Wait a second…God blogs? While I’m not sure that He does, I’m a firm believer that He uses His children according to His will. And as it states in the “About” section of this blog, I’m learning that it’s better to obey Him than go against Him. Seriously, though…a blog? Yup. That’s what God has put on my heart to share with cyber-space and anyone else who wants to listen. So, without further ado (and absolutely no Pomp and Circumstance), here is my very first blog. It may be somewhat long by blogging standards, but then again, I have absolutely NO idea what those standards may be. I simply know this: God is very real in my life, and I want to share Him with the world.
I guess I should start off by letting you know how this blog came to be. My family and I are Christians, and we attend Covenant Church in Douglas, GA (check us out at www.oneconnection.org). It was at church on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day that I came to believe in modern-day prophets. I had always been very skeptical about things like that. Originally from New Jersey, a darn Yankee’s (one who’s taken up permanent residence in the South and isn’t going home :D) view of religion in the South is a bit skewed. I accepted God as my Lord and Savior in 1997, but some elements of religion still make me think of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker on every street corner. Speaking in tongues, being overcome by the Holy Ghost and modern-day prophets are some of those elements. On that Sunday night, evangelist and prophet Dean Sikes (www.deansikes.net) came to speak at our church. At first, I said to myself, “Oh great. This guy.” That changed by the end of the sermon, however. My 20-month-old Emma was visiting the nursery for the first time, and she was having anxiety issues- like these people are NOT my mommy and daddy, and I want them RIGHT now kind of issues. I went out and had to fill out paperwork for the nursery workers, and by the time I returned, I had missed much of Dean’s message. I came in right before he made his altar call. He asked those “with heads down and eyes closed” questions of the congregation. You know, the ones that you raise your hands on when everyone’s “not looking”. 1) Do you need to have a relationship with God and want him in your life as your Lord and Savior? Already got that one. 2) Are you carrying a burden with you that you just can’t seem to get rid of and want to give it over to God? Well…kind of. I think almost all of us would answer yes to that one. And 3) Do you feel like God has another purpose for your life? BAM! That was me! I’ve felt like that for a long time. I raised my hand, and went up with everyone else who raised their hand to one of the questions. In all, there were probably about 50 people that made their way up to the altar…my hobbling wife included (should probably mention here that she recently had foot surgery and has her left foot in a boot and is on crutches). Dean began to make his way through the crowd and spoke to each one there. When he came to my wife and I, me standing there with my arm around the small of her back, she leaning on her crutches, he looked at her foot and then at the both of us together. He put his hand on my shoulder and asked if we were married, to which I proudly replied we were. Then he looked at my wife and asked her, “You’re weary, aren’t you?” Yup. She and I both were. “You feel as though you’re being pounded and pounded and pounded,” he said. Yup. Big time to that one. Between working three jobs, foot surgery, a 20-month-old, financial issues, blending two families (each of us were married previously…gasp!), and the rest of the daily grind issues, we were exhausted! Then he looked at us and said, “The two of you are going to have a powerful testimony.” At first, I said to myself, “That’s it? What about direction for my life? What’s my purpose?” We didn’t receive any revelation there, but he gave us something more that God knew we needed. God used him to lay the groundwork for where we are now. What he said to us gave us hope that God had plans for us…together. Not individually, but as husband and wife. It was as if we were receiving confirmation that we are two broken pieces coming together to form a perfect whole (more on our life stories at a later date). After I had a long, cleansing cry (yes, I’m a guy who can break down at a Disney movie, and I’m not ashamed to admit it), we went home with excitement in our hearts. That excitement made me more receptive to what I believe was a vision for what was to come.
When we went to sleep that night, I prayed over my wife and for our family. It was the first time that I prayed openly in front of my wife (with the exception of the occasional grace over our meals). I thanked God for our renewed hope, and I prayed for peace for my wife and I (neither of us had been sleeping well…she because of the pain of her recent surgery and me because of job, family and financial stress) and for protection and peace for our daughters. FYI- we only woke up once the entire night! Praise God! While asleep, I dreamt. I remember writing something…a book maybe. I thought, ‘couples, other half, making it work and doing it differently from how it says to do it.’ I thought in my dream, “Hey! That’s pretty good. I need to write that down.” But I couldn’t. I was asleep. When I awoke the next morning, I didn’t remember any of that. I went to the other end of the house to wake Makayla (my 13-year-old stepdaughter that I view as my own) up for school. It was 6:20 AM. I then went into my bathroom and began getting ready for work. As I walked in, I suddenly remembered that I needed to write something down. What was it though? I remember that it had something to do with relationships, but couldn’t quite get it. I started ironing my clothes, and it started to come back to me. Funny…I have three places that I receive inspiration from: 1) the ironing board, 2) the shower and 3) the toilet…my thinking posts :D. I remembered the words from the night before, then I started thinking about P90X. P90X??? What the heck does that have to do with relationships? I had just ordered the program, and my wife (Lena, by the way) and I were going to start it before she had the surgery on her foot. Oh…and I didn’t have any paper to write these things on, so I used the back of some of my business cards :). I began to think, ‘P90X…P90X. What is P90X? It’s a 90-day fitness program. Hmmm…fitness program….fitness program. What about a 90-day fitness program for your relationship? Ooooo…I like it! And it’s faith-based. Ooooo…I like that, too! And you can put it online…yeah, a blog! Then maybe other people could benefit from what God is doing in your life! Awesome!’ I ran and woke Lena up to share with her what I was getting. She was immediately excited! You mean that God is going to give us a 90-day plan for a better relationship? Sure does look that way. And at first I thought that meant that I was going to get fed every day for 90 days. I only now realize that our time is Eastern Standard Time while God’s time is, well, God’s time. It’s not necessarily going to be 90 days in a row. As you can see, this journey began on February 13th. It’s now March 6th, and I’m making my first post. I will tell you this. It starts with prayer. That night when Lena and I prayed from the heart and in earnest, it was a different kind of prayer than the same ones that we say over and over again. Later on the 14th, I found out that’s what God wanted me to see for the first of the 90 days. I’ll save that for the next installment, however.
I hope you’ve stayed with me long enough to see where this is going. I feel that, as with any building, you have to have a firm foundation or it will crumble. What God is sharing with you through my family’s experiences is something that you can build your foundation on. I thank you for reading to the end, and pray you’ll be blessed for it as we are. Until next time, God bless you and yours.