Tuesday, April 29, 2014

God Sightings While Coping With Prostate Cancer Part 1

At my Church last week our Pastor spoke about how easy it is to take people and the Lord  for granted. One way to keep our faith (and your relationships) vibrant and healthy is to life with an attitude of gratitude toward the people in your life and with the Lord.

In order to do this with the Lord it's important to develop the skill to see God's working in your life, not only in the big moments of life, but in the everyday moments as well.

As I look back on my journey with prostate cancer I notice at once, it's easier to identify God sightings looking backward than it is to spot them in the middle of a storm. Early in my journey when I felt led by the Holy Spirit to write a book and develop an on-line ministry for men and couples coping with cancer something very odd happened. It is the first time I've experienced anything like this in my 37 years of walking with the Lord.

As my wife and I were writing our faith-based book about prostate cancer, I knew it was important for me to choose a Christian publisher. After much research I chose WestBow press for a very specific reason. WestBow Press is a publishing division of Thomas Nelson. Books that succeed with WestBow are considered for publication through Thomas Nelson. Since the majority of independently published books sell no more than 150 copies is very rare for a title to move from WestBow to Thomas Nelson.

Here's the God sighting part in all of this,back then, before the book was completed, I know no other way to put this without sounding spookey, but I believe this came from the Holy Spirit, I was given absolute faith and confidence that our book would be considered by Thomas Nelson.

For more than year I did what I could do to market and promote our book. I hired not one, but two Publicity Agents. We advertised in newspapers. We received  front page Modesto Bee coverage about our book and ministry.  I've written a few magazine articles. Brenda & I had radio interviews.

During the course of the last year I wondered if/when Thomas Nelson would call. I also seriously questioned how does one tell the difference between what you wish would happen vs what you believe you heard from the Lord.

On Friday April 25th in the afternoon I learned the difference. I received a phone call from WestBow press indicating that Thomas Nelson was interested in our book. I was very excited, but I wasn't surprised. I knew I'd  receive this phone call before my wife and I finished writing the book!

I've learned a very important lesson from this experience. You never need to worry or be concerned whether or not the Lord is faithful. He is. I knew without a doubt He'd do His part. The only question was whether or not  I'd do my part.

The journey to Thomas Nelson isn't a sure thing. I was told WestBow wanted to see a spike in book sales before Thomas Nelson would consider our book. This reminds me of the Jewish people's journey into the Promised Land. They couldn't just walk in and claim it. There were giants in the land, that were so powerful the people made the decision not to fight even though they were assured a victory. As a result  they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. They lost their opportunity to enter the Promised Land.   My prayer is this: That I faithfully do what's required of me so the plan for the book can be realized.

What about you? What has God placed in your heart to do that's  far beyond your comfort zone? Will you step out in faith and do what's required?  If you'll do this, God sightings will be obvious to you.

If you or someone you love is coping with prostate cancer check out my book:
I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours?