Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bad News, Good News, Best News

April 19, 2012      
Things have gone relatively smooth for the past five weeks. Except for the 36 hours Keith spent in the hospital due to a 0.2 white blood cell count, which was accompanied by a 101.4 temperature, his health has been quite good. Over all Keith has made this journey through chemotherapy well and with his sense of humor very much intact. I have noticed that each day he seems more and more like he did before all of his health issues surfaced.   

For those who have been following this Blog I hope you found it interesting and were able to laugh along with Keith and me. It's funny how laughter finds its way into even the darkest places we travel. Laughter really is the best medicine, it can turn a cloudy day sunny and turn a serious moment funny. We've had lots of serious moments during Keith's chemo but the ability to find humor in the midst of our journey made it easier to bear.       

Friday, the twentieth of April, is the day he has the PET/CT scan. This test will show if there is any cancer left in his body. We will be meeting with his oncologist  on Tuesday for the results and hopefully he will be in remission. That is our prayer but in the event it is still in his body he will have to face the possibility of a bone marrow transplant. So, if the test results are not what we hope we still have options and will not be giving up the fight. If he is in remission I will be able to breathe deeply for the first time in many months. There are still some hurdles to jump over unrelated to Keith's cancer but I am hopeful we will be able to get over them and keep on going. One day in the not too distant future our lives may feel normal once again (if there is such a thing as normal) but that doesn't mean our trials will be over. Life is full of trials and we have to deal with them as they present themselves. If trials build character all I can say is I think I've had enough character building for a while God, if that's okay with      

We have walked in some pretty deep valleys and struggled to climb some even steeper mountains but God has been with us and because of Him the road we have walked this past six/seven months has been easier to travel.       

After I post Keith's results I will probably be shifting the focus of my Blog to my Mom and her struggle with Alzheimer's. I will, of course, be giving updates where Keith is concerned but as long as he is in remission (if he is in remission) there won't be as much to write about. This is a good thing!      Along with the present trials there are two more, which I cannot discuss for now, but I intend to address them when I am able. Thank you all for helping us through this with your prayers and support. God put you in our lives for this purpose and we are grateful, so grateful. 

My friends you are a blessing  
sent from up above 
to help us through this trial 
a witness to God's love 
When we feel like giving up 
when every dawn is gray 
when everything seems pointless 
you help us find our way 
God shows his tender mercy 
in the midst of sorrows woe 
by sending friends to aid us 
when heartache brings us low 
God's realm abounds with angels 
His word says this is true 
but now and then one comes to earth 
The proof is here in you         

Monday, April 2, 2012

There Is No Option - FORGIVE

April 1, 2012

     As I prepare to celebrate Easter I am reminded of how much Jesus did for all of us when he walked the Via Dolorosa on the way to His death. He gave His life that you and I might live. Christ willingly gave His life on the cross, over two thousand years ago, so that you and I could be forgiven. We are all sinners in need of a savior and in Christ God met our need. The perfect Son of God, the only sinless man who ever lived, died an excruciating death to make a way for man to live with God for eternity.

 "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed," (Isaiah 53:5) How great is that? 

     I don't know about you but I don't deserve to be forgiven yet I know I am. Scripture tells me that God loves me and desires to be my heavenly Father but at the same time I am not commanded to come to Him. The choice is mine. I can choose to go through life believing that God is just a crutch for weak and foolish people or I can live my life believing that God is real and that He cares for me. If I believe He is real then I'd be wise to search the scriptures to see what His guidelines are for my life. 
     The Bible is a wealth of information and many of us, myself included, do not take advantage of the wisdom it contains. If not for His Word there would be no boundaries and truth would be whatever we wanted it to be. 
     God tells us to forgive one another but many times we hold on to our anger refusing to forgive, which only leads to bitterness. If Jesus could sacrifice His life so that my sins are wiped away what right have I not to forgive others? 
     Some people think their sin is too terrible for God to forgive but He will wipe the slate clean if we come to Him with repentant hearts, no matter how horrible the sin.
     While I'm on the subject of forgiveness, which was the theme of October Baby (a movie about abortion and forgiveness), I wonder how many women who aborted their babies have sought redemption and healing. I know abortion is legal but it is nothing more then murder with a more palatable name. So many women are living life burdened by the knowledge that they killed their child believing that there is no way God could forgive them. I pray that they will seek redemption and feel God's healing power coursing through their bodies. That they will understand they can change their lives for the good free from the heavy burden they have born upon their shoulders for much too long. God loves them, His Son died for them and all they need do is seek and they will find Him, repent and He will forgive them. When they experience what it feels like to be free from the sin that has weighed them down so long then there will be peace in their hearts and joy unspeakable in their souls.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
   28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Wasted time spent lost in hate unable to forgive
Never giving love a chance to flourish and to live
The reason for your bitterness your mind cannot recall
and yet the anger in your heart has built a sturdy wall.
Misunderstanding paved the way for enmity to grow
Those once considered family are now your biggest foe
Has something you did long ago left you with regret
and now you feel the sting of shame that you cannot forget.
Release your cares into the hands of the Lord of all creation
He will forgive your darkest sin and fill you with elation. 
Forgiveness is God's plan for you when on Him you will call
and He will turn your shame to joy for Jesus paid it all.

     How grateful I am to know He has forgiven me and cast my sins into the sea of forgetfulness never to be acknowledged again. 
                                     Have a blessed Easter