I Am Second – Live Second #4 – Available

I Am Second – Available

Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First

Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First

Luke 10:39-40 —

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet
listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted
by all
the preparation that had to be made.”

This article is the fourth and last in the 4 part series that I am doing for the debut of the I Am Second’s Doug Bender’s latest devotional book Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First“.  I strongly recommend that if you haven’t read my first entries, that you do it now since it will shed a lot of light on the content of this post.  You can read the first here and the second entry here and the third here.

To get your own copy of this book for it to show you how you can Live Second too, click on the picture above and it will take you to an online order page for the book.  As a disclaimer – I am NOT a paid contributor.  I am writing all of this of my own free will.

Available

page 198

You’ve heard people ask you, “What would you do if you knew you only had one day left to live?”  What if you had only a week, a month, 6 months, how about a year or two?  What “things” would you do if you were given a definite time to live?

One week consists of 168 hours. Never more, never less. Subtract eight hours a night for sleep and all we have left is 112 hours. This is our available time—the time for work, society, family, recreation, and anything else we might wish to do.   Schedules may fluctuate and shift, but that 112 hours each week is ours to manage, ours to spend.

In prior posts (1, 2 and 3), I’ve explained in some detail my childhood, how I missed my first calling (to be a preacher/pastor), how I entered into the devil’s playground and got tangled up in things that I never should have been around – especially as a Christian, how I was married twice and now am on my third wife (who is incredible, by the way), how I developed a spinal cord tumor and had to have it taken out and that left me mostly paralyzed from the chest down, and to top it all off, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 (terminal) Carcinoid Cancer.

Wow, maybe you don’t need to read the previous posts after all that…  At least you don’t know what I’m going to say next. 🙂

I pick up where I was just diagnosed with Carcinoid Cancer:  I was working as an I.T. Tech – remember that I used to be in sales/management, I had to go back to school to learn a new trade – when I met my current wife. Since I worked in a call center, I met her over the phone.  She was in the Chicago area and I, in Denver.  Thanks to mobile-to-mobile cell phone plans, we were able to talk on the phone a lot – and I mean a LOT.  In the following 3 months, we talked about as much as a normal “courting couple” would in at least 2 years (if you really think about it).

She had her life and I … didn’t have one.  I spent all my time talking on the phone with her – she was (and is) my life.  Almost every non-working waking hour that I had was spent talking to her, or listening to her breathe, or sometimes I would put her to sleep and I’d listen to her snore because I didn’t have it in me to hang up on her.  She came out to visit me for a weekend once.  We spent a lot of time up in the beautiful, Rocky Mountains, driving around, taking small walks around a lake or getting out to see how cold it was outside (November) and taking lots of pictures.  I really wanted her to know what I was like.  I wasn’t your run of the mill dime store guy that you can find anywhere.  I also had to make sure that she had what it would take to take care of me if she had to at some point.

She had it…  She came back out again a month later with her 2 kids to check me out and see if I was good enough for their mom or not.  I guess I passed muster.  In January she had a birthday.  I planned to go out to Chicago to see her and her family and celebrate her birthday.  But, we had another plan – to get married on the day after her birthday.

You might think that we jumped into things a bit too soon, but if you look at how much time we spent on the phone together, we, in a way, had a longer courtship than most couples now days.  Plus, communication is key to a marriage, right?  I’m not trying to get your approval here…

She still had obligations in Chicago that would keep her there until June.  In the mean time, we still spent as much time on the phone as we did before. I had to find a place for us to live – we would be merging two households together and wouldn’t be able to make it work where I lived at the time. The rest of the story is still being written from there…

During our “courtship”, I definitely had to find out what her Christian beliefs were since I would not be “unequally yoked together with an unbeliever”.  Fortunately, they were where they should be.  What she didn’t realize at the time was, she was beginning to hold me accountable spiritually.  What that means to me?  I had to lead a family.  I had to straighten up my life and make it something that would be pleasing to the Lord and so that I could lead a family in a Biblical sense.  I had to “sweep a few cob webs out of the corners” if I was going to make things work.  I made some decisions at that time that I was bound to keep from then on.

She keeps me on the up and up.  Since we have been together, many things have happened in our lives; hers and mine.  We’ve had our ups and downs just like any other couple.  The great thing about it all is that God was in the middle of it all.  We had some tragic things happen in our lives that put our relationship on the edge; but you know, God works in us when we are on the edge.  We saw God’s hand in many things especially visible ones; He really used our finances to show us that He was guiding us.

I get excited thinking about this part, because, He shows up in some of the most unexpected times and places.

We began having financial issues due to the fact that my health was going down and working full time was killing me – literally.  I felt like I would only live another year or so at that pace – seriously – I was dying.  I had to quit working.  We were not well off; we had no idea how we were going to pay our bills with only my wife’s income.

My work; they knew that I had problems with my health and knew what my outcome would likely be, they also knew that we didn’t have money.  I qualified for long term disability (LTD) through my work, but they only start paying after you have been off work for 3 months.  Once the LTD kicked in, it would help, but it still wasn’t enough.  One of my co-workers plotted to change our company’s SOP.  She was a VP in our office and she came up with an idea where my co-workers could donate, hour for hour, their vacation time to supplement my income for those 3 months until LTD kicked in.  That had never been done in our company before.  The president, knew me, my situation and health concerns, and he allowed it only the one time.

I had given a month’s notice.  On my last day, Friday, the president approved the proposal to allow the vacation donations to me.  THE LAST DAY!!!  They really know how to keep a guy on pins and needles (or should I say, the Lord knows how).  He approved it around noon that Friday.  By 4:30pm (I go home at 5) they already had enough donations, from people around our small office of 25 – 30 people, to cover the first 2 months out of the 3!  How Awesome is that?  I heard that they filled it up by Monday the next week… Praise Our God!!!

That was the beginning of a roller coaster ride after that.  Every month we were short on money to pay the bills.  We weren’t extravagant or anything. Most of the times we only needed $200-500 to make it work.  EVERY month after that, God made it happen.  He made sure by a different means every time (sometimes two means), but He always came through for us. Something that I noticed in all of this is that we (and our bill collectors) have a different time table than God’s.  I said before that we were able to pay the bills, I didn’t say that they were actually on time or not.  Some were, some weren’t.

It got to the point where I started laughing when I would be praying over our bills, knowing that I couldn’t pay them all.  Laughing because I knew that the Lord was going to pay these bills for me.  I would put my hands up in the air and tell Him that they were all His.  He can meet the need however He would see fit.  And, He had some very creative ways of making it happen.  Laughing, because  I would try to make something happen to get some extra money and it would fall through.  Laughing, because I loved to see the creativity that He used.  I could never anticipate His plan, yet, He Always came through.  He still does to this day even.

My story is supposed to be on “Available“, but I think I might be able to write about 5 – 10 different days here, what do you think?  I guess you would have to have the book to know.  Go buy it if you haven’t.

During all of these trials that I was going through, having God meet my needs at every turn, was starting to build my faith up.  I had really lost a lot of my Bible knowledge in the last 30 years or so.  Amazing what happens if you don’t use something, huh?

God was starting to get to me by revealing Himself to me (us – my wife too).  He was starting to produce the results that I knew that He could, and Would, if our faith was bolstered and built up to the point of it being second nature.  I had gotten used to expecting God to meet my needs.  God really uses people who have no where else to turn.  He proves to us that He really is in control of, not only my finances, but, my car, my lawnmower, <insert chuckle here> my total existence.

He is the reason why I’m still here.  He isn’t through with me yet.  Wow, now how do I know what I’m supposed to be doing to fulfill His need?

My family and I had started going to a church near our home.  I looked it over and, though non-denominational, it seemed pretty sound scripturally So, we started going.  We don’t GO to church, we LIVE church.  To say it better; when we go to a church, we get thoroughly involved in every aspect of the church that we can.  We worked in the food bank ministry.  They had a counselling ministry that my wife and I trained for and became one of the “ministers” in that area.  I could go on.

The further that we got involved in this church, the more we started seeing things that really weren’t going along with God’s Word.  We set to studying in order to see if we were right (the Bible side) or they were right.  The more we studied on this and that subject (I’m not going into details in this post), we found that they were wrong.  We also knew what the Bible says about staying in a situation like that and that is, to leave.  We prayed about it and sought out God’s will and we just had to break ties with this church.

Now my wife started thinking about, “What kind of a church is going to believe in the same things that we did”?  Remember, I was brought up in the Word.  I knew where we were supposed to be but I knew that she wouldn’t go for it because it was a denomination.

I put out some ideas of churches to visit.  They were put on the back burner.  Between my wife and daughter and I; we were throwing around different denominations and I would bat them back at them siting problems in their theology.  We got down to a couple different ones.  I started studying even harder because I knew where the Lord wanted us and it wasn’t plan B either.  I found holes in their theology and documented a few of them and pointed them out and ran them past my wife and daughter and that one seemed to go away.  We knew at that point that it was plan A that we were supposed to be at.

Notice in the previous few paragraphs that I’m starting to study more. God is starting to build me back up to where He wants me to be… Unfortunately, it would never be where I would have been had I gone with His original plan for my life instead of MY plan.  I couldn’t do anything to change the time but I could do something to change my mind, my brain, my knowledge.   He was starting to build me back up to where I could stand up in a proverbial “fight”.

Without giving a total blow-by-blow here I will suffice it to say that He was guiding me, and us, to where He wanted us to be.  In previous posts, and even in the beginning of this post, I mentioned that my first calling was to become a pastor.  What is it that a pastor does?  Besides many other administrative things, he teaches.  He preaches.  I am not scripturally able to fill the shoes of the pastor now.  I couldn’t physically even if I were otherwise capable.

I know I’m long winded.  I hear it all the time.  I just don’t know when to shut up.  Well, sometimes.  My wife had been telling me since I had stopped working that I should start a blog.  She says, “You’re so smart about the Bible, you could help others by blogging about what you are thinking about and you could study more”.  Her words!  I never claimed to know it all about the Bible but I do have the gift of discernment.  I still have fragments of my previous knowledge of the Bible that I can pull from. As long as I have my computer in front of me, I can usually find the answer.

Availability…  God can’t use those who don’t want to be used.  When we don’t want to be used, we have a tendency to find other things to fill our time with and we make excuses about why we can’t do what God wants us to do.  It could be something big or small.  It doesn’t matter.  If we aren’t “Available” to Him, then He is going to go past us and go on to the next guy that is “Available” and use him.  What is the problem here?  You might say, “It doesn’t matter who God uses, it still gets done” or “God is God, He can make it happen without human hands”.  Both, very true.

The problem is (at least) two-fold:

1.     When we do what He wants us to do, we will receive a “reward” for it when we get to Heaven.  see Matthew 16:27; Romans 2:6; Luke 9:26; Revelation 2:23; Revelation 22:12; I Corinthians 3:12-15

2.     We are commanded by God to do His bidding – that is the purpose of our existence.  see Acts 13:47; Matthew 5:16; Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19, 20; John 14:15

God can bless us here on earth if He wants to, but our true reward will be when we finally get to Heaven.

Matthew 6: 19; “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

If you weren’t concerned with your eternal being at all, you wouldn’t be reading to this point.  That being the case, you owe it to yourself and to those whom you can influence for Christ, to make yourself available to God’s bidding.  The joy that you can feel here on earth is immeasurable and like nothing else you have ever felt.  Once you taste it, you won’t want anything else.

I’ve come to the realization, personally, that I will die soon.  Although, I could still walk out in the street and get hit by a car and die that way.  The truth of the matter is: You could die before I do.  How is it that you want God to greet you when you get there?  “Welcome, thou good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of our Lord.” or “Depart from me you worker of iniquity.  I never knew you.”  I want Jesus to have open arms with a smile on His face when I see Him.  If, in fact, He chooses to come back to receive His own before that, I want Him to find me doing something that brings Him glory.  I couldn’t imagine the shame that we both would feel if I wasn’t.

Isaiah 6:8; “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

Acts 9: 10;  “And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

God Bless You!

Tweet using #IASavailable to share your thoughts.

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Leave a comment at the bottom of the page here if you like.

Additional Reading:

A Bible study to get you on the right track in your Christian life.

What is Our Holy Scripture?

©2012 Mark Davis

Links to previous Live Second blog posts:

Post #1 – lies

Post #2 – New

Post #3 – Faithful

This is the Fourth and Final post.  I hope you have enjoyed my stories. Follow my blog to get further blog updates and teachings as they are posted.

I Am Second – Live Second #2 – New

I Am Second – New

Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First

Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First

—Acts 9:15

“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen
vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and
kings, and the children of Israel:”

This article is the second in the 4 part series that I am doing for the debut of the I Am Second’s Doug Bender’s latest devotional book “Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First”.  I strongly recommend that if you haven’t read my first entry, that you do it now since it will shed a lot of light on the content of this post.  You can read it here.

To get your own copy of the book and let it show you how you can Live Second too, click on the picture above and it will take you to an online order page for the book.  As a disclaimer – I am NOT a paid contributor.  I am writing all of this of my own free will.

New

In my previous post, I wrote about how I lied to myself for many years, telling myself that I was in control of my destiny, of my world; that I could use the power of my own mind to make anything happen in my life that I wanted to.

If you are thinking that way now, I strongly suggest that you look again at your own life and see that you are nothing without God. Without Jesus at the helm of your earthly ship, you are bound for rough waters and ultimately for the rocks on the shore that you are about to run into.  You can look at the life of Jonah in the Bible to see how that ends, or you can turn it into the ship ride that Paul took and make it a success.

That was before – this is now!

God allowed me to become partially paralyzed (or parapresic) where I can move but I don’t feel my lower extremities.  I didn’t wake up to God’s calling.

God allowed me to be diagnosed with Stage 4 Carcinoid Cancer. Terminal; inoperable; spread to my liver; very painful; lost lots of weight (you wouldn’t know it by looking at me today).  God got my attention – Finally!!!  PTL

I can’t tell you what a joy it is to actually let God have control on your life. When I think about where I was and where I am now, I can’t help but wonder “Why”?  Why did God want me around still?  After all of the backsliding that I had done and all of the “close calls” that I’ve had, I, by all intents and purposes, should be dead right now or at least a vegetable.

The medical professionals have one word for me – “Anomaly”!  Almost every time I go to the doctor, I can tell you what they are going to tell me; “I can’t find anything wrong with you” or “there should be no reason why you hurt here”.  Sometimes I don’t go to the doctor for that exact reason. One visit turns into 3 with all of the extra tests and follow up visits and so on.

This “Anomaly” has a purpose in God’s eyes!  For many years I have wondered why it is that God keeps me around and I couldn’t answer that question.  Every so often I would ask myself again and come up with the answer of, “God’s got a plan for me; If He was finished with me, I wouldn’t be here still”.

That is something that all of us should ask ourselves, because, our whole existence on this earth is to glorify God and do His bidding.  If we aren’t doing that as Christians, God may not have any further use for you – then you won’t be around any more. Sobering thought!

The “lesson” in the book for this post makes mention of new Christians and how we try to stifle their zeal and energy to spread the Gospel.  I’m not a new convert by any means, but because of all of the backsliding that I’ve done and for so long, I almost feel like one.

Now, instead of a whole person who is capable of “anything”, God has a broken person who is crippled, constantly in pain, stuck in bed for the majority of my life, but, I have a burning in my heart for the lost – I want to be able to help people find the right path to travel in their spiritual lives.  While being “broken”, I always have to keep my eyes on God to supply my needs and therefore He can be seen in and through me.

For a long time I wondered about my purpose.  I have married again (wife #3).  She is a great person with a great heart.  She knew what she was getting into when she married me – no surprises later.  She knew that she probably only had another 2-3 years with me then she would be collecting the insurance money on me.  She is AWESOME!  She takes care of me when I need it but I still attempt to have my own independence and do things on my own.  But her support is priceless!

My purpose?  My wife has 2 children – a boy and a girl.  She is 25 and out of the house and living with the grandparents, and he is 17 and still in high school.  He is a teenager like none other that I have known, besides myself… I see myself in him!  He has a heart for God.  He goes to public school and carries his Bible around with him.  He catches heat for it sometimes but the Lord has blessed it because He and I have had a chance to meet with a classmate that needed Jesus and we were able to show her how to find him.  She became a Christian and now we have somewhat-weekly get together/Bible studies with her.

I have realized that my purpose is to be a Dad to them as much as I can – not to replace anyone else in their lives, but to just be there for them and guide and instruct them in the right ways to go from a Biblical perspective.

My purpose is to be willing to do anything that God puts in my path.

As Christians, we need to not stifle the energy of new believers but rather encourage it.  “Go out and tell the world”, we should tell them and help them as they go.

Moreover than that, we as seasoned Christians need to find that fire within ourselves and stoke it up, make it burn brighter than it ever has!  That is the only way that God is going to use us.  That fire will breed passion and the passion will breed desire to do anything that God wants us to do and that is to be a “Christian”, Christ – follower (like) person that tries to mirror Christ’s actions or at least make the decisions that He would make if He were in your shoes.

Become a “NEW” person; a “NEW” Christian!  Let your light shine!

—Matt 5:16

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

God Bless You!

–Mark

Tweet using #IASnew to share your thoughts.

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Leave a comment at the bottom of the page here if you like.

Read the other Live Second Entries:

Post #1 – lies

This is post #2

Post #3 – Faithful

Post #4 – Available

©2012 Mark Davis

I Am Second – Live Second #1 – Lies

I Am second – lies

Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First

Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First

My name is Mark Davis and I have had the privilege of being asked to help Doug Bender (founder of the i Am Second program) kick off the debut of his new devotional book “Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First” by taking 4 of the devotionals out of the book and applying them to my personal life and writing about how that particular “concept” has influenced my world.

I am getting a bit of a late start on this due to personal reasons, but what I am going to attempt to do is link the four entries that I will make together into a mini series of my life (if I can pull that off).  I’m not sure how I’m going to do that without writing a book (that may come later) but I’ll try – I have a tendency of just rambling on and on.

If you read on the right side of my page, during the week of December 9 – 15, 2012 Doug is running a super contest.  Be sure you check it out if you purchase this book in that time frame – you won’t be sorry!  Great opportunity there.  For the rest of you, I hope you can enjoy the article.

Lies

Live Second – page 181

Watch the Natalie Sebastian Film:

— Acts 5:9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

Many years ago when I was a teenager, I was gung-ho for Christ.  I was a soul winner; I went to church at every opportunity; I worked in the Children’s Church ministry in my church;  I would witness to anybody and everybody – I even had friends ask me to witness to some of their friends for them since I was so bold.  I seemed unstoppable.  I even felt that God was calling me to be a pastor in the future – therefore I was to go to college and learn as much as I could and get my MDiv degree and so on…

Life took its turns, I didn’t end up going to college after high school, I “fell in love” with one of my high school sweethearts and eventually we got married.  We moved to a totally new city and I became a work-aholic.  She had affairs on me; I kept taking her back – I felt that that was what God would want me to do, I didn’t believe in divorce.  [For the record, I still don’t.]

As that path seems to always lead, we ended up getting divorced.  I remarried to one of my other high school sweethearts after that.  At that point I definitely was not qualified to be a pastor any longer according to 1 Timothy 3.  I went to church occasionally after that with the family.  I even felt the Holy Spirit tugging on my shirt tails on occasion and felt that I needed to rededicate my life to the Lord.  I thought that I had, but the temptations were just too great for me to handle on my own… I failed.

What really happened was that I was lying to myself.  I never submitted my life back over to the Lord to do His bidding.  I did the God thing for a while and then it kind of just slipped away again.  I fell deeper into sin.  I took up (again) smoking and drinking among many other sins that are too gross to mention.  Needless to say, the lies got to be more and more until I could hardly figure out which way was up (to God) anymore.

One day I came to the brutal realization that I was losing the feeling in my feet.  When my wife would page me (yes, we had pagers back then), I wouldn’t feel it vibrate on my belt – I was losing feeling there too but didn’t realize it at the time.  One thing led to another medically and I was finally diagnosed with a 7″ spinal cord tumor between C-3 and T-5 (you heard me right) that was starting to choke off the nerve signal to all of my extremities.  In fact, it was for everything from the mid-chest on down.

I won’t tell the whole story here because it is another miracle of its own that I will end up writing about sometime.  To make a long story a little shorter, the doctors told me that if I didn’t have the tumor taken out immediately it would make me a quadriplegic within a year.  That, for the non-medically inclined, means that I would be paralyzed (can’t move or feel) from the neck down – no hands or feet or anything in between there.

The doctors also told me that if I chose to have the tumor taken out, I still stood a 50/50 chance of becoming a quadriplegic after the operation.  Wow – how sobering is that?  I just couldn’t seem to win here.  Needless to say, I had the operation.  What did I have to lose?

I started to realize that this might be a wake up call for me to start thinking about God again.  I was in surgery within a month but in the mean time, I did a bit of praying.  I didn’t really turn my life over to God quite yet, but we were on talking terms again, so to speak.  I asked Him (like I was able to bargain with Him or something) to, please, allow me to have my hands and my brain after the surgery.  He could take the rest from me and I would accept that.

More lies to myself.  I thought that I could more or less tell God what to do. This is the Creator of the universe.  The One that formed my DNA.  I was trying to make deals with Him?  Right.

I was coming out of sedation following my surgery and, while still very groggy and with eyes closed, I barely woke up enough to hear nurses around me talking and I used my MIND (I had one of my wishes granted) to tell my FINGERS to move and to feel themselves (my second wish).  I could feel my fingers!

One might have thought that I would jump up off the gurney and do a dance for the Lord, but I just went back to sleep to finally wake up in a room with my family around me.  I tried my fingers and arms again and they worked great, but that was all that worked.

I was paralyzed from the mid-chest down to my feet.  I couldn’t move or feel anything lower than my chest.  Wow – talk about sobering?  Hang on it gets better… I’m just getting started here.  NO, don’t click to another page yet!

You might have thought that I would have told God that I was all His and He could do with  me whatever He wants.  More lies. He could and DID do anything He wanted with me.  What I didn’t realize is that He wanted me to be about as low as I could get so that He could be revealed through my healing.

The doctors and therapists all told me that I would probably never walk again or for that matter, feel in that area again – ever!

My God and I had a lot of good chats after that.  I started to believe that my God is bigger than any doctor or nurse or therapist or, for that matter, me!  I gave my healing over to the Lord to make an example of His power. I told the nurses and doctors and therapists that I would walk again.

My surgeon told me that I could go home when I could walk from my room down the hall to the elevator.  It wasn’t all that far, maybe 50-70 feet, not much… unless you couldn’t move anything below your waist, unless you couldn’t even transfer from your bed to a wheelchair, let alone trying to put one foot in front of the other to take one step, let alone 50 -100 that it would take to get to the elevator.

I didn’t get discouraged.  I joked around with the nurses and therapists all the time.  I didn’t get down.  I did (or tried to do) everything that the therapists told me.

I could hold myself up on a walker, once I got up.  I had to have help with that one.  Still a long way from taking steps.

A few days later, I figured out how, while on my walker, to be able to swing my weight to move my hip forward therefore making my leg swing forward and it was almost like I was taking a step.  Well, in the eyes of the therapists, I took a step.  What a blessing that day was.  I told them that my God could do that.  I stopped telling myself that lie.

Making my story much shorter; I began “walking” again with only the help of a cane.  What a miracle that was.  My doctors and therapists were surprised and I told them that they were instruments used by God to help me learn how to walk again.  They accepted that I guess and I kind of did too – enough to be able to tell others that my recovery was not my doing but rather that of God’s.  Oh, did I mention that I still couldn’t feel anything from the waist down?  By medical definition, I was considered paraparesic but of the worst kind.

I amazed everyone by walking again.  I still had next to no feeling in my feet.  I did give God the credit for my healing and you would have thought that after such a miraculous thing happening in my body, that I might have turned my life over to Him and yielded myself to His will, but no.  I kept lying to myself.  If you looked at the scripture text for this post, and put me in the place of Ananias, I would have been the one put to death by God’s hand for lying.

God still wanted me for something.  I was still on this earth for some reason that God knew but wasn’t ready to show me yet.  I suppose that He might have if I wanted to submit to Him, but still, I didn’t.

My second wife walked out on me, thinking that I was too broken for her or something and that she could do better than me.  She left me with a house and a payment to go along with it that I couldn’t begin to make on Social Security Disability payments let alone any other bills or not to mention eating.  The house ended up going back to the bank and I ended up in bankruptcy – destitute!  I called on God, but I still didn’t submit! About here, most people would be about to shoot me or at least rattle my head to see if there was anything in there or not.  Why was I so thick-skulled that I couldn’t see what God wanted for me?  Looking back, I really wished that I had listened to Him long before that.

I still thought that I could do things on my own (LIES!).  I got hooked on pain meds – that was a lot of fun, I’ll tell ya what! < sarcasm here> I started drinking again with my buddies.  I never really stopped smoking either, at least not for more than a couple of months and then I was back at it again.

You know looking back at this part of my life resembled here on this page, I start to remind myself of the cycles of the Children of Israel and how God had to keep knocking them up side the head to get their attention and then it only lasted for a little while and then they were back to their tricks again. History is bound to repeat itself.

I started having serious stomach pains – I’m talking pains that would last for 2 weeks, worse than those of food poisoning.  I started having problems breathing, sort of like asthma but they tested me and it came out negative. No clues!  I was having this strange sensation of my hands and feet swelling up and I could hardly move them – my throat would swell to the point that I could hardly breathe out of it – they called it flushing (oh, and my whole body would turn red).

They did test after test on me.  Nobody could figure out what was wrong with me.  Can anybody say, “Hello”?  I mean, could it be any more blatant that Somebody was trying to get my attention here?

They were in the process of an ultrasound test on my gallbladder, thinking that might be the problem.  While there, the tech saw something in the liver area that really caused her to panic.  She wouldn’t let me in on it though.  My doctor, later, told me that I am finally diagnosed!

Carcinoid Cancer – Stage 4!

Keep in mind that I am still parapresic here.  One thing just made the other worse and you couldn’t really figure out which one made the other worse.

The cancer is very slow growing and I probably had had it, prior to this point, for probably 10 or 15 years.  The only reason they found it is that it had metastasized (spread) to the liver.  The primary tumors were finally found in the cradle of my pelvis.  Multiples – so many that they were inoperable.  They weren’t going to go in after them unless they were causing complications other than symptoms.  To date, they still haven’t.

After losing 45 pounds in less than 6 months from all of the stomach area problems, they finally got me “stabilized” so that the symptoms were manageable with drugs.  That was 5 1/2 years ago.  The situation just gets worse medically.  Spiritually is another story… (To be continued…)

Lies – Why is it that we have to be so thick headed that we can’t see the forest in front of our faces because the trees are in the way?  Why?  Why? Why?

Life could have been much simpler, much better, much more satisfying, if I had just listened to God the first time way back in high school.  But, NO.  I had to have it MY way.  I had to be the one in charge.  Oh, yeah, God was around, and I would talk about Him on occasion and He may have used me a few times, but, I had to always amend my talk to say, “Don’t take me as an example.  I’m a terrible Christian.  Do as I say, not as I do.”  And, most of this happened while I was in the middle of a bar drinking with my friends.  WHY???

God could have used me!  If only I had let Him have control of my life way back when, because, you see, He could have used me while I had all my faculties and could go out and run a marathon for Him rather than try to roll down a sidewalk for Him.

That was then, this is now.  I’m done lying to myself.  God is in charge, now! (If I were writing this on paper right now, you would start to see tear stains on the sheet.)

If you are still reading this – I’m sorry that it took so long for you to get to this point, but it took me much longer to get to this point – I thank you for continuing on, but… There is something that God wants you to be doing for Him.  What is it?  Why haven’t you submitted to Him yet?

Give Him your heart’s key.  Let Him be the only drive in your life.  You will find that there is no better satisfaction in life than realizing that you are in the center of God’s will.  Be willing to do whatever it is that He wants you to do. Quit LYING to yourself!

God Bless You!

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Read the continuing entries from the Live Second series:

This is the FIRST entry in a series of 4

Read entry #2 – New

Read entry #3 – Faithful

Read entry #4 – Available

©2012 Mark Davis

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