Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Woo Hoo!

Went to Birmingham yesterday for my scheduled check-up.  My doctor said everything looked good and no lumps/knots being felt by him or me.  I don't have to go back till April 4, well past the anniversary of my last surgery.  It's been 10 months since my last surgery.  I haven't gone that long between surgeries in a LONG time.  PTL!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Silent fellowship of love

From Streams in the Desert, October 31:

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." Romans 8:26-27

It is not necessary to be continually speaking to God, or always hearing from God, in order to have communion or fellowship with Him for there is an unspeakable fellowship that is sweeter than words. A little child can sit all day long beside his mother, totally engrossed in his playing, while his mother is consumed by her work, and although both are busy and few words are spoken by either, they are in perfect fellowship. The child knows his mother is there, and she knows that he is all right.

In the same way, a believer and his(her) Savior can continue many hours in the silent fellowship of love. And although the believer may be busy with the ordinary things of life, he(she) can be mindful that every detail of his(her) life is touched by the character of God's presence, and can have the awareness of His approval and blessing.

Then when troubled with burdens and difficulties too complicated to put into words and too puzzling to express or fully understand, how sweet it is to fall into the embrace of His blessed arms and to simply sob out the sorrow that we cannot speak! selected

Run with patience

From my Friday Streams in the Desert devotional:

"Let us run with patience." Hebrews 12:1 KJV
Running "with patience" is a very difficult thing to do. The word "running" itself suggests the absence of patience, or an eagerness to reach a goal. Yet we often associate patience with lying down or standing still. We think of it as an angel who guards the bed of the disabled. Yet I do not believe that the kind of patience a disabled person may have is the hardest to achieve.

There is another kind of patience that I believe is harder to obtain--the patience that runs. Lying down during a time of grief, or being quiet after a financial setback, certainly implies great strength--the power to continue working after a setback, the power to still run with a heavy heart, and the power to perform your daily tasks with deep sorrow in your spirit. This is a Christlike thing!

Many of us could tearlessly deal with grief if only we were allowed to do so in private. Yet what is so difficult is that most of us are called to exercise our patience not in bed but in sorrows, not in restful activity but in active service--in our workplace, while shopping, and during social events--contributing to other people's joy. No other way of burying our sorrow is as difficult as this, for it is truly what is meant by running "with patience."  George Matheson

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Don't Waste Your Cancer

I "just happened" to come across this article today. It really spoke to me. You can read the full article by John Piper here. Here are his 10 points from Don't Waste Your Cancer from his own experience with cancer 3 years ago.

1. You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.
2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.
3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.
4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.
5. You will waste your cancer if you think that "beating" cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.
7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.
8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.
9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.
10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Good Checkup

We went to Birmingham today for my scheduled checkup. It was good because it's been 3 months since my last checkup. This is the second time this year I've gone 3 months before a checkup! I've never gone that long between checkups before. That is a great feeling. And good because my doctor said all looked well. My mouth has healed well. And good because I had a PET scan on Thursday that he had scheduled, and he said that was clear. PTL! I had a EGD (Endoscopy) with dilation of my esophagus on Friday. That will make it much easier for me to swallow. It's been 2 1/2 years since I last had it done. It's something that has to be done usually for patients who have had surgeries and radiation to the neck. I have a really nice gastro doctor that takes care of that for me. I am beyond blessed with the doctors God allows me to have!

On a side note, we had an interesting lesson on patience today...or maybe that's impatience! We had to take a detour getting to my doctor this morning as the two lanes were backed up at the exit we take due to an accident. After our lunch at Cheesecake Factory, we got in some more stalled traffic leaving Birmingham due to road work. Then when we got onto the interstate in Montgomery to get to the southern route to get home, it was slowed down for miles. We eventually passed a wrecker about to pick up a stalled ambulance, but that wasn't the total cause. It was still stalled/slowed for miles ahead yet. "Someone" decided to take the next exit to see about getting to our route faster. Alas, many other people had the same idea about their intended destination. Once again miles of slowed traffic. Whew, we finally get to the point we can turn onto the road taking us south and homeward. Lo and behold, just ahead of us, right in FRONT of us, was the very same wrecker, with ambulance now aboard, making a right turn onto another road. I restrained myself from laughing out loud.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm betrothed

And I will betroth you to me. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD. Hosea 2:19-20

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fear Not

But now, this is what the LORD says -- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1 New International Version

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Struggles Are About Him

Here is my latest Max Lucado email devotional. It was so full of truth.

My Struggles are About Him
by Max Lucado

What about your struggles? Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God’s glory? Have you “been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29)?

Here is a clue. Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? What you request and what you receive aren’t matching up? Don’t think God is not listening. Indeed he is. He may have higher plans.

Here is another. Are people strengthened by your struggles? A friend of mine can answer yes. His cancer was consuming more than his body; it was eating away at his faith. Unanswered petitions perplexed him. Well-meaning Christians confused him. “If you have faith,” they said, “you will be healed.”

No healing came. Just more chemo, nausea, and questions. He assumed the fault was a small faith. I suggested another answer. “It’s not about you,” I told him. “Your hospital room is a showcase for your Maker. Your faith in the face of suffering cranks up the volume of God’s song.”

Oh, that you could have seen the relief on his face. To know that he hadn’t failed God and God hadn’t failed him—this made all the difference. Seeing his sickness in the scope of God’s sovereign plan gave his condition a sense of dignity. He accepted his cancer as an assignment from heaven: a missionary to the cancer ward.

A week later I saw him again. “I reflected God,” he said, smiling through a thin face, “to the nurse, the doctors, my friends. Who knows who needed to see God, but I did my best to make him seen.”

Bingo. His cancer paraded the power of Jesus down the Main Street of his world.

God will use whatever he wants to display his glory. Heavens and stars. History and nations. People and problems.

Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all, use it. Use it to the glory of God.

Through your problems and mine, may God be seen.
From It's Not About Me, copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Max Lucado

Friday, July 3, 2009


I follow Josh Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye), and he posted this link to his Sunday, June 28th, message on Facebook. I listened to the message and made notes while listening. It was so uplifting for some who have circumstances to overcome.

Josh Harris – June 28, 2009 Covenant Life Church

Change is God’s agenda, and it’s for His glory.
Change is God’s agenda, and it’s for His glory.
Change is not something we have the idea of and then we do it and get the credit for it.
No, God is the One who has come on a rescue mission in Jesus Christ to bring about lasting, real heart level change--and when that change occurs, we don’t get the praise.
God gets the praise because Jesus is the One who accomplished it.
Change is God’s agenda. When you know this living God, it pushes out human pride, and it also pushes out despair--because when you know Him, you realize there’s no place for despair and hopelessness when you serve that kind of God. He might not answer your prayer in the way you want. He might not come to you on your timetable, but He can be trusted.
So, here’s the important thing to remember about change: It’s not our idea.
If (you’re a non-Christian and) you realize your life has been destroyed by your sin, you know you don’t have a right relationship with God…do you realize the change that you desire in your life--if there’s even the smallest glimmer of desire to know God and be forgiven by God--that didn’t start with you. That’s God’s agenda in your life. He’s working in your life. He’s giving you that desire. Respond to it. Respond to Him.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good news from check-up on Monday

We went back to Birmingham on Monday for my 3 month follow-up from surgery in February. My doctor was very pleased with the progress of the tissue flap in my mouth. When I saw him 8 weeks ago he had talked about possibly trimming the flap tissue at the corner of my lip to make it less noticeable. I've noticed since that visit that the swelling, or whatever it is, has been going down much better than I thought it would. I still thought maybe some trimming could help it, though. However, he was so pleased with how much more it had gone down since he last saw me that he didn't want to touch it. I asked him if the part closest to my lip would go down more, and he said, "I know it will". He said it usually continues to improve for the year after surgery, so that was good to hear. He wants me to go back for a check-up in August, and, if need be, he would trim it then. He said he would schedule a PET scan about a week before I come back to see him to make sure nothing else is going on. Though the recovery is time intensive, I am encouraged to see things get better. Thank you for all of your prayers. It is quite wonderful to not have to go back for 3 months and not anticipate seeing him sooner! Can I just say - I LOVE my doctor! (Curriculum Vitae)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

God does not lie

From my Streams in the Desert yesterday:

"God, who does not lie, promised." Titus 1:2
Faith is not conjuring up, through an act of your will, a sense of certainty that something is going to happen. No, it is recognizing God's promise as an actual fact, believing it is true, rejoicing in the knowledge of that truth, and then simply resting because God said it. Faith turns a promise into a prophecy. A promise is contingent upon our cooperation, but when we exercise genuine faith in it, it becomes a prophecy. Then we can move ahead with certainty that it will come to pass, because "God...does not lie." from Days of Heaven upon Earth

(Titus scripture in context: "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness—a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior;" Titus 1:1-3 NIV)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Great weekend

I spent the last weekend partly with my daughter in her home with her family...and partly with my daughter in New Orleans hearing Beth Moore expounding on 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24
The Holiness of Wholeness:
1. The essence of holiness is wholeness-verse 23
2. I can't be a whole person without other people-vs 12-15
3. Wholeness releases persistent joy-verse 16
4. Wholeness relates through persistent prayer-verse 17
5. Wholeness reacts with persistent thanks-verse 18
6. Where I lack wholeness, I lack protection-verse 23
7. God is wholly faithful, and I am found holy in Him-verse 24
God is worthy of our trust!
It was, as always, a wonderful time of praise and worship with
Travis Cottrel and team. It was a great time with the group from my daughter's church.

As great as that was, the highlight had to be seeing my second grandson baptized and participating for the first time in the elements of the Lord's Supper. It was great spending time with all four of my grandchildren which you can learn more about on
My Daughter's Blog.

Where I spent Friday & Saturday

Living Proof Live - New Orleans 2009 from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

Monday, March 23, 2009


"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
Hebrews 10:23

Friday, March 20, 2009

God's Provision Brings Glory

Here are some snippets from my latest Henry Blackaby devotional, March 18:
"Did you know that you bring glory to God by calling upon Him when you are in distress? God promised He would deliver you if you turned to Him. You deny the Lord honor that is rightfully His very time you find yourself in difficulty and you fail to call upon Him for help! There may be times when God allows you to reach a point of need so that you can call upon Him, and thus let Him demonstrate to a watching world the difference He makes in the lives of His children. If God never allowed you to experience need, people around you might never have the opportunity to witness God's provision in the life of a Christian. Call upon the Lord and wait exclusively upon Him to rescue you. Then give Him the glory that He deserves."

If I was so bold as Charles Spurgeon as I read in Streams in the Desert:
Every promise of Scripture is a letter from God, which we may plead before Him with this reasonable request: "Do as you promised." Our Creator will never cheat those of us of His creation who depend upon His truth. And even more, our heavenly Father will never break His word to His own child. "Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope" Psalm 119:49. This is a very common plea and is a double argument, for it is "your word." Will You not keep it? Why have You spoken it, if You will not make it good? "You have given me hope." Will You now disappoint the hope that You Yourself have brought forth within me?

Latest checkup

We went back to B'ham on Monday for second followup after surgery. My dr. says things look good. He did give me steroid shots in the flap to help reduce the swelling that is still there. The area is still numb so I didn't (and don't) feel a thing. He wants me to go back in 8 weeks. He said to plan for him to trim the flap part that meets the corner of the inside of my lip. He can do that in his office. It is still quite noticeable when I talk. I am able to talk better, though you may not understand me well. I'm eating better and able to chew food now, but it is quite a workout for my left jaw since my mouth still won't open very far. I had my Erbitux treatment yesterday so I'm not feeling so good. I saw that dr. last Thursday, and we decided to continue with the once a month treatments. We have no way of knowing if they are doing any good at all. I think it keeps my doctors from being frustrated of what to do to stop this stuff. At least we're doing what there is to do right now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Perfectly right

I will go back in two weeks to see my surgeon for the second follow-up. At this point I'm discouraged that the 'wad' in my mouth is VERY slow in going down. His consensus was that it could take 8 weeks for recovery. I will see what he says when I see him again. Yet, in spite of the discouragement it brings, I must keep it all in perspective, too.

My devotional from Streams in the Desert for March 1 was based on the scripture Ecclesiastes 7:13-"Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?"
Then the author chose a selected commentary without an author listed:
God often seems to place His children in places of deep difficulty, leading them into a corner from which there is no escape. He creates situations that human judgment, even if consulted, would never allow. Yet the cloudiness of the circumstance itself is used by Him to guide us to the other side. Perhaps this is where you find yourself even now.
Your situation is filled with uncertainty and is very serious, but it is perfectly right. The reason behind it will more than justify Him who brought you here, for it is a platform from which God will display His almighty grace and power.
He not only will deliver you but in doing so will impart a lesson that you will never forget. And in days to come, you will return to the truth of it through singing. You will be unable to ever thank God enough for doing exactly what He has done.

A platform to display His grace and power. So be it...and with singing! Well, I can't sing, never could, but especially not now with all the neck surgeries and radiations to my neck. You know I'm a music person (how odd that I work for a minister of music and I really know nothing about music but that I like it) and like to share what God says through peoples' music. So let that be a a form of singing for me...through someone else, that knows just how to place in musical words what God is doing in my life. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Grounded Hope

A friend loaned a book to me that had been given her recently after her diagnosis of breast cancer. It is A Reason for Hope-Gaining Strength for your Fight Against Cancer by Michael S. Barry who is a chaplain for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and pastor of Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Libertyville, Ill. It was a little book full of hope and encouragement. Psalm 31:24 particularly jumped out at me: "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Matthew 26:39 had a new meaning for me: "Yet not as I will, but as You will." I am trusting it to be God's will to heal me completely of this cancer. Jesus prayed those words before his crucifixion. Why would He pray for God's will when it would mean crucifixion, taking the sin of the world on His shoulders? God had a plan, a much bigger plan, and Jesus knew that. He wanted God's plan to be fulfilled. How can I pray for God's will for me when part of His plan means for me to deal with cancer? Cancer's not good and no one wants to deal with it. I'm glad God has a much bigger plan for me than cancer, and I don't want to limit Him fulfilling that plan by not trusting Him when I pray "yet not as I will, but as You will".

There was a prayer at the end of one of the chapters in the book that I wanted to share:

Father in heaven, help me to have hope by surrounding me with hopeful people. Help me not to receive bad news as though is is the last edition, but rather as one piece of information afloat on a river of facts flowing into a hopeful future. Heal me, I pray, not for my sake or anyone else's, but for Your sake. And ground my hope in the reality of Your profound and enduring love for me and desire for my well-being. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen

Thank you for being hopeful people who surround me.

Part 2-Recovery at home

We got home from the hospital comfortably by Sunday afternoon. I was looking forward to being able to really get some much needed rest in my own bed. John, of course, was a great nurse taking care of my every need. With the splint on my left arm I was not able to easily shower or dress without his help. He took care of my neck incision every morning and evening. He had my breakfast and lunch prepared or came back to help with lunch if he could. I've had so much going on in my mouth with stitches and swelling that only liquid or creamy things have been part of my diet so far. Can't handle anything with even small chunks or texture quite yet. I was looking forward to going back for my follow-up on Monday, the 16th. I was hoping the splint would come off and my doctor would shed more light on the swelling in my mouth. He had told us when we left the hospital that it would take 6 weeks for it to completely go down. He had said the swelling should be down 50% from what it was till I came back for the follow-up. I wasn't so sure it had gotten down that much when we went back. He did remove the splint, plus staples from an incision that went from my wrist where the flap was removed to my elbow. I wasn't expecting that. I had no idea the extent this surgery took to make sure the flap in my mouth would have the veins and arteries needed to make it work properly. He and the nurses were quite pleased with my progress and all seemed according to plan though it is such an adjustment for me. He told me before I left his office that it might be 8 weeks for the area to completely heal to a normal state. I'll see him again in 4 weeks. The stitches and swelling in my mouth not only limits my ability to eat and drink but also to talk. That would be a huge prayer request...that my mouth will quickly heal, and I would be able to eat more easily. It is great to be able to use my left arm now. The wrist is still quite touchy and my arm is recovering from soreness I'm sure because of the incision that had to be made. I was able to blow dry my hair today on my own for the first time...and I'm able to type using both hands now. This has to be the most challenging recovery I've ever had from surgery. It's actually like having 3 individual major surgeries to get over. It's just going to be more time intensive. Cannot wait for 8 weeks to be here so I can hopefully see great improvement. Thank you for your many thoughts and prayers during all of this time.

Part 1-February 5th Surgery

We reported to the 3rd floor of St. Vincent's Hospital at 5:00 a.m. sharp to sign in for my scheduled surgery. They took me immediately to the 4th floor to get me prepped for surgery. This time I honestly don't remember ever leaving the room where they get your IV started and all that stuff. (I had to get the IV in my left foot since my surgeon was going to be working on my left arm, and I can't have sticks in my right arm due to nodes being removed after my lumpectomy in 2000.) I remember the anesthesiologist saying he was going to give me something to help me relax. That's the last thing I remember until I woke up in recovery saying my throat was hurting. They hadn't removed the breathing tube yet and said that was probably why and removed it. I remember having to cough a lot, which I've never done after surgery. I later learned my surgery took 4 hours. I've never had tubes down my nose and throat for that length of time while doing all kinds of surgeries on me. I knew the doctors would be removing the cancer from the inside of my cheek and then sew a flap of skin from the inside of my forearm to the area so it could heal. Veins and arteries would be attached microscopically and the blood flow to the area would have to come from the left side of my neck. I have had too many surgeries and radiation on the right side to get a good blood flow for the flap. I asked the nurse in recovery by note how long my incision was on my neck. She said it was from under my ear to across the center of my neck. The nurses were talking about how good the incision had been closed up. I later noticed the splint I knew would be on my left arm looked more like a cast with the thick ace bandage wrapped from my fingertips to above my elbow. I was in recovery for about 6 hours waiting for a room in ICU where I was scheduled to spend the night. All this time I'm wondering how I'm going to get up and use the bathroom when I have to go. I later learned I had a catheter. That was really a relief to me to know I didn't have to try to get up and go. The nurses in ICU would frequently look in my mouth with a flashlight to make sure the flap was pink, getting blood flow. They even checked it with a mini Doppler machine where they could pick up the pulse of the blood flow around my mouth and cheek. The doctor had the temperature of the room stay between 75 and 80 degrees to help encourage blood flow so the vessels wouldn't get cooled down and constrict. I ended up staying in ICU two nights with male nurses which was quite interesting to say the least. A (female) nurse removed the catheter the next day in ICU and that was fine. One of my doctors so nicely arranged to have me moved to the new wing when I left ICU on Saturday afternoon. (He had already sent John to his office across the street to get 2 shots for a sinus infection that had really taken hold of him.) It was nice to finally be in a 'regular' room...a regular room with a mirror in the bathroom. I had NO idea till I saw myself in the mirror just how swollen my face and mouth were from the surgery. It was quite a shock. The assisting surgeon had said in ICU that I would probably go home on Tuesday or Wednesday. However, my regular doctor came in to see us on Sunday morning and said I could go home on Monday unless I wanted to go home Sunday. I was so ready to go home. The nights were so long in the hospital. So we were able to go home Sunday which was a huge blessing. The flap was proving to be a successful transplant, and I was doing well.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Delayed update

I'll give a full account of my surgery and recovery as soon as I'm able to use both hands to type. I'm still only right handed for typing right now. Hopefully, just a few more days and I'll have full typing access of my left hand, too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This is My doing

Just had to share one more excerpt with you from Streams in the Desert.

February 1:
This is my doing. 1 Kings 12:24
My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it in your ear so any storm clouds that may arise will shine with glory, and the rough places you may have to walk will be made smooth. It is only four words, but let them sink into your inner being, and use them as a pillow to rest your weary head. "This is my doing." Have you realized that whatever concerns you concerns Me, too? "For whosoever touches you touches the apple of [my] eye" Zech 2:8. "You are precious and honored in my sight" Isaiah 43:4. Therefore it is My special delight to teach you. Are you in difficult circumstances..."This is my doing." I am the God of circumstances. You did not come to this place by accident--you are exactly where I meant for you to be. Laura A. Barter Snow

Is this but a perfect expression of His Sovereignty!!

Seriously, I need to get busy about getting ready to leave in the morning. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. I will update when we get back.

She will not be moved

Well, I need to be getting myself ready to leave for Birmingham in the morning, but I wanted to leave a word first. I (we) have just been overwhelming by the great outpouring of love and care to John and me since Sunday. Though I am nervous and dreading the next few days, I already have that unmistakable peace that only God can give. I wanted to share my devotional from the other day from Streams in the Desert.

January 29:
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. Psalm 46:5 NASB
"Will not be moved"--what an inspiring declaration! Is it possible for us who are so easily moved by earthly things to come to a point where nothing can upset us or disturb our peace? The answer is yes, and the apostle Paul knew it. When he was on his way to Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit warned him that "prison and hardships" (Acts 20:23) awaited him. Yet he could triumphantly say, "But none of these things move me" (Acts 20:24 KJV). Everything in Paul's life and experience that could be disturbed had already been shaken, and he no longer considered his life or any of his possessions as having any earthly value. And if we will only let God have His way with us, we can come to the same point. Then, like Paul, neither the stress and strain of little things nor the great and heavy trials of life will have enough power to move us from "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding" (Phil. 4:7). God declares peace to be the inheritance of those who have learned to rest only on Him. Hannah Whitall Smith

Friday, January 23, 2009

Do not fear

My verse and prayer today from Marybeth Whalen :

You came near when I called you, and you said, "Do not fear". Lamentations 3:57 (NIV)
Dear Lord, Help me to trust in You even as my fears are realized. Help me to hear Your voice telling me that You are with me, and that I don't need to be afraid. Help me to feel your nearness. Most of all, Lord, help me to see Your purpose for me even as I am walking through trials. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Saved from deep waters

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters." Psalm 18:16

"...Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..." Isaiah 43:1b-3a

"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy." Job 8:21

I wondered how I would begin another post...another post about cancer and surgery once again. A friend sent a card today with the verses from Isaiah. The other verses were in a devotional email I got before Christmas. There's never a shortage of the word of God for any given situation.

I went to Birmingham last Tuesday for a regular checkup. My dr. decided to do a biopsy of a suspicious area on the inside of my cheek. He called Sunday afternoon to tell us it is cancer. My surgery will be on Thursday, February 5th. This oral surgery will be more involved than previous oral surgeries. He will have to do a skin flap to cover the area that he removes. I have had radiation to that area and the circulation won't be as good. A flap is skin with blood vessels and such that can aid in blood circulation and help it heal. A skin graft wouldn't be able to do that. He will remove the flap from the inside of my left forearm. It won't be an overnight stay this time. I will be in ICU for the first night to make sure a clot doesn't form in the flap and prevent circulation. Then I will stay 2-3 more days. Oral surgery is always harder for me to bounce back, and this one sounds even tougher. I've always been able to quickly be back in the swing of things after my neck surgeries. There's more pain to control with oral surgery so I've got a measure of dread.

As I got in my car to go to work the morning after having the biopsy, the end of Praise You In This Storm was on my radio. I had been listening to CDs lately and hadn't listened to the radio so much. That was so like God though...reminding me He was with me. I don't know why I'm still a fan of contemporary Christian music at my age (ha, ha), but the end instrumental of that song to me is just pure surrender and worship. Then today I had my regular scheduled appointment with my chiropractor who is a member of my church. After my adjustment, he laid his hands on me and prayed. He always has Christian music playing through the intercom. Voice of Truth was playing in the background as he prayed. Is God not awesome or what? What else can I say, "Here we go again"? I think I've said that before, but, yes, here we go again. With the dread also comes an anticipation of how God will choose to manifest Himself to me. Did I happen to say that God is awesome?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year

Sorry to be so long in posting. I recovered nicely from the radiation burn, though it was quite red for a while. It was fabulous not to have to worry about an Erbitux treatment during December and the side effects. I had a very busy holiday season and enjoyed being with my family very much during that time. Alas, if not for a sinus infection and stomach virus, it would have been an uneventful December.

The verse I received in a New Year's day devotional email was quite profound to me:
"Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord." Lamentations 2:19a (NKJV)
That is exactly what God desires us to do, give it all to Him.

I received a new devotional for the year, "Streams in the Desert". January 4th so spoke to my journey:
You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us His promises in a quiet hour, seals our covenants with great and gracious words, and then steps back, waiting to see how much we believe. He then allows the Tempter to come, and the ensuing test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. This is when faith wins its crown. This is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened sailors (in Acts) declare, " I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me." Acts 27:25

Sharing with a friend that has just learned she is dealing with breast cancer, we concurred that we are on a journey...with God...through this life...and we want to be found faithful to the trust He places in us to take the journey...with Him.