The Encourager becomes the Encouraged

    First John 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

    The purpose of my Blog is to encourage and help people realize the Goodness of the Lord. Therefore, I strive to be an encourager. However, this past month has been a blur for my family and me. Normally everything goes along well (except when the devil fights tooth and nail every step that we take); my health has always been good, the health of my family has always been good, and we live a life trusting the Lord for everything.

    Rewind to the beginning of January. We had scheduled a Stewardship Campaign for February 10 through March 10. Speaker prearranged, plans made, messages and Sunday School lessons ready to be taught, Banquet set up, etc. Now comes the fun part! We are praying that God will do an amazing thing in the lives of our people and that we will all learn to Trust the Lord in everything.

    That is where it all began, in my estimation. At the end of January I got sick. The strong able bodied individual that I am, I usually try to “suffer” through my annual bout with bronchitis. Well, after missing a Wednesday night service (something I never do) my wife began to become alarmed at my slow recovery. So when I fell on the couch Friday morning with no oxygen and no energy and unable to lift myself off the couch, she insisted that I go to the doctor (I’m still working on my forgiveness of this move :0); I strongly dislike going to the doctor. Well, with tests and evaluations it was determined that I had the flu, a bacterial infection, and bronchitis! (I never do anything without fanfare!) Course of action: three shots (that is the worst part, I HATE shots), antibiotics and steroids and a prognostication that I would be down four weeks!

    When was the start of our Stewardship Campaign, class? Yes, February 10th and I could not preach! I could not get out of bed! Incidentally, Brother Kevin Bowling did an awesome job with the message. This is how it has gone for the whole month of February.

    Now, my son is sick in the hospital and we have had to miss more church and we have not been there for all the extra blessings that have come our way because of the faithfulness of our people to get behind this campaign and Trust the Lord!

    The basis of this Blog is to say “Thank you” to all those that have responded in Prayer for my son and I. I have posted prayer requests on Twitter and Facebook. So many have responded to the call for prayer on our behalf. Many have called to check on us. Pastors, missionaries, and evangelists have been so kind to check and recheck with us. Friends and family have gone the extra mile to encourage us. Finally, many have come to the hospital and encouraged us through all of this. And our loving church family has picked up the slack and been such a blessing to my family.

    What have we learned? Many valuable lessons that we could not and would not have learned if we were not in this valley at this busy time of our lives. I see the awesomeness of a Loving God, a loving family that has helped in many ways, a loving church, and many others that have prayed and lifted us up.

    Thank you all for encouraging my family and I as we slowly recover from this trial and use what we have learned to help encourage others. Thanks to you all!

P.S. This blog was written March 3rd. Since then the Stewardship Campaign has run its full course and God blessed abundantly! Thanks for all of your prayers and support. I pray this blog has been an encouragement to you.

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