Friday, November 20, 2009

There's No Mistaking the Works of Our Lord

Spiritual Sunday

Nothing is coincidence when it comes to our Lord. One year ago this November I was in the emergency having problem breathing. The ER doctor had said that I had asthma and promptly gave me two breathing treatments to loosen my congestion. In fact, after being in the ER for a couple of hours I was starting to breath better and was in the process of being released…..What happened next , I refer to as a miracle. All of a sudden my heart started acting up and I felt real dizzy….The heart monitor had started to go crazy alarms were going off everywhere and people started running into my room. My heart rate had dropped from around 190 to 33, then paused for about 8 seconds and went back up to 190. This happened about six times at the ER. Of course I was worried that I might not be going home ever, but a doctor told me that I had what they call Tachy/Brady syndrome. Where your heart speeds up and slows down dramatically. While I was waiting for a ambulance to be moved to the main hospital….The doctor told me that “someone was watching over you tonight”….Of course he meant to be in the right place at the right time.

Before that night was over I had roughly 12 or 13 episodes with my lowest heart rate getting down to 13 beats per minute. That night they put me on an external pacemaker. The next morning I was told that I would need to have an internal pacemaker put in.

I was in the hospital for almost a full week. Aside from being scared about the pacemaker I was very worried about the cost of all the medical procedures. My anxiety and depression for that week was at a fever pitch. I was tired of living, I was tired of the constant issues with my heart and I was tired of being a burden on my wife and family.

The day of my implant surgery a good friend of mine came to the hospital to visit….My surgery was supposed to be at 9:00 am and at 5:30 pm I was still waiting. My friend had stayed with Teresa until my surgery. I was beyond scared and overwhelmed by the thoughts of what it meant to be reliant on a pacemaker. My friend is name Bruce and he is probably the nicest person I’d ever met in my life. We’ve known each other about 6 years. Bruce is a Christian Scientist. Which is a belief that I am not real familiar with….but, before I went off to surgery, Bruce bent over and handed me a note that simply read “God, is the strength of my Heart”. He told me that God had made sure that I was in the place I was supposed to be when my problems started and that He (God) would see me through the rest of the way.

I felt peace for the first time in that week and knew at that moment that I would live through the ordeal.

When I reflect on that time I am amazed of all that transpired that week and know that my Lord was there protecting me and seeing that I made it through that very serious moment of my life. One of the most amazing things is that Bruce has never been to the hospital to visit me before or to my knowledge was he aware of how weak and lost I felt.

I later found the passage he had written for me in Psalms…..and here it is……

Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart fail; [But] God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Truer words have never been written…..My friends our God lives and is waiting for you to seek him out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Health and Fitness

Please visit Spiritual Sunday

This is a huge topic now days that people associate with physical looks and strength. Where there is a big push especially for Americans to eat better and exercise more often…..All that only touches on your physical life.

What about your spiritual health and fitness? Why is there no push to improve in this area? For many years we have known that we are as much spiritual as we are physical beings. In fact our spiritual health impacts our eternal soul not just what we do here on earth. You may be saying to yourself that I am spiritually fit…I go to church every Sunday like clockwork. Yet how many of you can tell me what it is your pastor, reverend or preacher talked about this past Sunday and how you used this knowledge to fulfill your spiritual obligations.

It’s not that we’re bad Christians our hearts are in the right places….It’s just that so many of us believe or obligations end when the sermon stops. I once had a good friend of mine tell me that they were doing God’s work because they went to church regularly. To me, church is where you go to worship and learn His message. The real work is done after you have left the confines of the church and put into practice what you’ve learned. Make sure you talk to your pastor about his sermon and how it applies to you……I guarantee there are a lot of people in that church who don’t understand the message. You see the sermon means nothing if it stays just another speech from the pastor. He is there to motivate you, to help you find inspiration in the word of God, for you then to go out and make a difference in your community, your family or to those who are lost without a clue on how to find their way home to God.

That doesn’t mean only certain people; God wants to reconnect with all of His children.

I can speak from the receivers’ point of view, for I have been lost for many years. It took someone who decided to put into practice what she learned from her church and in studying the Bible. With her help I WILL find my way home to God.

Just remember from this message that we are physical and spiritual beings, one side being in tune without the other in balance and we are only half of what we could be…

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13

God Bless you…..

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our God is Always with Us

On occasion I will be posting messages from guest bloggers. The following post is from Robin, you have read about her in my postings, she is my niece by marriage, but in truth she is like the sister I never had. Aside from that, she is my religious mentor and has been my inspiration in putting this blog together.

I appreciate her love and concern for my eternal soul. Please sit back and enjoy her insights below.

Thank you Robin, Love Mike

"I must first admit to all of you how far out of my comfort zone I am. Writing is not one of my gifts. School was not one of my best moments. Let’s just say I thought of it as the place for me to do all my socializing. Now talking, that’s my gift. I can talk with the best of them. Lol. When Mike asked me to write a blog for him I held my breathe and said ok (this shows how much I love him)

The past week-end I went to The Women of Faith Conference in Greensboro and was truly blessed with the messages I received about How God is always with us and that even means when we are going through difficult times. Then, low and behold, I come home to study for my Study School lesson that I was to teach the next morning and it was on the same subject. And yes, this bad teacher was studying at the last moment around 10:30 Saturday night to be exact. And thankfully he was with me at this difficult time. haha

James writes to the early believers to encourage them during these times. He gives us this in James 1:2-18.He gives us three things we must do: find Joy, find Wisdom and find Blessing.

Now, if we are all being honest, sometimes we think you got to be kidding. I am at a very low point and somewhere in here; I am suppose to find Joy. I kind of get the wisdom, but then come the find blessings and we are back to how I am going to do this. So in thinking I have decided that we find the joy in knowing that when things are at there lowest, we have a Savior that we can say anything to. We can say I am hurt, I am mad and I don’t understand why this is happening. That should give us Joy in knowing He is always there.

Now we get to the Wisdom part. Have you heard; as I always have the old saying, what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger. We learn from our troubles. I think we must just simply ask God to show us what we are to learn from this. Give us Wisdom to make the right choices as we go through this with Him guiding us.

Blessings, here we go again. It took me a while on this one. But thankfully I finally got it. The blessing is that HE IS ALWAYS THERE. That I have someone that loves me so much he will never leave my side. I said NEVER leave my side. He is and will always be with me know matter what. Good times, Bad times, Our God is always with us."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Never to Old to Learn

My sister-in-law gave me a present one Christmas about 5 years ago, that I have truly cherished. It is a book by Billy Graham entitled Hope for Each Day – words of wisdom and faith. It is a daily devotional book that I have read every day since she gave it to me. There are many passages and message mentioned by Reverend Graham, most that I do not, in truth, completely understand. But there are a few after five years that are starting to sink in and I wanted to share one with you. These comments a verbatim from his book so I take know credit for his wisdom.

This one is titled - Poor in Spirit …..Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

“One of the hardest truths for some people to accept is that there is absolutely nothing they can do to win their salvation.

No matter how generous…how honest…how compassionate they are - it is never enough. God is holy, and His standard is perfection. If we think we are simply good enough, it simply proves our pride.

Only when we see ourselves as God sees us – sinners, guilty before Him- will we realize our need of a Savior. C.H. Spurgeon said “The first link between my soul and Christ is not my goodness but my badness, not my merit but my misery, not my riches but my need.”

But the amazing thing is this: In spite of our sins, God still loves us. He loves us so much that Christ died on the Cross for us. All we can do is believe and receive – believe Christ died for us and by faith receive Him into our lives. No, you cannot win your salvation – but Christ has won it for you.”

For many years I believed that I have needed to win my salvation. I believed that penance was do for the sins I have committed in my life and that the pain and bad health I have suffered for 14 years now was my penance. I felt like God has been torturing me for the bad things that I’ve done throughout my life.

Thankfully, through prayer I have been enlightened by those who know far more than I do about God. I’ve learned that God if I confessed and repented my sins, and ask that Christ come into my life as my Lord and Savior, that even I would be forgiven.

This message helped me by explaining we all are sinners in the eyes of God, but that through His love for us and the sacrifice of His only son Jesus Christ, that He has forgiven us and wants us to come home to Him.

God Bless you all………

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Holy Spirit Experience

I’ve decide to put a face and a story to my message about the Holy Spirit….For the past 3 months or so I had noticed that I had been getting increasingly angry almost by the day. I didn’t know what was making me lash out at those who I love most. My wife Teresa was one of those who was getting the worst of it….folks please believe me when I tell you that this woman means everything to me…we have been married for 24 years, and unfortunately she has seen me loose more and more of my health over the past 14 years. She has been the perfect spouse, because I expected (in my own mind) early on in my decline she might get tired of dealing with my health problems, but she has been by my side every step of the way.

I had gotten real irritated with my children and anybody who would even try to talk to me. And the worse thing to ask me was “what’s wrong”. About 3 weeks ago I thought I had reached the end of my life. I definitely felt like I was done trying to live each day with the same pain and depression. I posted on my “Facebook” an announcement that I have had enough, that I wanted to die. A few of my friends had called to see if I was OK and I would just go through the motions of telling them all was OK, but it wasn’t.

It was one afternoon that I felt like something inside me was telling me that things will get better…then I got a message from my wife’s niece Robin and all of a sudden it all came pouring out of me…I felt her religious conviction reassuring me that I could tell her anything. I cried for what felt like hours….all of the pain, the frustration, the feeling of being stuck with my health issues were all surfacing all at once. The more I talked to robin the more I felt like the Holy Spirit was convincing me that she was to be my spiritual guide, that she would not judge me but help me to understand what scriptures and stories from the bible will enforce my spiritual needs to fight off my physical failures.

In the course of our first conversation Robin had committed to me that she would always be there for me until I found my religion. I’ve known her for about 25 years, but in the course of just a few weeks she has become the sister I never had. She helps me to interpret my feels and the messages I feel I have been getting from a higher source.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is active in me…when I am down and lack the energy to even stand that he tells me that Jesus is there to make sure I will not fall. He (the Holy Spirit) has also told me that Robin will get me where I can stand on my own and be at a place where my faith will focus my spiritual needs.

I can’t thank Teresa or Robin enough…they are both my angels with very different roles. Teresa is the strength of my physical life and Robin is the strength of my spiritual journey.

I believe that the Holy Spirit and our Savior recruit those we need to help us along with our journey. The Holy Spirit certainly knew I had received my lowest point and help me build my spiritual confidence to move forward with Robin.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Holy Trinity

Tonight, I am thinking a lot about the Holy Trinity and try to think through the role of each part…So you have The Father (GOD), The Son (Jesus Christ) and The Holy Spirit……I know together they make up the figure of GOD in total, but it seems to me that the reason for separating them in scripture is by the role they play in our lives. The Father the creator of all things whose wonders know no bounds, the son Jesus Christ our savior whose deeds and sacrifice allow us access to our heaven Father. That leaves the Holy Spirit ….Who to me is the teacher, the guide, the will, the energy and holy conscious.

You can’t reach the Whole unless you are in tune with all three.

I think that all my life has been focused on God and Jesus Christ, forgetting the most important part.

Jesus says nobody comes to the father except through me…..I think also that nobody comes to the son except through the Holy Spirit…they are all mutually inclusive.

We are talking about perfect harmony. When I started writing this blog last night I had no idea what I was going to talk about, but this morning after surfing the web to find reference of the Holy Spirit it would appear that I hit the nail on the head with the relationship between the trinity.

It is written that there is one GodHead who is made up of three distinct entity; The Father , the son and Holy Spirit. Again what I read on the following link; was that Holy Spirit does bring you to Jesus who in turn brings you to God.

I also read that the Holy Spirit helps you even when you pray….For instance if there is something troubling you or causing problems in your life and you just can’t put the words together to ask God for Help that the Holy Spirit will intercede and help you with what to pray about.

He also brings with him, as we receive him into our bodies, all of the memories of the scriptures and thoughts of Jesus and God we forgot.

I guess what I’m getting to, is that I am amazed by the depth of God’s plan and by the mechanism he has in place to ensure that we find our way home to him.

And I truly cannot wait until I able to go home and be with my Lord and Savior our Heavenly Father.