There’s no easy way to say this. We lost our baby. Please keep our family in prayer.These last few days have been some of the toughest we have faced as a couple. We know many have walked this path too. We are so blessed for our son, Reese. We were told we could never have babies. 8 years ago, God gave us a miracle in Reese. This second pregnancy was a surprise. Reese was stoked to be a big brother. As a husband and daddy I hate knowing I can’t take their heartbreak away. We know God will see us through this. We don’t understand why we couldn’t keep the baby. We won’t try to pretend to know the answers. We are heartbroken. Thank you for the prayers.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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I know the internet and social media is not the best way to have dialogue about a sensitive topic like abortion. However, I hope my pro-choice friends would hear me out. I would not be a good representative of Christ if I did not explain why we stand against abortion. At the end of reading this, I may not change your mind. I hope you will see my stance as loving, even if you continue to disagree.

 

Babies are image-bearers of God

Every baby has value because they are human and made in the image of God. This is so important to me as a person living with cerebral palsy. I am living proof that life is worth living. When I was born, the doctors told my family not to expect much from me. They were so wrong. God has blessed my life. I have been a disability rights advocate, youth pastor, pastor, husband and father. My life is not easy with my disabilities but God is making it beautiful. Genesis 1:26 says, “Let us make men in our image, after our likeness.”

 All Human life is valued and has the fingerprints of their Creator on their lives.

 

What if a baby is a product of rape?

I know this question could get me heat in the comments, however, here’s my humble plea. The woman or girl was victimized. They often do not get the justice they deserve in our culture. I hate that and it truly breaks my heart. My plea is why make another victim out of the baby? A man violated a woman and instead of just punishment for the man, the baby must pay for the crimes of this horrible man? I would pray the woman would choose adoption. I pray they give the baby to someone who could raise the child if she couldn’t handle it.

 

Grace for the Gray areas of life

A few days ago, a friend shared with me that a 11-year-old girl was raped and became pregnant. Mental health is very important to me. I can’t imagine what she and her parents are going through. In my humble opinion, I would be heartbroken but would understand why she would choose abortion. Life is not always clear, and God gives us grace. I would suggest if she gets an abortion, the man be charged with murder.

 

Pro-life after Birth

The thought that Christians are pro-birth but not truly pro-life is a myth. There is many great churches and ministries who are walking with moms to choose life. Apologia Church and End Abortion NOW is doing amazing things in our country to save babies from abortion. For more information on their efforts, visit https://endabortionnow.com/.

On a local front, I am doing what I can as a newer pastor to be educated to know how our church can help pro-life ministries. We recently did a bottle drive for Choices Pregnancy Services who serve women in Allegheny and Beaver County. We raised $770 through the drive to help couples get the help they need for the baby. Choices does not stop helping the couple after the birth.  You can find more info about them at www.choices-for-life.org

My wife and I are dedicated to help moms choose life. We have a lot to learn about pro-life ministry, but we like many followers of Jesus, are not just pro-birth. I pray that sharing my heart will make you consider why babies are worth fighting for.

So many people don’t get this, but pastors are human too. We have good days and bad days. When I am in a low swing of my depression, I never try to let it effect my serving others. However, just remember if you go to a church, your pastors and ministry leaders go through this fallen world too. We carry burdens that you can’t even imagine plus our own struggles. Simple kindness to your leaders can go a long way in helping them serve with joy.

“My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭42:3-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Dear online Christians,

This is a plea to those who call themselves Christians but do not go and spend their time online bashing the Body of Christ.

Please stop. You are not helping those of us in the trenches of ministry. Being a pastor with cerebral palsy, I know the ugly side of church. I’ve experienced it. I’ve been hurt by churches. I’m sorry you have been hurt. That stinks. But that does not give us the right to bash and slam the Bride of Christ. Online Christians say they love Jesus but hate church. However, if we say we love Jesus we must love what he loves and he loves his people which make up his church. The Bible calls us to be united and meet as God’s church. Refusing to be part of a local body of believers is disobeying God and is setting you up to fall into sinful patterns. We are not called to be lone wolf Christians. The writer of Hebrews writes,

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

No church will be perfect. You are not perfect, people at church are not perfect nor the leaders. If you really care about advancing the Gospel, stop bashing the church and actually join one and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Or, continue being keyboard warriors and hide behind a screen while those of us who are in the trenches are doing our best to love people well for the glory of Jesus. Please join the fight of good faith. Your online attacks are not moving anyone towards the Lord.

I need to apologize. I want to post more at LFD, ministry and life has been crazy. I’ll try to blog weekly again real soon. However, I wanted to share something really exciting. My wife is pregnant! We can’t believe it. God is so good. Our son turns 9 in July. I’m 38 and my wife is 40. We thought we were done having children. Our son is a miracle already. We were told we couldn’t have kids for many years. This is an incredible time for us. Please keep my wife and her health in prayer. God can do the impossible.

“sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭66:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

When I look back on my life, I’m so grateful to God for all the ways He has blessed me. When I was born with cerebral palsy, the doctors said I would never walk or have a productive life. I started to walk by time I was four. God saved me at 19, made me a husband, father and pastor. I have witnessed Jesus do amazing things in my life. However, can we get so fixated on the gifts, we forget about the Giver?

The Triune God of the Bible is mind-blowing. He’s beautiful and powerful. He lacks nothing but calls us into fellowship with Himself. It’s so awesome that we get to know this God in a personal way. If you attend worship services this weekend or driving to work this week, simply sing your love out for God. We praise what we love. Complete your joy in God but expressing it through praise.

The one who spoke the universe into existence is near those who call out to Him as Father through the work of the Son. His Spirit dwells in every child of God. Praise Him for all He is!

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:23-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I really pray Christians would stop hurting each other with their words. In 18 years of following Jesus, many in ministry, I personally been called a bad Christian many times. Here’s the thing, I am. We all are. The sanctification process is very slow. We all have areas of our lives we fail to honor God. But the Gospel is we are justified, declared right with God through Jesus. God doesn’t throw us away when we mess up. In Christ, we are free to grow in holiness. We only become perfect in glory with Jesus. We need to stop beating other Christians up about their flaws. Before you call someone a bad Christian, look in the mirror and praise God he does not treat your sins like they deserve to be treated. We have a very good God for the times we are very bad Christians. Grace is truly amazing.

“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:36‬ ‭ESV‬‬

True joy comes from treasuring Jesus above all else in our lives. Spending time with the Lord in His Word is one way we grow our joy.

Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to crack our Bibles open. Our hearts are more inclined to seek joy in lesser things. In my early 20s, I discovered the ministry of John Piper. I truly believe God saved my life by his writings. I battled depression and wanted joy. The church people around me looked miserable. They were grumpy and miserable. When someone brought up evangelism, I thought, “Yeah, come to Jesus and be miserable like us?”

I knew something was not clicking. If Jesus is worthy of our worship, if he is greater than the trappings of the world, why are so many of his followers so unhappy?”

I discovered through the ministry of Desiring God, that joy is not only possible but is demanded from us. Jesus is the focus and source of joy.

How does this relate to Bible study? Joy in Christ is a gift form God. We need to pray for God to incline our Heart towards the Scriptures. Our natural tendencies will always seek lesser things for joy. However, Scripture ignites our hearts to behold Jesus as our ultimate treasure and joy.

So, make time for the Scripture. Pursue joy in Jesus at all cost. Pray that God would incline your heart towards the Word and not to lesser things.

Prayer-

Lord, incline our hearts to seek You in your Word. Be our joy and treasure. Amen.

Three weeks ago, I was interviewed by the Empowering Hope Podcast about pastoring with cerebral palsy. I hope you are encouraged by my interview.

Here’s the link:

I wish I could stop making post like this. I wish society could see past disabilities and see the people living a life. Difficult? Yes, but a life still worth living.

Weekly, I run into a stranger that talks to me like a child. They see the cerebral palsy and not the husband, father and pastor who just has cp. If you do not have anyone in your life with a disability, let me be the first to extend grace to you. My uncle who was paralyzed in 81, told me he never thought about disability until he needed to use a wheelchair. So, here’s some tips when interacting with people with disabilities.

1. Treat us as adults. If we look 37, 18, 25, 40 and older, treat us that way.

2. Assume intelligence. My experience is a physical disability. Don’t assume because I have slur speech and a limp, that I’m not bright.

3. Treat people who have cognitive limitations with respect. I don’t care if you been told that a person “reasons like a child” because of a disability. Most times, with the right supports, people with intellectual disabilities can live independent lives. Treat them with respect too.

4. This could be 1B. Stop talking to us like we are children. When this happens to us, it’s so degrading. My son is starting to notice other adults do this to me. Please just stop.

I hope this helps you treat people with disabilities with value and respect.

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