Clash Of Cultures

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The Romans believed their empire rested on the concept of “Pax Deorum”, meaning “peace of the gods”. That is, if the Romans did right by all the gods, those deities would bring them peace and prosperity. When followers of Christ came along, this upset the balance of power Rome thought it had achieved. Christians claimed the pagan gods were demonic, and real peace only came through the truth of God’s Kingdom. This created a massive clash of cultures within the empire that Rome had never experienced before. If the Roman government allowed Christians to propagate their beliefs, even though they were model citizens, the gods would be angry, and they would withhold their favor from the Empire, and it’s people.

Usually, Rome embraced the cultures they conquered, allowing them to quietly assimilate their beliefs into Roman society. Even though Christians were peaceful, and obeyed the laws, they refused to acknowledge any other God but the God of Scripture. This became a huge problem for Rome, and it caused a massive division in the otherwise united empire that sprawled across the land. Thus, Christianity began to conquer the unconquerable Romans, by splitting the spiritual culture in half, and that created a multitude of problems for everyone.

Persecutors would give Christians the chance to go free if they would just acknowledge the Roman gods, but they refused to do so. They chose rather to die, than offer a pinch of incense, or say a few ritual words to a false god. This practice amazed the Romans, as they had only seen such unwavering bravery among their own soldiers. As a result, massive persecution arose against Christians all across the Roman Empire, but not because they believe in Christ. The Romans felt that any belief, even belief in Jesus, was fine. The persecution came because Christians refused to believe in anything BUT Jesus. They would not compromise the truth, and became the target of unspeakable torture.

Once the Romans realized Christians would never blend quietly into their culture, everything changed. Their very presence was viewed as a threat to the unity, peace and prosperity of the Empire. The “Pax Romana” or “Roman Peace” could not be possible as long as Christians were present. Rome had no fear of being defeated by the sword, or a vast, invading army. These could be conquered and grafted into the Empire. It’s greatest fear was that it would be unraveled by internal division. Who was this formidable, unconquerable enemy? Those who loved God, lived in peace, and loved others, but held unswervingly to the truth of Scripture.

The world loves it’s own. That’s what Jesus told his disciples over 2000 years ago, and it’s still true today. The world also, by it’s very nature, will always hate those who stand immovable, on biblical ground. Why? Because we bring conviction regarding sin, and that rocks the boat everyone else is enjoying. Regardless of the consequences, Christians are called to stand their ground, in love. Even when the world wants us to back their position for the sake of peace, we must still hold on to the truth. No matter how unpopular we may become, or how much we are accused of being “haters”, Biblical truth never changes, and neither can we.

Peace achieved by embracing everything, means people really don’t believe anything. There is no truth present when everyone, and every belief, is considered to be right. It’s impossible to have lasting peace, without truth being at the center of it. The universal standard of right and wrong that truth always holds dear, is what brings real peace. Thus, Christianity will always be at odds with any belief system, or empire, that does not line up with the Kingdom of God.

This is why we don’t rejoice and applaud, when a Hollywood star gets pregnant outside of marriage. They are thrilled and full of joy, but we are shamed and see disgrace by such behavior, and we must call it what it really is, fornication and immorality. The world hates us for this because we live by a higher moral standard that is set in place by Scripture. People in the world join themselves to same sex partners, and they applaud those who “come out of the closet” . We on the other hand, still love these people, but we call this behavior sexual sin, and believe our God can deliver anyone from this lifestyle of bondage. The results is always the same. The world hates us and calls us “hateful and prejudice”, simply because we hold to a higher standard that is grounded in 4000 years Biblical truth.

Just like it was in the Roman Empire, the clash of cultures is setting the world on fire once again. The set of ideals the world embraces to bring peace, is at odds with the truth Christians must live by. And, just like it was in ancient Rome, the roar of that clash means it’s not going to get any easier for those who really know, and love God. True Christianity, that which is grounded in the truth of God’s Word, will always come with a price. Every Christian will eventually have to stand and speak against the flood of immoral, and unethical standards the world holds in high esteem. When that day comes, the question is, will you pay the price for righteousness, or will you be swept up in the new “Pax Deorum” and “Pax Romana” the world offers to all?

Ephesians 6:13-15 says “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” May the truth of God’s word strengthen you to confront in love, what is wrong, and not conform to the standard of this world. May the overcoming love of God strengthen you to speak the truth in a darkening world, and rescue those who hear it. May you go boldly into any dark night and shine with the light of God’s eternal Gospel when the clash of cultures comes your way.

Walking In October Country

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This is the first week of October, and that means we have reached a tipping point when it comes to all that is “Fall”. October is the month when real change can be felt and seen all around us. It’s the time when the last warm days of the year are nearly gone, and the sun begins a seasonal shift that can’t be missed. It takes on a paler, yellow color, and sinks faster into the west. Its warmth begins to fade as it angles lower in the Autumn sky. It means longer, damper nights, and shorter cooler days, and this causes us to bundle up against the bluster of a cutting north wind. It comes with crisp, clear mornings where a brilliant blue sky is etched by swirls of moisture that silently rise from the cooling landscape.

October is a month of nostalgia and memories that are framed in frost, and an orange blanket of quietly falling leaves. It is the smell of wood smoke in the air and the sight of yellow, dried corn stalks neatly stacked in fields. It is pumpkin and apple pies cooling on the counter in an oven-warmed kitchen. It is filled with the smell of steaming spiced cider in large mugs, and the sound of shotgun blasts echoing in the distance. It is the haunting call of Canadian geese high overhead, and the tapping of cold rain, falling heavy from a dark, rugged sky. It is splashes of liquid color, painted across the hillsides, that fill our eyes with more than we can take in.

Walking in October country is a trip into the past, and a feast of smells and sights in the present. More than that, it is overflowing with the promise of wonderful things that are yet to come. There will be family gatherings around a Thanksgiving table, and fresh venison stew slow-cooked into a rich, mouth-watering feast. There will be the warmth of an evening fire, where stories are told, life is savored, memories are made and God’s abundant blessings fill the air. It is the time when we will consider, love, and learn from those we have met, and those who have gone to be with the Lord. Fall, and especially the month of October, draws us into a very different place. It’s a reality check of life as we know it, and a sounding-board for the hope that lives within us.

God calls all of us to walk with Him in our October country. Here is where we adjust our lives to Him, and become conformed into His amazing image. To do this, we must make a choice to fix our mind and eyes on things above, and not on the things of this world. We have to lift our vision above the chaos and pain that can be all around us. Until we take that step, we will struggle and fail, and get up again only to fail once more. Our image of ourselves will be tainted and stained by all we are not. When we walk in October country with the Lord, He guides us into the truth of who we really are, and who He is helping us to become.

The warmth and fire of His all-consuming love is the only thing that can take away the chilling wind of living in this fallen world. He removes the sting of disappointment and the gripping pain of rejection that we all encounter in this life. He alone gives us hope. He alone satisfies our hunger. He alone brings us peace. Because of Him we can draw in the delightful aromas of Heaven, and this is where we find rest and peace for our weary soul.

Let me invite you today to take a walk with the Lord in October Country. It is a wonderful place of heavenly sights and sounds, where you will be embraced and warmed by the fire of Father’s Love. This is where your soul has longed to be, but you did not know it. This is the only place you will discover who you were meant to be. The hills of this place are painted by the brush strokes of God. They are washed with colors no human eye can see, and they are crafted to perfection, so you can climb them and be changed by His joy over you.

If you feel the season changing, then God is calling you to walk with Him. He is asking you to stop going it alone, come stand beside Him and trust Him. When Jesus is guiding your life, He will help you discover the undiscovered land within. He will bring you to a place of such peace that all struggles will stop. He will bring you to a place of fresh strength so that your weakness is no more. He will bring you a place of pure love where nothing can ever harm you again. Once you walk like this with the Lord, you will never be the same. My hope is that you are finally ready to take His hand, find healing and walk with Him through the majestic vistas of your October country.

Perseverance To Finish Well

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June 4th, 1923 was a beautiful day for horse racing. The Steeple Chase at  Belmont Park was going to be a good one, and the crowd was fire up. There was an excitement in the air, and bets were still being placed as the horses took their place. Several of the riders past comments back and forth because Sweet Kiss was slated to run as a long shot at 20 to 1. Frank Hayes (pictured on the left) was the rider, and he was known for his perseverance and determination. His horse had been well-trained to cover this course, but not in record time. However, both were ready for what might come that day.

Frank had not been feeling himself as he mounted his ride that day, but he shrugged it off as prerace jitters. He had experienced this in the past and knew the moment he was on the track all would be fine. He needed to feel the powerful strides of his horse beneath him, the wind hissing in his ears and the pounding of hooves. Once the smell of the dirt track rose up to meet him, he would be himself once again. Thus, horse and rider waited with constrained intensity to run their race.

When the time came, the course was started and Sweet Kiss was not the first horse out. However, Frank knew what to do, and  how to position things so that they might be the first to cross the final hurdle. About half way through the race, Frank wrapped the reigns around both arms and leaned into the horse. People assumed he was urging it on to take the lead. At the final jump, horse and rider held to a clean form and they crossed the finish line a head’s lead in front of the next horse, to win the race.

The crowd applauded as Sweet Kiss slowed down and veered off to the side of the track. Just as it came to a stop, something strange happened. Frank did not stand up as was his custom. In fact, he remained in his forward position even after being called numerous times. The officials finally approached the horse, and only then did they realize the amazing truth of what had just happened.

Despite a sudden heart attack, Frank had somehow managed to stay atop the horse. His perseverance and determination to finish well had indeed paid off. The 20 to 1 long shot had jumped the final fence and cross the finish line in first place. At that moment racing  history had been made. Frank Hayes had become the only jockey in human history to ride his horse to a stunning, upset victory, after his own death.

My question for you today is simple. What is holding you back from your place of victory? You were not created from lesser material, or with a second-rate destiny. You were created to do brilliant things, things of your own special, unique making. You may have made some mistakes along the way, just like everyone else, but these are not meant to define you. They are intended to refine you. If you let them, they can make you better, stronger, more focused and more determined. These things can fill you with an attitude of perseverance that nothing can stop.

How, you might ask, is that possible, when you feel so beaten down and defeated. The answer is already at your finger tips. It is based in the truth of WHO you are, not in the false emotions of HOW you feel. When you know, I mean really know, how much God loves you, and what He thinks of you, nothing this world does will matter any more. When you get that kind of endless love fixed within your heart, not even death will stop you from finishing the race God has set before you to win. Just like Frank Hayes, when you know the love of God, even in death, you can still cross your  finish line in sweet, sweet victory.

 

 

Finding What Matters

school-roomWhen I was in elementary and middle school, I was not what might be called an ideal student. I disliked the homework, the rules, the group activities, the slow pace of the classes and the wasted time spent in my seat. I was bored most of the time and looking for ways to entertain myself during the long hours. I would much rather be outside fishing on the river, or hunting with my single shot .22 rifle.

I was the kid who shot spit balls at the most studious girls in the class, or snuck under the outside fire escape at school so I could peek up the girls dresses when they went out for recess. I was the kid who tripped any boy who walked by my desk. I was the kid who got a transistor radio for Christmas that came with an ear piece. I brought it to school and told my teachers it was a hearing aid, and I was going deaf. Oh yes, and I was the one who deliberately misspelled a word on a spelling test just to keep the whole class from getting a perfect score. When I was told to spell that word correctly 50 times while everyone else was at recess, I would misspell it in a different way all 50 times, just to drive the teacher crazy.

No, I was not your ideal student simply because I learned the material when it was explained, and in my mind, after that, my life was being wasted. None of the rest of the class time really mattered. Then one day in the ninth grade something happened. A switch clicked in my head when I realized that somehow Science did matter. The funny thing is, I spent all my working years teaching science, all because of this one day. So, this particular class we were having a “science take down”, where the class was divided and stood up on opposite end of the room. The teacher asked science questions to the students one at a time, and whoever answered incorrectly had to sit down. The team that sat down first got homework that night.

As the team I was on stood in line, I pretended to look at my hand, as if to read an answer, and then to everyone’s shock I answered my question correctly. The kid next to me whispered, “you’re gonna get caught”, and the contest went on. One by one students on both sides were taken down until there were only a few of us left on each side.  Every time I was about to be asked a question, I would glance down at my hand, pretending to find an answer. Sure enough, no matter what was asked I would be right.

Those in their seats were almost ready to riot when the only two students left standing on opposite teams were me, and the smartest kid in the class, Greg Hosplehorn. At this point everyone was wondering why the teacher had not called me out, since it was clear I must be cheating. Then to my great joy it happened, she told the class that whatever team lost would have a 500 word essay to write that night on why it never pays to cheat. She then instructed me to not look at my hand, and answer the next question. The team I was on began to moan, some of my team mates threatened to beat me up. It was not pretty.

The teacher smiled, asked the killing question, and without any hesitation I shot the answer right out. The class was stunned into silence. She asked Greg his question and true to form, the answer flew right out of his mouth. Back and forth we went for the remaining 10 minutes of the class, until the bell finally rang. At that point the teacher asked me to hold up my hands up for everyone to see. To the astonishment of all, they were empty. The teacher smiled at me, shook her head and said “I guess this means no homework for anyone, since neither team lost that game.” I walked into class that day as a dope, and an irritation to many. However, I walked out as brilliant, and a hero in the eyes of all.  Why? Because, something finally mattered.

What things really matter to you? Do you know what they are, and are you going after them with all your heart? What are the passions in life that cause you to shine the way you were designed to be? If you don’t know, then it’s time to stop everything and discover this undiscovered territory. Set time aside to be with the Holy Spirit and let Him define you with breath-taking specificity. You will never hit your high place of excellence, satisfaction and productivity unless you first know what you were made to do, and where you were made to do it. In other words, you have to find out what matters.

As a Christian, I was called by God to be a teacher, a writer,  a preacher and an apostolic prophet. I build ministers and ministries. I write books and Bible studies. I bring clarity to those who are confused. I am a spiritual father to many and a friend to all. I mentor those who desire to grow, and guide those who need to know. These things all flourish in my life whenever I get focused, and choose to participate in them the way God intended. Because of this, I find great satisfaction, and an ease of productivity filling my days. I bring God’s blessing to those who get near me, and my life is filled with purpose. When I am living in my high place, everything just works, and I love it.

Perhaps this is the season for you to discover what really matters. This may be your time to stop the endless activity,  get quiet, stay focused and uncover who you really are.  Let the searchings of your heart go deep. Find out what your passions are, and most importantly, where they are pointing you. If you desire it, you can live a life of purpose and productivity. You can find that deep place of satisfaction only God can bring you, and only He can keep you. It is in this place alone, where you find what really matters, that life has its full meaning. Once you find this, you can joyfully spend the rest of you life living it. Now… go find what matters, and be a blessing to others by doing it.

Into The Furnace

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At times life is just not what we planned. Our own stupidity, or the thoughtless words and actions of others can derail things in the blink of an eye. What was a reasonable situation can become intolerable before people realize what has happened. All it takes is unreasoning anger, fueled by unrestrained emotions. As the old saying goes, things can go from the frying pan into the fire, and from the fire into the furnace for no apparent reason. When that happens, what do you do then?

It seems clear that some people tend to be more prone to emotional plunges than others. What I mean is, there are those individuals who just fall into one mess after another, and their life is punctuated by difficult moments of drama. They don’t look for trouble, it somehow seems to find them. In fact, as you looked at that last statement, someone or some situation probably came to mind. These are the one’s who have issues that come up, but before things get resolved, another problem arises that simply compounds the first. For some, this is an all too familiar way of life.

Over my years of counseling, I have discovered that the issue is not so much about “what” is happening, but it is more about “why” it is happening. The “what” is basically the same for everyone, but the “why” holds a key that unravels it. Everyone loses a job at one point or another, or hates their new job, or gets sick. Everyone gets taken advantage of or has a friend who walks away. Everyone has misunderstandings, or get’s pulled over by the police, or says the wrong thing at the wrong time. That’s just part of life on this planet. However, this does not happen to everyone on a regular basis. If it is happening to you, then it’s time to ask “why”.

Let me give you a beautiful example from my own experience, and that may help you understand what I’m talking about. Seventeen years ago I met my beautiful wife and when we were a few days from being married I decided to sell a trailer. I was planning to use that money for some of our wedding expenses. One day a man showed up to look the trailer over. He seemed reputable, was very likeable, and assured me he would be back on Friday to pick it up and pay for it. We shook hands and he headed out the driveway. As he was about to leave he returned and asked if I would mind him taking the trailer now, since he was already here, and Friday he would stop by to pay me.

I’m sure you’ve already guessed what happened. At my secretary’s great concern I handed over all the paperwork and we parted company.  He was in fact a licensed guide in the Oneonta, NY area. Since my father was a guide I felt he could be trusted. Unfortunately for me he was also a con-man and a thief.  He never returned with the cash. When I called him on it and even drove down to his house, he lied to me in every way possible way. The bottom line was simple. I was and easy mark, I was taken for one thousand dollars, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

The “what” in this situation is very simple. I had been taken advantage of by a liar, a thief and a very slick con-man. However, the “why” in the situation is what’s really important. I really wanted that money for my wedding, and because of the urgency I was gullible enough to believe others were as honest as I was. Because of this I signed my trailer over to someone whose words and character were both worthless. It was a very hard lesson to learn.

Without asking yourself the “why” of something, the “what” will never change. Like it or not, this is the cold, hard truth we all have to face. For instance, I was getting tea at Burger King the other day and there were several young people sitting there, waiting for job interviews. The manager told me she had two shift slots available, and apparently these were the applicants for the jobs. All of them seemed reasonable, but there were distinct differences with two of the four, and I watched the interviews for the human interest value, just to see what would happen.

All of the interviewees arrived on time, and all had filled out their applications, more or less correctly. All could begin work immediately, and none of them had work restrictions. Two of the four were clean-shaven, hair combed, neatly dressed in blue jeans and a casual shirt. They had no visible piercings, tattoos or odd mannerisms. The other two were, shall I say, quite unique in every way. One had short cut purple streaked hair, a scruffy beard, a nose ring, dressed all in black and had black nail polish on every other finger nail. The other young man had a hand and one arm covered with graphic tattoos. His pants were hanging down and his underwear could be seen. He wore a ball cap sideways and written on his t-shirt was the witty saying, “Out Of My Way, I Have No Time For A_ _ Holes Today”. Need I say which two did NOT get the job?

The point here is quite simple. If you never ask the “why” of things in your life, then the “what” in your life will never change. I wonder if those four young men were all thinking they had the job, as they left their interview. Did it dawn on two of them that first impressions are important? Did they consider that how they dressed speaks volumes about how they represent the company? More importantly, did any of them ask “why” they did, or did not, get the job? When things in life just don’t go your way, over and over again, perhaps it’s time to ask “why”. Better yet, maybe it’s time to seek out those who will give you a painfully honest and very truthful answer.

If you are tired of life in the furnace, then answering the “why” of things is one of the keys that can unlock your future. Look in the mirror and really see what others see when they look at you. Check you attitude, your actions, your facial expressions and your appearance. Are they are conducive to the life you think you deserve. Examine your words and your interaction with others.  Are you are building, or sabotaging, the future you want? It may shock you to find out just how far out of step you really are with the place you dream of going. In the final analysis, once you begin to as the “why”, the “what” will take care of itself.

A Needed Storm

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It’s 4am and I was awakened from some much-needed sleep, by the approach of a mid-summer storm. I could feel the distant rumble of thunder, and the flashes of lightening in the dark sky drew me out of bed like a magnet. I flung open the windows of my house just in time to catch the sound of a million drops of rain hitting in the distance. A moment later I felt the wet, sweet, cool breeze these storms bring with them. It wondrously drifted through our house, and I filled my lungs with it’s delicate aroma. There is nothing quite like it to break the smothering grip of a sweltering July night.

I mention this because here in the Northeast we had a miserably cold, damp Spring. I came to identify it as a new season, “Sprinter”. That was followed by a direct flip in the weather, and overnight it became sunny, hot and dry. The change came so suddenly that people had little time to make the transition. In mid-May summer just arrived, and that was it. Today is the 17th of July and we have had blisteringly high temperatures in the 90’s for what seems to be weeks on end. Lawns are turning brown, my garden needs to be constantly watered, rivers are at all time lows, wells are running dry and air conditioners are nowhere to be found in local stores.

So, the coming of a rain-filled thunderstorm in the heat of a summer night is a welcomed release. The damp, cool air flowing over the sunbaked land, the sound of rain hitting the roof, splashing on the road and soaking into the dusty soil, means something. It means that a change is in the wind, and with that change comes the promise of days that are a little more balanced, a little easier on both the body and the electric bill. The point is, it takes a well-timed storm, with all it’s potential danger, to bring about the change that is needed at this moment.

Life as we know it is exactly the same way. We can get locked into a routine and begin to forget there is more to living than what we have been living with. We may have become comfortable with what is, and finally surrendered to something that is smothering us like a summer heat wave. And then it happens. A storm blows our way one dark night, and we are awakened from our slumber. We are brought back to reality, even fascinated by the approaching danger. It causes us to fling open the windows of our soul that have been closed for so long, and in the storm of uncertainty, we begin to come alive.

In the moment of an approaching life-storm, let the lightening and rain come. Enjoy the show in the dark of night, because in that storm you will feel a sweet, fresh breeze that clears the air. Every clap of thunder, and tear drop that falls, is setting you free to be yourself once again. These things are good because they are stripping away the fevered-heat of a life that has held you captive. Let the storm rage all around, and do not fear what it brings. With it comes some much-needed change, and when it’s time, it will pass and you will be free.

This is a needed storm so wake up oh sleeper and enjoy what has come your way. Let the rain fall, and the thunder roar in the night season. These have come to bring the fresh breath of moist, cool air that you have been waiting for. This is not the storm of your destruction. No… If you can embrace it, it is just a rugged moment of life-change for personal deliverance. So…why not sit back, fling wide the windows of your heart and enjoy the ride? When it’s over you will be a different person, one who finds new freedom in a landscape washed clean from the heated dusty days of the past. From this place you can find the balanced life you’ve always wanted, and most importantly, become the person you were always supposed to be.

The Wounded Walk

isWhen I was 19 years old I ran my parents marina at Meacham Lake Public Campsite in the Northern Adirondacks. That summer I was chopping wood with a single bit, 2 1/2 pound Collins axe, and being tired, I managed to miss my target. The axe head slammed squarely into the tibia of my right leg, splitting the bone lengthwise and producing a sliver of bone that jutted off to the right, under the skin. I went to Saranac Lake General hospital where they put me back together and spent the next 6 weeks recovering from that mishap. The wound forced me to adjust how I walked until the pain went away. The residual side effect is that my leg bone aches every time the weather changes, and that changes how I walk.

Fast forward 20 years. Now I have 3 wonderful sons, I am a permanently certified k-12 teacher in NY State, and an ordained minister who is living in a very difficult and rapidly disintegrating marriage. One hot July day I decided to clear my head and go fishing on one of my favorite trout streams. In my haste to get out of town, I put on leather sandles and soon discovered what a huge mistake that was. A mile or so up-stream I slipped, and the knuckle of my right big toe gets a compression fracture as the weight of my body wedges it between two slippery boulders in the stream bed. Over time it heals, leaving a calcium knot that hurts with every step I take. Once again, the wound forces me to adjust the way I walk  in order to avoid the pain produced with each step.

Fast forward another 20 years, and I am living in Johnstown, NY. I am married to my beautiful wife Esther, our 5 children are all married and happy, we have 10 grandchildren and we are pastoring the same church. I am retired from teaching, but I am still subbing in a local school system and loving every minute of it. This brings us to my current situation. May 16th I had a motorcycle accident, and yes once again there was trauma to my right leg. Several breaks to the same axe-chopped Tibia, and additional injury to the same compression-fractured toe knuckle. Once again I am in recovery, and dealing with pain. Once again I have to adjust my walk because of the wound I suffered. In fact, I am not just having to adjust my walk, this time I am having to learn how to walk all over again.

The point in all of this is that any wound we receive, especially those that are emotional, always impact us more deeply than we realize. The pain we internalize always forces us to adjust our life-walk in ways that may not be evident at first. We might just feel a dull ache when the emotional weather shifts, and we simply learn to embrace it as a normal part of life, but it is not normal. Other times, the trauma may be so painful, and so overwhelming, that we actually have to learn how to function in life all over again. The thing is, there is no shame or disgrace in being wounded. NO… that comes when we let the wound control us, and permanently allow it to change our walk because it is what we have settled for and chosen in life.

When my motorcycle accident happened, I could have stayed in that roadside ditch, bloodied and broken, and pushed away all who stopped to help. I could have just let traffic pass me by until I bled out and died. What I did do in all that pain and wreckage, was grab hold of everyone present and told them to call an ambulance, call my wife and call my son who lives near by. I got hold of my church members and asked them to pray, and they set up a support team to help me and my wife, when I could not help myself. They cooked meals, cleaned the house, mowed the lawn, weeded the garden, took me to doctors appointments and checked in on me in my broken condition. Only because of them will I have a 100% recovery.

You, my friend, are exactly the same. If wounding has changed your life-walk, it’s time to grab hold of the support system that is around you, and stop living like you are a victim. You are NOT a victim, you are simply wounded and need help to be restored to the full vigor God intended you to have. You must face the fact that there are some things you cannot fix on your own. You must reach out to God, and to those who are traveling the same road, and ask for help. Last of all, you must be patient, seek out and follow the advice of those who really know how to help you recover from your kind of injury.

Because of the physical therapy I am now going through, I know I will walk my trout streams in full strength again. My wife and I will fully do life together again. It is painful right now, but twice a week I still go for therapy. Why? Because the physical therapist knows exactly what I must do in order to get back on my feet, and live my life again. She is helping me do what I cannot do for myself. Without her help, a full recovery would be impossible. Like it or not, it is the same for you. Now is the time to get the help you need. Go find healing for your wounds, and learn to walk your life once again. Once you do, you will eventually get to the point where you can actually run the race that is set before you, and become the winner you were designed to be. Now go find the help you need, because it is time to get up out of that ditch!