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O God One More Miracle: A Book of Hope and Just Maybe Some Wisdom [NOOK Book]

Overview

God has blessed my life with so many miracles it is hard to recall them all.

It is my hope that as you read this book you can relate to similar situations in your past and begin to see God at work in your life.

Who knows maybe you will begin to see and understand the miracles that He has done both large and small every day of your life.

Raymond F. Banks Jr

...
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O God One More Miracle: A Book of Hope and Just Maybe Some Wisdom

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Overview

God has blessed my life with so many miracles it is hard to recall them all.

It is my hope that as you read this book you can relate to similar situations in your past and begin to see God at work in your life.

Who knows maybe you will begin to see and understand the miracles that He has done both large and small every day of your life.

Raymond F. Banks Jr

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452097978
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 12/30/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 266 KB

Read an Excerpt

O GOD One More Miracle

A Book of Hope and Just Maybe Some Wisdom
By Raymond F. Banks Jr

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2010 Raymond F Banks Jr.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4520-9795-4


Chapter One

The Job

Hope: "A Place to Work"

My Prayer: (for a big miracle)

O God please help me in my time of need. Please send me a Job so that I can provide for my family. We love where we live; great schools, great neighbors, my family has had to move so many times. If possible, please a job within driving distance.

"Please Just One More Miracle Please"

My story begins in Fall of 2007; I was running a department of over 30 associates in a Fortune 500 company when my boss called and gave me the speech. "The company has made a decision to cut back and we have eliminated your position. We have put together a severance package, thank you for all your years of hard work, good-bye."

So there I was 50+ years of age, and unemployed like 6 million other Americans in 2007, and over 10 million today. My ego was crushed, my future prospects dim.

After a short period of time feeling sorry for myself, my partner in life, (marrying her was absolutely one of my biggest miracles, see Chapter 8), sat down with me and we took stock of our current situation.

Miracle; we had been given a very generous severance package probably to alleviate the guilt felt by my former bosses

Miracle; we had for the first time in our marriage been saving a substantial amount of our income over the past years (major miracle for us)

Miracle; we had paid off much of our every day debt; cars, home improvements, appliances, etc, etc

Miracle; We had been conservative when we purchased our home, sizable down payment, 30 years fixed interest rate, affordable monthly house payments (had we listened to all the real estate professionals that told us we could afford so very much more we would have been in big trouble)

Miracle; My wife's business was doing very well, God had provided for us very well, if we managed our resources we could survive for 2 years (big miracle).

With that assumption behind me and lots of encouragement from my wife we decided to try starting my own consulting business. I had some expertise in a certain area and believed that my knowledge could save companies like my previous employer, "big money."

So I launched into my own business. At first my contacts were solid, prospects looked good, and all was going well. After many corporate presentations and evaluations, mostly unpaid, we came to the revelation that this consulting business was not going to be easy. However, I persisted and continued to dig up good prospects and felt that I was getting closer to that big contract.

My prayer: O God, please help me find an opportunity that will turn into a contract and allow me to provide for my family.

"Please Just One More Miracle Please"

At this time of frustration and no income in my life, God was driving me in a direction that was new and different. I also still had a lot of "ME" in my prayers. Let me provide, help my new business, I need my big contract, etc. Being the slow learner that I am, I needed a lot of humility and you guessed it, God also provided that (yes this too was a miracle).

In September 2008 our country's major recession hit particularly in the retail industry, all of my leads and opportunities dried up. Knowing that my family needed to be provided for, I started in-depth employment searches. My wife and I floated my resume to everyone that we ever knew, to head hunters, and to all major companies.

And yes my prayer changed:

My Prayer (for a big miracle)

"O God, please help me in my time of need. Please send a job that provides for my family. You will be done, whatever the job, wherever we need to move, whatever position I need to take, please just let me work."

"Please Just One More Miracle Please"

With a lot more time on my hands and a lot more "Your will be done" in my payers, I stumbled upon some volunteer work for a non-profit organization that provided food, clothing, and job skill training for the poor in the community. I also got more involved in my local church.

You think God may have been trying to get through to this hard-headed slow learner over the last year or so?

I do, miracle

Once I began the volunteer work my life did start changing, I found purpose and satisfaction. No money yet, but in my heart I knew that would follow.

Big—Big Miracle

Then somewhere into my 20th month of unemployment and failed attempts to start my own company, a good friend that I had met through my volunteer work asked if I had ever considered changing career paths. My response, YES!!!!, if it provided for my family and kept us in South Florida.

Big—Big—Big Miracle

The next thing we knew, I had accepted a position in an industry that I had never worked in before and found myself in charge of an office full of people.

Miracle? Or just Chance?

What do you think the odds are of me finding a job with unemployment of almost 10%, in an industry that I had no background or contacts in, in the South Florida market, that paid me enough to provide for my family, and by the way, was across the street from the company that had laid me off 20 months earlier?

Don't know about you, but for me this screams that God is in direct control of our lives and has a purpose for each and every one of us.

My Prayer: Thank You GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At the end of each chapter in this book I am going to try to highlight the wisdom that God has imparted in my life based on the circumstances that I have encountered during this particular time of my journey

Wisdom (definition): Being wise, soundness of judgment in matters relating to life and conduct; knowledge, experience, learning

Personal Finance:

* In this chapter I indicate that we had been saving money, paid down debt, and been conservative in buying our home. That was wonderful, but that had not been our normal lifestyle. We in fact, just 6 years before this hit rock bottom, could hardly pay our mortgage or buy gas to drive to work.

God had sent this learning experience to us back then so that when disaster did strike 6 years later we had done all of those financially responsible things that resulted in our ability to survive and even grow.

Running our own Business:

* At this time in our lives my wife's business was doing well—again this had not always been the case. Over the years God had taught my wife to not only run a solid business but also what her true skill set was. She—through His help—was able to hold on to key customers that were thousands of miles away and service their needs through the use of Technology. Also she had tried and failed several times over the years to expand into additional services, again a learning experience.

Running your Company:

* Any of you who run companies or who are part of senior management that are reading my book, the following is some wisdom from my experience. I have said that I am good at saving companies money and I am, in fact over the last 20 plus years I have saved companies I worked for tens of millions of dollars. I typically could cover the total cost of my entire department—20 to 30 people—within the first 2 months of each year, with the remaining profit finding its way to the bottom line.

The layoffs that I have lived through were driven more from a political stand point than a financial basis. Before executives look at staff reductions you just might want to figure out who is making money and who is not, with in your organization. If you don't know, ask your good associates, they will tell you.

Appreciating a True Partner:

* God has opened my eyes to the support of this wonderful lady I married. Her willingness to go through the tough times with me and even encourage me was a gift from above. It made me realize that I had a true partner in life and maybe I had taken this gift too much for granted in the past.

Kingdom Work:

* God—during this period of unemployment—taught me a big lesson and has since laid something very big on my heart. The lesson was that instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself, that He wanted me to get out and help someone. The minute I did I felt useful again and regained that personal satisfaction that I had when I had a job. It was great—now just think; if all of this nation's unemployed would volunteer for just one day of service a week what could we accomplish; Feed the poor? Shelter the homeless? Consul the weary? Teach our children? Cure the sick? Etc, Etc.

The 10 million people that are unemployed in this country are professional people with skill and trades. Teachers could Tudor, construction could build homes—"Habitat for Humanity," medical professionals could help at free clinics, management and administrative people could help run shelters and food pantries.

Just think of the Kingdom work that could be done with this kind of help; we could change our community, our city, our state, our country, all with people that want to work, that have skills, that desperately want to feel useful again.

The government could even help, something as simple and inexpensive as adding one additional day of unemployment benefits for every day served, at a "not for profit" organization?

God show us how!!!

Miracle's Note Page:

Troubles, Problems, or even Disasters: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________

God's influence (purpose) in your life: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________

Miracle or Just Chance: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________

Connections: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________

Wisdom: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________

Chapter Two

Our Church

Hope: "A Place to Pray"

My Prayer:

"O God, please help us find a better place, a church, a family that feeds my and my wife's spirit, that helps us grow and know you better. We know our old church provides for some of your people, but please show us a place where we can move closer to you."

"Please Just One More Miracle Please"

My wife and I were both raised Catholics and we attended church every Sunday, more out of obligation than desire. We both had a mediocre prayer life and a sense that God was moving in our life. But we had been searching for something better for several years.

We had been trying other churches in our quest to find more meaning in our Sunday morning worship and we had stumbled across several Pastors that had shown some promise, but some how nothing seemed to fit.

We looked around and talked to friends and neighbors, and they were in the same place that we were, looking for something better.

And then, you guessed it, a miracle!

Driving by my daughter's elementary school, my wife spotted a sign for a church that was meeting in the school gym on Sundays. The elementary school was in our neighborhood about 5 minutes from where we lived.

We attended and were hooked after the first service. The Pastor was outstanding, the music great, the parishioners warm and friendly. We started attending on a regular basis to see if this was all that we thought it might be.

In the following paragraphs I have tried to outline why I believed we had found an answer to our prayer for a good solid church.

* First they did not ask for money—not even after we· had attended for almost 6 months. The most we heard was pray and let God lead you in what you should give. Remember this was a church that was meeting in a school, because they could not afford a church building. By the way, we gave more to the church because we were not asked, than we would have had they preached on giving on a regular basis as our former church did.

* The Pastor seemed to be more interested in getting us· to participate and serve than he was about our money. We liked that, Miracle? Yes in some churches we attended this would have qualified as a major miracle sad to say.

* The Pastor had a family and they took an active part· in the church. He had practical experience, and in his past had worked at an everyday job. He did not come across with a holier then thou attitude, in fact just the opposite. He preached from real everyday experience and it was something we were able to relate too.

* The congregation, the message, the music and the· worship was outstanding. So we stopped just attending and started to participate in a true worship service.

* Even though this was a poor church they still· participated in missions outside of their congregation. Not one mission but several—all that was very worth while. We are still to this day truly amazed.

* After attending services for over a year my wife and I· decided to join the church family. Again, this was not a high pressure, sign you up for everything commitment. It was a pray and let God lead you to your purpose within our congregation approach.

Big Miracle. Because of this church and this Pastor we have grown in our relationship with God. We both have a long way to go but at least we are headed in the right direction.

Miracle? Or just Chance?

Let's ask the odds makers again; what are the chances that we would find the Church and Church family that we had actively looked for over the past several years in my own back yard?

Connections:

Just a note as we move forward in this book. I will try to show you how these individual miracles are connected to each other, and how Jesus is working in my life.

Connection—the volunteer work that I was doing when I made the connection to the individual that eventually hired me, was through one of the missions of this church.

Wisdom:

When we found ourselves unhappy with our Church and/or our spiritual lives we needed to react, instead for years we waited for something to happen or come along. God was talking—however we were not listening. If something is not living up to your expectations, pray and get involved. You just may be able to improve it for everyone.

Falling short of being able to fix your current situation or circumstance, take a serious look around, who knows your answer may be in your own neighborhood.

Miracle's Note Page:

Troubles, Problems, or even Disasters: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________

God's influence (purpose) in your life: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________

Miracle or Just Chance: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________

Connections: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ Wisdom: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________

Chapter Three

Journey to South Florida

Hope: "A Home"

My Prayer:

"O God please help us find a home (not just a house), we have spent months looking, everything cost way too much and my wife is not happy with anything we can afford. I have spent all of this time without my family working this new job, I am not even sure that they want to join me. Please help us be a family again; You know I am not any good without them."

"Please Just One More Miracle Please"

It was mid summer when we received a job offer from a retail firm in South Florida. At the time I was working on the West Coast of the state and living in a nice home in a good community. My only issue at the time was an hour commute to and from work.

The job offer came through a contact at work; we had worked together and completed a major company software and supporting systems upgrade at my current employer. He had moved to this bigger and better company to advance his career. He was installing the same new system and software, and reached out for people he could depend on.

The job was a promotion with a very good salary increase and relocation package. The cost of living however, was much higher than where we were moving from and the housing market was at the peak of its selling frenzy—hence a housing dilemma.

All things considered, my wife and I sat down and made the decision this was a move we needed to make. With one of my sons in his last year of high school we also decided that my wife and family would stay on the West Coast of Florida until he graduated.

So, the last week of August I started a weekly commute from my job in South Florida to my family on the West Coast. At first we seemed to manage this inconvenience well, however, after 90 days this became a major hassle. In addition, the few times my wife was able to join me on house hunting trips, our lack of results made this separation more and more difficult to deal with.

Three months turned into six and my prayer became more intense. Please one more miracle; bring this family who I love intensely, back together again.

I started to doubt whether or not the love of my life—my wife—really wanted to join me in this new place. This may not have been a true evaluation of my situation; however this is how I felt.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from O GOD One More Miracle by Raymond F. Banks Jr Copyright © 2010 by Raymond F Banks Jr.. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Chapter 1) The Job Hope: "A Place to Work"....................1
Chapter 2) Our Church Hope: "A Place to Pray"....................13
Chapter 3) Journey to South Florida Hope: "A Home"....................23
Chapter 4) Our Move to the Sunshine State Hope: "A (warm) Place to Live"....................33
Chapter 5) A Bad Career Move, And Salvation Hope: "Forgive My Stupidity"....................43
Chapter 6) Our Daughter; at Last!!! Hope: "A Little Girl"....................53
Chapter 7) My Mentor—A Friend in Retail Hope: "To Find Something I Was Good At"....................67
Chapter 8) The Love of My Life, My Wife Hope: "Someone to Love, and That Loves Me"....................77
Chapter 9) A Friend—Definitely a Miracle Hope: "Just One Good Friend"....................89
Chapter 10) Blue Collar to Retail Hope: "A Career, Not Just a Job"....................99
Chapter 11) A 10-Speed Racing Bike Hope: "To Ride with the Guys"....................109
Chapter 12) Everyday Miracles Hope: "To Open Your Eyes"....................119
Chapter 13) My Competitive Edge Hope: "His Forgiveness"....................125
Chapter 14) Conclusion Hope: "Surrender to Him"....................129
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