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Healing train is picking up steam

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God bless you.
Early Sunday morning, I called my baby sister in Grand Rapids, Mich., Veruynca Williams, to get additional information about our departed oldest sibling, Mrs. Maude Lee Burrell, who lost her battle with end-stage congestive heart failure in 2001.
I got more than the information I sought. I got fervent supplication as she led me in a prayer so powerful that I wouldn't be surprised if it shook both the ceiling of hell and the basement of heaven. It certainly filled my soul with joy and boosted my faith to continue my successful healing from brain cancer, end-staged congestive heart failure and prostate cancer.
Roughly four months before Maude Lee died, I had undergone a triple-bypass at the University of Chicago Hospital to address a 50 percent blockage of my main left artery. I did that to hopefully position me to avoid the end-stage congestive heart failure that, with the aid of an infection, finally killed Maude Lee three months after she had spent six futile months at the Cleveland Clinic trying to qualify for a heart transplant.
Maude Lee was 65 when she died three months before her 66th birthday. I will be 65 in August. By the healing grace of God and with my faith, common sense and the help of competent doctors, I plan to fare better. I am a healing in progress not just for my personal benefit, but for the benefit of my family members and others who may need to be encouraged and enlightened in their battles against life-threatening health issues. People like you prayer partners are helping me achieve that.
I am happy to report that I continue to feel stronger, continue to respond exceptionally well to medication and this blessing is inspiring more and more people to prayerfully join me on this healing train.
On Wednesday, I power-walked three miles non-stop in 63 minutes on my treadmill and weighed 230 afterward. That's a magnum improvement since eight months ago, my weight had shamefully reached 253 pounds, and two months ago, I could not take 10 steps, wash my face, shower or eat a meal without stopping every 30 seconds to catch my breath.
Last week, I also covered a Rush arena football game, my first assignment in more than two months. This week, I plan to drop below 230 pounds for the first time in six years. And while radioactive seeds work to dissolve my prostate cancer and my heart continues to respond well to medication, rest and consistent low-grade exercise, I will ease my way back to work.
In three weeks, I am scheduled to undergo a stress test and other examinations to confirm progress in terms of my end-stage congestion heart failure to clear me to return to work full-time. By that time, I plan to have lowered my weight to a consistent 225 and have my heart strong enough where the need for a heart transplant will be significantly minimized at the least and eliminated at the most.

I wish you could have met Maude Lee. She was one of the most faithful, loving wives and mothers

you'll ever find. She loved her Jesus, her family, her church and friends with all her heart. Working

feverishly for years to support five sons and a disabled husband, my sister literally worked herself to

death. As such, she was a symbol of the great suffering and uncommon sacrifice that so many black

women have invested to preserve our black families in particular and our race in general. She simply

continued the proud tradition of our hard-working mother, who was outlived by each of her surviving

eight children by at least seven years and as many as 27 years and counting,

I was the first of my siblings to graduate from college. Two of my brothers, Rev. Jimmie Lee Banks

and Rev. Ephthallia Lucas Banks, both pastoring in Kansas City, Kan., not only followed me in graduating

from college, but did even better by receiving their Masters degrees in divinity. Jimmie excelled in the

corporate world, in community service and leadership, and last year he did our family proud when he

barely fell short in his political bid to become the first black mayor of Kansas City, Kan.

My oldest living sister, Luekicius Brown, became the first of our generation to reach age 70. Our

mother Sarah Loraine Banks, died a tragic death, at age of 43, from blood poisoning after carrying the

dead fetus of her 12th baby in her womb for at least a week. Our father, the Rev. A.D. Banks, Sr.,

died of a stroke at age 64, and our youngest sibling, Hansel Jordan Banks, died of a heart attack

at age 50. My older brother, Anderson Douglass Jr., A.K.A. Sonny, 68, is retired. Although a childhood

illness retarded Sonny mentally to where he was never able to read or write, he was perhaps the most

enterprising of our family, working tirelessly at assorted minimum-wage jobs. Jimmie saw to it that

Sonny got his social security and Medicare benefit to sustain him economically for the rest of his life.

On the whole, we have done well for a family that rose from Mississippi poverty. We were all raised

in the church and, with the exception of Veruynca and Hansel, born in Mississippi. My father baptised

each of us and my mother shouted each time one of her children joined church and got baptised.

Lue and her husband, Sylvester Brown, recently became the first of our family to celebrate their 50th

wedding anniversary in their Cincinnati home. Jimmie and his wife, Alice, have been married 43 years.

Maude Lee and her husband, N.L., were married for 45 years. My wife, Joyce, and I will celebrate our 40th

wedding anniversary June 30. We've been married far longer than any of her five siblings.

I share this information with you because this is part of who I am and I come into this healing

process drawing strength from my immediate family members and our collective experiences. They help

power my drive to thrive and survive. And although I have a family history of heart disease, my healing

will henceforth add to my family's heritage and provide positive direction for my relatives, friends and

even strangers to be encouraged to follow and fare even better than I will.

God bless you.

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…another day’s journey and I’m glad about it

My friend, I’m still diligently following each installment of this blog of testament to your faith-based journey. A few days ago, I left the prairie to return to beautiful California for my granddaughter’s high school graduation. While there, I had the opportunity to share the blog with my son, a Baptist minister, who is nearing the final stages of being divorced by his wife, who found their 21-year marriage to be too confining. Consequently, this family, in a few months, has been transitioned from seeming tranquility to chaos.

My idea of sharing your diary was to add another fervent prayer partner to the band of those asking for your healing, and, to affirm that God is never short in his faithfulness to us and in His “morning by morning” mercies toward us. I wanted the testimony of your respondents who have been healed and of those like yourself who are “works in progress” to provide added encouragement to my son who has a broken heart.

You see, my son is broken because the divorce from his wife, who has been his sweetheart since they were ninth graders, has come as a total surprise. He has been a faithful, providing, God-fearing husband. Now she is divorcing him and breaking up the family unit, which includes three daughters (ages 18, 16, 13) and an 8-year-old son; because she finds serving God a bit too confining.

Yet, through this, my son ministered to me while reading your blog. He re-introduced me to Habakkuk. “The just shall live by faith”. My son emphasized that our faith walk is not a minute, not an hour, not a day experience. Faith is a lifelong walk! We will continue to make our desires known for the healing of broken and defective hearts.

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
Though there are no sheep in the pen, and no cattle in the stalls,
YET, I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior!”

I am grateful to your employer, The Sun Times, for having the vision to support your blog. Through this vehicle, I’m sharing your story, have reinstituted the covenant of fasting, and am exercising more. I simply could not let a 235-
pound man with a temporary heart ailment outdo me by miles on the treadmill! cds

Banks' response: God bless you and your dear son. It seems that your son has been charged a steep price for God's ministry and don't think God is nodding through this. Behold, He that keepeth Israel (and your son) neither slumbers nor sleep. The Lord will remain our keeper and the shade upon our right hands so that the sun shall not smite us by day, nor the moon by night. He shall preserve us from all evil. He shall preserve thy soul.....thy going out and thy coming in from this day forward, even forever more.
Anybody else less a preacher, i.e., a hireling, would have ditched God and His calling in a mad dash to keep a wife, who had fallen away, this is, if she had ever been in the faith. Any lesser priest would have followed her out of the fold into the wild.
But, for all we know, maybe there never was a holy matrimony and maybe the vows exchanged were perhaps one way, with one being sincere and the other not. One thing I know, however, is that God knows all. And somewhere within His vast, infinite resevoirs of grace and mercy, there is some merciful relief for your son and a way for him to find and unite with a real Daughter of Jerusalem.
I grieve for the trusting, praying sisters desiring to find and to yoke with an hard-working, loving and faithful Christian man. The church is so full of them. Each time I stand behind the pulpit lectern and take a text, 90 percent of those people in the pews praying and inspiring me onward to preach are Christian women. Indeed, Christian women are the lifeblood of our church. Consequently, it's far easier to find a good Christian woman than it is to find a good Christian man. Your son's so-called wife is obviously more the exception than the rule.
Understand, now, that she not only abandoned your son, she abandoned God, if she ever was with Him or if she ever really meant the vows she uttered. It's one thing to stumble and transgress against those vows, and quite another thing to abandon or abolish them altogether abd for perpetuity as she appears to have done.
I pray that that your son, and their children who got caught in the crossfire, will find quick, complete healing from this deep wound freshly inflicted. And in due season, I pray that God transforms your son's perils into pearls, his sadness into gladness and his tears into cheers.
God bless him

Good Morning Rev.,

Hope you enjoyed your weekend. Thanks for sharing with us your family history. And even though some tragedy has hit you and your family you still remain steadfast in the Lord. I tell you Rev. I am so blessed to be a part of this. It has impacted my life in a very special way. Even after your healing is complete and you no longer talk to us through your blog, we are all still going to stay in touch. You will forever be a lifelong friend. I was watching Noel Jones Friday evening and was reminded of a sermon he preached a couple of years ago. It was titled "God's Gonna Make You Laugh". We can laugh in the midst of our trial because we know our deliverance is on the way. What the devil meant for bad God meant for our good. In the end we will have the last laugh. I'm laughing already because I see what God is doing in you. Yesterday in church my pastor sang "The storm is passing over". He really was referring to the tornadoes that we had experienced over the weekend. He said that even after the warning horns had blown, and the weatherman had told us to take cover, he was not afraid because God had not impressed upon him that there was a need to be afraid. Indeed the storm did pass over us with minimal damage. It could have been worse. I say that to make a point......your storm is passing over too. I can see the rainbow over the horizon. I'm looking forward to your birthday and your anniversary. You should be good and healed by then (smile). Have a blessed day!


Banks' response: God bless you Donna. The other day, Crystal and I prayed for Aunt Ryles. I look forward to eventually praying directly for her. YEs, into each life, not only will some rain fall, but some storms will rise and wreak havoc. That's why in stormy times like these, we need an anchor and a rock to which that anchor can attach to ground us. The anchor is faith and the rock is Jesus. That's why the song warns, "Be very sure, be very sure that your anchor holds and grips the solid rock.".....For this rock is Jesus. Be encouraged because by believing in and by serving God, we can rest assured that trouble won't last always."

Dear Lacy,
Your journey of healing is inspirational!!! I have a suggestion. I think you should make a list of interesting things that you would like to do for the next 15 to 20 years. The list would consist of things you would like to do, places you would like to see, and goals that you would like to accomplish. I think that a list like that will help you on the road to recovery, and give you a lot of specific things to look forward to on your road to healing. I look forward to seeing you cover sports, and reading your stories for many years to come. Have a phenomenal day!!!
Stan Ketcik

Banks' response: Great idea, Stan! I love you mannnn! Great idea! Why didn't I think of that before? That kind of mindset fuels the survival instinct. Incentives. Visions. Aspirations. Hope. Yes, Stan, yes. I feel good about this. I can share 10 of these hopes already. I'd like to:
* Get healthy again and see all the doctors shake their heads, grin and say, "Well I'll be doggone!"
* Give (along with my wife) our daughters Noelle and Natasha away in marriage
* Go to Hong Kong again, especially for a Chinese New Year's celebration
* See all my grandchildren graduate from college
* Retire with my mortgage paid
* Take my wife Joyce to Rome for once
* Vacation in Vancouver
* Get my weight back down to 200 pound without having sickness to do it
* Live in a retirement place where I don't have to worry about having lawns cut and driveways shoveled and house painted, etc.
* See global warming reversed for my grandchildren's sake and the world at peace and overpopulation brought under control

Good afternoon Rev. Banks and happy fathers Day

I wish you much peace blessings and healing on this day to honor fathers. I was reading your wish list of travel, vacations,paid mortgage and other items when I truly realized you will be around for a long time to come. We serve such a mighty God his promise is that: He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy Job:8:21

As this healing train is full steam ahead just remember God is in control and he will give you the desires of your heart. The family will continue daily to keep you and your family in our prayers. Love You

Banks' response: Much love right back at you Sister Rogers. The praying support of faithful warriors like yourself are invaluable to me. And your Father's Day greeting is timely and highly appreciated. In times like these, God's household of faith (i.e. His people which are called by His name) shows its true colors in support of its own. We are commanded to encourage one another with the best of thoughts in the worst of times. Please relay my "Happy Father's Day" greeting to your darling husband, Deacon Wiley Rogers.
By the way, your comment is the 198th since I opened this blog six weeks ago and have posted 16 entries.

Preach,heal deliver Pastor Banks and Bless you with joy and happiness.

Banks' response: Aahhhhh. Here comes one of those "joy-and-happiness" people from Chicago's premier Joy of House, the Cathedral of Joy itself. Thank you and give my regards to Pastor Samuel Hinkle.

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on June 8, 2008 8:18 AM.

Never too late when Dr. Doctor Jesus is involved was the previous entry in this blog.

A healing for variety of reasons is the next entry in this blog.

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