Curious to see where it all began?

Day 33 – Tuesday (9/25/18)

Health update:  Still Trucking.  Still Waiting (now on the treatment plan).  The oncologist called today and setup the appointment to discuss my treatment plan.  That appointment is around lunchtime on Friday.  That was the soonest they could get me in.  They said they would call me if there were any cancellations prior to Friday.  I must say, God did answer my prayer from last night’s post.  I asked for the appointment to be before the weekend, and that is what has worked out.  I guess I was secretly hoping for something sooner… like today or tomorrow… but honestly, what’s a few more days at this point.

Thought of the day:  Patience

I found it fitting today to talk about patience.  I knew at the beginning of this process not to pray for patience.  I have always been told if you pray for patience, then God will teach you patience.  Whether that is accurate or not, I didn’t want to test the theory.  Lucky for me, praying for it or not… I have been given the opportunity to learn and display patience.  This got me thinking about a bible story I remembered from some time back.  Genesis 29:18 “Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.””  Genesis 29:20 “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.”  If you will remember, the big wedding day comes, and Genesis 29:25 ”So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah”.  That’s right… 7 years laboring, and Jacob did not receive what he was promised.  He got the older sister instead.  So what happened next?  Genesis 29:27-28 “Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.  Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week.  So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also.”

That’s right.  First off, Jacob waited patiently, laboring, for 7 years to gain Rachel as his wife.  Then, because of the trickery of Laban, he had to serve ANOTHER 7 years to gain Rachel as his wife.  Now that… is patience.  How easy is it for some of us to give up hope after a day, after a week, after a month… But 7 years?  And then, have it all ripped away and have to wait another 7 years?  Yeah, this put it in perspective for me.  Patience is relative, and in the course of a lifetime, what is waiting another couple of days to hear my treatment plan.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for answering my prayer yesterday.  I asked that You would help me get an appointment before the weekend, and You helped me do just that.  Thank You for reminding me that patience is all about perspective.  In the course of life, what is another couple of days?  In the course of eternity, what is this life?  Meaning, I’m so thankful that I know You as my personal savior that I may spend eternity with You, as opposed to eternity in hell.  I pray that everyone reading this prayer today can say the same thing.  If they cannot claim You as their personal savior, please prick their hearts that they may seek to know You personally today.  I continue to thank You for all that You do for me every day, and I look forward to seeing what treatment plan You have in store for me on Friday.  Amen.

Day 32 – Monday (9/24/18)

Health Update:  That’s right fellow blog readers, we have a positive ID on Blobby!  I got a phone call around 4:00pm today from the doctor letting me know that the final results are in from Stanford.  I have (confirmed) malignant Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Large B Cell.  This is treatable at our local facilities.  It is my understanding I will not have to go to any major universities.  The doctor that called me was the surgeon.  He asked me to save all my detailed questions for the medical oncologist.  I should receive a call from them tomorrow to setup the appointment to discuss the treatment plan.  With that said, this is really all I know at this point.  One day soon, I should be able to provide more info on what treatment will actually look like.

Thought for the day:  I do not have a thought for the day, because I spent quite some time making the Blobby ID card.  For the sake of time, I will skip this section today.

Dear heavenly Father, THANK YOU for providing me the final results today.  I’m ready to get treatment started and move on with life and what You have in store for me next.  I realize I still have a long road ahead, but I’m ready to take the first step of the treatment process.  I pray that You will allow me to get into the oncologist office this week for sure, so I can know what the next months will look like.  I have all the confidence in the world that You will work through the doctors and everything will be okay.  Thank You again for the overwhelming peace you continue to give me.  Amen.

Day 31 – Sunday (9/23/18)

Technical Note:  It has been brought to my attention by several smart phone users that it appears the blog does not update.  In all cases, the user had left the window open, and would just click refresh the next day to see if a new blog had posted.  The page would refresh, but not show the new blog posts.  To correct this, we have added a button at the very top of the page that says “View Most Recent Post”.  Please utilize this button to refresh (instead of the normal browser refresh button).  This will guarantee that you are seeing the latest posts.  Up to this point, God has been very good to me, and I have not missed posting a single day (although some days may be after 8:00pm).  If you are still seeing a post from early September, please use the new button to refresh.

Health Update:  Still Trucking.  Still Waiting.

Thought of the day:  It is not how you start, it is how you finish.

Our Sunday School class today covered 1 Samuel 9 and 10.  (Note, as I prepare to teach the class each Sunday, I typically use teachings from Skip Heitzig to help me draw conclusions.  Most of the points I’m discussing today are from the sermon he gave on these chapters back on 5/8/2002).  In these two chapters, God selects Saul to be the King over Israel, and he has Samuel anoint him and establish him as King before the Israeli people.  King Saul starts his Kingship very well.  He has multiple natural advantages and is given multiple spiritual advantages.  The natural advantages King Saul had include:

  • His heritage – Chapter 9, Verse 1 tells us that Saul came from a prominent family among the Benjamites.
  • Physical Stature – Chapter 9, Verse 2 tells us Saul was a “choice and handsome son”, and that “from his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.”
  • He showed he was submissive to authority, even as an adult, by obeying his father in the command to look for the lost goats. He was able to work with others, as he took a servant to help him.  He was sensitive and compassionate, which was shown by his concern for his father’s feelings in Verse 5.  “Come, let us return, lest my father cease caring about the donkeys and become worried about us.”
  • He was humble. In verse 21, he says to Samuel (paraphrased), “Why would God choose me?  My family is the least in the tribe of Benjamin” even though verse 1 made it clear his family had prominence.

The supernatural advantages Saul receives are:

  • Chapter 10, Verse 6 – The Holy Spirit indwells within Saul.
  • Chapter 10, Verse 7 – It is promised that God will be with Saul.
  • Chapter 10, Verse 9 – Saul is given a new heart
  • Chapter 10, Verse 26 – God gives Saul a team of valiant men.
  • So in summary, Saul received God’s presence, power, and people.

Reading through these lists, it is easy to see that Saul had everything he needed to be successful in his upcoming role as king.  However, to the point of my title for the thought for the day… it is not how you start, it is how you finish.  For Saul, he did not finish well.  What happened?

  • In Chapter 13, Saul shows his arrogance
  • In Chapter 14, Saul shows his indifference
  • In Chapter 15, Saul shows his disobedience
  • In Chapter 18, Saul shows his jealousy
  • Finally, in Chapter 28, Saul really screws up by seeking a medium to tell him what is going on instead of seeking God.

As you can see, Saul did not end well.  Let’s look briefly at Billy Graham?  Did he finish well?  Considering he continued his ministry and was telling others about Christ all the way to the point of death, I would say, “Yes”, he finished well.  He was fulfilling the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20) to the very end.  Where are you with your walk in Christ?  Are you giving God 100%?  Don’t live with regrets from the past.  God forgives and forgets.  (Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.”).  We all start from different places.  It doesn’t matter how you start… It matters how you finish.

Dear heavenly Father, I thank You for reminding me today that the sins of my past should not define my future.  If we repent, You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  We all start at different places.  Some of us were saved at a very young age, as our parents took us to Church starting 9 months before we were born.  Others of us may not have come to realize our need for Jesus’ redemptive blood until middle age.  Regardless, it is not how we started, it is how we finish.  I pray that You would help us to lead a life that fulfills the great commission to the point of death.  Help us to finish well.  Amen.

Day 30 – Saturday (9/22/18)

Health Update:  Still Trucking.  Still Waiting.

Thought for the day: Having peace.

I’m getting my thought for the day from Wisdom Hunters.  I’ll be honest, I have been pretty tired today, my mind has been in weekend mode, and it’s been hard for me to come up with an original thought.  I think I have mentioned before, Wisdom Hunters is a great daily devotional that God has used to speak to me many, many times.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be better rested and have my head in the game for a thought of my own.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”

Philippians 4:9 “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful”

I am so thankful that God has granted me an overwhelming peace so far throughout this process.  Now patience… I’m struggling a little on that one as we hit the 1 month mark and I’m still waiting on the data needed to start treatment… but peace… I feel in my heart that God has this all under control, and He is using this situation for His glory.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the overwhelming peace You have given me.  Thank You for being there, available, where I can simply lay down my situation at Your feet, and know that You will handle it as You see fit.  I pray for the all of Your Church services tomorrow, that You would be with the pastors everywhere, and that You would speak through them.  If anyone hears Your word tomorrow Lord, and they don’t know You as their personal savior, I pray that they would surrender their life to You, so that they may experience the same overwhelming peace that You have given me (in whatever situation they are facing).  Thank You for everything Lord, amen.

Day 29 – Friday (9/21/18)

Health update:  Still Trucking.  Still Waiting.  I had my “post-op” appointment today.  Good news!  The incision is healing very nicely.  That was about all I got out of the appointment…  Stanford still has the biopsy.  Results are still not determined yet.  They will call me whenever the results are available.  Not what I was hoping for, but again, God has a plan, and everything in His timing.

Thought of the day:  Being intentional

You are walking down the hall at work.  A colleague is approaching.  You say “Hey, how are you doing today?”  They say, “Fine.  And you?”  You say, “Fine,” and you keep walking.

How many times has that scenario played out for you?  How many times are you hoping that is all they will say?  Do you get a pit in your stomach when instead of answering “fine”, they actually say “not so good, let me tell you what happened to me this weekend?” … and you suddenly realize that you are about to be “roped” into a 10 minute conversation?  They poor out their soul to you about some trial they are experiencing, and at the end of the conversation you never wanted to have to begin with, you say, “I’ll be praying for you,” but you walk away and never do?

Have you ever ran into a friend from you past, and you have a quick conversation, and say “hey, we need to go out to lunch sometime and catch up?”  You both agree… but the lunch never happens?  The moment you walk away, life comes back at you and you forget all about it?

Have you ever been talking with your spouse, and you say to each other “We need a date night… we need someone to watch our kids, so we can go out and just enjoy each other again (like it was before kids, haha).  You both agree, but then another month passes, and still no date night.

For my thought of the day, I’m hoping that I’m not the only one that has experienced the above scenarios.  If I am, then at least I have done some self-reflection through this blog today.  I think the key to fixing these scenarios is being intentional.  Do you really mean what you say?  When you tell someone how you are doing, are you really fine?  When you tell someone you will pray for them, do you really mean you will?  When you “allude” to plans, do you really intend to follow through?

One suggestion I have in becoming more intentional is to act immediately.  When you tell someone you will be praying for them, stop right then, and pray with them in the hallway (or wherever).  It will only feel “weird” a few times.  You will get used to it.  I had a lady pray for me right in the middle of a mall.  I promise the people staring are staring because they are curious what is different about us.  Don’t be embarrassed of the God we love.  When you tell someone you would like to have lunch with them to catch up on things, stop right then and schedule it.  When you and your spouse agree you need a date night, call up a baby-sitter and put it on the calendar.  Pick a day, pick a time.  Be intentional.

James 5:12 “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath.  But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.”

Dear heavenly Father, please help me to be intentional.  Help my yes to be yes, and my no to be no.  If I tell someone I will pray for them, or I will meet with them, help me to do it or schedule it immediately.  I pray that when someone opens up to me about an issue they are having that I will listen intently, and actually focus on what they are saying.  I continue to pray for the pathologist at Stanford that they are coming to an accurate, timely conclusion.  I’m a little frustrated (not at You, but at the situation) that I’m now heading into another weekend without final answers, but I know that You have a reason.  Thank You for helping me be patient during this time.  Amen.