my beliefs regarding my lost child with Scripture.  The result was a short research paper that I finished last spring.  I’ve published it on this blog before but now resubmit it for your consideration (link below).  I know many have, are, and will go through a similar trial.  Maybe this paper will help, but mostly, I pray that God will give peace to others as he did to my wife and me.