“Be Thankful”

November 25, 2020  
Thanksgiving – Pilgrims and Puritans who emigrated from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. The modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a well-recorded 1619 event in Virginia and a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, concluded with a religious celebration as dictated by the group’s charter from the London Company, which specifically required “that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned … in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest, which the Pilgrims celebrated with Native Americans, who helped them get through the previous winter by giving them food in that time of scarcity. Wikipedia

When I think of Thanksgiving I think of a Turkey. I love to cook. I have a Turkey defrosting in the refrigerator. Do I give thanks? No!. But this year is different.

1. I am thankful for ALL of YOU. You have helped sustain me in times of tremendous agony.
2. I am thankful for a tremendous mom who had never given up on me.
3. I am thankful that God sparred my brother Jeff. Lord please heal him.
4. I am so, so thankful for Julie, Bryce and Chase. They are a true gift from Jesus. 
5. I thank you Lord that You answer all prayers immediately. The answer is Yes, No or not right now. All prayers as you have said are for You perfect purpose in us.
6. I am thankful for food on our table – Please never take that for granted.
7. I am thankful I can write a daily devotional about You without persecution. 
8. I am thankful I still have breath.
9. I am thankful with all my flaws that God has allowed me to speak for Him to you. I truly am blessed that He has allowed that. Remember “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called”. 
10. I am thankful that I am able to write this devotional to you today.

A year ago I had a time were I took God’s gift of being able to write to you for granted. When the words stopped coming I woke up, was afraid and paralyzed. What if God did not give me His Spirit to write? It took about 2 weeks of total surrender for God to give me back a gift I took for granted. What would I do if I could never talk to you again? Of all the things in my life I am thankful for is all of YOU. You have prayed for me and my family, our ministry, have given beyond and beyond and have loved and cared for us. 

This Thanksgiving I am truly thankful even though my brother can’t walk because because my hope is in Jesus. I am thankful for doctors and nurses whom God has given talent and wisdom. My brother Jeff is being transferred to Concordia Nursing Home today. My dad, Dr. Henry and his partner, Dr. Knab were the first physicians to come to Concordia to help patients in 1962:) Fate can be such a blessing. Jeff is coming home to be healed. 

If we truly stop and think about our blessings they would be too numerous to count. Lord, please help us to focus on our blessings instead of worrying about what comes next. Please help us to be grateful for each breath. Please help us to slow down and to be still.

Please find them this Thanksgiving to be thankful Warriors. We have a great job to do for Jesus. Take time to give thanks. Take time especially to give thanks to Jesus who endured ALL the pain on the cross for all of us.

I love you all

Brad 

“God Makes No Junk”

November 20, 2020 
I am coaching a young woman to run the 10k. She is one of the fastest runners in the Northeast part of our country. Our goal is to Qualify for the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile in 2023 and hopefully the Olympic Trials (To Be Determined in 2021) and Olympics in Paris in 2024. 

Sounds like a long time to train, right? But much like flying you can’t study the approach 10 minutes out. You study the approach at least an hour out from landing. My training plan is to start with LSD – Long Slow Distance. That builds the engine of your body. Running long and slow builds incredible endurance. Once you have that base then you can start doing interval workouts. There is so much more to it but I think she can do it. She is married with a young child and teaches 2nd grade. So I know she has patience:)

1 Corinthians 9:24,25 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable.”

We all want to win but there is a bigger work going on in the heavens. Winning for Christians is staying the course with discipline, love and hope. Three years ago I threw out all my medals, ribbons and trophies. I did not want to live in the past anymore. I wanted to look forward to the future. It is easy to live from our past accomplishments. But we as Christians are called to a different kind of trophy. 

We need to train which means reading the word, worship and praying in discipline. Training takes time and extreme effort if you want the prize. Fortunately for us we have already won the prize because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But there is also a prize we can give back to our Lord.

I love the saying

“What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”

Warriors there is so much more that we can become. I don’t care how young or old you are. If you are reading this then God still has a purpose for you. His purposes are never mundane!!!  

In my coaching this woman for the Olympics I have told her that 30% of the coaching will be on perspective. Our mind is so powerful that we can lose before we even start the race. We can feel defeated, be worrisome, think we are not adequate and that we don’t deserve the prize. Warriors we all deserve the prize because of Jesus. That is because

Hebrews 12:2 “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Jesus paid OUR PRICE. We are forgiven, restored and destined for greatness. God makes no junk. I’ll say it again, God makes no junk. Don’t look at what others do. Pray and ask the Lord what you should do. We are all destined for greatness.

Brad 

“Out Of Control”

November 19, 2020 
If you are a parent, have you ever lost your child in a crowd? It is the scariest, most helpless feeling in the world. When Chase was young, his Autism had him on high energy. A two second look around and you could lose him.

Julie and I were speaking to my aunt and uncle at Baltimore Airport before the airports were locked down inside security. We kept watching Chase play and then there was no Chase. We all got up frantically searching for him. What went through my mind was someone could get him on an airplane and we would never see our boy again. A few minutes later a man came over to us and said “I think your son is upstairs, watching the planes”. Thats where he was and we held him tight. 

If you knew the last time you would pick up your child that would be such an emotional, precious moment. In the end of our lives sometimes our children need to pick us up. The last time for a stroller or the last time before leaving the home. We all have moments that we wish we could have cherished more. But that is life because life goes on. 

Grief is the response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical dimensions. Wikipedia

A lot can happen to our bodies and mind when things go really wrong. I am saying all of these dark things to say that our true Father is the LIGHT of this world. He knows no darkness – Amen!!I I am great at stuffing things inside. It doesn’t look like I am shook up but that then the grief will eventually work itself out. Speaking of stuffed, did you buy your Turkey yet:) 

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too”

God makes NO MISTAKES and He allows you to go through trials so God can use you to help others that are in the same pain. I can’t imagine a child lost and not knowing where they are. But God knows where they are. Instead of living in fear of what could happen, let us all rejoice in what God is doing now in our lives. Life is a roller coaster and we are just along for the ride. Allow God to love, comfort, calm and protect you. We get uptight when we try to go this world alone. We don’t ever have too again. Pray right now and give thanks. Believe it or not

GOD IS IN CONTROL OF ALL THINGS.
Brad

“I Found My Dad”

October 23, 2020 
Have you ever thought about how you are equally part your mother and part your father? Have you looked in the mirror and wondered what the other half of you looks like? Have you ever thought about things that you do and wondered if you inherited them from one of your parents? I have. 
My entire childhood and adult life, I’ve always had lots of questions and my mind has done a lot of wondering. I always felt a void. Something in my life was missing. A part of me. 

My mom was the best mom I could have ever asked for and she gave me everything I needed and so much that I wanted. She worked so hard as a single mother and by God’s grace she raised me with patience, tenderness, and love. 

I feel bad for questioning her all of those years. I know it was probably just as hard on her as it was for me. 

I would say I started questioning my mom about my dad when I was probably around 10 years old. What was his name? What color hair did he have? Where did he live and how did you meet him? 

At times I would wonder if she really knew who he was and just didn’t want to tell me for one reason or another. 

I knew three things about my biological father and I carried those things with me for 20 years. I held onto them so tightly because those three things made me feel a slight connection to my father. I knew his first name, where he was from, and what he did for a living when he met my mom. And while I knew these things about him- he knew nothing about me. He had no clue I even existed. He and my mom met in Hilton Head and never exchanged last names or contact information. 

This story today started in 1989. My best friend and best man in my wedding years later is still an Entrepreneur. This story will show you that 

Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.””

“The 20 Year Search For Her Father” by Erica Lawless

“””I went through countless searches on google with his first name, the state he was from and that particular profession and every search was a dead end. It was virtually impossible to find someone without a last name. I would go through the emotions of sadness, anger, frustration, questioning, and hopelessness each time I would find the hope to “search” again and would come up empty handed. This cycle was on and off for probably about 20 years. 

This year I decided to ask my mom for an ancestry DNA kit for my 30th birthday gift. 

She did order it for me and I took the test on my birthday, June 9, mailed it off that same day and waited for what seems like forever to receive the results. To my excitement, I woke up to the results in my email on July 29th 2020. I quickly signed in and went over it and found a DNA match with a great uncle. God spoke to my heart and told me to go to google and to type in my dad’s first name with this great uncles last name. So I did. I came across a Facebook page and I questioned. I stared at the photo of this man. I thought to myself, maybe I can see a resemblance and then immediately felt crazy for even thinking that far into it so quickly. I was scared to get my hopes up for them to be crushed all over. 

After thinking it over and praying about it, I decided to send this man a message via Facebook. I asked him if he was related to a man with the name I had been given in my results. You could say I was shocked when he replied yes, and in fact that it was his uncle. After a couple of messages back and forth that day and me not getting to the real point, he thought I was just looking for information on his family and told me good luck on my search. I was terrified of what he might say if I told him what I really wanted to tell him so I just replied, “thank you.” The next day I decided this was my chance to give him the real story. 

I wrote it all out and told him that I am 30 years old and have never known my biological father and that I thought he may have met my mom one night in Hilton Head in 1989. He thought it was a scam and told me not to contact him again. The next few days were hard. I went through so many emotions; fear, worry, doubt, disbelief. I didn’t want to imagine what the outcome would be if he didn’t want anything to with me. I waited my whole life for this. But I have told myself since I started looking that I would try to find him for the rest of my life no matter what. I knew there were many possible outcomes but to me, a positive outcome was worth the risk. 

One night while watching a video on YouTube, God gave me another clue. I heard Him whisper to my heart to type my dad’s name in the search bar. A video popped up of the same man that was in the Facebook picture and another man, who turns out to be his best friend. They were doing a podcast together about how to start your own business. I watched about a minute and a half of the video until I started crying and jumped up out of bed. My heart was racing and I started shaking. In that first minute and a half this man who I believed to be my father spoke about where he was from and what he did for a living when he and his best friend met. It was the exact two pieces of the puzzle I had been given from my mom.

Everything matched. The first name, the state, and the job description. I knew it was him. I called my mom and couldn’t contain my excitement. The loving mother that she is tried to tell me to keep calm but there was no holding back this emotion. Although I was still a bit nervous, God was just telling me- this is your dad. 

So I didn’t give up. He told me not to contact him again, so I didn’t. But I did look up his friend’s Facebook and found a phone number and contacted him. I called the number and left a voicemail with my name and phone number and asked if he would please call me back. He called me within 5 minutes of waiting and boy was I on edge for those 5 minutes. I’m glad he called back so quickly because i don’t know how I would have handled the rest of that day.

I saved his friend’s number so I wouldn’t question if it was him. The phone rang and I picked it up. He could hear my voice breaking and I asked him if he knew this man (that I believed to be my father.)

He replied, “yes! We have been friends for over 35 years. He was the best man in my wedding.” I knew right then that God had put him in my path for a reason. This man was an angel on earth sent to me to help me connect with my father. As I was telling him the story, we were both in tears. 

He said he would call my dad and reach back out to me soon. That night I received a call from him and I had no idea that night would be the first night I ever heard my dad’s voice in the phone. It was a three way call with my dad. From that first conversation I had so much peace about the whole situation. I knew after all that time, that there was a plan and that God was working. 

On August 14, 2020 we received the results of the DNA test that would ultimately change our lives forever. We, along with his friend did a zoom call and opened the emails together. 

99.9% probability. A true miracle. My dad was shocked and his friend and I were in tears. 30 years of waiting came down to this. If someone had told me I would eventually find my biological father after 30 years of not knowing him, I would have never believed it. 

God has done far beyond all that I could have ever imagined through this. All of my pain and suffering of wondering about the other half of me has been totally healed. My dad and I have a wonderful relationship and we plan to meet soon. He has been nothing but loving and supportive to me and I am blessed to know him and to be loved by him. I will never take for granted calling him, “Dad.” Saying that word still gets me every time. 

To My loving and gracious Heavenly Father- 
Thank you for the story you’ve given me. Thank you for a small part in the big story of yours. That I get to help bring hope to others and use what you’ve given me. Thank you for strengthening me when I am weak and that your strength is made perfect in my weakness. Thank you for empowering me to share my story to bring light to the darkness and glory and honor to your name. May my life be an encouragement to others to show them that you give beauty for ashes. 

To my dad- thank you for accepting me when it would have been easier not to, for loving me, and for sharing your life with me. These past two months of getting to know you have been everything I have dreamed of and more. I hope you believe me when I say calling you Dad is one of my greatest blessings. 

To my mom- Thank you for making the decision to keep me. I can’t imagine how scary and hard it was as a single parent. Thank you for giving me everything you ever could and loving me with all you had. 

To my dad’s friend- thank you for helping me connect with my dad. You were such a big piece of God’s puzzle for us and we wouldn’t have the outcome we do if it wasn’t for you and your willingness to call me back and hear me out. 

I hope our story encourages you to believe in miracles and not to give up on your wildest dreams.

For with God, nothing is impossible. 
Luke 1:37’’’. By Erica Lawless

Warriors I did an intro and a verse to encourage you. Little did I know it was the same verse Erica wrote. Yes, yes and Amen, 

WITH GOD NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. If you desire to speak to Erica please e mail me and I will put you in contact with her. God has always been and will be in the miracle business.

We love you all.

Brad 

“What A Ride”

October 22, 2020 
Sorry everyone for the delay. I went to send this out at 4:00am and my Database “Campaigner” was down. I may use Mailchimp or Contact. If any of you have experience with these please let me know what might be the best. Thank you Warriors.

When I was in the business world in 2004 I had a great invitation. I was to show up at a nearby airport and get on a Lear Jet that held 8 people. I was to bring my golf clubs and we were going to play Doral in Florida. I was to bring a guest that was a client of mine who lived in Miami. It normally takes around 2 hours to fly to Miami from Charlotte on a commercial flight. On a lear jet just around 80 minutes. Figure in the time to get to the airport early, 1.5 hours and then get a rental car you are at least 5 hours minimum.

When I pulled up to the small airport the pilots were there ready to start the engines. Within 10 minutes we were off. The jet climbed out like a rocket and soon we were at 40,000 feet. We landed at a small airport near our destination saving us more time. When we taxied to the hanger there were 2 rental cars waiting on the tarmac and off we went. 

I look back on that day with so much pleasure. But I also was awakened to the fact that the CEO had NO DOWN TIME. We get to the airpots 90 minutes early and we can do work and make phone calls. This CEO went from the office to Miami and there was no downtime for him. Private Jet travel is awesome but at what cost to the mental part of your life?

One of our most commented devotionals had to do with Simplification. I know the CEO and top C-Level executives cannot afford to wait around and need a private jet. But be very careful what you wish or pray for. 

Plus if you have a brutal CEO that flight will be so toxic that you would want to stop flying private. So where am I going with this? The grass is always greener over the septic tank. What we think could make us happy could actually be a curse of anxiety.

Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

This doesn’t say that the Lord automatically gives you the desires of your heart. God will give you the desire of your heart when your DELIGHT is in the Lord and not things. God doesn’t want to withhold great gifts from us but He will if that we keep us from falling. I can tell you that over 65 years God has protected me from myself. Thank you Jesus.

Be content where God has you. He will move you when the perfect time is right. Rest in Him.

Brad 

“Beware”

October 21, 2020 
If you are feeling downcast, worthless and without hope please know this, IT IS NOT YOU. It is the devil.

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

In Jesus’ Shepherd Discourse in John 10, Jesus contrasts himself with “the thief.” “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it in abundance.” If you hear this verse quoted in a sermon, or see how people use this verse online, you will usually hear that the thief is Satan. But is that what Jesus meant? All of John 10:1-18 hangs together as a single discourse, split up into three connected shepherd parables. So if we want to understand what Jesus meant by thief, we need to (surprise!) look at the context. Once we look at the whole discourse, it becomes clear that the thief does not refer to Satan, but to Jesus’ opponents, the self-serving human leaders of Israel.” Manning Jr.

I am not sure what I believe on spiritual warfare this side of heaven. All I know is that it is real. Since Jesus and Satan cannot speak to us Satan usually insights others to come against us. The Lord would bring others to build us up but there is no way the devil will not stop until we are destroyed.

Some people may come after you today that you just wonder what happened. It is NOT you but the devil gathering others against you. Don’t fight back but pray. Pray for the angels that are ALREADY protecting you and many more to come to your aid. If we don’t know of the conflict then we can’t pray for you. Be open, honest and the Lord will obliterate every evil in your path.

Amen Warriors, Amen.

Brad

“No Distractions”

October 19, 2020 
When you get to do something in your life that relates to excellence in the worlds eye, it is very difficult to replete that feeling, 

“Serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. This hormone impacts your entire body. It enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other. Serotonin also helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion.” Google

When I was exercising beyond and way beyond I was happy, relaxed and had no anxiety. But the Lord in many ways allows us to go through a desert of afflictions to where He is our serotonin. So we should worship the Lord, not the by product of an event.

When I can exercise I feel great. But the Lord in His love and infinite wisdom wanted me to have a closer relationship with Him. Jesus wanted such a close relationship with me that He took every obstacle out of the way. 

I stayed too long on The Appalachian Trail. Far beyond my ability to endure. But that is how I was trained. I now have an auto immune disorder that makes it difficult for me to walk. Forget running.

2 Corinthians 1:8 “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.”

So many of you were watching my every step on my GPS on the AT. I was so sick but I hated to give up. Like the apostle Paul said in the last 5 words of this verse, I thought it would be easier to fall off a 1,000 foot cliff than keep going on. 

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? If it was just you and Jesus in this world we would be safe, secure and content. What makes us anxious is man. We try to be the best, not be made a fool of, not to be defeated and a 100 other reasons. That creates so much anxiety in us that we retreat into ourselves. Oh, we can still obliterate our competition but inside we are hollow and miserable.

ALLOW the Lord into all aspects of your life then say, “Lord take all of me”. When you truly mean that you will find peace that passes all understanding.

Warriors we have a to of work to do. Never allow the devil to distract you from our mission.

Brad 

“Have Peace,Please Have Peace”

I have been so taken back by the analogies of Psalm 23 and the life in which we live today. Psal 23 was written by King David. He knew plenty about sheep as he was a shepherd

1 Samuel 17:31-36 “Now David’s words were overheard and reported to Saul, who called for him. And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of this Philistine. Your servant will go and fight him!”

33But Saul replied, “You cannot go out against this Philistine to fight him. You are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” David replied, “Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep, and whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, 35I went after it, struck it down, and delivered the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it. 36Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.”

David knew how to take care of his flock. 

“The strange thing about sheep is that because of their very make-up, it is almost impossible for them to be made to lie down unless four requirements are met. Owing to their timidity they refuse to lie down unless they are free of all fear.

Because of the social behavior within a flock, sheep will not lie down unless they are free from friction with others of their kind. If tormented by flies or parasites, sheep will not lie down. Only when free of these pests can they relax. Lastly, sheep will not lie down as long as they feel in need of finding food. They must be free from hunger.It is significant that to be at rest there must be a definite sense of freedom from fear, tension, aggravations and hunger. The unique aspect of the picture is that it is only the sheepman himself who can provide release from these anxieties. It all depends upon the diligence of the owner, whether or not his flock is free of disturbing influences.When we examine each of these four factors that affect sheep so severely, we will understand why the part the owner plays in their management is so tremendously important. It is actually he who makes it possible for them to lie down, to rest, to relax, to be content, and quiet, and flourishing.

A flock that is restless, discontented, always agitated and disturbed never does well. And the same is true of people”. Phillip Keller

Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”

The key word here is HE MAKES me lie down. I don’t know what is going on in your life but when I have not listened to God He has made me lie down to rest. Depression, Kidney Stones, Divorce, Tragedy, Uncertainty and on and on. I only can go to far and then I collapse. Sorry to say this but if you are near the collapsing point – Good!  Once God has us on our back as only a sheep can be hold then we are vulnerable. BUT, we are finally safe. We are in the hands of the shepherd. Not in a flock but being tended to one on one. 

Warriors, I don’t care if you are tough or weak. It only depends if your strength is in the Lord and not yourself. Allow God to get you into an uncomfortable position where you have no where to go but Him. 

THEN REST IN HIM AS YOU FEEL HIS ARMS AROUND YOU.

That is heaven Warriors, that is heaven.

Brad

“Peace Can Start Right Now”

October 14, 2020 
Many people if given the option would love a “Blessing” from the Lord. But in our world today there is no “Name it and claim it” Gospel. Just the opposite as far as riches. If you name it and claim it and that is what the Lord desires for your life then Yes you will receive it. So when “our cup runneth over” a lot of times we can think that equates to money. The older you get the more you realize that God’s abundant grace is what our cup runs over with.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over

When the Shepherd leads their sheep to a nice pasture to graze the Shepherd knows that there are animals around that would like to kill the sheep. So the Shepherd is on constant watch. Would it do any good for the sheep to be worried about such animals? Since a sheep has poor depth perception then chances are the sheep would have a tough time seeing it’s killer approach. That is why it has to fully rely upon the Shepherd. 

IF God is your Shepherd then

John 10:27-30 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.”

Now we can go through life ALWAYS afraid or we can live in freedom knowing God has us protected. 

God is love and He always has your best in store for you. So if your day is today to meet Jesus rejoice. If it is not do not worry about ANY THING. 

Today YOU have a choice. You can live victoriously or live in fear of the unknown which is not unknown to God. Since you are His child then stop this madness of worrying. In reality when you worry then you are saying to God that you do not trust Him.

“Lord help all of us to get rid of all our worries and concerns and live with the fullness of your grace that gives us your peace. Help us to take every thought captive and give it over to you. Then help us Lord to live for you and not for the world” Amen

Joy starts today. Never worry again.  God has set you free.

Brad
 

“Where I Belong”

October 13, 2020 
The movie, “The Healer” is a tribute to the late Paul Newman. The story takes place in a small town in Nova Scotia. This you man finds out he has certain powers to heal the sick. It is a very light hearted but in some scenes a very emotional movie. One of the scenes is when this man gives the gift away and he can’t heal a girl dying of cancer. Of course this is all fiction.

Lately I have seen many burdened but the loss of a loved one. I am sorry for your loss. But I wonder how Lazarus felt when Jesus raised him from the dead? 

John 11:17-23, 32-35,43,44 “On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 WhenJesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.”

We find that Jesus had a very close friendship with Martha, Mary and Lazarus. When Jesus saw they were so sad “Jesus Wept”. So Lazarus is dead, minding his own business in heaven, actually being in glory when he is taken out and brought back to an earthly life to then die again some short time thereafter.

Death is final but we need to know and focus on that this life here is NOT OUR REAL HOME. Lets say heaven is a billion times more beautiful than Hawaii with no pain or suffering. What if you got there and you were asked to come back to this life? You would say, NO WAY. That is the comfort that we, as believers have of our loved ones who know Jesus. We are sad because they are not with us, but if we could see and feel what they feel we would be overjoyed.

Warriors, please share the good news of the gospel as that is all that will last for eternity. As we see in the verses above, Jesus cares, Jesus has compassion for you and what you are going through right now. Plus He is preparing a place for you to live forever in glory. Amen!!!!

Brad