Showing posts with label Something to Think About. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Something to Think About. Show all posts

Thursday, May 9, 2024

The Process Continues In Our Lives

Here’s a picture of the inside of my elbow at 19 weeks since the stroke. 

For comparison, here is a picture of that same elbow two weeks after the stroke.

All of that blood and bruising came from the first day of the stroke so it dates back to day one. For background information let me refer you back to these two post here and here.

The process of healing has been long and it sure seems slow to me, but the professionals who have treated me have constantly reminded me recovering from a brainstem stroke is a slow and painstaking process.

When I look into the mirror, I look like I am back to my old self. I look like me, I talk like me and I almost walk like me, but for some reason I’m not quite me yet.

And the medical professionals remind me over and over, along with that little voice in my head that I try to ignore, that the reason for the delay is it takes time to heal. 

I am ready to push. I am ready to run. I am ready to go. I am ready to sing. I am ready to preach. I am ready to load in equipment. I am ready to drive the bus. I am ready to see results.

But my brain stem needs more time. And if you read the links I listed above, you will find that I already know that. You will find that in my heart I believe that. Yes, I am a strong proponent of instantaneous miraculous healing, but sometimes healing is a process.

It has taken 19 weeks for the inside of my elbow to reach the place it is and it still has some discoloration. That means there’s still some old blood under the skin that is not dissipated yet, but time is passing, the process that God created in my body is working and it is healing. 

The brainstem is going through the same process, but the fact is I cannot see it. Therefore, we pray for the instantaneous touch. We believe for a miracle. We trust in the power of God to work now. And we wait for the process to run its course and bring me to completion.

In my case, there is a small little spot in my brain stem that is never coming back without a miracle, there is no process for it to revive. However the brain can build pathways around it and it often does. Those can come miraculously or they can take time. 

Meanwhile, along the way, I see small improvements and I rejoice in each one. Hallelujah! I give God glory in each small victory! He deserves the praise, because he created my body to heal.

The truth is you are waiting too. We know that is true. There are circumstances that you would change now. There are situations that you would solve now. You are facing dilemmas of life that you would have miracles in right now.

And perhaps that is the way God will do it. I pray that your miracle comes today. But if it does not, we wait for the process to run its course and for God to bring us to completion.

So, we pray, believe, live our lives and wait together.

Thank you for joining us today.


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Wow! We Are Overwhelmed By Kindness!

Less than two weeks ago we came face-to-face with another example of extreme kindness being shown to our family by people who do not even personally know us. There have been other examples, but this one has been knocking on my heart's door for the last few days.

My word for Wednesday yesterday was entitled Distributing Joy On Purpose/I Want To Be A Brother Like That. The week before was Try A Little kindness

They were not recorded on successive weeks, however they ended up being posted one week after the other. I guess it is appropriate that they fall on weeks when we were inundated with examples of kindness and joy being shown to us. 

I will put the links to those two videos at the end of this Mile Marker. If you have not seen them I would love for you to take a few moments to view them.

Now, let me explain this handful of kindness and dose of joy that we were given recently. 

The first Sunday night in April, we preached for Pastor Kenny Morris in Ellisville, Mississippi. We had a wonderful service, great response at the altar and sweet fellowship with our dear friends.

Immediately following service I was sitting on the front pew. A man that I did not recognize approached me and handed me an ink pen. He said this is a pen with the information of my home church. The church is just south of town.

He said we have been praying for you as a church and individually since the moment we heard you had a stroke. He said, we have taken your situation very seriously at our church and when we heard you would be here preaching we purposed to be here to see the work that the Lord was doing.

I do not know if they have been to hear us in revivals at Ellisville before, they may have. We have been going there for many years. 

But the fact that these people are not personally acquainted with us yet have taken us and our situation very seriously, moves our hearts deeply. Friendship Baptist Church in Ellisville Mississippi has purposely prayed for us and we have been blessed abundantly by it.

This situation has been and is right now being repeated over and over and we are touched by the kindness these people have shown to us. Perhaps you are reading this page right now and you fall into this category. 

I am taking a moment today to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

We appreciate you being concerned for us so much that you have prayed for us, encouraged us and sustained us in this difficult season. May God bless you for the blessing you are being to us right now. 

God is using his people all over the country to lift us up when we have not been able to see the end of this situation. I know that God has this in control. You have proven it to me.

Thank you for reading today. These are the links to A Word For Wednesday. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

10 Years of Vision And Praise

Hey Friends,

This is Odie reporting in from the homefront. I hope you are having a great week.

Today, I am here with extra praise in my heart. This week is a special anniversary in my life. 10 years ago, my life drastically changed for a period of time. Faithful and long time readers can probably recite my testimony for me. I feel the need to praise God one more time.

In April 2014, in Salem, Kentucky, I woke up blind in my left eye.
I described it as a black smudge over my eye. This came on with little warning and with no apparent reason.

9 days, I lived with questions, worry, fear and very few answers. God was faithful to me through it all! The family of God rallied around us. Thousands of prayers were prayed for me and my family! God heard and answered those prayers! 

The Lord taught me a lot about trusting, waiting and faith during my eye issues. Doctors tried to help me with treatments and answers. I am so grateful for the help from my family, friends and medical professionals. It was God who was there, preparing the way and leading each step.

At the end of the 9th day, my vision did not just suddenly come back. But the healing began! I could make out things on the eye chart. It was blurry, but earlier in the day, it was not possible. My heart overflowed with joy that April 2014 day and the vision progressively improved! God deserves all the praise! 

Each day, when I wake up with clear vision in both eyes, there is praise in my heart! 10 years and my praise has not stopped! I know my help came from God in April of 2014. Today, He is still my helper! He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

Is life overran with questions? Does your question seem just out of sight or reach? Friend, I know exactly where you are standing! It is not an easy or fun place to be! 

I encourage you to place everything into God's hands one more time. Please let Him have your troubles, heartaches, fears, questions and doubts! His hands are big enough to hold all of our junk, and His arm can still wrap you and me in His loving embrace. God is waiting for all of us at this very moment.

I will be praying for you! I hope you have the best day in a long time! May God bless you is my prayer!


Saturday, March 16, 2024

Memories Old And New

Quick Note From Davy:
By God's grace I will be preaching at our home church, Dryden Rd Pentecostal Church in Moraine, Ohio Sunday morning. This will be my first time preaching since the stroke over 11 weeks ago. I need God to lift me above my limitations. Please pray for me.

Hey Friends,

This is Odie reporting in for another Saturday post. I hope you are doing well. Thank God for helping us through each day past and ahead. My family is blessed, and I am grateful!

Last week, I had a childhood memory play over in my mind. I was taken back to my 8 year old self. We were living in a ground floor apartment in Franklin, Ohio. 

Dad and I were home doing one of our favorite pastimes, listening to CDs. We had the Hemphills playing. Candy Hemphill Christmas came on singing Master Of The Wind. Dad and I sat in his old orange recliner, listening to this beautiful song.

In the mid-90s, I had not yet learned to savor a song's lyrics or apply them to my life. My Dad soaked in the words. His tears came, and soon, the Holy Ghost had settled into our little home. 

I did not know the storm my Dad was facing right then, but I am thankful God was there to comfort Dad! God let Dad know He was there with him! 

I did recognize the special visitation of the spirit of God on my Dad! At that moment, I experienced the splashover from Dad's special blessing. That has been a moment Dad and I will forever cherish! Master Of The Wind is one of our favorite songs of all time.

That night, I learned a valuable lesson, God can show up wherever you need him! Life changing moments can happen anywhere! I am so thankful that I had that time with my Dad!

Since then,  many song lyrics have helped me through life more times than I can count. Tears flow as their messages wash over my soul, and I stop in my tracks to throw up my hands to worship God.

Last Week, Dad worked with Mom on vocal therapy. We got to sing as a family again. My heart was so full, thanking God that Dad's voice is gaining strength. We are still praying for a full recovery!

Then Dad started singing Master of the Wind. I could not keep the emotions from getting me as he sang this chorus.
I know the Master of the wind
I know the maker of the rain
He can calm the storm 
Make the sun shine again 
I know the Master of the wind

We have been living the words from the song. I felt the same spirit of God that I felt at 8 years old. 30 years later, I settled over my family. This time, it was in my home, gathered around my keyboard. God had been so good to us! He has kept us together and given us a reason to sing and rejoice.

Today, we are all facing some type of storm. Remember, He is the Master of The Wind in my life and yours. The next step may be unknown, and the rain may be blinding, or the clouds may block the sun! He is right there with us even today!

Let me close with an updated version of Master of The Wind. The fabulous Becky Isaacs Bowman recorded this song on her solo project. She is joined by a special guest, Candy Christmas.

Thanks for joining me. I enjoy our visits each weekend. See you next week.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Plan Wisely and Hold On Loosely - Part One

If you know me well at all, you know I am a planner. I live and die by the plan. I like to know when, where, what and sometimes why

The plan is not sacred to me. It is not totally unchangeable. I am willing to adjust the plan, tweak the plan or even pause the plan. However, I must begin with a plan and keep some variation of a plan in motion, if possible.

Scrapping our well made and thought out plan for months at a time is obviously challenging for me. I imagine that some of you understand that well.

We had planned to be in Mississippi this week, then Alabama, then Georgia, then Virginia, then three weeks in West Virginia and then nearly two months in Virginia.

We were looking forward to camp meetings, revivals, Easter sunrise service, Homecoming revivals and generally experiencing great fellowship and wonderful services. 

Obviously, this current health crisis postponed my plan. An interruption like this would normally cause quite a bit of disturbance for me emotionally. 

However, I have mentioned before, that the Lord has enveloped me with beautiful peace and contentment during this time. I am extremely thankful for the Lord’s specific help in this. 

That does not mean that I am not antsy to go, I am sitting on go right now. But I am not descending into despair over my carefully made plans being indefinitely delayed. The Lord gets all the credit for that. I would fall apart on my own, no doubt.

Therefore, since the original plan has taken a detour, the planner in me has been percolating a new plan. It is not a solid plan, in fact, it is a plan I am purposely holding onto very loosely. I am pretty happy with myself for that.😇

First of all, I have no firm idea when I can implement my new plan or when I will return to weekly revivals all over the US. I am determined to take time to heal and the pastors I have spoken to on my schedule are supportive of that.

I am trying to Plan Wisely and Hold On Loosely! I will tell you more about the current plan on Tuesday by His grace. Today the plan is to go to therapy. Thank you for being here today.


Saturday, March 2, 2024

19 Years of Praise

Hey Friends,

This is Odie checking in for this first Saturday of March. I hope you are doing well today. I am doing good myself. God has been so faithful to me. I am feeling extra blessed today!

This week, 19 years ago, was one of the roughest weeks of my life. I have been reminiscing and praising God one more time. My parents were my rock, and they nursed and guided me. It was rough on them as well!

Our family and friends from all over prayed and helped us tremendously during this scary time. Pastor Philip Deane and the church family Beams of Light Church, in Cantonment, stood beside us. That is when Bro. Philip became our Dr. Phil. Thank you one more time from the bottom of my heart!

Testimony Time

At the end of February 2005, we found ourselves in a wonderful revival near Pensacola, Florida. I was severely sick. I had been sick off and on for weeks. Late on a Friday night, we rushed to the emergency room. I was at my ropes end. We were looking for answers to the reoccurring sickness. I will never forget the 5 hours of misery as we waited in the waiting room before I was called back.

We were hoping for answers and quick treatments to make me better. There was no way of knowing the extent of what the doctors would find. One report from the surgeon sent me down a road I never expected to walk.

The unknown was frightening! I was 19 years old, and that was the first crisis that I had faced. I truly learned to lean heavily on God during my week in the hospital.

During the hospital stay, it was easy to feel like we were drowning in the unknown. Dad would get in my ear and tell me, Baby, this water is over our head and I do not know where the bottom is. But he kept assuring me that we would touch the bottom. 

No matter the outcome, God was with us and we would eventually find the bottom of this deep spot and walk out onto solid ground. 

On March 1st, I had surgery to remove an ugly tumor and some organs that were affected by the tumor. I was terrified of surgery and what the doctors would find! 

I am thrilled to report that God was faithful to me. Surgery was successful, and no cancer was found! When I received the good news late on surgery day, all I could do was cry and raise my hand in praise. I knew the bottom was within reach. 

I look back on this period of time and see God's faithfulness. He worked a series of miracles and brought me through. God turned my test into a testimony and taught me to trust Him. I praise God with every fiber of my being! He is the reason I can share this testimony today.

19 years later, 2024 already has had its own challenges and unknowns. This time around, I have reminded Dad I do not know where the bottom is now. I do know without a doubt that we will touch the bottom and walk out of this deep water. No matter the outcome, God is right here with us!

Already, God has worked another series of miracles for my family! We can never thank Him enough for His continued faithfulness! Today, I am taking another opportunity to say thank you!

Thanks for joining me for another post. I enjoyed visiting with you and praising God! See you next week.

Friday, February 23, 2024

There Is No God Like Our God!

I love this verse. It has spoken deep into my heart the last week or so.

II Samuel 7:22 Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

Hallelujah! Our God is great. There is no God like our God. There is no God beside our God. According to everything we have heard with our ears, there is no God like our God!

Wow! I love that.

Let me expand on that a moment. 

According to everything we have heard with our ears there is no God like our God. According to every testimony that we have ever heard, there is no God like our God!

According to everything we have read, there is no God like our God!

According to everything we have seen with our eyes, there is no God like our God! 

According to everything in life that we have experienced, there is no God like our God! 

Every difficulty declares, there is no God like our God!

Hallelujah! Through every test, through every trial, through every temptation, there is no God like our God!

In every hurt, hardship and heartache, there is no God like our God!

In despair, despondency and in depression, there is no God like our God!

In sickness, sadness and in sorrow, there is no God like our God!

In every care, crisis and calamity, there is no God like our God!

In every peril, problem and perplexity, there is no God like our God!

There is no God like him. There is no God who can stand beside him. There is no God like our God!

Wherever you have been, wherever you are right now, wherever you are going, whatever you are facing and whatever you are going through, please remember, child of God, there is no God like our God!

Thank you for stopping in today.


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Strange Side Effects

I have listed several effects of the stroke that I suffered on December 29 here and in other places. But I do not think I have mentioned some of the stranger side effects that we have noticed. 

The first thing that I noticed that seemed odd was that I could not tolerate two or three conversations in the room at one time, especially if one was a little loud. It was as if, my brain could not stand to be overstimulated. 

That side effect eased off after about 3 to 4 weeks. 

No Dreaming
I noticed early on that I was not dreaming at all. I am a pretty consistent dreamer and I have very vivid and detailed dreams. I was not sleeping much for several weeks, but I still thought I should be dreaming a little. 

Finally, on the morning of January 23, I had a short dream of a conversation that lasted just a few sentences. The next night I had a nightmare. In the dream, a Church sent me a swallow test kit and I choked all night trying to use it.

I have no idea if a swallow test kit exists or what it is, but it was the worst gift I have ever been given. I have been dreaming every night since then, but I went 25 nights without dreaming. 

No Sneezing
After I had been in the hospital for about 13 days, I sneezed a couple times one afternoon. It was only then, that I realized that was the first sneeze I had had since the stroke.

Maybe The Strangest Side Effect-No Yawning
Even though I only slept fitfully for an hour or two most of the 18 days I was in the hospital and continued that for a week or so after I came home, I did not yawn one time. 

There were some days and nights when I was so sleepy that I could not hold my head up, yet I could not go to sleep. But no yawn came at all.  

It has now been seven weeks and five days since I had the stroke on December 29. As of February 21, I still have not yawned at all. that seems strange for a guy who yawned all day long sometimes. 

A Pleasant Side Effect 
I am still looking for pleasant side effects. They may be a long time coming or it may be a long time before I notice them, but I am purposely looking for them. 

This is the reason. It is well known that Covid affected me horribly in 2021. In fact, I still have effects from Covid in 2024. 

One of the neurologists even said that Covid is likely to be responsible for the blood clot that caused the stroke in my brain stem. We may never know the accuracy of that statement, but it makes sense to us.

However, once most of the dust of Covid had settled in my body by the beginning of 2022, I noticed a very good side effect. My close-up vision was and still is better than it was since I turned 40 years old. 

I have no idea how or why that happened, but once Covid receded, my eyes were probably 90% better in close-up vision than before. I have not used reading glasses at all since then. 

I give the glory to God and I fully expect when the effects of this stroke fully recede, God may add in a few new blessings to the recovery.

He’s Got It All In Control and I cannot wait to see what he has in mind for our family. 

Thank you for stopping by today. We appreciate the visit. 


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Lord, We Want To Hear Your Voice

We had great therapy sessions on Monday including the final hour which was speech therapy. I have had quite a bit of congestion in my chest for about two weeks and we have not been able to sing and do the vocal exercises as much as we need to do.

Even though my voice was very weak on Sunday, when I began to warm up my vocals and do my breathing exercises early Monday morning, I noticed it was considerably better. The therapist asked if I would like to try to sing after completing the breathing exercises and I said yes.

She has a small keyboard there, so Kelly played the keyboard and we sang a little bit of Amazing Grace in a very low key warming my voice up a little more. 

Then Kelly suggested an Isaacs song that Ben sings, If That's What It Takes. It has become one of our favorites and we have sung it in many revivals and have been blessed by it.

While singing If That's What It Takes Monday, I was overcome with emotion as my mind drifted back a few weeks. While I was in ICU we were trying to sing this song one evening. We were so overwhelmed that I ended up just speaking the words. However, the Spirit of the Lord brought so much comfort to us that day and that has been a high watermark in this whole experience.

We constantly try to be faithful to listen to the word of the Lord and he certainly does not have to give me a stroke to get my attention. However, through every test and trial, I want to be sensitive to the voice of the Lord. The enemy trials to kill but the Lord often speaks to us and works the bad for our good and in our favor.

Many of you have heard me say, that when trouble comes our prayer is often, “Lord how can I get out of this?” That is a reasonable prayer.

Maybe our prayer should be one word different from that prayer. Instead of "Lord how can I get out of this?” Maybe we should pray “Lord what can I get out of this?” Is there something we can learn from while we are here?

Let us pray together today, “Lord whatever it takes, we want to hear your voice,”

Thank you for reading today. The video and lyrics are below. 


Songwriters: Jimmy Yeary / Sonya Isaacs / Rebecca Isaacs Bowman
If That's What It Takes lyrics © Emi Blackwood Music Inc., Great Day At This Music, Beattyville Music, June Elephant Music

This place that I'm in
Feels so unfair
This weight on my chest Seems more than I can bear 
I can't see where this is gonna end
But I'll stay on my knees till then. 

If that's what it takes to break my will
To make me still enough to hear your voice
Then I'll trust in you Oh Lord
If that's what it takes
To realize without you I'm just going the wrong way 
Living life in vain
Lord humble me a little more each day 
If that's what it takes

This is not the path
I'd ever choose for me
But Lord you see the bigger picture
And the man that I can be 
So Lord I'll give you all my fears
And I'll cry a few more tears

Chorus And
Final Chorus
If that's what it takes to give my all
And totally surrender to your plan
Though I may not understand
Lord give me strength to make it one more day
If that's what it takes
If that's what it takes

Friday, February 16, 2024

What To Do With Unknowns?

Sometimes there are more questions than there are answers. So many unknowns! I feel like I am in the dark a lot more than I deserve. Really, Davy? What do you deserve from God? 

The reality is God does not owe me an explanation for the things that He does or the places He allows me to walk by his grace. God owes me No thing. 

As I have said many times before, I would like to have a searchlight with a beam shining brightly five or six months into the future, revealing to me exactly where I will be and what I will be doing. 

But God did not promise me a searchlight for the future, he promised me a flashlight for the next step.    

 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

His Word becomes a flashlight to me, revealing not the distant future but the very next step. Davy, this is where you put your right foot, now this is where you put your left foot. 

The light that God promises us, does not illuminate our future but shines on our own feet and directs us with each step to be exactly where He wants us to be. 

If I let God guide my steps and direct my feet, six months down the road I will be exactly where he intended me to be from the very first moment.

Let me encourage you, child of God. Keep walking. Keep placing one foot in front of the other, guided one step at a time by the Word of God. I promise you will find yourself in God‘s will when you get to the day in the future that you are worried about right now.      

In the midst of a lot of unknowns and unknowables, this fact still remains. He’s Got It All In Control

I am striving to believe that, embrace that and live that. Will you join me?

Thank you for reading today.


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Distributing Joy On Purpose

We have some family and friends right now who are facing very difficult circumstances in their lives and in their families. They are experiencing pain, sudden illnesses and/or health challenges that have hit like a train. 

We have been weeping with them and praying for them the last weeks and believing God to bring them through. 

As is often the case, these friends and these family members who are suffering have taken time to purposely pour encouragement and joy into our lives. This is a beautiful thing.

How can someone who is experiencing pain and discouragement, have so much personal joy that they can spread joy to you in the midst of their own pain and discouragement? It must come down to a very personal relationship with the ultimate joy giver, Christ. 

Wow! What an amazing thing to behold. I have watched it transpire over and over and now once again, I am the recipient of their overflowing joy and I am encouraged through it.  

In making these observations and feeling these feelings, I have made a commitment. Even in pain and suffering, I want to be a brother like that.   
I do not want to be so caught up in my dilemma of life, that I neglect to be an instrument of encouragement and joy in the life of someone near me who is facing a situation that does not seem to hold any joy at all. 

We, God’s children, have freely received from the hand of God and from our brothers and sisters. As we freely receive, may God give us grace to freely give.  

I have been given much joy, compassion, encouragement and especially the gift of prayer from my brothers and sisters. I appreciate that so much. I want to be a brother like that.     

Thank you for reading today


Friday, February 9, 2024

Revisited In Pictures Healing Is A Process

It is a little unusual for me to revisit a Mile Marker that is only two weeks old, but I think I need to. Or at least I want to.

On January 26 I posted Healing Is A Process. You can follow the link above and read or re-read that post as you like.

I will not completely rewrite the whole post, but as a recap, I showed you pictures of the inside of my arm. The first picture was taken two weeks into my hospital stay. I received all those bruises and blood beneath my skin the first day in the emergency room.

Pictures after that were in one week increments showing how the arm was healing. The natural process, that God created in us was healing the wound.

I compared that to the swelling and pressure that is in my brain stem from the stroke I suffered on December 29. It is also healing, it is experiencing the healing process that God instituted in humans. I do not know the rate of healing but I know it is healing. 

I cannot take a picture as the brainstem heals but I have taken pictures each week of my arm as it heals. I draw encouragement every week from that picture, because I know my brain is healing too.

As my brain heals, we are seeing small advances in regaining use of my leg, my arm, my swallowing, my vocal cords, my eyesight. and my balance. All of these will likely continue to improve as my brain heals.

Praise God! Praise God! 

I have a long ways to go, but as my inner arm heals I am reminded, even though I cannot see it, my brain stem is healing too.

Look at these and rejoice with me.

Two weeks. 

Three weeks. 

Four weeks. 

Five weeks. 

Six weeks

As I said before, every day I believe God for an instantaneous miracle and I have received some. But also, every day, I am experiencing and trusting God‘s amazing healing process in my body.

Thank you very much for reading today.


Revival tonight

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Not MY Stroke

Not MY Stroke       
I am rambling today.😍 
I suppose someone could say that this is only semantics or a different way of saying the same thing, but it is important to me. 

I intend to say this as perfectly clear as I can. I had a major brain stem stroke on December 29, 2023. It hit me incredibly hard, but it is Not MY Stroke. 

It happened to me. I do not deny that. I am not living in a dreamland of make believe. I am still dealing with the effects of it. Hundreds of times a day I am reminded I had a stroke. 

However, I refuse to take ownership of it. This brain attack with the root cause of a blood clot in my brain stem, does not belong to me.

I hope this makes sense to you. It makes sense when I say it to myself. It happened to me but it does not belong to me. It is Not MY Stroke. 

I have heard people say all my life.
My car wreck. 
My accident.        
My seizure. 
My disease. 
My depression.
My cancer.  
My heart attack. 
My surgery. 
My stroke. 

I have obviously never corrected anyone who said that and I have no intention of scolding anyone now. But I have always flinched a little bit inside when I have heard it.

I understand what they are saying and like I said at the beginning, it is probably all a matter of using different words, but these things do not belong to me. Even though this crisis is a part of my life for this short space, I am not going to embrace it as my own.      

The stroke I suffered has consumed almost six weeks of my life and has the potential to consume many more weeks or months of my life. It has been all consuming for my wife, my daughter and even some of my family and friends.

That is enough. No more. I am not going to own this thing the rest of my days. No, no and no. And No again. 

I refuse to let a situation, no matter how severe, consume my life forever. Eventually, it must fade into the past and become an event that may have been a dominant part of life but does not rule me any longer. 

Even if I deal with the effects of the stroke for a while down the road. I will not be, I refuse to be defined by the stroke. It does not belong to me, it does not own me and I do not own it. It is Not MY Stroke. 

This whole thing belongs to my enemy. He wants me to have it. He wants me to take ownership of it. He wants to control my life forever with a past event. But I refuse. 

It may affect me. It may slow me. It may delay me. But I am putting your junk back in your hands, slewfoot as quick as I can. The LORD rebuke you. 

It is Not MY Stroke. 

Yes, this may be semantics, just words that you and I use differently, but I believe there is value and perhaps even victory in refusing to take ownership of the things that the enemy of our soul has brought into our lives.       

I am very interested in hearing what you think about this. Thank you for reading today. 


Friday, February 2, 2024

Sip For Joy

First a reminder
We will have our second revival service from Nigeria on our YouTube channel tonight at 8:00 Eastern. 

Hey Friends,

This is Odie here with a quick Friday check-in. I know I am usually here on Saturday but Dad has a special post tomorrow. Try to remember to check in tomorrow.

I have had an entire week full of fun and I should be home tomorrow. I plan to share more details with you in future posts. It will take me some time to compile everything.

Sip For Joy
Thanks to Mom for giving me this blog idea. Mom sent me a text from Dad's rehab room a few weeks ago. "Read the top of my McDonald's cup."

Sip For Joy
My Mom said it like this: "I never again want to take the things for granted that God gave us abilities for. It is easy to never think about things I do every day until the ability is gone."

We have been made fully aware of these little everyday things that are just seemingly second nature. In a moment, they can be gone. Then you might be thinking, how did I ever accomplish that task. Little things became big things and hard work.

In one moment Dad lost his ability to sip anything. We have witnessed Dad working hard to overcome life's obstacles that were suddenly put in his path! With the prayer of our family and friends God has helped him face the uncertainties one at a time.


11 hours after Mom sent me the picture of her cup, Dad posted this video to our YouTube channel. Friends, this was a "sip for joy!"

Nowadays, I praise God more for all the little tasks I can do! I am blessed and grateful!

Thanks for spending a moment of your day with me!


Wednesday, January 31, 2024

First Days

First days of anything have always made me a little apprehensive. If it is day one, then I am nervous.

I can probably trace that back to my very first day of school over 50 years ago. I do not remember that day specifically, but I do remember being overwhelmed in my first few days and weeks of kindergarten.

That carried through to the first day of school every year. New classes, new teachers, new kids in the class and the unknown always made me want to run away.

Nothing ever happened on the first day of school that might have justified the apprehension, but the next year I dreaded the first day all over again.

The first day of a new job has always been nerve-racking for me. What will I be asked to do? Will I be able to do it? Am I qualified for this job at all? Will I get along with “The Boss” and coworkers? It seems there was always something to dread about that first day.

I dreaded the first day of a new job shortly after Kelly and I got married. It was the first job that I had been hired for according to my pre-existing qualifications and experience. I worried for a whole week. What if I cannot do it? What if they find out that my skill level is not what they expect it to be?

I dreaded the first day of that job horribly. Then the day before I was to begin, I got food poisoning. I was sick all night before and was still sick the next morning.

I had to go to a pay phone on the corner, call my brand new boss and tell him I was too sick to go to work. I fully expected him to tell me to forget it. There was no job for me.

Instead, he was very understanding and told me to come in the next day. Now, I dreaded the second day of the new job.

In later years I worked in a factory as a utility person on the assembly line. I had a new job nearly every day and certainly every week. I was apprehensive every day.

There were many days Kelly and I knelt at the couch in the living room at 4 o’clock in the morning and we prayed that the Lord would help me do the job as it needed to be done. I was dreading that first day every day.

I thought about that while I was in the hospital. They accepted me into rehab and late one evening they moved me to the rehab floor. I was not sleeping much anyway, but I slept none that night to speak of. I was dreading that first day of rehab.

I felt like I was five years old again facing the first day of school. I had no idea what would be required of me. I did not know if I could do what they ask. I knew I needed the rehab, but I did not know if I could live up to it. It was the dreaded first day syndrome again.

Kelly was up very early helping me get cleaned up and ready to go. It took us two solid hours for me to get ready.

Here I am. Ready for my first day.

I felt like the condemned waiting for the hangman. I was literally scared out of my mind.

The therapist came in and helped us learn how to do something that I desperately needed to know. The next three hours flew by with people really wanting to help me.

I realized, as I often have, there was no reason to be consumed with fear.

First days bring apprehension but God is still with us on first days. We may be scared because of the unknown. But God has no unknowns. There is nothing out of his control or out of his realm of knowledge. First days or any days do not scare God.

God is in control.

We are facing many first days right now. Maybe more first days and first things than we ever have in the past. 

God help me to remember all these days are no surprise to you. Nothing alarms you!

Thank you, friends, for praying for us during this onslaught of first days.