Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
I was not always so blessed.
Some of you who know me or have heard me speak know that I grew up a failure - I grew up skinny, scrawny, scared, extremely shy, and afraid of everything - I was afraid of the dark, water, spiders, snakes, heights, doctors, needles, and especially speaking to people. I suffered from social anxiety disorder, an inferiority complex and low self-esteem from being the kid the bullies beat up on and nobody wanted on their sports team, which later grew into a huge fear of rejection and failure.
I was a failure, a wimp.
In short, I was a “Loser” with a capital “L”.
Today, I am so blessed.
Over the years, God has been blessing me and healing me from my fears. He has shown me that if I give everything over to Him - my fears, my talents, my dreams, my pride - that He can be glorified in my weaknesses. When I give him my weaknesses, my fears, He turns them around and uses them as strengths. When I am weak, then is HE strong. When I am willing to lay down my pride and give Him these things, crucify them and lay them down at His feet, THEN He can turn them around and use them for HIS glory, not mine. When I give Him my fear, He gives me faith. When I give Him my obstacles, He gives me opportunities. When I give Him my pride, He teaches me humility. When I give him my talents, He gives me tools. When I give Him my work, He shows me His will. When I give Him my passions, he gives me my purpose. When I give Him my desires, He shows me my destiny. When I give Him my dreams, he gives me His vision. When I give Him my past, He gives me a new future. When I give him everything in submission, He gives me my mission.
In April of 2003, I was so blessed to meet the most incredible person I have ever met… Lisa Littrell, the woman who was to become my wife and the love of my life. A few months later, I proposed to Lisa on her birthday in a surprise hot-air balloon ride. On that day, my life changed dramaticaly, and it has not been the same since…
In April of 2007, on my 50th birthday, I was struggling to make ends meet at the Honda dealership where I was working, had struggled through the roughest six months of my life, had burned through all my savings, and was facing bankruptcy and losing our house in Nashville. I spent many sleepless nights struggling in prayer and tears, did lots of deep thinking and soul searching, and finally decided I just needed to give everything up to God. I gave Him my fears, my job, my finances, my house, my dreams, my pride, my passions, my past, my future - It took me getting to the lowest point where I finally was willing to give up on my big lifelong dream of making it in the music business, and decided to give EVERYTHING up to Him, all my dreams - music, a home, a family, traveling, entertaining, sword swallowing, the whole works - I got down on my knees, gave it ALL to God and asked Him what HE wanted me to do. He quietly said, “Thank you, my child. This is what I’ve been waiting for - I have planted these dreams inside you. Now that you have given them back to me, I can use your dreams and talents and desires for my glory… Now I can bless you…”
So in May 2007, my wife Lisa and I prayed about it and turned it over to God. For years, I had been fighting against going into “ministry”. Guess what God did? He called me into full-time ministry. After Lisa and I prayed about it, on May 3, 2007, I quit my job at the Honda dealership, and stepped out in faith to do ministry full-time. It was not an easy decision for me. As a matter of fact, it was the hardest decision I ever made. But God immediately started blessing me with opportunities and financial blessings where I was making 5x more than I had been selling cars, and more than twice the average salary for our area. I am so blessed to have a godly wife like Lisa who was willing to help me find God’s calling in my life and support me while I stepped out in faith to follow it.
Now as I give God my fears, my dreams, my talents, and my passions every day, He opens more and more doors, and blesses me with more and more opportunities. When I give Him my fears, He turns my fears to faith. When I give him my obstacles, He turns my obstacles to opportunities. When I give him my talents, He uses my talents as tools for Him. When I give Him my work, He shows me His Will. When I lay down my pride, He teaches me humility. When I give him my passions, He gives me my purpose. When I crucified my dreams, He turned my dreams to HIS vision. When I gave Him my past, He gave me a new future. When I gave him my life in submission, He turned my submission to my mission in life far beyond any job I could ever imagine - helping others to do the impossible in THEIR lives by inspiring them to giving their lives, their fears, talents, and dreams to God. No, I’m not there yet, I have a long way to go, but at least I now know what my calling, my purpose, my mission in life is: Now I know my mission is to point my swords towards heaven and make HIM famous. If I boast, I boast in God and what He has done in my weakness.
Today I am so blessed in so many ways beyond my wildest dreams. I am blessed to be happy and healthy and fulfilled; I am so blessed to live in the most beautiful paradise on our farm in Hartselle, AL, watching and learning from Lisa and working with such amazing beautiful Arabian horses. I am so blessed to have finally found and be able to follow God’s calling for my life, to meet so many wonderful people around the world and be able to speak hope into their lives and inspire them to do the impossible in THEIR lives. I gave God my dreams, laid them down on His altar, and He has blessed me by given me my vision, my purpose and my calling; Now He blesses me when I see lives touched through me. Just to see God using me, seeing people’s faces when I perform, and knowing God is using my life to impact their lives is tremendously exciting to me.
But my biggest blessing from God is my beautiful wife, Lisa Littrell. If you’ve heard me speak, you know how blessed I am to be married to Lisa. Lisa is AMAZING! She is the most amazing woman I have ever met. Lisa is as intelligent as she is beautiful. She is the complete opposite of me - She’s smart, fearless, proud, determined, strong-willed, very independent, passionate about her work, a tireless worker, and the hardest working human being I have ever met… She puts in long hours and can do ANYTHING! Lisa is the love of my life, and she has changed my life, and I am so blessed to be married to her.
In Lisa, God has blessed me with a true Proverbs 31 woman - She burns the midnight oil every night, and I call her my “Superwoman”, because she works tirelessly on whatever she puts her mind to do, and she succeeds at everything. Lisa amazes me every day, not only in the big things, but also in the little things. She can ride almost any horse and get a blue ribbon almost every time, and I am so proud of her.
She can drive a trailer of horses straight through to Arizona all night long, on little to no sleep. She can design and build subdivisions and shopping malls. She gets up at the crack of dawn and works until late at night. Through her passion for work, Lisa inspires me to work harder, to not be afraid, to never give up. The thing I love most about Lisa is her integrity and perseverance. Through her character and integrity, Lisa gives me the inspiration to go on and be the best that I can be - Through watching her, I’m gaining confidence in doing things that used to be impossible for me, things I had never ever done before that are a stretch for me - working with horses, doing farm work, stepping out in faith in my ministry, trying to live out God’s calling in my life, and striving to be a godly husband for her. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve made lots of mistakes, but I’m learning and growing, stretching and trying, and Lisa has been patient with me. Lisa changed my life by helping me find my calling. She inspires me, supports me, and blesses me to go out and be a blessing to others, which makes me want to do whatever I can to inspire, support and bless her. If it wasn’t for Lisa, I wouldn’t have made it through those tough times, the toughest times in my life, to now where I am living in the best times. Lisa is my inspiration, and my devotion and admiration for her grows every day. I am so blessed to be married to Lisa, that I can say that I am more blessed now than I have ever been before in my life. If Lisa loves me half as much as I love her, then I am blessed twice as much as she is!
So if God is working in your life, if you are struggling with finances and fears and insecurities and dreams and what to do with them, GIVE THEM TO GOD, and ask HIM to use them. If you give everything to Him, He will bless you and turn your submission into your mission. He will turn your obstacles into opportunities, your talents into HIS tools, your dreams into HIS calling, your passion into HIS purpose. He will use your submission to show you His mission for your life. And He will bless you for your submission.
And if you’ve been blessed with a beautiful wife like I have in Lisa, then I recommend you do everything you can to be a godly husband for her, put her first, treat her special, do secret things for her that she may never know… wash her car, change her oil, bring her flowers with her coffee… and most importantly, pray for her every morning and every night… If you have been blessed, then do whatever you can to become a blessing to her. I only hope I can be as much of a blessing to Lisa as she has been to me.
God has brought me a long way from being a scared, shy, skinny kid in Indiana…
I used to be a Loser with a capital “L”.
Now I’m so Blessed with a capital “B”.
If a scared, shy, skinny kid from Indiana can do the impossible and be so blessed, then so can you.
May you be so blessed that you too can say “I am SO Blessed!”
Upcoming Fall 2009 Dates:
Sept 16 - The Ark, Maize, KS
Sept 19 - Hartselle Depot Days, Hartselle, AL
Sept 21-23 - School Assemblies, See You the Pole, Union City, TN
Sept 26 - World Harvest Outreach, Hartselle, AL
Oct 1 - Ig Nobel Awards Ceremony, Harvard Univ, Cambridge, MA
Oct 2-4 - Distinguished Alumni Award, Waldorf College, Forest City, IA
Oct 8-11 - Harvest Festival, Cadiz, KY
Oct 20-21 - The Assembly, Tulsa, OK
Oct 23-27 - Festival Della Scienza, Genoa, Italy
Nov 9 - Upward Unlimited, Chico, CA