Sunday, June 22, 2003
I proposed to my wife on the steps of a small white church in
Shiloh, Texas just south of Livingston some 9 years ago. We were on our
way to a family reunion, and the ring was burning a hole in my pocket.
I'm one of those people who have a hard time waiting for the special
event to come in order to give a present to a person. For example, when
I buy a birthday gift for someone, I generally want to give it to him or
her early! So you can imagine how much I wanted to give Jill that ring
as soon as I bought it.
At the time, I was living in Florida and Jill was living in
Texas. I had designed a unique ring that I thought Jill would like, and
it took awhile for it to be made. I had a special time and place
arranged to ask Jill to marry me. Unfortunately, that time and place
came and went and the ring was not ready.
I did finally get the ring, and the next time I saw Jill we were
our way to that family reunion.
I woke up that morning and asked Jill's father if I could marry
his daughter. He simply
said, " I think that's a real good idea ".
I had also decided that morning to make up a little white lie
about a special spot that was on the way to Livingston. I had made the trip to Livingston as a young boy with my late
father since he had a home there. So it was easy to convince Jill that I
had stopped at a special spot many times with my him during those
trips. As far as she knew, I simply wanted to stop and share that
location with her.
She anxiously tried to guess when and where we were going to
stop. That's when I saw it. Out
of the corner of my eye, I saw Shiloh Church through the pine trees. I
shouted, “There it is" and turned around. We pulled up to the
church and Jill ran up to the door and looked through the windows. As she
was distracted looking into the old church, I snuck up behind her, got
down on both knees, and asked her to spend the rest of her life with me.
She dropped down to both knees, and, through the tears, agreed to marry
Now, there is a reason that I'm telling this story.
A couple of weeks ago, Jill and I traveled up to Tyler, Texas for
me to give my testimony a couple of times at Bethel Bible Church. The
trip was great and is a story in itself. All I am going to write about
here, though, is the trip home.
we decided to stop at Shiloh Church and take a picture with
Well, after pulling up to the church and reminiscing for a
few minutes, a car drove up and a lady by the name of Margaret Williams came up and
introduced herself. It turned out that she was a member of the church
and there was some type meeting that evening. We told her the story of
my proposal at the church and she was very intrigued. However, we could
have never guessed what was going to happen next.
A second lady came up by the name of Rachel Hodges with a even more
interesting story. It turned out that her husband recently had a stroke
and was currently in Hermann Hospital in the intensive care unit; the
very same I C U that I had been in. There's more. It also turns out that
he was on a ventilator, the doctors were giving little hope, and there
were a big problems between her and his family.
Finally, the main thing holding her together was a deep faith in
God. Does all of this sound
You can imagine how much she and Jill had to talk about. They
encouraged each other, pulled up each other's faith, and received each
other as prayer partners. As Christians, I believe that there
are no coincidences. I now know why the ring was not ready in time nine
years ago. God’s plan was to have us at that church, at the very
moment to meet
Rachel Hodges. Reminding
me once again that, “ All Things work for good for those love the
… Having a child has changed everything!
Buying Jill a mother's Day present and receiving a Father's Day
present will go down as one of the greatest experiences of my life. I
have become more reflective, protective, and thankful than I ever
thought possible. On that note, let me update you on our little family
Faith Anne is doing great. Check out some
pictures. She is
now rolling over, talking baby talk, and starting to eat some type of
rice of cereal. We have even taken her to a friend’s swimming pool,
and she loved. She is
changing so fast. Oddly
enough, she is in the 95 percentile of length.
We are not very tall, but our uncles on all sides are over 6 ft.
I have been trying to delay the transition to solid foods. Jill
is convinced that I am subconsciously trying to stunt her growth!
Maybe I am. I am already dreading the day when she will not let
me kiss her in front of her friends. Am I crazy?
Something great has happened with my respiratory function.
Jill found a clinical trial up in Chicago. After speaking with
the doctor a few times, we pretty much decided that it was
cost-prohibitive for me to join the study.
Fortunately, the drug is already an FDA approved treatment for
asthma. Because of this, the doctor agreed to send me the regiment for
the trial. I took that information to my doctor and he wrote the
prescription. After taking the drug for six weeks, my respiratory
function increased 20%! Not
only does my voice sound almost normal, I can also clear my lungs 95% of
the time. And this was a
one-time deal in that I never have to take the drug again.
If you know anyone who may benefit from the treatment have them