Devotional for Thursday October 19th

Good Morning Everyone,


Our theme for this month: “A prosperous life”


Our Bible verse for today: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)


Our thought for today: “Lord, how do you want to use this for your glory?”


On March 3, 2007 my wife Linda had a major stroke. I found her in bed unable to move or speak. She had had a brain stem stroke. The left side of her cerebellum was swelling. It was pressing against her brain stem and shutting down all life functions. She was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, TN and the next day she underwent brain surgery to remove the swelling side of her cerebellum.


For three days we didn’t know if she would survive. Once it became evident that she would live, it was quickly apparent that she was going to have major, life-altering disabilities. And, I realized that our lives had just changed forever. Nothing would ever be the same again. Frankly, I was scared. I had no idea what the future held or how we were going to handle it. If you would be interested in reading the details of that story and how we handled it, you can go to my website at, click on the tab “Free Articles” and download the essay “I’m a Survivor Too”.


One late night in the hospital, totally exhausted and emotionally drained, I prayed Proverbs 3:5-6 over the situation. It was already one of my life verses but now it took on special meaning. I committed the entire situation to God. I affirmed that I had complete trust in His goodness and His grace, as well as in His watch care over us. I knew that He loved us, would provide for us, and would get us through this. Essentially I asked Him, “Lord, how do you want to use this for your glory?”


Little did I realize at that time the amazing ways in which God intended to redeem that situation. I look back now after almost eleven years and I stand amazed at all God has done. Linda did end up with significant disabilities but her positive, upbeat, can-do attitude about it has been an inspiration to me and to everyone else. Our marriage, which was always pretty good, actually got even better. We are closer as husband and wife now than ever before.


God also opened the door for me to leave my profession as the Vice-President of an International Humanitarian Relief Agency. That needed to happen because the job required a lot of travel and time away from home, but I needed to be home with my wife. Instead God allowed me to become the Pastor of Oak Hill Baptist Church. That has turned into one of the great joys of my life. Being the Pastor of this church is a deep and rich spiritual experience for me. We have an amazing church family who we love deeply and who love us in return.


During these years I have also developed a writing ministry, publishing two books, numerous magazine and newspaper articles, and a daily devotional series. I could go on for many pages about all the amazing things God has done in our lives over these last eleven years but my point is that a situation that began as a great tragedy has been redeemed by God and turned into a series of amazing blessings that continue to unfold even today. Paraphrasing Joseph’s words in Genesis 50:20: “Satan meant it for evil but God used it for good.”


Whatever situation you are facing in life today I encourage you to consecrate it to God and ask Him to redeem it for His good purposes. Meditate on Proverbs 3:5-6. Believe it. Claim it. And then go forward, trusting that God is at work behind the scenes and that He has good things planned for you.


God Bless,

Pastor Jim

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