A terrible thing happened two weeks ago that changed my focus towards God. Two friends and I were out for what was supposed to be a short easy motorcycle ride to have lunch with each other. Jeff was in front when he had what appeared to be a mechanical issue with his motorcycle and impacted against the front quarter panel of an oncoming car. The image of Jeff’s impact, particularly the image as I watched his helmet fly off of his head and go tumbling into the ditch seared themselves into my brain. When I saw what was happening I braked hard and aimed for the side of the road expecting to go in the ditch. Thankfully I managed to stop my motorcycle and as soon as I could get the kickstand down onto the gravel of the shoulder I threw off my helmet and gloves. What I didn’t know when I swung my leg off of my bike was that Jeff’s motorcycle had ricocheted back and hit my other friend Rick. I expected to see Rick parked on the side of the road somewhere behind me, but as I ran back towards the accident site I saw two horribly mangled motorcycles with Rick laying between the two downed bikes moaning in pain as he clutched his side. As I briefly checked on him I was thankful when he said, “Yeah, I’m alright. I think I just broke a few ribs.” Unfortunately, the screams coming from Jeff’s still form indicated that Jeff definitely wouldn’t be able to say the same. Continue reading
The Power of Listening to Others
For the last couple of weeks I’ve gone through a dry spell where even though I’ve spoken with people nothing in those conversations has lead to anybody telling me their testimonies. I prayed about this situation during my morning prayer time and started seeing the words “Tell me your Testimony” in bold while letters against a blue background in my mind. As soon as that image popped into my mind the thought followed, “that would look really good on a t-shirt or embroiderd on a hat.” Little did I know the response that seemingly idle thought would produce.
Humility, Pride and Greed
I allowed an attack by the enemy to bar me from writing this past month. I faced a struggle between Pride, Humility and Greed. Their names are capitalized because I want to remember that these aren’t merely emotions that we feel but are enemies bent on separating us from Christ. Thankfully as the Bible says in Romans 8:35 “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword?” This question is answered in Romans 8:37, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Look closely at the first word of Romans 8:35. The word is “Who” not What or When or Where or Why or How, but “Who.” The examples that follow are enemies of Christ not just emotions or events or occurrence; enemies. When God first shared this epiphany during my morning prayer time I thought that I must have misunderstood but as I read Romans 8:37 I began to understand what He meant. Romans 8:37 says “…we are more than conquerors…” Strong’s dictionary defines conqueror as; to vanquish beyond, that is, gain a decisive victory: – more than conquer. Who do we conquer? There is that word again, “Who.” God has given us the power through His son Jesus Christ to have power over these enemies, but sometimes we don’t recognize them as enemies. Satan does his best to convince us that they are just our own emotions. He doesn’t want us to recognize that they are his minions trying to ruin our lives. Here is how they managed to worm their way into my life this past month. Continue reading
This past weekend I was blessed to hear my friend Jack’s testimony. He’d been asked to speak at the Jefferson Barracks Sunday service and had decided to share with everyone the miracles that God had used to save his life.
Jack is a veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange during his time in Vietnam. This exposure lead to neuropathy of the nerves which means in Jack’s case that he doesn’t feel pain when something is wrong he just feels tired and worn out. The Neuropathy also affects his ability to stand without support and Jack has had to use a cane for balance for a number of years now. Thankfully God has provided Jack with a service dog named Bliss. Bliss is a brace dog who helps him balance. This dog has been a great blessing for Jack; not only can he be more active with Bliss at his side, but he has practically eliminated his need to use a scooter to get around. With Bliss helping him he’s been more mobile than he’s been for years. Continue reading
Prayers with Kingdom Seed Ministries
I was blessed to meet Tammie Henry and Dusty Lampley of “Kingdom Seed Ministries” this past weekend. My day started out kind of slowly as I went out for my typical weekend motorcycle ride. The ride itself was great as I traveled between Belleville and Mt. Vernon Illinois. All of the fields were covered with the beautiful green of new growth. The weather was kind of on the warmish side so every time I rode across a stream or river along the way I luxuriated in the temperature drop that seemed to always appear when I most needed it.
When I arrived in Mt. Vernon I stopped at a gas station to top up the motorcycle’s tank and at Popeye’s fried Chicken for lunch to fill up my own internal reservoir that seemed to echo with sounds like rocks falling in an underground cavern. After the Hungery-Grumberlies were satisfied I sat peacefully watching the other diners while I finished up a blog post. The atmosphere was calming and I had no real need to hurry off but the longer I sat there the more I felt like I was being called to move from that spot. On one hand I knew that God had directed me to ride towards Mt. Vernon and specifically towards Popeye’s (I’d been craving their chicken all week), but on the other hand I hadn’t felt called to talk with anyone about God while I was there in the restaurant. Continue reading
Ministers are people too! The bonds of fellowship
Sometimes we forget that people whom we hold in high esteem have their low points in life just like everyone else. A friend of mine who works for the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in downtown St. Louis Mo. Is just such a person whom I hold in high esteem. I’ve known him for over five years now and have respected him from the first day that I met him. When he was being called into ministry was one of those times of struggle for him. He knew that he wanted to serve the Lord, but just like the rest of us when we hear the Lord talking to us the world tried to fill his head with doubts. Thankfully the strength that we have in our relationship with God allows each of us to overcome the whispers from the enemy that try to mislead us. He followed God’s calling and for the last few years has been a minister at his church while he continued to work for the VA. Continue reading
Listening for Opportunities
Why do we walk past or ignore people who are obviously hurting or need someone to talk to? I know that there have been a number of times in my past when I was just too scared to talk to someone who was crying or upset. After all I’d tell myself, “I’m not a counselor or therapist; I won’t know what to say” I’ll even admit that there were times when I flat out thought “That’s not my ‘responsibility’ someone else will take care of it.” Continue reading
God Answers Prayer
A couple of weeks ago I was having some doubts about writing this Blog (You can read the full story here) and I started praying to God asking Him to show me a four-leafed clover if he really was calling me to this type of ministry. That same day he placed a friend in my life who shared his testimony with me. (You can find one of his stories here.)
This morning I was praying while I was walking the dogs and my eyes kept drifting over to a newly mowed field in the subdivision where we usually walk. For the first time I noticed that this particular field had quite a bit of clover in it. I’d never noticed it there before since the grass was so much taller than the clover. Usually I keep the dogs out of tall grass when we are walking since they always seem to find something wet or nasty to rub up against in the high weeds, but since someone had come by and mowed the field last evening I figured that I’d let the dogs explore a bit. Continue reading
Jack’s Trumpet Angel
My friend Jack is a woodcarver who also plays the trumpet. Recently he shared a story of his testimony with me and it was so amazing I asked him for his permission to write it down and pass it. To set up the back story a bit it is important to note that my friend is a re-enactor who was participating in a Rendezvous. He had a Christmas tree set up decorated with his carvings and one of those carvings was an angel blowing a trumpet. After he’d set up his campsite he realized that he didn’t have a fire poker and he went over to the blacksmith’s camp to ask him to make one for him. At the time Jack didn’t have any cash with him, but in keeping with the true spirit of a Rendezvous he explained that he was a woodcarver and bargained with the blacksmith for a new fire-poker. Eventually when the blacksmith inspected Jack’s work hanging on the campsite Christmas tree he told Jack that he’d make him a new poker in exchange for the angel blowing the trumpet. Continue reading
Have you ever felt that God has called you to do something, but then started to doubt whether that calling was really from God? To be honest… I have. I know that the enemy is always there trying to get inside of your head. His name means “The Accuser” and he’s always prepared to try to convince you that we are failing; particularly when we are trying to do something that God wants us to do. This past week has been that way for me. I’d actually started to wonder whether this blog was really what God wanted me to do or whether my fleshly self was trying to win God’s favor through works. Doubts kept coming into my mind every time I began thinking about it. All week long I’d been praying to God about those doubts, but the more I thought about them the stronger they seemed to get. Yesterday in frustration I cried out to God saying, “God, You have to show me what to do to get rid of these doubts!” As soon as I asked He answered. Continue reading