WAFJ Tribute

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Date Night

Very early in our marriage, Vicky and I established a tradition to help strengthen our relationship, and to guarantee quality time spent together. We scheduled a weekly “date night”. It has now been a tradition for 27 years! Since my cancer diagnosis, we are never quite sure if & when I will feel strong enough for a date, so we seize the opportunity whenever it arises. Last night we had wonderful date. We made reservations at a local fine-dining restaurant and enjoyed a romantic dinner with candlelight, white linen tablecloths, china & crystal, and soft music. We talked, laughed, and took a walk down Memory Lane as we celebrated God’s goodness in our life, marriage, family, and ministry. We also talked about plans for the future! Vacations, family gatherings, and cross-country motorcycle trips!! Afterwards, we stopped at an old-fashioned neighborhood ice cream parlor for dessert. Thanks to those in our church family who have secretly provided some gift certificates for these occasional outings.

One of the factors contributing to declining marriages in our society is the lack of time spent together. Spouses don’t communicate. Children don’t see their parents. We spend too much time chasing after the wrong things, and neglect the ones who need us the most. When is the last time you went on a date? When is the last time you took your family on a picnic? Remember, when life is over, only three things really matter. Faith, FAMILY, and Friends! Take some time this weekend with the ones you love. It will be an investment that will last for eternity! I love you!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Joy of Friendship

My congregation has often heard me make this statement: When life is over, only three things really matter; Faith, Family, and Friends. Through this website you have been exposed to my faith and my family. Recently I have been reminded of the rewards of developing great friendships along the journey of life. I consider myself blessed to have so many special friends. Earlier this week, George & Bill, friends from my hospital days in Florida, contacted me and plan to come visit me in a few weeks. Both men have been great friends over the years, and have been faithful to encourage me during my illness.

Last night I received a very special note from Rick Warren at Saddleback Church. I was honored that he cared enough about me to send a personal note and many nuggets of encouragement. He has encouraged many of us through his powerful book, The Purpose Driven Life. It is a MUST READ for all Christians, and is a great outreach tool for non-Christians. If you haven't read the book, GET IT TODAY!! It will change your life!

Today I heard from Andy. Andy and I attended XRay school together in 1974 in Ft. Lauderdale, then became roommates, and eventually we were Best Men at one another's weddings. Andy and Greg, another college classmate, are coming in late August from Florida to visit with me on the weekend.

This morning, Dr. James Bearden, my district superintendent, paid me a surprise drop-in visit, driving in from Columbia to encourage me. We enjoyed a time of fellowship, then before leaving, he prayed for me. That's what friends are for!!

Literally hundreds of my friends and former church members have called, sent cards & emails, and stopped for a visit. I am blessed with friendship. I have enjoyed a great life! I love God FIRST & FOREMOST! I love my wonderful FAMILY! And I love my wonderful friends! Life is good!

Are you taking the time to develop close friendships? Don't stay so busy chasing after things that won't matter in eternity at the expense of Faith, Family, and Friends. After all, when life is over.....when everything is said & done...only those three things will matter. Make some friends. It's worth the investment!

I have had a good day. I was able to work for a few hours at the church this morning. I will rest this afternoon and I am looking forward to a blessed weekend. Thanks for praying. I love you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wednesday Chemo Treatment

Today I had my last chemo treatment for this month. Some good news, and some not-so-good news. I gained two pounds since last week, which is good. Credit goes to the church cooks & bakers who are fattening me up! We have had 3 meals brought to our house this week, and we are so appreciative of the loving care being provided by our congregation. Unfortunately, both my white & red blood cell counts were down today, so the oncologist cut my chemo dose in half. I was given an injection to raise my red count, and sent home with a syringe & medication for tomorrow that will help raise my white count. Fortunately, I have a week off from treatments, and should be in good shape when I return for the start of my next regimen on August10th. I met a new cancer patient today who was having her first treatment. She is from nearby Thomson, GA and we enjoyed getting to know her, and her husband. We were able to encourage them about the chemo process and give some tips on how what to expect the next few days following treatment.

Thanks for your prayers during my treatment today. I felt the presence of God while you prayed for me. With God's help, I plan to work at the church tomorrow until I get tired. Thanks for caring enough to stop and visit my website today, and for caring enough to pray for my healing. I love you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Faith or Denial?

I was recently asked how I remain so full of hope and optimism about being healed when facing a prognosis with such a small chance of survival. In other words, aren’t you in denial? The answer is simple. On the day I received my diagnosis, God immediately gave Vicky & me a peace deep in our spirit that is hard to explain. It is a peace that assures us everything will be OK. And that peace has never left us. Two months into my treatments, the peace has grown even sweeter, and our faith is growing stronger day to day.

According to scripture, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. (Hebrews 11:1) The Apostle Paul encourages us to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

It seems to me that there are three kinds of faith. The first is “Thomas” faith. Believing only when we see a sign, or have proof. Anybody can possess that kind of faith. The second kind of faith believes even when there is a lack of evidence. That’s the kind of faith most Christians exercise. Consider a third kind of faith. Believing God and His promises even when circumstances and evidence seem to prove something different. That kind of trust will put your faith to the test! That’s where I am walking today. Scans & biopsy results PROVE that I have cancer. There is no cure. There is little or no hope (medically speaking) for survival. Yet I have faith that God is healing me in spite of the evidence! I have a peace that I cannot explain or understand. I just know that God has told me that I will survive, and that He will receive glory! Therefore, I choose to believe Him rather than the evidence.

Walking in that level of faith makes life worth living! With God in control, what do I have to fear? Nothing! What do I have to gain? Everything! Will you join me on this Journey To A Miracle? It is a journey of faith!

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Sweet Sounds of Revival

I am rejoicing today and thanking God for another powerful Lord’s Day at Midland Valley yesterday. It is exciting to watch God’s Hand at work in the lives of individual believers as they seek a deeper walk with Him. . The presence of God’s Spirit in our midst is refreshing and invigorating!

Have you ever noticed the “sounds” of a God-sent revival? The spirited singing and worship; the fervent prayers; the tears and sniffles, and sometimes sobbing, of seekers around the altars; the laughter and joy of hearts that have been renewed!! Yesterday, I witnessed many audible signs of revival. Where does it begin? It begins with brokenness. It begins when I give God permission to interrupt my life, and to drown me with His presence, and allow Him to make whatever changes in my life that He desires. It begins with a desire to experience God in His fullness. It begins when I can honestly say, "Have Thine Own Way, Lord!"

Today is a good day. Today is a new day with fresh opportunities to watch God at work! I am praying for you today! Do you need “revival” this morning? God is standing by to renew and refresh. His mercies are fresh each day! Thanks for caring enough to pray for me! I love you!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Life's Simple Blessings

Since my diagnosis, I have developed a new appreciation for the simple things in life. Everyday, run-of-the-mill, joys and blessings that have always been present, but that I have typically taken for granted. You see, I am a very high-energy, tightly wound personality, which means that I usually speed through my daily schedule without noticing the presence of God in so many different things. But things have changed.

For example, I am much more aware of God in nature. He is present each morning in the clear skies, the light breeze, the green grass, and the flowering trees and plants in my neighborhood. I see Him in the waterfall that I pass halfway to the church. I hear Him when the birds are singing, and the rain is falling.

I have pledged to take NOTHING for granted in the days ahead. When I sleep well, I am grateful. When I wake up each new day, I am thankful for another day of life, and I am excited to see what new miracle awaits my discovery. When I meet a stranger, I wonder if God intentionally arranged for our paths to cross so that I might speak a word of encouragement into their life.

Saturday is now my favorite day (after Sunday, of course) because my new “simple life” routine includes an early morning ride on my Harley just after sunrise. The air is so refreshing, and the sky is so clear. The wind in my face, and the sights, sounds, & smells of God in Nature awaken my senses to His awesomeness! Being a lover of food, my final morning destination is usually a restaurant or coffee shop. Today, I did BOTH. Breakfast at Waffle House, and now I am sitting at the new Starbucks in Augusta writing this entry and celebrating their grand opening with a GRANDE COFFEE!!! Life just doesn’t get any better than this! Our Midland Valley Nazarene Bikers jokingly advertise that our motto is “Ride to Eat; Eat to Ride”! I try my best to follow that “creed” faithfully!

Life is too short to rush through it! Take it from me; none of us are guaranteed that we will be around forever. Take time to notice the many faces of God found in the simple things of everyday life. Laugh more. Smile more. Slow down and enjoy life. Love your family. Love your God! Make sure that HE is Number One in your life! Only in surrendering totally to Him, will you truly discover the joys of living! Isn’t that an ironic thought??? Only in “surrender” do we find real “victory”! I love you!

Friday, July 22, 2005

A Very Meaningful Phone Conversation

Late last night I received a very meaningful phone call before going to sleep. Dr. Jim Bond, one of our Nazarene General Superintendents, called to encourage me. For those of your who are from various other denominations, the Church of the Nazarene is governed by six General Superintendents. Dr. Bond is retiring, and will complete his duties on August 1st. He called to offer encouragement, share scripture, and offer prayer for me. What a blessing it was to me and my family that he would care enough to take the time to place a personal phone call, and to express genuine interest in my situation. Thanks, Dr. Bond!!

Now for the funny, and somewhat embarrassing, part of this story. For several weeks, since my diagnosis, my secretaries at church and my family at home, have been screening my phone calls and taking messages for me, simply because of the high volume of well-wishers that call to check on me. Last night when the phone rang, my daughter Candi answered and gave Dr. Bond quite an interrogation before allowing him to speak with me. She thought it was a “crank” call, and only after he identified himself as a General Superintendent did she allow him to speak with me. Boy, was she ever embarrassed!! As she came into the family room, she whispered, “Dad, it’s a General Superintendent on the phone, and I really gave him a hard time. I thought it was one of your friends playing a joke!!”

I have enjoyed a good day. I felt strong enough to take a walk with Vicky this morning around our neighborhood before it got too hot. Then we rode the Harley into Augusta for a bite of lunch, and now back home resting. I also received a phone call from the Augusta Chronicle newspaper. The religion section is running another story tomorrow as an update on my Journey To A Miracle.

Thanks for your prayers. Thank you for BOLDLY approaching the Throne on behalf of my healing. It is working! I love you!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Eyes of God

I was reading in my devotions this week and came across this Old Testament verse: “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

What an astounding “word picture”! I can see God hovering above the earth, looking all around the globe, searching for committed Christians. Why? So that He can strengthen and bless them with His amazing, abundant resources! I wonder how many He is able to find that meet the criteria. The criteria: fully committed!

Now that could be a problem. He is looking for men & women whose hearts are firmly fixed on Him, who are willing to become nothing so that Christ may become everything. He is searching for persons willing to fully accept God’s purpose for their lives. He is looking for someone, ANYONE, who is willing to make Him #1 at any cost.

That should not scare us. Look at the payoff! We receive Christ’s strength, humility, faith, love, power, blessings, and His miraculous work! What a deal! But sadly, most people I have met along the way are not willing to surrender their personal rights in return for God’s perfect plan. What a tragedy! Think about this statement: There is no limit to what God can do through you, providing you do not seek your own glory! In my life today, that is not a statement of theology, but a statement of personal testimony! Praise be to His Mighty Name!

Thanks for your caring and fervent prayers today. I was able to work for a few hours at the church this morning and to finish my sermons for the three services on Sunday. I feel the strength He gives me each time you pray for me! I am blessed, and I love you deeply!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Chemo Goes Well

I had another round of chemo this afternoon. My blood count levels were in great shape, and the nurses were very pleased with how my system responded to last week's treatments. So they hooked me up again today, and it went well. Three hours later, we were on the way back home to rest for the evening.

Two special blessings today: Our yard was cut and trimmed for us, and dinner was brought to the house. It's really a blessing to arrive home from a long afternoon of chemo and have dinner already waiting! Thank You, Lord, for sending us loving and caring friends!

Thanks for your daily prayers. I am sleeping like a baby, and God is blessing in amazing ways! I love you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Pardon The Interruption

Hopefully you successfully navigated your way to my website this afternoon. We were out of commission for about 24 hours, but thanks to my webmaster, we are up & running again. Just a quick reminder to please remember me in prayer tomorrow as I have another chemo treatment from Noon-4:00 p.m.

Thanks for praying for my restful sleep. Last night I had the best sleep in five weeks!! Prayer works better than pills! Blessings! I love you!

Message from the webmaster

Pastor Scott's website now has it's own hosting home! Please change your "Favorites" link to http://www.myjourneytoamiracle.com. The old address myjourneytoamiracle.blogspot.com will no longer be updated and will soon be taken down. This is an exciting move! If anyone needs help with this or has questions, please feel free to email me: webmaster@myjourneytoamiracle.com

Monday, July 18, 2005

Do You Hate Mondays?

What is your favorite day of the week? It's a safe bet that Monday is not your choice. Remember the song, "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down"? Why does Monday get such a bad rap?

During the weekly meeting with my staff pastors this morning, we were reflecting on the awesome outpouring of God's Spirit in our church services yesterday, and still celebrating the various spiritual victories within our church family around the altars at the close of our morning services. God was present, individuals were impacted, and the course of many peoples lives were redirected forever! Now what? Yesterday is gone. And worse yet, it's MONDAY!!!!

As we prayed and thanked God for His anointing and presence in yesterday's services, we were reminded that His grace and mercy is FRESH & NEW every morning! That means that today is the beginning of a new week, and God is standing by with new anointing, with fresh power, and the possibility of even bigger & better blessings than we witnessed yesterday! Today is another opportunity for His next MIRACLE!

What are you dreading this week? What is awaiting you at work? Don't despair. Don't get discouraged about what this week might bring your way. Look for God at every turn, and allow Him to turn your troubles into answered prayer and a big VICTORY! I am excited on this Monday, because God has something amazing to show me this week! I've learned to look forward to Mondays, because it is the start of a new week that is filled with opportunities to watch God do His thing!!

Thanks for your prayers last night. I had some trouble getting to sleep because I was still pumped from the excitement of the Lord's Day, but once I fell asleep, I slept soundly and peacefully. No drugs.....just prayer! Take that, Devil!!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Calling All Churches

Everyday I receive a new surprise in the mail. People that I have never met send me cards and emails of encouragement. Quite often I am told that "my church is praying for you, too". For example, this weekend I received notes from Forest Glade Baptist Church in West Monroe, Louisiana; Langley (S.C.) Church of God; South Aiken (S.C.) Church of God; Oak Hill Nazarene in Jacksonville FL; First Church of the Nazarene in Canton OH; and Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta GA letting me know that they were partnering in prayer with me for my divine healing. Sadly, I have never made a list of the hundreds of churches that are a part of my Prayer Network. Please do me a favor.....If YOUR church is praying for me, please send me an email to pastorscott3@aol.com and leave a short note simply giving the name of your church and city. I will begin to compile a list and have it posted as a separate link on this webpage.

Thanks for praying for our Midland Valley Nazarene Bikers. They made it safely to Grove City Ohio for the annual Biker Weekend, and called me this afternoon to share their excitement. Remember them in prayer as they travel back home on Monday.

I wish all of you could have attended our church services this morning! What an amazing Lord's Day! God was present in our worship, and His anointing on my preaching was stronger than ever. We enjoyed full altars at the close of both services as seekers made a renewed commitment to make Jesus Christ the LORD & MASTER of their daily lives. In our 10:45 a.m. service, so many people came forward to pray that we were forced to use the platform and the first two rows of seating as makeshift altars. What an awesome sight! Jesus was glorified! God was pleased!

I have a specific, personal prayer request today. I have not been sleeping well at night since beginning chemo five weeks ago. My doctor has prescribed medication to help me sleep, but after trying my THIRD different sleeping medication last night without success, I am enlisting some prayer assistance. It's always worse on Saturday nights, so I have become convinced that it might be "spiritual" rather than "physical". If Satan can keep me in a state of fatigue and unrest, I will be less effective as a leader.... especially if I am exhausted on Sundays! So instead of sleeping pills, I am asking you to bombard Heaven, not only for my healing, but for a restful sleep at night that will renew me for the battles that I face each new day.

Thanks for your faithful, fervant prayers for my healing! I am praying for YOU. I am truly blessed! TODAY is the greatest day of my life! Will tomorrow be even better? Probably so! I love you!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Bikers To Ohio

Very early this morning I rode my Harley to nearby Hardees to meet with several bikers from my church. For months we have been planning a trip to Ohio to attend the Biker Weekend at Grove City Church of the Nazarene in Columbus. This year they expect more than 10,000 bikers from around the country to attend this event. Unfortunately, because of my chemo schedule, I was unable to make the trip with them. After enjoying some fellowship over a cup of coffee, I welcomed the privilege of joining hands with them in a circle and praying God's blessings over them and their trip. I have to admit that my heart ached as I watched them pull out of the parking lot without me, but I promised them that I would be healthy enough to accompany them next year with God's help! Please remember them in your prayers today. They will ride to Marietta, Ohio, today, then on to Columbus tomorrow morning.

Thanks for your prayers on my behalf today. Usually, this is my worst post-chemo day, but today has been very mild. I feel strong, and I am looking forward to preaching in both of the morning services this coming Sunday at Midland Valley! This is the day that the Lord has made! I am rejoicing! Are you? I love you!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Jabez Results

Last year I was given the small booklet "The Prayer of Jabez" from one of my church members, with this note inside the front cover: "Pastor Scott, Unleash Those Miracles!" I confess that I was less than excited about the book because I don't believe in "Hocus Pocus" prayers that tend to put God in a box. But I was struck with the excellent spiritual principles included in the prayer found in I Chronicles 4:9-10. In particular, I began to add the petition "enlarge my territory" to my daily prayers, asking Him to give me more opportunities to reach people for Christ with the Gospel of Hope & Salvation. Silly me. I was thinking that he might give me a bigger church, or even a television ministry!!!! Little did I realize that my "territory" would be greatly enlarged through a diagnosis of cancer. Be careful what you pray for!! I am amazed at how large my territory has become, and how many people are being drawn closer to God through prayer and fasting on my behalf. This website alone has ministered to more than 11,000 people in one month!

Today I was humbled by another example of God using my illness to reach others for Christ. My friend and colleague in ministry, Rudy Cervantes, sent this letter and some music CD's from his ministry to encourage me. Here is an excerpt from his letter: "I have read your journals from your website, and to be honest, this has now become my daily devotional. What better way to spend time with God, but to hear what your weekly and daily experience is and how you're opening your heart and sharing this with others. I wanted to let you know that I have begun to share about you in the middle of my concerts. I even put your website in my multi-media presentation and play a song that is dedicated to you Scott. Each week about 500-800 NEW PEOPLE have the opportunity to pray for you!" Thanks, Rudy. I love you!!

How good is God? I dare you to pray this bold prayer! Ask God to enlarge your territory for the expressed purpose of telling more people about the love of Jesus! He WILL answer that prayer IF you are willing to be stretched outside of your comfort zone! Trust me...I am not enjoying being sick, but I wouldn't trade how God is using me for the best health in the world! I have no doubt that He is healing me, and that the future impact of my ministry in the days ahead will be far greater than I could ever imagine!

I am having a good day today. I felt good enough this morning to ride my Harley to work. I will go home early this afternoon to rest. The next 24 hours are usually the toughest following a treatment. News Flash: Thanks to the kindness & generosity of a church member and good friend, I booked airline tickets today for Vicky & I to visit our kids and grandbabies in Oregon in late September!! Candi would like to join us so that it will be a true family reunion. Since she has moved back home and is saving on living expenses, she says she can afford the trip, and is asking for the time off from work. What a time we will have together! Once again, God is so Good, and is faithful to keep His promises!

If some of you pastors want a true blessing, contact Rudy Cervantes and invite him to minister at your church. He is a godly servant, and is extremely gifted! You will be blessed. Heavenly Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 33721, San Diego, CA 92163 619-688-0952 htrumpet@aol.com www.heavenlytrumpet.com Tell him that Pastor Scott sent you!

Thanks for your prayers. Thanks for caring! I love you, and I prayed for YOU today!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Round 2 Begins

I began my second round of chemo this afternoon. We arrived at the oncologist office at 11:30 this morning, and left at 4:30 this afternoon. The doctor said that my blood levels were looking good and was hopeful that I could take three consecutive weeks of treaments without the complications of the first round. Another good result: I gained three more pounds!! Vicky asked me if I noticed the weight gain, and I assured her that my pants were getting very tight around my expanding waist!
We got a chance to visit with another patient and his wife today. We bragged on the Lord and shared about the encouragement that comes from Scriptures. The wife commented on how well I looked, and I told her that I believed they were giving chemo to a healthy patient, and that God has healed me. They are a sweet couple, and I am thankful that God has allowed our paths to cross. Please pray for Carl as he heads to New York next week for a second opinion on his treatments. When I checked out with the reception desk, the young lady recognized me as "the pastor who married my sister last month". It turns out that she was one of the bridesmaids!! Also, special thanks to Katherine, who was my I.V. nurse today. She takes great care of me!

When I arrived home this afternoon, I was thrilled to find that my grass had been cut. One of my church members informed me on Sunday that he would take care of my yard for the summer so that I could stay out of the heat. He said, "We need you to be strong and healthy!" Thanks, Aubrey!

We've also been blessed the past two days with some wonderful meals. Two ladies from the church (M.A. & C.J.) brought us a feast! Yesterday it was roast beef with all the fixins, and today it was chicken & dumplings and a custard pie!! I would love to print their names, but one of them was concerned that 10,000 people would know about her business! What a blessing to come home from chemo today and have supper waiting. If this keeps up, I will need some bigger clothes before next week!

Since I took chemo today, I am forced to miss church tonight. Special thanks to Pastor David Winchester for leading the Bible Study tonight in my absence.

With God's help, I plan to work tomorrow for at least half a day. Thanks for your prayers today. While I was having chemo, the pager was really beeping! You have been so faithful to pray for me. Be assured that I am returning those prayers right back to you! I love you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Eye of the Hurricane

On Sunday morning I was watching the amazing satellite pictures of Hurricane Dennis as it was bearing down on the Florida Panhandle. The storm had a very well defined "eye". The eye of a hurricane is a place of serenity and calm right in the middle of a raging storm! What a contrast, because the storm is most powerful surrounding the eye. One minute the storm rages at full strength, then the next minute is calm respite from the storm.

Isn't that how life sometimes feels? The powerful storm rages, and just when we think it will consume us, Jesus takes control. The storm has not disappeared, but the calm found in the "eye" reminds us that Jesus can be found in the midst of the storm, and that we are never alone. "His way is in the whirlwind and the storm." (Nahum 1:3) And remember, when the winds start to pick up again, Jesus is still with you!

It is in the storm that our faith is put to the test. It is in the storm that our faith grows even stronger. Never fear the fierce storms that may be blowing through your life. Storms bring blessings, and rich fruit will be harvested later.

Keep me in your prayers tomorrow as I resume my chemo treatment at noon. I have enjoyed the serenity of the "eye" this past week, but the storm blows in again tomorrow. Thanks for praying! God is present! I love you!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Daily Renewal

The Apostle Paul tells us twice in 2 Corinthians Chapter 4, to "Do not lose heart". He understood that we are human vessels, "Jars of Clay" as he put it in verse 7, and that we would sometimes be inclined to give up & quit the journey when facing difficult times.

I had one of those difficult days on Saturday. It was the one month anniversary of receiving my cancer diagnosis. It was a dreary, rainy day in Carolina. As I sat around the house, I began to feel overwhelmed at the enormity of my illness, and found myself sinking into a depressed state. I mostly stayed in bed the whole day, not wanting to get up. Later in the afternoon I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and have a little talk with Jesus. He reminded me of Paul's letter to the Corinthians, which just happened to be my sermon text for Sunday. DO NOT LOSE HEART! NEVER GIVE UP! I was reminded that although I am human, fragile, and imperfect, (a clay vessel) the "contents" of my vessel are DIVINE! (The Spirit of Christ). Therefore, "We are hard pressed on every side, BUT NOT CRUSHED; perplexed, BUT NOT IN DESPAIR; persecuted, BUT NOT ABANDONED; struck down, (Cancer) BUT NOT DESTROYED" Then He reminded me of a very special promise found in verse 16: "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being RENEWED day by day".

As I continued to walk and talk with Jesus, He renewed my faith and hope! As I preached to my congregation yesterday, I had renewed passion, urgency, and divine anointing. I thank God today for His DAILY RENEWAL that is available to each one of us!

A very special blessing happened to me last night. One of our new biker converts had been absent from church since my diagnosis. The reason was because he felt angry towards God for allowing his pastor to get cancer. After a few weeks of doing business with God, he felt at peace and knew what he needed to do. So last night, he came into my office and laid hands on me. He not only prayed a very humble and simple prayer for my healing, but he asked God to take the cancer out of me and place it in him so that his pastor could continue reaching people for Christ. I was reminded of Christ's statement that the greatest act of love is to lay down one's life for a friend. Thanks for loving me so deeply, and for being willing to trade your life for mine. After praying, I assured him that God was going to let us both live, for we both still had lots of souls to touch for the Kingdom!!

Thanks for your prayers! They are working! God is helping! I am blessed! I love you!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Angels In The O.R.

I am at home this afternoon resting and recuperating from this morning's outpatient surgery to install a portacath in my upper chest wall. It was an early start for us as we left home in the pre-dawn darkness, arriving at University Hospital Day Surgery center at 5:45 a.m. I had a sweet peace in my spirit as we arrived, and thanked God for assuring me that He was still in control, and that He had already made special arrangements for my surgery. It was evident from the moment I checked in at the reception desk. Hattie got me registered, and was polite and kind to me. When I arrived upstairs in my holding room, the O.R. Nurse entered my room and said, "My name is Stacey, your O.R. Nurse, and I HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR YOU! My mom visits your website every day and she is also praying for you, and so is my church." (Christian Heritage Church) I just smiled, and silently whispered a "thank you" to God for looking after me! How awesome to discover that one of my prayer partners is my O.R. Nurse!!

Stacey introduced me to the other caregivers and assured me that I had the "A-TEAM" taking care of me today. Arlene did my EKG, and Thelma did a great job starting my I.V., then prepped the surgery site by shaving my upper chest. I complained, telling her that it has taken me 49 years to grow those 10 hairs!!! She assured me that I still had a couple left. I cut a deal with Thelma and she promised to have a cup of coffee waiting for me when I returned from surgery.

The procedure went very well. I was sedated, but not totally asleep. The doctor & anesthesiologist were pleasant, kind, and competent. An hour later I was getting dressed, drinking my cup of HOT coffee (Thanks Thelma!) and being wheeled to the discharge area. I told Vicky that I wanted some breakfast, so we stopped by Waffle House before going home. Once back at the house, Vicky ordered me straight to bed and I slept til about 1:00 p.m.

Melody and Karlee left for the airport early this morning. Thanks to Pastor John for serving as chauffer! We had a great visit, and I will greatly miss them. I know that God will arrange for us to get together again in Oregon soon!

I was not looking forward to the procedure today, but God once again made it another "opportunity for grace" and I thank Him for how well everything turned out. I met some real, live ANGELS, and got to personally meet one of my prayer partners. God is awesome! I am blessed! Thanks for your prayers this morning. Believe me, I could feel them! I love you!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"Resting" In The Lord

I read this today in 2 Chronicles 20:12 "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." Can you relate? Have you ever been in a situation that made you feel helpless and hopeless? Not sure where to turn? I have!

Many times in life we are bombarded with bad news, pain, and crisis. Fortunately, for those of us who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we are never hopeless! In the midst of our daily storms, He is standing nearby to help us and to hold us. The Psalmist reminds us to "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:7) Things in our lives may seem to be hopeless, but God knows all about it. And He will work FOR OUR GOOD in His perfect timing if we will be patient and completely trust Him. We just need to look to Him.

I met with my surgeon today. Please pray for me on Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. as I undergo same-day surgery at University Hospital. The surgeon will inplant a porta-cath under the skin in my chest which will make my chemo injections less traumatic. I should be finished and back at home resting within a couple of hours.

Today is my last day to enjoy Melody & Karlee. Because Hurricane Dennis might affect the air travel in Atlanta on Monday, they are flying back to Oregon early tomorrow morning. What a joy it has been to have my oldest daughter and my youngest granddaughter around the house for an entire week! I'm not sure when we will get to see them again, but I am asking the Lord to make it possible for Vicky & I to fly out to Oregon to visit with the whole family in September or October. Just as Karlee is starting to warm up to us, it is time for them to leave.

A funny thing happened today. One of our church bikers, Lee, was riding his motorcycle to work this morning. A car passed him, then stopped in front of him. The lady got out of the car and walked back to him and said, "I need you to pray for my pastor. He is a biker, too, and he needs God to heal him." Lee asked, "Who is your pastor?" She said, "Pastor Scott". He said, "He's my pastor too, and I pray for him all day long!" Turns out they both attend our church and did not know one another!!!! Thank you God for giving us holy boldness during this trial. May many more people leave their comfort zones and approach strangers in Jesus' name!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Significance in the Kingdom

I was reading one of Christ's very short parables today about the mustard seed. Only 2 verses long: " The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches." Matthew 13:31-32 NIV

I am reminded that EVERYONE has significance in God's Kingdom, no matter how small, or how young! Just look at the impact little Hannah Reese has had on our church and her neighborhood as she promotes the "Hope Bracelet Project"! Even though a thing may start from the smallest beginnings it may end by being something very great! Think about it! What is God asking YOU to do?? YOU have significance in His Kingdom!

Today was another good day. I enjoyed lunch with Pastor Mike & Pastor David, something we have not done enough over the years. I treasure my associate pastors! They are gifted, caring Men of God! I am blessed!

Have a God-Filled Day! I did! I love you!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Back In The Saddle

I woke up today feeling GREAT! My goal was to put in a full day at the office, and as I write this it is almost 4:30, so I did it! It's been a very fulfilling day. I started out with a great Scripture for the day (sent by my dad) from the Apostle Paul:

"We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Corinthians 1:8-9

When I arrived in the office this morning, Pastor Gary Curry was waiting with a great story. One of our custodians was here over the weekend when no one else was around. As he stepped into the church foyer, his feet froze and he heard the Lord say to him, "Pastor Scott has been healed." It still has him trembling, because he has never heard God speak to him in that manner before. Thank you GOD!

Just before noon, a baptist pastor from Aiken was driving by the church and felt God direct him to stop and "go pray for the pastor"! He came inside, introduced himself, prayed for me and assured me that his church would join me on my Journey to a Miracle!

Here's two great follow-ups on the Hope Bracelet project. Yesterday John Rutherford took a bracelet home for Jackie. Here's his email note to me..."She opened the bag, took it out and started laughing which I thought was a strange reaction to a serious situation. I couldn't understand it until she handed it to me and it read, I SAVED A PET! The only thing we could figure out is that God's bracelet got mixed up in the bunch and that it was the one HE wanted to wear to show that He had saved one of His PET PASTORS from cancer!"

Kelly Cox also told me the story of how she managed to find 500 Hope Bracelets for the church this past week. She searched online and found 500 at a cost of $2 each ($1000) and then decided to contact the company. After explaining the reason behind them, and sending my website to them (with Hannah's picture) they promised to pray for me and decided to DONATE the 500 bracelets for our congregation!!

Wow! What a Day! God is alive and well and working His miracles!! Thanks for caring! Thanks for praying! I love you!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Birthday Bash

Today was my 49th birthday, and it was one of the best ever. The day began on a good note when I woke up feeling no effects from my chemo & Neulasta. I was feeling so good that I fired up my Harley and took Vicky to Waffle House for breakfast. It was a nice, cool morning which made the bike ride very refreshing. Any day that includes a ride on my motorcycle is a great day! I felt very "normal" all day long, so it made the day much more enjoyable.

When we returned to the house, I got my smoker grill started and put on some whole chickens and smoked sausage to slow-cook throughout the day. It was great having Melody & Karlee in the house today. We were able to bond with Karlee and she was our main source of entertainment.

We enjoyed a great birthday dinner later in the afternoon. Lots of good food, laughs, and great desserts. I received some nice gifts from my church family in addition to those from my wife and girls. I also received many phone calls, emails, and cards from family and friends today. After dinner, Chad (Candi's boyfriend) came by for a visit on his way home from work.

I thank the Lord for His many blessings, both small and large. The greatest joy today was not the gifts, but the time spent with my family. They are God's gift to me, and I treasure them highly! I wonder what exciting things the Lord has in store for me NEXT YEAR when I celebrate my 50th??? I plan to be here, so I'll let you know! Thanks for checking in with me today. I love you!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

God & Country Day

Today was our annual God & Country Day patriotic celebration at church. It was awesome as usual. I was surprised in the 8:30 a.m. service when about 30 bikers showed up for worship. They are members of the Augusta Christian Motorcycle Association (The Resurrected Riders) and had heard about my illness. They took up three entire rows in the center section, then following the service they circled around me and prayed for my healing. What a blessing!

Pastor Mike McAdory and our music/worship department put together another outstanding patriotic celebration today, including a color guard from nearby Fort Gordon. During the prayer time, we gathered each of our active & retired military personnel at the altars and had special prayer for our country's leaders and military troops. I shared some thoughts from John 14 on "Jesus The Hope", and we had a wonderful altar response at the close of the service where many people received help & hope from Christ!

Thanks to the generosity of Laurie Reese and Kelly Cox, we were able to give out "Hope Bracelets" to everyone in attendance today as a reminder to pray for my healing. Through internet searches, and Ebay bidding, they were able to acquire 750 bracelets for our congregation and friends. What a boost to my faith to see hundreds of church attenders wearing their bracelets in support of me.

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of a church member, my daughter Melody was able to fly home for my birthday this weekend. She arrived last night and brought me a special gift....my youngest granddaughter, Karlee!! We are really enjoying their visit, and Karlee is keeping all of us laughing and smiling. Once again, please keep my son-in-law, Ben, in your prayers. He is playing both Mom & Dad this week with Rylee back home in Oregon. He is a great husband, father, and pastor! Thanks, Ben, for sending Mel & Karlee to see us! I love you!

This has been my toughest post-chemo stretch to date. Since I had my treatment on Thursday this week (instead of Tuesday), I am still suffering from the many side effects. I spent most of Saturday in bed, and I am really affected by the July heat. I was feeling about 50% today, but the Holy Spirit especially helped me with anointing for preaching. Unfortunately, I got overheated on the platform and I am suffering some consequences of dehydration this afternoon. After a good supper, and some ICE CREAM CAKE, I should be good as new!! The best news, I have NO treatments this coming week!! PTL!

I am looking forward to a great family celebration tomorrow for Independence Day, which also happens to be my 49th birthday! We will enjoy just being together as a family, and of course, lots of food and fun! I will try to post some pictures on this site on Tuesday. Thanks for your love! Thanks for your support! Most of all, thanks for praying and believing for my healing. I love you!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Good Friday

I did fairly well with my chemo treatment yesterday. I had some fatigue and fever last night, but awoke this morning feeling stronger. I felt good enough to ride my Harley Road King to work! With temps headed toward 96 degrees today, the cool morning air made for a refreshing ride.

Candi got moved home last night thanks to some good friends who were willing to travel to Columbia and help load the trailer, then bring her worldly belongings back to our house in North Augusta. The "moving crew" included Mike & Kaye Merriett, and Melanie Alison from our church; and Candi's friends Ryan & Mark. We are blessed to have such loving & caring friends!

I left work today at noon and met Candi & Vicky for lunch, then came home to rest for the afternoon. To help my white blood cell count recover from yesterdays strong chemo treatment, I had to take another injection of Neulasta this afternoon. The side effects can be pretty bad during the first 24 hours, so I would appreciate your prayers tonight.

I am looking forward to a relaxing holiday weekend! My daughter Melody is coming from Oregon tomorrow night with my youngest grandbaby, Karlee, and they will spend an entire week with us. My parents will join us the middle of next week. I am looking forward to preaching on Sunday as we celebrate our annual God & Country Day! I pray that you have a safe & relaxing holiday weekend. Thanks for your prayers! Be assured that I prayed for each of you today! I am blessed! I love you!