Pastor Stephen's Blog
Saturday, October 15 2022
What a great day we had at the 7th Annual Livingston Parish Book Festival! There were a lot of people there coming and going. We had good weather, we had good people, and we had good conversation! Thank you to all of you who were able to make it out there to support the local authors as well as the Livingston Parish Library!
Check out the links below for more information:
Tuesday, October 11 2022
It has been two years since I originally wrestled with the demonic COVID-19 virus. My family had to navigate their way through a tragic nightmare during this time in our journey of life as well! Here we are two years out, and my world has truly changed forever. On this anniversary of me being discharged and released from the hospital, I thought I'd share a brief summary on how things transpired from my first sniffle to where I am today, and how the writing and publishing of the book, “COVID-19 One Family’s Journey”, came to be.
I worked as a Registered Nurse throughout the pandemic taking care of COVID patients in January of 2020 even before we knew what we were dealing with. Once the medical community did recognize we had a challenging pandemic upon us, I jumped in full-force to assist and do my part. After working an average of eighty hours a week in various units around Louisiana; inevitably, I was infected with COVID-19 in September of 2020. This was well before vaccines were readily available and at a time when we had very few medications to treat the virus. From my first onset of symptoms, to the day that I was finally discharged from the hospital, forty days had lapsed. I could have never imagined just how tough the battle would actually be. I spent a month in the hospital, and three of those weeks were in ICU, while eight of those days I was put on the ventilator to rest my lungs. After making it home, I was in a wheelchair, I was oxygen dependent, and it took me three months to recover to my new normal.
While in ICU and before I ended up on the ventilator, I had started journaling some, and I was taking a few random pictures here and there. I had a lot of time on my hands in between the periods of fighting for each breath, so I began jotting down a few notes in a composition notebook my good friend Bronson had brought me. Once I made it home, and I was recovering, I had even more time on my hands with very little to keep me busy. I spent most of my time eating, sleeping and exercising with my Physical Therapist, Meagan. Much of the remaining time, I spent reviewing my medical records, reading all of the social media posts that had been submitted during my hospitalizations and writing out my testimony of what I had experienced day to day as the pieces of the puzzle were coming together. Once I combined all of these things, and I added the pictures, all of the information just erupted into the makings of a very strong first draft of a manuscript. Once I had figured out the timeline of my illness, my hospitalizations and my final discharge, and I had them properly laid out, I began to make journal entries documenting my day to day recovery. Things began to evolve rapidly at this point, and it was hard to stop the daily experiences I was having with God’s bright light shining all over them. It was such a blessing to see so many things the Lord had done, and I had no real clue of the magnitude of it all until I began piecing the puzzle together at my kitchen table. I was truly overwhelmed and blown away about what God had done and what He was doing in the moment. I was getting more and more excited as I sat in anticipation of what He was going to do next!
I eventually recovered, and I went back to work as an RN on the COVID units just before Christmas of 2020. Just after the New Year passed, my part-time position at Live Oak Church transitioned into a full-time role as an Associate Pastor and Pastoral Care Minister. This had been a desire of my heart for a very long time, and I was ecstatic! Over those next few months, I was working my two jobs again, and life had taken on a deeper and truer meaning than ever before. I was working hard and struggling to get my stamina back, but I was also getting as much constructive criticism as I could as I revised the various drafts of the manuscript. By May of 2021, I had enough encouragement and support from my family, my friends and our Church body to move forward with publishing the book. This is when I started working with Christian Faith Publishing, Inc. (CFP) The board of review at CFP approved the manuscript within twenty-four hours of submission, and within the week, the process had officially begun. I was overjoyed! Authoring a book was on my bucket list of things to do, but I had no idea it would come so soon! I was thinking I would be in my late 60's or early 70's!
Today makes two years since my final hospital discharge, and my world has truly changed forever. There have been so many lessons learned, but in order to see most of them, you will have to read the book. J
To summarize the top three lessons learned, I will say this:
Love you all!
Watch and/or Listen to this awesome podcast interview with the author:
Read this great news article about the author's experience:
To purchase the Book or Kindle version:
To purchase the Book or Nook version:
Wednesday, August 10 2022
Have you ever had a day or a moment in time when you feel that the Creator of the universe invaded or stepped into your world? Please do not get me wrong; this is not a bad thing at all. This is definitely a good thing. Well, a couple of Tuesdays ago, I had an experience, and it rocked my world!
I truly believe that if and when we pray about something specific, and then we pay attention to all of the details surrounding our lives, the Lord can and will send subtle hints or even loud shout outs through His Spirit, letting us know that He has heard our prayer, and that He is there ready to answer us according to His will for our lives. I had an amazing experience happen last week where our Creator God intervened in my little world on a regular ole, workday Tuesday, and it was absolutely mind-blowing for me! I must share this story, and my hope and prayer is that you will be blessed by it too!
On Tuesday, July 26th, I was on my way to the Church for our weekly staff meeting with the rest of my day packed full of scheduled pastoral counseling visits, followed by our bi-monthly Grief Support Group we offer to the community that starts at 630pm. Tuesdays are my longest day of the work week lasting 12 hours or more. I was on my way to work for our 930am Staff meeting, and before I turned my KLOVE jam up on the radio, I began saying my morning prayers. I prayed my heart out for myself and my intermediate family members. I covered all of our closest genealogy connections starting with the Hebert’s, the Cortez’s, the Rich’s and the Beysselance’s. I covered my closest of friends and their families: Frank, Darren, Bronson, John and Hal. And then I moved on to my greatest mentor and our Senior Pastor, Dr. Mark Crosby and his family as well as the Church Staff, and the many people and families on our prayer list and all that they have been through. This is not uncommon, and it is something I try to do each and every day on my drive to work.
What was different about this day was the word “PROTECTION” kept rising up in my spirit. It was Heavy on my Heart, and it kept coming back up, time and time again as I prayed, and it seemed that this is where the focus of my prayers should be. It was interrupting my normal prayer routine, and I didn’t fight against it, I just went with it as I knew it was coming from the Holy Spirit. I began praying for Protection for all of those listed above, including myself. As a quick side note: This has never happen to me before. I have had people’s names pop up from time to time knowing I should pray for them, but this time it was a specific word and prayer for Protection.
I finished my prayer as I arrived into the Church parking lot, and said Amen. I was not able to turn on my KLOVE jam for the morning because my prayer took up the full time of my commute, but it happens sometimes, and of course this is perfectly okay.
Slowly but surely I worked through the day. I was constantly praying Protection over each and every counselee, and in the evening, I led our Grief Support Group speaking and praying Protection over them as well. Once I was finished, I locked everything up and headed home. I arrived at my house exhausted, and everyone was sleeping already. I warmed a plate of food and sat on the couch, and I turned the television on to TBN. Joseph Prince was preaching on the topic of guess what?? You name it! PROTECTION!! I was blown away. So now I’m feeling the presence of God right there in my living room, and the Spirit was super strong. I was really tired from a very long day, but I could not help but to be drawn in to the message he had for us. The scripture he was preaching on was Psalm 91, and it was so very powerful. My bible was in my bedroom where my wife was sleeping so I had to tippy-toe in there to get it without waking her up. Once I sat back down on the couch and opened to the chapter, I began reading along with him. The entire chapter is amazing, and I have read it many times in my life. But this particular moment was different, this moment was overwhelming. Verses 13 – 16 just melted me, and I began sobbing.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
In chapter 4 of my book COVID-19 One Family’s Journey, I share about a vision I had while I was on the ventilator which was a last ditch effort to salvage my life from this demonic disease that had taken over my body. In this vision, I was paralyzed and laying in some soft, cool dirt in the middle of a cave. I was surrounded by lions, and a few of them were actively wanting to pounce on me and tear me to shreds. I survived the COVID infection even though it was severe and I was in the end stages. I also survived the lions (v. 13) that surrounded me in the vision as the Lord protected and rescued me in my time of trouble (v. 14). Just over the last 6 months or so, scientist are finding that the origins of COVID did not come from bats as we were originally misled; instead it was developed from the venom of the king cobra and/or the Chinese krait snake. They have studied closely, found and proven that the venom peptides and COVID peptides are identical. When I first found this out, I was shocked, and I did as much research as I could to understand it. I figured we will not understand it all on this side of heaven, so I did what I usually do with troubles of this magnitude, and I handed it over to the God of all Creation in a prayer. Now, nearly 2 years after my life-threatening battle, I was given this revelation on a regular, ole Tuesday, in my living room, on my couch at 11 o’clock at night from my Creator Himself. There are very few instances in life where I was blessed so much, and this one truly melted me where I sat. I thank you Lord for my life, and I thank you Lord for my testimony. I thank you Lord for hearing us when we call, and I thank you Lord for your supernatural Protection in and over our lives.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
May we all find our rest in Him in Jesus’ Mighty Name.
Tuesday, July 12 2022
MCKERNAN FAMILY RESPONSE OF GRATITUDE & BLESSINGS!
This is the McKernan family whom we held a benefit for back on July 3rd, 2022, and our Church and surrounding community stepped up and blessed this family in a very special way. Scott and Angie wrote up a response, and they wanted me to share with all of you. See their words below:
If you would like to bless the McKernan family with monetary gifts, you can Venmo them directly @ScottMcKernan (The last four digits of the phone number is 8272.)
Also, McKernan Ministries is back in action Praise God! Scott and Jerry McKernan post their recordings on Wednesday nights, and you can follow them on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj1wCgjgiLLIQ5cJlB85HZQ
May God Bless You All!
Friday, July 01 2022
Jambalaya Fundraiser for the McKernan's
Our Fundraiser for the McKernan Family is tomorrow, Saturday July 2nd 2022 from 11am - 130pm!
Plates are 10$ each. Just drive through Live Oak Church's FLC to pick up yours. Pre-paid Tickets are welcome but not required!
Hope to see you then!
Friday, June 24 2022
Today was a great day for the McKernan Family! Thank you all for your continued prayers!
Scott was discharged from Rehab today, and his first stop was to visit Mom - Mrs. Jina. It has been more than 5 weeks since they have seen one another, and today, they were reunited! The attached pictures that the family took definitely captured the moment! They both had intense stories to share with one another, which included emergent, ambulance rides to two different Emergency Rooms, Hospital Admissions with Intensive Care Units stays, and a lot of surgery to boot (Especially Scott!)! Even though it has been a roller coaster ride with a lot of ups and downs for the McKernan Family, the Lord has not failed them! He has never left their sides!!
Deuteronomy 31 : 6 says:
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you;
He will never leave you or forsake you."
This reunion between Mom and Son could not have been anymore awesome! Angie McKernan said, "They were soooo happy! It was so sweet." Now that Scott has crossed the threshold to the door of his own home, not only does he recognize the blessing, but he can see just how far the Lord is willing to go with him. Please continue to pray for Scott and the McKernan Family. They have made it home, but there is still a lot of recovering to do. Thank you in advance for your prayers!
Saturday, June 18 2022
Tuesday, June 14 2022
Good afternoon everyone.
A specialist visited Scott regarding the continued problems he is having with his left hand. It was confirmed that he did sustain a severe injury to his wrist and hand at the time of the accident. The plan is for him to have surgery on his left wrist on Wednesday morning (6/15/22) to fix the problem. The surgery is called a proximal row carpectomy and a carpal tunnel release. This will free up some room in there to allow the nerve to be free from compression, and prayerfully it will relieve him of the burning in his palm and his middle 3 fingers on the left side. This surgery has a 6 week recovery. Unrelated - it is believed he will be in rehab approximately 2 more weeks.
Thank you in advance for your prayers for Scott and your continued prayers for the McKernan family.
Tuesday, June 14 2022
I completely understand a lot of people want to move on as if this pandemic is over and Covid is a thing of the past. In a sense, it has calmed down for a time, but the numbers of those infected now are increasing all around us, but I'm not hearing of any precautions, warnings or updates as we have heard so many times before. Well, guess what happened yesterday? I had an elderly lady in my office telling me her story, and it helped remind me that Covid is still lingering, that this demonic disease and this total mess of a virus has not finished it's nasty course just yet! This precious women lost her husband in May of 2022 to this terrible disease, and although he was not 100% healthy, he was triple vaccinated, and he had not completely recovered from his chemotherapy and radiation treatment for lung cancer. This stupid virus had more to say in their steadfast, Christian lives. Mr. Gary made it all the way through chemo and radiation for lung cancer treatment, and he even rang the bell in accomplishment of toughing it out and finishing his course in faith, only to succumb to this demonic virus that has been so eager to wreck the lives of anyone it can!
I am here to tell you "Keep Fighting!" "Do Not Give Up!" Our fight is not over!! You will know when the fight is over, so in the meantime fight the good fight of faith like never before! Stand Firm in the Word of God, and Trust that He will Redeem You! He will Relieve You once and for all when the time comes, and I do not believe it is too far in the distant future! He is not finished with His work here on earth especially in the Age of Grace that we are living in! He will let us know WHEN that time comes, so in the meantime, we have to keep fighting, we have to keep perservering, we have to keep being the salt and the light, and we have to keep leading people in the right direction and that is up!
Please continue to pray for the lost in Jesus' Name, and strive to leave your mark on this earth for His Glory!
Wednesday, June 08 2022