Just Faith

Faith is a gift from God. Faith can move mountains, even the mountain of addiction. Ending a life of self abuse caused by addiction will happen when you trust God to lead the way over, around and even through the mountain. God's "Twelve Step Program" begins with one easy step-believe in Him. Your steps want be easy, but remember the words of the Apostle-
"These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold which perished even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:7

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Beautiful Dying

Excerpt from "Beautiful Dying"

Bars at closing time are a sad place to be, if you happen to still be there. Either a good time is coming to an end too soon or it never came at all. If I thought there was a cry-in-your-beer song on the old Wurlitzer I might have fed my own quarters into the slot. Not because of my good time theory, but because I knew this would be my last Saturday night in Finnegan’s Rock.
And then a small wisp of hope landed in my life.
“I’m sorry about your wife.” She said.
“Thank you.”
“I still don’t understand, you know, the dying beautiful thing.”
I lit another cigarette and offered her one. She declined.
“It’s beautiful dying.” I said. “Not dying beautiful.”
She waited.
How much more did I want to say?
“Dying is something we can’t control. It is going to happen to every one of us, probably when we least expect it. Even when battling a terrible illness, on our backs in a hospital bed, we don’t always believe we are going to die. We hold onto to an unraveling thread of hope, while a caring nurse delivers our nourishment through a feeding tube. That kind of dying is not beautiful, it’s ugly.”
“Are you dying?” She whispered.

“No.” I smiled at her. “I’ve already done that.”

Beautiful Dying available at Amazon

Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Faith Walk

Last September, around this time, I made a visit to see my cancer Doc. I was one year removed from his diagnosis and two months removed from the chemo-treatments; anxiously looking forward to his latest report. I hoped that I would hear those two magically delicious words— “cancer free”. Instead I settled for two different words, good words, but not those hoped for— “in remission”.

Since then I have visited him on a regular schedule, each time hoping my ears would delight with the words I longed for. But they did not come. I could call him stubborn, an opinion I have carefully formed over time. But I suppose the truth is more along the lines, dutifully so, of his clinical observations; but that doesn’t roll of the tongue as satisfyingly as “stubborn”.

So I live “in remission”. I have experienced two minor setbacks recently when the cancer Doc, after some routine blood tests, hesitated to even say “in remission”. Thankfully, each time I only had to deal with a little scare, nothing more than that.

This has not been a pleasant journey. Sleepless nights, pain, losses; all elements of a cancer trip. But I sit here, almost 59 years old, living and breathing…and those are good things. Yet deep down inside there is a great unsettling taking form. It hurts. You see my friend, the one thing that as not weathered this storm very well is my faith.

I must be clear—I do not refer to my faith in Christ as our Savior—that shall never be compromised. I fear my faith that has been bruised, is that in the goodness of God. Oh, I know about trials, tribulations and suffering as part of our Christian walk. I have studied them and taught about them for many years now. I have experienced them, before and after my bout with cancer. The goodness of God that I have begun to question, the faith that has been bruised, is the goodness that He can cast upon all of humanity.

I look at the world differently today than I did two years ago. Some of my outermost vision has been blurred by my condition—in other words, my faith. Mysteriously my vision has also somehow improved with what could be deemed laser focus on the conditions that surround us all; and it appears to me that we are living in a godless world.

For so long I have believed, had faith, that God would win in the end and we would be the better for it. Suddenly I am not so sure. As I lay in my bed at night I often wonder if God has just moved on. He knows how all this will end, he is the Author, the Creator. So why not just wait in the wings until man utterly destroys all evidence of Him, and then He will come and clean up the mess. With my head on my pillow I imagine God saying— “Let them have their ways, their free will, their sins.” “They no longer have faith in Me,” God says…”to Hell with them!”

Now I cry to Him. “Stand up,” He says. “Go and find what you think you have lost.”

So I will.

Next year, God willing, I will reach the mark of 60 years on this earth. Around that time, I will tie up my Nike's and begin a walk—a faith walk. I don’t yet know where this walk will take me. Nor do I know how far or for how long I will walk. I have much preparation to do before I begin down the highways.

My plan, simple so far, is to walk and look for my faith. To see it in the country side, the small towns, in the lives of people that I run across. I believe it is there...somewhere. God would not tell me to seek that which is no longer there, I am quite certain of that.

I will keep you up to date as my Faith Journey develops. Maybe I will see you along they way.

Oh yes, I could use your prayers…