Update from Lud, June ’23

June 4th, 2023
As I bring you an update on what is happening in my life, I want you to know that I thank God for your faithful prayer support, and I pray that “our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2nd Thessalonians 1:11-12)
In answer to your prayers my message in the chapel at the Radio Network I’m on in Charlotte went well. After chapel I met with some of the leaders and it looks like they are interested in producing my program in Portuguese, for broadcast in Brazil. They also showed interest in doing a series of programs based on a book I wrote that has been published in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Please pray for God’s guidance in this.
I had a great time visiting my sons, Greg and Jeff and their families May 24 – 31.
I’m looking forward to be back in Chagrin Falls, June 10 – 19, and will be sharing briefly in both services at Fellowship on Sunday June 11, and at Cornerstone and Chardon Christian Fellowship, the following Sunday, June 18.
During the week I plan to be in my “Panera Office” in Bainbridge. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet some of you when I’m there!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX As I’ve mentioned in recent updates, going through my file folders I’ve come across some amazing “Serendipitous Encounters” I’ve had over the years. I hope you will find this one encouraging.
Some years ago, Mur and I were on an extended trip to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and specifically Israel. Because of difficulties in Egypt our time in Israel had been cut to three days. It was half a year after the six-day war, and there were almost no tourists there. We rented a car and were able to visit many of the Biblical sites you would normally see on tours of one to two weeks. Mur returned home and I continued my trip for another two months to visit missionaries and teach at a Bible College in Sri Lanka.
It was Valentine’s Day when I took Mur to the airport in Israel. After praying together, hugging, and kissing she went through customs and to her gate and plane. I hung around, went to a lookout area, and watched her plane take off and fly toward Europe. Then, back at the hotel I got ready for my long flight to India and Sri Lanka. Returning to the airport early, I sat in a public lounge area and passed the time reading my Bible as I waited for my flight.
Suddenly a teen-age girl approached me and asked if I was reading a Bible. When I said, “Yes,” she asked if she could talk with me. She was an exchange student from Thailand who was on her way home. During her year in the United States she lived with a Christian family and went with them to church. Recently she had prayed to receive Jesus Christ as her Savior. Now, returning home to her family, who were of a different religion, she was anxious about explaining to them her decision. I listened to her concerns and questions and shared from the Bible.
After checking the time, I realized it was almost time to check in. I asked her when her flight was leaving. It was the same time as mine. We checked the flight number and found out we were on the same flight! At the counter we asked the clerk if we could have our seats changed to be together.
The long flight didn’t seem so uncomfortable because for most of the flight our discussion on the Bible and Christian faith was inspiring. When we landed in Sri Lanka, I got her phone number in Bangkok, Thailand, before I embarked. She remained on the plane for her next leg to Bangkok. A month later, as I proceeded to visit missionaries, I had a brief stop at the airport in Bangkok and tried calling her, but the one who answered the phone could only speak in the Thai language.
I don’t know the outcome of this Serendipitous Encounter, BUT GOD DOES, and that’s enough for me.

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.

Update from Lud, March ’23

March 14th, 2023
This update is going to be with bullet points:
1. I’m in my two room apartment and adjusting to my new normal. The people here have gone the extra mile to welcome me. But I very much miss my dear wife Mur. And also, being able to see and get together with you’all.
2. My new address is: 7600 Hwy 158, Apt 102, Stokesdale, NC 27357. Please send personal mail to this address unless you want to send support for the ministry. For that use, Getting God’s Message, PO Box 167, Novelty, OH 44072. I apologize if some mail has been returned to you, or if you haven’t received a receipt for a donation sent. Please resend it using the above information. If you have any questions let us know. Thanks for understanding.
3. My recovery progress is going slower than I had hoped, but finding and getting under the care of a new health team has been a challenge. One blessing is that my new primary health Dr.’s office is only 5 minutes from my home.
4. My daughter Tammi’s home is only 15 minutes away. I’ll be going to Tammi and Bill’s church, also very close by.
5. The radio ministry continues to be blessed by God in answer to your prayers and support. I couldn’t resist sharing this note from a listener: It illustrates bullet point 2 above: “Hi Lud, early this year I sent a donation to an address I found online, to support GETTING GOD’S MESSAGE. Before I send another financial donation, I just want to know you are getting them.” Our Secretary sent her, “Thank you for your generosity! We are so encouraged by friends partnering with us. We did receive your check, so thank you. I also just emailed a copy of the receipt to your email address.” And she received this in return: “Ok Cathie, the email receipt is great. Very shortly another donation will follow. Because it’s the most effective ministry to be found under two minutes. 😊 Ok bye now.”

Update from Lud

February 4th, 2023
It’s almost the end of January, ’23. It feels somewhat similar to the end of January two years ago, when I was recovering from Covid. But this recovery is going slower. It has been three full weeks since being released from the hospital back home. But, as many of you know by now, I was selling my home to move to North Carolina to live closer to my daughter, Tammi, so I didn’t have a home to go to, and I wasn’t in good enough shape to stay with anyone in Ohio. Amazingly, family and friends, cleaned out the house, loaded a POD and their cars, while I stayed in a hotel room to rest. I had severe hick-ups, which made it almost impossible to speak with anyone. Eventually I was able to see the empty house for a couple of hours as the final things were being loaded. The next day, my son Jeff drove me down to NC.
It felt odd to me to not connect with folk, but throughout the hospital stay, hotel stay and even after getting to my daughter’s home, it was just too difficult to talk. It took another week before we could schedule our first Dr’s appointment. Ex-ray and blood tests indicated the infection was still there and needed antibiotic meds, in addition to what I was already taking, and upping the Oxygen I was on to start turning my condition around. That is beginning to happen, but slowly. I am confident you have been praying for me and my family even with limited knowledge of what was happening. Pray that the Drs, nurses and we ourselves monitor the progress well. Also for cooperative weather as we move things into the apartment this weekend and for the sale of the house to be completed. We don’t have to rush with the unpacking and turning my apartment into a home. Our kids and their families need to get back to their normal schedules – they have been very special throughout this rushed process.
I’m planning to hang a banner with EBENEZER emblazed on it. If you’re not familiar with Ebenezer, it’s from the Old Testament book, 1 Samuel 7:12 which tells us Samuel “named a place Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.” Because of Samuel’s faithfulness and Israel’s repentance and newfound faith in the one true Lord, “the hand of the Lord was against the enemy all of the days of Samuel” (1 Samuel 7:13).
I appreciate all the texts and emails sent. If you want to touch base, please do so by email or text, talking on the phone is still an issue. Thanks. Lud

Update, Christmas, ’22

December 23rd, 2022
I wondered how to update all of you who prayed for Mur and Me over the last two years, and now me, after Mur entered her new home in heaven. I’ve remembered the thousands of embraces/hugs Mur and I enjoyed over the 64 years we knew each other, especially after I got home from extended trips overseas. After Mur’s health started declining those hugs became increasingly special. She started having a hard time getting out of bed and on her feet. I could coax her to get out of bed and stand, even if only for a moment, so we could hug. Toward the end I would have to lean over and hug her while she was lying in bed. The last time, I could only lean over and kiss her, tell her I loved her and then as she closed her eyes sing a couple of familiar hymns. Now, three months later I’m reminded of the popular Christian song, “I can only imagine…” where the writer listed some possibilities of what we might experience when arriving in heaven. Then I received a painting of being embraced, maybe lifted off her feet, and overjoyed by Jesus’ loving squeeze. It was a comfort to me and encouraged me to “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12). I know that Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers or sisters (Hebrews 2:11) and God is not ashamed to be called our God, for he has prepared a place for us (Hebrews 11:16). That is what our blessed hope is all about. AND THAT IS WHY JESUS CHRIST CAME. Be sure to make time to praise and worship HIM this Christmas.