Monday, October 29, 2012

Every Other Monday

Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Yep, every other Monday, that's when we are up at the Oncology clinic. Our life segments no longer run in weeks, but in bi-weekly increments that begin on 'every other Monday' with the Oncologist visit and end with the Sunday of the 'good week' which is the Sunday night before Chemo... at least we have a routine at this point. Seven and a half months ago we were not so settled. I am praising God for the victories we are seeing. Glenn is feeling much better now than a year ago, last year he was not feeling good and in a lot of pain, and wasn't even able to go to the Pumpkin Patch with the grandkids. (Of course at this time we didn't even know then that he was sick.)  This past weekend Glenn worked on the garage Friday, went to the pumpkin patch Saturday, Church on Sunday morning and Connect Group Bible study on Sunday night... That's a good end to our 'good week.'

Today at Oncology I was talking with a lady that we met up here a while back. She is battling breast cancer and had a large tumor on her left side. We have chatted and prayed and enjoyed each other's company several times on our "Other Monday's." Today she was given some very good news from her doctor, the doctor can't feel the tumor at all!! She has one more chemo treatment, then it's surgery and radiation, and we are all trusting the Lord that after that will come a long life. She is thankful for the doctor but gives the Glory for the progress to the Lord. 

Since we started coming to chemo we have met a lot of people- all in various stages of the battle, some have lost the fight against it, but others have left with a smile and lighter step, thankful to move forward with a good report. On the personal side, one such good report is Glenn's dad, he just got his 3rd all clear scan on the cancer he's spent time battling, now he and Glenn's mom are getting ready to go on a Panama Canal cruise. I can't think of a better way to celebrate!! 

As we continue to move forward into whatever lies ahead for us, we will continue to pray with, empathize with and rejoice with those in our sphere, whether it's at church, the store, even facebook, or here; in our 'Other Monday' world.


Have a blessed day, and take the time to be a blessing to someone.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What I love about kids...

Mark 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Mark 10:15 "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."

This last weekend was our annual Children's Encounter Weekend at church. When you have the opportunity to be involved with Kid's Church you begin to really see the truth of Mark 10:15.  I wasn't able to be there as much this year as in years past but I know that God was doing big things there. Nothing is quite as amazing as watching young children begin to grab hold of God's truth's and start to move forward in the call He has on their lives. 

The Encounter is a time where kids ages 6-12 get to encounter God... this isn't a playtime 'retreat,' it is way past that. Yes there are some short playtimes for the kids, but primarily it is a time of focused learning, to grow in the things of God at a level they can understand. Where adults go to an encounter only once, the kids generally come every year, and for good reason-- children have different levels of understanding, what they understand at 6 is different than the work the Lord does in them at 12. It all works together as building blocks for the rest of their lives. What I can tell you is that these kids are changed, the basics are the same each year but each year is also different as the Lord gives the children's pastors a different focus for the Encounter. This year the focus was "Givin' it all." 

Through the course of the lessons the children all determined what they wanted to give away so that they could give it all for the Lord. Toward the end of the weekend the kids all wrote on balloons what they were going to give away, then they released them. Giving those things away that get in the way of their relationship with the Lord, so that they could grow closer to to Him. The thing they choose is different for each child.

We can learn from this...  what things do we need to release to the Lord so that we can grow closer? During my brief time there this year, the Lord touched me... yes, we adults can be touched during a time that teaching is 'for kids' if we have the heart of a child, the willingness to receive when God is giving-- Learning to trust God completely, trusting our Heavenly Father. 

Years ago when Crystle, our oldest, was only 8 months old she fell sound asleep in Glenn's arms. We were in the middle of a busy room and there she slept, oblivious to the goings on around her. And Glenn looked at me and said simply... this is the faith of a child, and what God calls us to, the ability to trust the Lord and rest in Him, no matter what is going on. During the brief period I was at the Kid's Encounter the Lord reminded me of this... I had been struggling with some fear recently, and during the session as the kid's were being prayed over, to give their fear to the Lord-- God touched me, He reminded me that I needed to release it, to give it to Him... I could quit holding onto it, so I did, I let it go... I wish I could have been at the balloon release because I think I might have grabbed one and written 'fear' on it because that is what I released. I have let it go before but this time at a new level... I am so excited that as I was giving to the kids that God loves me so much that He touched me, reminding me yet again that He is always present and there for me.

The beautiful thing about the Lord, He is the perfect Father... I have a wonderful dad, he loves me and always has, he's been supportive of me for as long as I remember, he also disciplined me as I grew up. All in all I was blessed with a dad that reflected to me the Love of  my Father in heaven. I know that there are many who are not as fortunate, but the Lord is accessible to everyone. He is a Father that is always there; 24/7, He cares about every aspect of our lives. 

We simply need to ask Him into our lives, we need to be like children-- trusting our Heavenly Father to care for us and let us rest in His arms like Crystle rested in Glenn's arms so long ago.

If you don't already know  Jesus as your Lord and would like to know more then click here to learn more on how you can have a relationship with Him, and begin to know and understand God as your Father.

Then understand what it means to release and Give It All!!

Friday, October 19, 2012


Psalms 121--  I will lift up my eyes to the hills— ​​From whence comes my help?
​​My help comes from the LORD, ​​Who made heaven and earth.
​​​He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel ​​Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
​​The LORD is your keeper; ​​The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
​​The sun shall not strike you by day, ​​Nor the moon by night.
​​​The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; ​​He shall preserve your soul.
​​The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in ​​From this time forth, and even forevermore.

This was my mom's favorite Bible passage, I always liked it, but I think at this point I have a greater appreciation for the depth of it's meaning... at least in my life.

We passed the 7 month mark last week, Praise to God on High! It's odd to walk in a world where things are truly day to day but that is the world Glenn and I live in, in many ways. The challenges of the last 7 months have taught us to appreciate each day and deal with that days issues as they arise... another verse that really hits here...Matt 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is it's own trouble. Fortunately this doesn't mean everyday is bad... not at all, it simply reminds us that there is no benefit to stressing about what may happen, simply live in the day you are in. Does this mean don't think about the future? No.

Through the ups and downs of the last 7 months the Lord has been there. He has always been there, and in this fight He has made His presence known in a strong way, even before the diagnosis. The night shortly before the diagnosis when God told Glenn that a battle was coming, the day we got the official news-when He gave us the strategy for the fight, and also through every up and down He has been with us in the victories, and comforted us on the dark moments. He was also there when Glenn was having a great time last week golfing with Jake on the 7 month anniversary. When we take the time to be thankful for all that we have in God it helps us to rest in Him in the midst of the storms as much as in the quiet, easy times, it allows us to look to the future with joy and and anticipation -- not fear and trepidation.

God is there for each and everyone of us, He is our heavenly Father that is there to root us on and hold us tight... The kind of father that wants the best for His children. He knows that we all have trials to face, but He also wants us to remember that He is with us every step of the way.

We still have dreams and plans that we have had and new ones too, so we plan toward those. Things we want to do in ministry and just things we want to do and enjoy together. Together we plan to enjoy the blessings of our children and grandchildren, and all that is ahead. None of us know the number of days we have, so I just say... Rejoice in the Lord Always!!

Have an amazing day and make it count!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Importance of Family and Friends

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

Websters defines adversity as; a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty

Proverbs 18:24  A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Throughout the different stages in life we see friendships and relationships (yes even with family) change and grow. When my kids were small I had friends that I could call if I needed the kids watched for a bit... and they could call me for the same. I knew there were some people that I could go to for anything, from a cup of sugar to a deep heart to heart talk. Though many of the names of those in my closest circle have changed over the years-- though there are a few that, have been in that most intimate level for decades, whether I see them every week or once every few years; there is just something in our relationship that never changes. Some friends we aren't necessarily as close to as those in the smaller circle, yet without them our lives would have some serious voids. I have found that there are some people that only touched my life for a short period but without them, there are things I would never have learned. I am thankful for each and every person that is a part of my life, each one is a gift from God.

Each of us has seen those around us at moments, where someone we care about has hit a crisis point in life- these points vary for all of us. Sometimes it may be a rough patch at work, maybe with a child or spouse or like in our case they are facing a truly life and death situation. I think that most of us have a heart to reach out when we see things happen to those that we care about. I have tried through the years to reach out and be there for others when they needed support, and probably better at some times than others. But until recently I really never understood just how much those gestures meant. Since we entered the cancer battle, I can honestly say that, now I know how much it means when someone reaches out.

We have been blessed by an amazing outpouring of support in this battle, and it all-- and I mean ALL, has touched me in ways I can't even express. Sometimes my response to a question may seem kinda low key, due at times to my being in kind of a, 'I just have to get through this day on an even keel' mode. Other times more enthusiasm may be shown, honestly please know this... regardless of what you see on the outside, know this, it all matters! The support of family and friends- those we see in person, and the more extended base of friends on Facebook has been a blessing and a strengthening to us.

In the early part of this battle a friend of ours referred to the prayer support of those around us in a way that really stuck with me. He correlated it to the support that Moses got when he grew tired.  Exodus 17:12 But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. The prayers of those around, encouraged and strengthened us when we were so tired that it was a challenge to press on.

We continue to trust in the Lord daily walking by faith. We know that it is only through the Grace of God and the prayers of those around us that Glenn is here today, so thank you, each one that has prayed for us, spoken a word of encouragement, been there to listen or reached out to us... Thank You!

We have learned a lot through this walk and one of those things is the importance of those around us, and being there for others. When we are asked for prayer, hear of a prayer need or see a prayer request on Facebook we don't wait, we pray immediately. We know the importance of that, no longer do we put it off... it's too easy to forget.

We really do know that each day truly is a gift from the Lord, remember, no one knows the number of days that they have been given to live on this big blue marble so ENJOY life! Don't sweat the small things, remember 90% of the stress you feel today will be irrelevant in a week or two. So reach out and be there for your family and friends, both intimate and acquaintances. A word of encouragement at the right time can literally change a life. Be a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

In closing, on this one, if you need prayer, reach out! If you ask, we will pray!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Forward in Faith and Celebration

Psa 108:2 I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples, And I will sing praises to You among the nations

We serve an amazing God, His love and mercies are unending. It is through Him that we live and move and have our being! Each day that we live is a gift from Him... never take it for granted.

August was truly amazing! We have been blessed by the forward gains that have been made in this battle, and Praise God, September has been a good month also!

We finished August with a wonderful trip to the coast and then after the Holiday weekend it was back to chemo. A part of Chemo days is bloodwork, well the bloodwork on Sept 4th showed more positive news. The tumor marker that had been so close to 'normal' in August had moved into that 'normal' range! We were now looking ahead to Glenn's CT on Sept 10th. This time we were believing for big changes, changes reflecting what the numbers were saying, and what we were (and are) believing for in the spiritual. I won't say that there weren't moments of anxiety just before- and until we got the results on the 17th, there were... the enemy likes to try to play head games, but I remember the words of Christ - John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The Wednesday between the CT scan and our appointment, Glenn got to teach the Wednesday night service, this is another victory in the battle, because on top of sharing the Goodness of the Lord, he was able to speak the whole service and not have to use the stool they had up there for him. This was right about the 6 month anniversary of the diagnosis, a time for celebration- 75% of those diagnosed with this cancer do not see this mark. We hold to the promise of the Lord for many more months and years in Glenn's life, celebrating each day along the way.

The CT went well, the tech even commented on Glenn's outward appearance, how much better he looked, now 20 pounds heavier and good color to his complexion. A week later, September 17th was a wonderful day!! It started with a text, that our son Jeremy and his lovely Whitney are expecting and we were back at the doctor's for Glenn's usual chemo appointment and to get the results of the CT... A CT that showed that the tumor on the pancreas was now well less than half the size that it had been in June! And to top it all off, our newest granddaughter was due anytime, yep it was a great day!

The month has been a good one, Glenn was back on the bass for worship on the 26th, and is returning to his previous worship schedule! His strength is returning and we rejoice in everyday victories. God is faithful and we do as is spoken in Phil 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. We press forward in to the call of God in our lives, where ever that will lead.

Shortly after I started writing this today, and before I posted, (yes I exited for a bit) another victory, our newest grandchild has arrived, another blessing to celebrate... we look forward to more victories to come. 

These first 7 entries have given a compressed look at the last 7 months, I will continue to post about the battle, I have some more reflections to share, but I also look forward to sharing more victories. 

Here is the link for Glenn's teaching on "What Make's Good Soil Good."