The last day has been fairly difficult for Bowen. He spent most of the night and into the morning throwing up, and Sarah barely slept. It pulls at my heart when I’m not there for them during these kinds of nights and days. If you’ve been following our blog for any amount of time, you know that part of sharing this journey with you is being honest about our daily struggles. You also know that we cling to a strange truth, that our struggles are a gift by which we gain more hope and purpose. We’re learning to “count it all joy” (James 1:2) because we know that “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”(Romans 8:18)

Our faith is our source of strength, but another thing that brings us encouragement is looking back to see just how far we’ve come. I was looking through old pictures today and found this one from September 17th, the day they closed Bowen’s chest from surgery. We are so thankful for all that God has brought us through in just three short months.

Digging Deeper

There are certain words in the Bible that I’ve somehow skimmed right over for many years. As my heart and mind have been awakened to the value of studying (not just reading) the Bible, I now see those same words in ultra-bold print. Before I started digging deeper, I often made the mistake of pulling verses out of their context and trying to make scripture conform to my own life and thinking, instead of conforming my life and thinking to scripture.

Last week, I spent some time lingering over one of the verses I’ve heard most commonly quoted from the Bible, Romans 8:28. “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for the good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  I overlooked the context of this verse for a lot of years, assuming that it meant the more I loved God, the better things would work out for me in this life. After reading it in context, I realized that’s not what Paul is saying. He’s actually making it very clear that we shouldn’t place our hope in things going well for us in this life, but in the life to come. Romans 8:18-30 is titled Future Glory.

After studying this passage, I tried to find some good sermons on it. I found one by Pastor John Piper called “All Things for Good” where he clearly points out what Paul is referring to by “all things” in Romans 8:18-30. “All things” include suffering (8:18), a creation subjected to futility (8:20), all of creation groaning in pain (8:22), hope that is not seen (8:25), and weakness (8:26). Again, Paul never suggests that those who love Christ will avoid pain and suffering in this life. On the contrary, he’s making it clear that we should expect it and put our deepest hope in future glory.

If you read further in chapter 8, Paul writes another long list of hardships that many have faced in this life.  However, he leaves us with a promise that we can cling to in this life, as well as in the life to come.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-39

Album Update

I can’t believe my dream of recording this album has become a reality. Our first day in the studio went great. The band (Jeremy Lutito, Matt Stanfield, Pete Prevost, and Tony Lucito) already tracked three songs, all of which sound incredible.

Here are a few pictures and a video clip of us recording today.

Here’s a clip of us working on “You Are My Treasure.”  The guy making the creepy face at the end is Rusty, our engineer.  He’s a little crazy;)

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