The Shield of Faith

Why Your Family Tree Needs It

Many sermons on the Shield of Faith (Eph 6.16) spend most of the time talking about the physical description of a 2,000-yr-old Roman shield. 

  • How big was it?
  • What color was it?
  • Did everyone have the same kind of shield?
  • Could they link them together for more protection?
  • On and on the descriptions go…

While I’m a history buff who finds that kind of stuff interesting, I’m often left asking, “So what? Why does this matter to me?”

Paul seems convinced that we’re in the midst of a dangerous battle (cf. Eph 6.11-12), so I want to do more than just read about a shield and hear people talk about weapons.

I want to carry some myself.  And, I want to know how to use them at a moment’s notice.


Do not be deceived by Satan’s oldest lie:

“The way God made you is not good enough.  
You won’t be enough until ____________.”

Please reject that.  Take 2 minutes to watch this clip and exchange it for God’s truth.  Be encouraged.

This 90-second clip is taken from my recent (19 March 2017) sermon, “The Shield of Faith: Why Your Family Tree Needs It

For those interested, the entire message is available at 

Audio-only Version Below


Adoption Day Finally Arrived!

Gotcha Day (round 1)

After many years of prayers, Hannah and I felt called to the ministry of adoption.  (OK, Hannah has always felt called to adoption.  It took her a decade to bring me around.)  I finally agreed for reasons I’ll cover in depth via another post as well as a dedicated sermon (most likely on Mother’s Day of 2017).

For now, the short answer to: “why are you adopting 3 kids when you already have 3 kids?” is: the gospel.

Adoption is how I got into God’s family.  Jesus saw fit to irrecoverably adopt me into His eternal family.  For me and mine, it only seemed appropriate that we go and do the same.

So, we adopted.  Yesterday.  3 kids, which doubled the amount of little people who drink milk out of my fridge.

Gotcha Day! is Finally Here

Everyone is Invited

After 900+ days in the foster system as wards of the State of Oklahoma, 3 young children will forever change our lives this week.

At 10:30 am on Tuesday, 14 March 2017, our entire family (all 8 of us) will stand before a judge at the Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice courthouse to legally adopt two boys and one little girl.

Knowing that William (our eldest) has “words of affirmation” as his love language, what better way to honor and praise him than through a video full of affirmation?  So, I  dug through our archives and pulled out one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time: Dr. Seuss’, Oh, The Places You Will Go.

How many kids possess their own personal reading?–set to music?!

Hannah and I try to “catch our kids” in the act of doing something good.  By the grace of God, our children give us many opportunities to do that (and, yes, a few opportunities of the other kind as well!).  William is forever looking for ways to give of his time, talent, and treasure to those in need.

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If you haven’t read it (why not!?), please withhold your condescension.  Don’t let the rhyming and silliness and vibrant pictures fool you: this book is brimming with sound, earthy wisdom capable  of carrying us far into adulthood.  I offer you my favorite line from the entire tome:

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

What adult can’t relate to that?  Be it pride, depression, greed…the list goes on.

Through a book simple enough to captivate a child, the good Dr. Seuss also writes profoundly enough to touch each and every one of us.  His genius has no equal.

So, I got the book, went behind a closed door, and I read the entire thing into a voice recorder.  We then applied some voodoo magic of digital imaging and video editing software. [1]  The final product might not have impressed Spielberg, but it thoroughly warmed the heart of my son.

Mission accomplished.

Dads–be on the lookout for specific ways to reach your child’s heart.  Your return on investment will be immeasurable.



[1] Incidentally, this project caught on across all of Mesaeh Manor.  It won’t be long before we’ve all produced a “book set to movie” as an act of love and service to our fellow Mesaeh.  Stay tuned.

The Jesus Storybook Bible (HarperCollins Publishing, 2012)

This “children’s Bible” –capable of teaching volumes to a well-learned adult–theologically captures the true heartbeat of Scripture like none other.

The tagline: “every story whispers His name” not only summarizes the book’s intent, but also reminds us who the true hero of the Bible is: Jesus Christ.  The author (and the wonderful illustrations!) beautifully show the One Story that flows underneath every Bible story: Jesus is on every page of every story from Genesis to Revelation.

“Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” -Luke 14.27

I simply can’t say enough about how powerfully instructive the author is in helping people from age 5 to 505 understand–truly understand–the Bible.  Written as poetically as Peterson’s The Message, and with sincere fidelity to orthodox theology, this bedtime Bible will give you and your children a solid footing about the One who is I Am.  (John 8.58)

(See also:

NOTE: this page’s link takes you to the Kindle version (presently, only $1.99!). However, I highly recommend the Deluxe Hardback edition, which comes with the full audio theatrically read and placed on a CD. Our family loves listening to it on long car rides, and my 7-yr-old begged me to put it on his Kindle so he can listen on his own.