Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

Pep Talk


I saw my friend Jay across the courtyard at church one Sunday morning a few months ago. As I walked over to chat with him, I realized his usually friendly face was crunched up in pain. 

“Jay, is something wrong?”

“Root canal gone bad,”  he grimaced.

 “Oh, I’m sorry.”  I didn’t know what else to say, but I thought of the words of James 5: Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make them well.

“Jay, would you mind if we grab a couple of these guys and pray for you.”  Jay was hurting too much to care one way or the other; so I walked over to where Randy and Pepe were standing at the door of the auditorium waiting to greet people. 

“Would you guys be willing to come over and pray for Jay?  He’s got a really bad toothache.” 

They were there with alacrity!  We made a small knot around Jay, and Pepe began to pray out loud.  He prayed boldly, thoroughly and simply.  The rest of us “agreed” in silent prayer.  Amen! 

It felt good to know we could bring anything to the Lord anytime. 

We promised Jay that we’d continue to keep him in prayer for the next few days. Nothing hurts like a toothache!

I wandered around the courtyard, visiting with friends and chatting with people until it was almost time for church to start.  Then as I was walking up to the door Pepe said he’d like to speak with me privately for a moment.

“Of course.” 

We stepped away from the busy doorway, and Pepe asked me if I would keep him in prayer too.

The previous Wednesday he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

I was dumfounded.  “You jumped in and prayed so fervently for Jay, and you have cancer?!”  It made my head spin.  “I will pray for you, for sure.”

I hardly knew what to say.

We talked for a few minutes about how we know it’s no harder for God to heal cancer than it is for him to heal a toothache. He’s GOD.

I know that’s true, but still, it amazed me that Pepe was able to set aside his own newly-discovered, and potentially devastating situation, to pray for our brother. 

The summer passed, and after a very complicated visit to an oral surgeon Jay’s root canal problem is getting better.

And we have watched Pepe “walk in victory” through his cancer surgery and follow-up treatments. It hasn’t been easy for him, but he has a good prognosis. Every week he laughs and jokes about some of the setbacks he experiences.

He always has a smile on his face, and words of encouragement for everyone.  Standing at the door of the auditorium, he greets people with a warm handshake or a backslap or hug.  He seems to know everyone, and to be genuinely interested in their lives.  And recently he has become involved with a program to help and support Palestinian Christians. He’ll talk your ear off about that!

A few days ago John told me about a conversation they had.  Pepe told John, “The cool thing about serving others is that you get your eyes off yourself!”

Well said, Pepe. It’s also a “cool way” to let the reality of God be seen in your life!


Author: paladinipotpie

Welcome! My name is Andrena Paladini and this is a blog about family and love and faith and fun. I call it Paladini Potpie because a potpie is like an adventure in a crust. You never know what might come up, but it’s always going to be good! Think of the best potpie you’ve ever eaten…hot flaky crust holding a rich savory sauce and all kinds of pieces of meat and vegetables…and who knows what? As a family, we’ve chosen to live within the parameters of God’s love and protection. This is the crust of our Paladini Potpie. The crust never changes. Within this crust, the savory sauce of family love binds it all together. That is also fairly constant. But beyond the crust and the sauce we can add just about anything! Good ideas come our way and we’ve adopted and adapted them to add to what John calls our treasure box of memories. These stories and ideas from John’s treasure box of memories are the ingredients I’m putting into our Paladini Potpie. (Okay, so this ridiculous mixing of metaphors about treasure boxes and potpies is exactly what I’m talking about. Silly and ungrammatically correct. But both illustrations work… so we’ll mix them together and it’ll be just fine!) John and I have been married for 30 years. Our children have wonderfully doubled in number since David married Amanda, Monica married Dan, and Matthew married Sarah. And the newest little treats that have been added to our potpie are six adorable grandchildren - Ethan, Angelina, Nathan, Audrey, Maleia and Caleb! I hope you’ll subscribe to my Paladini Potpie blog, and keep up with all the fun new ingredients I add. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our stories and ideas, and find something you’ll want to put into your own potpie! Bon appétit!

5 thoughts on “Pep Talk

  1. Tell Pepe I think of him often…love that brother!

  2. we LOVE Pepe… tell him Tony and Dorene are praying for him

  3. LOVE us some Pepster!!!! Ken Rita and Ali :):)

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