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      I’m sure this title means little to nothing to many of you because I wouldn’t have understood it myself a month ago. Hopefully, it will be explained as you read on. This year was going to be our year to shine or so I thought because we had just completed a year of hardship training. Which started in November of 2022 when Pat fell at the beach, then again at home in January 2023, on February 2023 I entered the hospital with a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) after a week of study and tests they sent me home. Then in March, I returned to the hospital with yet another pulmonary embolism for another week of testing and guessing. Just when I thought that it was over and under control I returned with another pulmonary embolism in July and all the while Pat’s falling was increasing. Then in October of 2023, I had my 4th and 5th pulmonary embolism a double ganger. Sadly, Pat had an appointment to see a Neurologist that had to be canceled because I was unavailable. Anyway, after 5 different doctors and a year of searching, we hit pay dirt. At times I would grow weary and ask God what am I doing to upset you? It felt like we’d been cursed for 2023 so I had big hopes for 2024. Little did I know!


I found the true meaning of emptiness on 01/24/24 when my wife Pat died. Now, I’ve experienced a lot of empty feelings through my 31 years of alcoholism, which doesn’t hold a candle to today. Nothing during my 74 years of life remotely compares to these feelings I’m experiencing. I think God is showing me a snippet of the emptiness found in hell and teaching me to abide in John 15:5 (NLT), “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Enough of the pity party, life goes on! I believe God has asked me to write this blog so I can share what He is showing me as He heals my brokenness. I’m going to try to describe something God brought to my attention on the way home from our Brother Night Meeting this week. I put up a good front to show I was handling things okay but it wasn’t true and (I believe many could feel me screaming for God to remove this ugly emptiness from within me.) I have an insatiable emptiness that could swallow the world and can’t explain it well enough for people to understand. For me, as a want-to-be writer, it is the perfect oxymoron when I say, “I am full to overflowing with emptiness” because I feel the best part of me no longer exists. There is a big black ungodly hole where my heart is supposed to be and I can’t fix it! I can’t fix it! I can’t fix it!! I was at the point, that prayer was doing little more for my pain than a single aspirin for a headache. It seems futile! But I haven’t given up on God and last night He showed out tremendously on my behalf. Again, I felt something God has never shared with me before and that is the true miracle He sent through a special bunch of men whose hearts are set on serving Him. I have said it over and over and it is in my testimony; “I need my brothers in Christ, they strengthen, encourage, and cause me to want to be the best me I can be for God. My brothers do for me what is written in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT), So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. There is nothing greater than to see men who love God in action!


      My point to all this is, last night I almost didn’t go because I didn’t want their pity (my stupid pride). I can produce more than enough pity on my own to interfere with God working in my life. But anyway! The service was a God-sent (thank you Robert Huffman) the worship was spot on and Jaime Torres was on fire bringing God’s word. I believe God designed the night for all but aimed it directly at me. I needed the affirmation of Papa’s love for me! I needed to hear I didn’t lose Pat as punishment for things I wasn’t aware of. God drew me to His altar and spoke sweet words of love, encouragement, and hope through the unity of the men’s hearts who are faithful to Him. I was hearing the voice of God coming at me from every direction, through the voices and spirits of individual men bound together by their love for Jesus. So, on my way home I was thanking God that I went, for my brothers that I love, and giving thanks for feeling better. God explained why I felt better, He said, that each man who reached out to you loves you enough that they took a portion of your emptiness with them when they left. They will put your pain on their prayer altar as a sweet offering to me your Father and I will turn this pain into strength and wisdom for you over time. These men have truly grasped my concept of brotherly love and they openly demonstrated it with you tonight! They are living out Galatians 6:2 (NLT), Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.


      Father, I hurt and you know it. Thank You for sending helpers as needed to help share my burden. I thank you Lord for my Brothers in Christ and pray that we each see the value you have entrusted to each of us to be closer than a brother of blood. Lord help me to recognize and openly appreciate each one. May we all follow the words written in Hebrews 13:1-2 (ESV), Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Thank you, Father, for the great blessing inside the lesson last night, bless every man there with Your understanding. Amen





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