The Big Five-Oh!

September 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Because I am joyfully married, and because of the exalted view of marriage given to us by God in the Bible – and because I have been blessed with such a wonderful, beautiful, and intelligent wifeI love marriage. And because I love marriage, I love wedding anniversaries. This weekend my wife’s parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary! What an accomplishment, and what a glorious testimony to the grace of God in a day and age where marriage is so rapidly becoming devalued, desecrated, and even demonized.

It is truly humbling for me to consider all that my father-in-law and mother-in-law have been through in their marriage – from health issues, to financial pressures, to weather catastrophes, to relocations, to family crises – not to mention the challenges and stress of rearing four successful children (with my wife being just one example of the awesome parenting job they have done – and are still doing!)

Words like “congratulations” and “thank you” just don’t seem big enough or profound enough to express the gratitude and esteem I feel for a couple who, knowing that I was bringing far more detriment than benefit into their family when I married their daughter, still accepted me, loved me, and made me welcome. I will never be able to repay the debt I owe them for that, or for their continued love toward me and my family over the years. I could not have asked for better in-laws or for better grandparents for my children. They have set an example of faithfulness, grace, mercy, longsuffering, perseverance, kindness, generosity, and wisdom that I can only scratch the surface of describing. I thank God for them, and ask Him to bless the rest of their lives with joy, fulfillment, and peace.

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One Crazy, Wonderful Day

December 21, 2015 at 10:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Today my wife and I celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. Since there are 24 hours in a day, I suppose we might think of our marriage so far as one long day, with each year representing an hour. If so, this has been one crazy day!

From the rush and panic of getting ready for a busy day, to the quick interlude of a lunch-hour break, to a long grueling afternoon of hard work, to the relief of a “happy hour,” to the excitement of a romantic evening on the town (or in the home!), to late-night discussions, arguments, tickle-fights, cuddling, and laughter, to the darkest, most frightening midnight hours of learning to trust and lean on each other for support and comfort, to a morning of new hope and joy, it has been a “day” given to us and arranged by God for our good and His glory.

I am thankful beyond expression for my wife. When I woke up this morning, by her side, I realized she is just as stunningly beautiful today as when we first met. She is my sister in Christ, my friend, my counselor, my partner, my helper, my passion, and the love of my life. When God (the same God Who had already given me eternal life and salvation in His Son, Jesus!) wanted to do something else really, really special and wonderful for me, He gave me Laura Hampton to be my wife. I thank Him and praise Him for her, and I ask Him, by His grace, mercy, and love, to bless us and keep us together all the days of our lives.

Five for Fighting

January 2, 2014 at 11:33 am | Posted in Biblical Violence | Leave a comment
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Tomorrow will be the fifth anniversary of The Deep End. During the past five years I have enjoyed studying Scripture and writing posts based on the Truth of God’s Word. As always, He has been exceedingly gracious to allow me to continue. I pray and hope that what readers find here will be challenging, thought-provoking, comforting, and profitable, and that the Lord Jesus will be magnified and exalted. The Lord is certainly the Prince of Peace, but I have learned that He is also passionate and zealous. These things are not mutually contradictory, but the result is that – more often than we think – God deals in the reality of clashing perspectives and strong emotions. It’s one of the lesser-known facts of Christian theology that the God of peace sometimes works through violent conflict.

In honor of this anniversary (and in recognition that Jeopardy is now ripping off my blog for category clues!) I am posting the links to the category called Biblical Violence:

1. The God-Mastered Man
2. When God Condones Violence
3. Panicked Pressing
4. Frightening Words
5. The Grudge-Match of the Century: The Lion of God vs. Double-Wicked Cushan
6. Up for the Count
7. The One that Didn’t Get Away
8. The Raptor and the Captor
9. Righteous Jealousy
10. Eternal Destruction
11. Faithful Wounds
12. Faithful Wounds Part 2
13. Stand Your Ground *
14. Breaching Reality
15. Are You Struggling?
16. Smiting the Gods
17. Evil Angels
18. Beware the Fight with the Flesh
19. Beware Falling Formations
20. Beware the Feeble Fortress
21. Beware the Flattened Fence
22. Beware the Fearful Force
23. Beware the Facial Fall
24. The Bold Pair in the Enemy’s Lair (Part 1)
25. The Bold Pair in the Enemy’s Lair (Part 2)
26. Beware the Flagging Finishers

*most-read post in category

Raising a Four Year Old

January 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Biblical Parenting | 2 Comments
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Four years ago today, with some trepidation and with my wife doing all the technical stuff, I posted my first entry on The Deep End. I thank the Lord for granting me the consistency to keep posting, and for the ways He has blessed it and used it.

Four years old is about the time when children start to accumulate lasting memories, so if I think of The Deep End as a four-year-old kid, then I pray that this will be a year of memorable impact. As a parent of actual children, I am a steward or a manager over them, and they really “belong” to God. I feel the same way about this blog. It belongs to God and He allows me to manage it.

As a parent, I have certainly had my share of ups and downs, and, frankly, it is one of my weakest spiritual areas. This initially made me reluctant to teach or post about parenting. I once heard a preacher say that, while we might prefer to teach about our strengths, it is not valid to withhold Biblical instruction in areas where we have experienced failure. After all, he said, I’m going to have to preach about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, although I’ve certainly never been crucified myself!

So, in honor of this anniversary, here are the links to previous posts under the category called “Biblical Parenting:”

1. Spending Your Retirement on Your Children
2. Naming Neighbors
3. Like Father, Like Child
4. What to Be for Your Kids
5. What to Do for Your Kids
6. What to Buy for Your Kids
7. Chuck E. Church *
8. This Big Light of Mine
9. The Know-It-Alls that Don’t Know Much
10. Don’t Let Distraction Lead to Division
11. The Raptor and the Captor
12. Hijacked Hearts
13. The Unbiblical Concept of “Teenagers”
14. A Snapshot of the Lord’s Adolescence
15. Pavlov’s Kids
16. Boys Will Be Boys, but Boys Should Want to Be Men
17. The Dangers of Fatherhood
18. The Early Bird Gets to Wait
19. Show and Tell
20. Fathers and Daughters
21. The Stones of Curiosity
22. The New Girl Arrives
23. How Many Sermons about Purity Do Boys Need to Hear?
24. Christ’s Childhood Preparation
25. When Is It Good to be Proud? (Spoiler Alert: Never)
26. Don’t be an Abusive, Angry, Absent, or Addicted Parent 
27. The Problem with Popular Parenting (Genesis 21:1-11; Ephesians 6:1)
28. The Problem with Pecuniary Parenting 
29. The Problem with Petulant Parenting 
30. The Propriety of Paragonal Parenting
31. A Child’s View of God’s Supremacy
32. Children’s Bible Catechism
33. Kingdom Teaching for Children
34. Our Kids Are Not Good Kids
35. Children Need to Know that Death Is Real
36. The Gross-Out Factor for Kids (Mark 2:16-17)
37. Even the Children (Psalm 148)
38. The Most Important Children’s Ministry Tool (II Timothy 3:15)
39. Don’t Teach Fables (Matthew 12:38-41)
40. Don’t Teach Feelings (Proverbs 28:26)
41. Don’t Teach Finesse
42. The Blessings and Hazards of Companionship (Proverbs 13:20)

* most-read post in category

Marriage: The Long and the Short of It

December 21, 2011 at 11:25 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage, Uncategorized | 12 Comments
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There are a couple of old cliches’ when you hit a big anniversary milestone in your marriage. “I’ve been married for 20 years,” says the husband, groaning, “but it seems like a hundred.” Or, “We’ve been married for 20 years,” says the wife with a fake smile, checking over her shoulder to see who’s listening, “but it seems like just yesterday!”

I don’t want to be a spoilsport, but I don’t like either one of those cliches’. Twenty years ago today, God joined my wife and I together into one flesh in a marriage relationship. Aside from Jesus rescuing me from the penalty for my sins and saving my soul, it’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me. And the truth is, there are moments when 20 years seems like the blink of an eye, and there are moments when 20 years seems like 20 years.

My wife is the sweetest, most loyal, loving, holy, caring, compassionate, faithful, smartest, God-fearing, Christ-honoring, and beautiful wife in the world – and she’s only getting better every day! She’s a wonderful mother to our children, to boot!

So, while it’s true that the last 20 years do seem like they’ve gone by very fast, I am not going to minimize the blessings of 20 years of experiences and memories and trials and struggles and victories. 20 years is 20 years, to the glory of God. Jesus has blessed us in ways we didn’t expect. When we’ve been in trouble, He has rescued us. When we’ve been trapped, He has delivered us. When we’ve been hurting, He has comforted us. When we’ve rejoiced, He has rejoiced with us. When we’ve wavered and doubted, He’s been faithful and true. When we’ve been scared, He’s been our assurance and strength. When we’ve lost our way, He’s found us and brought us back. When we’ve drawn near to Him, He’s drawn nearer to us. When we have been confused, He’s been our wisdom. When we’ve been unloving and unlovely, He has loved us beyond measure. We give honor and praise and worship and thanks to His Holy Name.

Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

Proverbs 5:18

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:31-33

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

I Peter 3:7

But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Mark 10:6-9


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