Month: March 2019

Dr. Jorge Gonzalez is known for his passion for concierge-level patient care. It is why patients follow him wherever he goes. It’s also why new patients seek him out.  When Mike Radke was recruited to work for Dr. G, he didn’t really know how critical his role would be.  Mike was given the responsibility as the liaison between the patient, the insurance companies and the pharmacies.  This role was an effort to help patients get the care Dr. G knew they needed.  It’s a fight unfit for those battling with neurological conditions just trying to find a path to wellness.  They needed help.

That help came in the form of a 24-year veteran of the United States Air Force.  Mike was given marching orders by Dr. G to go make sense of an impossible world of paperwork and forms standing in the way of the care his patients needed.  Mike said, “We are different here at Dr. G’s office, because we really are about patient care and not the dollars.  Dr. G employs me to help facilitate the process to get patients, like the veterans, the medication and care they need.”  He added, “It’s a full-time job just trying to navigate the system with them.  Imagine if they were trying to navigate it alone.  We fully believe we are in this together. Whether Dr. G is praying in his office to help patients fight their medical battles or entrusting me to do what I’m skilled to fight the battles with the insurance companies with them—it really is the highest level of care.”    

Almost immediately in his new role, Mike noticed a more troubling trend in veteran care.  Mike said, “Due to some changes in legislation a few years ago, veterans could seek care outside the Veterans Administration medical unit and come into Dr. G’s office to receive needed specialized care.”  Mike continued, “As a veteran, who suffered numerous injuries and disabilities from combat, I really appreciated the newfound freedom.”  The move was a nice step; however, as good as the move had been, Mike noticed getting the insurance companies to approve recommended prescriptions and treatments for these patients was next to impossible.  

Mike said “Dr. G would diagnose the veteran patient and then prescribe the treatment the patient needed; however, that’s when the mess really started.  The prescription was denied; mountains of paperwork and coding ensued, trying to find the path of least resistance to get the patients the help needed.”  Mike went on, “For veterans, it is next to impossible to get the right treatments through the system. When disapproved, it then requires a custom authorization created by the same insurance company, who denied it the first time.” 

Mike continued, “I was giving the medication briefing for a patient with migraines.  Come to find out, the patient was also a combat veteran.  We started realizing how much we had in common, even the timeframe of different operations. In the process, I found out he also suffered from migraines caused by undocumented head injuries in the service.  As so many veterans know, you need someone who believes you and is willing to listen in order to get the right treatment.”  Mike emphasized, “In the service, if it’s not written it didn’t happen. Documentation is a problem.  You are so busy and so focused on the battle you are in, caring for yourself becomes the last thing you are thinking about.  You are concerned with your comrades first.  The military has a bit of a demented or dark sense of humor. It’s common to say demeaning sorts of comments in regard to health and injuries–so you certainly aren’t recording them all. But, just because they weren’t recorded, it doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.”

That’s where Dr. G is different.  He truly listens to the causative circumstances explained by the patients and uses that information to diagnose the problems.  It’s a nice feeling just to be heard, much less to get the right diagnosis and recommended treatment.  It’s unbelievable what some veterans go through just trying to find a doctor who will listen to them.  With Dr. G they were heard; he wanted to prescribe the proper medicine to bring relief to the veteran patient, but it would take an exorbitant amount of work to get it approved.  Mike said he works through rigorous amounts of coding, submitting and resubmitting the paperwork to get what is needed.  Then he added, “There are so many legislative guidelines that have actually become closer to brick walls between veterans getting the proper treatment and the proper amount of quality care needed.”  

“So, as I explained it to Dr. G,” Mike said, “I was given the power to go do something about it.  It really came down to someone needing to say something.  I’m sure lobbyists are talking in Washington D.C., but we never hear it.  It really questions the benefit of those conversations in D.C. if I don’t see any needed changes here in Tulsa, OK.  This individual with the migraines said he wanted to do something about it as well.  Since he and I had that common bond from a battlefield to a chance meeting in the doctor’s office, I could completely understand his plight.” Mike added. 

Mike continued, “So, we worked together.  I armed him with the information to take this battle up the chain.  We discussed the quality and quantity of care in the VA vs a civilian workforce. We selected the medication for migraines, so that we could show individual results as an example of this study.  The veterans aren’t a part of these normal drug studies.  So, when a medication has the ability to relieve the veteran of something that is chronic and debilitating—it’s just crazy we can’t get it approved.”  Mike added, “Migraine sufferers are really the only ones who understand just how life altering they can be.  We are incredibly lucky to have a doctor in Tulsa, who specializes in the care of these monsters—and he wants to provide that needed care to the veterans.  So, we really wanted to help get this case heard.”  

It is obvious veterans want care beyond what the VA system can afford them.  If we can’t get the quality of care we need, what was the point in creating the legislation to allow the veterans to step away from the VA in the first place?” quipped Mike. “It was definitely a double-edged sword.” said Mike.  “We knew our office had to be sharper than the legislation to push this level of care to the needed level for veterans.  It wasn’t going to stop with the freedom to explore other care. It had to be armed with folks like me, empowered by doctors like Dr. G, taking on the system to get that needed care approved and paid for by the system.  The VA have traditional medicines but unfortunately those medicines are often dictated by a federal budget and not by the need of the patient.” he said.  “Their physicians care changed but the company that approves the payment of the insurance and the treatments allowed didn’t.” Mike ended.

Mike’s plight was just the beginning.  “I had a chance meeting with someone I was able to help bridge that gap. I helped sharpen their sword or figuratively put a bigger round in their gun.” Mike went on, “I fear we are now in a situation where we are just at the tip of the iceberg with different types of care needed for veterans based on the last 20 years of conflicts.” Mike added, “With operations and conflicts such as Desert Shield/Storm, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, those individuals are either retiring or getting older and now their service-connected signs and symptoms need more attention, specialized attention.  Now that they can get specialized care outside of the VA—the way they are going to pay for it should be two steps ahead of them and right now it’s five steps behind.”  Mike closed, “Veterans need Dr. G and our office to help get us the care we need and the help to navigate the war for coverage. It’s a sword this office is honored to take up in the fight.  We never leave anyone behind, and we’ll never quit fighting the good fight.”

Dr. G operates a concierge neurology practice off of 68th and Yale.  He’s also launching 3 new research study for migraine sufferers, Alzheimer’s/dementia, and seizures in 2019.  If you or someone you love suffers from any of these afflictions and want to be part of the study, just reach out at research@tulsaneurospecialists.com

Community Spirit with Dr. Gonzalez’s office reached out and received a great response from Congressman Kevin Hern’s office.  We’re looking forward to watching all of these amazing hearts work together to see what they can do for veterans:

“Congressman Hern is the son a of 22-year Air Force veteran, so he had a first-hand look growing up at the many sacrifices that military members and their families make every single day for our country.  Because of this experience, the Congressman has a special place in his heart for helping our veterans.

While we may sometimes disagree on the methods, both sides of the aisle seem to agree that our veterans deserve the best care we have to offer.  I believe the thousands of dedicated individuals working on behalf of veterans in our federal system, along with members of Congress from both parties, are always willing to listen to new ideas about providing the best service to our veterans. 

Our office, like many, has a full-time staffer focused solely on providing answers to veterans about their benefits, making inquiries on their behalf, and helping them navigate the federal process. We can’t promise outcomes, but we certainly take enormous pride in being able to assist our veterans in any way that we can.”

-Robert Aery, District Director for Congressman Kevin Hern


Written by Teresa Goodnight

Spencer Henson is already building a legacy on and off the field at 21.  A talented first baseman and pitcher for the ORU Golden Eagles, Spencer was training just before the interview.  In just the first few minutes, I knew exactly why the coaches selected Spencer for the story.  We were looking for someone with character, building a legacy—and as you will read Spencer does NOT disappoint.

I told Spencer we wanted to highlight what he does on and off the field in creating a legacy.  I’m not even sure he took a breath before he started.  “I think the way you do things on the field trickles down into how you do things off the field and how you do things outside of baseball. On the field, growing up, you are taught not to skip reps.  Do things like no one is watching to get your training in.  Whether that’s in the weight room or on the field, you are there to make yourself better, stronger.”  Spencer continued, “I’ve always believed what you put in is what you get out. You do good things and good things will happen to you.”  Spencer emphasized, “On the baseball side, the harder you work at something the luckier you get or the readier you are for the opportunities that come up.  I just carry that over off the field as well.”  Spencer’s character of strength showed through in everything he said. 

Spencer started playing ball in Pryor, Oklahoma with honors like the Louisville Slugger All American his sophomore through senior year.  After high school, he landed firmly at ORU when it was time for college. Spencer said, “I actually played here with the summer team, the BBA Titans, from my sophomore year to my senior year. I just liked the atmosphere. I liked the coaches.  They were real and personable with really great attitudes.”  Spencer added,  “When you go to other schools, the coaches, it’s just like it’s difficult to talk to them.”   

Spencer had a lot of offers from bigger schools, but he felt being close to home in a supportive environment with the kind of coaches and team he saw at ORU was the answer.  Spencer said, “Playing at ORU is different.  The guys around here, the coaches, they will step to the side and talk to you and you can share what you’re thinking or feeling.  They’ll get on a personal level with you; you know you matter as a person. I just didn’t see that at other schools as I looked around.  It was different here.”  That kind of support and confidence building landed Spencer the Triple Crown honor for his sophomore year at ORU, along with player of the week several times from the Summit League.  It is easy to see how it’s been a part of shaping him into the confident man across the table.   

When I asked Spencer, “Any people who have guided you in how to stay on your path?” He immediately answered, “Probably my teammates.  When I first got here, it was a pretty experienced, older group. So, I tried to just absorb it all.  I didn’t get much play time freshman year, as the elders on the team had already proven themselves. So, I sat behind and watched the Matt Whatleys, the Brent Williams, Nick Rotolas and how they handled their business and how mature they were on and off the field.”  Watching these other men set such strong examples on and off the field showed Spencer true character in action.  It’s easy to see why joining a team with such committed, caring coaches and well-behaved players would “rub off” the kind of character you’d be proud to see in your child.

Spencer is also a big family guy.  It’s just a support system he’s always had. He said, “Having the family here and looking up there and seeing them in the stands, it’s also a big confidence booster and a reminder that there’s more to life than just playing baseball.”  Interestingly, Spencer actually helped start his family attending church when he was just 9 years old in Pryor.  Spencer said, “I grew up going to Southeast Baptist Church. One of my friend’s dad is a pastor there.”  Spencer was told, “You can spend the night but we’ve gotta go to church in the morning.”  He laughed because he is now pretty sure the preacher had a plan all along.  He said, “It was really cool because I think Pastor Rob knew what he was doing. He had a little parable that he talked about with me and threw me in the story.  It was a cool feeling to have.  Then, he went into how it transitioned into the Biblical side of things. Ever since then, I told my parents, ‘This is a pretty cool place.  We actually need to start going there.’  We’ve been there ever since.” 

We talked about life on the field, as it’s quite a battle in your mind sometimes.  Spencer said, “When I get down on the field, we do a lot of mental side training here. For me it’s like, say I do boot a ball, I’ll always look back at this right field foul pole at the top of it, cause there’s always a right field foul pole anywhere you play.  So, I just stare at it a few seconds, take a deep breath into my glove, and say ‘Flush it. Don’t worry about it.  You’re gonna get another ground ball.  It’s not gonna be the last one you boot.  It’s not gonna be the last one you’re gonna get.’  So I just get myself back in and ready for the next play.”  Spencer added, “I really focus to give myself confidence and a reminder that it’s not the end of the world regardless of how it felt.”

I asked Spencer to translate his life on the field into his daily life.  Spencer said, “I think you try to give like things have been given to you. You know, as an example, if somebody needs some cash you hand them a twenty and there’s some way that the kindness returns to you. Actually, funny enough it happened the other day. A guy was needing some money and I gave him $40.  Then, I was going to the store to get a meal and I was checking my bank account and it wasn’t looking too good.  Then I’m walking in the parking lot and I stepped on $40 on the ground. It was really cool.  It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does happen, it’s just a good reassurance that you’re doing the right thing.”  I couldn’t help but think through life on a college-student budget, when every dollar counts.  Having the gracious heart to offer what you have to someone in need—not knowing what you will do to cover your own meal—that’s giving the shirt off of your back without hesitation.  That’s a guy building a legacy by example, even when noone is watching.

I asked Spencer, “If you were talking to high school students, trying to figure out what they’re going to do in life—what would you tell them?”  Spencer again didn’t hesitate with an answer. “I’d tell them to ask questions.  A lot of people, and I’m calling myself out here, just think they know things and don’t ask to learn more.”  Spencer added, “When I was in high school, I was like ‘I’m gonna do this, this and this.  Then a year later, I’m like ‘I don’t know what I’m gonna do.’  You’re still a kid when you’re in high school. If you’re curious about something don’t be afraid to ask.  The more you ask the more you learn.”  Spencer spoke with conviction of experience, “Don’t be afraid to reach out.  Don’t be afraid to try things and fail.  You won’t know if you like it or not if you don’t try it.  Even if you fail—and you don’t mind it, you should keep doing it until that drive runs out or you get better and find a passion for it.  Then, if that wasn’t the fit—go try something else.”  Spencer said, “Make a list of what you want to do, a checklist and a goal list of the things you want to try to do. If you don’t like it, check it off. Have goals and aspirations. Put them down. Ask about them.  Explore them.”  That kind of drive and learning to overcome fear of failure has set him on a path he loves at ORU and in baseball.

In closing, I asked Spencer, “What would you say to someone, if you were wanting to inspire them.  Spencer said confidently, “If I had a chance to inspire anyone—I’d say ‘JUST GO DO IT.’ You don’t know if you’re gonna like it until you try it.”  He said he’s still trying to figure out his post collegiate plans.  He’s going to be doing baseball as long as he can, in whatever capacity that may be. Spencer said, “I’d like to get back into the college level and do some hitting coordination.  Just whatever ways I can stay around the baseball field, just doing whatever makes me feel like I’m 12 still.”  Spencer may love to feel like he’s 12, but he’s certainly built a character and a legacy already of someone much older, wiser, and worth watching.

ORU baseball kicked off February 15th for the 2019 season. Check out Spencer Henson and the rest of the amazing team. Tulsa is quite fortunate to have such a set of examples on and off the field to watch. See the schedule at http://www.oruathletics.com/sports/bsb/2018-19/schedule

Community Spirit is humbled to honor Miss Molly McKinney from Jenks High School as our Student IMPACT contest winner. Molly will use the $250 to further the development of her website, so that she can sell her products to fund missions project for little children in Guatemala. 

(Wouldn’t it be great if a web designer stepped in to help her?!? Hint. Hint. Nudge. Nudge.) 

Molly–We were so excited to meet you and learn about the mission God has you on. You are well on your way to creating a legacy of life lived for Christ. We can’t wait to run your first ad for free when the website is ready to go! Check out the “almost” finished project at www.123pearls.org

Molly’s submission: 

“The day I stepped onto the docks at Mission El Faro, my first thought was ‘I feel like I’m at home’. Every time I held a child, I was thinking ‘How are you so happy with so little?’ The answer I received was ‘The joy of the Lord is instilled in them.’

From that moment on, God was formulating a dream in me and opening doors for me to live it out. The joy these children have is the joy we all strive to have. 123 Pearls is investing in these children. Through your purchases, you will be blessing them and preserving a life of joy, love, grace and wisdom that only comes from God. 123 Pearls is giving back to honor God, Guatemala, and can help you fulfill your joyful journey for the Lord.

These kids and that place have been a constant love in my life. They showed me a new and truer meaning of God’s work in places outside of just my home. This is how this has impacted me and now I’m doing what I can so others are impacted through my new mission. 

Being able to do labor work in El Faro for only weeks at a time has made my hunger grow stronger to do more. Therefore, I have taken my resources to help provide life changing experiences for those who feel like are beyond an “everyday” reach.

I’m 17 years old now. My first year travelling to Guatemala, I went with Redeemer Youth at Redeemer Church. Last year, I went with Young Life. Paul Phipps has been my youth pastor for the past five years and now I am a young life leader for him!


Written by Staff Writer

How would you react to an uncomfortable life-altering choice? For one Tulsan, it was a test of character and a call to action.

Fifteen years ago, Kelly Swan was approached by a man whose condition was painfully clear. He was dirty, disheveled and said he’d been eating from dumpsters.

Yes, Roy was homeless. Doing something about it is another matter altogether. That’s the hard part.

Roy asked Kelly point blank for help, confronting him with the proverbial fork in the road that impacted his life ever since.

“My gut reaction was to walk away,” Kelly admits. “And that’s exactly what I did.”

“But I had a serious challenge in my heart. I had been praying for God to use my life to help someone,” Kelly recounts.

“Doing nothing was the easy choice, but I knew I’d regret it. So I chose the tougher road. I retraced my steps, found Roy a few blocks back and apologized.”

Kelly talked with Roy for 15 minutes. He shook his hand, learned about his life, prayed with him and took care of his lunch.

The rest is history, or shall we say history in the making. Colossians 4:5 challenges believers to “make the most of every opportunity.” 

So after the encounter, Kelly and his friends formed a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Filling The Void to feed and minister to the homeless and needy. 

It’s an all-volunteer army that has attracted more than 1,500 helpers over the years. The ministry is heavily active in Tulsa, Denver, Dallas and Houston.

The need here still looms large. Despite successful housing programs, homelessness in Tulsa increased 7 percent over the past decade according to 2018 statistics from the Community Service Council.

“There’s always going to be desperate situations and trauma that turns lives upside down,” Kelly said. “But we bring a message of healing and redemption everywhere we go.”

In 2018, Filling The Void’s volunteers served more than 19,000 sack lunches across their four core cities and prayed with 6,000 people.

All told, they’ve served 150,000 meals since Roy. The annual budget is now up to $100,000 for 2019. 

Filling The Void was founded by Kelly Swan, Erin Bjornberg and Chris Brooks.

The sack lunches are first-rate. We’re not talking about bologna sandwiches or PB&J. Filling The Void primarily serves Arby’s or Chick-fil-A. 

Each bag also contains an envelope. There’s no money inside. Think something greater – devotionals with scripture that are designed to give hope. The organization has written hundreds of versions.

“We feed the soul. It’s a two-fold mission – addressing physical hunger and the emptiness in a person’s heart. People need to know their lives have purpose and meaning in Christ,” Kelly said. 

Filling The Void has won two national awards for public service. They’re known for their personalized approach, taking interactions beyond a surface level and working in conjunction with other agencies.

In 2011, Tulsa philanthropist Henry Zarrow penned a letter to Filling The Void thanking them for pitching in at the Day Center for the Homeless.

“We’re one part of the recovery process that spans from A to Z. Our sweet spot is in front of door A. The people we serve trust us because they know we’re genuine and we’ve been here for years,” Kelly says. 

“We learn names. We build relationships through repeated interactions. Then we can speak truth into their lives and point them to places for other help,” Kelly added.

Teams from Filling The Void hit the streets 223 times in 2018. Each outreach lasts about an hour. There are seven ways to get involved. You can see details and donate online at fillingthevoid.com

“It’s a labor of love in every sense. There’s plenty of labor but we do it because God loves people,” Kelly said. “We’re purposefully working to facilitate lasting life-change.”

When asked to give our readers advice, Kelly said this: “Don’t wait until December to start serving. Nonprofits all over town need your help right now.”

Written by Ingrid B. Skarstad Williams

I’m not really a “flower person.” I don’t garden. I never studied botany. I don’t recall yearning for bouquets. Roses didn’t send my heart fluttering. Anything beyond basic flowers or dandelions went unidentified most of my life—until a mystery bloom captured my heart and my camera on a sidewalk in South Carolina.

It wasn’t on display. Quite the opposite, actually. Spilling over someone’s concrete barrier of a back yard, the flowers seemed to be celebrating their slow-motion escape with a “Seussical” carnival suspended on vines. I could almost picture the “Whos down in Whoville” climbing on the whimsical explosion of color and taking a spin. I’m not sure how long I lingered with my lens drinking them in. But that moment marked me. 

And no one I knew could tell me what it was.

It would be 10 years, many states, and thousands of flower photos later that I would meet the curious blossom again. I was on official business—the delightful business of doing photography for a botanic garden. Had I only been looking at the displays, I would have missed the vibrant purple, raspberry, and lime green carousels beginning to open on the end posts of a bridge. Once again, they seemed almost nonchalant in their fabulous eruptions.

Now I had horticulturalists to quiz and Latin name plates to decipher. Passionflower! The discovery pleased me. I was glad they had an energetic word like “passion” in their name. No wonder I loved this flower! Wild dreams, quirky passions, and brilliant expressions have always piqued my interest. They, like this flower, might seem like a fantasy until it pops up and throws a party along the path of life.

Surprise!

One year later, an amazing thing happened. My life shifted into a new season, and I finally had both the time and energy to tame a bush gone wild in my back yard. Between the teenagers I bribed and my own vengeance unleashed, the branches began a transformation. Vines that had laced themselves into the branches (and my window screens) were unraveled and torn out. The kids wielding clippers morphed the scary bush monster into a coiffed, lopsided silhouette of Kramer’s head (yes, I do mean the character from the sitcom Seinfield).

The long-forgotten “other side” of the bush was now uncovered. More vines traveled along the house, fence, and untended (unwanted!) trees. I was determined to eradicate them all. I ripped up every trail until I realized that with each pull of the viney ropes, strange yellow and green balls were swinging from the branches of rogue trees along the fence. Hmmm! What kind of trees are these? 

Thinking I would clear the vines and get a closer look, I continued yanking the stems down. The balls came with them! I stopped to examine my growing pile of twisted green stems and leaves and saw a shriveled puff of faded purple and green. I gasped! PASSIONFLOWERS? IN MY YARD? Clinging to the same vine were the neon spheres. This must be passionfruit! Sure enough, the hidden corner of my yard was in full harvest.

I gathered and Googled—just to make sure I knew what to do with my sudden abundance. What a strange and exotic fruit! The bright yellow skin formed a miniature bowl once it was cut open. Dark, slippery seeds encased in a gel-like suits were slipping and sliding in greenish-clearish slime. The teenagers couldn’t be bribed to taste them when they saw the insides. “Alien brains,” they said. I decided to be the brave one. I slurped it up . . . FANTASTIC! Sweet! Over-the-top delicious!

An adventure like had to be shared! I immediately posted pictures on Facebook and Instagram. An international friend was shocked when she saw them! Passionfruit was common in her homeland of Singapore. She dearly missed it after moving to the U.S., and it was nowhere to be found in our stores. But it was strangely plentiful in my back yard! (Needless to say, I shared my harvest).

That summer, the passionflower vines and their delicious fruit were one of three botanical surprises. Wild chamomile visited my patio. A delicate red cypress vine mysteriously appeared in my planter. Somehow they appeared and graced me with their beauty, wonder, and adventure. I guess I am a flower person after all. 

Then again, maybe I enjoy the flowers because they are much like people—each unique with dreams full of life and possibility—when they bloom, they share their beauty, wonder, adventure, and joy with all who draw near. 

What’s Blooming in Your Back Yard?

Right now your life may feel like a tangled, overgrown mess much like my yard. But there could be hidden passions coming to life! In fact, I can almost guarantee you have seeds of dreams planted in you that no one has seen yet—maybe not even you! One day you’ll notice something new, clear the chaos, and find fruit ripe and ready for you to taste. 

“Taste ye and see, how gracious the Lord is: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Ps. 34:8 GNV). “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope” (Jer. 29:11 CEB).

Just think what can happen if you discover those hidden passions and then set out to nurture them! Sure it will take hard work. You may have to “clear the land” and make room in your life. You may have to plant new things you want to see grow. You may have to guide and direct the natural gifts and abilities that are already there. It may take time, but if you see something sprouting up, it’s likely that now is the time for it to grow and flourish.

  1. Seeds (and dreams) are amazing.
    A seed can be seemingly dead, dormant for years, and yet when it is buried in the dirt, something amazing happens—life breaks through! An entire blueprint is in that little seed. In the right environment, the blueprint unfolds. A seed will come to life. It will grow. It will produce whatever it was designed to produce.
  2. Dirt is powerful. (PS. You’re dirt!)
    What is it about the soil that makes seeds grow? It can release that hard shell of a seed and nurture that spark of life waiting to be engaged. It makes change happen. Dirt is powerful! And you’re dirt! God made man out of dirt. (In fact, an interesting side note is that “man” and “ground” come from the same Hebrew word! Genesis 2:7 (KJV): “And the LORD God formed man [‘adam] of the dust of the ground [‘adamah].”) We’re dirt! We’re designed to make things grow.
  3. God’s design is brilliant—trust it.
    Did you know that science recently discovered a plant gene that interprets when the environment is optimal for growth and only then allows the seed to begin its transformation? It can remain dormant in the ground for years if the growing conditions are not favorable. In much the same way, God knows the seeds and dreams planted in you. He has designed your destiny to flourish. And He knows the times and seasons for each to unfold. Trust God’s design! It’s brilliant. It’s perfect.

Good Things Are Growing Now!

God has a brilliant blueprint planted in you. At the right time, with the right conditions, God’s plans will unfold and flourish. Trust that brilliance at work in you! I believe God loves to surprise His children with good things. Those good things are growing right now. Other good things are waiting with delight, knowing they will grace your life with a beautiful surprise in the future.

Don’t be discouraged if you have dreams yet to come to fruition. Maybe you’ve planted and nurtured others before yourself (which is a seed in and of itself, and you will receive the benefit of the harvest). Galatians 6:9 (TPT) says, “And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming!” 

There are seasons to move through and seasons to come. This moment you are living in right now is precious. It’s your season. Embrace it! A farmer cannot rush the seasons, but can wisely work within them. So to, as you recognize the season you’re in, you can fully embrace it and be ready for the next.

Dear reader, this I pray over you as I wind down my words: May God’s Word grow and dwell in you richly. May the dreams in your heart come to full fruition. May your words and actions be blessed in the season you are in. And may you go forward in full confidence knowing that a great harvest awaits you as you abide in Christ Jesus. 

Like that passionflower vine that captured my curiosity, maybe that “bloom” you admire in far away places is finding its way to your back yard. Maybe your hidden passions are becoming noticed. Maybe your dreams are just beginning to be uncovered to you. Or maybe you’re settling into your groove. Whatever season is in your life, I hope you run toward it—arms open wide. You were made for this!


Just Between Friends Free Tickets

Pick up the latest copy of Community Spirit Magazine or print this ad for free tickets to the Just Between Friends event at Tulsa Expo Square & Fairgrounds March 3-9, 2019. Learn more at jbfsale.com.