Monday, December 12, 2011

To Further His Purpose: We can all be witnesses

Just who does this Tebow guy think he is?

We can take this all the way back to his earlier days playing for the University of Florida. This young mans walk and actions have always brought about much discussion. He seems to have really brought forth an awareness of God and his presence that I believe the people of this day have yet to see. People love to devour the guy. They want to shut him up and shut him down. But do you think he is phased? No. And here's why, it's not about Tebow. It's not even about Football. Its about God. The media has it wrong. Its not Tebow time, its God time! You can't shut God down.

We are called to be Salt and Light in the World. Our Creator is looking and patiently waiting for a people that will take a stand and live out His purpose in this dirty, mucky, sin filled world. Willing to do whatever it takes to further His Kingdom and bring Glory and Honor to Him.

Matthew 5:14-16 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Sometimes when we choose to live out loud for GOD, people tend to look at us like we have lost it. You must be crazy because that is not the way the world does things. Well for me, I couldn't care less what the world does. His ways are not of the world. So naturally when we go a different way, the path less traveled, they take notice. I don't live to please this world. I live to please God. When we go Gods way and live out loud for him, there's a good chance we will come up against opposition. Just as this young man has. Notice though, he has remained ever so humble in the face of all the judgments, criticism and just plain hate thrown his way.

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

When people come up against you for choosing to stand up for Christ, they aren't really coming up against you, they are opposing Him. Because if we live for Him and follow the steps He has laid out for us, then He is in us. And if they hate us, then they hate that which is in us, Him. God is LOVE. He is for LOVE. Not hate. I pray that more and more people would have the courage to take a stand for Christ. It doesn't matter if you play Pro Ball, if you're a Ceo, teacher, or an average joe. People are watching. Someone is watching. He wants to use you wherever you are, what ever your platform may be. If it furthers His kingdom, then count me in!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Revelation & Obedience: The Conditioning of My Heart

In the last 27 days, I have grown more spiritually, felt physically better, and had more mental clarity than I ever thought was possible. I am not the same person. Where there was once fear doubt and condemnation, there is now hope, eagerness and a zest for life and the future!

Yet with all that said, some will still think I'm crazy. Well I'm not here to debate that. I won't argue that I'm a little nuts at times. But in all seriousness what I am about to share with you is MY journey, MY walk, and MY testimony. My intent is not to convince, but to convey the revelations of my heart. I do not need affirmation, acceptance, or approval from anyone but the one who truly matters. That of which I already have.

Let me backtrack a little.
My heart has always been to please and glorify God throughout this season of my life. But at times fear had such tight grip on me that I lost sight of that and fell into the trap of doubt. I knew what my heart was telling me , but because of the enemies tight grip on me at the most vulnerable time in my life, I made decisions that demonstrated just the opposite.

I do not believe there is a magic pill that will cure disease. Each and every time they would hook me up to that IV line, something inside of me was screaming no. But because of what the enemy told me, I felt it was my only shot. I believed that God could heal me and that he wanted me well and whole. But I was never able to place ALL of my trust in his abilities. Until now.

Over a year ago my closest friend mentioned to me the name of a place not too far from here that she thought might be of some help to me. I checked it out but never really followed through with it. About the same time another very influential friend from a different circle mentioned something along the same lines to me. Still I didn't pay much attention. Then right before we were about to head out to TX, the Pastors at our Church once again prayed over me. Our senior Pastor just happened to mention the same exact names and place to me, but he had personal experience with this place I heard about so many times. I thought wow, this is not happenstance. Yet, still I did not heed the advice.

Instead we headed off to TX only to find upon arrival that I was to receive, against my wishes and gut feelings, Chemo, among 3 other drugs as well. I nearly came home and said forget it. But, I agreed and ultimately ended up enduring the absolute worst 7 months of my existence. After my last scans, it appeared that I was stable, but not the improvement that we had hoped for. That meant more drugs were in the plan and would be for the rest of my existence. Some way to live. My oncologist wanted me to continue on with yet another round of more Chemo and another set of drugs. It was at that moment when I walked out of that office that I said enough. We got in the car and I just started saying, NO! This is not good enough, there is a better way. And so I began really searching my heart.

It was at this point that the name of the individuals and place God had so gently been putting in front of me came to the forefront of my mind. I knew I wanted to attend a week or two at this place, and I always planned to make it a part of my healing plan. I just never thought it to BE where my healing actually would begin.

The amazing place I speak of, is a "Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center" right here in my own backyard in Plant City. The town where I went to High School, where so many memories and friendships were formed and there are only 4 locations nationwide. Imagine that.

So I told Brian, I'm doing it. I'm calling them. And so, I made the phone call. About 30 minutes later I walked in the room and told him it was done. I booked us a week and we were going in less than 2 weeks! He was relieved, I could tell. He knew I needed this. But never pushed the issue. So Sam went to stay with my parents and we headed a whole 30 minutes up the road to Plant City.

I knew that part of this week would include me facing fears that I had been struggling with for over 20 yrs, but I was ready. Ready to be free of chains that held me back from becoming the amazing one He intended me to be. To see myself the way He saw me. It was time to get out of the way and let God work. If I had the space and you had the time, I would write a book about just how much this week changed me. Just how much was revealed to me. And someday that may just become a reality. But for now I will try to keep it short.

The biggest thing I took away from my time with God and Dave and Sherry was that it is impossible to live in fear and faith at the same time. I learned what true obedience looks like. I caught a glimpse of the person God fully intended me to be, and I liked what I saw. I was finally able to let go of fear, which is sin, that has held me captive for two thirds of my life. I asked God to reveal himself to me and He did.

We chose to follow the Hallelujah Diet. I like to call it a Lifestyle not a diet. This is not a fad. And if you think its all about the food. You're wrong. This is about obedience. It is not for everyone. I spend hours in my kitchen preparing every day. But let me make this clear. I have never been able to serve my family this way. And it feels amazing. Not only am I serving them , I am ensuring that they stay healthy. This is my medicine. I have done away with all drugs. And for me, its all or nothing. Like I said earlier, it impossible to live in fear and faith at the same time. So what is the point in making all these changes, yet continuing the drugs? Its like saying, well God I know this is your way, the right way, but just to cover all my bases, I'm going to take the drugs too. Not that you aren't capable, but I NEED to do this to satisfy my fears. No. I spent too much time doing that last 7 months.

The best part, I have NEVER felt this amazing, healthy, and clear in all my life! I sleep, I can think and this cancer is on its way out. It will not take up residence in my body any longer. The next scans will speak for themselves.

And I said I wasn't writing a book;)