Update from Lud, mid May, 23

May 18th, 2023
Folks keep asking me how I’m doing. Better! I’m not all I’d like to be, but I’m doing better. I’m still coughing, but much improved. I’ve done some traveling, most recently to Cumming, GA for my granddaughter’s graduation from university. Emotionally I’m feeling stable. I’m finding it challenging to remember new names of the people I’m living with in a Senior community. Physically I’m back into my exercise routine, but I don’t have much energy reserve. Mentally I’m having to work at concentration, maintaining focus. But I keep working at getting things done. I’ve been able to press on spiritually. But I do miss Mur in the mix of things. Especially when alone, sitting on my patio, even though I know I’m never alone!! I keep reminding myself of the call to Responsible Freedom. OK, that is kind of where I am.
Here are some things you can pray for me:
1. We always have people around us who have needs. Pray that I’ll make the most of the opportunities that come my way.
2. I will be speaking at the chapel at the Radio Network I’m on in Charlotte, Monday, May 22.
3. I will be visiting my sons, Greg and Jeff in Chicago area, and their families May 24 – 31.
4. I’m having a few follow up tests and Dr. visits.
5. I’m planning a trip back to Chagrin Falls, June 10 – 19, and plan to share briefly at Fellowship on Sunday June 11, and hopefully at Cornerstone and Chardon Christian Fellowship, the following Sunday, June 18.
6. I miss my Panera Office in Bainbridge. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet some of you in my office when I’m there!
My Serendipitous Encounter for this update goes back over 50 years, but I still remember it vividly:
An Elder in my church at the time messed up my plans for the next day. Let me explain:
We had a “second marriage” couple in our church. Actually, the husband didn’t attend the church. He claimed to be an agnostic. Each had a teen-age son. The wife’s son was a rebel. The father’s son was a great student. The rebel son persuaded his mother to let him get a motorcycle. The dad was not happy, to say the least. You guessed it, the rebel had an accident and broke his leg and was in the hospital for an operation. I visited him the day before he was to be operated on, chatted briefly, and prayed with him. I didn’t think he, being macho, would want me to come and visit him the next morning.
That night the Elder, who worked with the teens at the church, visited him in the hospital, and as he was leaving promised him that I would visit him the next morning before the operation. He called me and told me what he had done. I was not very happy, but kept my cool, and later rearranged my plans for the next day.
In the morning, I got up early because I knew they did operations early, and they would be anesthetizing him before the operation. I was not in the best mood as I parked my car close to the entrance. When I got out of my car, I noticed the boy’s stepfather was approaching from the parking lot. He greeted me, “I knew you would be here!” I was surprised at his greeting, smiled and started for the entrance with him following me. We made our way to the boy’s room and found him already zoned out, so I asked the father, “Are you planning to stay till after the operation?” When he said, “Yes,” I began sensing, in spite of my attitude up to this point, maybe God was in all of this. So, I suggested, “Why don’t we go to the cafeteria and get some breakfast.” As we were eating, he shared with me how that morning he woke up, startled by a bright white light at the foot of his bed. As he sat up, he heard a voice behind him saying, “Go to the hospital. The pastor will be there!” Without questioning (remember he was an agnostic), he got up, shaved, got dressed, got in his car and drove to the hospital, somewhat bewildered by what was happening. By this time, I was focused, and before breakfast was over, he had prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord! You might say God used me, but it was God doing it, in spite of me. Clearly God used the Elder who messed up my calendar to get me there for this Serendipitous Encounter! Years later I got a letter from his son, expressing gratitude for the change God had made in his dad’s life.