Treating Your Body as a Temple of God

It’s been a while since the last blog post. So let me first take a moment to catch all of you where I am at in the my restoration phase.

I am currently seeing a endocrinologist in Akron, Ohio that specializes in treating depression and bipolar.  One of the most encouraging things he said was that the disease is not my fault, it is just an imbalance of chemicals.

So tomorrow I start a detox of my body and it got me thinking. Our bodies are a temple of God.

In fact, 1 Corinthians 3:16 states, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

Our bodies are what allow God to do His work through us.  So it’s important that we eat and treat our bodies with the utmost care.

This is going to be a major lifestyle change for me. I’m use to going to McDonald’s and eating whatever I want. I now recognize that if I want to experience God in new ways, I have to make some adjustments to my lifestyle.

Here I Am Lord

This is the title my favorite Catholic song and it sums perfectly up how I feel.  If you want me to do Parking Ministry or speak to 45,000 plus, here I am Lord to do your will.  It’s just amazing when you surrender yourself over to the Lord the work that can be done to Him glory and honor.

That’s how I feel about this blog right now. I don’t blog my personal gain. Or to build my ego. The 164 followers of this blog aren’t mine, they belong to you O Lord.

That’s one of the reasons God used depression in my life  to break the ego Marc out.  There is absolutely nothing that I do apart from the Holy Spirit that dwells with in.

So here are the lyrics to the refrain of Here I Am Lord:

Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.

I say send me Lord. I come to do your will.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for all the support over the past two years while I have been battling depression.  Thank You for keeping  me safe in the valley and hiding me from the rain.  Help me to continue to grow closer to you each day.  I pray that you send every reader a message about a heavenly plan for their lives.  No more going to work , just for the sake of earning a paycheck. Help them and guide them in finding their purpose. I pray this in  Jesus name.

God’s Plan For Brokenness

Yesterday I was sitting at service where Charles Stanley preaches in Atlanta.  Like before, he was looking directly at me while preaching.  This title of his message was “Getting in God’s Way”.  It was a powerful message of how sometimes with the best of intentions we get in the way of God doing an awesome work in someone.

For example, no parent wants to see their child suffer, but maybe there there is a purpose in the suffering. Maybe the suffering is bringing the child into God’s plan for their life. Maybe its the suffering and brokenness that God is after.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 says, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

You see, it is in the complete brokenness that God can use someone and become a vessel for God. It is ALWAYS done with love.

While Charles Stanley was preaching I was bursting into tears because this is the point of my recovery where God is breaking totally.

Then he looked directly at me said, “You know in my early preaching days I always wanted to fix everyone.  It was until later that I recognized that wasn’t my job.  God uses brokenness to bring people closer to Him and I don’t get in the way of that anymore.” What a powerful and moving moment that was for me. Not easy to hear, but the absolute truth!

Some of you have asked what is next for me. Well I don’t have the entire picture. In fact, I only have the next two days planned out.  Tomorrow I will be meeting with someone that works at In Touch Ministries. Wednesday, I will being going for one of my last sessions of therapy through EMDR, which is the process of letting go of the trauma in my past and breaking me.

Where I am Thursday only God knows!

Lord, I’m Ready Now

Wow, what a spiritual journey this has been to this point.  Filled with moments of great hope and moments of great despair. Today, is one of the last days of the healing phase of my recovery. Today, I let go of my earliest wound inside my body that haunts be to this day.  The fear of death.

I can remember exactly where I was where and when I found about death from when I was three years old.  What I didn’t know was the impact it would have on my life.  And yes there was some wheat and also weeds in the fear of death.

The weeds prevented me from living a life of joy.  Instead, I often felt like a little boy inside a grown man’s body. I felt powerless as a result.  I can also remember trying to control when death would happen. I can remember being 8 years old and saying things like, “I’m one tenth of the way through my life!”  I had developed and victim’s mentality.

The wheat of having the fear of death is that it kept me safe.  It kept me from accepting adult responsibilities at an earlier age.  You see if I didn’t have the fear of death, I may have accepted a “mediocre” life. You know go to work from 9-5, come home, have a little fun, go to bed and do it all over again. Sounds miserable! It also kept me safe from ultimately committing suicide last year.

You see I could never actually see myself committing suicide. Underneath the facade of life I had been living, I loved myself and others too much to let that happen. As I have worked through the other emotional scars in my life, I am finally ready to let go of that fear. I’m ready to reap the rewards of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 states, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Come have Your way. Lord, I’m ready now.

“Oh Lord I’m ready now
All the walls are down
Time is running out
And I wanna make this count
I ran away from you
And did what I wanted to
But I don’t wanna let you down
Oh Lord I’m ready now
Lord I’m ready now

Breaking a Heart of Stone

Today on my way back to Memphis, I saw an exit for Hidden River Cave in Kentucky. Curious, I decided to pull off to check the place out.

When I got there, I quickly realized God was using this experience as a metaphor for my life.  You see this wasn’t just any old river.  This was a river that was found deep within a cave.  As I descended the nearly 200 steep steps towards the entrance of the cave, my eyes were gazing at the exposed rock from a sinkhole back in the 1800s. It made me realize that this is how my heart was.

It was layered with such a deep layer of limestone rock that seemingly nothing could penetrate.  As I walked down the steps, I sound of a running river became louder and louder. As I reached the bottom and looked up, I was amazed that this river was still flowing despite on the years of limestone that was built above it. You see the source of water came from deep within.

How often in life do we live like this?  We know God wants to be good to us, but we continue harden our hearts when we here His voice. Why do we do that? Are we simply afraid of allowing such close intimate relationship with God into our lives? For me, the answer was yes.  The key is to invite the Holy Spirit to break through any stone that is remaining in my heart.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how grateful we are that we are covered in Your love and grace.  Your love and grace can break through any limestone we have built around our hearts. Lord Jesus, send the power of the Holy Spirit to penetrate our heart  and fill us with a source of living water within us.  Have it not lay deep underground so that no one can see it.  Have it flow like the Mississippi River and bring healing to everyone who encounters you. Blow through the caverns of of souls to overflow. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

Check the video around 8:25 mark for the steps that lead down to Hidden River

My Guardian Angel-Rachael “Carli” Woodruff

Yesterday, was my first personal session of EMDR. EMDR is a technique that is used to help release trauma stored in the body.

Before I started my session with Beverly and Mary, they asked me to bring a list of traumas to work on.  I wrote down “Suicidal thoughts, money insecurities, fear of death, lack of inner power, fear of abandonment and control issues.  Guided by the Holy Spirit, I asked Beverly which one to start on.  She said to start with the suicidal thoughts and asked me when the first time I had a suicidal thought.

As I gazed back to my past, I can remember first time I had those thoughts was when my friend Rachael died in a car accident four years ago. I was angry towards God for taking her. I stopped going to church. I thought it was my fault she had died. If only I would have hung out with her the previous night, she wouldn’t have been in that situation. I had taken responsibility for her death.

Years later, on a rational level, I know it was not my fault. But on a emotional level, I had never grieved that lost.  I was too angry and bitter to do so.

An interesting thing happened in the session, Beverly guided me to believe that Rachael had never left me. That she actually needed to go home first to be a trailblazer for my path in life.  I burst into tears.  Rachael had never left me, she simply had to watch over me in a new form.

I have always view Rachael as a little sister as I helped to convince her to attend Kent State with me. Well now the roles are reversed she is my big sister watching over me from up above. She has a new purpose and it is to help guide me on this new life for myself.

Love ya big sis. Thanks for watching over me my guardian angel and Go Flashes!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how grateful we are for your daughter Rachael “Carli” Woodruff.  Thank you that she is still alive today simply in a new form.  Thank you that she never did abandon me, but is still with me and all of her loved ones.  We are so grateful that she is a trailblazer, not just for me, but for so many others. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

The God of Restoration

Some people have a view of God that God wants to only take from you. “Why would I want to give tithe and give 10% to God?” “Why did God allow me to be unemployed?”  “Why did God take my health from me?” These are some questions that I commonly here. Listen up.

If God is in the process of taking from you, he also is the God that will restore the very thing you thought you may have lost.

How many times have I heard stories of being people giving to God, and being blessed financially and any many other ways? You cannot out give God. Period.  How many times have I heard stories of people of losing their job to obtain a better career that has more meaning to their lives? How many times have I heard stories of losing their health, to only have it restored? Countless is the answer.  Praise God, He takes away meaningless jobs!

Job 42:10 states”And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

You see the Book of Job is not about a blameless man that suffers for no reason.  It is story about a man that lost everything to gain everything in his earthly and heavenly lives. It is a story that is still relevant in 2015.

In many ways, I feel like a Job.  I thought I had it all, the money, the house, the friends, the resources, etc. In reality I had nothing.  I didn’t have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.  I was a lukewarm Christian, which is a dangerous place to be in life (probably a blog post for a different date).

Like Job, I had to recognize that God is God and He can do what He wants in a person life.  As my bank account dwindles towards zero, I can’t help shake the feeling that God is about to do something that is about to do something awesome in my life. And not just financially.  In fact, I have more peace about my financial situation than I ever did when I was just hoarding my money.

God takes away from people, but He is also in the business of restoration.

Prayer: How grateful we are Father that you don’t take from us without the promise of restoration.  Thank you in advance for restoring lives, relationships, finances, and everything else.  You are the Provider.  You are the vine, while we are merely a branch.  Help us to draw closer to You in ways we could never imagine.  I pray in the power of the Holy Spirit that there is a spiritual awakening across this land.  Guide people to seek You and to find You. In Jesus name. Amen.