PRLog - Oct. 3, 2009 - NORTHAMPTON, Pa. -- When Carl Edwards was asked by his pastor to speak on anything he wished at his church, Northampton Assembly of God, Northampton, PA, he could have chosen to speak on how hard it has been to adapt to the immense changes he has had to face since becoming a quadriplegic after his car accident, but he chose to speak on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” a powerful message about experiencing a close relationship with God. His message of September 23, 2009 can be heard on the church website at: http://www.naog.ws/
Carl Edwards speaking at Northampton Assembly of God, Northampton, PA
Carl Edwards was on his way to his computer job in Syracuse, NY, September 2, 2008, when his car’s cruise control failed in a construction zone resulting in a terrible accident. He underwent several delicate operations on his spinal cord at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. After nearly a month there, he was transferred to the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown, PA.
While Carl’s injuries left him without many of his former physical capabilities, it became obvious to everyone around him that he had retained his humor! One illustration of this was when a hospital worker came to conduct what she called “trials” to discern his eating capabilities. Carl ate a little of the potatoes and meat and then stated that he had never before thought of eating as a “trial!”
Throughout his difficulties in the past year, Carl maintained his deep faith and confidence in God. His pastor, Daniel E. Lundmark, says of Carl, “He reminds me of a modern-day Job who after having lost all of his possessions and ten children to disasters declared, ‘The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!’ During this past year, I have never seen Carl display any anger against God concerning his losses. I have never heard him complain about it. I have never seen him get depressed as so many do when difficulties like this strike them. There is only one explanation for this—Carl’s genuine faith in God.”
After having been transferred to the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, a psychologist talked to Carl to see if he was depressed. Carl told him that he believes God is sovereign, that God loves him, that God knows what is best for him and will do what is best for him. Then Carl asked, “So what is there to be depressed about?” His faith in God and his close relationship with the Lord are the foundations for his good demeanor in the midst of his severe troubles. This is the basis for his good humor. For instance, during a visit, his pastor and wife were making arrangements to call him during their Sunday morning service and have the congregation pray for him and sing his favorite song, “If You Ever Needed The Lord Before, You Sure Do Need Him Now.” Carl said that song had been his favorite in recent years and that it was even more meaningful to him in his present situation. When the pastor’s wife said that she thought his favorite song was “See The Bright Light Shine--It's Just About Home Time,” he responded, “That would have been--if things would have gone the other way!”
Thankfulness is one of Carl’s major traits. He is first, thankful to the Lord for saving him from sin. He is very vocal about that. He is very thankful that his mind was not affected by the accident. He tested his memory by quoting Scripture to himself that he had previously committed to memory and he said “It sounded right!” Carl is also thankful that he can speak. He is also very thankful for his wife, Judy, and all that she does for him. One of his chief concerns that he verbalized to her in the hospital was of the load that would be upon her when he got home. Judy’s response was, “Wasn't there something about ‘in sickness and in health’ in our vows?” She faithfully serves him as his personal nurse, and he knows just how fully dependent he is upon her as he expressed at one point, “If anything happens to her—I’m finished!”
It was Carl’s vision years ago to build some kind of protection from inclement weather at the church entrance--especially for those in wheelchairs since he regularly transported physically challenged people to our church services. Over the years, as a church board member, he often mentioned this need in the board meetings. One year ago, via phone from the hospital, Carl participated in the dedication of the church’s new foyer and large carport. Interestingly, now Carl himself is among those who enjoy and appreciate these new handicapped accessible facilities birthed by his vision!
On November 4, 2008, Carl was happily transferred back to his home. Not long after, he was able to attend the morning worship service at his church. What a joy it was to Carl and to the congregation to have him again in the service and to hear his voice lifted up in worship and praise to the Lord! When Pastor Lundmark asked him to share some words, he gratefully expressed his appreciation to the Lord for giving him back the capability to verbally praise the Lord and his determination to faithfully do so as long as the Lord gives him breath. What a challenge it was to everyone in that service to give God the praise that belongs unto Him while they are able to do so just as King David in the Bible stated in Psalm 63:3-4, “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live!”
Carl has had to spend most of his time in bed this past year because of very slowly healing wounds. Until recently he regularly tuned in to all of our services via telephone. He is now able to attend the Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services and tunes in on the Sunday evening service while giving the wounds time to heal. During all this time of great trials he has maintained a beautiful attitude and has been a blessing to many people. Prior to his accident, Carl had been the Adult Sunday School Teacher for over 23 years at Northampton Assembly of God. Over the years, he also has preached from time to time in the services and when the pastor was away.
Concerning the stirring message that Carl shared on experiencing a close relationship with God, Pastor Lundmark stated, “It is amazing to hear how the Lord used Carl to quote so many convicting Scriptural passages that he has committed to memory over the years from the Word of God.” The pastor urges everyone to listen to this soul-stirring message on the church website at: http://www.naog.ws/
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About Northampton Assembly of God:
Located at 3449 Cherryville Rd, Northampton, PA 18067
Pastor: Daniel E. Lundmark
See area newspaper "Pastor's Comments" columns at: http://www.naog.ws/