TrAAcking Time. God’s grace in Ocular Myasthenia Gravis

I’m TrAAcking Time today. TRACKING MIKES FLIGHT TO SHAIGHAI

Using flightaware.com, watching as my husband’s 787 moves across the western side of America toward Shanghai. It’s been five years since he piloted a plane. Five. Years.

I’ve always known he was a badass. It’s what attracted me to him in the very beginning. JMK had the ‘it’ factor-brains, authority, tenacity and a work ethic that exhausts the rest of mankind. It was all packaged up in that Irish soul, a deceptive kind of strength. Like Bond, James Bond. Who doesn’t look like a badass until he’s in a bad ass kind of moment. Then watch out, he engages. And it’s do-or-die time and that’s when you want a badass in your corner. In front of you with confidence, taking care of business and telling you exactly what to do. And not do. (I forget this sometimes. That the very thing that made me fall in love can also make me… um, get extremely frustrated.  Badasses are notorious bullies.)

But for five years my badass got grounded from his occupation. Ocular Myasthenia Gravis– grave muscle weakness- it attacked his eyes and gave him double vision. In the beginning he looked the part- badass pirate mike. He could do anything with an eye-patch-Harley, ski, hunt, fish as he friend-ed, fathered and husbanded and brother-ed us all on. But he lost his flight medical and took a seat at a desk job beside me. We thought God was crazy. Anyone will tell you don’t go into business with your wife. But we beat the odds and our marriage even prospered along with the business. And our spiritual growth, well it was on more steroids than mike’s daily dose of prednisone.

There isn’t enough paper and ink to chronicle what we learned in 1825 days-what we gave up and what we gained. But God. But. God. My two favorite words put together. But God, how we changed. Financially, to live with less and appreciate more. Spiritually, to live out that we trusted God to be in control. Physically, that God can heal anything and if He chooses not to or calls you to wait, that His grace is sufficient. Emotionally, that our worth and purpose is found in Christ-we are loved by Him and becoming like him is our chief ambition-not being a pilot, business owner, badass, or writer. Relation-ally, that what is eternal is found only in relationships. There God supplied everything we needed.

Jesus is a badass too.

The original badass but that’s a rabbit trail you can read about another day.

I thank you, and you know who you are- You and you and you. Family. Friends. We thank God for your prayers, encouragement and love.
Today, as I track time I am intensely sentimental and overwhelmed with gratitude and pride. Pride that we finished the race we were called to run. The last 42 days were all uphill in this marathon. Flight Training.
I can only explain it this way. Five years ago you drove a ’78 Ford standard shift truck held together with duct tape-78 ford dashboard

and now they drop you into an Indy racer ie-787 Dreamliner high-tech simulator.

dreamliner 787

And you’re 54 now. Your eyes are great-thanks to bi-focals but the brain is foggy. And the paper manual I picked up at Kinkos-1000+ pages printed both sides- you have to memorize. Of course they want you to study it off an Ipad. Now. That’s where your flight manual is housed. It used to be 20lbs of kit bag. Now it’s all on the Ipad, if you can find it with a swipe.  I joke, he can, now… but for 42 days it was badasserie at its finest. A juggling act of bi-focals (for 3 focal points), Ipad, Dreamliner and temper that sat beside Daral-a God send AA check-airman captain.

The final exam always comes at the end of the course- I’m talking about the five year grounding – and he passed. American was so glad to have him back they started sending him free stuff- Ipad, Cole Hahn briefcase, beautiful new uniforms! Ok… yes the FedEx guy told me he was delivering them all over DFW this week. But I like to think everyone was celebrating with us. And as the new uniform was hung on the door hook of the closet and his new CCK;) bag tags were put on his carry on luggage and he did what badasses do—preflight the next day. I felt so proud of him and for him.  My badass is back in the cockpit.

Ocular Myasthenia Gravis enabled us to behold His glory.

“We [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception). (And I testify of this)  For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].
John 1:14 & 16

May you see God and His furious love in whatever your circumstances are today. Grace upon Grace, and Peace.

THRIVE Conference

Thrive

I will be speaking May 8 & 9 at First Baptist Church of Corinth’s Women’s Conference THRIVE teaching on John 15.

“Are you just surviving life? Or maybe you live striving to please God with all you’ve got but with little to show for it. There is a spiritual secret of abundance, joy and power known as abiding.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to abide to thrive.”

3 Sessions will be taught

  • Survival instincts caused by Bad Definitions
  • Striving; the trap of self-sufficiency
  • Abiding the secret of abundance

Bring a friend and attend if you are in the area. 

Comment below if you want more information!

 

Thrive Conference

 

 

Practicing the Presence of God #abideinChrist

practice the presence of God

Over the 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus trained His disciples to practice His presence.
He was with them . . . then He wasn’t.
They were alone then He appeared.
Sometimes they saw Him physically and sometimes they did not recognize Him until He did a familiar action, like break bread or pray, but they began to realize the relationship they had with Jesus would be practiced differently.

He told them He was leaving and sending the Holy Spirit to be their counselor and comforter. He promised always to be with them even if they couldn’t see Him. “Don’t be afraid, Surely I am with you always.” God’s commands are often tied to God’s promises to encourage and strengthen us.

Jesus last two visual teaching moments were about a vineyard and a fishing net but they symbolized the same great truth. Abide with me and I will bring a harvest (of fruit) and an overflowing net (full of fish). Cooperate with me and I will take your willingness and weakness and add it to My will and supernatural power and bring about God’s fullest blessing of influence, responsibility and opportunity to make a mark for the glory of God.

Abiding is the practice of saturating ourselves with God’s word and being in the continual fellowship of God’s presence.  When we fail to abide, a believer becomes captive to his circumstances where thinking is based on emotions of the moment and his actions are based on the impulses of his old nature. Apart from Christ habitual sins easily consume us until they are compulsions repeated addictively that give us a name- greedy, gossip, angry, worried. When our gazes glance away from Christ we get distracted by the things of this world and become afraid by the things we can’t control. And when we realize where we’ve ended up…awareness hits, we’re ashamed and we hide when we really need to turn quickly and return to our loving God.  I love the encouragement from Brother Lawrence in his magnificent little book “The practice of the Presence of God,” and include three things he said about abiding.

On knowing himself and know his God he confessed: “I regard myself as the most wretched of all men, stinking and covered with sores, and as one who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King. Overcome by remorse, I confess all my wickedness to Him, ask His pardon and abandon myself entirely to Him to do with as He will. But this King, filled with goodness and mercy, far from chastising me, lovingly embraces me, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the keys of His treasures and treats me as His favorite. He talks with me and is delighted with me in a thousand and one ways; He forgives me and relieves me of my principle bad habits without talking about them; I beg Him to make me according to His heart and always the more weak and despicable I see myself to be, the more beloved I am of God.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

On the love of God he gave this truth: “The difficulties of life do not have to be unbearable. It is the way we look at them – through faith or unbelief – that makes them seem so. We must be convinced that our Father is full of love for us and that He only permits trials to come our way for our own good.

Let us occupy ourselves entirely in knowing God. The more we know Him, the more we will desire to know Him. As love increases with knowledge, the more we know God, the more we will truly love Him. We will learn to love Him equally in times of distress or in times of great joy.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

On Prayer and meditation he gave this encouragement: “When the mind, for want of being sufficiently reduced by recollection at our first engaging in devotion, has contracted certain bad habits of wandering and dissipation, they are difficult to overcome, and commonly draw us, even against our wills, to the things of the earth.

I believe one remedy for this is to confess our faults, and to humble ourselves before God. I do not advise you to use multiplicity of words in prayer: many words and long discourses being often the occasions of wandering. Hold yourself in prayer before God, like a dumb or paralytic beggar at a rich man’s gate. Let it be your business to keep your mind in the presence of the Lord. If it sometimes wander and withdraw itself from Him, do not much disquiet yourself for that: trouble and disquiet serve rather to distract the mind than to re-collect it: the will must bring it back in tranquility. If you persevere in this manner, God will have pity on you.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

I say three but I mean four, on abiding he clarifies: “He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

To order this Christian classic follow this link:

The Practice of the Presence of God

And watch for how the Fury practices the presence of God in the FURY series books by J.L. Kelly to see abiding in action in a Christian Character.

The FURY Series by J.L. Kelly. An Intense Epic Where Two Worlds Collide.
The FURY Series by J.L. Kelly.
An Intense Epic Where Two Worlds Collide.