Wake Up Calls

Blood pressure measuring studio shot

The date was May 30, 2017. I was sitting in the waiting area of the doctor’s office before being called in for my appointment. I had what was most likely an infection in my body and would probably need an antibiotic. Going to the doctor always makes me a little nervous, so I had prayed that Jessica would be there. She is one of my doctor’s assistants and a genuinely caring person that has the type of positive, happy go lucky, friendly attitude that helps put people at ease. After a few minutes the door opened, and Jessica was there calling my name. She had me step onto the scale, and I inwardly cringed when I saw my weight. We happily chatted as we went into the examination room. It is a routine procedure to have your blood pressure checked at doctor’s visits, so I didn’t think anything of it when she put the cuff around my arm and began the procedure. I was watching Jessica performing her duty when I noticed the calm expression on her face turn to a look of concern. Then she mentioned that my blood pressure was kind of high. 178/108 to be exact.

I was not expecting this, and to be honest, it scared the liver out of me. I am unaware of anybody in my family with a history of high blood pressure, although my dad could have had it. He died of a massive heart attack at 56. My doctor did gave me an antibiotic, gave me some information on diet recommendations(lowering sodium intake mostly)and wanted to see me the next day for another blood pressure check.

I left the doctor’s office that day feeling like I had received a wake up call. How long had I had high blood pressure and was not even aware of it? I could have had a heart attack or stroke and died. I decided right then that I was going to change my diet and try to do what I could to get my blood pressure back to normal. My blood pressure was a little lower the following day but still well above normal. My doctor decided to treat the infection first, and then we would focus on the blood pressure. In the meantime, I was praying and doing what I could do diet wise to try to avoid going on blood pressure medication. After another week, I returned for a follow up visit with blood pressure that was still high. My doctor decided to put me on a low dose of blood pressure medication. To make a long story short, my blood pressure is pretty much back in normal range. My doctor decreased my medication dose, and I am praying and believing when I go back for a physical next month that I will get off the medication entirely.

As I was thinking of this whole scenario I saw how this could apply to a person spiritually. Sometimes God will allow things to happen in the life of a sinner or someone who has fallen away from Him to get their attention, so that they will turn to Him. Years ago there was a young man named Clint that came and visited one of our services. I found out later that he had been raised in church but had fallen away from God as a teenager. A few days before coming to our church, he had been involved in a horrible motorcycle accident, which had left him with a broken leg and a lot of bruises. Clint came several times to church, and I remember a time when after a service a group of us were standing around conversing, with Clint among us. He mentioned that he felt like his accident was a wake up call from God. He could have been killed, but God spared his life. He also stated that once his leg was healed up he would be shouting and running the aisles with the rest of us.

Unfortunately, we never saw that day come. I’m not sure what happened, but he did not continue coming to church. Is it possible that the fear he had when he first had his wreck wore off? As his physical condition improved did he let the cares of life, responsibilities or pleasures that this world offers hinder him from continuing to walk with God and serve Him?  I have seen many come to church that have had a near death experience or some kind of crisis in their life that caused them to realize that they need God. This is really the mercy of God reaching for a soul, and the Bible speaks about this in Psalm 107.

Psalm 107:8-15  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
  Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

 

It is truly a tragic thing though when the crisis is past, God has come through and helped the individual, to see the fear they had seemingly wear off and they walk out on God and return to the way they were living before. Perhaps there is someone reading this who has had a spiritual wake up call. God has allowed a crisis to happen in your life to help you realize your need of Him. I want to encourage you to seek God in true repentance. Let that fear that brought you to Him cause you to turn to Him with all your heart and not just to seek Him for a temporary fix. He wants to do so much more than that. Let Him work in your life and change you so that you will be ready to go to heaven. He wants to see you saved through all eternity!

 

 

 

 

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Diving For Treasure

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Diving for treasure 2

We started a new quarter in our children’s church this past Sunday, and the theme is Diving For Treasure. A lot of hard work went into making the decorations, and it came out looking very nice. I’m excited about this new quarter and the treasures in God’s Word that our kids will be exploring. I want to see every single one of them strike it rich!

It’s A Start!

transmittters rotated

We now have 4 transmitters that we can use for Hispanic people that visit our church and need interpreting for the preaching. This past Sunday, Sis. Maria who will be doing our interpreting was able to use this to interpret the preaching for a lady to whom she has been teaching a Bible study. By this coming Sunday, we should have four more transmitters.

I am excited that God is opening up this door for us into the Hispanic community! It is an answer to many prayers that have been prayed. Gloria a Dios!

Just What The Doctor Ordered

Our high school Bible class is learning about submission and accountability this week. They were given an assignment by their instructor to write a piece as if they were a doctor giving advice or recommendations to a patient on how to avoid sin in their lives. I know I’m probably weird, but when I was in school, I loved assignments such as this one. I still do, and so I thought I’d give it a try.

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From: Dr. Ounce O. Prevenshun

To: U.B. Carnal

Doctors Recommendations on How to Avoid Sin

 

The detailed instructions given below if followed, will aid the patient in abstaining from sin.

 

The DO’s

1.       DO have a regular time of prayer each day. Think of prayer as a daily vitamin, vitamin P (See I Thessalonians 5:17, Luke 22:40, Luke 18:1, Ephesians 6:18, Mk. 14:38)

2.       DO read your Bible each day. Think of it as your daily dose of vitamin B. Work on committing some Scriptures to memory, which can help you in times of temptation. (See Psalm 119:11, 2 Timothy 3:15, Proverbs 30:5,Matthew 4:4)

3.       DO make it a priority to be faithful in attending the house of God. (See Hebrews 10:23-26, Psalm 122:1)

4.       DO be submitted to the man of God in your life, aka your pastor. He is watching out for you. (See Hebrews 13:17, Jeremiah 3:15)

5.       DO fast on a regular basis. (Isaiah 58:6). It’s a way of saying no to your flesh, and when it’s coupled with prayer, it will help you draw closer to God. If you have a physical condition that prevents you from fasting, consider fasting an activity you enjoy (electronic games, Internet, going to WalMart, etc.) and spending that time in prayer.

The DON’TS

1.       DON’T put yourself into a place or a position where you know you could be tempted. This is also known as “not making provision for the flesh.” (For example: If you have struggled in the past with drinking alcohol, don’t go to a bar if you want some 7UP.)Even if you stay full of the Holy Ghost, remember this. Your flesh is weaker than you think!( See Romans 8:13, 13:14, Matthew 26:41)

2.       DON’T be lazy or allow yourself too much idle time. (See Proverbs 18:15) You’ve probably heard the saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” It’s true.  Stay busy with the things of God and working for His kingdom, and you will be less likely to sin.(See also Ecclesiastes 10:18, Proverbs 12:24, Hebrews 6:12)

3.       DON’T let your close friends be those who are not striving to live a godly lifestyle. They can lead you astray. (See I Corinthians 15:33, Exodus 23:2, James 4:4)

 

These recommendations, if followed, will aid you in your endeavors to avoid sin. Choosing not to follow the above instructions can result in a serious heart condition which would require major surgery that is costly. If this be the case, you would be referred to Dr. Pounda Cure, but it is strongly urged that you heed the advice of Dr. Ounce O. Prevenshun.

The Man, The Survey,The Study

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Last week, our church was blessed to host an Evangelism and Home Bible Study Seminar conducted by Brother Shawn Dunahoe. One of the first things this man of God said that immediately arrested my attention was that he was an extreme introvert when he first came to God. However through prayer and gaining more knowledge of the Word of God, the Lord has helped him to improve in his ability to communicate with people. Being an introvert myself who still struggles from time to time, I am always encouraged when I hear of those who have made strides in overcoming this inhibition.

 

Brother Dunahoe shared with us the number one reason why we don’t get more Bible studies with people.

Do you want to know what it is? I’m going to tell you whether you want to know or not. 🙂

 

 

WE DON’T ASK!

 

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This public opinion survey is one of the tools that Rev. Dunahoe has used effectively to secure more Bible studies. Of course not everyone you survey is going to say yes to a Bible study, but the more surveys you do, the greater your chances of getting a Bible study.

In thinking about this later, I wrote a poem.

 

So

opened

he his mouth,

and words came out:

an invitation

for a Bible study

that he was willing to teach.

And wonder of wonders to him,

the man that was asked gladly said yes.

Thus began the gospel sharing journey.

 

2/10/17

 

A group of us met together on Saturday morning. We prayed, paired up into teams, got some survey cards and went to a neighborhood close by our church. To make a long story short, we came back after about an hour and 15 minutes with six yeses to home Bible studies! A few more yeses were acquired later that day from individuals that did some asking on their own.

 

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Here is the Bible study. It is usually taught in 2 lessons and really does a great job explaining what the first church taught(the original one immediately founded after the resurrection or Jesus Christ). I am looking forward to teaching my first one soon and to seeing what God is going to do through these Bible studies. Already we are seeing doors of opportunity to the Hispanic community opening, and I am believing God is going to do great things.

Stay tuned for more!

 

 

 

New Year’s Day Surprise

Yesterday morning we were having our end of the quarter “fun day” during kids’ church. As we were about to have the children start doing the various activities that were set up for them, I noticed the sanctuary door open. I looked up and saw Fernanda, the lady to whom Maria and I have been teaching a Bible study in Spanish. I was pleasantly surprised! I had talked to her 2 weeks prior about visiting our church sometime but had not said anything to her since that time. Earlier that morning I had prayed too that God would continue to work in her heart and that she would come to a service in January. I guess I wasn’t expecting God to answer so quickly. LOL

I thought later about what a big step that must have been for her to come to our church. She is not fluent in English, and the only 2 people she would know is Maria, who is bilingual, and me, who reads and writes Spanish pretty good but has trouble conversing in it. I know God is definitely working in her life, and I’m believing Him to lead her in the ways of repentance and that we will see her filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in Jesus’ name.

Later on, I also received a phone call and a text from a lady I dearly love who has not been to church in a long time. She promised me that she was going to be in church on Thursday. Another answered prayer!  Thank you, Jesus!!

Luisa’s Baptism

  1. Yesterday was a happy day for Luisa and our church as we witnessed her being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of her sins. For me, it never gets old to see someone getting baptized or receiving the Holy Ghost. There is nothing like this precious Acts 2:38 new birth experience! I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do in Luisa’s life as she continues to grow in Him!!