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Imagine Yourself Having To Say Farewell To Your Heart.....Great God!

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God bless you.

For more than 65 years, the heart my mama and daddy teamed up to give me at

birth has kept me alive with millions and millions of beats pumping oxygenated blood

throughout my growing body in all kinds of weather and through good times and bad

times.

For more than 65 years, my heart has been my best friend and the very soul of me.

For more than 65 years, my heart has given charitably with the most generous

hearts in the world.

For more than 65 years, my heart has loved with the best, sung songs with the best,

written poems with the best, laughed and cried with the best, enjoyed music with the best,

written and preached sermons with the best, prayed to and praised God with the best.

For more than 65 years, my heart has defined me, inspired the best in me and

driven me to be the best that I can be.

For more than 65 years, my heart has been my best counselor and confidant. Some

of my greatest conversations have been with my heart and some of my best advice has

come from my heart.

My heart won the heart of my high school sweetheart, Joyce, and we have been

happily married for more than 40 years after our seven-year courtship.

Now, here I am once more a patient in the University of Chicago Hospital praying

to God and trying to get His doctors to use all their God-given know-how to help save my

poor heart that has grown weaker and appears to be on its last legs.

Unless the Lord heals me outright or through UCMC's academy of celebrated

physicians, I may have to say farewell to my heart in the next few months and have it

replaced by a mechanical, turbo-power heart pump, which UCMC Chief Cardiac

Surgeon Dr. Valluvan Jeevanandam says is highly advanced, greatly-efficient, whisper-

quiet, silky smooth and tremendously durable.

Yes, I still have hope that God will heal and salvage this heart. At least, that has

been my prayer since I started this blog 10 months and 44 entries ago. At the same

time, I have been trying to do my best and trust God for the rest.

Wednesday night (March 12, 2009), I was admitted here again for new treatment

because, while my brain cancer is benign and my prostate cancer is in remission through

radiation treatment, my end-stage congestive heart failure has not progressed as well.

Two weeks ago, shortness of breath and fatigue again began to plague me, slow

me down, steal my sleep, suppress my joy and threaten my life. So to stay ahead of

things and not take anything for granted, I returned here to have the likes of Dr.

Jeevanandam, Dr. Allen Anderson, Dr. Matthew Sorentino, Dr. Savitra Fedson, Dr.

Kathy Wright, Dr. Alexandria Dunetriseu, Dr. David Miller, Dr. Jonathan Paul, Dr.

Sandeep Nathan, Dr. Neal Ray, Dr. Stuart Chen, Nurses Joly Jose, Cora Palmer, Cora

Tharps-Wilson, Melanira Ortez, Williams, Florita Lanier and Antonija Novakovich lend

their respective collective expertise in helping me resolve these serious health issues.

Thus, my weekend is being spent here going through a battery of tests to give

doctors an update of my heart's health and what can be done to relieve me of the fatigue

and shortness of breath. If some changes in my medication can do the trick, we will

explore that option. Otherwise, since my cancers eliminated me from heart transplant

candidacy last year, I may have no other choice for the pump since doctors here feel

my natural heart is too defective, too enlarged and too weak for something like a mitral

valve repair or replacement to do it much long-term good.

When I thought of the prospect of saying goodbye to my heart, I broke down and

cried in my hospital room just as most of you would if you were faced with the same

situation.

In fact, pause with me for a moment and just imagine yourself having to say

goodbye to your heart because it has given out after years of hard work and suffering.

For me, years of high blood pressure, emotional toils, trials and tribulations, burdens and

sorrows have placed tremendous pressure upon my heart because I have always been

a man of supreme passion and compassion. My greatest works I have always

endeavored to do with all my heart and from the very bottom of my heart.

A lot of people work through their minds, their muscle, their money and other

material resources. I have moved in cadence to the beat of my heart. In other words, if my

heart isn't in something, never expect my best.

So I ask you again Sisters and Brothers, could you really ever say "goodbye" to

your heart and not feel the greatest of loss?

Could you say "Goodbye" to your heart and not feel any pain? If your answer is "No,"

then you know where I'm coming from.

The Holy Bible says "from the heart flows the issues of life." The Holy Bible also

says that if confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe with our HEARTS that

God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. King David, the shepherd sovereign

and sweet singer of song, was revered as "a man after God's own heart."

God bless you.

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15 Comments

Rev. Banks, I have tried to imagine just such a thing, and it just seems beyond me. I was over there Friday and had I known you were there I would have tried to stop by for a visit and prayer. I was faced with the "Do Not Resucitate Order" question and have constantly been reminding myself and want to remind you, too, that if and when we are called, Glory will be where you'll find us. Rev. Slaughter used to always say, "if I'm not here, look for me in Glory." As frightening as all this may be, it's so wonderful to know that we are children of God, that He awaits us, and He loves us more than anything. If anything can be said about you, you have never wasted that heart of yours, you have used it. There is, for certain, a reward for hearts such as yours. You have made the effort to love as our Father as required of us, you have inspired, you have encouraged, you have been more than you can imagine for so many. I know I speak for many when I say we love you and pray for your well being and that of your family. Hang in there. Wait on the Lord.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Gwen, God's goodness is so magnificently manifested in

the likes of you. Here you are suffering with me, as Jesus said He would do, and

praying for me, as Jesus also said He would do. Yes, sweet Gwen, you are Jesus

to me in your commonness and kindness. You are His hands, His heart, His head,

His arms, His voice, His concern, His love reaching out to comfort and encourage

me. This is really some kind of a Kingdom thing! Oh bless ye the Lord and praise

His holy name. I thank God for crossing our paths as we speed through the

universe glued gravitationally to this pinning ball of mud. And He does it in such a

way where we serve as each other's mutual support systems. Why oh why would

the heathen ever doubt the Lord? And why would the sinner forsake so great a

salvation?

Good morning,
I read your blog and was immediately struck with a thought. As conflicted as I am about your situation (I am saddened, yet I rejoice in God's stregnth in you and your testimony as a result), I am moved to remind you that though you may have to say goodbye to this fleshy heart, you are not saying goodbye to your spiritual heart. It is with this spiritual heart that we believe and trust God with, that we are led with, that our issues flow out of, that we see, hope and live because of. It is the heart that God has given us as a gift. So, Brother, I pray that though your natural heart may have to go, your spiritual heart beat forever more.

Still believing,
Aisha

BANKS' RESPONSE: You are so right, Aisha, so deeply spot-on, and I thank

God for you clarifying comment. It's just that in so many ways, the spiritual heart is

really what we so often refer to when we speak of the physical heart because they

are so closely alligned in the propagation and preservation of one's physical and

one's spiritual lives. But the spiritual commitment or vow that we make with the

physical heart is respected most by heaven. The same applies with the physical

mouth confessing the spiritual truth that Jesus is Lord. It then teams with the

believing heart to move God to give us His salvation. Yes, when this physical body

in general and my physical heart in specific die their natural deaths, my spiritual

heart shall have a ringside seat to the my physical body and heart being changed

in the twinkling of an eye into an incorruptible, spiritual being that is

providentially programmed for eternal bliss, everlasting life and endless fellowship

with our Lord and all the other royal residences of heaven.

Dear Rev. Banks,
I have been reading your blog as often as possible and find myself being strenghtened by your courage and faith. As a young minister, I am grateful for your honesty and willingness to share. Thank you, Rev. Banks, for if more ministers shared their pain and struggles, real issues of life, many non-believers would be convicted to accept Christ as their Savior. Thank you Rev. Banks, for making me become more aware of what I have, a great wife and 2 beuatiful children,a job and a home, and an awesome God who continues shower me with His grace in this race, and in spite of my mistakes, continues to let me taste the flavor of his favour. Thank you Rev. Banks,for as my brother, fellow believer, and fighter, you have had an impact on my life. Thank you, thank you, and again, thank you.

Kevin McDonald

BANKS' RESPONSE: Dear Kevin, I have seen and met many wealthy and

talented men and women. But you are one of the world's truly richest men because

you what and where your treasures are and from whence they come. All mortals,

including the mortal ministers, suffer with the rest of humanity. We are not

sacrosanct from hardship and the need to plead for heavenly help every single

day of our lives. So we should never try to project ourselves to being more than

men of god instead of being some semblance of God. Notice that Moses is no

longer alive today. Neither are Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, John the Baptist, Peter,

Paul, John, Mary, Lydia, Elizabeth or any other holy hero of biblical history. They

are all dead. All their righteous acts and attitudes could not exempt them from

eventual suffering and death. That's partly who Jesus came to us in the fleshly

manner of man who humbled himself to the trials and tribulations of man. It was

prophecized that He would come to us as a man of sorrow and a man who would

become personally familiar with suffering and shame for our sake. He would even

go so far as to become our beast of burden, willing to carry that old rugged cross,

suffer, bleed and die for us before He would also, also, arise from the grave for us

to test-market and prove the resurrection that He has promised all the redeemed

of the Lord.

I wish you all of the best.

BANKS' RESPONSE: I pray, also, the best for you. I wish, pray and hope you

Jesus. By praying you Jesus, I position you to be the recipient of the very best of the

best. Nobody anywhere, any time, any how can pray you more than Jesus. And I beg

you to receive Jesus as the vest beat you can have.


God bless you brother! Know that who ever puts their trust in the Lord (Is. 28:16, rom. 10:11) will not be disappointed! We will not leave this earth one minute before the appointed time and when we do, it will be the (Eccl. 7:1) best day of our life!

I will be praying for you.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks Bill for your kind, comforting worlds. I pray

that God blesses you with treasure beyond measure.


Dear Lacy -

I have been thinking about you often since your last post. It is apparent that you are experiencing great sorrow and trepidation at this latest development. Your eloquence in describing it is thought provoking.

Isn't it wonderful, then, that you can witness God working through these medical professionals? Isn't it a miracle that you have a chance to continue your human journey, even though some of the parts have worn out? Your experience, and the courage and generosity you demonstrate in sharing it with the world, is of help to so many others who may be experiencing other, similar things. In the midst of your challenge and pain, you are blessing so many.

It is clear that your heart is worn from the use you have given it throughout your 65 years. You obviously have given so many pieces of it away to others. I wonder what is better: To end your life with all your pieces intact because you never shared, or to give your all to the service of Love so that, at the end, there's nothing left but the good you've done. Maybe the Wizard of Oz was right: "Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable."

I'm sending up my prayers that the perfect path to healing is yours and, more, that you find peace and happiness in these days.

Godspeed.

BANKS' RESPONSE: May the Good Lord multiply your prosperity to no end,

John, so that your life may be long and your joys full. As others have inspired me

down through the years, so strive I to do likewise to still others with whatever time

God grants me on earth. In Jesus, there is no end. He is the essence and the aim

of real life forever and ever more. So by placing my cares in Hid hands, there is

no limit and it is no secret what God can and will do. So bless the Lord, o' my soul,

and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Mr. Bankson,

Bless you. I totally understand how you feel. I have a congenital heart disease that I've had all of my life and doctors were not able to put a name to it until 2006. I was 33 years old at the time. It freeing to know after all that time what I finally had, but devastating to know that it's something rare and not curable. I had an defibrillator implanted to help. I also am a heart failure patient. I developed it after I gave birth to my second child at age 26, but I would have gotten it anyway because the rare condition I have leads to heart failure. I pray that the day will not come that I need to have a transplant although I know that it's a possibility. In addition to these things, I have now been diagnosed with with SVT and will be having a procedure done this Thursday. I don't know how to explain it, but I'm calm and I have faith. Am I fearful? Yes, but I know who's child I am and I have to trust in him. I pray that the Lord gives your doctors wisdom and discernment on how to best you and that no weapon formed against you shall prosper. God bless you and your family. Keep the faith!


BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you Alicia and I pray, that if God does not

just heal you outright right away, that He heals you through His doctors in your

Thursday surgery. May the peace of God, His perfect peace that passes all

understanding, indwell and overwhelm you through and through to raise your faith

to peak level for your operation and recovery. I pray that you receive speedy

relief and recovery, in Jesus' name and for the glory of God.

Rev. Banks,
although my faith isn't what it used to be, i still hold a steady belief in God, and i wish with all my heart for your swift recover. i hope that you keep your chin up and keep your faith constant. God will heal all wounds, be they physical, emotional, or spiritual.

Brandon Botezatu, 14

BANKS' RESPONSE: Dear Lord, please increase Brandon's faith in You, so that his life will be long and his joys full, in Jesus' name I pray. Amen. Thank you, Brandon for reading this blog and for wishing and praying me well.

Mr. Banks,

Tonight is the first time I have ever read your column. It is the first time I have ever heard of you. You are a complete stranger to me, yet I felt compassion for you as I read of your plight. I'm going to honor your request for prayer and am thankful for a mighty God who hears the fervent prayer of his children. I want to pass along some information that I heard on coast to coast am recently that may be of interest to you but before I do I would like to humbly invite you to our church in Romeoville to have my pastor and the elders of the church pray for you. I'm reminded of Jas 5:14-15 "Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, annointing him with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer of faith shall save the sick."

That invitiation may seem unorthadox to some but I felt impressed. My email was included if you should ever feel so inclined but I will pray regardless.

Let me share with you an exceprt from the show prep regarding Dr. Warren Sherman and his research. The story of guest Michael Dunkirk was quite remarkable. Maybe it will lead you to an answer.
God bless.


Appearing for all four hours, author Christian Wilde discussed the latest in heart disease prevention, heart health and the advances being made in adult stem cell research. He noted that doctors often fail to spot heart disease risk factors among patients, including sleep apnea and gum disease. Additionally, women's heart disease (500,000 women die per year from it) often gets overlooked, he reported.

Joining the discussion in the second hour was Dr. Warren Sherman, who performed the first stem cell procedure for heart failure on a US patient. Cells from the patient's leg muscles were implanted into the heart muscle to help reverse damage. Through this kind of treatment, patients have shown significant improvements, and a new study is underway. Sherman was involved in a recent international conference on stem cell therapy for cardiovascular diseases.

In third hour, neuroscientist Dr. Michel Levesque spoke about stem cell treatments for neurological disorders such as Parkinson's. He described a case in which he extracted stem cells from a patient's brain, grew them in test tubes into mature neurons, and then transplanted them back to the patient, who has shown marked improvement since the procedure.

Also appearing during the show, stem cell patient Michael Dunkirk (first hour) described a successful procedure he had done in Bangkok for his ailing heart. And Laura Dominguez (third hour), who was injured in an accident, told of positive results from stem cell treatments with a Dr. Lima in Portugal. Wilde said he is making available up-to-date information on stem cell trials and experiments in his quarterly newsletter.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Every scientific breakthrough that yield a cure for

diseases, that were previously considered incurable, is a blessing from God. By

His grace, we, as a human race, we continue evolve hopefully wiser, healthier and

happier. But most of all, we must grow in favor with God. As we speak,

scientists are working to find new cures and better treatments for all that ails man.

I thank you and your congregation for your prayers and I pray for you in return.

I thank God for bringing me into contact with sisters and brothers of the household

of faith. Gd bless you for caring and sharing.

Dear Rev. Banks,as I read this blog today I must say you really made me take a good look at life and reality.I never thought of my heart nor anyone elses that way.And you are right,if you put your whole heart into what you are doing it will show,and the outcome is just marvalous. I've prayed so for your recovery and will continue,but to think someone would have to say goodbye to their heart leaves me speechless.I'm gonna continue to lean on "ask and it shall be given,seek and ye shall find,knock and the door will be opened" because I'm a believer and I know God answers prayers. Continued prayers from Rev. De ville and the Alpha Temple M.B. Church family.God Bless


BANKS' RESPONSE: What a marvelous ministry you have for the Lord,

Marcia. You are a continued comfort and encouragement to me and I thank God for

you. Relay my warmest regards, love and gratitude to Pastor Leonard DeVille and

the entire Alpha Temple family. God willing, well will tabernacle again soon. Real

soon.

Rev. Banks,
Your spirit is so magnificent, so beautiful and pure. I shed tears with you this morning as I read your post. The heart is like a tire on a car; you're only supposed to get so many miles out of it. Through your ministry you have put extra miles on your heart. Your compassion for others has put extra miles on your heart. But you know that God is Almighty! He will NOT take you from this earth until it's time. Your blogs, your messages, your ministry will live on for a long time. Your great-great-grandchildren will be able to retrace this journey with you. Enjoy and cherish every day you have with your family and friends. God has given you such an awesome gift of time...you and your family are blessed. My 49 year old brother died suddenly of a brain aneurysm last April and I never had a chance to physically say good-bye. Take comfort in this time that you have. Don't fret over dying, you know the FATHER and you know that there is a greater Kingdom awaiting you. May the Love of God continue to cover you and may the Heavenly Father continue to breathe the breath of life into your body each morning.

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you, Crystal, for taking precious time to read

this blog and then email your kind, beautiful comments that nourish my hope for

improves my health. My courage is also renewed through your words from your

heart. Only the Lord could purpose you to do all that you have done in this

soul-soothing sequence. It's is merciful ministry at its finest, by the grace of

Almighty God. You are instantly a dear emerald in God jewelry chest of joy. Thank

you, Crystal. Thanks a ton.

Your blog really touched me. My mom just died of CHF but it was different than yours. She had years of high blood pressure. Don't you give up on getting that new heart. You have made it through so much already. You have wonderful team of doctors and such a sweet soul. But your heart is just an organ. Your kind soul makes you who you are and that will never die.

Keep the faith and I will pray to my mom to watch over you from heaven.

BANKS' RESPONSE: I have been blessed with some of the finest doctors

you'll find this side of Dr. Jesus, the Greatest Physician. So you are right. I enjoy

our teamwork and their professional candor. I pray that we bring out the best in

each other, which will be of immense mutual benefit. Good doctors, really good

doctors, are hard to find these days. There are mercenary quacks afoot, whose

primary interests are money and selfish ego. And rather than admit, they've

reached their limit and suggest some other doctor may help their patients more,

many will use their deficient skills to milk their patients out of every dime short of

death that they can get. But most of all, I thank God for Jesus. First and foremost,

I'm depending on and trusting in Him. All healing comes from Him and through

vessels anointed with His skills, knowledge and drive. Thank you for reading this

blog and for offering your encouraging comment.

Rev. Banks,
My daughter (in the Army Reserves) returned from her first visit to the Chicago area on Monday, bringing me my first copy of the Sun-Times. She knew that "Early Edition" had been one of my favorite TV programs. I told her to watch for a cat outside her door in the morning, with tomorrow's newspaper on the floor.
What a joy to discover a testimony for Christ as I read your column appearing "early" on page 10. I will pray that the Lord will heal, and make a heart transplant available in His perfect time.
May He grant you many more years to serve Him with a heart full of love as you urge people to accept what Jesus did "yesterday" on the Cross which promises an eternity of "tomorrows" in His presence, where there is fulness of joy.


BANKS' RESPONSE: How fortuitous that your darling daughter brought my

column to you for you to read and move you to pray for my full recovery and

breakthrough. It's the Kingdom of God in action. I am reaping divine dividends

from my salvation investment as prayers of the righteous continue to avail for me.

I feel the positive passion, purpose and and power in your comment. Thanks so

very, very much, I pray that God prospers you profoundly with His grace and

mercy.

HELLO REV.BANKS! FIRST, I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK HEAING TO YOUR SOUL IN THE NAME OF JESUS. I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING YOU FOR A LONG TIME,BUT TODAY I HAD TO LET YOU KNOW THAT I AM PRAYING FOR YOU.THOUGH YOU HAVE MANY CHALLENGES, YOU ARE STILL AN INSPIRATION. I REMEMBER A PRAYER YOU PRAYED AT THE SHIP MANY YEARS AGO,AND TO THIS DAY II STILL GIVES STRENGTH TO STAND STILL AND KNOW HE IS GOD. SO WITH WORDS FROM YOUR PRAYER-HE CAN DO ANYTHING,AND I MEAN ANYTHING-TOUCH LORD, WITH YOUR HEALING POWER-TOUCH WITH YOUR FINGER OF LOVE. GOD BLESS YOU. I WILL KEEP YOU IN MY PRAYERS.

BANKS' RESPONSE: ThanksBeverly for remembering me and any hope and

encouragement I may have ever given you. To God be the glory. God bless you,

Beverly.

Dear Rev Banks,

I read your blog for the first time tonight and felt an overwhelming sense of compassion. You have touched my heart and reaffirmed my faith in Christ with your testimony and message of hope.
I have recently committed my life to Jesus Christ (two weeks ago!) and find such encouragement in your faith. I pray for your health by faith in the name of Jesus Christ and trust that God has a plan for you and your family. I have faith that Christ "will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds" Jeremiah 30:17
May God bless you.


BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank, Melody, for reading my blog and emailing your

encouraging comment, which made marvelous music to me. Welcome to the

redeemed household of faith which is our Christian family. You'll find lots and lots

of help and hope here. Veteran brothers and sisters in the faith stand ready to

assist you in your Christian growth and I pray that God prospers you quickly and

profoundly with His grace and mercy.

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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 March 12, 2009 6:41 PM.

Mama Died Much Younger, So Why Should I Complain? was the previous entry in this blog.

My Dear Daughter Just Got Laid Off. Lord, Give Us More Grace And Mercy! is the next entry in this blog.

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