Pray and not give up!
Stage 4 Cancer brought many challenges--and also a host of loving and praying friends. Almost-daily postings to this site are to help my friends walk with me through this journey, and to express my gratitude to them and especially to God...On 7/8/08 Carol passed through that final curtain of death and is now healed. We thank God for her life and "arrival"! Chuck
We were saddened to receive the following update on Stuart's medical condition. Please pray for peace and encouragement for him and the family and wisdom and guidance for him and the medical people.
Recently I was intently listening to a radio program when a Conelrad test broke in obliterating several seconds of the message and irritating me about the interruption. Was that test really necessary…right then? This week I have experienced tests and witnessed several tests in others lives.
I awoke Sunday morning with violent nausea and all that accompanies it. Need I be graphic? I was up and down like clock-work every half hour. Sometime around daybreak I realized that I was not thinking clearly but also was having a bit of chest discomfort accompanied by the shortness of breath that I have been fighting these many weeks. I realized that I was invited to a small gathering at friends after church and reminded myself that I must call later to let them know I would not be there. At some point I drifted off into a stupor and never really “came to” until around 1:00 PM…missing the gathering and not calling them. With mind a blur and considerable discomfort I recognized my confused mind was unable to sort out my health options. Praying for wisdom I was lead to call dear friend Stuart who immediately came and we discussed options and took a bit of action, resulting in prayer answered. I fell asleep on the sofa in the study with Stuart sitting in the recliner and I did not awaken until around 4:00 PM. Stuart was still there as I rallied. I felt considerably improved so sent him home, took more fluids, called the friends to apologize, and went back to sleep, able to get up and spend most of Monday at the office. I am not sure what it was but I suspect either the flu or food poisoning? Possibly a “test”?
Yesterday I witnessed challenges in others lives which likely could also be tests. A dear couple from Michigan is having to return earlier than planned. Their kids from back home “happened” to come to visit them yesterday. Earlier in the week the husband suffered what appears to possibly be a mild TIA’s but declined to see a doctor here and insisted he would drive back and see his doctor at home. We all have strongly encouraged him not to drive and I trust that is the case as they are all four on the road home today.
Later in the morning I sat with a good friend who had to have his mother moved from her retirement facility into assisted living and is feeling much stress over it. She is extremely unhappy and this has also caused some major conflicts with a sibling.
In the afternoon I had a call from a coworker in an ambulance on the way to the Emergency Room asking prayer for his wife who collapsed while attending a meeting with some ladies. Fortunately it appears to be something that can be handled with medication and she is now back home.
In the evening I spent quite some time with the son of my neighbor who was helping with some yard work there. His dad appears to be in his last days/hours with cancer there in the home. The son works in the hospital, dealing with death every day, but is having a very difficult time watching his dad, and this is generating criticism from some family members as well as great stress for himself who tends to internalize such situations.
Tests? I suspect so, and how well we are prepared for those tests will also determine how we finish the final days (test) of our own “race” on earth.
This has caused me to look more closely at my own life and realize how God has richly blessed during these nearly 80 years, but at the same time recognize how easy and frequently I can fall “out of step” with him. I really want to avoid the word but what better describes it?...SIN! It is so easy to be critical, harbor a bad attitude, and respond inappropriately to people and opportunities. As I reflect upon this I am challenged by Romans 2:4; “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” It sure is easy to have the answers for others and even be critical, but of prime importance is how/if I am preparing, and ready, for those upcoming tests and for my final exam!
Hoping to finish well to the glory of God!
These have been some busy days! We are finalizing the construction of a new commercial kitchen and have been going through the many final inspections necessary to get a temporary occupancy permit. This will allow us to complete the remainder of the remodeling of the building while being able to use the new kitchen during the construction. As you can guess, this has not been without many challenges.
Along with the project we have had a wonderful group of volunteers replacing the roofs on two buildings, and this past Sunday 26 more volunteers arrived to help with the roof, remodeling, work on other campus projects and a group of ladies are busy preparing delectable dishes and desserts to go into the freezers for use when we are feeding groups throughout the year. What a blessing these folks are!
Later this week I plan to join daughter Lisa on a trip to the Bahamas to visit Carol's sister and her husband and get some sun that hopefully will aid in getting rid of the last bit of my chest congestion. We are praying that our flights will coincide well knowing how that many get changed and even cancelled these days.
These past few days I have been thinking about purpose in our lives...mine in particular. The Apostle Paul says; "When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some...I run with purpose in every step." (1Corinthians 9:22, 26) Later he warns; "If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall." (10:12) I find that to be a great challenge and a reminder to live an effective life for our Lord.
Have a blessed week!
|I have glasses too!|
I trust that each of you are off to a great new year! I have been blessed with special times of family members visiting. Yesterday daughter Sue arrived from Michigan and we are now in Sumter, SC visiting Justin, Laura and Ella. As you can see, Ella is still the center of attention as she is showing off her glasses with Sue. It is a blessing to have Justin and family closer so we can get together more often. Actually I have been here three times in the past three weeks and they have also spent time with me in Charlotte during that time.
I have appreciated the many Christmas cards, notes and letters from you friends located around the world. It is a blessing to share the joys and sorrows and hopefully be an encouragement to some as you are to me. Recently I was reading Paul's letter to Timothy and was challenged by his attitude as he wrote what was likely his last letter from prison as he anticipated being put to death. His faith and focus remained solid as he wrote:
"I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory to Christ Jesus to those God has chosen. This is a trustworthy saying:
If we die with him, we will live with him.
If we endure hardship, we will reign with him.
If we deny him, he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is." (2 Timothy 2:10-13)
I found that to be a tremendous encouragement for my life and for each of you.
I trust that 2013 will be a year of special blessing and encouragement as you walk with the Lord!
Love to you all,
These have been some rather busy weekends. Two weekends ago I was in Raleigh/Durham, a week ago in Indiana and presently I am in Florida. My good friend Brian came on this trip to keep me company and we have had lots of fun sharing many experiences. This evening we took one of our co-workers out to dinner, and we were hosted by friends the previous evening. We are visiting our SIM retirement facility and catching up with many folks that we previously have worked with. Each time I visit, I am newly impressed with the facility and the people here. Possibly one of these days I can see myself making a transition down here. That is currently a matter for prayer!
As I was thinking about the future recently, I read something in Max Lucado’s book Fearless that encouraged me; “You will never face the future without God’s help. You have a travel companion.”
“When you place your faith in Christ, Christ places his Spirit before, behind, and within you. Not a strange spirit, but the same Spirit: the parakletos. As Jesus sends you into new seasons, he sends his counselor to go with you.”
“God never sends you out alone. Are you on the eve of change? Is the foliage of your world showing signs of a new season? Heaven’s message for you is clear: when everything else changes, God’s presence never does. You journey in the company of the Holy Spirit.”
I found those brief paragraphs to be a great encouragement to me. I trust that you will also find them helpful in your “season” of life.
Love to you all,
I am enjoying a wonderful weekend at the lake house in Indiana. The drive up here was beautiful with the tree colors just about at their prime in many locations. The West Virginia mountains were outstanding and many of the trees here at the lake are fantastic. As I look across the lake the red, yellow and orange colors are all around. Also our little family of swans are doing well with the two young ones now as large as their parents. They now bob for food with their tails in the air just like the parents. Without a close look, it is impossible to distinguish the different ages. Karin, Keith and Calli came out to spend the weekend with me and on Saturday I enjoyed a visit by two friends from Moody Bible Institute. After church on Sunday, we drove down to Bethel College to spend time with grandson Gavin, going out for dinner together at an interesting restaurant that he selected. We assembled our meal from a huge variety of raw items on the buffet table, adding various sauces and selecting our favorite meats that were then all cooked to perfection for us by the crew. It was a fun event and great to spend time with Gavin and get updated about all the things that he is involved in at the school. Tomorrow he has a couple of major exams and will also be wrapping up the tennis season this week. With the rapidly falling temperatures, it will not be very comfortable to be watching matches outside much longer. Tonight the prediction is for the temperature to drop to 29.
Today Pastor Denny focused on Acts 15 with Paul and Barnabas dealing with restrictive church membership. He especially focused on the church today and how easy it is to confuse tradition with truth. I appreciate his desire to keep the main thing central in their church and do their best to avoid being diverted to secondary issues. I like the message that they have boldly displayed in their auditorium; "People equipped and lead by the Holy Spirit reaching the world for Christ." Well said!
I expect to be on the road early tomorrow to cover the nearly twelve hour trip back home so I suspect it is time to pack my things up again. Thanks so much for your prayers and keeping in touch.