Carpe Diem

carpe_diem

Every moment we spend on this side of eternity is a blessing from God so that we may be a blessing in the lives of those around us. Mark Twain once wrote, “The two most important days in one’s life are when you are born and the day you find your purpose.” Both of these days are miracles in their own right, but many never truly find their purpose or they forget it along the way.

Trying to imagine why God breathed us into existence is truly humbling, but the day you truly acknowledge your role in the body of Christ, you will find worth, purpose, and meaning. I believe the most important day in anyone’s life is today because you can’t do anything about yesterday and tomorrow is only shaped by what you do today.

When we think differently, it should cause us to live differently, as long as we are open to what God wants to do in and through us. Most of us know the truth, but we are so good at telling ourselves lies that we allow the devil into our lives because of his disguise. Truth vs. deception clouds our perception and the enemy wants nothing more than for us to forget our purpose and worth.

Hard times, trials, challenges, crisis, unspeakable torment, hurt, and pain are inevitable. It would be nice if we could simply walk around these seasons and chapters in life, but the reality is we must march through them. In this fight for our lives, our misery grows, our pit becomes deeper, our purpose is forgotten, and our priceless worth is exchanged for nothing. Christ did not die for us to live defeated and He surely did not suffer for us to live condemned.

Our pasts are all littered with regret, things we wish we could forget, and things we should have remembered, but have forgotten. However, our past is also important to our future. It’s often those who forget the past who continually make the same mistakes, but looking into the past is also a great way to see how far you’ve come and also to remember your worth, purpose, and meaning in life.

No matter where you are, I encourage you to seize this day. Whether that means looking into your past to find where you went off the track or looking at what you can do today to get back on the track. Our direction in life is the most important thing. You can go 100 miles, but if you aren’t headed in the right direction, it doesn’t help you get where God is calling each of us.

Past performance is a good indicator of future results. For some, just reading this you immediately feel condemnation, but the beauty of being a child of God is your past does not dictate your future when you love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul, strength, and when you love your neighbor as yourself. Knowing redemption and feeling restoration is a beautiful thing, so never be ashamed of where God has brought you from. Your past is your testimony of God’s unfailing love and your future should be sharing that same love with others.

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Be Still and Know I am God

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
Living Happy on a day to day basis
Never in my life have I had to really upon God so much than I have this last month. I have pleaded for him to intercede in my daughter’s life as we walked through a painful chapter called the NICU and I have pleaded with God to heal my wife’s diabetes and to keep her cancer in remission, but trusting God to act in your own life is different; it feels more intimate.

3 weeks ago, I underwent a spinal fusion procedure meant to correct the damage inflicted during a severe vehicular accident while I was riding my road bicycle. Up until 10 days ago I would have told you I felt things were finally starting to improve and that I had turned the corner from the major surgical pain I was experiencing. That night, I went to sleep and upon waking up, I could not feel my left leg and my right hip felt like someone was repeatedly stabbing me with an ice pick while the sciatica shooting pain straight from the pit of hell had intensified exponentially down my right leg.Pain
I was totally bed-ridden by this new onset of pain. What really terrified me was all the pain in my extremities had vanished after the surgery leading me to believe despite the surgical pain I was feeling, the surgery itself was a complete success.

Now you can probably imagine my horror and the thoughts that raced through my head: “I wondered if I did something wrong, or if something had broken off or come loose, or if they would have to operate again?”

After these thoughts began to race through my mind, I can remember the very instant because I could hear the enemy begin to whisper, “The surgery was unsuccessful and you will always be a prisoner to your pain.”TRUTH & lies
Immediately, I rebuked those lies in the name of Jesus, but I couldn’t deny my concern with the sudden onset of new symptoms.

Praise God, after viewing my scans and speaking with the doctor, he confirmed the promise God had already made to me: “My healing is real & God is true to His word.”

The doctor went on to say the symptoms I was experiencing were normal due to the sensitive nature of nerves and since my impingement had lasted for such a long time, there was quite a bit of uncertainty and unpredictability as to how long I would experience these new symptoms, but praise God we are not limited by man’s understanding of medicine.

I praise Jehovah Rophe for the work He has begun in me and will complete and I bind any lies or hindrances the enemy is trying to put in my path in the name of Jesus!

I can sense the enemy trying to do everything in his power to waiver my faith regarding the promise God made regarding my complete healing.cloud_serpent
God knows me and He knows exactly what I need. If this journey has taught me anything it is to take one day at a time and to rely solely upon the Lord.

When we spend our time worrying about everything going on around us, we miss everything God is doing in our life, whether it is seen or unseen.
Beth Moore said something that has always stuck with me regarding fear. She said, “FEAR is nothing more that False Evidence Appearing Real.” When we allow our fear to overshadow the power of God, we limit His power which is unlimited! The more we begin to trust God and praise Him for what He is doing, the more we will see Him make ways where there are none. The more we begin to sing praises to the King of kings while our world is crashing in around us, the more we will see miracles happen right before our eyes!

I pray as you read these words you would begin to look at areas in your life where you need to trust God more and for areas you need to praise God more. When the light of God shines upon us, there is no limit to what He can accomplish in and through us!
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Who is in Control of My Life?

“I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me.” Philippians 4:13 (AMP)
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I am a planner by nature, which can be a blessing or a curse. When things go according to plan, it’s great, but when they don’t, it can feel like the world is crashing in around me.

This makes me ask myself: “Who is in control of my life?”

Being a thinker and planner means I am always calculating risks, anticipating future events, and formulating plans and then back-up plans. When I try to sleep, I wish there was an off switch because my mind goes into overdrive checking to make sure I did everything I was supposed to, then I worry about the things I didn’t get done and when/ how they will, leading me to ask the question again: “Who is in control of my life?”

After I get myself all worked up, God will remind me He has already overcome the world and everything He calls me to do, He will equip and empower me to do them.

My weakness is my need to feel in control and as long as I submit that area of my life to Him, He will give me the strength I need to do whatever He calls me to do. However, when I don’t rely on Him, web
my mind weaves a web of anxiety until I’m paralyzed and overwhelmed by my circumstances.

What we must never forget is God will never give us more than we can handle and He will always give us the tools required to complete anything He calls us to do.

What we must continually ask ourselves is whether or not we are doing what God is calling us to do. The answer reveals, “Who is in control of my life.”

We all face challenges and we all have obstacles to overcome, but as long as we keep the right perspective and always trust God and His plan, He will never let us down.

If we think we are in control, we are not allowing God to be in control and whether we want to admit it or not, He is the only One we should ever want to be in control of our lives!god_hands_aircraft

Nothing is Impossible With God

Even though it feels like I have a long way to go, I have begun my journey and every journey begins with a single step!

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)2_Corinthians_12_9

This means the more afflicted we become, the more beat down we feel, the closer God is getting ready to lay the smack-down on our foes because He will never allow one of His children to sink beneath any of His enemies

The more I have released my limitations to God, the more empowered I have felt myself become.

God’s supernatural power fills in every void, crack and crevice relating to any physical, emotional, or spiritual need or scar we have or ever will. In times of danger, darkness, despair, and sickness, the safest place to be is in the presence of God!God's Closer Than You Think

Each new day, my pain is evolving which I hope is a good thing. Instead of throbbing, stabbing, burning, shooting and piercing, it’s tight, deep, penetrating, and rigid. I wouldn’t classify it as being better yet, but it’s definitely different!

If you find yourself needing more of God in your life, just ask! Lately, I have found myself falling asleep praying to God. I’ve done this for a couple of reasons:

 The first is to take my pain and give me rest! When the pain was beyond what I could take, I would just call out the name of Jesus.
 The second is in case I don’t wake… What better way to go than praying to the One who never slumbers and waking in His arms.
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Crushed but Not Destroyed

“The greatest evil is physical pain.” Saint Augustine

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

The first night home from the hospital was brutal; most of it was spent in tears mixed with screams and groans. My spine literally felt like the main attraction at a monster truck rally. At points it would feel like two trucks were playing tug-of-war with my vertebrae while someone was heating my lumbar section with a plasma torch. monster truch tug of war
The grand finally came when “Grave Digger” came off a jump landing directly on my spine. At that point, I wish I lost consciousness, but instead, I was awoken screaming in agony.

I am trusting God to get me through this day, even though my pain continually gets worse each passing moment! Spinal Scar
My goal is to keep praise and thanksgiving on my mind and lips. Even in my anxiousness and nervousness, I am choosing to rest in His presence. I am praising Him for the healing taking place in my body and I believe my pain is just part of that plan.

I am going to let God literally guide each step I take today, which shouldn’t be too hard since I am using a walker! Me with walker
I will trust and depend upon the Lord for everything I need and when I find myself feeling self-pity or worrying something is wrong, I will lean upon the Lord even more.

If we are constantly praising the Lord, there is no time left to doubt or worry His plan doesn’t include giving us a bright hope and future filled with blessings!

My prayer is God would strengthen me both physically and spiritually so that when I am on the other side looking back, I can say God supplied all my needs and that only He deserves all the honor, praise and glory!
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One for the Record Books

I was literally cut in half and put back together; if you are reading this, I’m still alive…

“Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)
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Pain always serves a purpose in our life and everyone has experienced it at some point, whether it’s: physical, emotional or spiritual. Knowing the cause or reason of our pain doesn’t make it any less real, because it’s our body’s way of telling us something is wrong.

In my quest to find healing, I first went to God: the Divine Healer-Jehovah Rophe and pleaded with Him to take my pain. IfIcouldTouchOfHisGarment

I’m pleading with Him as I type these words, but at the same time I am praising Him for bringing the Surgeon into my path to facilitate my healing. This last year, despite my pain from the vehicle accident, I have grown closer to the Lord because it taught me to rely on His strength daily to deal with my pain.

God’s timing is perfect and when we walk according to His will, we will find and know true peace.God is working time bar

With my initial surgeon, I didn’t have this peace and in my spirit, it just felt like I needed to keep looking for the man God had lined up to take my pain away. Ultimately, only God heals us and only God restores us, but He can use whatever means He chooses to; often, that includes men and women.

My new surgeon, Dr. Poelstra said something which resonated such peace within my spirit. He said, “When God chooses not to heal people miraculously, He uses my hands to heal them in the natural.” He went on to say that God had anointed and blessed his hands and he gives the glory to God for all the work he does.jesus-doctor-healing

One of the greatest secrets of success is to not want to be famous and this doctor exemplified that statement! It can be so easy to take credit for the gifts God gives us…

I praise God I had the patience and trust to wait upon the Lord and now I have been fully restored. I continually lift my eyes up because my help comes from the Lord daily; He is my refuge and strength. It was in His presence and protection, I found my fear wiped away and it was there where restoration and wholeness began to take place. Thank you for your prayers and I give God all the glory for the work He is doing in and through me!

Fear & Trust

Any second they will be taking me back for surgery to repair my spine…posterior-lumbar-interbody-fusion-surgery1

“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

God’s love for us is the strongest power in existence and nothing can separate us from it; my greatest strength comes from knowing that! The weeks and days leading up to this surgery have sent my mind into overdrive, sometimes causing my peace to escape my grasp.

To overcome my fear, there came a point where I had to trust God enough to take care of any problem I might face.trust-god

God is the ultimate Shepherd and He protects His flock. Nothing’s impossible for Him and when we bring our physical, spiritual and emotional needs before God, He hears our cries and His power is made perfect in our weakness.
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When we stay focused on God, peace surrounds every step we take, but when we allow life to take our eyes off of Jesus, we open ourselves to attack. Things like depression, transitions, and loss begin to permeate our lives. Next, our anxiety, stress, and thoughts over money, time, work and the countless other things we must manage begin to manage us until they bring us to our knees.

In this life, we are bound to have trouble, but Christ has already overcome the world and He only sends the toughest battles to His strongest soldiers.
fight or give up

I thought my battle would only be a chapter of my life, but it has turned into a book; one that is full of miracles and endless stories of God’s grace and mercy. When God is for us, there is nothing that can ever stand against us.

Speak these words to the next adversary that tries to rob your peace!