Pastor John Samson – Health Update

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Pastor John Samson – Health Update:

Last week, Wednesday, to be specific, out of nowhere, the right side of my face started hurting. Within a couple of hours, the pain level out of a possible zero being no pain to 10 being severe pain was indeed a 10. I knew something was very wrong when I looked in the mirror and saw huge swelling on the right side of my face. I couldn’t open my mouth at all. My jaw was locked and closed. I needed help and fast.

To cut a long story short, by Thursday I was visiting, two different dental facilities, and in the second was immediately told to go to the Emergency Room at a hospital as my life was in danger.

I had a CT scan. I was told I’d wait 45 minutes to an hour for the results. Actually, it took 16 hours to get the results and I was told the news that it was not an infection, but that I had a fast-growing mass on the right side of my face. Of course, I was shocked and stunned. It was clear I could easily be facing death unless this spreading mass was halted in its tracks.

Whether or not the mass was benign or cancerous, it was obviously taking over the entire right side of my face. How long would I have to live? Did I have even days to live before this took over completely? I had no idea.

I was then sent by ambulance to another hospital in downtown Phoenix where they have specialists for ear, nose, and throat issues. You can only imagine the thoughts racing through my head, especially as it was not yet determined what kind of mass it was.

I then waited a further 16 hours or so before a second doctor emerged, who had analyzed the same CT scan the other hospital radiologist and doctor had seen. He said that he disagreed with the first doctor’s view and in light of my symptoms and after taking further tests, told me I did not have a mass. He said it is a highly dangerous infection but that it was caught early. He said, “As you continue with the antibiotic treatment, I expect you to be here no longer than two or three days and out of here.”

What a relief! For more than 24 hours I thought I could be living my last few days in this world.

Brothers and sisters, it’s been quite a ride, as you might imagine, but I am home from the hospital and God willing, on the road to recovery. In total, there will be 10 days of antibiotic treatment and management for the pain.

I still have obvious swelling on the right side of my face and am in some pain as I write this. My jaw is open now enough for me to eat solid food, though it is far from normal. I still cannot open it fully. I am physically exhausted. So too is my precious wife Linda. Please pray for us. It has been very hard for her in all this as well.

I am in need of rest. The infection is still there, but hopefully over time it’s coming more and more under control.

I’m very hopeful of having the facial swelling, which is still there, come down. It’s come down some and I’m hoping it will come back to normal.

I love you very much precious brothers and sisters. Lord willing, I’ll be back in the pulpit very soon.

I thank the Lord for His great mercy to me. I am also very keenly aware of your love and prayers and thank you from the bottom of my heart. Linda and I continue to covet your continued prayers for us.

We never walk alone with our family in Christ.

In the love of the Lord Jesus,

John Samson

Psalm 118:17 – I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.18 The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

The Parable Of The Sailboat

Transcript: Dr. Michael Horton, from a Q & A session, December 7, 2007, Evangelism Conference, Phoenix, Arizona:

Imagine you have a sailboat which has all the “bells and whistles” on it (a radio, fish finders, satellite, the most advanced mapping system imaginable, so that it can literally steer you to your destination).

You head out of the harbor under full sail.

After some time you find yourself in the middle of the ocean and there is a dead calm (there is no wind). Your radio tells you that there is a large storm coming.

It could be a very dangerous situation and you are now in trouble because right where you are, there is no wind at all and you are “dead in the water”. You do not have an engine, you depend on the wind – so you start paddling.

You are thrilled to have all the necessary technology to navigate your course, but all this technology can only tell you the depths of the trouble you are now in. What you need is the wind and the sail to get you back to the harbor.

A lot of Christians speed out of the harbor under full sail and get lost out there in the middle of the sea. They love the technology and want to hear of a new place to go, something to do because they are genuinely filled with gratitude for what God has done for them, but then eventually, the directions become another yoke of bondage if they do not get the wind (of the Gospel) in their sails.

What we assume is that we need the wind of the Gospel to get us out of the harbor; now people need the right equipment. But what we need to say is “no… they need the wind and the equipment, ALL the time.

We need them for different things. The law cannot do anything more in sanctification than it did in justification, but my relationship to the law is different than it was before… so that now, I am happy with the instruments and technology, because I WANT to follow where these instruments are directing me but ONLY the gospel can fill my sails and get me there.

So we do not live a law driven life, we live a GOSPEL driven life and a law directed life. The law directs but it cannot save. It tells you where to go but it cannot get you there. That is why we need to have the Gospel preached regularly.

Sermons that end with “how are you doing with all this?” do not put wind in your sails. That’s because on a good day, whatever the specifics of the question are, my answer is “honestly, what you are saying does not describe me, but it does describe Christ and His perfect righteousness, and He is not only given for me but indwells me by His Spirit.”

Sanctification is living out the effects of our union with Christ….

Whenever we say “we need more practical preaching” we are saying “we need more law” – now maybe we do need more law… more guidance as to what indeed is the will of God for our lives, but just know what you are saying when you say you need more practical preaching. “Practical” means direction.. and maybe you do need this, but just realize what you are getting. If you think that “practical” is going to drive the Christian life, you’ve got another think coming…

If the GOSPEL is not plastered right, front and center, even for Christians who FAIL at those directions (Romans 3:20), then it is only going to lead to deeper and deeper despair.