Tag Archives: personal growth

Control Is An Illusion And Resilience Is A Gift!

I have been through a lot of different things in my life and the toughest things have always been the things that strip away and take my ability to exercise control. Fred Bubbers said: ““Control is merely an illusion we construct to cope with the chaos that is reality.” and I have to admit that sounds pretty much right.

We like the idea of control, until we have to face the reality that control is really something that we have very little of. Chaos on the other hand is the thing that we have more of than we can stand.

When ever we face times of chaos that remind us of just how limited our control really is, it for some reason causes us to start looking back on our lives and living. We love to revisit our successes and even appreciate looking to see what we learned from our failures. We like to tell ourselves that learning something from our failures means that they were not a waste, but served a higher purpose.

In the last week of my life, I have been doing a lot of this looking back and one thing that the Spirit has been helping me to see is RESILIANCE. Resilience is the ability to come back from whatever it is that attempts to take you down and out. It is the ability to take the bad and do something good with it, the setback and use it for a come back, so that you can grow into the something greater that you have always been created to become.

Live life long enough and no matter how good you think you are, something is going to come along and knock you off of your high horse. Whatever it is that knocks you off and down is not the end, unless you give up. Resilience is an unwillingness to give up and a willingness to make sure that you get yours.

When I watch my Granddaughter Addie Jo, I see resilience in its most pure form. She came into this world, laying in whatever position she was placed in, but almost immediately, she was dissatisfied with that position and started working to figure out ways to experience the freedom she was looking for. She cannot even talk, but she has learned that if she grunts long enough and loud enough, with a tear here or there that she can manipulate others to do for her, what she cannot do for herself.

She does not give up, she does not give in, until she gets what she wants. I have seen her doing it in a thousand different ways and as I look back on my life, I have seen where I have done the same thing in a million different ways.

Proverbs 23:7 says: “As a man thinks in His heart, so is he.” The heart is the heart of resilience. While we may not have control, we do have resilience and with resilience, pretty much anything is possible, so let’s get to it…

Letter To The Church At Eureka! (Via Philippians 1)

This letter is from Michael Joe Harvell, servant of Jesus Christ, to all the Saints in Christ Jesus, who make up His beautiful congregation at Eureka.

May God’s marvelous gift of grace and peace embrace you through your relationship with Jesus Christ.

I am so thankful to God for you and every time I think of you, I become even more grateful.

You are always in my thoughts and prayers and I consider it one of my greatest joys to get to pray with you and for you.

Since the moment that God brought us together in fellowship as Pastor and Congregation, it has been one amazing love story from then until now.

I am more confident than ever, that God has begun a good work in you and will continue that work until the day that our Savior Jesus Christ returns to take us home to Heaven.

It does my heart good to think these thoughts, because the Spirit has woven you into the tapestry of my heart. The things I go and grow thru, I do not go thru and grow alone, because the Gospel makes us family all sharing the same amazing grace of God.

Only God knows how much I love you and miss you, how greatly I want to be with you and Jesus.

My prayer is that our love may continue to grow more and more everyday, just as we continue to grow in our knowledge of God’s Word and the judgment it brings; not to beat us down, but to lift us up and above the challenges of this world in which we live; so that we may find and live the excellent life and live it in a way that brings a smile to the face of our Creator and Savior.

May God continue to grow an beautiful garden among us with His sweet fruit of the Spirit, enabling us to live a righteous life that brings Him even greater glory and praise.

This thing that has happened to me is a part of this life and I want you to know and believe with me that it has as it’s purpose the furtherance of the gospel; so that my challenges in Christ are just a part of life that we all must face and overcome with God’s help and blessing.

There are many opinions on why this happens or that happens and some love to pontificate to make themselves sound smarter, holier, but it is not about how we sound, it is about how we live and who we live for.

There are many versions of Jesus that are being preached today. Some preach Jesus as envious and causing strife; and some preach a Jesus of good will and happiness.

There are those that even preach a Jesus of contention, not to help others, but to hurt the cause that really matters.

The real Jesus is love and this is the Jesus I know and was created and spared to share.

So at the end of the day what really matters? That there is a God, who loves us and who wants relationship with us. A God, who has made a way where there was no way, thru the gift of His Son Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. This is the truth we preach, live and rejoice in.

For I know where my salvation comes from and I know the power of your prayers and I know and trust in the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

I don’t just say I believe, I know that my belief is real, because when I have nothing or when I have everything, it is because of Jesus. I am not ashamed to admit that I am nothing without Jesus, but with Jesus, I am unlimited potential. It is my prayer that Jesus may be lifted up and magnified in my body, by life or by death, that is His choice.

For me to live is Christ Jesus and to die is gain for all He has promised.

If I continue to live in this flesh, then this is the fruit of my labor and while I want to live and enjoy all the blessings around me, it is not for me to decide.

If I am honest, there is a part of me that wants to stay and a part of me that wants to go, but the most important thing is to be with Jesus and I can do that here or there and that is a decision for Him to make.

If He sees my living in the flesh as beneficial to others, then I believe He will allow me longer in this wind torn tent of flesh.

Whether I am in the flesh or the spirit, I will always abide with you and continue working for your growth and joy and faith;

That your rejoice in Jesus may grow into an abundance not explained with human words. Jesus is coming again to carry us all to our Heavenly home.

So, until that day, make sure that your conversations be salted with the Gospel Of Jesus Christ, so that if I am with you or a part from you that I may hear of your growth and how you stand fast and firm in one spirit on the Word of God, with a single minded pursuit of what really matters and that is faith in the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Do not be afraid of any enemy, because what I know and believe even more now than before is that God has got us, because we are His. You have nothing to be afraid of if you are a born again, saved, child of God.

God has given us an amazing gift, don’t take it for granted. Life will not always be easy. Challenges and suffering can be expected, but we never face it alone. Jesus is with us every step of the way.

There is still so much for us to learn, so enjoy your journey today, while it is still today, because tomorrow will take care of itself…

Be Anxious For Nothing!

When I was planning our worship service at Eureka Baptist Church for this first Sunday in June, I certainly did not think that I would be spending it laid up in the hospital ICU. Proverbs 16:9 says: “A man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” I believe this to be true and I am certain of it from personal experience. Last week as I was planning the service, the Spirit of God drew me to Philippians 4:6-8 which says 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

My plans were for us to read this verse together as a Pastor and Congregation and to follow up it’s reading with a celebration of worship with that good ole classic hymn: Peace Like A River! The song says: “I’ve got peace like a river.” ‘I’ve got love like an ocean.” ‘I’ve got joy like a fountain.” Followed by all three together: “I’ve got peace love and joy like a river!’ I was not able to be there to lead us in this sweet time of remembering God’s faithfulness, but I believe it more than ever and look forward to getting back with my spiritual family as soon as possible, so we can celebrate God’s goodness to let us plan, but still have Him taking care of our steps.

One of my favorite songs and an always great reminder of my dependence upon God is: “I Can’t Even Walk!” https://youtu.be/Z4JFCHcbqEE

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 the great Apostle Paul talked about his thorn in the flesh. I have often thought of my flesh as one great big thorn! 😉 But it takes Flesh and Spirit to serve God and I am grateful that God has taken care of both of mine. I am not quiet out of the woods yet, but I feel like I am at least through the woods and believe that God is going to use even this for our blessing and His glory.

I love all of my family and friends, more than words can say. I truly look forward to every time we are together and even more so, after this little challenge. And you know that this just fires me up for all that God has in store for us that much more… 🙏🏻