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I remember standing on the bridge with the barrel of grass clippings in my hands and the next thing I know I’m laying on my back in the dry creek struggling to get my breath, moaning, and wondering what happened. Fortunately, my neighbors heard my moans and cries for help and saved the day. It was almost dark and would have been a long cold night in the creek. Sherri was out of town for the weekend. Now, over four months later, I am back to work, doing relatively well healing from five fractured vertebrae and two broken ribs. My back hurts most of the time but not nearly as bad as the weeks immediately following the accident.


Granddaughter Harper making all things better!

What have I learned?

I’ve learned that I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams with hundreds of friends who have faithfully prayed for me. My gracious neighbor Rusty has mowed my yard several times. Lots of folks brought food, chocolate shakes, and sent hundreds of words of encouragement and love. The five other couples in our prayer group have led the way praying for me constantly. The incredible Edmond Police Department has “had my six” from the start. First on the scene was officer Nate Fountain who not only escorted the ambulance to the hospital but also stuck by my family for the rest of the night. Other officers have checked on me several times everyday. It is a great honor to serve these amazing men and women as their chaplain.

I have learned that patience is required to heal properly. I want things to move along so much faster than they actually do. God has a purpose in moving me through the healing process day after day, seeing gradual improvement and finding encouragement each day.

I have realized God’s protection sometimes involves tragedy at some level. He uses physical pain and suffering to teach us his ways and how to truly trust him for the outcome. I know I could just have easily been paralyzed, had a horrible traumatic brain injury, or I could have died.

I have amazing clients who have faithfully continued to support me and take part in my recuperation. As I returned to work, their interest, patience, and continued compensation, all provided constant encouragement and blessed me beyond words.

Thank you…

  • The many who prayed for my healing.
  • Sherri, who has been so totally faithful and helpful these past months.
  • Those who supported Sherri in those first few weeks after my fall.   I’m not a good patient.
  • The incredible hospital nurses who took care of me for ten days.
  • My favorite people who brought me food to eat!
  • The cops who dropped by to help, talk, and brought chocolate shakes.
  • My family who showed so much concern during my recuperation.
  • My clients who continued to pay me as I healed.
  • The employees I chaplain who called, wrote, visited, and prayed for me.
  • My Panera Church buddies who prayed.
  • Mike, Sherman, Matthew, Michael, and Larry who stayed with me at the hospital and helped me move!
  • My orthopedic physician who watched me carefully and provided great care.
  • Krista, who aggressively led the way in my recovery turnaround.
  • My chiropractor, who just in recent weeks has had a hand in relieving so much pain.


Now, a little over four months from the Friday evening I fell off that bridge, I am much better. I am working everyday, working out three times weekly, am 26 pounds lighter, gradually taking on more physical tasks at home and in the yard, and finally getting peaceful sleep.

My advice to you is never fall off a bridge and fracture five vertebrae and break two ribs! Seriously, always take care of those you see are in need. Your provision and help may be exactly what they need at the time. Above all else, pray for those you know who are in need. Never be hesitant to ask God to heal. And finally, expect God to use you when you make yourself available to Him. People have made a difference in my life in the last four months no matter what they did for me!

“As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.” Psalm 138:3 NLT




  1. John i have felt compelled over the many weeks to pray for you. But I did not know you had hurt injured your self.
    If there is anything I can do for you let me know. I am praying for your recovery and continued work for Jesus.
    Your old friend
    Sam Bass

    • Posted March 8, 2017 at 5:48 pm
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    • Reply

    I’m not real big on someone trying to tell a person that has had a very traumatic thing such as you have had or a death in the f amily, etc. by pointing out that thi ngs could be worse and all that. Or that “God is in control” stuff, although we both know it’s true, but in your c ase, because of who you are, I am going to tell you a story t hat you already know and one that you probably don’t know. The one yo u know is one I have written abo ut and you prob ably remember reading it. When Aunt Iness died, I happened to be in OKC at a meeting, so I went to their house as soon as I could. People say the dumbest things at tim es sho u ld just shut-up and be there. And that is what happened over and over at Melvin’s that day. Don Ray and I were out on the porch talking and people were bringing casseroles by the car load it seemed. Several said stupid things that they thought would offer M elvin some comfort. I could tell your father was just about at his breaking point, when a well meaning lady told Melvin, and I quote, “you  know, Melvin, God needed a junior boys Sunday Class teacher, so He called Iness home. Your father was respe ctful, but firm when he said, M am, God does not bring death to people for His convenience! Don Ray and I about lost it and had to go outside before we laughed!

    Then a story you probably don’t know. When my dad was injured so badly in the oil field accident, he told me when he woke up the first thing he remembered was someone saying, “if he lives, he will never be the same!” You kn ow the rest of the st ory. He was not the same but he did overcome it. Mom spent 8 weeks in Texas, most of it in the hospital room with him! I am convinced that is when they knew they would marry.

    Again, not trying to give you platitudes or anything like that, because I know you don’t need that.  And I know you are tough, both physically and spiritually, so I am not one to tell you anything, except, I love you Cuz. Hang in there. Keep up your therapy. Remember how tough and Judson and Wilton were. And we are blessed.       .

    • Jon Cook,
      whats you phone number so I can either call or leave you a text.
      Sam Bass

  2. Great post Jon – loved it!!

  3. Thanks for the update Jon. We are getting old quick enough without speeding it up with injuries. Stay safe and keep healing up, friend. Miss you often and always am thankful for your influence in my life. Allan


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