Blessings out of disaster

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

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The Power of Listening to Others

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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.
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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

Jack’s Testimony

Jack’s testimony

JackThis 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

CaptureI 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