August 10, 2011
adulterer, Cheater, dead, doubt, drunk, excuse, gossip, hiding, impatience, insecurity, moodiness, murderer, old, short, stuttering, temper, worry
Borrowed this message from my friend David Williams! He’s a sold out solid follower of Christ!
Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossip, Mary was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old and Lazarus was dead. Now, what’s YOUR excuse? God can use you too!
August 4, 2011
Christ, Grace, Jesus, light, salt, salvation, Transverse Myelitis, undeserved, Witness
Friends… I wrote this letter a while back and have held on to it for some time. I have felt compelled to share it with you. Thanks in advance for the opportunity to share this message with you. I hope that it will have an impact on someone somewhere. Thanks again.
To my beautiful wife…Thanks for being by my side through it all. Your strength is amazing.
On October 20, 2005, I entered a hospital in Memphis Tennessee paralyzed from my chest down as a result of a neurological disorder called Transverse Myelitis. My spinal cord was inflamed and I became an overnight paraplegic. To say that this moment was a defining time in my life would be an understatement. I had a wife and two small children who were dependent on me. I was completely overwhelmed and totally unprepared for the journey we were about to take. Feeling lost, and not knowing where to turn, I did what most people do when the situation seems hopeless. I started to pray.
As I lay flat on my back looking around at all of the tubes, hoses, and medical contraptions hooked up to me I quickly realized that things were going to be different than what I, as a very active 34 year old man was used to. I found out that all of the things I thought I had control of, were not really under my control at all. I was way too busy with a full time job, and running a business to stop and see that I was letting the important things in life slip away. My church life had all but passed away. No one I worked with would’ve said that I was a Christian. My children would lie in bed waiting for daddy to finish the mountain of paperwork in his office before he could come down to read a story and say prayers. The few times that I did make it downstairs they had already fallen fast asleep, still holding the book I had promised to read. All the while, I’m thinking that I was doing what was best for my family. You know, work hard, make a little money, get out, and stay out of debt, and secure my family’s future. The thing is I became so focused on all of this, that I failed to even notice I was letting what was most important slip away. God gave me this wonderful family and it was my job to be an example to them. I was supposed to be leading my family on a close walk with God. I was supposed to be witnessing to others by my words and actions. I was raised in a Christian household. I knew how to do this stuff but I chose to hide that witness. I didn’t want to be seen as “different” by my co-workers. I didn’t want the room to go quite when I walked in. Transverse Myelitis was not something God used to get my attention just out of the blue. I told my beautiful wife that first night we spent in the hospital that I knew better. He had been knocking on my door for a long time because I was driving the truck straight off the cliff as fast as it would go. You know how when a slight tap on the door just doesn’t work….God does the same thing you would do…He knocks a little louder. Just a few weeks prior to my T.M, I was injured in a motorcycle accident that broke a few ribs and punctured a lung. I will never forget the awful words that came out of my mouth as I was driven into the ground…..They were not words I’m proud of today. That accident could very well have paralyzed me right then or worse, but it didn’t. And I never… even… for a second, thought about that. I went right back into my routine…Church on Sunday, spitting and cussing Monday through Saturday. I’m not saying here that I think God will let bad things happen to folks to get their attention, but in my case I think it took something like T.M. to make me realize that, contrary to what I thought, “I” was not the one in control here. My unwillingness to heed God’s call is why I believe God penciled some downtime into my calendar. Once I couldn’t move, I began to realize how I came to be in the condition I was in… I saw a quote once that read “I heard about God on the way up, but I got to know Him on the way down.” This statement rang so true to me. I will never again forget what my responsibilities and priorities are while I am here.
While this was a very tough time for my family, it was also one of the very best times in our lives. I had to make a lot of decisions and implement a lot of changes in my life during those times and they have had very positive effects on me and my family. My beautiful wife, wonderful son and daughter, and those around me will, from now on, have a husband, father and friend who understands that his main purpose in life is to teach them, train them, and lead them on path that will always be to Christ. I hope that our story will cause others to stop, even if just for a minute, to examine their lives. Make sure you are hitting your targets that are most important. Always be thankful for what you have, and remember that there is a lesson to be learned from every situation. It’s up to you to decide what that lesson will be. I am back up and walking for a reason I’m not sure why that is but I do know that one of the things I am supposed to be doing is sharing the story of God’s love, grace and mercy in my life with anyone who will listen.
It is my prayer that our experience will somehow touch your heart and either cause, or rekindle a relationship with Christ Jesus. Maybe it will cause someone who never even considered that there may be a God to ask the question. We have become closer as a family in our walk with God as a result of this experience, but I know that God isn’t finished with us yet. I know that I am here today to write this letter because someone needed to hear this message. God loves all of us and has a divine plan for each of us. Take a minute to stop…..Take a minute to listen… Take a minute to search your heart. I know that God is calling, but it’s up to each of us to listen.