Saturday, October 24, 2009


Now that is a silly question. Of course not. Or can they? This is a story about my recent exploits with the medical profession concerning what turned out to be Cancer. Scary word isn't it. Well don't get your hopes up. I beat it ( cancer) this time.

I am getting ahead of myself her so let me start from the beginning. It was a cold dark stormy night when I noticed 2 black spots on my back which I concluded might be melanoma cancer. A quick visit to the Dermatologist revealed it was only liver spots ( age thing) so I asked the Dr. to check my arm that had a growth that would not heal from a severe burn I got over 4 years ago. After spraying my whole face with Liquid Nitrogen and me grimacing from the stings he took a look. Bingo! It was cancerous big time. The only lucky part of the diagnosis was it was only Basal Cell. The bad part was it was really big and needed a surgeon to do his handy work. Kaching goes the cash register.

Next meeting was the surgeon at the hospital. A rather jolly fellow with a good bedside manner and a hearty laugh. He took one look and said "Holy Cow! That was a monster!" Next in came every doctor at the hospital with cameras wanting to take pictures. I asked if I needed to smile for the cameras, but I only think they focused on the arm. In walks the surgeon with a tray loaded down with needles to numb the pain. All I could see in his eyes was dollar signs rolling over at a fast pace. Kaching! During the numbing process we had idle chat on how I got the burn which he states that cancer could pop up if a burn is not treated properly. Now he tells me.

He finally got off the first layer and had it taken to the lab for test. After two hours and 19 slides later he came back with another tray of needles for some more numbing. He says the cancer went pretty deep down and wide. All I could hear was a cash register ringing up in the back ground. Kaching! Kaching! More skin was removed and taken to the lab. After another hour he came back with more needles. You guessed it. More cancer in the skin still even wider and deeper. About this time here came the other doctors with their cameras again while the Surgeon was cutting out more skin. Feeling no pain I asked was I supposed to be smiling for the cameras. and that ever haunting register sound Kaching ! Kaching! Kaching! started up again. I also prayed to the Lord to help me with the intercession gift to stop that cash register from ringing up. And out he went with the removed skin for more test.

Now being there all this time ( 5+ hours) I was really hungry and asked the nurse could I get something to eat. She looked at me with disbelief and asked what I wanted. I said A skyline chili 4 way would be nice. I sat up on the side of the operating table and said you could send my wife out for one. I didn't think it would be good for me to walk over to get it my self. Out goes my wife ( I love that woman) to get me a 4 way. They actually moved me to an adjacent room and wrapped up my arm so I could eat my 4 way. As I was eating my 4 way the surgeon came back in and said we got it all. He then looked at me eating and asked what in the hell was I doing. All I said was I am eating. He let out a loud laugh and said why didn't I get him one. Sorry Doc. Now I am ready to "get er done".

He took some samples of the muscle tissue to be sure the Cancer had not spread into the muscles which were also visible. Looking at the arm did make me wheezy but I was going to eat no matter what. I was a bit hungry. Next came the "pig skin tissue to lay over the open wound to help it heal. Yes pig skin folks. It is used to speed up the process so they can do a skin graft later. Kaching! I ended up with a hole down to my muscles and bone 6inch x 5inches wide. Never again will I ever let a rash that pops up go unchecked.

The surgeon and nurse wrapped up the wound ( or should I say canyon)and immobilized my arm with instructions to keep it elevated for two weeks. They shouldn't have had to worry about that. It was wrapped so that I couldn't even use the arm.

Next visit 3 weeks later I get the skin graft. Horay! No more bandages, or so I thought. This Visit the surgeon and I get into an argument on where the graft is coming from. I am saying stomach as I have a lot of skin there. He is saying off the upper arm. Unfortunately he won. I knew I should not have let him give me the shots until we both agreed on where. As looped as I was from the numbing I didn't care where he took it. 5 hours later here I am with the blasted arm wrapped up from my arm pit to my wrist and no way to lower it. I mean it was positioned to stand out away from my body and the only comfortable position was over my head so that the stitches would not pull out. Yep again I have to hold the arm up over my head for 18 days this time. Can you imagine me walking around when I am not laying down with the arm hanging over my head almost for 18 days. People are going to think weired things. What am I supposed to do walking around waving at everybody? I can sense the guys in the white coats coming for me right now.

Well here I am with only one working arm and telling this story with one arm over my head feeling looped with pain medication and antibiotics powerful enough to make an elephant sick but there is a moral this story. One should never let a rash or festering any where on your body go as long as I did with out getting it checked right away. I waited almost 4 years before getting it checked. I was lucky it was only Basal Cell Cancer. It did not spread into any vital organs or muscle tissue. I can be thankful to the Lord for that. It could have been much worse.

I would also like to thank the friends that were praying for me on this adventure in the hopes it could be caught before spreading too far and the wife for waiting on me hand and foot since there isn't much I can do yet. Oh yes I would also like to thank my surgeon for the work he and his staff did to make this event as bearable as possible considering the circumstances.

Let me reiterate quite strongly no one should let any thing that shows up on your skin go unchecked for any amount of time. Basal Cell is a slow growing non invasive cancer. Squamous Cell is a fast growing deadly and invasive cancer. Melanoma cancer is a deadly fast growing invasive cancer. Don't risk your life by ignoring any growth on your skin. By the grace of God I was spared this time or has He spared me in the past also?

As I look back in my life at critical moments, I begin to see a pattern. As a young child 2 years of age I developed a serious respiratory condition that didn't allow me to breath on my own and the Drs. told my Mom they didn't think I was going to pull through. This was the second time in a year that I had this. He suggested that she should have a priest give the last rites if she was Catholic. A few days later I began to respond to treatment to the surprise of the Doctors. After a month in the hospital I was back home healthy as can be.

As a rambunctious teen, I was always full of life and was always pushing the limit. I had become interested in go kart racing. I had one I built for racing in a series that used twin Mc Collough MC 10s for engines. I raced at a local track every week end but ended up in a freak accident that split open my so called racing helmet. I ended up in a coma for three weeks. The Doctors again saw no chance of me ever pulling out of it. If I did I would be a vegetable. Again I proved them wrong. I recovered with no side effects except for an occasional head ache and some memory loss.

As a young manager of a local Kmart store in Charleston S.C. on River Road, I stopped a irate shoplifter from beating up one of my assistant managers that stopped him. He pulled a gun and started shooting at me. I was able to jump over a counter as he continued to shoot through the peg board. I was hit in the neck by one of the bullets but I kept running. The police arrived in time to stop his rampage after shooting him. They were looking for bullets as evidence and I pulled one of the bullets out of my neck which was just under the skin. Should have known it since I was bleeding from my neck.

In the late 80s, I started up a professional drag racing operation with me as the owner and driver for what is now called the Pro Modified class ( 200 MPH door slammers on Nitros). A near fatal 200 MPH crash ended that venture two years later. Again I beat the odds and survived.

It was then that I started to get the feeling I was not immortal any more. It was during a 6 month recovery that I found God telling me He had plans for me one day while out photographing nature at a wild life sanctuary. I could have sworn I was hearing things but it was real as it could be. Verses from scripture started flowing through out my thoughts and references from my earlier misadventures came into my mind. I was terribly moved from what I was thinking I was hearing.

More recently nearly three years ago I started having prostate problems as most men my age do or so I thought. I finally went to the Urologist. They found a tumor on my prostate and the issue of blood in my urine confirmed I had a real issue to face. Surgery was ordered after a barrage of test. During the ensuing time waiting I prayed feverishly for a cure. Never had I done this before. As I went in for surgery, I felt an inner peace and left it all in Gods hands. After the surgery I was advised they did not find the tumor that was plainly shown from the MRI test and the biopsies showed no cancerous cells. The doctors were amazed and I felt my prayers were answered. It was then that I took up the cross in earnest and started on a new adventure now knowing God had always been there saving me from my self and showing his Love if only I would surrender myself to Him totally. That evening high on Morphine injections I prayed again giving glory and praises to God for once again saving me.

Know I do know what wonderful plans God has in store for me and I am eternally grateful. What time I do have left I will serve only Him and He has given me more Gifts in order to serve Him fruitfully. For that I am a humble and lucky man.

Monday, October 19, 2009



Have you ever noticed the advertisements on TV that have animals and Natures creatures hawking a product or service. Lets see how many there are: We have a white farm duck hawking AFLAC insurance. Then there was once a cute little puppy dog hawking Geico only to be replaced by a lizard and a smart one at that. We have red and pink bears hawking Charmin toilet paper. Then there are cute uncountable sheep popping up in your bed room hawking Serta beds. You have crows that seem to be smarter that the average window cleaning human. Oh yes, I almost forgot. Cavemen hawking Geico Insurance.

Kinda makes you pay attention doesn't it? Why is it that these commercials get your attention? They are cute and informative. They get a point across. Makes you want to buy their product doesn't it? What if God hired an advertising agency to get the word out and came up with ad jingles to stir up some attention to his salvation offered to us? Now I know I am stepping on hallowed ground here but I am only entertaining the possibilities of a cute ad campaign to win souls to Christ and better yet to get your attention. I will not go into the jingles area as that is up to God.

<> What I am trying to get across here is God does have a sense of humor and is filled with love beyond what we can even comprehend. How many mortals would allow their only son to be sacrificed so that his blood can cleanse us of sin so that we may be saved? ( John 3:16).None I can think of.

Jesus gave us two commandments. Love one another as he loves us and love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. ( John13:34 and Matthew23:37) Do we practice this much? As I was thinking about this, The Beatles song stance came to mind "Love is all We Need". (1Corinthians13:2) Paul stated of his gifts , knowledge, thoughts , and faith to move mountains; with out love He was nothing. There is that Love word again. God speaks numerous times about Love in the scriptures. He deeply loves us ( His children) and He has offered us salvation if we will only believe and sin not. Do we listen or understand that promise? It is a promise and God does not break his promise ever. As an incentive showing His love and grace, He showers us with loving gifts so that we can serve Him in His glory. He allows the Holy Spirit to grant us gifts that is best suited for our service and worship to Him. He allows the Holy Spirit to Baptise us with His being as a show of love. He encourages us to use the gifts to edify His grace . How can we not Love a gracious God such as He is. Love is all we need right now for God, our neighbors, our church members, and sinners alike.

I attended an Encounter ( Vineyard slang for revival?) last night. There was a great amount of love pouring out through out the chapel in worshipping the Lord. The Songs worshiping God had a new meaning and people were filled with the Holy Spirit. Tears of Joy filled the room. People went forward to be healed and prayed for. Some were jumping for joy. The laying of hands were tremendous. Over half the people were in front of the stage praising God and giving Him glory as the band played the Revelation song and Hallelujah as well as others . The Holy Spirit had total control in this encounter. Some thing I had never experienced since the old tent revival days from so long ago. This is what we should experience each time we enter the Body of Christ. I guess this is where I realized I may be a charismatic believer fully aware of the Gifts and the Holy Spirit though Gods grace.

You too can experience these same feelings if you can only repent and accept what God has laid out for you in His master plan of salvation and love for you. Even if you are a sinner, it doesn't matter. He wants you to share in His love for you. He wants you to dwell in His house for eternity. He wants you to be saved. He wants you to be loved and you to love Him. Can you make that call tonight? It only takes a simple prayer in your own words straight from your heart to be in the grace of the Lord through Jesus name. It doesn't take a catchy jingle, glossy ad campaigns, or cute animals. Salvation is yours for the asking.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


As I watch the news channels with the latest and horrifying news release, I begin to wonder what the dickens is going on. A young child was snatched from her home and was later found buried in a shallow grave and covered over with concrete. A mother murders her child and dumps the body in a field near her home and then goes out partying. A young teenage boy was doused with alcohol and set on fire for retribution. A group of gang members from a school slams a wood plank up side a students head and proceeds to kick and beat him to death. A student goes to school and slashes another students throat for what ever reason and the list goes on and on.

Then you have news channels that make the incident into a 1 hour show discussing the issues with a panel of experts proclaiming the reasons for these heinous crimes. They blame the violence on all the TV programs, or they had a dysfunctional early life. Some experts even go so far as to defend the criminals action as unable to tell right from wrong or they were abused as a child.

Come on panel experts! You have missed the true reason all together. It is what students and people are taught today in their lives. It is what we are brain washed with daily in our lives from school and after school for the last few decades. We are almost to the point that a human life has no value in our society. It is OK to kill. It is OK to attack a woman or child for sexual lust. It is OK to steal for monetary gain. It is Ok to do what ever you feel like doing . It is OK to kill the unborn as it was an inconvenience. It is Ok as long as you don't get caught so do whatever you like.

There are some movements ( I will cover these at a later date) that profess there is no God. They say we are our own gods and we have the right to determine what is right. If it makes us feel good that we should do it. They profess we determine what it is that our conscience determines is right or wrong. The scary part is these anti God movements have infiltrated our educational systems right up through college levels, our political processes and our courts with their agenda.

There in lies the real problem with our society. It is with out God in it's legal, legislative, moral, ethical, and educational process. The older ones of us do remember saying the Lords prayer and the pledge to the flag at the start of the school day. These organizations found this offensive and utilized their pull to have it stopped irregardless of the majority wishes. They were vocal and had political clout in the parties in Washington to do this. We the majority said nothing.

The 10 commandments in public view was offensive to them so it was barred. If you think about it, the commandments was a good rule to follow as far as ethical and moral guidelines even if you weren't a believer. Prayer to God in public places and school graduations were offensive to them so they rallied to have that removed and even with their minority voice it was removed. If you were to pray at those gathering, you might face civil charges in a court of law. How ridiculous is that? All the while we sat back and said nothing. Do we not care? If we as believers would only rally together and voice our displeasure's of the restrictions towards God, do you think we might be heard? Perhaps in the past had we spoke up. Today it will be a hard fought battle that we cannot afford to loose. We as believers must stand up to this and fight back as a united front.

I can see in the not too distant future if we don't take up the fight, we will be out lawed from assembly and worship to God in our own churches because it is offensive to the loud minority. We will be arrested for unlawful assembly and possibly charged with domestic terrorism. Do you want this to happen? Next it will be burning of the bibles ( well that has already happened).

Back to the latest news. In these news channel programs, have you ever noticed on the expert panels; interviewers failed to include a pastor or minister? Why is that? They could tell you right away why there is so much violence in our society. With out God, the 10 commandments, the scriptures, moral, and ethical values, you have a society in dwelt in anarchy and despair. You have a society that will eventually destroy itself from with in. Life will have no meaning or purpose. We need divine guidance in order to survive as a nation of freedom and peace.

As I read the Old Testament Prophet's visions, I can see it closely relates to our current events and time. It is so related I am thinking I am reading the prophesy of our own times. Is that what God also wanted for us to understand what was said 2500 years ago applies for today too?

WE ARE IN TROUBLE BIG TIME. We just don't realize it yet.

Friday, October 9, 2009


As a young lad back home in Brownsville Florida I used to see many tents getting put up in a large field near my home over the course of time. It usually meant a revival was in town either from a local church or a traveling road show evangelist was setting up shop for a week. Being I was the kid with a curiosity about any thing I was always Johnny on the spot to see what was going on. I would ride my trusty Schwinn bike up to the event to watch what was happening. Some times they would have only an organ for music or a complete band. The music was what got my attention most of the time but that was only part of the show.

There was always the fellow who was the pastor or evangelist that gave a rousing sermon on damnation and salvation with a choir really getting into the singing. It certainly had my feet moving with the rhythm. As I sat in the back watching all that was unfolding, I witnessed some things that was alien to me at the time and was unable to comprehend at that age. I saw people jumping and waving their hands with joy and glee. Some were crying and some some were praying out loud so I thought. Some times the pastor or evangelist would call out for some to come forward to be healed. The pastor put their hands on the ones that came forward and appeared to be healed on the spot. Some passed out and were revived but all got up and jumped for joy at each healing..This was amazing for a young lad like me to take in but it captivated me to no end. As I sat there transfixed and taking in all that I saw, I had no idea what was going on but I was held captive with what was transpiring. It was never any thing I ever saw in my church I attended during those days as a child but it did move me.

At one of the tent risings for a revival, I looked for what seemed to be a pastor or evangelist and asked him what was he doing that made so many people do what they did. He looked me sternly in the eyes and said "Young man, I am winning souls to Christ and healing broken lives. Do you need to be saved?" (His statement has stayed with me all my life even when I was backsliding) I replied No I live with my mom and dad and go to church. He laughed and invited me and my parents to come to his revival so that they can be saved too. My parent did go to a few with me but they did not feel the captivation I felt at those tent revivals. I guess I had an impressionable mind back then.

Over the years I did go to some revivals as an adult but they seemed to disappear form the land scape over time. It has just been the last few months that this episode in my younger life has returned as a reminder about revivals from the past. I don't know why but the urge to go looking for a big tent has surfaced. Perhaps it is a yearning to experience again what I did as an impressionable youth when I did not fully understand what a revival really was. I know this though. It really made me feel good to attend one and see so many people with joy and happiness for the Lord.
I think that is what I have been missing in my adult life as a self professed Christian. The spontaneity of a revival where the Holy Spirit reigns and there are no regimented worship sessions. It is led by the Holy Spirit, in worship to the Lord.

I does bring up a haunting question of where did the revivals go? Why would such a spiritual filled gathering fall from the landscape in the Body of Christ? Has that been outlawed by our government now too? Do any of you ever hear of revivals any more? p

So with that I am looking for a big tent once again.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Luke ( or Loukon at that time) began life as a slave in Antioch to a wealthy Greek trader Theophilus. At an early age his curiosity fore told of great things that this young slave may become. Theophilus being a stoic in those times was very kind to this young boy and favored him over all the others. Luke at an early age had a flair for working with the injured slaves and helping the resident physician in his attending the ill.

Luke had two interest growing up. History and Medicine. His master Theophilus fore saw him as a physician and promised to finance him attending a university to become a Doctor as well as being granted his freedom.

When Luke entered the university, he also shortened his name to Luke. There he met also a new student called Saul ( later to be called Paul). Needless to say their relationship at the university was not the best being Saul was Hebrew and Luke was a Gentile. During Luke's stay at the university, he was seriously dedicated to learning medicine and became a man of medicine, returned to serve as a physician for Theophilus, and served as a physician on the sailing ships after he earned his freedom.

It was shortly after that when Luke began to hear of Jesus and His miracles He was doing in Judea and Israel. He also heard of Jesus being put to death on the cross. Over time Luke had head more stories of the Disciples and their teachings about Jesus but he continued to rebuke the stories as just that. Certainly a learned man such as he could not believe in these stories.

It was only after seeking out his old university associate Saul of Taurus at a chance meeting boarding a ship as the physician that he ran into Saul of Taurus. During this voyage Luke learned of Paul's ( Saul) new conversion as a disciple of Jesus and actually witnessed a healing of one of the ship mates by Paul. Paul also told Luke of his conversion by the Holy Spirit and Jesus appearing on the road.

This was the beginning of Luke as a believer and later as a Historian to record the many miracles and teachings of Jesus through interviews with the apostles and Jesus' mother Mary. He also became a teacher and elder at the Antioch church as well as writing the church history.

Luke also got the opportunity to travel with Paul, Barnabus, and others to spread the good news through out the areas of that time. After Paul's capture and imprisonment, Luke would visit frequently bringing in manuscripts from interviews with the disciples and Mother Mary for his review.

It can be said that Luke never was a witness to the miracles and teachings of Jesus first hand but he did a wonderful job of recording the history of the early Christian church and it's believers as well as becoming a teacher and elder after surrendering his life to serve Jesus and the church. With his writings and scrolls, one can almost sense they were there in those times as they were written through divine guidance of the Holy Spirit in God's grace.