I am SO thankful to be able to share this post.  A year ago today, we weren’t sure if it would be possible.  Today, Chloe writes about her experience, herself.  God is good.  Here is Chloe in her own words.
Here are a couple of the posts from a year ago:
-Eddie
———————————————
FROM CHLOE:
It was one year ago today that I was on my way home with my sister when we hydroplaned and hit another car head on. It’s been a weird year. In some ways the longest year of my life and in some ways the shortest. In some ways a complete tragedy and in some ways completely beautiful. I could write a book about everything that’s happened in the past 12 months, but I guess I’ll start with a really long Facebook post.In the past year I have :
Survived 13 surgeries. Accepted Vanderbilt medical center as a second home. Had my foot shattered in to what my surgeon said looked like a crumbled ritz cracker. Looked down and saw my snapped ankle sticking through my foot. Had stitches in 8 places. Broke 3 ribs. Had a concussion. Had a blood transfusion. Lost 4 teeth. Broke my jaw in 5 places. Had my mouth wired shut for 7 weeks and didn’t eat anything but ensure and chicken broth for 2 months. Stayed at a different hospital than my sister and for a week was convinced that I had killed her and no one would tell me. Had to get shots in my tummy every day for a month. Laid down unable to move for 3 months. Had an open wound for almost 5 months. Got told that they may have to amputate my foot. Got told there was a one in a million chance that I would ever be able to dance like I used to. Had a machine hooked up to me for 4 months. Had my bone clipped while I was awake. Had a sponge pulled out of my body 43 times. Felt pain that I never knew existed-pain that actually makes you black out. Taught dance from a wheelchair. Was in a wheelchair for 7 months. Didn’t leave the house without medical equipment for 10 months. Have a couple more surgeries still to come. Haven’t had a single day where I’m not in pain. Felt my body dying and fought to hang on.

Chloe

In the past year I have:
Seen God and felt a peace that I could never explain. Been AMAZED by the love of people around me. Realized the value of life. Realized how strong I am when I have to be. Found a new respect for doctors and nurses. Become so much closer to my family. Realized how much my parents love me. Never been so thankful for my sister who is my best friend. Learned to appreciate the little things- being able to go outside or eat your favorite food. Found a new compassion for people who have it so much worse than me and a need to help them. Realized how much I love my job- though I may not be able to dance like I used to I can still share what I love with little ones who make me smile. Realized how lucky I am to be with my Matthew. I thought I loved him before, but this year showed me we can get through anything together and now I know how to love in a way I didn’t know how before. This year showed me he will be the best husband. I think the biggest thing I’ve realized this year is the impact of prayer. I now have a real relationship with God. A year ago today I promised God if I could have a second chance then I would live my life for Him, and that promise has saved me in so many ways.

Chloe:Mat
(Chloe and Matthew in July)
As terrible as it sounds, I think everyone at some point has the thought,” I wonder who would care if I died”, and in a way I got to find that out this year. I was so surprised. I wasn’t giving people enough credit. I can never ever express how much every prayer, every message, every card has meant to me. I love you all so much. You never know what tomorrow holds. I wasn’t speeding, I wasn’t texting. Something happened that I couldn’t control. As cliche as it sounds, I now get what it means to live like it’s your last day on earth. I’m forever thankful and forever changed. I can’t wait for the rest of my life. On to the next year.
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C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”

When things are going well, He often speaks in a whisper and we have to listen closely.  How do you know if it is God speaking to your conscience or if it is bad pizza from the night before?  I won’t tell you that it is always easy, but I’ll give a few guidelines that I believe will help you distinguish between the two.

Before you begin seeking God’s will, make sure your heart is in a position to do WHATEVER God says.  It’s important to decide that before asking God for His will.

Next, ask yourself if one of the options or possibilities are in disagreement with the Bible’s teachings.  (This assumes that you have to be reading the Bible and learning so you can know it’s teachings.)

For example, if you see three options and one of them calls on a little white lie, go ahead and mark that one off.  It is NOT God’s will even if it is the easy option or most attractive to you.

If you still have two options and you aren’t feeling God’s leading strongly towards one of them, remember that God also speaks through the “Church.”  (The “Church” is the people, not a building.)

Don’t ask everyone you know for their opinion.  Go to a few trustworthy, wise, godly people that care about you and explain the situation.  God can sometimes make things a bit clearer by talking to other people that love Him and you.

You can also look at the circumstances.  Once again, you have to interpret the circumstances through the Bible.  It’s not always a “given” that you take the most attractive option that presents itself.

If the options are:

  1. Take a high paying job.
  2. Keep the job that you have.

God may want you to stay at your present job to reach someone.  That’s where listening to God is more important than a knee jerk decision to the most attractive option that seems to present itself.

If you have sincerely prayed, “God, I’ll do WHATEVER You ask me to do” and you have really sought His will through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the Church, and you don’t feel like He is saying “wait,” then make the best decision that you can.

I really believe if you “delight yourself in the Lord, that He will give you the desires of your heart.”  After going through all of these steps with a sincere heart, make a choice and don’t look back.

Emmanuel, In Chloe’s Words

December 10, 2012

If you read my last blog post, you know that my son’s girlfriend Chloe and her sister, Greta, were in bad auto accident yesterday after church.

We were at the hospital until late last night and this morning I used my “Pastor Card” to get in to see her.  As I talked with Chloe this morning in ICU, I told her that all through the ordeal I was reminded of Craig Groeschel’s message yesterday.  It was about God’s “omnipresence”, or as a child would say, “God is with ME.”  Chloe said that she was also reminded of the message and took comfort from it through the whole ordeal.  (She is still in the ordeal as she had surgery last night and has at least two more this week.)

I thought about “Emmanuel” as I was praying in the car with Marla and Matthew at the accident scene.  Greta had talked to Matthew.  We didn’t know if Chloe was ok or not.  All we could see was emergency vehicles and lights.  The car was behind them.

We prayed desperately and thanked God that we knew that even though we couldn’t see what was going on behind all of the emergency lights and vehicles, we knew that God was with Chloe and Greta.  I also knew that God was with Carl and Jaynie, the girls’ parents.  We asked for God’s comfort on them.  I felt his presence with me.

Chloe’s jaw has multiple fractures but what she said to me this morning, mainly moving her lips, rocked me to the core.   This is what Chloe said:

“When I was still in the car, I was scared.  I had been singing ‘Jesus Loves Me” because that’s all that I knew to do.  Greta was talking to me to keep me calm.

I then heard the paramedics outside of the car talking.  They said to each other that they didn’t know if I was going to make it.  Then I saw Him.  I SAW JESUS.  He was shaking His head ‘YES’ and said ‘You ARE going to make it.’  I knew He was with me.”

I was speechless.  Wow….  “God is WITH US.”  He was there with the girls.  He was with Carl and Jaynie.

He was TALKING to Chloe, giving her hope as she sat in a totally demolished car with so many injuries that the EMT’s thought she wasn’t going to make it.

I asked Chloe for permission to share her story and she said it was ok.

I will never hear the words “Emmanuel-God with us”, in the same way again.

As a pastor, I’ve talked to MANY people over the years that constantly battle certain sins in their life.  These sins are the ones that, for whatever reason, have latched on and are just hard to shake.

Sins like I’m speaking about include the more “acceptable” sins, such as gossiping or overeating.  If could include ignoring something that the Holy Spirit has been telling you for years, such as your need to forgive someone.  These “pet” sins could also include less “acceptable” secret sins that no one knows about, like pornography or an affair that has gone on for years.

If there is a sin that you continually ignore, that’s your REAL god.

One thing that I read in MANY passages from the Bible is that God is a JEALOUS God.  He doesn’t want ANYTHING to come before Him in a person’s life who claims to follow Him.  While we all mostly agree on that, it sometimes gets easy to categorize our pet sin into a box that only gets taken out when its safe.  When no one is looking, including God (ha!), we think it’s safe to indulge.

One thing that I want to be clear about is that it’s NOT a sin to be tempted.  Everyone is tempted.  Waving the white flag and giving into the sin EVERY TIME it raises it’s ugly head is what we’re talking about here.

2 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that there isn’t any temptation that comes to us that we can’t either stand up under or that God will not help us find a way out.

We have to keep battling until the victory is won.

I’ve known some people that win the battle all at once and don’t seem to be tempted again.  I’ve known others that seem to have to battle almost every day.  Just don’t give up!

When we call Jesus, “Lord,” that means that He is first in our life.  There is a saying that says:

“He is either Lord of all, or he is not Lord at all.”

Lord, by definition, means “master” or first place.  If we continually give into our “pet” sins without even a fight, Jesus has been moved off of the throne.  The “cheese burger” or whatever pet sin that you’ve given up the battle to, is now sitting on the throne.

If we continue to refuse to deal with those “pet” sins, we’re just kidding about that Lord thing.

Westboro Baptist Church

God gets the blame for ALOT of dumb things that humans do.  Jim Jones had people drink poison Kool Aide because “God” told him to do that.  “God” regularly tells the Westboro Baptist Church “Wackos” to protest at funerals of our country’s heros.    I’ve heard of pediphiles say that “God” told them to molest the kids that they harmed.  Did God REALLY tell these FRUITCAKES to do those things?  How do we know?

Sometimes my wife will speak a sentence to me and I know EXACTLY what she means because I’ve known her since college and we’ve been married long enough to have a 19 year old child.  I understand where she’s coming from.

I also have a couple of old friends that come to my church.  Sometimes we might say something in reference to an adventure that we had in our college years and the other one will “get it”.  Other friends standing nearby may hear the same words but won’t “get it” until we explain what we meant.

What makes that understanding possible when such few words are exchanged?

We understand each other.  We have a history with each other.  We also know the personality, passions, and hearts of each other.

Hearing God is like that too.  That’s why it is SO important to know His word when listening to Him.

I once had someone tell me that it must be God’s will that they continue the affair that they were having with a married man.  They had prayed, “God, take these feelings that I have for him away.”  When the feelings didn’t leave, she reasoned that it must be God’s will for them to be together.

She would never had thought along those lines if she had known God better through the pages of the Bible.  If you think you’re hearing from God. there is a test to measure it by.

If what you’re hearing conflicts with clear instructions in His Word or His character, it’s not God.

The 66 books of the Bible tell us what God is like.  We learn His passions, what He loves, and even some things that he doesn’t like very much.  The Bible tells us things that we shouldn’t be involved in if we want to know Him.  It even gives us some instructions on how to know God’s heart.

It’s hard to hear and understand someone that you don’t know very well.  It’s also hard to understand what someone means when you don’t know their background.

If you’re REALLY interested in hearing from God, get to know Him through the Bible. Then when He speaks, you will be prepared to better understand Him.

He will also speak to you through the Bible when you prayerfully read it in the quiet.  Make a habit of it!

Sometimes I wish I could just pick up the phone and call God like I can my friends.  When I want to do His will but I’m just not sure what His will is, that can be frustrating!

Then, when you start hearing Him speak, do you ever begin doubting and wondering if it’s just bad broccoli from the night before?  Maybe it’s just me.  lol

5 Reasons We May Not Hear From God:

1.  You Don’t Belong to Him:  

This is a tough one to start out with but I didn’t write the book.

“Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” John 8:47

People aren’t born Christians.  Being an America doesn’t make you a Christian.

Growing up in a Christian family doesn’t make you a Christian & God doesn’t have grandkids.

If you don’t belong to God, you won’t hear Him speak.  Each person has to make the decision by himself as to if he will follow Christ.

A  person that wants to hear from God should ask themselves if they have ever given their lives to God, through Christ, and accepted His forgiveness of sin.

2.  Sin In Your Life:  

“If I had been cozy with evil, the Lord would never have listened. But He most surely did listen, He came on the double when He heard my prayer.” Psalm 66:18-19  The Message

If God has been telling you that there is sin in your life and you won’t listen to Him, the next time you talk to Him, guess what He’s likely to say?  He’s going to remind you about the sin.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”

1 John 1:9

3.  Mistreat Your Wife:  

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”  1 Peter 3:7

What does this mean?  God won’t hear your prayer if you mistreat your wife.  God is serious about loving her as Christ loved the church.  (NOTE:  Christ gave His life for the church.)

4.  Lack of Quiet:  

“Be Still and Know that I am God”  Psalm 46:10

Life gets too loud.  There are alot of voices telling you what to do all day long.

-Radio

-Television

-Kids

-Boss

If we want to get hear God’s heart, we have to find time to shut off all of the noise so we can hear God’s voice.

HE USUALLY DOESN’T SHOUT.  

You have to really take time to listen.

5.  We Forget the Poor  

Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.”  Proverbs 21:13

This is a barrier that people don’t usually think about.  Proverbs is really clear here.  God won’t be speaking to us if we only think of ourselves and not those who aren’t as fortunate.  God is serious about showing compassion to others too.  Be a jerk to the poor and He won’t hear your cries.

God wants to communicate with us.  He took drastic measures to make that possible when He sent His only Son to die in our place.  Communicating with Him must take place on His terms and not ours.  He is serious about this following Jesus thing.

I’m sure there are other barriers that may keep a person from hearing from God.   This list challenges me.  Does it challenge anyone else?

Every parent wants the best for their kids.  One challenge is that even if you’ve raised other children, all of them are different and NONE come with an owner’s manual.  Sometimes we don’t even know what to pray.

I don’t know much but one thing that I have learned is that I can depend upon the Bible for advice and guidance in every situation, including raising my children.  God’s Word does not come back void!

Though I love it that God always hears my heart when I pray, sometimes we can pray things that aren’t really God’s will.  We think it’s the best thing but only God sometimes knows best unless He shows us.

When we pray Scripture for our children, we can rest assured that we are praying in line with God’s will.  My favorite passage to pray for my children over the years has been Philippians 1:9-11  It’s a passage that the Apostle Paul prayed for some people that he loved in the Philippian church.

You can pray it for your kids like this:

And this is my prayer: that (Insert Your Child’s Name)’s love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that (HE or SHE) may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ

How do you pray for your children?

This year I had the privilege of coaching the Rockies at the Mt. Juliet ballpark.  It was a great experience.

One thing that was different about this team is that all of our players were Christ followers and we took the philosophy that we wanted to help encourage them in their walks with Christ, as well as help them become better baseball players.

There were a lot of really cool things that happened this year but one thing that I’m especially proud of is our guy’s sportsmanship and Christian example.  Win or loose, our guys had a tradition of asking the other team to pray with them after the game on the pitcher’s mound.  That’s a practice that had never happened, as far as I know, at the ballpark.

Almost every one of our 13 guys led prayer at least once.  Some of them were really challenged as an 11 or 12 year old boy by the prospect of leading 30 people in prayer but they did it.  It was a great example to the other team and the coaches as they led in getting down on one knee in front of the whole crowd, confessing their Savior, and leading everyone in talking to God.

As adults, we need to remember that when we face a task that is intimidating but we know God wants us to do it, we need to push our fears aside and trust God.  Thanks for the example Rockies.

On a couple of occasions when a player on the other team got hurt, our guys got together in the dugout and prayed for him.   (As adults, when we see a hurting person or someone asks us to pray for them, why wait.  Pray right then.)

We saw a teammate with anger issues begin to allow Christ to help him through his frustrations.    (It’s always cool to see someone allowing God to work in their hearts in an area.)  There were other things that made it obvious that Christ was at work on the team and in our hearts.

I’m just really proud of all of our guys and our season.  We finished first in the league and second in the tournament.  I’m most thankful for a God that had an impact on our team and our league this year.

Ryan Scott, my son Matthew, Jason Faucett, and Mickey Manis helped coach.  Eddie Suey helped also helped us out in the dugout.  I really appreciate you guy’s help and examples.

Go Rockies!

God Will Blow Your Mind

January 2, 2012

God has blown my mind at times as I think back on my journey with Him.  There have been times when He has come through in unexpected ways.  On some occasions, I’ve asked Him to do something and He answered my prayer in a way that wasn’t what I asked but better than what I had in mind.

I remember once when I was in college, I was driving my car and God’s Spirit just filled the car.  I can’t describe how awesome it was and I don’t know why it happened.  In the process, He answered a prayer that I had prayed and it was one of those unexpected ways.  That experience was unexpected and not something that I can just “reproduce.”

God chooses when and where He will show up.  He’s GOD and He gets to choose that.  Not us.

There have been a few times when I’ve prayed and God didn’t show up, or so it seems.  The time that always sticks in my mind was when I was in student ministry.  One of my volunteer’s 16 month old son, Brandon, got very sick.  Brandon’s dad and I spent 3 nights in the hospital, asking God to heal Brandon.  Brandon died.  I didn’t understand it then and I still don’t understand why God didn’t heal Brandon.  How could that not be His will?

In dark times like when Brandon passed away, even though I didn’t know what in the world God was thinking, I’ve felt His presence.  In some ways, in those dark times I have felt God’s presence the strongest in my journey.  I don’t understand it but I’ve learned to trust Him when I don’t “get it.”

I share all of this to say this:  God wants our total commitment no matter what.  God wants us to go ALL IN.  If we really want to experience God in our lives, we can’t just try God out on a trial basis.  We can’t “try God” and if it doesn’t work, have “Oprah”  or something else as a Plan B.  Experiences with God come through total abandon to Him.

I read this week about the Knights of Templar.  An important part of Knighthood was to be a Christian.  When the Knight was baptized, however, he was baptized with his sword sticking out of the water.  It signified that his whole life belonged to God except for what happened on the battlefield.  It was like telling God, “You can have all of me except don’t try to stick your nose in on what I do to my enemies, God.  You’re not welcome in that part of my life.”

Again, if we want to experience God in unexpected ways and have Him blow our minds, He expects total commitment, no matter what.  When we are totally committed to Him is when He shows up most often.  That’s when we experience His presence and see His fingerprints in the most powerful ways.

In John 15:5 Jesus says, “I am the vine.  You are the branches.  If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.  Apart from me you can do  NOTHING.”

If you are following Jesus, I encourage you to do whatever it means in your life to be ALL IN.  Do something about that secret sin that no one knows about.  Forgive your neighbor that hurt you.  Stop being selfish and begin helping the poor.  Whatever He is telling you, do it now!  If we want to experience God in a BIG way, maybe we need to make some BIG changes in our lives.  Stop putting it off.

Connect with Him in a 100% way and you’ll begin to experience Him in ways that will blow your mind!

Has God ever blown your mind?  How?

Unexplainable Coincidences

December 22, 2011

“Unexplainable coincidences” seem to be a lot more common for Christ Followers than to the population at large.  (Answers to Prayer)

An old friend asked me to give an example of an “Unexplained Coincidence.”  Here’s one:

When Marla and I first got married, I was an Operations Manager.  In my mid-20’s, I had a pretty good resume with about 120 people under my management.

After a couple of years, I felt like it was time for me to move on so I began sending out resumes.  My resume was strong and I sent out about 100 resumes.  I didn’t get ONE PHONE CALL from a prospective employer.  Not one!

I prayed, “God, either You want me to stay here or I’m looking in the totally wrong direction.”  Someone should have called unless you are preventing it.

Marla said, “Eddie, I think God may want you to go into full time ministry.”  I wasn’t convinced but I agreed to send out 3 resumes.

It was crazy!  Suddenly, lot’s of potential churches were lining up to talk to me about being their youth pastor, from only 3 resumes.

Realizing that I may have to move from Tennessee and also that my family wouldn’t understand, I prayed, “God, if that’s what you want from me, all I ask is that you let me know 100% that it’s You talking to me and not bad pizza from last night.”

Marla & I went to Charlotte, NC for an interview at a church.  We didn’t feel good about the church after the interview but we promised to pray about it for a week.

In the meantime another church in Charlotte, Woodlawn Baptist, called.  I told them, “I’m praying about a church right now.  I’m supposed to give them an answer in a week.  If I don’t feel like that church is God’s will for us, I’ll call you back in a week.”

Woodlawn said, “ok” and hung up.  After a week of praying, we told the first church “no.”  Upon calling the Woodlawn back, they said, “Eddie, last week you were praying about another church.  This week, we’re praying about another candidate.  Sorry….”

Another week went by, then Woodlawn called me back.  They said, “Eddie, the guy we were talking to about the position was in Alabama.  He was perfect in our opinion, but he turned us down.  In turning us down he asked us, ‘Would I be out of line if I recommended someone for this position?’”

Guess who this Alabama boy recommended would be a great fit for this church in Charlotte, North Carolina?  He told them to call a guy in Tennessee.  Eddie Poole

So…

God had someone in Charlotte give Woodlawn Baptist my resume.

Woodlawn called me.

I told them no.

They called someone in Alabama who told them to call me.

What are the odds of that?  God answered my prayer.  I told Him “All I ask is that if you want me to move & go into full time ministry, I have to know 100% that it is You leading me.”

Woodlawn could have called anyone in the country, but they called one of 2-3 people in the WORLD who would have pointed them back to me.  I knew that he was leading me into ministry, 100%.  Coincidence?  I think not!

Thank you_1.jpg