I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last few weeks. Mainly on what is important in life. Of course we have ads bombarding us every day telling us what is important. If I get an I-phone then I will be happier. If I get a really nice car then that will be what does it for me. Well we have let this bleed over into church too. If we go to a certain church and listen to the preacher tell us that God loves us and occasionally do something at church as our good deed of the day then everything will be fine and that will get us the chocolate bar with the golden ticket to get us in heaven and it will be ok. The problem with our thinking today is that it is a load of crap. Not a small dog turd, but a big elephant load of crap. We are called to be different as Christians, to step out of our comfort zone and help others. Look at the bible, there are tons of examples that show us this. Moses was a guy that could not physically talk in front of others. But yet God used him to bring his people out of Egypt. Noah was called by God to build an Ark when it hadn't rained...ever until that point. People thought he was a lunatic, not just eccentric but certifiable. But Noah followed through with this anyway because God told him to do it. So as Christians we should be different, but what does that mean? Well it can mean many things. But the main thing is to not be like the world. If we look like, sound like, and smell like the world then what is the point? Yes it is hard to do this. But what is the point to be a Christian, if you are just like everyone else. This doesn't mean to act holier than thou and to not associate with others that are not Christian. It means to be genuine and give others something to long for. This can be done without acting better than others. This can mean to find ways to help others. This means to be available to others, even if it is just to listen. I have a long way to go on this. I used to shut myself off from others because it is easier to do so. Now I want every opportunity I can get to share with others, to listen to others, to help others. I ask daily for God to put someone in my path to do something for. Take an extra minute or two when you ask "How are you?" to listen and care what they say. Make yourself available for this. Invite your non-Christian friends to church, and live a Christian life in front of them. If they don't go the first time, invite them the next time and keep inviting them. DON'T GIVE UP! I know this used to be just about me and my progress with the brain tumor I have. God has given me such a burden for others over the last month or two. A burden so powerful that I can't sleep a lot of the time. I don't want others to waste their life like I have. We have become consumers first but we need to be worshipers and doers for Christ. It has taken 43 years to find a simple verse that is now the basis of life for me. That is John 3:30 "He must become greater; I must become less." Such a powerful statement in such a small verse. But it has really instilled in me a new sense of purpose. I hope you finish reading this and go away with a new sense of purpose as well.
Friday, August 3, 2012
One week from today is my 16th wedding anniversary. It so happened that the card that Kara gave me 51 weeks ago today is sitting on my desk at work. It has been sitting there for quite a while without being read, and basically invisible to me, until today. Today, I saw it and picked it up to read again….then I cried. She wrote this many months before we would find out that I have an inoperable brain tumor that would change everything about our life. The thing is, it has now taken on a very new meaning. There are a couple of things that stand out that God knew I needed to read today. 1) Kara wrote…”we have made it thru such hard times in the past few years. Most couples would give up but it has made us stronger and more determined to come out on top.” Yes several things happened in the previous years that were hard to bear but we made it through it and also grew closer together. Looking back, I can now see why God put those things in our lives; it was to prepare us for now. If we had not gone through those trials, we could not have been ready for this…period. Though it is still tough, God knew what the next step was and was preparing us for it. 2) Kara also said, “I am proud of your determination and the fact that you never give up.” Wow! That meant so much to me to know that she sees me as a fighter. Through all my failures (Which at this point I cannot list all of them, nor would you want to know) she saw that I did not give up fighting. That gave me a boost I needed today. I have had the symptoms come back over the last few weeks, though right now they are not there, but every time it was not that it was painful or even scary, it was defeating to me to have to take more pills. (I can’t explain why that is) This letter to me though written almost a year before now, has given me the push to keep on fighting and to be here as long as I can for and with my family. I am far from being the best husband nor am I the model father, but I want to spend as many days with my family as I possibly can. Thank you Kara for writing me this letter a year ago, it meant a lot to me then, but not like it does today. I needed this today and God knew it, long before you even wrote it.