I pray y’all had a great Palm Sunday.
The girls and I were at Watermark Church, where Pastor Todd Wagner delivered one of those sermons that reaches down into your soul and convicts you to climb greater heights. His sermon was entitled, “Unashamed,” and was based on the scripture of Romans 1:14-17 (New International Version):
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.
Pastor Wagner focused his message on the obligation of Christians to stand and speak out about the blessings and gifts that God has bestowed upon them — His grace and mercy. And in doing so, we cannot be ashamed of having given our lives over to Christ Jesus for redemption. Pastor Wagner stated, “faith is personal, but not private.”
Regardless of the opinion of head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), Mikey Weinstein — who called for the courts-martial of U.S. Air Force Major General Craig Olson for sharing his story of faith in uniform — we as Christians are called to be unashamed.
We have a light that is to shine and we should not be reticent about who we are. I know the secular humanists and certain atheists will chastise me for speaking up. Well, we do have a freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof. We should never allow anyone to make us believe we only have freedom of worship, and they determine where we can worship.
The Christian community must not abdicate its responsibility to be good stewards to ensure we have just and righteous governance — not that of corruption that eschews our fundamental principles and values. The Christian community failed in its obligation in 2012 — staying home — and, as a result, this nation suffered because now we don’t have just governance that regards our rule of law. And now, we have Christians being persecuted for their faith beliefs, as well as a Supreme Court that doesn’t realize they’re to interpret law — not create law or new rights, redefine marriage, and violate the principle of federalism.
But Pastor Wagner’s sermon and message touched me deeply in a personal way and I am obligated to share my recent faith story evidencing that I am unashamed.
I had shared with y’all last week about a surgical procedure I underwent. In January of this year, I was diagnosed with a heart condition called sick sinus syndrome. My heart rate has always been low — 38-42 — and my cardiologist back in South Florida, Dr. Zachariah, attributed it to being in great shape, but was still concerned. So he requested I have a 24-hour Holter monitor test. The test revealed my heart rate drops to 28 overnight — and 5-6 times during the 24-hour period, my heart stopped beating altogether for 2-3 seconds.
It was the strength of my heart that would push through. I never realized it, but this was the cause of some fatigue and light-headed feelings. Heck, Angela would chew me out for falling asleep if I stopped moving, LOL. I was referred to Dr. Dale Yoo here in Dallas at the North Texas Heart Center, who explained to me the syndrome that the signal from my brain telling my heart to beat gets interrupted. The recommendation was to have a pacemaker implanted — to which, of course, after speaking with Angela and the girls, the answer was yes.
The issue was I couldn’t get the surgery until March 10th. So I had to walk by faith that God would protect and guide me. I didn’t cancel any speaking engagements. I didn’t change my routine; still kept up with my running, pushups and sit-ups. And even after the surgery, the next day I was on a flight to Michigan to speak at Hillsdale College and for the Bloomfield Christian School — don’t tell Dr. Yoo. And that Saturday morning in Birmingham, Michigan, God said, get up and go run — “I shall not leave you nor forsake you.”
Now, I have not been able to get back to push-ups, but everything else is fine. Yeah, I was in pain there in Michigan, but I had an obligation to share a message, one of the restoration of our Constitutional republic, and of our Judeo-Christian faith heritage. See, I’m unashamed of speaking up, regardless of any personal sacrifice or discomfort; it is my duty, one I take seriously. God did not bring the West family to Dallas, Texas for me to fail, for me to have any health incident. He has predestined me for His work and He wants me to be the best and in top-notch shape to share His miracle in my life.
So, no matter what you’re going through, turn it over to the Lord God Almighty, with complete faith. His answer may not come when you want, but it will come in His time. I turned fifty-five back on February 7th, and even knowing about the sick sinus syndrome and impending surgery, my hope was in God.
And so it is when I consider the verse Isaiah 40:31, (New International Version):
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
And now that I have this Energizer bunny rabbit in my chest, boy howdy, can I run and not feel any weariness — never faint. I am even more ready to do battle upon this ideological and spiritual field of engagement. Thanks Pastor Todd Wagner for reminding me that it’s my obligation as a Christian to boldly and unashamedly share the good news of Christ and what He has done in my life. Thanks for newly inspiring me today that, through your message, we are to be living examples for others, not knowing who out there may need encouragement.
And it is as Paul stated in Philippians 4:13 (New International Version):
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
And now I have a turbo booster to give me just an added bit of strength. I feel great physically and spiritually. God bless y’all!