Sitting here looking through notes from friends that I served with at Korea and Lackland AFB and a memory of an incident near Wilfordhall Medical center. We had a person carrying an awal bag toward the hoapital this individual was instructed to place the bag on the ground which he had refused I should explain why we were watching the hospital as we had received a threat of blowing up the hospital due to being denied treatment. When we got the individual to put down the bag we had our base bomb dogs and EOD to respond one of the dogs hit on the bag which indicated that there was the odor of an explosive device in the bag. EOD (exploives ordinance disposal) officers placed a 1 pound block of C4 next to the bag after the area was cleared to a safe area EOD detonated the explosive charge next to the bag which was destroyed. I was one of the officers to examine the effects of the awal bag. The bag contained personal papers a bottle of Old Spice and a Holy Bible now if I had not already been a Christian I sure hope that everyone that was there got a ht of the existence of a supreme being because after the explosion on the awal bag The only thing that didn't have any damage to it was the BIBLE this includes the aftershave odor or any burn marks. As we enter this Christmas season this memory came to me and I felt that the people might see that GOD works in mysterious ways and sometimes we need to look to him for our answers to our problems and maybe you will see our problems are just the Lord reminding you that he is there for you.
I just wanted to testify to the goodness of God and thank Him for the message yesterday morning (8/21/11) that He laid on Pastor Mike’'s heart and I'’m thankful that Pastor Mike was obedient to share it with us. If you missed it I would encourage you to take the time to listen to it. As I was listening I was reminded of several years ago when my daughter came home and told us she was pregnant and unmarried. I was devastated! It was if someone had just slugged me in the gut and knocked all the air out of me. That Sunday Morning when we were sitting in church, I looked over at my daughter who was sitting in the fartherest corner of the church all by herself, it was then that I realized I could not do this all by myself, I needed the “Body.” I had a conversation with her that week that went something like this, “Hannah, I am hurting so bad right now, but when I (We) come out on the other side of this I want to come out “Whole” and “Healed” not “broken and bitter,” and the only way I can do that is if I let the “Body” be the “Body” and come around and minister to us and that is only going to take place, not by sitting back in the far reaches of the church but I need to be right smack dab in the middle of those people so they can come around me (us) and encourage us and be our Aaron and Hur and lift up our hands as we fight our way through all this. I NEED THE BODY TO BE THE BODY! So I can be made whole and healed.” And like many of you, I know my tendency is to stay away and hide but I am so thankful that God gave me the wisdom to know that was not the thing to do. I think all of us have the tendency when we are going through things and Hard things is to run and hide because we sometimes view ourselves as somehow not perfect when we go through things so we want to hide until we get our acts together. But Friends, that is when we need each other the most; when we are struggling and going through difficult times! I can’t say it was anyone’s special words, you know those words said at the right time in the right way, to me that got me through. It was just being among God’s people and being in God’s house and in His presence. The just feeling Him and feeling the prayers and presence of God’s people that got me (us) through that most difficult time. Now, who but God could take what we saw and viewed as devastation and now 4 years later see and be reminded again of God’s awesome redemptive love. Only He can take what was meant for our destruction and turn it around to be used for His purposes. Now my daughter, the unwed mom, is ministering to other unwed moms in Romania , ONLY GOD!!! So I encourage you, “Do not forsake the gathering of yourselves together as some do.” We Need Each Other! I Need You!!! (I sound like Uncle Sam! J) Have a Blessed Week, my Friends and Body of Believers from Praise Cathedral!
I was born into a family of six, two sisters & a identical twin brother. Sometime during the early years us twins were sent to a foster home around 2 yrs of age. There is no recollection of this time in my memory nor in my brother, Rich‘s. We found out years later when a letter was sent to Rich’s home with our pictures at this foster home. Upon request of this time & event to the one who sent the picture we were shunned & silence prevailed. So, continued the mystery. Even inquired of my mother who refused to expound on this touchy subject.
Didn’t know my real dad at this time & only knew our step-dad who never had any children of his own. Around the age of 10 my brother & me were in our home living room seeing a stranger standing against the west wall. We were told this is our real dad & I remember just looking at him without inquiry & somewhat disbelief. That was the first realization that my step-dad wasn’t my real dad. We lived on a 28 acre farm which we farmed for ourselves. Everything was done the ‘old fashioned’ way, by hand. Started with a team of horses, an out-house and outside water pump. Eventually several years later, dad (refer to my step-dad as dad, never called my real dad, dad) put in plumbing, etc but that was during our teenage years. Haying was loose & done with wagon & pitch fork. Chores consisted of weeding the large garden, feeding the farm animals, chickens, cows & sometimes a goat. Shoveling out the barn was a chore & carrying five gallon buckets of water up to the cows in winter was always a pain but necessary. Even had to assist in washing, rinsing & drying dishes for awhile until the girls whined too much or maybe my brother & me decided our chores were enough. Whatever the reason, I didn’t have to do dishes anymore. Our oldest sister was dad’s favorite & whenever we wanted to get anything, like going to a movie, etc. we always asked her to ask dad. Most of the time it worked. We used to say, ‘Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.’
I wet the bed, my brother did also, until the age of 14. Don’t know why we wet the bed but we were punished many different & several ways but nothing worked. Dad made a bed out of boards which we had to sleep on without a mattress & we did this for many years. Us boys were allowed to have the freedom to do much as we pleased as long as our responsibilities were completed. Mom & dad never knew Rich (my twin brother) and me would ride our simple bicycles 15 miles one way. We never told them but we had fun in a hard fun way. Like playing cowboys & Indians in the barn with BB guns & actually shoot at each other. In the winter time we’d put !@#!@# sticks with needles into the BB guns & shoot one another in a hiding challenging shoot’em game. Also, played tag on two huge maple trees that grew close together & we’d jump from limbs to get out of being tagged. No broken bones. Many such things we did to amuse ourselves & we had two friends who were not allowed to play with us but we’d sneak them into the house or the barn & go on with our rebellion. When mom & dad were out at some bar these friends cross wired mom’s car & was driving it around the roads not far from home when dad & mom came home stopping in the middle of the road to yell at our friend to take the car back home. Dad was a woodsman who had strength equaling Paul Bunyan’s ox. He wasn’t one to mess around with. As soon as the car was returned, our friends took off leaving me & my brother to face the wrath of our dad. We survived but barely. Another time these same friends suggested we take the tractor for a spin. Dad had advanced to a tractor by this time. We did so but ran out of gas. What we didn’t know was the gas line valve was shut off. We panicked because we had to get the tractor back into the barn before dad came home or get caught. Well, mom’s car was cross wired again using that to pull the tractor back up to the barn. We didn’t’ get caught but all this forbidden activities kept us tense. We were not allowed to have these ‘friends’ around but my brother & me kept in contact with them, sneaking them in our cellar and drinking cider from the barrel until we got happy. Our friends ended up going to prison for awhile because of robbing stores. I’m thankful I didn’t go that far along with the activities they got involved in. We were bad enough without robbing people.
During our growing up we never heard a, ‘I love you’ from mom & dad nor did we get any hugs, praise of any kind or a ‘thank you’. It was just life as we were accustomed to & thought this was normal. I used to stay at a Methodist preacher’s house now & then because of school activities because my parents wouldn’t drive me to the school. I became acquainted with him enough to ask some personal questions. Also, I used to visit two Christian women who really accepted me as I am & made me feel wanted or that I was important to them. It was a far different world then I had known and I hungered for this type of relationship. It was this contact which helped form my readiness to receive Christ later in my life.
I fell for a girl in 8th grade & continued with her until graduation then joined the Army. She wanted to get married before I joined but told her after I served my term then we would get married. It was during my service in the Army I received a ‘Dear John’ letter while I was on temporary duty in Indian Town Gap, Pa. I sat down on the loading dock (around a corner) with a box cutter in my hands then started to cut my left wrist. I didn’t want to live anymore. One of the civilian workers came around the corner finding out my foolish attempt & sat next to me. He talked me out of this crazy act keeping the secret to himself for if the Army had found out my attempt, I’d be in trouble. I covered up the cut sealing the bleeding & was thankful for the kind interruption. Served in Vietnam & got out with a honorable discharge with the rank of E-5 or sergeant.
Lived with my parents until I got a job then moved out to never return to live with my parents again. I had several different jobs not lasting long in any of them until I got a job at Northeast Service Plaza truck stop. Started the job on the pumps working my way up to 3rd shift supervisor even moving up to assistant manager of the Ripley Truck stop. Ray Norris was the Manager who I worked under.
Met a girl at a friends wedding reception & dated for about two years then married after she had left for stewardess school in Hartford Conn. Friends of hers kept me from seeing her the night before she left for Stewardess School because they didn’t like me & made her fear me by stating I’d beat her up, etc. It was a few days later that I just had to get in touch with her (I now knew I loved her & had spurned her because of the hurt done to me prior). I decided to call the police in Harford lying to them by saying I didn’t know where she was but only at a stewardess school & her mother had a heart attack. The police were very helpful because about an hour later I received a collect call from Marge (the girl who I was to marry) & immediately I informed her that her mother was ok explaining I didn’t know how to get in contact with her, etc. so I used her mother to do so. We talked about 2 hrs. She told me she didn’t like it there because several girls were doing drugs & that’s when I told her to get on a bus & we’d get married soon as she got home to me. She said, ‘Really?‘ I said, ‘Yes.‘ She got on the bus & I kept my word. Two weeks later we were married. At the reception the two people who had kept Marge from me that night told me to take care of their little girl. I wanted to hit them both & burn their ashes.
We lived in a rented house & I would drink most every day. Often I’d think of God during my bouts with alcohol but never got to the point of stopping to find out more about Him. I was laying in bed one evening when I cried out to God, ’Why don’t you come to me like you did to Samuel or others?’ Then I heard a voice which scared me, ’Come to me’ the voice said. I was afraid to close my eyes fearing I’d fall into some darkness or pit but nature overcame my reluctance and I woke up the next morning wondering what I should do. It didn’t last long & I’d start drinking again. Never got into the habit of swearing or foul language, I never liked it nor participated in it. I smoked cigarettes but never had a ’joint’ or any kind of drugs. My wife was pregnant now & sometime during this period I told her pointedly, ’I have a premonition that I will not live to see the baby. I want you to remarry & go on with your life’ explaining these things to her. Unknown to me, my premonition was correct but it was my wife who would die, not me. She developed toxemia which was unknown to me. I worked a double shift (almost) & got home to go to bed. I woke up to see my wife in a chair now knowing something was wrong. I got up & started to dress to take her to the hospital but she flatly stated that she had called the doctor whom she will see tomorrow at 1:00pm and for me to go back to bed. I did so because I respected her & I was tired. Next morning my wife was still sitting in that chair so I did the dishes, breakfast & cleaned then took her to the appointed doctor. During the visit there, the doctor suddenly came out to me telling me he had already called Hamot Hospital saying I’d be there shortly. I took my wife to our car with her saying to me, ’I love you’ & got her to the hospital after stopping for directions (I didn’t know Erie at all). On the way Marge yelled, ‘I am seeing triple!‘ They wheeled my wife to be examined & she went into a coma. She never woke up from it. The baby was delivered by cesarean and was in an incubator for two weeks. Marge (my wife) died before the two weeks was over. Upon returning to work at the Truck Stop, the owner deducted my paycheck to which I was disgusted & mad about. I walked up to him turning my keys in saying to the owner, ‘Like you deducted my paycheck without notice so I quit without notice’ then walked out.
I took my son home to raise him myself. Wasn’t long before I found out welfare doesn’t provide enough to live on. I got involved slightly with the occult, not delving into it but reading about it. When I sat in a chair & suddenly spoke three foreign words that I didn’t know…that scared me so much that I threw the books out & left well enough alone.
Went back to work with friends advising me to have my son adopted because I cannot raise him, it would be too difficult they said. I didn’t listen. I matter-of-factly told them all, he’s my son & I will raise him! Yes, I got up early in the mornings to feed, burp and change my son. I didn’t mind at all. I was warned not to take my baby outside because of the cold & snow. I just replied to these well meaning people that I wasn’t going to be a prisoner in my own home. It is just a matter of under dressing or over dressing that you have to be careful of. My child never got sick from me taking him along with me regardless of the weather.
About two years later I remarried & got a job at Custom Engineering. I still drank & smoked. God gave me dreams to wake me up to come to Him. A dream about heaven & me underneath with a plastic sky overhead but it had a zipper in it. I unzipped it to poke my head in but couldn’t get up into this heaven. I wanted to but was not allowed. Another dream showed me driving a car with blue interior dashboard on the road before getting to mom & dad’s then heaven opened & Jesus appeared. These dreams were so real that I knew they were from God. I was stubborn enough to procrastinate & my next car I bought wouldn’t have a blue dashboard. Wrong! The next used car I bought was a beaten up station wagon that had crutches & several band aids but it was what I could afford. This car was so pathetic while driving at 50 mph the gas tank which was vertical inside the left rear panel dropped out & was dragging on the paved road with sparks flying all around. I stopped immediately then repaired the tank. I was pleased with myself until I drove this car on that same road which brought back the memory of that dream. It was only then I realized the car had a blue dashboard! I actually got scared thinking Christ is going to return & me being left out. I didn’t drive on that road for awhile figuring the dream could not become reality if I didn’t drive on that road.
In Nov 1975, my twin brother, Rich found the Lord. He was saved before I was & it was about one week or less after he got saved when I drove up to mom & dad’s seeing my brother getting ready to leave to a revival at the Nazarene church in Corry, Pa. I had a beer in my hand & Rich said to me, ’Why don’t you come along with me?’ I knew where he was going so I said, ’Sure, as long as I can take my beer along!’ Rich never said a word which was wise because if he had I wouldn‘t have went. I got into his car drinking the beer on the way to church. I finished it before getting there. So, I went inside to listen to this guy & the way he preached was such a pleading gentle way that it really touched me. Next thing I knew I was going down the aisle crying like a baby. I received Christ but didn’t know it at the time.
Got home & went to work like usual. Nothing really seemed different at this time. Our company was having a Xmas party so I decided to go. I drank high-balls filling the glass with ¾ liquor & the rest with chaser. I tried to get drunk. I really tried because I kept filling up that glass as often as I could. About two hours or more passed then I realized I wasn’t drunk. What? I looked around to see people trying to dance while drunk & thought, ’Do I act like that?’ It was then I realized something had changed & something had prevented me from getting drunk. I was delivered that very night from alcohol. Praise the Lord!
Smoking took another 3 months before I was delivered from that. One of the guys at work got upset with me because we used to ’hang’ together & drink. He said, ’Man, why did you have to change?’ I did change. Completely.
I wouldn’t sit with the guys to talk about things you shouldn’t talk about and I wasn’t ashamed of God. Everyone knew of this great change in Bob Wynn. I became so committed to Christ that I actually quit my job but let me explain here. I told one of the managers I was quitting & he insisted that I take a medical leave & finally I relented leaving it in God’s hands. In my mind I was quitting! After being home without working for nearly a week I wondered, what am I going to do? How am I going to support my family? My co-worker came to my house asking me to return to work mainly because he didn’t like my replacement and then I knew I had to return to my job. After returning to work I was able to attend a Bible study group by leaving my job early which I did for a short time. About two months or more of doing this, other employees complained so the foreman told me I couldn’t do this anymore to which I informed him that I knew & was quitting the study anyway. I had already decided this before he told me.
Everyone knew I was a believer now. I had a job where once the machine was setup to run I could read. I read the Bible. And I read the Bible most all the time, over & over. Some got tired of me reading it which made me smile. A group came against me spreading lies & every kind of dirty work they could do. Even my co-worker was against me & he used to preach! It was so bad that I wanted to quit. A few examples, I made a mistake on a job but so did my co-worker but he was exempt, I wasn’t. I received a pink slip (disciplinary action) for that mistake. I inquired why my co-worker didn’t get one but I was ignored. Many times of this, other events & untruths was so often that it was a normal work environment for me. There is so much more but you get the idea. I wanted to take a gun & take care of some of the problem makers. The feeling was real & I had a battle at times which kept me awake most of the night. You cannot protect or defend yourself when you are accused of doing something which didn’t happen at all such as, my uncle, the foreman went around saying I was mad because he had taken me off my machine to put me unto another. Of course, I knew nothing of this until a fellow employee came up to me saying, ‘I don’t see where you are mad at all’ then he explained to me what had taken place. I prayed because there is no other defense.
Long story short…… The place was a ‘hell-hole’ which even a evangelist (Jim Jones, not the one who committed suicide) told me that I worked in one. He told me in 1977 that I worked in a hell hole & immediately I wondered how he knew. He then told me I would not always work a 8 hr day & would be used by God.
My brother, Rich wanted to use my car to pick up his son in Virginia. I decided to take off work to go along with him. This was on a Friday. We drove down & drove back but on the way I was driving and stopped at a busy intersection. I was at a yield sign but had to stop because of the traffic. It was somewhat difficult to judge when to go because of a curve that didn’t allow you to see far so when there was an opening I started to go gunning my vehicle but immediately saw a car so I stopped immediately. Then the surprise rear end smash from behind. A GMC truck plowed into me pushing the trunk nearly half it’s length towards the rear seat. Rich, his son and a friend were in the rear seat. It appeared no one got hurt. Got home being thankful we made it home. The next day being Saturday, my brother came up to visit. In the evening he was playing with my kids when my son came into our living room saying Rich was laying on the floor. I really didn’t think much of it because he played like that with the kids. I decided to go in & saw him laying on the floor then bumped him with my foot while stepping over him saying, ‘Get up you lazy bum’. He got up slowly asking me to pray saying he had pain in his chest. We prayed. He felt much better & refused to go to the hospital and went home. The next morning after I had went to church & got home I received the phone call declaring my twin brother was in the Corry hospital. What!? I immediately drove to Corry hospital where I was praying all the way. Got to the parking lot to see his son & daughter outside and his son, Trevor said to me, ’He’s dead!’ I refused to accept that & went into the room where he was. I looked at him & prayed. I felt so useless, helpless & angry. We were as close as two brothers can get. We loved each other immensely. I prayed for his spirit to come back but knew that was futile because only God can tell you to pray in such a manner. I had to accept what was factual and real. At the funeral home I had joy unspeakable and I decided not to restrict it or hide it. I know people couldn’t understand why I was so happy but it was God Almighty doing the work, not me. It has been 21 years now & I’ve never cried for my brother because God has sustained me even now.
In 1997 I had a heart attack & had a quadruple by-pass. Ended up with a defibrillator & a pacemaker. While I was off 8 months from work I applied for social security disability not knowing what else to do. God was in it all the time. I also had lost the sight in my right eye because of the laser surgery infection. Only had short time disability insurance at our workplace so that means in six months I’d be out of income which wasn’t much, $133 per week. During my time off work my tool box was stolen & our shop wouldn’t pay for the replacement only offering me $1,000 for a $2,500 valued tools. I cashed my five weeks of vacation in & took the $1,000 (even though it was against every fiber in my body) because I had to pay bills & feed my family. I had gotten a lawyer & he even told me to take the $1,000 because the shop will not cough up anymore, period! Now I understand why some people agree to certain terms against their will. Finally, got back to work & found out I couldn’t see the layout marks like I used to nor work like I used to. This somewhat scared me knowing I could be terminated for not being able to perform my job. While at work on a Saturday (this was the second week back) and standing at the time clock looking at the other employees in line this voice clearly said to me, ‘You don’t belong here anymore’ just like that. It was audible to me but to no other. I wondered what this meant. Came back to work on Monday to finish out that day. When I got home there was a letter from Social Security stating I had been approved & money was already in the bank. Wow! But then reality set in. I would lose about $20,000 a year so I went around to my relatives, friends hoping just one would tell me, ‘Go back to work’. None did. I didn’t return to the shop. I had become retired now.
I find it amusing & wonderful how God took me out of the shop which was so wicked towards me. I remember laying in bed one night listening to scripture on tape when I heard this passage, ‘Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you’ in 2 Thess 1:6. Immediately, I turned the light on & wondered to myself, is this really in the Bible? I thought this because I knew that verse came directly from God to me. I looked it up & was assured it is true. It is the old saying, ‘What goes around comes around’ or vice-versa. I knew now God was avenging me for all the hurt, lies from certain people who were in positions of authority and power. Everyone of my enemies God had dealt with. My uncle, who was the foreman & my bitter enemy, was forced to quit his job. Another developed sickness and yet others left as well. I only know that God took care of it. It may have been later than I liked but He still protected & delivered me. When one of the employees at the shop came up to me when I stopped in to visit one evening (my son worked there in my place but doesn’t now) saying, ‘Bob, you’ll be glad to hear this’ then proceeded to inform me that one of my enemies got MS. I directly informed him, ‘What! Do you think I get pleasure in this? No! I don’t rejoice in this but I do rejoice in God’s justice and only that.’ He looked at me as though I was in or from another world. Remain faithful to God & he’ll bring you out of the mire. There were many times I wanted to quit, thinking it wasn’t worth all this and the like but He prevailed to keep me on the path that leads to glory. Praise His name!
I’m far from perfect & still make mistakes but I know my God picks me up and works the work only He can do. One day it will be my time & I’ll see those whom have traveled before me awaiting my arrival. The song Pam sings, ‘Come up higher my beloved’ (not that this is the title, don’t know but those words are in it) reminds me of that forthcoming event.
God spared my life in a truly miraculous way on September 11, 1995 (yes, I have my own 9-11). So I guess it's time I shared my testimony. I must add...I'm not a doctor & I don't know a lot of the specific terms & details concerning injuries. I may also ramble, as I am typing as I sort through memories. I apologize for this in advance.
I was on my way to work on a Monday morning when a young man fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the center line, hitting me in the front/drivers side sending the van I was driving almost into a ravine, flipping it to it's side. Kristin was with me (16 months old) as well as my dog (poor little Daisy). Kristin was in a car seat and sustained only bruising & a chipped tooth. Daisy lost the ball of her hip and was taken to a vet who fixed her up & kennelled her for a week. I sustained multiple injuries - which I will try to remember all of them & list them here: crushed left foot, multiple lacerations on legs, especially the left, left elbow broken/lacerations, right facial bone fracture, plastic surgery on my upper left lip, lacerations on my forehead, liver had to be re-attached to my chest cavity, spleen ruptured (removed), collapsed lung, severed aeorta...I have a lot of scars!
Rich was the first one on the scene as he had forgotten paperwork that day & while he normally turned left on Wales Rd. on Monday's, he had to turn right to go to Harborcreek to get his paperwork. The dust was just settling when he got to the scene. He saw the flipped van, heard Kristin crying, saw me partially ejected from the van (I later remember struggling with my seatbelt & releasing it because Kristin was crying & I was trying to get to her.) Because the van was on it's side, I fell onto the passenger's side window. Because he smelled gas & was afraid of an explosion, Rich pulled Kristin out and pulled me out, laying me flat...I guess he ran Kristin up to the neighbor's house & had them call 911. I really don't know the order of events at this point, just what pieces I've gotten from Rich. He told me that he held me in his arms because if I was going to die, he wanted it to be in his arms (I'm crying as I type this---what love he had, huh?)
Rich also remembers a man, the first person there after Rich, who simply said I have to pray so he went over to the guard rail and prayed the whole time Rich remembers him being there -to this day we don't know who he was, so we believe he was an angel. Jeff Douglass, who I went to school with, was one of the next people on the scene, who guided Rich with some instructions, like get a blanket on her, etc. Poor little Dan (who was with Rich) had to give up his blanket. I remember Jeff sticking his face in mine & asking me if I knew who he was. I can remember thinking "why are you bothering me now?" lol... I know he was just trying to keep me alert while the paramedics were on their way. I was taken to St. Vincent's - Rich had to wait & go with Kristin. In the ER, they (doctors, nurses??) kept saying "Do we have a name? Does anyone have a name?" I struggled to say my name but managed to get it out. That's pretty much my only memories of the accident scene.
When Rich got to the hospital, they were telling him that they found the source of the blood in my lung & had to do emergency surgery. They explained that most likely, I wouldn't make it but if I did there was a high chance of paralysis. (Pastor Bell, who's brother, who is a doctor, later told Rich that only 20% of people with a ruptured aeorta live). Dr. Long was the cardiologist that did my surgery, but he was not on call that day. He heard the scanner in his office that a 27 yr old female with 2 children was injured...yada yada yada (not sure what it said) and rushed over to the hospital (this was the hand of God directing him) and he later told me that I came as close to the line (death) as anyone could get, without crossing over, because as soon as he opened me up, my aeorta ruptured. He was able to get the clamps on & put in my "super sleve" to repair the damaged area. I was later told that most people who have a ruptured aeorta from chest impact (steering wheel into my chest), die after the pressure is released, simply because of the blood pressure in the aeorta that causes the final "rupture" & bleed out. I should not have been laid flat, moved, etc., I was told. But, the Lord had other plans for my life.
My first memories in the hospital are "I need you to wiggle your toes, try to wiggle your toes, wiggle your toes, wiggle your toes, wiggle your toes...." I got very irritated at this...I mean, why were they bothering me? I also remember a nurse telling me "honey, you can push that button as many times as you want, but you only will get what the timer allows". I laugh as I think how desperately I must have been pushing my button for more pain meds. During this time, as I came to conscienceness, I remember feeling the pain, feeling a small relief from the pain as the meds kicked in, and thinking wow...Jesus must have felt this pain as He was dying but he didn't have a pain button. It was one of those "aha" moments. I really was aware of the love He has for mankind--and for me!
My first real "awake" memory was of an apple pie. My sister-in-law Lisa had brought me a small "potpourri" apple pie & it was put on the heater ledge with the cards & flowers...oh the cards and flowers...how I felt loved!, but back to the smell... because it was a chilly day, the heater was on & it heated up the cinnamon & spices & my room smelled like apple pie. What a wonderful memory! A week or so later my sister Beckah came in & washed my hair for me, and picked out all the glass & plastic. I felt like a new person (well, kinda')! My third shift nurse was so funny...she is the one who really gave me hope to live. She called me major bedhead (you'd have had to see my hair to understand this!). I truly am grateful to her, whoever she is.
Well, I did finally wiggle my toes...just a little at first, but I remember the excitement of the nurses when they finally saw movement. Of course, I didn't know it at the time, but they were very concerned about paralysis due to the clamping of the vessels/arteries & the lack of blood flow to my legs & feet during that time. I have a copy of the paperwork that Rich had to sign (as they were running down the hall to surgery) that explains the possibilities of death & paralysis. He said he was so numb but what other choice did he have but to sign?
His mom told him "you've learned about faith all your life, now it's time to put it into action". This was very encouraging/motivating for him. Also, WCTL had started playing Petra's "No Doubt" on the radio (at just the right time, of course!) This song carried him through the next 3 weeks.
A week later I had surgery on my elbow & foot to put the pins in. My foot was so crushed that they had a hard time finding bone pieces large enough to screw the pins into. The put an external fixator on my foot (I found out later I was a first time patient using these, as they were actually 2 units that were designed for hands/thumbs. I learned this by "accident" from a salesman that was visiting my orthopedic Dr at the same time I was there for a follow up.) For those of you who know me now, you know that I am not paralized. I walk quite well, on occasion I can run a short distance & even manage to dance once in a while. I still have pain in my foot and about 10 years ago, questioned God as to "why?", I mean, He healed me almost completely in every other area, why not my foot too. He spoke so lovingly, so sweetly to me...that this is my reminder of what He has done in my life. Because I am human, because I have a tendancy to forget, this will be my reminder of how He so wonderfully healed my life. And is anything too difficult for Him?
Just this past summer My family and I went to Kingdom Bound! We bought our tickets for 1 day in advance, before we went. When we were there I saw a JESUS shirt I wanted, it was $25. When I looked at it the lady told me she would sell it to me for $20. I didn't really want to pay that, so I prayed to get the shirt for $15, and she sold it to me! So the next day my family and I wanted to go back into the theme park when Kingdom Bound was gone. We had a buy 1 get 1 coupon, and a Kingdom Bound bounce pass, that would let us in for $20. So we went to the window and the clerk would not let us use either of them! They were not valid yet! So it would of cost us $180 to get in! So we walked away! Then I remembered my shirt! So I took a minute to pray, by myself, and asked GOD to let us slide! I went back to another clerk with the Kingdom Bound pass for $20, and she let me slide! So we only paid $80, instead of the $180! GOD is so good! Then we got back to Erie, I went to the GNC store. I have a 20% gold card. I took my stuff to the counter to check out and my card had expired, the clerk looked at me, and said your card has expired do you want to renew? I said no, not today. She looked right at me, smiled, and said "I'm gonna let you slide!!! :) Ha Ha GOD is GREAT!
And FAITHFULL to his Tithers! Oh BLESS the LORD!!!
Back to Church Sunday...Never Underestimate the power of the "Invitation"...you never know what will come next! It was the middle of January and our mission trip was just 6 weeks away when one of the team realized that she couldn't come with us. Here we sat with a $700 plane ticket already purchased and down one person. Our replacement options were slim because a passport would be needed. As I slumped in my chair feeling bummed, the soft whisper I heard said "Ask Chuck." Startled I answered "Chuck? Really? Well he did just get home from Iraq...he probably has a passort." So I reached for my phone and sent this quick text - "Wanna Go to Nicaragua?" Within seconds the reply came back "Sure." Startled I replied with every imaginable excuse for him to which he finally texted "I Said Sure!" I ran to the basement to show Ed the texts and said "Do you think he's teasing me?" Ed chuckled and said "No sweetheart I think he wants to go to Nicragua." All it took was an invitation and in 9 months we've enjoyed a mission trip with our nephew, the adventure of "Going LIVE on the Web," the ability to access our sermons on the web and right now the opportunity to help host a Youth Re:Vive concert! All because Chuck accepted the "invitation"... Invite someone and watch what God will do!
This may be the wrong place to put this but.... THANK YOU!!!! to the person(s) who have shared their bountiful produce with us at the church! The cucumbers especially were so refreshing!
I've been saved for 19 years this past September. Since that time, I've seen the salvation of my wife, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and numerous freinds and coworkers. This has all taken place because the Lord sent His servants, Mike & Pam Grove -- and their wonderful daughters -- Heather, Hannah & Mackenzie (Hope) to a small town called Altoona, Pa. During their stay here, the Groves ministered, mentored and befriended us from the early years of our Christian walk until we were able to walk on our own with our Lord. And although we hardly see each other anymore, you are always in our thoughts and prayers! We love you guys and pray that this Christmas Season will be filled with God's Love, Peace and Joy for you and your family!! Your friend and servant in the Lord, Pat Himes.
God does amazing things!As some of you may know I have been battling cancer for around a year and a half now, and in that course of time I have had many ups and downs. There have been many days when I felt like just giving up, but when those days came about there always seemed to be someone from my family and Praise Cathedral there to give me encouragement, and I would once again look to God. Needless to say I would always find the strength to carry on. Over the course of this battle with cancer I have had three different intense treatments administered to me, and with each one a sense of hope that, "This could be the cure", unfortunately they all seemed to lead to disappointment, and once again the sense of wanting to give up. All that changed on November 19 2009, I finally got the news we all have been hoping and praying for! The cancer had practically all but disappeared with the exception of a few faint spots left in my lungs! This was very welcome news, let me tell you, you see just about 5 months ago I was sitting in the doctors office and was informed I roughly only had a year left to live. My lungs were 75% covered and I had other tumors in my body, and to make matters worse there were no known cures for my cancer. The outlook looked grimm for me, but that really was the least of my concerns. I had a young wife and two young sons that were counting on me to pull through. So once again with the support and encouragement of my family and everyone at Praise Cathedral I pushed forward, looked to God and found the strength and courage to push on. Like I said, "God does amazing things" the outlook now looks great and the cancer is almost gone. My doctors said that all of the cancer could possibly be gone with a few more rounds of treatments, so we all have our fingers crossed and the prayers flowing. I know that God is looking over me and I really feel like I can beat this, this is nothing short of a miracle. I thank everyone that has given me support and encouragement at Praise Cathedral, all of you are truly angels. God is amazing and I thank him everyday.
On FEb. 22,09 I suffered a massive stroke. I was lifeflighted to Pittsburgh for treatment, God has healed my mind and my body.Its been 8mths i return to rehab in jan.I thank god everyday.