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November 4, 2015

I had intended to write down a bunch of my thoughts and present them over three days. Then my schedule became accelerated and today is Wednesday, November 4, 2015. Monday and Tuesday are in the past and I have just today to write a few thoughts I wish to express. Please note that I may ramble. Wait. I do ramble, please cut me a little slack.

When I had originally envisioned writing a trio of posts I intended to title them the last three days of my life. Though it is a mistake to mention death as most folks tend to miss everything else said or stop reading completely when they read any word associated with death. Then I find myself responding to a couple of dozen ‘you’re not going to die’ comments. I agree. I am not going to die. Okay. What made me even broach this death comment is my first conversation with my surgeon. He mentioned a lot of risk factors which put me at around ten percent chance of dying. When he mentioned that all I could think of was Hans Solo saying, “Don’t tell me the odds.”

But if I were to die (stop looking at that word), I want to say a few things. As a Boy Scout our motto is “Be Prepared.” That is what I am doing here. Some people do not have a chance to speak out as the good Lord takes them out of this Earth too quick for them to even say goodbye. Plus I do not want to tell anyone goodbye. I want to say so long for a little while.

My Christian friends understand what I mean here. When we leave this temporary world for eternity we are going to have so much time to chat and enjoy living with our Lord Jesus Christ. He has provided the Christian world with a wonderful model of love. But so many of us have fallen short of this.

I want all of us to love each other, without regard to race, religion, sexuality, or nationality. We should love each other because we are human beings and we can have peace by embracing love. A Pharisee asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus answered that he must love the Lord with all of his heart, soul, and mind. He called this the first and greatest commandment. Then Jesus added a second commandment, we should love our neighbors as ourselves.

Love lets us all get along. In love we can respect, we can find tolerance, and there is hope for a better tomorrow. Just a little dash of hate can disrupt all of love’s ambitions. I would hope that everyone can at least come to tolerate each other. It is the easiest form of love. We just live and let live. But so many Christians embrace hate to put forth whatever agenda makes them feel good.

For example a lot of hatred has been aimed at homosexuals, especially with gay marriage being a big issue. I admit that I cannot accept gay marriage. But I cannot agree with hating homosexuals simply because they are sinning. A homosexual act is a sin, but Jesus died for that sin. Therefore it is no longer an issue. Let us focus on the human side of homosexuality with love. Tolerate these people at worst, but don’t hate them. Christ died to provide all sinners salvation. Let us come to homosexuals with love and the gospel. No one is perfect. All sin is bad. But no sin is greater than another because of Jesus Christ. He would not have Christians attack homosexuals. Jesus would want us to let them be. And when they come seeking the gospel who are we to deny them a relationship with God?

We should be applying principles of love to Abortion clinics, such as Planned Parenthood. When an abortion clinic is bombed we should not be celebrating murder and the destruction of property. Where is the love in that? We should go to those people that have been harmed by some lunatic and show them how Christian love really works. No we do not need to help rebuild a clinic whose purpose we disagree with. But we should bring the gospel and love to people that we disagree with. We must also make Christianity look more attractive by avoiding judging people and projects we disagree with. Christians have earned the negative view outsiders perceive. Let us be positive and be loving. Jesus provided a very positive life model that we should try to emulate. If you want to stop an abortion, don’t employ scare tactics and other hate filled methods. Bring some love to the conversation. Listen to these woman that are considering abortion. Give them love and in turn they may learn to love and choose to keep the life that grows within them.

As a Christian it is important to love my enemies. This does not mean I allow them slap my cheek or destroy my property. I am allowed to defend my own life and I would kill a criminal to protect my home and family. I pray for terrorists each day. This does not mean I want them to prosper and gain victory. Also I pray that the US military is prepared and ready to crush any attacks against my country. When I pray for a terrorist I pray that they find peace and lose their desire to hurt others. My prayers ask that they leave their evil plots and find a way to spread good across the world. I believe Jesus would pray for all of his enemies. Therefore I must follow his inspiration and hope that my prayers can help to bring about peace.

I do look forward to eternity. Every day I pray and I thank the good Lord for providing me with another day of life and bringing me one day closer to eternity. Honestly I look forward to spending eternity with so many of you. For some of you heaven will be our first face to face meeting. I think it will be a wonderful occasion.

Some of you are not currently eligible to join us in eternity. That is your choice of course. But I would like to invite you to join me. For every living human is qualified to enter heaven. You simply need to have faith. Why faith? Because faith is not something we can add to or help. There is nothing we can do to help God save us. We are weak, feeble sinners and cannot come to God on our terms.

Faith allows us to approach God. Faith depends on you believing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins. He did all the work and paid off your sin debt. You simply make a choice to accept him as your savior. There is no need to do anything else. No public announcement, no self-flagellation, no walking down an aisle, or crying while feeling sorry for your sins. Simply state that you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins. Hey be nice and thank him for what he has done for you. If you accept Jesus as your savior I look forward to spending time in eternity with you.

This is probably my last post before I go under the knife tomorrow. They explained the process of the surgery to me and I am going to give my brief understanding of what is to come. This afternoon I am going to start receiving IV treatments to prepare my blood for the surgery. This is to counter my hemophilia, which is a concern to the doctors. Oh, and me too. I am going to receive two scrub downs in the evening so I will be a clean sacrifice, I mean patient for the ER.

Once I get sedated in the ER they are going to shove a pair of tubes down my throat to better monitor my heart and lungs. Then the surgeon must crack open my chest and go about repairing the mitral valve in my heart. He is going to sew a titanium ring around the valve’s circumference. Then he must cut the cartilage that forms the mitral valve and sew it back together in order to strengthen the valve. Some tubes are going to go up from stomach region to help with draining fluids. Then the surgeon is going to sew me back up and glob on some super glue to help my chest repair.

They intend to keep me in ICU for at least two days after the surgery. The tubes are going to still be in me. A pace maker shall be attached to me also. My heart is going to be swollen and until the swelling goes down I must use the pacemaker. There is a slight chance that the pacemaker must become a permanent part of my life. All I will eat on the day of surgery is ice chips. The ICU is going to attempt to get me to sit up in a chair too. I’m all for that. The sooner I am walking the better.

When I complete this surgery I look forward to starting my second life. Fixed heart. I do not want to have another heart surgery. Going back to the gym and my missed Spinners class. I really want to lose some weight. When I lose enough I would like to run. Would especially like to get into the fun runs. Look forward to having a healthy second life.

Day Seven

January 7, 2015

Today I am appalled by the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France by terrorists. My prayers are for the scum that carried out this attack.

Heavenly Father,

I acknowledge your holiness and bow in respect for the many gifts you have provided all of humanity. May I ever be prepared to answer your call with love and respect towards others. Today I am thankful for another day of life and bringing me another day closer to eternity. May Jerusalem find peace that will spread to all four corners of the globe.

Thank you for the American armed forces. May they be ever vigilant, trained and supplied to carry out missions of peace and to protect America where needed. Please bless these men and women and send them comfort. Send strength to their families that they do not worry. Soothe those who have lost loved ones in battle. Bless our law enforcement and fire fighters. May your grace guide them in their duties.

Father please help these terrorists that attacked the newspaper in France find a better means to express themselves. May they be captured and justice served. Please send the grace messages to them that might allow them to repent from the evil path they presently pursue.

Please bless the families of those that fell today in Paris. Please allow their families peace and good memories of those they have lost. Let them not focus on revenge, but allow them to find hope for the future. May the French people find resolve to not lose the desire to express themselves and live life in freedom. May the people of France have access to your grace message so that they may follow the path that Jesus would.

I thank you in the name of Jesus Christ our savior,

Amen.

Day Six

January 6, 2015

Today I shall pray for David Coleman Headley, a home grown American terrorist. He plotted against the Danish newspaper that published cartoons of Mohammed. He is currently in prison in the U.S. for plotting the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008.

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for the beautiful sunny day you provided and the time to go for walk outside with my father-in-law. May he rest through the night and avoid setting off the burglar alarms. I am grateful that you have given me one more day of life and brought me one day closer to eternity with Jesus Christ. Thank you for the time with my son and his friends last night. If it be your will provide all of them with blessings and access to the messages that will help them grow to honor you.

I am pleased that you gave me the chance to visit the Memorial Park of Sugar Land. Bless the families of the men who are honored there. May their loved ones have access to your boundless grace. May they have peace despite the loss of their warrior. Bless the active military that serve America today. If it be your will may they endure and survive on the battlefield. Also send your grace to the lawmen and firefighters that keep American neighborhoods safe. Let all citizens be thankful for the tasks these men and women endure on our behalf.

Father send your grace blessings to David Coleman Headley. May he become aware of the evil he has performed and set it aside and grow to follow a path of peace. Please motivate him to plan means to improve the life of men instead of their destruction.

Father I ask that you protect Shane Hensley and Clint Black as they travel to Austin. Please bless all of the good folks that are coming to Chupacabracon and let them have an uneventful journey. Let me be prepared to witness for you, should you provide the opportunity. I thank you for any and all chances to serve you as an ambassador.

Thank you for prayer as a means to speak with you. Thank you for your omnipresence. Knowing you have my back is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your matchless grace, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Day Five

January 5, 2015

Today we have selected Malik Abou Abdelkarim of Mali. This al-Qaida terrorist is a leader of a company of fighters that is located in North and West Africa. His force has attacked and kidnapped in these areas, including the murder of a 78 year-old French hostage and 11 Algerian rural policemen. Abdelkarim remains at large.

Heavenly Father,

We are thankful for the warm roof you have provided for us on this freezing morning. Thank you for blessing us with glorious sunshine to cheer the people that are returning back to work, some after a long vacation. Thank you for providing another day of life and bringing us one day closer to eternity with Jesus Christ.

Thank you for my brothers and sisters in the US military. May you comfort their bodies and energize their minds that they may remain focused on their various missions. Bless the chain of command, from the lowliest private to the Commander-in-Chief, President Obama. May they possess useful intelligence to make the commands necessary for those troops to perform honorable missions. May they avoid the unwise or incorrect use of our troops. Please keep them from harm’s way, but if that cannot be avoided then help shoot straight and true. I ask that you bless local law enforcement and fire fighters that they too are used wisely. That these men and women are respected for performing their duties and not second guessed by those who have not walked in their shoes. May they perform their jobs according to the laws in our protection so that we may live in peace and freedom.

Father we ask that you send your boundless love to Malik Abou Abdelkarim. May his heart be softened from the hatred that leads him to kill the innocent and those who would protect their citizenry. May your grace touch him and move him to find a peaceful path in this life. May he be moved to smelling the flowers instead of throwing stones. Bless him and protect the rest of us from the harm me might do.

Father I thank you for hearing my prayers. I thank you for sending my father-in-law safely to my home this morning. Bless him with good memories and let him be at ease. Please bless my son’s friends who are visiting us today. May we enjoy this time together in good cheer. If you present me with the opportunity to witness, please send the energy and mental acuity to present your gospel.

In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

Day Four

January 4, 2015

Today the random selector provided Ibrahim Salih Mohammed al-Yacoub of Saudi Arabia. This individual is a member of Saudi Hezbollah and currently at large. He planned and participated in the attack on the Khobar Towers US military barracks facility in Saudi Arabia. He fled his homeland afterwards by using a fake passport.

Father,

Than you for providing us with such a beautiful sunny day. Thank you for letting us keep dad for another evening and please bless Gianna as she cares for him today. Thank you for allowing us to make it to church and may we find a way to follow the message of good health Pastor Phil preached today. Bless David Giddings and the rest of our ABF group that they may remain strong in their faith and service to you, Heavenly Father.

Thank you for the police officers that direct our parking and traffic at the end of service as well as securing the nursery. Please bless them and their comrades in community service as they protect our right to attend church in peace. Send grace to our military members across the globe. Provide them with the logistics and training they need to complete their jobs. Protect them from harm if it be your will, and deliver them to urgent care when they are wounded or injured. Bless the families of those we lose to sacrifice for America. Help them find peace and resolution in their time of pain.

I ask that you send your grace to Ibrahim Salih Mohammed al-Yacoub. Let him find a peaceful means to disagree. May he become exposed to true peace and learn that no good comes from spilling the blood of others. Protect him from harming others and move him to progressive thoughts and dissolve him of hate.

As I am looking at the first week of the year, please give me the energy to prepare for the coming tax season. Also help me with preparations for Chupacabracon. Allow me to be a witness in all situations where you provide the need. Bless those that come into contact me and let my actions honor you and be worthy of your grace.

In they name of your loving son,

Amen.

Day Three

January 3, 2015

Today the random selection provided me with Qari Mohammad Zafar. Zafar is a Pakistani national sought for questioning in regards to the bombing of the US Consulate in Karachi. This act of terrorism killed three Pakistani citizens and David Foy, a diplomat.

Our Father in Heaven,

I acknowledge your holiness and find comfort in your words. Thank you for giving me another day of life while bringing me one day closer to eternity with you. Thank you for providing a roof over my head. I am thankful for the abundant rain you have sent and look forward to seeing it create beautiful gardens, strong trees, and food for my family later in the year. Thank you for my car and please bless the mechanics that are presently working on my truck. Let these men find the grace message to help them make the grace decisions in their life.

Thanks for allowing me to meet with my friends yesterday. I appreciate the blessing of good friends, good food, and good times that you have allowed me. I look forward to more times like this in the future if it be your will.

Thank you for the American military that protects me. Without their sacrifice I an not able to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Let me be ever so humble that I may express my gratitude when I am blessed by the presence of a soldier that I may personally thank them. Please protect our law enforcement officers and fire fighters that protect us here on the home front. May they be honored for their service to the community.

Father please send your love to Qari Mohammad Zafar and remove the fear from his heart. Let him feel peace and seek a peaceful way to address his concerns with the world and the United States. Please guide him away from destruction and let him become a productive human being.

Father thank you for allowing my father-in-law to visit me in my home and spend some time with us. If it be your will let me be prepared to witness to him and provide the gospel to him. Please send comfort to him that he might sleep through the night. Stimulate his mind with mental energy so that he does not become disoriented, causing him to believe he is in Hong Kong. Let him find joy as he is surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

Heavenly Father I pray for peace in Jerusalem and across the world. If it be your will teach us to love each other and mind our business that we do not get in each others way. Let us leave the judgment of sin to the cross and live our lives in your grace. May I find ways to honor and glorify you throughout my day.

Thank you in the name of Jesus Christ,

Amen.

 

Day Two

January 2, 2015

Today I have randomly selected Mohammad Fazl, the former deputy defense minister of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. He had been captured and held in Guantanamo Bay until recently when he was released as part of the exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier held in captivity over in Afghanistan. Fazl is currently at large. He is responsible the deaths of thousands of Shi’ites between 1996 and 2001.

Gracious Father,

Thank you for providing me with another day of life and bringing me another day closer to eternity. Bless Ed who called me this morning. As you know we discussed you and how we wish to be able to translate spread your word to those who thirst for hope. Thank you for bringing my family together again last night to celebrate the New Year at Fung’s Kitchen. Please bless Nancy and her staff with grace to help them in their lives as they impart their good food and excellent service upon us. Thank you for bringing everyone to the restaurant and back home safely on such slick road conditions.

Thank you for my brothers and sisters standing in harms way to protect me and mine, allowing us to go out to eat and engage in commerce and cleaning throughout the day. Send comfort to their families that they should not worry. Help them be soldiers first, while still being a reflection of American standards. Because a soldier would rather give his chocolate to some kid on the road than have to shoot at them and their community. Let our warriors know peace. Give fear to our enemies that they are forced to know peace or risk the wrath of American firepower.

I pray that Mohammed Fazl shall come to learn peace. That some spark of humanity can be touched inside him and like Saul of Tarsus he comes to change his way. Let me be an example of love that men such as Fazl can recognize and spark a desire to learn more of the mystery called God’s grace.

Father help me find inner peace. Allow me to control my anger that my personality does not become a distraction from my Christian faith. Let me exude faith and honor towards you that others might be curious to know. Let me be prepared for when questions are asked of me to answer them with the aide of your Holy Spirit. I merely await for the opportunity that you provide. If it be your will for me to attend seminary I pray that you shall make this clear to me and show me the path to the school that will best teach me the original languages.

I pray that there will be peace in Jerusalem. That this peace is one that spreads across the world and embraces all of mankind. May all people come in contact with the grace message they need to make the grace decisions for their lives. I thank you for the bountiful blessings you have showered upon my family, near and far. Please continue to guard us from all forms of evil, no matter how pretty it might be.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Amen.

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