Category Archives: emotions

What In The World Happened To You?

Some of you know what has been going on with some of my health challenges and some of you may have missed part of the story”, so I thought I would try to clear things up and let you know “the rest of the story as one of my favorites Paul Harvey would say.

The first part of the story, I do not remember and I will have to tell you based on what I have been told by those that were standing by. I want to thank everyone for your prayers, love, support, encouragement, patience and understanding. It has been and continues to be a learning journey and has grown and is growing me in so many different ways. 

On Monday May 30th after suffering with a three day headache, I discovered that I had sinus infection that was making my ability to swallow difficult and my talking sound funny because of a swollen tongue. I of course started my home remedies, because even though I am not a doctor, I could play one on TV. On Wednesday evening, I preached, recorded and uploaded my Wednesday evening message and it sounded like I had a button or piece of candy in my mouth the whole time, I promise I didn’t, so on Friday, I decided after everyone’s coaxing to do a virtual visit with the Doctor. The Doctor prescribed Mucinex D and a nasal spray, which I started late Friday evening. Friday was a pretty normal day, other than sore throat, drainage and swelled tongue. I went to bed Friday evening just wanting to feel normal again.

This next part, I don’t remember, so I am going from Joy’s telling of the story. On Saturday morning June 4, 2022, I woke up, came into the living room and ask Joy what was going on? I told her that something was not right, that something was off. She got worried and started asking me all kinds of questions to see if I knew who I was, where I was, what our Granddaughters name was and when I couldn’t answer that, she got on the phone with my sister and My Brother In Law told her to call 911. During this time I was wide awake, talking, shaking hands and supposedly just trying to get my bearings. I am thankful for my Brother In Law Bill Cantrell showing up Johnny on the spot and Joy’s Mom Nancy Jo being here for Joy and the girls. There is a lot more to the story, and I was there, but I wasn’t there, so I’m not going into all of that, except to say: Praise the Lord, I did not say or do anything too embarrassing.

The rescue squad showed up and rushed me to the hospital with stroke like symptoms, where they did a CT Scan upon my arrival. Our good friend Julia Ellison Nicols made sure that I was well taken care of and was my Guardian Angel. The Doctors felt like my short term memory loss was due to the extremely high blood pressure and started me on a drip of medicine to try to start bringing it down and continued a barrage of tests, poking and sampling whatever they could get from me.

I can remember bits and pieces of the Emergency Room. I recognized Dr. Lutz from previous meetings when visiting parishioners, but it all just seems like a dream and I thank the Lord for that, because I have never been afraid to die, but I have never wanted it to hurt.

In the afternoon/evening they moved me into ICU and for the first time that I can remember, Joy and I talked and she filled me in on what all had happened, what was going on and what the plan of operation was. She informed me that I would not be able to preach the next day and that she had already sent messages and taken care of all of that and so I laid there and we talked and I slept and we talked and I slept They eventually brought me supper and I was trying to come up with a plan to get someone to break me out of there and take us to the Peddler, my treat. I told Joy to go home and get some good rest in a good bed. I actually rested pretty decent, although I am not a back sleeper and I was all wired up.

Sunday morning June 5, 2022 found me still in ICU, trying my best to come up with an escape plan. They were monitoring my blood pressure levels and decided to get rid of my drip and try me with a pill and see if they would stay stable, this was the key to my getting into a regular room and going home. I honestly was in pretty good spirits the whole time and kept thinking about how grateful I was that things were not much worse. Supposedly the meds that I took for the sinus infection cause my blood pressure to jump into the danger zone and I honestly was very blessed that things were not a whole lot worse. On the agenda for this day would be more test, particularly a MRI of my head, throat and chest. You will be pleased to know that I do have a brain and a heart.

Sunday afternoon they moved me to a regular room and we waited for results of the MRI. The MRI revealed that I had a small stroke on the back left side of my brain. It also revealed that totally unrelated, I had an aneurysm on the right side of my brain, but not that they were overly worried about. They also noticed that the arteries going up my neck were a little twisted, which they called Fibromuscular Displaysia, but they should be okay, because it did not seem to impact the flow of things. My heart looked good, other than some thickening of the heart wall, which was probably a result of the high blood pressure.

All I could think about was holding my Granddaughter Addi Jo, walking around our yard in Cheddar, seeing our family/friends and getting back to my Pastor/Preacher work and ministry, especially with my dear Eureka Baptist Church.

The good news so far is that there does not seem to be any permanent damage. I should not require any surgery, but I do have a slew of specialist that I now have to see, a few medications that I have to take and Joy thinking she has been promoted to General. (Haha)

On Monday June 6, 2022, I spent most of the day just waiting. We had to do an echo on my heart, just to make sure things were clear and my nurse assured me that no matter what time they gave me the clear that she could and would get me out of there within 20 minutes. Later in the late afternoon, we finally got the news that we could split and split we did.

God and everyone has been so good to us. The major thing I am learning is that I am not going to bounce back from this like I would anything else. I have good days, where I feel like I am back to normal and then challenging days where I feel like a very old man, who can’t do anything for himself. I believe this is just my body adapting, adjusting and getting used to a different way of living. I have prayed about it and I am trusting God to bring me back better than ever.

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” -Isaiah 41:13

Today as I was preaching, I felt more back to my normal self. I am still having some sinus challenges that is impacting my throat, tongue and speech, but I trust that in God’s time, God will take care of it, because I know without doubt that He is taking care of me!

Life Goes On!

Most of my days, now a days are pretty good. Looking back on my life from this vantage point makes me realize that most of my days have always been pretty good, but I often failed to see it and appreciate it, because I was too easily distracted by stuff that really was not that important, stuff that I often made a big deal out of, but that in the grand scheme of things, stuff that really didn’t matter.

Grudges will often cause us to miss the blessing of a good day. We trade away our happiness to hold onto resentment, judgment and condemnation. The real tragedy is that this is often with people that we say we love and care for. How sad to waste the beautiful gift of happiness by not taking time to appreciate and enjoy all that God has blessed us with. When I hold my 6 month old Grand daughter Addi Jo close in my embrace, everything else just seems to fade away, helping to remind me that there is what I think matters and what really matters and they are often miles a part.

An unwillingness to say “I’m Sorry!“ or to receive an “I’m Sorry!” can steal our joy and keep us from the day and life of blessing we were created for. Forgiveness does bless the other person by setting them free, but it also blesses you by keeping you from becoming enslaved in misery that loves company. If we mess up, then we need to admit it, learn from it and grow on. If others mess up, then we need to do our best to love them through it and if they are making any progress what so ever, then acknowledge and appreciate that by blessing them and giving God the glory.

Selfishness and greed can cause us to focus on ourselves and miss the blessing of the others that God has placed around us to make our life more special. The Scriptures teach that nothing really belongs to us, but that it all belongs to God. Anything we have been blessed with has been entrusted to us so that we, like God can be a blessing to others. The real joy of having is sharing, but we often miss it, because we convince ourselves that we’ve deserved it or earned it, because some how we are special, but the truth is: Anything we have has been given to us by God and not because we as so special, but because He is so gracious and He is offering us an opportunity to choose grace over grudge and live at a higher level by being a blessing to others for His glory.

Focusing on the negative and ignoring the positive can flat out drain us of the power that allows us to live blessed, fulfilled and happy. This one is so tough for most of us, because we live in a world that is constantly trying to manipulate and program us with the negative. We do have a choice and our choice is our super power, if we choose positivity over negativity. The flat out truth is that negativity is a choice we make that robs us of the people, places and things that really matter.

Mistakes made by ourselves or others, often become walls that imprison us from the world of blessing and lock us away in our own personal misery. The reality is that we all make mistakes. Look back on your life and you will discover many that you have conveniently forgotten about. When we remember our own mistakes, we tend to have a little more love, grace and mercy toward others.

The older I get, the more I realize that life is too short to waste my days away on stuff that really does not matter. Who said what or did what are really very small things when it comes to choosing to live the blessed life. I mean honestly: What grudge can you think of that has ever really been meaningful in your life in a positive and life blessing way??? Grudges are a waste of life, time and space.

Laughter is a gift from God that expresses the joy that flows from an inward place of contentment that can only come from being who, what, when, when and who God has created me to be and that is not a grudge holding, judgmental, miserable and unforgiving person.

If you do wrong, own it, by apologizing for it and then letting go and moving on. When others do wrong, forgive them, let it go and move on, regardless of their apologizing or not. The key is that we were created for freedom and the reason that most of us don’t live in freedom, is because we live in self constructed prisons of our own creation.

The older I get, the more I realize that God allows me to make mistakes so that I can learn from them. Looking back, I really can see how failures, mistakes and sins have been my greatest instructors and motivators in growing to become the person God created me to be.

I am learning that people change. In fact, we change everyday and it is up to us to decide if it is going to be change for bad or change for good. There are some things that are beyond our control, sometimes life throws you a curve and their is very little you can do about it, but miss it, fail and if you are smart, learn from it.

In the end, when it is all said and done and our life here on this earth is done, there is one truth that remains the same for all eternity and that truth is: LIFE GOES ON!

The Power Of Choice!

I usually get pretty reflective during the weekends and I’m not really sure why? Maybe it’s because I have a block of unfocused time and I feel compelled to try and do something useful with it. Whatever the reason, I usually find myself looking back on my life and the lessons that I’ve learned and that I am learning.

Today, I have been thinking about choices and how we are blessed with the opportunity to make them every day. Right now, if you are reading this, it is because you made a choice to check out what this ole boy is up to. If you are not reading this, then we are talking about you and you have no idea. (HAHA)

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” -Proverbs 19:21

In the very same way that you made a choice to click on over to my blog, we also have the ability to make a choice to be HAPPY. The really amazing and beautiful choice is that every day of our lives is filled with opportunities for us to choose to experience happiness.

In the moments of our lives, we have opportunities to do very simple things that enhance our lives and bless others, if we will just make the choice to pay attention and not miss it. God has blessed each one of us with a future of hope, success and blessing. All we have to do is start stacking up right choices on top of each other.

In the morning, when we make the choice to get up, we get to make a choice about how we are going to get up. Our attitude will determine our altitude for the day, so we should choose carefully. If we choose to, we can find so many different things in our life to rejoice and be happy about. There is available to us, a continual stream of reminders about the faithfulness of God to those who He loves and and who love Him back.

One of the things I am learning about this human experience is that it is supposed to be enjoyed. I really believe that God created us to walk through this life with a smile on our face that says to the rest of the world: “I AM BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED!” Take time to start living your life on purpose as you chase after the purpose you were created for. Look for and find the goodness and blessing in each and every day. Before you know it, you will be super wealthy with happiness, joy and you will find yourself living the amazing life you chose to live…