One week ago, an amalgamation of prayers came to an apex which transformed my life from being handicapped, to being completely healed by Godly people who represented my entire Biblical community. It seems like an eternity ago, yet it was only hours since miracles happened, because there were many. In a physical state where I was so dizzy from vertigo, nausea and strife from a stroke which split into twelve embedded blood clots on my brain I was completely encumbered by chronic symptoms, only a miracle could change my life. The miracle happened.
What has taken place in the past week has been nothing short of amazing. Sunday night, getting to attend one of my local churches in Franklin, Slow Burn I was given the chance to share among a core group of believers the awesome handiwork of God. Pastor Clint Thomas asked me to come forward and what an honor to open up to this group of lovely people. Later, I would individually share face to face the wonder of it all to friends and still, it seems almost surreal. Its been such a humbling journey because why would God elect to heal one over another. God's ways are not our ways, are they? However, disease and sickness is not from God, I believe it is from evil and darkness.
Each of us are uniquely handicapped in our lives, we have a dark side which is a barrier between us and God. We have to decide to make a difference, we have to choose what kind of person we will be minute by minute. Will we honor God or not? Will we obey his commandments or choose to sin, this is our journey. When we have a nature which is about missing the mark, it makes everything more dark. Many times I fail from the goal, but I have this incredible God who keeps forgiving, keeps on loving me in spite of who I am inside.
For many years, I had friends, heroes and even mentors I thought could do absolutely no wrong. When I looked at them, I only saw the good, the beautiful, the righteous and the true. They were almost statuesque and iconic in their stature and I never believed there would be any part of them, less than perfect. Sometimes we place a parent, a boss or a pastor on such a high and lofty pedestal, they are wrongfully judged when any mistake happens. How harsh are you on your "models of the best" and do you forgive them when they fall, because...they will.
What I have been learning more this week than any other week in my entire existence is that we are all broken people who are in desperate need of God. This has been spoken before, but living it...well that is what makes this blog different. Its like seeing through a new pair of glasses. I will never be perfect, but I can strive to do the right thing 24/7 but the reality is that no matter what happens to me, no matter what change takes place, I am fallible and I just wished I could be perfect. We have a loving God who sees us through the perfection of His son. Wow, I can't even fathom this concept truly.
Here is s simple truth worth sharing.
Christ did so much for each one of us, He blessed us beyond what we deserve and He alone is the author and perfecter of our faith. The name of Jesus is more powerful than ever before as you can call His name into the atmosphere and the world WILL and CAN change.
Friday night I watched again Curt Landry Ministries online at 7:45 in his streaming video (which is 3 hours) and his powerful message of truth once again convicted me of my own shortcomings, my own failures and made me realize the root of my faith was truly born in a man who was Jewish and who loves me, even today. He had been praying for me and shared the miracle which transpired a week ago today and i wept. Truly, how this whole thing took place began in prayer.
Many of you know how impacted our lives were when Michael and Stormie came to our home. This couple continue to be on my lips every single day, along with the friends who so faithfully have called me. Did you know I still have not even talked to ALL my family yet? I'm really sorry I have been slow to reach out after this entire process except online but the overwhelming response has me amazed. Michael was healed through the prayers of Rabbi, an apostolic team of prayer warriors and the V team asking God for a miracle and now, he was part of our miracle day!
What do you think could happen to your life, if you chose to change in the next seven days? What if you took your existence and you placed your world at the feet of the throne of Christ, what kind of difference would you make, how would you live and what decisions would rule you as you moved forward in life. We are an imperfect people and we all need a real touch of forgiveness.
If you have falsely been too harsh on others, would you make this up to them? If you have been too hard on your own life, would you give yourself a coupon and realize God's love is more powerful than you could ever imagine! Don't let guilt and shame rule your life, rise above it and move forward into a new tomorrow knowing the God of the entire universe is in love with you, supports you, believes in you and wants the best for you. Choose wisely.
A supernatural experience can take place in your life, but you can still fail. A miracle can happen which alters the course of your destiny, but you still are weak. No matter what your circumstances are, a daily walk is still a minute by minute collection of elements where you have the choice to decide who you will be. In the struggle of mankind, we have always been enemies,...to ourselves.
God knew it was going to be this way. In fact, He operates so differently because He has the ability to do it all, yet He allows us freedoms, even to choose when it is not in the best interest of ourselves. Living in a community of people who understand barriers, handicaps and forgiveness with love is absolutely essential to a healthy life. We have too many ways we can fill our minds up with negative thoughts, so don't go there.
I want to confess something to you. My busyness has been my greatest weakness. Often, I was more concerned about others, getting too much done, going too many places, staying entrepreneurial focused that I sacrificed the best for just doing good. When I spent a small portion in my life working in church in leadership, I didn't grow as much on the spiritual side because of being too involved in good things, not the best things. Being busy or working hard is not the key to growth, in fact it can deter all kinds of growth and be a great distraction for efficiency for Him.
Finding a community of people of faith has been one of the greatest treasures of my life. Family, loved ones and friends have spoken truth into my heart over the past seven days reminding me of what is most important. I see everything different, I view people differently and my heart is filled more with compassion than it ever has been before, because I was just too busy. Its like I am just now learning to love more, I am sorry about this.
Please forgive me for missing the mark here. You are all important to me, but more importantly you are important to God. God loves you and this is why we are in this trail together. This is a calling, a mission and a huge task, to learn to pray more effective, be in Biblical community and serve others.
VERITAS 300 was an idea actually born because a dear friend of mind, Darrel Campbell saw VERITAS being physically attacked by team members with illness and pending death! Wisely, he consulted his wife Pam and suggested our core group call a great man of prayer to pray for us. A dear friend, Michael Omartian had just got word of a cancer presence found by his wife on his leg. Another dear friend named Tom Castelli had received word of prostate cancer and it seemed our entire team was under a real spiritual attack. We needed a "prayer covering" and we called Rabbi Curt Landry to pray over us, which started a lifelong friendship, a prayer covering and a realization prayer changes things. Do you see why prayer is so important?
When we began to pray about the next phase of our journey, we needed prayer first. Too many people had been hurt, attacked, got sick, died and it was time to have a blanket warmly placed over all of our people. This blanket was not about funding, it was about PRAYER. Sure we need funding for every project we do, but if we have PRAYER as our cornerstone, He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. This IS our new reality and it is the very prayer warrior whom Rabbi prayed healing over, whose wife and he came to the home in Franklin and brought healing.
When I was at Council Road Baptist church many years ago, we opened up a prayer room and invited people to pray. When it was new, it was a lot easier to get people to go, but when a newness wears off, we just become passive about why prayer is so important, why we need it and more. We have to be people of prayer and a film is going to be attacked because we are dealing in the enemy's atmosphere and this is dangerous territory.
Israel Hannah once told me prophetically because we chose the name VERITAS we are a target for the enemy to attack through deceptions and lies. Wow, the greatest city in the world is the city of peace, Jerusalem. However, more wars were fought there than any other city. Do you see why the name carries a weight in the process!
Life comes full circle and it should begin in prayer.
What can we pray for you about? We have many deep prayers from the 2 dozen people who wrote me and asked on January 24 for there to be a prayer covering for them on our Miracle Day. Maybe you didn't write us, please do so we can pray for you. Prayer was never supposed to be about one person, but it has always been about miracles for the people of God, for stories to find, for non commercial films to be made, for churches to be inspired and for impact in people's lives to be completed. Some of you are still waiting for a miracle and still struggling. Some of you had a miracle happen and you are rejoicing. Some of you are wondering if you should even ask for a miracle.
Ask for a miracle, join with us in our prayer community and write on FB in our VERITAS MISSION FILM page your prayer requests. Hundreds of people will start praying for you. Read your character traits each week carefully if you are part of our VERITAS 300 and practice them with us. If you want to join you can, just send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be included for free. Each week, you can grow in Christ with us in our Bible study on character.
Thank you for believing, for praying, for praying even when prayers aren't answered, for not giving up. Thank you for loving others, for embracing the handicapped, for recanting racism, for accepting our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and for being willing to listen. God has a huge plan and I am honored to be in this journey with you. I love you all, more than words could ever say.
Where your treasure is, there your heart is too.
Have you ever stopped to think or consider what real wealth is and the power of its role in your life? Some of you may not be interested, some are drawn in completely to this discussion and it is probably everything in between. Some of you barely make it each day and living in an upside down world has its grip on you, just like those who have money and worry about how they can keep it. For those whose lives are burdened, I am praying for you even now.
People invest in all kinds of things, they like to kick tires, they evaluate investments based on projected returns but notice the word "projected" because in reality, there are no absolutes. Some have said real estate, the stock market, mutual funds and there are all kinds of potions, but at the end of the day, its hard to know what will or what will not increase in value.
You can invest in so many things, but my question for us to consider is what are we investing in when it comes to matters which contain a spiritual foundation? Do you give to your local church, stand behind your pastor and staff, love your priests and nuns and bless those who serve God? How do you invest in them, what do you do to lend a hand to their world, or are you on the "other side of the aisle" viewing world differently?
Please allow me to stand on a soap box for a moment. The church has always been God's plan for a Biblical community and in every way, this collection of people with all their misgivings, do their very best to impact culture in the best way possible. Jesus died and gave Himself for the church. So we have many people who define what a church is, but it involves a pastor, a group of deacons, elders and a body of believers, period. If you are not in a church, try to overcome your personal views and you will find a new peace.
One of the greatest blessings of Veritas Mission Films is not just local churches who love us, like Pastor John Dickey of Hillcrest Baptist in Stillwater, or Jimmy Kinnard from Village, Slow Burn from Franklin or New Church with Monty Priest, is the opportunity to also connect with non profit ministries who are doing incredible works for Him. We have strategic ministry partners like Christy Craddock and Doris in HIS TRUTH TRANSFORMS, Rick Stanley in RICK STANLEY MINISTRIES, Randy Hartley and William Mwizerwa in LEGACY MISSION VILLAGE. Curt Landry has MY OLIVE TREE and ILLUMINATIONS and he needs our help and our list goes on and on.
We love these organizations because people are helping people. Bible based counseling is taking place, evangelism is still breathing with Rick, refugees are being taken care of all over the world with William and Ebralie and a new ministry for orphans is on the rise with Lynnann Muse. Even blessing the children of Israel through Curt's ministry is so important right now. These integral and vital groups are taking up mandates for the purpose of making a lasting difference. You can invest in these worthy causes and begin changing the world.
Our ministry is established to support films. We believe the film Jim Gromer is partnering with us can and will make a difference for eternity. The eternal investments pay dividends long after a building, an oil well or any other capital venture because this is a ministry which invests in people. There are both non profit gifts and for profit investments which are foundational to expensive films created to tell stories impacting our world. Have you ever thought of what part of your life should be placed in these missional efforts?
We write checks every month for energy because we need lighting, we need houses to be heated and electricity so we can get on computers to read blogs like these. However, what spiritual energy are you investing in today? I pray its in people, in your local church, in charities and in ventures which are spiritually based. When you begin to give to something you believe in, there is a power which transforms you.
As i left my doctor yesterday, he told me, "I have never seen a miracle in all my years of practice, but I can tell you Kevin after seeing you last week, and then this week you are 100% different and there is no medical evidence which warrants this, other than a supernatural happening". Many people invested in me, many people gave and gave so I would not be in a wheelchair. People believed, so they prayed and families gathered, orphans from India came together and prayed for my healing.
You can invest wherever you are into whatever your heart desires. Know this, God is on his throne and Veritas Mission Films has many missional journeys we need to go on for one reason. We have to invest in telling stories like Dr. Heng Lim in MY JOURNEY TO PARADISE because God will get the glory. Jesus told stories and He did this for a specific reason, people would not remember a sermon but they would remember, a story.
May the Lord bless you for investing in people's lives, churches and ministries. May the Lord use my simple testimony to arrest many hearts to invest in eternal truth. May we as a collective, the VERITAS 300 never forget how vital our prayers are, when people are hurting, when people get sick, when they die and their families. May we be an online community of people who accept Christ and who are inspired to pray, to give and to love more.
I close with this. Why would a widow who has nothing be heralded for giving a mite in God's word. Doesn't it make logical sense to give her a pass not to give? Isn't it a good thing to say, "Hey you don't have much, you don't have to be involved, let the rich people give". This was not the case. She came and gave what she had and was considered a queen among her whole group. She proved the power of giving in another realm.
VERITAS has a group of non commercial films called ANOTHER REALM and we believe these non commercial stories are fractions of the widow's mite which are eternal stories designed to give decades after we are gone. I believe God blesses these mites, He blesses the gifts and especially...the givers.
Words fall short of all my gratitude and new lease on life and its because of Him through your prayers!
I love you,
PS Start investing by telling someone you love them, show them His love and see what happens...
Michael and Stormie Omartian stayed an hour. Sitting next to me on both sides they asked questions, wanted to know the details, they read scripture and I told them about the VERITAS 300. This resonated with Stormie especially being a woman of prayer and Michael, being the man of God he is. I told them about how we all got together as a community of prayer warriors and how we believe in miracles.
We prayed together about how many issues we all face individually, and this was OUR collective day of miracles and we would believe together, as a team for supernatural things to happen. Then, in a concentrated prayer effort, they prayed and Stormie prayed first, followed by Michael and it was energizing and powerful. After the prayers, the crying and in the presence of Coach Bob Hoffman of the Mercer Bears, the test began of the supernatural.
Guess what happened? God healed me, I walked and I will be talking about it from now on.
Yep, this Okie got up, walked tentatively, turned slowly and began walking diligently, trying out a body which had been in slumber of walking for over 16 days and there was no stopping for twenty minutes.
Last night, I fell in a "practice run" of trying to walk by myself and Bob and Lynn found me on the bedroom floor. The morning was horrible, I couldn't even stand without holding on to something because of the vertigo which stemmed from the strokes in my cerebellum. Yesterday and this morning health wise were highly questionable days due to high vertigo and nausea, but not after our prayer and time together. The problems went away, supernaturally as I was walking, Lynn even took a video and posted on FB.
What happened in your life today? Did you pray with us an expectant sense knowing the real power of God? I am so thankful for this huge miracle in my life. I could not have done this, been part of anything like this without the VERITAS 300 special forces and you praying. Michael and Stormie said, God did it and this is HIM. They came believing, they anointed my head with oil, they prayed in faith and healing happened.
My wheelchair taught me some invaluable lessons which I will never forget. The trip to the NICU caused me to question many areas of my life and your powerful prayers moved physical mountains and we did this together. Lets now take our prayers, take on the mountains together and challenge each other to be "more than conquerors through Him that loved us".
Words fall short of how I feel right now about what has just happened. I called my sons, connected with daughters, called parents and for those praying wish I could have called ALL OF YOU! This IS a miracle and to God be all the glory for the things He has done.
Hello dearest Veritas 300. Its just now January 24, one of the most important days of my life to date. There have been so many people who have been praying for healing due to the epic stroke which almost killed me on January 8 at 9:30 am in Franklin, Tennessee. What happened to me changed my life because it did more damage than I had ever dreamed possible when I saw my brain scans, the MRI and more.
It would be impossible for any healing to happen, unless you believe. There have been many times in my life when "another little miracle" would happen which would be unexplainable. A great man wrote a book called GODS LITTLE INTERRUPTIONS and it was focused on how Christ kept getting interrupted which is why so miracles took place. I will never forget the power of this book.
Everything in my life seemed to be heading one way, and then I could no longer feel my arms, my legs caved under me and I saw myself falling in slow motion without the ability to catch myself until I slammed into the pavement. This began the most amazing journey of faith which has ever captured me. Then, it was like a fast forward listening to the doctor tell me I had six strokes on the left side, six strokes on the right side and I was in a critical situation.
This week, I attended the 40 year anniversary of CCM United put on by Stan Moser and it was nothing less than very spectacular. In the concert, which was 3.5 hours long, music began to minister to me like I had never known before. The anointing was so present, everyone in the room could feel the power of God working.
Another night of music with the greatest music artists in Christian Contemporary History. Many of them, we had been singing for years and having the opportunity to be in great churches like Council Road Baptist, First Baptist Columbia, Brentwood Baptist, LifeChurch.TV, NewChurch and more I had been exposed over and over again.
A couple days even earlier, Carman had called me to share about his bout with cancer and he said something which got me to thinking. "Kevin, I should have been dead, but instead, God showed off and let me give you some advice. Get a goal, something you can point toward, dream about and don't settle". I knew everything he was saying was right and there was no accident in his words and the timing of God.
What would be my goal?
There was only one thing I have been thinking about, praying about and consumed by after my stroke which seemed way too simple. I wanted to believe God was going to heal me.
So here was my dilemma. Would it be right for me to ask the Lord for this goal? When so many people are hurting, so much pain has happened, but for whatever reason the Lord spared me. He chose to give me life and if He wanted me gone, I would have been. Maybe my entire future was to remain in my wheelchair, to agree that my new future was with hospital doctors, nurses, technicians and more?
Please forgive me if I am not sure of the answers to all of these hard questions, but I know this, VERITAS needs to live on as a ministry. We need to encourage media missionaries to be called. There are many stories which are non commercial Hollywood will pass by, but truly need to be told. People have a community in our group to pray together in VERITAS 300 and we have a mission that has nothing to do with a person, but with a vision to encourage family, faith and freedom being instilled into the visual language of film.
After being moved by the music this week, its been sixteen days since the enemy tried to kill me. The outcome as you know is only 50% of "some kind of recovery". I accept this, if it is God's will. For all this time, I have gone through getting the permanent disability sticker, we now have a black wheelchair and I am pushed everywhere.
Then, at the music concert, Michael Omartian said, "This is not you Kevin, you are not going to stay in this chair, you have more to do.".
After the concert, I went home and prayed. So many encouraging words this night took place. From Tommy Coomes who felt compelled to pray with me, then Dallas Holm interceding and embracing me while praying for divine healing and then Larnelle Harris not accepting my new lot and David Meece encouraged me as well. Music professionals circled my family, prayed for us and asking God to heal me. These were not accidents, so I asked the Lord if I was to do anything, I would hear from Michael again.
He emailed me the next day and said, "Is there anything I can do for you, I love you." I asked him if he and Stormie could come to my home and pray for me, so he emailed back let's do this on Saturday and 2 pm is the time. These are not accidents but real faith in action by a couple like Michael and Stormie who walk with God. They are coming over at 2 pm and I now believe, more than ever a miracle is on the horizon
Tomorrow at 2 pm, kind people of faith are now coming to my home and they are going to pray a miracle of healing for me. I believe God is going to miraculously help me walk. I accidentally just fell on the floor about an hour ago in my bedroom trying to practice walking. Then, I even got stomach sick earlier tonight from watching a movie. However, I believe God wants me to be healed tomorrow and it begins at two.
I grew up a Baptist. Miracles are not really high on our churches agenda, but one thing I learned as a young man of the power of miracles in those who believe in the power of the name of Jesus. Tomorrow, they will place their hands on my damaged brain and I am choosing to believe a miracle will happen. I will walk without help from a cane, without a chair and with no guidance. This will be a sign of His love to all, of His power and nothing more.
The longer I live, the more I realize my faith has been small. God's plan of love is huge and so very big it is life changing in so many ways.
Thank you for believing with me, for praying and knowing this miracle is going to happen.
What I want more than anything is whatever HE wants is what I want. God saved me and some times miracles can take years and sometimes, they can take moments. This is the real power of God in each of our lives. My pastor in Franklin, Clint Thomas has prayed healing over me, family members have prayed healing and many who believe ARE praying healing. All of these VITAL prayers are going to amalgamate into one powerful force in hours.
My next email blog will speak only of the miracle of His love and a supernatural healing or I will share with you how "off" I was and be totally transparent.
I can't even begin to say how crazy this might sound, but how perfectly in line with true faith I believe this is. We will ALL know from this point on, God is in control of every situation. Life can be extended, even when things look difficult. I have seen people pray miracles before.
Absolutely, there are times when God has a different plan than ours.
I believe the real truth is "Do we really believe?"
Sing more, listen to Christian music and fill your heart with God's love each and every day. Pray believing in real miracles and just see what God will do. Don't be afraid to be bold and share your dreams with others because sometimes, God might even have the same dream you have.
For many years now... Dad has picked me up and taken me to the airport during the majority of his sixties and seventies. He has always been an eager beaver to wake up at a time when it doesn't make sense to most of the world. In fact, this is the most logical time of the day when people are sleeping, to come pick me up in our home in Oklahoma City and drive me to the airport. Frankly, as much as I love being with him, I always figured it was his "getting older" state of trying to help and I could never have been so wrong. I misread what was happening.
It was always a scurry to fly somewhere from a place which has been my base most of my life and after you have flown millions of miles, travel is not really a blessing anymore, but it is a major hassle to me. No, I don't fly private as much as I did when I was a younger man and frankly, I really like huge planes anyway. Travel means you have to go to work and requires pressure, sacrifice and absence.
Routines became normal for a while, but traveling almost every single week for decades was part of a "lot" many would deem wonderful, but somehow it seemed more punitive to my heart. This was my own selfish problem of which I have come to understand even more in days of recent. So getting up in the morning, making sure I didn't forget anything, getting the house picked up and being ready for Dad's headlights on the garage have been a journey in and of itself. There didn't seem a lot of happiness associated, but my father's headlights which made me smile as he never overslept, no matter what time he was asked to meet around 3 or 4.
Dad always was quiet, respectful and kind to me. He would say, "Howdy howdy and then ask what he could do to help me upon his arrival or my departure". His next statement would usually be funny either about my clothes, the weather or the road conditions. He would then say, "I left as quiet as I could so to not interrupt your mother's sleep as she was up late." My father has always respected my mother deeply and his service to everyone else just reminded me of his unconditional love for me. After 57 years, he had earned the respect of many since his parents went 74.
After getting the bags strategically placed, he positioned himself immediately in the passenger side to let me drive knowing I would find the best route possible and unlike his father, never gave me instructions on how to drive, how fast I was driving or any other typical "back seat driver" gestures most of us are accustomed to hearing. He was patient and seemed to have something much bigger on his mind. There was always a quiet agenda that did not happen in an ordinary fashion. However, normally the same thing would happen, a phenomenon.
He first let me talk and if I didn't talk he would gently begin to ask me questions. Realizing I never even knew my dad was a human until I was 35 was a sad statement of selfishness anyway. It was always about me and never about him. Once I caught on, I realized my father had feelings and so many things going on in his life, even situations in his late seventies were complex and all I had to do was ask probing questions to find out more about this gentle giant of a man who was serving me. His answers were always brief and painfully honest.
Then, he would say, "You know son, I have been thinking about something". One day I figured out what it was he had been thinking about and why. Dad had an airport sermon and he strategically would wait until we get almost half way there to share with me what he really wanted to say. Now considering it takes almost 25 minutes from Warwick V to get to the airport, this meant the length of his sermon could be shared in just a few moments, but I needed to not wag my mouth, and just listen to what was on his mind for a moment. By Hefner Parkway passing Hefner Grill, the short sermon would begin.
My dad doesn't say a lot, my grandfather doesn't say a lot an neither did his father or his father before him. When these men have always spoken, everybody listened. When they were thinking about something, it was because they had something really important to say, something out of the normal routine of conversation. Their focus was always on two things, the way people lived or the way people treated others. How should we interact, communicate, articulate and emulate life so we might leave a lasting legacy of love was thematic. Faith was integral to this sermon.
The closing principal of the message ended with Christ, what He did and making the most important thing, the most important thing. Dad's airport sermon was gentle, soft, spoken with kindness, absent of judgement and tender. He never spoke very loudly and sometimes I almost strained to hear him. He observed the deer by the side of the road, looked for and listened for wildlife, admired the creation and most importantly, quietly admired God. His life was poetic in how he approached me, just like a small road side animal he would be careful to address.
Now Dad and I never went hunting or fishing but a few times in our lives so our social lives have been pretty small compared to some. I had become the "Cats and the Cradle" in every part of my life's journey filled with busyness and even more. Dad knew this and would gently keep nudging toward the receptive insight he felt was needed. Was the drive for me or was the drive for him? Was he talking to himself or wanting to impart knowledge to me? It didn't matter, he was being my friend and we were in community for a few short moments in an innocent drive to the airport. His sermons had great impact and still do as I look forward to them even now.
Can I tell you how many times I flew out each morning after his sermons just wondering what had happened? I would be looking out the window of the flight thinking all day and all evening about what he just had said? Can I share with you how sometimes I would even be frustrated at his words, felt even offended by some of his gentle ways and would "war" in my own about truth? What was happening to me and why was I fighting this so much... This little ride had me in a complete disarray of emotions and those few sentences were like spears!
Then it hit me... I was in the presence of God. My father was using my heavenly father to convict me of wrong doing, of taking a trip in the car to point me toward His son even more. The spiritual warfare which has consumed my entire life had been growing and Dad somehow knew this and gently had a few words to share. I have been thinking a lot about my children and wishing I could drive them to the airport, but I can't. We live in different places now. I have been wishing I could impart a little bit to others and this blog is a way I can go on a little drive with you, hopefully to remind each of you of the things which are most precious.
Thank you. Thank you for sending me little airport sermons in your flowers, in your cards and in your notes with your very lives. Thank you for not giving up on me, even when I wanted to give up on myself. Thank you for looking at my recent stroke with eyes of love and giving me hope when living in self pity would have been so easy. Thank you for waking up early and driving me to a destination which makes me think and act differently.
Do me a favor. Wake up early and begin serving others. Be gentle in how you share. Be provocative in your small way to impact others, but ladle everything you do, with tender love. Don't be judgmental toward others, but instead filled with mercy and forgiveness. Wake up early, and do something for someone today. Find someone who needs another ride.
Hey Dad, I am getting up early again and I need you to take me to the airport. Do you think you can help? Yep, I already know the answer to my question and I am ever so thankful for a great silent man to give me a lift.
Being thankful is a process by which you recognize and appreciate with your mind, heart and spirit the good works being completed by those close and far for all which is done in "giving". All of us are thankful for people who come in our lives to support, but we seldom stop to "thank them" for their continued affirmations of sharing/caring. Herein, is the real focus of this brief writing today...
This brings us all to the point to say, "THANK YOU" for what you have done for us. Andre Crouch recently passed away and one of the things he told me before he died, was the reason he wrote THE BLOOD WILL NEVER LOSE ITS POWER and how miraculously he was called to write songs. You see, when he was a young man, his father was a preacher and one day, he stood before the congregation and declared his son would write music and lead in worship as God was calling him to preach with his music.
There was one problem, Andrea Crouch did not write music, lead worship or sing in his elementary years. He had never been any of the things his father pastor had even prophesied!
Can you imagine if you father suddenly stood before a group of people and prophetically told everyone in the room he was looking forward to hearing Andrea lead in worship in the coming days, when the young man not only did not know music, but had no idea this "word of knowledge" would ever be shared? He was mortified when a few days later the family received a "hand me down" piano. The following week, Andrea sat at the piano in front of the entire church when his father called him up to "lead in music".
For a few days earlier, the little boy had tinkered around with one hand on the piano, but at that moment, he begin to quickly walk across the keyboard and was leading in worship! The miracle of miracles happened. In his younger years, the little boy and his sister would go to a barbecue where many great stars, music artists and even celebrities gathered. While they were eating, he went to a piano and scribbled some words on a page.
As the barbecue sauce flowed outside, by this small baby grand piano this wonderful young boy was writing his first song..."The blood, that Jesus gave for me, way way back on Calvary, well its the blood that gives me strength, from day to day, it will never lose its power. It reaches to the highest mountains and it goes to the lowest valleys. I'm talking the blood that gives me strength from day to day it will never lose its power." He finished the song and kept throwing the paper away, but his sister kept picking it up. His song went around the world and changed his life and those who have sang this song since.
I'm personally thankful for my dear friend, mentor and loving colleague Andrea. I'm thankful Michael Omartian and I got to be close to him in the Sound Kitchen in Nashville with Randy Stonehill, Evie, The Archers, Love Song and the list goes on and on of the powerful time we all had together. I am even more thankful we could break communion together, serving the elements of the bread and the wine and doing this in remembrance of our Savior together as a team.
"How can I say thanks, for the thing you have done for me. Things, so underserved, yet you came to prove your love to me. The voices of a million angels, could not express my gratitude, all that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee! To God be the glory, to God be the glory, yes to God be the Glory for the things He has done. Just let me live, my life, let it be pleasing unto Thee and should I gain, any praise, let it go to Calvary, to Calvary. To God be the Glory to God be the glory, yes to God be the glory for the things He has done." Andrea Crouch would later write in the early seventies when a little boy went to Falls Creek and heard this song. Weeping this little boy wanted to give tribute to Christ, never knowing the songwriter himself would be sitting with me on the same piano bench.
Have you ever felt like you were in the presence of a king? You literally were sitting across from one of the greatest legends of your time and you were a small dot in the world of impact this great man had made? I did and when I saw his humility, his love and his mission, there was something more powerful than words which impressed me, it was His life. This man shared Jesus with Michael Jackson just a few weeks before he died. This man shared songs with the world of Christ, which made him peculiar to the lost and welcomed to those who knew truth.
Stop for a moment and think about people who have come in to your life and have led you to the cross. Think about the medical doctor, the mechanic, the nurse, the teacher, the mailman, the giver who told you about God and now, you live differently because the smallest nudge of insight, made you a king or queen. These are the thankful moments we live in each and every day. If I could be more like Andrea Crouch, I would be a better man. If I could live more like Steven Curtis Chapman in his private prayer life, I would be a better man. If i could live facing danger more like Steve Saint or Carman, I would be better because their testimony is real.
Here is the problem, these are famous people and they are incredible. The greatest saints of people in my life are the men and women you have never heard the name. There will never be a movie about them, you will never hear a song written about them, their will never be a book about their lives, but yet, I am profoundly different because of who they are and what they stand for than any other person on the planet. I won't bore you with their full names, but read these well, so you KNOW who the kings and queens were which shared something that changed my life. Its not the whole list, but in part it is...
Jimmy, Jack, Melvin, Linn, Chuck, Wendell, Anthony, Claude, Mark, Calvin, Rick, Norman, Matthew, Matt, Ruthann, Lydia, Laddie, Joe, Beverly, Ruby, Lynda, Carole, Jere, Joyce, Steve, Denise, Daysha, Jonathan, Jeffery, Nathan, Rick, Carolyn, Sarah, David, Terri, Scott, Dana, Paul, Perry, Billy, Pat, Wes, Brad, Heidi, Natalie, Brianna, Kent, Michael, Bear, Lauren, David, Steve, Jackie, Mart, Matt, Bill, Jim, Dave, Miles, Steven, Scott, David, Herb, Tommy, Merry, Heather, Stan, Peyton, Dalton, Joyce, Don, Bruce, Kim, Robin, Gary, Gina, Karla, Donnell, Beverly, Cindy, Jimmy, Patrick, Jana, Wes, Dana, Kenny, Suzy, John, Karen, Joley, Kaitlyn, Josh, Mark, Megan, Mackenzie, Ray, Stephanie, Matthew, Kim, Margaret, Anne, Annalisa, Bruce, D'Andre, Richard, Cade, Grant, Bob, Kelli, Jami-Lynn, David, Mickey, Tim, Toni, Marie, Donna, Hal, Deanna, Kerry, Barbara, Nick, Don, Charlotte, Conley, Clint, Jamie, Mark, Curt, Christie, Paul, Megann, Mark, Megan, Tom, Dean, Marty, Lisa, Lynn, Scott, Tony, David, Shelby, Corby, Randy, Terri, Jackie, Sheryl, Shaun, Kelly, Barry, Skye, Debbie, Sherri, Rodney, Dobber, Grady, Cera, Era, Vera, Brother, Noni, Bill and the list of those who know God goes on and on and on. Thank you heroes. Thank you for those who are believing and living truth, verses just talking about it.
Thank you Andrea for your legacy. Thank you heroes for your faith and ever present example to challenge our hearts. Thank you family and comrades for the faith you instilled in me by your words, your insights and your lives. Thank you for every handicapped person who has gone through the "valleys" before to help us be better and realize all of life can only get better. Thank you people of faith who showed me the road when I needed the most strength. Keep keeping on dear friends and the best days are ahead!
Why do you think happens when you go through the most difficult trials which come into your life? Doesn't it seem logical to think that once you get to a certain point in your own existence, after all the pain you have already suffered, the trials should possibly subside? Maybe even to consider you have now "paid your dues" and its time you should be able to have a happy life and more worry free?
Why is that our worlds often collide with peace, seem aggravated and filled with conflict, tribulation, distress, famine, nakedness, peril and sword? In Romans, the Apostle Paul addresses this very issue talking about how we can all be more than conquerors through Him that loves us. The writer is reminding us that when trials come, and they will come, there is a hope and a future in the midst of them. You can read Romans 8 and find out.
Last night, there was a bastion of negativity which filled my home seemingly coming out of nowhere. What started out as a normal evening simply escalated into a frenzied, 9-11 kind of experience with multiple parties in real crisis in several states. Within a few minutes, a teenager facing an attempted suicide was in peril as his mother was sleeping in his home. The emotional weight of life, school, of the relationships he had grown close to, of the life of his pet being over, ushered his spirit into a place of depression not seen since his father passed two years ago. This last semester of his high school year collapsed and he reached out in a cry for desperation, to our family.
Its the worst possible situation when you are dealing with a potential suicide victim as there are triggers, flags and signs you have to pay attention to immediately. There has to be people who surround this individual with love and care, professional help/counseling, possible interventions and more. This is not an easy "fix", but a long term and potentially chronic problem which has to be faced with purpose, precision and understanding.
In the middle of this crisis, one of the precious Veritas 300 prayer warriors who has drawn close to our V family was losing a grandfather which had been terminally ill for the last couple weeks. The Lord miraculously used her ears to hear the voice of God and tell her grandmother that within ten minutes, her grandfather was going to pass away. This happened just as God had imparted this truth into her heart literally by a ringing in her ears. She fortunately acted on the sounds and knowledge of truth, and told her grandmother to go to him as he transitioned into the after life. Did you know it happened exactly like this too. She called and we prayed over the phone together and in the midst of tears, we all knew this had been a miracle.
Stage four cancer has been looming on a close pastor friend of mine who baptized me when I was five years old. A man who has planted churches and ministered for over fifty years is facing one of the greatest health challenges of his life and we have been asked to pray. We are interceding for his life and asking others to go to their knees praying for this mentor and wonderful man of God. The future is unclear and all he wants is to live longer so he can help serve others and continue to minister to hurting people. Can you imagine how unselfish this is, to focus on helping others when you are in a crisis. He wasn't saying this out of anything, but real love and devotion to his flock.
These are all amazing and very good people, coming from good families and yet, there is crisis, trials and burdens which are almost overwhelming. What if they all gave up, threw in the towel and called it "over". On the sidelines we have a group of people who say, "I am just too busy and have too much on my plate right now to get involved. In fact, I have my own financial problems and things I need help on, so let somebody else reach out to them." Others might think, "I am sad for them but there is nothing I can really do".
Some people could act like Job's friends and just come over to the house and say, "Well, you had it coming" and even be judgmental. This is why the Bible talks more about the punishment of judging others than it talks about the punishment for murder. Do you realize how horrible it is to be critical of others? Lets face it, Christians are sometimes the worst at this and it breaks my heart. Somebody goes through something, and the "spiritually elite" come out like Pharisees and act the same way. Anybody know good people like this...
It doesn't matter that Christ said, "When you have done this unto the least of these my brethren, you have done this unto me.". He knew the power of mercy and grace filled with compassion. Jesus would minister to the point of exhaustion and literally would often have to go away by himself to pray, to find rest and peace in the midsts of so many storms around him. Even in the boat as he slept, the disciples woke him up in a panic and said, "Help, we are in trouble, we are in a huge storm and we don't know what to do, we may die!" Christ woke up, came outside and told the sea to be still.
Doctors told our family it was time to take my father of the ventilator and to gather my sons and family around him to say goodbye. He was not responding and from all the medical evidence, he was going to die. Our pastor Mark Hartman showed up right before this happened. Here is what he said, "Kevin, family I want all of you to come in close. Mac is not going to die today. He is going to live. He is not going to get better from this point forward and he is going to walk out of this hospital and he is going to come to church and worship with us again. We reject this truth which has been spoken to us by the professionals on the name of Jesus Christ." Two weeks later, my father came home and he has lived for almost twenty more years now and is still going.
Most of the miracles Christ performed came because he was interrupted. A great man of faith shared with me about his book called, "God's little interruptions" and they bring a huge case to the forefront that miracles like those turning water into wine at the feast of Canaan, the miracle of the woman who touched the garment of Christ and He said, "Who touched me" and the list goes on and on of how God's son was interrupted in order that a miracle might happen.
So here is my question, "How do we take those interruptions?" How do you respond when people are in need and are you proactively ready to build in time into your schedule for these kinds of interruptions? Do you have too much going on to be interrupted or too self absorbed...well, I sure am.
You read this right, I am way too busy to get involved. (This used to be my standard answer as a very young man.)
I have way too many things on my plate, there are way to many complications already and there is no way I have time to invest in others. My own ego throughout life of being "self absorbed" has taken me the opposite way of serving and like a Jonah, I have wanted to run from my troubles, hide from my trials and deceive everyone into thinking everything in life was perfect, when it wasn't. Years ago, at Council Road I began to see the power of what it mean to minister to others and it changed my life.
You can decide when life changes on so many levels. I started being honest and living in transparency, in a light of truth where I could not hide the underbelly of my own ego and it came with an understanding of real service. The self imposed "victim" was put to rest and my own confession of sin, cleansed my heart and purified my soul. It did not mean I was sinless, but I would sin less. You see, I began to see the hurts of others more than my own pain. It was truly a revealing and freedom based group of actions to begin to see so many people around my world who were really in trouble. This never stopped my storms, but it caused me to see something greater on the horizon.
We made a movie not long ago called THROUGH THE VALLEY and the ethos of the film takes audiences into a place of real revealed truth because of William Mwizerwa's words. How far would you go to save your family? What would you do to begin focusing on others and see your pain. There are times when pain is enormous and while difficult, your pain is not as burdensome as what others might have to face!
You see, God knows your pain and He promises you He will always be there for you, but He doesn't promise you that your pain will stop, your trials will cease and that everything will always be "a bed of roses". I wish it were that easy, but its really not.
When Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", he was sharing an insight inspired by God Himself to rely upon His Son's grace, mercy and love. This is THE answer to your life and to your future and to every trial which is coming your way. You can quote this Word in the scripture when you are facing something huge. You can smile in the midst of the worst storm and find peace when it doesn't even make sense.
Our bottom line here.... is nothing you are going through, He doesn't fully understand.
Hopefully you are letting this sink in as I am trying to do the same. HE HAS ALREADY KNOWN YOUR PAIN! I don't know of anyone who has known exactly what I have been through, but I do believe God's Son knows it all. There is a comfort in knowing we are not alone in this universe and it goes way past the film's goofy message of the recent movie, INTERSTELLAR into a fifth, sixth or even seventh dimension. This is the reality of God's love.
Lets put us into a higher perspective and I believe it will help us all. Years ago, a famous pastor named Joel Gregory was preaching and he said something which blew my mind and I never forgot this analogy. He said, if you blow up an atom, the size of a tennis ball and then you multiply how many atoms are in the human body, you would find a man large enough to hold the entire universe in the palm of his hand. WOW! This is a perspective of how BIG God really is and yet, He sent His son, to become a man, to live through pain, who would know and really hear our prayers, listens to our hurts, loves us and cares about each and every one of us.
Whatever you are going through today and for whatever you are facing for tomorrow, HE is there. I might not be there because I am pretty selfish. I may have too much to do. I might need to fall on my face and surrender again, which is what it means to "die to self" each and every day, every hour, every moment. This is why I fail Him so much because its just plain hard to do. Just because you know God, doesn't mean you have it together all the time. Be real, be in touch with your Father in Heaven and learn the power of interceding for others. Don't focus on yourself as much as giving your life away.
When we want to say, NOT ANOTHER STORM, we should remember the storm did not come by surprise, others are going through worst storms and God has gone through them all! The Bible says, "Be anxious about nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication give thanks". Life can be better, the storms are going to come and keep coming, sorry. However, God is with us when we go through them, even when others turn their back. Whatever your storm is circling around you, its only going to subside. Lets calm the storm and speak peace to..."Be Still".
I love you,
There are a million decisions when you make a movie. Its one of the most tedious, precision based manufacturing processes and time consuming projects in the world to create. Intellectual properties are highly complicated and the chain of title to ensure you own the property, the capturing of a story worth telling, the proper script to enhance the story, the cast to illuminate the characters and the crew to shape each second is staggering.
When you make a movie, its a team sport and requires hundreds of people working in tandem to accomplish a goal. Military operations are in the same vein but even more complicated, because you have to understand the military theater, the ever changing and sophisticated elements of the platform, the moving parts within the communication of multiple decisions, incredible leadership, warfare and more.
Often, productions are similar to many military maneuvers, which is why veterans are such incredible heads of departments, understanding missions and more. One of my favorite department heads was in a special forces group so needless to say, they one of the best run of almost two dozen groups working side by side.
When we make a movie, we want to tell a story that is very unique, use the visual language of film to impact our culture toward the positive and make it as cinematically pleasing as possible. We are not supposed to be preachers and feel preaching is best left in the pulpit. We also do not condemn people who want to preach in their movies, because it is every individual's right to create art as they see it. Our team supports films of faith by faith based leaders, but that is not what we do.
In Mark 4:11 a friend of mine pointed this scripture out to me in 2006 and the Biblical mantle upon which Christ himself taught was one of kindness, gentleness and in a spirit of thoughtful persuasion. However, it was not "beat your head over and over with harshness". Christ used parables to tell memorable stories, "To gently nudge people toward receptive insight". Why do you think it was this way? Here was His answer, "What about people who don't have ears to hear or eyes to see...Its almost like a farmer who plants a seed..." He went on to tell another story and gently use the art of persuasion to allow people to think for themselves so that hearts would be receptive.
I love this scripture and it has become a mantra for us at Veritas. When END OF THE SPEAR was made and I was blessed to be on that team of filmmakers, we never mentioned the word Jesus in the script. A few churches felt a grave mistake had been made and were accusatory of not mentioning His name in the movie. Our response was, "What about the missionaries who gave their lives and lived vicariously out the Word of God with their own martyrdom? Wasn't that enough? Lets think about this...
Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me" and Paul also later said, "I have become all things to all men that I might save some". You see, if you adopt a philosophy of filmmaking to "gently nudge people toward receptive insight" this changes the way you make your film, tell your story and beyond. This approach allows each person to think for themselves, to explore in their own journey of faith and move toward God in their own conviction brought on by the Holy Spirit. This is why Veritas has adopted this philosophy.
Uniquely, I believe it has always been God's plan to use people to share with other people about His love. The heart of evangelism is a personal touch, not a media closing. Media is a perfect forum for seed planting, but people will always be part of God's plan.This is why digital communication is so dangerous. We can never replace the power of sitting across the table from someone like I did today on more than one occasion with our Veritas 300 prayer warriors and share of Christ's love and His ever ending grace.
This is my favorite part of having an online community of prayer warriors like Veritas 300. Anyplace, anytime, I will sit down over a meal, meet with anyone whom God is moving in their life or they want to pray and share of His miracles in our team. You never know how God can open up doors when you walk in obedience. This is real spiritual life in birthing Christianity and more important than any movie, because lives impact others lives and its the journey along the way, not just the destination.
So when we make a movie, we have to start with PRAYER! This is why the foundation of the VERITAS 300 was to find 300 people who would pray for us, pray for us to find the right stories, pray for us to find the right people and pray for us for the cast, the crew and the distribution to have the greatest impact possible. We are a filmmaking team which is committed to the power of real prayer and without it, we cannot and will not move forward. We will not be successful as a team unless people are praying and we need more people because we have a sense of urgency and time is running out. There is too much warfare already associated in the mission.
It also takes a few years to make a movie. The time frame is not fast and because of this, we have to multiply our forces to mobilize miracles for a seamless project to have an impact on culture. Stories are being found from Cambodia, from Morocco, from Rwanda, from Viet Nam, from Australia, from Iceland and from parts of the world in people groups we never knew existed, just like the Waodani, found in our film BEYOND THE GATES OF SPLENDOR and END OF THE SPEAR.
As you read this blog today would you please say a sentence prayer for us. "Lord, please bring Veritas the right stories, with the right people, the right finances, the right cast and crew, the right distribution channels so that your name will be glorified completely. In Jesus name, Amen".
The power of prayer is the "secret sauce" of filmmaking. It is my prayer you will be blessed today as you pray for us and we pray for you. Whatever God is doing in your life, realize no matter how complicated the future looks, no matter how big the mountains are you must climb, He alone has the answers to your problems. Petition Him daily, stay in His word, find a local community of Bible believing people to interact with and see what begins to happen as your prayer life and daily journey begins to change. May God richly bless you for being a part of who we are!
I love you,
Kevin McAfee is a filmmaker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God and using the visual language of film. His blog shares the hopes of impacting culture, because his heart is in media missions and the church.