The alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. and as I open my eyes blessed to have another day on this earth I immediately smile armed with the knowledge that without Him I wouldn’t be alive. I rub the remnants of sleep out of and raise my eyes to praise him for I understand I may not always be worthy but know that I am his child and He still loves me. Today like all days Satan will lurk in the shadows attempting to cast doubt on my faith through pain and angst. This I do not worry about because I understand that the Lord is the greater force. So I simply turn my troubles over to Him confident He will work them out. Because I know it is true that to be without is not His will and there is a cattle on a thousand hill and they are all mine to claim in his holy name. So I praise Him for what he has given me and for what he will give me as I open my soul to the blessing He will rain down on me.
Last Sunday I spend a good part of my morning and afternoon cooking for the week. Italian meatloaf (really turkey loaf), Cornish game hens, collard greens, black bean soup and spaghetti with mussels. Rewind almost a year ago and I was recovering from a cardiac arrest. Those that were there have told me the Doctors on the scene worked to bring me back longer than they should of, the priest who stopped in to see me each day in ICU called me miracle man. My recovery was quicker than was expected. My physical rehabilitation progressed nicely. 3 months after the event I went home from the rehab center and shortly thereafter returned to work. A miracle? Maybe but more likely just another day for the Lord almighty, who chose to reach down and touch me and say not yet my son there is still work for you to do on this Earth. Now I won’t lie it hasn’t been smooth sailing since the event some days are better than others there are bumps along the road health wise. Despite that every day I wake and can see and smell the wonderful world around me and know of all the love my family and friends have for me, a love so apparent during my recovery and no doubt a major factor in it. For this I am truly blessed, blessed that the hand of the Lord has touched me and given me this second chance at life. Allowed me to spend a Sunday cooking for the week because despite what bumps may be along the way, in my mind I know He stands over me and will allow me to wake another day, so I might as well have something to eat on those days. I do not know what His ultimate plan is for me but I do know he has touched me and he is guiding me and for that I am eternally thankful.
Watching Joel Osteen this morning and the Lord must be using him to preach right at me and my current situation this morning. He is preaching that we should never laugh in disbelief at what God puts in front of us even if it seems impossible. For whenyou laugh God will simply say welcome my child to my world.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
It may not happen right away, there may be obstacles placed in your way. This is never going to happen you may think. But that is only because as humans we can not always see the larger picture but rest assured HE does. We must keep the faith, continue to praise the Lord, continue to push through the obstacles and when HE blesses you with that which you thought was impossible. With as Olsteen called it a “who ever thought miracle.” You won’t be laughing in disbelief any longer you will be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
I have congestive heart failure an on June 7th I had a cardiac event. My heart stopped, doctors told my sister things don’t look so good. But God look down on me and said son it is yet your time and HE breathed the gift of life back into my body. A week later the hospital minister would come into my room and with a huge laugh say miracle man I can’t believe you are up and talking to me after what you looked like last week. He was laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
My cardiologist tells me the medicine he prescribes for me and the diet he says I should follow will help me maintain my health. But you can’t just reverse congestive heart failure. I just laugh in disbelief at that. Sure I will take my medicine and follow my diet but while he may prescribe medicines and suggest diets to maintain my health it is only HE who can truly heal me and then we will all be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
You see I have faith that the Lord has not brought me to this point along the spiritual journey to simply drop me off on the side of the road. I have faith that while I may not see it completely HE knows the big picture. HE sees what he has in store in for me. I have faith that as Osteen preached this morning HE is positioning me to do something positive. I will continue to pray to and praise him and you should too. No matter what your current situation may be. No matter what obstacles may appear to be in your path. Keep the faith and soon you will be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
I have been blessed in my lifetime. From the moment I was born the Lord has watched over me, guided me and protected me. The last year has been difficult for me health wise but thanks to the grace of the Lord I have been granted the strength to face the recovery process head on. Despite all my blessings there have been times when I feel unhappy and alone. When this feeling is creeping into my soul I clear my mind of all things and talk to the Lord. It is during these moments of reflection that I lean on my faith. Evil will look for the smallest of openings to pounce on you. Evil knows that we are only human and no matter how deep our faith may appear to be our spirituality can be stripped from us. Evil will endeavor to grow a moment of unhappiness into a lifetime of bitterness and doubt about the Lord’s love for us. But as I talk to the Lord I give him praise and thanks for all he has blessed me with. I pray that he will give me the courage to reject the thoughts evil is attempting to poison my mind with. I open up my heart and allow the Lord to touch my soul and guide me away from the darkness and back toward the light. It is then I can feel the power of the Lord. I can hear Him say to me my child I know you are not perfect, I know you may have moments of doubt, but I also know where your heart and soul truly reside, you have shown this to the world through your praise of me. You are now and will forever be my child and I love you unconditionally. I will guide you. I will protect you. I will help you strengthen your faith so that no one will be able to break the bond between us.
Originally posted November 2014
I have a friend who I occasionally get into some heated debates with about God, religion and faith. During one of these debates he asked if God exist why is he so secretive. Why doesn’t he just let us all know he exists so that the fighting and killing that takes place in his name would cease. I told him it is because God’s existence is not for us to have tangible evidence of, though when you look around tangible evidence is everywhere, God’s existence to you is based on faith. His question however did make me wonder what if God did talk to us all directly today; What would we ask him? What would he reply? I thought about it some more and below is what I think an interview in today’s world with God might sound like.
Host: Good Afternoon everyone thanks for tuning in to a very special broadcast our special guest today is none other than the creator himself – God. Welcome to the show.
God: Hello everyone. Thanks for taking time out to listen in today, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve directly communicated with you but I felt that with the way things have been going lately on Earth now’s as good as time as ever to have a talk with you.
Host: Well we are very excited to have you here. So let’s jump right in with the question everyone wants to know the answer to. The proverbial elephant in the room so to speak; Who got it right? Which religion is the correct one?
God: Jumped right in you did. I am well aware that you’ve all been trying to find the answer to that question since well, almost the beginning of your time. Which religion is the right one? Whose god am I? Whom do I favor? Very deep questions all and the answer you seek is actually a very simple one. May I have a drum roll please. The answer is, all and everyone.
Host: All and everyone? I think I speak for our listeners out there when I say I’m not really sure what you mean by that.
God: I mean I did not create religion, I created you and in creating you I gave you the wonderful gifts of intellect and imagination. It is with those gifts that you created religion. I never cared how you chose to imagine me or what doctrines you chose to build your faith around. No all I asked is that you treat each other with love, compassion and respect. Sadly since the very beginning many of you have chosen not to that and even sadder you have chosen to use me as the reason for your destructive and violent actions. For that I have been greatly saddened.
Host: But if that’s true why would you let us continue to travel down that path of destruction.
God: That was not my choice to make. Lest you forget I also blessed you with free will, the ability to live your lives as you saw fit. Yes by allowing you to exist with free will there have been innocent souls who have perished and those they left behind have had to grieve. However would you have found your existence to be more enjoyable if your life on Earth was scripted by me from the moment you were conceived to the moment you died? That nothing you did, no choice you made mattered? That you were simply actors in a play for my amusement?
Host: Well when you put it that way I guess not.
God: I didn’t think so.
Host: Let’s go back to something you said earlier that you were sadden by the acts of violence committed in your name.
God: Yes that is true.
Host: So over time has that sadness ever turned to hate? Have you ever regretted creating us?
God: You know how it is said I created you in my image. Well that means a lot of things and to be honest we don’t have the time today to delve into what that fully means. But with respect to your question let me give you an analogy. A child is born to a mother and a father. They raise that child and instill in them what they believe to be guiding principles of right and wrong. The child grows and begins to develop their own identity and make decisions for themselves. Decisions which are morally wrong, decisions which bring great harm to others. The parents while horrified and saddened by the child’s actions at their core still love the child. Their love for their child is unconditional. It is that unconditional love of their child that is but one of the many ways you are an image of me. While I may be saddened by some of your decisions at my core I can never stop loving you, for you are all my children.
Host: What about those that question your very existence? That has to anger you a bit.
God: Well that very question presumes that I am vain and let me assure you I am not. If I was I would not having given you free will to decide for yourself if I do or do not exist. If I was I would strike down with vengeance all who do not believe in me. Yet there are millions who walk among you today who do not believe. No, as I said earlier my only desire is that you love and treat each other with compassion. If you need to believe in me to do so that is fine. If you do not believe in me but do so that is fine as well. But rest assured I take no satisfaction in the knowledge that you fully believe in me but show no love or compassion for your fellow human.
Host: What can we do to be better? How do we stop the hate?
God: Again that is not for me to say. Your destiny is yours and yours alone. I have provided you, above all my other creations, intelligence and the ability to reason. The power to communicate with each other and to create wondrous things. I have instilled with-in each of you the ability to be compassionate and the extremely powerful emotion of love. Each of you are born with the guiding principles on what is right and wrong. But it all comes back to free will, as humans you must want to walk in the light. You must want to sacrifice some of your own personal wealth and happiness so that as a people you benefit as a whole.
Host: That won’t be easy. We have never shown in our entire existence that we are capable of doing that.
God: It is because you have rejected the most basic concept.
Host: That is?
God: I created you as a people, one people. Yes you may look different but that is but on the surface. You are all my children you are all the same. When you are able to truly grasp that only then will you be able to love one another in the way that I truly had imagined you would.
Host: Maybe one day we will but we’ve come so far down the road I am afraid we never will be able to achieve that level of understanding and that must really sadden you.
God: It does but I have a great belief in you. After all you are my children. You may not be there today but you have so much potential that I know one day you will get there. After all you have only been here but the blink of an eye. There is still much growing you have to do.
Host: Well it is comforting to know that you believe we have a chance. I know you are busy and so we’ll end it there. Thank you for making this rare in person appearance we’ll try as a people to do better.
God: I know you will.
For the better part of a decade plus I let anger and bitterness fill my heart when it came to a certain family member. The reason for my anger is neither here nor there but suffice to say it was Ironic that despite the fact I was harboring a grudge I knew that the result of their actions played out to my benefit. So much so that it laid the very foundation of the man I am today and I am very proud of that man. Yet despite this indisputable fact I continued to curse the decision and the way it was revealed to me.
Hebrews 12:15 – “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
Not acknowledging my bitterness and true feelings during this time robbed me of a family bond that should never been broken. My anger cast a giant shadow on my very being. The rift between that family member and myself by its very nature spilled over to that family member’s immediate family. In essence I cut myself off from them while not acknowledging to myself that was doing exactly what I was doing. I missed the birth of many children and the growth of others. I became a stranger to an entire branch of the family tree. I can never put into prospective what those losses have had on me as a person but I know it could not have been positive. Family is always family and through anger and bitterness I had forgotten that.
A recent health issue was the catalyst for me to re-examine and reenergize my faith. Through prayer the Lord spoke to me and guided me to the realization that the very lack of forgiveness is sin. That very lesson is taught to us in “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Matthew 6: 12-15
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.‘ 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
As it is explained it is explained in Bible.org href=”https://bible.org/article/issue-forgiveness-sermon-mount”>https://bible.org/article/issue-forgiveness-sermon-mount it appears that what Jesus is really saying is that God, with a view toward loving the unforgiving child, refuses to forgive him in an attempt to get the child to come face to face with His sin of an unforgiving heart. The person who is unwilling to forgive will soon meet his Equal. The goal of this is to re-establish the broken relationships between God and the people involved.
For me this realization was like a bright light shining onto the darkness in my heart. The very next day I picked up the phone and called that family member to start the healing process and mend the rift between us. I expressed how wrong I had been and how I really wanted us to go back to being a family again. It was an emotional call, for both of us, but upon saying the words I want us to be a family again I could feel the weight lifted. My heart had been released of the bitterness it had stubbornly held for over a decade. I understood that I had finally done the right thing. After all family is family and nothing should break that bond.
Steve Austin, Astronaut. A man barely alive. We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.
I may be dating myself but those were the opening lines of the 1970’s television show the Six Million Dollar Man. Austin’s rebuild body with its machine parts enabled him to have superhuman strength and speed, as well as other powers. With these powers, Steve goes to work for the Office of Scientific Information, battling evil for the good of mankind. Looking back it was pretty cheesy, as most of 70s television was. But there is nothing cheesy about the show’s message when applied to our faith.
No matter how faithful we believe ourselves to be in times of darkness many of us lose much of that faith and begin to question why the Lord would abandon us. Question if the Lord even exists. In times of darkness the reality is for many of us our faith is barely alive.
Thankfully the Lord has the power to rebuild our faith. Make it better, stronger, more spiritual and for far less than six million dollars.
It written in Isaiah 40:29-31 that:
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew  their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
It is never to late to praise the Lord. To ask Him for forgiveness for doubting Him. To pray for Him to rain down upon us the strength to renew our faith. To make it better than before. We only need to remember we are His children and he loves us unconditionally.
10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Remember with the Lord on our side there is no reason to fear anything. There is no reason to abandon our faith. But if we do He has promised us He will help us to renew it.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
When the Lord strengthen us and provides us with a renewed faith it is our responsibility to pay it forward, to use our renewed faith and go out and praise His name to others. To go to work in his ministry battling evil for the good of mankind.
A Christian, bitter and lost, their faith barely alive. He can rebuild him. Make his faith better than it was before. Better, more spiritual, stronger than it was before.