Touch Through Me

The longer I live the more life humbles me. I feel that is happening in a good way. God’s desire is not that I get bitter. Rather, his goal is to help me better learn to fully lean on Him. I’ve had a very full week of ministry and two more services to preach tomorrow. As I head to bed, my main prayer is that God might touch others in some way through me. It reminded me of the lyrics my dad used to sing years ago.

God is still answering His prayers!

Touch through me, Holy Spirit, touch through me,
Let my hands reach out to others, touch through me;
There’s a lonely soul somewhere needing just one friend to care,
Touch through me, Holy Spirit, touch through me.

Love through me, Holy Spirit, love through me,
I will be my brother’s keeper, love through me;
Hearts are bleeding deep inside, love can dry the weeping eye,
Love through me, Holy Spirit, love through me.

Flow through me, Holy Spirit, flow through me,
Like a river in the desert, flow through me;
Springing power and healing strength, living water pure and clean,
Flow through me, Holy Spirit, flow through me.

My hands will be your hands reaching out to others,
My lips will not be slothful, Lord, to speak;
I will be that good Samaritan to someone else in need,
I will be your house to dwell in, live through me.

Flow through me, Holy Spirit, flow through me,
Holy Spirit, touch through me,
Holy Spirit, touch through me.

Pray God Works

Well, the last two days have been wonderful in regards to my pain relief. My increased medication and the good Lord has made it possible for me to smile again. I’m more grateful than ever for God’s blessings of restoration. I’m also aware more than ever that I’m totally dependent upon God’s grace, strength, and guidance in my life.

It’s very late for me to still be awake. I’ve got to get up very early to preach two Mother’s Day service. However, I’m expecting God to work despite me, through and around me. For that to happen I need your continued prayers.

I spend countless hours in preparation for any message I ever preach. Yet, without the Holy Spirit working together with God’s truth lives won’t be mightily touched. I need God to have His was in every respect. So, please pray for the following things this Sunday.

One, pray that I can stay focused despite my medications. Two, pray that I rely fully on the Holy Spirit to lead me. Three, pray that God delivers through me what He wants said and how He wants it shared. Pray that I might be strong and confident in Christ. Overall, just pray God’s Will is done.

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! (John 14:13-14)


At 8pm tonight I officially increased my nighttime meds to a dosage that should help better regulate my nerve pain. If I continue with this much medication I will battle brain fog and drowsines for a couple months. However, I will gain much more relief and a lot more peace. The peace of knowing this should keep things in check.

I’m about to go to bed early for the 3rd night in a row. Fortunately, every time I lay down I’m fast asleep in no time. I believe part of that is because my body continues to fight all day. Praise God, I made it through another day of battles and I don’t feel defeated.

Today, was still a successful day despite the unexpected moments. I still got out and walked for 30 minutes for the second day in a row. I slept very well for the 2nd night in a row. I was able to counsel several folks, continued preparing Sunday’s message, and started planning for a funeral I have to preach soon.

I really want to mention that my wife really is an angel. She is such a hard worker, huge supporter, and always brings a calm to my life. She is doing this while helping our 6ft 170lb 13 year old son recover from major foot surgery. She ought to have her nursing credentials by now.

Let me end by saying whatever you’re going through right now. God knows, God cares and I care. Sometimes all you can do is walk through the pain. Just make sure you’re walking with Jesus if you expect to get through the fire.

God says, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

Keep Pushing Through

My increase in medications helped me at first. Then, I decided 5 days ago that I wanted to cut those additional meds in half due to the brain fog they were giving me. After being wore down day after day with uncontrolled nerve pain. I’ve realize today I have no choice moving forward. So, starting tonight I will optimistically add the other half of that medication the doctor prescribed.

Throughout the past 8 years my condition has led to so many ups and downs. I’ve experienced some very low points and many victory moments. This nerve condition doesn’t just make your entire body ache. It can makes you cry inside without a tear falling. It can make you feel like your quality of life has come to an end.

This morning the devil really jumped on top of my great vulnerability and started pounding me. I felt paralyzed with fear if I’m completely honest. I was listening way too much to my feelings and forgetting all God has done before. God began speaking clearly the following to me.

God said, “You remember that time 5 years ago you told your wife there was nothing more you could do to improve. That you might as well accept that your pain would define the rest of your life. Son, I resurrected your life then and I will do it again. Don’t let your momentary feelings dictate your faith in me.”

Well, the nerves are still raging, but I’ve been here so many times before. Right now, I’m having to borrow from yesterday’s faith so I can overcome today’s struggles. Yes, this is a cross I wish I didn’t have to bear. Yes, it changes life as I used to know drastically. But, GOD IS STILL GOD and I will trust him until my last earthly breath. I can’t wait to see what God is going to continue to do despite my great weakness. As my youngest just said praying with me. “God just heal daddy again and do what only you do best.”

There are many times in life that all you can do is push through. With God’s help you will make it through. Even my doctors have no explanation for how I’m still able to do so much with my degree of permanent nerve damage. That’s when I know it’s simply the power and grace of God at work day in my life.

Please, when you read anything I write don’t feel sorry for me. Just know I understand life crippling pain. I also know God can take me through anything. I believe that for you and your situation too. Keep pushing through by faith, keep praying and keep your little hand in God’s big hand.

“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Change Is Hard

This has been a very, very long day. My body has been very unpredictable all day. Even after resting over nine hours last night. I’ve dealt with on and off drowsiness due to my extra medications. My body still has to get use to these new medications.

On a great note, i was able to spend time just breathing in God’s peace. I was able to get great clarity on what God wants me to preach this Sunday. I was able to get a lot of ministry accomplished today. So many people are drowning in so many different kinds of pain. God keeps using my brokenness to help me connect on a deeper level with others who are bleeding inside.

Unfortunately, my neurological system crashed again this afternoon. Out of nowhere my nerves had my entire body on fire. As I lay here now I’m just waiting on my lower body to settle down. So much current is running through my legs causing discomfort. It’s so challenging to explain something so few understand and even I can’t fully comprehend.

Fortunately, I know I’m doing everything I can to live my best life now. My body is having to get back acclimated to daily exercise, stretching, and new sleep routines. I’m just seeking to make one positive change at a time. I’m having to change a lot of old habits even as I walk through the pain.

One thing I know for sure my friend. None of us can get through life’s greatest challenges alone. We all need Jesus and we need each other. I pray you join me in leaning on Jesus and trusting Jesus with every step forward.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” Psalm 143:10

Keep Listening & Trusting

I woke up this morning around 6:45am after God blessed me with 9 hours of sleep. The first thing I did was thank God from whom all blessings flow. All I did was exactly what He led me to do. I adjusted the timing of my medications, bedtime and literally gave everything to God. Not one time last night did I find myself in distress or extreme pain.

Now, I woke up today with a body still far from perfect. However, I woke up with a much greater sense of God’s peace. God’s word keeps reminding me of His grace, mercy and love. Time has proven time and time again that God’s grace is always sufficient.

God has my heart back realigned with Him. I’m leaning in, listening closely and recognizing that I’ve got to keep walking closely with Him. Often, it takes us fully reaching the end of ourselves before we fully reach out to Him. Today, I choose to rejoice in His goodness, rely on His grace and trust in His plans.

“But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands. Psalm 31:14-15

Adjust and Celebrate

I normally take my medications at 9am, 3pm and 9pm each day. Last night, I felt led to change things up so I can adjust my bedtime. So, today I’ve changed those times to 8am, 2pm and 8pm. Hopefully, I can get to sleep much earlier than usual and avoid my typical nightmare level pain.

I woke up today still hurting pretty badly. Finally, I was able to get out and do about 6 hours of ministry counsel and visitation. Typically, I breathe in a lot of crisis situations in a short period of time. I’m just thankful I was able to be used by God today. Soon as I got home I had to jump in an epsom salt bath as my lower back felt on fire.

Tonight, I’m out smarting the devil by making the necessary adjustments. I find that with my condition I have to operate wisely everyday. I have to calculate when possible what I do, what I eat, how much I rest, and even when I take my medications. After 8 years of these struggles, I’ve learned that consistency always matters with a wrecked body like mine.

Tonight, I’m going to bed feeling much more optimistic about my health. My pain is already easing up. I celebrate progress, solutions and opportunities God keeps giving me. I celebrate the emotional healing God gives me as I allow him to use my pain. I celebrate that even if things don’t improve, God will provide more adjustments that can be made.

I encourage you all to remain a student of yourself and personal weaknesses. Be honest with yourself and with others about your struggles. Keep yourself accountable towards making wise decisions. Understand that life is not always fair and we all struggle with something. Life on earth will never be perfect, but God will always be faithful.

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Stay focused on Jesus!

Embarrassing, Debilitating and Miserable

My pain has kept me in the bed literally all day long. Even when I thought things were turning around, I’ve quickly been proven wrong. I’ve rested all day and I’m already headed back to bed. I’ve learned that sometimes there’s no use in fighting with this level of pain. Pain like this affects you in so many ways whether you want to accept it or not.

One, it’s just miserable to endure. It’s makes nothing feel easy and sucks the joy clean out of you. You can make all the plans you want, but you still feel so bad. It wouldn’t matter what you chose to do. Even if it’s stuff you would normally enjoy you simply can’t enjoy it.

Two, pain is debilitating and can make the smallest tasks seem impossible. Just carrying on a conversation or thinking about a simple task feels overwhelming. My body has been consumed with debilitating nerve pain all day. Now, I’m battling with a pounding headache on top of it all.

Last, but not least pain can feel real embarrassing. None of us like to sound weak or like we can’t handle life’s sufferings. Extreme pain can’t be hidden easily and shouldn’t be hidden period. When you know you need prayer you’ve got to ask for it. Trust me, I wish I could just declare that I’ve got it all together. However, today has proven once again that I can’t even walk without the Lord holding my hand.

Please pray my pain, mind and heart will settle down. I’m trying so hard to find the right balance with my extra medication. I just didn’t expect to wake up this way or for this misery to keep hanging around. I’m putting it all in God’s hands right now. I’m also being obedient as I’m prompted by God to tell you “it’s okay to say you’re not okay.”

In fact, if you’ve got a pain, heartache, struggle or prayer request that’s deeply bothering you. Please mention it in the comments below so others can pray for you. I will lift you up and I will read everyone of them in the morning.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16


I’ve been having a rough pain day myself. But, seeing my Asher pain free and progressing makes me smile BIG inside. Just 7 days after surgery and he is rolling around the house wearing a big ole smile. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Look at him roll….

I Often Feel This Way

Today, was another awesome day of seeing God working at Refuge Church. Honestly, every week I strive to give my best efforts towards point others to Jesus. It’s not about how many attend church, but how many are impacted for God’s glory. Fortunately, there were a lot of God moments I got to witness firsthand.

Unfortunately, I find Satan always likes to point out all that didn’t go right. He likes to hold my many imperfections against me. At the end of any Sunday especially I’m just give out and often ready to collapse. I find myself very vulnerable and sensitive to everything the enemy throws my way.

Fortunately, I’ve learned over the years these are normal feelings. I will always fall short of perfection. I will always see things that in hindsight I could’ve done differently. At the end of the day success is not about our perfection. Success is about surrendering all our efforts to the Lord. Apart from God’s grace would could ever accomplish much.

“Commit all your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

Remaining In Him

Every time I lay down at night it takes awhile for my body and nerves to settle. It feels like every nerve in my body is plugged into an electric socket. I can feel constant vibrations running through my legs and feet. It’s often very difficult to distinguish between my actual nerves versus my spinal stimulator.

All I know is I’ve just got to let my nerves settle before I can rest. That’s so much easier said than done. For me that involves processing and praying over everything. This typically leads to much greater peace and much needed rest.

I’m excited tomorrow to share what God has been speaking to my heart. We’re going to look at how to deal with the distress in our lives. God never gives me a message for others that’s he’s not first asking me to put into practice myself. Pray this Sunday I can rest in God’s arms and just let Him speak freely through me. I’m reminded tonight of what’s been my life verse for the past 30 years of ministry.

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Asher is Doing Great

We’re so happy with how Asher is improving. Just five days after surgery and it feels things have come so far. He has definitely been resting well at night. Plus, he has gone almost 24 hours without any breakthrough medications. He says he has no pain except if something bumps his left leg or foot.

Today he was able to go a very short distance using his walker. He can only use this in very short spurts. One, because he can’t put any pressure on his left leg that is casted. Two, due to the deformation of his right foot, he is not able to support himself and hop very far. However, we believe one day that will all change.

Just 38 more days in that cast and his rehab can begin. Then, we hope the doctor says he is improving so well that we can begin looking at a tentative date for his right foot surgery. We’ve just got to keep taking one faith step at a time.

Asher has stayed in such great spirits and remains very comfortable. He continues to improve daily. We believe all the extra prayers are making such a difference. I believe that by the time my Asher is 15 years old he will finally feel somewhat normal compared to other kids. However, as he would say at only 13 “he is just the way God made him.” He will be special to us no matter his progress.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)

Day 3: Little Faith Walker

Today was our first full day at home since Asher’s surgery. The emotions have settled and the healing has begun. Overall, we’ve been very pleased with Asher’s progress. As long as we give him the recommended pain meds consistently, his pain continues to be very manageable.

Asher has spent the majority of time in his bed, but still able to play games online with his friends. Aimee has been able to get him into the bathroom by rolling him on a computer chair. This takes him places most wheelchairs can’t go. Soon we hope he can use a walker at least for short distances. He needs to do all the strength training possible without putting any weight on that left foot for the next six weeks. However, we all know recovery takes time.

Practically everything this first surgery was about will take up to a year to see the full results. Both implanted growth plates will stay in his knees for at least a year or two. It will take some time for Asher’s hips, knees, legs and feet to all realign together. This will happen through time, rehab, prayer, and faith.

Overall, Asher has been in a really good mood and relieved. He will finish the rest of his school year at home. Hopefully, after he gets his cast off on June 13th he can at least go swimming some this summer. I know firsthand how much water therapy can help his future rehab. Thanks so much for your continued thoughts and prayers!

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”
Isaiah 40:29

I Couldn’t Go To Bed Until…

It’s been a very long day. However, we are so thrilled to have Asher’s first surgery out of the way. Just hearing the doctor say “your son’s left foot is now aligned.” That just does something to your heart when you never thought your son would be able to walk normal or pain free.

The entire surgery went great. His left leg pain block is starting to wear off as he’s just starting to feel more shooting nerve pain. They said sometime during the middle of the night his leg will no longer be numb and his feelings of pain will soar. They plan to be very proactive as possible with his pain medications.

There is a good chance that we could come home tomorrow afternoon. He has his first session of physical therapy tomorrow at noon. We’ll just have to see how that goes. His sweet momma has not left his side and I’m sure she is exhausted. Yet, there’s no where else she would rather be right now.

We know the next couple months will have daily challenges. However, I don’t believe this day could have gone any better. I believe it’s all a result of so many prayers. This is just part of Asher’s journey. This will only make him stronger in the long haul.

He is already scheduled to have his cast removed on June 13th and then his greater rehab will begin. As I go to bed tonight I’m just so “grateful.” Grateful for a wonderful church family. Grateful for so much prayer and support. Grateful for a God called doctor who prayed with his medical team before he ever started surgery.

I did not want to lay my head down tonight without GIVING GOD ALL THE GLORY!

“This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 3:3

Asher’s Surgery Coming Soon

Well, our family is getting ready to go through a new faith walking season. My son Asher will be having surgery Monday morning at the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Greenville, SC. We’ve been anxiously and prayerfully anticipating this day for quite some time.

Asher will be having a total reconstruction of his left foot and growth plate surgery in both knees. This will create a proper arch and correct his severe pronation and flat foot. He will have to wear a cast for 6-8 weeks, use a wheel chair as necessary and then start rehab. Then, 3-6 months after surgery on his left leg he will go back to the hospital for the same surgical procedures on his right foot.

We are very optimistic about how these surgeries can drastically improve Asher’s quality of life moving forward. He has never been able to run and play sports like other kids. The more he has grown the more painful even walking has become. He has other physical challenges that make “normal” activities more difficult for him, but his amazing surgeon feels very confident that this sure will lead to a much brighter future for Asher.

Please join us in praying that everything goes well for his upcoming surgical procedures. Pray God uses the surgeon to do exactly what needs to be done. Pray that Asher can feel God’s peace and comfort through it all. Pray God uses this season to grow us all and bring Him glory.

Another Tough Saturday Night

Honestly, I can’t recall a Saturday night that’s not been tough in a long time. Here I am laying on ice and just waiting on my pain to decrease. Also, my nerves have been stirred up once again. There’s no denying that the combo of these things always rattle my self-confidence.

Thank God my medications will soon have all that under control so I can get a good nights sleep. Thank God I’ve learned that I will make it through with God’s help. Thank God I’ve learned that my effectiveness as a pastor doesn’t rely on my strength alone. Otherwise, I would’ve stepped down several years back.

All I know is God keeps prompting me to share my story. I know there is someone reading this who is facing their own battle. You wonder how you can make it through your valley. Your strength is gone and your confidence is shaken. Just know that God’s strength is perfect when your strength is gone. You are not alone my friend in your struggles. Somehow and someway God will take you through whatever life throws your way.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

His Grace Is Enough

My nerves have continued to vibrate within me all throughout the day. In fact, just about anything can make my anxious nerves flare. So, this afternoon I had to go see my primary doctor. He felt it was finally time to increase all my nerve pain medications. I’ve not increased any of my medications for almost five years. However, I knew what was working is no longer working.

Tonight, I’m going to bed with great hope for much greater relief. I’m confident I’ve got the necessary medications to turn things around. I also plan to get my spinal cord stimulator adjusted as soon as possible. Right now, I just need my nerves to settle down.

I’m so thankful that God always comes through for me. Even when I’m on the verge of a complete breakdown. God just reaches down, picks me up, and carries me forward. I’ve once again got peace and I’m only able to credit God’s grace and faithfulness.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Dad, I remember our
every conversation.

I Feel On Fire

Something happened Monday evening that sparked my nerve pain. You would think someone caught every single nerve within my body on fire. I’ve spent the entire day dealing with nerve pain flooding throughout my feet, legs, back, hands and face. Honestly, it’s hard to explain to anyone what it feels like to have something like electricity running throughout your body.

I keep trying to find the root cause of my issues. I turned off my spinal cord stimulator for hours and nothing changed. I’ve taken stronger medications that changed nothing. I made sure I drank lots of water and nothing changed. Sadly, the only thing I’ve not tried enough is prayer.

If you don’t mind please pray this nauseating nerve pain settles down soon. Pray God will show me anything I can do to calm the storm inside my body. I’m not panicking because I’ve been here many times before. However, it’s impossible to ignore something that is constantly vibrating underneath all of your skin.

Man, I wish I could jump on here and tell you I’m doing great. Seems every time I think I have this mastered it humbles me again. The constant vibrations and throbbing pain are wearing me down. Fortunately, there is nothing that prayer can’t change.

“Jesus said, This kind can only come out by prayer.” Mark 9:29

Recent Scan Results

Today, I finally had a follow up visit to discuss my recent Myelogram and CT Scan results. I must say that Myelograms are one of the most uncomfortable procedures I’ve ever gotten. However, it was definitely necessary to discover the root of my pain issues. Overall, I’ve been more relieved than grieved over what was revealed.

First, let’s start with the good news. All of my spinal cord stimulator implants and surgical hardware is looking great. Plus, nothing “appears” to warrant anymore surgery at this time. My pain has been much more bearable over the past week. Plus, I’ve been released to start back doing physical therapy exercises in efforts towards regaining my ability to fully bend forward.

Now, it was revealed that I still have bulges in my L3, L4, and L5 discs that have not gotten a whole lot worse. None of that was news to me as those were pre-existing issues. Now, I have two newly discovered issues that have been working against me.

One, I have a L2-3 left paracentral disc protrusion. This damage to the disc causes it to protrude/bulge outwards, coming into contact with nearby spinal nerves as they exit the spinal canal, causing pain and discomfort. They believe this area has been creating the most recently started pain in my left side. They have given me pain patches for that area to use when necessary.

The other new discovery found is called Dura Ectasia in my sacrum. This refers to ballooning or widening of the dural sac and is associated with herniation of nerve root sleeves.

This area nearest my tailbone has inflammation and scar tissue that can prevent anesthesia from being effective. This could be the very reason why I’ve not experienced much relief from steroid injections in that area. Dural ectasia can be a source of back pain, headaches, radicular pain, and leg weakness. All of those except the headaches I deal with daily.

All of the above issues are typically treated conservatively with pain control medications, physical therapy, and necessary lifestyle changes. Doctor told me I can go back to my normal life. I just need to take things slow, listen to my body and be careful. There is really nothing that was discovered that was very surprising to me. I’m just glad to finally have some answers and relief. Thanks for your continued prayers.

No Use To Worry

This morning at 8am I will finally have my long-awaited myelogram. This is a diagnostic imaging test that uses a contrast dye and CT scan to look for problems in the spinal canal. This procedure should reveal anything developing in my spinal cord, nerve roots, and other tissues. All I really know is I need to discover what’s really changed in my back. Unfortunately, my stimulator implant doesn’t allow me to have an MRI so this is the route I must go for further discovery.

Out of all the testing I’ve done in the past, this one just means a little more. One, I’m hoping that everything still looks good with my spinal cord stimulator. Two, I’m hoping nothing major has gone on with one of my vertebrae above or below my L5 S1 fusion. Three, I’m just hoping there are no crazy discoveries they find that demand a long road towards further healing.

At the end of the day, I realize my worrying changes nothing. So, I’m just praying God’s will is done in my life. I’m praying God reveals clearly what needs to be revealed. I’m praying God gives me courage and strength to face whatever is discovered.

This is just one more step in my faith journey. I will be at the hospital much of the day. But, I will leave with a copy of my myelogram results from 2018 and 2023. Don’t know if I will be able to understand them or compare them myself. But, next week I follow up with my pain specialist for further explanations.

Pray that my back pain stays under control. I will have to lay flat for several hours. I will be without my heating pads and some medications. I will be glad to get this behind me.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
Luke 12:25-26

A Great Man Of God

This man of God has been my favorite teaching pastor all my life. I watched him on tv and listened to him countless times on the radio. Since I was a child he’s had such great influence on my life. There were so many things about him that made him extremely relatable. Even his son has become a very impactful pastor and communicator.

I can’t ever remember a sermon he preached that didn’t feel like God was speaking straight to me. You could tell he was always striving to walk with God and let God work through him. He communicated God’s grace without compromising God’s word. He was very wise and yet such a practical teacher. He was very compelling and yet so genuine. He was God fearing and yet so compassionate. He was imperfect and yet so very faithful.

Pastor Charles Stanley thanks so much for the impact you’ve made on my life and countless others. Your legacy will continue to impact the kingdom of God. I pray to become half the man your were throughout your ministry. I can’t imagine how many folks you will see in Heaven because of your faithfulness. Please tell my dad hello for me. WELL DONE THY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT!

Your Pain Has Purpose

Lately, I’ve been doing pretty good overall. Especially considering where I was the past couple weeks. However, I’ve still been continuously dealing with that same painful surgical area that changed my life such a long time ago. I really don’t like to use the word handicap. However, I admit that so much of my life has drastically changed because of my physical challenges.

This back and nerve pain is now a normal part of my life. It literally effects every step I take and limits the decisions I can make. Now, please understand I’m beyond grateful for what I can do. However, there are definitely times I ponder how much things could be different without such pain in my life. I think to myself the following..

If I didn’t have this battle I could be a better husband. If I didn’t have this battle I could be a better father. If I didn’t have this battle I could do so much more for family, friends, and others. You see, this chronic pain often makes me feel so limited , discouraged and sometimes defeated.

Fortunately, I realize this pain is a part of God’s purpose for me. Each of us have things that come into our lives uninvited. We all have things that make us feel weak, limited and discouraged. Somehow, God purposely uses all the heartache or pains in our lives.

God uses these things to mold us and make us into who He wants us to be. God uses these things to teach us how to humbly walk with Him. God uses these things to give us greater grace and compassion towards others. God uses these things to build our faith. God uses these things to help us learn to live with truly grateful hearts. Somehow, God uses all these things for our good and His glory.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Celebrate His Goodness

Last night I got really good sleep. Today, my pain has been very minimal as it seems my recent shot is doing wonders. It’s only been one week since my injection and I have seven more days for potential improvement. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the relief I’ve gotten in all areas of my body.

Today, I was able to complete my message for Sunday services. I can’t wait to talk about “Grace For The Race.” Lord knows I’ve had to rely so much on the grace of God lately. God just keeps proving there is nothing He can’t do or take us through.

I thank God for walking with me through the fire. I’m learning more and more how to fully rely on Jesus. I’m learning how to truly be grateful for God’s grace and goodness each day. Without the tough times, I don’t think we would know how to celebrate fully God’s grace and goodness.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.”

(Psalm 136:1-4)

Little Faith Walker says ”hello.”

Somebody else’s dog making Asher happy!

God Will Restore You

Every night this week I’ve gone to bed in pain and every morning I’ve woken up in pain. For so long it seemed my worst pain was behind me. Now, here I am again having to carefully consider every step. The longer you feel brokenness, the harder it is to swallow.

Chronic pain wears you down and can be real blinding at times. You struggle to see beyond the moment. You struggle to enjoy things that would usually be enjoyable. You struggle to operate with patience when the pain puts you so on edge. Trust me, I can resonate with each of those things so much. I’m not in my absolute worst pain, but it seems I’m back to always being in pain.

Even still, you’ve got to keep walking by faith. I’ve seen God turn my darkness to light so many times. I’ve experienced my worst days right before my best days. I know firsthand God is able. I know firsthand that God has a plan. I know firsthand “this too shall pass.” Somehow God will restore and strength you through his grace.

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” 1 Peter 5:10


I really believe God is trying to teach me the power of prayer. I’ve never prayed harder than I did this past week amidst my pain and health uncertainty. I prayed desperately for relief, healing, and for the peace of God’s Will. I know so many of you were doing the same on my behalf.

Now, I realize that my upcoming scans could show I have some further back issues. But, ALL DAY today I’ve felt like God has given me a brand new body. Pain wise I feel completely back to normal. God has comforted my entire body with His healing hand.

It’s only been two days and seven hours since I got my pain shot injection. And, I know there is much more relief to come as it takes full effect over the next two weeks. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your many continued prayers. God gets all the glory for renewing my strength.

God helped me feel so strong all day. I felt him carrying me as I facilitated a very difficult funeral earlier today. I felt Him blessing me when a very good friend drove me to Charleston and back to Walterboro. My legs were still at full strength and my pain didn’t exist even after Saturday night worship service.

1st Easter Service with my bride!

If you don’t have a church to call home and you live nearby. Cone see us Sunday 9:15 or 11am for one of our Easter services @ Refuge Church. We’re located at 203 Eddie Chasteen Dr, Walterboro SC.

I’m celebrating the fact that God has not only resurrected our Savior, but He has once again resurrected me. Yes, I will still take it very easy when it comes to anything physical. But, all day I’ve just felt great and so grateful for all God has done. We all know that Jesus is definitely in the resurrecting business.

“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”

(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Persevering Forward By Faith

Been home since around 5pm today. Everything went great with me getting my steroid injection. Now, I’ve just been icing my back every hour per doctors orders. I will continue this regiment tomorrow. The past has proven the first 24-48 hours of rest and icing can get me on my feet much faster.

While I’ve still got a lot of soreness. My pain overall has been kept under control for two days straight without any narcotics. It’s still very painful to bend forward, but wearing my brace keeps that in check.

Overall, I’m just thrilled with how much I’ve improved. I couldn’t even rest comfortably before, but now sleep has come easy. I’m prayerfully optimistic that this shot can give me significant relief within the next 5-14 days. Unfortunately, I want get to have my Myelogram done until April 19th. Only that done with contrast will reveal what has changed in my back and spine.

In the meantime, my focus is on letting God use me this Easter weekend. If Christ can endure the cross, then I can endure this pain for His glory. I would appreciate your prayers as I seek to make final preparations for a really big funeral service and 3 Easter services this weekend. I truly believe both opportunities are giving me a huge platform to share the gospel.

I’m not hung up on how many people attend these services. I care most about how many souls are saved and lives are changed. For God to show up I’ve got to stay out of His way.

Pray God leads my heart and opens the hearts of those listening. This weekend will not be physically easy for me. But, I pray it will be eternally worth my efforts for God’s glory.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Jesus Gave it all for us!

Positive Strides Forward

Other than sporadic muscle spasms, today has been the most encouraging all week. I’ve been able to study several hours without blinding pain. I’ve been able to comfort a grieving family. I’ve been able to rest when necessary. I actually feel very optimistic about things right now.

Tomorrow is the big day when I get my steroid injection. With my present degree of inflammation, I just can’t see this not giving me some relief. I’m already getting around better and able to stay relatively comfortable. I just can’t bend or twist without the pain gripping me. I’ve been making sure I don’t walk around without my back brace on snug.

I have so much more peace about everything. I just feel in my heart that God is gonna resurrect things sooner than later. If not I’ve just got to embrace He has a very big purpose for my continued struggle. Things often don’t heal in our time, but in his perfect time.

I’m so appreciative of a wife who does everything humanly possible to love me through the better and worse moments of life. There’s no doubt my health has great impact on her health. I’m also very grateful for every prayer lifted up on my behalf. Please know that I’m praying for each of you and your battles. Keep trusting God forward and I will do the same!

“I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

Keep On Walking By Faith


Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart, I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

Just be held, just be held
Just be held, just be held

By: Casting Crowns

Little Man Prays For Me Daily

I’ve Cried A River

I want to write this while it is fresh on my heart. Earlier, I was overjoyed with the news of my upcoming steroid injection. Then, my doctor emailed me the order for my Myelogram. So, I decided I would take that over myself to the hospital since we don’t even live a mile away. My journey there and a few other places ended up being way more overwhelming than I could’ve imagined.

Just trying to get in and out of my car instantly doubled my pain level. Then, while talking with a worker at the hospital I just broke down in tears. It just all hit me at once. Here I was again in my back brace, walking with a cane, and hurting like never before.

This lady knew how far I had come from years before. She immediately started praying for me through the registration window. My heart was just so broken over how bad I felt mixed with how much my health had once again regressed.

I had to go sit down for awhile as my pain was through the roof. While the tears kept falling I had flash backs of my dad. I couldn’t help but recall his painful journey. He knew what it was like to be fighting with everything you’ve got. Then, having to swallow that the battle was way bigger than you.

I’ve always said deep pain affects us physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, and for sure spiritually. Somehow, it wasn’t until I limped into that hospital that full reality hit me. I felt like a grieving child that needed his parents to come pick him up from school. I was humbled in the deepest of ways.

This lady was so comforting and gracious to me. She said “you know pastor we all have our seasons. And this is your season where you need prayers and comfort.” Whether I wanted to hear that or not, I knew she was speaking the truth.

Every person I encountered over the next hour plus saw me at my most weakened state. I found myself wanting to apologize every time someone had to see me in such a wrecked, tearful condition. However, there was no way to hide my pain then or now.

After a couple hours of blinding pain and lots of tears. I feel so much better. I finally got some stronger pain medication in my system that is working. I also believe those tears washed away a lot of pain as well.

As a pastor, I just put so much pressure on myself to be there for others. Unfortunately, I have nothing to give except to share my journey. I know God has a plan. I also know that I’m gonna have to endure a lot more pain along the way.

This pain is definitely just as deep as any I’ve ever experienced. Admitting that still breaks my heart to swallow. I think each of us would rather be a blessing instead of feeling like a burden. I am so grateful for everyone who is praying for me daily. I am so grateful for the relief and solutions God is giving me. I will keep doing all I can while trusting God for everything I can’t. God’s peace is definitely increasing within me every hour.

“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. (Job 22:21)

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b)

Dad, I hear your voice daily.


After being told I would have to wait at least 3 weeks before I could get my steroid injection. I was called early this morning and told they will do my injection this Thursday 2:25pm. That is just 2 days from now folks!!! Tell me that God does not answer the earnest prayers of His people!!!!!!!

I am so lifted, encouraged and relieved by this news. Looks like I’m going to be resurrected in time for Resurrection weekend. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power.”
Revelation 4:11


THANK YOU SO MUCH for praying with me and for me! God heard every prayer and answered for my good and His glory!

Disappointed But Hopeful

“Gotta Keep Faith Walking Son”

Walking through pain is definitely nothing new to me. However, extreme pain will knock anyone down if it hangs around long enough. Unfortunately, my lower back pain has not only been ongoing for a couple weeks, but it keeps increasing. Every move and every step is overwhelming.

I am exhausted and discouraged. I have been doing so well the last few years. In fact, all of my nerve pain is completely under control and my spinal cord stimulator is working great. Yet, this lower back pain has taken me all the way back to where my pain journey ever started 8 years ago.

I can’t bend forward at all without breathtaking pain. I can’t dress myself or even get out of the bath tub without assistance. When I lay down or sit down, I feel like someone has tied me down. It’s like I have a big brick in my lower back and it keeps pressing on my spine.

I absolutely hate feeling stuck in my body again. I still don’t have my pain shot or Myelogram scheduled. I was told that I will likely have to wait at least 3 weeks to get my much needed pain shot. I spent hours this afternoon trying to call doctors and got absolutely nowhere. All of that is just too much to explain, but was very deflating.

On top of all of this my youngest son will be undergoing major surgery on May 1st at the Shriners Hospital in Greenville. I will explain more about that another time. But, I’ve got to get better by then for his sake and my wife’s sakes. Right now, I’m drowning in pain and situations I simply can’t control. The only part of this battle I can control right now is my mindset.

You know, at some point we all find ourselves at this point. We feel broken, discouraged, overwhelmed, helpless, defeated, and anxious. This is simply how it feels when life knocks you down and keeps you down long enough. You reach the end of yourself and know that only God can change things.

This is where I am right now. I’m desperate for prayer, strength and major breakthrough. I’ve seen God rescue me too many times not to believe. I feel way too desperate not to keep praying and asking others to join me. Somehow, this is another part of my journey for God’s glory. I absolutely hate how it feels right now. But, I only want God’s will to be done. I will carry this cross as long as God wants me to do.

I appreciate from the bottom of my heart each of your prayers. I will update you as God leads and answers prayers. I just know God wants me to share all of this with you now. Then, later we will all be able to see clearly what God alone has done!

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16

Take A Deep Breath

Daddy said there would be these kinda days. But, the Lord will be my strength.

Overall, today went way better than I could’ve expected. It was a blessing getting to preach God’s word to two full Sunday services. I had to do everything possible to overcome my pain. I kept ice or heat on my back at all times. I had to limit my interaction with others in order to preserve my strength.

When I started preaching the first service I became very concerned. I felt completely out of breath and the pain was breathtaking. I thought I was gonna break down crying any moment. Suddenly, God flooded me with extra strength and peace to make it through. I could tell throughout the services, God was using my brokenness to connect with others who felt broken in some way.

I got along fairly well the rest of the day. Then, evening arrived and my present reality surfaced again. I told my wife that I feel like a prisoner in my own body. This kind of pain really does drastically change your life. You can hardly do anything you may want to do. If you can do something the pain just zaps all your energy. It can definitely steal your joy if you let it.

Tonight, I’m just having to take a deep breath and say thank you God. Thank you God for what I can do. Thank you for working even when my body fails me. Thank you God for doing things I can’t do at this time. Thank you God for having a master plan for everything I’m going through. Thank you God for promising to walk with me through the valleys. I couldn’t make it through without you. I’m sure there are brighter days to come and greater purpose to be revealed.

Please pray that my much needed pain shot and Myelogram are scheduled asap. I’m hoping I hear something tomorrow. Pray God gives me the strength and clarity I need to prepare for three Easter services and a big funeral this weekend. Moving forward I will definitely be getting in the bed much earlier. I’m convinced that solid rest is just as important as any medication.

Thanks so much to those of you who have been praying for me. I can certainly feel your prayers.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Lord I Fully Trust You

This afternoon my pain flared back up again. I ended up having to take some extra pain killers to get things under control. Seems, every time I feel I’ve progressed things appear regressed. When you’re dealing with certain levels of pain everything looks blurry. You can quickly feel intoxicated by what you’re feeling or thinking.

Deep down, I know this is just God reminding me I’m not in control. God is taking me back to the grass roots of my faith. Where I once again have to fully rely on Him. This time I’m not resisting His call to draw close in any way, form or fashion.

So, I’m just praying tonight that God would use me despite my limitations. In fact, I’m walking forward with greater expectations than before. Why? Because I know that I am leaning on the Lord and letting Him completely take the wheel of my life.

Anytime, we know we’re putting everything in God’s hands. We can look forward with hope. Anytime, we’re genuinely praying “God decrease me and increase you.” We can look forward with greater expectations. Tonight, I may go to bed with a bit of a fog and not a very clear view of the future. But, I’m going to bed with great peace as I put everything in the hands of my Great Big God!

“O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! ….Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” (Psalm 25:1-5)

This Pain Is Different

I’ve been hesitating to update my status because I’m just not sure what is going on. This pain is just very different from my normal struggles. It feels as if I’m dealing with a further bulged disc or maybe another annular tear. Either way, bending in any direction has been quite a chore. My wife has helped me get dressed all week.

Unfortunately, I’m still waiting on the scheduling of both a Myelogram and steroid injection. I care most about the Myelogram with contrast because I really want to know what is going on with me. The doctor’s greatest concern is the disc above my L5 S1 fusion. Seven years ago my surgeon told me there was great probability that later on the disc around my fusion could need surgery. I’m certainly praying hard that is not the case.

The good news is I do feel I’m progressing and not regressing. I’ve not had to take extra pain medication the past 36 hours. I have taken a few extra muscle relaxers but no narcotics. I’ve been able to sleep well the past two nights. I am having to continue icing and heating my body morning, day and night.

The fact that the rest of my body feels normal, puts all the attention on the area of concern. This pain is very restrictive and alarming. My only memory of this ongoing feeling is how I felt the year before my first back surgery and how I felt the first year recovering from that surgery.

All I know is rest has been mandatory. I’ve spent the last 7 out of 8 days pretty much in the bed or bath. Fortunately, any demands I had scheduled this past week were able to be postponed to later days. Overall, I’m happy with the relief that I have experienced. I just know that I’m still walking on egg shells and consistently in more pain than normal for me.

This Sunday I may have to continue wearing my back brace and look a little stiff. But, God has given me the ability, focus and strength necessary to share with others. Ironically, I will be preaching a message entitled “Let Jesus Stabilize You.” That’s exactly what I’ve been doing every step of the way. I appreciate your continued prayers and look forward to seeing how God continues to work.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Giving It All To God

This will be my last post for at least a few days. Unfortunately, tonight things quickly unraveled from seemingly better to worse. All I tried to do was reach down for my bath towel and the pain came rushing back. Now, I have radiating pain in my lower back and both hips. Reaching down for anything is not only breathtaking, but no longer an option.

Sadly, my wife is back to doing everything physically for me. The pain and spazzing muscles have felt paralyzing. Most of all, this level of pain takes me mentally to a place I never hoped to return. Only past experiences and victories have kept me from having panic attacks this time around. I’ve honestly felt very calm even while being very concerned.

That said, I know I can’t control much. This life altering pain will either be short lived or something that will last quite awhile. Either way me and Jesus will walk through it together. So, I’m not gonna feed my pain with lots of careless thoughts. Instead, I’m gonna pray without ceasing and truly give it all to God.

After several hours of wrestling with misery tonight my extra meds have finally calmed the present storm. Hopefully, I can get a good nights sleep and tomorrow will be some better. No matter what tomorrow brings I will choose to trust the Lord with all my heart.

Whatever you may be going through, please know I’m praying for you. There is absolutely nothing God can’t carry you or me through. He has proven this time and time again. We’ve got to keep listening for his voice and trusting fully his master plan.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I Feel Much Better

After a great nights sleep it was great to get out the house. There’s no doubt that I’ve experienced some improvement since yesterday. It’s still tough to lean forward without my back brace. But, my overall body feels much better and that is a huge answer to many prayers.

They did a thorough evaluation of me during my one hour long doctor visit. Based on general X-rays of my upper body my stimulator and lead wires appear just fine. However, they want to take a deeper look at the disc above my fusion which is where my pain is most felt. There’s always the chance that the disc above my titanium disc has bulged more.

The doctor has ordered me to have a Myelogram with contrast to be done as soon as possible. This will show a clearer picture of anything that may have shifted or gotten worse. They will also schedule me to have a facet injection in my surgical area. Unfortunately, it appears this will take a couple weeks to happen.

All that said, I really do feel progress has been made. I feel so much better about my overall situation. Hopefully, there is nothing that won’t heal with time. In the meantime, I look forward to getting this shot and pray that it happens sooner than later.

Thanks for all your prayers that have lifted my head, heart, and body. Several things have shifted and worked out for my good. I feel like so much weight has come off my shoulders. I’m confident God is working everything out for my good. Sometimes all you can do is walk through the pain. I’m walking carefully, but I’m back up walking forward by faith.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Praying Forward

So, the good news is I’ve not gotten any worse. The tough news is I’ve not gotten any better. That area in my lower back just won’t ease up. I’ve been in the bed or tub the last 30 hours. Fortunately, I’m able to lie down comfortably. But, anytime I go to get up the pain is fierce.

I’m still very hopeful that another day of rest can change things. However, I’m pretty sure something is just not right. The area in my lower back hurts just as bad as it did before I had my first major back surgery back in 2016. However, besides that pain the rest of my pain is completely under control. I’m gonna try to turn my spinal cord stimulator up and see if that helps in time.

Tomorrow, Aimee will take me to my pain specialist. Here is what I need you to join me in praying. One, pray that I wake up tomorrow at least a little better than today. Two, pray that the doctor’s request for my pain shot will get approved and scheduled asap.

As a pastor this just comes at the worst time. I’ve got a really big funeral to preach this Saturday. I’ve got to preach twice on Sunday. Then, I’ve got to be prepared and prayed up to preach three services on Easter Weekend.

I will admit that I was pretty surprised when I tried to get up for the first time earlier. The pain feels like I was hit from behind in a car wreck. I’ve just got to believe that God will once again remove this struggle when the time is right.

“But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.” Psalm 18:6

Dad wasn’t here to pray with me this time. But, my mom prayed over the phone with me earlier!

Being Still In Brokenness

Most people who look at me can’t see my brokenness. They typically see a man who looks to be in pretty good shape for 48. I do everything I can to take care of myself and live a recovery lifestyle. Even still my entire body feels nerve wrecked daily.

It’s been 8 years since my way of life was drastically changed. I still recall the words of a well known doctor. He said, “son no matter what anyone ever tells you there is no fixing your permanent nerve damage. In fact, implanting this spinal cord stimulator is just another tool used to bring some hopeful comfort.” Honestly, it took me at least 4-5 years to embrace my brokenness.

Now, here I am 8 years later still physically broken. However, thanks to God’s peace I’m no longer depressed over this reality. No, I don’t ever like having to lay on my side for endless hours waiting on my body to feel better. Yet, these broken moments have become a common place for me. Here is my new found perspective when dealing with my brokenness.

One, God has great purpose for it all. He has proven this to me time and time again.

Two, God is always with me through it all. He has proven this to me time and time again.

Three, God is not punishing me, but is growing my faith through the pain. He has proven this to me time and time again.

Four, I realize everyone experiences some kind of brokenness. God wants to use my pain to give me compassion towards others in pain. He has proven this to me time and time again.

Finally, God is driving me to Him and not away. It’s in the greatest pain that God is trying to get our greatest attention. He has proven this to me time and time again.

God has never let me down one day throughout this journey. My health has failed me countless times. Even still God keeps picking me up and carrying me forward. I can’t wait to see what He will do next during this “be still” season.

You see, great brokenness is not something you just get over. Instead, you have to trust God to take you through it. Keep doing what you can to improve things. Keep praying for God’s strength and breakthrough power. Keep following God and trusting that He still has a plan. Choose to be still and let God be God even in your brokenness.

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Humbled But At Peace

I was so thrilled with the pain relief I experienced yesterday. Everything seemed to be trending forward. While I wasn’t pain free, I felt like I had once again bounced back to normal. I even had a great nights sleep. Then, I got up very optimistic only to feel my body crumbling inside.

Once again it feels impossible to bend or twist my lower back any direction. Anytime I try to get up or walk around the pain feels breathtaking. I’ve had to wear my back brace anytime I’m up for any reason. I’ve had no choice but to stay down, keep resting and keep praying.

The degree of pain in my lower back is something I’ve not experienced since 2018 or 2019. Last Monday it knocked me down for 2 days. This past Friday it knocked me down for two days. Today, it confirmed that something has to change because that particular pain doesn’t seem to be going away.

Today I was able to make an appointment with my pain specialist for this Wednesday. I’ve got to be seen before they can request and schedule me another pain injection. All I can assume is it’s just been way too long since my last pain shot.

In the meantime, I’ve got to doctor myself and rely on my divine physician. I’m having to say no to anything that is not absolutely necessary. I’m having to listen to my body with every step. Because I’ve been here many times before I’m not very anxious. However, I do have many big God assignments coming up that will require my health to improve very soon.

Please pray my pain and physical limitations will not get any worse. Any worse and I won’t be able to do much of anything. Right now, I can at least lay down or in a hot tub comfortably. It’s already hard to get up and even sit up straight. It’s like a huge brick of pain is stuck behind the titanium and screws in my lower back.

This is not my normal nerve pain. This is the kind of pain that feels like something is broke inside. However, I fully believe it’s just an indication of inflammation that is trapped and no longer under control. Pray that I don’t have to wait long to get this pain shot. I’m certain God will renew my strength in due time. This is all allowed for God’s purpose and plan. I’m simply surrendering myself to Him and trusting Him forward. Pray for my wife too because this always puts even more on her shoulders as she helps me so much.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Remember His Faithfulness

I’ve been dealing with a major lower back spasm the past 24 hours. I dealt with this the first part of the week, but I thought it went away. Then, yesterday evening it came back upon me with a vengeance. The muscles underneath my surgical area just won’t calm down. I’ve taken 4 muscle relaxers today alone trying to put this fire out.

It could be that I’m way overdue for another pain shot. This particular area has really not bothered me in quite some time. Now, it’s got me in such vice grips that I can’t really find any comfortable position. I’ve not been able to sleep, lay down or sit down. I’ve been on heat or ice around the clock. I’ve probably spent 8 hours in the tub since last night.

Right now, I’ve got a little bit of the edge off. My youngest son has lifted me up in prayer once again. I’m just believing God will give me some much needed healing rest. I’ve been here many times in the past, but this time I can’t ignore the constant pain.

Fortunately, I can’t think of one Sunday in the past God didn’t have me ready to preach. Sometimes you have to remember God’s past faithfulness in order to trust God’s faithfulness today.

Talking with dad during his cancer battle.

I want you to know that God will carry you through your pain. Just keep putting your little hand in God’s big hand. Just keep doing all you can while resting everything fully in God’s hands. I can’t wait to see what God is gonna do next for each of us.

“Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.” (Proverbs 3:6)(GNT)

Through Every Storm

Life continues to throw curve balls my way. Since 2015 I’ve not had a day without some level of physical challenge. Chronic pain has changed my life, but it’s also changed my perspective.

You see, there are some things you can only learn through trials and tribulations. The valleys are where our faith is forced into flight. Over time God somehow grows us and shows us even more through the pain. Especially when the training wheels of our faith are taken away.

There are still many nights that I could go on and on about my suffering. In fact, I still spend most evenings doing whatever necessary to ease my aching body. However, deep down I’m stronger within than I’ve ever been. This only became possible when I learned how to fully lean on the Lord for my strength.

After seeing God make the impossible, possible. After learning that God really can take me through anything life brings throws my way. After experiencing God’s greatest peace in my lowest valleys. I finally know without a doubt that God will take me through every storm.

Tonight, I recall the lyrics of a song I used to love singing early into my call to ministry. The song is called “Through Every Storm.” I pray you will take these words to heart.

“Impossible to go through life without some hurt, some pain
And you can’t live in sunshine always, sometimes it rains
But God knew every step you’d take
Each valley you’d go through
And He chose long ago to walk with you

Through every storm
God will somehow take you safely without harm
Though at times you may feel frightened and alarmed
Through every storm
Those nights that you’ll spend waiting for the sun
And when you feel your strength is gone, He’ll come
And carry you through every storm

I know you know yourself so well,
With all your weaknesses inside
And you can’t see how you could ever face a lonely night
But don’t you understand your strength is never quite enough
My God’s gonna have to help you do it
I know he’ll see you

Through every storm
God will prove Himself time and time again
And when your efforts aren’t enough He’ll take over then

Through every storm
Those nights that you’ll spend waiting for the sun
And when you feel your strength is gone, He’ll come
And carry you through every storm.
And when you feel your strength is gone, He’ll come
And carry you through every storm.”

Steps Towards A Healthier Me

15 days ago I decided I would seek to eat less inflammatory foods and lose some weight. Things have really gone well when it comes to reducing my inflammation and weight. I’ve now lost 8 lbs and I’m feeling so much better.

My 48th Birthday

The past 7 days I’ve been doing intermittent fasting. I only eat between the hours of 12pm and 8pm. I made this move to give myself clear boundaries and to keep my night time eating in check. This allows me to feel much greater freedom with what I eat during that 8 hour window.

I average drinking at least 75 ounces of water daily. I stay completely away from caffeine unless I desperately need an energy supplement. I find that consistently drinking lots of water really does change everything for the better.

I’ve been trying to do a lot more stretching before I start moving around. With all that has been surgically implanted in my body it really is essential. While my permanent nerve damage always has the potential to humble me. I really do feel that I’ve got so much further I can improve when it comes to my health, mobility, and overall strength. Trust me, all you need is to get some positive momentum and accountability to keep moving forward.

Now, don’t get me wrong when I tell you all this good stuff. Yes, I still spend a few hours most evenings soaking in epsom salt. Yes, I still have limitations that I can’t deny. However, I refuse to just survive and I’m striving everyday to thrive. By God’s grace I really do feel great improvement and greater endurance everyday. I encourage you to keep taking the next right step towards a healthier you!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

My Next 30 Years?

It’s getting much harder to acknowledge my birthday these days. Just knowing that time is ticking by so fast has the wheels churning in my mind. I’ve been pondering all week how I hope to spend my next thirty years. That’s if God grants me that many more years. Hard to believe my dad passed away just 24 years older than I am now.

Turned 48 Today !

That said, I can’t slow time down. However, I can seek to live what time I have left to the fullest for God’s glory. I can seek to make the healthiest decisions moving forward. I can apply lessons learned in the past as I walk towards the future by faith.

There’s no denying that I have many physical challenges because of my broken body. But, that same brokenness has increased my inner strength, peace, resolve and faith. Fortunately, my faith has so much further it can grow. So, I’m trying to take my wife’s advice and just “age gracefully.”

Today I’m thanking God for 48 years of life. I’ve buried many souls that were much younger. Today, I’m thanking God for what health He has restored and given me. Today, I’m thanking God for the plans He has for my life. I don’t have to make up or understand the plan. God simply calls me to follow Him and trust Him step by step. I’ll be faith walking until the day God calls me home.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

Healthy Eating Week 1

A week ago I knew my eating habits needed to change again. Without doing anything drastic I’ve lost 5 pounds in 7 days. Basically, I’ve been staying away from inflammatory foods or drinks as much as possible. I’ve eliminated or drastically reduced my intake of anything dairy, fast food, and caffeine. I’ve not once gone crazy over anything sweet and sugary. In fact, my addiction to sweets has drastically decreased.

I’ve averaged at least 64 ounces of water per day. I try to eat what I can with an intentional mindset instead of a careless mindset. I’m just taking one meal at a time. I’m staying ahead of my hunger so I’m not as easily tempted to eat just anything. Praise God I’m seeing results in weight loss, nerve pain reduction, and a healthier mindset overall.

I’m now sitting at 5’11 and 184lbs. My goal is to at least get back to between 175-178. I have to find unconventional ways to strengthen my body. I’m stretching more often but I have to consistently do that moving around. I’m back to walking more, but I still have to be very careful to not overdue things.

My lower back can take my entire body down in so many ways. Daily I’m learning more how to take care of my body in this season of my life. I’m fighting to live a healthier lifestyle not just experience a healthier season. Hopefully, I will keep taking the next right step by God’s grace.

I’m aiming to do my own tailored version of intermittent fasting. I will aim to not eat anything after 8pm and nothing before 10am. I could easily wait until noon to eat but I need something small with my morning medications.

I’m so thankful to regain some recovery momentum. I’m very thankful for any of your prayers. Please know I’m praying for you as well. Make sure you keep taking that next right step and trust God for the results.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” Psalm 141:10

Back To A Healthier Me

4 years ago I went on the elimination diet. I was seeking to not only lose weight but reduce the inflammation within my body. This diet only allows you to eat any Lean Meats, any beans, any veggies (except corn), any fruits (except citrus) and any nuts. While, yes there are many things you must eliminate. This diet makes it very clear what you can eat. In conjunction with this diet I only drank water and tried to consume at least 60-70 ounces daily.

After just a few months on this diet I went from weighing 205 to only weighing 165. My inflammation was reduced considerably and the doctor took me off blood pressure medicine. For the longest time I was able to stay pretty much on track and never weighed more than 170lbs. It’s been a few years since I’ve done this diet. But, I totally fell off the wagon of eating healthier several months ago.

Now, I weigh almost 190lbs and my bodies feels like it got hit by a truck every morning. There’s no denying that the consistency of junk food, sugar, caffeine, cereal, and definitely ice cream has added more pounds and inflammation. Praise God all of that will stop starting today.

I started back with the right amount of water intake a few days ago. I started back on the elimination diet today. I currently weigh 189.6 lbs. I’ve gotten sick and tired of the increased level of pain. I’m thrilled to be back on track. I’m posting this for accountability and prayers. I will keep you posted of my results and progress.

Based on my experiences I’ve found the following to be the most inflammatory. Caffeine, Sugar, Junk Food, Fast Food, and especially ice cream for some reason. For me not drinking lots of water daily alway comes with a price. Exercising definitely makes a difference as well. I’ve not been taking intentional walks daily for a long time. I will aim to walk 2 miles a day moving forward. I encourage any of you that feel compelled to start your own journey towards a healthier you.


This past weekend our family went on a short cruise to celebrate my youngest son’s 13th birthday. On our third evening, I went up top to take some pictures. The moment I stepped outside I discovered another divine appointment. An older lady from Connecticut was wandering alone crying. I immediately sought to comfort her.

She said “yesterday I received a message letting me know my mom had suddenly passed away.” This death was not even slightly expected. Her mom had been in the same nursing home for the last five years. She suddenly had some kind of seizure and hours later was pronounced dead.

This woman and her mother were people of strong Christian faith. However, this woman needed some Jesus with skin. I did all I could to flood her with love and words of true comfort. She said she had been calling out and calling out for God to help her through this sudden loss. Next thing she knows we’re looking eye to eye with each other. You may call that coincidence, but I call that a divine appointment.

Ironically, this woman had no pastor she could call on to preach her mother’s funeral. Therefore, we discussed how I could facilitate a service online through zoom with her and her family sometime soon. After exchanging contact information, I prayed with this broken-hearted lady. Now, I know her grief will take time to process. I was just glad God allowed me the opportunity to bring some level of comfort.

Sadly, there are so many folks throughout the Lowcountry that experience something similar. They suddenly lose a loved one and don’t have a pastor to come alongside them. These are the folks God has put on my heart. I want to make sure loved ones are celebrated and families are comforted the right way. I will continue to pray for God to bring me more divine appointments.

Connected By God

Earlier, I got a heart warming message from the daughter of someone I recently preached their funeral. Keep in mind that prior to this funeral I had never met this lady or any of her family. Yet, during my funeral preparation I felt such a connection in my spirit. Much like me this lady lived with lots of chronic pain and did have a very strong faith. I mentioned at the funeral that “I felt such a connection with their mom and wished I could have met her.” Well in one way we did meet and connect it just wasn’t in person. Here is the text her daughter sent me…

“Pastor Craig I was just going through my moms bookmarks to find any bills and she had bookmarked your church!!! I couldn’t tell what all she looked at but it was a pretty prominent bookmark. I thought you would like that you actually did have a connection to her while she was still alive.”

This lady had not even lived in this state the past 4 plus years. Yet, somehow she started listening to my Sunday sermons for only God knows how long. This really touched my heart and reminded me that with God there are no limits!

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Way More Than Funerals

This Saturday I will preach my 5th funeral in just one month. Yes I’ve preached countless funerals in the past but this season is just totally different. You see, after my health took me down in 2015 I had to give up a lot of things. One of those things was saying no to a lot of funerals. For several years I had to preserve whatever strength and focus I had to just keep going.

I remember thinking the old me would just have to be a thing of the past. I did my best to be optimistic but also realistic. With my body’s degree of nerve damage you can’t just tell your body what to do. Instead, you’re just grateful to get out of the bed the next day.

In early 2015, I felt God leading me towards preaching funerals for those throughout the Lowcountry who don’t have a pastor. Finally, in 2023 God has given me enough health and peace to march forward with this passionate calling Lowcountry Memorials.

Since my surrender early January there has not been a week God has not given me a unique assignment to come alongside a grieving family. Most of them, I have never met alive.

My youngest son Asher asked “Daddy doesn’t all those funerals make you sad?” I said, “Yes it is sad seeing people have to say an earthly goodbye to their loved ones. It’s also a happy time for me because I always have hope to share with their family and friends.”

I can’t fully explain what God pours through my veins every time he gives me another funeral assignment. I’m not headed there to give them more reasons to cry. I’m headed there to give them the hope we all can find in Jesus Christ. That no matter what we face or lose in this life we have hope in Christ. In fact, we can stay connected forever through Christ.

Along the way, I get to do a lot of loving on the closest of their family members. I get to hear firsthand about treasured memories and life impact. By the time I get to the funeral I already feel part of their family. Plus, when I leave these funerals it drastically helps my perspective of this life and the life to come.

Now, I’m not looking to do everybody’s funeral. I am looking to do funerals for those who truly need me. They don’t need me to preach their funeral, but facilitate their life story. They don’t need me to put together a cute service, but to help their loved ones have a comforting and hopeful encounter with Jesus.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)(NLT)

I Would’ve Prayed With Dad

Lately, God has really been stirring my heart. My compassion for people and reaching people for Christ is at an all time high. As a pastor, I want to help as many people possible. Even still, I’m just a man who puts my pants on like everyone else. I have limits and I’m well aware of those limits. However, God has no limits and that’s why prayer takes things to the next level.

Earlier tonight I really wanted to call my dad. Then, I remembered there are no cell phones in Heaven. The reason for my call would’ve just been for prayer. Prayer that God would continue to show me His way. Prayer that God would continue to show up in a big way as I humbly follow His way.

You see, I’m not one of those people who like to play church. I know that church must be a hospital for broken people. I know that I have to make sure that I allow God to fully take over me and let Jesus be lifted up. The call God has placed on my life has always been much bigger than me.

All that to ask you to please pray for me and with me for this Sunday’s Services @ Refuge Church. I know I’m preaching exactly what God gave me to preach. We will have powerful music planned as well. But, the power doesn’t come from the preaching and the singing. The power comes when God’s truth and spirit collide.

So, pray that many will be touched deeply this Sunday. Pray that God would use me and others for His glory. I want to see souls saved, lives changed, and people finding freedom. I’m praying for pastors everywhere and their services tomorrow. We’re all in this together for the glory of His name.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20

Seize The Moments

Aimée Crosby and I were reminiscing about how it seems like yesterday we just got married. Then, it seems the boys were just born. Now, they are ages 23, 21, 19, and almost 13. Guess we are getting older and those boys are now young men.

Honestly, I don’t know how my wife made taking care of those four look so easy. I look back and wonder how clueless I was back in those years. I sure would’ve helped her more and done a lot of things different. Maybe that is why later we become “grand” parents. Hopefully, we can apply lessons learned in the past.

In the season, you simply do the best you know to keep taking the next right step forward. Looking back there’s only one thing I see that covered our marriage and family with extreme grace. We just kept our little hand in God’s big hand. Apart from God’s grace and guidance what marriage or family can stand?

Hopefully, moving forward I can treat every moment precious since time is fleeting! All the pics I see feel like yesterday. #SeizeTheMoments

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

God Is So Good

While I still deal with weakness in my legs, lower back discomfort and have new limitations. The insane nerve pain I had for so long has been staying consistently under control for quite some time. I’m so grateful to have the necessary relief and strength necessary to feel normal again.

God has really been good to me and worked a lot of miracles on my behalf. I’m very happy for my new normal despite the challenges I’ve endured. I will not forget what God has done for me. I will not quit telling my story for God’s glory.

I remember meditating on the following verses for over five years before I ever saw major progress. My friends don’t give up on what God can do for you no matter where life finds you. God is taking you on a faith walk and you can trust Him every step of the way.

“When Job prayed…the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him…So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.” (Job 42:10-12)(NLT)

Honesty Is Hard Sometimes

I’ve gotten to a point in my journey where sometimes I just don’t want to talk about my health struggles anymore. It is such a roller coaster full of ups and downs. However, it seems the down times hurt a lot deeper when they wreck my nervous system. Here I am again only sharing this update out of obedience to God.

I’m lying on my side with my entire body vibrating. I had to turn off my spinal cord stimulator again. I’m literally out of breath and feeling so deflated inside. While I’ve experienced this level of misery so many times, it honestly never gets easier.

Fortunately, I now have a lot of experience and faith underneath me. I know this storm cloud will pass. I will wake up tomorrow ready to preach. But, the pain is so discouraging and uncomfortable right now. I want so much to wake up and be cured of this condition. Yet, I know that’s not gonna happen until I get to Heaven.

There’s someone reading this right now that can identify with every word I’m sharing. You just don’t feel like you can get through your present condition that affects you physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, and spiritually. Trust me, God will take you through every trial this life brings. I can’t tell you how many times God has picked me up when all I had was feelings of hopelessness.

Put your little hand in God’s big hand and keep it there. Know that your pain has purpose behind what any of us can comprehend. Don’t be afraid to be honest with those around you. God will strengthen you, renew you and keep taking care of you. Faith walking is not about you feeling in control. It’s about realizing that God is in control no matter how things feel or appear to you.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Another Rough Day

Typically, every night around this time is tough with my never pain. However, today has been rough since the moment I woke up. It seems I still live in denial when it comes to my nerve condition. I want to think I can do things like most my age. Unfortunately, my body gives me a very rude awakening at least once a week.

When nerve pain is literally burning in your face it’s hard to smile in these moments. Your emotions take you all over the place. Nothing feels good or easy. All you know is you’re in desperate need of God’s grace and comfort. Even with the greatest faith you still can’t ignore such feelings of torment.

Many see me these days and think I must have been completely healed. Yes, God has brought me a long way and given me some relief. But, I face this giant attacking my entire body everyday I wake up. I depend completely on God’s strength from sun up to sun down. The bad news is I won’t be completely healed until I get to Heaven. The good news is God always makes a way through the seeming impossible.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Looks Can Be Deceiving

The past two days especially have not been great for my nerve pain. This morning our dog simply barked and it felt like lightning rushed throughout my entire body. After that it felt like someone had burned up every single nerve within me from my feet into my face. I spent most of the day in bed before going out to eat for my wife’s birthday. Heating pads have been my best friends. Nightly hot baths have become consistent necessities again.

Something has definitely gotten into my system that has caused things to flare. So, I’m trying to get that message from my head into my heart for acceptance. It seems when things are good it’s so relieving. But, when things flare back up it feels I’m once again a prisoner to my own body. All I know is I’m willing to do just about anything to stay on top of the pain.

Like many who battle severe chronic pain, you can’t always see it on our face. We’re used to trying to keep it in our pocket. We’re used to having to walk through it regardless of how we feel about it. You simply never get comfortable with it. You somehow learn to tolerate it the best way possible.

Anytime this pain totally wears out it’s welcome. I feel forced to come out of my hiding and confess it. I believe wholeheartedly God wants to use my pain to encourage someone else through their pain. I’ve seen firsthand how much God can do regardless of the struggle. Somehow, someway God always strengthens me and gives me just the relief I need to carry on. Often, that healing begins by taking off your super hero mask and earnestly seeking God’s divine intervention. I know God will help you too my friend.

“ Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16

It’s Been Awhile Praise God

Sadly, this change in cooler weather brings a very unwelcome change in my body. Nights especially are full of aches and pains. The metal inside my back is screaming loudly. Every nerve I have seems to be going haywire. The only break from the misery is lots of heat and sleep.

It’s so easy to get down when you feel miserable. In these moments, nothing feels easy. In these moments, everything seems terrible. In these moments, it can be very hard to maintain a positive mindset. However, praise is not all about how you feel. Praise is about recognizing the greatness and goodness of God.

God I thank you for all the times my pain has been very minimal. God I thank you for all that I’m able to do these days compared to days in the past. God I thank you for your undeserved grace and strength that sustain me daily. God I thank you for using my pain to get me closer to you. God I thank you for never leaving my side and proving your faithfulness time and time again.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

Giving God All The Praise

I typically get on here when my pain is unbearable. This post is polar opposite of the norm. I really do believe this is the most consistent my health has been in a very long time. I’ve been able to handle way more mentally, emotionally and physically lately. I am so thankful for God’s strength and peace each day.

25th Wedding Anniversary Cruise

While, I may not be completely healed my endurance and strength has grown so much. My spinal cord stimulator seems to be keeping my nerve pain in check. My hand appears to have no more lingering nerve pain after a procedure done four weeks ago.

Tonight, is the first time I’ve even had to soak in epsom salt in several weeks. I just feel normal again in my mind and outlook on life. I’m back to being able to help others again and that fills my heart with joy. I know I’ve got to continue to live a recovery lifestyle. But where I am now is better than I’ve felt in least 7 years of so many continuous health issues.

I give God all the honor, glory, and praise for the miracles happening in my life.

The following is a scripture I used to meditate on daily especially in my lowest days.

“So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.”
Job 42:12

Parenting Reflections

When we first start out as parents none of us fully know what we we’re doing. We do the best we can to love them and lead them the right way. We pray as they get older they will find their way in this crazy world. After all, we’re not raising them to live with us forever. We’re raising them so they know how to live without us.

Aimee and I have always strived to do our best with our four boys. Even still, we’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. While none of our mistakes were intentional. We all know our children can easily see our imperfections. There are always those moments or opportunities you feel were missed.

At the end of the day, we just have to trust our children in God’s hands. Apologize for the things you feel you may have mishandled. Seize the moments you still have in front of you today. Seek to be a Godly example for them to follow from this point forward. Know that constant love and prayers always have the power to change things.

Three of our four boys are now young men. I can only hope we’ve played some part in helping them find God’s way for their lives. It seems like yesterday we were their ages. Now, we’re shaking our heads over how time flies.

Young parents, don’t miss the opportunities in front of you. Seek to let God lead you as you seek to lead them. Somehow, God will take your little sacrifices and do a whole lot more than you can imagine. Somehow God will take care of all your needs. Somehow God will grow them and you up in the process.

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6

Thankful For God’s Peace

Had a minor procedure done 8/15/22 on my right hand that required 4 very painful shots. Beforehand, I had no major pain in my hand. Sadly, afterwards my hand was full of shooting nerve pain. So, on 8/19/22 they put me on steroids to help with the inflammation. For 6 days I took prednisone and extra pain meds that eventually helped or covered up that pain.

Yesterday (8/26/22) I finally thought things were drastically better and the nerves must have settled. However, after 48 hours without the steroids in my system the previous sensations of shooting nerve pain have returned. Fortunately, wearing this compression sleeve does seem to help. Plus, my overall physical pain has been drastically reduced. However, the last thing I needed was more nerve damage.

This morning around 5am the nerves in my hand woke me up again like clock work. Fortunately, God has flooded me with a lot more peace. At first, I was not processing waiting on something else further to heal very well. I’ve definitely done a lot of kicking and screaming inside the past two weeks. Now, I’m just trusting God once again for my continued healing.

On a very positive note the rest of my body’s nerve damage has been consistently staying in check. My spinal cord stimulator seems in perfect rhythm. So, when I consider all God has done in the past. I can’t help but trust Him with the present and future. I’m gonna keep my little hand in His big hand.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

I Didn’t Need More Pain

Been up all night with my right hand throbbing on fire with nerve pain. Sadly, a simple hand injection that was supposed to help a problem has only created problems. There’s no doubt that a communicated easy solution has become a nightly nightmare the past 8 nights.

Nothing harder to swallow than a doctor telling you something will be quick and easy. Then, you end up dealing afterwards with another constant avoidable pain. Unfortunately, this is not my first rodeo with such unexpected experiences.

It’s amazing how sensitive your hands are when it comes to any shots or torn nerves within. Sadly, most pain medications needed to make this level pain decrease only further complicate my issues. Most narcotics make my heart race and only further delay my ability to rest. Icing my hand has worked at times, but it’s not erasing the pain.

So, pray things settle down soon because I have no present solution beyond prayer. I do know this is just another test of faith meant for me to endure. Pray God gives me solutions but also patience for this extra thorn in my flesh. I’ve seen God help me overcome far greater in the past. I’ve just got to keep trusting him with the present and future.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16

Day 1: God’s Blessing

Here I am only halfway into day one of obedience. God has already flooded me with rest, peace, and healing. I had a wonderful night of sleep. I woke up with my spinal cord stimulator working like a charm. It seems my nerves are settled and my pain is minimal.

Today God led me to read all of Psalm 119. Every word of that psalm centers around the pricelessness of God’s word. How God uses it to guide us, renew us and bless us. It’s so important we meditate on God’s truth daily. If we do so with a whole heart God will fill us with his joy.

It’s so easy in this day and time to get distracted by other things. We pick up our phones day and night with so many options. We most make sure that we don’t read Facebook more than we do God’s book. I’m doing my best to practice this discipline in my life. This isn’t just to reach some goal. But, I know the greatest life is a God led life. And, the primary way God guides us is through His word.

“Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.”

Psalms 119:1-2 NLT

Another 40 Days Away

We all go through seasons and each have a purpose in light of eternity. It’s so important we listen to God’s voice. However, we can’t hear His voice clearly without intentionally seeking His heart. We do this best by removing the distractions and excuses. We do this by repenting and wholeheartedly seeking to draw closer to God above all else.

I’ve had many seasons where God has called me to draw a little closer. I believe I’m in another one of those times in my life. For God to have more space in our lives we’ve got to give him more space. We’ve got to be willing to make whatever adjustments necessary to keep walking closely with Jesus.

God is leading me to take another 40 days away from social media. Therefore, I will be deleting my Facebook app. I will only jump on whenever God is leading me to share something. I will use this time of fasting from social media to seek even more the heart of God. To let God renew me and ready me for His service. I will be praying for each of you even in my absence.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

From Struggle To Strength

I’m finally home after a very tough physical day. However, I’m so much better now compared to how my day started. After several days of over stimulation I decided to turn my spinal cord stimulator completely off. This time instead of it just being off 5 hours. I decided to try at least 12 hours. Well, I turned the unit off Saturday night at 9pm. Then, around 1:30 am on Sunday morning I was drastically awoken from pain consuming me at the highest level.

If I ever wondered if my stimulator helped much. I don’t have to wonder anymore. After just 4 1/2 hours off every ounce of pain I ever had returned. I was half asleep and crazy after being so shocked by the pain. I can’t think of one part of my body that wasn’t aching intensely as I just sought to catch my breath. Once I realized what was happening I quickly turned my stimulator back on.

I can promise you this my friends. I will never turn my spinal cord stimulator fully off again. I may turn it down but never off completely. Every nerve in my body still feels like they were fried. My legs have barely been at 30-35% level strength all day. I feel like I’m just having to drag my feet when I walk.

Fortunately, my stimulator appears to be putting things back in order hour by hour. I’ve got things set a few notches lower than before. My overall nerves have settled quite a bit. Now, my body is simply recovering from a nightmare experience. I fully believe God allowed this week’s struggles so that I could be sure of my source of strength. Otherwise, I couldn’t have preached boldly this morning’s message called “Where Strength Is Found.”

(2 Corinthians 12:8-10) Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Not Who I Once Was

Tonight is another one of those nights. In fact, this makes four nights in a row my nerve pain has wrestled me to the ground. I’m writing this post while icing my back and laying on my side. Whether I like it or not the cold hard facts are impossible to ignore. I’m not physically the same person I used to be for so long.

I’ve come so far when it comes to coping with my nerve wrecked body. However, I’ve hit another one of those rough patches. Since Sunday night nothing has felt easy and my nerves have felt fried. That’s hard to swallow when you’re a pastor who genuinely loves people. Yet, my body will only allow me to do so much.

I can no longer deal with crisis situations from sun up to sun down. I can no longer drive whenever and wherever I feel like it. Sure, I can try to be who I used to be to so many. But, I will only end up feeling like I do right now.

Sometimes you just have to speak cold truth to yourself. I’ve been doing better than ever on my diet. I had been doing excellent with keeping my nerve pain under control. But, I gradually drifted towards being the old me. Now, I know there’s a reason why I’ve watched carefully my ministry load for the past seven years.

While I absolutely hate this nauseating pain flooding my body. This is God’s way of reminding me of my new limits. In fact, if you are dealing with life altering chronic pain. You will have to drastically adjust your way of life and make daily tough decisions. It’s okay to have clear boundaries and a constant self awareness. You just need to keep taking the next right step when it comes to your new normal.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” Psalm 143:10

Dear Father’s Day In Heaven

I know you’re not here physically anymore on this earth. Yet, there is so much you’ve left behind I must acknowledge. In fact, with each day that passes your impact fills my heart. So much of my life, family and ministry is a direct product of your investments. In tribute to your legacy I just want to point out a few ways you’ve changed my life.

One, you always cared about me. I never had to wonder if you loved me. Even when you disciplined me I knew love was guiding you. Thanks for always caring and being involved in my life. It has helped me to live feeling loved and secure as a man. It has helped me to know how to love my wife, kids, and others in my life.

Two, you were such a Godly example for me. Sure, you never fully understand or appreciate things the same when you’re young. Now, all I see is a man who did his best to live with integrity and sincerity before God and others. While none of us are perfect. I know you always strived to practice what you preached. You were truly a man worth following and celebrating.

Three, thanks for giving me a passion for reaching lost souls. I truly feel that my ministry today is just a continuation of your ministry the past 45 years. I’ll never forget you screaming out the car window because another soul came to know Jesus that Sunday. You and mom lived your lives to love God, love people and point others to Jesus. I plan on living the rest of my life doing the same as you.

Dad I could mention so many more things that made you great. However, I know you never cared about applause or recognition. I sure wish you were here for us to celebrate. However, I plan to never forget you and always celebrate your legacy. See ya again later once my mission here on earth is done.

Love you so much and we will do our best to take care of mom!

Your Middle Son

Had Another Meltdown

Late last night I experienced something that used to be a daily occurrence. Honestly, I didn’t see it coming it had been so long. I knew the pain in my lower back surgical spot was increasing in pain. What I didn’t know was I would end up in a nonstop puddle of tears.

The best way I can describe it is like a neurological seizure that rushed throughout my body. I’m not talking about parts of my body, but shooting nerve sensations from my feet into my face. Every single nerve within me experienced shock waves. Next thing I knew I was snot crying out the toxins that filled my veins. Honestly, for a short while it really took me back to times I would rather forget.

Today, I feel like I’m just reflecting on a really bad hurricane that swept through my body last night. Sure, I’ve still got some discomfort in my lower back. But, the insanity has been calmed once again. I told my wife it blows my mind that nearly everyday used to feel that way. I really never knew what the next minute would hold. I used to fall apart seemingly everyday.

Praise God I generally live with much greater peace, confidence and consistency these days. I’ve learned how to embrace my new normal. I’ve learned that God will always be faithful. I’ve learned that God can and will see me through whatever life brings my way. I still pray for each of you that are walking through pain. Trust me, if God can help me He can help you. I live each day as a miracle knowing God is so good. My greatest pain nowadays just reminds me that I no longer live in my yesterdays.

(Lamentations 3:22-23)
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”

Still Blows My Mind

I was looking through my God led blog stats. Once again I was very humbled. Over the last 10 years I’ve written over 1500 posts. They have been viewed over 100,000 times from people in 130 different countries. How in the world does that happen when all I’m doing is sharing my faith walk. I know there are many that read my blog that I will never meet in person. I want you to know I truly care about you. In fact, God cares about you and has special plans for you. I’m praying something I share will encourage on your journey. Here below are pics of the 24 countries that have read my blog this past month besides the United States.

Day Two: Forward Optimism

This is just day two of my 40 Day Faith Walk reboot. If you’ve followed my pain journey the past several years you know this is either my 4th or 5th time on this type of God led journey. In these 40 days I hope to grows me stronger physically, mentally, emotionally and for sure spiritually. I believe I’m headed in the right direction under His care.

Today, I was out of the house for around 4 hours. At least, I was able to get something accomplished. I did have to keep my battery operated heating pad on high the entire day. Seems as soon as I take it off the pain in my lower back takes me back down. I get extremely weak and nauseous quickly.

So, around 4:30pm today I had to take a muscle relaxer and go back to sleep. After a couple hours of sleep I felt much better. I’ve just been sluggish because of the medication. At least this time I was able to stay ahead of the pain. My body overall just feels like it’s throbbing and worn down.

My stimulator technician has allowed me to turn my stimulator back up just one notch. Which means I’m now running it on a level 5. I used to run it on a strength level of 8. I know my unit has not been giving me the same level of pain relief as before. That surgical area just seems to stay very sensitive and sore.However, I feel today was a huge step forward towards optimism.

One, the pain overall has been kept bearable. Two, I was able to be out twice as much as yesterday. Three, I do believe turning my stimulator up will help in time. Unfortunately, that could still take another week for very noticeable changes. As I look back to when I used to write all the time about my pain. I realize several things worth highlighting.

One, things have only been rolling down this hill the past 6 weeks. I was doing so good for what seemed like so long. So, I know things WILL get better in time. Adjustments are just having to be made while God has me in His workshop.

Two, I never started any of my other 40 Day Faith Walks feeling this good. Where I am now is where I usually ended back in those days. Meaning I’m starting this journey knowing my glass is half full not half empty. I never had this level of mental, physical, or spiritual confidence when facing similar valleys in the past. Meaning, the past battles really have left me stronger and more battle prepared. I thank God that I’m still way better today than how things were for so many years.

Three, I can just feel the hand of God upon me. This is another purposeful time where God is teaching me and hopefully using me. I do feel strength even in my weakness. I do have confidence as I look into the future. I do know deep in my heart that God will take me through this struggle. He always has and He always will supply all my needs.

I’m going to bed with my physical pain at a 5 out of 10. However, I’m also going to bed with my spiritual peace being a 9 out 10. Of course, anything that is heavy feels heavy. But, when you can feel God’s presence and see God at work. Your spirit can be lifted even when your physical strength is low. I’m seeking to trust God with every step just like a child. And, I’m so thankful for all of my prayer warriors. I’m praying for you too!

“Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

I Need Your Prayers

I really didn’t see this coming. This pain has once again wore me down and left me shaking my head. Honestly, I can write about it easier than I can talk about it. It’s not that I get so emotional, but just breathing wears me out right now. This pain is so suffocating and impossible to ignore.

Right now, there isn’t much positive thinking. When the pain reaches this level it tends to blow up your internal breaker box. Misery is the nicest word that comes to mind. And, in the midst of this misery I’m fighting to keep the faith.

So, I’m gonna keep this real short. I’m headed to bed just in hopes of some relief. Sadly, the only time I’m not hurting is when I’m asleep. I’ve officially taken the next 40 days away from social media. So, the only ones who can read this are those who connect to my blog. Please join me in praying for breakthrough. I can’t change this on my own. I desperately need God to intervene.

“Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27

I Understand Your Pain

I’m not writing this for just anyone. I’m writing this for those who can relate to nonstop pain. I know what it’s like to feel uncomfortable every moment you’re awake. To feel like each breath takes effort for many reasons. I know how pain melts you and unfortunately changes you. While you try to take the next right step, even the first step can be difficult.

Traditionally, I try to take Monday’s off to recover from Sundays. However, even after 10 hours of solid sleep I was still hurting when I woke up today. All I’ve done today was rest, lay down, or sit up. My body hasn’t felt like it could handle anymore. Here I am still dealing with continuous pain and back in the bath for the evening.

Looking back, I’m sure I shouldn’t have stood to preach both Sunday services. That’s something I’ve only done a few times over the last 5 plus years. Either way this pain is all too familiar. It’s been a day full of discomfort, discouragement, and distraction. You go through so many emotions, but somehow God gives you enough strength to keep hoping forward.

Fortunately, I know this all can change. It’s not always this way, but when it is you find yourself in such turmoil. You feel burdened and sometimes like a burden to those around you. If this describes your feelings know that you’re not alone. God is with you and others do understand your challenge. Fortunately, tomorrow is a new day and God can always change things.

“Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands.” Psalm 31:14-15

When You Lose Control

I don’t think losing a sense of control ever does your nerves a lot of good. You would think by now I would be a veteran of dealing with chronic pain. However, this past week really shook me up. Even though I’ve had many rough seasons in the past. My most recent flare up left me afraid and wondering what the future might hold. In fact, humanly I still wonder about things.

There’s just something about feeling so limited that brings you to your knees. It’s so much easier just to talk about your faith. But, when faith is all you’ve got your faith better grow deeper roots. I’ve been having to borrow from past victories in order to believe God for present ones.

Fortunately, I know my faith can’t rely on my abilities. Even if I was extremely healthy that could change in a heartbeat. How often do we rest our faith on our abilities, resources, or circumstances. Once again I believe God is aiming to take the training wheels off of my faith. He’s calling me to trust Him more and to realize that all my hope is only in Him.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

I’m Feeling “God”

Well, I haven’t been out the house today. However, I have been getting some much needed rest and relax time. It seems my spinal cord stimulator is working to perfection at it’s new setting. I feel nothing crazy going on within my body. My pain is under control and my nerves are very calm. Last night, I slept almost 10 hours straight.

I’m continuing to watch what I eat and drink. I’ve found it’s okay to eat a normal meal here and there. But, for the most part I’m continuing to watch carefully what I do and I don’t eat. Still eating mainly veggies, fruits, lean meats, nuts, and beans. Occasionally, I eat some dairy. But, even with plain Rice Krispies I use non sweetened almond milk. I do all I can to stay away from inflammatory foods and to intentionally digest anti-inflammatory foods. Of course, this is always flushed by water, water, water.

The only other big adjustment I must make moving forward is my stress load. When you’re in a vocation that is always demanding something from you it can be dynamite to your system. So, I’ve got to recognize my limits and anything that can take me down easily. I guess I’m still having to learn how to live my new normal.

I want to thank each of you for your continued prayers. They mean a lot and make a big difference. While I’m still a little winded from a very tough week. I’ve got great peace and optimism moving forward. I can’t wait to make the devil mad with each day that passes. I give God all the glory for my progress!!

Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Tears, Smiles, Peace

This has been a very long week and a very long day. There have been many ups and downs. I’ve had many reasons to smile and some reasons to cry. So, I decided to do both for healing purposes. Now, I’m about to go to bed full of God’s peace.

I finally got my spinal cord stimulator adjusted today. After much evaluation it was confirmed that my unit must be dialed down. Due to over stimulation of my nerves my stimulator can only be run at fifty percent of its usual power. Now, it can take up to two weeks for full benefits to be felt. But, it will immediately keep my nerves from being fried even if it does allow some pain to increase.

It’s so hard to explain what this stuff feels like inside of you. All I know is that stimulator is like oxygen for my body. It keeps my nerves and pain under control. I never fully realize all it’s doing until it’s taken away. When it’s not running at full strength I become quickly deflated and discouraged. However, anyone is gonna feel discouraged when your pain escalates so quickly.

That said I know things are on track for betters. Most that have those units must get them adjusted at least 1-2 times yearly. I’ve had several cry sessions today without warning. They weren’t reflections of any sadness, but the madness that wrecked my insides. Often, when it gets this way it’s like a chemical imbalance that can only be cried out of your system.

Throughout this day I’ve had many divine conversations. Enough for me to be sure that God is not wasting my pain. God is making me stronger day by day. God is giving me opportunities to use my story to encourage others. God is healing my mind, body, and soul even when I shed tears. Just for the record I really am going to bed smiling tonight.

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Another God Made Day

Well, the prayers must be working because I’ve had no meltdowns today. I’ve also been doing everything I know to keep things under control. When things get this way I’ve learned every strategy matters. If I’ve got to stay in my bed longer that’s what must happen. If I’ve got to soak in a tub for hours that’s what must happen. If I’ve got to watch everything I eat that’s what must happen.

Today, I just shortened my day and worked from home. That allowed me the strength to facilitate a funeral today. That allowed me the ability to go and celebrate my niece’s 18th birthday. After all if you can’t be there for your own family you shouldn’t be ministering all the time to others. I’ve just been very grateful overall with today.

I have found that keeping my battery operated heating pads constantly on underneath my shirt has been a life saver. Seems as long as I keep that surgical spot heated it usually keeps me sane. Praise God, I will be getting my spinal cord stimulator adjusted by a professional tomorrow at noon. Early this morning I did turn my unit back up to what used to keep things under control. That could’ve contributed to some of my pain improvement I experienced later today. But, I know I’ve still got to get things checked.

Now, I will spend another evening in the tub. But, I’m very grateful for God’s new mercies each day. Things could be so much worse for me. Even amidst all the squirming my pain creates within me. I know how much more hope I have today compared to years before. So, God keep taking me by the hand and leading the way. Use every ounce of my pain for your glory. Hopefully, y’all will hear much less from me about my discomfort in the days to come.

“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 9:1-3

God Only Knows

Somehow this pain just keeps sneaking back up on me. Everyday ends with me feeling like I’m in unbearable pain. Saying I hate feeling this way is an understatement. I was doing so well for so long. Plus, I’m seeking to do all the right things more than ever before. Yet, my pain is so much worse in my lower back.

Crazy how that one spot can bring me to my knees anytime. In fact, my surgical spot dictates my overall condition at all times. If the pain there is under control my life feels day and night different. When it stays on fire anything in life feels unbearable. It really is starting to wear me down.

I don’t even like to use this word but I know it’s true. I now have a major disability that I must learn how to live with the rest of my life. Based on medical records I could go file for disability any time. And, I would do so if that’s what I felt led to do. But, I don’t want to live with a disability perspective. I know God has so much more for me to do.

However, I am having to change my perspective day by day. I can’t do things like I’ve always done. I can’t handle hardly anything physical anymore. Sadly, so many things ignite and escalate my nerve pain. All I know is quit is not an option. So, if I can’t get over it I will trust God to take me through it.

All I know is God has a plan. There is nothing that takes Him by surprise. Somehow this is part of his plans for my life. I’m not asking God to remove this pain. I am asking God to use this pain for His glory. I pray something He leads me to share will encourage others.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I Know You Hate It

Maybe you feel stuck inside a broken body or situation that keeps letting you down. No matter how hard you try it keeps impacting all aspects of your life. It’s not one of those things you can just ignore. Time has proven this is just your present cross to bear. Boy, can I relate with your feelings.

Many weeks have passed since I can remember not having to fight this increased pain inside my body. I’ve been doing everything possible to make things better. More rest, shorter days, diet, exercise, and everything else in between. The pain in my lower back just keeps holding me hostage. I literally have to calculate each move just to keep it bearable. My days are tough but my nights are much worse.

One of my last deep conversations with dad.

Fortunately, I have learned a lot over the past 7 years of chronic pain. You can’t let it completely steal your joy. You have to believe that God sees all, knows all and has a plan for it all. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pastor or the president. There will always be something fighting to steal your joy. It could be physical, emotional, mental, or relational pain. Don’t obsess over what you can’t control. Rest in the fact that God is always in control. Jesus can still fill your love with joy and purpose even in the pain.

Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them life to its fullest.” John 10:10

The Facts Don’t Lie

My friends you have to keep up with certain facts if you deal with certain challenges. Everyday I seek to watch closely certain things in order to overcome my chronic pain. I watch my rest, activity, eating, drinking , standing, sitting, and even driving habits daily. Each of these things especially pooled together with others can easily take me down.

For instance, there is a reason I’ve not gotten out of the bed since last night. I had an absolutely wonderful day with my church family celebrating 8 years of God at work. At the same time, I knew before I went to bed that today would be very tough. Fortunately, this time I know why my body is aching so much. Why? Because I have learned that the facts do tell a lot about what’s going on.

Here are the facts according to my Fitbit.
One, I only slept 3 1/2 hrs the night before when me condition demands at least 8 hours of rest daily. Two, I typically shouldn’t walk over 5,000 steps per day. But, yesterday I walked nearly 15,000 steps. Three, my body does best when I’m not physically active for more than 6-8 hours daily. But, yesterday I was physically active for 14 hours. Four, my body does best when I drink at least 60-80 ounces of water. Yesterday, I maybe drank 40 ounces. Finally, I typically don’t drink any caffeine due to how much it adds to my inflammation. Yesterday was the first day in 7 days that caffeine was let in me body.

Overall all I ate pretty healthy and didn’t do anything crazy yesterday. But, the facts were still stacked against me. Keeping a close eye on these facts actually helps me a lot. They remind me that each of my decisions and sacrifices truly matter. They facts settle me because I don’t have to wonder what’s causing increased pain. Often, I can just look back at a day or a series of days that I just got off track. Don’t under estimate the impact of your daily decisions on your overall condition.

The good news is I have answers. I will rest this weary body today and look forward with great hope. My overall nerve pain is under control. My spinal cord stimulator is back into rhythm. My peace with God and His Will for my life has never been greater. And, I’m about to eat me some greens, cabbage and chicken. Praying for everyone of you.

“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Corinthians 10:23

This Too Shall Pass

According to my Fitbit I finally fell asleep around 4am still with a fever. I woke up around 8:30am to take medications and fortunately had no fever. While I’m very sore all over, I no longer have a fever. I ate a small yogurt for breakfast and immediately my stomach went back to cramping. An aching body, cramping stomach, nausea, and great fatigue seem to be my only symptoms.

I went to Urgent Care earlier for a checkup. Praise God both the Flu and Covid Tests came back negative. Doctor says something viral has gotten into my system. I’m waiting now on prescriptions that should help my stomach and nausea. Lord knows that was one long painful night. I feel strongly that in 2 days I should feel much better. My pain now is no more than a 4 and most of the night it felt like a 10.

I’m still at greater peace knowing that something extra caused that insane pain. My wife Nurse Aimee keeps taking great care of me. I would love to eat a little more but my conditions just won’t let me right now. Doctor basically said that I would know I’m better the moment I truly feel better. Only then will I not be possibly contagious. Fortunately viruses can leave your system quickly even if it does leave behind temporary fatigue. Thanks so much for the prayers!

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Still Waiting

Here I am 5 1/2 hours later and my fever just dropped under 100. I’ve been rotating ibuprofen and Tylenol every 2 hours. My overall pain has decreased but the fever is keeping me uncomfortable. Been awhile since I was still wide awake after 3am. I can’t believe all the other meds taken earlier don’t have me fast asleep. I’m so glad this is no longer my typical bedtime experience. #patience

“But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Another In The Fire 🔥

It feels like I’ve been waiting days for the nonstop agony in my body to settle down. I just couldn’t understand why my total body pain kept climbing and climbing. It was the longest time in my memory of such continuous high level pain. Even after numerous medications my pain just kept escalating for the last 5-6 hours.

The longer nothing worked I believed that something extra had to be in my system. Anytime I get some bug in my system it takes things from bad to worse. For several hours my fever just wouldn’t even begin to decrease. It’s just finally come down to 100.2 after four hours of discovering I had a fever. Nothing seemed to put a dent on the havoc it’s been having on my shattered nerves.

God reached in and rescued me again!

The Covid test I took came back negative. The symptoms I’ve been having line up with possibly the flu or some 24 hour virus. I’m finally able to breathe a lot more calmly. I’m still not comfortable enough to sleep unfortunately. Lord knows I’ve been begging God for relief. I’m so appreciative of anyone who has lifted me up in my desperate time for prayer.

While I still feel terrible I’m somewhat relieved. I would much rather have a temporary bug wreaking havoc than for my chronic pain to be totally out of control with no clear reason. My pain was the highest it has ever been and the fire just wouldn’t stop within my body. I’m so grateful for God reaching into my situation and giving me some relief. Also, I’m thrilled to have possible answers for my extreme nerve pain.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2

I Don’t Always Understand

Here I am again feeling so so sick. My nerve stimulator must still be off track. I’m hoping tomorrow or Friday they can adjust it in person. Problem is even after adjustments it can take days and even up to two weeks to make a true difference. My gut tells me that I’ve likely been over stimulated again. So, I’m turning the entire unit off for a few hours break.

I just don’t understand why I’m still in such a battle. I don’t even feel misery is adequate enough when I’m in this kind of pain. My blood pressure feels like it’s through the roof. My entire body aches and shivers as if I’m roasting in fever. Yet, both of those things checked out perfect.

What’s so frustrating is I’ve really been doing everything by the book. I watch so closely my eating, sleeping and really my every step. Even still, this blinding has struck my body once again. I guess I really never knew such high level pain like this before 2015.

Once again, I’m writing to process the pain. Even more I’m hoping to keep trusting God through the pain. I’ve been by the bedside of so many people longing for comfort. However, most of those folks knew their days were short. They would just do everything possible to bear another day. They knew their best healing would be ultimate healing in Heaven.

Now, I find myself in a club I never asked to join. I find my faith being tested as my body gets rocked daily by chronic pain. I still recall thinking a few years back how I could never want to live if this level pain always stuck around . Fortunately, God does give me breaks from it. However, as always it’s hard to see beyond such present breathtaking misery.

My 12 year old came and prayed over me a little bit ago. His hands, prayers, love and faith mean so much to me. I told him I needed him to pray it out again. I’m getting off of here because the nauseating vibes and aches just won’t go away. My body feels on fire. Honestly, my nights have been really bad recently. Just ask God to flood me with his unlimited grace and mercies. I know He will hear and answer every prayer. When I’m in this kind of pain I’ve got to put my pride aside and ask others to pray for me. Goodnight I’m praying for you too!

“At night my bones are filled with pain, which gnaws at me relentlessly.” Job 3:17

5 Ways To Reduce Chronic Pain

1. Process It, Don’t Feed It

There is a difference in working through something vs wallowing in something. We don’t have to be defined by our pain. We also don’t need to be in denial of it. Process where you are in the moment, but aim towards where you want to be in the future. Get things off your chest when necessary. Find others who care and can relate. But, always look for ways you can improve your situation moving forward with hope.

2. Think Before You Act

Chronic pain is definitely something that changes your life. So, you don’t need to do anything to make matters any worse. Recognize your physical, emotional and relational limits. Monitor your physical activity daily so you don’t over do it. Don’t put yourself in situations that have proven to escalate your pain and stress. Only you know when something just isn’t gonna be good for you.

3. Focus On What You Can Do

Pain will be all you see if you don’t search hard for the blessings. Trust me, I know there are times that pain just has you in it’s vice grips. But, when possible consider what you can do and what you can change to better your situation. Otherwise, you will just live focused on your limitations. Don’t let pain steal all your joy and peace. There is always something to celebrate and aim towards doing to possibly bring a brighter day.

4. Choose A Recovery Lifestyle

There are some things you don’t just get over. Instead, God takes you through them. Choose to wake up each day and live your best life now. Discover your best new normal and do what you can to live your healthiest despite your condition. This means that you seek to keep taking the best next step in front of you. Whether that’s concerning your daily diet, exercise, spiritual disciplines, or making other healthy choices. Honestly, you need to keep studying what has helped others with your particular condition.

5. Don’t Belittle The Power Of Faith

Anything bigger than you demands the help of a big God. Your greatest brokenness should lead you towards a greater openness to God. You may feel like God is not working. But, actually God has you in His workshop. This weakness is meant to lead you towards greater faith in God and greater strength in Christ. Humanly speaking you can’t do but so much. With God leading you the sky is the limit. Thriving through pain demands that you faith walk instead of flesh walk. Faith is doing all you can do while trusting God for all you can’t do.

(2 Corinthians 12:9-11) “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

*These are just a few things God continues to teach me as I learn to live my new normal with daily chronic pain.

Your Diet Really Matters

Eating healthy is difficult for most living in this world. However, once you truly know your health depends on it you should have greater motivation. How you eat will likely determine the quality and the quantity of your life. You’ve just got to decide to make better choices one meal at a time. Your choices will impact you and those you love.

I’m one week back to clean eating and more hopeful than ever before. There is no doubting that it affects your life big time. Especially if you have aches and pains you’re battling daily like myself. Especially if you have underlying health issues that are only ignited further by what you put in your body.

You can exercise all you want as we all should strive to do. But, what you eat will always impact your overall health. This has been a hard truth for me to swallow. But, deep inside I’m glad that my chronic pain forced this lifestyle upon me. This way of living not only helps my pain, but gives my life much greater hope looking forward.

I’m posting these words not to preach, but to encourage you forward. If you know something needs to change make the necessary changes. I prayed and prayed for God to heal my body. God answered that prayer by giving me some ways to improve the quality of my life. There’s no need to look for other solutions if you’re ignoring the answers God has given you. So, don’t keep saying “I know I need to do this or that.” Choose to wake up tomorrow and make the best choices possible one day at a time.

“I CAN do all things THROUGH CHRIST who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Too Much To Handle Alone

Well, I didn’t get to sleep until after 3am this morning. So, when I got up to take my morning medications my body was definitely struggling. I was still looking forward to getting my spinal cord stimulator adjusted at noon today. Unfortunately, the adjuster reached out to inform me that appointment couldn’t happen. I’m fact, they can’t adjust my stimulator in person until this Friday.

While I was definitely happy about getting extra rest. I wasn’t sure what the day would bring my way. I pretty much slept until around 2pm. When I went to take my shower I felt things were improving concerning my overall pain. Then, like lightening in a bottle my body felt on fire head to toe. When that happens I can’t process anything well. All I know is it feels like flames inside my body.

This experience definitely brought me to my lowest point. I just couldn’t believe that things were only getting worst. However, the more I processed things I knew this was 100 percent nerve pain. So, I called and spoke to my stimulator adjuster.

Around 5pm she told me to turn off my stimulator for at least 3-4 hours. Then, if I felt okay after that turn it back on at just half the strength I normally have running within me. It appears this is a common thing with many of her stimulator patients. What your nerves could handle a year ago might not be good for them now. These nerve like impulses can overload your system over time.

Based on my past experiences, I definitely felt like my nerves were being over stimulated. So, I turned off my stimulator over 5 hours ago. In less than two hours the insanity of nerve pain drastically decreased. However, quickly you start feeling other pains the stimulator had been covering up.

I’m back in the bath just waiting on God to settle this storm. I feel very optimistic that we’ve found the root of my greatest problem. I will turn my unit back on either late tonight or early morning. I want to make sure that my nerves don’t get overloaded again. My representative said it can take up to 24 hours to get the overload out of my system.

Every time I have an episode like I had today it’s like I’m in a really bad dream. When you have absolutely no control over your body it’s very frightening. However, these same fears are what God continues to use to elevate my faith. All in one day I experienced rest, peace, chaos, heartache, torment, and now lots of hope about my situation.

I know everyone on here has something in your life that has totally overwhelmed you. In fact, sometimes you feel like it has ruined your life. Trust me, I can relate to all your human thoughts and emotions. I’ve been doing a lot of deep thinking lying flat on back.

However, let’s admit it that this is where God becomes real for us. You know, when we can’t fix or change a thing. When all we we can do is look up and shoot prayers up. That’s where God becomes real in the midst of our brokenness. It’s there if we let Him God picks us up and holds us together. God assures us that we won’t fight any battle alone. He will always be there for us and with us. He will always give us peace and help us overcome our greatest fears. I’m going to bed tonight knowing I am an overcomer. Knowing that in Christ I can always find peace and victory.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT

God Has His Reasons

There’s no denying that certain levels of adversity get the wheels churning in your mind. Trust me, I’ve experienced it firsthand so many times. All day long I’ve been in the vice grips of pain and discomfort. The only comfort I can find physically is when I’m sleeping or in the tub. Unfortunately, I’ve been wide awake all day long just waiting for bedtime.

In the meantime, I’ve just been trying to win the battle going on in my mind. This pain has taken me back in time to a very dark season. And, while the devil seeks to use this season as proof that I’m far from healed. God keeps telling me to reflect back on all He has done before.
The devil seeks to scream out words like hopeless and it’s always gonna be this way. God keeps saying just hold on another breakthrough is on the way. Remember, when you thought that the last time.

Now, I’m believing that God will not waste my pain. I’m believing that me choosing to share my battle will help someone else through their battle. Sometimes, life just knocks you down and leaves you barely breathing. Your prayers become whispers. In fact, you have to rely on the prayers of others because you can barely pray.

While I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed any part of this misery. I can say I feel God’s strength rising within me. I can feel the genuine prayers of others who care about me. Now, I’ve just got to keep holding on to the hope that will come from those prayers. Thanks from the bottom of my heart if you’ve prayed for me at any time. Trust me my story is far from over.

Sometimes, I believe we just have to be reminded of our brokenness. We may think we have overcome something. Then, God reminds us He has just been holding us together the whole time. It’s like we all take turns in tough seasons. Yet, for any believer we know we always have hope and God always has a purpose.

Hopefully, here shortly I will get another great night of sleep. Tomorrow at noon I will be getting my spinal cord stimulator adjusted. There’s definitely a lot of electricity running through my body. Sudden sounds and movement without warning flood nerve pain from me feet into my face. I know things are just very out of whack and I’m sure they can be settled down once again.

I do want to say that my wife is a complete angel. She has carried me so many times through similar valleys. She basically helps me with anything possible all the time. From filling my tub to fixing me the next anti-inflammatory meal. Tonight’s meal was the best combo yet on the taste buds. She fixed salmon, Brussel Sprouts and fresh pineapple. This concludes day 3 of nothing but healthy eating and drinking. God bless you all and whatever you may be facing yourself. Goodnight 🙏

“O Lord, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.” Jonah 1:14

Lord Help My Unbelief

I really don’t want to make this post right now. Especially, since I know I’m once again in a very low place. But, I’m trusting God’s greater plans. Many of you know I’ve battled a long time with major chronic pain. Well, for some reason that battle has returned and hopefully only stays a little while.

Anyone who has found themselves lying in a bed of pain and uncertainty can relate to my present feelings. Even though I’ve seen miracle after miracle my heart still ponders the “what next”. This intense pain in my lower back is way too familiar. The nerve pain it pours throughout my body knocks the air out of my sails. I find myself praying harder and having to trust God bigger.

Major health issues can be very frightening. Especially when healing usually takes time. Remember, God can heal you and ultimately has the final say about you. These are easy words to say, but it takes faith to believe healing will come. So, here I am again Lord trusting you. I will do all that I can while trusting you for everything I can’t.

I’ve already kicked my anti-inflammatory diet into four wheel drive a few days ago. I’ve been resting my body as much as possible the last few days. I’m getting my spinal cord stimulator adjusted this week asap. I’m asking each of you to pray for my breakthrough healing once again. Also, know I’m praying for you too!

“I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

My Pain Tribe Understands

Here I am wrapping up the ending of another blessed birthday. All I feel like doing is getting some desperately needed rest. Yet, God is telling me it’s these times especially I need to write something to share. In fact, I need to say what anyone who battles with chronic pain already knows. Pain doesn’t care what the occasion, it comes and goes whenever it pleases.

I pretty much rested in my bed the entire day. I was hoping that approach would strengthen my body and mind before tonight’s birthday gathering. However, my body just wouldn’t cooperate with my wishes. My pain has been constant all day long. And, it has only increased by the hour throughout the evening.

For those who can identify you know the disappointment it brings with it. In fact, you even feel the disappointment it brings others around you. You’re not trying to complain or be the grumpiest person at the party. However, you just can’t hide certain levels of pain. Eventually, it exposes you in every possible way.

So, once I got home later tonight. I did what I’ve had to do so much the past few weeks. I soaked in a hot tub full of epsom salt. I’ve been battling physically, mentally and emotionally all evening. No matter how hard I tried there was nothing I could do to run away the pain.

Laying here on my side just waiting on my muscle relaxers to help me rest. Fortunately, I know I’m back on track when it comes to my own personal recovery choices. I know from lots of experience that better days will come. Yet, any time you feel this way on your birthday it naturally plays with your mind. It just further confirms that your pain has changed your life. But, time has proven by faith you will always make it through the day.

This was my first birthday without my dad living on earth. Man, he had to be helped by God to smile so much at last year’s birthday celebration. And, if I were talking to my dad right now about my pain. I can hear his voice saying the following. “Son, that’s just the way life is sometimes. Sometimes the only strength you can depend on is His strength.” Okay dad, I will continue to take your advice.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

*The pic below is dad at my birthday party just 2 1/2 months before his earthly departure to Heaven.

Back To The Basics

Well, I’ve really been on the struggle bus lately. Especially in the evenings I’ve been back to having to live in the tub. Most who know my chronic pain story know this used to always be my way of life. In fact, for at least 3-4 years straight I spent 90 percent of my life in a bed or bath. I’m talking 12-14 hours a day in the bed. Then, 6-8 hours a day in the tub.

Now, my body has actually done a lot of healing over time. My spinal cord stimulator still makes a huge difference. But, any time I quit living a consistent recovery lifestyle my entire body crumbles. If not for my medications, I would never be able to sleep or get any relief. Fortunately, I do have answers I’ve just got to apply the lessons I’ve learned.

Sadly for awhile now I’ve not been eating or drinking the right stuff for me. Eating nothing but junk food has once again been my downfall. Seeking to use a caffeinated energy supplement nearly everyday has come with a price. Not walking or exercising has become a daily norm for me. Even keeping myself fully hydrated seems like a distant memory. Even my sleeping habits have been all out of whack with no consistency.

Fortunately, I know things can quickly turnaround. So, I’m running back to the basics that have brought me so much relief the last few years. Today, I went walking strategically for the first time in a long time. Plus, I didn’t intake any caffeine. Now, starting tomorrow I’ve got to keep making wiser choices. Living with a recovery lifestyle is continuing to the next right step.

I’ve already asked my wife to hide all the Little Debbie’s and Cookies in the house. Tonight, I plan to get in the bed much earlier than normal. I find that with all my nerve damage establishing a healthy consistent routine is critical. My body only allows me so many hours daily. I know if I just get back to what I know works my current pain issues will change. I encourage you my friend to keep taking the next right step. Do all that you can do while trusting God for everything you can’t.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

How I Feel Right Now

Tonight, I’m feeling very out of sorts. My nerve pain has reared its ugly head quite a bit recently. It’s really hard to prevent something that can easily be flared by activity, eating, drinking or stress. But, somehow I’ve had way more good days than bad over the past year.

When I get this way it still makes me feel absolutely terrible. It steals all my confidence in “myself.” It knocks the joy right out of me. It makes me feel like everything is broken and can’t be fixed. Fortunately, I’ve learned it’s just feelings ignited by my broken nervous system.

While I may never like this thorn in my flesh. I can’t deny it’s value for God’s kingdom. One, it keeps me humbly walking with the Lord. Two, it makes me realize my total dependence upon the Lord. Thirdly, it makes me more compassionate towards others who struggle with life altering stuff. Fourthly, it makes it impossible for me to get the glory for anything accomplished. Overall, I’ve just seen how God continues to use it to get me and my ministry wherever He wants it to be.

It’s perfectly normal for this kinda stuff to disrupt your life. None of us like suffering or hardships. Yet, there is no denying God uses these things powerfully if we let Him. There are times you need to kick and scream in a safe environment. You also need to be reminded that God doesn’t plan to waste even a moment of your pain.

(Romans 8:28)(NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Another Year Older

Well, Little Faith Walker is no longer so little. He turned 12 years old today and is nearly as tall as me. God keeps growing him and shaping him daily. I can still see God’s call upon his life on a daily basis.

At his age I wasn’t even thinking about doing the things he has done. God’s presence just seems to pour through his veins. God’s power flows through his prayers. God’s spirit flows through his agape love.

I try my best to teach him everything I have learned. Of course, I just have to dive through the God windows of opportunity. Much like my dad just showed me how to minister to others. I try to show him by my actions. I believe God always equips those He calls to any particular mission.

I ask you to join me in continuing to pray for him. That God might keep drawing him closer. That God might keep strengthening his abilities for mission that lies ahead. While I may be his father, my son has often been a spiritual encourager to me. He teaches me daily how to live with a childlike faith. Oh that God might protect him from the evil one who will do anything to take Asher down. Thanks for all your prayers and birthday wishes!

One of my favorite old pics.

Understanding My Spinal Stimulator

After three years of having my St Jude spinal cord stimulator implanted. I’m smiling bigger than ever before. Trust me, it takes quite awhile to understand how it works and how to feel it working at a maximum level. I have permanent nerve damage from my lower back all the way down through both feet. I can’t tell you how many seemingly endless days of pain I’ve endured in the past. However, my life has definitely changed for the better in recent days.

Now, I always seek to live a recovery lifestyle. I typically watch closely what I do, eat or drink. I make sure I get adequate sleep and exercise. But, I also rely on my spinal cord stimulator. Let me try to explain in my words how it helps.

First, in my case wires were implanted halfway down my spine. Then, I have implanted a battery that doesn’t ever have to be recharged. The battery is underneath skin on my right side. Together this battery and wires send messages to my nervous system. In fact, somehow they keep my nerve pain from becoming insane.

There are two types of programs I can use at any time. First, there is a program called tonic. The tonic program continually massages my lower back, legs and feet all at once from within. Imagine having a tens unit except it’s able to run inside your nerves. Yes, with just a few clicks on my iPhone control. I can run this internal tonic pulse and get some much needed breakthrough pain relief.

Now, honestly the reason I got this unit was for it’s other program called burst technology. Using the tonic requires that you lay very still as you feel ever pulse running through your body. But, with burst you feel nothing except for any relief it gives. Somehow, once you get the stimulator dialed in correctly using burst. This unit drastically reduces your nerve pain.

Unfortunately, this is very hard to explain in just one article. Basically, it usually takes several adjustments with a stimulator professional before things work great. The more I learn how this device works. The more I Iearn how to use it.

I use the burst technology setting all the time. My unit is set to run just 30 seconds every 15 minutes. Somehow, this gives me the relief I need and doesn’t over stimulate my nerves. It has zero side effects and I never feel it when it’s running.

My recent stimulator adjustment brought another huge breakthrough. Somehow, through a device my stimulator representative uses. She is able to map out my body’s needs and tolerance level. It was recently discovered that my body can tolerate three times as much power flowing through my stimulator now versus before.

My nerves have always been super sensitive. Yet, it appears that my body has done a lot of healing since my three back surgeries. Scar tissue has formed allowing my stimulator to run at a much higher level than before. So, now my stimulator is able to give me three times as much help than before. It has been a long journey getting to this point.

Talking about this stimulator can sound very intimidating at first. But, it’s just like many things it’s a learning process. If you or someone you love gets one of these units. Don’t expect instant results. However, if you have severe nerve pain know that it can help you. You’ve just got to take one step at a time.

I remember three years ago not being sure what I was doing. But, time has revealed I made the right decision. Getting this device implanted was life changing. Miraculously it keeps my nerves in check. I’m learning daily how to better get the most out of it. Typically, it just does it’s thing while I get back to a much greater quality of life.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20

A Demo Battery I Received Before My Implant
Stimulator Wires in my back.
Tonic (continuous)

Burst technology you don’t feel.

Hearing My Father’s Voice

It’s after 2:45 in the morning. I desperately need to fall asleep since I’ve got a very long day ahead. Usually, I would’ve been snoring at least 3-4 hours ago already. Yet, when I need sleep the most it just doesn’t seem to come easy. So, I’m just praying I will fall asleep very soon.

Today, I’ve got two more funerals to preach. Funerals that I’ve poured my heart into every ounce of preparation. There’s been so many crisis situations over the past two weeks. At the end of the day I will have preached my 9th funeral in just over 3 months. Hard to believe my dad’s funeral started things off back on May 21, 2021.

While I pray for sleep I can’t help but ponder what my dad might say to me. He would probably say “well son, that’s how it is sometimes. There will always be challenges, setbacks and spiritual adversity. You just gotta keep doing your best and trust God with the rest. God will give you the strength and the words you need to say.”

This is the first time since dad’s death that I truly had a deep internal conversation with him. I do believe his voice will always be in my heart. He showed me a lot and taught me a lot. He was a true soldier for Christ my entire life. So, dad I’m going to follow your example. I’m gonna step back and then face the next battle head on. I’m going to keep trusting God every step of the way.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

I’m Not There Anymore

It’s actually been a couple years since I’ve blogged consistently about my life altering pain. Before, I lived with day and night torture from sun up to sun down. I spent over four years straight just trying to remain sane through the pain. After countless doctors appointments, surgeries, shots, counseling and daily physical therapy. I really didn’t think I could get any better without an absolute miracle.

This morning I looked back at one of my nerve wrecking post from days gone by in extreme pain. Within seconds my heart ached as I remembered the constant pain I use to endure. Honestly, I really wondered if I could ever smile consistently again. Yes, I was trying my best to walk by faith. But, sometimes all you can see is what’s appears to be wrecking your life. I was a nervous wreck for sure at that time.

Praise God, I’m not there anymore. Yes, I still battle limitations and anxiety related to my permanent nerve damage. But, I am so far beyond where I used to be. I wake up each day knowing I am so blessed. God continues to rebuild my life. Yes, I’m weaker in some ways. Yet, I’m so much stronger in many other ways because of my painful journey.

Now, I don’t know where life may find you right now. But, please be assured that God is still in control. You can get stronger and God can heal you further. You just need to choose to believe that God has a purpose for your pain. Everyday, choose to put your little hand in God’s big hand. Daily keep doing all that you can while trusting God to do all that you can’t. God will take you further than you can take yourself. I’m praying for you and God is with you.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

You’re Still The One

We started dating 28 years ago. We got married 24 years ago on August 23, 1997. With each year that passes I only grow to love her more. Time has proven I’ve just been blessed to call her my wife.

She always loves me unconditionally. Yet, she keeps me humble and accountable. She has the patience of Job. Yet, she shoots it to me straight when necessary.

Apart from God’s grace our marriage would’ve never survived the test of time. Despite“our” call to ministry, many relocations, raising four boys, health issues, and just normal life issues. Somehow, God kept us both together.

In fact, I want those reading this to know our marriage is far from perfect. We just keep growing in Christ together. We just know everyday we’ve got to remember the vows we made to each other. Honestly, I believe it takes years to understand the significance of those vows made in the presence of God, family, and friends.

Aimée Crosby thank you for giving me time and grace to keep growing. For never holding my yesterday’s against me. For showing me what true love is day after day. For walking beside me and not out on me. Besides my salvation you are the greatest gift God has ever given me. Everyday, I discover more reasons to love you and thank God for you!

“I found the one my heart loves.”
Song of Solomon 3:4

Is Your Pain Running You Down?

After a wonderful relaxing week with my wife. I came back home this past Thursday. Honestly, I got off of a cruise ship and entered a battleship. So many people going through so much. Covid which appeared to be sleeping reared it’s ugly head more than ever before. I’ve spent the past few days visiting folks who are battling for their life. Many others are just battling with life.

Unfortunately, my body is really starting to give me fits. Whether it be my diet, stress, busyness or just traveling. All of these things have proven over time to ignite my neurological condition. Once again my nerve pain has me uncomfortable and back sharing with you.

I’ve done so well for so long that I can hardly stand feeling this way anymore. I really want to believe at times that I don’t still have a chronic pain issue. I want to move on with my life and leave the past behind. But, the pain always finds a way to run me down and tell me “not so fast mister.”

Just like anyone who battles chronic pain or a chronic illness. I want out of this group and I want to be all better. However, we don’t always get what we want. Sometimes we have to accept the reality of our health condition. Then, we need the support of others to overcome our pain and limitations.

For this very reason God led me to start this Faith Walking page a few years back. I also host a “Faith Walking” support group. We meet every 3rd Thursday of the month 6:30pm @ Refuge Church. The address is 203 Eddie Chasteen Dr, Walterboro SC 29488.

If you battle chronic pain or a chronic illness we would love for you to join us this Thursday 6:30pm at Refuge Church of Walterboro. Everyone in this group understands how these struggles change your life. So, please know that you don’t have to walk alone. We pray you will join us if you could use the support.

(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

I Won’t Forget My Tribe

It’s been quite awhile since I posted on this page. In fact, it’s been many months since I discussed my own chronic pain journey. For the most part that’s a good thing. On the other hand, I don’t ever want to forget those who live with chronic pain. I lived in that extreme valley far too long to waste my pain.

Overall, I’ve been doing very well. I truly feel like I’m living my best new normal. Three years ago, I still wondered if I could experience a greater quality of life. After all, I had so many shots, surgeries, physical therapy sessions, and medical appointments. None of those things mixed with lots of hard work was changing anything.

I really don’t think it was any one thing God used to increase my further healing of mind, body, and soul. One, I’ve learned and accepted my new limitations. Two, I’ve learned I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thirdly, I’ve learned that what I eat or drink can definitely increase my body’s inflammation. Fourthly, I’ve learned that unnecessary stress can always escalate my condition. Finally, I’ve learned God never wants to waste an ounce of my pain. God wants my pain to link me purposely with people like you.

I don’t know where life finds you right now. I do know God is there to help those who seek Him wholeheartedly. So many nights in the past my pillow was flooded with tears of sadness. All I chose to do was to keep taking the next God led step. I did all I could do while trusting God for all I couldn’t. Now, I’m seeing God work His miracles in my life daily.

I can’t wait until I have time to fully publish the book God keeps putting in my heart. You will read many never shared before journal entries. You will see how the same God who helped me can help you. You will hear how pain changed my life. Then, how God changed my perspective, peace, comfort and faith.

Just know I’m praying for each of you battling with chronic pain. I know it can hurt so bad and make you feel so low. But, God is still good. Don’t doubt for a moment that you’re hopeless. Keep your little hand in God’s big hand. God will take you through and to a brighter tomorrow. I may have to still face my pain daily. But, I’ve learned how to celebrate with peace, purpose and victory.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Dad Gave Me His Torch

It has been exactly 72 days since my 72 year old dad took his last earthly breath. My last conversation with him was a little over 20 hours prior to his passing. For that moment it was just him and me in the emergency room. Dad made it very clear that he was completely ready for nothing but comfort care. He made it clear that he just didn’t have anymore fight left in him.

His chest got tight and the tears began to roll. He had already asked me three days prior if I would preach his funeral. That conversation was tough enough. But, the last one was the toughest. My dad was finally waving his white flag and that broke his heart. He had never faced a battle all his life that he didn’t defeat. However, he finally knew this battled belonged fully to the Lord.

Suddenly, God put on my heart the words I felt he needed to hear. I said, “Dad it’s okay! We’re all going to be okay. And, I want you to know that you can officially pass me your ministry torch. I promise to do everything I can to minister on your behalf both to family members and friends.” Dad lifted up his hand and just nodded his head up and down. He knew he could trust my words of promise.

Lately, I’ve had a whole lot of increased ministry demands and opportunity. But, it feels like God has actually increased my inner strength. A dear friend just recently told me words I couldn’t help but ponder. He said, “I see your dad pouring through you. I believe he actually passed that torch on to you. A part of him is definitely with you.”

All I can say is my dad’s passing has changed me. I’m compelled not to waste a day. I’m released to just keep being the best version of me led by Jesus Christ. I’m ministering to many who never knew my dad. I’m also ministering to many who were first reached by my dad. All I know is I still feel my dad’s presence and strength near me. I hope I can finish my life’s journey as faithful as my dad finished his earthly journey.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”

2 Timothy 4:7-8

We Grieve With Hope

I’ve been a little more silent than most have come to expect from me. Honestly, I’ve really not had much to say or the strength to say it. We all know losing a very close loved one is never easy. Watching someone battle a terminal illness for so long is never easy. Trying to think about what your loved one’s earthly departure will mean going forward is never easy. I guess the only recurring theme right now is nothing feels easy for any of us.

First and foremost, I want my mom to have the most comfort and support possible. My mom is not someone that ever strives to be the center of attention. Nor, will she ever demand someone give her undivided attention. However, there is no way anyone spends 50 years married to someone and just easily moves forward. Her grief journey will take lots of time as she transitions to her new normal. I believe all things considered she’s been doing incredible. Yet, she would tell you in a heartbeat that depends on the time of day. We all know grief is unpredictable and can easily be triggered by the least little thing.

I don’t think my dad’s death totally shocked any of us that it happened. Although, things did progress very quickly at the end. I believe each of us are extremely happy that his misery is over. We praise God he doesn’t have to just try to survive and endure pain from sun up to sun down. He definitely wasn’t experiencing any high quality of life the last few months. You just struggle to accept that you won’t see that person again this side of Heaven. Fortunately, there were some encouraging moments even during his cancer battle. And, we certainly know there is still hope looking forward.

As I write this I’m not doing so for any self-pity. I’m just staying faithful in seeking to be transparent with others who may resonate with our journey. Just because someone is a preacher or a preacher’s wife doesn’t mean we don’t struggle just like everyone else. Regardless of how much ministry we may do with others. We all face pain, disappointment, grief, and tons of unexpected life moments. We have to do the same as others in these times. We have to cling to our faith and believe God for hope in brighter days.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 5:13-18)

Counting The Blessings

I’m well aware that grieving the loss of my dad will take time. I know ahead are a year of firsts without him. In fact, I’m sure there will be many times throughout life where his presence will be majorly missed. However, I also know I must continue to count my blessings today and everyday. So, here are five things I can celebrate even now.

First, I celebrate that I know where my daddy lives now. By grace, through faith in Christ alone he will forever reside in Heaven. A place of perfect peace, no pain, and no more tears. He is doing better than ever and smiling ear to ear. I can only imagine the joy in his heart.

Secondly, I celebrate that I will see my dad again. While I hate facing our temporary time apart. I can look forward to our reunion in Heaven together one day. In Christ, there are no forever goodbyes. So dad I will see you later.

Thirdly, I celebrate that I had my dad for 46 years of my life. He could’ve never made it back from the Vietnam war. He could’ve died many years before due to many very close calls. But, God allowed us years to share together. I got to feel his love for me and express my love for him.

Fourthly, I celebrate the lessons learned. My dad showed me how to walk with God. How to be a good husband and father. Dad taught me how to face adversity and keep walking by faith. Dad showed me how to live and even how to die. Nothing he taught me will be wasted.

Finally, I celebrate I’m still not fatherless. Sure, I will miss my earthly father for a little while. But, my Heavenly Father will continue to watch over me. I will never be alone and I can always call on God the Father. I will miss my daddy with skin. But, my Heavenly Father will walk with me until the very end of this life and forever in the next life. God used my earthly Father to connect me to my forever father.

“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.” Philippians 1:3

It Was His Time

As most of you know my daddy left this earth for Heaven this past Tuesday, May 18th 2021. I’m writing this date as a day I will never forget this side of Heaven. There’s no doubt it was the best thing to ever happen for dad. But, a day after preaching his funeral reality is quickly hitting my heart. I can only imagine what this feels like in my momma’s heart.

I guess only once you say that final earthly goodbye do you realize how life truly has changed. For an entire week straight I just kept putting mind over matter day and night. I’m typically used to living a recovery lifestyle due to my fragile nerve condition. God carried me every step of the way. But, I woke up today just feeling numb, heavy, and taking deep breaths.

While I’ve remained in bed I’m starting to ponder many things. Like my parents 50th wedding anniversary on June 11th. Or how in the world I will celebrate and preach on Father’s Day? I realize there are a bunch of Firsts awaiting our family. So, I’m having to choose to do what my daddy showed me to do. Just keep taking the next right step. Trust that God will equip you for the next battle.

Gosh I loved my dad to death. While I hated seeing him in his condition. We were closer than ever because of his condition. No more nightly calls or weekly visits. No more hearing his voice except in my heart. No more calling on him not only to pray with him. But, to have him pray with me.

Daddy helped me get through so many tough seasons. I will lean on the strength and wisdom he has instilled in me moving forward. I will not only celebrate his legacy, but I will extend his legacy. I had another really go cry earlier that is always healing for the soul. So, I’m feeling more and more peace.

Our family continues to feel the prayers of so many. Thanks for praying my dad all the way into the day of his eternal appointment. He always said he knew it was only the prayers of so many that kept him going. I look forward to what God has ahead. Also, I know this season of brokenness will only make us stronger in our faith. However, letting go is never easy in real time.

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Thank You All

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank anyone who has prayed or shown support for our family during this difficult season. There’s something about brokenness that unites us all. It’s never fun to grieve. However, great grief often reflects great love. To love anyone deeply is to wish they never leave your life.

Unfortunately, life is full of many trials, sorrows and losses. Life is short that’s why we have to seize every worthwhile moment. Every breath we have is a gift from God. No one knows when they might breathe their last. Funerals, while we wish they could be avoided. They remind us that we’re just passing through this life. So, we need to make sure we’re prepared for the afterlife.

Preaching my dad’s funeral was by far one of the toughest things I’ve ever attempted. My heart has pounded for days trying to balance my grief with a God called mission. Even during the service I realized my dad taught us way more than I realized. I’m so thankful for my dad and his example. I’m also thankful for two brothers that walked through this with me. Now, I’m just going to exhale and thank God for the strength He gives us all in our times of need. Please continue to pray for my mom.

Jesus said, I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Just 15 Hours Away

Dad Will Be Missed!

Well, it’s the night before my daddy’s funeral. With every hour that passes reality speaks loudly. My dad is no longer living in this world. He’s got a new home and eternal address. He’s in Heaven where everything is perfect and pain free.

However, for now I have to get used to this earthly life without him. No doubt I’m going to miss him. Lord knows my mom is going to grieve deeply. None of us really know how life will change for us. But, we do know things have already changed for the better for him. And, one day through Christ we will all be reunited in Heaven.

My youngest son Asher has definitely struggled to process his granddaddy’s passing. Prior to dad’s death my son had never had a prayer not answered his way. He said, “Daddy, that’s not what I asked God to do. I wanted to keep granddaddy here with us.” Of course, we’ve had to tell him that God always does what He knows is best. Even if it hurts and we’re left shaking our heads.

The first night after dad’s death Asher asked to sleep with me and my wife. He told his momma something I’ve never heard. He said, “maybe when I go to sleep I will see granddaddy in my dreams.” Lord, what do you say to an 11 year old that is experiencing his first death of such a close loved one.

Earlier today our family went and saw my dad in his casket. He looked very peaceful despite how cancer broke down his body. Because of dad’s condition the casket will likely be closed during his visitation. All I’m praying is that dad’s funeral will be everything God wants it to be. Everything shared will come from much prayer and love.

There’s no doubt my daddy was a world changer. Tomorrow will only lead to more lives impacted through him. I’ve asked God to do whatever He wants done. I will share and sing what my dad requested. My brothers will share powerful testimonies of how dad impacted their life.

Tomorrow is going to be a true life celebration and tribute to God. My dad lived his entire life seeking to give God all the glory. Pray that God moves in a powerful way. Pray God changes many lives listening. I’m exhausted so I’m going to bed.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Some Last Memories Together

Our last fishing trip, board game, walk & talk, funeral, and the last time we held hands for now. I’m so thankful for the times we shared and the dad God gave me.

See You Later Dad

Today, we said a somewhat surprising goodbye to my dad. Even with my hospice experience I just didn’t see it coming this fast. Less than 24 hours after dad was admitted to hospice he breathed his last time this side of Heaven. Most of our very large family got to say their final goodbyes. Evidently dad got the release and relief he needed to finally let go.

For so long we have watched him suffer. Really, this battle for him and mom has been nearly four years. When dad finally drew his last breath our hearts were relieved and shattered both at once. My mom saw her marriage partner of 50 years leave her behind. I saw my dad of 46 years leave me behind. My boys saying goodbye to their granddaddy was quite something to swallow as well.

I’ve finally become a member of a club I never wanted to join. I no longer have an earthly father in this life. To pray with and be encouraged by in this life. We are so happy for his way overdue relief. But, his earthly departure left an instant hole in my heart.

Sadly, my neurological system finally crashed after his passing. I guess I had been just trying to help everyone get through. Next thing I knew my legs gave out from underneath me. It took me quite awhile to recover. My three oldest boys actually ministered to me when I was at my weakest point. It just hurts so much to see your mom so broken hearted and to say goodbye to one of the best dad’s in the world.

Sadly, today was dad’s last dance here on this earth. But, it was his first day in a beautiful place called Heaven. I know He is more whole and happy than ever. I know his pain is gone and his struggles are over. I know it was God’s appointed time for dad to go home. I promised my dad that he will have the best funeral anyone has ever seen.

All I can do now is remember all the good times we shared. Sadly, we’ve experienced the last of many things together. However, I know without a doubt this is not goodbye forever. Instead, it’s just dad I will see you later in a place I can only imagine.

“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Many Raw Emotions

I’ve been by the bedside of hundreds of dying men and women. For years, I’ve felt called by God to be by their bedside. Not that I have some magic words or super powers. Somehow, God has equipped me to help others make a peaceful and hopeful eternal transition.

For the last 17 months I’ve been trying to help my dad make his eternal transition. However, it’s been an entirely different situation. First of all, this is my dad who I dearly love. Two, this man has been my pastor since the day I was born. It’s definitely felt like a complete role reversal to see the strongest man I’ve ever known feeling so weak.

I thought I knew what others were feeling. Boy, was I wrong even though I’ve always been full of compassion. You just can’t know something fully until you have experienced it yourself. Losing a close loved one is never easy. The closer the relationship it just gets harder and harder.

The last 450 plus days have been very long and gone by in a blink. The majority of those nights I had the privilege to call up my daddy. Our conversation always ended with me getting to pray with him. Sometimes my youngest son Asher would actually do the praying. Dad always said “prayer is the best thing anybody can do for me.”

Now, here we are having to pray much differently. I’m not able to call dad up and pray with him. Praise God he is resting comfortably with consistent pain medications. We may have shared our last nightly call and prayer time. I truly feel he has one foot in this world and the other in the next.

Fortunately, my prayers can still be heard and hopefully felt by him. So many things have changed in just one day. You always think you’re ready, but time reveals you’re not. Mom is definitely not ready to be without her spouse. We’re not ready to be without a father and grandfather.

So many raw emotions are felt in the midst of this uncertain season. One thing for certain is I plan to make the most of the time left. What that looks like I can’t tell you. How much time remains together I can’t tell you . All I know is worrying won’t change anything except my blood pressure. So, I’m gonna keep on praying and hope to get some sleep.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Luke 6:27

The End Is Near

I’m just getting a chance to catch my breath. Today, has been one of those days I won’t soon forget. Things with dad recently have just kept getting worse and worse. Trying to keep him comfortable and safe became harder and harder for mom. Trying to even figure out what to do next was very overwhelming.

Based on many significant changes dad was transported by ambulance to the hospital. They discovered that dad’s hemoglobin level was the lowest it’s ever been a 6.6. A CT scan revealed that dad has a subdural hematoma. This is a pool of blood between the brain and its outermost covering. It’s usually caused by a head injury strong enough to burst blood vessels. This can cause pooled blood to push on the brain. No wonder dad was always complaining of terrible headaches. Sadly, we had already discovered that dad’s cancer has greatly advanced and keeps breaking down his body.

So, the most difficult decision had to be made. Dad told us he wanted to have complete comfort care. He is absolutely exhausted from this constant battle. Therefore, this afternoon he was admitted to an Agape Hospice house. There he will receive the best comfort care anyone can find. Mom will be allowed to stay with him 24/7. Our family will be able to visit throughout each day.

I knew in my heart this day was coming sooner than later. Dad had just asked me this past Friday would I preach his funeral. However, you don’t know how it’s gonna feel until it does. I’ve cried a bunch and my heart has ached deeply. Seeing my mom and dad hurt so much in different ways crushed my heart. But, we know this is dad’s only hope. To be kept comfortable and to transition to Heaven peacefully. Dad will likely not live more than a couple weeks at best. Honestly, each day will prove unpredictable from our perspective.

As I take another deep breath I’m just really happy for my dad. His misery has been so great and so long. We all have what I call Relief Grief. On one hand you are so happy their pain is finally under control. On the other hand you can’t imagine life without them moving forward. Your emotions can really take you on a roller coaster ride.

I ask you to please, please keep praying for dad and mom. They will have been married 50 years on June 11th. Only God can help them both through this dark valley. I know God has a plan for us all. It’s just right now their hearts are so heavy. I’m believing God will be their great comforter.

Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—“ (John 14:16)(Amplified)

50 Years Together

In The Valley God Is There

I know I’ve been pretty silent concerning any updates on my dad. That’s because sometimes you just don’t know exactly where things are headed. Dad continues to be very fatigue and not feeling like doing much of anything. Honestly, we’ve barely had one full conversation the last two weeks. I’m lucky if we exchange a few words and have prayer. Dad is just in a tough place physically, emotionally and mentally.

Dad, Mom & Asher Thanksgiving 2020

While I keep in contact daily it’s not always guaranteed that dad is even up for a brief prayer. It’s obvious that’s it’s just tough to be in his body. Mom continues to make sure dad stays as comfortable as possible. Doctors have simply put everything on hold at the moment. His chemotherapy and heart valve surgery are all paused until further notice.

For the second straight week dad has had to have a full platelet and blood transfusion. It appears dad’s progressed cancer is keeping his blood platelets from rising. Yesterday, they gave dad more blood platelets. Then, due to antibodies still in his blood. Dad had to go back to the hospital today for his special ordered blood transfusion.

Mom certainly has a lot weighing on her shoulders. She is basically playing nurse morning, day and night. We keep hoping things will change for the better. But, so far dad’s decline appears to be the only thing certain at times. He continues to lose weight, strength and drive. However, he has certainly felt lower before. It’s just this time some of his cancer numbers are much higher.

For now, dad will receive the palliative care he needs. Hopefully, him and mom will have the in home support they need in this season. Next Friday, dad will see one of his oncologist for a further evaluation. All we really know right now is dad’s body is just too weak to start back any chemotherapy or to replace his leaking heart valve. We’re leaving all the rest in God’s hands. Please keep praying for dad and mom. I wish there was an easy button I could mash on their behalf. However, this kind of valley you can only walk through with God’s help.

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Dad Is Just Wiped Out

Written May 5th, 2021

Dad has been spending most of his recent days in the bed. It has been obvious he can barely hold his head up most of the time. Mom has been doing an excellent job of trying to keep him comfortable morning, day and night. But, time has revealed that things haven’t been trending in a better direction.

Dad went to Charleston Oncology earlier to get his blood platelets checked. Afterwards, the nurse called us back to discuss his lab results. Despite dad’s blood platelet transfusion a week ago. Dad’s numbers have only gotten worse.

First, we discovered dad has lost another 10 pounds since his last weight check. Secondly, dad’s blood platelet level has now dropped from 18 down to 4. Also, dad’s blood level has dropped to a dangerous level. He also appears the be very dehydrated.

Dad and mom are presently at Trident Hospital where they will spend the rest of the day. Dad is getting both a blood platelet and blood transfusions. He told us he is just absolutely wiped out. It’s all he can do to think and process the next steps.

Please keep those prayers coming. The heart break of these reality checks are so hard to swallow for them both. They say dad should definitely feel some better later today after he gets the blood transfusion. Tomorrow we will meet with a palliative care nurse. Plus, his heart doctor will be informed of his current status. God only knows what each day will bring. Whatever comes our way I know God has a plan.

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

In A Waiting Chamber

Yesterday, my dad received a blood transfusion. That blood definitely perked him up and strengthened him some. Unfortunately, he is still very weak. His appetite has been way off for weeks and that continues to be the case. Dad has lost a bunch of weight over the last few months.

Tonight, he has been suffering with bad muscle cramps all over his body. Mom tried her best to help him work them out. Dad definitely needs more fluid intake. The cancer makes him sweat so much. It’s nothing for him to have to change shirts several times a day. Mom says he goes through 20-25 shirts a week.

For now, everything seems to be followed by a question mark. We know the cancer is continuing to attack. We know any chemotherapy or radiation serves as a threat. Especially when you’re weak as pond water, have kidney disease, diabetic and need every good cell possible.

Dad’s strength is definitely very low. We have no idea when or if he will start back chemotherapy. We do know his heart valve replacement surgery will likely have to wait beyond June 3rd. He is just too weak right now. In the meantime, dad is just stuck in a waiting chamber. Fortunately, we know him and mom are not in that chamber alone. Thanks for your continued prayers!

“But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

God Take This Pain

Anyone who has watched someone suffer knows it’s just not easy. Anyone who has lived in nonstop pain knows it can feel unbearable. These first two sentences would definitely describe my mom and dad in that order. Things don’t feel very hopeful in their house right now. Dad’s pain has just been keeping him down morning, day and night. Like someone drowning he can only come up for air occasionally. Life right now just seems overwhelming with every step.

My dad needs a breakthrough. The kind that doctors can’t fully deliver. The kind that just worrying can’t fix. The kind that dad can’t give himself. Dad needs our prayers to carry him through another season of breathtaking pain. He hasn’t quit fighting. He just needs God to fight for him.

I wholeheartedly believe our greatest breakthroughs happen when God’s people pray. So I’m asking you to keep those prayers coming. Dad and mom are both exhausted in this nonstop journey. It’s getting harder and harder for dad to even smile. Who can easily smile when pain is overwhelming you all the time?

Mom and dad will never be the type to fight for people’s attention. They will never think they are the only ones who struggle. However, they need intercession by those who sincerely care and believe. I can’t fix things myself, but I know a man who can! Please join me in lifting them up to the greatest physician.

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Mark 19:26

Written May 3rd – 10pm

My Little Faith Walker

My youngest son Asher has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known. He cares so deeply about people and animals. Just the thought of someone’s pain brings him to his knees. He always prays the most heartfelt prayers. That makes sense because he always says “daddy they come from the heart.”

Tonight he prayed with his granddaddy and Mimi as he has done so many times. However, this time just felt different as he connected our hearts to God’s heart. He always prays for them, their dog and cat. He prays God will give them peace, courage, comfort and strength. He prays that they might know God loves them and that we love them.

On our way home tonight my 11yr old just started crying in the back seat. He said, “I just don’t like to see granddaddy in pain. I don’t want him to ever go to Heaven without me. I also don’t want Mimi to be alone and sad.” Honestly, it’s those moments that leave you pretty tongue tied and with a lump in your throat.

Yet, as I put him in bed his faith surfaced again. He prayed the most heartfelt and believing prayer. He prayed for all of his family, his fish and even a recently deceased snail. He just cares so much and always prays from the heart. God keeps growing his faith even in the midst of discovering the constant heartaches of life. He really is my little faith walker and inspires me to keep faith walking everyday.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Drastic Decline In Platelets

You can look at dad’s numbers and see how drastically his blood platelet levels have dropped over time. The last few months of chemotherapy have really been tough on his body. There are so many different kinds of chemotherapy for Multiple Myeloma Cancer. However, this particular one is obviously not agreeing with dad’s system. I’m praying the doctor makes a change very soon.

Containing dad’s cancer has been critical. It’s not just fighting the cancer, but holding back extra pain. However, his platelet numbers have drastically changed since first discovering his cancer back in December 2019. In the past 3 months alone dad’s platelet numbers have been reduced to 1/13th of what they were before.

They’ve made it clear his present chemotherapy is likely the catalyst for such low platelets. Also, his struggling aortic heart valve can lower them. Both of these things have collided together the past few months. They did give dad a platelet transfusion. But, it will take time to elevate things. They just arrived home and both are exhausted. We’re just asking God to keep showing us the next right step. We are very thankful for every prayer!

Past 3 Months Of Platelets Declining…

2/4/21 239
2/24/21 169

3/3/21 120
3/17-21 82
3/24-21 46

4/21/21 35
4/28/21 (Today) 18

This all started the same time dad started this new chemotherapy!

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Another Record Low

Well, dad got up this morning with his pain seemingly more bearable than usual. So, him and mom headed to Charleston Oncology for his appointment. From everything mom could see they figured he would definitely be able to get this week’s chemotherapy. That was if his blood platelet level was okay. It usually is after he skips an entire week of treatment.

Mom has to wait outside while dad is in there for treatment. So, I decided to call dad just to check back on him. He said, “Son, I’m sorry but I will have to call you back. They are about to take me over to the hospital. My platelet level is only 18.” Mom could not believe it when I called her back. I could tell she was in shock based on how things appeared to be better than usual. Mom immediately headed inside to understand what is actually happening.

So, please pray for dad and mom. This is definitely the lowest his platelets have ever been. They will be doing a platelet transfusion. Then, he should get to go straight home. But, I will know more details soon. In the meantime, please lift him up in prayer. Yesterday, it was confirmed he will have aortic heart valve replacement surgery on June 2nd. We are just continuing to trust that God is in control.

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. HE NEVER CHANGES or casts a shifting shadow.” James 1:17

Keep Praying My Friends

Anytime you’re in the fight of your life everyday is a blessing. But, lately dad and mom have been carrying a very heavy burden. Yesterday was another tough pill to swallow. Dad went to get his weekly chemotherapy only to discover his body couldn’t handle it. His blood platelet level was the lowest ever at just 35. All of his chemo just has to be stopped for now.

Everything seems to be at a standstill except for dad’s cancer, heart valve issues and discomfort. Dad’s head has been killing him this evening. All we can keep doing is praying for breakthroughs. Him and mom had another rough night with very little sleep. Tomorrow dad will receive his fifth straight day of radiation. This is not treating the cancer. It’s just trying to knock out some of dad’s pain.

Cancer is such a viscous beast leading to many ups and downs. Waiting on doctors to act in real time can really test your patience. Sadly, dad’s cancer numbers will keep climbing without chemotherapy. But, no matter what he needs his aortic heart valve replaced ASAP or the rest will be meaningless.

These kind of seasons can make you feel so helpless. They test your faith and demand your patience. You’re lack of control forces you to realize only God is in control. But, we can’t be led by our feelings alone. We’ve gotta keep praying and pressing forward. Every prayer really does make such a difference. And my parents are grateful for everyone of them. We’re also praying for many others who are battling these days.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16

Embrace Each Season

Dad went back to the radiologist today. After looking at the pet scan they marked him all up in preparation for more radiation. He will have 3 different areas treated all at once on his hips and back. Hopefully, he will experience some much needed relief in the weeks to come.

Concerning his chemotherapy and need for an aortic heart valve replacement. Dad’s doctor feels they need to finish out this month’s chemotherapy treatment. Then, she wants him to take the entire month of May off from chemotherapy. We have no doubt that a month without treatment will drive his numbers way up. But, they feel his body needs the break in order to get it ready for his aortic valve replacement hopefully by June.

At this point, you just have to keep taking the next best step. Seems dad has things coming from every direction. He has to watch his diabetes, kidneys, cancer, heart valve, and deal with constant pain in so many areas. Dad said that fighting in the Vietnam war as a marine taught him how to fight one battle at a time.

Dad does know a little something about fighting for your life. He’s had many different ways he could’ve lost his life through his earthy years. He also knows that if it’s not your time it’s not your time. God will have the final say on all these matters. We just need to keep trusting in Him every step of the way.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die..” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

What A Long Emotional Day

First of all, I want say that my parents are two of the most wonderful people I know. I’m proud of their Godly example and thankful to be called their son. They say that adversity introduces a man to himself. Well, if that’s the case, mom and dad have demonstrated they are far beyond average. Their faith in God keeps them going and showing others how God can take you through anything.

Today, was a long, eye opening day. First, we had a visit with dad’s cancer doctor at Charleston Oncology. Dad’s great need for continued pain management and necessary treatment were discussed in depth. They will continue chemotherapy as dad’s body will allow. They will do concentrated radiation when possible to reduce severe pain. They will provide palliative care to help dad and mom deal with the pain and stress associated with such chronic illness.

This afternoon’s appointment was definitely the biggest bombshell of the day. Dad recently had an echocardiogram done of his heart. Fifteen years ago he had open heart surgery to have his aortic heart valve replaced. That new valve had been doing great all these years. But, suddenly it’s leaking very badly.

Somehow dad’s aortic heart valve has suddenly deteriorated the past few months. This could very well be one of the major side effects of his chemotherapy. No matter what the cause that heart valve must be replaced ASAP. Like, the doctors says he hopes they can do this procedure in possibly two weeks.

Believe it or not, having this aortic heart valve replaced is suddenly more important than dad’s cancer treatment. If dad doesn’t have it done he will have congestive heart failure. This is not something that can wait by any means. So, as soon as possible dad will go through some different testing and they will do a heart catheterization.

Once they fully know what they are facing they will seek to do the replacement. Praise God, they no longer have to open your chest to change out these heart valve. They actually compress a new one and put it over the one that’s there. They just push the old one to the side. This new procedure is called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement.

Dad’s doctor is very confident in doing this procedure. Plus he has made it very clear that this is an urgent matter. This has definitely contributed further to dad’s extra fatigue on top of the cancer. Even if dad’s blood platelet level is too low they can do a a platelet transfusion beforehand.

While this will have to move along very quickly. The doctor told dad to not lose his focus on fighting the multiple myeloma. He can still continue with treatment, but there may be some weeks of total lay off. This has been a lot for dad and mom to swallow all in one day. However, we had a powerful prayer time earlier putting all of this in God’s hands. We have seen time and time again that we serve an All Powerful, All Knowing, and Always Loving Heavenly Father.

You know, it’s really easy in these moments to worry yourself to death. However, when you know everything is on God’s shoulders it changes everything. What once seemed impossible is now possible. What once felt like an accident becomes a purposeful appointment. There are many things I don’t know. But, I know God can and will take care of us all. Join us in praying for the breakthroughs!

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26

Only God Knows

Tomorrow my dad has a very big appointment with his cancer doctor. He just finished another week of radiation. It remains to be seen if dad will get tomorrow’s weekly scheduled chemotherapy infusion. That depends on his blood work. His pain has been very up and down the last several days. Most of the time he’s just trying to make it from one hour to the next. Each time I’ve seen him he looks so exhausted. This continuous day and night battle has definitely taken its toll on him.

For the first time in over a year I will be joining mom and dad inside this critical doctor’s appointment. Tomorrow we will discover all the recent pet scan reveals. It would be hard to not think dad’s cancer isn’t wreaking even more havoc. Dad is constantly pointing to so many areas full of breath taking pain. His good moments have definitely been rare moments.

My heart pounds as I ponder what doctors might say. I hope any truth we need to hear is revealed. But, it doesn’t mean you’re ever fully ready to hear that truth. It just seems that things are getting very real and more uncertain. All we can keep doing is praying God’s will to be done. Only God knows and sees the bigger picture. So, we will continue to trust God and His plans for us all.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

God You Take Over

Yesterday and today especially my dad has really been dealing with lots of pain. Seems like a fire that is never quite put out. When it’s bad it’s really bad. His shoulders, hips, back, legs and obviously many places throughout his body have been devastated by his cancer. Every day is a different battle, but still much the same. Apart from a miracle this cancer can’t really be stopped by man.

Now, none of us are throwing in the towel on hope. But, we all know you reach a point of major decision. Do you keep going to nonstop treatments and appointments? Or do you focus on comfort and some quality of life? Sadly, there hardly seems to be any place in between most of the time. Either dad is foggy or asleep so he can be comfortable. Or he has to endure pain that will bring any man to their knees.

I’m just not somebody who beats around the bush concerning this stuff. Who can love anyone and not want them to be comforted? Who can love anyone and not want to keep them on earth as long as possible? Of course, dad is the patient whose body is so weary and broken inside. Mom is the one who observes this brokenness from sun up to sun down. They both carry such a heavy load in their hearts.

There are many more decisions ahead in this journey. Only God knows when this battle will be over. All I know is watching someone suffer so much carries a great heaviness with it. You can’t unsee or forget certain things you will always remember. All we want period is what is best for dad. Whatever he wants is always what we want. Keep praying for his pain to be kept under control and for God to guide their every decision.

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” Romans 8:26

A Rare Rough Night

Anyone who has followed my pain journey long knows I’ve had a lot of rough nights in the past. It used to be that the only time I felt any relief was in my sleep. Night after night felt like a pain driven nightmare. Back then my prayers seemed like whispers. I really began to think nothing would ever change. All I could do is hold on to faith.

Fortunately, God proved my gut feelings wrong. Somehow, some way my life slowly turned around two years ago. Typically, my pain is usually bearable. I just have to live mindful of my condition. This requires living a recovery lifestyle, watching my diet and staying ahead of the pain.

Tonight has not been a good pain night. My entire body is flooded with nerve pain. I feel miserable and can’t wait for things to settle down. But, this unexpected flare up reminded me how far God has brought me. Praise God, most nights are no longer like this one. Maybe, I needed the reminder to remember God’s goodness!

“The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3

Pastor To Pastor

Had a really good visit with my parents tonight. Dad and I were talking earlier tonight about the ministry. How very challenging and rewarding it can be. How he has seen me have to deal with many of the challenges he once faced in his 48 years as a pastor.

Talking with dad Easter 2021

We both agreed that pastoring is a calling. It’s not something a man just decides he wants to do. Neither of us were thinking about being a pastor when we grew up. God just prepared us long before we were ready. Then, when that clear call from God came we surrendered all to Jesus.

There’s something about talking to someone who understands your particular calling. I was 18 when I surrendered my life to full time ministry. Not once before that day had I ever pondered being in the ministry. Then, one evening an evangelist extended the invitation to me. He asked, “Is there anyone here that feels God is calling them to full time ministry?” I didn’t even know fully what that meant, but I knew God was calling me to surrender my vocational future to Him.

The rest is history as I’ve been surrendering daily to that call for the past 27 years. There are many people that I minister to now, that my dad ministered to their families years before. I always seek to tell my dad that I realize he has retired from being a pastor. But, the eternal seeds God planted through him and mom over the years are still growing.

“Such confidence before God is ours through Christ. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim that anything comes from us, but our competence comes from God. And He has qualified us as ministers..”
2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Dad’s Prayers Were Answered

It’s just one hour after resurrection Sunday. I’ve had a very long day. After preaching two Easter services we had to be at two different family gatherings. After a 14 hour day my body is just struggling to settle down.

Dad 5 Months Ago

Easter was a God made day in many ways. First, I got 7 1/2 hours of sleep on Saturday night. Secondly, when I woke up I felt good and my voice was much stronger. Thirdly, God just showed up and showed out at both Sunday services. It’s always obvious when God takes over because it’s nothing you could credit to yourself.

Yes, all of my dad’s prayers were answered today. Him and mom were able to attend our 11am worship service while listening from their van. Also, God gave dad enough strength to gather with our entire family for lunch. To some these things may not sound like a big deal. But, to a man who knows his days on earth are limited. Life is all about Faith, Family, and Friends. I may start having dad pray for me every Saturday night.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Daddy Prayed For Me

Well, after literally being up all last night. I’m hoping my nighttime meds will have me fast asleep soon. Tomorrow is not just any Sunday for me. It’s world changing resurrection Sunday. I really want to be at my very, very best. However, I’m not actually feeling my best right now.

My voice has been struggling since last night. So I’ve sipped on a few cups of hot apple cider and swallowed some honey. I’ve also been limiting my words as much as possible. I only made one phone call today and that was to check on my parents.

Fortunately, dad’s pain was under control at that moment. I told dad that my voice was struggling and my body was weary. I’ve just put a lot of effort into getting ready for multiple Easter services both online and in person. I told him if he was up to it I needed to changed places with him tonight. I told dad this time I needed him to pray over me.

Of course, he stated that he always prays for me. But, that he would be glad to pray right now with me. In that moment, dad had no limitations whatsoever. Why? Because the power found in prayer is not about our strength or stamina. It’s about seeking God for the supernatural that only He can deliver in Jesus name.

I don’t recall every word he prayed. It did stand out that he said “Lord it’s in our weakness we learn how to find our true strength in you.” My past brokenness walking in pain and dad’s present brokenness has really put us both on the same wave length. We know we can’t even walk without God holding our hand.

Any brokenness in dad’s voice was not just because he is getting weaker. It’s because the weaker he gets the more he is aware of his desperate need for God to breath life into him. Dad’s sincere prayer over me increased my peace and raised my expectations. I know we serve a God who can and will take care of our every need. When you do what’s right according to God’s will you can’t go wrong. I look forward to God taking my little and doing a whole lot more due to His resurrection power. Now, it’s time to get some sleep!

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Take Up Your Cross

I’m typically in bed by at least 10pm every night. I’m generally asleep at the latest by midnight. Usually my nighttime medications help me fall asleep sometime in that window of time. However, tonight has been one of those rare occasions. Here it is 7am and I’ve not slept a wink all night.

Not really sure what the biggest reason is for my struggle to sleep. I’ve not slept great the last few nights. I have been way too busy mentally all week. A whole lot has been continually on my mind and in my prayers. I’m also a preacher who has done everything I can to prepare for multiple Easter services.

These days I feel like I have to wear a lot of different hats. However, my health really limits how much weight I can actually carry on my shoulders. I find that periodically you need to have these seasons. Times that force you to take deep breaths and revaluate your approach to life.

I believe most people feel out matched in this day and time. It may look different in each of our lives. But, we each have a cross to bear. Just like Jesus we have to strive to stay clean and close to our Heavenly Father. We’ve got to keep taking the next right step following Jesus with every step.

“Then he Jesus to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Keep Walking With God

The longer you live I really believe your faith should grow. As you realize your limitations. It should make you realize your desperate need for God. The older you get the more you should ponder life after death. You should think more about how what you are doing in this life will impact the life to come.

I really don’t know how anyone can even stay sane without turning to God. Life is too hard and full of so many heartaches. We’re all so desperate for God’s grace, goodness, comfort, protection and direction. There’s just too many moments that will leave you shaking your head. We weren’t meant to walk alone, but with God and each other.

Everyday, I realize there is a God and I’m not Him. Everyday, I start by giving God the reigns and striving to give him all the glory. My faith is always a work in progress. Every season brings new challenges and tests that God uses to develop my faith. All I really know for sure is I can’t even walk without God holding my hand.

“O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Something To Smile About

Oh what a joy it was to finally talk with my dad on the phone earlier. It’s been at least a week since he could even dialogue at all with me. His pain has just been blinding and disrupting his life so much. I just kept praying that we could hopefully see him smile again.

This morning they only gave him half of his normal weekly chemo infusion. They had to dial things back due to his weakened body. But, thanks to his pain actually being under control this evening dad sounded himself for once. Just hearing him talk for nearly 40 minutes had me smiling ear to ear. I told dad I looked forward to going to bed with a smile on my face instead of tears in my heart.

Dad just cried and cried before he got off the phone. Said he never meant for any of us to have to hurt over him. I assured him that it’s a blessing for him to still be with us and a blessing to be able to be there for him.

As tears fall, I must say that pastoring my dad was never something I envisioned. But if you can’t minister to your own family you shouldn’t be ministering to other families. This has been the most painful privilege of my life. Even when the heart aches I know my strength and faith are being renewed.

Funny how these seasons really force you to ponder what really matters in life. You just can’t escape the brevity of life or the frailty of mankind. We think we’re so strong, but we’re so weak apart from Christ. We think we’re in control until we lose all sense of control. We think we will live forever until something threatens our life.

I’m so thankful that God is using this season to strengthen my praying knees and open my spiritual eyes. Even in the broken moments God is making something beautiful. God keeps proving Himself faithful to dad, mom and each of us. I will trust God’s plans wherever that leads.

“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1

Living On Prayer

Well, dad’s doctor’s appointment went as well as we could expect. His blood platelet level has doubled. Therefore, he will receive his weekly chemo infusion tomorrow. Hopefully his body can handle more treatment. Based on his present frailty that will only happen through prayer.

Now, dad’s greatest felt pain was definitely addressed. He will have appointment with the radiologist as soon as possible. Then, he will undergo more radiation. Hopefully, the left shoulder that’s killing him so much can be comforted in some way.

Regardless of any further treatment dad’s pain management can’t afford to stop. Mom will continue to do all she can to keep dad comfortable morning, day and night. This has certainly proven to be a tall task when it comes to staying on top of dad’s pain. Unfortunately, when it’s bad it’s really bad. But, he does have relief at times they just have to proactively manage his pain.

Only God knows where things go from here. We will see rather quickly whether any further treatment knocks dad’s numbers right back down. He really doesn’t have a whole lot of strength left to overcome anymore decline. But, dad is simply not done fighting. And, I can’t blame him for his fight.

The great news is this doctor visit was very productive in at least giving them options of some hope and relief. It’s been a long day for dad and mom. Hopefully, they can both get some much needed rest. Praise God. dad’s night time meds do have him comfortable at the moment. Thank you all for your continued prayers.

“Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.” Mark 9:29

Where Is The Easy Button?

Dad’s unpredictable pain continues to make his life at best feel bearable. He and mom really don’t know their days from their nights anymore. Mom has to practically help dad up 24/7 for him to safely get up anytime. Dad’s left shoulder is basically useless and causing him insane pain.

A walker is used at all times inside the house for safety. However, it’s hard to operate with only one useful arm and so many cracking bones. As dad says his hips and shoulders make actual crunching sounds often. Dad actually makes a lot of different sounds that indicate his body is so discombobulated.

All I know is dad is at a real crossroads. Of course, they know he has to have steady comfort care. But, we have no idea how they will handle his chemo treatments moving forward. For now all treatment has been halted. And my dad does hope to keep fighting the cancer at this time.

Yes, he knows that the chemo itself causes him many of his present difficulties. He also knows that if his cancer numbers are allowed to accelerate much it will disrupt every part of his body. Things could go from bad to worse in a heartbeat.

Tomorrow dad will go for a doctor visit at Charleston Oncology. Pray that whatever needs to be done will be done. Pray dad won’t go another day without the best possible comfort care plan in place. Pray Gods directs mom and dad on how to keep taking the next right step. Pray they both get some much needed sleep tonight. They are both exhausted and need some healing rest and peace.

I sure wish there was an easy button. Unfortunately, all they can do is walk through this valley together holding onto God’s hand. God knows what each of us need for each new day. All we need to do is keep asking Him to reveal His will to us. God will not only show us the way, but He will never forsake us along the way. I know God is with them every step of the way.

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Dad’s Struggles Continue

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve updated you about dad. One, I’ve been totally off social media for the past week. Two, there just really hasn’t been a whole to say until recently. For the past few weeks dad has continued to rapidly lose weight even with a good appetite. I would love to blame his continuing chemotherapy. However, I’m afraid it’s his cancer as his numbers significantly increased the past two months.

Dad has continued to feel extremely weak. His pain has seemed more manageable compared to the past. But, his get up and go has gotten up and gone. He has lost so much muscle and resembles a shell of the man we once knew. That alone has really taken its toll on him.

Yesterday, him and mom went to Charleston for his weekly chemotherapy infusion. Dad was in there waiting for over an hour hooked up and ready to go. Then, a nurse came into to tell dad they had to stop his chemo treatment for now. Based on his blood work dad is walking on very shaky ground.

Dad was not able to have his chemo treatment yesterday. His blood platelet level was extremely low. The normal range is 142-424. His number was 46 yesterday. Unfortunately, he already took his 12 oral chemo capsules that morning because they didn’t know about the platelets until he had his lab work done. He also lost a couple more pounds. He was told not to do anything that could cause him to start bleeding and to be very careful to avoid falling.

Dad has pretty much just laid around all day. I know the air has been knocked out of his sails in so many ways. Physically, emotionally and mentally he is in an outright war. He and mom have shared a lot of long days and many tears. Only God knows what each new day will bring. This has been an up and down roller coaster ride for sure.

Please continue to pray for God’s protection over dad. He basically has no immune system presently. Please pray for God’s peace and comfort for both mom and dad. Fortunately, I do know they keep placing everything in God’s hands. Even still, these seasons and long days can create such a heaviness.

My parents have prayed for and ministered to so many people throughout the years. Now, they need their own prayer warriors. I know no matter what God has a plan. I just want them to feel God’s love, peace and promise through it all. No matter what we all know God is good and faithful.

“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 36:5

Limits Don’t Define You

When you see this video you just see an 11yr old boy having normal fun. When I see this young man riding what he calls “Rolling Thunder” I see the power of God at work. My youngest son Asher is one of the sweetest kids I know. However, he faces numerous physical, emotional, and mental challenges. He struggles with learning, countless phobias and pretty much anything physically challenging.

He’s been told the only sport he could ever excel in would be swimming. He’s never been able to ride a bike or even run like an average boy. He has gone to countless therapists and has come a long way. To him just being able to enjoy this rolling bike excites him so much.

Therefore, it makes me and God smile to watch him roll downhill with a true feeling of freedom. As he told me before “Daddy I’m just the way God made me.” Don’t measure your progress based on what you can’t do. Celebrate what with only God’s help you can do. Your limitations will not hinder God’s expectations for your life.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Just A Tough Day

I woke up today in quite a fix. It was all I could do to get out of my bed. Sadly, it’s nothing that ever takes me by total surprise. I knew my nervous system was out of whack. I knew that nothing would be easy for me today.

Anyone who has battled long with chronic pain knows what I mean. It is such an unpredictable life disrupter. You can feel completely fine one moment. Then, complete at its mercy the next. The pain can be paralyzing and so deflating. You lose confidence in doing anything when the pain is blinding.

Fortunately, these days don’t always repeat themselves. Yet, in the moment you just wonder how long your condition will hold you hostage. No matter how long you’ve been dealing with struggles. You never get used to feeling so low, heavy hearted and overwhelmed.

My greatest confidence often comes from the past. Remembering how many times God has calmed the storm. Recalling time and time when things were even worst. Yet, God made a way every time I didn’t feel I could carry on. God has been so faithful time and time again. So, I will trust God again for my strength, protection, direction comfort and relief.

“Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.” Psalm 6:2

Pain Connects Us

Last night and really all day my lower back pain has been constant. Fortunately, God gave me the grace and strength to preach two outdoors services. I’ve learned how to put mind over the matter when necessary. But, eventually the pain rushing through my body like a tornado threatens everything. It affects me physically, mentally, emotionally and relationally.

However, I sincerely mean it when I say “Thank you God for my pain.” Yes, even the pain that runs so deep at times it paralyzes me. Yes, even the pain that at times steals my joy and keeps me uncomfortable. Yes, even the pain that used to keep me up all night. Yes, even the pain that has made me cry a river many times in the past.

You see, without my pain I couldn’t relate to your pain. Without being in the fire I couldn’t relate to how it feels under fire. My pain gives me compassion for the hurting. It gives me humility towards others instead of puffed up pride in myself. It connects my heart to other’s hearts. Why? Because it takes pain to understand pain.

If we allow God to use our pain for His glory. Our pain will become God’s greatest platform instead of our greatest excuse. It will allow us to more effectively comfort and minister to others. While pain has many different languages. Pain puts us all on level ground in need of God and each other. I’m grateful for my pain in that respect.

“ He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
2 Corinthians 1:4

It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense

I understand what’s it’s like to have a chronic condition that can take you down without a moments notice. Honestly, I can’t lift over 5 pounds and it not give me fits. I can’t stand or sit for over an hour and not hurt like crazy. I can’t handle half of what I once could mentally or physically before my nerve damage. After 5 1/2 years of this constant realization I’ve had to accept my new normal.

For reasons I do and don’t understand God has allowed this melting pain. I used to just fight with it. Now, I just let God fight for me. I seek to control everything I can. Then, I have to trust God with everything I can’t. My chronic pain is a constant disruption to most of my plans. But, I still believe wholeheartedly it has been allowed for God’s greater plans.

So, don’t worry about what people think about you. Don’t think you can fill explain your condition to others who have not experienced it themselves. Let go and let God lead your heart. And He will turn your pain into a platform for His glory. Recognize your limits, but understand your condition doesn’t limit God.

“O LORD, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.” Jonah 1:14

Need Some Relief From Your Chronic Pain?

Let me begin by saying that anything I’m about to share has been proven. It has proven to at least help reduce inflammation in your body. To keep those of us who are already one degree away from boiling stay sane. If you battle daily with inflammation in your body you need to listen. If you know somebody else that does you need to share this truth.

Many of you know that I battle with severe nerve damage due to a lower back injury. This pain when it reaches it’s highest point doesn’t just ache a little bit. If it gets out of hand it consumes every part of my body from my feet into my face. I used to think I was going crazy, but thank God I learned over time how to at least keep things manageable.

Over two years ago I started what is called the elimination diet. On that diet I only eat mainly lean meats, fruits, nuts, veggies, and beans. I definitely stay away from high levels of caffeine and sugar. Both of those things have proven time and time again to be my kryptonite. Anyway, with the elimination diet and exercise I lost over 40 pounds. But, most of all I got my chronic pain much more under control.

Sure, I have to monitor my overall stress load, sleeping habits, and even exercise. But, nothing changed my life more than a change in my diet. Every time I think my diet can’t be helping me that much. God proves that it has certainly been a key to my miracle breakthrough. Trust me, once you’ve going through Hell for nearly four years. You can’t help but see your blessing once the storm is calmed.

Now, there are two things I know have a HUGE impact on anyone’s chronic pain. Those two things are Caffeine and Sugar. Just this past week I learned that lesson the hard way again. The past two week’s I got a lot more liberal with my diet. Once my body got a taste of sugar I found myself stuffing my face with goodies at least once a day. Then, last Thursday reality knocked me down again.

Last Thursday I didn’t eat anything crazy. I had one serving of Lasagna , a salad, and very little otherwise. But, I did drink one cup of coffee, one medium sized Red Bull, and one can of coke zero. Realize, these are not things I drink ever on a consistent basis. But, on that day I desperately needed the boost to concentrate.

I went to bed that night with no problem. Then, less than two hours after sleeping my body went crazy. You see, my nerves are so sensitive I can feel anything that contaminates the body. For at least three hours I felt out of my mind. My entire neurological system was going haywire. All I could do was pray, take all the medications possible, and wait on the storm to pass.

At that time, I just started drinking as much water as my body can consume per hour. The next few days were tough. But, all I did was go back on my diet. I started back drinking at least 100 ounces of water daily. I made sure I’ve not had anything with a high level of sugar. I’ve not had even one ounce of caffeine in 5 days.

Just like I’ve experienced in the past my nerve pain once again became bearable and under control. There is no way anyone reading my future book will be able to deny the impact of diet in my healing. Once you’ve spent four years mainly in a bed or bath you’re just so grateful. You’re so thankful for some answers and hope for a better tomorrow.

Now, the only reason I’m writing this is for that one person who needs the same hope facing their chronic pain. If you’re hurting enough you should be all ears right now. I’m telling you that a change in your diet will make a big difference. It won’t fix everything. But, it can definitely improve things dramatically. I feel it has improved me at least 50-75 percent.

SO, please hear me when I tell you all that caffeine and sugar is just feasting on your body’s inflammation. You’re just pouring gasoline on an already blazing fire. You need to make a change if you hope to see a change. It won’t fix things overnight. But, for me even one week made a massive difference.

If you want to recover as much as possible. You have to be willing to live a recovery lifestyle. Take one right step at a time. Eliminate things that you know you shouldn’t eat or do. Let the hopeful relief from that pain push you to make the drastic changes necessary. I pray this post helps at least one person who needed to hear it. God bless you as you walk by faith through you chronic pain.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13

God’s Not Done With You

Apart from a miracle I will be fighting with my body in some way for the rest of my life. I try not to dwell on it or feed it. I try not to allow that to be my permanent life excuse. However, my body reminds me daily that the doctor wasn’t lying to me. I still recall him saying “Son, I don’t care who tells you anything otherwise. You will have permanent nerve damage the rest of your life.”

At first those words deflate and almost paralyze you. The good news is my glass is half full not half empty. That same doctor said I could’ve easily been paralyzed based on my MRI. And, that without my first surgery I would’ve definitely ended up in a wheelchair soon. Praise God I’m not physically paralyzed or in a wheelchair.

Even as the pain runs deep in me now. I’m highly motivated to do whatever I can while seeking to trust God with everything I can’t. I’ve had time to learn this is a daily journey not a forty yard dash. We’re always having to get our minds renewed so we can live with a renewed focus.

Everyday I will choose to get up and live my best life now. I will continue eating and drinking only things that have proven to ease my inflammation and pain. I will do what exercises I can to keep my body in the best shape possible. I will keep praying and trusting God to use this purposeful pain. There’s no doubt God uses it to keep me humble, compassionate and God dependent.

What I won’t do is accept my felt limitations. God is bigger than anything that comes our way. Whether it be adversity on the inside or outside of us. It’s in the struggle we truly learn how to faith walk. As we learn to approach God daily with a childlike faith. Somehow God picks us up and carries us forward.

God has brought me so far and taught me so much. Yet, the daily struggle is very real when nothing physical comes easy. But, God has taken me this far and He will take me further. Here I am Lord once again free falling into your arms. Looking to you to finish your story for your glory in my life. I fully trust you moving forward to finish the work you started.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

Better Just Sore

Last night was a night I would rather forget. Every nerve in my body crashed leaving me just a shell of myself. For nearly 3 hours my heart was pounding and my body was burned within. It’s like having an outer body experience you can’t fully explain. You feel trapped inside and the nerve pain rocked me from head to toe.

While I would rather forget last night it’s critical I remember. There’s no doubt this was a byproduct of too much sugar and caffeine getting into my system. I eaten clean for so long now my body just didn’t know how to handle it. The last two weeks I’ve got more and more slack with my diet. If I ever wondered if my diet really helped that much I no longer have any diet.

I feel majorly sleep deprived and bruised all over. But, other than that I just feel some PTSD after last night’s neurological meltdown. Where would I be if God hadn’t given me answers? How have I been able to carry on all this time except by the grace of God. Last night revealed that God has been so good to me. That experience felt like Hell, but most days I’m now able to enjoy my new normal. Thanks for your prayers!

Nerves Are Fried Again

Well, I was asleep for an hour or more. Suddenly, my nervous system literally woke me up going completely crazy. Every part of my body has been constantly vibrating. The least little sound, movement and even my own voice sends me into orbit. This experience is like having an internal earthquake that is way off the charts.

When my nerves get this way there’s very little I can do. I have already thrown every bit of medication I have at this fire. All I can do now is sit up, pray and try to process my emotions. It’s one of those things you just can’t fully explain. It’s like having an internal seizure that seems to have no end. You feel trapped in your own body as you pray for the storm to calm down.

This makes three nights in a row that have been very painful. This stuff tonight makes you feel crazy. You don’t feel like yourself and definitely don’t feel in control. I’m afraid this fluid commotion has been building up for days. History has taught me certain factors that likely brought this own.

My stress level has been very high. My days have been very long. My eating habits have not been the consistently what they should be. My intake of any daily caffeine always serves as a threat. Sadly, today I drank an energy drink for the first time in a long time. I knew I was playing with fire and it could cause me to eventually crash.

There’s something about taurine, caffeine and sugar that can crash my entire nervous system. The good news is I’m calming down even as I write this for you. Also, I’m so glad I know things I can do to hopefully prevent this from happening again. So many times in the past I just felt hopeless, clueless and desperate in these moments.

Now, I know better what can get things settled back down with time. I’m drinking lots of water to flush out my system. I will stay away from sugar and caffeine. I will seek to stay away from inflammatory foods and drinks. I will get back to living a recovery lifestyle.

Sometimes you need these awakening moments to remember your reality. I can no longer just do things in a normal fashion. This is a thorn in my flesh that’s always a constant threat that my health. I’ve got to live with a new normal perspective. I need to be grateful for what I can do and actively live aware of things I shouldn’t do. Even these tough times are purposeful in God’s hands.

“So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10

A Bad & Good Kind Of Pain

I’ve not had a bad day overall. Had a fairly productive day of ministry. Had a daddy night with my youngest son. I was blessed by God to be able to get up and show up. These days are definitely way better than some of my most painful days in my past.

That said I’m in a great deal of pain tonight. I’m talking about my legs aching continuously. My lower back surgical area throbbing and making me feel nauseous. It’s the type pain you can’t allow to stay on top of you for long. Fortunately, I have taken meds that I’m hopeful will help me rest within a few hours.

I absolutely hate feeling this way. In the moment, it always feels like it’s going to take me down for good. Fortunately, I’ve learned this too shall pass. I will get past this momentary madness even if it makes my heart race momentarily.

I know this because God has proven His faithfulness time and time again. It lifts my faith to remember where I used to be. It lifts my faith to know how far God has taken me. It lifts my faith to know that whatever comes my way God will take me through it. This bad, but good pain reminds me that without God’s help I could do nothing.

“I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77:12

From Pain To Purpose

There was a time when all you heard about was my pain. Everyday felt like nonstop torment. Hope seem nowhere in sight. Life was just a fight for survival. The days and nights seemed endless. Only misery consumed me.

So much has changed over the past two years. God has used my pain to keep me humble. God has used my pain to strengthen my faith in Him alone. God has used my pain to give me a true understanding and compassion for others in pain. God has used my pain to accomplish things for my good and His glory. God has used my pain to teach me that miracles still do happen.

While I may still have limitations and some daily discomfort. The good in my life now far outweighs the bad. I’m back to living my new purpose while embracing my new normal. I’ve always got reason to praise God because rarely are tears pouring down my face. Before it seemed to be a frequent occurrence.

For 4 long years I thought nothing would change. All I did was keep the faith while seeking to take the next right step. I had many praying for me along the way. In God’s perfect timing I found the other side of my misery. What was once just pain is now my new found joy in the Lord.

I’ve learned that I can make it through anything with God on my side. I’ve learned God will always make a way when there seems to be no way. I’ve learned that even the things that surprise you never surprise Him. I’ve learned there are two types of pain. There is wasted pain and purposeful pain. In our hands pain is only heartache. In God’s hands it’s clay that God is molding into something beautiful.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

P.S. I used to hold these spinal cord stimulator batteries in my hand just choosing to believe God would change things. He helped me and He will help you.

Please Keep Praying

I know so many people are struggling in this season one way or another. Sadly, most of us don’t feel like we can physically support one another the same due to social distancing. But, no amount of distance can stop our prayers for one another. My parents still need those prayers to keep coming. This week alone is a very intense one.

This week alone my dad has scheduled 8 different treatment visits. Everyday this week he is undergoing radiation to hopefully reduce some pain. Today he starts a new chemotherapy infusion. He will have these infusions done every Wednesday and Thursday for the next several weeks. He will also have 5 more straight days of radiation next week too.

All I know is dad is very weak. Much weaker than he has ever been in his life or this journey. Even with his cancer numbers much lower due to treatment. This cancer has torched my dad’s body and all he can do is keep fighting. He is no longer in remission. They are just trying to hold back the cancer as much as possible. But, it’s painfully obvious dad’s body can only withstand so much.

We all know cancer is a very ugly disease. It takes so much from a person day after day. All my family wants is God’s will, peace and comfort for both dad and mom. I wish to God I knew more to do. All I can do is try to be there and invite others to join me in praying for them. And, if you or your loved one is struggling. Know that I’m praying for you and them as well.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16

My Forever Valentine

The longer you’ve been with someone the more you actually learn about love. Love is not a feeling that just comes and goes. Love is not just a few voiced vows and then everything is happily ever after. Love is a daily decision to say “I do” for the rest of your life. For better or worse, in sickness and in health. For richer or poorer as long as you both shall live.

Well, Aimee Crosby has proven her love for me over the last 27 years. From the early years of being an indecisive jerk. To the later years of being an insensitive jerk. From the time I was healthier than most to the times I could barely get out of bed. From the times we could only live paycheck to paycheck. To the times we found God’s greater blessings.

Honestly, it’s just not easy being a pastor’s wife apart from the other growing pains. She has to share me with so many people. She has to carry whatever I carry plus four kids she dearly loves. Never does she complain or demand everything be her way. Instead, her love just keeps proving itself day after day.

There was a time in our marriage I thought she needed to do all the changing. However, time has only proven she’s gotten it right all along. I recall one time God led me to turn to the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 13. Then, I read the first 8 verses of the love chapter. There I further understood the characteristics of true love. There I realized that everything I read was every way she loves me to this day.

Now, I’m still seeking to be more like her when I grow up. But, I know I’ve found the person I can’t imagine living without. Someone who loves me like God loves me. She loves me despite me. She loves me unconditionally and relentlessly. That’s why she will always be my valentine. Her name should be Aimee “Love” Crosby.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

P.S. I chose this old picture because it just reminds me how much she always makes me smile. I still love you with all my heart Aimée Crosby!

Don’t Ignore The Warning Lights

Here I go again experiencing another night in the flames of nerve pain. I really had a pretty decent day after a good night’s sleep. But, by supper time I didn’t even feel like the same person. These burning nerve sensations run from my feet all the way into my face. There’s no quick fix or running from them. Eventually my medication will help me drift off to sleep.

In the meantime, all I can do is wait and learn from my mistakes. There’s no doubt I’ve been doing way too much with my nerve condition. Too much stress, too many hours and too many possible pitfalls to mention. At least I know that recovery always starts with rest, diet, discipline, and monitoring closely my work flow.

I’m convinced our bodies are much like vehicles. When something lights up on our car dash we know it indicates something needs to be addressed. When things act up with our bodies it usually indicates something needs our attention. I hate these feelings and nights like this one. But, it’s these nights that remind me I’ve got to listen closely to my body. I’ve also got to be still and let God be God.

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Look What God Has Done

The past few nights have been very painful . Not sure what exactly has triggered my nerve pain. I have been very busy from sun up to sun down. I have been under a lot of pressure as my ministry keeps growing. Honestly, life in general has been very demanding and challenging.

Even still, God has really been helping me see all the positives. One, my pain is nothing compared to my dad’s battle with cancer. Two, my pain doesn’t compare to the emotional pain my mom carries daily caring for my dad. Three, I just know things could always be much worse. My present difficult moments are nothing compared to some of my past darkest days of pain.

I remember how all I could think about was my pain. I was taking twice the amount of medication before than now. I recall like yesterday having to rely on a cain or a walker just to take the next step. I basically lived in doctor’s office. I really couldn’t see any future with the pain blinding me day and night.

However, that was then and this is now. I can now smile and operate with a clear mind most of the time. I’m able to enjoy moments with my family and continue to minister to others. A few years ago, I didn’t think any of this would be possible. Seeing God continue to do miracles really lifts my spirits. There’s no way for anyone but God to get the glory when it comes to my God story. Even my present limitations continue to be used by God to accomplish His purpose.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Update On My Dad 2/4/21

So, the last week especially has been really tough for my dad and mom. It all started when dad spiked nearly a 103 degree fever 8 days ago. Anything like that is extremely scary when the doctor had just informed him that his immune system has hit rock bottom. By the grace of God we were able to see dad’s fever go away and stay away. It had to be the chemo infusion he received that dad that zapped his entire being. The look of him in pain that night was as extreme as I’ve ever seen.

Dad has really struggled to find any comfort any time except when medication puts him to sleep. His head constantly hurts, his bones continually crunch, and he struggles to do anything much. Even with increased medications around the clock dad has been in a dog fight. Mom just keeps doing all she can to keep him comfortable and help him get through another day.

Today, his doctor has stopped all of his chemotherapy for at least the next two weeks. Dad’s body is just absolutely exhausted. He has very little appetite and very little he can ever enjoy. While I know God can change things at any time. I know that only God can make things turnaround. It feels like things have really been rolling down hill the last few months. And, dad’s cancer numbers have started climbing back up even with constant chemotherapy.

Of course, it’s very hard to see your dad or anyone you love in such constant discomfort. You pray for their healing and comfort that only God can give them. You ponder anything you can do to help or ease their struggle. Still you often conclude that only prayer can change certain things. So, I ask you to please keep praying for my dad and mom. I wish there was more I could do for them. However, all I know to do is keep striving to be there for them any way possible. Only God knows what the future holds!


I’ve always loved each of my boys very much. I’ve always wanted to be the best dad possible. Sadly, I’ve missed a lot of moments. Not intentionally, but just due to many things. Sometimes ignorance, busyness, tunnel vision or life circumstances got in the way. I guess I’m still striving to overcome some of those challenges.

My boys are now ages 21, 19, 17, and almost 11. My youngest has gotten the best version of me as a dad. I was only 24, 26, and 28 when my three oldest were born. Like many young dads I didn’t realize how quickly time would fly by. My wife has always been a wonderful mother. However, time has had to raise me into becoming the dad my boys really need me to be.

At nearly age 46 I see things much clearer than in years gone by. Sure, I’m still learning daily. But, I realize it’s not about having all the answers or just working a job. It’s about making time to spend with your children. Treating each one as a precious gift from God.

I wish I could go back in time. I can promise you I would do a lot of things different. You see, parenting must be intentional. You have to learn how to love each child in an understanding way. Sometimes that just means listening more than yelling. It takes speaking hope and truth into their life. It requires praying over them and constantly for them.

If you’re a young dad I hope you’re listening. You will be shocked how quickly your kids will grow up. It’s never too late to wake up and show up. Your first step might just be apologizing for things done wrong. Then, expressing to your children just how much you care and long to be the best dad possible. Because no matter how wonderful moms are in this world. Dads we are still needed too. Don’t settle for just being an average dad. Seek to let God lead you as you seek to lead them. God will bless your efforts if you let Him lead your heart. This was just on my heart to share with you for some reason.

Just Checking In

I’ve been away from social media for a few weeks. Just trying to stay focused on things that matter most. This never ending season has been tough. All you can do is keep taking the next right step. Times like these demand we walk by faith and not by sight.

You can be certain you’re not alone in your struggles. None of us can predict what tomorrow brings. None of us can makes sense of all the madness. None of us can thrive mask or no mask without God’s continued strength and guidance.

My prayer is that none of us live with a misplaced hope. Presidents, pastors, and even the best intending people will let you down. This world is full of empty promises and shattered dreams. There’s no drug, drink or man made thing that can truly fill you with lasting peace. Only in Christ will you no longer live with a God shaped void inside.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

It Was Different But

Praise God we all able to get together for Christmas with mom and dad. We did so today because the weather allowed us to gather safely outside. It was different, but much like this past Thanksgiving. It was just a blessing to still have dad with us.

Due to dad’s necessary pain meds he was not extremely active. However, he was there and his pain appeared under control. I knew he wouldn’t want to miss being with us if the environment was safe. I could tell dad had plenty on his mind and only God knows what he was thinking surrounding by family.

My older brother gave a really good talk about embracing life’s transitions. How in Christ we can be uncertain and still be certain. You see, our hope is in Christ not our circumstances. He mentioned that none of us know whether we will be at next year’s Christmas gathering. Therefore, we need to express our love to one another now while we still have the opportunity. It certainly wouldn’t have felt like Christmas had dad and mom not been able to join us.

“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:16-17

Keep Praying For Dad

In so many ways this Christmas will be different and full of emotions. It remains to be seen if our entire family will gather together at all. Dad has certainly had his share of setbacks lately. He spent hours at the emergency room this past Saturday due to extreme pain in his eye. He was sent home on antibiotics and told he had a bad case of cellulites.

However, it turns out that his recent radiation has been his biggest issue. He hoped the radiation would reduce his pain. Turns out it has greatly increased his pain. He thought the radiation was treating the cancer. Turns out it can’t do anything for the actual cancer. It’s just one disappointment after another for him and mom.

Dad has taken some morphine along with other pain meds since Saturday. He pretty much has to do whatever necessary to endure this constant pain. Mom called the dr today due to dad’s ongoing discomfort. They ordered ER Morphine for him temporarily until this stuff settles down. We are praying optimistically that happens soon.

Doctor said the cellulitis does cause pain. They also said his jaw is probably hurting because of the radiation he had. That it is not uncommon to have it radiate downward after having the radiation on the nerves above. With consistent meds dad’s not in severe pain but in constant pain.

All I know is dad’s body is getting so much weaker. I can tell talking with him that it’s so hard to fight this disease. God is still giving me the pleasure of praying for him every night by phone. But, him and mom certainly need more prayers. I would appreciate you continuing to lift them both up to a God who cares deeply about them.

God Whatever You Want

My dad was a pastor for 48 years. He can’t remember any church being closed more than a few times period. I’ve been in the ministry 27 years and I can only remember the church being closed a couple times ever. Yet, here I am pastoring a church that has not met “inside” for corporate worship in over nine months. We’ve met for the past four months outside. However, this weather is starting to get much colder.

Now, I realize everyone has different opinions concerning the threat of this pandemic. However, I can promise you we’ve tried to make the safest God led decisions every step of the way. No, I’m not personally fearful for my life. But, I do believe God keeps leading us to be mindful of countless others whose lives could be very threatened by this present virus.

Anyway, it’s getting a lot harder to keep moving forward. In fact, it’s the toughest it’s ever been to be a pastor. Nothing is normal or easy right now. Society is spiraling out of control in many ways. People aren’t thinking clearly and most are struggling greatly. Unfortunately, it’s harder than ever to experience close fellowship with others.

In the midst of it all my dad’s cancer battle keeps giving me perspective. Compared to his battle this season is a piece of cake. He is literally fighting for his life everyday. Most of us are just fighting with this new way of life. Guess it’s really not nearly the big deal we make it out to be.

You see, a person fighting for their life doesn’t get so caught up in trivial matters. They are just glad to wake up and see another God made day. Most of us have become so spoiled in this life. Anytime we get the least inconvenienced we throw tantrums like children. Man, God keeps using my dad’s cancer battle to rearrange my life perspective.

Honestly, I feel like God is trying to speak loudly to us all right now. It really doesn’t matter where we are God can be found. On our knees in a parking lot or at the altar inside a church. We’ve got to learn how to follow God no matter what our circumstance. Otherwise, every time things change so will our faith. I’m praying and believing God is growing our faith with each passing day. And, whatever God wants is sincerely what I want.

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

Even In The Bad Times

I’ve been off social for nearly one month. I’ve not preached on a Sunday in over 3 weeks. For many reasons I had to step back from the world as I once knew it. I desperately needed to catch my breath. I had to get my own self healthier physically, emotionally, and spiritually. That is before I could help another soul find their way through this challenging season.

Yesterday I returned home after spending over 11 days away from home. Much of that time I spent with just God. A few days of that was great quality time with my family. We all know sometimes you just have to stop, drop and pray. Sometimes you can’t expect anything to change without making drastic changes.

As a senior pastor to many the spiritual warfare in my life has been beyond measure. Yet, I can feel God remaking me stronger each day. I’m not overly concerned about God’s plan for my life, my family or my ministry. I’m just focused on making sure that I continue taking the next right step as God leads me forward.

Of course, none of us know what tomorrow may bring. But, we know that when our little hand stays in God’s big hand the future is always bright. You may not know exactly what God is doing. However, you can trust He is doing something. He is humbling you, growing you, and preparing you for battle. His ways are always higher than our ways.

Over the last few weeks I’ve gotten my health back regulated. I’ve been very strict with my diet, consistent with my exercise, and constant in my pursuit of God’s face. God keeps showing me better ways to cope with my body’s many limitations. Very exciting is how God is using my own limitations to increase my greater expectations in Him. So, my confidence in Christ keeps growing by the day.

My dad continues to fight his daily battle with cancer. Today he finished up his 7th straight weekday of radiation in his head. He has 3 more days of radiation in conjunction with all of his other chemotherapy treatments. As dad says often “Son, it’s just one of those things. You just keep dealing with as it comes. The pain is part of it. The ups and downs are part of it. I know God has it all worked out.”

Dad and mom face a whole lot of ups and downs. But, one thing is constant they’ve never lost faith. They know God is with them and always for them. They know God has a plan even when they can’t make sense of that plan. They know that God is always good even when things feel constantly bad. Fortunately, I’ve learned the same thing as God continues to prove His faithfulness.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Taking An Extended Break

I’ve not been on social media in quite awhile. I don’t plan on being on here for several more weeks. Last Sunday night I had another major neurological breakdown. I’ve not had one that severe in at least 3 years. My body is still recovering from feeling so fried inside.

Of course, initially it brought lots of anxiety. Especially when I know I’ve come so from where I used to be. God knows I’m nothing like I was back when everything felt so hopeless. I may still have the same nerve damaged condition. However, I now live with full hope God will always take me through anything.

Most all week I’ve felt like all the air has been knocked out of me. I’ve not had many outside conversations. Instead, I’ve had to preserve my strength every way possible. I’m still struggling especially in the late afternoons and evenings. But, today has not been terrible at all. So, I feel like I’m healing forward.

This past Monday I went to the doctor and got some breakthrough medications. They definitely helped me get through some really tough moments. I also got my spinal cord stimulator adjusted for the first time in almost two years. I still can’t tell you whether I’m fully on the right track towards consistent pain management. But, I’m a far cry from how I felt last Sunday night.

All I know is once again I feel mostly out of control. I’m having to fully depend on God’s grace and strength. My past days of nonstop pain have definitely helped me cope in these days. Even still it’s never easy to feel out of breath, overwhelmed and uncertain about your health condition.

One thing I never doubt is this pain is divine. God has allowed this condition to humble me and keep me where He needs me to be. It opens my eyes, ears and heart in so many ways. It’s a burden and a blessing all wrapped in one. For me it’s simply a cross I feel called to bear as I seek to accomplish God’s will.

My dad’s up and down battle with cancer continues. It was recently confirmed that the cancer has spread into the left side of his head. Typically this cancer has mainly rested inside his blood and bones. But, this time its gotten into his skin affecting his vision and pain levels. Fortunately, his pain is presently under control. But, everyday seems to bring unexpected challenges.

This Tuesday he has an appointment to discuss more necessary radiation. We’re just praying God directs the doctors steps. We pray this upcoming radiation will ease his pain and shrink the cancer. We all know cancer is an unpredictable and reckless beast. Fortunately, my parents and all my family know who is ultimately in control.

So, please keep praying for dad and mom. All I want is God’s will and God’s peace in their life. It sure is settling to know that no matter what cancer will not win the victory. Dad is a blood bought child of God covered underneath the sheltering wings of a loving God. Thanks for all of your prayers and know that I’m praying for you as well.

(Romans 8:35-37) “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

Living The Dream

In 2007 I had a dream from God. In that dream God showed me people my ministry would impact if I stayed faithful to Him. Blindfolded, God took me to the edge of a cliff. Then, he removed the blindfold and it took my breath away. There were multitudes of people as far as the eye could see. You could see every race, tribe and language represented.

Suddenly, I woke up and started crying uncontrollably. I told Aimee that I couldn’t handle the mission God was giving me. How was I supposed to minister to all those people in one tiny church? Later, God would reveal He is not limited to the church house.

Sometime in 2012 I was preaching a funeral for one of my many previous hospice patients. I knew only two people in that entire sanctuary. Yet, over to my right were faces I knew were in the front row of that dream. I remember being shaken inside as I couldn’t deny what my eyes were seeing.

Then, God led me to start writing blogs online. I just felt led to share some real life stories with others. At best I thought a few family and friends would read them. Then, one day I was checking my WordPress stats of who and where people were watching. That’s when I discovered over 130 countries had read my online blog. All I could do is once again just shake my head in disbelief.

In August 2018 a group of international teachers would be sent by God to Colleton County. We were able to help some make a smooth welcoming transition far away from their families. Beyond those from the United States, folks from India, the Philippines, Kenya, Jamaica, Cameroon, Jamaica, and Ghana have all been a part of Refuge Church. I know in my heart each of them were in that dream God gave me nearly 13 years ago.

Refuge International Care Group

Then, this morning God took this dream much further. Our International Pastor Lephen Kumar connected me with many Christian leaders back in his home country. I preached to leaders from India through zoom. I could feel God’s spirit so strong even with hearing languages I will never understand. I got to meet his former pastor, Uncle George, who has planted 450 different churches in India and Nepal. I told my son Matthew it felt like we were landing on the moon for the first time.

So often we only see the world through our limited eyes. God wants us to see way bigger. Jesus calls us to take the gospel to every nation and tribe. God willing I will get to visit each of these places and their families one day. In the meantime, I hope to keep living out the dream God has given me.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20