Practical steps to be ready for what’s coming + weekly news


Photo by Cody Edwards

Normally, my Saturday posts include what I consider to be pertinent world and national news articles. Today, my news is of a different nature, and it’s very personal.  A couple of weeks ago I had just completed my daily walk and was finishing a bottle of Gatorade when I suddenly became dizzy and disoriented feeling very much like I did about fifteen years ago when I had a TIA (mini-stroke).  Five minutes later I felt good enough to take a shower, eat lunch, and make a quick run to BestBuy. On the way home I stopped at our doctor’s office to see if someone could check me out in case it was more serious than I thought.  A last-minute cancellation allowed the PA to do a quick exam resulting in a quick trip to the ER. An MRI revealed that I had multiple brain tumors. Twenty minutes later I was on my way to MUSC (South Carolina). Thus began a series of events that demonstrated just how mysterious (and perfect) God’s ways really are.

An Immediate Answer

Actually, God manifested Himself and His ways as soon as I got the bad news. Immediately, I felt His peace as never before. I knew Christ was going to carry me through every step of this. It was, indeed, a peace that far surpassed my understanding. That same peace brought about a wonderful conversation with Talia, a Jewish EMT (or Paramedic) who was attending to me on the ride to MUSC. For two hours, I was able to share the gospel with her and discuss God’s plans for Her and the nation of Israel. I was also able to have a copy of my book The ISRAELI Connection delivered by a friend to her station house.

God’s mysterious ways continued as our son and daughter arrived at the hospital. Our conversations were at a level I had been praying for. We had such a sweet time together. The blessings have continued, culminating in the salvation of a neighbor who had been deeply touched by the peace my wife and I had demonstrated throughout the ordeal.

Many Prayers Answered

Looking back, I can see that through this ordeal, which is far from over, God has already  answered many of the prayers I have been bringing before the Lord for quite some time.

Yet, one specific prayer stands out. For about a month, I had been praying that God would do something to take me out of the empty routine that had left me passionate for a closer relationship with Christ and a more effective and life-changing ministry. It’s not that I didn’t love what I do everyday—researching, writing and posting my blog, newsletter, and YouTube programs. I just found myself desiring, along with Paul, to really know Christ and to experience the fellowship of His sufferings. No, I wasn’t looking to suffer. I just wanted the relationship that could be reached in no other way. Some books I had been reading further ignited the passion that resulted in a prayer that God was quick to answer in  a most unexpected way. In case you’re interested, the books are The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre and America’s Great Revivals, The Story of Spiritual Revival in the United States, 1734-20000. (Even if you’re not interested, these are still the books.)

At this point, I still don’t know the results of the biopsy. I’ll find out the details in about a week. From what I’ve been told, when I meet with the surgeon, I really owe him an apology. Apparently, during the surgery I really gave him a piece of my mind, but he took it like a man without retaliating, which I really appreciate. He’s a real stand-up kind of guy.

Planning My Funeral

Facing an uncertain future has left me thinking about my funeral, but not in a morbid way at all. Instead, my thoughts have been quite practical. Let’s face it, most funerals leave everyone feeling awkward, never knowing what to say and looking forward to the whole ordeal being over. That seemed so unfortunate and so unnecessary. As I thought about mine, it made more sense to hold it while I was still alive. After all, if people were going to be talking about me, I’d like to be able to defend myself. So, a 20-minute rebuttal period seemed appropriate.  If, however, the whole ordeal ended up being more like a roast, that would be okay. It would also be quite appropriate since I’m going to be cremated. Being present would allow me to show that it actually is possible to urn your way to heaven, and that’s important to me.


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