7 01 2019


The last several years, I have been encouraging our Church to pick a word that describes their hopes and dreams and what they long for God to do in the coming 365 days. Last year, we actually creatively wrote our words quite artistically upon Rocks and Stones that we laid outside under the Giant Cross on the front of our Lighthouse Building. It was an act of faith to dedicate our desires before the Lord and to be reminded to look up every time we looked down and saw our humble altar of Prayer Pebbles!


My word for 2018 was “Restore!” My expectation was for God to bring me back to the days when I was able to run hard and live free from so many physical and emotional obstacles standing in the way. Since Christmas 2006, I’ve battled anxiety, depression and some severe OCD issues because of the uncertainty of the happenings in my physical body. I have experienced a heart attack, a mini-stroke and constant paralyzing viral issues that have definitely taken its toll on my psyche! My faith is still intact; but its been shaken, rattled and rolled way more than I would have liked to seen. It has caused me to question God’s love and whether He has decided to hang me out to dry while the storms have had their way with me. It’s been a Boat in the middle of a Hurricane scenario. Here come the winds and the rain and there goes Rudy bopping and bouncing every which way but where Rudy wants to go! I believe that deep down, this is where my deepest issues lie.


As 2018 came to an end, I caught yet another viral infection in December and it made my favorite time of the year, Christmas, an uphill battle. I did all the Services I was supposed to do, but once again the rebellion of my immune system caused the anxiety and frustration to hit the heights at the Holiday. I finally went to Urgent Care the day after Christmas where I got the medical care that I should have received three weeks earlier. There is only one specific antibiotic that heals my issues and I received a major dose of it but just a little too late to salvage the Season. I felt robbed (my words) from the experiences and adventures that I longed to be a part of in December.


The disappointments of the Yuletide, caused me to look up to Heaven quite sarcastically and smirk, “Lord, maybe my word should have been “Rerun” and not “Restore” because I feel like I’m stuck in a déjà vu of disaster.” Last year was chock full of “Here We Go Again” moments. After a victorious Mission Trip to Quito, Ecuador in January, it went downhill fast. I didn’t make it to Hollywood when I was invited by Hallmark to be a part of the “Home and Family Show” promoting the “Signed Sealed Delivered” Movies. I also missed the Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls The Heart” Reunion Event in October, even though I got to Vancouver, British Colombia only to turn around and venture back home after running smack dab into a non-stop series of disastrous circumstances. How can this be “Restoration,” when all I sense is “Desperation” deep down in my soul.


But in the last 12 days, God has spoken rather loudly to me about the last 12 hard years. “Restore” might have been the right word but I was interpreting it my wrong way! Expectations on my part have dictated how I thought my prayers should be answered and when God didn’t do it according to the Plans of Rudy, I left myself wide open to the anxiety and discouragement that came rushing right in. The OCD issues are my futile attempt to pretend that I have control where I have not a clue of why things happen as they do. Because I’m still stuck in the pit, I assumed God let me down. My lack of progress resulted me to accuse God of being absent in the process and caused me to abandon my leaning totally upon His promise. God has already given us His word that He makes all things new. I just have to stop begging for Him to do it my way which does nothing more than get in the way of His will being done in Rudy as it is done in Heaven.


What if God can use my pain to sanctify my place in this world? If I can trust Him enough to just simply follow Him rather than make my feeble attempts to fix my brokenness, maybe I’d have a change of attitude in spite of being discovered in the same old latitude and longitude this side of Heaven. Everyday is my chance to dedicate my destiny to Him. There has to be less of me and more of Him if there is going to be any shot of me seeing the Son shine brightly in my world again.


My word this year takes the focus off of me and puts the emphasis on God. I need to magnify the Lord with every breath I take. Magnify doesn’t mean God gets bigger but that I see Him better! Rather than demanding that Jesus fix my location, I decide to just follow the Lord. In the Bible, the theological word for Lord is Adonai. My word is the Word of God Himself: “Adonai!” To address God as “Adonai” means I offer Him my absolute obedience. What He says, I do. Where He sends, I go. When He shares, I receive. Jesus never took the Name “Adonai” loosely. That is why He challenged His Followers by rebuking, “Why do you call Me Lord, Lord and not do what I say.” Following God is not a democracy, it’s a Monarchy. There is only one King and it’s not me!


But with the Name Adonai comes a few beautiful benefits that God bestows upon the surrendered Believers. First, Adonai will always provide everything we need to accomplish everything that He calls us to do. If we don’t have it then we don’t need it. Because Adonai is my Shepherd, I may not get all the things I want but I will be delivered all the essential equipment necessary. Second, Adonai assures us that His Presence will always accompany us with every step we take and make in His direction. I’ve been chasing an improvement in my surroundings when I should have been content to just stick with the Savior.


The Walmart tissue box contained my first confirmation that “Adonai” is the right Word for 2019. As I opened a new box of kleenex, I saw the word “Everyday” loud and clear. I must let go the past and not be preoccupied with the future. Today is the day to come alive. I want to give my life away, but to even have a shot at this I must pursue my Lord, my Adonai, every single day until I finally see Him in person when I graduate to Glory.


So in 2019, I am not going to write any other goal for this year than to look for Jesus to be my daily vision statement. In fact, its not lowering my expectations but obliterating them altogether. I simply want to live.  Where the Lord is there is life everlasting. I plan to begin each day of 2019 adoring Adonai. I plan to pay all of my attention to Him rather than stressing about my measly details. My disappointments have been mostly self-inflicted. This side of Heaven, I will always be restless for perfection, but I can’t complete what only God can accomplish. No more reruns. Its time for real restoration and that is getting back to Jesus not only providing a word for my rock but being my Rock every day I’m still here. Happy New Year! What’s your word? Make sure you find it in His Word! That’s the only sure word!



2 responses

8 01 2019
Dennis Oliver Hall

My old word was trust, Pastor Rudy, and I believe the Lord has been helping me with that issue. For 2019, I think my word will be SUNRISE! Each day with a new sunrise and a new beginning to make the most of each new day that Papa gives me, few or many! Praying for you that each day will be filled with His peace as you shine His light to many!

11 01 2019

This has been my word for the past month, I found the Lord again, rather he found me. I consider myself a new believer even tho when I was a child I searched for God high and low, went to church on my own (my mom thought I was cool hanging with friends), but I felt like God didn’t hear me. The whole month of December I’ve been diving deep into the word of God attempting to read the whole bible in 3 months with a super crazy 9 month boy,( so far I’m halfway done!!) I figured if Jesus could suffer for my sin, staying up a couple of hours is the very least I can do.(while binging on YouTube sermons as I feed my son) I feel like I’ve wasted so much time living for this world realizing now that truly living is living for God. I’ve been really stuck on 2 Peter 3:11 trying to figure out how to answer and I think your word is it. So far I realized this is the first time I have true joy in my life and I’ve only just begun my journey. I’ve been sharing with my family about surrendering and fully trusting God and truly understanding what that means. Reading your post just hit home and it’s so refreshing and real to hear a pastor own their struggles and overcoming their obstacles. I will be praying for your health and your journey for the new year.

Ps. Went to your church for the first time last week, I loved every second of it!

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