Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Tag: Fatherhood

My Son and the Voice of God

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

-Jeremiah 33:3

Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter know that my wife and I received some exciting news yesterday: we are going to have a baby boy!

We weren’t 100% sure we would find out during yesterday’s ultrasound. We’ve heard of babies being “shy”–being in a position that was not conducive to determining the gender. That was not a problem–the proverbial cat was out of the bag as soon as the technician placed the instrument on my wife’s tummy. It was only a split second, but let’s just say the first image didn’t leave much to the imagination. She quickly changed the scanner position and asked us if we wanted to know the gender of the baby. We told her we’d been waiting for this day and did want to know. More images confirmed what we thought we had seen.

I mentioned a promise that God gave us from His word in a previous post. I wrote down this verse in my prayer journal before my wife got pregnant:

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.

-Psalm 128:3


But there’s a secret of sorts that I’ve only shared with one or two people (one of those being my wife): God told me weeks ago that we were having a son. I don’t think I can pin it down to a specific date, though I wrote it in my prayer journal back in July. It’s something God impressed on my heart as I was praying for a healthy baby. That impression never left me–it grew stronger over time.

God tends to do that when He’s speaking to me. He knows I’d be likely to doubt a one-time experience, so He slowly and methodically puts something on my heart. This is the way God told me He wanted me to preach. It’s impossible to explain for those who haven’t experienced it. But I’m sure many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’ve waited to share this for a couple of reasons:

  • I didn’t want to give anyone the impression that my heart was set on a boy instead of a girl.   My main desire was (and still is) for a healthy baby. I would have been 100% fine with a boy or a girl–either one would be treated as a precious gift from the Lord, created in His image.
  • I trust the Lord, but I don’t trust me. I know that I’m capable of misunderstanding Him (it has happened before). And let’s be honest: some Christians can get really weird with those “the Lord told me” statements.

The most important things God has to say to me are already written in His Word–the Bible. Any experience I have must line up with the truths of Scripture or it isn’t from the Lord.

Having said that, I treasure those times when I hear God speaking to me or leading me regarding something specific in my life. It is another way that He expresses grace (undeserved favor) to me.

God has spoken, and God is speaking.

Are you listening?

Confessions of an Expectant Father

On March 17, 2012 Mare Cris gave me a title I wasn’t sure I’d ever have: husband. Over five years have quickly gone by since then. We’ve seen the amazing faithfulness of God through both blessings and trials.

We decided that this year was the right time to start our family. We felt like things had settled down here in our new ministry assignment and we saw no reason to wait any longer. Neither of us is getting any younger (especially me).

We weren’t really sure what to expect. We’ve known other couples that conceived before intentionally trying to start a family. We’ve also met couples that struggled with infertility (some of whom were never able to have biological children).

Weeks turned into months. We weren’t really worried, but we were beginning to wonder if we were in for a long wait. I wrote this Scripture down in my prayer journal:

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.

-Psalm 128:3

God graciously fulfilled this promise back in July. Mare Cris was experiencing the first telltale signs of pregnancy and used some home tests that I bought months before. The two lines were unmistakable evidence of great news: we were officially expecting a baby! My cousin (who is an OB/GYN) was the first to hear about it (she confirmed the reliability of home tests). The next day (after positive test #2) I called my dad to inform him that he would be a grandfather again. The following Sunday my wife was leading worship at our church and shared the good news with them.

The daily grind of first trimester queasiness, dizziness, and fatigue have taken a toll on Mare Cris. I’m still trying to believe this is actually happening–it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea of being a father. But words can hardly express how grateful and excited both of us are.

Yesterday we were able to see our little one for the first time. Hearing the tiny heartbeat nearly brought tears to our eyes. I’m sure we would have both been sobbing if we could have gazed at the live image long enough. But it was over within a few minutes–just long enough for our technician to gather the needed information. A doctor came not long after the test to give us the age of the child (a little over 8 weeks) and tell us everything looked normal. I’m sure this is all familiar scenery for the medical staff, but Mare Cris and I were awestruck.

Soon I will have a new title: father.   The baby will be born in late March.

Thank you, Lord!