WAFJ Tribute

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Cure for Anxiety

Today’s headlines are full of bad news! Hurricane Katrina has devastated a large segment of our society. People are homeless. The death toll is staggering. Thousands are stranded, hungry & thirsty. Gasoline prices are headed to record highs. The domino effect of this tragedy will spread from coast to coast. Americans have cause for being anxious today. Where do we turn? Who can help us?

The Apostle Paul was familiar with suffering and anxiety. He gives some great advice: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.”
(Philippians 4:6)

During times of hardship and crisis look to God. Instead of worrying about things we cannot control, take your concerns to Him in prayer. The result? “And the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. (verse 7)

I am thankful for your prayers on behalf of my healing. Will you join me today in special prayer for the victims of Katrina? We serve a mighty God, and our strength and comfort are found in Him! Despite the troubling headlines today, He is still in control! Rest in Him this moment!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Promised Land

I am reading a Bible story from Exodus this morning. The Children of Israel have survived the exodus out of Egypt, and now arrive at the “Land Flowing With Milk & Honey”. Spies are sent out. Their report is bleak. But Caleb & Joshua offer anointed encouragement in these words: “If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord, and do not be afraid of the people of the land. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us!” Exodus 14:8-9

The Lord is with us! What a great promise! I wonder how many times God has brought us to the edge of “The Promised Land” only to have us rebel because of fear. How could the Israelites forget so quickly the many miracles provided by God along their journey? How can you and I so easily forget that God has never failed us in the past? I remind you today that He will never fail us in the future either! We can trust Him! Is He asking you to “cross over Jordan” and possess the Land? Go for it!

Thanks for your prayers, and your kind words of encouragement in my Guest Book! You are a blessing to me! I love you!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Faith & Miracles

What do you believe is Christ's greatest miracle? Popular answers would be Loaves & Fishes, Water into Wine, and Walking on the Water. Many credit the Healing of Lazarus as His greatest miracle, and the grand finale. I encourage you to read that story in John Chapter 11. You will notice an interesting demonstration of faith by Jesus. When he arrives at the tomb of Lazarus, he gives thanks to God BEFORE the miracle. He believed that God would provide the miracle DESPITE THE EVIDENCE! The evidence was totally stacked against a miracle. Lazarus was dead. He was already wrapped in grave clothes. He had been in the tomb for four days! Yet Jesus chose to believe in God's ability to provide the miracle, and thanked Him for the miracle despite the evidence against it. Jesus spoke, and Lazarus came forth from the grave!

That's the kind of faith that I want! The "evidence" shows that I have cancer. The "evidence" means that I have no hope for a cure, and a life expectancy of 7-9 months from today! Should I give up hope? Should I submit myself to the evidence and give up? NO WAY! I am thanking God for a miracle! I choose to believe His promises rather than the evidence! I choose to walk in "Jesus Faith" and I wait patiently for my miracle to be revealed! I wait patiently for Jesus to "speak" healing into my body! To God be the Glory!

Revival continues at Midland Valley. We enjoyed another Sunday of anointed worship, filled altars, and transformed lives! God is alive and well, and Jesus is Lord at MVFCN!

I have a chemo-free week ahead! Thanks for your prayers. Have a blessed Monday! I love you!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Simple Fun

It has been several weeks since I felt strong enough on a Saturday to enjoy some simple fun & recreation. I told Vicky last night that I missed "having fun" on the weekends because of the chemo side effects. So she prayed for me last night, and asked the Lord to give me a good day today. I awoke feeling good, so we met our church bikers at a nearby restaurant and joined them for a 5 hour ride through the Carolina countryside. We had 12 bikes with 14 bikers, and enjoyed a great day of fellowship. The weather this morning was very mild, and on the cool side, until about noon, so I did really well. We stopped in Clinton, SC and invaded a coffee shop in their quaint downtown square. After coffee and cinnamon rolls, we headed back towards home.

I am rejoicing tonight and thankful to God for giving me a great day of "simple fun". Anytime I can ride my Harley it is fun, especially in the company of other Christian bikers! Thanks for your prayers. Have a great Lord's Day tomorrow. I love you!

Friday, August 26, 2005


TGIF is a phrase that all working people embrace. Thank God It's Friday! The weekend is here. No more work until Monday! As a pastor, and as a Christian, I like TGIF for another reason summed up in this statement: "Thank God it's Friday, because SUNDAY is coming!!! I agree with the psalmist when he said "I rejoiced with those who said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord!" (Psalm 122:1)

I can't wait for Sunday to arrive this week. I am so excited to see what new miracles and expressions of power & love that God will shower upon us this Lord's Day at Midland Valley Nazarene! When I left church last week, I said to God, "I'm not sure you can top today!" He said back to me, "Just watch me!"

Are you excited each Friday because you don't have to work? Or are you excited because Sunday is just two days away! I hope that you are excited about your church, and that you long with anticipation about the encounter with the Living God that awaits you on Sunday! What a way to live!

I am doing well today. If my strength holds, I plan to take my beautiful wife, Vicky, on a date tonight! Thanks for your prayers. God is helping, and I am rejoicing! I love you!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The God of Middle C

When Lloyd Douglas, author of The Robe, attended college, he lived in a boarding house. A retired, wheelchair-bound music professor resided on the first floor. Each morning Douglas would stick his head in the door of the teacher's apartment and ask the same question, "Well, what's the good news?" The old man would pick up his tuning fork, tap it on the side of the wheelchair, and say, "That's middle C! It was middle C yesterday; it will be middle C tomorrow; it will be middle C a thousand years from now. The tenor upstairs sings flat. The piano across the hall is out of tune, but, my friend, that is middle C!" Donald W. McCullough

What a great truth! Life is constantly changing. Nothing is predictable. We have no guarantees about today. The only Constant in our life is God! He is our Middle C! Unchangeable! Always present! Our Strength, Deliverer, Defender, and Strong Tower!

What kind of curve ball did life throw your way this week? Don't let it distract you! Look to God. He is never-changing, and stands by today to steady your shaking life! Thanks for the prayers. I am very tired today, but God will help me! I love you!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Today's Chemo Goes Well

I had my last chemo treatment today for the month of August, and I don't resume treatments again until September 7th! I will certainly enjoy the next two weeks off. Today my white blood cell count was down slightly, so my chemo dosage was lowered, but I was still able to take my full treatment with both drugs, plus an injection to elevate my red blood cells and another injection to elevate my white blood cells. The combination of the chemo treatment and the injections will knock me out for 3-4 days, but I should bounce back with good strength in time to preach on Sunday.

I had two nice surprises today. Just before leaving the church this morning, some former church members from Florida stopped by my office for a visit. Ted & Geri Wight were members of my church in Jacksonville, and are very dear friends and supporters. Unfortunately, we could only visit for about 10 minutes because I was running late for my chemo appointment. While I was driving to my treatment, I received a call from my good friend, J.R. Deetz, asking me to speak at their church homecoming later this year. J.R. & Beverly were my associate pastors at two different churches, and now he is the Senior Pastor at Oak Hill Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville, FL.

Thanks for your prayers today. I will be resting this evening, and with God's help I will be back in the office tomorrow morning. God is working His miracle! I love you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lost Opportunities

I have been studying the life of Abraham this past week. He serves as a great model of obedience. When God asked him to leave his homeland for an unknown destination, he obeyed without hesitation or negotiation. When God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, he once again obeyed without asking “Why?”. I’m not certain that I would have been so obedient. How could Abraham blindly follow God’s instructions, especially when the command was so costly? After all, God was asking for Abraham’s most prized possession: His only son!

Abraham knew from experience that God’s way is always best. He knew from experience that God keeps His promises. He knew from experience that God can be trusted, no matter what! Think about this statement: “Many an opportunity is lost while we deliberate after He has said, MOVE!”

Is God asking you to trust Him in blind obedience today? Is He asking you to do something that might be very costly for you? Is He asking you to surrender your most prized possession as a test of your love for Him? Is He saying to you today, MOVE? Think about the consequences of saying NO. If you fail to obey Him, think about the lost opportunity to watch God show Himself strong in your life today!

Thanks for your prayers. Tomorrow is a big chemo day for me. It is my final treatment in August, and will be the strongest and most toxic of my treatments. I prayed for YOU today! I love you!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Revival Continues!

What an amazing day of worship services yesterday at Midland Valley as revival continues. God is moving in a mighty way! I preached on the subject of Blind Obedience To God yesterday using the story of Abraham & Isaac on Mt. Moriah as my text. The entire service was saturated with the presence of the Holy Spirit, and some major victories were won at our altars.

We are struggling with the recent explosion of growth in our Sunday morning services. Yesterday we had 658 in attendance, which is up 163 from the same Sunday last summer! This is a GOOD problem!! Please pray for me and our church leaders as we meet once again on Tuesday night to finalize our plans to restructure our schedule of Sunday services to help accommodate the church growth, and allow us to grow to 1000 in the year ahead.

Thanks for your prayers! I am having a great day. God is at work not only in my body, but in my ministry. I love you!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I Am A Friend of God

I always look forward to Saturday morning. I typically take Ebony for a ride to Starbucks early in the morning. (That’s where I am as I write this) Who is Ebony? That’s my jet black Harley Road King. Sometimes I call her Beauty. Vicky calls her the “other woman”! Anyway, I digress. As I was riding early this morning, the words to a popular contemporary Christian song was on my heart. “Who am I that You are thinking of me? That You love me?” The answer: “I am a friend of God! He calls ME friend!” I was singing to the top of my lungs as I rode through the Carolina countryside.

Isn’t that an awesome thought? The Creator God of the universe is my personal friend. He knows ME! He knows my name. He knows where I live. He knows all about my trials & burdens. He calls ME friend!!

In John Chapter 15, Jesus reminded the disciples of this truth when He said “you are no longer servants, but friends.” It doesn’t matter how difficult life becomes. Knowing that God is my friend puts everything else into proper perspective.

Are YOU a friend of God? He is available. He desires your friendship. He’s standing by today, waiting for you to proclaim, “I AM A FRIEND OF GOD!” Have a great weekend! I love you!

Friday, August 19, 2005

God Made This Day!

Good Morning! I awakened today refreshed and ready to see what great things God will reveal in my life today. His scripture promise was on my heart: "This is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!" How can this day possibly be bad when God has made it? He made it for me! And if I encounter any troubles along the journey today, He tells me what to do: "I lift up my eyes to the hills; where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)

I pray that you have a great day today. Not just because it is TGIF! But because God made this day. It is special. He has a blessing waiting just for you! Are you looking for it? He is standing by with your blessing! REJOICE in this day! Thanks for praying. I love you!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Patience & Waiting

Do you struggle with Patience? I sure do! I am tightly wound and always in a hurry. I want it, and I want it now! I want a faster microwave, a faster internet connection, and faster "fast food"! I hate waiting in line at the checkout stand, the post office, the drive-through window, and waiting to eat at a restaurant. I would rather eat NOW at Taco Bell than wait in line for a steak at Outback! (actually, that might be an exaggeration)

Sadly, we often assume the same "spirit of impatience" with God as we walk our daily spiritual path. We want God to act NOW. We want to see his answers to our prayers NOW. Yet the Scripture says that we should "wait patiently for the Lord" (Psalm 40:1)

One of the greatest mistakes Christians make on a daily basis is getting ahead of the Lord and His will for our life because of impatience. Remember this promise: "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." (Psalm 37:23) So if God has a plan for my life, and an answer for every situation, and a solution to every problem....why do I strike out on my own and mess things up? Because I'm not used to waiting.

Lord, teach us to be patient. Help us to WAIT for you to speak, to show us the way. Help us to follow the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night! Thank you for being patient with us, when we are rarely patient with you!

Thanks for your prayers. Chemo went well yesterday. God is helping me. I love you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Spiritual Aerobics

Before beginning my chemo treatments in June, I was very active physically. I loved to get up early each morning and do aerobic/cardio workouts at the local fitness center. I would also walk at least two miles daily, and play golf whenever possible. Because chemo zaps my strength and causes severe fatigue, I have not been able to stay physically active, and have noticed that my muscle tone is deteriorating. So on my "good" days, I try to take a walk in an attempt to keep my leg muscles in shape. As I was walking with Vicky last night, she observed that I seemed very happy to be walking and sweating. Indeed I was thrilled to have some exercise.

I am reminded that since we are "spiritual" beings as well as "physical" beings, that we should be exercising our souls daily. When we neglect to pray and read God's Word, we are in danger of spiritual deterioration! It is smart to keep our physical bodies in good shape, but don't forget your daily "Spiritual Aerobics"!! Take a few minutes right now, before logging off, and talk to the Lord. Open your Bible and let Him speak to you this morning! He has something to say!! Wouldn't you like to hear it??

I am headed for my chemo treatment shortly. Please pray for me. I have the assurance that God will go with me! I love you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Encouraging Feedback

Sorry that I am posting this so late today. I had a very full day at the office today, and spent most of the afternoon doing sermon preparation. I am feeling strong today and plan to take a long walk with Vicky after supper tonight in hopes of keeping my muscle tone from deteriorating.

The new link to my recent sermons is very popular. Today I heard from two former church members who greatly enjoyed the messages. Gail in North Carolina, and Shirley in Texas sent kind notes of appreciation. Last weekend, one of our local newspapers, The Aiken Standard, ran an article about My Journey To A Miracle that had been submitted by an anonymous church member from Midland Valley Nazarene. You will find a link to that article on the right hand side of the webpage today.

Another inspirational note arrived in the mail yesterday. I received a hand-written card of encouragement from Max Lucado. I'm not sure how he learned about my illness, but it meant a great deal to me that he would take his time to send a personal note, and to pray for my healing.

Please remember me in prayer tomorrow as I receive another chemo treatment at noon. I have been praying for YOU today. Thanks for caring enough to stop by the website today, and for leaving a note of encouragement in my guestbook. I love you!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Vicky's Mom

It was nice to have Vicky's mother, Mary Jo Petrey, visit us this weekend from Florida. She has been very concerned about my health and wanted to spend a few days with us. She is a registered nurse, and works for a cardiology group in Boca Raton. The office staff there keeps tabs on me through this website, and I appreciate their prayers for my healing. We have enjoyed her company, and will miss her when she returns to Florida on Tuesday.

I am having a good Monday. Things are very busy at the church as God continues to shower us with His blessings. He is up to something BIG at Midland Valley Nazarene, and we are excited about the days ahead! It's wonderful to know that God has a plan for His church, and He has a plan for each of His children. What a great life! Knowing that God has everything in control takes a lot of pressure off, and makes every day a new adventure! Thanks for praying! I prayed for YOU today! I love you!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A Taste of Revival

Thanks to my awesome webmaster, Tasha, and her brother Markus, whom I affectionately refer to as my "Geek Squad", we have a new link on the website today. Although many of you can't attend the Spirit-filled worship services at Midland Valley, you can now sample a small taste of the revival fires that are burning in our church without having to request an audio tape by mail. We have posted a few of my recent sermons, and will update the selections in the weeks to come. My prayer is for God to use these anointed messages to touch your life in a greater way!

Today was another great day at Midland Valley. Record setting attendance, inspirational worship, anointed preaching, and victories around the altars. My cup is full, and the refrain of a favorite hymn resounds in my heart: "Sweep over my spirit forever I pray, in fathomless billows of love"! It was a special joy to have my district superintendent, Dr. James Bearden, and his wife Charlotte, in our services today. It was also a blessing to have Vicky's mom, Mary Jo Petrey, visiting with us this weekend, and in our services this morning.

Thanks for your prayers. God is working! I am blessed! Have a God-filled week ahead! I love you!

Message from the webmaster- Sermons are online!

As of today, four of Pastor Scott's sermons are available online. The link is in the right hand column of links on this page. Enjoy the streaming version, or download the files for use with mp3 players.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Good Deeds

I met with a group of bikers from my church this morning. They are participating in a charity ride to the Connie Maxwell Home in Greenwood, SC. The “cost” to participate in the ride is a donation of a household paper good item, or food item. The bikers will arrive at the children’s home and present their donations, then stay around for an hour while the children admire the bikes. I would love to accompany them today, but the summer heat is still too much for me while undergoing chemo treatments.

I am very proud of our bikers for their desire to continually “do unto others” and use the biker ministry to not only reach new people for Christ, but to perform good deeds to those less fortunate. Paul reminded us, “Do not become weary in doing good”. That’s good advice.

When is the last time you took a break from your hectic lifestyle to think about someone less fortunate? It’s often very easy for us to donate money to a good cause, but we miss a true blessing when we neglect to make a sacrifice of our time instead. Here is another side benefit: If you are having a difficult time and seem overly burdened with hardship, try doing a good deed for another person. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you are showing the kindness of Christ to another person, and for a few hours you forget about your problems. Is God asking you to share His love today with someone who is hurting and needy? Do a good deed! Show someone a random act of kindness. It will make your day!

I am doing better this morning after a difficult Friday. Fridays are usually my hardest days following chemo. But today is good. I’ll take a spin on my Harley, enjoy some fellowship with the Midland Valley Nazarene Bikers, and have a cup of Starbucks. Does it get any better?? Thanks for your prayers! I love you!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Praying With Confidence

Here is a great devotional thought for the weekend!

“No one receives anything from God because of the quality of the prayer, but only because of God’s goodness. God anticipates all of our requests and desires. With his promise, he prompts us to pray and desire these things so that we will learn how much he cares for us. He cares for us so much that he is prepared to give us even more than we are ready to receive or to ask for. Because he is offering us so much, we can pray with confidence!” Martin Luther

One of the lessons I am learning on My Journey To A Miracle, is how to pray with confidence. I have found so many promises in God’s Word that speak directly to my healing. I begin each day by claiming those promises, and praying with confidence for divine healing. Then I thank God in advance for what He is going to do in my body.

Are you in need of a miracle today? Pray with confidence! Claim the promises of God’s Word for your need, then begin thanking God for His answer in advance of your miracle. I sure appreciate the many supporters who have left a message for me in my "Guest Book". What a blessing! Have a great weekend! I love you!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Treatment Update

Yesterday I began my third round of chemotherapy. Before my treatment, I had my monthly checkup and consultation with the oncologist. He congratulated me on gaining another three pounds. Believe me, it is showing!! He also told me that my latest CA-99 cancer blood-screening test registers in the NORMAL range! Of course, he says that I should not get excited about the results, since we know that I definitely have cancer. Boy, will he ever eat his words when God reveals His healing in my body! My blood cell counts were at levels healthy enough for a strong dose of chemo, so today I am a little weaker than usual, but still able to put in some time at the church this morning.

I have been scheduled for a CAT Scan on Tuesday September 6th to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatments. The doctor is concerned about possible metastases into other parts of my body, so the scan will include my chest, abdomen, and pelvis. My prayer is that I will not only be cancer free in the chest & pelvis, but that God’s divine touch will have healed my pancreas & liver cancer!!!

I continue to hold fast to God’s promises! This scripture sums it up for me: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL BE JOYFUL IN GOD MY SAVIOR!”
(Habakkuk 3:17-18)

When it seems that all your circumstances point to doom and despair, and the outlook is bleak, and everyone is giving you “bad news”…..Ignore the negative “noise” and rejoice in God’s promises! I love you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Nurse Melody

Last night I received some wonderful news from Oregon. My daughter, Melody, passed her national nursing boards with flying colors! She is now an R.N. and begins working at a local hospital today.

If you think MY story is amazing, listen to this. Melody has dreamed of being a nurse since childhood. After high school she began her pre-nursing college studies in Birmingham, Alabama. She had just completed her second year when she got married to Ben Kesselring in August. Ben is a Nazarene children’s pastor, so Melody put her career on hold to focus on being a new wife, and partnering with Ben in children’s ministry. Then came her first pregnancy, so returning to school was postponed hold for another year. Finally, after relocating to Roanoke, VA she was ready to return to college and was accepted into the local nursing program. After a few months, along came pregnancy number two! Here is where the amazing part comes in: She was now a mother, a pastor’s wife, a full-time nursing student, pregnant with another child, and working full-time for CVS Pharmacy!!!! Only by the grace of God, and sheer determination to see her dream of being a care-giver be realized did she make it to the end. One of the proudest days in my life was this past May 12th when I attended her graduation!

Melody, I am so very proud of you. I am rejoicing with you and Ben today, and thanking God that He can use you to show the love and compassion of Christ to those who are sick and hurting. I can’t wait to see you and bring you a huge hug when we come to visit you in September!!

For those who are pursuing your God-given dream, don’t give up! Anything worth having is worth paying the price. God gave you the dream, and He will make it come true! Don’t lose heart! You can do it! Thanks for praying for Melody yesterday! I am grateful. I resume chemo today at noon, and I would appreciate your prayers! I love you!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Radio Interview

This afternoon I was interviewed by our local Christian radio station, WAFJ (88.3), about My Journey To A Miracle. They asked me to share what God is teaching me through this experience. That answer is simple. I have learned about a deep spiritual peace, and much stronger faith, and how God can use the most difficult circumstances in my life to bring glory to Him. I do not enjoy having cancer. I dread taking the chemo treatments each week. But I love how God is using me to bring encouragement to so many hopeless people. I love telling others that “nothing is impossible with God”. I love the deep intimacy that I share with my Savior. I love the spiritual renewal that has impacted my life, my family, and my church.

I am learning that God can make our “obstacles” serve His purposes! Like Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7) we often pray for their removal, forgetting that sometimes He allows them for a reason. For example, we pray for patience for many years, but when something begins to test us beyond our endurance, we run from it. We try to avoid it, when in reality the only way genuine patience can be acquired is by enduring the very trials that seem so unbearable today! Do you remember Christ’s reply to Paul’s prayer? “My grace is sufficient for you, and my strength is made perfect in your weakness”. That is what I am learning. His grace is ever present in my daily life! I am praying not only for total & complete healing, but also that God be glorified in my life while I endure affliction!

Thank you WAFJ for partnering with me on My Journey To A Miracle. I will be eternally grateful to Brian, Jeremy, Cleve, John, and Gary for their faithful prayer support, and for sharing my story with their listening audience. If you want a blessing, visit them on the web at www.wafj.com for inspirational Christian music & programming via live audio streaming.

Please remember me in prayer as I resume my chemo treatments tomorrow at noon. God is working! I am blessed! I love you!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Spiritual Electricity

Have you ever entered a very dry room in winter and felt the static electricity? The hairs on your body stand up, and you can feel electricity in the air. Then you touch something, or someone, and “POP”…you get shocked! That’s what it was like in church yesterday. As we entered the sanctuary, we could feel the “spiritual” electricity of the presence of the Holy Spirit! We came expecting it! And we were not disappointed! What a great day of celebration as another wave of revival swept through our church. During prayer time, I was privileged to pray a blessing over our students and teachers as they prepared for their return to school this week. At the conclusion of all three services, the altars were packed with seekers, and great victories were won! Take that, satan! You are such a Loser!!

I have two prayer requests today. Please remember me as I resume my chemo treatments on Wednesday. It has been so nice to feel strong and healthy the past 10 days. I am not looking forward to this next round, but God has been faithful to sustain me, and He will help me again! I also request prayer for my daughter Melody Kesselring who lives in Oregon. Tomorrow she takes her national nursing board exam at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. (Noon for those of us on the east coast). Please pray that she feels the peace and presence of Christ as she takes the test, and that He will give her adequate recall of the things she has studied in preparation for the exam. Good luck, Mel. I am very proud of you!

I was blessed with a surprise visit yesterday from Charles & Deede Bowe, and their three daughters. (Erin, Heather, & KK) Charles was my Associate Pastor in Jacksonville Florida, and has served as Senior Pastor at Archer Church of the Nazarene in Florida for the past eight years. What a joy to have them share in worship with us. I sure wish you could witness these great days of revival at Midland Valley First Church of the Nazarene! Hopefully our audio streaming will be online soon so that you can listen to some of our recent church services. Thanks to so many of you for leaving me a personal note in my Guest Book link. They touch my heart. Thanks for your prayers. I love you!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Amazing Rudy

You may remember my friend, Rudy Cervantes, from my journal entry on July 14th. He is a gifted music evangelist, and I love his trumpet music, but especially his songs that feature the pan flute. I contacted him last week to inquire if he had a cd of pan flute music because I find the songs so relaxing, and felt they might help me sleep better at night. He didn’t have a pan flute cd, so that same evening he felt impressed by the Lord create a cd in his recording studio especially for me. He worked until after midnight cutting and mixing the cd, then mailed it to me the next morning. It is a beautiful cd and I listen to it throughout the day, and the praises of God minister to my soul! I hope that Rudy will make this new project available to everyone in the days ahead. What a blessing!

Rudy was ministering to a church in Oklahoma last weekend, and as he was sharing about my illness, the local pastor felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to interrupt the service and have special prayer for me. He anointed Rudy for my healing according to James 5:14. Isn’t God amazing?? Thank you, Rudy, for being such a blessing, and for being one of my great partners on My Journey To A Miracle. Pastors & Churches: You will be blessed by having Rudy at your church. Contact him at www.heavenlytrumpet.com and tell him Pastor Scott sent you!

Vicky and I will leave the beach today and return home. God has renewed our souls, minds, and bodies the past two days. I am excited about our church services at Midland Valley Nazarene tomorrow, and I am anticipating another great outpouring of God’s Spirit in our continuing revival. I pray that He also impact your church services tomorrow in a fresh, new way! Thanks for praying. God is at work. My trust is in Him, and He never disappoints! I love you!

Friday, August 05, 2005

This Is Like Heaven To Me

It’s a wonderful thing when the Lord not only meets your daily needs, but also gives you the desires of your heart. I enjoyed a blessed time of devotions this morning as I sat on the balcony and watched the sun rise over the ocean. I thanked the Lord for speaking fresh words of encouragement to me through His Living Word. I thanked Him for allowing me to enjoy many of my “favorite things” this weekend. My favorite things are the beach with the sound of the surf & seagulls, the beauty of a sunrise handcrafted by my Creator, the Word of God in my lap, a cup of fresh brewed Kona coffee from Hawaii, and my best friend Vicky enjoying it with me. (Although she was still in bed!!) The only things missing are the rest of my family and my Harley!!

As we sat around the pool yesterday afternoon, Vicky said “God always knows just what we need, and when we need it.” I remind you today that God not only meets our daily needs (Matthew 6:33) but that He also grants us the desires of our heart according to David in this Psalm: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (37:4) I encourage you to not only “Seek first the Kingdom of God” so that your needs are met by God, but that you make Him the number one relationship in your life…..DELIGHT in Him; and He will bless you with the desires of your heart!

As I reflected on God’s beauty around me I kept singing these familiar words to a favorite hymn:

"We find many people who can't understand why we are so happy and free.
We've crossed over Jordan to Canaan's fair land, and this is like Heaven to me.
So when we are happy we sing and we shout. Some don't understand us, I see.
We're filled with the Spirit, there isn't a doubt. And this is like Heaven to me.
O this is like Heaven to me, Yes this is like Heaven to me.
I've crossed over Jordan to Canaan's fair land, and this is like Heaven to me."

It’s time to take a walk on the beach with Vicky, then make our hardest decision of the day: Where to eat lunch?? Thanks for your prayers! I love you!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ordination Reflections

The greatest privilege in life is to be hand-picked by God to serve as a Minister of the Gospel! It's a very special moment when your church or denomination recognizes God's Call on your life, and confirms that you have the gifts & graces for ministry by ordaining you into the full-time ministry. I'll never forget that special occasion in my life. I am so thankful to God for allowing me to serve Him as a preacher of the Word, and as a Shepherd to His flock!

Last night was another special occasion as Rev. Gary Curry was ordained at the South Carolina District Assembly. Pastor Gary is one of my associate pastors at Midland Valley First Church of the Nazarene and has served as our Minister to Teens & Families for the past three years. I was honored to pray his Prayer of Consecration last night as General Superintendent Jess Middendorf ordained him. Congratulations to Gary & Christy, and I know that God will abundantly bless their future in ministry. Gary is an anointed preacher and a lover of people. Christy is a faithful supporter and partner in ministry! I am thankful to have them on my ministry team!

Vicky and I made it to Florida safely today. She is at the pool while I am writing this journal entry. I plan to join her shortly. I thank God for His faithfulness and for blessing us with this mini-retreat, and for the family who provided the beautiful condo! Thanks for your prayers! God is at work! I love you!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Short & Sweet

Hey Folks.....sorry to post this so late this evening. We just got home from the ordination service at our district assembly, and will be leaving very early Thursday morning for Florida. I am having a good week, and by God's grace will enjoy a few days of rest & relaxation at the beach with Vicky. I will send an update (with pictures!)tomorrow night. Keep us in your prayers for health and safe travel! I love you!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

God Is Listening

My very favorite place on earth is the beach. I love the sand, the crashing waves, and the sea breeze blowing through the palm trees. I love watching the sunrise over the eastern horizon early each morning. I told Vicky yesterday that I really needed a “beach fix”, and tried to reserve a condo for a few days later this week, but had no luck. Part of the reason I want to go now is because this week is a “no chemo” week for me and I will be feeling pretty strong towards the weekend. The longer I progress through these chemo treatments, the less likely I will be strong enough to travel, so I really wanted to capitalize on this window of opportunity. As I was praying this morning, I shared my disappointment with the Lord, but thanked Him anyway for His many blessings and for knowing what is best for me at this time. Shortly after arriving at the office, I received a phone call from a church member offering me their oceanfront condo in Florida for a few days!! How amazing is that? God is not only listening to our prayers, but cares enough to grant us the desires of our heart! He is awesome!

Thanks to God’s provision, and the kindness of a good friend, Vicky and I will attend the last day of our district assembly on Wednesday, then leave very early on Thursday morning for the beach and return home on Saturday. Thanks for your prayers. God is at work! I love you!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Exciting Website Upgrade

Many of the partners on My Journey To A Miracle have contacted our church requesting sermon tapes from the past few weeks, knowing that God is blessing us with a great revival. It was suggested that we offer an “audio streaming” link on the website so that guests can easily access recent sermons from Midland Valley First Church of the Nazarene. My webmaster, Tasha, is putting it together and hopefully the link will be active in 7-10 days. She will post a bulletin when the link is up & running.

Thanks for your prayers this past weekend. I had some physical difficulty on Sunday, but God was watching out for me. We hosted the SC District Impact Team, a group of 36 teenagers, at our church on Sunday morning for a concert in both of our morning services. Since I wasn’t preaching, I fared fairly well physically, although I really missed being in the pulpit! I can’t wait until next Sunday when I will be privileged to preach in all three services!!

Although I will be attending our S.C. Nazarene District Assembly this week, I will try to make daily entries in my journal. Please join me in prayer for a mighty revival among our churches! Thanks for your love and prayers! I love you!