I see the light! The light at the end of the tunnel, that is. I feel like I have been walking in some darkness without much good going on around me, yet faithful trudging along as God has called me. However, last week when I felt this way, I did a couple of things. I blogged about it and several let me know they were praying for me. And I sent out a prayer newsletter for our church plant that included several requests for myself. This I know, God is for me! One of the simpler scriptures (I think a Proverb), but so very profound. God is for me!
Here are some ways that God reminded me of that these past couple of weeks. Many responded to my email requests to add them to our prayer list, and many with personally encouraging words. I don't remember which day I had typed my last blog, but Tuesday, I believe I went home from work sick. I had a horrible, head cold that was giving me constant headaches. It was not fun. All this while trying to deal with all the other stuff in my life. I laid down at home for a couple of hours and then went to the Dr. The doc gave me a prescription, of course and I went home. I asked my wife to take it into town for me to have it filled and so she did. Before she ever returned within a couple of hours, I started feeling much better. I was able to breathe freely and I felt so good, I almost wanted to work out! I said, almost. :) And I hadn't even taken medicine, yet. I have a feeling people were praying for me. There was just no real explanation. I felt worse than any other day. I had a prescription that hadn't even been filled yet. And I had just laid down for a few hours, I didn't even sleep. Since, then I haven't been stuffed up once. My headaches were gone. Praise God!
I took a couple of trips to the suntan bed. Wow! That helped alot too. Most of my winter depression feelings have gone. Several days I've almost wanted to work out. I said, almost. :) I've actually felt really good for several days. Like you might in the late spring or a mid-summer day where you don't really have much to do. That part has been kinda weird and different, but nice. There were even a few moments, where I thought, I remember feeling like this as a kid or teenager. Energy level, carefree sense with no real bodily pain or fatigue. Interesting. I think people were praying for me. Praise God!
Finances have been an issue. I knew it would be a matter of time, but time had been waning. Then Sunday night came and Life House Community blessed me and my family considerably. Just like the day that they all prayed for God's direction in my life to be clear and I sensed God was telling me these were the people to partner with and start a church, I felt that same expression of community and love. I was dumbfounded, almost speechless. I could only think in blurbs, not sentences. Wow. Humbled. Blessed. Thankful. Surprised. Honored. Appreciated. Let's just say I'm not gonna waste any more brain power wondering how to fix the finances. Plus, this has given me an opportunity to be a giver and a fixer of some of my past mistakes. God is generous to us when we submit ourselves to Him and His will. God, thank you for some great people and being so faithful in my life! Praise God!
My parents came to visit this past weekend as well. As you may remember, we had a bad episode (My dad and I) at Thanksgiving and I've been wondering how and when to reconcile. My mom this past week sent us an email, saying they wanted to stop by and spend a little time with us on their way to Columbus. Initially, it sounded like just a few hours over a day or two. Well, as things played out, my dad changed his mind on their plans (there's a new one :) and they decided to stay at our house for two days and spend some time with us instead of more travel doing more things. Great, but what about the reconciliation? Well, in my heart, as you may or may not have heard. I had forgiven him. I don't let that stuff stay around, but I hadn't yet talked to him. So, they pulled up to the house on Friday evening and as they started to the door, I went out to greet them and help dad inside (b/c of his bad leg(s)). Immediately, he said he was sorry and I quickly responded with, "I forgive ya." We joked about it never happening again and went on inside to share the latest and greatest of our lives. The next morning on the way to Columbus together, we had a lengthy somewhat emotional discussion. It was good to talk about it. We definitely see things from different points of view, but the point is, I know he loves me and doesn't want to "fight." I hope I relayed to him the same. Someone said to me this past week that father and son stuff can be tough. Yeah, I know. And if anyone exemplifies that it is Jesus and God, the father. Now there relationship is one of pure love. But, imagine having to "give up" your only son and the son struggling with that in the garden and on the cross, but ultimately and completely being obedient to it. Wow. Tough stuff. Not to mention the beautiful picture of our heavenly father waiting for us with open arms, no matter how bad we've been or what we've said, ready to forgive us even before we get there. What a great, amazing, merciful father. Praise God!
And to top the weekend off, the Steelers beat the Ravens in a game they had no business winning. Wow, this is starting to be a habit of theirs. As long as the winning part continues, they can do it however they want. :) But, seriously, I hope they get their offense fixed. I think the Steelers game was just a nice little topping on a great, blessed Sundae(y)! Light shining brightly as I enter the end of the tunnel, or should I say, exit the tunnel. Praise God!
Can I praise God for the Steelers winning? Too bad, I already did. :) I'm not sure he had much to do with it, but I can praise Him for whatever I want. :)
We've got so many things to look forward to. My beautiful, talented, smart, leader of a daughter just finished a nice choir special in the mall. I got to spend some time with her. She is growing so big, so fast. She is such a beautfiful young lady, inside and out. When I look at my entire family, I have so much to be thankful for. One week ago, I knew it, but I couldn't feel it. Today, I am overjoyed by these realities. God has answered many prayers. He has given me great hope and has shown himself real in my life this week in a time that I greatly needed it.
Whereas last week, I said that my blog could have been a bit self-serving by calling attention to my woes and needs for prayer. This week, I hope you've been inspired by an amazing God who hears our prayers and knows our needs and wants to bless us. Oh, did I mention, God is on our side! God is on my side! He is for me! And He is for you! Praise God!