“… for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
(Philippians 2:13)


God@Work in the life of Milt Worrell

“God uses people and many different ways to help us – even things like baking soda and molasses!”

More than once the radiologist shook his head intoning, “This is not good.” The test results showed that Milt’s cancer had spread to his bones. In 2004, Milt had recuperated fully from a stroke. Several years earlier, his body had battled prostate cancer with seemingly positive results, but in April 2015, after his PSA bloodwork continued to elevate and he unexpectedly lost a lot of weight, a bone scan revealed that the previous cancer had metastasized to his bones throughout his skeleton: shoulders, sternum, clavicle, arms, ribs, pelvis, and legs. “This is not good,” Dr. Baird said. “This is not good.”

Milt’s journey of faith had led him to know the peace that passes understanding. “It may sound strange, but I didn’t panic when I heard the diagnosis. I wasn’t afraid. God can do anything, and He gives us what we need when we need it.”

During subsequent weeks and months, Milt witnessed how God shows his goodness even when circumstances are not good. Indeed, throughout his life, Milt has seen how “God uses people and many different ways to help us – even things like baking
soda and molasses!”

As a young boy, Milt regularly attended a Methodist church and loved going. One Sunday, a new young pastor preached that in order to be saved, one must be born again. Milt wondered, “What does that mean to be born again?” Years later, after drifting away from church, Ben Grovatt, one of Milt’s close friends, shared a pamphlet called “The Four Spiritual Laws,” asking Milt if he was a Believer. Slightly indignant at the time, Milt certainly believed he was a Christian; after all, he had attended church most of his life and believed that if you were good you would go to heaven. Yet he agreed to his friend’s invitation to attend a small Baptist church in Mt. Holly. The first Sunday there, the pastor preached a familiar sermon: you must be born again in order to be saved. Milt knew the message was meant for him. Sometime later, as he drove down Stokes Road in Shamong, not far from where he now lives, he says, “All of a sudden, the truth that Jesus had died for me so that I could be saved became crystal clear. It was almost as if I could feel the nails in Christ’s hands on the cross. It was so overwhelming, I started to cry and had to pull the car over.” That was the moment Milt asked Jesus into his heart and became born again. He was 31 years old.

Now, decades later, his health prognosis looked grim. Shortly after the bone cancer news, Milt’s miniChurch, along with several elders and Pastors Marty and Dave gathered together to lay hands on Milt, to anoint his head with oil, and to pray for healing and peace. “I was blown away. It’s one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced. Of course, I wanted to be healed, but more than that, I prayed for God’s will. I also hoped that God, if it was his will, would let me sing in the annual FAC Christmas Cantata in the new church building, which was still over a year from completion.”

Milt has sung bass in the church choir for almost twenty years, standing several voices over from his wife, Denise. After becoming a Christian, Milt began taking his two children to church and prayed for his wife at the time to be saved. However, the marriage broke apart. Years later, Milt left a church after a discouraging encounter. While wiring a house for the Grovatts, Cindy encouraged him to attend FAC. “FAC is not judgmental,” she said.

At FAC, Milt’s faith grew through prayer groups and Bible study. He also prayed that if he remarried, it would be with someone who would “take-off” with the Christian faith, a woman on fire for the Lord. When he met Denise, she was not a Christian or church-goer. One of his friends challenged him to tell her of his beliefs: “You mean you haven’t told her yet!” (When he was first saved, he had shared his faith unapologetically. In fact, on one electrical job, he opened the Bible with a young man known as Uncle Joe, and years later that man thanked Milt for being the first person to tell him about Jesus, an experience which still brings tears to Milt’s eyes.) So, he cautiously talked to Denise about his faith, and before heading to Indiana on a trip, he gave her the “Four Spiritual Laws” booklet, the same truths he had been given years before. When he returned from his trip, Denise “had accepted Jesus into her heart. She had changed. I could see it.” Shortly after, when together they visited his friends in Indiana, his friend remarked, “Dubbie (Milt’s childhood nickname), that gal’s going to pass you like you’re standing still.” A woman on fire.

“After being divorced for two decades, I knew Denise was/is the perfect person for me.” God revealed his goodness to Milt again and again. “There are so many rewards in following Christ. You’ll never be disappointed if you do what God wants you to do. We’re all sinners. We still have an old nature, and we mess up. But God shows us grace ― every day.”

“After drinking the concoction, surprisingly the pain in his sternum disappeared in three days.”

Doctors at Sloan-Kettering suggested chemotherapy and radiation for the tumor on Milt’s sternum, but Milt, a man in his seventies, decided he wanted to enjoy life as much as he could without constant hospital visits. He searched online, and on YouTube, he discovered a man with his same diagnosis. The man recommended drinking a combination of water, baking soda and molasses! “Well, what do I have to lose by trying this?” Milt thought. After drinking the concoction, surprisingly the pain in his sternum disappeared in three days.

Then in November of 2015, Milt suffered another stroke. His right hand was rendered useless. He did not lose heart but trusted God, calling on friends for prayer support. Within a month, his hand was functioning slightly; within two months, he was well enough to begin working again. Although the right hand remains weaker than before, Milt is left-handed, so he has been able to manage at his job. A side effect of taking Lupron (a hormone which helps suppress his type of bone cancer) is weaker muscles, but at age 75, Milt still works as an electrical contractor.

At each of his medical check-ups, bloodwork has come back “good,” and Milt feels fine. A nurse friend at church remarked that with Milt’s diagnosis, he should be losing weight, but he hasn’t. In fact, in the almost two years since the medical pronouncement, he’s gained back some pounds. Although this type of cancer is not technically curable, Milt is not even sure if any bone cancer remains. Both Milt and Denise often muse that God may have healed him when the pastors and elders laid hands on him. Milt has chosen to have no further scans to prove or disprove if the cancer is still there; at this time, no symptoms exist.

And during four December evenings of the Christmas Cantata with rows of tables decked with desserts and choir members serving, singing, and garbed in elegant black attire, Milt stood on the platform risers, praising God and thanking Him over and over again. “I felt I was singing directly to God. What an awesome experience, lifting voices in praise.” God had answered Milt’s prayer to sing in the new Worship Center.

God has answered his prayers, again and again. “God can do anything. I have said this before, but as Believers, we can lay our heads on the pillow of God’s sovereignty and have perfect peace. There’s a stark difference between the feeling of pleasing God and the consequences of slipping away from His truth. I’ve learned to turn things over to Christ right away when things go awry. I want to be close to Jesus. He’s my best friend. God is good. I have been saved by grace; it is a gift of God. (Ephesians 2: 8, 9) I will continually sing praises to bring glory to his holy name.”