Tag Archives: mjharvell

Take It Easy!

We know what it is like for life to become toss and tumble. We can find ourselves in a very uncomfortable spot, before we even realize what it really going on. And often times, we are the very ones that put ourself in these challenging and frustrating places.

There is a favorite song by the Eagles that sums up how we can be our own worst enemy and then with the chorus reminds us of what really matters by encouraging us to ’take it easy!”

“Take It Easy” By The Eagles!

“Well, I’m running down the road tryin’ to loosen my load.I’ve got seven women on my mind. Four that wanna own me, two that wanna stone me. One says she’s a friend of mine.”

“Take It easy, take it easy. Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy…”

The Scriptures teach us that we have the power and the control, if we are willing to use it. And when we use it, we are on our way to living our best life.

“5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” -Philippians 4:5

You have to know your gentleness, before others can! You cannot give to anyone else what you do not posses for yourself. Before you can give any good gift to others that you love and care about, you must first obtain that gift for yourself. Our Creator is gentle with us and when we open our heart and life to receive gentleness/taking it easy from Him, then we have a great gift to share with others.

The gentle life doesn’t force anything, it simply allows, learns and grows… The things I can’t change will either change me for the better or the worse – it really is my choice!

Here Are A Few Keys To Living Gently:

1.) Allow! Let be whatever is going to be. Don’t fight it, instead embrace it and get from it whatever it is coming into your life to teach you. We waste so much every fighting fights that are a complete waste of energy and time. Stop wasting and learn to simply let life unfold like the beautiful flower that it is.

2.) Learn! I really believe that this human experience is all about learning who and what we are, so that we can enjoy and get the most out of eternity. The ups, downs and sideways come into my life to teach me, grow me and help me to become an even better version of myself, so that I can benefit from all the amazing blessings that God wants to flow to and through my life and living.

3.) Grow! If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: The longer I live this thing called life, the more I realize that every moment of every day is about becoming and growing into the amazing and beautiful creation of God that gives Him glory and everyone blessing. I know that I am getting this life right, when this life is causing God and others to smile.

We don’t have to have everything figured out, we just need to learn to take it easy and enjoy the journey, because God will get us to where we need to be. Our challenge is to not get in the way.

Take it easy friends!

What In The World Happened To You?

Some of you know what has been going on with some of my health challenges and some of you may have missed part of the story”, so I thought I would try to clear things up and let you know “the rest of the story as one of my favorites Paul Harvey would say.

The first part of the story, I do not remember and I will have to tell you based on what I have been told by those that were standing by. I want to thank everyone for your prayers, love, support, encouragement, patience and understanding. It has been and continues to be a learning journey and has grown and is growing me in so many different ways. 

On Monday May 30th after suffering with a three day headache, I discovered that I had sinus infection that was making my ability to swallow difficult and my talking sound funny because of a swollen tongue. I of course started my home remedies, because even though I am not a doctor, I could play one on TV. On Wednesday evening, I preached, recorded and uploaded my Wednesday evening message and it sounded like I had a button or piece of candy in my mouth the whole time, I promise I didn’t, so on Friday, I decided after everyone’s coaxing to do a virtual visit with the Doctor. The Doctor prescribed Mucinex D and a nasal spray, which I started late Friday evening. Friday was a pretty normal day, other than sore throat, drainage and swelled tongue. I went to bed Friday evening just wanting to feel normal again.

This next part, I don’t remember, so I am going from Joy’s telling of the story. On Saturday morning June 4, 2022, I woke up, came into the living room and ask Joy what was going on? I told her that something was not right, that something was off. She got worried and started asking me all kinds of questions to see if I knew who I was, where I was, what our Granddaughters name was and when I couldn’t answer that, she got on the phone with my sister and My Brother In Law told her to call 911. During this time I was wide awake, talking, shaking hands and supposedly just trying to get my bearings. I am thankful for my Brother In Law Bill Cantrell showing up Johnny on the spot and Joy’s Mom Nancy Jo being here for Joy and the girls. There is a lot more to the story, and I was there, but I wasn’t there, so I’m not going into all of that, except to say: Praise the Lord, I did not say or do anything too embarrassing.

The rescue squad showed up and rushed me to the hospital with stroke like symptoms, where they did a CT Scan upon my arrival. Our good friend Julia Ellison Nicols made sure that I was well taken care of and was my Guardian Angel. The Doctors felt like my short term memory loss was due to the extremely high blood pressure and started me on a drip of medicine to try to start bringing it down and continued a barrage of tests, poking and sampling whatever they could get from me.

I can remember bits and pieces of the Emergency Room. I recognized Dr. Lutz from previous meetings when visiting parishioners, but it all just seems like a dream and I thank the Lord for that, because I have never been afraid to die, but I have never wanted it to hurt.

In the afternoon/evening they moved me into ICU and for the first time that I can remember, Joy and I talked and she filled me in on what all had happened, what was going on and what the plan of operation was. She informed me that I would not be able to preach the next day and that she had already sent messages and taken care of all of that and so I laid there and we talked and I slept and we talked and I slept They eventually brought me supper and I was trying to come up with a plan to get someone to break me out of there and take us to the Peddler, my treat. I told Joy to go home and get some good rest in a good bed. I actually rested pretty decent, although I am not a back sleeper and I was all wired up.

Sunday morning June 5, 2022 found me still in ICU, trying my best to come up with an escape plan. They were monitoring my blood pressure levels and decided to get rid of my drip and try me with a pill and see if they would stay stable, this was the key to my getting into a regular room and going home. I honestly was in pretty good spirits the whole time and kept thinking about how grateful I was that things were not much worse. Supposedly the meds that I took for the sinus infection cause my blood pressure to jump into the danger zone and I honestly was very blessed that things were not a whole lot worse. On the agenda for this day would be more test, particularly a MRI of my head, throat and chest. You will be pleased to know that I do have a brain and a heart.

Sunday afternoon they moved me to a regular room and we waited for results of the MRI. The MRI revealed that I had a small stroke on the back left side of my brain. It also revealed that totally unrelated, I had an aneurysm on the right side of my brain, but not that they were overly worried about. They also noticed that the arteries going up my neck were a little twisted, which they called Fibromuscular Displaysia, but they should be okay, because it did not seem to impact the flow of things. My heart looked good, other than some thickening of the heart wall, which was probably a result of the high blood pressure.

All I could think about was holding my Granddaughter Addi Jo, walking around our yard in Cheddar, seeing our family/friends and getting back to my Pastor/Preacher work and ministry, especially with my dear Eureka Baptist Church.

The good news so far is that there does not seem to be any permanent damage. I should not require any surgery, but I do have a slew of specialist that I now have to see, a few medications that I have to take and Joy thinking she has been promoted to General. (Haha)

On Monday June 6, 2022, I spent most of the day just waiting. We had to do an echo on my heart, just to make sure things were clear and my nurse assured me that no matter what time they gave me the clear that she could and would get me out of there within 20 minutes. Later in the late afternoon, we finally got the news that we could split and split we did.

God and everyone has been so good to us. The major thing I am learning is that I am not going to bounce back from this like I would anything else. I have good days, where I feel like I am back to normal and then challenging days where I feel like a very old man, who can’t do anything for himself. I believe this is just my body adapting, adjusting and getting used to a different way of living. I have prayed about it and I am trusting God to bring me back better than ever.

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” -Isaiah 41:13

Today as I was preaching, I felt more back to my normal self. I am still having some sinus challenges that is impacting my throat, tongue and speech, but I trust that in God’s time, God will take care of it, because I know without doubt that He is taking care of me!

What’s Just As Important As The Right Answer?

It really is amazing how much time we spend in our lives looking for the right answers, when maybe what we really need to focus on is asking the right questions. The right answers to the wrong questions does not really do a lot for us, but the right answers to the right questions can propel us forward unlike anything else.

The right question can cause a shift in perspective and that is often the one thing that is needed to get us headed to the place where the blessings flow. So lets see if we can find some right questions and good answers that will help us to move into the place of blessing we were created for.

Here is a very good question to start with? “What’s Your Problem?” To find the meaningful answer, then you have to ask the right question and it does not get any more basic, real or to the point than this one. As you look at your life in this very moment – WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?

Now that you have the question, you’ve got to come up with the right answer and the right answer is the real answer, not the answer that you think everyone is expecting you to give. I mean right now, what is the one problem that you have, that if you honestly gave your effort and energy to asking and answering the question, it could start a domino effect of fixing so many things?

Now, not only do you have to ask the right question and answer it, but you have got to be totally real with yourself and others about your answer and what it means. Be honest with yourself about what you are experiencing, feeling, needing and thinking. Be honest about the steps you need to take to get yourself headed in the right direction.

I am learning that if I ask the right questions and get the right answers, then I am much better off that playing that old game of going thru the motions of pretend. What are you facing and dealing with right now and what are you going to do about it? If you will answer the question and then take action on your answer, you will be on your way to a place called success, which is a place that most only dream about…