Category Archives: testimony

Happy 2019

I hope that you are as eager for the new year as I am.  God’s blessings on our house were so abundant in 2018 that I can hardly wait to see what He will do in 2019.  To name just a few:

I have my first book published!  “The ASK Principle” began to be blogged on this site on January 21, 2018.  As I went through the study again, I realized I had the book I had always dreamed this would become.  So the blog posts were assembled, reformatted, reworked and out came the book.  It is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble both as a paperback and an e-book.  I hope you will all pick up a copy!

I finished 2 years of maintenance chemotherapy on October 7th.  The journey through cancer proved to be one of the best spiritual growth periods of my life.  God has been with me every step of the way and has lifted my faith to another plateau.  My wife and I are grateful for all of your [prayers and encouragement along the way.  Not I am just waiting for the neuropathy and fatigue levels to decreased, which I know they will.  Full remission and going strong!

We got a puppy!  My wife and I have not had a pet in the house for 2 decades.  I did not want to get another one because my wife takes it so hard when they go. But she was getting more and more desirous to have one,m and so we took the plunge in June and are are so glad we did.  he has brought joy and life into our house, and we would not trade him for anything.

The biggest blessing by far was having our granddaughter come live with us in October.  Her mother is in a bad situation right now and her father scares her to death, so we said we would love to have her.  She is thriving in school here and has been nothing but a joy to have around the house.,  She has stated she is finally feeling happiness again, but still has a lot of emotional scars that need to be worked on.  We look forward to watching her blossom into the young woman God intends her to be.

There have been many more blessings but these top the list.  One other thing I do want to mention is my gratitude for all of you.  You have read  my blog, commented, pressed the like button and just been a joy to my heart.  I pray each of you have a great year ahead.

I want to leave you with a word from the Lord, given to our church Sunday morning,

Haggai 2:18-19

18 Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the Lord‘s temple was laid, consider it.

19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.

The Lord spoke to our church and said that we had planted seeds abundantly all around us.  We are a small church in number but mighty in faith and spirit.  He reminded us of all the seeds we had planted yet had not seen any fruit yet.  It has been a mystery to us yet we continued to trust God that a harvest would come.  The Lord said from this day and forward, consider it!  From this day forward he would bless us!  What a rejoicing came from our congregation upon hearing that word.

I believe that word is for you as well.  Perhaps there are areas where you have planted seeds, expecting an harvest, but no harvest has come.  Maybe it’s financial, maybe it;s spiritual.  Maybe it involves your family, and maybe it involves your business or ministry.  The Lord says from this day forward He will bless that seed you have sown.  From this day forward you will see what you have desired.  Believe the word of the Lord and 2019 will be your best year yet!

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Boxed In

I was a bit crazy in my youth. Maybe more than a bit. Maybe a lot. Especially when it came to driving. I wrecked three cars and should have died at least once, but God had some other reason to keep me alive, and here I am to tell about it. I also was not serving God despite being raised in church, so this is not going to sound anything like my typical posts, at least not at first.

I purchased my first car from my Mom. It was a 1965 brown Ford Fairlane. The year was 1969 so it was a fairly new car. I bought it for a buck. Quite a bargain, right? It was far from a perfect car though. You see, I was driving through a shopping mall parking lot on a cold winter night. There were slick spots everywhere. I came to one of those cross aisles and a car came up from my left. I put the brakes on, but was on a slab of ice and T-boned the car. Granted, I was only going about 10 MPH, but the front end was damaged pretty good. A new fender and radiator was in the works. My mom collected the insurance and got a new car. I got the Fairlane for a buck and fixed it up. Not a bad deal.

I drove that Fairlane for several years, drunken rides, high rides, sometimes pretty blind rides. We went to concerts and came home drunk, hopped bars all night long and were not at all sober. Drove to the Cape, to the mountains, to the Canadian border. We would drive to New York on Sundays to get liquor because they didn’t sell it in Mass on Sundays. I don’t know if I ever really drove sober. I know, that’s a bad thing. But it was a different era and there was not as much fanfare over drunk driving back then. I remember once driving home from a day on the cape where we had driven to P-Town, drank beer all the way there and all the way back. We got in the middle of a traffic jam in Plymouth and the cops were right there in the middle of it. We had the floor of the back seat filled with beer cans and one of us passed out in the seat. Nothing happened, but we were worried.

Triumph

I finally traded the Fairlane off for a Triumph Spitfire. This white car with a convertible black top was my dream car. Fast, maneuverable and good looking. This was the ultimate party car. We drove it everywhere in new England, flying down the curvy roads at 60 or 70 MPH, weaving in and out of traffic and just not caring a bit. I’m not sure if I had a death wish or not, but people would think so because of my driving. The times I remember most fondly are when we would have about 8 of us in the car. We folded the front seats all the way down and sat semi-circle in the car, passing beers and joints all day as we drove through the White and Green mountains viewing the most beautiful Fall scenery in the world.

One time we were driving at night looking for a friend of mine who was high and tripping out. We were flying around the countryside when a cop pulled us over. We had definitely been drinking. He came up to the window and asked what the hurry was. I told him of my friend and that I was pretty sure we could find him, but we needed to do it soon or he could fly out of control. The cop actually let us go! We did find our friend and all turned out OK.

blue riodge mountains

Another time we set our sights on a vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains. We had our stash in hand, a cooler full of beer and cash to boot. We set out in the evening only to get 90 miles down the road and have the head gasket blow out of the car. It was late at night and no one was around. We limped back home, putting water in the motor several times before we arrived at my house round noon the next day. When my mom came home from work, we were sitting on a sofa in the basement, oblivious to the world. She asked what happened to our trip, and we just groaned and said the car broke.

Yes, I had plenty of adventures and misadventures with cars in my youth, but one stands out from them all to this day. As I said before, we were speed demons in that little Triumph Spitfire. We would dodge in and out of traffic going 10 to 20 MPH over the speed limit all the time. I hated it when someone passed me. Of course, the semi drivers hated my little car whizzing up from behind them and then ducking back in. One day as we cruised down the 3 lane Massachusetts Turnpike, I was on just such a mission. I wove around several semi-trucks and was just cruising fine. I came up behind on in the right lane and screeched out from behind him to pass, only to find another semi was in the middle lane up ahead. As I went to veer into the far left hand lane, another semi came up fast behind me, boxing me in on three sides. I tried to pull out, but a fourth one came up behind, and we proceeded to go 60 MPH for about 5 miles. I was out of my mind, as was my friend. We were boxed in with no place to go. These big rigs could crush my little car without getting a dent. I seriously thought about creeping under one of them on my side, but the car was a little too tall for that. That was the most harrowing 5 minutes I ever spent in my car.

Finally the semi behind us slowed down and the one in front pulled ahead so we could get out. They all blasted their horns as we drove off up the road ahead of them. I got the message loud and clear. They were in charge of the road, not me. They had mu number anytime they wanted to, and I better remember. My days of weaving in and out of semi-trucks was over. I respected them from then on.

There are times in our lives when we are going along without a care in the world. We’re just having fun and enjoying this gift of life that God gave us. We are not overzealous, but we are good Christians doing what God has asked us to do. The road seems clear ahead and we just keep going forward. Then someone comes along and says something that offends us. We are taken aback by that, and are not really sure what to do. The good book says we should go to them and clear it up, but that seems a bit too much for this small offense. It will just go away.

This offense festers in our mind until we have to talk to a friend about it. Well, now our friend is upset about it too! They want to get back at the offender but instead they start to say bad things about them to other people. Before we know it we are surrounded by negativity toward this person, and it was all such a small thing when it started, like that first semi I passed. No big deal. It’s just one truck. But then another and another got involved, and before I knew it I was boxed in. Before we know it I was boxed in with guilt that this whole thing has gotten out of control

Now you have to do something. You feel bitterness start to arise within you, and know it must not fester. That’s the worst thing that can happen. Finally you go to the person who originally offended you and you open up to them. You tell them what happened and you apologize profusely, asking their forgiveness. You back track to everyone else and let them know the truth. This is a hard lesson, like being encircled with big rigs was for me, but you learn it well. Take care of offenses at the outset. It will pay great rewards and relieve you from a lot of regret down the road.

I have never again driven like that. I learned my lesson well. And I hope that I never let offenses go too long without taking care of them. I never want to be boxed in again!

Jumping For Joy Cancer Update

Still in complete remission and no active lesions! Blood counts all look good. Praise the Lord.
 
This was the report I received Monday in Iowa City. I also found out my last day chemo is Sept 27th. Everything is progressing nicely. I am walking an average of 2 miles a day and biking 4+ miles a day. This is the most exercise I have ever done in my life!
 
On the “still believing God for complete healing” side, my neuropathy has not changed, but I am functioning better with it. And my fatigue level has slightly deteriorated (Maybe I exercise too much?).
 
I also have 4 opportunities to share the healing story of faith in the next two months, and continue to look for more open doors. Any suggestions?
 
Again, thank you for all your prayers and support. Janeen has drawn strength from them as much as I have. You are all very special to us!
 
Be blessed

Cancer Testimony Video

Several of you have asked for me to post this video, so here it is.  This is from our service at church Sunday night, April 22.  This service went well and we had an opportunity tom pray for several who were sick at the end of the service.  It was a blessed time in the Lord.

I am going to post this on both of my blogs, so if you are following both, you will see this on my Psalmist blog as well.

I pray it blesses you!

Sometimes I Just Wonder Why.

I awoke this morning at five with a few words in my head.  As usual, I knew God was speaking a new verse into my spirit, so I rolled off the bed and grabbed my phone (the modern day note pad beside the bed).  I opened up my email and created a new message – to myself.  I sat back down on the side of the bed and just started typing as the words came to me:

To be ever in His presence
To be always by His side
This Is what I long for
This is my desire

I reflected on these words for a few moments and laid back down on the bed, phone in hand.  This is my heart’s cry!  To be with Him in good times and bad, in hurting and in joy, in the midst of the storm and when all is peaceful.  He filled me with the truth of these words, then I started to hear His voice again, and started typing more.  And more.  10 minutes later, the song was done.

This is how God works with my poetry and songs.  Every one of them comes just like this.  It is rare I only get a piece and then go back and finish it (although once in a while that does happen).  It just pours into me from His voice and within my spirit, and I do my best to capture the words exactly as He dictates.

When, I finally got up and dressed, I was ready to post this piece, which is called “Settled By His Grace”.  I started reading it back to myself and broke down weeping at the words God had given me.  And I just started to wonder why?

I am not anybody special.  I am a sinner saved by grace.  He has been so merciful to me throughout my life.  Far from perfect, in fact not even in the same vicinity as perfect.  I falter daily trying to follow Him.  I am an unknown in this world.  My poetry is posted here and on my Facebook page regularly as He directs me.  Many followers, few readers, some likes.

Many have said they are masterpieces.  That is because the Master gives the words.  Many have said they are blessed by the words.  That is because God brings a blessing.
Many have commented they sang along with the poem as they read it.  That is because God puts a song in their heart.
Many have encouraged me to keep writing.  God keeps giving the words.

I think it’s natural to ask “Why me, God?”  Why do you give these songs to me?  These poems?  These words of praise? These words of encouragement to the body of Christ?  Is it simply for the few dozen that see them where I post them?  Is it simply for my comfort?  Or is there a greater purpose?

My piano teacher is convinced that if these songs God gave me could reach the right eyes and ears, it would not be long they would be all over the airwaves.  My best friend agrees.  My pastor and my congregation agree.  My wife is flabbergasted by the steady stream of words that God puts into my heart.  It is humanly unexplainable.

Many have said it’s simply that I listen.  I listen for His voice and write what He says.  Can it really be that simple?  If so, I am thankful He gave me ears to hear.  If so, I am awed by His choice of me as a vessel.  If so, then let His will be done in all of this.  I will remain a conduit through which He can speak to you and others.

I will continue to listen.  I will continue to write His words.  By His grace, I pray he will continue to give them to me.  By His mercy, they will be posted on my poetry blog as often as He gives them.  (If you are not on my poetry blog, you can find it here).

For now, here is the whole song he gave me this morning – “Settled In His Grace.”  I pray it is a blessing to you.

My days can get so lonely
When I try to walk alone
But there’s no reason this should be the case
He promised to be with me
Until the very end
I’ll daily set my eyes to see His face

He’s with me in my spirit
I must listen carefully
His voice is calling out most every day
He wants a conversation
He wants my company
He wants to walk with me and guide my way

To be ever in His presence
To be always by His side
This Is what I long for
This is my desire
Walking close beside Him
Step by step each day
Hearing words of hope
Settled in His grace

The sweet sweet love of Jesus
Is always there for me
In good times and in bad He’s always near
By faith I feel His presence
My spirit knows His breath
When I remember this I’ll never fear

To be ever in His presence
To be always by His side
This Is what I long for
This is my desire
Walking close beside Him
Step by step each day
Hearing words of hope
Settled in His grace

Knowing Him
Loving Him
Praising Him
Hearing Him
All I need
He provides
Ever present
In my life

To be ever in His presence
To be always by His side
This Is what I long for
This is my desire
Walking close beside Him
Step by step each day
Hearing words of hope
Settled in His grace

 

A Little Pick-My Up

I was sitting today, trying to get over a cold which has plagued me for 5 days now. On top of that, I had my maintenance chemo treatments Wednesday and Thursday, so my body is weak. I just needed rest, which is a hard thing for me to do. I like to be on the go. Sitting around is not my cup of tea. I needed a lift out of this place of being a bit down.

As I sat here, I thought about how much God cares for me, and I thought maybe you could use a little picker-upper as well. You see, when we are in a place of hurt or weakness, it’s easy to get a little down. It’s easy to feel like we are alone. We can get into a place of pity for ourselves because of the place we are in. I do not like those kind of thoughts.

Then God spoke to me and reminded me of a scripture that we should all strive to keep in our hearts for just such an occasion as this. Psalm 139:17-18 tells us this:

How precious to me are your thoughts, oh God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

It took me a long time to get my head wrapped around these verses. God has precious thoughts toward me? So many of them that they outnumber the sand of the sea? How can that be? I do so many things wrong! There are so many times I fall short of what He asks me to do! There are so many times I do things I know God would not like so much. I say things that are hurtful to others. How can He have precious thoughts of me?

Yet He does – more than I can imagine. Those thoughts are always there. When I think about that, how can I be down? How can I be discouraged? For me, it is impossible. These words lift my spirits every time, and I will endeavor to keep them in my heart and mind for such a time as this! I hope you will too.

I’m Yours

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

I know we are in Galatians on our study, but this verse popped into my head this morning, and I don’t think I have ever posted any of my songs on this site.  I always put them on my Psalmist blog.  This chorus was given to me several years ago and it is very dear to my heart.

Who do you belong to?  If you are your own, you follow your heart and your ways.  You walk in your understanding and consider your wisdom.  You want what is best for you and will strive to attain it no matter what.  Me first is the operative slogan!

When you belong to Jesus, He takes the reigns.  You trust in His mercy and grace.  You do your best to follow after His word in everything.  You give out mercy and prefer others over yourself.  You love unconditionally and always encourage others, never complaining or putting others down.  You walk in peace and joy no matter what is happening in your life.

To be honest, I am usually somewhere in between these two very different lives. But I have been bought with a price – I do belong to Him.  I just need to act like it! Jesus said we cannot serve two masters, but a lot of the time I do.  This song expresses my sincere desire to be all His – all the time.

(I am not the best singer or the best piano player.  But I do my best and give Him the glory)  I hope you enjoy this.