clean hands

I will start with the update so those following this website can know what is going on in the healing process after surgery. Then I will give my reflections.

First of all, this is just the beginning of the recovery process. Of course, I hope the process goes quickly so I can go move on to better health and less pain. This is where I am, at the beginning of the process. It is not easy, but I am getting lots of good advice in how to manage the pain. It is uncomfortable getting up from anything – a chair, the bed, the car. This is the hard part right now. I have been given some good advice, and I need the Lord’s help to follow it and to remember it. Your prayers will help as well. They have gotten me this far.

I had surgery yesterday, Oct. 22. I checked in at 5:30 a.m., taken to a room where I met with the doctor, the anesthesiologist, and a nurse. I got into the world-famous hospital gown and waited for the next step, which was a nurse finding a good vein for the port for all they were going to put in me – I.V, fluid, knock out drugs, and who knows what else. The actual surgery time was 8:00. When I came out, I was loopy, as could be expected. I learned that I had been admitted, which was not what I had planned or hoped for, but it ended up being the best thing for me. (Special note: Karen was there every step of the way. She came home to grab her some breakfast for today and brought me a snack. That was nice. She was determined to spend the night with me, for which I am very grateful! She is a trooper and a great helpmate and lifelong friend. Wow! We got home at 11;30 this morning. It was so good to be home!

In all of this, I am learning to lean on the Lord, step by step, and to trust that He really is in charge. I am so glad, and I have many more lessons and adventures in faith to come. The prayer support for this process of surgery and recovery has been absolutely overwhelming! I am so blessed.

Well, got to go take care of my body. Lord, give me wisdom and relief and healing. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Matthew 15:10-11 NIV
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. [11] What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
clean hands

   To give these verses some context we might look at what Jesus said further on down the passage.

19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. 20These are what defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile him.”
What do you think? Are there still traditions that we hang on to? How can we keep these traditions from taking first place in our hearts, over the love and instructions of Jesus? How can we keep our traditions from taking root in our hearts?


In the download available from, we can find scriptures that help in times of crisis, specifically in times of national disaster, death of a child, suicide, and funerals. These scriptures would be helpful to any of us for our own use or to build up and encourage others in their times of crisis. I am going to give you one scripture from each category to get you started. You can find more helpful resources by following the red link below.

National or community disaster:
Gen. 5:20 – “You intended to harm me, but God meant it for good.”

The loss of a child:
2 Sam. 12:18-23 – David, after the loss of his son: “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Job. 19:23-27 – “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”

Gen. 1:26 – “Let us make mankind in our own image.”

Find all the scriptures at this link:

God bless you in your journey of faith, as you continue to rest in Him, to strive to enter the Sabbath rest. (Hebrews 4:11)

Pastor John

let us pray

                               praying hands

Without giving any names, I am asking you to join me in going to the Father for these requests. Remember that we have full access to go to Him in prayer through Jesus. Lord, we pray for:

  •  a site member with a special needs daughter with multiple challenges of body, mind, and spirit. Pray for mom S. and daughter E.
  • a site member who has crisis level needs for housing. He is living in his shop, which is leaking. He wants and needs a small house of his own. It is the rainy season there and that makes things very difficult.
  • several site members with long term medical issues who are looking for relief, wisdom, and healing. My wife still has a cold. I am awaiting surgery. others have mobility issues and pain. Lord, please bring your healing and peace to all these needs. Let us hear the good reports so we give You the credit for answered prayers.
  • What do you want me (us) to pray for? To let us know, just “leave a reply” right below this post. (You must be signed in to make any comments.)

Thank you for your prayers for all site members. Let’s lift each other up and then look for how God is going to answer these prayers. 

Pastor John

prayer picture

girl praying

In the past 24 hours or so, at least three prayers have been answered about this upcoming surgery. Here they are:

1.) The procedure (removal of three large bladder stones) was approved in one day. That was really fast!

2.) The PSA results came back quick. Normally it takes two weeks to get those results. However, the person who read the results “happened” to be there. As a result, the surgery will be much less invasive and much simpler, as will be the procedures before the surgery. Right now, my only instructions are “no food and water after midnight.” I can do that.

3.) The PSA was normal! That hasn’t happened for at least a couple of years! That is a huge blessing and answer to prayer.

I will keep you posted as things develop. For now, just let me say, “thank you for your prayers, and praise the Lord!”

Dealing with anger – a multiple layered problem we can relate to

I saw this picture on For Like Minds website and thought about all the layers that may influence or cause anger. The point being made is that anger is a normal response to mental illness, and I can understand that. When things are not working the way we want or expect them to, it can be frustrating. 

If you see something in the picture you can relate to, let that be an opportunity to talk it through with the Lord. He knew that feeling too. In all things, Jesus understands and is our great healer, transformer, and compassionate redeemer. 

(A reminder – to reply to a post, go below the post and look for “leave a comment.” I would love to hear from you.)

Aspects of anger

A graphic on anger

The three steps to renewal. What step are you on?


The first step is hard but necessary. It is called “repentance”, which is a change of mind, heart, or direction. It is a realization that there is something in your life that needs to change, something that just isn’t working. Something is off, and you know you need to turn away from it, reject it, push back against it. It could be a thought, an unhealthy lifestyle, an attitude, or an action. Whatever it is, it has to go. Right now.

The second step in this process of restoration and renewal is “return.” You’ve already turned around (repentance). Now return to where you belong. Return to God. Return to your family, your good habits, your healthy way of thinking and living. As the song says “get back to where you once belonged.”

The third step, and the result of the first two, is to “rest”. Jesus said “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mat. 11:28) Rest in the presence of Christ. Rest in the peace of God. Rest in the assurance of God’s unconditional love. Rest in knowing you are on the right path. You may have failed in the past, but now you are in good fellowship with the Father, who loves you unconditionally and will always welcome you back. Rest in the assurance of His love

Repent. Return. Rest.

One big pile of limbs and what it means for us

pile of twigs and limbs

                                                     What debris is in our lives?

Just yesterday a tree trimmer took a huge crane and cut off a big bunch of limbs … I mean a BIG bunch of limbs. They very carefully cut them up into smaller pieces and placed them on the road, ready for the next crew to pick up the huge load.

As I looked at that huge pile of limbs, I thought about the things we sometimes let into our lives, the stuff that just keeps accumulating for days and weeks and years. What limbs? What debris? What excess?

Self is probably at the core of it – fear, selfishness, greed, pride, control, looking to things to comfort us instead of God. We (I) pile up the approval of others to sustain me instead of seeking God’s approval. I also look to food for comfort, which caused me to gain three pounds this week. Not good. Some of that I had no control over, but some of it … Of course, I could also put all the focus on that and get my mind off of walking with the Lord, one day at a time, by faith, walking in His grace and love.

We can accumulate things, people, control, feelings, positions of power and leadership, pride, knowledge, or any number of things that we just don’t need … but to what end? No, instead we need to just settle in to a deep, quiet relationship with Jesus – one where we sit down at His feet. I don’t think we can get too much of that.

If you are in the trimming / pruning stage of life, rest assured that the end of the pruning is a vessel thats fit for growth and for bearing fruit. May that be true for all of us.

Is it time for a trim?  


Dealing with a tough subject – Suicide prevention and resources

This is national suicide prevention week. With that in mind, here is a list of resources to prevent this tragedy. These can be found at the link below from the Facebook page for “For Like Minds”

“Please share this page using the links on the left hand side.”

I had positive results from the “Welcome to Medicare” exam today!

Welcome to Medicare exam

                                           And the adventure begins!

I was very pleased with how the office visit went. The doctor was very thorough in her questions and she gave me a clean bill of health. She also had an EKG done on me as well as HDL/LDL blood test. I have been very blessed to have been led to this doctor as my PCP (primary care physician). 

Also, it was nice to go in without a medical problem and not have to pay anything! Right now I am praising the Lord for HIs faithfulness, leading, and provision.