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I Got A Right To Shout And Dance On This Thanksgiving day

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God bless you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Today (Nov. 27) begins what I call the triple crown of holidays: Thanksgiving,

Christmas and New Year's Day. Is there a better trilogy of holidays? I don't think so. So

get out of my way and let me run, shout and dance because the Lord's sure been good to

me and I'm extremely thankful.

I'm going to enjoy these three holidays, my favorites, with special relish because of

all I've been through this year health-wise and am still going through.

There were times last spring, sisters and brothers, when I did not think I'd live to

celebrate my 40th wedding anniversary with my wife Joyce in late July.

I had gotten the diagnosis in late March that I was suffering end-stage congestive

heart failure and needed a heart transplant to save my life because my left ventricle and

defective mitral valve were damaged beyond repair. So I underwent a series of tests at

the University of Chicago Hospital to qualify me for a heart transplant. At that time, I could

not walk 10 steps without being out of breath and I was constantly tired.

But further comprehensive tests then revealed that I had brain cancer in the form

of a tumor on my pituitary gland and prostate cancer. This thus disqualified me from heart

transplant candidacy.

So there I stood in the valley of the shadows of death. On one hand, I was dying

from end-stage congestive heart failure unless I could get a miracle of a new heart or a

miracle of my old heart being healed. On the other hand, I was facing the lethal threats of

brain and prostate cancer.

Rather than cast my fate to the wind, I cast my fate with the Lord in prayer and

started this blog to chronicle what I believed would be a successful healing journey.

Many of you beautiful people, some of you suffering health issues worse than mine,

became fellow passengers on this trust train. I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise

shall continually be in my mouth.

You joined me in praying for your own healings as well as my own. Yes, we

are occasionally interrupted and assaulted with comments from atheists and sarcastic

cynics, who try to demean and discourage us. But greater is He that is within us than he

that is within the world. If God be for us--Hallelujah!--He's more than the world against us.

Never has a minority been so great as the Lord, you and me.

Immediately upon receiving my triple dose of tragic diagnoses, the Lord set out

assuring me that His grace is sufficient by making His strength perfect in the weakness of

my infirmities.

In my darkest hours, His grace shone brightest.

The first beam of heavenly sunshine came when my brain tumor was ruled benign by

Dr. Allison Harh of Northwestern Hospital.

My second ray of light came when the prostate cancer was determined by UCMC

urologist Dr. Glenn Gerber to be early-stage and localized and treatable by a minimal

invasive procedure called brachytherapy. So on May 21, Dr. Brian Moran implanted 89

medical smart weapons called radiation seeds into my prostate to dissolve the cancer.

My third burst of light came when UCMC cardiologist Dr. Allen Anderson added new

medicines to my menu that helped stabilize my failing heart while I was able to regain

stamina and strength to decrease my becoming short of breath and tired.

By the grace of God and through the help my physicians, who include Dr. Valluvan

Jeevanandam of UCMC and Dr. Jim Flaherty and Dr. Jeffrey Trunsky of Northwestern, Dr.

Kenneth Cline of Ingalls Hospital in Harvey, I've enjoyed sufficient recovery to enjoy an

anniversary vacation with my wife and then return to work a couple of months ago.

Two weeks ago, I suffered a setback when I allowed a bad cold to mutate into

pneumonia and then I had to battle some apparent gout or rheumatoid arthritis that had

me unable to walk.

In the process, I have known pains and period of deep despair worse than ever since

last March. But through it all, the Lord remained my refuge and strength and a very

present help in the time of trouble.

Through it all, God never left me alone. He prepared a table before me in the very

presence of my enemies and He anointed my head with oil.

Through it all, God even had grace and mercy upon our nation and gave us a new,

young, intelligent, competent and compassionate President up from the people in the form

of Barack Obama.

Sure, he is the first black President in American history. But most important, he's the

best of the candidates to lead this country at its most trouble time when millions of

Americans have lost their homes, their jobs, their pensions, their health insurance and

much of their peace, their joy and hope.

So on this Thanksgiving Day, I got a right to shout Hallelujah!

I got a right to praise God's name.

I got a right to cry tears of joy.

I got a right to sing my song.

I got a right to dance my dance.

I got a right to testify because I am a living testimony.

I got a right to pray a prayer of supreme thanksgiving. Fo I could have been dead,

sleeping in my grave. But the Lord God Almighty had mercy and grace on me and made

ol' death behave.

So on this blessed Thanksgiving Day, I'd just like to say

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. For the

Lord hath done great things for me, whereas I am glad. So, please, Lord, let the words of

my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my

strength and my redeemer.

May the Good Lord bless and keep and prosper us all on this Thanksgiving Day.

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13 Comments

Mr. Banks- It is good to see your blog again. Your faith is amazing to me. I am truly inspired when I read your blogs and I pray for your complete recovery. Though we are of different families of our belief in Christ, I find myself wanting to hear you preach. Do you ever list where you will be speaking and is anyone welcome? Be well, and keep on fighting.

Regards,
Mary

BANKS' RESPONSE: Happy Thanksgiving, Mary, and thank you so very much for reading my blog and emailing your encouraging comment. You say we are "of different families of our belief in Christ" and that arouses much curiosity for me. For Christ is the supreme amalgamater of mankind. How much of Him do we need in any of us to be part of all of us, one family under one Lord, one faith and one baptism? Christ came that we all might be one just as He and the Father are one. In Him, there is neither failure nor division. No east or west, no rich or poor, no black or white. You have enough Christ in you to even want to hear me preach and I will share with you a future preaching engagement just in case you are serious about hearing me. Thank you so much, Mary, for allowing Jesus to be the center of your life and for allowing me to be an inspiration.

Good Morning Rev.

I trust that you and Joyce and your daughters had a blessed Thanksgiving. I read your previous blog but didn't get around to responding. I have indeed been praying for you. I was concerned when you went back to work that you might be doing to much to soon. The pneumonia was proof of it. However, but for the grace of God....... I believe that he is keeping you here for a reason. He knows how much we, your fellow bloggers need your inspiration and encouragement. On this Thanksgiving Day I am thankful that He continues to answer our prayers. I am thankful for my health and strength. I am thankful for the mindset that I have to keep 'pressing towards the mark" regardless of how bleak the situation may look. I am thankful for a job, education, son, relationships (good and bad), friends and loved ones. I am thankful for the good times and the bad. I am thankful for lessons learned the hard way. I am thankful for the struggles that I have endured and the lessons that I have learned from them. I am thankful for grace, mercy and favor. Most of all on today, I am thankful for being led to your blog some 8 months ago and being able to witness your healing. It is a testimony for the saved and unsaved everywhere. Be Blessed Rev. and know that you are an inspiration to us all. Enjoy the rest of your turkey holiday!

Donna

BANKS' RESPONSE: I'm praying the best of the holidays for you, too,

Donna. You are the stuff of angels and a jewel to the kingdom of God. Your faith,

wisdom, charm, compassion and love are an inspiration to all who get to know

you and to know you is to love you. Your magnificat of thanksgiving is music to the

ears and a sweet perfume to the nostrils of God. Being thankful makes room for

God to bless you with even more to be thankful for. Also, congratulations for you

for successfully electing the right President, Barack Obama, to lead our nation at

a most needful time. Stay strong in God's grace and walk resolutely by faith and

not by sight.

Dear Lacy Banks,
What Faith you have.
I to have had prostate cancer with robotic surgery and then later a stent put in one heart vessel.
I had my set backs with bleeding ulcers ( from the aspirin and Plavex ) which almost did me in. No one checked for that before I had the stent put in and had to take all the special meds.
I am feeling so much better now. During your saga I followed and prayed for you which gave me much strength.
You are an insperation medically but important spiritually.
God Bless you Rev. Jerry Braam

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, Jerry, for reading my blog and for emailing

your uplifting comment, testifying of God's goodness to you. He works through

doctors, nurses. medicines and other avenues. But all our help comes FROM God.

And the Holy Spirit compels us to be glad about it and to make known His works

among the people. It doesn't cost much to say "thank you" when somebody does

you a favor. And God is the most under-thanked force and source in the universe.

He and He alone remains our refuge and strength and very present help in the

time of trouble. He alone maketh us to lie down in green pastures, leadeth us

besides still waters and restores our soul. He alone consistently preparest a table

before us in the presence of our enemies. So, for these and so many other

blessings, let us give thanks unto the Lord, For He is good. His mercy is

everlasting and His truth endures to all generations.

Lacy,

I too had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. On election night, I stayed up late enjoying the historic coverage. I went to bed late, around 1am. Ninety minutes later, I woke up with pain in my chest and both arms. I wound up getting four stents in my heart. I joke that Barack Obama gave me a heart attack. Just this week I received a fifth stent, and they re-inflated one of the first four.

I know that a lot of people have been praying for me. And those prayers helped me twice this month, to recognize my symptoms, and act before it was too late. I am also thankful that I have a good job with health insurance.

I will look forward to following your blog, and am considering starting one of my own. I will keep you in my prayers.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Many times when good fortunes befall us, so do the

bad. Let's pray that Obama becomes for this country what God was to you through

His doctors. He repairs your malfunctioning cardiovascular system so that

life-giving, nourishing blood would flow more freely throughout you body to

restore good health. Our economy for years has been becoming sicker and

sicker because money stopped flowing freely for more and more American working

men and women. Less than 1% of Americans control or possess more than 90%

of America's wealth. In the last 23 years, the number of American billionaires has

increased from 13 to more than 1,000 while millions upon millions of Americans

also lost their jobs, their homes, the health insurance, their hope for tomorrow and

their trust in the American system. Many of those billionaires became rich at the

expense of taking money that had been flowing to thousands of fellow Americans.

They bought businesses and then all too often either downsized them of closed

them down altogether for the sake of mergers or monopoly. This brand of mass

murder is bad for America's collective heart.

Mr. Banks I was born with Tetralogy OF Fallot which is a congenital heart diease. I've been on oxygen 24/7 for the last 3 years.

Six years ago I was told that I needed a heart transplant. That was not an option for me. I was told that I was in end stage congestive heart failure. I celebrated my 50+ birthday in November.

Our God is able to deliever us out of any situation. He told us with his Strips we are Healed. I count it all joy as well. Jesus is the keeper and caretaker of our souls.

Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning, Jesus is our Doctor, and Lawyer and everything else we need.

If you are going to worry don't pray and if you are going to pray don't worry.
God has the last say, he is the authorer and the finisher of our lives.

Be Blessed My Brother, and watch God change things. Jesus gave his life for you and me. So yes the joy of the is my strenght and my salvation whom shall we fear.

No weapeon formed against us in Jesus name Shall prosper.
He's Jehovah-Rapha;Lord who heals.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you so very much, Gwen, for reading my blog

and emailing your encouraging comment. You shared so much that I will put to

good use in my own health challenges and in my sermons. Especially where you

say, "If you are going to worry don't pray and if you are going to pray don't worry.

God has the last say, he is the authorer and the finisher of our (faith)." And isn't my

sickness a fight of faith?


Dear Mr.Banks, I just discovered your blog today and am so glad for it. As so many have said, it is powerful to read. I am also struck at how lives that may seem so different - and are, in fact, in some ways - are actually very similar and parallel. I am a 61 year old white woman whose parents were from the south, moved north for jobs during the Great Depression. My mother also washed and ironed clothes for other people while she stood in a flooded basement using a wringer style washer and a washboard. My father worked for 33 cents an hour for Peoria Transit. I attended the Church of God or Baptist churches growing up. When in the very pit of despair during serious illness about ten years ago and feeling that God had forgotten me, I had the most overwhelming experience of my life when God let me know that I was a child of God, cradled in His arms and I have felt his hand at my back ever since, even through great difficulties. Please know that I understand as well as I can that a very great difference in your life experience and mine is that you are a black man and I am a white woman, but we are all one family. I see Obama's history and his person as a marvelous reflection of that important truth. It is beautiful and yet also has great burden attached to it. He is in my prayers and he has my hopes and he makes me proud and hopeful as an American again, as a human being! At my late age, he is the first political candidate I ever sent money to, even though I have always voted. Your wonderful blog reflecting your vibrant spirit and faith are a gift to your readers and I just wanted to thank you and to join the many who are with you in spirit and prayer. Thank you and my deepest wishes for your continued healing and strength.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you so much, Annie, for reading this blog and

emailing your inspiring comment. Thank you, especially, for your testimony of how

God ministered unto you and healed you in your serious time of need. He is ever

ready to hear and answer prayer. But it is incumbent upon you and me to make the

first step and pray. He is a user-friendly redeemer. He will not force Himself upon

us. The song inquires "Oh what peace we often forfeit. Oh what needless pains we

bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer." And when God

hears our prayers, answers and grants us our petition, we must do exactly what

you did. We must testify and make known His works among the people so that all

may know that He, and He alone, is still God. Merry Christmas, Annie. And let's

continue to go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere, that Jesus

Christ is come to heal, to save and redeem.

Mr. Banks,

(Tried to send this earlier, this may be a duplicate).


PLEASE be very careful about the opinion of your doctor that your heart failure is gone. I speak very seriously here as someone who has recovered from this problem. Doctors treat SYMPTOMS ONLY with drugs or surgery as they unbelievably have no experience treating the UNDERLYING CAUSE . There is plenty of good info on this on the internet, which I followed. I wish you well.

BANKS' COMMENT: Thanks, Frank, and Merry Christmas to you and your

family. I appreciate your comments concerning doctors. I see them as instruments

of God. Healing may come through them. But all healing comes from God. Bless

His holy name.

GOD is good, give him praise.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Amen, William Kenny, and thank God. Praise ye the

Lord!

This has Blessed me immensely! I just happened upon it while going through the Newspaper on the WEB! It has put so many things in perspective for me.

I pray that the Lord will continue to Bless and keep you.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank God for good stumbling. Thank you for reading

this blog and for emailing your comment. It is so good to stumble upon good things.

Heaven knows that we already stumble too much upon bad things. Yes, this is a

world where, all too often, bad things do happen to good people. But God is good

even in the bad times. In fact, He is at His best when times are their worst and His

strength is made perfect in our weakness. He takes the simple, even the very

foolish, and confounds the wisest with it. And if we pray right, God will order our

steps in His word so that we will chance upon the most valuable treasures. But if

we will but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all things will be

added unto us.

Dear Bro. Banks,

Your testimony is such an encouragement to us all. I prayed for you when I first learned of your illness. I already knew that you were a man of faith. I like to thank you for obeying God by giving your testimony to so many. Keep the faith my dear brother and God will continue to do great things for you. Praise God!!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Kathy, suffering is not easy. You know that yourself. But

thank you for reading this blog and for posting a comment. Merry Christmas to you

and your family.

Oh, yeah! Thank Him for His GRACE and MERCY! Praying for you all still. Love, Murphy.


BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you, Qwen. If anybody is praying for me, I know

you are. I thak you for your faith, for your passion and compassion. I thank God for

favoring you with his grace and mercy. Bless, His holy name.

Mr. Banks,this sickness is not unto death, but so that our Father who is in heaven may be glorified. I think I may have mentioned a few months back that your trials are not for you. Your illness has been difficult, but God has used this illness to keep you humble and make you strong when you are weak.

As a result of your illness, look how many other folks have come forward! People who may not blog are doing it. They're sharing their stories and gathering support from this circle of believers. Support they may not have had otherwise because you were too "crazy and foolish" to believe that God would heal you in the multitude of witnesses. (I'm being sarcastic when I say "crazy and foolish").

Thank you. Thank God for you, and this wonderful community within a community. Thank you, Sun-Times, that in these times in which christianity is being maligned, that you have allowed Mr. Banks and this community within the Sun-Times community to express our faith freely.

May God bless you all.

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you, Valerie. Praise God for you. Thanks for

reading my blog and for emailing your encouraging comment. God is still in the

blessing business and, yes, I am being blessed. Slowly but surely, He is healing

me.

You are in the hands of the Great Physician, Lord Jesus. I shout with you because God is so Good, gracious,and glorious in all that he does. " Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.You forgive all my inquities and you heal all my diseases. You have redeemed my life from destruction and you crown me with your lovingkindness and tender mercies. You satisfy my mouth with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle's.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you so much Rev. Weathersby for keeping me

in your prayers. This blog also doubles as a prayer line. Prayer is the common

denominator that unites us all for we all are standing squarely in the need of

prayer and no believer can ever outgrow his need for prayer. The bible tells us,

among other things, to pray without ceasing that that men ought always to pray

and not faint. Jesus Himself prayed early and often. He also taught us to pray

when He gave us the prototypical Lord's prayer. And since, not if, Jesus prayed,

then we definitely should pray if we are His disciples following Him. Oh what peace

we often forfeit and oh what needless pains we bear. All because we do not carry

everything to God in prayer. Merry Christmas to you and your family.


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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.

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This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on November 26, 2008 1:38 PM.

Pneumonia Evicted After Unwelcomed Visit was the previous entry in this blog.

I'm Tired And Weary But I Can't Quit Because God Is Still Working On Me is the next entry in this blog.

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