I had a minor stroke in 2019.
I don’t know exactly when it happened. But I do know exactly when I realized it. It came when I was promoting my book, “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,” of all the books I’ve written, my favorite.
The first guy I thought of to help me kick off promotion of the book was a good friend, Jonathan Bernis, the host of the program “Jewish Voice,” the leader of a Messianic ministry whom I had told about the project some time before the taping of the show – excitedly. I had been on the TV show many times, and we collaborated on a film documenting the 70th anniversary of Israel, “70 Years: Israel’s Prophetic Past, Present and Future.” Another Jonathan, Jonathan Cahn, also contributed mightily to the film.
I see Amazon still has the documentary stock. Ironic – since they killed it by not stocking it through Israel’s TWO anniversaries, one primarily celebrated in Israel and the other in the United States. I’m convinced that was not an oversight.
But back to the “Gospel” book and Jonathan Bernis. It turned into the most humiliating experience for me. I suffered the effects of my first minor stroke – on TV.
I was always was fine on television. I was on “Hannity” many times, Lou Dobbs, Neil Cavuto, even MSNBC and CNN. I was a syndicated radio talk-show host and loved it. I filled in for Michael Savage. I even wrote Rush Limbaugh’s second book, “See, I Told You So.” But my mind was a complete blank when it came to promoting my 13th book. Strange things were happening. It was like I had entered into spiritual warfare.
The show is based in Phoenix, so I flew out for the show and stayed in a nice hotel. But I was restless there. I didn’t know why. Before leaving for the show, I took the elevator only two or three floors down. In that short ride, I thought we must have experienced an earthquake. The elevator was rocking and rolling – with me in it. When I got to the first floor, I check with the desk.
“Was everyone all right?” I asked.
“What do you mean, sir?” asked the man in the front.
“I was just in the elevator and it was a hell-ride,” I said. “I thought there had been an earthquake.”
The guy looked at me like I was crazy.
“No, we’re all right,” he said. “No earthquake here.”
In the TV studio, things weren’t much better. Taping was delayed by technical problems. The set normally displays a loop of downtown traffic in Jerusalem, but they couldn’t get it to work. Finally, it was show time.
For the life of me, I couldn’t perform. I was speaking words, but they were not my own. You can still watch what the able crew was able to salvage from several takes.
Maybe it was spiritual warfare or maybe it was a stroke – or maybe it was both.
I recovered from that episode shortly thereafter. But then I was to experience four major strokes in rapid succession. They left me unable to talk, unable to read, unable to write. It was a shock. One day I make a living talking and writing; the next day I can’t read.
My gracious wife, Elizabeth, got me flash cards for kids – for pronunciation and to learn how to ready again. But I thought my life was over.
We had been going through a nightmare at WND with deep losses and wholesale layoffs. It was the beginning of Tech Tyranny – at least for the major test case of WND. We had been dealing with Google and Facebook for years, but things ratcheted up like never before as we entered the Donald Trump years. For the first two years, the tech giants were having their way with us. We went from $15 million in annual revenue to less than a million in two or three years. It wasn’t just Google and Facebook – but Twitter, Amazon, Apple. And why were we hit hard and so early? Because we were the first independent online news source, founded back in 1997. The Masters of the Universe planned to bring us down. But, at the end of the day, it was about Trump – and punishing those who supported him.
I have regained my ability to talk, but not as well as I would like.
I never thought I would be able to write a column again, let alone a book. But here I am writing daily.
And reading came back, too.
But it’s different. …
How? Do you jump every time the phone rings? I do – and I don’t know why.
I drive, again, but I have a fear of most highways. I’m good for driving around Virginia, but Interstate 66, 495, I-70? Forget about it.
And mostly I’m a little apprehensive about the way I talk, the way I’m just not able to think of familiar names, even math concepts are foreign to me.
I’m getting better, but I’ll never be who I was before – except maybe in the Kingdom.
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