Category Archives: Church

A Familiar Place

In many ways, these opening lyrics to a new song by Chris Tomlin describe where I am:

“I’m coming back to the start
where You found me
I’m coming back to Your heart
now I surrender
Take me, this is all I can bring.”

The reality is…all I can bring, is all that God wants: surrender!


My wife and I are reading everything we can get our hands on by Randy Alcorn. His writings have encouraged us more than anything else we have read.

My wife is currently reading Safely Home by him and below is a picture of who the book is dedicated to. It really puts things in perspective:


God’s Sovereignty…hurt or help?

I was able to spend some time with my dear friend, Ed Litton, these past couple of days. Ed’s wife, Tammy, passed away about 6 years ago in a tragic car accident. He has since re-married to another wonderful woman, Kathy, who interestingly enough had her husband pass away several years ago in a tragic car accident as well. The Lord is His providence and grace brought Ed and Kathy together after they both experienced such difficult losses.

Ed has become a recent friend and God has used him mightily in my life. When he speaks, I listen. He has a warmth and wisdom about him that blesses me so much. Last night, he and I were talking, and he told me something powerful, yet simple…something that I needed to write down and share.

After Tammy passed away, Ed had a young seminary student ask him if his view of God’s sovereignty had helped him or hurt him during his time of loss. Ed’s answer was simply, “Yes.”

I completely resonate with Ed’s answer…I get what he was saying. In one sense, yes, it’s incredibly difficult to reconcile God being sovereign, fully able to control all things, and yet He still allows such horrible things into our lives. When you experience something difficult…tragic…and you’re praying so fervently for things to be different and God chooses not to intervene temporally, sometimes it is hard to understand. So yes, understanding that God is sovereign does hurt a little bit at times.

But, in another sense, in a greater sense, it is incredibly overwhelming and beautifully comforting to know that while God does allows such difficult things into our lives, He has a plan and He is in complete control. God’s sovereignty brings purpose to a believer’s suffering. In fact, I can’t even imagine the thought of Trey’s suffering not serving a purpose. If Trey’s suffering was all that there was, I would feel horribly defeated and probably could not even go on living. However, knowing that Trey’s life served God’s purpose and has had incredible eternal significance, and knowing that I will see Him again because God HAS acted and HAS saved his soul…in that sense, God’s sovereignty has been more than helpful. It has been what has carried us and is carrying us to this day.

There is nothing in the world that can prepare you to watch your child breathe their last breath…NOTHING. Emily and I thought we were prepared, and in those final moments with Trey, we found ourselves broken and hurting in the deepest possible way. However, GOD WAS WITH US, and while we were not prepared, He carried us. He gave us the necessary grace to simply breathe. In our tears, He held us and more importantly held our son and carried Trey directly into His presence.

So…knowing that God loves Trey a million times more than I ever could, I have to rest in the fact that God then sovereignly accomplished His perfect plan for Trey…a plan that in some ways is hurtful to us, because we just don’t understand everything and we miss Trey so much, but also a plan that is incredibly helpful to us, because we know that God did what was best for Trey. He saved Trey and has now delivered Trey from ALL sin, sickness and death. TREY IS WHOLE! TREY IS FREE! And Trey now is with the Lord who is making ALL THINGS NEW!

So, yes, knowing that God is sovereign can be a little painful because we don’t always like what He does…BUT…and this is big…knowing that God is sovereign allows believers to face this sin-stained world with an eternal perspective that reminds us every day that God is doing something eternally with every aspect of our lives…that this world IS NOT all that there is…and that one day, we will have resurrected bodies, living on a resurrected earth, serving our resurrected Lord!!! And in all of that I shout HALLELUJAH!!!

God…thank you for sending Your Son! Thank You for coming and giving us a way of escape from sin and death! Thank You Jesus for dying on the Cross so that EVERYONE who calls on Your name might be saved. Oh God, keep using Trey’s life to point people to Your Son. Thank You for giving His life a purpose…thank You that his suffering was not meaningless…thank You for the 7 incredible years You gave me with him. Please hold him and give him love tonight from his daddy. Oh how I love you Trey and I will see you again soon and get ALL of eternity with you. I love you son…always and forever.

Trey is rejoicing in heaven!

We had our disciple now weekend for our youth at our church this weekend. My father, Ken Freeman, preached for the weekend. We saw a number of great things happen, but this morning, my dad preached for our whole church and we had several saved…mostly adults. Tonight, we baptized 13 new believers. It was wonderful!!!

I kept thinking that Trey was rejoicing in heaven each time a person gave their heart to Christ. But one story blessed me in particular. Back in May, we had a bone marrow drive at our church for Trey. We were trying to find a match for Trey. A man, with no connection to our church, heard about the drive and came to see if he was a match. After he came to the drive, he decided to start visiting our church. He found out we had a Faithriders Sunday School class, so he started coming to that class. This morning, when my dad gave an invitation to respond to the Gospel, this man came forward and gave his life to Christ…and tonight, I baptized him.

So…the man came because of Trey, he came to Christ through the Gospel preaching of my father, and I got to baptize him. INCREDIBLE!!! Trey’s life continues to matter eternally.

Of course, I wish all this could have happened and Trey still be here, but that obviously wasn’t God’s plan. It’s awesome to see how God is using Trey…but we still miss him terribly. But today, God clearly used the life of my son to call this man to Himself and to save his soul. That is just awesome!

We love you Trey and can’t wait to celebrate all these things with you! I love you buddy. You are my hero forever!!!

The Prayer

On my first Sunday back in the pulpit, these two amazing teenagers sang this song. Close your eyes and you will think you are listening to adult professionals. INCREDIBLE!!!

Living a Life of Joy

Here is my sermon from Sunday night. It was my first sermon in the new study of Philippians. I’ve titled this series called: Living a Life of Joy! Here is the link if you care to listen :-)

Sweet Note from my oldest daughter

My 13 year old daughter sent this note to me right before I preached the 1st service last Sunday. She is such a wonderful daughter!

Dad. I love you so much. Your going to do great today. You always do. I know it’s going to be hard,, but we’re gonna make it.
Philippians 4:13
Jeremiah 29:11
2 Corinthians 4:18
I love you dad😘

A New Day…

Today is a new day and the Lord’s mercies have met my pain and have brought forth a renewed joy and focus. The feeling of loss is still great and thoughts of Trey are continual and still stir my emotions, but my joy and focus today are being renewed. Thanks be unto God for this.

I am beginning to read through Philippians…sometimes referred to as the Epistle of Joy. Paul wrote this letter while in prison, but his joy was never lacking. I am hoping that studying through this book of the Bible will continue to build my joy.

My plan is also to begin preaching through this letter beginning this Sunday night. So, if you’re in need of some encouragement, come join us. I also plan to begin preaching on heaven on Sunday mornings two weeks from this Sunday, and I am very much looking forward to that study. I pray God lifts our hearts and minds tremendously through this study. So…this Sunday night, I will begin preaching through Philippians and on Sunday morning, October 20th, I will begin preaching on heaven.

You might be wondering why the delay to start my series on heaven. We already had some things planned on Sundays mornings many months ago, and we didn’t want to change what we had planned. This Sunday morning we have a guest preacher as we honor our precious senior adults, and next Sunday morning, my father will be preaching for the conclusion of our youth disciple now weekend. I am looking forward to hearing these two great preachers and will also enjoy a couple of more weeks to really get prepared for the launch of the heaven series.

Any way, if you can join us at FBC Newcastle, we’d love to have you. If you can’t, you can always listen online if you want at

One month…first Sunday back

It’s incredibly hard to believe that Trey has been with the Lord for one month as of today. I just can’t believe it. Time is flying. I know that Trey is no longer bound by time and that he is so enjoying himself in the presence of God. It’s awesome to think that he’s with the Lord!

Today was my first Sunday back at church. It was an emotionally draining morning, but the Spirit of the Lord was with us. I felt God move in our midst in a mighty way. As the song says, “Though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be Your name.” I pray the name of the Lord was lifted high.

My church family is just awesome…plain and simple. I’m so blessed to be their pastor. They welcomed us back with a very warm reception. I love you FBC Newcastle.

Any way, I’m easing back into things this week. Please keep praying for us. We are still grieving very deeply, but trusting God to heal our hearts. We miss our son so very much. We love you Trey and you will never be forgotten.

I’m grateful to God for the grace He provided this very day. Lord, help us to keep breathing!

An Encouragement

Last night during our Sunday evening worship service…the video below was recorded and sent to our family as an encouragement. Hopefully it will encourage you as well today:

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