Part 2 – The Conclusion
I remember the moment after my spinal surgery in 2009-2010, when my doctor came into my hospital room and informed me and my family that I had nearly died during my surgery. I hadn’t come out of my anesthesia and the surgeons were about to give up trying to revive me. My family and I were horrified, yet thankful that I had somehow made it through.
Now when I look back, I am filled with immense gratitude for the second chance I was given. I thank God for blessing me with a chance to live and enjoy everything that life has to offer. I thank Him for giving me the opportunity to spend time with my loved ones, to fulfill my dreams and aspirations and to share His mercy and grace with the world.
Thank God, that I am still here. His Mercy has allowed me to continue living and to share all that He has blessed me with. Brothers and Sisters, this is the incredible Grace of God. He loves us so deeply and endlessly. His goodness knows no bounds and I am thankful every day for His presence in my life. He has been my rock, my strength and my refuge during tough times. His love and protection have been my saving grace. May we never forget His love and mercy, and thank Him always for the blessings He showers us with.
When I left the hospital after my spinal surgery, I had 6 months of what was supposed to be a relatively short recovery ahead of me. Little did I know, that those 6 months would be some of the longest and most difficult of my life. I had to go through physical therapy, and see my chiropractor 3-5 times a week. On top of that, I wore a neck brace every day. I could barely eat, talk, or even take a few steps. It was a time of immense difficulty, one that felt like it would never end. But I am so thankful to have made it through. Even to this day, I still have not fully recovered, feeling pain and discomfort, but I am alive. I am grateful for the strength I found within myself to make it through.
Despite having had surgery, I am still far from 100%. I face a variety of issues due to the surgery, and there are times when it can be difficult. Yet, by the grace of God I am still able to talk, laugh, walk, run, and dance. I am able to witness my children’s smiles, kiss my wife good morning or good night, and I can still raise my arms to God in praise during worship. I thank God for the strength He has given me and I am forever grateful for His grace.
As I began to heal and recover from the surgery, the first thing I wanted to do was to take my wife and our boys to the beach, our towns local Lake. It was a strange place to go, but there was a reason. The beach was calling us, a call that could not be ignored. It was a chance to take in the sights and sounds of nature, to feel the waves crashing against the shore, see the boats passing by and feel the sand between our toes. We were ready for an adventure, to experience the lake in all its glory. Standing on the beach, I was overcome with joy as I watched my two boys running around in the sand. They were picking up seashells, laughing, and enjoying the moment. The warmth of the sun on my skin was so soothing, and I felt completely at peace.
As I held my wife close, I thanked my Almighty Father for His grace and mercy. I was so blessed to be able to stand here in this moment and to be given a second chance to make things right. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I realized how blessed I truly was. I was so lucky to have another chance to learn and grow, to make mistakes and to learn from them. I have been given a second wind of life, a chance to make right my wrong choices and correct my past mistakes. This is a gift that I must treasure and appreciate, a chance to truly see what God has given me every single day, something I have taken for granted or overlooked. I must no longer put myself first and think I am above all. Instead, I have to realize that I am blessed with so much, and I must be grateful for all the things I have. I need to take time to appreciate the little things, the moments that I have taken for granted in the past. I must not let such blessings go to waste and must be thankful for the opportunity to start anew. This is my second wind, and I must make the most of it. I want to make it a point to no longer put myself first, to not think that I am above all, but to worship and Recognize He who is.
It’s moments like these that we take for granted, moments when the beauty of life can be fully appreciated yet we forget to be thankful. We forget to take a moment to give glory and praise to God Almighty, to spend Time With God. We forget to recognize the intricacies of life and the importance of our relationship with God. But it’s moments like this, when we are lying in a hospital bed, or when a surgeon tells us that he almost gave up on bringing us back, that we remember. It’s moments like these that help us see just how precious life is and how truly lucky we are to have the opportunity to give glory and praise to God Almighty and spend time with Him. So let us not forget to appreciate and thank Him in every moment, especially those we take for granted.
Romans 12:2 — New International Version
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
“The blind man is able to see the world in a different light, more deeply, and more profoundly than any of us who can see.“
“A deaf man can still converse with God and hear his voice, even though he cannot hear with his physical ears.”
“We often overlook the small things in life, mistaking them for being insignificant.“
I am so grateful for the gift of hearing. Despite being born with a birth defect that has left me with only one functioning ear, I can still hear so much. On Sundays, I can attend church and listen to the inspiring words of the pastor and the uplifting music of worship. I can also listen to music in my car or at home, allowing me to be surrounded by the beauty of sound. No matter what life throws my way, I am thankful and rejoice that I can still hear.
The gift of hearing is something I will never take for granted ever again. To be able to hear my wife tell me she loves me and to hear the laughter of my two boys fills me with joy and happiness. I am especially thankful for this sense, as it is one of the five senses that we have been discussing. It is truly a blessing to be able to enjoy this gift and to thank God every day for it.
Psalm 69:30 — New International Version
I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
Rewinding back to the coffee thing from earlier, I am so grateful that I can hear the coffee machine brewing, and smell the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. It’s a simple pleasure that I get to enjoy, one that I appreciate more than ever.
God is an amazing and loving Father who desires nothing more from us than to love Him and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. He wants us to imitate His Son, to be like Him in all that we do. Although this may seem like a small and simple request, it should not be taken lightly. We must remember all that God has done and continues to do for us, and strive to live our lives in a manner that reflects His goodness. We must strive to be like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to show love and obedience to our Heavenly Father. With faith, love and obedience, we can image our Lord in everything that we do and in return, He will continue to bless us in ways beyond our imagination.
We have been given so much in this world, and yet often we take it for granted. We forget to give thanks and to take the time to talk to God. We need to remember that all He asks of us in return is to live a good life, to be of good character, and to trust in Him. While these words may not be written in the Bible, I believe they are words of common sense. Taking a moment out of our day to talk with God is something we should all strive for. Appreciating all that He gives us and being thankful for it, even if it is something as small as a beautiful sunrise, will bring us closer to Him and to a better understanding of His ways. In our hearts and in our lives, we need to learn to spend some Time With God.
We have so much to be thankful for in our lives, and so many blessings to count. Every day we should take time to be grateful for the gift of life, and to say thank you to the Lord for this amazing gift. We can show our appreciation and thankfulness by simply saying “Thank you, God, thank you for everything”. It is an expression of our love and gratitude for all the wonderful things that God has done for us. We can show even more appreciation by taking time to reflect on the blessings of each and every day, and for every second we have with the Lord. It is a simple yet powerful reminder of how much we have to be thankful for. We can be sure that the Lord will forever be with us if we give him our thanks and appreciation.
We give all glory and honor to God for His countless gifts and blessings. Every single day, we are reminded of His greatness and the abundance of good that He has allowed us to experience. We praise and worship Him for His generosity and grace, knowing that all of the goodness in our lives is due to Him. We strive to live a life of gratitude and humility, recognizing that it is only through His guidance and grace that we are able to be successful and content in our lives. We are eternally grateful for all that God has bestowed upon us, and we give Him glory and honor for all of our blessings.
God has given us permission to do the things we have done and are doing. He told us He wants us to do them, that it is our free will. He already knew about them, and He knew what the outcome would be. He gave us the will to do it, but He also shows us the way if we trust Him. We may not understand why He allows certain things, but He has a plan for us and He will see us through it. We must remember that God is with us and He will bring us through any situation. He will provide us with strength and courage if we have faith in Him. That is why we must rely on Him and put our trust in Him.
We have so much to be thankful for. A simple fact of being alive is cause for immense gratitude and praise to God. No matter how difficult life may seem or how much you dislike your current situation, God knows your heart and has allowed you to make your own choices. He is waiting for you to surrender to Him, so that He can be your strength and guide you through the decisions you make. He is faithful and will stand by your side as you navigate life.
Matthew 24:13 – New International Version
but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
We can always be thankful for the fact that we are still alive and that we have the opportunity to make our own choices. God watches over us, waiting for us to admit that we need His help, and to surrender ourselves to Him. His mercy and grace are available to us anytime we need it. We can simply say, “I surrender!” and He will provide us with the strength to continue on.
Are you ready? Are you ready to stop living life your way and live your life the way God has planned it, as He intended it? I am ready, and I encourage you to do the same. Let us surrender our lives to God and walk in faith and obedience to His will for our lives. Let us live the life He has planned for us and experience the joy, peace, and purpose that He has for us. Let us live a life of faith and follow God’s plan for our lives.
The WWJD symbol and logo have become an iconic representation of the Christian faith, representing a call to action for Christians to emulate the life of Jesus in their everyday lives. The acronym stands for “What Would Jesus Do?” and encourages Christians to ask themselves this question whenever they face a difficult decision.
I may have to face the possibility of losing some friends and contacts because of my faith. People may point fingers and talk behind my back, but that doesn’t faze me anymore. I know I’m doing the right thing by standing up for my beliefs, and I’m proud to be a Christian. I may post religious messages and content on social media, and I’m prepared to accept any criticism that comes my way. I’m not afraid to show my faith in public, no matter what the consequences may be. I’m not going to let anyone else dictate my beliefs or how I choose to express them.
Let them judge me, let them mimic me; let them say what they want. What would Jesus do? Jesus would show love and compassion for everyone, even those who are not so kind. That’s what I strive to do. I will love them regardless, I will pray for them if they ask, but I will no longer be living for the world’s approval. I am here to be obedient to my God and spend time with Him, to show Him my love and devotion. Even if others cannot understand, God is changing me, and I trust that He will change them too. I will not give in to the pressures of the world and will focus my attention on being obedient to God. He is my rock and my salvation, and I will put my trust in Him.
It was great to see my former co-worker when he visited my job a few days ago. He often comes to visit the old gang and hang out, so it wasn’t a surprise to see him there. On this particular day, he walked up to me and said, “Hello Pastor Willie, and asked if I was going to become a Pastor. I had been posting a lot of religious content on social media, and my friend obviously had noticed. I’m not sure what his purpose was: was he wondering if I had an intention or plan in mind, or was he trying to be rude, making a joke at my expense to get a laugh from the other guys in the shop? Either way, it was a strange interaction that left me feeling a bit uncomfortable.
My response to the suggestion that I might be trying to portray myself as a Pastor is that I’m not trying to do that. I’m simply sharing what God puts in my heart on social media, and if I read something that moves me or I think might move someone else, I’m likely to share it in the hope that it brings them closer to God. I don’t have any agenda other than that, and I’m not claiming to be a Pastor or anything like that. I’m just someone who loves God, and I want to spread His message in whatever way I can.
2 Timothy 2:15 — Holman Christian Standard Bible
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.
I admit that I do not know God’s plan for me right now. I am nothing more than a humble servant, a sinner who desires a relationship with the Lord. I firmly believe that I was created for a purpose – to honor and glorify God, to keep a relationship with Him, and to bask in His presence for eternity. I cannot live my life on my own; I need the guidance of the Lord to show me the way. I want to live my life in accordance with His will, allowing Him to direct my path and trusting in His divine plan for me.
I want to take a moment to acknowledge and accept that I cannot do life alone. I need something bigger than myself, something that will always be there for me no matter what I face. I have come to recognize that Jesus is the only One who can lead me to the Father, and the only name given to us to be saved. He is the only way, and I am grateful to have found Him.
John 6:44 — New Century Version
The Father is the One who sent me. No one can come to me unless the Father draws him to me, and I will raise that person up on the last day.
Contrary to what some people think or say, I don’t just post nonstop religious things on social media. I still post music, jokes, and pictures of my vacation trips, tours, and meals. Nevertheless, why should it matter what I or anyone for that matter posts? Don’t let the people who are so quick to judge and criticize you for your Christian life and your Godly ways stop you from doing what makes you happy. You should be able to express your faith in your own way without feeling intimidated or ashamed. Your faith should be a source of joy and strength for you, and it should never stop you from living life to the fullest.
It can be easy to let the opinions of others cloud our judgement when it comes to faith and our relationship with The Lord. Don’t let those who point fingers at your beliefs get in the way of your relationship with God. He is your friend forever, always and evermore. He is a constant and comforting presence in our lives, no matter what. On the other hand, so-called “friends” can come and go, and they won’t be there for you forever. Don’t let their opinions shake your faith. Keep God at the forefront of your life and he won’t steer you wrong. He is a faithful companion who will always be there for you, no matter what.
You have so much potential, and the world is ready and waiting for you to show it. You have gifts and talents that only you possess, and the world needs to see them. Don’t be afraid to open the door and let God in, for He already knows what lies ahead and He has great plans for you. His plans will be better than anything you could ever imagine, so trust in Him and let His will be done. God is knocking at your door, so open it and welcome Him in. He will help you to make the right decisions and guide you along the path of life. His plans will bring you joy and satisfaction, and you will be able to truly experience the joy of living. Open the door and let Him in, and you will find out what the world has been waiting for.
John 10:9 — 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Let us take a moment of quiet reflection and allow God to show us all that He has done and all that He has planned for us. Let us be open to His will and allow Him to lead us on the path of His choosing. Let us be thankful for His love and the plans He has for us and let us be confident that He will bring about the very best for us.
Proverbs 16:9 — Revised Standard Version (RSV)
A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
I can personally attest to the power of God and the miraculous changes that He has worked in my life. From being an unbeliever, a doubter, and a sinner, I can attest to God’s grace and mercy in transforming me and renewing my heart. If He could do this for me, He can do it for each and every one of us. No matter our past, no matter our present, God is there to provide us with hope and to offer us a new life. He is there to renew our hearts and to show us the way to a brighter and better future. He is there to give us strength, courage, and peace. Believe me, if God could change me, He can do the same for you.
Are you not the least bit curious and anxious to see what God might do if you surrender yourself to Him? Are you not tired of trying it your way, when it has not worked? You may think it has done you some good, and you may have achieved some successes. But God promises us so much more than what we can ever imagine. Why not take a chance and let Him show you what He can do? Don’t you want to find out what He can do when you give Him control of your life? Take a leap of faith and do it now. You won’t regret it.
Time With God doesn’t have to be complicated. All we have to do is make it a priority. This means setting aside time each day to pray. A great way to do this is to say a short prayer when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night. Both prayers can be the same. How about this: “Thank You, God, for this day”. Starting and ending your day with this simple 6-word prayer is a great way to show your appreciation for God and all that He has done for you.
Once you are comfortable with this, you can expand this prayer by thanking God not only for the day itself, but also for something you are grateful for that has happened within that day. You can use this time to talk to God and make Him your friend, your brother, your Father, your diary, your Siri, your purpose, and or your priority. As you come to Him with your heart open and honest, you can trust that you will receive the guidance you seek in order to have a meaningful and fulfilling day.
When you start to build a relationship with God, it can be a life-changing experience. You will develop a powerful connection with Him, and He will be there for you in ways that you never thought possible. He will be your confidante, your advisor, your protector, and your friend. He will be there for you in times of joy and of sorrow, and He will guide you and provide for you in ways that you never imagined.
You will start to feel a warmth and a joy that you may never have felt before. You will have a sense of purpose and direction that you never had before. You will start to experience a spiritual level of love that you have never felt before. You will find strength and comfort in knowing that you are now walking with God.
It’s not about becoming a Christian; it’s about becoming the Son of God, about spending Time With Him. When you do this, your life will become so much better. You will be filled with love and peace, and your life will become richer and fuller. You will be fulfilling your true purpose and destiny.
God does not require our prayer, He desires it. He longs for us to come to Him in prayer and to enter into a relationship with Him. Prayer is a way for us to communicate with God, to share our joys and sorrows, our hopes and fears, and to express our love for Him. Our Heavenly Father loves us deeply and desires us to want Him, need Him, and desire Him. He longs for us to come to Him in prayer, and to develop a closer relationship with Him. By praying and talking to God, we can experience His presence and the peace and strength He provides. As we pray, we can trust that God hears us and will answer us in His own time and in His own way.
Let Him be your Father and let Him into your heart. He loves us and is there for us when we need Him.
Knowing that The Creator of Heaven and Earth, wants to have a relationship with you is a truly incredible thought. It is amazing to consider that the God of All, who made the entire universe, desires to hear about your day and have a relationship with you. The Lord of Lords loves you more than you could ever imagine and desires for you to love Him in return. The King of Kings desires to be your best friend and companion and offers you the assurance of His love and protection. No matter the situation, you can be sure that The Lord is with you and will never desert you. When you understand that The Lord wants to be your Best Friend, it is a truly comforting thought and a sign of His deep love.
Lord, I thank You for Your grace and mercy. Thank You for being here with me in this moment. Help me to remember that You are my refuge and my strength, my ever-present help in times of trouble.
Give me the courage to be bold in my faith and to share Your word with others. Guide my words to be encouraging and uplifting, and help me to have the strength to keep my faith strong, no matter what the world throws at me.
I can relate to Moses in this moment of fear and insecurity. I too can feel intimidated and overwhelmed by conversations and situations. I can relate to the desire to be eloquent and communicate effectively but feeling unable to do so. This struggle can be incredibly disheartening, making it difficult to believe in one’s own potential. Yet, in this moment of vulnerability, Moses still reached out to you God. No matter the circumstances, he still held onto faith and hope.
Exodus 4:10 — Berean Study Bible
“Please, Lord,” Moses replied, “I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant, for I am slow of speech and tongue.”
Lord, I am overwhelmed by Your grace and mercy, that You continue to use me in spite of my fears. I am constantly amazed that You are able to use me despite my insecurities and doubts. You teach me, mold me, love me, and guide me every single day. Even when I feel like I am not good enough to be Your servant, You show me that I am, and that I am capable of so much more than I ever thought possible. I am eternally thankful for Your ongoing faithfulness and love, and for the way that You continue to use me.
Lord, my heart overflows with gratitude for all You have done for me. You are Love, Mercy, and Grace personified and I cannot thank You enough. You are my Redeemer, and I will spend all my Time With You, praising You and offering You my adoration. Your grace and mercy are immeasurable, and I will never cease to pray and thank You for all You have done. You are worthy of all my devotion, and I will always honor You. In the Precious Name of You Son, Jesus Christ, I Pray, Amen.
Philippians 3:13-14 — New International Version
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ. My name is William Torres (My family and friends call me Willie).
I am a New Christian or as I like to say, “A Toddler Christian,’ being saved as of 2017.
From a very young age, my family always told me that I had a calling. I got involved with the church in my early teen years and served as a Altar Boy at my church, was a Youth Group Leader, and even a member of a Trio music group (Church Group), which we would perform in Church Youth Rallies.
Their was definitely a calling. What I was missing throughout all this was a relationship with Jesus Christ. I was serving and loving the church and those around me, but not serving and loving the Lord.
It wasn’t until depression, isolation and suicidal thoughts that the Lord, finally said, “Okay, Willie, are you done? Let me In, Take a hold of my Hand,” and that was 2017, and I have been walking, skipping, singing and dancing with the Lord ever since.
I started to write stories which I believe were led by the Holy Spirit; many of which are testimonies and different trials I have endured and how the Lord has gotten me through them and to overcome them.
I enjoy encouraging others in the Lord Jesus Christ through my writings, and I can only pray that those who read them, will be Blessed by Gods Words.
I am nowhere near perfect but I Worship a God who is.
I have a long way to go and so much yet to learn, but one thing is for certain, I Am Not Alone, and as hard as this was to accept and Believe, I thank God for creating in me a clean heart.
I thank Truth Hunters and Lyn Leahz for the opportunity to allow me to share my writings with you all and as we say in Our Facebook Ministry, I Hope to Grow In Christ Together With You.
You Are Loved
Willie Torres Jr.