Tuesday, June 21, 2011

God Does Miraculous Things With Average People

Yesterday I met a woman named Jackie, a professor who wrote five textbooks. She offered me some fruit cobbler and we sat down to talk. She asked about my illness so I shared my story,"Touched By The Hand Of God" with her. Then she said, "Don't be offended, but who are you to write an autobiography?" A question I asked myself prior to writing my book. The answer is: I'm just an average Joe. But that is the basis of my story. God does some miraculous things in the lives of average people like you and me.

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty 1 Cor. 1:26-27 NKJV. 

I try not to look at myself and my weaknesses, but rather focus on Christ who is working in me to accomplish his will. He is able to accomplish all things because He is God. He works in the lives of those who submit to him thereby confounding the mighty of this world. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

"F... ing" Up All The Statistics

In the words of my gastroenterologist, "You F... up all our statistics." I hate four letter words, but in this case I say, "Praise God!" God has a way of confounding the smartest men. I don't believe I had anything to do with F... ing up my doctors statistics. I actually had more to do with getting myself into the dilemma I was in.

In 2002, I was diagnosed with cancer. Later the diagnosis was changed to Crohn's Ileitis- severe inflammation of the ileum. After everything that my doctors tried failed, I ended up in ICU on life support. But God has a way of intervening in our lives when thinks look most bleak. That is exactly what He did in my case. Surely by now, after spending time on life support and surviving three major surgeries, including exploratory surgery, something would have gone wrong, but God continues to befuddle wise men everywhere.

Dr. P., my gastroenterologist, recently said to me, "Joe, I'm going to start sending all my patients to Kentucky," thinking that my move to Kentucky back in 2004 had something to do with keeping me out of the hospital. I looked him in the eyes and said, "Doctor P, it's not Kentucky. It's the peace that surpasses all understanding."

I know who rescued me from the depths of darkness and brought me into His marvelous light; while I lay in bed unconscious and the hospital staff asked my wife if she wanted to donate my organs.  It was God who reached out His hand to touch me and heal me. It was God who raised me up from my deathbed after the wisest of men failed to prevent me from becoming deathly ill.

None of us is guaranteed a long healthy life without any difficulties. In fact, life is filled with hardship, sickness and trouble. But the lesson that God has taught me is that no matter how bleak life appears to be, there is a God who is the Creator of life, who sustains all things and who desires to share eternity with human beings everywhere. He is Savior of mankind. Trust him wherever and whoever you are.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You Must Be Born Again

The topic of being born again was brought up by none other than Jesus Christ (John 3:1-21) when Nicodemus, a religious leader, came to visit him one evening. Human beings can only bring forth more human beings, but God brings forth sons and daughters of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. The process starts when we believe in the Son of God, Jesus who came to take away our sins and live within us.

Although the body will die, the Spirit gives life. It's the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Rom. 8:1-17). You are in the Spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in you. If you don't have the Spirit of God, you are not a child of God. But if you are led by the Spirit of God than you are a child of God and an heir. The heir receives the inheritance, in this case the inheritance is eternal life. The slave or servant never receives the inheritance.

God never intended for us to remain the way we are. The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world so that God could bring us into his realm, the Spirit realm-being born again is the process that makes us children of God.