(This is a picture of an EKG showing a heart in trouble. Felicia declares that this was mild compared to the dramatic fluctuations that were on my EKG. She said it looked like the wild scribbling of a 2 year-old!)
January 24, 2017 is a day I will never forget. Every day I live since that day can be considered bonus. When I was growing up in south Louisiana, the term we used to describe that kind of bonus was “Lagniappe.” That’s an old Cajun expression that means “a little extra.” That’s what God has given me. The quick trip through the streets of Lubbock, TX, to the ER at Covenant Medical Center and the events of the next few days are a blur in my mind. I came within minutes of meeting my Maker, but by God’s mercy, I am still here for “a little extra” time and doing very well. Hallelujah!
With a few months to reflect I have identified some important things I learned.
- Our faith makes a difference. Amid the swirl of activity around me in the trauma room and the obvious concern of my caretakers as they hooked me up to the paddles, I was at peace. Looking mortality square in the eyes, there was no fear. I knew I was in His hands and that He would care for me and those I love. That is huge! In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul explained this hope of eternal life this way; “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” Our God is faithful, and His peace is real.
- He’s got us in the palm of His hand. I remember singing that song as a child: “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” Every detail was worked out that made it possible for me to survive. If it had happened in another town further from medical care I likely would not have made it. If Felicia had not heard me struggling to breathe and been on top of the situation to get me quickly to the hospital, I would certainly have died. As believers, we know that God is driving the bus. There are no accidents or coincidences for us. We sensed His protective presence and guiding hand throughout that eventful evening like a great maestro conducting His orchestra.
- There is a reason we are on this earth. God has a purpose for our lives. When I got home from the hospital and found that I needed to cut back on my road trips for a season, I knew that it was time to reflect on that purpose. I know God has new stories and songs He wants to give me. I have so many ideas now for characters and songs I want to write. This was a true wake up call that I need to get busy if I plan on leaving anything behind for the next generation. So I am committed to setting aside time for writing and creating. I love to sit at the piano and bring new melodies to life. He has already given me a new song that I’ve sung in every church I’ve ministered in this year. This song is the seed for a new album. I’ll share it a little later in this blog.
- God is our source. He not only offered protection and care in a life-threatening situation, He also is providing for our ministry during this down time. I am not able to travel as much this year as in the past, and that could be financially devastating. But God is speaking into the hearts of friends we have made across the past 36 years of ministry. These friends have stepped up and are helping to make the difference. We are not over the hump, but things are much better because of God’s care shown through our friends. It has been so humbling.
- The best is still to come. I’m not looking back, but leaning forward. By God’s grace, I want the years I have left to be some of my best. I want to drink up every delicious drop of life. I want to laugh more and love extravagantly. I long for my children and grandchildren to remember me as a man who loved God, loved them and loved life.
I want to share with you the seed of my next album. It is a song based on Psalm 23, and is called “Shepherd Me”. This new collection of songs will be based on some of my favorite Psalms. If you have a favorite Psalm you would like for me to consider in this anthology, drop me an email. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Here is a link to a rough recording of the song when I performed it in San Antonio, TX, at St. Matthew’s UMC. Let the message of this new song minister to your heart.
Please, pray for this ministry as we seek to do God’s will and follow His lead.
If you would like to help during this time of healing and recovery, we would be so grateful. Click here to go to our secure online donation page. You can also send donations to our ministry address:
1320 Brown Trail, Bedford, TX 76022
If your church is planning a revival or renewal event this Fall or next Spring, we’d love to come and be a part of that. E-mail me at email@example.com or call me: 817-975-5524.
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