Thank You To All My Web Visitors
By David J. Stewart | March 2013
I've been in much pain lately and am hurting right now as I type. I haven't been talking about my health afflictions as much, because there's nothing new to share and I don't want to sound like I'm whining or complaining, because I'm not. Yet, it's only proper that I share my afflictions with others; first, so others can pray for me (thank you); and second, to let those friends who have been praying for me know how I am doing. When I look back over the years, I wonder how I ever made it this far, and I give all credit to God's wondrous grace, provision and incredible love. I know that someone, somewhere, at all times is praying for me and this ministry of love. With the Lord's help I plan to keep hanging in there, one day at a time. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
I thank God for the functionality of my body, despite the constant discomfort and pain. I am blessed compared to many people who are paralyzed (no doubt, many of them would say they are blessed as compared to others who are paralyzed and blind, et cetera). We all take our blessings for granted until we lose them. That's human nature. I know what I have now and thank God for every day, every bit of health, and mostly for the TRUTHS of God's Word. Genesis 32:10, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.” God is a good God. Praise the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
I have physical burning throughout my body, mostly in my arms and hands, and in my legs. I feel pain all over my body, both sharp pain radiating into my arms, fingers and legs, and also a constant toothache-like pain radiating from my neck into my facial area and down my shoulders, arms and legs. It feels like a sewing needed is stuck through the back of my neck. This is in addition to the toothache-like pain where the bone is at in my neck. My hands feel like I'm wearing gloves all the time. My fingers hurt like I have arthritis, but the pain is coming from my neck and I can feel it running through my arms. My neck feels extremely tight, even when in a resting position. Turning my head either way feels VERY tight. An EMG test revealed that the tension is not from my muscles; but rather, is caused by a spinal cord problem in my neck.
Since my 2nd surgery made me worse, I have been advised by three separate doctors to stop while I'm ahead before I end up paralyzed. The chronic toothache-like neck pain never stops. The 120 mg of Oxycontin daily is a blessing (and 20 mg of Oxycodone for breakthrough pain), and it's the only thing that gives me some type of life. I sent my MRI's to the Laser Spine Institute (LSI) and they identified four separate problems and want $22,000 for each surgery (four surgeries and they aren't even sure what's causing my pain, if any of the problems, it could just be cervical osteoarthritis). I've already had two neck surgeries and now I am being told that there are four more problems/surgeries. My insurance company won't pay for LSI. I researched the LSI and they tell patients to go to a local emergency room if they have problems after a surgery. So I'm leery of the LSI.
You can't just demand surgery, you have to be a candidate and have a neurosurgeon who thinks you need surgery. I trusted two surgeons who thought they knew what was wrong with my neck and they both failed. There's nothing more I can do and I haven't been able to find anyone else who can. The risks of further surgery are tremendous. I do have much to lose, that is, my functionality. I prayed and prayed, and asked the church to pray for me, but it was not God's will for me to recover from my neck pain and now I am worse with peripheral neuropathy also. I thank and trust my Lord, for He knows what is best and controls my life. God is good.
All drugs have side-effects and risks, which I don't like; but I could not function because of the severe pain in my neck if it weren't for the Oxycontin. I would take more if I could, but my body won't let me due to dehydration. I have to drink nearly a gallon of water each day. What medication I'm taking now is my limit. Honestly, I've read about people who suffer in pain turning to the streets for opiate drugs because of the insane shortage in many areas, like Florida. If you've never been in unbearable, chronic, constant, debilitating, pain, then you cannot possibly understand what it's like. Pain has robbed me of my life, causing untold grief and indescribable suffering.
I take 100 mg of Lyrica a day. I tried taking the recommended 300 mg daily, but it caused severe arthritis-like pain in my fingers. The Lyrica does help alleviate the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (nerved tingling, pain, burning and a puffy sensation). I always feel these symptoms, but in varying degrees. I have gotten used to my arms feeling doubled in size, but was panicky for the first several months after my failed 2nd neck surgery. I was depressed very much realizing that I would have to live like this for the rest of my life, but I became used to it over time, accepting the inevitable (DON'T RUN - a life-changing printed sermon by Pastor Jack Hyles - Here's the MP3). I had gone for surgery in hopes of getting rid of the constant, debilitating, chronic neck pain; but the surgeries made me worse, so I now have the pain and peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage). I have been deeply hurt and maliciously treated by many people along the way, but God's Spirit, truth and love have always been greater, helping me to stay on top spiritually.
I encourage every believer to pray for God to continue working in a mighty way, to fight off the enemy and to give us an open door to preach the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Colossians 4:3, “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.” The Apostle Paul asked for the prayers of the saints, that a “DOOR OF UTTERANCE” would be opened unto him to preach the gospel (called “the mystery”) of Jesus Christ.
When we pray, God gets all the glory. But when we do things in our own human effort, then man gets the praise and glory. That's why the entire Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) industry is of the Devil, because the performers receive all the praise on stage and off. CCM is a form of idolatry! CCM singers receive all the glamour, glory and praise, not the holy God of the Bible. The music takes the listener on an emotional ride, a euphoric high, but doesn't bring them any closer to knowing God. Americans place themselves ABOVE God by choosing what is right instead of obeying God's Word in the Bible. Only God has the right to say what is good and what is evil.
I love everyone, friend and foe alike in the Lord. The Most Common Method Of Injustice (chapter 15 from JUSTICE by Pastor Jack Hyles). I am particularly grateful with all my heart for those friends of this ministry who pray for me and this work regularly. YOU are the backbone of this needful internet ministry. I pray continually for God to continue blessing this labor of love in the Lord. God resisteth the proud (James 4:6-8). ONLY God can change lives and save a person's soul from Hell. Psalms 127:1, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
I apologize to all my web visitors who have tried to contact me, but couldn't. As a policy I don't respond to contacts, because I can barely keep up with my recent section, let alone everything else. That's why I turned off my e-mails. I just couldn't keep up. It's a full-time ministry all by itself. My health afflictions overwhelm me often. I fight depression due to my pain and suffering. God's promises are my strength. It's not a sin to become depressed, but it is a sin to stay that way. God's grace is sufficient to help us through every burden, loss and hardship.
Physical suffering is a heavy burden that has ruined my life, but it is the cards I have been dealt in life. In view of my ability to still function bodily, my ministry, my music, and the ability to live life as a free man in history (so far), I am so grateful to God. My goal is to make everyday count, although there are plenty of days that I just can't get anything done because my pain and peripheral neuropathy are so bad. There are occasions when I feel better, but those days are infrequent. Most people don't understand what it's like to feel constant pain, burning, puffy arms, tingling and neck stiffness. If they can't see it, just like the existence of God, they don't grasp it. I ask for your continued prayers to keep going. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Biblical Prayer is Asking and Trusting that the Lord Knows Best
I've always heard that prayer is asking, and certainly this is true. I am amazed by Jesus' words in Matthew 6:7-8, where He tells us not to pray very long, because God is already a step ahead of us and KNOWS what our needs are. So in reality, God already knows that we need Him, but God wants us to know that we need Him, which is evidenced by prayer. Failing to pray and read the Bible is sinful pride. If we fail to pray, we are telling God that we can go it alone and don't need Him. Oh! How we all need God. We all need the truths of the Bible to guide us through life. Psalms 119:105 calls God's Word a Lamp unto our feet. In this dark and uncertain world of fear, hate and cruelty, only the Bible can brighten our way with the eternal truths and promises of God's Word.
The Lord resists the proud according to James 4:6. Prayer is an act of humility, which can only come from a humble heart if it is a genuine prayer. God just wants us to fellowship with Him, to stay humble and know where our blessings all come from. Yet, God is kind to the unthankful and to the evil (Luke 6:35). All of our life is already laid out by God as His children. The Lord knows the future, even though we don't. I love the Bible because it tells us that God ultimately wins the battle between good and evil in the universe. All humanity will be judged, required to give account to God for every work, whether it be good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14). This includes every word that comes out of our mouth (Matthew 12:26). So when people hurt you with their words, rest assure that God will hold that person (or you) accountable for those words. The God who spoke quadrillions of known stars and billions of known galaxies into existence, can judge every human being all at one instant.
In fact, if you understand that God lives in eternity and not time, all men have already been judged. It's just a matter of us finding out what's going to happen. We live in time, but not God. I know that's a deep truth to grasp. God can travel through time, but men cannot. God existed before there was time. God created time. Time will end in Revelation 10:6. Time is man's gift from God, an entrustment. Any businessman will tell you that time is money, and that is true, but moreover time is life. When a child is aborted, that human life has been terminated and robbed of his or her time (life). So in the sense of life, time is the most valuable resource that we have to offer God. A person who tithes 10% of a 40-hour work week hasn't even given God a whopping 2 1/2 percent of their time (life). There's 168 hours in a week (4 divided by 168 equals 2.38%). The greatest thing that we can give God is our TIME in prayer, searching the Scriptures, fasting and preaching the gospel.
Since God has already given to us everything that we need to live each day, we do not need to pray for those things; yet we should thank God and continue to pray for our daily bread to show humility toward God. God wants us to show gratitude and humility, so His grace can help us in our life. God never does it all for us. The Lord usually meets us half-way, that is, we work hard and do all we can, and then God will work behind the scenes in ways that only God can. I love God's thoughts and ways (which Isaiah 55:8-9 says is much higher above our ways and our thoughts!!! Do you trust upon the Lord? I do, with all my heart and mind!
I wrote this little piece on prayer to teach you that God will often seem to ignore you when you pray. He's NOT ignoring you I assure you. He is molding you, testing you, working in ways that we simply don't understand, which is His style. Trust God. Our part is only to pray, God does the rest. If God doesn't seem to answer, then at least I know that I did my part and asked. God answers prayer my friend, one way or another, prayer works! I've learned that God works in ways that can only be seen in decades. Most people pray and judge God after a few days or weeks of waiting to see results. The problem is man's misperception of time, not God's unwillingness to answer our prayers. Believe me, God hears and answers our prayers; but the Lord Who spoke the universe into existence knows how to answer our prayers in an unseen manner according to His sovereign will. This truth is plainly witnessed in the lives of Joseph, Esther, Daniel and many other saints of God.
Prayer works, one way or another, prayer works! Get that in your mind! I pray and then forget about it, moving on to the next burden and prayer. If time passes and God still hasn't answered, then pray again, make your appeal to God. Literally, present your case and explain to God WHY you believe He should answer your prayer. Is it something selfish that you prayed, like for a nice expensive car? If you need a car God will get you one if you pray and trust Him to do so, but it may be a 20-year-old rusty car to get you from point A to point B. God is not interested in your desire to keep up with the latest models, trends and fads.
Since we live in a very materialistic society, I can understand why most people don't receive answers to prayer. God is NOT a gumball machine, nor is He an Aladdin's Lamp to rub to grant 3 wishes. God is our Creator and our Savior, and He wants to be our Friend if we'll let Him. James 4:4 teaches that being a friend of the world makes a man God's enemy. Most people think of God as their friend, but God's wrath abides upon them if they are assisting the world in their sins (John 3:36; Psalms 7:11). No beer-truck driver is God's friend. You may think you are, but you're wrong. No lesbian in a same-sex marriage is God's friend. The wicked world wants to convince themselves that God is still pleased with them, in spite of their unrepentant wickedness; but the holy Bible condemns them as evildoers headed for Hell. I am not trying to be unkind, I am speaking THE TRUTH! God hates sin and evil. Homosexuality is evil, perverted and is commonly associated with all manner of sins.
The evil influence of SIN CITY Las Vegas has been expanding nationwide for decades and America is now becoming SIN NATION. Things can only get worse. Every now moral low sets the precedence for another new moral low. Hollywood is continually pushing the line. I watched a HISTORY CHANNEL documentary about, Las Vegas: The Underground City. I thought it was very interesting and more than mere coincidence that Israeli intelligence meets with Las Vegas' top security administrators once a month. Las Vegas is largely Mormon owned. Many Mormons are hired and work at all the gambling casinos and hotels in Vegas. What a hellhole of occultism, adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, prostitution, the gambling racket and every sin imaginable. And go figure... Mormons, Freemasons and Israeli security intelligence are all involved with running SIN CITY!!! Truth is indeed stranger than fiction!
I believe oftentimes that many of our prayers don't seem answered because God works in a way that we don't recognize, behind then scenes. Most believers today have a shameful drive-by-praying type of prayer life. That is, like a drive-by-shooting, many backslidden or immature believers only pray on-the-go, giving God chump-change and leftovers from their schedule. Most people prayer as an afterthought, or a reminder, or a brief moment. I believe that God honors all prayers, even when we don't give God any quality time for prayer. I am convinced that God rejoices just to know that one is His child and their faith is in Jesus Christ His Son. 2nd Thessalonians 5:17 tells each believer to pray without ceasing, all the time, which means everywhere we go and in all that we do.
I believe that God is flexible and honors the different personalities that humans have. Some people pray three times a day, like Daniel. Others pray a little here and a little there. I think the important thing is our heart's spiritual condition and our approach to the throne of grace. If a person thinks that they will be heard for their much speaking, Jesus said in Matthew 6:7-8 that God won't answer. Hebrews 4:15-16 teaches that it is Christ's blood sacrifice, with Jesus as our High Priest, that gives every believer the right to approach God's throne of grace. This is why we are told to pray IN JESUS' NAME, because He is our heavenly High Priest.
The lesson that Jesus taught in the parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8 clearly reveals that God intended for prayer to be more than just asking; but rather, continued asking, persistent prayer. Most people don't pray at all, because they are unsaved. Some do pray, but they pray foolishly to statues or a false god. Only a born-again Christian has a right to ask God for anything. But when we do ask, we ought to trust God's wisdom and power to answer in His own way, and in His own time. Trust is an important element in one's prayer life.
Prayer is simple asking God for something. Prayer is our only divine weapon that transcends (goes beyond) the physical world. Literally, every believer has the supernatural power of God available through prayer. The question is whether or not God wants to answer our prayers. I have learned that God's normal way of answering prayer is NOT to answer prayer upfront, nor in visible manners. The parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8 evidences that God is pleased by our faith. Faith can only be tested when God seems to not answer our prayers. Every honest Christian knows the frustration of praying regularly and no answer seems to be in sight. This is Biblical. The unjust judge didn't avenge the widow because He simply didn't care. But God doesn't answer, so He can test us, to see if we have enough faith to continue asking or if we'll faint (quit). A faith must be tested!
Once God gets to know us better, and we get to know Him better, than we become friends with the God of the Universe. Jesus said we are His friends if we do as He has commanded (John 15:14). Most believers fail to realize that God already had their life laid out and planned before they were even conceived in their mother's womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Jesus said in Matthew 6:7-8 not to pray long prayers like THE HEATHEN do, who errantly THINK they'll be heard for their MUCH SPEAKING. The basis upon which our prayers are answered is the merciful grace of God in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 4:15-16). It's the precious blood that Jesus shed that is the basis of every believer's salvation (1st Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 1:5). Christ's sacrifice is the sole basis for having our prayers answers. So don't ever make the grave mistake of thinking that anyone deserves anything from God, because we don't. We all deserve eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire, because of our sins. God the Father KNOWS all about our situation, our life and what things we need before we even ask or think. God's got us covered.
Our nation's churches are in dire straights and shambles because we do NOT humble ourselves in prayer as 2nd Chronicles 7:13-15 teaches. Prayer is synonymous with faith, love, gratitude, humility and a caring heart. I pray for God's Spirit to work in the hearts of ALL my web visitors; yet I realize that only 1-out-of-100 may listen. Jesus left the 99 sheep who were safe in the fold.
Coping with Peripheral Neuropathy and Neck Pain-Tension
Job 16:1, “Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.”
Until a person is afflicted with endless pain, they naturally can't relate to suffering and can't possibly understand. They just can't. I know what's it's like to be outside on a beautiful day with the sun shining, and everybody is enjoying life and having a good time; but physical suffering within my body is afflicting me and it overshadows me.
Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” That is why this website is here, i.e., because God has done a work in my heart to will and to do of His good pleasure. Amen and amen!
I suffer every day of my life, trusting God to see me through to another day. Unfortunately I just can't handle e-mails anymore, and I apologize to those who want to communicate with me. We'll have plenty of time up in Heaven, and I believe the time will be very soon. God's grace is the only answer (Hebrews 4:15-16).
I have endured the Devil afflicting me ever since my ministry began to grow in 2004. I started the work in 2002. Only the Lord knows the depth of suffering that I've endured. Job didn't have it so bad. The book of Job reads like a biography of my life. Job 16:20-21, “My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God. O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!” Job 19:19, “All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.” I have a faithful Savior in Heaven and that is my hope. Jesus is precious!
I ask for your earnest prayers for this ministry and me daily. This ministry is much bigger than me, it's about the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE (John 14:6)! HEAR YE HIM!
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
I love you all in the Lord, whoever you may be!
Tomorrow's Guarantee of God's Provision
1st Thessalonians 5:25, “Brethren, pray for us.”
Ye Must Be Born Again!
You Need HIS Righteousness!