Dear Friends

Over 2 weeks ago I got pretty sick with the flu.

I’ve been in generally excellent health and don’t recall having even much of a cold in the last 7 years. This time though, it really laid me out. I basically stayed in bed the first week. The second week I was over the flu symptoms but felt really weak and tired. Now – praise God, I’m finally starting to get over the slump and pick up some energy.

Res Pwr 3d

One of my goals for 2014 was to launch my first (finished) book, Resurrection Power on April 14. That is still definitely happening, but because I was sick I lost some valuable time to work on the launch.

However, I had occasion to reflect during this experience on things very much related to the themes of the book like mortality, relationships and legacy.  This post is to share a few of these insights that I hope are helpful to you.

1) Tomorrow is not promised.

While I was sick, a worship leader in Hendersonville that I knew and had played with years ago,  Mike Cowart, died suddenly of a heart attack. He was barely 40 and literally on his way to Hawaii the very next day. One day he was in the prime of his life – enjoying family, making art – then it was all over in an instant.

But God told him, ‘… This very night your life will be demanded back from you. Now who will get the things you’ve accumulated?’ Luke 12:20

The CDC says that 200,000 people per year are hospitalized for flu and it can end in death. Earlier this season, a teenage girl in Hendersonville had come down with the flu and died within days.

After my onset, I had expected my condition to improve as always, however it got worse for four consecutive days. My throat and vocal chords were in real pain.  My lungs started to hurt so bad, I got to thinking, “Sheesh, maybe I could die from this.” (Sometimes my thinking does get a little catastrophic.)

You just never know. And that’s the point.

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1

2) Relationships matter. People need the Lord – and one another.

The first and greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind soul and strength, Mark 12:30. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. It would be better though, to love your neighbor as Jesus would love them.

I am a typical stubborn male and did not want to go to the doctor. But after 48 hours of misery, I was ready to move from my denial, rugged individualism and superiority complex to … humility and helplessness.

Even with medication,  the pain got so bad, I threw out a prayer request in social media land. This has to be one of the redemptive qualities of Facebook. Lots of people commented and prayed. Those prayers and word of encouragement carried me when I needed it.

Another friend who I hadn’t connected with in a long tine reached out and recommended a natural supplement. She even loaned us some of hers. It brought relief and was a big help.

3) Your body of work is your contribution to the world. It is the only thing that will outlive you.

This month I’ve been reading a couple of books by Todd Henry that are inspiring and motivating, as well as practical -  The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Noticeand Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day.

I think the point in creating art is bigger than just “leaving something behind.” Great art makes the world a better place, it helps people in some manner.

That’s the kind of art I want to create – whether it’s music and writing, or relationships and leadership – it’s got to be for a worthy cause. For me, I want the work of my hands and the fruit of my life to give glory to God,  Soli Deo Gloria. (Link)

4) Personal Worship

I believe that choosing to be a worshiper of God will make your life better in every way imaginable. In fact, better than you could hope or imagine.

And that’s why I want to encourage you to interact with God as an act of worship in your personal, private space. Worship is far more than Sunday church music.

My hope for you is that these words and thoughts will be a catalyst for engaging with God and a blessing for your spiritual journey.

Which leads me back full circle to mention – hey, I’m launching a devotional book real soon that I hope will be a blessing to you.

You can find out more about it, get a free excerpt and preview Resurrection Power at this link.

How about you?

What have you learned from those times you were sick, or down and out? Share in the comments, I’d love to hear from you on this.

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