Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 400 Healing

This morning I was led to the book of Mark for reading.   Over and over again I read of people coming to Jesus asking for healing.   No one came to Him asking for success with a business deal or asking Him to help with a romance or asking Him for help in getting a house or a car or for money.   They came in droves asking for healing for themselves and healing for a family member and healing for a friend.

It seems that for most of us, only when our good health is threatened with something like cancer, do we truly consider what a gift that good health is.   Only at that point, do we seriously consider eating the foods that God gave us instead of those dyed, chemically enhanced and artificially flavored foods.   Only at the point of losing our good health do we seriously start to exercise our bodies and leave the sedentary life style behind.   I read over and over that many cancers can be prevented by changes in lifestyle.   We'll work so hard at a desk, or an easel, for the next paycheck but refuse to get up off the couch to strengthen our heart.

Then there are those who have no chance for healing.  Precious Bella, that we have prayed for so many times, made her way yesterday into the arms of Jesus.  What she and her family would have given for the good health that so many just take for granted and throw away like a piece of used tissue.  But Bella has made a lasting impression on the world.  In yesterday's game, LaBron James and Dwayne Wade both wrote "Live Like Bella" on their shoes.  Thousands have followed the journey of her short life.  Her slogan is written on cars and overpasses and on fences and on bracelets and on scarves.  What I remember most is her mother posting that when Bella was in pain or uncomfortable, rather than complaining, she would just say "Pray".   She was truly a child of God and is happily home with her Heavenly Father. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
We are sad today on the earthly plain as we say goodbye to Bella and sad for the pain of loss that her family is feeling but we are so happy that she is in Your loving arms, free of pain and cares of any kind,  Thank You. Father, for the shining example that she was of how to live life gloriously in a way that honors you.
Father, thank You for the healing and second chances that You have given so many of us who have dealt with cancer.  Remind us daily of the gift of healing that You have given us and let us give You the praise, honor and glory for it.   It is all from You, Lord.  All from You.
In Jesus' glorious name,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 399 Practice Makes Perfect

Chipper and I spent the Memorial Day weekend in the Texas Hill Country with my cousin Robert and his wife, Pam, and dogs Bubba and Juno.  I have to mention the dogs because Chipper had a ball playing with the younger dogs and trying to keep up with them.  

While we were there, we took a drive thru the countryside and passed a retreat of some sort with a beautiful entry and a sign that read "Leave Your Worries at the Gate."  I thought how wonderful it would be if we could just do that, if we could simply drive through a gate and be worry-free.  Not likely to happen.  There are health worries and financial worries and family worries and national worries and every other little worrisome thing imaginable.

There is a "gate" however where we can become as worry free as human nature will allow and we all know where that is.   It is in the love and trust and belief in God, in His son, Jesus Christ and in the indwelling Holy Spirit.  It is a journey and a process, however, to get us to the point in our spiritual life where we can turn our worries over to Him and just let go of them.  Sometimes we cling to them like a security blanket.  Learning to let go and just let God take care of things is a practice just like the perfect dive or the perfect golf swing requires practice.   Am I there yet?   No.  Do I practice?  Yes.   I practice in study and learning more about the nature of God and I practice in prayer and, as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.

"But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in Him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out it's roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; it's leaves are always green."
Jeremiah 17:7,8
Special people to please keep in your prayers today:
    Our friend Lisa is still going through the stem cell collection and the process is making her very sick.  Please pray that her stem cells increase so that the process can be quickly completed and that she recovers quickly and easily from the meds that facilitate the collection.
    Precious Bella's family reports that she mostly sleeps now and is unresponsive but is comfortable and free of pain.  Prayers for the family during this time that they feel the love and comfort of God surrounding them.
    Bryce's family reports that Bryce is feeling better, is still in the hospital preparing for his last chemo.  Prayers for this amazing 4 year old that the chemo destroys every last cancer cell in his body so completely that they never return.
    My childhood friend, Judy, whom I grew up with in Maracaibo recently underwent a knee replacement.  A terrible infection developed and the knee had to be removed, the cavity packed with antibiotics and a rod put in to immobilize the leg until it heals so that another knee can be implanted.  Please pray for Judy's complete healing, the success of the antibiotics and that she can finally be pain free. 
Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
You are the God who heals.  Thank You, Father, for touching the lives and bodies of the people that we are praying for today.  Thank You for being the comforter that You are so that we may leave our worries at the gate that is Your loving and comforting spirit. 
Help us today to be better stewards of our bodies, the gift that You gave us the day we were born.
We thank You.  We love You.  We bless You.
In Jesus' name.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 396 Happy, Happy, Happy

I prayed and yesterday my prayers were answered in such a profound way.  I know I shouldn't be but I still am feeling a little sense of shock.   I wrote that I was going to my oncologist on Wednesday.  Got dressed, ready to go, took a last look at my calendar and the appointment was actually on Thursday.  Sigh............  All that buildup for nothing but it gave me another day of prayer before seeing the results of my latest blood tests.

First of all, the test for cancer cells in the blood should be between 0 and 4.7 for normal.  Mine were 3.5!   Thank You God.   Then my liver enzymes............they're good.  They were just a smidgen above normal after being three times higher than they should have been for months.  Blood count was up which is great.  That means my immune system is back doing its job.  

All of this means it is time to let go of my security blanket and get the port taken out.  I will never need it again.  I have already made an appointment with the surgeon to have that removed next Friday.  My oncologist told me in February that I could have it taken out but my doubts lingered and I wanted to wait until after the colonoscopy and I wanted to wait until the cancer numbers came down and I think I was actually afraid to have it removed.
Father, forgive my unbelief.

What an incredible feeling of gratitude, of relief and of joy.  I just wish I could share that feeling with every other cancer warrior that we  pray for here.   Yesterday was 13 months to the day since my diagnosis and I am already healed.  Wow.   It seems like I've been living with this forever and then it seems like the healing came so fast. 

Yes, I still have side effects from the six months of chemo.  My hair has stopped falling out though.  I tried to fix it this week like I used to wear it and it's just sort of fuzzy so I'm probably back to just slicking it back again for a while.  I'm getting back feeling in my hands and my feet.  It now feels when I walk like I'm walking barefoot on rice krispies.  Really weird.  I almost expect to hear the crunch.  A new side effect has popped up and that is when it gets warm and I perspire, it's like needle pricks all over my torso and up my neck.  I'm thinking that's just temporary too and another six months and all of this will be gone.  Whatever the side effects, it was well worth it.

So, as I start on this next chapter in my life, I want to show my gratitude every day to my Heavenly Father for getting me through this.   I am resolved to be a warrior for Him and to continue to encourage others to care for their bodies in a way that would please Him and that would keep them in the best condition possible to serve Him.  I will probably continue this journal as it makes me happy to bring people together in prayer for others going through what I have been through.  Life is good and I am happy, happy, happy.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
You have given me such an amazing life.  You have taken me through the fire and allowed me to emerge stronger and better and more faithful than I might ever have been otherwise.  You have shown me love and compassion that I could only have imagined before.
Father, there are so many like me dealing with cancer.  Please touch each one of them and let them know that You are there for them every step of the way.  Open their hearts and their minds to Your word and to Your healing and to the future that they have after cancer.  Let them know that there is life after cancer and it can be even better than it ever was before.
Father, I just give You all the praise and honor and glory for my healing and I ask Your blessing on every single person who prayed for me through this journey. 
I love You, Lord.  I love You.
In Jesus' precious name.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 394 Feel The Pain

I was chastising myself this morning for the time I have spent watching tv and on the internet following the tragedy in Moore, Ok.  I have cried along with the parents and the children and the survivors and the people searching for loved ones.   Then this morning I received this word.   It is okay to follow that story because only in understanding and feeling the pain of others can we pray for them with a true spirit of understanding.

Yesterday I prayed for peace.  It wasn't just peace for the ones going through the tragedy, but I selfishly included myself in that prayer because I need peace too.  But, you know what?  God is there in the pain and God is there in the tragedy and God is certainly there in the peace.  Only through Him can we find the peace we're searching for.   He cries with us in our sadness and desperation and He heals our wounds and He gives us the peace that passes all understanding. 

"And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ."    Phillipians 4:7

"You know the message God sent to the people of Israel announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ who is the Lord of all."  Acts 10:36

Don't you love God's word there?   You know the message!   He is reminding us that we know the message, we know where our peace comes from.  No matter what is going on around us, Jesus is there to bring us hope and it is only through the hope that He is, that we will find true peace.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
We thank You today Father and we thank You everyday for the gift of peace and hope that is Your Son, Jesus Christ.  We thank You for giving us a spirit of empathy and compassion so that we can feel the pain of others and, through that pain, truly bless them with our prayers. 
We thank You for the peace that transcends all understanding.  We ask that peace for our friends in Oklahoma as they deal with such severe losses.  We thank You for that peace for our friends Lisa, and Bryce and his family and for Bella and her family and for Frank and for Mary as they deal with the war they are fighting against cancer.  Give each of them a heart of hope and of peace as they wage this daily battle.
I ask your favor and blessings and peace for myself today Father as I visit the oncologist to go over the blood tests I took last week.  I am standing on Your promises of healing and I know he will tell me that  the bad numbers are down and the good numbers are up. 
Thank You Father for all You do for us every day.  Thank You for being there for us in every minute of every day.  Thank You for the joy of knowing Your peace, Your love, and Your hope.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the name above all names.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 393 Pray For Peace

It is so incredibly difficult in times like this to feel peace.  So much going on.  So much pain and despair.  Everywhere I turn, things are happening to disturb the spirit.

I was up early yesterday to have my first colonoscopy since being diagnosed with colon cancer in April, 2012.  Results were good, only one polyp removed and sent to pathology but Dr. said it looks fine.  No Cancer.  Praise God.  I came home and was experiencing quite a bit of discomfort in my back, hips and legs so I took a pain pill, laid down and slept until about 3pm.  I woke to the devastating news of Moore, Ok.

During 9/11, we had someone to be angry with.  After the massacre of children at Newtown, we had someone to be angry with.  The death and unbelievable destruction in Moore left us no one to be angry with.  I do have to admit to a twinge of anger at God for allowing this to happen.  Then I had to think about what I was feeling.  It wasn't really anger but a feeling of  helplessness to do anything for the thousands of people experiencing such profound suffering.

I had to remind myself that God established a divine order of how this world operates and doesn't send a particular storm to any particular place at any particular time.  I had to look for the miracles and found them when I saw precious children reunited with desperate parents.  I had to look for the miracles of lives saved in the most impractical circumstances.  I heard one man this morning speak of praying through the storm and giving God the credit for the miracle of surviving it. 

I was up this morning at 5am to see the latest news.  In my frustration, I went to my closet and cleaned it out.  I know that so many people who lost everything were left with only the clothes on their backs and I have so many,  some of them I've purchased and then never worn.  I suppose I was saving them for a time like this.  I'll box them up today and ship off to one of the churches in Moore, asking them to get them to the tornado survivors.  It isn't much but at least I feel like I'm doing something to help.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."            Psalm 147:3

My friend Lisa is in hospital right now undergoing treatment to encourage the growth of new stem cells for harvesting to reimplant later.  She's experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort.  Precious little Bryce that we pray for had to go back to the hospital yesterday for elevated fever which is something he fights constantly with his chemo treatments.  Bella has been resting comfortably and her Mom reports that Bella's grandmother is at her side praying most of the days and when she stops, Bella tells her "pray".   Another longtime friend, Mary, has just been diagnosed with squamos cell cancer.  She's a mom, wife, and friend to so many and needs your prayers. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I just almost don't know how to pray this morning.  There is so much disturbance in the world, from natural disasters destroying homes and schools and families to more and more people dealing with cancer.  It is almost overwhelming.  I think about Jesus taking on the sins and the pains of the world and I know that what we are dealing with does not begin to measure to His distress and anguish.  I know Lord that the only relief and source of peace is You.  I just ask now, in the name of Jesus Christ, that You wrap Your loving arms around everyone suffering loss and injury from the past few days of tornados.  I ask that You wrap Your loving arms around every child and adult fighting the enemy cancer.  Special healing blessings for Lisa and Bryce and Bella and Mary.  Lord, help us today to keep our focus on You as we go about our normal lives while the lives of so many others have been turned upside down.  Some will never recover.  Let them feel Your love and let them know that You are there in the midst of their pain.  Just let them know peace.
Father, we love You as we know You love us.
In the name of Your beloved Son who gave His life for us.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 390 Faith, Fitness, Fuel

Exercise is not a fave for me.  I try but it just isn't something I love doing.  I know, however, how important it is for me to incorporate exercise into a healthy lifestyle so that I can better serve God.  I want to share a recent discovery.  You may already know about Faithful Workouts, but if you don't, do now.

Michelle Spadafora is the founder of this 30 minute daily workout that is televised on the NRB channel.  Cardio plus weights make it a well rounded workout, done to contemporary Christian music and with Michelle's inspired testimony throughout.  I love it.  Between walking and yoga at the Y, I had been doing no cardio and I have to confess that it took me a couple of weeks to be able to do the full 30 minutes on FW.  Shameful to admit but only truth here.  So, I have the alarm set on my phone and I stop whatever I'm doing, three days a week and work out with Michelle.  If you're not at home when Faithful Workouts comes on, you can buy a dvd at   I have found that most of the exercise shows on Christian networks are subdued, not very challenging and just no fun.  Love this one.  Hope you will too.

Michelle uses the phrase, "Faith, Fitness, Fuel" on her website as she shares words of faith, the importance of exercise and eating the right foods to fuel out bodies.  Speaking of fuel, mine is about to take a drastic turn for the next few days.  I'm scheduled for my first colonoscopy since being diagnosed with colon cancer last year.  I know I shouldn't be apprehensive but I am.  I should not doubt but, like a sneaky little spider, it works it's way into my mind.  My oncologist told me I could have the portocath through which I was given the chemo removed but I decided to wait until after the colo. 

I know how dangerous fear and doubt can be.   When Job said, "What I feared has come to pass," it proved that fear can create an opening through which the enemy can enter.  In this case, the enemy is cancer.  So along with an incredibly unhealthy diet of no meat, fruits, dairy or veggies the next couple of days, I plan to spend a lot of time with the Lord.  First I have to ask forgiveness for my doubt and then ask for His help in shoring up my faith.  I know that all I have to do is go back to all the miracles He has already done in my life.  Why do I forget those?  I guess it is just human nature.  Sigh...........

Good news to share about our friend, Frank.  His inoperable and incurable lung cancer is still gone after several months since treatment ended.  His job now is to gain weight and then the doctors will focus on another area of concern in a kidney.  He is a cancer victor once and will be again.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
We just want to thank You and give You all the praise, honor, and glory for directing the right treatment for Frank so that his battle with the enemy is moving forward in such a positive way.  We ask that You strengthen His body so he can continue the fight until there are no more cancer cells left in his body.
Father, I thank You for the good reports that are coming my way next week.  First for the colonoscopy to show no more dangerous areas in my colon and my visit with the oncologist next Thursday to report that my liver is back to normal and cancer markers in my bloodwork are continuing to come down.
You, Lord, have done so much for Frank and so much for me and we are so grateful.  We ask that You continue to do that work so we can be examples of Your grace and mercy and that You still perform miracles every day.
These things we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 389 God Knows, God Shows

My path to God took a very circuitous route, as it probably has for many of you.  As a teenager, I turned from the church because I was raised in a church where the pastor was usually red faced, sweating, mopping his brow, pounding the pulpit and yelling about hell fire and damnation.  I was not one who could be brought into the fold by angry threats.  Thankfully, in my 30's after years of not even thinking about God, out of the blue He put a longing in my heart to find a church.  I had no idea what I was looking for in a church.  I only knew what I did not want in a church.  But, even at that point in my life, I obeyed Him pretty much without question.  So, one day I sat down with a big fat Yellow Pages for Houston, turned to the section on churches and started calling churches and asking them to send me information.  Those were the days before the internet so it was a slow process. 

I opened and read every communication.  Many of them, I had no idea what they were talking about.  But, one Sunday, I woke and knew immediately where I was supposed to go.  I have no doubt it was God directing my path.  I went and listened to a sermon and it was okay, but at the end, the pastor said these words:  "Welcome home, child of God."  Those words pierced my soul and for the first time, I came to know a loving God, not just a judging and condemning God.  That church might not be one that is considered acceptable to most Christians, but God tells us not to judge or demean how others worship.  I think that's because He knows He can use every church to touch someone.  He certainly knew what He was doing with me because it started me on a spiritual path I might never have traveled otherwise.

As time passed and I wanted to learn more than that church had to offer for me, I was led to the church I attend now.  But even then, it wasn't until my illness that I began to truly grow in God and have an almost overwhelming hunger to know more.  It is almost like there isn't enough time left for me to learn everything I have to learn, everything I want to know.   If someone were to ask if I wish I were 20 again, I would say "Yes!"    Not to be the pretty, healthy young woman I was then but because I would have so much more time to study, to learn and to share what I know.  As it is, God has given me a profession where I can work out of my home, work my own hours, and spend as much time in the Word, as I want.  It is a simple but awesome life He has rewarded me with.  And I am grateful.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I thank You for so much but most of all I thank You for the path You put me on so many years ago.  I even thank You for the cancer because if that had not been part of my journey, I might not have learned to love You as much, to lean on You as much, to trust You as much as I do now. 
I pray today. Lord, that there is a reward for everyone that has to deal with this dreaded disease and that the reward is to know You as the kind and loving God that You are.  And to have a closer walk, a closer relationship with You.
I love You, Lord.  I love You and I give You all the praise, honor, and glory.
In Jesus' precious name.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 387 Live Like Bella

Through her struggles with a devastating cancer, Bella has continued to be an inspiration to everyone who meets her and even to those like myself who have never met her but read daily updates on her condition on Facebook.

Recently, someone asked how they can live like Bella and here was her Mother's response:

Wear red.
Show compassion.
Pray for others.
Eat S'mores - especially those cooked on a pit
Belly laugh, really loud.
Sing at the top of your lungs.
See a show.
Play an instrument.
Sing Jesus songs.
Pray all the time.
Take a bubble bath.
Say mmmmmm when something tastes really good.

"And He said, 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.'"   Matthew 18:2-4

Would that we could all go back to the innocent and pure way of looking at life and loving every day and every aspect of it.  Would that we could see the world through the eyes of a child, finding joy in the amazing world we live in.  We can.  Every day when I wake and just bask in the joy of loving and being loved by God, I see the world and everything that happens in it through different eyes. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
When we wonder why a precious child like Bella has to suffer so while she is here on earth, we realize that only through that journey has she been able to reach and touch so many with her beautiful innocence and love and lessons on how to live life.  We ask special blessings on Bella and her amazing family who have chosen to share her special way of life with all of us so that we can learn from it what it is to find joy in each and every day.
Father, we thank You for sharing Your son with us so that we may learn how to live and how to love and how to be more like You every day. 
Thank You, Father.  Thank You.
In the precious name of Your Son and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 385 When He Loves Me Best

We had a terrible thunderstorm move through the gulf coast last week.  The sky turned dark, rain poured and the thunder and lightening shook the house.  My Chipper, a 14 year old Golden Retriever, panics in storms.  He huddles next to my legs and shakes uncontrollably in fear.  So, I sat on the floor next to him through the storm, petting and comforting him.  I realized as I was holding him close that when he needs me like this to protect and comfort him is when I love him the most.

I thought then that must be how God feels about us, His children.  When we're afraid and panicked and shaking because things are out of control and He can protect us and comfort us and assure us that we are not alone is when He must love us the most. 

Yesterday, my perfect Mother's Day started with Church with my family.  The message in words and music was given by Sandra Dee, an amazing singer, an amazing Mother and an amazing woman of God.  At the end of the service she offered to pray with any woman wanting prayer.  Let me just say here that her husband, Charlie Mahone, who is a cancer survivor himself,  delivered part of the message directed to the men on how to honor the women in their lives and then prayed with them.  Just so you know.... the guys weren't left out.  There was a line of God's children for prayer, hurting, ailing, frightened for one reason or another, needing God's loving comfort.  How happy He must have been to have used Sandra to share that special love and comfort with us.  Thank You Lord.  Thank you, Sandra.

"...the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

To learn more about Sandra and Charlie's ministry, you can follow them at .

Things are going well with friend Lisa as she continues with preparations for harvesting her stem cells for a transplant. .  Bella is resting comfortably and not in any pain.  Mom is still praying for a miracle from God as are we. .  Bryce is still swollen and running low grade fever from the chemo this weekend so prayers that the symptoms get easier. .  I haven't received an update on Sadie since last week when they were praying for her blood count to come up for chemo but please keep her in your prayers today also. .

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You so much for the gorgeous weekend and the special time it provided with our loving families.  Thank You for the blessed services on Sunday that we were privileged and free to attend.  Lord, we thank You for the amazing Mothers of Bella and Bryce and Sadie as they love and comfort and support their young children through this tough journey.  I know that You are giving special love and comfort to these three Moms and the many others out there that are care givers to warriors fighting cancer.
Lord, we just love you so much.  You are our everything.  We praise and honor You today with our love, our thoughts, our prayers and our actions.
Thank You for always being there for us.
These things we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the name above cancer, the name above pain, the name above all names.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 382 In The Beginning

We are studying the Book of Revelation in Wednesday night's Bible Study.  I went back to the beginning of Revelation this morning and reread some of it.  In it, John sends letters to seven churches, some complimenting and some scolding.  In the letter to the church in Ephesus, he reports Jesus' admonition to them.

"You have forsaken your first the things you did at first."  Revelation 2:4,5

I had to stop after reading that scripture because it immediately took me back to when I was first saved, when I first realized that I was a child of God and how much He loved me.  I can tell you that at that time, it was sort of like I was walking on air.  I almost had to be shoved out of the way for the doors of the church to be opened because I was there constantly.  It can only be described as falling in love the first time.

As time passed and the newness wore off, my relationship with God had an ebb and flow.  That was until I began to truly study His word.  I believe that same newness and excitement can only be maintained by a constant study of His word, learning something new every time I open the Bible, better understanding those things that seemed strange to me at first glance. 

I challenge each of you today to think back on that first day of falling in love with God, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, and knowing for the first time that you truly belong to the Most High, that, no matter what, you're not alone.  I challenge you today as I challenge myself to keep that excitment and hope and love going with the same energy as in the beginning. 

Just a quick update.  The latest word from Lisa is that "all is going well."  Bryce checks into the hospital today for chemo and should be out tomorrow.  Bella is happy to be home with her family and dogs and is being waited on like the little princess that she is.  God is good.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
You are truly the God who heals.  We thank You for how far you've brought Lisa and Bryce on their journey and are so grateful that You are taking them through to the finish line, destroying every cancer cell in their bodies.  We thank You for the comfort and grace that You are giving Bella and her family as they prepare for her transition to a better life.
Lord, I ask today for all of my friends that You just remind them what it was like when they first came to know You and to fall in love with You.  Let them carry that joy and excitement as they go through the rest of their day.  And remind them to slow down and just love You.
In Jesus' precious name,

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 380 Sad News Today

My heart is heavy and tears are falling on my keyboard.  Bella's family has reported that it is time to give up the fight and they are taking her home with hospice.  It's so difficult when, after praying for someone's recovery, God has shown that His plans are different.  I can't even begin to imagine what her parents are going through.

They have incredible strength, her family.  They have a deep love for God and trust in Him for the right outcome for their baby girl.  For years she has fought the good fight.  In the words of her parents, it is time for her to have the childhood she was denied here on earth, but to have it in Heaven.  To read their letter go to .

"Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted."  Matthew 5:4

I hate cancer with such a passion.  It is the thief that comes in the night to steal, kill and destroy.  It is the true face of satan.  It can take the innocent with the same vengeance that it can take the rest of us. 

Good news is that Bryce's blood numbers are up and he'll be able to take chemo on Friday.  Please pray for the success of his treatment.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Your ways are too high for us to understand.  What we do understand is the pain of loss and the pain of giving up, of finally admitting that there is no more we can do.  Still there is comfort in turning it all over to You.  Thank You, Lord, for being there for Bella and her family as they face these final steps for her here on this earthly plain.  We know that You will welcome her with open arms when she enters into eternal life, strong and healthy and beautiful.
Thank You for the healing that is taking place in Bryce.  Lord, your little children love You with such an innocence.  Would that we all could have that same innocent faith. 
Thank You, Lord, for teaching us always to look to the future because that is where You are, waiting for each of us who know and love You.
In Jesus' precious name,

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 379 Freedom!

This morning I was feeling a little groggy and tired when I woke and made coffee, flopped on the couch and flipped on the tv.  I don't usually do this but when I did, there it was.  News that three young women had been freed after being kidnapped and held for over 10 years.  Everyone is wondering how they made it through for so long, how they dealt with it.  In Amanda Berry's word to the 911 operator:

"I'm free."

I began to think, after listening to all the news about the story, that many of us are being held captive too but the difference is that we don't even realize it.  We're held captive by anger and unforgiveness and we're held captive by lust for food and alcohol and tobacco and we're held captive just by our lack of knowledge and lack of desire to learn and to understand our purpose here on earth.  Many people avoid Christianity because they fear they will be held captive by a bunch of stodgy old rules that they don't want to obey and by an image that they will have to fulfill.

If they only knew what freedom there is in knowing and loving Christ.  There is freedom in knowing how it feels to be loved and protected.  There is greater freedom than ever imagined in facing a challenge and coming through it, whether it's with the perfect outcome or not.  As Lisa said on Sunday, "Either way I win."

How awesome to learn that the laws of God are freeing and not stiffling or limiting.  How freeing to know that those laws were designed for us, for our wellbeing, so that we might live the best life possible.  Maybe I shouldn't call them laws.  That has such a strict, arbitrary sound to it.  Maybe better to call them "directives".   Knowing and loving God has freed me in so many ways.  My prayer today is that it does the same for each person reading today's journal.

"So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."          John 8:36

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for this glorious day.  Thank You for another day to live and love You and honor You.
Father, thank You for the freedom that comes with being counted one of Yours. 
I ask that you be with Sadie today as she continues to try to strengthen her blood.  Her count isn't high enough for chemo this week and I pray that when they recheck it on Thursday, she'll be strong enough to help with the healing that is coming her way.
Thank You Father for holding Lisa in the palm of Your hand as she goes through the preliminary steps for her stem cell transplant.
Thank You for everything You do. 
In Jesus precious name, the name above all names.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 378 Praise and More Prayers

God is so good.  Weekend updates on Bella and Bryce and Sadie are good.  Sadie's blood count is coming up and if it continues, she'll be able to take her chemo this week.  Bryce was able to attend church yesterday for the first time since December.  Bella had to have a tube drain off the fluid in her abdomen but is more comfortable now and can breathe better.

Now, for more prayers.  My friend Lisa, whom we've prayed for many times, starts the last and most difficult part of her cure for multiple myeloma.  This will take several weeks of shutting down her immune system, harvesting her stem cells and then a process of reimplanting them and reestablishing her immune system.  She spoke to the church yesterday to thank everyone and in speaking about her condition, she said:

"Either way, I win."

She is so brave and she knows that God's got her back.  She has great support from her family, friends and church.  It may be tough but in the long run, she is going to come out of this better than before.

Our friend Frank, who was diagnosed with an inoperable lung cancer last year, will be going back to his oncologist this week to see if the treatments of chemo and radiation that he had last winter are still killing the cancer cells. 

As for me, May means another colonoscopy to make sure my colon is still clear of cancer cells, then bloodwork to check on my liver and other cancer markers followed by a visit to my oncologist.  I have to say I feel better than I've felt in years so I am believing only for good news.

"My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words _ for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body."  Psalm 4:20-22

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
We pray again for these precious children, Sadie and Bryce and Bella.  We ask that You wrap Your healing arms around them, that You give their little bodies the strength to fight off that most dreaded of enemies, cancer.
Father, we thank You for blessing Lisa with a strong body and a strong will and an even stronger faith in and love for You.  We know You will take her through this fire only to emerge an even better example of what You do for those who love you.
We thank You today for the good report for Frank as he goes to visit his oncologist.  We know that Your report is the one that counts and that Your healing spirit has been moving mightily in him.
Father, You are altogether wonderful and we give You all the praise, honor and glory.
In the precious name of Jesus Christ, the name above cancer, the name above all names.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 375 Praying For .........................

Paul said in Galatians 5:22

"The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness."

I can't think of anything more kind or generous than taking the time to pray for someone else.  Sometimes, when we are most in need of prayer for ourselves, a prayer for others has an amazingly healing effect.

"The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."  James 5:16

Are you not righteous?  The Bible says if we confess our sins, God is just and merciful and will forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.  There!  Are you ready to pray?

Here are some cancer warriors to pray for today.  First of all is Bryce.  I can't even write the name of the cancer this young boy is dealing with but he is fighting a huge battle.  Another is Bella, a young girl also fighting a rare cancer.  You can follow their progress on Facebook.  Just go to Praying for Bryce and Pray for Bella.  It will take you to their page and if you "Like it", then you'll automatically receive updates on their battle.  And don't forget Sparkle on Sadie. 

Want to be inspired at how a battle with an incurable cancer turned into a lifelong campaign for wellness?  Check out .  Kris Carr, a young actress and photographer, was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer about ten years ago.  Rather than giving up, she started filming her journey in a documentary called Crazy Sexy Cancer.  Since then, healthy and beautiful, she has become an activist for good health, appearing on GMA and Oprah.  Talk about taking something terrible and turning it around. 

What cancer warrior do you know that you would like us to pray for?  Just send me their first name and a little about their situation and our prayer buddies from China to Germany and Russia and all over the world will be happy share their "fruit of the spirit" and intercede for them in prayer.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
You are truly the God who heals.  Thank You for the honor and blessing that comes for praying for these cancer warriors.  I am asking that Your healing Spirit that lives within each of us move mightily in Bryce and Bella.  Bless these two children today Father.  Wrap Your loving and comforting arms around them and their families.  Guide the medical staff in how best to treat and care for them.
Then show Your power and mercy by bringing them through and out of this battle as victors. 
Thank You Lord.  Thank You.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the one true Messiah.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 374 Choices!

Don't you just love when all the pieces come together on a jigsaw puzzle or the last word fits on a crossword puzzle?  Or, how about reading a mystery when all the clues come together to prove who dun'it?   Sometimes my study time is like that for me. 

Last night, I was reading a book titled The Harbinger.  It was written a couple of years ago by a Rabbi who equated the fall of Israel in ancient times to what is happening to America right now.  There are a series of nine harbingers and the first, the first warning, is the loss of the hedge of protection that was around Israel then and around America now.  His example is the tragedy of 9/11 and he equates the loss of God's protection to America's turning away from God and no longer acknowledging His name.

"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him for he acknowledges my name."   Psalm 91:14

Because of health challenges I can't help equating what happened to ancient Israel to the care we give our bodies, to the invasion of cancer and the health challenges we are facing.  Have we turned away from what we know is right for us to keep us as healthy as possible?  Do we lust after certain foods, alcohol, tobacco by putting our desires ahead of what we know is right?  Do we turn our back on God every time we do something harmful to our body?  If we do, then how can we expect Him to protect us?   Choices.

Then this morning I was reading a commentary on Leviticus and it all fell into place.  The writer states that God wants us to be holy.  He traced the root of the word "holy" to the words "whole" and "wholeness".  You can probably guess where my mind immediately went.  The words "wholesome" and "whole" have come to mean "healthy" in today's world.  I think God is telling us take care of our bodies physically as well as spiritually by the choices we make every day.... the choice to keep Him at the center of our life and the choice to take the best care we can of our bodies.  God even takes the time in Leviticus to talk about our dietary needs and what is best to eat and not to eat.  Again, choices. 

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You for the good report on Scott whom we prayed for yesterday.  He will require surgery to correct a lead on a pacemaker but no need to be placed on the transplant list.  We know that You intervened and we give You all the praise, honor, and glory. 
Father, we thank You for revealing to us in so many different ways how important it is to keep You first in our lives and to honor You by caring for ourselves physically as well as spiritually so that we can better be of service to You.  Guide us today in the choices we make in our health.  Guide us in who and what we put first in our lives.  Let it be You, Lord.  Let it be You.
In Jesus' healing name,

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 373 New Beginning

Yesterday when I walked past a front window, I noticed that some new people are moving into the house directly across the street from me.  That house has a lot of history.  When I first moved to this neighborhood to be near my daughter after the transplant, it was occupied by a family of a mom, dad, and four children.  She was the director of a small Christian school and he worked for the prison system.  Over the years we would wave and I would talk with the children when they were outside. 

One Christmas Eve day, I noticed more than normal activity at that house.  I just assumed that it was family in for the holiday but later came to learn that while the dad was at work, mom and the kiddos were moving out and going to her parent's house.  That night when the dad realized what happened, he went to his inlaws house and took the life of his wife and her mother who was also a pastor.  The house sat sad and empty for many months.  Then finally, another young family moved in and then they left and another family moved in and they left last month and another family is now moving in.

I'm sure they know the sadness of what happened to the first family that lived there but in spite of it there seemed to be an excitement and expectancy about the new tenants.  It is like a new beginning for them and also a new beginning for the house.  When I paint my landscapes, there is always a prominent highlighted horizon which for me represents hope and a new beginning. 

That same sense of hope and new beginning is what I experience almost every day when I start into my time of study and prayer.  Ephesians 4:23-25 reminds us to

" .. to be made new in the attitude of our minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God..."

Being cancer free has given me a new attitude and a new self.  Being counted as a child of the Most High gives me daily a new attitude and a new self.  Sometimes, like yesterday, I need a little reminder but God is so gracious in always allowing me to find exactly what I need to find in His word.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
Thank You so much for Your inspired Word.  Thank You for recording and passing down the history of Your children so we can use that history as a roadmap of what all You can do for those who love and obey You.
Lord, I ask special healing and good reports for our friend Lynn's son, Scott, today as he finds out whether he needs to be added to a list for a heart transplant.  Show Your goodness and mercy and bless him with the good news that we know can only come from You.  Let this be a turning point for him in his health, one of hope and a new beginning.
These things I pray in the healing name of Jesus Christ.