Friday, February 2, 2024

By God's Grace, I Am Doing The Best That I Can

I am trying to do my best, God knows my heart. A woman on Facebook, one of my former "friends" got mad at me this week and not only unfriended me, she has blocked me out entirely. She is an older woman from the Philippines. She told me a couple years ago that she is a female preacher. Oh boy!

She once scolded me for admitting in a post that I missed church because I felt horrible in neck pain, with burning nerves, so I turned away from the church a block away and drove back home. I unfriended her for condemning me, because I don't need that kind of criticism. I'm hurting enough already.

So she sent me another friend request and I gladly accepted her back. I always accept people back, because I am a forgiving person, just as God has forgiven me for Christ's sake (Ephesians 4:31-32). Anyway, she wanted to chat with me the other night. The Philippines are 12 hours ahead of Pensacola. So when I am online looking for her at 8 pm my time in Florida, it is 10 am by her. But each night she would come online at 11 pm my time, which is 1 pm her time the next day. I told her that I need to go to sleep.

She got angry because I didn't prioritize HER, as if the world centers around HER. So now she has blocked me out, so I cannot even apologize or try to work out the time differences so we can chat. Moreover, I do not like chatting. I just don't. I suffer in horrible burning nerves, constant horrible neck pain, radiating pain down both arm and legs (80% my right side), and the drug side-effects do affect me.

At present I am taking 7 different prescription drugs. For my pain I am taking OxyContin, Percocet and Gabapentin. For my diabetes I am taking Mounjaro and Metformin. For my high cholesterol I am taking Icosapent Ethyl. For high triglycerides (mine were 2,064) I am taking Atorvastatin. And to sleep at night I take over the counter Benadryl. Thankfully, the drugs have been helping me.

At my last doctor's appointment in late December 2023, my triglycerides were down to 242 from 2,062 in June 2023. My bad cholesterol went from 377 to 120 mg/dl. My A1c went from 10.7 down to 7.6. My weight went from 202 in September down to 190.8 in December. I weighed this morning at 178.8 pounds.

So far so good. My diabetes should all be gone in late March at my next doctor's appointment. The more weight I lose, the lower my A1C goes. The challenge will be to maintain a proper weight after I stop taking the Mounjaro which is easier said than done (at least it always has been for me). I'm taking 7.5 mg of Mounjaro, which is a weekly injection. I really like the drug. The same exact drug is marketed for weight loss under the brand name ZepBound.

And may I say, please don't write to me with a bunch of suggested alternative remedies. I am so sick and tired of well-meaning people scolding me for taking prescription drugs, while the things they suggest are useless at best. It seems that everybody and their dog has some magic cure that I need to try (e.g., cannabis oil, rubbing ginger on my neck, consuming collagen powder, wearing a magnet around my neck, fasting, avoiding red meat, acupuncture, all types of spices and natural supplements, being filled with the Holy Spirit, et cetera). It never ends. So please, enough!

I've said all that to say this. I simply cannot always keep up with everything that I wish I could do, or even what I am supposed to do. I started to paint my garage last year. It's still not done. I might feel like finishing it this year, or Being in chronic pain all the time stifles one's ambition to do anything, or go anywhere. I have to make myself go to church. And then people get offended if I walk by and don't greet them. My mind is just not there sometimes.

Kindly said, the Filipina woman who unfriended and blocked me out on Facebook, woefully lacks understanding. I have learned the hard way that I can tell someone a hundred times how my pain adversely affects me, but my words fall on empty ears 99% of the time, because they cannot even begin to understand what I am suffering through. Humans by nature are selfish, so we always think everything is about us, but it's really not about us. She likely thinks I just didn't want to chat with her, but that is not the case at all. I am just hurting in physical pain, burning nerves, tension in my neck, and taking a bunch of medications. I am doing fine in the Lord, I'm just always a bit tired and need to take it easy.

Like I said, when I looked for her to chat at 8 pm, she wasn't there. But she wants to chat with me at 11 pm at night, when I usually go to sleep between 9 pm and 11 pm. I had just checked in at Facebook to see what was going on, but she wanted to chat. I didn't feel like staying up until after midnight, so I kindly told her that I needed to go to sleep. Now she's angry at me and hates my guts. Women! I'm being a bit facetious. I am praying for her. I will gladly accept her friend request if she sends me another one, but if not, that is fine with me too.

I am only writing this post for the rest of you, my remaining social media friends. I am bodily hurting all the time, so please don't be offended if I don't reply to your message, or I don't feel like chatting, because I just don't. I always respond to emails, usually the same day, but please be patient if I don't. By God's grace I have kept up with everything fairly well, but lately I just don't feel like doing anything.

I only go to church every other week, with exceptions, because it is torture for me to sit through a church service while in pain. All week I have felt sharp razorblade pain shooting down my right leg, and into my right arm. The radiating pain as I type is terrible in my right leg. It all comes from my neck injury and damaged spinal cord from getting rear-ended by a church bus in 1992, and then I had a long fall at work in 2005. It's called radicular pain.

Thankfully to God, I feel good overall from losing a lot of weight, but the neck related pain is the same. I got my weight down to 146.0 pounds in 2017. My neck pain was the same. My nerves feel like they are burning throughout my entire upper body. Sometimes it's not so bad, but at other times it feels overwhelming.

Since 2004, I've met with 8 neurosurgeons, an orthosurgeon, a neurologist and multiple doctors. There's nothing more anyone can do, except Jesus (Philippians 3:21). I was desperate to get medical relief for the first 7 years, but then after my second failed neck surgery, and being told by doctors to leave well enough alone lest I end up worse off, I had to accept the sad fact in 2011 that I have a permanent injury. And it's not like I can just request more surgery. The insurance company won't pay for anything unless a licensed surgeon deems it medically necessary. I've already had two major neck surgeries.

I contacted the Laser Spine Institute of Florida on my own in 2011, and mailed them my MRI's. Because their laparoscopic techniques are not approved by the medical industry, the insurance won't pay for it. They quoted me $19,000 for the surgical room, and another $6,000 for the surgery. And there's no guarantee that their minimally invasive neck surgery procedure will help me (plus there are significant risks involved if things go wrong).

I am explaining all this for the rest of you, just in case anybody else wants to freak out in anger and unfriend me (I originally wrote this for Facebook), because I don't feel like chatting, meeting with you in public, or I fail to reply to a message that I sincerely missed. I am a scatter brain sometimes! So please pardon me if I seem less than friendly at times. I assure you that it is only because I am suffering in horrible agonizing neck pain and bodily discomfort.

And as you can imagine, I do get depressed often from it all. Not having a wife is both a blessing and a curse, depending on how I choose to look at it. Every normal man wants a woman! I sure do. My former wife cruelly abandoned and divorced me in 2006. I would like to get remarried, but I cannot handle fighting and the trauma and drama that some marriages have (some more than others). By God's grace, I live a quiet and peaceful life, just the way I need it to be. I pray for God's will to be done. I try to maintain the proper heart's attitude of Job, who exclaimed in 𝗝𝗼𝗯 𝟭𝟯:𝟭𝟱, "𝗧𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗹𝗮𝘆 𝗺𝗲, 𝘆𝗲𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗜 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗵𝗶𝗺: 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗜 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗵𝗶𝗺."

It Is My Privilege To Labor For Jesus Christ

My life doesn't center around Facebook. I have 8 ministry websites and 8 blogs. Last week I received a DMCA complaint from the bookstore at Bible Baptist Church in Pensacola, where Dr. Peter S. Ruckman (1921-2016) was their longtime pastor. The bookstore was upset that I am freely giving away Dr. Ruckman's books online, so I had to remove all of them. It is sad how greedy professed Christians have become. The Lord sees all the work behind the scenes that I need to do each day to maintain my website ministry. As the internet technology changes, so do the requirements for my webpages. At the time I began my ministry in 2022, hardly anyone was using mobile devices, but today about 60% of my web visitors are using mobile devices. I have over 13,000 web pages on my 8 websites, which all need to be updated with code to make them Mobile Friendly (i.e., able to be read nicely on mobile gadgets). 

For example: Here is a webpage that I haven't updated yet.

And here is one that I have.

You can see the drastic difference, if you are using a mobile device like a mobile phone or i-pad. 
So far I have completed about 2,000 webpages. I have much work still to do! Praise God anyhow! God knows that I usually work over 60 hours every week on my website ministry, and have done so for as long as I can remember. There are countless weeks where I've worked much more. On countless occasions over the past 22 years, I got so caught up in my ministry work that I worked straight through the night, working 37 hours straight. I am not boasting, I give God alone ALL the praise and credit, for without Jesus (who is the Vine) we can do nothing (John 15:5). 𝗣𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝟮:𝟭𝟯, "𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗚𝗼𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗲𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗼 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲."

I consider my longtime web visitors part of my family. Many people have come and gone over the past 22 years, since the Lord put the desire into my heart to start a website ministry. I've been threatened with lawsuits umpteen times, vehemently hated, had umpteen DMCA complaints filed against me, maliciously slandered with lies, had large portions of my website deleted on the server without knowing who did it (my 911 Folder kept getting deleted in the years after 911, but Netfirms web hosting denied any involvement), I've had my entire website terminated and had to go find a different webhosting company (it took me 130 hours just to reupload my Jesus-is-Savior website), I've had rogue malicious Denial Of Service Attacks from China against my website (which caused KnownHost to shutdown my website for a time), I've received thousands of hateful emails, et cetera. I've been through a lot of battles over the years. By God's grace, I've invested over $15,000 into my ministry and over 50,000 hours of time. At present I am paying a little over $1,000 per year for my websites. I pay KnownHost $980 a year for VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting. I get four processors, which ensures fast webpage load times for my web visitors. I get 150 GB of server space to use. I'm using most of it.

In the old days before 2013, when I only had Shared Web Hosting, there were constant website outages. Pictures weren't loading. Things were horrible. But instead of sharing a server computer with thousands of others users, now I pay for my own private server computer, which guarantees me the resources that my web visitors need. I do this for Jesus Christ my Savior and God, because I love Him dearly for giving His life for me on the cross (Romans 5:6-9).

The Day I Almost Died

Anyway, I sincerely thank God for giving me the opportunity to live long enough to have an international ministry, to reach others for Christ. In the late 1990's I almost died, when I car fell on top of me while working under it. I couldn't breathe, but had enough room to scream for help. In another 60 seconds I would have blacked out and died. Thanks be to God, there was a black man walking down the street who heard my cries. There was no one else around.

I sometimes cringe when I stop to think that if he had been a racist man, he could have left my white butt under that car to die, and walked away laughing (there are horrible people like that in the world). I love that black man, but don't even know his name. He didn't even know how to jack up the car, so with gasps of air I told him what to do. When the weight of that Ford Toranado front wheel drive car lifted off of me, I had a second lease on life. I had been replacing a defective starter. I used jack stands, but foolishly didn't set the car's weight down upon the stands. So when my creeper snagged on a pebble, and I pulled on the car to overcome to pebble, I actually toppled the car and the jack stands, and the weight of the car came down on top of me.

I went to the hospital for x-rays. Thankfully nothing was broken, but the next day my entire upper body was black, blue and yellow. I had almost died, crushed by a heavy car. I couldn't even life myself up to get out of bed. The pain was so bad that it brought tears to my eyes. I had to roll onto my side, and then try to sit upright. I really should have died that day, as have thousands of men while working under cars, but it wasn't my time to die yet. I believe God had a hand in that, but I don't know. I am careful not to make assumptions. Ecclesiastes 9:11 does teach that Time and Chance happens to all. Regardless, I thank God for allowing me to live, if nothing else so I could start my website ministry since 2002.

I pray for that man from time to time, wondering if I will see him in Heaven. If I do, anything I own is his. He can have whatever his heart desires of my rewards in Heaven. By God's grace I will turn 57 years old on March 5, 2024. I cannot believe how quickly the years have passed since I was a kid in the 1970's. By the way, I still love the old arcade games that I grew up with: Play Classic SPACE INVADERS | GALAGA | DONKEY KONG | PACMAN | ASTEROIDS | CENTIPEDE. If you're my age or older, then you likely remember this commercial on television back then: Good stuff Maynard!

I don't know how much time I have remaining on earth. I admit that I am not happy in my life. I can't find a wife (but I have tried). I can't afford to live on the island of Oahu in Hawaii (I love playing the Hawaiian steel guitar there). I'd gladly settle for a home near the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, but I cannot afford that either. Pensacola is okay, not much to see or do, but the cost of living is cheaper than the national average. Home is where I hang my hat. God is always very good, and I know in the future that He will give me the desires of my heart (Romans 8:32).

God Knows I Just Want To Help People For Christ

Having admitted that I am not happy, I do have peace like a river flowing in my soul. I 100% know that I am saved—that my name is written in Heaven in the precious Lamb's Book of Life (Luke 10:20). I have food on my table, shoes on my feet, a roof up above me, and a good place to sleep. I live in a semi-free country in the United States. I can't get the pain medication dosage that I need, because doctors are afraid of the government stripping away their license. That is not freedom! Google has censored 95% of my web traffic. That is not freedom! I have four adult children from the Lord, and I can still bathe myself and go for a walk or drive if I desire. Many people are crippled in a wheelchair, or stuck in a hospital bed. So I count my blessings from God. We just don't know what a day may bring forth (Proverbs 27:1).

Thank you for reading my blog. God knows my heart that I just want to be a blessing for Jesus Christ to others. I am not an eloquent writer. I make lots of typos (sorry about that). I don't claim to be a good Christian, but God knows that I am 100% sincere and I do care. I care about right doctrine. I care about the accuracy of the Gospel (sadly most pastors don't). I care about the purity of God's inspired Word (which is the King James Bible). I care about people, especially hurting people. I am a hurting person myself (both physically and emotionally), so I can understand what hurting people feel and are coping with. God uses hurting people to help hurting people.

Tragically, you won't get any help at cults like Pensacola Christian College, they will cold-heartedly throw you under the bus and leave you for dead, like they did to me in 2021 and 2022, and still today. Also, Bob Jones University doesn't care about individual people. The cult system always comes first in these pseudo-fundamentalist institutions, but individual people don't matter. I speak that to their utter shame and wickedness! God's judgment is upon these ungodly predatory religious organizations which parasite off of churches and naïve parents.

I know that a write a lot about the false repentance issue, and the plethora of corrupt Bibles in Bible colleges and churches today, but it is necessary to warn everyone. Sadly, 98% of preachers don't care about anything except making a living (i.e., money). I have never taken a single penny for serving God, and I never plan to. I woke up at about 4 am and couldn't fall back to sleep. So I watched a 3:40 hour historical documentary called: 'The Revolutionary.' George Washington lost his last living child (his adult son) in the war. His parents had kept him home to protect him, but he wanted to help the cause, like his father. So his parents relented to let him join the fight and it cost him his life. So sad.

George Washington went partially blind during his service to his country and couldn't read anymore without glasses. He was away from his wife for several years during the war effort. George Washington paid a steep price for his noble labors to form a new country, freed from the tyranny of England. When the war was over, most men in his shoes would have wanted to lead the new empire; but not George, he just wanted to go back home to be with his wife and live a quiet life in Virginia. George and his wife attended various churches of different denominations once a month (I go twice a month usually). And George never accepted a single penny for all his labors and service to his country. We need a lot more men of integrity like that in the world today!

I guarantee you that 99% of preachers and pastors would quit overnight if they stopped getting paid. But I didn't start my website ministry to make money, so I have no reason to quit! I do what I do out of an excellent spirit like Daniel had (Daniel 6:3). I don't want anybody's money, but thank you anyhow. My rewards are laid up in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and thieves cannot break through and steal (Matthew 6:19-20). I've been robbed three times over the past year. It has cost me $600.

I consider myself fortunate, thieves stole my neighbour's $7,500 Ditch-witch (equipment used to install underground fiber optics cable). I really hate thieves, stealing that for which they did not labor to earn, shedding other men's blood. When you steal another man's labors, you are taking away his time which he spent to earn those things, and in a very real sense you are taking away his life and shedding his innocent blood. Most thieves feel entitled to steal from those who are financially better off than they are, which is how wicked sinners think. But a righteous man thinks quite different, as we read in Psalms 37:21, “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

Thank you for reading and God bless.

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