After careful consideration, I’m going to uninstall MS Office 2010 tomorrow. It’s late. Letterman is on, Oregon is losing the BCS Pseudo National Championship game 11-19 to Auburn, and I’m tired anyway. But I’m not overly impressed with the upgrade. For my needs, the improvements don’t make up for the time it takes to load – roughly three times what MS Office 2007 Home and Student takes to load on my 2 gigahertz core 2 laptop. Ridiculous!
I listened to Pastor Tom Lemmon, Senior Pastor of Faith Community Church-Lakeside in Pittsburgh, PA, today, as I usually do on Monday. I do the rough edit of the Saturday and Sunday preaching services. I have the advantage of rewinding and listening again to anything that strikes me, something those in attendance can’t do. They have to wait for the radio broadcast.
Today, or rather yesterday’s morning service was the second message on Daniel in as many weeks. He spoke on Daniel Chapter 5, and in particular, Belshaazar’s pride, and the fingers of God.
I met Pastor Tom on July 1st, 2007, in an exercise room at the hockey arena where the Pittsburgh Penguins practice. Between that first meeting and May 20th,2008, when I had my second stroke, I sat under his teaching and watched in awe as we move from an exercise room to a basement suite, to merging with another church plant from 1968 – a Southern Baptist church called Lakeside Baptist church with a plant that could easily seat 200 on 8 acres od land overlooking a reservoir, but no pastor. We were a growing congregation with no place to call home. It was a match literally made in Heaven. Since that first combined congregational meeting in May, 2008, they have added a Saturday night service, and in February they will launch their second Sunday service. Last week they helped birth a new church in the Pittsburgh area. This is their/his growth vision/model. Instead of building a bigger building, start a new church.
I am almost 20 years his senior, yet I was humbled by his wisdom, knowledge, integrity, commitment. I felt it a privilege to sit at his feet, and to still do so, as it were, by editing his messages for radio broadcast. He is a man of God, and a man of the Word.
And hearing the message on Daniel 5 today really spoke to my heart.
I’m an old man. Almost 60years old. It’s likely that apart from a miracle of God, I probably won’t see 65. I believe God healed the area of my brain where the aneurism took place, but the damage was severe. I have mobility, but no feeling on my left side. The condition is not improving. The doctors said that the regeneration or repathing of the nerves would take 3-5 years. After that, it probably won’t get any better. It will be 3 years in April. If anything, it’s regressing.
And I’m mostly OK with that, if a little unsettled. God has opened some doors for me I wouldn’t have had without this stroke, and every time I type with my left hand, tie a shoelace, or even walk, it is by the grace of God.
And that’s where the regrets come in. I became a Christian at the age of 12 in November 21, 1965. I sincerely gave my life to Christ. I answered a call to either do Christian Music or Preach. I went to Bible College. And I spent the rest of my years mostly running away from God. Four people I know are responsible for my repenting and returning to God. A mentor in Michigan, an ex-wife, my Pastor in Michigan and Tom Lemmon.
I’m dying. I know it. It will likely tale years, but the lack of progress in my recovery is a good indicator, supported by the regression in my left arm and leg.
But this I know, and the message in Daniel 5 I edited today confirmed this for me. For whatever time I have left in my life, I want to be the man of God, husband, father, son, and clay in the master’s hand I set out to be almost 46 years ago. I want to be God’s man in my place and time in whatever way He desires of me.
You see, I know I was a hypocrite, lousy husband, crappy father, and arrogant, prideful, self-centered rebel all my life.
If you think of it, would you pray for me for that? I’d like to be healed physically, but I’ll be happy to be closer in my walk with God. Changes will be necessary, but by the grace of God, I’m ready.
God bless you, and thank you.