Friday, June 5, 2015

Scarred for Jesus

I know some take me wrong sometimes, and this may be one of those times but I try to always share with the utmost of integrity my heart and I sincerely post things to get people to think; to think about their faith, the world around them, the reality of God etc...

In all honesty, I don't want people to take this wrong, so please understand it is not my intent to get sympathy, I am not trying to raise money or anything of that nature, I am just trying to be honest and share my life and thoughts with you.

I just got back from a visit with my doctor this morning to check on recent headaches and a rash type thing I experienced during my last couple of days in Sedona and for a few weeks thereafter. He explained what it was, (a medical term I don't even know how to spell) and had him check out my chest as he had wanted to do a few weeks after he had removed a skin cancer on my chest. He explained to me there would be a lot more to cut out after the biopsy came back but wanted to do a follow up even after that prior to cutting. 

I  some get upset at me getting upset at others sometimes. One such thing came up a while back after a gal said we were using church money for vacations and the like. The truth is, we have never done that, my wife and I have made many sacrifices for the ministries we have believed in over the years. Not just at Mosaic, but for the duration of our marriage and walk with Jesus together. I can honestly say, while I have had weak moments in my life around various issues, I have never given up on, doubted, or not loved Jesus with all of my heart since I came to know Him. I have not accepted or received a salary from Mosaic for over 5 years and most of the time don't get a housing allowance, in the amount of $300 a month. Which has been less than 6 times in the last 12 months and less than 10 times in 2 years.) Do we get to travel? Yes, from speaking, (where I give the money back to the church) and from friends who gave us a time share which we get to visit (and or others) 2X's a year and other times from friends that take us with them once or twice a year. We have learned, like in Sedona to get free visits to other places and take an hour and a half of our time to sit in on a presentation, say no thank you and receive free food and or show tickets. It is a way we believe God has blessed us.

Now, not to be political but I know the Affordable Health Care Act helped many people, it hurt me as I have not had insurance since it went into effect. Our income before deductions is too high and my premiums went up while the benefits went way down.  You see our donations back into ministry are extremely high on a percentage level. That said, I have no insurance as we simply can't afford it. We are extremely blessed that I have a good friend who is a great doctor who sees me for free and everything done at his offices has no charge. Over the last 3 - 4 years though, there has been extreme medical debt, from CT Scans, MRI's and much more, most recently, the skin cancers I have had that could not all be done at the offices.  

Today I was told that I needed to have an even bigger section cut out of my chest than even last thought. Tom wanted to schedule it today if at all possible as the cancer has rapidly grown but he also stated it would be best to see a plastic surgeon. He could do the surgery in his office but would look liked a botched tummy tuck that would leave a pretty nasty scar. No money and no insurance will lead to a nasty scar that will look like a botched tummy tuck in the center of my chest. That surgery will be at 2:45 PM June 15, the soonest we could schedule it in the office. The size cut out of the center of my chest will be about the size of an egg. In this, I remember Isaiah and the scorched lip that reminded him of the touch he had received from God given to him by an angel touching his lip with a burning coal. While it may end up looking like a "botched tummy tuck" to many, it will be a reminder of God's call on my life to give all.

Now why do I say all of this? Actually for 2 reasons, don't tell me about the cost of ministry, from losing our dream home on the lake, a Cadillac, Mustang GT, and boat in the driveway and a 6 figure salary to now giving it almost all back and our family living on less than $10,000 per year, it has been worth it. We haven't taken a proverbial vow of poverty but in many ways a literal vow of poverty. We don't do work with the homeless, we are blessed to be a part of a ministry that has set some of the homeless free and works at giving family to the homeless who have not experienced family. But, this all hasn't been just for the homeless, we have friends through The Virtual Pew and real life that we have been blessed to share in life with, whether they be people who have been physically and sexually abused, someone going through sexual confusion and gender identification, atheists who can see the power of Jesus in a life like mine, those who ask questions but have been judged once too often by a Christian who doesn't come across as loving and I could go on and on. None of this to brag, but to simply say this, I would live my life no other way than walking side by side with my best friend, the leader of my life, the savior of my situations, Jesus Christ. I say it to instill and offer hope because without Jesus, I would have no hope and believe that Jesus Christ is easily, the chief author of Hope. I believe God is no respecter of persons, if he will reveal Himself to me as The Great Provider, He would love to reveal himself to you as The Great Provider.

I say this for another reason though; there will be those who will offer to pray for me. While I appreciate that, the truth is, my situation is my situation, God has I believe instilled natural law and spiritual laws. It is simple, there are consequences for violating those laws whether you intend to or not. You get out in the sun without appropriate sun screen and it is possible that skin cancer is the consequence. I have some Indian blood, (I am French Indian) but part of the dark skin does not negate the need for me, or any of you, to protect yourself from the ultraviolet sun rays which can do harm to your body. That is a part of the consequences for violating this natural law. I will likely have a pretty nasty scar for the rest of my life that will be a reminder to use sunscreen instead of Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Oil, (or any other brand for that matter). 

The lessons from these two things? Learn to protect your mind, body, and soul.  Do the things necessary, and instead of making this an argument or debate about healing, politics or whatever, let that BS go, let it instead be a lesson or discussion about how we should take care of ourselves and beyond that, best serve those around us who may need some measure of hope, not speaking of me, (I promise), but for those worse off, those who have no support, no love, no compassion, no understanding, no hope.

May we accept the consequences of our actions, learn lessons from them and fall so much in love with Jesus today that we can't help but share him with those we come into contact with tomorrow. 

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