March 10th, 2009 by frank

Dear Friend,

Have you ever heard the expression, “I learned the hard way”? How about the comment, “I went to the school of “Hard Knocks”? Both expressions are usually made by someone who has learned a lesson from experience. Sometimes the experience teaches a new reality, and sometimes it just reminds of an old established truth.

Whether it’s something new or something old, anything learned “the hard way” is usually well remembered. Graduating from the school of “Hard Knocks” earns a diploma validated by experience, not just knowledge. Experience seems to cement the lesson learned deep into your mind.

A severe experience has a way of driving the lesson learned even deeper than your mind; it penetrates it into your very soul. The impact of such an unforgettable lesson can be life changing, especially if the lesson involves the faithfulness and wisdom of the Almighty God of the universe.

During the month of June 2004, I was enrolled in one of the most difficult courses that the school of “Hard Knocks” has to offer. Its title was “DEALING WITH THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE”. I was unwillingly subjected to two semesters of that disheartening course.

The first semester involved the unexpected death of my father on Father’s Day, June 20, 2004. The next semester took place only nine short days later, and was much more difficult than the first. It involved the tragic death of my precious son in a horrific motorcycle accident. “Troy-boy” was the youngest of our four children, and the last one at home. The excruciating pain I felt that day was literally more than I could bear. But the pain and grief didn’t only affect me. It also deeply impacted my wife, Sue.

As we traveled to the hospital on that mournful day, we were forced to drive by the accident scene. ?????? ??????? ?????? ????????? ?? ???????Seeing Troy’s shattered motorcycle and torn book bag strewn all over the pavement devastated Sue’s heart. Through her tear-filled eyes, she frantically cried out the window, “My baby, my baby!!” As I watched and heard her desperate and grief-filled words, it took all that I had just to keep the car on the road.

Had it not been for the ONE who had enrolled us in this course, we would have never passed the test of overwhelming grief that flooded our souls that day. The same Sovereign, Omnipotent, Awesome Creator who initially allowed this elective in our life; that same Almighty God lovingly came to our side and tutored us when we needed Him most. He graciously reminded us of many old established truths, and He patiently taught us some new realities as well.

Our precious “Troy-boy” was only 17 when he moved from our arms to the arms of his Heavenly Father. Losing a child that you deeply love has to be one of the most traumatic experiences that a parent can face. But thanks to the foundation of God’s Precious Word in our life, we not only faced that tragedy, but we rose above it. How we praise the LORD for His Sustaining Power!!

Our passion today is to exalt the Life-Giving and Life-Sustaining Word of God, and to adamantly encourage others to make IT the foundation of their life. One outworking of that passion was an interview that we had with Ken Ham, CEO and founder of “Answers in Genesis” (AIG) apologetic ministry in Kentucky. Through that interview, we share some of the highlights of our most difficult semester of suffering. By God’s grace, our “lesson time” has ministered to many families. (A recording of that interview can be heard by clicking here: http://evolutionofacreationist.com/troy/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/ZitzmanAIG.mp3)

Another outworking of our passion was the development of our “LIVING AFTER THE LOSS” Seminar. Through exalting the LORD and His Word, sharing our seminar has provided strength and encouragement to many people. (You can read testimonials from those who have heard our presentation by clicking here: http://www.troyscreationhouse.com/?page_id=29).

Our full seminar consists of three sessions: a Saturday evening “Testimony Night”; and two one hour sessions on Sunday titled “The Foundation Factor” and “Shaped by the Master Sculptor”. (A 30-minute demo message of “Shaped by the Master Sculptor” can be heard by clicking here: http://evolutionofacreationist.com/troy/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/LAL.mp3)

The “Testimony Night” is usually structured as a time of fellowship with some light snacks. During this session, Sue and I share how we each came to know the LORD. Our intertwined journey to the Precious Savior was truly an interesting one. Because of our different backgrounds and pathways to the Savior, this session provides a great opportunity for evangelism.

Sue’s testimony especially impacts people who have grown up in the church. Having perfect Sunday School attendance, Sue truly thought that she was a Christian. As we attended church together, she had the idea that she was leading her heathen boyfriend and eventual husband to God. Ironically, her heathen husband ended up leading her to the God that she didn’t even know. Through an interesting chain of events, God opened my eyes first, and then used me to witness to my “church-going” wife.

As someone who grew up outside the church, my testimony impacts people from that kind of background. So whether from a churched or an un-churched background, everyone attending the Saturday session is challenged to consider their personal relationship with Christ. (A recording of one of our “Testimony Nights” is available at: http://www.troyscreationhouse.com/?p=35)

The Saturday session also highlights the importance of building a secure and solid foundation BEFORE you experience a loss. Everyone’s reaction to trials is determined by the strength of their foundation. In other words, how you live BEFORE the loss dramatically affects how you live AFTER the loss. Hearing our testimonies and the stability of our “pre-tragedy” lives on Saturday makes people eager to hear the foundation-building principles that I share on Sunday. Both my Sunday messages focus on the specific Biblical principles that enabled us to endure this tragic loss, and to use it for God’s Glory.

We just PRAISE THE LORD for the opportunities that He has given us to exalt His Word, and to make the death of our son meaningful rather than meaningless. What an AWESOME Creator we serve!!!!!!!!!!

We would certainly welcome the opportunity to share all or a portion of our seminar with your church. You can reach us by phone or e-mail to schedule an event. Our contact information is below.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Frank Zitzman

Ph.: (859) 795-0769; Cell: (724) 272-9315

E-mail: [email protected]

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