John Ed Mathison–How God Redefined My Possible
Just a few days past Thanksgiving in 2012, I was in Montgomery, Alabama visiting my mom when I went and met with long-time United Methodist Preacher John Ed Mathison about a book he’d written and was contemplating turning into a book for iPad. The title–When God Redefines The Possible–was only available in printed form and is a compilation of some great stories that John Ed has been telling for a few years.
But what I didn’t realize going into that project was how much God was going to redefine MY possible, and I have to tell you, it’s an amazing story.
How God Redefined My Possible
John Ed gave me a copy of his book to read and sent me on my way. In late December/Early January I’d read through it and figured out how we could make it into a fun, interactive project, complete with 23 videos. In mid-February, we spent some time at his old church in Montgomery, Frazer United Methodist, and shot the videos with one of my old compatriots, Stacey Rimer Stakely and their video master, Matt Gamble. The next two months was a time of productivity and editing to get the book ready for sale on iTunes, Amazon and the Barnes & Noble websites.
But here’s the thing–Every time I worked on John Ed’s book, God started doing more and more and more to redefine my possible. It was an amazing process and up until it began to happen, I had noted, even in this place, that it had felt like at times I was Job and God had unleashed the Evil One on me to see if my faith would waiver.
Honestly, I didn’t handle those days and times as purely as Job. I questioned my faith, even questioned God’s existence and didn’t much darken the doors of my church. You see, since June of 2009, much of my life, my family, job, house, car, finances, just about everything one would consider as a standard in modern-day life, had been ripped away from me either from the greed, evil, jealousy, or whatever of others. It was the worst time of my life and has changed me significantly.
But I held to my faith, though it felt like at times the only heat from it I was living on was the equivalent of holding a match in one’s hand in the darkness of a cave miles underground. There was little light, little to to be optimistic about. And in the midst of that time, I had a heart attack–at 45.
The 2013 Redefinition
So this Thanksgiving, I sit writing and sharing this story. I’ve been on something of an emotional journey this past week and each day have been contemplating how to reshare with each of you the beauty and power of John Ed’s book. This morning I awoke and began composing this blog post. And as I have been writing here this morning, I just received the first text I’ve received from John Ed in about two months. It simply reads: “Donny, I thank God for you!!” It came at 8:21 a.m. on a Thanksgiving morning. John Ed knows thousands of people around the world and yet God found it on his heart to send me and who knows how many others a special message.
But isn’t that how God works, too? We may not feel like God is there with us. We may think God has forgotten us. We may feel like God SHOULD forget about us at times. But he is always there, and always in reach.
This year has been a good growth year for my company, Claxton Creative. We’ve done some great book for iPad work and some more projects are lining up. No, I’ve not been restored to where I was when the crisis of 2009 began to take away nearly everything in my life, but I have a new birth of freedom and love in my life and a renewed passion for God.
Are there still things I want to improve upon? Certainly, but I have been able to change the makeup of the type of people in my life and it has all been for the positive. It is making a difference in who I am, who they are and most importantly, our walks with God.
So this Thanksgiving Day 2013, I want to encourage you to check out John Ed’s book for iPad, Kindle or Nook. This work has made all the difference in my life the past 365 days and I challenge you to download it and read it. The book has video messages from John Ed about the power of God. It has puzzles and study questions you can use to study God’s word. And it has the power to redefine your possible. And that, I have found, is what our God is truly all about.