Today is a day of gratitude. Many of you have prayed for my husband throughout this journey with cancer. This trial of over four years has been one of sadness, disappointments, sickness, changes in our household, in our marriage, and in our thinking. I would guess that we will be realizing the lessons from it for years to come.
First, I want to say thank you to all of you for your constant encouragement, prayers and love. You will never know what a few kind words can mean on the darkest days. I love you and I appreciate you in countless ways.
My husband has been declared in remission! We’ve learned that malignant melanoma, stage 4, is usually a death sentence, especially when it goes to the brain. However, our God is more powerful than melanoma!! Yes He is. We give Him all the glory!
From one day to the next, none of us ever knows what trials we will be asked to endure. One phone call, one blood test, one letter in the mail….life can turn upside down. If you believe you are immune, think again. Those who claim that God doesn’t bring or allow these things don’t really know God. His plans and purposes for us go so deep that only He knows what will change our hearts or conform us to the likeness of His Son. And these refining fires spread to our family and friends as well. We are always a work in progress. And we know that God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are calling according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28)
One night, instead of pleading for my husband’s life and healing, I simply surrendered him to God. I told God that no matter what His decision, I would accept it and praise Him and be thankful, for I know His purposes are always best. I meant it. When I released that fearful pleading, a peace flooded my soul.
The beauty of living with the Spirit abiding inside us is that His power moves and conquers devils and diseases. The battle is the Lord’s. We can rest in Him, knowing that no matter what comes He will sustain us. Not only will He sustain us, but He will meet all our needs according to His riches in glory. Why would anyone choose to live without Him? I can’t imagine.
How are you doing these days? Today I feel the need for a personal check-up. One would think that since I spent years as a counselor I would stay on top of these things but truthfully, I get bogged down just like everybody else. As I examine myself and force my vision to focus in on the uglier things, it’s not fun. Maybe it’s time for you to do an assessment for yourself too. Sometimes I’m listening to someone spewing out all their resentments and hurts and I think to myself how much better off they would be if they would only let it go. Then, while pointing that finger, I have to see those three fingers pointing back at myself. It’s so easy to identify dark issues in others, but when it comes to ourselves we are full of defenses.
Since we know how emotions affect our health, we need to do a self-evaluation on a regular basis. How do I define regular? At whatever interval keeps you in a state of peace with God, yourself and most others. You maybe wondering how to do that assessment. The other day I heard someone on the radio say, “What is deep within you that you know, but you won’t allow yourself to recognize that you know it?” Interesting question. I began to ask myself that, asking God as well, and really soul searching for the answer. The result was that I dredged up some emotions that had been eating on me, but I was avoiding dealing with them.
Here are a few questions to guide your introspection: (Honesty with yourself is mandatory)
Who have I not forgiven fully? And why haven’t I let go of it by now?
What is the real reason for my irritation or frustration in some identified area?
When I’m sleepless or stressed, what is the bottom line reason?
What am I afraid of?
Am I eating healthy? Am I getting enough exercise to be healthy? Why not?
If I could do anything I wanted today, I would _______________
What is the real reason I’m not doing that now or planning for it?
Am I continuing to dream and/or set goals for myself? Why not?
How am I my worst enemy? What are 3 steps I could take to change that?
Have I spent time with God to invite Him to help me with these issues? Why not?
These are only a few guiding questions, but they do assist me in identifying where I am losing ground and why. It takes some brutal honesty because if you blame others or money or even God, more honesty is needed.
Remember that we are body, soul and spirit. When one part is ailing, the other two suffer as well. I’m writing this to remind myself. I’m in a season of being a caregiver which drains my energy. Therefore, I must make an intentional effort to keep body, soul and spirit balanced and as healthy as possible. It doesn’t just happen on its own. I must humble myself before God and others to admit I’m not superwoman or super-Christian and accept help and keep my eyes on the prize. I am fully aware that “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13
My dear brothers and sisters, you are not thinking clearly. I see your posts and wonder how you can so easily forget the scriptures you have grown up learning. Why oh why would you applaud and glorify a man who proclaims himself a man of God, yet speaks words that are totally contrary to the Holy Word of God? Some of you I’ve known for years. I know you have attended church faithfully, memorized scripture, prayed for the lost and given yourself in community service. You love the Lord. Yet, you publicly esteem a man in white robes who says one does not need to believe in God to go to heaven; that everyone is going to heaven. Then why did Jesus have to suffer and die on that cross? Does the charisma and hype surrounding the events blind your eyes?
Jesus Himself said that the world will hate us because of Him.(Mark 13:13) The world is worshiping this man, proclaiming love, admiration and devotion to him while he speaks words contrary to Jesus’ own words. I simply cannot understand how you can do this?
Yes, he appears to be a good man. He does many good works, lives humbly, and says what everyone wants to hear. One among many of his statements is that we can live however we choose and still spend eternity with the Lord.
My friends, dust off your Bibles! Over and over again we are instructed in God's ways, which are not popular with the world--not at all! We answer to our Lord alone, not a man. We must repent of our sins. (We do sin!) Matthew 7:13: "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.” The gate is narrow into heaven. That means following God’s ways requires us to be disciplined, submitting to His ways, and surrendering our self-life to live as He desires us to live---not just as we please.
When I saw how the whole world was not only praising this man, but many actually worshipping him, I began to question. Never before have I seen protestants, catholics, atheists, liberals, conservatives, black, white, young and old all agreeing in holding up a person to love, praise and admire. The world sees this as wonderful. Unity. Do you remember what the book of Revelation (among others) portrays about this particular scenario? Maybe it would be wise to read it again. For that matter, perhaps read the whole New Testament.
I am deeply concerned for those who throw aside all they’ve learned from the Bible to jump on the bandwagon with non-believers just because something sounds good and on the surface looks good. Please spend time with the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to direct you. In these tumultuous days in the land, deceivers abound. If it were possible, even the elect would be deceived. (Matt 24:24) I’m praying it won’t be possible, but what I’m seeing is disturbing, to say the least.
Ask the Lord to take any blinders off, give you sharp discernment, and a focus on the true and living God. His Word still stands. It has not changed just because our world has.
Are you feeling stuck right now, as you see the year quickly passing by? Today is the first day of Fall and it seems like we just finished celebrating Spring bursting forth. I don’t know about you but I always have a to-do list with my goals outlined. I tend to visualize things in seasons, not days. Spring had its projects for blooming into summer, and summer’s list was to build upon that to accomplish much before Fall arrived. Somewhere in there, I lost the list, almost forgot what season it was, and today as I enjoy the crisp, cool breezes, I realize I am way behind. But does it really matter? As I get older, it seems to matter less and less. In some ways, that’s a good thing as I mellow and take things at a slower pace. At the same time, there are days I feel totally worthless looking over my lists and realizing some things just aren’t going to happen. Things I really wanted to happen.
This season finds me daily sitting in the cancer clinic waiting room. I meet patients and families who share their stories and ask about mine. Those blocks of time are precious. They remind me that while people outside those walls are scurrying around trying to be productive, many are stopped against their wills from running in the rat race. When you have no choice but to sit and think and pray, you do it. What if some people are there specifically for that purpose? Our God longs to spend time with us. He’ll take us in whatever condition we come. The most refreshing and healing activity we can enjoy is being loved by our Father, fellowshipping with Him.
Time carved out to sit with the Lord is more important than anything else on our lists. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Matt 6:33. If I first seek God and His plans, other things have a way of falling into their proper spot or perspective. Some things get crossed off the list altogether and some brand new ideas pop up that He puts there. No matter what changes in my plans, His are better. It always works out better. So, why do I tend to put time with Him on the back burner until I have more time?
In these tumultuous days on the earth, the Lord has guidance and instruction for each of us as well. We cannot navigate the stormy waters around us without His parental wisdom showing which direction to go. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and a Bible does not make you a slacker. It makes you a disciple who knows there is no wisdom anywhere else compared to this. Let’s withdraw from the hamster wheel (without being forced) and sit in the Presence of the One Who guards our hearts and minds in Him….leading us into His perfect peace.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” Isaiah 26:3
What have we become? Like me, I’m sure you look at social networking sites and read people’s comments. It’s pretty astounding to see people’s true selves emerging as they post the most ridiculous things.
If we can lay aside the untruths, misspoken statements and misquotes completely (since that would take pages to write about) and just examine people’s bold opinions, we’re amazed at what is there. I’ve noticed over time that commenters are becoming more angry, more insulting and more bold in spitting out their words of condemnation. (That’s after posting a meme with a sticky sweet saying on it.)
Why is it that we can’t be mature and discuss issues where we don’t see eye-to-eye? Why is it that people regress to a pre-teen behavior of calling names, cursing and so on, when they don’t like something? It’s crazy. For example, people who were riled up because they didn’t agree with the clerk who refused to issue same sex marriage licenses. Hundreds (probably more) never even made intelligent statements about their objections. Instead, they cursed her, made fun of her appearance, and went after her family. Gee, that was so mature and really explained why you disagreed with her perspective.
I see people’s posts who make vicious personal attacks on people instead of just stating why they have the opposite viewpoint. How do we find any common ground or respect if we behave like spoiled kids. Maybe, just maybe, these people do not want to have intelligent discussions. I’ve noticed that if someone posts a reasonable argument, the conversation immediately turns to name calling. Is it because the person does not have the ability to think and express themselves in a mature way? That’s the way I see it.
I, like you, am not that naive. I realize there are hidden agendas rampant in these news stories. They are rarely about what we see on any news channel. And, by the way, I do not subscribe to any of the news channels--not just singling out one or two. They’re all corrupt and only tell the public what they want us to hear. I wish we could outsmart these imposters by carrying on intelligent conversations about issues, with respect for one another, and maybe we could actually find a few solutions or places we can meet in the middle. It appears to me at this juncture, that most of these attackers on the social media sites, have no desire to be at peace with anyone. It’s more fun to spew anger and throw childish tantrums. Respect for our fellow man appears to be a thing of the past. I guess that answers my opening question.
I want to take an opportunity to express my appreciation and love for all of you who have been so supportive during my husband’s illness. Any of you who have walked the cancer journey yourselves, or alongside a spouse or other loved one, know the ups and downs and sometimes the sheer exhaustion of the battle. We both appreciate all your kind words of encouragement and the prayers you’ve offered up on our behalf.
This week we begin another chapter as he undergoes radiation for the second series, this time on the brain. Two years ago he endured it for the arm where the melanomas were first discovered. This time we face two lesions on the brain and the treatment will be more complicated.
Cancer treatment is emotionally a twofold situation. On one hand, you put your trust in God and your doctors, grit your teeth and move into it with all the strength you can muster. On the other hand you know that poisoning a body cannot be a good thing. Watching the person you love most in the world suffering and being subjected to all manner of poking, prodding, poisoning and so on, is at times agony.
You watch some profess healing after trying certain herbs, diets and alternative therapies, so you grasp at any suggestions that are made, hoping one or all of them actually work. You try this, try that, listen to this report, and that one. When your tests show the cancer has spread more, you wonder why you spent so much time and money on any of them. Sometimes people cannot understand why you don’t try every remedy they send your way; why do you not jump on every idea. After all, this is a life and death matter.
I just want to let you know that every email, every card, call, or other message with your suggestions are appreciated and considered. We love you. We know your heart is right and you want to help. Your prayers are what mean the most to us. The last word is God’s. He decides who is healed, whose time it is to go to Him, and who needs to be that light to others in certain situations. His ways are definitely higher than our ways. We trust Him. His purposes are just and right, no matter how things appear.
If you have not walked this journey, I would never expect you to totally understand our feelings. We certainly didn’t before we got here. We just take one day at a time, continue praying and trusting God, and doing the best we can. That’s all we can do. Life will always have confusing twists and turns. It’s never a storybook ‘happily-ever-after’ on this earth. The important thing is to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He never steers us wrong. He walks with us through the fires and supernaturally pours strength into us throughout our trials. We just want to know we did our best. To finish well. We can. We do need you though, and appreciate you, so remember that and don’t stop praying.
With all the prophecies and warnings each day regarding the coming shaking of America, many of us look up and plead with God to inform us further. We feel inadequate in our preparations. We don’t really know how to prepare, though we know, because of the Spirit of God working in our hearts, that it’s definitely time.
I’ve prayed so much about these warnings. The Lord has spoken to me a few times with brief instructions, no details. I too wonder if I am on track, if I’m doing enough, or doing the right things. The beautiful part of this is that I have peace. I know hard times are on the horizon, but I feel no fear. I know He will be with me through the trials. My prayer for you is that you can experience this same peace.
Preppers are constantly buzzing about, storing up things, food, water, gold, silver, “stuff” of all kinds. But the most important area of preparation is the spiritual one. When you trust your Father with all your heart, what is there to panic about? His promises are still true---every word of the Bible is written there for us to feed on and nourish our souls. Then we can do whatever He tells us to do knowing we are under the shadow of His wings. He is in control and will guide us.
Spiritual prepping involves constant prayer, seeking Him through the study of His Word, waiting on Him in silence to impart direction. As long as we are close to our Abba Daddy, He will be sending warnings, imparting courage and strength, and offering His love and peace in the midst of the storms. Can you see why this is the most important prepping you can do? What does it matter if you have stocked up five years of food, but you live in fear, anger, panic attacks, dread and turmoil? None whatsoever! Inner peace is your first priority.
When the judgments of God begin, many will panic. We are the called, the chosen, who are to be ready at every opportunity to offer the reason for our hope. Those who are unprepared will flock to those who have peace, hope and courage. That will be needed more than anything else. How will you offer that if you don’t have it yourself? We live in the Spirit, knowing our next life is filled with every good thing, beyond our imagination. What we experience on this earth is temporary. We must be ready to offer the good news of Jesus’ plan to those who have no hope, for their time on earth may be cut short by disasters.
Don’t wait for a traumatic event to decide it’s time to look for God. There are issues in each of us that need to be resolved now. They are hindering your ability to hear the voice of God. Stop your busyness now and get still and quiet before your Father and ask Him to reveal the areas you need to work on, to release to Him, so that you have a clear channel to hear Him. Get rid of that thing that brings you to fear, riles your anger or blocks your relationship with God. There is no time to waste. It’s time to draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
If you need help with your issues, now is the time to seek godly counsel. Don’t wait. God needs every member of His mighty army dressed and ready to minister to the hopeless. Your assignment is waiting.
Sharing testimonials from your life experiences has an impact on others. We often learn from others’ mistakes or trials, but more than that, we tend to feel better knowing we’re not the only ones who go through difficult times. Hearing how someone conquered the dragon, moved the mountain or tamed the beast, fuels our motivation to keep pushing on to victory.
“He comforts us in our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Cor 1:4
God actually instructs us in how to comfort and encourage others, through His example of how He comforts us. So many times when I’ve been in the midst of a terrible trial, I suddenly am flooded with the peace that defies all understanding. I look up and thank Him because no amount of whining or complaining could bring me to that level of inner peace. He sends down hugs from above at just the perfect time.
To receive that divine encouragement, my soul has to be open to it. Because I know His love for me is unconditional and I know His plan for me is perfect, I can remain in a position of open heart and mind. That way whenever He chooses to minister to me I’m ready to receive. If I am angry, unforgiving, doubting His care or otherwise closed off, I will not be graced with that blanket of peace.
If you find yourself in a trial today that is devoid of any peace or joy, stop, get your soul quieted before the Lord, and tell Him you’re ready and willing to receive from Him. He delights in that submission and rewards it amazingly. He might even have a few good surprises for you in your journey out of the depths.
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” Eph 3:18
Welcome to my website!
"Living in God's Rest...At Peace in a Chaotic World" "Masked in Deceit," and Faith's Illusions are all available now. Living in God's Rest can be purchased from any of your favorite booksellers online or in stores. Masked in Deceit and Faith's Illusions, Christian novels, are available from Amazon. All books are offered in ebook versions as well. I always appreciate reviews on the seller's sites. Just click the books below and you will find links to purchase.
My newest book:
Have a blessed day!