Dead touches dead and comes back to life?

What does it mean, that a dead man instantly came back to life when his body touched the bones of Elisha the prophet, who also was dead? Just a question I thought I'd throw out for feedback...

All else is as it was yesterday. God is still on the throne; Jeseca is still here with me and the boys; and we still believe that God will do what He said. I know there are people who think we are foolish to believe so, but that's alright. What do they know?

I once heard it said, "The devil wants you to focus on you. God wants you to focus on Jesus." As we continue to go through this storm, all I can do is embrace that sentiment and know that as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, though the storms rage against us, we will withstand the test and finish the race.

There are trials that appear to be unbearable. I speak from experience. But you have to trust that God's way is perfect. It is, in the end. And there's nothing that will ever change that. So take heart! God will see you through. JG

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.

Bad with the Good - my dissertation

Jes and I recently saw the movie Amazing Grace. What an amazing movie. Compared to those that recently won Academy Awards, Amazing Grace is far better acted, is inspirational, and tells the story of how one man's courage can change a nation. Like Abraham Lincoln, the man portrayed in the movie, William Wilbersworth, stood against slavery and the slave trade in 1800s England. His conviction came from his following Christ. He won after 19 years of fighting in the English commonwealth. If you haven't already seen it, be sure to go before it leaves the theaters. It is well worth the price of admission.

We have also had friends speak glowingly of a "new" concept called The Secret. I don't mean to be rude and disrespectful, but I also don't want to beat around the bush...The Secret is garbage.

We watched the video, which was produced to mirror, it appears, the Da Vinci Code (I didn't like that one, either). The premise is that we don't get what we want because we aren't positive thinkers and don't ask the "universe" for it. It all has to do with the "law of attraction," which is what gives us our status in life, according to the video. If we're negative, people won't want to be around us. Basic common sense, if you ask me. And if we're positive, then people (and their money, according to the show) will be drawn to us. We just "tell the universe" what we want, and the universe complies.

But how does The Secret account for the bad that happens in life? Do we attract bad or good? Is it our fault when we get blind-sided by life? Or are we really at war in the spiritual realm? Read Job again. Study the conversation that Satan had with God about Job. God allowed Job to lose everything; his family, his wealth, his stature. But after losing it all, Job declared that we should accept the bad with the good, for both come from God. And after enduring this massive storm, God blesses Job with twice as much as he had before.

So I wonder...what about Jeseca? Does she have cancer because she didn't tell the universe that she wanted to be rich and healthy? And my 2-year-old relative, Austin? Did he get cancer because he didn't tell the universe soon enough that he didn't want it? Obviously not. Which is why I think The Secret should be called The Joke. My two cents, at least. Maybe I should ask the universe to help me with my bad attitude.

And now, mixing subjects to the best of my ability, my beautiful wife still smiles. She is so into the Lord that she shines even while she struggles. God gives her the strength, grace and courage to go through each day with a smile on her face. And what drives her great attitude is her complete devotion to raise our boys to become warriors for the Lord. She doesn't think so, but she is the most amazing woman I have ever met. I hope I live up to her expectations as a husband! Yikes.

Not much else, I guess, to report. God is still good. Yes, the bad comes with the good, but why? I think it's because we can use the bad experiences to share the goodness of God with others who are going through the same trial. I guess that's why I am still behind a desk instead of tearing up the golf course on the PGA Tour. JG

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.

The Undertaker meets Mr. Graves

I had a chance today to work out with infamous WWE star, Marc Calloway, otherwise known as "The Undertaker." What a cool guy. I struck up a conversation with him between sets of tricep extensions. Turns out he has an event tomorrow night. We talked about wrestling, baseball and golf. My old roommate at Long Beach State, Jason Giambi, was a huge WWE fan; he wanted to make the change from baseball to wrestling at one point. Marc said he'd met Jason once before. I told him that if I ever made it to the PGA Tour I would look him up. He was good with that. Cool.
Completely unrelated, we are starting a new week again, and Jes is still going strong. I need to start working out with her more often, though; she says she feels pretty weak muscularly. Praise God we can still look forward to doing things like that together. I will have to ask her for a rematch in Chinese Checkers after my dismal performance tonight. I detest losing.
I have nearly completed David Jeremiah's book, Life Wide Open. There's so much to take from it. Most importantly is that God cares so much about how we live, and wants to empower us if we will only give our lives and dreams over to Him. It's always difficult not to take the wheel, though, you know?
Lastly, our hearts go out to my step-brother and his wife tonight, as their 2-year-old son must undergo treatment for a tumor in/behind his eye. I just can't imagine...God is in control, though. He always is. JG
From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.

Christmas Eve

It's beyond words that Jesus came to be born in a manger underneath the stars He created. I looked up at those stars tonight after the Rock's Reason service and could only smile in unbelief.

I heard David Jeremiah speak today about Jesus' fulfillment of prophecies. He stated that the odds of Jesus fulfilling just eight prophecies would be 1 to 100 million million. To give you an idea of how large that number is, he said you would have to pick the only marked coin in a stack of coins the size of Texas and three feet deep......on the first try! But Jesus fulfilled dozens more prophecies, e.g., He was a son of Abraham, a son of David, was born in Bethelehem, born of a virgin, how He was to die, what He would say when He was dying...

If you're honest with yourself and do your due dilligence, you can't escape the truth that Jesus is exactly who He said He is...God. Thank you, God, for sending your Son, Jesus, into this world to give us a chance at eternity with You. We didn't deserve it, but we are so thankful.

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.

Off to El Hongo Prison

Today has been interesting. I was supposed to help with a prison outreach team this weekend, or what I thought would be only this Saturday. Instead, I've been asked to speak at a maximum-security, but high-tech prison in the mountains of Baja California called "El Hongo." This comes at a time when I really don't feel comfortable leaving Jes and the boys, let alone heading to another country. It appears God is trying to stretch me out a bit. We come back tomorrow at 4 p.m., and I will be anxious to get home. I'll let you know how it goes...JG

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.

The Real Superman

Today was Everen's 8th birthday. We had a great 2-day celebration with him. I can't believe he's been with us for eight years! It is amazing to see how much he has grown over the past few years; to see how much he has matured and grown to love God. His Sunday School teacher told me today how special Everen is, how much he knows about God, and what a great job we are doing in raising him. I couldn't have been prouder. Nothing matters more to us than establishing the foundation to the relationship our boys have with God. And I pray they won't abandon it as I did when I got older.

Part of his birthday celebration included a surprise home-screening of Superman Returns. Christian loves Superman -- continuing to claim as he has for the past couple of years that he is Superman -- and since Jes and I saw it when it came out in theaters, we knew it would be okay to see if we fast-forwarded through the more intense scenes. So we watched it together, and again it fascinated me that the story is so metaphoric of Jesus. In fact, I used the movie to tell the boys how amazing He is; that He is the real Superman. You really can't escape it, either.

Superman is his father's only son, sent to Earth to save its people from evil and destruction. He does more miraculous and supernatural things than you can count. Then, knowing that doing so will destroy him, he chooses to lift and send into orbit a kryptonite-laden rock the size of Texas. If you've seen the movie, before he heads to the bottom of the ocean, he flies skyward to spend some time in the Sun, which gives him power. (The sun is light...God is Light...time in the sun...time with God. Like I said, it all follows The story line.) And for the icing on the cake, when he sends the kryptonite island off to neverland, as he collapses just outside Earth's atmosphere and falls toward Metropolis, he strikes a pose in the form of a cross.

Now he doesn't die and come back to life, mind you. And you have to get past the nonsense of his having a baby with Lois Lane out of wedlock some five or six years before. In the end, though, you have to wonder how or why Hollywood would put this type of imagery in a movie about a comic book superhero.

On the other hand, nothing can ever come close to the story of Jesus. For the entirety of His life, He predicted that He would die and how. He walked toward Jerusalem knowing that the cross awaited Him. When Judas approached Him in the Garden of Gethsemane with the Roman guards, He stood to meet them. And when they asked for Jesus of Nazareth, He said, "I am He," and the entire mob fell to the ground at the sound of His voice.

Superman had to be patterned after Jesus. There's no other explanation. Jesus stood in front of the "bullets." Jesus came to save the world from its sin. Jesus was beaten beyond recognition for me and for you. And Jesus rose from the dead so that you and I could live with God for all of eternity. Unbelievable. Jesus is the real Superman. Never forget it. JG

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.

81

As a recap of my round at Torrey Pines, I played as poorly as I can play (if only I could putt!) and shot 81 from 7,000+ yards. I wish you could see me shaking my head.......

I played with an older set of Maxfli A-10s, 1" over, bent 2 degrees upright. They were perfect. I need to get my Nike Pro Combos redone with those specs. It helps so much when you actually hit the ball where you want to, but it does no good when you 3-jack four greens! More time on the greens, I think. JG

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.

Epiphany...

I stated a year or so ago that this blog (formerly jesusandjava.com) was the effort to discover the purpose God had for my life before I was born. It is now so obvious to me what that purpose is, and that it is not only mine, but all believers in Christ...to share the good news about Christ with other people. What's funny, is that I have always known that, but it wasn't until today's conversation with Jeseca's oncologist that it hit me.

All it took was one question. "Dr. Broulliard, do you play golf?" His response was perfect. "Golf is a game invented by the devil!" I thought about asking him to go play a round at Torrey Pines Golf Course while Jeseca went to talk with the nurses in the office about Isagenix, when it dawned on me.

It doesn't matter what we do in this life, really, as long as we tell people about Him.

Does God care that someday I want to play in a PGA TOUR event? Sure He does. I think He's given me that desire since it continues to pound deeper and deeper into my heart. But I think He cares more about how I will use my experiences as a platform to tell people about Him, about Jesus.

It doesn't matter who you are, and you don't have to have a microphone or a pulpit. You just have to open your mouth when someone asks why you are the way you are.

Does this mean I am done here? Not at all. Knowing is just the beginning.

JG

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.

Now vs. Then

We made it. I don't think we've stayed at a more luxurious hotel than The Venetian. Oddly, one of the weirder moments of my life took place today. I'll upload a picture later and you'll see what I mean.

Dat and Tran are along, too. Poor guys...they got hit with an outrageous dinner bill ($100+ for two entrees, a soda and milk). Funny how things work out like that. We stayed pretty conservative with a small order of sushi and sashimi and still spent $50. Good food though.

I've got to say that it's so different to come here as a believer in Christ. Where I once had a blast spending a ton of money gambling, drinking more than I care to recall, and basically making the ordinary fool look wise, I now see just how damaging this town can be. To anyone. It doesn't matter who you are, Vegas has nothing to offer but ruin. Thankfully we're here as the result of the good people who support me at work. I just hope I can learn something worthwhile for them!

As for Jeseca, she's still in pain. I don't know how or when that will go away aside from God taking action. Maybe I shouldn't know. Sometimes I wonder if it has something to do with me. Am I praying enough? Am I walking with the Lord enough? Being honest with yourself can be tough. I also recognize that the enemy of my soul wants me to believe it has everything to do with my inability to walk and talk with God continually. What a battle this walk is. Thank God for His grace.

Just watching her inspires me to be a better man and a better Christian. She is so courageous, for her trust is firmly planted in Christ. She's amazing, and I am honored to be her husband. One thing is certain: God has an awfully large plan for her life; she's only halfway there, and the best is obviously yet to come.

JG

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.

Off to Vegas

This week I will be attending a conference to learn about Adobe's new software suites. The conference will be held at The Venetian in Las Vegas and should be great. I'm taking Jes along to give her a break from the kids and all of the other responsibilities. Funny that we are going to the city that never sleeps for rest. I know the time will be good for her to recuperate.

Ricky Page was the guest speaker today at The Rock. He was great. He relayed a statement his friend made after losing his wife to cancer. Ricky asked him if he was mad at God for losing such a beautiful person. His response: "No way! She's in Heaven now with the Lord's arms wrapped around her...in no pain, and rejoicing! How could I be mad at God for that?"

Awesome. What love for his wife. Thanks for opening my eyes even more, God.

JG

From his career in professional baseball to an attempt at professional golf and the tragic loss of his wife, Jon Graves is on the journey of his life.