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Thank God For My 68th Birthday

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God bless you.

Today (Aug. 11) is my 68th birthday and I'm ready cry.

A tear from my right eye just beat the left to the drop.

To those of you who have been praying with me and for me since I started blogging my struggles with a cancerous brain tumor, cancer of my prostate and my being elevated to No. 1 on the Mayo Clinic's heart transplant list, you know somewhat what I'm talking about.

I'm blessed to be alive.

Blessed to be able to walk, although often with great difficulty, and to deal with a million dollars worth of advanced medical equipment implanted inside me and powered by batteries I wear and charge every 12 hours and by being cabled up to a bedside power console plugged into the AC wall socket of my bedroom.

Blessed to be able to speak for myself, feed myself, drink when I'm thirsty. drive a car, shower myself with special equipment. I'm blessed.

I'm blessed to have the best wife, the best daughters, the best son-in-law, the best sisters and brothers, the best mother-in-law and the best friends to help look after me.
Then there ministers like Rev. Jimmie Lee Banks, Rev. Clay Evans, Rev. Darrell Jackson, Rev. Henry Hardy, Rev. Leonard DeVille, Rev. Gregory Macon, Rev. Andre Allen, Rev. Gregory Macon, Evangelist Minnie Joe Evans and her pastor Rev. George Howse, Evangelist Beverly Rogers and her husband Wylie, Deacon Richard Nevels and his wife Rose, my Sun-Times bosses and co-workers and so many others looking after me.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm blessed by the mighty hand of our God' or grace and mercy, His resurrected and redeeming son, Jesus Christ, and their cast of thousands.

I'm blessed to still be working for the Sun-Times for my 39th year and to still be preaching and singing before congregations across the country.
I'm blessed to be in Springfield, Mass., right know to cover my very first Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, where five former Bulls, including former assistant coach Tex Winter, are being either inducted into the Hall of Fame or given various lifetime achievement awards.

Then there are great American giants from Chicago to include Lee B. Stern, Mike Ditka, Rocky Wirtz, Jerry Reinsdorf, Irwin Mandel, Dr. Valluvan Jevanandam, the late Irv Kupcinet, Rick Tellender, Mary Mitchell, Stella Foster, Mark Bartelstein, Dr. Michael Flaherty, Dr. Allen Aderson, Elinor Lowry, Steve Schanwald and so many other supporters and enablers.
Insert your name right here, too, because people like you all are my birthday presents and your prayers are flaming candles atop a cake of uncommon kindness.

I don't apologize to any doubters and pouters who felt I should have been dead three years ago. They wonder what's taking me so long to die. When I first started blogging this journey and real friends and supporters like John, Marie, Donna, Beverly, Marcia, Gwen, Tomas, Constance, Eugene and Alicia rallied around me prayerfully to bid me God's speed.

But there are others who expected and even wished that my serious health problems to result in a quick kill. i want you to know that even you play a valuable part in my life and I thank god for every one of my enemies and naysayers. After all, if there were no enemies, who would need a friend.

You enemies of mine have kept me praying, kept me singing and preaching, kept me humble, kept me inspired, kept me from getting too careless and too cocky. On behalf of all my supporters and me, in heaven and on earth, I want to thank all you enemies of mine and the rest of us for doing a fine job. Many of us would not have made it this far without your encouragement.

In case you just tuned in, today (Aug 11) is my 68th birthday and I'm celebrating by looking back over my life and by seeing so much that my God has done for me. He's never failed me, never has left me alone and he's always answered my prayers.

Oh if you only knew how many times I have prayed for the Sun-Times. I was occasionally called "nigger" and "stupid black SOB" when I joined the paper in 1972 as its first black sportswriter. But though I've had odds with these types of people, I forgave them, kept praying for them in particular and paper in general, and the Lord has sustained and delivered us through many dangers, toils and snares.

During my 39 years working for the Sun-Times, including going into the communities to give motivational speeches, my dearest friend albert Dickens and I have worked for 12 different sports editor and under seven different ownership, including a brief employment under Rupert Murdoch,
Many times, the Sun-Times had been counted out and doomed for failure. Twice the company even fired me and has bought out or laid off legions of the finest media professionals ever to work a daily newspaper. Then there are others who defected to seek vacational asylum at the Tribune and other media outlets, to unclude radio and televison,

The is my 68th birthday, and, God willing, my last year of working for one of the greatest newspapers in the world.

No need to wish me a happy birthday, because I'm already having one. Every birthday that finds me still alive, relatively healthy, sane and functional and enjoying life with my family is a happy one.

Yes, I'm still waiting for a new heart. The reason I haven't gotten one yet is the 22 months I've been on the transplant list is because it was not God's will. In due season, I will get what God wants to give me, when he wants to give it and however He wants to give it.

Any way all this shakes out is alright with me because my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground in sinking sand.

I'm praying for you all. Please pray for me, too.

God bless you



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4 Comments

Happy Birthday, Lacy!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you so much. Aren't birthday, on the whole, great?

Dear Brother Lacy,
Yes, God has given you a new title in my life. Of course, the family of God relationship started the day we each gave our lives to Christ. It’s just taken me a while to publically claim it. When I opened my Lacy Banks journal file on my laptop, I saw that I hadn’t made an entry since May of this year. I’m glad to say that I don’t feel bad about it because I know we were BOTH going about living the lives we’ve been ordained to live.
I must say that your words touched me so profoundly because they are confirmation of God’s answer to my prayers for this year of 2011. The Holy Spirit gave me the Word of peace at the end of last year and it has been the focus of my prayers and spoken blessings to others. I see that He has given you a greater measure of that peace and I’ve been enjoying it also. His peace in our hearts and spirits is the foundation upon which we can focus less on the burdens and more on appreciating the blessings, as you are doing.
While speaking with our pastor yesterday, we discussed the joy of the Lord and how difficult it is to describe it in human words. I often wish that I had that ability because it’s too valuable to not share. If others knew just how it feels, how it can literally change one’s life for the better, even change the WORLD, leading the lost to Christ might not be as difficult. On the other hand, we continue trusting that God’s way is always best and we do our best to live in a manner that piques interest and makes folks ask us about our demonstrated joy in the Lord.
I agree with you in the Spirit that your time for a new heart has not yet come. I don’t think God is finished working through that heart, as evidenced by your continued testimony of His goodness. Though physically flawed and maintained by artificial means (which God has given mankind the knowledge to create) your heart is still very effective, because we both know that God can give life to dry bones.
Happy Birthday though belated, for your 68th, and every other day you draw breath on this earth. We all ought to be saying Happy Birthday every day we wake up because His mercies of continued life are new every morning.
Your sister in Christ, Marie.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Aaahhhhh. I like the way you put it, Marie. "Living the lives we are ordained to live." How well-put. Living the ordained life exudes a measure of predestination. It suggests that the lives we are living are divinely planned and that we could live them no other way but the way God designed them to be lived. Of course, we never really know what that way is until it happens. For who knows the profound, omniscient mind of God anyway? And whatever it is, we redeemed of the Lord are in agreement whether we know it or now and whether we want it or not. For did not our Savior teach us to pray, "Thy kingdom come and The will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Given that fact, we yield as Jesus Himself yielded in the garden of Gethsemene, "Not My will but Thy will be done." Since we no where close to being the equal of Jesus, it would be blasphemous for any of us to put our will ahead of God's will. But here is the awesome exciting adventure of living the ordained and anointed life. We are invited to express our desires for an infinite resevoir of options. And if we have enough faith, we will be guided to ask for what will be God's ultimate divine revelation. So He cordially invites us, Marie, to "Ask and it shall be given. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you." Ever since these divine, ordained, predestined and anointed ordeal began, I had already submitted my suplication for God's healing will to be made manifest in my life. So, I don't mind the hurt, the hardship and the heartache as long as God gets the glory out of it. I glorify God with my ouches. I glorify Him with my, thank you Sir Winston Churchill, blood, sweat and tears. I glorify God with the patience . I am will to await upon thew Lord.

I am a new author,Please read my book 'My Little Secrets' author Belinda Davis,My book is about the south and I know it will make a great movie! Please let me know what you think about my book! My E-mail is b.davis21@hotmail.com, Thank you so much for your time Belinda!

BANKS' RESPONSE: If this book is anywhere close to "The Help," you got a witness. That movied rocked me to the core because as a native of Mississippi, where my mama did washing, ironing and sewing for white people, I could personally identify with it.

Rev. Banks. I hope you had a beautiful birthday. Today I want to share with you that you are such an insiration to others. Your faith in God is powerful and I feel my faith getting stronger when I read your column. I am 72 years old. Suntimes was the only newspapter in my house. When I tell my granddaughter and friends what life was like in the 50's, 60's and 70 they are shocked. We did live many hard times. I look back at what I call the saddest times when our president was shot, When Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were killed and of course the most recent 9-11. I know it makes my God sad to see what man has done to MAN. I think of all the good things the miracles of science that include the advancements for heart. I will be having soon my aorta valve replace due to narrowing. Thurs the 18th I am seeing the open heart surgeon to set the date. I know God has me in the palm of his hand. I have to accept his will for me. Thank you for being a inspiration.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing. You know I care. How else should I expect God to care for me if I don't care for you? I want it have your healing, whether outright and directly from God, or whether through a surgeon's scalpel. As You know, I've been there many time and an destined to be so again if God wills it. I am also committed, by my faith in God, to a positive result. I stand flat-footed and firm on God's grace and mercy. So I tell you, Joan, what God, through His Word commands us: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. But in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy ways."

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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 August 11, 2011 8:08 AM.

Loving God, Ourselves And Family=43rd Wedding Anniversary was the previous entry in this blog.

God Moves UCMC To Rejoin My Heart Transplant Team is the next entry in this blog.

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