WAFJ Tribute

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Sunday Drive

Are any of you old enough to remember Sunday Drives? I have always enjoyed Sunday "rides" on my Harley. Today Vicky and I decided to ride north from Charleston along the coast to the quaint fishing village of McClellanville. We found a great seafood restaurant called The Crab Pot and enjoyed fresh caught shrimp from the nearby docks for lunch. The weather was sunny and warm and we made the most of our final day of vacation.

Thanks for your prayers this week. It has been the perfect vacation. Great weather and good health! We are blessed! Please pray for us on Monday as we travel back to North Augusta. I've been praying for YOU this week. God is good! I love you!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Good Health Continues

Just a quick note to let you know that everything is good. We are still vacationing and I am enjoying good health. Thanks for your prayers. We have specifically asked God to keep me healthy so that I can enjoy this vacation with Vicky. He has heard our prayers and He has answered them! Enjoy your weekend. We are enjoying ours! I love you!

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Visit From Candi

Candi came to the beach on Wednesday to visit us, along with her boyfriend, Chad. We had a great time yesterday sightseeing & shopping in the Charleston Market area. We also had a wonderful lunch in the courtyard of our favorite restaurant, 82 Queen. They specialize in lowcountry cuisine such as She Crab Soup, and Shrimp & Grits. It was delicious. (See Picture)

They headed back to Aiken this morning. Please pray for their safe travel. Vicky and I plan to take a long motorcycle ride across the new Cooper River Bridge later this morning and eat lunch on the Isle of Palms.

Thanks for your prayers. I am feeling great. God is hearing and answering your prayers. I prayed for YOU today! I love you!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Practice Solitude

One of my favorite things about a vacation to the beach, or to the mountains, is the serenity and peace I enjoy when I wander off alone to be with God. Each morning this week, I have risen before the others so that I can enjoy the solitude of a sleeping house, and a majestic sunrise. Just God & I! I feel so much closer to Him when I am by myself. No crowds. No noise. No distractions. It is so much easier to listen for His voice, and for Him to hear my whispered prayers and songs of praise!

I realize that we can't go to the beach or to the mountains each day. But I encourage you to practice solitude at home, at work, and at school. Can you rise earlier than the others at home? Is there a room, or porch, or section of the back yard for isolation alone with God? At work or school, try taking a walk during your lunch break, or sitting alone in your car, or a nearby park. It's not so important WHERE we go, but that we find a quiet place every day to meet with God. "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:19)

Thanks for your prayers. Vacation is going great! Except for some minor back pain, my health is good. Candi and Chad arrived safely last night, and we plan to enjoy a full day of sight-seeing with them today. God is Great! I love you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

God's Faithfulness

I once again got up this morning while it was still dark so that I could be rejoicing with the Lord at sunrise. I waited patiently, but darkness still prevailed. After a little while I could see a purple haze beginning to backlight the distant low clouds on the horizon. I could see the waves continually crashing on the shore, but no sun. Then exactly at 7:27, as predicted, the sun peeked over the eastern horizon. God is always faithful in nature. He is also faithful with His children! Just when you think the darkness will never lift, He brings the sun!

My scripture reading this morning reminded me that I am to be a witness of God’s faithfulness. “I will sing of the love of the Lord forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known.” (Psalm 89:1) I testify today to God's great faithfulness. He saves me! He keeps me! He loves me! He heals me!

Has God been faithful to you? Sure He has. Is it dark in your life this morning? Hang tight! The SON is just beyond your horizon! Be patient, and while you are awaiting His light, tell others about His unfailing love and faithfulness in your life.

Thanks for the prayers. I am doing great. Vicky & I are enjoying the views of historic Charleston from our Harley. God is good! I love you!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Trials Can Be Good

I read an interesting quote this morning in my devotions. Think on this for a minute: “When has God ever taken anything from a person without restoring it many times over? Yet what are we to think if He does not immediately restore what has been taken? Is today His only day to work?”

I began to consider what has been taken from me recently. Primarily, my health. Cancer is my current trial. It is not an easy road, but the Bible assures me that God is not finished with me, and in fact, the Word tells me that my current trial is actually for my GOOD! James says, “Count it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4 NIV)

Are you suffering a trial today? Take heart! It is for your good. God will restore you “many times over” if you will be patient and allow Him to lead you through the dark night!

We are enjoying vacation at the beach. I am up before the sunrise spending time with the Lord. Vicky has later appointment with Him! Check out the view from our balcony. Thanks for praying! I am doing well. I love you!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Gone To The Beach

Good Morning. We are leaving shortly for a week of vacation at Folly Beach near Charleston S.C. I will send daily updates and pictures.

Thanks for your prayers yesterday. I felt stronger and more healthy than I had in weeks, and it sure felt good to be strong in the pulpit. We celebrated Communion yesterday in our morning services and it was a blessed time with Christ. Keep my daughter, Candi, in your prayers this week as she stays at home. She will join us later in the week for a couple of days.

Have a great day. I love you!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Great Day For A Ride

"This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it." When I REJOICE in one of God's great days, I try to include a motorcycle ride. It is a beautiful morning in Carolina. I rode my Harley to the Men's breakfast at the church early this morning, and shortly Vicky and I will join some other bikers from Augusta for a ride through the Carolina countryside. Thanks for your prayers. I am feeling really good today. I plan to "rejoice" all day long!! I love you!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Prayer Request

My friend, Tim Krabill, from Canton Ohio notified me today that a coworker was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreas cancer. His name is Mark, and he is only 44 years old, and has 2 children. His cancer is the exact same as mine. The prognosis is not good. Tim has directed him to this website for daily encouragement. Will you join me by putting Mark on your prayer list? Since we are asking God for ONE miracle, why not ask Him for another? Mark, healing is coming your way! I promise to pray for you. Thanks, Tim, for leaving the message on my Guest Book!

Chemo Therapy Update

Good Morning. Thanks for praying yesterday. I had another chemo treatment, and things went well. My blood work was in the good range, and I had gained one pound! (Weight GAIN is always a good sign) I guess the DQ Blizzards are doing the job! I felt kind of lousy last night from the treatment, but slept like a baby through the night. God is helping and He is answering your prayers for my healing. Please keep me on your daily prayer list as I fight the daily battle on My Journey To A Miracle! I love you!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Confidence In God

Very early in My Journey To A Miracle, God gave me the promise word, HOPE. My theme scripture from the Message Bible says, "I've pitched my tent in the Land of Hope" (Acts 2:26) Paul tells me that Hope does not disappoint because it is given by the Holy Spirit.

The greek word for hope is "Elpis", which means a "confident expectation"! Therefore, Hope that is given to us from God, or from His Bible can be counted on! It is not a lottery chance, or a roll of the dice, or some kind of a pipedream, but a direct promise from God Himself!

Has God given you a promise of Hope today? Don't doubt or fear! He keeps His word! The Hope He gives us is a "confident expectation" that He keeps His promises!! Thanks for your prayers. Today I receive another chemo treatment. I prayed for YOU this morning while I was out early, walking with the Lord before sunlight. I love you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Proving God's Existence

We live in a world full of skepticism when it comes to religion, and issues of faith. The biggest issue of faith for all of us: Does God exist? We have our faith, but where is the proof? The Bible sure helps us when it states on its opening page, "In the beginning God". We see evidence of God in nature every day. I relate to the psalmist who says, "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place" (Psalm 8:3) I love to watch God in the forest, at the beach, in the garden, and in a storm. My medical training also convinced me that only a greater being, Jehovah God, could have created the intricacies of the perfect human body and brain!

When I am asked to prove God, my answer is none of the above, but is much simpler. I know there is a God because I SPOKE TO HIM THIS MORNING! I know He is alive, because He Lives in my heart!! The psalmist exclaimed the same thing when he cried, "The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!" (Psalm 18:46)

Have you proven God's existence today? Have a talk with Him! He's standing by to bless you, right this moment! Thanks for your prayers. Today is a great day. I am about 95% healthy and feeling wonderful. God is good! I love you!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hope Bible Quizzers

Last night our children's Bible quizzing teams were introduced to the congregation. It was explained that the children wanted to design their own quizzing shirts, and wanted to dedicate the season to Pastor Scott. So they put the word HOPE down the sleeves! During the presentation, I was presented with my very own shirt and was appointed an honorary quiz leader.

Thanks for your prayers yesterday. I was in much pain, and very short of breath, but God helped and anointed. I preached on the importance of Baptism, and 35 people responded to be baptized on Sunday November 13th. God is faithful!

Have a great day. God is on the throne! He knows what you face, and He knows what you need! I love you!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

God Still Knows Best

When I was diagnosed with cancer in June, I made a “to-do list” of things I wanted to accomplish in the near future. One of the biggies was a cruise to Mexico. We purchased the tickets, and were due to set sail from Miami in just 8 days! With my growing physical infirmities the past few weeks, many family and friends were advising us not to take the cruise. I was fighting that notion with all my might. After all, this was a dream vacation for Vicky and I. So I began to make it a matter of prayer, seeking God’s will.

Yesterday morning, we received a phone call from a very good friend, Betty. She owns a home in Folly Beach, near Charleston, SC and offered it to us for the same week as our cruise. After initially declining her generous offer because of our cruise, I began to hear God’s voice softly prompting me to reconsider. It was His will that we go to the beach instead of the cruise. Why? I don’t know, except that it will be for my good I called her back and accepted the invitation. Although we won’t be cruising to Mexico, we will be enjoying a big 4-bedroom home directly on the ocean, and we will only be 3 hours from home and from my doctors, plus the trip won’t be nearly as tiring.

Am I disappointed about the cruise? Certainly! But I am also happy that God had other plans and knows what is best for me in my current circumstances. I am thankful, too, for Betty who is being used by God to bless this pastor and his wife!

The cruise company is giving us some hassle about our trip insurance coverage, but we believe that God will also work that out for our good. Thanks for your prayers last night. God answered. I rode my Harley to breakfast, and am now writing this entry at Starbucks! God is awesome! Have a great weekend, especially in your church tomorrow! I love you!

Friday, October 14, 2005

An Even Better Evening

Thanks for your powerful prayers. My day has progressively gotten better! I have eaten three full meals today, replacing the Ensure shakes that I ate yesterday. I even took Vicky to lunch on the Harley, although it was a short ride. For supper, I was able to eat some homemade spaghetti, and so far, everything has stuck with me. I feel almost normal this evening, and I am looking forward to a good rest tonight.

My prayer for Saturday is very simple: God, let me renew my normal Saturday morning ritual of riding my Harley to breakfast & coffee at Starbucks. Do you think I am asking too much? No way! God can make it happen. Thanks for praying for me. I believe that my weekend is going to be better than previous weeks because of your fervant prayers! I love you!

A Better Morning

Good Morning. Thanks for your prayers on my behalf last night. Even when I couldn't pray for myself, I knew that my prayer partners would stand in the gap for me! I slept very soundly last night, and awoke this morning feeling pretty "normal". I had a regular breakfast, and I am tolerating it pretty well so far. I plan to take things slowly today and not attempt to overdo it. Please ask God to restore my strength and appetite. I love you!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Prayer Alert

Sorry to once again be delayed in posting, but today has been another difficult day. I woke up with severe right sided pain, and nausea. I was unable to eat breakfast, and tried to work at the office this morning, but the nausea was too much to handle and I returned home at 10:00 a.m. I took some strong anti-nausea medicine and went to bed. After resting for a couple of hours, I am trying to eat a protein shake for lunch. Please pray for me today that my pain will be controlled and that I will be able to eat. I love you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong!

I am sorry for neglecting to post an entry yesterday, but I had "one of those days". You know the type of day...a day when you seem to have no control over your own schedule. I am a "defense witness" in a lawsuit, so I met with attorneys from both sides yesterday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. to give a video deposition. There is concern from the attorneys that I might be too ill, or perhaps deceased, and therefore unable to testify when the trial goes to court next year. How's that for a fun morning? Then last night I had to chair the monthly Finance Committee & Church Board meetings at our church.

Although it was a marathon day that pushed me to the limits of my physical and emotional endurance, God was helping in a special way. He tells us in the Bible, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) Then Paul responded, "When I am weak, then I am strong". I can testify to His promises. In the midst of the grueling 4-hour deposition, when I felt that I couldn't continue, He gave me grace. At 1:00 p.m. when my strength was gone, the attorneys agreed to suspend the deposition and resume in a few weeks. When I asked God to give me strength for the remainder of the day, His instruction was very simple: Go home, eat lunch, rest for awhile, and I will renew your body, soul, and mind for the evening ahead. I listened, and He strengthened!

Are you feeling overwhelmed this week? Do you feel like quitting? Is the battle too difficult? Stop what you are doing, right now, and ask God for help. Ask for His grace, and for His strength! When you are weakest, He will be stongest! I'll pray for you today! I love you!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Apprehended By Christ

The Apostle Paul says "I am apprehended by Christ" (Philippians 3:12) What does he mean? He was referring to his encounter with Christ on the Road to Damascus, and his subsequent salvation experience. But Christ's apprehension of us goes even deeper than salvation. The Greek word for apprehend is defined as, "to take possession of, in order for fellowship". Think about that for a moment! God loved the world so much that He sent Christ to die on the cross, not just to save us and give us eternal life, but because He desires fellowship with us! Wow! What a concept! God wants to spend time with me today!

If that's the case, do I take any time to spend with Him? Or am I too busy with my Monday demands? Did you spend some time with Christ this morning, or did you blindly enter your work day without any fellowship with the One who apprehended you? What a privilege to fellowship with God! Make some time for Him today!

Thanks for your prayers this weekend. We had awesome services at Midland Valley yesterday and God gave us many victories around the altars! I slept well last night, without pain, and feel very good today. Praise the Lord! I love you!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ingrained In Culture

I received a lesson in “culture shock” last week when I left the comfortable, familiar confines of Dixie and spent a few days in the Pacific Northwest. Not only is Oregon on the opposite coast geographically, but it is also a drastically different culture. For example, I went a week without Waffle House, Sweet Tea, Biscuits & Gravy, Grits, and Southern Fried Chicken! Can you imagine my suffering?? But I sure drank some great coffee! I will miss Dutch Brothers and The Human Bean (home of the chocolate covered expresso bean). Let me tell you, it was sure nice to walk through the doors of my North Augusta Waffle House this morning and announce, “I’m Baaaack!” I didn’t realize that I was so accustomed to my southern way of life, and how easy it is to become ingrained in a particular culture.

The Apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians that we are “Citizens of Heaven”, and therefore we should act accordingly. He understood how easy it was to start living like the “world” instead of living like Heavenly citizens. Remember, we are only passing through this life. The “life to come” is what we should prepare for. Make sure you don’t get so comfortable with our earthly culture that you put your heavenly citizenship in danger!

Thanks for your prayers. I am having a good weekend, and I eagerly await God’s blessings tomorrow in our church services! I love you!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Esteemed Colleague

I was able to attend Business By The Book yesterday for the first time in 2005. BBTB is a luncheon for local business leaders hosted by First Baptist Church of North Augusta, and senior pastor, Gary Redding. The gathering features an awesome home-cooked meal, a news briefing by a local media personality, gospel music, and a relevant devotional by Dr. Redding. Yesterday I was honored to give the invocation and share a brief testimony. I appreciate Dr. Redding and his great church for partnering with me in prayer these past four months. Also in attendance were the staff from WAFJ Christian Radio. Brian, Cleve, John, Gary, and Jeremy have kept the listening audience posted on my condition, and have called the community to prayer many times on my behalf. I am blessed to live in such a compassionate community, and I appreciate my esteemed colleagues who partner with me in this area sharing the love of Christ!

Thanks for your prayers for my back pain this week. I learned from my doctor this week that the pain is "referred pain" from my tumors that manifest as painful hot spots in my back. Some new medication should help manage the pain on a daily basis, but I believe that your prayers will bring the biggest relief. I love you. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

God's Math

I wasn't very good with math in school. But I like God's math. I understand that He asks for 10% of my income as a tithe. I have proven that 90% WITH GOD goes much farther than 100% WITHOUT GOD! And what a great deal! He allows me to keep 90%, and adds His resources to it which makes it multiply even more! I've often had church members tell me that they couldn't afford to tithe. My response: I can't afford NOT to tithe! I depend on God's blessings!

I also love God's math when it comes to church growth. The church in Acts grew by THOUSANDS daily! That's not just simple addition, but multiplication!

Yesterday as I met with my new oncologist, he asked me to explain my understanding of my medical prognosis. I replied that I had been told by other doctors that I have terminal, incurable, inoperable, pancreatic cancer with only a 5% survival rate, and that I have less than 9 months to live. When he responded to me, I knew that God had led me to the right doctor for My Journey To A Miracle. He said, "I choose to focus on the FIVE PERCENT, not the negative percentage".

My Motto: I serve a God who specializes in the 5%!!! I have His promises! If I only had a 1% chance of survival, that's still more than enough with God's Math! My cancer is no match for His power, His miracles, and His Math!

Today is a good day. Thanks for your prayers! I am feeling great. Have a great weekend. I prayed for YOU today! I love you!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Effective Prayers

Thanks for bombarding God's Throne with prayers on behalf of my healing today. It is 6:00 p.m. and I am feeling like a new person tonight! I was only able to work at the office until about 11 this morning, then came home for some lunch and rest. The prayers began to kick in about 2pm and I have been getting stronger and feeling better by the minute. Thanks in particular to Mimi, Jeanette, and Gerry who I know were attacking the devil with guns ablazing!

I met with my new oncologist today and feel greatly encouraged. Special thanks to Nurse Kelly, who also happens to be my neighbor, for taking such good care of me today and making us feel so welcome.

I couldn't make it on this journey without your prayers and companionship! Thanks for loving me! I love you!

Urgent Prayer Alert

Hi Friends. I need your prayers this morning. Yesterday I became suddenly ill while at the office and left immediately for home. I had severe nausea and vomiting all afternoon and stayed in bed until this morning. I am very weak today, and dehydrated.

I have an appointment this afternoon with a new oncologist for a second opinion on my treatment. Please pray that our meeting goes well, and that I can tolerate my treatment this afternoon.

Thanks for your prayers. God is helping me. I love you!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Daily Direction From God

I am so excited to know that God has created me for a purpose. He has a plan for my life. His plan for me is perfect. I'm glad that I have discovered His plan for my life, and that I am living according to that plan. The Bible also tells me that God has a plan for EACH DAY of my life! If I will ask God, He will order the steps of my daily life.

The psalmist says, "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path. Direct my footsteps according to your word" (Psalm 119:105 & 133)

So how do I receive His instructions for each day? Through reading the Bible and through prayer! Are you floundering around this morning, not sure of which way to go? Do you feel lost and without direction? Did you take time this morning to pray, and to read God's Word? If your life today feels like it is spinning out of control, stop right now and take a "God Break"! Whisper a prayer. Ask for His direction. Read a Psalm. Then give Him thanks for pointing you in the right direction.

Please continue to pray for my back pain. The long flight yesterday has cost me. I will see my oncologist and have another cancer treatment tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers and support. I am encouraged by your notes posted in my Guest Book. I love you!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Just a quick note to let everyone know that we are safely home in North Augusta. Thanks for your prayers. God helped us. We had safe travel, and made all of our connections, although our luggage didn't make it with us. They assure us we should receive our missing bags no later than Tuesday morning.

We arrived home to find a home-cooked southern meal provided by Janice, Diane, and Margaret from the church. What a blessing! After eating "western" cuisine for a week, it sure tasted good!! I love you!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Healing Promise Reinforced in Oregon

We attended worship this morning with our family at Medford First Church of the Nazarene. This church has been praying for me these past four months, and today during the morning prayer-time in the 8:30 service, God’s people joined me at the altar and anointed me for divine healing. God’s presence was very real!

During the 10:30 service,we attended the Children’s Worship service to observe our son-in-law, Ben Kesselring, as he ministered to the kids. It was a great service, and three children gave their hearts to Jesus at the close of the Bible story. About midway through the service I stepped outside to stretch my legs. As soon as I entered the hallway a lady approached me with these words:

“I was in the early service and joined the others who were praying for your healing, and I felt God’s presence in a powerful way. Instead of going home after the service, I felt prompted to spend time in the prayer room interceding for your healing. While praying, God gave me a scripture and asked me to give it to you as a Word from the Lord. I told Him that I didn’t know if you were still at the church, but if He really meant what He was saying that He would help me find you. As soon as I entered the lobby, there you were!!”

We hugged, cried, and thanked God for His promise. What was the scripture verse? The same promise God had given me on the day I was diagnosed with cancer: “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4

Wow! That was worth the trip! God is faithful! My life is in His hands! Please remember us in prayer as we return to Augusta on Monday morning at 6:30, arriving home at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow night. I love you!