Friday, December 29, 2006

South Carolina Minister Diagnosed With Esophageal Cancer, In The Fight Of His Life

Rev. Steve Dyar is a big man with a bigger heart who needs our prayers

There are very few people in the world that you meet who leave an indelible mark on your life. Sadly, most of us have such casual surface relationships with other people that we hardly let anyone get to know who we are much less share our own lives with others to learn about them. Sometimes, though, there are certain special people who enter our lives and we never forget the lasting impression they have made.

One such man in my life is Rev. Steve Dyar. My nickname for Steve is "big guy" because he's one of the few people in this world who actually makes me look small, even when I weighed over 400 pounds a few years back. His 6'7" height, broad shoulders, and gigantic muscular build give him such an empowering presence when he walks into a room that you can't help but notice him. He is a commanding figure, that's for sure!

But behind that burly stature is one of the kindest and most gentle men you will ever meet. He has genuine compassion, love, and respect for everyone he comes across regardless of who they are. The Christ-like qualities that Steve possesses have been on full display for so many to see in his role as Minister of Music in various local churches in the Upstate of South Carolina. He was so much more than a man who waved his arms and sang a few praise songs on Sunday mornings, though.

Steve was on staff at my local church a few years back during a difficult time when we were without a senior pastor, youth minister, and children's minister for an extended stretch of time. With God-given strength and constant messages of hope for the future, this man helped hold the congregation together at a time when most churches might have disbanded altogether. But time and time again, it was Steve who stood strong and played the role of pastor to so many in our church when we needed him the most. I don't think anyone at our church will ever forget the sacrifices he made on our behalf.

When I started livin' la vida low-carb in 2004, I remember Steve often chided me for choosing a diet that included so much meat and fat. You see, he is a strong advocate of The Hallelujah Diet by George Malkmus, a low-fat, vegetarian-styled diet rooted in Biblical foundations regarding health and nutrition. I usually agreed to disagree with Steve about his opinions on nutrition because I was doing what was right for me while he was doing what worked for him. As I lost 180 pounds in one year, he told me how impressed he was by the results I experienced even though he still didn't think I should be eating low-carb.

I even gave him an autographed copy of my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" book about a year ago so he could find out more about this way of eating that changed my life forever. Steve graciously accepted my gift and I encouraged him to read it to learn more about what low-carb is really all about rather than the things he had heard about in the vegetarian books he read.

Although Steve moved on with his ministry a little more than a year ago to focus on a gospel recording career to travel around to churches around the country, the influence he had on our church (which incidentally now has a senior pastor, youth pastor, and children's minister in place) will not soon be forgotten. So it is with great sadness to hear the grim health-related news right before Christmas that Steve has cancer in his esophagus which has already started to spread into his liver.

This man who has been there for so many people going through the uncertainty of cancer and other health problems over the years is now dealing with it himself. If you believe in the power of prayer, then I would ask you to please lift Steve Dyar up to the Lord to heal his body of this cancer in the power of Jesus' name. We expect a miracle to be performed and our hope is that this true man of God will once again be able to sing the praises of the One who gave him breath to breathe, a heart that beats, and a love for people that is such a rare commodity these days.

Please visit the Steve Dyar CaringBridge web site to learn a little more about this man who has made such a difference in my life and the lives of thousands more. He is having trouble eating right now because of the large tumor in his esophagus which doctors hope to be able to shrink with chemotherapy and radiation treatments which will commence within the next week.

When I saw Steve about a week after the diagnosis, he had already lost a noticable amount of weight and looked physically weak. But talking to him face-to-face reminded me why I admire and love him as much as I do. Despite the bleakness of his situation, his faith right now is as solid as a rock and the man knows his life is in the hands of God. He has resigned himself to the Lord's will and refuses to feel sorry for the situation he has found himself in. That's the kind of spiritual maturity most Christians only dream of having.

Our choir will be participating in a special New Year's Eve concert with national gospel recording artist Lordsong and others with the proceeds going to Steve to help offset some of his medical bills. Steve and his trio were supposed to sing at this event and he still wants to try to do it. Pray that God would lift the pain from his body even for a few moments so he can lift the name of Jesus as we ring in the new year.

Can you do me a favor? Although you probably don't know Steve Dyar personally, could you sign his guestbook to let him know you are praying for him at this time? Steve, along with his wife Susan and two sons Stephen and Sterling, have been encouraged by the outpouring of love and support from so many people as they are going through this difficult time. Even if your comment is as simple as "I'm praying for you," I KNOW it will mean a lot to the entire Dyar family. God bless you!

Nobody ever wants to go through something as devastating as cancer, but it is a sad reality these days. Until a cure can be found for this deadly disease, the only hope for survival is to rely on the Great Physician for healing. Write down the name Steve Dyar somewhere in your Bible, on a piece of paper, or something and pray without ceasing that God's will be done in his life. THANK YOU so much for supporting this man who has helped shape me into the man I am today.

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Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Jimmy, remember that ALL cancers thrive on and feed off glucose. So especially now it is more important than ever that he minimizes starches and sugars. At the very least that will slow down the progression, thus giving the medications a better chance to act effectively. If he consumes much soy and soy products, he (and his family!) should stop that immediately, as soy has been shown to cause cancer of the esophagus, as well as stomach, pancreas and liver.

12/29/2006 10:37 PM  

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