THREE YEARS OF MARRIAGE THIS WEEK. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

                                          
 This is a significant week in the life of Sydney and I. We celebrate 3 years of marriage on Wednesday, July 6th. As I reflect back on those three years, I am reminded of God’s Grace and Mercy upon us. We have been through so much together. We have learned to love each other more every day. We have faced so many hardships together, and have had to rely on God to bring us through, because He is much bigger than any trial we could ever face and so our hope has been on Him through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that brought salvation to us both. Where could I start in reflecting back in our 3 years? Well, I can say I thought we would have a normal first year of marriage. You know, the we are in love, everything is beautiful and amazing at all times kind of marriage? It started out that way. We had a beautiful wedding ceremony, the best honeymoon in Branson, Mo I could ask for. I took a week vacation. We did things that were normal for a new married couple. We unpacked our new house together, we got a puppy, we mowed our yard together, she cooked some really great meals. Much of what I needed. I am a very skinny guy, but I was even skinnier then and I packed on some much needed weight early on. We both worked our jobs and came home in the evenings to spend time together. The first few months, I was working until 1 am, so that was difficult, but we adjusted. She would cook meals for me and my fellow coworkers. We did life normally and it was pretty awesome. I was 25 and enjoying life more than I ever had.  

Then we came to a point where we wanted to discuss having children. I remember being scared at the thought. I remember saying “let’s wait” and “let’s pray”. I was focused on my music, and by that I mean being a “bedroom rapper”, it was nothing as glorious as going to a big recording studio, but I could tell my story and promote my testimony. I did that pretty much as often as I could from 2011-2013 and then early 2014, I decided maybe it was time to slow down. I started reading the Bible through the year, was involved in small groups, and in early 2014, I went to a men’s retreat with my church. I remember sensing God’s direction to start having children and I came home after much prayer and said its time to slow down with the music and focus on my family. We did just that and a few months later found out we were pregnant. I was very excited. I was nervous but I had no choice but to pray and trust that things would be okay. At 10 weeks, we found out things were not okay. I have written about this several times, and it’s in the book we are working on, so I won’t go into too much detail on this blog post, but the pregnancy ended in a Miscarriage. We were faced with our first real trial as a couple. We had some choices to make. We chose to allow nature to take its course and let the child pass naturally instead of having a DNC surgery. We wanted to have a second opinion ultrasound to make sure that the baby did it fact pass away. We knew it was still early and didn’t want to solely rely on a machine to tell us whether there really was a heartbeat or not.

During this time I went to Ecuador for 2 weeks to serve by doing a Vacation Bible School. This was during our first anniversary. I had quite a scare for Sydney to hear about as I was nearly “Swallowed up” by the Jungle. Thank God for the backpack and walking stick that kept me from falling to my death. God is merciful. I thank God for men who wear hearing aids as well. Roger Reid finally did hear me hollering “Roger! , Help!”, it’s kind of comical to tell the story but it was life or death at the time and I just wasn’t ready to go. I did make it back on U.S soil and was welcomed home by my bride. We went straight to the doctor as soon as she picked me up from the airport to get her checked out since it had been about a month since the miscarriage. We also went to counseling the next day. I was convinced everything would be okay and that we would mend those wounds. I wasn’t prepared for the next year. I wasn’t prepared to find out that we were pregnant again, and that the baby, who we thought was developing normally, was not. In fact we were told little Drexel Lee, had no kidneys, and that he wouldn’t develop lungs, and without either he would pass away. This story alone, went on for months and to save time and information that I am putting into the book, I will keep it short. I was not prepared to give up our son. I was not prepared to be completely broken. I thought everything was okay. It had been for 20 weeks, minus an early scare, but I wasn’t prepared to fall on my knees, begging for God’s intervention. Begging for God to do something that I couldn’t do. I wasn’t prepared to be faced with the biggest heartache of my life, but I had to. There was no other choice. We could either be mad at God, or trust Him. We chose to trust. We chose to carry, when we had the option of abortion. We chose to deliver Drexel at 37 weeks, via C-Section, and that the outcome, would be up to God, that we would be okay with Drexel either living or passing. Drexel was born, I held him close. Family held him close. Friends visited. After 10 hours, he took his last breath. Drexel passed away due to a condition known as “Potter’s Syndrome”. We witnessed every breath he took, every little cry he could produce and his final breath. We were not alone and I believe God perfected his little life on this earth. We went through every grieving process and funeral service for him.

Like our wedding, the funeral was beautiful, and Jesus was made famous. Like our wedding day, Jesus was made famous. Our marriage has been focused on making Jesus famous. Do we fail? Yes everyday. Are we perfect? Far from it. We have been told that we are an inspiration to many. I am humbled by that. I can only say that God is good, He is merciful and full of grace. I could have continued a life of sin and separation from God, but He sought me out. He wanted me, he wanted ALL of me, not the part that tried to look good on Sunday. He desires a relationship with all of us, and I am reminded in Scripture, that He loves us, in our filth. He loves us when we are disgusting and ugly. He loves us when we are obedient. He loves us because He gave His only Son and while we were yet Sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Jesus died for those who reject Him. Marriage is a beautiful description of The Gospel. Men, love your wives and be willing to give up your lives for her, as Christ gave up His life for the Church. Stop treating her like she owes you something. Be gentle, kind, selfless. It’s easy to say these things, but we are called to do them. Be Men of Grace, Mercy and Love as our God is. If you don’t know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, then I challenge you to search the scriptures to find out who He is. One day you will become like Him, through a constant growing in Him and His word.

So here we are, 3 years this week. What does the future hold? I have no clue, but I do know that I am not going back to the old me. I am not going to be afraid. I am going to proclaim Jesus more. Our marriage is going to proclaim Jesus more. Will you proclaim Jesus more? Will you stop playing games with the Gospel, if that’s what you have been doing? Will you be willing to die for His names sake? I made that decision years ago when I surrendered to the ministry though missions. I am not afraid. I am unashamed. I will be hated, but not because they hate me, but because they hate WHO I represent. They hate WHO my marriage represents. I am undeserving of such Grace, but I will gladly take it and be obedient to the calling on my life. Will you?

Until next time,

James Virgil Boggs
Answers in Genesis Bookstore

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Grace. 

Many of us like to think and talk about the bad things in life. We like to complain when things go wrong. The negatives always come up before the positives. Why is that? Why does it take us awhile before we realize the good in every situation? I’ve yet to figure that out, but maybe you know. What I do know is, that I have been blessed, and am blessed. My blessings come from God’s Grace. I have been reminded all day about God’s Grace. His goodness upon us. His favor towards us in some situations that only He could control. I have had good Gospel conversations today. The first was this morning in a new coffee shop I discovered in Bentonville, Arkansas. It’s called Onyx Coffee Lab and it’s already becoming a favorite spot of mine. I may write a review on that later but the conversation started there as I sat with a friend over coffee and a ham and cheese croissant. I listened. I responded. I even watched the people around me, those mostly in my age range, but I heard of many times in my friends life where God intervened. Where God showed up in circumstances that didn’t make sense to us humans. The point where we start asking why? Why does God have us here? Why didn’t I die when it was expected? Those kinds of questions. Last night in bible study we asked the same question. Why? As believers we can land on those kinds of questions with the answer to only be, to give glory to God, to spread His Gospel message, to proclaim that the kingdom of God is at hand. Our lives should center on the Gospel of Jesus Christ if we proclaim to be followers of Jesus. So if we are followers of Christ and we have answered the why’s with those statements, then shouldn’t we be so amazed at the Grace of God, that we actually look at the positives first and use those experiences in life as a testimony to others? To our believing friends as encouragement and to our non believing friends as a proclamation of such wonderful grace. It’s all wonderful Grace that we can’t describe other than from God himself.

Many of you will read my blog and say “You have had such a hard life the past few years, how can you be so positive”? I can say that it’s because of God’s wonderful Grace and Mercy that I am still here to share these stories with you, because I am confident that He is using it for His kingdom and that my why? Is to bring Him Glory. Yes I have pains deep inside, but I choose to use positivity to point others to Jesus, instead of being “Doom and Gloom”. I am well aware of my surroundings and the current state of the age we live in, but I choose to look at the best in every situation because I am not in control. If I were, things would be ‘out of control’ and not in any order. We want to control life, but sometimes it’s best to be obedient and let God do the controlling. He knows the best direction for us. We just might see Grace. We just might see Mercy. We just might see Love. We just might see God at work. We just might see Jesus.

Take this as a time to reflect on your life and start looking at the situations that you can only describe as “God’s Grace”, you might be surprised at how many times He showed up when you couldn’t even get up on your own. When you find those situations, share them. Be a witness of these things.

Until next time,
Virgil Boggs

For more resources about knowing God through Creation, please check out the link below.

Check out the interview I did with @jaser75 !

I recently did an interview with Jase Rosenburg on his blog, check it out here! 

                                               Interview with James Virgil Boggs


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Cell Phone Photography- Shooting on a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

JVB Photography Sampler

 Today I want to blog about Photography, and what I use to shoot photo’s on the go. For me, the quickest way to snap a beautiful image of God’s creation is by using a cell phone. My cell phone is ALWAYS on me. I don’t go anywhere without it, especially when I hit the trails. I recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on preorder day. I received it in a couple of weeks along with the Samsung Gear VR as part of the preorder package. I linked the websites so you can review the specifications of each device, but I will go ahead and give you the specs on the camera of the S7 Edge. The S7 Edge features a 12MP rear camera with dual pixel CMOS 5MP front camera according to Samsung. A lot of people were disappointed to find out the rear camera had less pixels than the previous S6 version but with changes to the lenses, it actually is a better camera. It’s the best camera on a cell phone I’ve ever owned. There are many comparisons to an iPhone 6/ 6S camera that you can look up on YouTube, but I am not writing to compare which phone camera is better, I am simply writing to discuss what I use on the day to day as an avid photography lover. The photo’s attached in this blog show great detail of what I am able to achieve with the S7 Edge and the famous app from Instagram. I love editing my images in Instagram because of the extra features inside the filter options. You can really add life to the photo’s and it captures so much more than our eyes can see.

Some of my favorite places to take photo’s in Northwest Arkansas are, Wishing Springs Trail to Bella Vista Lake, Blowing Springs and parts of SlaughterPen to North Bentonville Trail. There is nothing like riding your bike and stopping to discover all that is offered in this beautiful area of the world! As soon as I see something that catches my eye, I shoot it and go on to something else. I will usually take about 10 pictures during my ride and come home to edit and share across social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and my blog. I occasionally will take the selfie stick and put it in reverse while Sydney is driving to capture some really cool photography from the road. The way the sun shines on the window can really be enhanced with some cool edits. I also like to capture wildlife in action. You can really get a glimpse of what God has given to us through creation if you just stop to take a photo, instead of constantly going through the hustle and bustle of life. My challenge to you is, find a good camera, go out to the woods, and just “Be Still and know that He is God”, I promise, you will be amazed at what you can share with the world! 

Till Next Time, 

Virgil Boggs 

Where does your hope lie? Blog post #3

Good afternoon internet world? How are things going for you? James Virgil Boggs back again to check in. For me, today I am at home sick. not sure what is going on. I have been experiencing body aches during the first part of the week and today sinus drainage all down my throat. Anyways, thats not why I am blogging to you today, so I will just get right into it. I want to talk about life. The struggles we all face. The crud that we deal with on the day to day, that no one ever wants to talk about. Most people will tell you they are “doing fine” but rarely are. They always have something going on that has them stressed. We are all no different really, but how we handle the hardships says a lot about us. I have always dealt with some sort of hardship in one form or fashion. Most often its rejection or feeling I’m not good enough or I don’t match up. I spend more time judging myself for things I wished I had done or accomplished in life. I am always thinking and am very quiet in most settings, unless you get me talking about something I am interested in. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and we simply just have to deal with it. We don’t always like it, but thats the way it is. I have always been blessed in my circumstances. When I think I can no longer handle a situation or I am at my breaking point, God always uses someone to help me, and the problem is fixed. I don’t like asking for help. Honestly you probably wont hear me asking for help, because I like to do things myself. Can I do things myself all the time? No, of course not. I cant. I don’t have the resources, but there usually is someone who can help. Those people I am thankful for. So if you have helped me out, from the bottom of my heart thank you!

So what else? Well like I was saying, I have been blessed by others, I have been taken care of and I have been put in many difficult situations and circumstances. What keeps me going? That would be my faith in Jesus Christ. You see I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and that He defeated death and sin on the Cross, paying the punishment that I deserve, have confessed my sins and turned to Jesus as my Lord and Savior and have made a public declaration through water baptism. My hope is in Him, my joy is in Him, no matter the situation. If you know me or have read previous blogs or Facebook posts, then you know that Sydney and I have had two children pass away. One through an early miscarriage in our first year of marriage and another just 14 months later to “Potter’s Syndrome”. Drexel lived 10 hours with no kidneys and very little lung development. God used that little guy to reach so many people. I have received many kind words and messages of encouragement on how Sydney and I handled that situation. I could not have done it without many hours in prayer, scripture and being around like minded believers. Both of those events in life were very difficult and tested both Sydney and I. She is a strong believer as well and has kept me grounded in my faith. I am forever debted to her. When I am a jerk, she is right there. When I feel like I am not smart enough, or not skilled enough, she is right there encouraging me. Find someone who is that for you. Don’t put your faith in them, but turn to Jesus and seek someone who loves Him more than you. Life’s problems will work themselves out, they always do. You have a choice to make in how you are going to handle what life throws at you. Its never easy, rarely enjoyable, but it will develop true character. You will be okay, and even though I am worried about some things now, I will be okay too.

Hang in there.

Till next time,

Virgil Boggs