Archives For Broken Back

1 Year…

December 30, 2011 — Leave a comment

A year ago I came close to dying. I learned much about friendship, service, letting others serve me, life and how much I mean to my family and they to me.

Since that time, I have witnessed God work in radical ways, seen my family come together, seen my family struggle with change, seen our company grow, seen men fight addiction, witnessed men step-up and lead, vacationed with friends for the first time, accepted a new job, moved across the country, sold a house, bought and sold cars, and most importantly allowed God to lead the way in my life.

As I reflect on this past year and remember (what I can) lying in bed last Christmas with a broken back/ribs/elbow and major concussion and realize what God has done since that time, I’m in shock. Why we he continues to care about me, is a mystery I will never solve. I’m no one, yet he still has a plan and obviously I have more to do. I have not wasted any time this year and am making the most out of things. I have not gotten it right every time, but I haven’t wasted anything.

As I start my annual review of My Life Manifesto, I realize I have a lot to do in 2012. God has called me to be more than I am and I have to get back in the game in some aspects of my life (more later on this). Right now, I’m focused on today and am in awe of how awesome God is.

It’s been a year…


If you read anything on my blog, twitter or facebook you’ll know that I struggle with pride. This week illustrated yet again how far I will go to conceal and feed my pride.

Let me start by saying I have a broken back and a concussion. I CANNOT climb on a ladder. I stepped up on a 2-step step-ladder yesterday and almost fell over – vertigo is a tought thing to combat. I fell while getting ready to hang our Christmas lights. You guessed it! We don;t have any lights on the outside of the house. This is a BIG deal for Sheri because she loves Christmas and wants our home to be the best it can be to honor all God has done in our lives.

Our good friends arranged for someone to come by our house and hang lights for us. This struck a nerve! It caused several arguments and I even went as far to state that they person wouldn’t show up and I would be proven right…

Boy was I wrong! In fact in trying to feed my pride (no other man is going to hang lights on MY house!) I was also robbing my wife of her joy and the joy Christmas brings to our house. I had rationalized that our house was ‘good enough’ without lights on front.

On Monday I realized how prideful and selfish I was being. I asked God to forgive me and prayed that the light would get done. Tomorrow we’ll have lights on our house. I’m thankful that Sheri is stubborn and sticks to her guns when she’s right. I’m thankful that God forgives me for my pride and takes the time to correct me when I’m wrong.

Living our My Life Manifesto is not easy. especially when I post all my faults on this blog. By reading this, you’re one of my accountability partners. Thank you for filling that role in my life. My faults are many, but at this year, I’ve been blessed beyond what any man should be. I give God all the glory. I have done nothing. He’s done everything. My walking and talking is a testament to His power and glory.

Yet and other humbling experience….

Merry Christmas

The Real Church in Action…

December 14, 2010 — 2 Comments

As I recover from my injury I feel  compelled to share our experience with God’s church in action. First I need to define the church: Many people even within churches don’t understand what the church really is. My best understanding is, it’s a group of broken down sinners (I’m talking about myself) who for some unexplainable reason have accepted God’s free gift of salvation and want nothing more than to serve the Lord in return. In short: we serve because Jesus saved us, not so that we can be saved. No works, deeds, or amount of effort on my part can save me.

The minute it got out that I had been airlifted with serious back injuries, pending surgery and unknown out comes, not only did my immediate circle of community group begin praying, so did my church. Not only did my church start praying, so did other churches. Not only did other churches, but my on-line community started as well.

We had church members come to our house and clean up the mess. There was blood puddled on our door step. The ladder and power washer were left out. The dogs were left unattended. Our church stepped in and took care of every need without asking. They just did it. Sheri was barely functioning. They came along side her and prayed and stayed with her through the darkest hours. God carried her, but the church was with her and Savannah. Friends took Savannah and provided a loving home and support. People we do not know, brought Stephen down. I received twitter messages on Sunday thanking a Dr. Bob Barnes for leading his church in praying for me and my family that week.

I am a no one. I do not deserve such grace nor attention. But God provided it through His church anyway. This is what God’s church is. If in the past you have been hurt by “church”, please understand that it was not God nor Jesus that hurt you. It was a broken prideful sinner like me. Churches are full of us. We make mistakes and in doing so do not reflect the true love of Christ and what the church really is.

If you have been turned off by church because of the sinners that mess it up, please don’t blame God. He’s not the one who hurt you. I don’t know what happened, it doesn’t matter. I can assure you that you’re right and you were wronged by someone in the church – but not by God’s church. God has not only provided me abundant healing, he’s provided a model of what the church really is. I would like you to consider either attended West Pines Church weekly service starting this weekend or at least listen on-line at the webpage or via the West Pines Podcast. Pastor Robey’s message will help you to reconnect with God and forgive those who have hurt you in the past.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a post, send me an e-mail so we can talk. I really want share with you what the church really is this Christmas season.

Humbled…. (again)

December 13, 2010 — Leave a comment

Quick update on my condition:

– Concussion is improving, may take a couple more weeks before everything’s clear. Dr. gave us some guidelines on things to watch for, which was very helpful

– I’m in the back brace for 3-4 more months. Everything beyond 4 weeks is preventative in nature and will help ensure when I’m 65, that I’m fully mobile.

Sheri and I were both relieved to hear that the overall risk of major injury is minimal and that I can focus on long-term recovery. The short-term issues will resolve themselves with rest and time.

More blessings. The doctor shared a story of a lawyer who had a similar fall on the same day. This man is now in a vegetative state. He reminded us of how blessed I am to be talking, walking and worrying about my health 20 years from now. I ask why me Lord? Why not me Lord? Why him Lord? Answers to these questions will only be answered in our next lives.

You just never know when tragedy may strike. Enjoy every day, live life to the fullest and Go Big

My Stubbornness….

December 12, 2010 — 3 Comments

One week ago, I lay in ICU under the care of a critical care team pending the results of the tests to see if I would require emergency spine surgery to fix problems associated with “the fall”.

Today, through nothing less than a miracle, I am walking and trying to pretend everything is normal. Since coming home on Wednesday, I have consistently said I was attending church today. All the while my friends and wife were questioning the wisdom of that decision. Gruntlers, Roberts, Avery’s and others always asked if that was smart. I feel up to it, so of course. My wife was set against it from minute one.

Today, I am not attending church. It breaks my heart not to be there, but I was pushing this under the excuse of praising God when in fact my real motive was to return to normalcy. This was causing major issues for my wife. This morning, God impressed on me that I need not be in church to praise him…

That’s when I realized: this is not normal and there is no quick return to normal.

In honor of my wife and friends, I will not be attended church today. I still praise God for his grace, but I do it through honoring my wife’s wishes and praising him privately ~ just He and I.

Praise God…