Friday, February 27, 2009

My name is Larry and I am a Pole Vaulter..

I, obviously, am a fan of Facebook. When used with the right intent, this social network can be a great tool to reconnect with people, make new friends, share ideas, faith and resources. A users’ ‘status’ allows us to share, in a sentence or two, what we are doing or thinking at any given time.
I typically don’t have very interesting status updates and on this particular day, I shared that I had a dream about being a champion pole-vaulter. That was a strange dream. But a friend of mine, Amber Wheeler, had an answer to this dream… I asked her if I could share her thoughts with you and she agreed.

“Hi, Larry. I believe this to be from the Lord for you, but as I usually tell people, pray about it and see if it comes into alignment with what others are thinking. The Lord woke me this morning saying, “remember what Larry wrote on his status about pole vaulting?” “Tell him that he can fulfill his goals, but I need him to fulfill My goals. And My goals are higher and beyond his reach. He needs to set the bar higher so that he can only accomplish the goals with my help. I AM the Champion who will get him over that bar!”
Have a great day!”

Wow. Thank you, Amber! You hit the mark with your interpretation and I appreciate your courage to share. I think we all can take a dose of courage from her example to be bold and share with others!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Miracle on First Street North

A couple of weeks ago I went to the ER because of what I thought was me giving birth to something. Diagnosis? Kidney stone. One too large to pass. A few days later, I returned home minus the mountain-of-a-stone and an addition to my body – a stent from my kidney to my bladder. After a couple of days at home, I went back to the ER for an overnighter because of infection and extreme pain. Two days after that I went back to my doc to have the stent removed. That was a bad deal. Complications and I was back in the hospital the same day. Another stent was put in the next day (Valentine’s Day) – and that is where this story gets intriguing.

After returning from surgery I became incredibly sick and began to get violently ill. Vomiting, the chills, fever spiked to 103.something, my chest began killing me, I was talking out of my head.. I only know this because Ashley, my wife, has recounted it to me. I was out of it. I do not remember a thing about this. Ashley just told me last night that I even had a word with satan. “You think you are a bad-a** but you’re not. You have been defeated.” I got chills when she told me about that. There was some type of battle going on. I don’t have my arms all the way around this yet – but I was on satans bad list. Once the symptoms of a problem with my heart intensified, I was rushed to ICU at around 6 pm on Valentine’s Day.

All roads with my health led to either one of two things: a heart-attack or a condition called aortic dissection. Neither of these prospects was good, wouldn’t you agree? I was put on oxygen, given nitroglycerin on two occasions, had every monitor known to man hooked to me, iv’s in every possible place. Once I was told what they thought was happening to me, I became hysterical and inconsolable. I repeatedly begged for my family – I suppose I felt the need to tell them some things. Can you imagine this? Can you imagine being Ashley when the physician came to her in the ICU waiting area and told her what he thought the possibilities were? He said to her, “we are also checking on an aortic dissection and those are usually fatal.” Then he walked away. Thank God there were dear friends from our small-group there with her. I can’t fathom that news.

Rewind with me for a minute. There have been so many people praying for me. Praying with me, praying over me, praying for me when I didn’t even know. People in Africa, Germany, India, the Dominican Republic, Asia and the U.S. People I know and people I am becoming friends with. They had been praying for my recovery from the kidney stone issues and for our family to be protected. Saturday night, the prayers changed. They were praying for my heart. They were praying that if it not be His will to call me home then to heal me. To mend me.

As I was being wheeled to the CT scan area, my wife was informed that a surgery team was in place. This was getting pretty serious. Ashley had even started to think about what she would do if something really bad happened. I cannot imagine.

If we don’t believe in miracles and His ability to heal, why do we pray for that? If we don’t have the faith that He can heal, then we will be proven right. God loves for His children to pray. God loves to heal. God loves to love.

Have you ever heard anyone say, “It’s God’s will,” or “just leave it up to God” when faced with a serious illness or some type of tragedy? We cannot fall into that trap. God wants us to pray to Him for help. In Luke 18:1 Jesus told His disciples that they “should always pray and not give up” and then Jesus asked “…will not God bring about justice for His chosen one’s, who cry out to Him day and night?” We should pray to God from deep within our hearts and with all that we are – we should pray for healing. Expect it. Don’t give up. God wants us to ask Him for help. He loves us!

Just this morning I received an email form a dear friend that lists 40 verses of scripture related to healing. After further research, it is believed that over 20% of the Gospel is about the healing ministry of Jesus. Jesus taught His disciples how to pray and to heal. He sent them out to carry-out His work. Our church, , began House of Prayer during this past fall. A church that does not teach healing is like an elementary school that doesn’t teach math. Wouldn’t Jesus want His followers to pray for healing today?

At some point during the chaos, God healed me! Do you comprehend what I just said to you? I was miraculously healed by the King of Kings this past Saturday night! When I tell you that we will give Him the glory and credit for this, I am not joking! Thank God for those who earnestly prayed for my healing. Thank God for those who believed I would be healed. Thank God for faith the size of a mustard seed. Thank God. In the name of Jesus, I claim my body is healed and I believe with all of my healed heart God was pleased with those who diligently prayed.

By midnight this past Saturday night, I was settled in to ICU room 16 at Shelby Baptist Hospital in Alabaster, Alabama. No sign of a challenge with my heart. No ‘reasonable’ explanation as to what was going on the past 10 hours. I am sure there will be people who will doubt all of this. There are too many times that we have discounted miracles as, ‘unexplained’ events. But today, I know better. I know I was healed!

God receives glory in healing and good health, not in sickness and death. For God is Jehova - Rapha, the God of healing and of life, not a god of sickness and death.

Today, as I sit at home with no problems with the kidney stone and no issues with my heart, I am so thankful to those friends, family and even strangers who prayed for my healing and who prayed for my family. God is good. He is so good.