How I’m Dealing With Parkinson’s Disease

7 Incredibly Joyous Lessons I Have Learned

For just over two years, I have wondered how to do this. I have written and rewritten this post many times. The time was never right. I was not ready. But I'm ready now.

The time has come to tell you that I have Parkinson's disease.

The symptoms became apparent in May 2011. The diagnosis came in September of that year. If you want to know more about Parkinson's disease, please refer to the website of the Michael J Fox Foundation.

This is not about fighting for victory, it's about fighting from victory. Click to tweet this.

The focus of this post is about victory, even where victory appears impossible. This is not about fighting for victory, it's about fighting from victory. Such victory is only attainable through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus…

Seven Incredibly Joyous Lessons I Have Learned Through Having Parkinson's Disease

  1. Don't Waste Your Parkinson's (Or Whatever).  I do not believe that God gave me Parkinson's, nor that he “allowed me” to have it, nor that it is his will for me to have it. All disease is evil, and comes from hell, and God has promised that he heals all of our diseases (Psalm 103, Isaiah 53). Though he does not cause evil to happen to us, God can and does use hellish situations to accomplish his purposes. The day I realized this fully, the day I realized that God's judgment and vengeance will exact a price from the devil (yes, I believe the devil is real!) for every moment of pain he has inflicted on me… that was the day I gained the victory. Satan will be sorry he chose to inflict this illness upon me. If it continues to progress, as the doctors assure me it will, I will fight the good fight of faith with even more joy in my heart. I will not waste the opportunity to show others how to live, fully alive, no matter what is thrown at us. Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world.” Thank you, Lord!
  2. It Doesn't Matter. I don't want to minimize anyone else's suffering. But for me, I was free from the suffering the day I realized: it doesn't matter. Here's what I mean…  before the diagnosis, I had prayed for many people with a variety of different illnesses, and I had seen the Spirit of God miraculously heal them. One of my friends was healed of stage IV cancer. I had witnessed many other miracles like this. Yet, to this day, I myself still experience the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, even though I have been prayed for many times. It would be a mistake for me to ask “why”. It would be a greater mistake for me to attribute the work of the enemy to God the Father. Attributing the work of the enemy to God is blasphemy.The bedrock of my faith is the belief that God is love. My continued illness is not an excuse to abandon my faith, it's an invitation to embrace it. And in the end, if my healing comes only after death, that is no excuse for me to abandon the work God has put in my hands.When three young men were threatened with death in a fiery furnace in the Old Testament, the leader of those young men said, “We will not bow to your false gods. Our God is well able to protect us. And even if he does not, we will not bow.” I have work to do, assigned to me by the King, and he gives me strength and joy every day to do that work, despite what the enemy may throw at me. My light and temporary affliction does not matter.
    Illness is no excuse to abandon faith, it's an invitation to embrace it. Click to tweet this.
  3. I Have Learned Empathy. In the past, before my diagnosis, I would pray for people and often there would be no apparent response. Not everyone I prayed for was healed. I had perfected the art of answering their questions about why they had not been healed. My answers were theologically sound. I gave them with confidence, including answers like these…
    • Sometimes God's healing comes as an instant miracle, sometimes as a gradual process.
    • God uses many instruments for healing, and often the instrument is medical science.
    • God may time your healing in a perfect way we may not understand.
    • Sometimes we ask God for an oak tree, and he gives us an acorn. We must steward the acorn.
    • And sometimes we must simply embrace the mystery and accept that we don't know everything, but affirm that God is still good.

    I knew these answers were true, and yet… when I faced the same situation myself, I found them difficult to accept. However, on the other side of working through that difficulty, I found the answers are indeed still true.

    Now, I have great empathy for people who are walking through difficult challenges.

    Now, when I pray for someone who has not seen the manifestation of their healing, I meet them with compassion instead of judgment.

    Now, I treasure the gift of this empathy.

  4. Grace Is the Gospel. “Grace” is not merely a topic in a theological textbook. It is the gospel itself. The Apostle Paul tells us that through the sacrifice of Christ we have been given the “gift of righteousness” and also the “abundance of grace”. Grace is more than mere forgiveness; it is taking forgiveness a step further and adding a generous gift on top. The word used in the original Greek Scripture that is translated as “grace” literally means “unmerited favor”. The gospel message, and the state of being “saved”, is about more than just getting “eternal fire insurance.” It's about more than simply getting out of hell.When we accept the gift that Christ offers, we inherit his righteousness. We receive his grace. Jesus took on himself what we deserved, so that we could get what he deserves. The Bible tells us that the Law and the Prophets were given through Moses, but Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ. Jesus is Grace and Truth. Jesus is the gospel. Jesus is the perfect image of the Father.Let that last statement soak in: there are many who believe that God the Father is angry and vengeful, and that Jesus the Son is peaceful and forgiving. I submit to you that anything you attribute to the Father, but that you do not see demonstrated in Jesus, needs to be re-examined. And what do we see in Jesus? First, he only did what he saw the Father doing, and the Father is love…
    • So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Fatherdoes, that the Son does likewise.” (John 5:19)
    • “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)

    Second, Jesus never refused anyone when they asked to be healed. He never said, “I see that you have leprosy, and I have some bad news. This is the kind of leprosy my Father gives. Learn from it.”

    No, his response was to heal everyone. He healed them all. Both before and after his resurrection.

    • When the sun was setting, all those who had any sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.   (Luke 4:40)
    • That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.  (Matthew 8:16)
    • Jesus, perceiving that, withdrew from there. Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all,  (Matthew 12:15)
    • At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick, and those who were possessed by demons. All the city was gathered together at the door. He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn't allow the demons to speak, because they knew him.  (Mark 1:32-34)
    • All the multitude sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.  (Luke 6:19)
    • But the multitudes, perceiving it, followed him. He welcomed them, and spoke to them of the Kingdom of God, and he cured those who needed healing.  (Luke 9:11)
    • More believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women. They even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some of them. Multitudes also came together from the cities around Jerusalem, bringing sick people, and those who were tormented by unclean spirits: and they were all healed.  (Acts 5:15-16)
    • It happened that the father of Publius lay sick of fever and dysentery. Paul entered in to him, prayed, and laying his hands on him, healed him. Then when this was done, the rest also who had diseases in the island came, and were cured.  (Acts 28:8-9)
  5. Victim Thinking Equals Death. In the early days after my initial diagnosis, and the apparent failure of prayer to heal my condition, I began thinking like a victim. Poisonous thoughts repeatedly ran through my mind: why did this happen to me? Doesn't God see how I've been serving him? Is it really not God's will to heal me? Even more subtle, and more deadly: how can I minister to others when I can't even help myself? Who wants to hear a message about the God who heals from someone who is sick? That last question began to wake me up-because the Lord instantly showed me how ridiculous the question really is. For instance, if we substitute “sin” for “illness”, the question becomes: who wants to hear a message about the God who forgives from someone who still sins? We don't require, expect, or even believe that any pastor in any pulpit is 100% free from sin. Yet we don't tell them to go home and stop preaching until they are. Victim thinking robs us of our identity in Christ. Whenever we start thinking about our sins, our illnesses, our shortcomings, or our lack of faith, we are ultimately just thinking about ourselves. The best thing we can do is to take our focus off our self, and put our full attention on Christ.Paul writes in Galatians: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live through faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”My diagnosis gave me an opportunity to once and for all move out of victim thinking, and into victorious thinking.

    Victim thinking robs us of our identity in Christ. Click to tweet this.
  6. Our Trials Represent An Opportunity That Won't Last. Whatever we face in life that seems like a problem or a trial actually represents an opportunity. In this life, we have the opportunity to praise God, and to worship him, in the face of adversity. This takes an act of will, a decision, a certain amount of discipline.When my hands are trembling, and my relatively young body tries to feel like the body of an old man, it is a sacrifice for me to put a smile on my face and raise my hands, and praise the goodness of God. The opportunity that is time-limited is this: once I am in my eternal body, in heaven, I no longer have the option to offer that sacrifice to God. Each of us is able, today, to offer God the gift that one day will be impossible for us to give. Truly, I refuse to waste my Parkinson's.
  7. The Law Demands, But Grace Supplies. I have encountered a number of good-hearted, well-intentioned believers who want to tell me that my disease must be caused by some hidden sin in my life… a “generational curse”… a failure on my part to follow an obscure law written in Scripture… etc. I have been prayed for, prescribed to, undergone various forms of “inner healing ministry”, and otherwise subjected to condemnation thoroughly and completely. I'm here to tell you, no amount of shaming, blaming, or justifying your illness is going to help you. Inner healing ministries are good and valuable, and have their place. But we must move beyond the idea that our sin is more powerful than the sacrifice of Christ. With his last breath, Jesus pronounced: “It is finished.” What part of “finished” is unclear? Jesus died to redeem us from the curse. No curse he redeemed me from has any power over me. Jesus died to free me from condemnation. Therefore it is a dishonor to him for me to accept condemnation. Condemnation comes straight from the fiery bowels of hell. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.” (Romans 8:1)
    Grace doesn't require rules – it supplies us with a heart that makes rules unnecessary. Click to tweet this.
    Many worry that the preaching of “radical grace” will encourage people to sin. I'm glad there is concern over this, as it tells me we are preaching the right gospel.

    This kind of outrageous liberty is exactly what Paul was criticized for, and the reason he had to tackle this issue head-on when he said: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

    Paul goes on to explain how our old nature died with Christ and we were resurrected as new creations. Grace does not require that we follow rules and laws-Grace supplies us with a new heart that makes rules and laws unnecessary.

In the movie “Shawshank Redemption”, Andy Dufresne says to his pal Red as they sit in the prison yard, “It comes down to one simple decision. Either get busy living, or get busy dying.”

This line has always reminded me of another memorable piece of dialogue.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

I choose life.

The Time Has Come

I wrote this for two primary reasons.

First, I never want to write things that give an impression about me that is not true. It's probably impossible for me to fully achieve that goal. People will draw their own conclusions no matter what I write. On the other hand, it is possible for me to know my own heart, and in my heart I knew that keeping this secret any longer was just not an option.

Secondly, and most important, I wrote this for you. I may not know what your specific struggles are, but I know that you do have a choice before you. You can either let the enemy steal, and kill, and destroy your life… or you can choose to accept life, and accept it abundantly.

The time has come.

Choose life.

 Question for you: how has facing a great difficulty given you the gift of a more abundant life? Please share your story and your insights below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Thank you for being honest and brave and human. We all need to be more of those things. You are great friend and I’m grateful that our paths have crossed.

    • Me too Andy. And I promise to call you tomorrow.

  • Thank you Phil. I am so blessed to call you friend. I thank you for your minnistry but most of all for the way you bring the undiluted Gospel of Grace!

  • Dang it Mike – you made me cry!

  • Just sitting in a hotel room catching up on my favorite blogs and was shocked to read this post. I love your blog and look forward every week to listening to your podcast. Although I am just a new blogger with a podcast on the horizon, I have used you as a model for everything I do on the web. This post does nothing less than make me want to also be a human being like you, as well. Praying for your health and happiness and thank you so much for your inspirational wisdom. God Bless!

  • Ray Wow, even when facing adversity such as this you remain the ever positive person and faithful to the core. You continue to be an inspiration not only in words but in deeds. One can only hope to strive to follow the examples you set. continued prayers are sent your way my friend and thanks for being you!

  • Ray, your thoughts hear have blown my mind. You truly have a spiritual maturity that cut straight to the heard of God. Thank you for sharing this with us, we appreciate your vulnerability and desire to see God given glory though your life.

  • Armand Morin

    Dude,

    Needless to say like everyone else, I was shocked by what you just shared. As many here have said , I can’t believe you kept this to yourself for so long. What you posted certainly has been well thought out and I wouldn’t have expected any less.

    I truly believe though this wasn’t placed upon you without purpose. Your story, your fight, your struggle, your adaptation to a new way of living I believe will be an inspiration to many.

    So my friend, now that you have it and everyone knows you have it… what I’m really excited about is… what are you going to do with it? 🙂 Certainly this is not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter of your life. I know the person you are and I know this small hindrance will be motivation to you and those around you.

    For many they may have found a new respect for the person you are. For me it has certainly deepened the respect I’ve always had for you.

    Thanks for being you and sharing this with the world.

    Armand

    • Armand,

      This is one of my favorite responses, and I think we could all adapt what you wrote here to any situation or challenge we may face in life:

      “So my friend, now that you have it and everyone knows you have it… what I’m really excited about is… what are you going to do with it?”

      Thank you for being a friend who has stuck with me over many a year, and many a challenge.

      Ray

  • Harlan Kilstein

    My holy brother. We have a saying: The Salvation of God comes in the blink of an eye. Praying for the big man’s eye to blink.

    • Harlan… I LOVE THIS! Thank you. Shalom.

  • This post oozes with Jesus Christ. Thank you for pointing us to Him! Even with challenges that we face, the “fragrance of Christ” still wafts throughout. (2 Cor 2:15)

  • Cheryl Inghram Ravey

    I’ll pray the same thing for you as I do for my Dad who has Parkinson’s…”With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:16 The word that comes to mind is BOLD: be bold in your pursuit, be bold in your speech and be bold in your actions!! Sending love your way…

    • Thank you Cheryl, I am privileged to know you. I pray your Dad is healed of this affliction… after all, Jesus has already paid the price for it!

  • Thanks for sharing, Ray. You are setting such a great example of both humility and openness.

  • Antonio Bortolotti

    One December morning of a few years ago I was diagnosed a tumor in the liver. I was in my early 30’s and realized I was given an opportunity. I was faced with a big decision that made me remember what really mattered in my life. I decided to re-prioritize ‘priorities’ and If my life was worth something, for all I had done until then to be ‘successful’, that was my chance to prove it and give back.

    I flew to Thailand to help those who had just been struck by the fury of the Tsunami, in a place I was very fond of and knew very well. What I saw then was devastation on one hand and humble pride of genuine Thais on the other. I learned a lot from giving back, I went on a journey in search for the self and returned a better human being some time later.

    I am still here today, found the woman of my life and built up the family we always dreamt of. Our teenage daughter is a joy and our days are full of happiness and gratitude. ‘La vita è bella’ – or life is beautiful – as we say in my home country, Italy and I thank every day for having the opportunity to be remembered just that.

    The time had come. And I chose life.

  • Jared Easley

    Ray – God continues to use you to bless & inspire many people. I am one of them. You are not ashamed of your faith & you share it openly with the world. Christianity & the internet need more people like you. Thank you for your transparency & your vulnerability. May God continue to bless you as you continue to encourage & serve. Thank you. #praying

  • Mike McMahon

    Ray, you are in our Father’s hands and He is glorified by your courage and transparency. I am praying daily that if it’s God’s will He will heal you but I am also praying He gives you and your family the strength and courage to go down this path.
    Mother Theresa has been attributed with saying “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” 😉 I can only imagine that is what this is like. I love that you are coming from a place of victory! Hang in there brother and know that you are Deeply loved, Highly Favored and Richly Blessed.

    • Mike, I am the most blessed man I know – thanks for your love and support!

  • Jim Alicardi

    Thanks for sharing Ray and God Bless. I will be praying for you brother. I went thru alot of the same stuff in 1996 when I lost my only son to cancer. Since then God has used me to pray for others with cancer and actually healed one lady completely! Interestingly enough about 12 yrs ago I made a music cd of some of the songs the Lord gave me—the title of the cd? The Time Has Come! God Bless, Jim.

  • I believe you are called to share so that one may come forth to help you remember how to heal yourself. Blessings.

  • Thanks for sharing this with us Ray. Certainly will lift you and your family (and your victory) up in prayer.

  • SeanW

    Hiya Ray, Of course I echo the sentiments of so many people who’ve written in so I’ll take my comment in a different direction and respond to your question instead.

    First facing a great difficulty has never done anything good for me. The ONLY thing that has done me good when facing great difficulties is the type and quality of decisions I have made while facing the difficulty(s).

    Adversity does not do anything good for people or there would be plenty of adversity in heaven. However there is no adversity in heaven so when we pray God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven we are already praying to overcome the adversity.

    I’m always thankful to overcome adversity but I refuse to give adversity any credit for making me stronger, better, successful, or anything like that. To do so would be like giving our adversary (the Devil) credit for helping us become less like him. I hope the absurdity of that is not lost on anyone reading this.

    I’ve noticed that subtle distinctions are often the defining difference between good and great. Ray I don’t think I’m saying anything you don’t already know. However the verbiage you chose for your question tells me you either:

    a) May not have spent enough time on this detail to have incorporated it in all aspects of your thinking.
    b) Are planning to write an article about this topic and intentionally seeded that into your question so that you could bring this distinction to light after monitoring the responses you got.

    Whatever it is I hope nobody that reads this will continue to give credit to adversity as though it has redeeming characteristics. We do however have access to unlimited creativity that enables us to use adversity in a beneficial way as we learn to govern what we do in response to it.

    But until we stop giving even a speck of credit to adversity we’ll always treat it as something less than an enemy whose only purpose is to be overcome by any lawful, ethical, and sensible, means. Ironically the only way you can make adversity your friend is to first make it an enemy with absolutely no desirable characteristics. Only then will you attack adversity appropriately.

    If anyone is still uncertain of the truth of this just look at the definition of adversity. Intrinsic in the meaning is the message that whatever you consider adversity to be — it is always a thing that stands in the way of something you desire. You’ll never have a thing you desire without overcoming the adversity that opposes you receiving it.

    • Thanks for this well thought out post, Sean!

  • Wow. This is tough stuff Ray, but your attitude is awesome. I will keep you in my prayers.

    And this is a great line: “Whatever we face in life that seems like a problem or a trial actually represents an opportunity.” I believe this wholeheartedly. There will likely be abundant opportunities in this challenge.

    Thanks for sharing your story Ray.

    • Jeff, thank you my friend. I appreciate those prayers! And my attitude is rooted and grounded in my faith in Jesus Christ, and the knowledge that any trial we face is only temporary.

  • Vickie

    Ray, Thank you for sharing your words. They remind me of how fragile and tender I am as a human and yet with with divine help, how I can be supplied with such incredible courage.
    You reminded me that the way we face our struggles in Christ, is as important as the way face our glory in Christ.
    I am speechless at your message and thank you for reminding me that a life with pupose in Christ is not free of obstacles and suddenly smooth sailing…but our soul’s freedom has already been accounted for by the sacrifice of his son.

  • Travis Greenlee

    Love you my brother 🙂 Sending prayers for peace.

  • Dan Miller

    Ray – confronting anything unexpected in our lives does cause us to take a fresh look at framing our faith. You’ve done an amazing job here of doing exactly that – in a way that speaks hope and renewed faith to many others. Thanks for leading the way spiritually, now we’ll see how your physical reality responds. Fortunately you know where you’re headed regardless – you’re eternal well-being is certain. Thanks for sharing –

  • Kathleen Thompson

    My dear brother Ray – As I read this post, I had tears in my eyes. Tears of sorrow for your illness. Tears of anger for how the enemy hates us. Tears of gratitude for your continued faithfulness in the midst of difficulty. Tears of joy that you are experiencing what it means to follow Jesus JUST FOR WHO HE IS. As someone who has been through my own physical trials, it was when I could honestly tell Jesus that I loved Him for Himself, and not because I thought He might heal me, that I experienced joy and true healing. The healing of my hurting soul. I see that in you here. God’s strength is being made perfect in your weakness.

    You didn’t have to tell us. You chose to share this so we may journey together through life with all its ups and downs and remember to number our days aright. Grace and peace to you. –Kathleen

    • Thanks Kathleen. I appreciate these very kind words. See you soon!

  • Ray I was introduced to your work and advice through Michael Hyatt and feel your earnest love for giving all of yourself in everything you post or publish, and I’ve just scratched the surface. But, reading this post was illuminating for a different reason. You shared more than just your best advice, you shared something much more about yourself. My sister-in-law works for NPF in Miami and they have amazing new treatments and research in progress and I pray that you will be one of the benefactors. Thank you for sharing. God bless!

  • Joe Taylor

    Ray – Your courage is inspiring. Our prayer at the Dallas meet-up with Kirk Bowman takes on even more significance; selfless focus on others. I’m glad we connected. God bless you brother. We will certainly pray for you

    “Satan will be sorry he chose to inflict this illness upon me.” – EPIC!

  • Your faith mirrors the quite giant that you are. Having you in my life is my life now is more important than ever. I am going to subscribe and join every live event to be in your company. I know I will look back on these times and realize I was in the presence of not just a Godly man but a sage for all ages.

  • Perry Marshall

    Bold and right on point. My prayers are with you, of course. As Bob Bennett said: “Eyes laughing in the face of disaster.” Let’s talk soon.

  • Fernando Villegas

    I was introduced to your blog just today through a link from another blogger to one of your podcasts. I’ve been looking around, and I am enjoying the content so far. I’m very sorry to hear about your diagnosis. My mother has Parkinson’s as well, so I can empathize. But I think your attitude towards it is wonderful, and you will be in my prayers. Blessings to you.

  • Ray, I have to confess this is the first time I’ve made it to your blog even though I’ve “known” you for years. This story might encourage you:

    I served 6 years as a missionary in Russia and in my 5th year the opportunity came – albeit not by choice, since the interpreter never pitched up – to preach a sermon in Russian in a small church in the south west of Moscow. I preached on the fact that faith in God meant to actively trust God.

    Stumbling along, hoping the message was somehow finding its way into minds and hearts in spite of my insecure Russian, I started noticing a woman sitting almost right at the back, staring at me intently – almost piercing me with her eyes. I was so focused, however, on trying to get through my message intelligibly, that I didn’t give it much thought.

    The next Sunday the resident pastor was preaching and I was sitting in the back with my wife. When the pastor made an invitation for anyone who wanted to share a testimony, a woman got up and went forward. I immediately recognized her as the sister from the previous Sunday, who had been staring right into my soul throughout the sermon. She looked a lot different though – radiant, and as though a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

    She told the congregation that she had been suffering from cancer that had infested her abdomen and that she was due to start with chemo the Monday following my sermon. She was in the hospital waiting room when she started reflecting on the message from Sunday, and suddenly she heard the Lord say to her: “Do you trust me?”

    She promptly got up, walked out of the waiting room to no small consternation among the nursing staff, and went home. She prayed and said: “Yes Lord, I do trust you.”

    After several frantic phone calls by her doctor she was persuaded to return to the hospital a couple of days later, at least just for a checkup. She was examined, examined again, and again, and again by head-shaking doctors, the one more senior than the other, and eventually they declared that, although it still had to be verified by doing a biopsy, they were sure that she had been completely cured and cleansed of all traces of cancer!

    Hospital staff were stunned, but I don’t think anyone was more stunned than I was. Of course I shouldn’t have been – after all, I was doing the preaching on trusting God, wasn’t I?

    Anyway, after that rather rambling discourse, I just wanted to encourage you by showing that God cared deeply for a woman, a widow, in faraway Russia, and He honored her trust in Him by rocking a hospital to its core. And God honors you as well, for your trust in Him.

    Your story might be different from hers, and God might work with you differently than he did with her, but this you share implicitly with her: God is in FULL control.

    My prayer is that God will miraculously heal you and set you free from the bonds of Parkinson’s… but also that His will be done and His Name be glorified through this experience, and that you will emerge from this a richer man in spirit and with a deeper love for Him than ever before.

    God bless, and apologies for the novel! 😉

  • Karen

    Hi Ray! I have been reading your posts for a while and I was so shocked to hear about the Parkinson’s as many people were. I have been so impressed with everything you have achieved. I would so love to create a website that so professionally combines business and spirituality the way you do. It is so wonderful to see a man not ashamed to display his convictions. You are a true champion and a great man of faith! Will be praying for your complete recovery! NOTHING is impossible with God! Bless you, Ray.

  • Mimosa

    Hi Ray, I was led to your site today, never heard of you before but where I am right now and what you said resonated with me about the kingdom finance. My heart is God’s heart concerning this matter.
    I believe He has refined and tweaked me to His satisfaction and I am ready to be one of stewards for the kingdom.
    I received a word from Him Tuesday 13th May 2014 which He said ” I am to receive it, what He is sending and run with His heart”.
    I am from the United Kingdom, Derbyshire.
    Please can you respond.
    Mimosa

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  • Thank you Krisite.

  • I appreciate you Jo

  • I’m late in responding to this, my friend. Thank you!

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  • I’ve been following discussions in the wake of Robin Williams’ passing….and happened to come to this blog post. Wow – this is beautiful, a beacon of light and hope for anyone facing personal challenges! I’ve bookmarked it for future reference, as I often find myself supporting people who are in some kind of personal crisis.

    On a slightly different tack, I experienced a very challenging time in Feb 1998 when I found myself with just $24 and no work, with a 7 year old daughter to care for. I experienced the first two days pretty much as a ‘meltdown’, and had I not had my daughter depending on me, I could easily have opted out of my misery. But on the third day (perhaps significant??) I suddenly broke through and saw the gifts this crisis offered me – so many aspects of my life that I would never have examined had I not been up against the wall in such a way.

    When I accepted that on some level my soul had already chosen and contracted to do this, I realised I needed to ask a better question. Instead of asking, “Why me?” I started asking “What am I trying to learn?” This new question changed everything! The problems didn’t immediately disappear or resolve themselves, but my suffering eased and my misery disappeared. Without the distraction of those negative emotions, I started to turn my attention toward opportunities and openings, which led me out of the darkness.

    I often say that I would not want to go through that experience again, but I am grateful that it happened – I learned so much and have grown so much more resilient as a result!

    I have also learned NOT to pray for a specific result, but rather to pray for Grace….to be able to respond to life with grace and ease, to flow with experience rather than resisting. I believe on some level, we have already agreed to undertake certain experiences in life as a part of our life’s purpose. Many experiences occur to prepare us for our own unique contribution, which we usually don’t anticipate!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! Sending you best wishes and prayers – may you always feel God’s warm blanket of Grace wrapped around you and comforting you. <3

  • Ray, wow.

    [speechless in the absolute, most meaningful way possible]

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  • Ray – I woke up from a nightmare tonight, and have been depressed all night – even to the point of tears. A bad spirit came over me – a dreadful downcast spirit of despondency. It’s now 3:13 AM and I was ‘drawn’ over to your blog and found this post. I can’t tell you how much the Holy Spirit used your words and your confession to lift me out of this demonic mire. Thank you Ray. (oh and I prayed for your healing..and will continue to beseech Him on your behalf).

    • Thank you Dan, and I’m glad to hear you were lifted up.

  • Abdelwahed Zaidi

    Thank you for these stunning words, which are a connotation full of light and sparks, which increase healing and diagnostic differences and problems in life, me personally, I live with hope and patience which revalue a dedication, to more love, discipline and bravery, thank you for this wisdom, immense, vast and full of endless positivity.

  • Matthew Curry

    11 years ago the Lord delivered me from stage 3 Colo-rectal Cancer, he did it through treatments, and surgery. For a month after I was diagnosed, I was severely depressed, I had young children etc., and I agonized that I would never get to see them grow up, and or worried that they may struggle without me….etc. A family member challenged me one day with the scripture “what can you do to add even one second to your life…” paraphrase- she said that our heavenly Father knows the desires of my heart, but He doesn’t need me to help him take care of my family. It made me angry to hear this at first, but I knew it was the Lords’ words, I gathered my family together and we all prayed, and I placed all of us into the hands of our Lord, a peace settled over me that I can’t describe, and it was liberating. From that moment, The Lord took me on a journey of learning about Him, and His kingdom in a way that is nothing short of epic, and I believe with all of my heart, It is by his “Favor” I go, that we all go.

    I see the same mentality in your post, someone who has “gotten busy living”, and you are an inspiration, and encouragement to me. God has given us His sufficient Grace to “rise above” the thorns that are in our sides.

    • I appreciate the heart behind your words Matthew – thanks.

  • Thank you for sharing this Ray. This post is profound in so many ways. Really lifted me up today too. Thanks for being you and having the courage to do what is in your heart.

  • This was the most powerful message I’ve read in weeks.

  • Ray, This is very well-said. Excellent life lessons. This is true intelligence!

    • Scott, coming from you that is especially meaningful, as you are one of the most intelligent men I know. Thanks, my friend.

  • Ray what a beautiful testament to your faith and your heart to serve others. Thank you for sharing your story, while I keep you in prayer I am so thankful for your transparency.

  • Wow. So good.

  • Ron Ryan

    Thanks for the great post, Ray. Inspirational and motivational. Through the years I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, aortic heart valve failure (and replacement), and prostate cancer. Lots of prayers. Right now I am probably in the best health of my life. I don’t know how much time I have left, only God knows. But I am determined to use my past “challenges” as stepping stones in my service to God. Thanks again for sharing.

  • The scripture asks whether the Son of man will find faith on the earth when he returns. You are proof positive that He will. The scripture asks, Who hath believed our report? Praise Jesus. You have. I heard a story back in 2004 of a woman diagnosed with ALS who was told to quit work, go on social security, and enjoy her young children while she could because the unthinkable was inevitable and her time would be up soon. She heard the healing gospel, studied it, internalized it, and faced the symptoms head on for some time. Then, as she internalized the gospel more and more, her mind began to change and she began walking in more and more faith. She returned to work and asked for a promotion. She got the promotion. She kept believing God and showed up for a doctor’s appointment and was told by stunned doctors…we don’t know what’s going on here, but you don’t have ALS.

    You are strong and courageous, and as the scripture hath said, By whose stripes, ye were healed… Ye were healed. As you wrote, Jesus said, It is finished. I believe fully that by His grace, you will absolutely receive what you are believing God for. Healing.

    Go on Ray Edwards…in Jesus’ name.

    • Thank you Andrea! That encouragement is precious to me.