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YEA THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH

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God bless you.

I could have kissed my doctors when they recently told me that they did not believe I

would live out the remaining eight months of this year without a Heartmate II, the latest

and most advanced heart pump that God has blessed scientists to invent.

Really. I know it sounds crazy. But faith in man may make one do one thing and faith

in God may make one do something entirely different.

Yes, I could have kissed my doctors for daring God.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think my doctors meant anything blasphemous when

they gave me what basically amounts to a death sentence. Has any of you ever

received a death sentence like that? I really believe the doctors were being totally honest

in reaching their conclusion based on their scientific data, test results, experience and

knowledge.

For all I know, their faith in God may be stronger than mine. For I will be honest with

you, sisters and brothers, I am not as strong spiritually as many of you think. I am not

bragging about my weaknesses. I am simply being honest in telling you that I, like

everybody else, have some. In fact, in the flesh, I have countless. But God's grace and

mercy and my faith in Him more than compensates.

Many of you readers have joined my wife and family in begging to me "get the

pump!" because you want me to live and you are speaking from the heart. You stop me

on the street and in sports arenas, telephone and e-mail me and say the same.

Yes, I want to live. I dearly want to live. In fact, my desire to live is stronger than my

fear of dying and I can charge that to my faith in God. I believe that I will survive the

end-stage congestive heart failure and my prostate cancer just as my brain tumor has

been diagnosed as benign.

As such, I fear no evil and I feel less ill as days go by. Oh, I am yet sick in terms of

the strength of my heart and what lab tests show. My doctors confirm that and I hear

them loud and clear.

But one way or another, I will win.

It will be healing or heaven.

I will be healed with or without the pump.

So what I am telling you is that my spiritual faith and physical feelings tell me that

I am not in an utterly desperate situation. I have the time and the temperament to wait

on God. I have the luxury of God's grace and mercy to tide me over in the interim.

Now, the way I am doing it is not the way I will tell everybody else to do it. I can't

speak for anybody else's faith in God but my own. And I alone really know how I am

feeling. And, to tell you the truth, I am feeling better as I continue to pray, see my

doctors, take my medicines, pace myself wisely and exercise regularly.

I am not grandstanding, trying to be some superman or pretending to be

bullet-proof. It is highly likely that after I get more information in the next few weeks or

suddenly start feeling bad again that I will call Dr. Valluvan Jeevanandam, Dr. Allen

Anderson, Dr. Jim Flaherty or whoever else and say, "Let's operate as soon as possible!

Give me that pump, for goodness sake!"

But let the record show that I have told you that my doctors have given me fair

warning. So if I drop dead or suffer a crippling stroke or heart attack while still trying to

make up my mind, it is not their fault.

I am fully aware of the dangers they spelled out. I'm dealing, yes, with a deadly

situation. But in his 23rd song, King David sang, "Yea though I walk through the valley of

the valley of death, I will fear no evil for (God is) with me. (His) rod and (His) staff, they

comfort me."

I preached hard twice on Easter weekend and came out of that holy weekend

feeling stronger. While I was taking communion on Good Friday, an old woman came

up to me and chastise me for not being more bold with my faith that God is healing me

or that He already has. Here I am preaching about such faith and being wishy-washy

at the same time. I felt a little guilty. But her point was valid and well taken.

Some Christian fundamentalist feel there is compromise and that one needs not try

to seek a balance between doing what man says and what God says. But Jesus did say

to render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's and unto God the things that are God's.

As such, we have obligations in both spheres. But at the end of the day, it's my faith in

God that will determine the outcome no matter how I dare to decorate or embroider it

with additional explanations. God is THE HEALER and all HEALING COMES FROM

GOD. Now, can I get a witness?

God bless you.

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9 Comments

Did it ever occur to you that maybe the Lord was sending you a message through the works of the people who developed and can implant the pump? It seems this is similar to the story often told about a man in an area flooding where when the cops came by he said " I am not leaving, I trust in the Lord to save me." then as the waters rose to the roof and the fire department came by in boats he replied in the same way, and finally when the waters over took him and he ended up before the Lord, he asked why he had not saved him, to which the Lord replied " I sent people twice to help and you refused both times." Just a thought to consider.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Excellent point, Bill. And believe me, these thoughts

have crossed my mind, too.

Dear Mr. Banks,

During Jesus' earthly ministry, he taught the disciples to pray that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. As Christians, sickness and disease only exist for us in this physical or natural realm. In eternity, the corruptible flesh is replaced by the incorruptible. Healing is for us in this natural life as well.

During a recent struggle with a family member's health, the early diagosis was cancer. We waited a month before having new blood work done. During this time, I meditated on the following scripture that the Lord gave to me during prayer.

1 John 5:14-15 (King James Version)

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

When we returned, the subsequent blood work showed no sign of cancer. A physical manifestation of victory in Christ.

Please remember that it is not a choice between having surgery or having faith in God. Surgery and waiting upon the Lord both require faith and trust in the Lord. You are doing your part in the earthly realm: seeing your doctors; taking your medicines; and exercising. In the spriritual realm, you are praying and confessing His Word over your life. It is enough.

As I was praying for you, this is the scripture that came to my heart.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

I don't know exactly what that means but I trust that you do. May the peace of God that passes understanding, mount guard over your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Tracy

BANKS' RESPONSE: Tracy, Tracy, Tracy. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! My nose

started burning and tears started welling up and falling when you ministered to me

in your e-mail. Thank you, again and again. I felt the power of the Holy Ghost

while reading your encouraging comment. Thanks again.

We continue in prayer for you and yours. This journey of yours is one we all take, some are easy, some are uneventful, some are roller coaster rides. We committed to pray with you and for you throughout and have always recognized the decisions would be yours accepting that the Lord would speak to you, not us, about you. When He sees fit, He will direct you and you will know what it is you must do. We wait and we pray. God bless you. We love you.


BANKS' RESPONSE: I can always count on you to understand some things

better than most. Especially those things in the spiritual realm. God does not

speak to every person the same way. God calls different people to do different

things at different times in different places and in different ways. At the same time,

I dare not ask everybody to do the same thing that I do. We all know that God is

able to provide whatever we need and provide it abundantly over. In times of need,

we avail ourselves of His grace and mercy and He dispenses them in measures

providentially sufficient. I made it clear from jump street, Gwen, that my

preference, and that for most other people, for matter, was for a flash healing. You

probably wanted the same. Obviously, that has not been the case so far and that's

all good with me because with us redeemed the bottom line always is that God's

kingdom come and that His will be done one earth as it is in heaven.

Dear Mr. Banks

I have enjoyed your work for many years and was saddened to hear of your health
challenge, but I am tremendously blessed by your courage and confidence in God's
ability! I surely hope you live many more blessed and healthy years.

I do have a question? Why is it that there are people who have absolutely little to no
confidence in God's ability to heal who receive the surgery suggested to you and live into their 70's, 80's or longer? I have seen many faith filled believers die early deaths simply waiting on God when
clearly ALL THROUGHOUT the scriptures God used men to be representatives of His in the earth.

This has puzzled me. The Apostle Paul encounters Christ on the Damascus road and instead of Christ telling him God's purpose for his life, Christ sends him to a MAN, Ananias, to tell him what He MUST do.

I have enjoyed you for many years! I want to continue to enjoy you. God uses men to tell us what to do!! Is that not what you a MAN does is service as a MINISTER! What happens when you tell men what God says and then they say you are just a man but you are sent by GOD????? Please re consider!

I love you!
Pastor Daryl O'Neil

BANKS' RESPONSE: thank you, Pastor O'Neil, for reading my blog and for

e-mailing your encouraging and challenging comments. You are right in

acknowledging that we live in a world where often bad things happen to good

people and that faithless or evil people appear to fare far better too often. But I

will remind you, Pastor, as Jesus suggested in the parable of the sower, that is

due season he shall separate the sheep from the goats. Also, in due season, the

meek shall inherit the earth. Such providential pronouncements don't make much

sense ins secular society. That's why the psalmist seeks to comfort us by urging

us to fret not ourselves because of evildoers, who seem to be doing well despite

specializing in evildoing. In the end. God shall separate the wheat from the chaff.

I thank god for doctors and medical science. That's why they are part of my

healing equation. I have wiggle room by the grace of God. How much, I do not

know.But I am blessing with the luxury of options and wiggle room and I thank God

for favoring me thusly. If you can't pray for me, then, at least, bear with me as God

continued to get glory out of every iota of recovering.

A dear friend if mine who had cancer wrote a journal detailing his experiences, I just thought you might be interested in reading his journal. Google Legacy Five, then on the bottom of the page you will see Roger's journal. They are all archived starting in 04. peace.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks for the tip, Gordon. Thanks, also, for reading my

blog and for e-mailing your comments.

You are strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead, dwells in you. Pastor Banks, you shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord. No weapon of sickness formed against you shall prosper. Pastor, I want to share a revelation that God gave me regarding sickness. When we say "My cancer, or "My disease" we are saying we own it. We don't want to own anything that the enemy has given us. Jesus said that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, but he comes that we will have life, and that more abundantly. Jesus said in Mat 8:17, Himself took our infirmities and bare our sickness in his body. He also said by his stripes we "Were" healed. While waiting to make you decision, say to cancer, sickness, and disease "Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea " and not doubt in your heart. Pastor, please know that God is with you in your decision. God said if any one lack wisdom, let them ask of God. Don't feel condemned if you choose surgery, God will be with you there with his skillful hands guiding the surgeon. You and God will do this. Bless you Pastor.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Carolyn, you are so on-the-money in your read of this

total situation. I thank God for your spiritual maturity here and for your keen

perception. Obviously, flesh and blood doth not reveal these "deepest" things unto

you. So I thank Gor for your riveting relelations and how you have grown sufficiently

in His grace and mercy to make them. So I go forth buoyed significant by your

input. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised..

Nothing is greater than faith in the Lord. May the Lord continue to bless and keep your family through all your trials, troubles, and triumphs! Amen.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Yes, Rosalyn. Faith is our admission ticket to all God

has to give us and to all God can do for us. Faith: the substance of things hoped for

and the evidence of things not seen. Without faith, it is impossible to even please

God. Without faith, we can't be saved. Without faith, we have no hope, no real joy,

no power, no life abundant, no peace and no victory. But at the same time, without

Jesus, we have no faith. For Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith in the

Father, in Him and in the Holy Ghost.

Hi Rev. Banks,

It's me again---and I'm a witness. I just stop by to let you know that I get so much inspiration listening to you talk about the greatness of God!

Yes, maybe you are being faced with the so-called "death sentence," from the doctors point of view. But lo and behold, God has the last word and if he says it ain't so---then it ain't so.

I am so fond of your faith and trust and love for Jesus. It is an undying faith,undying trust, an undying love and for just that if not for anything else Rev. Banks you shall live now and forever more.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Well, Emma, I, too, am much fond of your faith and

trust in and your love for Jesus. It's a case of mutual affection for that which is the

best of us respectively. And that best of us is our faith. Our faith pretty much

defines who we really are and what we are about. The bigger or the greater our

faith, Emma, the more profound our providential profiles. And as such, there is only

so much the devil can do to harm us. And to really, really inflict serious damage, he

must have our help. And the devil's greatest ally is our fear of him and any doubt

we may ever dare to entertain about what God can and can not do. Yes, our

hope is anchored in the unequivocal, indisputable fact that GOD IS and besides

Him there is none other. May God bless you and your family and give you peace

and prosperity,

Lacy,
Grace and mercy continue to be yours as you seek God's favor, direction and healing from your many afflictions. I am so glad that God is so awesome,so sovereign and that His ways are not our ways nor our thoughts His thoughts. He can use doctors, medicines and pumps to heal or sustain us. He got it like that!

This is an important decision that you have to make but also you should consider your wife. There is a reason for a helpmate. She can also help you to make this decision and continue to pray with and for you. The pump will not diminish God's ability to heal you or your faith in him. It can also be a testimony of how God can use "anything" to bring him glory.
Much love to you cousin, Rosie

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks so much, Cuz for your spirited e-mail, spoken

like a true believer of God and a soldier in His army. We come from a family of

faithfuls who have seen God work wonder after wonder after wonder in the lives

of our forefathers, other relatives and friends and, yes, even ourselves. I have been

healed before. So have you. So we are not strangers to His supreme power to

heal. But not all healings are the exact same, rendered in the same manner, the

same speed and the same method. He often works in mysterious ways we can't

even begin to understand or explain. That's one of the countless reasons why I

love the Lord so dearly and preach and praise Him so passionately. He is not just

the rock of my salvation. He is my salvation. So "bless the Lord, oh my soul and all

that is within me. Bless His holy name." Thanks for reading my blog and for

e-mailing your comment. And thanks for praying with me and for me. Surely, God

is able. he has sustained me so far. He giveth me wiggle room even right now so

that I don't feel any urgency to move too quickly about anything out of dire

desperation. And if I die waiting on Him, I die gloriously. I die in faith. I die trusting

and I die committed, from jump street, that His kingdom come and that Hid will be

done on earth as it is in heaven and that it certainly be done in my life. I am

seeking His healing will any way He wants to give it, and any time He wants to

give it however fast He wants to give it and wherever He chooses to give it. I am

at the mercy of His grace, which is sufficient to supply all our needs according to

His riches in glory.

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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 April 20, 2009 8:25 AM.

DOCTORS TELL ME I HAVE EIGHT MONTHS TO LIVE UNLESS...... was the previous entry in this blog.

LEAVE ME 'LONE NOW, DOUBT! I AIN'T PLAYIN' WITCHU! is the next entry in this blog.

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