Category Archives: Christian Living

The Next Chapter

Celebration-Church-TX-logoI don’t write specifically about the church that I go to on purpose as I have never want to be confused as a representative of the church in an official capacity. I am breaking from that tradition today after viewing this morning’s message concerning the future vision of Celebration Church. I will sum up how I feel in these few words:

I am so proud to be a part of Celebration Church.

I believe that Pastor Joe is a true man of God who is willing to put everything on the line for the will of God for his life, his family, and for the church. As fast and big as the church has grown in the last 13 years God is still wanting to do more through Pastor Joe and Celebration Church and they are open to God doing it. Through the vision that Pastor Joe shared this morning he demonstrates his faith and determination in God’s will for Celebration Church. I believe that God is just getting started with Celebration and am excited to see the vision manifest. Continue reading

I Am Still Here

Im-still-here-bigI have become a regular listener of the Moth podcast where people get up in front of a microphone and share a personal story about their life. It is interesting to hear the various stories of people that range from humorous to very serious and/or emotional. Either way, these people are making themselves vulnerable in front of strangers in order to share something that they feel may be beneficial to other.

One particular story that I recently listened to was about a school teacher that had an anonymous group of people try to use things that he had written on his blog to try to get him fired. He ended up keeping his job but never found out who was behind the movement to have him fired. In his story he explains that there is not a day that goes by that he does not think about what those people tried to do. Continue reading

Doing Things God’s Way

farside-midvale-gifted-push-pull-doorAs human beings we can get comfortable in certain situations or routines. This can happen in good or bad routines. I know for me going to the doctor, getting treatments, and generally not feeling well were just everyday life and I was used to it. I got comfortable in it which sounds weird but it happens.

It has been a little over 3 years since I was diagnosed with cancer. In that time I got really used to being sick, going to the doctor, and getting treatments. It has been a year since my last major treatment and since then I have been feeling better and my doctor’s appointments have been tapering off.  I have resting a lot and have been working towards getting my energy back. That chapter of my life is coming to an end.

God saw me through that chapter and I am so thankful for bringing my family and I through it. I have been healed from cancer.

A New Chapter In My Life

So hear I am at the beginning of a new year with a blank slate for my life. I have been praying for God to show me what to do with this new life that He has given me. A month or 2 ago I had felt that God had said for me to spend time with the kids as my wife went back to work during the tax season. This sounded great as I knew that I did not have the strength to return to work full-time myself.

This is when things got difficult. Continue reading

The Power of Keeping a Journal

I have been a blogger going on 7 years now. I started with a simple person website where I took some pictures and posted them online in a type of photo-blog. This turned into a family website as the kids were born and from there several other blogs were started to post info on various subjects and topics.

Along the way I felt the need to express some feeling on some personal issues that I was facing. I wanted to have a place where I could say anything that I wanted but did not ever want that to get out. I needed a place to unload so that I did not unload inappropriately towards anyone.

Thus my personal journal was born.

I setup a personal password protected website online. This was so that I could access it anywhere I had an internet connection but at the same time if someone accidentally stumbled upon it they would not be able to access it. I didn’t feel comfortable with keeping a hand written journal because that could easily be opened and read and because I prefer to type as opposed to write with a pen.

What do I write in my journal?

Anything and everything except people’s names. If by the slim chance that someone did find my journal they would really need to know me and the people I know in order to really know who or what I was talking about. My journal is not for others to read anyway. It is a place for me to empty and collect my thoughts so that when I do interact with other people I can do so more effectively. Continue reading

Getting Back on the Horse

In life we all have times when certain life events can through us off the back of the proverbial “horse”. It can be embarrassing to be tossed from the horse because as humans we always want to portray that we are in control no matter what life throws at us. The truth is life has a way of unseating us seeming at will. It is not a matter of whether you will every get bucked from life, but when.

In the book of Proverbs there is a verse that says:

For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity. Proverbs 24:16

In my own life I have fallen several times, sometimes by my own hand, but other times through no fault of my own. Either way, the majority of times I get back on the horse quickly and try not to get into the same situation again.

How did I fall?

This time around my “fall” as I would put it was my cancer diagnosis. As far as the doctors tell me Continue reading

A Season of Thankfulness

thankfulAs I go into the Thanksgiving season I am overwhelmed by the things that I have to be thankful for. The reason for this is where I was at in my life just one year ago. To be honest I was not very thankful at that time.

A year ago in September I had been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. I year ago this week I was in the middle of chemo and radiation treatment. I remember only being able to take one bite of ham for Thanksgiving because I could not swallow. It was a scary and sad time in my life.

This year it is so much different. After a reoccurrence of cancer at the beginning of this year, major surgery, and another regime of chemo I am done and cancer free. Wow, that is the first time I have said that – I am cancer free! It feels good :-).

This year I am looking forward to eating as much ham as I can stuff in my stomach along with all the other Thanksgiving goodies. I have no doctor’s appointments to go to, no treatments, no medications. I am back to a normal life. It feels so good to be here, I am so thankful that I made it through.

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

There is no way that I could have made it this far without some key people in my life. For them I give much thanks.

Continue reading

Speaking to Your Mountains

It has been a while since I posted on this site. The reason for that is that I have been going through a lot personally especially with going through chemo. As bad as the chemo has been at times I will admit that the emotional and spiritual battles have also been very difficult. During these times the feelings of loneliness and dispair were quite great. It is by God’s grace and the people that He has had around me that I believe allowed me to persevere through these times. There is one other thing that happened during this time that I believe allowed me to push through to victory.

I learned to speak to my mountains.

I am sure that if you have been in church for any amount of time you have heard the scripture that references this phrase. As a recap here it is again:

“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. – Mark 11:23

I was reminded of this verse while listening to Joel Osteen recently. In that message he explained that a lot of us when we get into trouble pray about the mountain that is front of us. We talk about the mountain. We even get others to pray about the mountain for us. What we don’t do is speak to the mountain.

How is Speaking to the Mountain Different then Praying About It?

It is the is the difference between someone talking to you and talking about you – there is a difference. Continue reading

Learning to Live in the Moment

It has been a while since I posted here. The reason for that is that so much has happened in my life in the last few months. Literally my life was going one direction and from one moment to the next it went another direction.

What happened was that I found out that the cancer I thought I had beat had come back. Finding out that news caused my wife and I to make some pretty big decisions in a pretty short time. One of those decisions was to have surgery to remove the parts of my stomach and esophagus that had been cancerous.

I ended up having the surgery two weeks later. The surgery went well and the doctor got all the known cancer out. During the weeks following the surgery I would have my good days and not so good days. I learned to understand that this was apart of recovery. Overall though the first few weeks of my recovery went well.

Unfortunately in the 4th and 5th weeks of recovery I ended up in the emergency room 3 times for various things related to the surgery. None of the items ended up being to serious and I thank God for that. Unfortunately during that time it was hard for me to deal with these medical conditions from day to day.

It was during this time that I began to realize that I needed to learn how to live moment to moment as opposed to day to day.

The reason for this is that I would have good things and not so good things all happen in the same day. It would seem at one moment I was on top of the world and the next I was in the lowest pit. As I started having more and more of these days I realized that I needed to cherish the good moments and not dwell on the bad when they came. By doing this it made the not so good moments more bearable.

Paul said it like this:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Philippians 4:11-12 NIV

I think that is what I am learning through all of this. I am learning to not let the bad out-shadow the good. Everyday we have on this earth is going to be filled with good and bad. It is up to us what we choose to look at and dwell on. We cannot control the bad news that comes our way but we can control how we react to it.

When Your Faith is Shaken, Turn Your Eyes to God

In life it is hard to not be swayed by circumstances. Sometimes in life you are on top of the faith mountain one moment and find yourself at the bottom of it the next.

I recently found myself in this situation.

In my previous post a talked about visiting my friend in the hospital who had been diagnosed with cancer a month after I had been. He and I talked about faith and God’s ability to heal him. We also talked about how life and death were in the power of the tongue and how through that power we have the power to stay or leave this life.

He chose to leave.

It was barely a week after I wrote that last post. I can’t say that I blame him. I guess in that week from when I had seen him to when he passed away he had not eaten and was extremely weak. I believe that he got the point where being with God looked like a better alternative then being here on earth. I don’t hold it against him but my heart hurts for him and his family. In my opinion his life was cut short.

His passing shook my faith. Continue reading