Grateful for My Storms

It’s FRIDAY but Sunday’s coming!!!

Good Morning my friends,

Every day I do my best to not take life for granted.. Do I ever fail? Of course I do… Almost every day. Do I beat myself up over failing? Sometimes…ok most of the time… The great thing about God is with each time I fail, He gives me another chance to get it right.. A do-over.. But just because I get a second chance doesn’t mean I can live like hell and then ask for a do-over.. Salvation isn’t a “get out of hell free card” or “fire insurance”. It is a gift from God… It is a debt that was paid in full by Jesus.
It sure is easy to not take life for granted when you’re in the middle of a storm… It doesn’t even have to be a huge storm.. Storms have a way of making us feel a little more grateful..a little more dependent and a lot less independent… Why is it that storms remind us that we need to rely on God? Why do we have to be reminded continuously? Why can’t we just wake up grateful? When God created man, He could’ve easily given us the ability to wake up grateful.. But that’s the beauty of God.. He gave us free will.. He gave us the option to make choices.. He wants us to choose Him.. He wants us to choose to be grateful for our blessings. He wants us to choose to be grateful despite being in a storm. He allows storms in our lives as a reminder to be grateful, that we need Him and that we can count on Him…
I’ve learned to embrace my storms. How?. Because I view them different than I did before. I use to view my storms as a challenge but now I view them as an opportunity. An opportunity to draw closer to God. A chance for me to grow by His love and grace. An opportunity to show the world that you don’t have to endure your storm alone. God wants you to turn your storms over to Him.
Today I say good bye to a storm… 33 days ago was January 27th. That was the day I began my 25 radiation treatments. At 7:30 this morning I will be receiving my last treatment. Before my treatments began my doctor told me that the treatments could make me tired and nauseated but he reassured me that it would not even be remotely as bad as chemo.. In all honesty, it didn’t matter.. It didn’t matter because I knew If God blessed me with the strength, energy & stamina to make it through 3 months of chemo then He would do the same with radiation. Don’t get me wrong… I was confident that God would bless me with what I needed to make it through my treatments but despite my confidence it didn’t stop me from praying and asking to be blessed. Now that I’ve completed my treatments, I will thank God for answering my prayers and for my many blessings during my treatments. We must remember to praise Him and be grateful for answering our prayers even if it’s not exactly what we ask for.

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1 Peter 1:24-25)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU… Be grateful for all answered prayers…

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

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Vulnerable and Raw with Emotion is a Good Thing

Good Saturday Morning my friends,

I apologize for the two week hiatus from blogging. Today’s blog is a little different from the norm because I’m not writing about a verse in the Bible but instead I’m sharing something personal about someone else.

Yesterday I read an amazing blog by a high school friends daughter name Ashten Seay. As I sit here trying to think of the absolute best word to describe Ashten, her words and her thoughts I find it difficult. In all honesty, I’m at a loss for words. Ashten & I have never met or been formerly introduced but I feel like I know her. I have followed her journey through her loving dad Marty. I love to see & hear about friends posting about their kids accomplishments. I take a special interest and those that are accomplishing things beyond high school. I especially love seeing individuals from the younger generations that are inspired and driven to accomplish great things. Ashten is one of those individuals. She is well educated and not to mention driven. She earned her bachelors degree from Mizzou and then went on to study law at the University of Alabama School of Law where she graduated with honors. She passed the bar with flying colors and then signed on with a prestigious law firm in Birmingham.
I won’t go into her story after landing her job but instead I encourage YOU to click on the links below that will take you to her blog so you can read her story on your own. Grab a box of Kleenex and take the time to do it. Yesterday as I read her words my heart sunk and it hurt. I could feel her heartbreak and pain. I could feel the suffering that she’s living with daily. It took everything I could muster to keep from crying out loud. I wish I had the words that would bring her instant comfort and peace but I don’t. I wish I could tell her why it turned out the way it did and God’s plan so she could be healed instantly but I don’t know why. I just wish I could say I understand but I don’t.. I know that Ashten has an amazing family that love her and that have wrapped their arms around her and have given her that soft place to fall.
Ashten’s words were raw with emotion. She showed her vulnerability and didn’t hold anything back. I can’t help but feel that there is something that we all could learn from this young woman.

https://plus.google.com/app/basic/112881704488829335457/posts?cbp=12x53cj6iwjy2&sview=25&cid=5&soc-app=115&soc-platform=1

I hope you all have an amazing Saturday. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

I Woke Up Smiling and So Can You

Good Thursday Morning my friends,

I woke up this morning smiling.. Most people don’t smile at 3:45 in the morning but then again I’m not like most people.. I’ve learned to look at and approach life a little different. We all have a choice to wake up each day and be miserable and make everyone around you miserable and make people hate being around us or you can choose to wake up smiling and bring joy to their day. I look at each day as if God granted me yet another opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life and it’s up to me to make the decision to make a difference. Will I make a difference? I can’t answer that but I can tell you that I definitely won’t if I don’t at least put forth the effort. It really doesn’t take a lot to make a difference in someone’s day.. A simple smile and a sweet good morning is a great way to start..

I often hear people say, “I’m just not a morning person…” or “I’m more of an afternoon person” or sometimes I hear, “I’m an evening person.” There’s 24 hrs in a day and you just eliminated 10 hrs of your day because you’re an “afternoon person.” Imagine the lives you could an impact if you chose to become an “ALL-DAY person!!” Think about all the things in your life that bring you joy. When you think about those you mean to tell me that those things don’t bring you enough joy for you to be an all-day person. If that’s the case then perhaps something is missing.. What could be missing in your life that you can’t find enough joy to be an all-day person??

Today’s Scripture tells us about the fruit of the Spirit. They become even a greater part of your life after you come to faith. I loved my wife and my boys before I came to faith but now it’s different. My love for them has increased exponentially.. They brought joy to my life but now they bring so much more. The peace that I have as I approach and go through my day can not be described.. I can go on and on about how my life had changed for the better since I come to faith. How my spirit has increased and the desires of the world have decreased.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”(Galatians 5:22-26)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for you… Become an all-day person..

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

Friendship is More Than Convenience

Good Tuesday Morning my friends,

When I was younger my mom always told me that I would be judged by the company that I keep. When my childhood friends began to get in trouble as teenagers her words would resonant over and over in my mind. My high school classmates would probably be the first to tell you that I was no saint and I would tend to agree them.. But with that said, I did try to stay away from those friends that lacked control. We might have wound up in the same places on a Fri or Sat night but it wasn’t planned. We all have those friends that we knew we could run around with and stay out of trouble and we had those that if we would’ve ran around together it would’ve been bad news nothing but trouble.

I’m lucky to be able to say that I have friends that I’ve known & remained in contact with since before I started to elementary, ones that I met in elementary school, in junior high & in high school. You see, I always tried to be friendly and to be a friend to everyone. I tried to be different than the other kids.. I tried to make sure that I never came across as thinking that I was better than someone else. As an adult true friends are hard to come by. My Pastor always says, “you find out who your true friends are when you go through a valley in your life.” True friends won’t kick you to the curb. They won’t stomp on you when your down. In fact, a true friend will give you a shoulder to cry on, a hand to pick you up or be the cushion to soften your fall. I would like to think that my friends know they can count on me to be their true friend.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:36-40 that the greatest commandments are, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” I don’t think its a coincidence that the two greatest commandments involve love. Love is the greatest gift that God gives us. Jesus tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

In today’s Scripture, John writes telling us that as Christians we should be different. The world should be able to see the love of God resonating from within us. He tells us we should be that friend that would lay down our life for someone in need. That we should be willing to interrupt our daily life and go help a friend out. That we should show compassion and help when a friends are in need.

“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:13-17)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for you…. Be a true friend, not just when it’s convenient.

I hope you all have a TERRIFIC day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

Your Ransom has Been Paid in Full

Good Monday my friends,

Back in the late 90’s Mel Gibson was in a movie called Ransom. He played a rich airline owner whom’s son is kidnapped and held for ransom. Mel Gibson’s character is willing to pay the two million dollar ransom, but when the drop goes wrong, he turns to the media and turns the ransom money into a bounty on the head of the kidnapper. During the movie there’s a line that is said, “Someone is going to pay.” That’s exactly what the word ’Ransom’ means. It is the price paid to free someone from captivity or punishment. When I think of ransom as a Christian, I tend to think of ransom more as a deliverance from sin or its penalty? Someone had to pay for our sin. Jesus paid a huge ransom for us.

When I look back over my life as an adult, I can’t help but think that I would’ve done things a little different. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change much but the one thing that I would change was when I gave my life to Christ. My lone regret is that I waited so long to give my life fully to Him. I regret choosing to live of the world according to my own fleshly desires for the majority of my life. I regret running from God’s calling. I regret turning my back on Him. I say all of this knowing that no matter how soon I wish I would’ve given my life to Christ or how long I served Him it still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t deserve heaven. There’s no amount of good works that I could ever do to earn my way to heaven. It is only through the bloodshed of my Savior Jesus Christ that I am given the privilege of spending my eternity in heaven with Him. He not only paid the ransom for me but He paid the ransom for you as well and He would’ve paid the same random if it had only been for just you or me.

Today’s Scripture tells us that it was by Jesus’ bloodshed that we’re able to obtain eternal redemption. All good things past, present and future are because of Christ and come to us because of Him. Christ offered himself as a ransom without any sinful stain in his life.

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:11-14)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for you… Consider the sacrifice of Christ and the random he paid for you

I hope you all have an MAGNIFICENT day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

The Fine Line Between Confidence & Arrogance

Good Saturday Afternoon my friends,

I have always been a confident person. In fact, I had so much confidence when Keri & I first met, that she thought I was arrogant. I will admit that there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance but it does exist. In her defense, it’s the interpretation of the two based on we’re raised that builds our definition. I was raised to believe that we all have the same opportunities in life and it was up to me to seize it. I was thought that I am capable of accomplishing as much as I wanted in life depending on how hard I was willing to work to achieve it.

I’ve learned that living my life as a Christian is full of benefits. One of those benefits is that I can walk with confidence with my relationship with God. With God in my life I can approach each day knowing that my path is going to be lighted by my Savior. Knowing this allows me to walk confidently down that path even knowing that I might face trials & tribulations. I might have to endure troubles and struggles but I can relish in the fact that I’m not alone. Jesus is there with me holding my hand or standing next to me to help me. Another benefit is that I’m able to come into the intimate presence of God at anytime. I just have to be willing to submit and call upon Him at all times in my life. As a Christian, we should be honored to know that we have the privilege to have access to God, who is transcendent, yet so intimate.

These benefits came at a high price. A price that we were incapable of paying! It was a price that only Jesus Christ was willing and able to pay, through shedding His innocent blood on the cross, making justification not just an endeavor for us, but a reality for us. As Jesus made justification available, He also made confidence before God and intimacy with God available. What was impossible with the strength of men was made possible through the blood of Jesus.

Today’s Scripture speaks about the importance of faith in Jesus. It reminds us that He our “High Priest” is the object of our faith. It reminds us that the fruit of our faith is having assurance when we draw near to God. We are reminded that we must fight for our faith, and remain grounded in our faith instead of being shaken by the circumstances, thoughts, and feelings. Our faith however is not to just keep us spiritually strong, but the mission of our faith is also to strengthen the walk of our brothers and sisters as well. We are reminded that our faith is not just personal, but it is also to be practiced in the community as a family of God. The church is not the fancy building that has a cross on the roof. The church is the people. The believers that gather together to worship, praise and honor their Savior. It can be in an old barn, a rickety old building, or a living room.. God doesn’t look at the building you gather in.

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
(Hebrews 10:19-25)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU… Walk confidently in your faith.

I hope you all have a GREAT day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24