There is an identity problem in our world that has led to great confusion. People are confused, not knowing who they are. They are searching for an identity, for a rock to stand on in a flooded stream. Some have went on journeys for the sole reason of “finding themselves” as if they were somewhere else. There are way too many poor, lost, wandering souls who are alienated from God’s original design and created identity.
Identity in the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus, first identified with us. Man could not spiritually redeem himself by reformation or by following the rules. Mankind is innately a sinner in great need of a redeemer. The Redeemer had to come in the same form as our first-ancestor-father Adam. God provided the only sufficient sacrifice in the Redeemer—His Only Eternal Son.
When I look back at the younger me, I am horrified at my lack of diligence. I am not the poster boy for it now, but I have improved some over the years. My wife has been a great example for me, when she sets her mind to accomplish something, she gets it done.
This time of the year, some folks make New Year’s resolutions that often fall flat by February. (Oh well, I’ll finish this post later… Second thought, I better just do it!) I am not one to set New Year’s resolutions. I just need to do the simple, spiritual things with diligence.
The world lay in the sway of darkness, sin, and death. Man’s journey from the Garden was marked by a trail of death and tears with each tomb a reminder of every man’s fate. Death reigned in the world by a cruel master, Satan, whose very name meant “Adversary”. The Hebrew prophets of old had prophesied approximately seven centuries before of a coming Messiah who would save and deliver.
During this season we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I seriously doubt Jesus was actually born in the time we call December but that’s a rabbit trail I am not interested in going down. The big question is, “What’s the big deal about Jesus’ birth?
I called an ole friend who had been sick; immediately upon his answering, I asked him, “How are you doing?” He replied, “I’m above ground and limber!” meaning of course, he was still alive. There was thankfulness in his voice because whatever lingering pains he may have had, he was nonetheless glad to be alive. I liked his reply and have borrowed it.
A creed is a capsule of truth somewhat like a capsule of medicine; one is filled with a chemical formula that will make one physically healthy and the other is filled with truth that will make one spiritually healthy. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines creed as “a brief authoritative formula of religious belief”. What do you believe?
Today is Columbus Day. Christopher Columbus, certainly, was not a perfect man but he was a tough ole bugger. He endured a lot of hardships as an explorer and died at the age of 54. Today he has a lot of critics and his faults are easily found in history. Whatever opinion you hold good or bad, he was one of many who changed the world. I admire his courage, his feats of exploration, his seamanship, and his grit.
Christians are sometimes criticized for claiming our religion is exclusive when we are adamant that Jesus Christ is the only avenue to eternal life. That is why I am evangelistic about my faith in Christ; it is not that I take pleasure in someone being excluded but rather I have strongly held beliefs about Jesus Christ. The invitation to follow Jesus is inclusive, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 NKJV).
Sunday morning, August 12, 2018, I woke at 2:30 am with chest pain, sweating, and light-headedness. My wife, Jennie drove me to the ER at Gadsden Regional Medical Center. (She wanted to call 911 but I convinced her to drive). After arriving there, the first EKG was normal, blood pressure was normal but then my heart rate dropped to a dangerous level; second EKG showed I was having a heart attack. They immediately sent me to the Cath Lab and I had an artery that was 100% blocked. They put in a stent and I spent two days in the SICU and then one day in a room for observation. They released me Tuesday afternoon, August 14, 2018 and I am at home doing quite well. I praise Jesus for protecting my life and health. I did not have any heart damage.
I want to thank God for His wonderful peace in a difficult situation. Jennie and I understand the scripture better than ever when it says, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NKJV). In this situation, God gave me just a crazy peace; I was concerned but I was enveloped in this wonderful peace only God can give. Jennie experienced this too.
I want to thank my wife for being a real trooper who kept her cool and has the making of an ambulance driver. She showed me great love and compassion. She was the first to lay hands on me and pray. She was a spiritual, emotional, and physical rock for me. Our love for each other was made even deeper.
My children: Jeremy and Amy Prickett (grandkids Emily and Tyler); Seth and Lanie Whitt (grandkids Audra and Lizzy) for their quick response, smiling faces, encouragement, prayers, and love. Love your children because there will be days when you will need their love. My children are the best!
Many from my extended family came to visit and others prayed from a distance. Fellow ministers reached out with their love and prayers.
My church family, New Life Christian Center, was on the scene from the beginning and journeyed with us through this ordeal. We knew you loved us but now we understand how deeply you love us. One of our church members, Robert Dillard, a fire chief who works part-time for an ambulance service was in the ER on another call and was an angel in the skin of a friend and brother.
I had people praying for me around the world. Many of my friends reached out through messages, texts, and emails. They called their churches together to pray for me and my family.
I want to say a big thank you to the doctors and staff that treated me in a professional and caring way. They were great!
I have a great hope and prospect for a long future of loving my family and continuing the work God has called me to do. If you have chest pains don’t mess around, get to the ER. Chew four baby aspirins and put under your tongue.
If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, you don’t need to mess around, bow before the King and surrender your life to Him. You could wake up at 2:30 am and go into eternity with little warning. In the time of present danger I had eternal peace. I was ready to live and I was ready to die only because Jesus saved me by His grace.
Harry L. Whitt
PS: Praise God, the doctor’s said after about two months or so of observation, I should have no problems traveling internationally on mission trips. I had no heart damage and they will be checking me regularly to prevent another heart attack. I appreciate the doctors but my faith is in Christ Jesus who will fulfill His plans in my life. I am His in life or death. I appreciate your prayers.