God has really been blessing us in a tremendous number of ways lately. Each of these rivers of blessing all seem to draw from a spring of obedience in our lives. In each area where Angie and I have “given it to God” things have turned our way, doors have opened and he’s poured out blessings all over us. It’s really pretty fascinating to see it happen and realize the root of it all: Focus on God.
One area of amazing blessings I want to praise Him for, and hope you’ll celebrate too, is Angie’s weight loss. She gave her weight troubles over to God and he gave her the strength to overcome it. And wow has she overcome it! As of yesterday, she has just over five pounds left to lose (update: she sat down while I was proof reading this and told me she has 4.5 pounds left to lose). While losing five pounds doesn’t sound like some miraculous triumph, knowing when she started she had just under 100 to lose certainly does. That’s an entire Back Street Boy! Way to go, babe! I love you!
Another area of tremendous blessing is my writing. I gave in to what God has been trying to tell me since I was a kid and he rewarded me with my first two full-length novel deals. While I have close to a hundred stories out, this is the first time that it’s all my creation, all my story and all my vision from cover to cover in a full-size novel. While that’s not nearly as impressive as Angie’s weight loss, it’s still a blessing that has had similar spiritual results.
With Angie’s weight loss, she’s been touched by God, which has not only lightened her frame, but lightened her soul. She exudes a confidence and happiness I’ve not seen in her since we were first married. She’s always been a beautiful daughter of Christ and I think she now completely believes that 100%. Thank you, Father!
With my book deals, He touched me too. I finally feel a sense of value in my own God-given abilities that isn’t just built-up pride or overcompensation for an undervalued sense of self-worth. I truly feel like I’m doing what God designed me to do and it makes my soul sing.
With both of these landmarks in our lives, we’ve found ourselves the focus of others. For Angie, there are a lot of women (and men), who are looking to her as a source of inspiration and motivation. She’s handled it with all the grace and maturity one would expect from such an awesome woman, but she’s also cognizant of the pitfalls such focus brings.
For me, there’s the fanfare of the announcements, the kudos and ‘attaboys’ I’ve received from friends, family and fans. With that I’ve become very aware of the chance to fall from the pedestal the ego-boosts might build beneath my feet.
These are the areas where the enemy loves to play. Build up human pride and then push us off the edge, all the while blaming God for our fall.
So, I’d like to ask that all of you pray for us in this area, that we don’t lose focus on what God does for us. Pray that our obedience to God is a witness to others to follow His path. And pray we use these blessings (and the many others I’ve not mentioned in this post) to honor and glorify Him. We don’t deserve the praise, but He does. Every effort we make needs to push the focus to God.
Focus in, focus out.
Thank you so much for every blessing you pour out on us. From the ones we take for granted as small and trivial, to the ones that really get our attention and make us shine.
Please help us maintain focus on you, Father, and never forget that every good thing comes from you and is not of our doing, but of yours.
I pray these things in your Son’s precious and holy name,