Getting The Greatest Valentine Day Gift… LOVE! (The Old Reliable)

I tell you, Valentine’s Day, sneaked up on me this year partly due to procrastination. I am usually right on top of this one, in particular, (non) holiday, usually planning way in advance what I am going to get for my wife. However, this year it is different. Valentine’s Day is here in America, and I have decided to go with “the old reliable” in the pressure cooker of time. My wife is beautiful, sexy, and intelligent to match my personality. What’s wrong with me?

Although the answer to that will take up to much of your time (and it comes from a one-sided perspective) the question still arises, “What am I going to get my wife for the 2019 Happy Valentine’s Day that I haven’t given her already?” Probably, I will give her “the old reliable” gift of a Valentine’s Day card, red roses, and chocolate.

Yet, what is wrong with “the old reliable?” To me, it can become just old hat, something that you get when you’re running out of time with no real emotion attached to the gift. I don’t want that to happen between my wife and I, so I usually start way in advance. For I like to plan things for this Valentine’s Day, but due to procrastination, procrastination has robbed me of that. Yet, maybe “the old reliable” will work giving that “the old reliable” consists of a Valentine’s Day card, red roses, and chocolate (all the things my wife loves)?

Spiritually, maybe “The Old Reliable” will work for you by starting a new or refreshed relationship with”The Old Reliable” (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit)? If you can see what all 3 of Them (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) did for you as a tandem unit, then I am sure you will be convinced.

As a challenge, study John 3:16-21 and John 17 for the red letters contain the words of life forevermore. Then move on to Matthew 16:24-25 and Luke 9:23 because there was this lie (and maybe it still exists) permeating through American society that said: “if you become a Christian you have voluntarily decided to become a wimp.” That is definitely not true. Furthermore, if you decide to go for starting a relationship with God, “Getting The Greatest Valentine’s Day Gift… LOVE!” there will be ups and downs like any human relationship; however, there will be only one difference: God is correct, and you are wrong.

If you don’t have access to a Holy Bible and have internet access, you can use http://www.youversion.com to download the app on whatever device you have. That way you can see for yourself what I am saying is TRUE.

For I know one the ways to further you on your spiritual walk is through music. Click on these artists if this is one of the various ways in which you are encouraged:

Red Letters”-DC Talk

“Red Letters”-Crowder

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story About Faith Resurrected”-A Book By Rip Nipken

“Does God, in fact, promise His children safety? Do things always work out for those who are obedient? Does God really ask us to sacrifice? And to sacrifice everything? What happens when our best intentions and creative ideas are not enough? Is God at work in those hard places? And does He expect us to join Him in those hard places?”-Rip Nipken

“Go Hard (or Go Home)”-Lecrae ft. Tendashii

Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”

Trying to bring God into this new era, is not easy, for Jesus Christ prayed to His heavenly Father this prayer for believers regarding this:

I am not asking You to take them out of the world but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Make them ready for Your service through Your truth. For their sake, I am making Myself ready to serve so that they can be ready for their service of the truth. I pray for these followers, but I also pray for all those who believe in Me because of their teaching. (John 17:18-20 NCV)

I never expected God to use me in the way He did. Yet my prayer ever since I was an early teen was for God to use me in the way that would most benefit His kingdom. And it was on a cloudy but not raining autumn day, right after school that I received His calling on my life. But calling to what? In my stupidity, I thought God was calling me to be a youth pastor because God wouldn’t call me to be something that I would find too difficult. Would He? Besides, I was having to much fun in the youth group; why not make a career out of leading the youth?

It wasn’t too long until I made up in my own mind that I was going to stay being a youth pastor no matter what opportunities came my way. See, just about all Senior or Lead Pastors had their turn at being a Children’s or Youth Pastor. But I wanted to be different, something that you will take notice of. So I didn’t want to waste any time, so I told my youth pastor. I remember my actions around the church being watched, not only by my youth pastor but also by the Associate and the Senior Pastor. I did not care since I was doing what God wanted me to do, and I began to enroll myself in youth preaching competitions-during youth retreats, regionals and summer camps. The important people in the Northeast Assemblies of God began to take notice. I even won at a summer camp that hosted over 300 teens as I knew how God hates pridefulness, so I directed all of the glory to Him. But at the same time, I used it as confirmation of my calling.

A few years had passed, and I was all ready to go to college. The only thing for me to do was graduate from high school; however, about 2 weeks before my graduation, I had a dream. In this dream, I experienced similar things I did in my one-month coma, for I did not know that nearly 5 weeks from that dream, I would experience a near-fatal car accident that I was near death for the first 3 days in the intensive care unit in the hospital.

You might be wondering why I chose the picture of a 1985 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo for my cover of this blog? The reason I chose the photo of a 1985 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo was that was the car that I got into the nearly fatalistic accident with. It had been 4 weeks since I bought it used. I was flying high. Picture this if you can- a new (used) 1985 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo (although the colors were reversed on the outside since silver was the main color with the turbo in black) purchased just days before my graduation from high school, my high school graduation, parties to celebrate graduation, my best friend’s graduation and party at his house, plus working all sorts of crazy hours to support my car and other things. I was confident beyond belief that God would take care of everything. My college I didn’t have to worry about that either, for I knew if it was God’s plan for my life I didn’t have anything to worry about. Everything in my life was pointing to satisfaction with God, for I wanted for Him to be satisfied with my life that I tried to live for Him.

Yet, on the early morning of June 28, 1989, I apparently swerved off the highway since I was too tired coming home from a full-time job. However, that didn’t cause my crash; my over-correction, although, did send me into a ledge made out of granite rock. As I said before, 3 days of not knowing whether I was going to make it or not in the ICU unit, 30 days in the ICU in a coma, 3 weeks in the ICU Step Down Unit before I got transferred via ambulance ride to Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital as I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Countless pieces of broken glass filled my bloody, left front skull that was shattered beyond belief. As the left portion of the brain controls the right side as I was paralyzed on my right side throughout my stay where I received life-sustaining treatment in the ICU Units to keep my physical body alive. Then, I remember being transferred from the Elliot Hospital to the rehabilitation hospital that specialized in brain injuries.

There were several moments where the doctors could have given up on me, and almost did. However, through the persistence of my mother (yes, that is what I call her out of respect) God used her to make possible my tremendous recovery.

So, I have a supernatural experience that I can point to, saying:

“… With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 ESV)

I really hope that you do not have to go through pain in order to experience God, but even in the pain of this physical life, you can find God more clearly if you take the time and not wallow in your own self-pity.

“Supernatural”-DC Talk

“God Of The Impossible”-Lincoln Brewster

“Supernatural”-Planetshakers

“The Insanity of God: A True Story Of Faith Ressurected”- A Book By Rip Nipken

“Like Job n the Old Testament I knew that my Redeemer lived, but I couldn’t figure out why He was being so painfully silent. I was desperate for answers, but my questions just seemed to hang in the air.”-Rip Nipken

“The Book of Job Explained”-Inspiring Philosophy