Monthly Archives: January 2017

7 days…

Walk by faith, not by sight. 2nd Corinthians 5:7 depending on the translation.

We were about 7 days from the wedding. My bride’s family was amazingly helpful and worked so hard. We are very grateful and the wedding would not have been as amazing as it was without their help and hard work!

This is a topic we talked about a few times and it was a pretty low key conversation.

My bride wasn’t keen on taking my last name. She was pretty well known within her work community and was on the edge of starting some really great and important projects. Even more so, when she got divorced, she took her step dad’s last name and liked it!  She decided she would keep it even if she did get remarried, though remarriage was not on her agenda. Taking my last name wasn’t a high priority for me either, so I really didn’t care. We agreed, she would keep her last name and I would keep mine.

I was going to  college online to get my bachelors in biblical studies in order to become a pastor. Our family members expressed concern about us having different last names and me being a pastor. They thought we should have the same last name.

So it was about 7 days from the wedding when I get the phone call. My bride is in tears. She explained to me her family’s thoughts on us having the same last name. She just didn’t want to take my last name.

There is a short silence.

Then I ask this question:

“How much of you not wanting to take my last name is because you don’t want to be the 4th McDermott wife?”

It was silent.

My bride came to the realization that was a big part it and I understood.

After an ever so brief silence I ask her what she thought about choosing a completely new last name.

She asked me if I was really willing to do that and my response was yes and explained way.

We are all, as individual believers, a new creation in Christ. Likewise, I believe, when we get married, and the two becomes one flesh, we are a new creation in Christ as well.

We are not just bound in the flesh, but are to strive to be like minded and one in spirit also.

So my thought was that the name we would choose was to represent Jesus.

Shiloh is found in Genesis 49:10 in some translations.

We used the New American Standard Bible translation:

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”

This is part of Jacob’s prayer over his son Judah.

Jesus gave us a new name.

7 months

My bride and I both look back and are amazed at what the Lord has done in our lives both prior to us meeting each other and then together as husband and wife. 

Our relationship literally started with prayer. 

It was the sunrise prayer meetings that lead to the regional prayer meeting that lead to us meeting. 

Remember the word gluttony I received from the Lord about 18 months prior?  Well, the day we met I reached my goal weight of 170 pounds. 60 pounds in 18 months and I met my bride at the finish line. 

We saw each other three days consecutively: Friday, Saturday, Sunday. All at church. 

And the prayer did not stop. 

I had messed up every relationship I had previous, so I left everything up to Jesus, through prayer. 

Family and friends stepped in to help plan the wedding. The wedding dress was a family heirloom and was provided through what some would call chance, but we call providence. 

We were traveling to visit family out of state. We pit stopped and through conversation, they mentioned they had a particular wedding dress.  They pulled it out, my bride loved it. 

And…

It fit perfect with no alterations needed. 

We talked and prayed through much if not all aspects of our relationship and marriage. Literally. 

We were talking about wedding rings and got stressed.  We were driving. I pulled over on Rt. 97 and we prayed. We found the perfect set soon after, like hours. Literally. 

It was an antique set that was obviously well cared for. 

We met at the altar. 

I proposed at the same altar in front of our church family. 

We were married at that altar in front of a sea of family and friends.  Over 200 people. Standing room only and most attended from an open invite on Facebook. 

The seven months sounds easy, but it wasn’t always. There were some very tough conversations working through the baggage of our previous lives. 

But there was always prayer and the faithful ear of Jesus, and all in 7 months. It was perfect. 

Sign posts in the desert of life

Without the Lord’s guidance in my life, my life would be much like a desert. It would be dry and lack life. 

I believe He offers us guidance along the way and here is why. 

It was in March of 2011 that I reached out to local churches to help a young adult senior at the high school I was working in. The lack of care by her parents was threatening her not being able to graduate. 

Rather than make phone calls, I physically went to the local churches in the area looking for a temporary housing solution. 

I should note this started by a social worker friends request. 

I went to five different churches.  I don’t say this lightly. I was very kindly blown off by all but one. One church found two families willing to take this girl in. 

This broke my heart for the Church, so I started monthly sunrise prayer meetings in the middle of Glen Burnie to try and figure this problem out. It was a Facebook event and open to everyone. 

We would have 7-8 people from 4 different churches on average. Not bad for 3 prayer meetings over 3 months. 

It was Easter Sunday morning that my pastor friend came and caught the vision. Hence the regional prayer meeting on June 9th.  

Through the brokenness of His Church, Christ spurred me on to pray, help to unite His Church, and in the midst give me my bride. 

By serving His bride, he gave me mine. 

Opened…

That Sunday, after the meeting, we talked in the church parking lot for hours. There were lightening bugs everywhere! Literally hundreds upon hundreds of them everywhere. It was miraculous!

I didn’t see it in the moment, but the Lord opened my heart that weekend. 

I didn’t know it for certain until June 21st, that the Lord used the pray meeting on June 9th to introduce me to my bride. 

My bride knew it immediately as the Lord told her directly. After we met ever so briefly that Friday, after the prayer meeting, she turned around to pick up her stuff and the Lord spoke to her and said: “You just met your husband.” She turned around to see who was talking to her, but no one was there, just the Lord. 

It was the morning of June 21st that I was talking with the Lord and I told Him that if this was the woman He chose for me, she would have to bring up in conversation about us being in a relationship. 

Six hours later we were having that conversation, started by her. It was under the tree she had prayed about our relationship with a friend just the day before. 

We were married seven months later. 

Perfect: part four

Timing.

There are times it goes by so slow.

There are times it goes by so fast.

And yet there are times it seems to disappear all together.

From our earthly vantage point it may all seem totally wrong and inconvenient.

But it is perfect despite our perception.

Perfect timing.

The concert was called a sensory friendly concert. It was to be a venue for people on the autism spectrum to have access to the fine arts, as well as an opportunity for them to show off their individual musical talents.

I arrived and sat towards the middle back on the left facing the stage.

I saw people I hadn’t seen in years!  That was a surprise!

As I sat and watched the concert I was blown away at the impact it had on the musicians involved and their families.

It was so impactful I was moved to tears.

It was so impactful I had to offer to help.

After the concert I reintroduced myself and as the conversation continued, she was developing a non profit and was looking for board members. As I was working community relations in the police department and working with youth at the time, it seemed like a good fit.

My church was also having a meeting the next day, Sunday,  with people from the county about developing a worship service for people with special needs. I invited her to the meeting.

Perfect timing.

Image result for timing

 

Perfect: part three

Perfect timing. 

For me, it’s hard to grasp. Hard to see. Hard to predict. 

Perfect timing. 

I was not just doing my college studies, but personal biblical  studies also. 

I was steeped in prayer and worship and hearing God. Lots to write about, but maybe another blog post. 

I helped organize a regional prayer meeting with another local pastor friend. The goal was to bring unity of His local Church, through united prayer and see what our Father had in store for us. 

We had about 45 people, if not more, from I think some 14 different churches from the regional area attend. 

It was a Friday night and she was the worship leader for the prayer meeting. 

I saw her, met her briefly, thought she was nice, and went on my way. 

She invited me to a concert she was having at this same church the next night, to which I accepted. 

Like I said. I saw her, thought she was nice and went on my way. 

I had been single almost four and one half years.  I knew better.  I had met nice women before, so I really thought nothing of it. 

Until…

Perfect: Part two

What is perfect timing? How do we know the timing is perfect? 

And why is it so very important?

Why did my college studies go so well at the start and then why did they tank and I end up quitting. 

Why didn’t I understand the moment God gave me that scripture, that I was the worst of sinners?

Why do I get stuck at that stinking red light?  All the time!

Why did we have the trials we did before we were able to have a daughter? 

Truthfully I really don’t know. But if someone pushed me for an answer I would have to tell them now, because God knows best. 

It wasn’t time for me to finish my studies. 

It wasn’t time for me to understand that Scripture. 

The light was red because God knows I really need it to be. 

And God knows the exact time our daughter was to be born at the perfect moment. 

All to God’s glory and His honor. 

I know there was a time I didn’t like this answer.  But in the grand scheme of God’s great plan of salvation and bringing His children to an understanding of Himself, He knows.

It’s my job to trust through faith.

And now I do!