I was admitted almost immediately upon arriving at the emergency room. I would have been sooner, but I kept underestimating the seriousness of the problem, I wanted to go home. When the doctor told me that even if I were admitted I might not make it through the night, I finally understood. My daughter had called her pastor to ask for prayer for me, but when he heard, he came to the hospital to visit me. We had never met, but we talked for quite some time about the Lord and His goodness. He asked if he could say a prayer, and I told him "Yes, but on one condition: If the Lord is going to let me live, I want Him to give me some kind of ministry. I don't want to waste the rest of my life." He agreed to my condition and prayed a wonderful prayer for me and my family. I am ashamed to say it, but I don't even remember his name.
A few months passed and I was starting to get impatient. I called my pastor and was telling him I needed something to do for the Lord. While we were talking, he suddenly got the idea that I could write a blog. (I have been writing one for ten months and I still do not know what a blog is!) He set it up right then and there. We needed a name, and after discussing many options, settled on Skip's Lighthouse. The lighthouse is the logo for our church, and of course, I am Skip. He then told me we needed some kind of background on which to write. He talked me through to the place that gave the options, and I picked the one that was the smallest so that it would not take up writing space. The images were about a fourth the size of a postage stamp, so I had no idea what the image was. When we selected it, we were both surprised that the image was a lighthouse! We knew the Lord was definitely orchestrating it all!
Every morning, with the exceptions of when I am in the middle of a series, I get up and go to my computer not knowing what I am going to write. Sometimes I sit for what seems forever before I know what I am supposed to write. After prayer and "flipping through" the Bible looking for His direction, I have even played some games while waiting for God's inspiration. On a rare occasion, I sit down with a mental outline of what I want to say, only to discover when the page is finished, it is nothing like what I had intended. I have the same sensation that God is guiding just as He did when I was a pastor. In the two plus years that I preached, I honestly feel that God was speaking through me. I said things that I did not know until they came out of my mouth. I would often pause and marvel that it was I that said it. "Did I just say that?"
In the case of this blog, and as a preacher, there has been one occasion each when I felt totally deserted by the Lord. If you have ever felt the anointing of God on you, you know when it is not there. It feels as Jesus must have felt when He cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Ps. 22:1; Matt. 27:46) It is what Judas must have felt when he ran to return the bribe (Matt. 27:3), or Peter felt after denying Jesus three times (Mk. 14:72). It is a sickening feeling, and the ultimate in depression. Thank God, it does not last long!
Tomorrow, I will complete my testimony up until this point in my life, and will attempt to describe what occurred on those two occasions, Lord willing.