Thursday, March 26, 2009

Back at Home

Dear Family & Friends,

I am sorry to say this has been one of the most difficult weeks of my life. I just arrived home from the hospital after spendin six days at the Meijer Heart Center in Grand Rapids. On Friday, March 20, I had another shock from my defibrillator. Apparently, my heart went into a serious irregular pattern but I do not know it until I get shocked. They have a new combination of drugs that they are treating me with. We are hoping and praying that this combination will work together to arrest and put the sarcoidosis in remission.

They did a procedure where they went up into my heart and cauterized some of the inflamed area. Because of the extent of the disease, they were only able to hit ten spots and put kind of a perimeter around the sarcoid. They are reaching the limits of what they can do, so the next step would be to send me to Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic.

One positive note is that the echocardiogram showed that my heart is functioning better than other tests have shown. It is actually at the low, normal range. I am feeling much better at the present time. Thank you for all of your concern and prayer support.

Joyfully In Christ,

Dan Currie

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Living For Eternity

God has put us on earth to develop our character, to test our faithfulness, and get us ready for eternity. Paul reminds us in Col. 3:1-3, that we need to set our hearts on eternal things and to put heaven’s priorities into daily practice when he states: “Set your heart on things above . . . . . not on earthly things.”

This is a daily struggle because the temporal things tend to take precedence and the urgent things occupy our daily routine. There are many necessary things that we do in order to live. How do we keep those things from dominating our life and taking our attention away from the eternal? We need to remind ourselves what is eternal and what is temporal.

It all comes down to our priorities and what we value the most in our lives. What is of eternal importance in relationship to what is only of this world? We can see all around us that life is short and just a vapor that can vanish away. We are reminded that death can happen at any age as we observe the obituary page in the newspaper. You realize the brevity of life, when that someone who you spoke to recently, now is gone into eternity. The average person in America will live 700,000 hours. Isn’t it worth it to spend your time with eternity’s view in mind? It is imperative that you discover what God wants you to do with your life.

The Bible was written by our Creator, and is the owner’s manual for our life. One of the lessons that God has taught me through my illness is the fragileness of life. The psalmist states: “Remember how fleeting is my life . . . What man can live and not see death” (Ps. 89:47-48). Life is short compared to eternity and we are reminded daily that death is for everyone. The psalmist also states the following , “Teach me to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).

In light of the brevity of life, we need to live every day as though it may be our last day. This would motivate us to live for eternity and not selfish pursuits. Just think how all of our lives would change. We tend to live for now and the temporary rather than the eternal. How should I live every day? I want to live with the realization that time is short on this earth and I need to do all that I can to live for the kingdom and God’s purposes. I need to look for ways today to serve the Lord and make a difference.

I realize that I have had several encounters with death, because each time my defibrillator has gone off it has kept me from cardiac arrest. I also recognize that the defibrillator is not 100% foolproof. My heart could get into such a irregular heart beat that the defibrillator would not get it back to its normal rhythm. All these factors are a constant reminder that God has been gracious to protect me and keep me alive. I believe that He wants to continue to use me and has deepened my message through my life experiences. I want to daily ask God to help me gain a heart of wisdom, especially when it comes to making the most of my time. I want my life to count for eternity.

As we read Scripture and meditate on it we will tend to keep the eternal in front of us. This leads me to live a more purposeful and focused life. As I apply God’s Word to my life issues, it keeps my focus on eternal things. God’s plan is that we are to grow and mature in Christ (Col. 2:7-8). As I develop spiritual maturity in my life, it will bring me to a place where the temporal is not as attractive. I can focus on the eternal and keep my priorities right because I will make God’s purposes my desire.

Who or what are you living for? One of the lessons that God has taught me through my illness is the fragileness of life. I want my life to count for eternity!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Journey Update

I am making some slow progress and regaining strength after being in the hospital so long in February. I just found out that I am now diabetic and have to take some oral medicine twice a day after checking my blood levels. This should be temporary because it is caused by the prednisone. They said they were going to start reducing my prednisone soon and I will look forward to that because of all the side effects.

I have had many positive comments about the devotionals that I've written. It has been a joy for me to take my daily journals that I write and to make some minor revisions and to share them as devotionals. Thank you for those who have written back to let me know how God is using this in your life or as a tool to encourage others. This has been a real blessing for me to know that God can use my life experiences for His glory and the growth of His people.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Importance of Personal Evangelism

How involved are you in personal evangelism? This is probably one area that every believer struggles with in their life. Satan wants to keep us from sharing the greatest message to those without Christ. It is easy to become apathetic about evangelism and to excuse our lack of obedience.

The book of Philemon is only one chapter, but yet it reminds us of the salvation of a former slave. Philemon’s slave had fled from him and had become a believer. He has served Paul faithfully while he was in prison, and ministered to his physical needs. Paul asks Philemon to forgive Onesimus and to recognize that he is a fellow follower of Christ. Paul states a wonderful truth about the importance of evangelism with this statement: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you may have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 1:6) . We should all be active in sharing the gospel because it is commanded in Scripture and a matter of obedience (Matt. 28:19-20).

I had many opportunities to share Christ with people when I was in the hospital. It is always a thrill to share my faith and to let others know of the joy and security of knowing Christ (I John 5:13). I find that many are willing to listen because of my illness and more receptive to my message because of what I am going through in my life. Our trials can be a springboard for sharing our faith. God has designed for every believer to be involved in personal evangelism . He uses people and their example and proclamation of the simple gospel message.

I believe the most effective way of evangelism involves building relationships and friendships. We need to be building redemptive relationships for the purpose of sharing Christ. Paul’s insight is both a challenge to sharing Christ and a realization that when you are involved in evangelism, it will change your life. When you share the gospel, it gives you an understanding of your position in Christ and the wealth of that relationship.

What happens when you witness? It reminds us, first, that we are sinners and have no hope because of our permanent separation from God. Salvation is a free gift, undeserved, and it is completely by God’s grace. Our position in Christ gives us a wealth of spiritual treasure that we receive at the moment of our salvation. When we witness we are reminded of these many rich blessings that we have in Christ. Sharing Christ in obedience will change our life and assist us in our spiritual growth. We will enable God to transform us as we marvel at the spiritual wealth that we have “in Christ.”

Make personal evangelism a priority in your life. I have found a good way to keep my focus on evangelism and make this a real priority in my life. I have developed an evangelism prospect list. This is simply a list of unsaved people, who I pray for regularly. I pray for their salvation and for an opportunity to build a deeper relationship for the purpose of sharing Christ. I guarantee that if you pray for people you will develop a heart for people.

Are you passionate about sharing the gospel with people who need the Lord? It will change your life!