“The Insanity of God: A Story of Faith Resurrected” (A Book By Nik Ripken)

“… It might be, in fact, to be safe in the center of God’s will, but we would be wise to stop and think what it means to be safe.”

“While I Wait”-Lincoln Brewster

“Thy Will”-Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

To Be Like Jesus Christ, Would You Walk Into A Situation Where You Find Yourself Being Tempted?

Temptation is around us all day, 24/7. If you’re truly a Christian, things like calling out sick from work to get a day off from work should bother you since the Holy Spirit lives inside your soul. True Christians are supposed to be like Christ as much as possible, and Jesus Christ would not tell a fib (lie). For I could give you many more examples, but I won’t giving you the benefit of the doubt trusting you know exactly what I am talking about.

However, Jesus prayer to His heavenly Father, He prays for us that His Father will keep the evil one from us (John 17:15). And all true Christians should know that Satan is the father of lies, and he successfully tricked the first humans (Adam and Eve) that were on this planet by getting them to eat of the scrumptious tree of knowledge of good and evil. Instead, humanity had to wait for the second Adam (Jesus Christ) to come and successfully fulfill all the requirements of the Old Testament Law. And Jesus Christ had fulfilled them perfectly, but still rejected by His own people, the Jews. In fact, some of religious elite in His day wanted to kill Him several times. Yet God the Father allowed the people in His day to crucify Jesus Christ, God’s Son. To Satan’s surprise, God the Father raised Him from the dead, 3 days later. “What was that for?” you maybe asking. Well, I will tell you, for 1 Peter 2:21 says this:

For to this, you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might walk in His steps. (ESV)

Both in Matthew 16:24 and Luke 9:23 Jesus says that if we are to follow after Him we must take up our cross and follow Him. So where would temptation come in?

For,

As soon as Jesus was baptized, He came up out the water. Then heaven opened, and He saw God’s Spirit coming down in Him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love, and am very well pleased with Him. Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 3:16, 17; 4:1 NCV)

For true Christians, could the Holy Spirit lead you into an area where Jesus Christ knows you have trouble giving into temptation? I think yes. Let me explain.

True Christians have to be close to Jesus Christ. Correct? Well, then in order for you to become more like Christ, the Holy Spirit (who is inside of you) would lead you out into your own personal desert to cause you to rely on Him more. Correct? No?

I am going to repeat a verse that comes from 1 Peter 2:21:

For to this, you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. (ESV)

I may be going out on a limb here, but isn’t most of our spiritual walk in order to become more as Christ paved with heartache now only to be a blessing in the end? Remember Romans 8:28 which says:

And we know that for all those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. (ESV)

I believe that every day we battle with temptation, but for the True Christian; I believe this includes temptation in taking up your cross every day (not trying to avoid it at all costs).

I heard on a Christian radio station a meeting to help you out of temptation. There come on was, “If you are get hit with a temptation that seems too much for you to handle, then come to this conference and we’ll equip you to handle whatever the temptation might be.” Mainly, to stay away from the temptation. However, if you get caught in an unbelievable situation, then apply these principles (that you will have to go to the conference to get). Really?

What if the temptation is a beautiful girl or a physically appealing guy (who seems to say all the right words around you) at work? As a true Christian, you pray that your paths don’t cross, over and over again. Yes, then there is an opening for your manager, and you find out that they applied and received the position. So, now, you are going to have to deal with why God did not answer your prayers. Let me repeat the last verse I gave you:

And we know that for all those who love God all things work together for good (even though they might seem bad at the time) for those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)

(I am not suggesting going against what Scripture says when it tells you to flee from sexual temptation as you will see in the verse below {Colossians 6:18-*click on the Temptation link by 116}. On the contrary, I was putting the emphasis on God has the power to use things like temptation to bring humanity closer to Him.)

Or on your way to work, someone cuts you off in your car. You are tempted to do as everyone else does and react in anger (not righteous anger) but in anger nonetheless. Anger that produces some swears that come out of your mouth, or even if they don’t you are still thinking them (which as God sees it, you are guilty of saying those swears). God places in our way those situations (temptations) which are supposed to drive us back to Him. Instead, we have the free will to choose Him or not; sadly, we choose the latter rather than the former (I am including myself in this).

Yet for us true Christians, there is a warning involved given by the writer of Hebrews. Hebrews 10:26-27 gives a stern warning, for it says,

If we decide to go on sinning after we have learned the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins. There is nothing but fear in waiting for the judgment and the terrible fire that will destroy all those who live against God. (NCV)

Further, I know I am heading into a slippery slope to a majority of Christians (maybe) who view temptation differently. But these are my thoughts, and if I am wrong, I will have to answer for it in heaven along with those who take up my stance. However, what if I am correct? 🤔 It is worth thinking about, isn’t it?

*I can only see only sexual temptation is the exception, for Colossians 6:18 cries out:

That is why I say to run from sexual sin. No other sin affects the body as this one does. When you sin this sin it is against your own body. (Version Unknown)

“Temptation”-116

“Blessings”-Laura’s Story

The Insanity of God: A Story About Faith Resurrected (a book by Nik Ripken)

“I admit, however, to my surprise, I found myself living a life that was neither safe nor secure. I was stunned, when I considered a life of sacrificial obedience, I could point to very little in my ministry that was effective.”Nik Ripken

“Tremble”-Mosaic MSC

“Blessings”-Laura’s Story

The Insanity of God: A Story of Faith Resurrected – a book by Nik Ripken

“…Obedience to God’s call would result in a life of safety and security. Obedience, was implied, would lead to effective ministry and results and even success. ‘The safest place to be,’ I was told more than once, ‘was to be in the center of God’s will.’ And that sounded both true and reassuring.”-Nik Ripken

“Trust In You”-Lauren Daigle

What Happens When You Fail As A Christian?

If you are a Christian of any sort, whether a baby Christian all the way up to mature, congratulations! You need to be celebrated, for the people of the world will not celebrate you for following God’s Son, Jesus Christ who took the way the world operates and turned it upside down where the world has at its mantra “everything to better me” versus Jesus Christ’s mantra of “everything to better others.” Jesus Christ commands people for helping others, where humility wins out over peacefulness.

Everything about Jesus Christ goes against the people in the world (worldly people). But weren’t we worldly people to, once? Yes? Yes, we were. And we, Christians, find ourselves turning to worldly people ways of finding solutions to our problems whether it minor to catastrophic. However, being a Christian means you have to wait on the Lord, but with all the pressing demands of the world Christians don’t have a second to waste. So what is the God-fearing and respecting Christian supposed to do?

What could be better than sharing my constant battles waiting on the Lord and the demands of worldly people in a fast world? The whole perspective of my life changed when I turned 18.

See, shortly after I turned 18, it was early summer. Not a full week had gone by when I was in a horrifying, almost fatalistic car accident, for I got into my accident June 28th, 1989 around 6 am (with hours to complete before a full week of summer had passed by into all eternity). I had several pieces of glass lodged into my head plus an open traumatic brain injury Thus began my journey into the land of waiting on the Lord and the demands of worldly people living in a fast world.

For even after it was clear that I would survive (1-month coma until 3 weeks in my rehabilitation stay where I made a solemn vow to the Lord that I would live out whatever life He had for me), I still found recovery extremely frustrating and difficult. However, once I asked a doctor walking down the hallway of the rehabilation hospital how long would I have expressive aphasia, he just looked at me and said never. It was devastating that my recovery would only be partial at best. There was nothing I could do; I would have to start accepting my “new normal” as Jeff Huxford, M.D. describes it in his new book, “Finding Normal.” *-a book about a doctor who had just reached his ultimate goal of being a doctor only to have it ripped away twice by a closed traumatic brain injury.

It is not easy. In fact, I continue to warn people about the dangers that contributed to my almost fatalistic car accident. Yet I do not know where I would be without that car accident. Before the accident, I was confident that I knew what God wanted for my life since the age of 14. It took the accident to reevaluate my life that I was God’s, and He could do anything with my life. So, I let Him- 3 weeks out of 2 1/2 months into my in-patient rehabilitation process.

You may say, “Excellent story. But how does this have to do with failure as a Christian?” Ever since my accident, I have become more self-aware (to almost a detriment), except that it makes me lean on God more. I am being honest.

I have a master’s of science in human services, but I haven’t been able to use it because of my slowness, the way that I talk due to expressive aphasia, my slowness of speech, and a constant limp on my right side. Most of the time, I don’t notice my constant limp except on deep, ominous, dark cloudy days to when the barometric pressure decides to go up or down. Yet the rest, I am pretty much aware of on good days, self-loathing on worst of worst days.

During the worst days, I feel like I can’t do anything right, leaving me with an over-sense of failure. As a Christian (especially a True Life Christian), am I supposed to feel that way? Yes and no. Let me explain.

Coming from Genesis 1-3, the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, introduced sin into the world. Ever since then, the human race has tried to reach up to God. However, since sin separates us from God, Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden, and the Garden of Eden was guarded by an angel. Since sin separates humanity from God, God had to send His Son (Jesus Christ) to take the weight of the whole world’s sin (both past, present, and future) and die a bloody death on a cross, thus sin was paid for as long as humanity has to accept Christ (John 3:16-21). Yet three days later God the Father raised Jesus Christ, God the Son.

However, I am supposed to explain the overwhelming feeling you and I get in response to failure as a Christian. This is where one of my favorite passages of Scripture comes into play. Romans 8:26-28 says this:

Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit Himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain. And He knows what is in the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit speaks to God for His people in the way God wants. We know in everything God works for the good to those that love Him. They are the people He called, because that was His plan. (NCV)

So for you True Life Christians out there, I have some more good news for you! What Happens When You Fail As A Christian? You are forgiven because Jesus Christ has taken punishment for all sin all of the time, but do not take that forgiveness for granted. As it says in 2 Corinthians 13:4-6:

For He (Jesus Christ) was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are also weak in Him, but in dealing with you we will live with Him by the power of God. Examine yourselves, to see whether or not you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or you do not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?- unless, indeed, you fail the test! I hope that you find out that you have not failed the test. (ESV)

Remedies for What Happens When You Fail As A Christian:

1. You are forgiven!

2. Ask for forgiveness anyway because that keeps you sensitive before God. Examine yourselves.

3. Rejoice over your continual forgiveness!

“Forgiveness”-TobyMac ft. Lecrae

“Forgiven”-Crowder

“Forgiveness”-Matthew West

“The Insanity of God: A Story of Faith Resurrected”-a book by Nik Ripken

“… This is what God offers His people. This is God expects of His people, and His people will respond with obedience and trust. I am not suggesting that I always got it right because I didn’t. But still, the way to be so trusting seemed clear, and the need to be obedient was beyond question…”-Nik Ripken

“Trust and Obey”-performed by Big Daddy Weave

A True Wish For The New Year!

How has the year 2018 been for you? It could have been the year of surprises, disappointments, or both which if in all honesty is like that for many of us. Whether you have the past year as full of many pleasant surprises or disappointments leading to disasters, I have some good news for you.

”What good news do you speak of?” many may wonder. What I am about to tell you unfortunately been communicated before in various words. As you read this, I beg of you not to treat this as another broken new year’s resolution. In fact, I heard with my own two ears that 80% break their new year’s resolution sometime in February and that most of them have to do with exercising, losing weight, and/or eating better. Year after year, we keep doing the same thing.

In a recent church service, the Bedford Campus Director gave a pretty interesting way to overcome this sense of failure to keep the New Year’s Resolution. He suggested one day at a time. He gave personal examples of things, such as health and personal fitness, and he is now confident that after a time he won’t be drawn into those behaviors again. He then got a little bit personal as he told us of a personal sin that he has been struggling with but knew it had to come out of his life if he would ever want to move forward with this one area of his spiritual life.

“One day at a time,” he said, “with being intentional about giving it to the Lord.” Give your life to the Lord, that is the only way to have A True Wish For The New Year!

“Vow”-Kutless

The True Ultimate Meaning of Christmas

You have less time than you think before Christmas is here. I just finished shopping for my wife; I bought an extremely sappy card, and I wrote in it an extremely sappy message which I meant and continue to mean. Yet, is family, close friends, even parties at Christmas time is all that there is, to say we survived another Christmas? I know this season can be extremely difficult. Say someone died that you were really close to, and you know it’s not good for you, but you can’t seem to let go. There are diverse reasons that this may not be the most happiest time of year. Although I can never walk in your shoes, this can’t be the only meaning of Christmas? Is it?

Husbands, wives, fiancees, close couples, families, close friends, etc… tend to look forward to Christmas, but have we lost The True Ultimate Meaning of Christmas? In America, I think we certainly have.

Just today, I was perusing a bunch of Christmas cards at a famous store where you can buy tv’s, laptops, smartphones, etc… in the electronics department; while still at the same store you can buy food items; men, women’s, children’s and babies clothing; household items; sports and outdoor equipment; various pieces of furniture; and stationary which includes Christmas cards.

While perusing I found several with Christmas sayings on Christmas cards. They had all sorts. Some were funny; some were more serious; some tried to impress you by having a Thomas Kincade photo with snow covered tress and yard, followed by a 6 foot lamp that was shining into a all-decorated house with a real Christmas decorated tree sitting inside this large living room. However, searching for Christmas cards proved largely futile because they largely didn’t mention what traditionally is the focus of this time of year-the birth of Love, Jesus Christ the Son of God. Even the Christian card I got for my wife had a verse from the Song of Solomon, a highly erotic book in the Holy Bible. There were a few cards under the religious section of the whole wall of Christmas cards. But who wants to get that where people are subject to an impersonal God?

God is holy. Yes, but God is also personal. Take a look at this-

God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so whoever believes in Him may not be lost but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NCV)

The last time I checked, love is a deeply personal act. It says in Scripture that “God loved the world so much…” indicating that He loved the people in the world so much that He decided to give His one and only Son to save the people in the world both past, present, and future.

Good News! This gift is indeed life everlasting, and it is not for sale indicating that it is free. Yes, that is true. Yet, if you are truly saved from eternal separation from God you (at some time(s) in your physical life) will experience trials to help you grow to be more like Christ. For 1 Peter 2:21 says-

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might walk in His steps. (ESV)

What is The True Ultimate Meaning of Christmas? It is simple. God sent His one and only Son (Jesus Christ) to die a physical death for us. So, accept God’s gift to you, or continue to make excuses as to your free life eternal?

“We Believe”-Newsboys

“The Best Song About The Free Gift Of Salvation”

Finding Normal and Being Different Collide… (Jeff Huxford, M.D. and Darren Beattie, BA, MSHS)

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One night, about 7 p.m. in April 2018, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Jeff Huxford, M.D. over Twitter. The story of his vehicle crashing and him getting a traumatic brain injury was remarkably similar to mine, although a few minor details were most definitely different. However, God uses different people in different ways. Such as the length of the coma (he was short; mine was long), and age plays a difference as well as he was in his thirties while I was just 18 coming into my adulthood.

Yet, overlooking our accidents as the ultimate blessing to God, that is why I choose this famous verse. It comes out of Romans 8:28, and it says:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those that are called according to His purpose. (ESV)

Just like Jesus Christ when He performed miracles. He performed His healings a little bit different every time, so that way to gain access to the healing it wasn’t reduced down to a formula (which all of us want to do). I will give you the references to prove it (Mark 10:46-52; John 9; Luke 7:1-10; John 14:1-6; Mark 2:1-11; Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 9:14-29; etc.).

There’s a temptation to think that all of Jesus healing miracles were almost commonplace when Jesus was physically around; in fact, I suffered from this delusion until I went to college. Then, through the help of my professors, I began unraveling the mysteries of Jesus healings. In fact, it was just a little different each time, just like the True Life story of Jeff Huxford, M.D and mine.

See, God uses different people in different ways to accomplish His purpose. Several times in the Old Testament passages, He does just that. The two that come to mind is the Babylonian Empire and the Assyrian Empire found in the Books of Daniel and Jonah, respectively. You can read them on your own.

God has a way of working it out, though what we determine as bad circumstances. We say things like “How can God be at work when one of His troopers is seemingly knocked down and given minimal chance to live?” Yes, I understand that sentiment, yet you are talking about the God that performs the impossible-like raising His own Son from being physically dead.

Luke 9:23-26 says this:

And He said to them, “If anyone comes after Me, let him take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life must lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what does it profit a man if he loses and forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of man will be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and His holy angels. (ESV)

You can read it, hear it, listen to it through the pages of the New Testament starting with the Acts of the Apostles down through Revelation.

Jeff’s favorite verse comes from the Old Testament Joeseph (which to be honest, I like this verse, too):

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:20; ESV)

That verse speaks about the horror of his car wreck and subsequent rehabilitation, but I have one also steeming from my car accident from which I was almost dead. It comes from 1Peter 2:21 which says:

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you may walk in His steps. (ESV)

“Blessings”-Laura’s Story

A Short Interview On “Finding Normal”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a story and thank you for saving my life so I could tell it. I hope and pray I tell it well and it points people right back to you.-JEFF“-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Blessings”-Laura’s Story

“Thank You, Lord”-unknown artists

“The Huxford Family Story: Finding Normal After A Traumatic Brain Injury”

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

*note: these Before and After statements are coming from Before and After Jeff’s major incident which left him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Before: Even when I felt close to God and I was spiritually healthy, I didn’t feel it was my duty or I was qualified to tell others about Jesus and what He had done for me. That was a job for ‘professional’ Christians.

After: Because of what God has done for me, I can’t help but tell people about Him. This is somewhat difficult with my speech difficulties, but I am finding a good outlet for this on my blog. I get better with my verbal skills and I am confident that if God wants this, He will make it happen. I know now that we are all powered by the same Spirit, so we all have the ability to share our faith in our own unique ways, and maybe not in the way we expected.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“When I Am Weak”-The Response Band

A Warning To All Christians Worldwide!

At the end of the most famous of His recorded sermons (spanning 2 chapters in Matthew), Jesus Christ says this concluding all that He has taught by comparing which house will survive-the one built on the rock or built on the sand:

Everyone, who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who builds his house on the rock. And the rains fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, because it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not keep them will be like a foolish man who builds his house upon the sand. And the rains fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (ESV)

This passage of Scripture has been used by many preachers, teachers, missionaries, and evangelists to convey to the sinful world that they better accept what Jesus Christ did for them on the cross, or they are doomed for hell. Yes, that is true. And there is no way of getting around it. If you don’t accept Jesus Christ you are forever lost or eternally dead.

However, take a look at what Jesus Christ said in John 15:1-6:

I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch can not bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that will bear much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. (ESV)

It seems like Jesus Christ is saying you can have an initial moment of salvation (going from eternal death to eternal life). However, if you are truly saved, the Holy Spirit inside of you will cause you to act because so many others are spiritually dying.

The parable of sowing seeds is another prime example. Take Luke 8:4-8:

And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town to town came to Him, He said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell on good soil, and it grew and yielded a hundredfold. As He said these things, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (ESV)

The house, the branch, and the seed stands for people (you and me). If we don’t build on the rock (Jesus Christ), eventually our house will fall, just like if you built it on the sand.

Similarly, Jesus Christ uses the grapevine to make His point. We all need to be grafted in; however, some branches (people) won’t take because the nature of the vine (Jesus Christ). Lastly, the farmer (sower) gets ready to sow his seed.

Let me explain. I picture the farmer with a wheelbarrow full of seeds going down some bumpy road. As a result, the some of the seeds get deposited on someone else’s footwear. Though careful, he can’t help but spill some of the seed with the bumpiness on the road. Most of the spilled seeds (anyone who does not have a firm position on where they stand with Jesus Christ) gets easily swayed and not being able to put down roots anywhere.

The same goes for the vine. You have to believe in what Jesus Christ did for you on the blood-soaked cross, and God the Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead, three days later. Yet that is only the first part. You got to act with boldness and tell others of the new spiritual life you have found. Correct? For the branch that withers, gets tossed into a pile, then ultimately gets burned is the so-called “Christian” who said a prayer to accept Jesus Christ when that person was younger than what they are right now and thinking they are good to go. Living a life like that, I would be shakin’ in my shoes.

Also, Jesus Christ said in Luke 9:23:

If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up your cross daily and follow Me. (ESV)

In a similar verse, 1 Peter 2:21 it says this:

For to this, you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. (ESV)

Leaving A Warning To All Christians Worldwide!

“Cornerstone”-Hillsong Live

“On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand”-(unknown)

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

*note: these Before and After statements are coming from Before and After Jeff’s major incident which left him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Before: I knew I was guilty of sin but was also confident that Jesus died for my sins. But my sin never grieved me because I knew many other people doing far worse things than me.

After: I started viewing my sin differently. My sin is beginning to grieve me. I don’t want to take advantage of God’s grace and love, and I am finding this much harder to do while in a constant relationship with my Savior.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Oh, My Soul”-Casting Crowns

“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”-Chris Tomlin

“The Love Of God”-MercyMe

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpeced Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

*note: these Before and After statements are coming from Before and After Jeff’s major incident which left him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Before: I was following what Mark Batterson calls the ‘inverted gospel.’ I stated that I was following God but really invited Him to follow me. And if God was following me, then I had nothing to worry about.

After: I want to follow God wherever He leads despite my own wishes or preferences, even if that means being uncomfortable.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“From The Inside Out”-Hillsong Worship

Dog-Gone It!!!

Recently we were gone from our home to go see “Bloodroot,” a play by Liberty University female students that featured women acting out Appellation women from different time periods which was based in reality. The young women were terrific; they not only acted, but they researched and wrote all of “Bloodroot,” a beautiful weed that can survive in circumstances that anyone would think to be impossible. It took place over many centuries, and it was truly incredible.

In the meantime, we needed a place to store our dog for the weekend, so we asked a family to watch our dog. They agreed on the condition that we wouldn’t hold them responsible while they went just for some hours. We agreed. And we prepped them of all the behaviors they might see from the dog. Though no fault of their own, the moment we got the dog back, he was sick for a week having diarrhea.

To our full knowledge, the dog was going to be left alone for an extended period of time, for the dog is used to that so we had thought nothing about it. The home that the dog was staying over, he was familiar with. So, it came as a shock to some of the family to hear that he devoured two 5 pound bags of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish (delicious cheddar-cheese crackers shaped into mini goldfish).

You would have figured out that the dog would have learned his lesson, and we thought for part of the miserable week for him and us we had a glimmer of hope because during that week we had to say a couple of times to eat the dog food. However, things won’t last down here on earth, and before long the dog was back to his old hungry self (which I think he has an eating disorder where his signal in his brain is broken).

On a much bigger level, can’t the same be said of us? We do something bad (like eating two 5 pound bags of yummy goldfish) but we can’t stop ourselves (or don’t want to). Let us take addiction to chocolate, for example. A little chocolate can have some health benefits, and that is true based on all the research. However, it can quickly become an addiction where you can’t live without it. Soon you will gain weight, not in the right areas and develop love handles, until one day you pass by a mirror. It completely horrifies you. Then you swear by everything that is in you not to eat chocolate again until it happens again-that little piece of chocolate. On and on it goes. Only One solution to this merry-go-round problem we have, and His name is Jesus Christ.

Yes, there is hope in Jesus Christ which has the power to save every individual out there (Acts 2:24-28). Dog-Gone-It!!! Don’t be like everyone out there succumbing to whatever sinful desires you have; rather instead choose to get off that merry-go-round with Jesus Christ leading the way.

“Merry-Go-Round”-Manafest

“Merry-Go-Round”-Manafest (a Doug Weier remix)

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Before: I always believed that Jesus died for my sins and saved me from hell, but I didn’t really understand that I needed Him for strength to live for Him in this life.

After: The power of the cross and Jesus gives us the power to live for Him every day. We don’t have to wait until we die to see His power, although that is where we will see it unhindered and in full force. But through His power, we can bring a little heaven to earth right now, every day.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Heaven Everywhere”-Franchesca Battistelli

“Heaven On Earth”-David and Nicole Binion (no lyrics)

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Before: I counted on the fact that I always knew the right thing to do but never gave it much thought to actually doing it! I believed knowing was enough.

After: Knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing. Faith and knowledge without action is dead!”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

*James 2:17 “So faith, by itself without works, is dead” (NIV)

James 2:26 “For the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead” (NIV)

“Faith Works”-Kenisha Nichols

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

Before: I would talk to and ask God for help, but only when I first tried to do it myself, sometimes multiple times. But I always had Jesus tucked away in my back pocket just in case I really needed Him.

After: Jesus is our first line of defense and offense. I can do nothing without Him.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Me Without You”-TobyMac

A True Thanksgiving All Year Round!!

What an appropriate picture since we here in the United States of America and up north in Canada celebrated Thanksgiving just a month ago. A picture that has the hope of excitement of family, friends, and food.

Sometimes, friends and family will take extensive vacations to travel around this holiday to mostly have someone, someones, something, or a variety of somethings ruin the perfect Thanksgiving for them, and then we repeat year after year. Yet, do we remember what this holiday was all about (at least in the American culture)? Way back then, back when the future Americans were still under the rule of the king of England, had a peace meal with the native Indians *not talking about people from India. But just a few centuries later, this peace meal where you are supposed to invite your perceived enemies has now become a place for family and friends and food.

I am feeling guilty as I even write this because I know how much the God in the heavens requires of me. Yet, His Son, Jesus Christ paid it all so I don’t have to feel guilty. However, I don’t know about you, but I am human with that sin of the original Adam still resonating within me. The battle still rages. Nevertheless, I am forgiven by God through the death and coming back to life of Jesus Christ (both physically and eternally).

Jesus Christ in His prayer recorded in John 17 made several statements that believers in Him wouldn’t have an easy life, but I take the words of Christ Himself in Matthew 5:10 which says,

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)

Won’t you join me in becoming a citizen of heaven by accepting into your soul Jesus Christ who made the provision for us to go to God the Father in heaven? Why don’t you take a look with fresh eyes at theses verses, John 3:16-18.

God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through Him. People who believe in God’s Son are not judged guilty. Those who do not believe have already been judged guilty, because they have not believed in God’s One and only Son. (NCV)

So, in fact, I invite you to give your life over to God through Jesus Christ, and you will have angels rejoicing over you as Jesus Christ says in Luke 15:10,

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (NIV)

Why don’t you join my family and I in waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ’s return, that way you can have A TRUE THANKSGIVING ALL YEAR ROUND!!

“Thanksgiving: God’s Family”-the Skit Guys

Finding Normal: An Uninvited Change, An Unexpected Outcome by Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Because of my trouble finding the right words to verbalize how I am feeling or what I am thinking, a complication of my traumatic brain injury, this has proven to be challenging. Despite that, I am committed to living this type of life.”-Jeff Huxford, M.D.

“Committed”-Newsboys

“Commitment”-Sanctus Real

“Father, We Commit To You”-(unknown)