PeaceMaker Prayer of St. Francis Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace

Where there is hatred, let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is doubt, faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

Where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console

To be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love

For it is in giving that we receive

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

 

Inflection Points

Choosing an Inflection Point:

-Get baptized

-Join a small group

-Join a ministry team

-Read your Bible each day

-Pray daily

-Attend worship services weekly

-Take a discipleship class

-Go on a short-term missions trip

-Start giving to the offering weekly

-Share the Gospel with someone

-Begin to use the Take5 devotional

-Become a member of Calvary

-Join Pastor’s Prayer Partners

-Serve someone you meet in need

-Find an accountability partner

-Post verses on your social media

-Visit the Holy Land

Only God! (I am humbled by how God is using my story.)

IMG_2623Throughout the last month, I have been humbled by the messages folks are sending me after they read my memoir. I am still stunned that this story I have shared for the first time at nearly 50 years of age has made such an impact on others!

All But Normal: Life on Victory Road tells my story of growing up in a Christian home that was deeply affected by my mother’s traumatic brain injury. People are telling me in person, via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email how much my story brought hope and healing to their lives. The details of their stories are not the same as mine. But, their emotional journey through their challenging circumstances echoes with mine!

Our stories do matter. They matter because our God is not only the redeemer of our souls for eternity, but he is redeeming our brokenness now! God redeems our stories for our good, the good of others, and His glory. Even our deepest wounds can be redeemed. Don’t get me wrong. It is not an easy process. Ask Joseph of the Old Testament. His brothers betrayed him by selling him into Egyptian slavery. Twenty-two years later and all kinds of deep, horrible wounds later, Joseph tells them God meant it for good.

I always knew that God used my challenging childhood to shape a caring (and even pastor’s) heart in me. But, I did not think my story itself mattered to anyone. Boy was I wrong. Thanks to all who have been used by God to make that clear to me. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. Thank you for relating to me how God has used my story to bring hope and healing to yours!

Since the launch of the book, I have done over a dozen interviews about All But Normal on radio stations across the country. I have been asked by most interviewers how my brother, Troy, and I survived all our childhood experiences without turning our backs on God. My answer: “Only God!”

Only God could point the attention of two boys to the trajectory of our parents’ lives. Most assume our attention was on the difficult moments or collection of moments in our home. They assume those moments and experiences would cause anyone to turn their backs on Christ. And maybe we should have from a purely human perspective. But, God helped us see that in their brokenness our Dad and Mom each pursued knowing, loving, and serving Christ! Within the chaos of our home, they each aimed their lives at living and loving like Jesus!

My brother, Troy, and I caught the trajectory of our parents’ lives. How? Only God!

May I encourage you to aim the trajectory of your life at knowing, loving, and serving Jesus! Don’t let the hurdles, barriers, and challenges of life convince you that your family and others will only see your brokenness. How will they see the trajectory of your heart in the middle of all the chaos and noise? Only God!

 

All But Normal: Life on Victory Road is available wherever books are sold. For links to book sellers, to view family photos, to download the All But Normal Reader’s Guide for personal or small group reflection, or to find other links and resources related to All But Normal, go to AllButNormal.com.

The Power of Words

We speak to people all day, every day and the words that we choose either help us build people up, or tear them down. In this short devotional, Pastor Shawn challenges us with the words of Scripture that apply to the tongue. Watch this and be reminded of the power of our tongue in the lives of others.

 

Read the First 50 Pages of My Memoir – All But Normal

IMG_2152The first 50 pages of my memoir include The Publisher’s Note, The Author’s Note, The Forward by Joni Eareckson Tada, the Prologue, and the entire First Chapter. This gives you a taste of the book and my story of growing up in a home deeply impacted by the physical, emotional, and mental challenges of my Mom. Let me know on Facebook or Twitter what you think of the first 50 pages!

CLICK HERE To Read The First 50 Pages of All But Normal: Life on Victory Road

To preorder online or for more information about All But Normal: Life on Victory Road, go to AllButNormal.com.

 

Ambassadoring

In this short devotional video, Pastor Shawn challenges us to be ‘ambassadoring’ for Christ. As Christians, we are always representing Christ, sometimes well, and sometimes not so well. Listen to this devotional thought and be challenged to be an ambassador for Christ that helps draw people to Him.

 

Be Still

Life is noisy. There is so much going on with us and around us at all times that we find it difficult to just be still. We are told in the Scriptures to ‘be still and know that He is God’, but this discipline can be tough. Watch this short devotional thought from Pastor Shawn as he encourages us to ‘Be Still’.

 

The Anchor of Our Hope

One of the commonalities that humans share is the fact that we will experience pain. The circumstances of our lives may be different, but hurt and heartache will come to us. It’s part of being a person who lives in this world. In this short devotional, Pastor Shawn invites us to look at the example of Job and challenges us to find hope in the One who redeems us.