Carol Wilson Update

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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What do you want?

This has certainly been a week of activities, but I always enjoy keeping busy. Saturday I took advantage of the mild weather to get some outside work done in the afternoon after my inside chores were completed. I got the crape myrtles trimmed, sprayed bushes that tend to get infested with scale, and spread pre-emerge on the lawn to hopefully prevent an invasion of crabgrass this summer. I also filled the bird feeder in response to the birds insistent chirping to get my attention. It seems that this winter they have gone through much more seed than usual.

Sunday was a delightful day digging deeper into the question that Jesus asked the blind man in Mark 10; “What do you want me to do for you?” It has been a challenging activity to hone my desires down to a list that falls within the desires of my heart as planted there by the Lord, and hopefully understood by me to adequately compile them in some coherent fashion to adjust my focus. On the surface the task sounded easy, but in reality it is a real challenge.

In the afternoon I had the joy of attending the birthday party for a young buddy of mine that just turned one. His parents are long-time friends and are spending a year here working with our AIDS ministry between their terms serving in Burkina Faso. Little Silas is one of my “adopted” grandchildren, and is lots of fun to interact with. His eyes went wide when he saw a lighted candle on his piece of birthday cake, and he especially enjoyed the icing which was more that he normally would have been allowed. Blowing the candle out was a bit of a challenge that mom helped with, but by his next birthday, I am sure that he will have it conquered.

I had a call today from daughter Sue who just finished the first week on a cruise serving as RN, and was about to leave Florida for her second weeks cruise with another group of people. I am sure that it is a relief for her to be away from the cold of Northern Michigan for a couple of weeks this time of year.

I trust that each of you will have a blessed week as God works in and through your lives.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010


WOW...Thanks for all of your encouraging responses to the blogs. It is amazing how just when I start to think that it is time to end the blogs, a number of encouraging comments arrive and I decide to continue a little longer. I am certainly not a writer like Carol, and I often wonder if I am actually communicating anything significant.

Recently I have been thinking much more about faith. It is so easy for me to put my faith in all sorts of things or people but lack the depth of faith in God that I desire. I am blessed with an outstanding class and our teacher Tom who continues to turn our focus on God as we study the Scriptures. As I continually see God in a new light and gain a better understanding of Him, I often ask myself why my first approach to any problem isn't always directed to Him and His Word?

As we continued our study of Mark 10 Sunday, we dug deeper into Jesus words to the blind Bartimaeus; "What do you want me to do for you?" On the surface that sounds like an easy one to answer, but as I roll that thought around, I move away from the trivial desires and find myself focusing on the BIG desires that will live long after I have left this world. And when praying for the more immediate issues, I find myself focusing my prayers more on the resulting eternal impact of the outcomes (His glory) rather than the desired solution.

In our study we discussed Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." We decided that this could be saying that the Lord will both plant the desires in our hearts as well as respond to them. Those have been challenging thoughts for me.

As I read Romans 1:12, I thought of you dear friends: "I am eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way each of us will be a blessing to the other." Thanks for being a blessing!



Monday, February 15, 2010

Delightful weekend

What a delightful Valentines weekend!

At 2:30 AM Friday, daughter Lisa rolled into Charlotte on one of the few trains that was able to leave DC due to the snow and resulting downed trees, frozen switches etc. Her trip was a bit questionable all week, but thankfully her train made it.

We had a wonderful time catching up and also having several mutual friends over for dinner or dessert so we didn't have much down time…but it was what we both needed, and on Saturday evening were taken out to dinner by some dear friends to a lovely Italian restaurant. Yesterday we enjoyed Teacher Tom’s class and a study from Mark 10 about blind Bartimaeus. We were reminded that Jesus always stops to listen when we call out, and not only listens but responds to our requests in accordance with his will and our faith. It was encouraging to learn that great faith is not necessary but as we stretch our faith, it will increase just as the working of our muscles makes them stronger. In the afternoon we enjoyed a tour of the spectacular Orchid House at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and enjoyed more guests in the evening.

As I sent Lisa off on the 2:00 AM train this morning, I had a few moments of pain as I remembered a similar trip with her about 19 months ago as she was the last of the family members to leave late in the evening after Carol’s celebration, when suddenly the realization of being all alone hit me as I headed back to an empty house and a dramatically changed life. I realized how easy it is for me to forget about all of the blessings that I have enjoyed and let my mind focus on the negatives. Fortunately I brought my thoughts back to the positive before I reached home and have been rejoicing in God’s rich blessings since then. I was reminded of something that I read in Indeed a few days ago; “Thankfulness is such a valued commodity in the kingdom of God.” The writer encouraged us to “…be thankful. Let gratitude fill your heart and then overflow into our surroundings.”

Thank you Lord for your ear that is always tuned to your people and your compassion and mercy that respond to us as we open our hearts and lives to you!

Love to you all,


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Safe return

Thanks to each of you for your prayers! The return trip went well with a plane that was only about 2/3 full, which gave me some extra knee room which I very much appreciated.

As we passed over numerous islands and many miles of water before reaching the East coast, the song How Great Thou Art was playing in my head..."Oh Lord my God, when I in awsome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made...How great Thou art, How great Thou art!"

After having been away from the daily routine for a few days it is amazing how much easier it is to appreciate, and even see, the world around us. And from 33,000 feet above there is an entirely new perspective of this earth which is so small in proportion to the vast universe.

I sure don't understand it, but I thank God for His interest and love for each individual on this earth. And we are hardly a speck in the planet. We serve a great God but even more amazing is His desire to serve us. Jesus said that "...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45) That was last Sundays study with Teacher Tom which I unfortunately missed having been away. Hopefully we will get a bit of a recap and continuation of the study next Sunday. Those studies always broaden my thinking!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, February 08, 2010


WOW...I can't believe that it is already Monday. These days have gone so rapidly and tomorrow I will wing my way back to the US and the daily routine. These have been wonderfully restful and restorative days with Paul and Ruth enjoying the fellowship, food and wonderful weather.

Yesterday it was great to see several "old" friends at church and listen to a pre-Valentines message on love and the potential breakers of love relationships. One thought that really stuck with me was the problem of over commitment in our lives. It certainly is so easy to place too much importance on the wrong things or relationships in our lives and neglect those that we should be nurturing.

It was good to see friend Marcia again at church. We had lunch with her previously during the week and were updated on her life since the passing of husband and dear friend Bob with cancer a few weeks ago. Do continue to pray for her as she deals with that adjustment which I can somewhat relate to, but she has additional challenges before her.

Paul is doing quite well and we continue to pray that surgery will not be necessary. At this time it appears that the inflammation has been eliminated and we are praying that the medication will accomplish it's purpose.

Friend Keith recently closed an email to me with "God Bless You" which has caused me to focus on the many blessings that God provides to each of us. We quickly can think of physical blessing that continually come our way from Him but I have been focusing more on the spiritual blessings. Those thoughts took me to Ephesians 1:3; "How we praise God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ." That is a good one to try to wrap your mind around.

Certainly I am blessed with each of you dear friends and family members that faithfully pray and encourage me. You are each a blessing!



Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Perfect trip

Just a quick blog to let those of you that are checking that I arrived in Nassau with no problem. Actually was nearly 30 minutes early but customs more than took up the time savings. The weather is a delight after the cold that we have had in Charlotte. I managed to get a good bit of vitamin D today along with a nice walk. It is a delight to spend this time with Paul and Ruth!

Trust that you are all doing well. Thanks for your prayers and concern.