Here I sit, in front of my laptop. It’s been a while since I have been here. I do have to say that I have missed it. I missed sitting down and just having things flow. Having the words to communicate my thoughts and

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most importantly what I felt God was showing me. I knew that it hadn’t gone away just that it wasn’t being used. I was distracted. While it seems as a good excuse, I did have a lot of things going on for quite a few months, it really isn’t.

I had allowed myself to become so distracted that I was just going through the motions of life. Sure, I was still going to Church and I didn’t revert back to my old self, but I wasn’t growing either. I had become stagnant in life. And while it has taken me months to recover and start to get back on track, God has used it as a learning experience. While what we went through was tough and I had learned a lot, He also showed me somethings about preparation and always being prepared.

As some of y’all know back on March 11th my dad was admitted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas. What we thought was going to be a typical lung biopsy (if that even exists). We lost him to lung cancer on May 18th. Boy was this a blow. While I had lost friends and even family over the years including my mother-n-law, this one was different. Not only was it my dad but in the weeks that he was in the hospital we had grown close. Probably the closest we’d ever been. Thinking he was getting better we made plans, plans for when he got out of the hospital. Mending our relationship gave me hope for our future, gave him hope for our future. Then the other shoe dropped. We found out not to long before he died what was wrong. It was cancer and he was going to die and die soon.

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With this newfound information and eventually the loss, I didn’t question God. I prayed for everyone else that this was going to effect. I prayed that even through this pain they could see God, they could see Jesus.

While all of this was going on I neglected myself. I wasn’t reading like I was before, I wasn’t praying and talking to God like before. While on the outside it may have appeared to be no different, I was starting to run out of strength spiritually. I was filling the time I used to be reading with video games and pointless TV shows. I was filling the time I used to be praying with Facebook and YouTube. Anything I could use as a distraction. I was because I wasn’t feeding myself spiritually. I am thankful for the prayers of my wife and Church for strength to endure this time.

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So, I say all of that to tell you this. That is a dangerous place to be in. Especially for someone with a past like mine or maybe like yours. For people like us; one slip is a huge one. One slip can be very hard to recover from. That is why Ephesians 6 is so important. We must make sure we are ready for battle. Some battles may be long and drawn out so we must make sure we have the spiritual insurance to finish strong, to stay in the fight. Even if that means you’re doing everything you can just to keep your head above water.

I am thankful for my dad, for the time we had before he was called home, for the relationships that we strengthened through this and the fact that God saw me through. He saw us through. I came out better on the other side; I came out stronger. God knew what He was doing, and God knew I (we) could handle it if we stayed focused on Him. We sometimes want the reward but don’t want the pain and trial it takes to get it. We respect the reward more if it cost us something to get it. We respect where God has brought us if it was a painful process to get there.

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Life isn’t easy. Anything that has real worth and value must be earned. The acceptance of Christ is free but the process that follows comes at a price. We are required to grow in our walk (sanctification process). Paul talks about this process in Philippians 2:12-13. James even talks about going through trials of many kinds in James 1:1-13. It’s not a matter of are, but will, we be ready when we do? The trials are designed to make us lean on and trust in Jesus. The only way we come out victorious on the other side is by leaning on Jesus. We can’t successfully do that if we weren’t pursuing Him before the trial. You’re either about to go into a trial, in a trial or just came out of one. Are you ready for you next trial?

spiritual-warfare

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