So Here’s What Happened

“You okay? No blog post today. We’re praying for all at the Cross Dubya.”, has been a common theme in texts, emails, and even a few telephone calls. What I heard in each of them is, We love you and your family JD, and while concerned we haven’t heard from you, we’re placing you in God’s hands. And that my friends, readers, and followers, is the best medicine anyone can ever receive—the heartfelt prayer of a loved one. Thank you and know that while I don’t always name each of you, I do lift you up in prayer each morning.

Reflecting on this past week, and the challenging weeks ahead, God reminded me of the words of Ephesians 6:12.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers, against
the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual
hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

(Ephesians 6:12, NKJV)

Last week, many things conspired against my Christian writing journey and the result was missing my first blog post since starting Around the Cross-Dubya in November 2018. I tried to rationalize it with, One out of 164 isn’t bad, but all Satan kept screaming was, “You’re a failure. But don’t worry, no one will even notice.” Wrong again Satan! The faith of my readers, followers, friends, and family (each one of you are) proves him wrong.

Putting our faith into action is powerful medicine. #FaithInAction #StandingStrong Share on X

Because so many of you reached out in genuine concern for me, knowing something must be wrong if JD hasn’t blogged this week, I want to explain. Sometimes life overwhelms us, and that’s what’s happening in my life currently. As many of you know, I’ve been battling Drug-Induced Macular Edema (DIME), a form of cystoid macular edema that causes macular degeneration, for the past 11 months. Intra-vitreous injections every two weeks has been the prescribed course of action.

Until two months ago there’s been no progress made in the battle. In fact, things worsened. The photo below, attributed to, helps you understand what someone with my condition sees like.

While my poor vision has not regressed quite to this point (photo on right) yet, the injections often leave me blind in the affected eye for several hours. As you might expect, writing on a computer screen for hours at a time can be taxing.

When you add to the mix:

  • Being the primary driver for two other family members,
  • Caretaking duties around the ranch,
  • Caregiving for others who are ill or having health struggles
  • Working an 80+ hour week supporting a consulting client
  • Developing, then battling, your own bad cold/flu

You can see perhaps how easy my Christian writing can take a backseat. Not a good excuse, as I could have repurposed a past blog, posted a guest blog (have several coming), etc., but you deserve my best each week. This past week friends, I just didn’t have it to give.

I pray you will accept my apology for not blogging and communicating with you earlier; and I hope you can understand. My blog post wasn’t the only commitment I was unable to fulfill, and Satan has taken every opportunity to fling arrows in my direction. What he didn’t anticipate was the volume of rhema arrows of faith that would assail him through the prayers of my faith-filled friends. I am certain he was overwhelmed by your prayers for my family and me.

I say this because I learned last week a new medicine being injected into my eyes is already starting to show improvements in my vision, in less than two months. My flu, which silenced my voice temporarily, and slowed me down considerably, is all but gone in just over a week. My darling wife has started improving and is more mobile. The livestock is all doing well, and the rain continues to fall.

While challenges continue, I am emboldened by knowing that so do the prayers of my readers and friends who have shown more love and support than this old codger deserves. Thank you all and know my greatest honor will be continuing to pray for you and your needs. The power of prayer is the greatest remedy for all the ills of this world. God is good!

God’s blessings,


90 thoughts on “So Here’s What Happened”

  1. Dearest J.D.,

    Love you, man.

    It’s okay to take a break. It’s good for you. We know you’ll amaze us with wisdom and grace on your return. Happy Merry Christmas season, brother.

    1. Love you and Ms. Barb too Mr. Warren. Thank you for your grace brother. I may still take a break from blogging here after the first of the year as I truly gained from the social media fast I did last February. We’ll see. Appreciate the kindness sir.

  2. No condemnation. No condemnation! I agree with Warren. It’s okay to take a break, even a forced one. The enemy can use the power of our own expectations against us. At that point we can declare, “I made that rule, so I can tweek it!” May the Lord continue His healing work in you.

    1. He certainly can Ms. Dottie. As rotten as I felt a few weeks ago, Satan did his best to make me feel more guilty and rotten than I already did. Thank you for your grace my friend.

  3. You are loved JD! My continued prayers for His peace, strength and healing for you and Ms. Diane.
    Ps:143:8 Let the morning bring word of your unfailing word, for I have put my trust in you.

  4. JD, of course we all notice when our favorite rancher is missing! It is amazing how meaningful and connected a blogging community can become. Praise God for the improvement He is bringing to your eyes through the wonder of medicine. May He continue to bring sight and health to you!

    1. Thank you Ms. Joanne. I agree, we are a well-connected family. One that I am ever-grateful for. I thank God that He has allowed me to find real friendship rather than mere readership through my Christian writing journey.

  5. You are loved JD! Ps:143:8 Let the morning bring word of your unfailing word, for I have put my trust in you. His peace, strength and healing are prayed for you for and Ms. Diane.

  6. You’re right that you’ve been notably missed and all who know you see that as a prayer alert. Prayers for you and sweet Diane have been going up from this ole girl, my friend.
    These are certainly trying days and when personal illness strikes its hard to stand firm in faith. Satan knows this but you have battled him before and, being a man who knows God’s Word and one who sticks tight with its Author, you know to tie a knot and hang on.
    I pray you’ll give yourself a break — from condemnation, from perfectionism, from the need to do it all. I pray you’ll sit down more often and just breathe. Breathe deeply, inhaling His goodness and exhaling worship. I’m wiping tears away as I write this, dear friend. I pray this for Diane as well.
    Guy and I love you two so much and wish we could be together more. Prayers continue.

    1. Yes ma’am. I’ve lost a grip on that knot a time or two, but only with one hand. The other holds tightly. 🙂 Thank you so much for prayers and well wishes sweet friend. I gain so much resolve and strength from my brothers and sisters in Christ. We stand together sweet friend.

  7. So you are human and not a blogging machine? Your faithfulness to the craft has always impressed and overwhelmed me. I had no idea you were dealing with vision problems. Extra prayers for this new med and for refreshed hope! You are loved!

  8. I confess the blog notice doesn’t always come into my email. Why I don’t know, but I usually pick up the blog through Twitter. What I want to tell you is my dad suffered from MD. He started eating massive amounts of spinach, every day; raw, cooked, in everything. And he stopped it. In fact he reversed it quite a bit. A few years later, I saw an article form a medical journal on the benefits of spinach for MD. Just thought I’d pass that on, my friend. Adding your DIME to my prayers.

  9. Noticed there wasn’t a post, prayed for you, Mz. Diane and the Cross Dubya trusting the Lord knew what was happening. You were missed, but it’s okay to take care of the urgent with no apologies necessary. Sorry to hear satan “tried” to buckle your knees, yet “tickled pink” to hear the many praises seen during that same time. Hallelujah – take that Satan!!

    1. Yes ma’am. Kicked him right where it hurts! All it took was the prayers of faithful and faith-filled friends like you. Am doing my best to do the same or your “KK” with prayers of my own each day ma’am. God’s blessings.

  10. I had not yet contacted you to let you know I was concerned about not seeing you around the Internet lately, but I was hoping the situation was just holiday busyness. I’m so sorry about the health issues, but am glad you and the Mrs. are improving. I can’t imagine having eye injections–makes me cringe just to think about it. But I’m glad the new medicine seems to be helping and I hope it continues to.

    Don’t worry at all about missing a week posting. Most professions get sick days and vacation days–except maybe moms and ranchers. 🙂 Everyone understands that sometimes circumstances arise that make writing and posting impossible. I’ve edited and re-used older posts sometimes myself–either because of busyness or because that same message was on my heart again. Most of the things God has taught me are things I need to remind myself of from time to time, and I assume that’s true of my readers as well.

    May God continue to give you grace and strengthen you, and may you have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.

    1. Thank you for your grace and kindness Ms. Barbara. I fell so behind with everything that I wonder if I’ll ever get caught up. Responding to everyone’s kind comments on my blog is the last task. I didn’t save it for last though because it was least important, quite the opposite. I wanted to make time to respond rightly to each comment. God’s blessings ma’am.

    1. How very kind. Thank you Ms. Sharon. I missed interacting with everyone too, but sometimes we have to stop and get off the merry-go-round of life and take care of what’s important so we can get back on and enjoy the ride.

  11. I did miss you, pray for you, and stalk you on sm (LOL). I have two close relatives going through the shot thing and that in itself is enough to disrupt life.

    Let me reiterate other advice I’ve read on here, “it’s okay to rest.” Continuing to pray!

    When the well is dry, we know the worth of water. Benjamin Franklin

    1. Amen Ms. Candyce. Praying for your relatives who are undergoing this same treatment protocol. I’m always overwhelmed at the sheer volume of people my retina specialist sees each day. As a long-time Lions Club member, I’ve helped many people with MD find adaptive ways to live their lives. I never once considered that I might one day need that same help.

  12. Great to see (read) that everything is improving especially with your vision. Praise the Lord for the amazing family of God and the prayers of the saints.

    1. Thank you Ms. Diana. As a “lover of phrases” ma’am, I’ll share one we used to say in the military. “They can kill us, but they just can’t eat us. It’s against the Geneva Convention.” Satan and this world can end this earthly human life with cancer, illness, etc., but he/they can’t do it one nanosecond before God allows it. And NOTHING can separate me from eternity with my Father. Another saying I use is, “Everything else is just gravy.” 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am.

  13. Praying for you, J.D.! I pray that Jesus would heal your body in every way, that He would heal your eye as He did for those in His Word, and give you continual wisdom and discernment. Blessings on you and yours!

    1. Awww… you’re always such a blessing “Mama D”. God’s blessings, and prayers for CHRISTmas for you and Mr. Mike as you celebrate a first without your little girl present. She’s with you in spirit though.

  14. Your absence was duly noticed and felt, J. D., but there was no urgency on my heart to double check on why you were MIA last Wednesday. I simply assumed that something had come up at the ranch that demanded your immediate attention. Now that I know what you’ve been going through, I will continue to pray for complete healing for you, for Diane, and the well-being of the Cross-Dubya. I’m especially glad to hear that your new medication is working much better on your macular degeneration, too. My mother suffered with that dread condition, and it’s no fun.
    Love and blessings to you and Miss Diane!

    1. Thank you Ms. Martha. Praying you and Mr. Danny have a happy and healthy New Year. This past year has been a tough one (health-wise) for both of us my friend. With God’s help, and the prayers of friends, we’ll put this all behind us.

  15. Thank you so much, Brother– In addition to the encouragement of finding a post from you this morning, seeing the comments from your other fans was icing on the cake. The news of God’s faithful response to the multitude of prayers being offered kicked in a praise and worship service from all of us. Not only that, it helped shut down my complaint department. Hearing more about some of the things you were fighting made me made me want to laugh out loud at the relatively petty irritations going on my life. But the comments also served to remind me of how important it is that our fellowship with one another must not be allowed to be confined to sanctified church functions. Love must never be like our Christmas ornaments–something we drag out under certain circumstances and put on display on special occasions. And love was the pervasive tone and theme offered in response to seeing your name in our inbox again this morning. So, please allow yourself the grace to back off wherever possible and for as long as necessary to let healing and restoration do its work. I think I can speak for all your tribe in saying, We ain’t goin’ nowhere. We’ll be here when you get back from any break you might ever need.”

    1. Oh Mr. Ron. I’ve been so very blessed by everyone’s comments (including yours and your Ms. Diane’s of course) and prayers. They are like a soothing, healing balm for my soul my friend. We’ll get back in the saddle again real soon.

  16. I was wondering about you, J.D., praying that you were okay. Thank you for the update. It helps me know how to pray better. Your life of service demonstrates a wonderful example to me. I pray you’re finding joy in this season despite adversity. Blessings!

  17. To have a health challenge, my my, some of us certainly understand and grace is freely given as was given and amen. Prayers of course for you and Ms. Diane. You are both a living testimony from our Lord and amen.

    1. I sure know you and your Ms. LeeAnn can understand dear friend. It may slow us down and we may not be able to do things like we once could, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop, does it sir? God’s blessings sir, and thank you for all your kindness.

  18. I’m so glad you and your bride are feeling better. I was away last week at a conference with limited internet and fell behind in my social media interactions. I apologize for not reaching out to check on you, but I know you know I care for you all. Continuing to pray for you, my friend, and all the Cross-Dubya family.

    1. I thank God daily that He has seen fit to bring such a dear sister into my life and the lives of my family. We are enriched by your presence sweet friend, and pray that we can bless you as much as you bless us.

  19. Now I know why the Holy Spirit recently brought you to mind to pray for. May our loving Heavenly Father continue to heal your eye and give you a full recovery from the flu. May He also allow your spirit to rest concerning your missed blog post. It’s completely understandable. Blessings to you in Christ and Christmas joy to you.

    1. Thank you for the blessing of intercessory prayer Ms. Emily. Isn’t it wonderful when God validates the reason He brings others to mind because He knows we’ll pray for whatever they need, regardless of whether we know that need or not? What a mighty God we serve sweet friend.

  20. Most effective (if that’s even possible) message to date! You are wise to crush the enemy with overwhelming gratitude for all God has done-as is doing behind the scenes. Praying with you for the protection and longevity of your sight. Alas, your spiritual vision could not be more clear. I’m blessed and inspired because of it!!

  21. JD, I figured I must have missed something when your blog didn’t show up. Thanks for the open update. I pray the new drops work better than you can imagine and that you give yourself the break you need!

    1. Thank you Ms. Debbie. I pray these new injections continue working also. I recognize that my vision may never be restored to what it was before all this, but if I’m able to keep driving and caring for my family (I’m pretty much the sole driver any more) and caring for the ranch, then I’ll be eternally grateful. And if I’m not, then I know that God will find a way to use me in His service. For in His service, I endeavor to remain.

  22. My wonderful friend, do not listen to one word that LIAR speaks! You are much loved and your posts are greatly anticipated.

    I did notice you hadn’t posted since I didn’t get a notification in my email but it’s been an extraordinarily hectic few weeks with family things. Nothing nearly as to what you are going through but please know I pray for you and Ms. Diane regularly and actually prayed specifically yesterday before I noticed you hadn’t posted – so obviously God knew.

    Praising God that the new medication is working for your vision and will continue lifting you and Ms. Diane up. God bless you.

  23. We all need a break sometimes! I try to take most of December off! And in June and July I cut back to a couple post a month with outdoor art projects only. I’m so glad that this new medicine is improving your eye and that Diane is also improving! Those are answers to prayer, for sure. May you and Diane have blessed Christmas, J.D.!

  24. You are loved and cherished dear friend. I pray for healing for your eyes and healing from the after affects of the cold/flu. We all need to take a break. Jesus rested and we need to rest, too. God bless you and Ms.Diane. Merry Christmas!

    1. Aww thanks Ms. Mimi. One of our friends earlier referred to me as a “blogging machine”. It was a kind statement, but it immediately made me think of you and all the articles and posts you’re showing up in this year. God’s blessings ma’am. Praying you, Bop (Mr. Alan), and your entire family have a wonderfully joyous CHRISTmas.

  25. It’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay. We all need a day or a few days off now and then.

    I’m delighted the new medicine is working! An answer to prayer!

    Continuing to pray for you, Miss Diane and the Cross-Dubya!

  26. Can I add a PS? Not only does your weekly blogging consistency amaze me, but the time and thought to answer all your comments each week is incredible. (To say nothing of reading and commenting on our blogs!) Whew! We do appreciate all you do so much, but take care of yourself first. No need to answer here.

  27. J.D., you share so much of God’s goodness for us to remember. I’m so sorry you and Diane have faced so many battles. Be assured of my prayers for both of you. May the God of all comfort minister to you as no one else can and may human hands, hearts, and prayers assure you and your sweet wife of our love in Christ.

  28. J.D., you are amazing! There is no need to apologize, especially with all that has been happening in your life—my reasons for failing to blog regularly pale in comparison. But I am so grateful to have happened on your post today to learn that you are turning a corner. When a symphony of prayer rises, the enemy can never keep a good man (or woman) down. You certainly have a faithful fan club. So, tonight, I add my prayers to theirs for you and your family’s well-being. Blessings Brother, Kathleen

    1. Absolutely Ms. Kathleen. Prayer is the most powerful form of praise that I know of ma’am, and its power is not only felt in our lives, it has become a driving force. Recognizing that the power comes from the God we serve and rely upon gives me the strength to face whatever comes. God’s blessings sweet friend.

  29. I’m so relieved to know “the rest of the story.” I was truly worried when you seemed to disappear. Of course you deserve a break from your hectic schedule! You are amazing! So glad to hear that things are improving in so many areas. You remind me of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. You are a very rich man! God bless you and Ms. Diane this Christmas season. So many of us cherish your friendship, JD!

    1. To be compared to the incomparable Jimmy Stewart. Now that’s doing something Ms. Karen! 🙂 Thank you ma’am. With so many wonderful friends, there is no doubt that I’m the richest man in town. God’s blessings sweet soul.

  30. JD, you and Miss Diane are far more important than a blog post. We’d all much rather have you here encouraging us all. I pray that all three of you get the doctoring and the healing you need to celebrate a wonderful Christmas. We check in because we care!

    1. Thanks Mr. Ben. I know you’ve been fighting some health issues too, and just recently learned of other struggling family members. Know how much the Cooper family means to use, and that we’ll be praying for you, Mr. Wayne, and the whole clan in the coming days.

  31. I have learned that everybody has stuff going on in their lives behind the scenes. And it’s usually not pretty! I’m sorry to hear of your health issues. It doesn’t take much to cause reorganization of priorities, but you have to do what you have to do when you have to do it, right? I understand. Like you, I like to adhere to a schedule and hate to miss my blog release. But it happens. Far too many times technical difficulties have caused me setbacks.
    You are so right (and fortunate) that your followers miss you. And right again, that we love you. Prayers continue for strength, health, and joy to pursue your writing on behalf of the Kingdom.

    1. Thank you Ms. Karen. I too look forward to your inspiring blog posts ma’am, and take note when I don’t see one. Sometimes we have to remember to extend a little grace to ourselves too. I’m bad about not doing that, opting to hold myself to some higher standard that I’ve set for myself that leads to prideful behavior more than it should.

    1. Thank you Ms. Terri. I continue praying that God’s will be done, and I ask that He allow me to retain my sight. I remind Him often of how well He relates to me through the beautiful world He made for me to enjoy.

    1. He absolutely is Ms. LuAnn, but oh, how easy it can sometimes be to listen to his insistent call. Thank you for all your kindness ma’am. Wishing you and Mr. Kenn all of God’s very best.

  32. J.D., I’m so sorry for your health (and “life”) battles recently. You’re in my prayers, my friend, and I’ll be sure to tell your “bugman” friend to add you to his prayers, as well! Blessings to you and Diane. Take care of yourself and know that you’re loved, cared for, and being prayed for!!!

    1. Thank you Ms. Julie. We all have our challenges to face from time to time, and doing so with praying friends like you and Mr. David to come alongside sure does help. God’s blessings ma’am.

  33. I’m a little behind also, J.D., as we traveled home, got over jet lag, and had to travel again. I am thankful you and Ms. Diane are on the mend and will continue to pray for your eyes, ranch, and other health issues. You are a blessing to all of us and I am always encouraged by your posts. Blessings and Merry Christmas!

    1. I can honestly say the same about you and the wonderful blessings you share Ms. Barbara. Am so glad you guys have made it home to GA. There’s something comforting in knowing my prayerful friends are near. God’s blessings and Merry CHRISTmas precious lady.

    1. Awww… Thank you so much Ms. Sarah. Praying rich blessings upon you, the kids, “Memphis”, and “Dallas”. We can’t know what God has in store for you in the coming year, but I pray it’s filled with blessings, laughter, and love. All the things that you deserve sweet friend.

  34. Not sure why my comment is not showing up. Sorry to hear of the issues you’ve been facing. Thankful the new medicine is offering you hope for your eye condition. Praying for you and wishing you a Merry Christmas!

    1. I’m also so very glad to see your comments come in my prayerful friend. Having you in my corner gives me an edge in every spiritual battle. Praying you, Pastor Mike, and the entire family a wonderful and wonder-filled CHRISTmas ma’am.

  35. God bless you and all you do, Mr. J.D.! I noticed your absence, for sure, but through our mutual friends knew what to pray for you and Mrs. J.D. I pray for you anyway, but I know your dedication to all you do, so I knew you needed a break and some extra prayers. You should not feel defeated at all at slowing down when needed. We support each other, and you do more than your share of supporting–accept that support and love in return. So happy to hear of a breakthrough in your circumstances–especially in your vision! You and Mrs. J.D. are special people…we love ya both. Take good care of yourselves and have a wonderful, Merry Christmas!! ❤️✝️

  36. Wow, Mr. J.D., are you feeling the love from all of these dear, sweet people? 🙂
    Sometimes we try to carry more than God intends for us. We all have to keep reminding ourselves to lean on our heavenly Father as we trust His timing–for our writing, our healing, and everything else in between. Praising God for how He is working in your life and through your life.

    1. I absolutely did, and do, Ms. Sally. Thank you so very much for adding to the love ma’am. Am blessed indeed! We can’t always understand Him, but we must always trust Him, that’s for sure ma’am. God’s blessings.

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