Category Archives: Church

Further Beyond Coincidence

Shure SM81 Condenser MicrophoneA couple weeks ago, I phoned my church’s music director to inquire about the list of equipment he planned to submit to a donor in our congregation who plans to make a substantial contribution to the church’s music ministry.  (I have posted previously about the origin of this list.)  In particular, I was interested in whether or not the director had included some microphones suitable for recording instruments for a professionally produced album in this list.

The music director indicated that the list had already been delivered to the would-be benefactor, but that the microphones were not present in it.  The director explained that the list was comprised of “big ticket” items that the church could not ordinarily afford, since a significant donation was in view.  The microphones, while not cheap, are much less expensive by comparison, and might feasibly be included as a line item of our church’s music budget — perhaps as early as this year.

This made perfect sense, but was still a bit disappointing to me.  I was able to let go of it pretty quickly, though.  After all, if God wants an album recorded to help support our adoption journey, He’ll provide the means to get it done, church microphones or no.

About half an hour later, I noticed a new voicemail message on my phone from the music director. My heart did a bit of a cartwheel as I listened to it. Evidently, right after he hung up with me, the director found a new email from the donor saying that the list of desired equipment had been received and looked good. However, there was still money that the donor wanted to give beyond the cost of the listed equipment. Was there any additional equipment that could be of use to the church music ministry, the donor wanted to know.  At this, the music director called one of the church’s sound technicians and commissioned him to put together a second list of recording equipment for our church, including the microphones I had asked about.

This is the second case of more-than-ironic timing regarding funds for church recording equipment and my improbable adoption-supporting album.  Again, I am still unsure how all of this will work out – the music director ended his message by indicating that the funds to be donated probably won’t be available until November of this year.  Even so, my faith and hope are growing, as the Lord seems to be afoot in this matter.

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Offertory for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

This morning I sang Beneath this Christmas Moon at church — probably one of the most significant and nerve-wracking offertories I’ll ever do.  You can view a rough video recording of this song, as our church posts a live feed of our services to ustream.tv.

Disclaimers: As ustream.tv is a free service, you may be required to watch an (hopefully unobjectionable) advertisement video before the offertory video actually starts.  You might also see popup adds on the video while it plays.  You should be able to dismiss these by clicking on the [X] in the ad’s upper-right corner. Also, the highlight of the offertory takes place over an hour into the service, so it may take a moment or two to load.

I’ve posted my introductory remarks to the offertory below.

View the video.


Did you know there are over 132 million orphans in the world today?

Some of you might know that today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  Tony Dungy, former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, believes that to be pro-life is to be pro-adoption.  This is easy to agree with, but it becomes more interesting when the prospect of adoption comes knocking on your own door.

My wife Rosemary has wanted to adopt since before we were married, but I have never really been open to this path.  In recent years, Rosemary’s desire has intensified.  God has brought to her mind images of a young Asian girl.  He has even given her a name – Sonja Ruth: Sonja meaning “wisdom” and Ruth, after the Biblical heroine, meaning “friend.”  During this time, I have remained skeptical and resistant, praying things like “Lord, we already have three great boys,” “God, have you noticed how small our house is?”, “Have you checked our savings account balance lately?” and “Is this really the best time given that Rosemary is in the middle of two highly invasive and disruptive oral surgery procedures?”  These have been just some of my objections.

Yet amidst all of my quibbling, God has transformed my heart over the past two months.  Through a series of events, he has shown me that He is indeed leading our family to walk the path of adoption in spite of, or maybe even because of, these obstacles.  This change of heart runs so deep within me that I have come to feel like our family is not yet complete, that there is an empty seat at our dinner table waiting for our little girl.

Moreover, the Lord seems to be urging us to walk this journey in a very public and vulnerable manner.  That’s why I am sharing all of this with you today.  God aims to be glorified as we go through this process.  We are just beginning now, and it’s scary.  We ask for your prayers and support, but we also hope that as you see this journey unfold, some of you might also feel the Holy Spirit prick your hearts and open your minds to the possibility of adoption in your own families.  Above all, we want Jesus Christ to receive all of the glory for this endeavor, for it is surely only by His grace and strength that it will come to fruition.

Last month on Christmas Eve, the Lord birthed in me the song I’m going to sing for you.  Its text is included on an insert in your bulletin, along with the web address of our new blog, sonjaruth.com, where you can learn more and follow our story if you are interested. This song is a way for me to express to Rosemary my newfound resolution that pursuing adoption is the right path for us, and my commitment to walk it with our family.


View the video.

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