Archive for the ‘GLORY STORIES’ Category

A REVELATION ABOUT FATHERING

January 1, 2010

When my son was an infant—he is now 34—I began crying out to God about my perceived inability to father. My own father had committed suicide when I was 3½, and had been in the Navy on an aircraft carrier and so was mostly absent. My mother remarried when I was almost 8, and that man was an alcoholic who was abusive often when drunk, and unpredictable in his fathering, either authoritarian and heavy-handed or absentee. I even went to college a year early to escape the situation at home.

One day, as I was crying out, the Lord gave me an unexpected revelation which brought tremendous relief. He caused me to look at the situation of the 40-year wilderness experience of Israel coming out of Egypt. There a large group of fathers—perhaps in the millions—coming out of a slave mentality, failed to take God at His promise that He would enable them to take the Promised Land. Yet over the next 40 years, they managed to raise up a generation that could do what they were not able to! A generation of unbelievers raised up a generation of believers! In light of that, my failure at fathering could still become a glorious success in my children, enabling them to go farther and higher than I had.

My son is now entering into some of that. After a year of a fairly successful business blog (www.ChangeForge.com), related to his profession (head of IT [Information Technology at what used to be Kearns Business Solutions, now part of the world-wide $30-billion Sharp Business Systems]), he has just launched a spiritual blog (www.SeekingtheSon.org), chronicling his journey spiritually. His insights and ability to convey them in both arenas still quietly amaze me. Definitely an answer to prayer!

Update: As we start the new decade (today is Friday, January 1, New Year’s Day 2010) my son is now 35. He and I went hiking this past Wednesday to Rainbow Falls on the Horsepasture River in NC, hiking in from the new Gorges State Park entrance. In June of 1999, I scattered his mother’s ashes from a rock here into the water running over the falls, because her name–Iris–means “rainbow” in Greek. We had a great time talking, he sharing his dreams and other info about what he had learned in various stations of life, and as I got out of the car upon returning, I told him how proud I was to have him as a son. He responded about how proud he was to have me as a dad. The blessings just keep reverberating!

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JERRY’S BACK HEALING

January 1, 2010

In February 2006, I started doing Meals On Wheels in Easley. I only did it three times (it was done on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Fridays for the route I was on) b/c I was asked to go to the Philippines for Fluor, and went for 3 weeks and so had to call it off (and never ended up getting back into it).

One of the men I took a meal to, named Thomas, lived on Pope Field Road, was 104 years old, and had pecans in his yard, which he picked up. He gave me a bag of them when I asked.

I had been reading Bill Johnson’s book, When Heaven Invades Earth, which is about how we have the right and the commission to bring healing, literal physical healing, to earth b/c we are told to pray, “as in heaven, so on earth,” and there is no sickness, no disease, no physical impairment or disability in heaven. I had gotten so engrossed in the book that I did an 11-page summary in a word.doc, which I still have.

The 2nd time I delivered, the man’s son, Jerry, aged 65, who lived next door, came over to talk. Standing in the driveway, with Diane sitting in the car, I asked Jerry what he did for a living. He said he had had a trucking business, but had to shut it down b/c of back pain and injury. He even showed me that he couldn’t lift his knee but a little way.

I asked if I could pray for him. He said, OK. I put my hand on his back and began to pray. Diane was praying in the car. Nothing particular happened that I could tell, but I got in the car without thinking too much about it.

Two weeks later, my last time delivering, Jerry came racing over in his little red pickup. He was elated. He had been healed right away when I prayed. I rejoiced with him, but again didn’t think about it too much, except to be grateful that I had been used to bring this healing.

The epilog, however, came about 6-7 months later. I got a friend, Greg Davis, to do some electrical work for him, someone who could do it cheaper than I could, as he does a lot of residential. Greg is an out-of-the-box Christian, one who will confront or pray or be boisterous without thinking of consequences, so it wasn’t long before Greg was talking to Jerry about Jesus. That’s when Jerry told him about his back being healed, something he had not told me: When I put my hand on his back, though I felt nothing, he felt as though he had stuck his finger in an electrical socket!

SAVED FROM A CONCRETE TRUCK CHUTE

January 1, 2010

In the mid-‘70’s, I was working construction for in Charlotte, living in Concord, NC, about 25 miles away. The road from the main road to our house through the country was a few miles long, and the government was a water treatment plant or something requiring tons of concrete nearby, and the concrete mixing trucks had to travel down that same road. It had begun to develop severe potholes on that side, where the loaded trucks traveled, and one afternoon coming home from work, I got behind one. It was difficult to pass, b/c the road was winding, but at a long curve around a pasture, I passed.

Looking back in my rear-view mirror, I saw one of the chute attachments fall off the back of the truck! It couldn’t have been more than a minute or so after I passed, and it would have come through the windshield or gone under the car and caused me to wreck. The Lord had saved me by seconds!

IRIS WINS SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION (1990)

January 1, 2010

As our children grew, Iris (my 1st wife) became more interested in volunteering and doing things directly related to them. Over time, she became a PTO volunteer and eventually rose to President. Around the time our son was in 9th grade at Easley High and our daughter in 6th at West End Elementary, she decided to run for the Pickens County School Board as representative for the Liberty district. (Pickens had a total of 9 positions, 6 assigned geographically, 3 at-large.) She was the underdog, as there was an incumbent, unknown, and considered not really from Liberty, as we lived just outside Easley city limits, five miles away from Liberty; also, we had little money to invest in campaigning, and not a whole lot of knowledge about how to get elected. It was not a paid position—you got $250 per year expenses, yet were required to visit all schools at least once a year, and go to meetings monthly, so even auto expenses were barely covered—thus it was not a coveted position.

We prayed for her to win, as she desired this because she felt she could have some impact for good and because she felt it would give our kids an edge in school. The Lord provided several connections that helped a little—the support of home-schoolers, e.g., at a time when they felt they had little say in the system. But the biggest stroke came some 2 months before the election, when the School Board voted “against” prayer in the system. This raised such a furor that one influential Baptist church in Liberty took out full page ads in all 3 county newspapers, saying in essence, “These candidates are up for re-election. We don’t care who you vote for—just vote them out!” Iris won by about 28 or 30 votes with about 2700 cast—slightly over 1%!

MY MT. MORIAH

January 1, 2010

My 1st wife Iris came to the end of her life in a way that almost seemed pre-planned on her part, or pre-packaged by the Lord to fit her specifically. She had been a business administration major in college, and died three hours before 1998 ended, ideal for a tax-oriented person!

She was in a wheelchair from the time she was 2 until she died at age 50, but was able to have 2 children, an active life as a church, school and Girl Scout volunteer, and even as a politician on the county school board for 4 years. But the last 3½ weeks of her life were spent in the hospital, the same hospital (though a newer building) she had been born in, St. Francis in Greenville, SC.

She had been paralyzed from her waist down at 22 months after her spine being fractured by being hit by a delivery truck backing up as she sat on the curb of her home near Easley High School. The accident only fractured her spine, but in 1950, medical people didn’t know to immobilize. Consequently, when the doctor tried to get her to walk, her spine snapped. She spent the summer lying in an un-air-conditioned hospital, and understandably developed a distrust of most things medical and an intense desire to be in control of her life, particularly her body and how it was handled.

Early on in our marriage, maybe 4 years in, while pregnant with our daughter, she fractured her hip while getting into the tub. Since she had no feeling in her extremities, she was able to ignore it, or at least keep it to herself. She told no one, and took care of it herself, but over the decades, with various stresses and life going on, she developed a severe pressure sore and infection, which caught up with her that final December.

She had been feeling cold for months—a result of infection and severe anemia—and when she finally went to a doctor in November, he immediately gave her 3 pints of blood, and her energy and clarity of mind improved drastically. We had a glorious Thanksgiving, fixing about a 30-course meal for our daughter, her husband, and our granddaughter, along with another couple who had 2 autistic children.

By December 6 she was cold again, and very ill, so on Monday, December 7, I took her to the hospital, and they admitted her. She was almost totally out of it. Monday night about 11 pm, I got a call from a male nurse asking to put a pick-line in her neck to allow more direct and larger quantities of antibiotics. He began to insist that she would have to have her right leg removed.

This is when my “Mt. Moriah” experience began, when I felt like Abraham trudging up that mountain dutifully to sacrifice Isaac. I knew Iris’s wishes not to have medically invasive procedures, to have control of her body, and I began to argue intensely with this nurse. I immediately began to make plans to go to the patient advocacy people at St. Francis 1st thing Tuesday, and I did. I insisted that Iris had the right to decide for herself, and that if she couldn’t, that nothing be done without her consent. I asked if she could be released under Hospice care and be allowed to go home to die on her own. They agreed, but she had to be released by the doctor who had admitted her, and that couldn’t happen until late afternoon, as he had other duties to attend to.

From mid-morning till he arrived, I sat by her bed, weeping, praying, but determined to see this through. My own wish was to have her alive in whatever condition, but I knew her heart to have control of her destiny, even to the point of being allowed to die. She was still very much out of it when the doctor came in, and he agreed to allow her to go home, agreeing that she met the conditions of Hospice care (certain death within 6 months under existing conditions). In the course of the conversation I asked if she could have pain medication, as I didn’t want her suffering. Somehow, she heard that and roused enough to decide that, if she were going to be in pain, she would prefer to be in the hospital for someone to attend to her. The weight I’d been carrying immediately lifted.

I can’t remember whether she decided at that point to have her leg removed, but that happened shortly. She had 4 operations related to that, and 3 more related to other complications that developed, and died a few hours after the last one. We were able to celebrate our 25th anniversary on the 23rd, and Christmas with both children, their spouses, and our granddaughter, though in the hospital. Up until the 26th, the day of the beginning of the complications, we had every expectation that she would recover and come home, though looking back, I remember at least 2 times she said to me, “I’m not out of the woods yet…”

The glory part of this story? That I didn’t have to bear the burden of deciding for her against my own wishes. That I was able to complete 25 years of marriage, with a bonus week and a day. That I was able to experience, perhaps, some of Abraham’s feelings in having to sacrifice what you hold dearest. Most of all, that I was carried through one of the hardest experiences of my life, and came out feeling a peace that passes understanding.