These have been horrific months, with debilitating pain, bed ridden, or in a chair beside my bed, too weak to move much, and overwhelming weakness weakness wrapped up with sleep deprivation. My muscle disease has heightened. I was told with every bout it will get worse.

At times you wonder how much worse can it get? Months in bed, little time with my family wears on me and is hard. I saw Dr this past week end- what a blessing he is. Three injections, for pain, blood work to determine the condition and need of the muscles. Steroids to get the inflammation down which is rampant throughout my body from the pain in my gums all the way through my body to the soles of my feet. I apparently am losing my balance more. “But God…” I have someone who calls me daily who is going through great physical suffering and we are able to mutually encourage each other.


Someone wrote and asked “Why has God not healed me?” That’s easy to answer. This is not a flippant answer, this comes after twenty five years of illness, more time over the last 16 years spent in bed amounting to years from it…so are you ready for the answer to Why has God not healed me? Because…THAT- IS – HIS – BUSINESS! Genius huh? Think about it, “Whatever pleases Him, He does in Heaven or on earth.” -Psalm 135:6. “Shall the clay say to the potter, what are You doing?” Romans 9. Has God not heard and answered prayers? Maybe He Can’t? Maybe He is mad at me and is punishing me? Hmm. No- He’s not punishing me because He said Jesus bore all my condemnation. So I cant be punished! Well, why is He not healing? BECAUSE- PHYSICAL HEALING- IS- NOT- THE- GOAL- Being conformed to the image of Christ IS!! Furthering the Kingdom of God so as with Paul I may be able to view life’s circumstances through the prism, “My CIRCUMSTANCES are working out for the furtherance of the Gospel”-Phil 1:12 How did Paul do this? He prayed-1:3-6; He evangelized- 1:3- He encouraged the brothers to speak the Word of God without fear and they were because of his imprisonment with them!- v14 Sometimes God places us in placess to know Him Better, To teach us to pray. to give us opportunity to hone in and see life is to be sought to know Him better as our master passion-Phil 3:8,10- that if He takes away all things, including your health is He enough? At times yes, at times NO!!! “But God…” is working that Christ be all in all!

In the circumstances advancing the Gospel , evangelize, encourage others to keep preaching the Gospel. Paul asked three times for his thorn to be removed God answered by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, My power is manifested in weakness.” He told him why he had the thorn- to Keep him from exalting himself because of the great privilege he had of his spiritual revelations and also that He might know the sufficiency of Christ. But this “thorn” which is the word used to “impale” someone with, did not hinder him from praying, evangelizing or encouraging the brothers to preach the Gospel without fear, and this he did because of his being with them!

Life is not about physical healing- don’t get me wrong, I would love to have YOUR health. YOUR ABILITY to walk without pain. Your ability to have ENERGY to get in a car and drive wherever you want and not feel pain du to the vibration of the vehicle- I can tell you all the things I wish for BUT THEN IF I LIVE LIKE THAT I -MISS- MY- OPPORTUNITY- TO KNOW JESUS BETTER- IN MY CIRCUMSTANCES and to miss out on ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO GO ON PREACHING THE GOSPEL and most of my correspondence is through mail as my voice comes and goes and it takes deep breaths to try and pull up the strength to speak. but in it all I have been left with the ability to PRAY… TO Read and meditate upon His Word- to write devotionals in order to seek to encourage others…. and to know GOD ANSWERS ALL MY PRAYERS AND YOURS, AND IF HE CHOOSES to keep me in this place, then that is HIS Business, but I can tell you based on some of the emails, calls I get, I get from SICK, HURTING PEOPLE, who share their pain with me, IT HAS OPENED UP A WIDE DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY. But if I look into your lane as you run your race and I desire and dream about having your health and you look into someone else’s lane and you desire to have something they have , what is happening? WE ARE ALL LOOKING ELSEWHERE AND FAILING TO LOOK TO JESUS TO MEET US IN OUR LANE AND FAILING TO LOOK OUT FOR THE SOULS OF PEOPLE WHOM GOD BRINGS ACROSS OUR PATH IN OUR LANE! Do you see where that can lead to?

As one person wrote, “we have no one else we know who understands our pain like you do.” That is not to say others do not hurt but for this couple my pain is the bridge to fellowship with them in their sufferings! Why doesn’t God heal me?- THAT IS HIS BUSINESS!

But over these past 16 years I have known times when I have had problems with my memory but when I have stood to speak He has had me recall verses and verse that I had not thought of and if no one else knew after I spoke, I knew Him better as I saw Him meet me when I was weak.” Power is made perfect in weakness” is more than a verse to me it is a reality! I could never have known it if I had not been in the furnace of affliction!

At times it has been a lonely experience. Someone said, you must have hundreds, or thousands who pray for you. No, I don’t think so, because my ministry has been that of an itinerant, I would be in and out of a place and out of sight out of mind! Someone else wrote who has and is suffering greatly, You must have many people tell you what an encouragement you are- Nope, because again I have been in various places to speak and out of sight out of mind could apply, but there is to my knowledge just a small amount of people who pray and have given to support us over the years- which is way more than we deserve, it has kept us trusting Him. We have known what it is to be without, down to daily needs and have Him as recently when  my wifee had bought buns for burgers. but no burgers! A box came in the mail of BURGERS! Who sends burgers to someone as a gift? God does! He put it on a persons heart to do this, not knowing our needs but He crated our need- He used someone to meet our need so we might turn to Him thank Him but also to know Him better because of our need! God is in the details and He shows up in these small, personal intimate ways to megaphone “I LOVE YOU- I KNOW YOU- I CARE FOR YOU- REST IN ME”

There are those who support us monthly, some yearly and God has used each one to answer a need. We must remember God is God and we are not. We ask for the thorn to be removed but we must be willing to see His answer in keeping the thorn is that we would know Him better, depend on Him more and more and be a benefit for His kingdom answering His call in seeking to further His Gospel through prayer- evangelizing- encouraging….. and which of these cannot be fulfilled on a sick bed? NONE! And as regards God not healing… how about this statistic…in 15 years we have been informed on 12 different occasions I was going to die and prepare for it and guess what. I am writing to you because I am still here, so is that Healing? Absolutely. He has had mercy upon me and on my family why? Because HE HAS THE RIGHT TO DO AS HE PLEASES!

I HAVE written 300 new devotionals since my illness in the past year and would like to have some put in some books to be able to give to a few friends – to encourage those who hurt or know who does. Will He let me do that? I have no idea! But He is gracious to let me write and keep my mind upon Him, when the stress from the muscle disease attacking my body is so, so, severe and painful, but during those times there is such a soothing balm for me- His gift.


So with the question-“Have you ever wondered why God wont heal you?”- I point to 12 death bed experiences where I have been raised up to such an extent one medical facility called me “the miracle man.” And is’nt ultimate healing, “TO BE WITH HIM! -{John 17:24} I hate hospitals , medical stuff, but He has afforded me opportunities to further His Gospel in such circumstances. From the nurse who I asked if I could read to her from the Bible, a verse I had read and for her to break down in tears upon hearing His Word to sharing her heart, to the man who wheeled his wheel chair into my hospital room one night-who I had never met before but it freaked me out what was he doing here? He shared his story and if he could do anything if he could ever walk again would be to play- SOCCER- Hmm of all the floors in that hospital, of all the rooms why at midnight did he come in my room? Could it be the fact that at one part of my life I WAS A professional SOCCER player and God wanted me to advance the Gospel! On another occasion lying on an operating table I got to ask a nurse how long she had been working here. She said she worked on another floor but it was too hard for her emotionally and came down here- basically she did not have to deal with peoples pain- and I got to share with her 2 Cor 1:3-4 of the GOD OF ALL COMFORT! She was fleeing from a floor that her mom had been on that is associated with great suffering and God put me in a place I hate- to do what? SHARE WITH HER- That she may run BUT GOD…. loves her enough He would place a reluctant preacher on his back in the operating room to tell her of …. HIM!

You see its all about perspective. I choose to see Him in my circumstances and know in these circumstances I can evangelize, encourage, pray and make Him known to people I never would seek out, because I don’t like hanging around hospitals, drs offices, “BUT GOD….” His Son purchased me with HIS Blood and entrusted me with the Gospel and affords me the circumstances of HIS choosing to make known Him to others! At times I lose perspective, pain, sadness, blur my vision but the Holy Spirit brings me back to Jesus! How kind and tender a Shepherd is He!


Acts 16 Paul wanted to go one place God circumstanced that he end up by a river where GOD opened up Lydia’s heart to receive the Word… God saved a fortune teller from demonic possession.. God used the cruelty of others who had Paul and Silas thrown into a prison cell. GOD put a song in their heart so that the other prisoners listened. GOD sent an earthquake… GOD used Paul to tell the suicidal jailor that none of them would flee. The jailor asked what must I do to be saved and both he and his household were saved and Guess what? God used the circumstances of HIS CHOOSING to begin a church and so began the church of Philippi and ten years later we see Paul writing to the church of the Philippians and tells them THANK you for their sacrificial gift to him{Phil 4} and he tells them, “MY CIRCUSTANCES ARE WORKING OUT TO FURTHER THE GOSPEL” and this he did from confinement in a prison. He was “shut in” but not shut out from praying, evangelizing, encouraging and his master passion, “That I MIGHT KNOW HIM, the power of His resurrection”-Yes- we all want power but then he follows with “and the fellowship of His SUFFERINGS!” Hmm, not sure we would sign up for that! But it is part of His plan. In Acts 9 He said of Paul “he is a chosen instrument of Mine and I will show him how much he must SUFFER for My sake” Did God keep His promise for that? Absolutely, but in it all we see a man who knew fear, despair and depression the Scriptures show and yet. He turns not away but towards Jesus Christ- to know Him better an to make Him known more fully. He may have been “shut in” but he was not “shut out” from prayer and he would not “shut up” about Jesus in evangelizing and encouraging. How did he encourage the Philippians? Y Years ago my youngest son was about 5 years old sitting beside me with his middle fingers in his mouth sucking on them as I thought some missionaries on encouragement and I asked them how did the writer encourage those people… they got their theological caps on looking for some deep meaning, secret meaning, and finally after minutes of silence the little boy pulled his fingers out of his mouth and said, “He wrote them a letter” and went back to sucking on his fingers! How simple, this child could see. he communicated through his pen. Paul communicated through his pen to the Philippians. Been shut in did not stop him from reaching out!

Do I wish I was healthy…oh yes… indeed there are times when for brief moments medicines give some relief and my thoughts go to distant places that perhaps again I may get further chances to make Him known and encourage His people… but then the thoughts crash like the waves upon the rocks as pain comes back and covers me like a blanket and I can hardly speak,”But God…” draws my heart and thoughts back to Him and in His kindness when my voice gets weak He allows me to use my fingers and type to share of the God who cares…. and by His grace that “My circumstances may work out to advance the Gospel…”


Remember us in your prayers as a family, it is NOT easy… Trials are not just personal but they PERMEATE into the lives of those around who need ENCOURAGEMENT- HOPE- Not to become disillusioned, but seek to know Him and not disappointed but rest in HE IS GOOD- HE IS WORKING- HE IS MOLDING AND MAKING PEOPLE OF FAITH WHO BY HIS GRACE LIVE TO KNOW HIM AND THAT WITH PAUL would seek to LIVE OUT,” My circumstances have worked out to further the Gospel”

With love and appreciation to the King for you

PS – My daughter came by and brought me lunch and I got to share with her PHIL 1:12- when I finished I laughed because I had preached myself to death- exhausted- she laughed with me but thought it was “cool”- Thanking God for her and may she continue to live out Phil 1:12- maybe you would pray for her to that end! THANKING GOD FOR U AS I SEND THIS AND THOSE OF YOU WHO DO PRAY, DO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT- HEBREWS 6:10 says it best and may you continue in you circumstances to know Him better, pray- evangelize- encourage.