God’s Got This – By Thomas Koester

I have been reading a lot of posts from friends or acquaintances sharing stories of physical pain through sickness or tragic circumstances, and their experiences and stories hits you right in the heart.

For us who believe in God, pain and suffering are designed to create something in us and through us. It’s meant to transform us and prepare us for what is and what will be.

“The Glory of God is man fully alive,” penned Saint Iraneous – AD 130 to AD 202

In God’s economy, being fully alive means to completely die to sin, flesh and the Devil. Which, is to say that we need to be completely unavailable to the Devil, to sin and to the desires of the flesh. And man, it really hurts to become what we should be, and to become image bearers of God’s Son, Jesus.

We’ve all suffered loss to some extent, and loss through pain and suffering will visit us from time to time. It’s an inevitability and a certainty because we all live in a fallen world.

But, these transitional pressures, whether they be spiritual or physical can even cause weight loss and a reduction to our physical abilities. Not a weight loss program that I’d volunteer for mind you, but this stuff just shows us that at times even our physical bodies change due to pressures of life and out of control circumstances.

God has a glory in mind for each one of us, not just in heaven, but here, and now, and even in the midst of the storm you’re in. The tension between walking in His reflective and intended glory and our sin hiding it or fighting it, brings about seasons of breakdowns. The breakdowns, that is, our crushings, brings the breakthroughs that God has long ago prepared for us.

There is a beautiful placard hanging in the reception area of my office, and it reads:

“The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not Protect you”

This means that while God’s glory for your life comes at a price, no matter the cost, God’s grace will aid you and protect you through that cost.

Glory has a price, and the cost is always our will and our flesh. For the Apostle Paul, it meant that he died daily and that he born a thorn in his flesh, not reminding him that’s he’s human, but because he had received amazing and otherworldly revelations. The thorn helped him manage the glory, which God sovereignly bestowed upon him.

And this brings me to you. To the glory that God has planned for you long ago…

Your losses, whether they be your health or even the health of loved ones, or your comforts and the comforts of others is not happenstance, but God’s eternal plan working in you and in others for your good and for God’s glory.

“No man can see God and live,” says Scripture. There is therefore, a cost in being the image bearer of his Son. Jesus said: “The World hates me, and if you follow me, the World will also hate you.”

The “hate of the World,” is not just physical, but psychological and spiritual. The World hates the Messiah and especially his offspring. The World absolutely hates the Glory of God and the Glory of his Dear Son, Jesus Christ, who is The Glory and Righteousness of God.

Therefore the world hates anything in the likeness of Christ and that which reflects his glory.

Revelation 12:17

“And the dragon was in raged with the woman, and went to make war with her offspring, those that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Because of God’s plan for your life and the Glory of your life in Christ Jesus, you’ve become an enemy of the World; of the flesh and especially Devil.

The women of “The View” took a shot at Vice President, Pence’s Christian faith a year or so ago, mocking the former governor of Indiana for talking to Jesus and even calling it a “mental illness.” You see, even in Joy Behar’s uninformed remarks can there be an opportunity to reveal Jesus Christ to the Nations, and that Jesus Christ does speak to all those who belong to him. “My sheep hear my voice.” said Jesus. Even in our suffering can we hear the voice of our Savior and even through harsh remarks from the ladies of The View can bring about God’s glory in his Son, and in you too!

Glory in your tribulations; in your pain and in your sufferings, because of these things, you are being made beautiful and in this beauty lies your glory. So, let the glory of your life shine brightly and hold onto the Word of life; hold onto it with everything that you’ve got!

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Be like Job…

“…But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:10

Glory to glory causes you to glorify God and it is totally worth all you’re going through. All of that Job suffered, was not for nothing, but brought about a glory bestowed and an honor for which we can read about thousands of years later.

…Yes, God restored Job; he restored him to an even greater state than Job could ever have imagined.

Because of Christ, you will, and have already surpassed Job. So remember….

…God’s got this!

Adjust Your Trust | How To Triumph In Difficult Times – By Thomas Koester

God has promised not to give us more than we can bear.

This goes for both crisis and blessings.

The truth is that God will not allow either crisis or blessings to destroy us. We forget that God intimately knows our limits and he works within the unseen and unknowable boundaries of our individual lives.

Many of us break apart too soon, and so miss what God is doing through the crisis, or we cap off his blessings too early because of false humility.

You see, we miss out on transformation and glorification because we doubt God’s heart. We give too much power to the Devil, and so, diminish the greatness of God and his workings in our lives.

We need to adjust our trust…

Our trust must be unconditional in God, or our trust in him will fail on the day of uncertainty and crisis.

The Prophet Isaiah puts it this way:

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. Isaiah 45:7

Job discusses this dilemma with his wife..

…His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

Job replies, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not evil?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. Job 2:9-10

You see, we need to adjust our trust as to the unchangeable nature of who God is, and not to how our circumstances make us feel. God is in control of absolutely everything and He wants us to be masters over evil, rather than evil mastering over us.

God explains to Cain:

“What’s with this tirade and sulking? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” Gen. 4:7

Our feelings are uncertain and always changing, but God is a sure foundation. He’s not controlled by emotions.

We need to unconditionally trust God’s heart. Not at all easy, but real and authentic trust requires genuine faith.

If you consistently adjust your trust to what you feel, you end up inviting the Devil to be the interpreter of your crisis. He would have you curse God and die, rather than die to your false imaginations and feelings and live. The Devil is a trickster and a hustler of all sorts of feelings.

An unwavering trusting child of God, no matter the circumstances, is a destroyer of evil, and an unquenchable light in the most darkest night!

Shine brightly my dear brothers and sisters!

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

By the way, the above verse is now all in present tense!

Adjust Your Trust in the Unchangeable and Everlasting Father. He is The Wonderful Counselor, God of the Angel Armies and The Prince of Peace!

Adjust your trust in God – it’s all on His shoulders and not yours.

….And your life will becoming radiant as you triumph through difficulties. All because God knows what he’s doing, and you belong to him. You are His responsibility.

The Church’s Need For Prophetic Zeal – By Thomas Koester

“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the State, but rather the conscience of the State. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” Martin Luther King Jr.

This prophetic statement by MLK has come true. And, not only so for the loss of the Church’s moral obligation to State, but more so, for the Church’s spiritual obligation to God and his Kingdom.

Every Church must become self-critical of it’s unique mission and calling to it’s own secular communities. The reason why so many Churches have become Country Clubs, is because of self-focus.

Focused on its income, or lack thereof, rather than its outcome.

Focused on its memberships rather than discipleship.

Focused on career clergy and limited to a “do it all staff,” rather delegating ministry to the congregants who can create an exponential impact.

Focused on electrified, charismatic and dynamic leaders to attract people to create spectators and those who value entertainment more than engagement.

So people flock to County Club Churches to appease their conscience and sense of obligation of assembling together — a sort of paying respects to God with a few worship songs, a monetary tip or token, a short, but inspirational message, all wrapped up with a few handshakes and hugs, and “Ill see you next week, bring-your-friends-and-family plan” benediction.

Meanwhile, the cities and communities remain in spiritual shambles, because the Church has abdicated its mission and calling to the State and to State programs, rather than Her calling to occupy until Jesus’ return and expand his Kingdom beyond the walls of sanctuaries and stained glass windows.

People of God, recapture your “prophetic zeal!” God wants a Church without walls and a gospel message proclaimed loudly in the streets and marketplaces, rather than whispered from pulpits to the faithful few.

Most Churches have a faithful minority of approximately 10% to 20% of their congregations, which also includes the clergy. These 20% percenters pay 80% to 90% of the ministy’s budget in order to support and minister to the majority, who have no heart to obey; even worse, most preaching is to placate the majority and to foster and encourage their passivity. Because of this model, many churches have “become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”

Dr. King’s assessment and warning of 1967 remains true to this day. And sadly, the transforming and redeeming power of the Gospel message has been muted by the traditions of men and the promotion of passivity. If you watch the news, you’ll realize that the church is progressively, and forcibly being silenced and threatened by a new minority of secularism and godlessness.

1 Samuel 15:22 (CEV)

22 “Tell me,” Samuel said. “Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him.

James 1:22-24 (MSG)

22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

A convention on spiritual gifts is useless without an outlet to exercise them. Even in the failure and mistakes of exercising spiritual gifts comes growth, as it will ultimately edify and build up the whole church. But to ignore spiritual gifts, and worse, create ministries which do not need them is treason against the Kingdom of God; rejection of the Holy Spirit and it turns The Great Commission into The Great Compromise!

Furthermore, a people with a lack of vision will eventually perish, and a people uninvited and unequipped in ministry will become bored and will struggle with personal sin and defeatism. They will become slaves to their old ways for lack of invitation and engagement to the ways of God.

Ephesians 4:11-13 (ERV)

11 And that same Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people.12 Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection.

Let’s all encourage one another with the purpose of our calling to greater faith in God, so that we together may reach maturity in Christ, and so present the world with the passion of Christ in us.

Then the whole earth will know of God’s amazing love through his Holy People.

Even In The Shadow of Death, God is Near – By Thomas Koester

The Enemy’s plan: Cause you pain to rob you of your future. God’s plan: Give you a future through your pain and rob the Enemy.

On October 11, 2013 I had symptoms of a heart attack, and was was admitted to the hospital, after several EKGs, blood work, nitro tablets, pain meds and then a stress test the following morning, the diagnosis was that the “heart attack” symptoms were stress induced. So, I created a few boundaries to lessen my stress levels and started some prescribed meds.

On November 13, 2013, I tripped on the mid-landing of our stairs, snapped my left quadriceps and then flew the rest of the way, landing on the hardwood floor below. Another trip to the ER and then surgery to reattach the quadriceps muscle and tendons occurred on November 27, 2013. I was in post op recovery and physical therapy since the day before Thanksgiving.

January 8, 2014, I came down with the flu. Never once have I ever had asthma, but by Friday, January 10, 2014 I was admitted into the ER for respiratory distress, complications from the flu and was prescribed with an inhaler and other meds.

In all of these illnesses and accidents, I bowed my head and thanked God for each and everyone. I did not maintain a positive attitude all the time. I had grumpy and hard days, and made it difficult for my wife to take care of me. But what brought me through each and every trial was the comfort of knowing that none of these events, no matter how painful, frightening or threatening, were outside or beyond the control of a loving Heavenly Father, who had permitted these trials and may have even order them in my behalf.

I create both light and darkness;
I bring both blessing and disaster.
I, the Lord, do all these things. Isaiah 45:7

To complicate these past three months of illness, sickness and my fall down the stairs is that we had lost our healthcare on July 31, 2013, due to a single and sudden increase of our premiums, further complicated by a substantial reduction in income, increased the severity and reality of what we were then left to face.

But still, in all of this and even the onset of the very serious flu I had, I was thanking God and welcoming the chills, fever, aches and pain. This past flu was so bad, that I had made my peace with God and ordered the affairs of my inner house and readied myself to meet my Maker. Yet, I continued to thank him for permitting even the possibility death.

“The Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you, and you will not have to search for him any more. If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.” Isaiah 30:20-21

Since all this begun in mid October, 2013, my trust and confidence in God had grown. I had witnessed so may kisses and hugs from God all through these events. They are too numerous to list. But suffice it to say, as I surrendered my will to God and rather than complain and blame, I yielded and accepted each attack, fall and sickness as instruments in the hands of a loving God taking my momentary losses and messes and creating something out from all the chaos I had encountered.

You see, if we put our faith into God’s promises, just like Abraham did, God can, in His power do unbelievable miracles, even raise the dead and speak things into existence that did not before exist.

“As it is written: I have made you the father of many nations. He is our father in God’s sight, in whom Abraham believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist.” Romans 4:17

I am beginning to see the semblance, artistry, order and beauty from those past three months of chaos, pain and sickness and financial ruin. The very things that could’ve destroyed me were called out by God for a better purpose than death.

“On the day when the forts of your enemies are captured and their people are killed, streams of water will flow from every mountain and every hill. The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be seven times brighter than usual, like the light of seven days in one. This will all happen when the Lord bandages and heals the wounds he has given his people.” Isaiah 30:25-26

You see, when the earth was formless and in a state of darkness and chaos, His Spirit hovered over the darkness, over the empty waters and then God began to speak life, beauty, color, order, boundaries and life into existence.

“The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The Spirit of God was hovering over the water.

Then God said, “Let there be light!” So there was light. God saw the light was good. So God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light day, and the darkness he named night. There was evening, then morning—the first day.

Then God said, “Let there be a horizon in the middle of the water in order to separate the water.” So God made the horizon and separated the water above and below the horizon. And so it was. God named what was above the horizon sky. There was evening, then morning—a second day.” Genesis 1:2-8 (Gods Word)

It is in the nature of God to begin with chaos, disorder and emptiness and begin speaking beauty out of each of our messes. Whether these messes are bad news, sickness, disease or even betrayals, God has the ability to transform all of it into order, semblance, artistry and beauty.

But in order to go from the pain and chaos to beauty and rest, we must join God in faith that He knows what he’s doing. And the best way to do this is to thank him for every ounce; every moment of every pain, loss or hardship. You see, this grants God the permission to bless you through your struggles and hardships, because he can therefore reward your faith and trusting spirit. But bitterness, anger, blaming, or even un-forgiveness robs God of the very opportunity to bless you from all these things, and your faithlessness turns your mess into confused and meaningless tragedy.

So, I encourage you, yes, I en-courage you to begin to thank God for your present suffering, loss or betrayals and kiss the chains which bind you and the suffering which has inflicted you. I en-courage you to rather welcome what has come into your life with a “good morning pain!” or “good evening to suffering.” It changes everything and allows the Holy Spirit of God, hovering over the chaos, darkness and emptiness to start speaking things into existence over your life through all that appears out of control and, which may even be deadly.

Trust in the God, who holds all things together by the Word of his Power and who has even raised his own Son to life from death. God is well experienced in creating order out of chaos, it is his specialty!

My dear friend. Trust that there is absolutely nothing which can separate you from the Love of God found in Christ Jesus. Not things in heaven, nor things in the earth or under the earth; not height nor depth, not even the sword, nor perilous times and neither darkness or dark forces shall separate you from the Love and purpose of God.

But, you can distort what God wants to do by your attitude and being regretful or blaming God, the Devil, the World and others for what you’re encountering, or you can welcome it, thanking him, surrendering to his Will and Power and become all that he has desired to make of you. I can tell you it will be beautiful — it will be eternal and it will satisfy the deepest desires of your heart.

Oh, and by the way, God even works through mean bosses, difficult exes, in-laws and out-laws. You just got to start thanking him for where you are and who’s around you.

“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.” Romans 8: 28 (The Voice)

Accept, welcome and thank God for his plan concerning you — God wants to display his love for you and satisfy you with good things. He’s not just God, but your Heavenly Father, wanting to father you through all of life, as his son or daughter.

…even in the shadow of death, God is near. Look for him, and he will be found. Put your faith in God, in his ability and power over your chaos. Amen

The Power of Forgiveness – A True Story – By Thomas Koester

“Reconciliation Starts Here – Forgiveness Starts Here …This is Why it is Such A Powerful Weapon”

Christ came to reconcile our past and future, so that we may live real and abundant lives in the present. Time and forgetfulness cannot heal old wounds, this is why Christ announced his anointing through the reading of Isaiah 61:

“The Sovereign Lord is upon me and has anointed me to preach good news to the spiritual poor and impoverished, to heal the broken hearted; setting captives free, and proclaiming release for the imprisoned.”

Yes he came for our salvation, but he also came for our healing; to release us from our captivities and to set us free from our bondages. All of these things are from our past. The above list is most often what has happened to us and Christ is ready to go there with you.

I was the guest speaker at a men’s retreat a few years ago for a men’s group from a Church which I had not visited or was familiar with. At the opening of the retreat, I was introduced to all the men in the group, and one of the men was familiar to me. I introduced myself to this gentlemen, and I immediately recalled that this was the man who had molested me as a child, some forty six years earlier.

What ended up happening, was nothing short of a miracle and the beauty of the Kingdom of God — peace between the lion and the lamb was about to occur. God had given me the message of reconciliation and forgiveness a few days before the retreat. But before God would allow me to speak on it, he asked me to reconcile with this man now, and at that moment, and to forgive him before I do anything else.

So, with God’s grace and power, I cooperated with His Spirit of forgiveness and mercy. I had kept this man’s offense to myself and proceeded with the rest of the retreat. I walked with God into my past. Christ Jesus brought us peace, healing, freedom and release. Chains fell off that weekend and a new friendship was born.

Later I had learned that this man had become a Christian shortly after he had molested me so many decades ago. But, until I had forgiven him I was buried under a mountain of shame.

God, through Christ Jesus is reconciling the world back to God, including our past. Sometimes his Spirit of Grace brings us backwards to reconcile past hurts, past captivities and past imprisonments. Whether it’s us behind the bars of hatred and unforgiveness, or whether we’re the jailer, holding the keys of someone else’s past offenses, we have divine weapons against fear, hatred and unforgiveness.

Through the Men’s Retreat, God had shown me that we can only stumble over our past, if it is left in a state of unforgiveness and left unreconciled. Because God is eternal, the Alpha and Omega, he exists in our past, present and future. The works of Christ, destroying the works of the Devil in all the areas and seasons of our lives is both completed and ongoing in a multidimensional way, unhindered by time and place.

All governments are upon his shoulders. The expanse of his Kingdom shall know no end. He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, Wonderful Counselor and the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6. He is there all the time, and in every area of our lives, past, present and future, but you must believe and obey Him and listen to His voice.

I cannot stress how significant the voice of the Lord is and how important it is to listen, follow and obey. Read the Bible as though it is written to you first before anyone else. You’ll then know what to do and how to do it.

“He has shown you, O child, what is good; and what the Lord requires of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” Micah 6:8

We can enter into our future with triumph, because Jesus Christ has triumphed over our pasts, and if we work with him, he will bring us to the place of forgiveness, even forgiveness for our past enemies, abusers and those who’ve betrayed our hearts. It worked out for me, and it can work out for your too!

Forgiveness is such a powerful weapon for good. It “liberates the soul.”

God presented me with the opportunity at that retreat — God did not force me to forgive, he simply setup the circumstances. I could’ve gone on hating the perpetrator, exposing him to public shame, condemnation and ridicule. But hatred condemnation, shame and self-ridicule was also the same mountain on top of me.

God softened my heart and Jesus gentley lead me to the cross, and there, at His cross, in a miraculous way, both of our mountains were removed, our hearts softened and forgiveness was granted to us both.

Journey with God, as he leads you, and do not dismiss your past, but have the courage and faith to follow Him wherever he leads you.

Maybe the circumstance that you’re presented with here and now is your opportunity to also give and receive forgiveness.

I can promise you this, when you forgive it’s because God is already there.

“Reconciliation Starts Here – Forgiveness Starts Here …This is Why it is Such A Powerful Weapon”

Healing A Wounded Heart – The Greatest Turning Point – By Thomas Koester

A wound where there are no tears is a wound that refuses to be healed.

A splinter under the skin, if left alone and ignored will eventually fester to a point of infection. Your body is rejecting the foreign object no matter how small it is, the pain calls out for your attention. If you ignore it too long, you could end up in the emergency room.

How about your heart?

Why ignore the pain?

Your heart is more precious than a finger; you can live without a finger, but you cannot live without your heart.

Sometimes we’re strong in the wrong things and at the wrong times, but to be weak in the right things brings true strength.

If you are hurting, in pain and are crushed in spirit, heart and soul, you may be at the greatest turning point of your life. You may actually be dwelling with God in a high and protected place, but you must share your tears with God, or you’ll be swallowed up in bitterness and left alone on earth.

Isaiah 57:15 (TLB)

“The high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: I live in that high and holy place where those with contrite, humble spirits dwell; and I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.”

Psalm 51:17 (HCSB)

“The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.”

Let God encounter your tears, after all, he is the Everlasting Father. Share it with him as your sacrifice. Come to him crushed, broken, betrayed, rejected and despised. He’s well acquainted with all of this and more. He allows it to touch your life, not to destroy you, but to draw you closer to himself.

God wants to father you…

Simply trust and turn to God and surrender your rights to be offended; your anger for being abused; your self hatred for being molested, raped and violated. God specializes with hurting and wounded people, and he’d rather be with you than with Kings and Queens.

The moment you offer up to God your tears and pain, you are with him in spirit and in truth.

Isaiah 42:3 (TLB)

“He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame. He will encourage the fainthearted, those tempted to despair. He will see full justice given to all who have been wronged.”

God won’t exploit your bruises. He’ll not snuff out your heart, even if its barely lit and barely alive.

God desires to be your daddy…

Give it all over to God. If you do, he’ll see to it that justice is served, and you can give your revenge a proper burial.

Then, you’ll knock down your walls of despair and make them into a dance floor and you’ll dance with your Abba, just as He’s always wanted too.

Don’t live with the pain. Time is not the Healer of all wounds, that’s lie.

God is the Healer of all wounds, and he’s waiting to hear your cries directed towards him, so that He may act.

“O my people in Jerusalem, you shall weep no more, for he will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. He will answer you.” Isaiah 30:19

Give it up to God. Let it out and drink in God’s presence and love, and so be healed and restored.

Become healed in the name of Jesus! He came to seek out the lost and broken, and there is no one he cannot save or heal.

This may be one of your greatest days and greatest turning points.

Your heart and soul is God’s specialty!

It’s All Just Cornflakes – By Thomas Koester

Toni and I often talk about life changes, boundaries and priorities. The irony of facing death is that it forces you to a greater life and more meaningful living.

We actually do need to die in some respects to those things which promote death, and live more towards those things which promotes life. It’s like choosing between bacon, which I love, but it promotes death and beansprouts, which I hate, but promotes life. However, living a life on hospital food is certainly no fun either. So, we strive for a balance. And this is what my brush with death has taught me.

The movie “Click”, with Adam Sandler, has some great truths running through it, along with it’s great humor and satire.

Morty (The Angel of Death), played by Christopher Walken, tells Michael Newman, played by Adam Sandler, who’s fast-forwarding his way through life with an enchanted TV clicker, the following:

Morty: remarks:

“He’s always chasing the pot of gold, but when he gets there, at the end of the day, it’s just cornflakes.”

Towards the end if the movie (WARNING SPOILER ALERT) Michael finally gets it, and cries out, in the throughs of death:

Michael Newman: [dying] “Family, family… FAMILY COMES FIRST.”

Isn’t it so true? Family should come first, and I can promise, in the very moment when life is quickly, or slowly draining from your body, its family which first comes to your mind…

…”I want to see and hold my first grandchild from Josh and Jenny.”

“Oh my goodness, today is Tessa’s 24th Birthday, and I’m going to miss it!”

Tears began rolling down my face, as I began to see those moments of life fast-forwarding before me. And that was my wake up call, at 2:30 in the morning, Friday, October 11, 2013, as I sat in triage all alone, and when the reality of “heartattack” was suggested by the physician.

I wanted to exchange “I love you’s” with my wife and children one more time! I wanted to see who’d become my son, Jordan’s wife and welcome her into our family.

I confess that not one of my projects, clients or deadlines entered my mind, while facing the prospect of a heartattack. Not one more contract signings or one more insurances settlement; which, I have to face, is most likely what put me into the hospital in the first place.

I need to say “yes” to life and “no” to death. It’s the wrong choices in the those subtle decisions, which can soon pile up into a health disaster. It is all those times, when the tyranny of less important things over rules the more significant things of life.

“Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no, anything more than that is from the Evil One.” Matthew 5:37 – Jesus of Nazareth

I may be wrong, but I don’t think striving to properly love your family, keeping your promises; being home ontime for dinner, or kissing your wife and kids good bye in the morning, has put anybody into the hospital.

Proverbs 4:23 says it best: “Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.”

It is the redeemed heart, where God lives, which is our source of life. This too is where our families live and dwell. This is also where the love of our life dwells. Work should never enter our hearts the way God and our loved ones do, for it will always push God, family and our loved ones out. Guard your heart more than anything else!

Our missedplaced priorities will always attack what truly matters to our hearts, and, if ignored, may eventually cause a heartattack.

So, my new motto for life:

“Family, family… …FAMILY COMES FIRST.”

In this, we find all the treasures of life, and it is those relationships and memories, which are worth living for.

After all, everything else, “at the end of the day is just cornflakes!”