Chicago Sun-Times
...with Jesus, doctors and common sense


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God bless you.

I saw my cardiologist, Dr. Allen Anderson, on Thursday at the University of Chicago

Medical Center. My wife, Joyce, accompanied me.

"I am pleasantly surprised," Dr. Anderson said, after carefully listening to my heart

through his stethoscope, and after his nurse had given him my blood pressure reading of

98 over 68. "You're doing better than you were earlier this year when you were here in the

hospital (March 12-17). Obviously, you are doing a better job of taking care of yourself. I

can't see any reason why you shouldn't be able continue the way you are indefinitely and

stay on your present medications."

And as for that death sentence, when he and other doctors felt my chances of

living out the year were slim if I did not have a Heartmate II ILVAD pump implanted

to replace my defective and failing left ventricle in pumping blood throughout my body?

"We can't really say how long you can live without that pump," Dr. Anderson said.

"Your heart is still weak and the pump will still help you tremendously. But we don't like to

give out any numbers regarding how long you can do without it."

Well, no way will I give myself any credit for any improvement or for the fact I at

least haven't gotten worse. My wife deserves some of the credit for doing her best to try

to take care of me. She is my primary caregiver. I also have to give credit to you prayer

partners, who have been touching and agreeing with me on the desires of my heart for

a total healing of my end-staged congestive heart failure, my prostate cancer and my

brain tumor, which has been ruled benign. This healing journey is 13 months old now.

But the real credit, the thanksgiving and the glory belongs to my Lord. On my own,

I am not even worthy to still be alive today if my life was based on moral merit or on my

eating right, exercising everyday, losing excess weight and keeping my mind stayed on

Jesus 24/7.

My sicknesses have exposed primal weaknesses and desperation in me. I have

been occasionally harassed by a mild fear of dying. But it is very, very mild because my

soul is anchored in the Lord. My desire to live is far, far stronger than my fear of dying.

And my desire to live has been tremendously rejuvenated by God through His grace,

through the stripes of our crucified Christ, through the power of God's Holy Ghost and

through the love of my wife and others.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not yet totally healed. My heart is still weak. It is not

pumping my blood efficiently at all. My mitral valve is still defective. My left ventricle is

still grossly enlarged or dilated. I still get shortness of breath if I exert myself too much

physically. I still have a very sore lower back problem that prohibits me from walking or

standing more than a few minutes without pain despite my having received two

epidural cortisone shots within the last five weeks.

Occasional mental fatigue resulted in my having my first auto accident in about 30

years three weeks ago. I was dozing in rush hour traffic on I-294 south and rear-

ended another motorist resulting in thousands of dollars of damages. But thank God

that nobody was injured.

I am still deeply depressed over my middle daughter, Noelle, a single mother and

a devout Christian, losing her job and facing the prospect of losing her home, taking her

son Caleb out of a private Christian school and moving in with us when her unemployment

runs out if she can't find another suitable job soon.

The Chicago Sun-Times, for which I have worked 37 years, has declared

bankruptcy and we employees have taken a nine percent pay cut and agreed to take

eight days off without pay to avoid additional layoffs and to help our paper survive these

turbulent, tough times of our nation's woefully ailing economy. i the process, a lot of

good people were released into the growing multitude of the unemployed.

But thank God that I'm still holding on.

Thank God that my wife and I still have our jobs after seeing so many co-workers

and loved ones lose theirs.

Thank God that we still have some decent health insurance.

Thank God that we still have a home to live in, cars to drive, food to eat and clothes

to wear.

Thank God that we still have a reasonable portion of functional, enjoyable health,

despite some aches and pains and serious sicknesses.

Thank God that we still have sense enough to say "Thank you, Jesus!!" because

if it had not been for the Lord on our side, where would I be? Where would you be?

Where would we be?

Most of all, thank God for Jesus!!!

And right now, I'm still on life support in terms of depending upon God's grace and

leaning on the everlasting arm of Christ Jesus.

Just because I got a good report Thursday and just because that medical death

sentence has been retrieved does not guarantee me that I will still live out this year, this

month, this week, this day or this hour.

Is anybody listening to me out there?

Can any of you declare unequivocally that you will survive this very day regardless

of how young you are, how strong you are, how good you feel or how great a report

your doctor gives you?

No, you can not. So-called healthy folk still drop dead of instant heart attacks after

allegedly never having been sick a day in their lives. Or we could die at the hands of

other humans or through some accident or natural catastrophe.

So, again, I want to take this time to say "Thank you, Jesus," and say it in front of

the world. All that I have and the best that I have ever been and ever hope to be, I owe

it all to my Jesus. He died for me on Calvary. He shed His blood as a remission for my

sins. And because I believe His gospel, I am redeemed in my spirit even though I am

dying in my flesh, as we all are, day in and day out.

I'm just glad that I have life beyond this life and a home beyond this home. I am so

glad that I know Jesus as my savior. I am so glad at how He has preserved the

Sun-Times down through the years, where we went to owner to owner and naysayers

counted us down and out again and again and again. I thank God for good people to

work for and good people to work with.

I pray that God blesses you one and all, my dear readers. I pray for the rest of you

who are hurting in some way or another. Times are going to get far tougher in our nation

than they already are because of bad leadership in the past and continued political

corruption to this very day. Good, hard-working, innocent people are going to be

destroyed economically. And many of us who have are going to have to share with the


Meantime, I just thank God that I'm still alive and that I have the blessed assurance,

like Job, that I know that I know that I know that MY REDEEMER LIVETH!!!!


And I thank God that I'm still alive to scream it to the highest heavens to anybody

who cares to know.

God bless you.

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Healing sometimes comes in baby steps. It seems to me that God has given you quite a few baby steps such that we can see the difference! I thank God for your healing to date, and in the future. I thank God for your trial, because you are uniquely equipped to handle it. You have the spirtitual fortitude, the journalistic training, compassion for people and lack of pride that allows you to share your testimony--the good, bad the ugly, the victories and the setbacks. I continue to hold you and your family in my prayers. I don't have to tell you that all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose.

In the name of Jesus, I agree with you for your healing.

Take care.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Yes, Valerie, all things--the good and the bad, the

simple of the complex, the familiar and the unknown, the easy and the difficult,

the pleasant and the painful--work together for our good. I mine silver from my

suffering, pearls from the perils, stars from my scars, greatness from my groans,

cheers from my tears, gold from my goofs and diamonds in my despair. Often,

though He tries me sorely deep in the furnace of affliction, He refines and purifies

me so that in the end I shall come forth as pure gold. And by His grace and tender

mercies, God leadeth me from mediocrity to magnificence. As like potter molds a

clod of muddy clay in his gifted hands into a vessel of great beauty and value, the

Lord our potter likewise stack us on His spinning surface to mold us. And if some

flaw breaks out, our Potter has the power to stop His spinning wheel right there on

the spot, relump the clay and then remold it into a product of flawless excellence.

So here I am stuck to rough table revolving from the providential propulsion of

God's spinning wheel while His numble, deft finger shape me into a vessel highly

favored. Yes, He' healing in increments, and that's alright with me. What matter's

most of all is that the Lord God Almighty has His hands on me. God bless you as

He continues to shape you into a priceless masterpiece.

may god bless u and your family doing these turbulent times. god is defintely good all the time. i look forward to read your blogs evrytime you post and hopefully you'll be back on a full time basis at the BRIGHT ONE

BANKS' RESPONSE: Eric Collins? Are you THE ERIC COLLINS, the rising

superstar network TV sportscasters and sports analyst? If you are, thanks for

reading my with deep compssion and a loving, believing Christian heart. I thrills me

to know that I am offering some measure of help and hope to fellow sufferers who

feel there is no hop. I cordially invite you and strongly urge to get in touch with Jesus

Please don't let this harvest pass. I can not over-emphsize the urgency of suffering

people getting in touch with Jesus. He is the Balm in Gillead to heal the sinsick soul.

I wish you well, Eric Collins. May God bless you spuer good.

Rev. Banks:
You asked "Is anybody listening to me out there?" Yes, I'm listening to you and am so glad to be listening! I had to remove my glasses and wipe my eyes before being able to finish reading your recent entry. I don't think I could feel better than I do about your praise report than if my disabled husband walked into the room right now totally healed of his infirmities! What an AWESOME God we serve indeed. I join you in praising God and thanking Him for answered prayer. No doubt about it, the prayers of the righteous availeth much, especially when we remember that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. It is such a blessing for the Saints to be able to encourage one another and you certainly are an encouragement through sharing your testimony. God bless you and know that the prayer circle continues on your behalf!

BANKS' RESPONSE: You and I are part of a countless growing multitude of

God's redeemed saints who are subsisting on the availing prayers of faitherful,

fervent, sanctified saints of the most high God. Glory by to His name, it's a precious

name. So precious, in fact, that there is none other name under heaven given

among men, whereby we must be saved.. In the name of Jesus, why, we even have

the victory. So thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ

Our Lord. Thank your for you continued prayerful support, Marie, Our next step to

recruit others to go recuit other warriors in God's kingdom where, You answered

so well about the field as white but the laborers are few

Mr. Banks, thanks for the update. Glory be to the Almighty God. I am happy and overjoyed to hear that you are feeling a little better. I have been checking on your blog twice a day, since your last blog. Thanks again, for sharing your most private and personal healing journey with us. Your blog has helped me in dealing with my grandmother's promotion to eternal life a year ago. My grandfather preceded her eighteen years ago, and every single day she gave God the glory. I pray that God will continue to bless you and your family,to strengthen you, to lift you up when you are feeling down, and to be a constant presence when you are feeling alone. God Bless You Always.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Please stay tuned for some very impressive revelations

coming in future blogs. We are charged to make known His works, God's works,

among the people Meantime, you continued prayers are greatly appreciated. I do

get mighty, mighty weary from times to time as I continue to encounter other

hard-working, honest, well-meaning people who are headed toward worst time

before they get better. Thank you for reading this blog and for sharing meaningful


Good Morning Rev.

Halleluyah! Thank you Jesus. He is great! And worthy to be praised! On this Sunday Morning, on this 31st day of May as I prepare to go to church, this is good news. Hearing something like this when you know that you have been praying dilegently is a boost to a believer's faith. All through this, when you would post a blog that was not optimistic, I would say to myself "That's all right. I am going to keep praying. It ain't over, till God says its over". I didn't post a comment to your last blog because I didn't know what to say to make you feel better but I knew what to do.......continue praying. I have done that and will continue lifitng you, Joyce and your children up in prayer daily. Thanks for your wonderful testimony of faith.

Peace and Blessings,


BANKS' RESPONSE: Girl, I don't what we would do if it wasn't for the likes of

you, Gwen, John Powers, Dr, Mark Thompson, Elder Edward Coleman, Deacon

Jimmy Coleman, Deacon Erwin Dabne, Minnie Joe Evens, Dr. Jimmie Lee Banks,

Rev. Leonard Deville, Roy Warren. Henry Hardy, Dr. Darrell Jackson, Dr. Gordon

Humphrey, Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Dr. Jesse Louis Jackson, Rev, Trent Meeks, Rev,

Charkes Jenkins and so many more

on and so on

Dear Rev. Banks, Every time I read your blog I am encouraged to keep going on in the name of Jesus. My prayers are with and for your healing, because your trial is just a testimony of the awesome power of our savior Jesus Christ. Be Blessed

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless and thank you, Min. Adams, from reading my

blog and for being encouraged. It makes me blus each times I see somebody get

help from something I said or did. But at the end of the day, I want God to get all the

glory, the praise and the thanksgiving. I simply wish that more and more and more

people would work harder to seek God while He can be near and to call uphim

while He is near.

Hello Rev.Banks

To God Be The Glory for " Death Threats Toned Down " I am not surprised one bit, drop, speck or iota. Mark 11:24 tells us Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours, not maybe, not could, not should it WILL be yours.

Wow! you have preached to my soul today in this blog. I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has even more for you to do
in the building of his kingdom. The word states that the light shall break forth like the morning, and your healing shall spring forth speedily, and the righteoousness shall go before you: The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

As we continue to pray for you, your wife and family and as you continue to pray and bless us with your strong belief and trust in God we will behold his promise. May God continue to heal bless and keep you in perfect peace.

Love Beverly D Rogers

BANKS' ROGERS: I love you Beverley Rogers because you love the Lord with

all you heart and soul and so do I. You have been one of my stauchest

supporters of this blog and my church ministry at Christ Tabernacle even before it

could fully be implemented. I still am rejoicing over the spetacular Church

anniversary that you had with Dr. T. Miller. The problem was an unprecedented

success. But you continue to embrace the right causes to try to help God Kingdom

in particular and needy people in general. So be not weary in well doing. For in due

season, ye shall reep if ye faint not.

Rev Lacy J, Banks

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,no other name so sweet! Let's just keep calling on His name. Keep witnessing His blessings for us and others, his works among us, yeah, HE is AWESOME! Everytime I pray for you I always thank God for you. I also am reminded that we all want to see His face so we don't fear death. How great it is to be a child of God! With all our imperfections, HE loves us still. God be with you and yours.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. There is something about that

name, Gwen. Something unique, something beautiful, something all-powerful,

something soothing. And those of us who have been saved by our faith in it, and

have called it over and over in times of adversity down through the years, have

been delivered again and again. Eventually, it dawns on the faithful and one can

never ever wear out that name. It is a durable name that never weakens like all

others that can be overused. That's why to this very day, there is none other name

under heaven given among men whereby we must be, we can be and we will be

saved. Your continued prayers, on your own behalf as well as my behalf and those

of others suffering as we have been called to do, remain my compass when others

deceive and grieve me. But whereas kings and kingdoms, friends and fiends shall

all pass away, the name of Jesus shall remain an anchor, a haven, a comfort and

a conqueror's sword and shield. One of our greatest mistakes is our refusal to

call upon His name even more. When all else fails, Jesus never fails. I pray, in the

name of Jesus, that God continue to caress and bless you with the bliss of

healing, slow or quick but sure and secure. I thank God that upon each update of

my blog, I can always depend upon you to do your best to see me through. You

are one of the manifestations of God's grace and mercy. Thank you and God

bless you.

It can be awfully difficult to find any good news on a Monday morning. But, I should know to check with you first, for this is a record of miracles unfolding. We can afford to be encouraged by the progress you have made. (What a great BP reading!) And we can be encouraged that faith can and does bring the most wonderful things to pass. We, as mortals, often see things so differently than God, for we have a limited view. But, when God's vision coincides with ours, when we can, for just a moment in time, see things through God's eyes, how wonderful a moment it really is.

What you're doing is working! We trust that your path will remain straight and that you'll keep improving, using all the appropriate means.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Praise God for His perfecting of our limited and often

flawed vision. Praise God for your sharp perception. It brings to mine that beloved

hymn we sing again and again: "Amazin' grace, how sweet the sound, that saved

a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found....was BLIND but now I see."

Thanks to our faith, we can see far, far beyond the range of our physical sight.

That is why we redeemed must walk by faith and not by sight. So, I say unto thee,

John Powers, be not weary in well-doing. For in due season, ye shall reap if ye

faint not. And I pray you, in the name of Jesus, to take care that your faith feint

not. Feed it with prayer. Feed it with fasting. Feed it with tithes and offering. Feed

it with steadfastness. Feed it by loving others. But most of all, feed it by loving God

and by praising His name in works as well as words. People like you, God gives

me to feed my faith. And like this other hymn forever be our anthem: "My faith

looks up to thee, thy Lamb of calvary, Savior divine. Now, hear me while I pray.

Take all my sins away. Oh let me from this day be wholly Thine."

Wow, what burdens you have been given. I just said a prayer for you, brother.

I hope that you have come to terms with it. You seem to see this as a trial, put upon you by God. Do you really see it that way? Or is that just a way of dealing with it? You certainly don't appear to deserve this. It doesn't seem fair.

Lord, give it to Osama Bin Laden or the evil people of this world, an enemy, not to an ally.

But this happens to many, not just believers, doesn't it? Perhaps you being a believer, exhibit the Glory of God's Grace In Us when you express your God-centered attitude about your health problems.

And perhaps it has given you a new platform from which to witness. I wish I could tell you the answer.

But there are many mysteries in this universe, aren't there?

May I ask why you think this has happened to you?

I apologize for being so forward, but I ask because I have my own issues to deal with, mysteries that i do not understand.

God Bless You, brother.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Brother Schonfelder, thank God for the mysteries of

earthly misery. For His grace is made perfect in our weakness and in our woes.

Thank God for your very questions which vex us and expose our ignorance no

matter how intelligent we think we are. Look at Job, sitting atop his ash heap of

agony. Look at Job, arguing with his anguish. Look at Job, questioning God. And

we faithful and redeemed, who are blessed to grow in grace, thank and praise

God for questions we can't ever answer to our fullest mortal satisfaction. But if

we dare dig deep into our miseries and their mysteries, and do so prayerfully with

faith, we shall find God's grace and mercy blessing us with the righteous

revelation that we will all understand it all better by and by. Oh yes, the hymn

convicts us: "Tempted and tried, we're oft made to wonder why it must be so all

the day long, when there are others, living among us, never molested, though in

the wrong. But farther along, we'll know all about it. Father along, we'll

understand why. So cheer up my brother Schoenfeld, live in the sunshine. We'll

understand it all, by and by.........Consequently, assures another hymn, "by and by,

when the morning comes, when all the saints of God be gathered home, we will tell

the story about how we've overcome and we will understand it better by and by."

Bless you, Brother Schoenfelder, you powerful ponderer, you. May the good Lord

bless you real, real good.

Rev. Banks,

Your life is an inspiration and a testament to what true faith in God is all about. The love between you and your wife is truly awesome. You bless me each time I read your blog. Thanks for reminding me how fragile and unpredicatable our time here on earth is. Continue to walk in faith.

Nancy Ellis

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks for inspiring me and I hope I am inspiring you in

equal measure or I owe you. I'm blessed that the likes of you take precious time

not only to read my blog but to e-mail me encouraging, kind words. You don't have

to do it. But by the grace of God, the love of Jesus and the anointing of the Holy

Ghost, we are compelled to be kind one to another and to do things of this nature.

And when you do me such kindness, Nancy, it is like the hands of God stretching

from heaven to comfort and keep me, less I fail and fall. This is why it pays to serve

Jesus, Nancy. It pays everyday. It pays every step of life's way. Though the

pathway of divine duty may sometimes seem drear, you'll be happy each step of

the way. God bless you.

Brother Banks,
Thank God for you and your great testimony. I agree with you and stand in prayer with you that to"God be the glory" and "Jesus" because he lives i can face tomorrow. Keep preaching and may God bless you and your family and give you the strength to carry on...Your Brothe in "Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior" Rev. Townes

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, my dear brother reverend. Ain't God good. His

mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations. Accordingly and

consequently, we should continue to bless the Lord at all time and let His praise

be continually in our mouths. May God bless you real, real good with more and

more of His grace and mercy that have us all on life support 24/7. Great is the

Lord and greatly to be praised.

Hallelujah! I continue to pray for God's love to heal, bless and sustain you. Please know that you are loved.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, Drew, for reading my blog and for e-mailing

me kindness and encouragement. May god prosper you and your family with His

profound grace and mercy.

Dear God and Jesus, thank you for hearing my prayer. I have been having dizzy spells since last Tuesday or so, and i dont know what has been causing it actually. However, thank you for hearing my prayers to let the dizziness go away. Thank you for letting me feel so much better now. Hallelujah! =)

BANKS' RESPONSE: That's right, Audrey. When God answers your prayer

and heals you, give Him the credit, the glory and the thanksgiving. I am so glad

that you are feeling so much better.

Wow... You rigth in what you say. Our redeemer does live. I am so touched by your story. I was searching for awnsers on goole "Is Jesus real". Funny but normal for someone that lives in denile. But thank you for this i think this wil give you more stones 2 build a bigger house in heavan. I hope and praye that its not 2 late 4 me. I just wanne see Jesus in my life I. I am missing something and i migth have found it 2 nigth in South Africa in my bedroom nowing God and Jesus is Real!!!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Indeed, Johnny, God, our Creator, and Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, are not only real but are the foundation of the totality of reality. For you to simply assert it and believe it is the greatest step you can make toward maximizing your being, your living, your doing, your having, your going, your coming, your giving....... For he that cometh to God must believe simply that He is. And in His identifying Himself, he condenses His immensity by calling Himself "I Am." As for a fuller name to include His surname, He told Moses, "I Am That I Am." Deeper in the bible, we read Him expanding on a lush litanies of "I Ams". Those elaborations include I Am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. I Am the way, the truth and the life. I am God. I am the Light of the world. I am love......... To acknowledge the existence and God and Jesus is to tap into the infinite, eternal profundity of the universe and to position yourself to take charge over all forces in your midst. Seek to draw closer to Them in prayer, through reading the bible, through believing His Word and great things are in store for you my friend. Happy New Year to the new, improved, better-than-ever you, Johnny.

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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 May 30, 2009 1:13 AM.

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


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