Faith of a Father

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; – Hebrews 10:23


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Thank God for His gracious gift – a heart attack!

Psalm 106:1-2

Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise?

It may sound strange to hear someone say this but over the past 8 months I have prayed this over and over many times.  I cannot comprehend all the reasons God allowed me to experience a heart attack, but I can tell you that there are some things He needed for me to learn and He used this event to get my attention.   Was I a rebellious individual running as far from God as I could?  No, in fact, over the last number of years I think in many ways my relationship to my Lord has been the strongest it has ever been but like many Christians, I began to fall into a comfortable routine in my Christian life and a few subtle areas that seemed to take root in my life overtook more than I realized.  I allowed excuses to cover up and hide a few corners in the heart that I didn’t want to let go. In doing so I got used to not calling these areas what they really were, sin.  When we begin to rationalize those “acceptable” sins we become blinded to their affects on our life.  So yes, I do thank God for His great love for me to do what it took to get my attention so that I might pursue a more sanctified life.

After my heart attack happened and I began to realize the significance of it’s importance to both my physical and spiritual life there were several overriding reasons why I wrote these blog posts called “Lessons from a Heart Attack”.

First, for some personal accountability.  It has now been eight months since my attack and even now I need to continuously be reminded to stay on track, both physically and spiritually.  Even in these few months we have already seen and experienced how easy it is to slip on our good intentions.  By posting these lessons online, I am in a small way allowing myself to be seen by all and become accountable in a more public way.

The second reason I am posting is a hope that you, the reader, might glean something from my ramblings.  If even one little thought or comment might be an ember to a changed life, it would be worth it.  It is my hope that one of these posts would stir up within someone a desire to dig deeper into the Word of God and create a burning desire to live a more sanctified life.  Or for someone to be convicted by God’s Word enough to be will to make a radical change in both their physical and spiritual heart.

Over the past number of months I have shared 5 lessons that God wanted me to re-learn and renew in my life from my Heart Attack:

Lesson #1: Don’t waste the Warning Signs and Risk Factors

Lesson #2:  Things are not always what they appear

Lesson #3:  We influence others more than we think!

Lesson #4:  Good intentions often lead us in circles

Lesson #5:  Don’t forget the brevity of this life

What happened to me, happens to millions of people every year.  Statistically, I am nothing special.  Fifty percent live, the others die.  But I would dare to say that it is the few who take their experience, trial or testing and truly seek after God, and having  a desire to learn the lessons He wants them to learn, the correction needed in their life and the refining He desires to sanctify them are the ones that can truly say, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

So let me ask you:

What has been the “heart attack” in your life?

What significant event has God providentially allowed to come into your life to teach you and sanctify you?

What lessons have you learn from it?

Have you taken the time to write out these lessons so that you can articulate and remember them?

Have you shared these lessons with someone to help hold you accountable?

God has a purpose in ALL things, to refine us and sanctify us.  What are you doing to allow God to accomplish His purpose in your life?

Don’t waste your heart attack !

Next up, I will be sharing comments from several family members on how God has used my heart attack in their life.


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Lesson #5 From a Heart Attack: “I Have How Long?” (part 3)

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Lesson #5, Part 3

Recently for a 4 week period, I had the opportunity to share these lessons with the family Sunday School class that we attend.  Because I am not a regular teacher, preparing for these weeks has distracted me from completing part 3 of the fifth lesson. 

It is neat to see how God directs others in their message preparations to match up perfectly with an ongoing theme that God is showing and using in our lives.  Since my last posting, during an outreach ministry in our local city park, our pastor preached a message to our church and park goers on the Brevity of Life.  Then again on the eighth of August, he preached on Applying Wisdom.  It never gets old to see God working to overlay teaching from different sources to drive home a point we need.

In my last post I said that I wanted to discuss how wisdom is applied in two general ways and while I didn’t say what these two ways were it in the blog, I did in our Sunday School class and these were:  to our physical life and to our spiritual life.  But the more I began to mediate on it I was reminded that this was the wrong approach.  To apply God’s wisdom to the root of our being is to apply wisdom to our spiritual life because our physical life is only an outworking of our spiritual life.

In the last post we ended discussing Psalm 90:12 which says: 

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

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And we talked about the purpose of numbering our days which is to apply our hearts unto wisdom.   We briefly went through the topic of what is wisdom and how to obtain it.  Because my pastor did a great job in his message several Sunday nights ago, instead of me spending many words expounding on a topic that he has done a masterful job in doing I want to refer you to his message on the topic of Applying Wisdom.  You can listen to his full message here.   So get you Bible out or go to your favorite Bible website, turn to James chapter 3 and listen to Pastor Bryan Ferrell as he does some expository teaching on Applying Wisdom. 

So what did you think?  I trust you took the time to listen to Pastor Ferrell message and found it useful.  As you can see from the link, there are many other sermons available from Pastor Ferrell available at your fingertips.  Why not add this link to your favorites!

On my next blog post (which I hope to have posted a lot sooner) I will wrap this topic up and plan to have a few posts from my family on how God has used this experience in their life.