Sunday, January 10, 2016

Lessons learned on suffering by Uncle James, our hero! Father's Day in January.

I enjoyed time with our uncle recently. Every time I see him, chat with him or exchange texts with him, I am deeply inspired
He is a dedicated husband, father, church member, family man and man of faith. He is also a brave cancer patient who is fighting with faith and courage. 

Here are things that uncle James' life continue to teach us with his example: 

Who are the people in your life that inspire you?
What lessons have they taught you? 

My view of Christian manhood has been shaped by men of the Bible and men in our own family.
Allow me to highlight a few good men:

Abraham. A man of spiritual fortitude. Despite his humanness, God used him as the father of our faith. Affectionately known as the father of many nations.

Paul. An ordinary man with a turbulent past that God used in extraordinary ways to share of his transformation by the power of Christ as he expanded the gospel in profound ways.
Considered to be "the apostle of grace." 

David. A man of extravagant worship and praise. Despite his proclivities, God considered him to be a man after his own heart.

Job. A man who suffered well.
An example of faith under fire.

James Martin. E. K. Bailey. Raymond Bailey.
3 brothers. 3 strong men. 3 family men. 3 men who taught and continue to teach in their example that we should not scare easily when life and health change and that our faith must exceed our strength.

I've learned so much in their achievements, but even more in their suffering. 

My grandfathers, father, father in law, father figures, pastors, brothers, cousins, many friends and my supportive husband also reflect character that shape my view of manhood today.

They are real men who are gifted, godly, kind, loving, faithful and imperfect. They have never claimed to have it all together, but their lives have been grounded by the One who holds our lives together.

Some are with us in this life and some have gone on to reside in glory, but continue to impact us with their impacting memories.

Father's day is listed on each annual calendar in the month of June, but why not tell someone how much you love them today?
Call them. Pray for them. Text them. Write them. Visit them. Encourage them. Cherish them. Honor them.

No day is promised and life is a vapor.
Make today Father's Day for the men in your life that may need a reminder that their life matters, that they have made a difference in your life and that God cares for them.

That is my intent by penning today's post.
I'm grateful for the Christian men in life who have and continue to be strong pillars, but I am especially grateful today to tell Uncle James (Mr. James Martin), that his impact has eternal dividends and our family is richer because he was born and lives with joy.

People may know your family for ministry work, serving, teaching, preaching, founding Concord Church or conferences, but what they don't know is that as grateful as you are for God's grace in ministry, you are ever grateful for family heroes who are committed to God even when life hurts.
Those are the best sermons. The silent ones we live daily in faith and hope. Those are the moments that bring us to our knees and grant us living power.

Cancer has seeped into our family tree and many loved ones have fought unique battles with dignity.

It's difficult to see people that you love suffer.
Suffering is a tough pill for each of us to swallow, but to be human and alive is a call to suffer. It can not be escaped, rushed or omitted from our experience.

The good news is this, "...our momentary troubles are achieving in us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."
2 Corinthians 4:17.
We can also take heart because,"after suffering comes strengthening," according to I Peter 5:7.
Therefore, we submit to suffering because it is temporary, God honoring, and purposeful.

We are a family who trusts God, who encourages one another and whose theology does not change even when diagnosis and health reports change.
Suffering hurts but even in suffering there is still hope.

What can people see about Jesus in your suffering?
My uncle demonstrates patience, long suffering and hope. Therefore, I am thankful to see Christ.
It's not always easy, but it's possible to press in your pain.

I saw this in Dad's life, in both of my in laws, in aunts and uncles, now in the life of James Martin.

Our family has been called to serve. We have also been called to suffer.
Stand! Fall or stumble but get up again.
Dr. M. L. King said, "If you can't fly, run. If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving."

I'm thankful for a family who stands, runs, walks and crawls. We are an imperfect family who understands that strength is in weakness and power comes from above.
It's one of our family values. Trust God and stand because when Christ stands, He stands in all power and with Him, we stand in that power in His name. It's our Christian responsibility. It's a grace gift from God. Stand! In Christ alone.
Keep it moving!

It's easy to trust God when you have good health, name recognition, success and comfort, but how we live when God calls you and me and our families to suffer reveals who we really are.
May we live lives that count and live lives that stand up to our own belief system.

How we suffer is a living legacy.

That is our prayer for you today if you are suffering. Leave a legacy of trusting God at all costs.

Has your family been called to suffering?

God is still able to heal and although health changes, He remains the same.
Don't allow your condition to cause you to limit God.
Because of what Christ did upon the Tree called Calvary, we can face what ever comes to confront us on our family tree.
We are victorious and so are you!

God bless you and God bless our uncle and all enduring in this race as each of us strives to live the best sermon.
We all have our turn at suffering.
Suffering is a hallmark of Christians.

May we suffer well.
Suffering doesn't feel well, but we can suffer with our eyes fixed on God's compassion and the truth that we are not defined by our sickness and suffering is only temporary.

If you are sick right now, be encouraged. Your life is a classroom and others are learning from the lesson of your life. Thank you for your witness!

I've been blessed watching our uncle suffer well. His body is tired and his days are unpredictable, but his faith looks up. He knows who holds His future. We are thankful for his hope in things eternal.
Grateful for examples of people who wake up with one goal and that is to simply live.

L- laugh and love
I- ignite a flame that will never die
V- view victory over vices
E- encourage others

Thank you for celebrating a man of victory with me. He is alive and I'm simply thankful for his commitment to each day. He is more than a conqueror.
A family guy.
Prayer Warrior.
Hard worker.
Enchilada maker.
Man of faith and fashion.
Our hero, affectionately known as Uncle Peanut.

Learning by watching him love on his wife, complimenting the hospital staff, planning for the future and honoring God in faith.

Uncle James,
Thank you for the gift of you. Thanks for your fight. Thanks for a faith that is active.
You have risen above life's obstacles and emerged with a tremendous testimony.
Continue to fight the good fight of faith.
We love you and your beautiful wife, Marcia. Thank you both for inspiring!
Looking up to you...continue to embrace the will of God and to live with joy.
Thanks for keeping it moving.

Dear Father, thank you that you hear and answer prayer according to your will. We pray for divine healing for our loved one and trust him in your capable care.
Heal him if it be your will and remember all that are suffering today and remind each of us of your power over disease. Protect and provide in Jesus name and help us to submit to your sovereign will. We trust you and give you praise for life and new life.
Thank you for what you teach us through suffering. Get the glory. In your name Amen.
Scriptures to encourage the hurting because God cares:
Psalm 27:13,14
Isaiah 41:10
John 16:33
Romans 8:37,39

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