Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Facing Uncertainties (Part 5): To Heal, Get the Message

Are you in desperate need of healing?  There are many aspects of healing such as receiving the right medical treatment, keeping the whole in mind as well as the part you are healing, and releasing mental poison.  I intend to cover these and other aspects of healing in the future.  However, there is one often neglected spiritual aspect in healing I want to focus on here.  You must not neglect it.  It is this - getting the message God wants you specifically to get.  
Is there a message God has been providing you, but you have been ignoring (or closing your ears to)?  You need to get this message already if you want to heal as completely as possible and get out of the danger. 

Most likely, God allowed you to go through this storm so that you would listen to the message He has specifically for you.  Whatever message you are supposed to get, the sooner you get the message (and act accordingly), the sooner you get out of the storm. 

In 2004, I went through the toughest medical crisis I had encountered so far.  At the time, there was so much uncertainty of how I would turn out physically.  My eyesight was at risk.  (For a better idea of what I went through, feel free to visit my Facebook support group where I and many others have shared our experiences at - ). 

I had a condition where I risk losing eyesight if I didn’t have surgery.  I would have one eye surgery to keep me from losing eyesight.  Then three weeks later, the doctor would see that the surgery didn’t work.  Then I would have another surgery.  They would see that it didn’t work.  Then it would be another one.  Then another one.  That lasted for almost a year.  It was frustrating and scary with all the uncertainty.  I didn’t know how I was going to turn out and I didn’t know when I would stop needing surgeries (or when the surgery after surgery after surgery would end.)  

Pretty much, it was the most fearful crisis not only because of the uncertainty of my eyesight in jeopardy, but there was the domino effect where the medical crisis caused other problems such as my job being at jeopardy and therefore my health coverage from the job being at jeopardy.  Needless to say, I must keep my health coverage at the time because I did not know when I would stop needing surgeries.  In addition, there were nuanced complexities with my health insurance I had to deal with and I had to deal with all that on my own (without family nearby) in California.  I had to deal with all that while I am scrambling to heal and to come out of the crisis safely. 

Apparently, the solution is healing completely.  The physical or medical problem was the root of this crisis and healing completely would be the start of the solution.

Again, there are many aspects of healing in addition to medical treatment.  (Notice I said in addition to, not in place of, medical treatment.)   Getting the message from God is the most important of these aspects of healing.  My medical crisis in 2004 pushed me to realize the importance of getting the message from God when you desperately need healing (or desperately need to get out of another type of crisis).

“Getting the message” involves doing whatever the message is indicating.  It’s not just hearing the message and not doing anything (or not changing anything).  You have to do whatever it takes to heal (or get out of the crisis).  Start with getting the message and following the message.

There was a message I had been ignoring for at least two years prior to this medical crisis of 2004.  For several years before this medical crisis, I felt a message from above that was telling me to leave the comfortable road I was on.  At the time, I was working at the most flexible and comfortable job (with great benefits) and therefore, I was unwilling to move on.  In my comfort, I had been ignoring the message telling me to move on elsewhere.

When the crisis occurred, I was forced to examine/contemplate what was going on with my life and where I should be going.  During that crisis, I had surgery after surgery. For some of the surgeries, the doctor ordered me to lie down in a specific position 24/7 (required to increase the chances of regaining and keeping eye sight).  Lying down in a specific position 24/7 forced me to contemplate, and to talk to God.    
Despite my back pain I was re-aggravating from lying down 24/7 in one specific position (in addition to the excruciating post-surgery pains in my head and my eye), something good came out of this.  It pushed me to really get the message.  It was during these times that moved me to (have the resolve and) make a promise to act according to the message after healing.  Here’s what I resolved to do or promised to do when (not if, but when) I heal completely:

  1. Get off the “common boulevard” that everyone’s always known.  (I will probably explain the "common boulevard" in another lesson/blog.)  Quit my job when I am healed or when my condition stabilize.  I am to move on to something else God has in store for me.
  2. Get on the uncommon (less known) path for the rest of my life (even though the specifics were not clear at the time).  What was clear was that I was meant to serve a lot more people than I was doing in a research lab.          
Shortly after deciding this (and making this promise), I had another surgery.  That one was successful and my medical condition stabilized after this (although it took more months to complete the recovery fully.)  When my condition stabilized, I quit my job and got off the “common boulevard”. 

Again, this “getting the message” is only one aspect of healing.  However, it is a crucial and often neglected part of healing (or of getting out of another type of storm.)  Get the message if you want to survive or to get out of the storm unscathed (or safely in one piece).  The sooner you get the message, the sooner you get out of the storm, and the less permanent damage you would sustain.  Also, keep in mind that there may be more than one message.

Homework for Healing (or surviving another type of crisis)
1. Write down (or list) two to three possible messages that God may be trying to get to you.

2. For each of these possible messages, what is it that you are supposed to do from this point forward.  Visualize and plan what you are to do from this point forward, according to the message(s).

3. Put what you've written here somewhere that you would see every day.  (It could be in your wallet.  It could be on your mirror.  It could be on your desktop of your computer.  Whatever works for you.)  Read it, think about it, and visualize it daily.  (You may also tweak/revise what you've written down along the way, as the message would probably become more and more clear as time goes on.)

For parts 1 to 4 of  this "Facing Uncertainties" series, feel free to go to -

"Follow You"  by Leeland

Friday, June 24, 2016

Joke's on Her, Anjelah Johnson

Anjelah Johnson was a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders later turned standup Comedian.  In the past, she often made fun of Christian rappers for laughs.  Little did she know, joke's on her.

Long story short, she later married a Christian rapper.  

When she first told her family and friends about this guy and they asked her “What does he do?” she reluctantly answered, “Um, he’s a Christian rapper.”  That resulted in the biggest laughs.  

As Anjelah Johnson now knows, God is probably saying, "The joke’s on you girl."  But she too is laughing happily.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Never Too Old to Live Your Dream (Part 1)

Dan Clark writes in a short story about his experience in college when he met an eighty-year-old student, Rose.  Rose was cheery, humorous, and full of life.  She was also full of wisdom from her life experiences.  Dan Clark and Rose became good friends.

“Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop.  I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me,” wrote Clark.

Rose’s vibrant personality along with her wisdom did not only appeal to Clark, but she was magnetically attracting attention everywhere on campus.  As Clark wrote, “Over the  course of the school year, Rose became a campus icon and easily made friends wherever she went.  She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from other students.  She was living it up.”

One lesson from Rose that stood out the most to Clark was from her speech at a football banquet.  One of the most important point in that speech was: You have to have a dream [especially one tied to a greater purpose].  

“You’ve got to have a dream.  When you lose your dreams, you die.  We have so many people walking around who are dead and they don’t even know it!”  exclaimed Rose with the attention of the whole audience.

Rose also noted a second point:  When you have a dream and purpose you are striving toward, you should also “laugh and find humor each and every day.”

We need to continue playing in this game of life.  This was a third important point in Rose’s speech.  “We do not stop playing because we are old;  we grow old because we stop playing.”  

We need to continue to get better and better every day in this game of life, I like to add.  (Also, it’s more about getting better than yourself - the self yesterday, last month, and last year rather than better than someone else.)  If we want to be happy, we need to have progress and not be stagnant.  

“If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will [just] turn twenty years old.  If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.”  This is how you would become more and more miserable.  

Just turning one year older doesn’t do anything.  It’s when you change for the better having progress in some area; that’s what you need to do.  If you just turn one year older year after year, with no improvement, no progress, and nothing to show for that year, you will not just be one year older, but you will be a little bit more miserable.  If that’s the case year after year, the misery will multiply and you will end up a lot more miserable.  

Also, what you do and the progress you make should NOT be in an area determined by society, by anyone else, or by your ego (which is influenced by everyone else).  What you do and your progress should be in an area determined by you and God (and no one else).  

To Be Continued

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