Category Archives: Connect

Gratitude on Father’s Day

I look back and realize my last few posts (here, here, and here) have been about very difficult topics and negative circumstances. The reason is, I can’t stand a lie, particularly a lie that threatens to lead multitudes astray. The narrative in our country has become so skewed away from God, His objective truth, and common decency that is sickens me. Whether 2 or 2,000 read my blog in a given day, I believe it is worth telling the truth to however many will read it.

However, what I witnessed today from my kids on Father’s Day has me extremely hopeful. We went out to eat with my dad, and had to wait for quite a while to be seated. My sons took it on themselves to open the doors for people entering and exiting the restaurant. They received so many complements for being gentlemen.

More importantly than that, we left the restaurant and went to the hospital to visit a lady who was a part of our church for years, who is terminally ill. As we pulled into the parking lot, my oldest son said, “Me and (his brother) are PRAYERamedics. We don’t use the machines to save people, we pray for them!” We were stunned by how clever he was to come up with that name.

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image via Microsoft Office

But it wan’t just him being clever. When we got to the room, my wife and I greeted the family that was present and made small talk. My oldest came to me and said, “Well, should we get to work?” I said, “Sure!” He knelt at a chair and started praying. Everyone in the packed, tiny room noticed. When he got up, I said, “In a minute, we’ll go over and pray with her.” He didn’t wait; he walked over to the lady’s bedside, put his hand on her and started praying. His little brother put his hand on her and started praying. My wife was sitting close and she started praying. I walked over to join them. Everyone started praying. I felt God, like a miracle was about to happen.

Me and (his brother) are PRAYERamedics. We don’t use the machines to save people, we pray for them!”

We saw no immediate change. But there was no denying the power of God was there. The lady’s adult children were there and they were comforted by the faith of two children. My wife and I witnessed fruit growing in our children’s lives. And even though my family had treated my like a king for Father’s Day, I was even more honored and humbled to see that all the investment we make as parents pays off dividends over and beyond what we can imagine.

I give credit and honor to my wife not only for being the parent that is home to care for our kids and our home, but also for instilling in them a love and appreciation for their father. They know that every time I leave the house for any period of time, I am doing it to support them because I love them, and also because I am doing work that is worthwhile. Knowing that my wife and I are bound together in providing a godly home and that they are getting the message- these are the greatest Father’s Day gifts I could ever receive.

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Do the Thing God has Called You to Do

I’m going through a whole-life coaching program, offered to me by my employer. By whole-life, I mean that it is about life performance, not just job performance. I had my fourth meeting with my coach Pete yesterday morning.

I have determined that Pete and I are both Christians. Though he has not elaborated his particular beliefs, he has been very affirming of mine as I have talked about them so far. I told Pete in this session about conversations my wife and I have had about healing for my colitis, about the work we are doing for the Lord, and future plans we have together.

A big topic, probably the main one we will focus on in the rest of the ten weeks we have together, is my plan to write a book. The book will articulate my message to the world and earn me the opportunity to work for myself, helping other people live the 1st Century faith of the Bible in the 21st Century world we now live in. As I talked about all kinds of other things I’ve done or want to do, Pete helped me realize something very important that I want to pass on to you.

He said to me, “When I hear people say they make time for church once a week, that think they have the spiritual life all together, I doubt that. But when I hear you talk about prayer, and giving yourself to ministry outside the church, and bringing your heart for God to your class, and you and your wife talking about faith and healing, if that doesn’t say your spirituality is solid, then I don’t know what does.” I had not taken stock of myself like that before, and it was a huge boost to have all of these signs of vibrant faith reflected back to me.

That is not to say I have it all together, because I don’t. However, I do think that there are many of us who are giving our all for Jesus that do not realize how strong and vibrant our faith really is. And we need the opportunity to recognize what we are doing that is good and right and pleasing to God.

The next thing our coaching conversation turned to was that I know I have everything it takes to write the book I know is waiting to be written. I just have to do it. Confidence is the kicker, and my words and tone at times are laden with uncertainty. If I want the opportunity to help you get moving on living out your faith, I have to be busy living mine. And that has been where the conversation trails off, and I know it is crunch time.

Life coaching is not the same as spiritual mentoring or submitting to spiritual authority. In fact, coaching can be a completely secular endeavor. It isn’t necessarily right for someone who is not solid in their faith in Jesus Christ. But it is a really helpful thing for me right now. So I hope you will keep your eye on this blog for my progress on the book. I hope it will bring much motivation to believers who need help doing what God has called them to do in this life. I also hope that by completing it, I can be an example to you of what you are capable of.

Freedom Fighters of Today Won’t Be Greeted With A Hero’s Welcome

I thought today about how honored and revered (for the most part) our remaining World War II vets are. Except for a stint a while back when the President wouldn’t let them visit their own memorials (which they promptly squashed), the vets of the Greatest Generation command and receive our highest respect.

I then thought about how the vets of our most recent wars haven’t had, and likely never will have, that same level of universal public respect. And I wondered why. But it did not take me long to figure out the answer to my question.

Our WWII vets served during a time of moral absolutes that caused our leadership and our citizenry to recognize evil and call it what it was, to its face. When war was determined necessary, the enemy was identified and victory was the only goal. Our men were authorized, empowered, and expected to destroy the enemy until none were left, if they did not surrender first.

Our vets who have served, been maimed, and died fighting in the Middle East have operated in a time of moral ambiguity, with no absolutes, with a vaguely identified objective aimed at a shadowy sense of an enemy. Our leadership has sympathized with the enemy, negotiated with them, and provided no fortitude to fight and win. As a result, we don’t have victors returning home; though they are victors in the hearts of most Americans, even we who love and appreciate the fighters can’t really tell what has been accomplished.

Well, we know for sure what has been lost- the gains of the past are all gone as the Middle East has been reclaimed by Muslim extremists who threaten, capture, and execute Christians, women, children, gays, and even other Muslims who do not agree to the fullest with the jihad.

Yes, today evil is called good and good is called evil. That is exactly why the Church of the Living God needs to be awake, attentive, and in action in the world today. If we don’t point out the evil that is called good and the good that is labeled evil, how will the lost and confused, rapidly dying world ever know the truth?

Stand up. Just don’t be prepared for a hero’s welcome.

I Love Days Like This- A Journal of a Saturday in Ministry

I went to the soup kitchen today to preach the chapel service. It’s a ministry I love but recently have not been able to attend to like I want. Different things have simply kept me away for the past few Saturdays.

I preached on sin and salvation from Romans chapter 5. It was a room full of people, volunteers and patrons, and I encouraged them in the hope we have in Jesus, and the consequences that are certain if we do not turn to Him. One brother requested prayer to stay away from cigarettes; he was recently released from the hospital. He had a vent in his throat he had to close with his thumb in order to talk. He was thankful God had spared him but he needs healing and ongoing help. We prayed and believed.

I took the opportunity to walk in the neighborhood. I wanted to find a spot where we can plan to have an outdoor service. I prayed as I walked and saw a couple of suitable spots, writing down a phone number from a for-sale sign at one of them so I could seek permission to use it. As I returned to my car after about 30 minutes, I heard a screech of tires from the direction I had just come. I drove back through that street and there was a police officer talking to a couple of ladies. I have no idea what happened- I just know that minutes before I had been in that very spot and that God had protected me and perhaps these 2 ladies from something.

I had seen several people as I walked, smiled and raised my hand to wave at a few. But I did not have any words to say, no great prompting to speak or reach or pray. But as I drove home, I passed by a house where a man was sitting on a porch in a wheelchair. He threw up his hand and waved as I passed. I waved back, but something about the way he had waved made me think he was trying to get my attention. I turned around and went back, pulling into his driveway. I stepped out and asked if he needed help. He said he didn’t, he just enjoyed sitting on his porch and waving at passersby. We talked for a few minutes. I noted his Vietnam veterans cap with the wings of an Airborne soldier pinned to it. When I mentioned it, he talked about going to college before voluntarily joining up for service in the 82nd Airborne Division. I saw the purple heart pin as well but decided not to mention that. He gave me a card with his name and phone numbers on it. It had his Vietnam Veterans of America chapter on the back. He said he was glad I stopped by.

He is in a wheelchair because of a rare disorder that is killing his nerves. It has caused neuropathy in his legs. Though he can walk some, he has to hug the walls of his home to get around. He has good days and bad days, he said, but the Lord keeps giving him one more morning to get out of bed. I offered to pray with hi affirming that through faith in Jesus, He can work miracles. I prayed in faith for his healing, his quality of life, and his faith in the Lord. And I truly believe the next time I visit him, he will be better.

I thank God for His calling, and for days like this.

What I Learned From Holding a Flashlight- The Ongoing Process of Focus

Focus is hard. It’s hard to find it, let alone maintain it. But it is the key to effectiveness in anything.

Dr. Henry Cloud talks in Boundaries For Leaders about the working memory, which is the memory we use to accomplish right-now tasks at home or on the job. Ever been in the middle of something and had an interruption, like a phone call or email, or someone that just pops in your office? Ever think about how long it takes to get back on task, to remember the detail you were just working on, and get reengaged with the job at hand? It takes a while and it is frustrating.

I was holding the flashlight for my dad last night, a job I’ve had since I was very young. When I was a kid, I couldn’t maintain my focus very long, and the beam would drift, causing dad to look up from the job at hand and say, “Hey, pay attention!” As an adult, I can focus longer, and yet I noticed from time to time I had to readjust the beam to focus exactly where his hands were, to illuminate the tools he was working with.

Focus is actually an ongoing process of readjustment. Like driving is an ongoing series of course corrections to keep your vehicle in the right lane and away from others on the road. Focus is effectively achieved by small changes made frequently in order to keep the light where it needs to be.

When a flashlight is a little off target, it is difficult to realize at first because of the ambient light. But you can tell the difference very quickly when the brightest beam is refocused on the job at hand. The important details become easier to see and the job is more easily done.

Whatever your cause, purpose, or pet project is, to make the best of it requires focus. I just heard Rush Limbaugh say, in relation to a question about his process for preparing for his show, “I’m lucky I’ve always been able to focus my passions.” That’s the key to success for you and the important causes you work so hard for.

I See You Healed

Update: My symptoms have been nearly nonexistent since writing this post. I believe Christ has honored my obedience, because out of my sickness and the message of healing I received, others were also meant to be healed. I was a roadblock to that until I wrote this post. I’m believing for miracles in the lives of those who have read this and those who have yet to read it.

I should have written this a couple of weeks ago. It’s a story that has begged to be written.

I’m dealing with a little health issue. I’ve dealt with it for around three years now, most of that time doing nothing substantial about it. It finally got to the point it was impacting my daily living significantly. So a few doctor’s visits, tests, and a colonoscopy later, I find out that I have ulcerative colitis. Actually, it took two doctors and a nurse practitioner with a colonoscopy in the middle, then one last doctor (the right one) and a second colonoscopy, to find out the diagnosis.

That being said, I’ve been feeling really bad for a really long time. I’m sure I won’t realize how bad until I finally get my condition completely under control. We’re still trying to do that.

Being an Apostolic Pentecostal, I believe in the gift of divine healing. I have claimed and held to the promise of healing. Hasn’t happened yet. No impact on my faith, just some discouragement every now and then when I’m at my worst. Even though I have had prayer many times, I finally spoke publicly to the church about what I have been going through one Sunday. My family has been aware for quite some time and have been praying for me consistently.

So out of the blue one day, I come home from work. I start seeing these little notes everywhere- on the door coming into the house, on the light switch, on and inside of the refrigerator, and on the mirror in the bathroom.

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My mother-in-law had been in prayer for me that day when God told her to see me healed. So she did. She told my wife about it. Julie took over and wrote all the little notes, taping them all over the house, putting them in my bag I carry to work, and stuffing them in drawers where I would eventually find them. This has been at least two weeks ago, and just yesterday I found new notes that she put in different places. She is still writing those notes. I know she believes completely.

Again in prayer, God told my mother-in-law, “Glen is going to have a collision with healing.” She has been faithful to share each time she hears from Him.

So I haven’t experienced the fullness of healing yet. But I still believe. And I know what my next step should have been all this time. I’m taking it right now.

I should have written this a long time ago. I’m writing it now: I see you healed.

I wondered why so many people have crossed my path lately in need of healing. I’ve been guilty of neglecting prayer where prayer was desperately needed. I rectified one such lapse a couple of weeks ago with a coworker who had been really sick. She felt God move. I she her healed. Another coworker suffered a stroke. But many prayed, and God spared him. He has a long way to recovery, a recovery that may only be possible by divine healing. I see him healed.

I’d love to see you, speak to you, and touch you according to the scriptures to pray for your healing. It isn’t possible to do that for all of you. But I still see you healed.

From your chronic depression, I see you healed.
Your cancer and your heart disease, I see you healed.
Your headaches, tumors, and infections, I see you healed.
Your long-term disabilities, your chronic, recurrent conditions, I see you healed.
Your grief and strife and bitterness, I see you healed.
Your self-inflicted wounds, your unrelenting guilt, I see you healed.
Your traumas that were outside of your control, I see you healed.
Your type 1 and type 2 diabetes, I see you healed.
Your unexpected emergency, illness or injury, I see you healed.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I see you healed.

Some even in Christianity don’t believe what I’m proclaiming right now. I don’t care. I believe for you even if you don’t believe for yourself.

I know that my healing is not just for me. These simple but profound expressions of faith for my healing is not just for me either. It’s my calling to tell you that you are healed. I’ll get my healing as I’m faithful to tell you that your healing is here.

When you experience your healing, do something for me. Cry out to Jesus out of joy and ask Him for more of His Spirit and grace. And share healing with others. When you pray in the name of Jesus Christ, healing will happen.

See more about my faith here.

Let’s Run A Little Farther- A Conversation with my Wife

“Come on, let’s do 8.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, we’ve already run 7.5.”

This was the conversation as we neared the end of our long run in the rain on Sunday evening. I was taken aback a little bit at her wanting to squeeze out another half-mile. It was the longest either of us had ever run continuously. But we ran on, passing the end of the driveway as it called for us to stop short, and finishing mile 8. Even though our legs felt like jello, we felt confidence that we would be able to run the half-marathon coming up in a couple of short months.

On the drive home, we began talking about what the call of God is for us right now. “I’m not sure it was God’s will to plant a church in downtown. I thought it was, but now I don’t know; I feel like I have no clue what He wants us to do.”

Her response was, 1) “I’ve been praying about that,” and 2) “I think we’re doing what we need to be doing.” My fears that our ministry is insufficient melted. Just like when she said, “Let’s run a little farther,” I felt an assurance and a push to keep on going.

I’m thankful for a partner to run the race with, a godly wife that is there for me, as I try to be there for her.