November 11 Logo

                      2014 was the best year of my life so far.


"What??," some might ask, "Didn't you get 'a diagnosis', endure many treatments and disgusting tests, have surgery, etc.?"

My response is two-fold:
1) Concerning the things I have endured, you don't know 90% of it, and 2) 2014 was the best year of my life.


I have been through several revivals, moves of God, and had many spiritual experiences. But there is nothing quite like what happens to you when you're in a severe storm and the Lord shows up.


As we enter 2015, I am not the same person that began 2014. As long as the new person is spiritually better, that's a good thing. I think this is true in my case. For brevity's sake, I will bullet-list the highlights of my 2014 "ordeal." Perhaps, you can see some of the same opportunities in your current circumstances.


The definition of "ordeal" is "a painful and horrific experience." Historically, an "ordeal" was a test of guilt or innocence in which an individual was subjected to severe pain.  

If they survived, it was proof that God had declared them innocent. I don't look at my ordeal in the historic sense, but I do know that I'm standing today only by Divine Intervention.



Sometimes we hear or read about what others are going through in the course of a physical attack and we think, "I never want to experience that." I've lost count of how many of those very things I had to endure. It was God's grace that I endured, and it dawned on me; I experienced them and I'm still here, still intact. So many things (almost all of the things) we fear are just "ghosts." They are imaginations of our mind, bigger than reality, Satan-inspired, and have no basis in Christian-reality. There were many, many fears I had to face in 2014. His grace is sufficient.


There are two types of Christian living. There is the one that we live most of the time when things are going relatively smooth. That doesn't mean there aren't trials and temptations, but our "Christianity" is such that it's enough to get by, even if we are fooling ourselves. Then there's the one that surfaces when we face a severe crisis. This is the "real one." It's who we are. Everything we thought we believed is challenged. It's confusing sometimes, because 1) there are things you thought you believed but now are not sure of, and 2) we discover that we simultaneously believe two different things that contradict each other. It is difficult to sort out your beliefs when you know that what you believe may be a matter of life and death. It is much better to resolve these in calmer times.


This past year I learned what I believed, how strongly I believed it, what I didn't believe, and the depth of my relationship with God. Some of the revelation comforted me. Some confused me. Some scared me. But it made me confront it.



Countless people have encouraged and prayed for me. Each time I take it personally, that God sent them and wants me to know how much He loves me. Case in point...    a couple of days ago my neighbor from across the street knocked at our door. I had met him only one time before. He was sweeping leaves in his yard. Mary and I drove by and she rolled down her window to say hi. She had met him previously like this only a couple of times before. He came to my house to bring me a wood plaque with the name of Jesus on it. He said he does woodworking in his garage, and God uses it to encourage others. "We are only here on earth," he said, "to be there for one another." He continued, "Your name is on my phone on my prayer list. I pray for you every morning." Wow. He barely knows me but he knows God, and he practices Christianity in the way it is intended...

...Use your gift to love God and bless people...and pray. I was profoundly touched.



In a perfect world, we would listen to the Holy Spirit at all times and do exactly what He says when He says it. But the reality is that we don't. For those hard headed saints like myself, we have to go through stuff for the Lord to get our attention. This isn't true about me always, but I would be lying if I said the Lord didn't need to lovingly slap me sometimes. He doesn't make us sick. But in our sicknesses and trials sometimes we listen better. I could have changed without this ordeal, I didn't. But now I have.  

So 2014 was the best year of my life. So far.




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