I Sincerely Need Your Prayers
PRAISE GOD ANYHOW!
By David J. Stewart | July 2011
James 5:13, “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.” I am compelled to pray continually because I am overwhelmed by bodily affliction. I am enduring. I am afflicted much on a daily basis by my damaged spinal cord in my neck. I have been told that I hide it well, and I try; but only God knows the physical affliction that I suffer day and night.
“Currently there is no proven treatment to prevent or cure neuropathic pain (neuropathy or nerve pain). Instead, the primary goals of treatment are to reduce the pain as much as possible, balance the negative side effects of the treatment, and help patients manage any unresolved pain.”
SOURCE: Treatment Options for Neuropathic Pain
The back of my neck feels like it's ready to explode, like a giant hand is grabbing me by the back of the neck and squeezing as hard as can be. That's what I suffer with continually every day. The chronic tension extends down into my right arm, which feels twice it's size. My condition is worsening.
In severe cases, with chronic neck pain, the sufferer may also experience depression, mood swings (anger and anxiety), irritability, sleep disturbances, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and even drug dependency connected to the incident.
SOURCE: Neck Pain - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments
The neck pain is so bad at times that I have to close my eyes to concentrate when I'm talking to people, and that scares some people. It is lonely suffering in so much pain when so few people truly grasp what I'm dealing with. I feel burning and tingling from my neck down both arms and to a lesser extent, my legs throughout the day. It's mostly my arms affected. But I have stabbing razorblade like pain into my left and right toes throughout the day. Thankfully, it's only intermittent (unlike the constant toothache-like neck pain and tension in my neck).
One of the books that have encouraged me is PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY by Norman Latov, MD, PhD, who shares his own medical afflictions (neuropathy) with others to encourage them. Dr. Latov states..
Functioning day to day is not easy. Living with neuropathy teaches you very quickly that you cannot take anything for granted. Just a few years ago, if someone had told me that walking up a flight of stairs could be agonizing and make me feel like I'd just climbed Mount Everest, I wouldn't have believed them. Let me tell you: I believe them now.
From the outside, you could never know anything is wrong. In fact, someone recently said how lucky I was that no one can tell I have this disease. Actually, it's a double-edge sword. I don't want people to think something is wrong with me. On the other hand, I often feel like I'm suffering in silence because no one understands what I'm living with. I try very hard to hide what I'm going through. ...
When you are diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, you constantly are confronted with what life was like “before” and “after.” “Before” meant living without having to think about every little thing you do. It meant walking down stairs without having your heart skip a beat as you fear you may tumble down instead of walk down. “Before” meant taking a step without having to take a step.
“After” means thinking before doing. When you wake up in the morning, you get out of bed, remembering to be careful not to lose your balance.
SOURCE: PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY: When the Numbness, Weakness, and Pain Won't Stop; by Norman Latov, MD, PhD; pages 103-104; ISBN-13:978-1-932603-59-0
That is exactly what I have been diagnosed with (peripheral neuropathy) and am going through. I have also been diagnosed with stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord pathway and radiculopathy (tingling, burning, weakness, and pain radiating in the arms and legs). I read this passage and wanted to cry because that is exactly how I feel. I feel alone when I'm around people because they don't know the raging storm inside of my body... burning, tingling and pain in my arms and legs, arms that feel twice their normal size, my neck feeling like a bomb ready to blow, and neck pain like a toothache that radiates into my gums and facial area. It's a miserable way to exist. It seems like only a dream when I think back to a time in my life when I was pain free and happy.
The razorblade-like pain extending down into my right arm and right leg is painful at times, but not constant. All of this is a heavy burden to say the least. That's why I don't play my pedal steel guitar anywhere near as much as I'd like to. I love music and it's just not that often that I feel like playing anymore, which is sad for me. I know there are others who have it worse, and that helps me keep from complaining. I am not feeling sorry for myself, I am feeling suffering for myself. There's a big difference. As I type the pain shooting down into my left toe is very bad.
There's not a day since 2004 that I haven't suffered in pain because of the problems in my neck, and the failed 2nd neck surgery in 2010 made me 100% worse. Although I regret getting the 2nd surgery, I'd make the same choice under the same circumstances, i.e., suffering constant chronic pain and neck stiffness. The surgery intensified all of my original health problems, and added a few more. I would advise anyone never to get surgery unless you desperately need it, and I did; but I am worse off because of it. I'm a mess, but am grateful that I can see, hear, and walk.
Some people think it's just as easy as walking into a health clinic and saying, “fix my neck,” but it doesn't work that way. I've met with 7 neurosurgeons since 2004 and four said nothing would help me, and 2 of the other 3 did ACDF surgery. It's not like I can just keep going to neurosurgeons. I wish I knew who to see, where to go, or what to do; but all I can do is choose a surgeon with a good record and at least 15 years of experience and trust the Lord to see me through. That's what I did and it didn't help. The 2nd surgery made me 100% worse. As I mentioned, under the same circumstances I'd get the same 2nd surgery all over again because of the chronic pain, neck stiffness, and problems in my limbs (mostly the right side). The 1st surgery in 2009 did nothing to help me, but it didn't make me worse either, which is why I was so eager to run into the 2nd surgery (with sincere hopes of getting better). I am worse, plain and simple.
It is a heavy burden to endure, please pray for me often.
I have received much advise from people. One says go here. The other says go there. I can only go to so many hospitals and clinics. Unfortunately I can't go to all of them in hopes of finding the right one, because you don't know until after you've had surgery. Even the doctors are divided on everything. Everybody has their favorite place to go. I have been bounced around like a ping pong ball and no one in the health system truly seems to care. It's just another day at work to them. It's been an uphill struggle all the way and I'm worse off now, and suffering more than before. I have had burning in my arms and legs that I didn't have before, and the tingling and puffy feeling (especially in my arms) is 100% worse, and a feeling of weakness all the time. Thankfully, I am fully functional, although limited.
Pastor Lector Roloff used to have a sign on his desk that read... “PRAISE GOD ANYHOW!” So I praise God anyhow as Brother Lester Roloff used to always say. PRAISE GOD ANYHOW!
As I type the aching pain in the bony area of the back of my neck is absolutely horrible. I've taken 80 mg. of Oxycontin and two Percocet 10/325's so far today and I need to take more, unfortunately. I usually take 120 mg. of Oxycontin per day and 3 Percocet 10/325's for break through pain (which I have every day, mostly as the day progresses). The more pain meds you take, the less effective they are; so when I cut back the pain is unbearable. Thus, I am always cycling my pain medications (suffering worse in cycles as well). I stack my meds so they'll help me more when I need them most toward the end of the day. I don't even open the pill bottles anymore, I just pour a pile onto my desk because I take them so much. Pain meds are the only thing that enable me to do anything. I thank God for them.
I've had people sincerely advise me to eat more fruits and vegetables and stop taking the pain medications. They have no idea what they're talking about. Yes, fruits and vegetables are great, but you can't just stop taking pain meds when you're suffering in chronic constant pain. I'd end up in the emergency room. Only God knows the level of pain I feel in my neck. Without the opiate based prescription medications I cannot function at all. I have had many people over the years sincerely tell me about alternative remedies for pain, meditation remedies, or to eat fruits and vegetables, et cetera. They mean well, but NOTHING helps alleviate pain like opiate based medications, from which heroin is derived.
I've taken prescription Ibuprofen, Methadone, Percodan, Percocet, Morphine Sulfate, Dilaudid, Fentanyl Patches, just to name a few drugs; but nothing completely works. I've taken everything from Elavil to Lyrica and they all make me feel like a zombie. Elavil is used as an alternative use for radiating pain, but it made my tongue feel coated to where I couldn't taste food anymore. So I stopped taking them. I know better than most people the dangerous side-effects of drugs from research, but I also know firsthand that when you're severely suffering that you become desperate for any drug that may offer some relief (and that is something that very few people understand). It's easy to criticize when you've never had to suffer.
I've learned firsthand that most drugs are a scam, which don't really work. It's all about money as G. Edward Griffin and others have exposed about the evil and greedy Pharmaceutical industry. Yet, some drugs that have potentially serious side-effects DO greatly help people without noticeably affecting them. 10mg. of Ambien nightly helps me sleep, without which I wake up every hour or so. But I have heard other people say it doesn't help them, and there are risks. But the drug is a blessing for me. The over-the-counter sleep-aids from Wal-Mart were terrible, causing severe dehydration that woke me up every 30-minutes (the exact opposite of what they're supposed to do).
The people who talk about taking back your health have never really lost their health. Sure, you can take back your health if it's just a matter of eating better and dieting; but my spinal cord is damaged and apparently nothing is going to remedy that except the return of Christ or my death (what a glorious day that will be...no main neck pain!). I say this as a Christian who eagerly awaits the end of this temporarily earthly life. We are strangers and pilgrims passing through the Bible says (Hebrews 11:13). I certainly feel like a stranger in this crazy world. I don't want this to be my home. It's been a horrible nightmare and an uphill struggle every step of the way since my neck problems started in 2004. I have suffered indescribably.
The Dilaudid when taken with Percocet and Oxycontin, made my feet swell up so much that I couldn't fit my slippers on anymore. So I stopped taking the Dilaudid in December of 2010. The withdrawal symptoms were absolutely horrible. I took short hot baths every hour to get through it, because my skin was highly sensitive and sore from head to toe. I felt emotionally overwhelmed, like the world was coming to an end. I wanted to die and felt like it was happening. I ate popcorn and munchies to distract my mind, because when you're going through withdrawal symptoms every minute seems like an hour, and every hour an eternity. I walked around as much as I could to take my mind off the withdrawal effects. Kicking Dilaudid in VERY difficult. I had 75% of the 2 dozen listed withdrawal effects at http://www.dilaudid-addiction.com/dilaudid-withdrawals.html.
I learned that Oxycontin and Percocet are similar chemically, using Oxycodone; but Dilaudid is completely different. In fact, all Oxycontin means is OXYCODONE + CONTINUOUS RELEASE. That's where the word came from. It's a time-release of Oxycodone (lasting 6-8 hours); whereas Percocet is fairly immediate (lasting 2 hours at the most) and contains Tylenol (a lethal drug in doses of more than 4,000 mg. a day). I never go over 1,000 mg. a day now, but at one time was taking 8-10 Percocet 10/325's per day for 2-years prior to my 1st surgery in 2009. Blood tests haven't shown any liver damage.
I need your constant prayers. A lot of people don't understand what it's like to suffer in constant pain, and most people simply don't care. The world is a very selfish place, which is why Philippians 2:21 says most people don't care about the THINGS WHICH ARE JESUS CHRIST'S. Prayer is one of those things, and I need your continuous prayers. Just a short mention to God every day. I think that's the only thing that has helped me this far is the prayers of others. That's why the only thing that I have ever asked for during the 9-years of this ministry is other's prayers, and no more. I'll be homeless before I'll receive a penny for serving God. I want everyone to know where my heart is at, i.e., in truly helping others for Christ freely and genuinely.
I tell the Lord continually that even if I don't receive a single reward in Heaven, my reward will be the people who've been helped through my labors. YOU ARE MY REWARD! Just knowing that God is using my humble labors to help you is my greatest desire. One of the greatest compliments I have ever received was from a man who said, “Thank you for allowing God to do all this through you.” Wow, what a humbling statement! I never thought of it that way.
Caring for the things of Christ is directly proportional to caring for others. You can't be right with God and wrong with your neighbor. Philippians 2:5 tells us to Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. What mind is that? We find out in Verses 3-4...
Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
The Bible teaches for us to view other people as being better than ourselves. Even the Lord Jesus thought this way. This is exactly what Philippians 2:5 says is the mind of Christ. Jesus washed His disciple's dirty feet. Jesus was a servant. Jesus taught that the greatest among us is the one who serves the others. Jesus looked upon the needs and concerns of others.
Most people view others as being lower than themselves, which is sinful pride. Only by sinful pride does one gossip, slander, or talk evil about another person (Proverb 13:10, “Only by pride cometh contention...”). Our Lord Jesus Christ esteemed others better than Himself, and looked upon the things of others as a humble servant. What a precious Savior!
There is hatred everywhere we turn these days. People have become so sinfully proud, arrogant, high-minded, selfish, false accusers, greedy, malign, vindictive, insane, unthankful, deceptive, perverted, dirty-minded, phony, self-righteous, corrupt, idolatrous, covetous, boozers, sexually immoral, dishonest, murderous, indifferent, and wicked. Yet Christ knowing this about humanity, willing chose to go to the cross (Hebrews 12:2, “...for the joy that was set before Him...”) to suffer, bleed, and die for our sins (Romans 5:8-9). We are so undeserving of God's love.
The world has gone insane. Wickedness and madness always go hand-in-hand. Only a crazy person would murder their own baby by abortion and see no harm in doing so. These are perilous times as 2nd Timothy 3:1-7 foretold, not seen since the time of Noah (just as Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:37-39). Everyone wants to eat, drink, and be merry; but hardly anyone cares about the things which are Jesus Christ's (Philippians 2:21).
Perhaps the greatest sin of all is indifference (not caring one way or the other, particularly concerning the things which are Christ's). Jesus said that the generation who perished in the flood, “KNEW NOT UNTIL THE FLOOD CAME, AND TOOK THEM ALL AWAY... so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:39). The greatest sin of the people who went to Hell in Noah's time was not caring about anything except eating, drinking, having sex, and making merriment while life was good. Nearly every place one goes these days in America, there are garbage pails and dumpsters filled with beer cans, beer cans, and more beer cans. Americans are beer drinking buffoons!
I will continue my ministry by God's grace as long as I am able. Hate-speech laws are right around the corner.
Internet Censorship Storm is Coming
Internet 2 will eliminate many webpages and websites from the search engines. Already, many of my webpages are being censored on the internet in search engines because they are politically incorrect and offensive. Type in “America is evil” in Google or StartPage and my article has been censored. It doesn't even show up and that's the exact title of the webpage. Here's the actual article. Most Americans don't consider legalized abortion, pornography, and same-sex marriage as evil. Most Americans couldn't care less about the 1,455,590 innocent Iraqis who've been falsely accused of having WMD's, murdered, and then had their oil stolen. Well I care, and it is evil what America has done to them. Our nation has MUCH blood on its hands!!! I love my country and am patriotic; but that doesn't mean that we can kill, falsely accuse, and steal in the name of God and freedom. Who's kidding who?
All I've ever asked from anyone is for their prayers, and that is all I'll ever ask. My reward is in Heaven (Matthew 6:20). 1st Peter 1:7 says that the TRIAL OF OUR FAITH is worth MUCH MORE (not just more, but MUCH MORE) than gold. Gold sells for well over $1,000 an ounce. God says that all of our trials, tribulations, and turmoil in life are worth more than gold. 1st Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” As much as I have a hard time suffering, this Scripture comforts me. I don't care about gold, but I certainly don't want to suffer either. Albeit, God says that my suffering and pain is far more valuable than gold.
This truth is one of the DEEP THINGS OF GOD that 1st Corinthians 2:10 speaks of, which are taught to us by the Spirit of God abiding within every believer (Romans 8:9). The heathen world cannot even begin to comprehend how one's problems, sufferings, and miseries could be of more value than gold and wealth. God says that all of our burdens are much more valuable than anything gold can buy. Why you ask? We find the answer in 2nd Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God has never had a child too weak to be made use of, but He has had many too strong to be used for the cause of Christ. God is using my suffering to help others, for my ministry was born and continues out of immense pain, suffering and infirmities.
Until a person is afflicted with endless pain, they naturally can't relate to such 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.
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 that 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. Only the Lord knows the depth of suffering that I've endured. Job didn't have it so bad. I have a Savior in Heaven and that is my hope. Jesus is precious!
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 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!