Why We Celebrate Conception and Not Just Birth

[Originally posted 10.27.2009. Revised 7.12.2012]

Many hesitate to tell people that they are pregnant after having experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth. They may want to wait until some point in the future when they believe things are more certain. Maybe they don’t want to get people’s hopes up only to have them decimated again. This is understandable, but I would commend to you another way. It may be a harder way, indeed an impossible way, but I believe it is a better and more Christ-exalting way.

Why we celebrate conception and not just birth:

  1. Because a child is not less a child inside the womb than outside.
  2. Because the loss of a child makes you want to celebrate every moment you can with your other children.
  3. Because we want to testify against the abortion, not of fetuses, but of little precious souls. Perhaps one of the greatest ways we can testify against abortion is to celebrate conception and to deeply mourn over a miscarriage or stillbirth.
  4. Because should the child die, we should weep and mourn a stillbirth or miscarriage for what it is, the death of a life dear to us.  As God’s covenant people we are meant to laugh with those who laugh and mourn with those who mourn. Such a loss should not be experienced alone.
  5. Because it is a way to teach children about the reality of life and death and the God who is sovereign over them.
  6. Because the next life is bigger than this one. If the child should die in the womb they still have life in front of them. They are not non-existent in the next life, nor should they be in this life.
  7. Because God makes life and new life, not us. This is a way of celebrating what God does above what we do, a way of celebrating the gospel.

Our deepest praise to our merciful heavenly Father, and our sincerest thanks to all who have prayed to Him for us. Please continue to pray God’s mercy on us for a safe, healthy, and joyous pregnancy and birth.

Easter Preparation, Easter Joy

Alex: “Connor, this is a tomb (building with Lincoln Logs). After Jesus died they took him off the cross and put Him in a tomb. And then what happened?

Connor: “Back alive!”

Alex: “Connor, good job! Give me high five.”

Better Than We Deserve

C.J. Mahaney and Dave Ramsey oft reply to the social grace, “How are you?” with “Better than I deserve.” I like that. I thought about copying it, but I think it would come off as insincere because I would probably say it hypocritically most of the time. Some may be down on others saying such statements saying they are down on themselves. My response is twofold: 1. Don’t we have plenty to be down about (i.e. sin)? 2. They are not seeking to be down on themselves are much are they are seeking to be up on Christ.

It was a few weeks ago on a Saturday night. Bethany was cooking supper and I was upstairs trying to balance the checking account. Thirteen cents off! Isn’t amazing how such a minuscule figure can cause such disproportional stress? Any other time I would think thirteen cents insignificant. If something is on sale for thirteen cents off, big deal.  If something cost thirteen cents, no problem. Lose three pennies and a dime, oh well.  But thirteen cents when balancing the books is a major stressor. Then Bethany’s phone rang. A grenade was about to go off in my soul sending my emotions in a thousand different directions.

Our adoption caseworker called saying that they had two brothers, ages two and five, and wanted to know if we would be interested in adopting them. She then proceeded to tell us their story, a story that would melt your heart, but that’s their story. As she told us about the boys we were instantly in love. During the conversation it clicked, I had misdated the interest we had earned that month. How much was it? Yep, thirteen cents. We took some time for the emotional side to calm down and the rational side to process. We called family, consulted our pastor, and prayed to our heavenly Father. Later that evening the sewer backed up in our downstairs half-bath; so while Bethany was calling family, I was called the plumber.

Monday morning we let our caseworker know we were in. The emotional rollercoaster continued for a couple of weeks. Finally, yesterday we found out that it is final, the boys are ours. We will go get them next week. Our heavenly Father has blessed us with two beautiful boys.

We don’t deserve these two boys, they are a blessing. The Christian faith is not about desert, it is about grace. Again, I don’t deserve these two boys. I don’t deserve stress over thirteen cents or a backed up sewer either. I deserve worse. I deserve hell. I deserve wrath. I deserve judgment.

The reason I thankfully don’t get what I deserve is because God gave me something infinitely more valuable than these two sons. He gave me His Son. The Son who took my just deserts so that I might be justified.

So when we say “we don’t deserve this,” it’s not simply because we are down on self, but because we are rejoicing in the bountiful mercy of God to us in Jesus Christ. It’s not because we are negative, or pessimistic, labels I have issues with, but because we are full of joy and overwhelmed by grace. There is greater joy contemplating my Lord’s merits than in deluding myself into thinking I have any of my own.

So pray for these two sinners raising two younger sinners. Pray that the grace of God would be mighty upon us, not because we deserve it, but for His glory.

Star to Superstar

Bethany made the news again!  It is starting to go to her head.  This morning as I dropped her off she complained of her fans greeting her at the door.

My Celebrity Wife

Bethany’s fame is growing.  Yesterday she had over fifty hits on her blog for her first post, then she makes the news last night.  Seems others realize what I have long known – I married an exceptional teacher, the best teacher in Tulsa.  Here is a excerpt from an article on the NewsOn6 website.

According to one parent, Mrs. King is a Tulsa Public Schools standout. The kind of teacher you pray for your student to have.

‘Her first grade teacher saw in her her desire to learn,’ said Mandy Vavrinak, Tulsa Public School Parent. ‘And really has spent the entire year, building her strengths, challenging her and pushing her to learn and grow.’

You can read the whole article here, or, watch the video here, or read her take on it here.

Adoption Is Not an Option

 It is something that one should want to do, not have to do.  It is not plan B.  It is not an alternative.  It is not an alternate route you take only because of road construction.

Adoption for us is not optional, it is optimal.

8 Years, More than Tears


Your 20’s are years normally fraught with big decisions. I regret many decisions made at that time, mostly my choices regarding my education. The one decision I do not regret is the best one I made, you. This decision was owing more to God’s grace than personal wisdom. I thank God that my many rash and unstudied decisions led to our lives colliding.

The past eight years include the most painful and hard seasons of my short life, however, they are also the best years of my life. I love my God more, I love you more. Marriage is hard, marriage is glorious. Our God has been gracious.

Happy Anniversary,


Baby Josey King

Disclaimer: I do not believe there is a heavenly post from here to heaven. I don’t expect God to act as my mail boy. I don’t anticipate with hope the opportunity to say these things. My hope is much bigger; so much so that this little letter will one day seem trite. This letter was simply my way of grieving and expressing my faith. [Added 11.2.17]


Oh, how we love you. We know so little about you, we’re not even sure if you’re our baby daughter or son, but we do know that we love you. Your mommy lept, shouted, and danced with joy when the pregnancy test revealed you were forming within her belly!  She heralded your life to PaPa and Gran, Papa and Grandma! Her eruption of joy was the purest motherly delight I’ve ever seen. Oh, how she would have loved you!

Josey, you were bathed in prayer. You were the answer to a plethora of prayer. During your little life on this earth you swam in a sea of prayer. When others were told to expect you they told us of their prayers for you. Many rejoiced to hear of you. Many praised God because of His great mercy toward us in giving us you. God answered our prayer.  He said “yes” and “no”.  His “no” was a gracious “no”.  I do not understand the grace of God in taking you, but His grace is not for me to understand, but to receive. I do not understand all the minutia of the suffering that occurs under the sovereign hand of God, but I do understand the greatest purpose He has in it—His glory. Majestic, eternal, unfading, effulgent glory; the glory you now bask in.  This is my hope and my joy, even now.

Josey, your namesake is Joseph.  His is a story of the grace of God abounding in blessing upon His covenant people. What was meant for evil by sinners within and Satan without, God worked for good. God’s grace is sovereign even over the sins of His covenant people.  Evil spiritual forces will tempt us to sin in this trial, I will and I have. I am so frail. My faith is weak, but my God is faithful. The one who sustained and sanctified Joseph will do so for your mother and me. May your precious little life tell others that our story, like Joseph’s, is not one of our great faith, but God’s great faithfulness toward us in Jesus Christ.

We will miss and mourn you for now.  But only for now.

Bethany’s Birthday Brilliance

She was very secretive.  She kept pestering me about throwing a Birthday party.  I loathe having a personal birthday party.  “Hey everyone, gather around and let’s celebrate…ME!”  She promised there would only be two people at this party, plus Baby King in the belly of course.

I was told I couldn’t arrive at the house until she called.  I just thought she was decorating.  So I came home and we went out to eat at The Green Onion, which is under new ownership and better than ever.  Once we arrived back home the most spectabulous (such vocabulary is all one can resort to in trying to describe such splendor) birthday book bonanza commenced.  My sweet wife is minister to the minister.  She encourages, challenges, loves, serves, supports, sacrifices, submits, and gently reproves… me.  She was giddy with joy, to surprise and love… me.  I am honored.  I am blessed.

Father, thank you for my sweet Bethany.  Her portrayal of your church, makes me want to be more like your Son.

What followed upon arriving home was 45 solid minutes of book hunting.  Books were hid all over the house.  We went up the stairs then down, and then back up (she didn’t realize she would have to make this trek twice).  You see, to make my 30th a celebration to remember she collaborated with many friends and family to buy books for me.  Thanks to everyone who contributed.  I am thankful for your kindness towards me.  I really was overwhelmed.

Below is what amassed after the hunt (not shown in the picture are the other 25 volumes of The MNT Commentary set!).


  1. An Introduction to the New Testament by D.A. Carson and Douglas Moo
  2. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown by Andreas Köstenberger
  3. Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 volumes) by John Calvin
  4. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (27 volumes) by John MacArthur
  5. Gospel Powered Parenting by William Farley
  6. The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges
  7. Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges
  8. Calvin by Bruce Gordon
  9. Christ-Centered Worship by Brian Chapell
  10. The Glory of Christ by John Armstrong
  11. Preaching Christ in All of Scripture by Edmund Clowney
  12. The Church by Edmund Clowney
  13. Words to Winners of Souls by Horatius Bonar
  14. In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson
  15. Jonathan and Sarah by Edna Gerstner
  16. Marriage to a Difficult Man by Elisabeth Dodds
  17. Tell the Truth by Will Metzger
  18. The Message of Salvation by Philip Ryken
  19. The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton
  20. God, Marriage, and Family by Andreas Köstenberger
  21. Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind by Tremper Longman III
  22. The Works of John Newton (6 volumes)
  23. The Collected Writings of John Murray (4 volumes)
  24. The Walk by Stephen Smallman
  25. Does Grace Grow Best in Winter by Ligon Duncan
  26. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee
  27. Cecil and Friends (4 Book Set) by Andrew McDonough
  28. Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers by Lewis Drummond

Tolle Lege: Adopted for Life

Adopted for LifeReadability:  1

Length:  217 pgs

Author:  Russell D. Moore

Bethany and I have known for some time that we wanted to adopt children at some point.  When Mark (Bethany’s brother) and Marla adopted Kylee I think we were graciously infected.  The gospel is contagious when lived out.  Still I never thought through the deep gospel implications until watching the video posted below by John Piper.  After reading Russell Moore’s Adopted for Life I no longer simply want to adopt, I am compelled to adopt.  This is among my favorite books of the year.  I pray you will read it, whether or not you are contemplating adoption.  As Christians we all should be ardent advocates of adoption.

Whenever I told people I was working on a book on adoption, they’s often say something along the lines of, “Great.  So is the book about the doctrine of adoption or, you know, real adoption?”…

As soon as you peer into the truth of one aspect, you fall headlong into the truth of the other and vice versa.  That’s because it’s the way the gospel is.  Jesus reconciles us to God and to each other.  As we love God, we love our neighbor: as we love our neighbor, we love our God.  We believe Jesus in heavenly things – our adoption in Christ; so we follow him in earthly things – the adoption of children.  Without the theological aspect, the emphasis on adoption too easily is seen as mere charity.  Without the missional aspect, the doctrine of adoption too easily is seen as mere metaphor.

The gospel of Jesus Christ means that our families and churches ought to be at the forefront of the adoption of orphan close to home and around the world.  As we become more attuned to the gospel, we’ll have more of a burden for orphans.  As we become more adoption friendly, we’ll better understand the gospel.

Whether our background is Norwegian or Haitian or Indonesian, if we are united to Christ, our family genealogy is found not primarily in the front pages of our dusty old family Bible but inside its pages, in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

Our son Jonah was born three and a half weeks premature, but we don’t think of him as our “premature baby.” We don’t introduce our children Benjamin, Timothy, and Samuel and then say, “Here’s our premature son Jonah.”  Jonah is just Jonah.  He was premature, yes, and that’s part of his story.  But it doesn’t define who he is.  The same is true of those who came into our family by adoption.  Adopted is a past tense verb, not an adjective.