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Pray / Believing


    Last night I got some devastating news about one of my best Beaufort County friends, Jimmy Moore who is the long time Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Washington, NC. He announced to his church from the pulpit last Sunday that he has cancer. Unlike Jimmy Carter, he is a man in his mid-life --- and not age 90 when you would expect things like this.

    Jimmy is a surprisingly spiritual man. He and I both come from SC originally. I am an upstate Pickens County person by birth. He is from the mid-state. He pastored in SC, as did I. Upon our first meeting our list of mutual friends bespoke "same kind of Pastor." I can tell you that if you are sick or in the hospital, Jimmy will be there for you. If you are hurting or need some help, he is never too busy.

    Let me share a "for instance." Shortly after meeting Jimmy and visiting in his church I was at our Wal-Mart. I had to excuse myself behind the 2 storage bins. When an old man has to go---he HAS TO GO. As I stepped all the way around to make my way into the store, I stumbled across a man sitting in the shade. He had a chair someone had bought for him along with a sleeping bag. He was a homeless Vet sleeping under the stars. Kindness of locals had given him the bare necessities to survive. I thanked God it was warm enough that he was not freezing as some homeless people do in the winter.

    We talked for some 20 minutes and it was obvious he needed all the help he could get. I was too new to know the ropes of helpfulness in Washington so I put in a call to Jimmy. Within 20 minutes he had finished his most important "church things" and was on his way to meet with my new friend behind the storage bin!

    These days, few pastors of big churches with many demands care to leave their comfortable office and AC, nor the comfort of a nice computer giving easy research for sermons these days. Anyone can write books or preach. Jimmy is one of the most gifted preachers I had heard. He could fill any church pulpit and they have a streaming video service each Sunday. If I worship via Internet, his sermons are far better, in my hearing, than any other mega church pastor who pays for time that local stations sell each Sunday.

    If you click here, you can listen to Jimmy, beginning at the 14 minute point in the service:

    Before reading any more, PLEASE just listen and participate in the worship last Sunday.

    I have walked beside the same terminally ill people as Jimmy in my years since my 1970 ordination. God listens to our prayers and they get answers WHEN WE BELIEVE AND TRUST. It is more than just praying that brings us through. It is BELIEF THAT GOD ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS IN THE WAY HE SEES FIT!

    I got the word last night at a United Church of Christ Men's supper. I was in total shock as were Jimmy and his congregation upon hearing it. Since then, more medical reports are in and they are grim. He has Stage 4 cancer --- the worst / he is going to see an Oncologist with a good record of successes with this dread disease. I am confident Medical Science will do its best with the years of research and development since Medical Science started the cancer battle.

    Years ago, one of the best Oncologists addressed a group of us in Columbia SC Baptist Medical Center. He said that when a diagnosis is this grim, he says to the patient wanting total honesty, "This is bad and there IS a 99% chance you will die from it." Then he gives the patient time to ask any questions.

    He said, "My patients are hanging on my every word and expression. Most say, 'You said 99%, didn't you?' I said just that my friend. 'But what is the 1% for?' is the typical response. To which I say---THAT 1% IS FOR HOPE. I have treated the worst and there is always that 1% who survive this by the Grace of God along with good treatment and compassion."

    I am PRAYING / BELIEVING --- that God will heal Jimmy Moore. Either we will get our selfish wishes that he return to us healed / otherwise God always HEALS FROM ABOVE. Either way, God is in charge of the boat of life in the storm --- AND it WILL suddenly be at the shore to leave the raging waters behind.

    PRAISE BE TO GOD, THE GIVER OF LIFE AND KEEPER OF ETERNITY.





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