TITLE: Life in Radiant Bloom (Part 2) updated 12/22/15
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I explained, “We all have sin, which is what separates us from God. But there’s hope: it is only through sinless Jesus, who exchanged our sins for His purity by His death on the cross, that we are allowed into heaven. Only perfection (no sin) is allowed in heaven. If we accept Jesus as our Savior from sin and follow Him as our Lord, God promises to forgive us of all sins and give us eternal life (1 John 1:9, 1 John 5:11). Would you like to accept Jesus as your Savior?”
“Yes, I would,” Nalani replied.
Then I led her through the following prayer: “Jesus, I’m a sinner. Thank you for dying on the cross in exchange for my sins, and rising again so that I may also have eternal life. I welcome You into my heart and will follow You. Amen.”
“I feel much better, thank you,” she said.
“Would it be okay if I visit again and bring you some encouraging word?”
“Sure, please call before you come because I might be at a doctor’s appointment,” I could tell by the way Nalani gripped my hand when we prayed that she was craving the comfort of Christ.
After visiting Nalani, I drove to my other girlfriend’s house. When I arrived, Rose came out to greet me on her front porch. We chatted there, catching up on each other’s lives. God said, Ask her. So I asked Rose, “Do you have a faith?”
“No, but I attended a New Hope church service with a girlfriend several years ago.”
“Do you want to accept…”
Before I could finish the sentence, Rose said, “Yes!” with an emphatic bounce.
I explained what Jesus did for us and led my second friend, on the same day, through the prayer to accept Jesus as her Savior.
I knew that God had put a desire in both friends’ hearts to welcome Him into their lives. All I had to do was ask for confirmation. No one else as had asked or explained Jesus to them. God let their spiritual blooms unfold in front of me. It was phenomenal!
They both peacefully went home to be with the Lord within about a month after receiving Christ as their Savior.
Another recent bloom was Ray, a Christian who was told that he didn’t have much time left. My girlfriend, Geri, called me to ask if I wouldn’t mind going with her to visit her friend Ray at his critical care room. When we arrived at Ray’s room, he was curled up and refusing to eat. He was depressed. He didn’t want to die. Geri had brought an encouraging Christian cd and started playing it for him. When we began to sing along with the music, his countenance changed. He became focused on the familiar songs and started to keep the rhythm, like an orchestra conductor, with his arms and head.
I grabbed one of his hands and said, “Ok, Ray, twirl me” (as he lay on his hospital bed). So he twirled me as I ducked under his arm. “Now dip me.” So he dipped me. “Don’t leave me on the floor, Ray! You have to pull me back up.” So he pulled me back up. He was beaming and didn’t want to stop dancing. The disheartened man that I had initially met transformed into a dancing machine. After more dancing and singing, we held hands and prayed for Ray to have God’s peace that transcends understanding. Ray closed his eyes, his face relaxed, and his breathing slowed as our prayers comforted him. His wife was pleased that after he cheered up, he finished nearly all of his food.
Ray’s family decided that he might be in better spirits closer to his children so they transferred him to a mainland care facility. He passed away peacefully with his family by his side about one month after our visit.
Other blooms that God cultivates in me are from leading a team of “Angels On Call,” who encourage the sick at their homes or at medical facilities. We pray, sing, and help people to understand Christ and accept His eternal salvation. God even gave us the honor of singing to one of our members, Carol, who passed in full bloom before our eyes into Heaven.
Carol had suffered heart failure and was in intensive care at Queens Medical Center, Honolulu. “Angels On Call” gathered in the lobby and went to her room. But the nurse said that Carol was transferred from intensive care to another area. With quickened hearts, since we thought she was getting better, we took the neighboring tower’s elevator to her room. We didn’t know that Carol had been transferred to the critical care area and was removed from life support.
When we arrived at her room she was peacefully asleep with her husband and sister at her bedside. We started to pray and softly sing our usual medley of songs. While we were singing, the nurse walked in, checked for Carol’s heartbeat, and said, “She’s gone.”
Upon hearing the nurse’s announcement, Carol’s husband exhaled, “I’m so grateful that she was sung into Heaven. Please keep praising God with your voices.” He sent me a thank you card, “To the Angels, Thank you for singing Carol into Heaven. I can’t think of a better way for Carol to have met Jesus. Don’t stop doing what you do. Keep praising God with your voices. God bless you, Harold.”
“Giving” blooms have also been exciting to watch unfold. God pruned away my corporate investment work to stimulate blooms of personal investing for the purpose of giving the investments away. Since leaving the corporate world, my focus has been on donating the appreciated assets that God has grown through my investing. In 2007, I established a giving fund to donate the ‘God-increased assets’ into. This fund has been financially supporting twenty-five Hawaii non-profits (as of this writing) in amounts that I would not have thought possible had I remained focused on the international company’s work.
In hindsight, God had to prune away my pursuit of a worldly career that was holding back the growth in things of true value—giving to and loving others.
Do you want a life in radiant bloom instead of withering? Cooperate with God’s pruning. He will give you a fabulous blooming season to look forward to.
“Those who look to him are radiant...” (Psalm 34:5)
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