Our official Stanglin family photographer, Hannah McNeill, did a terrific job on Valerie and David’s engagement portraits. I’ll share some here so you can see our beautiful middle daughter and the OU and Arizona Cardinals football fan who’s joining our family on May 15. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures.





In the very first battle of Armageddon, the enemy commander was killed with camping equipment. The Canaanite commander was a guy named Sisera. And he had his head crushed by a woman named Jael. Sisera was running away from the fight when he came across Jael’s tent. She invited him inside, gave him a cup of milk, and he fell asleep. Then she took a tent peg and a hammer and drove the peg right through his temple and into the ground.

That’s a pretty unforgettable story. What are the odds? You bring a tent peg to a sword fight and win!

But that’s a recurring pattern in the Bible . God’s people win God’s battles in really unconventional ways. Gideon destroyed the Midianites at Armageddon with jars and torches. Another Israelite judge, Shamgar, defeated the Philistines with a cattle prod. The Philistine King Abimelek is killed when a woman throws a millstone over the wall and crushes his head. Jericho was leveled by trumpets. Moses defeated the Egyptians with a stick used for steering sheep.

The strangeness of the weapons seems to be the main point: nobody could win with that unless God was involved!

If the Astros are down in the bottom of the 9th andJose Altuve walks to home plate carrying a soup ladle, it’s not going to happen. He’s not going to win the game with a kitchen utensil. The only way that works is if God Almighty steps in and makes it happen. And when it comes to God’s people fighting God’s battles, it always happens. It always happens in ways that only God gets the glory.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a tent peg or a cattle prod or a jawbone or a smooth pebble or an altar soaked in water. Whatever the means of victory, it rams home the point that, as God’s people, our safety and security and salvation does not come from our numbers or our strength or our weapons or our abilities. Our salvation and assurance and victory comes from the power of God fighting on our behalf.

“Not by might or by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty! ~Zechariah 4:6