Saturday, December 11, 2010

Don't waste your time...

"Don't waste your time on trying to figure out how God's going to do it. Don't waste your time on trying to figure out when God's going to do it. Don't waste your time on trying to figure out where's God's going to do it. God is the great unfigure-outable God. Just trust Him when He says He's going to do it that He's going to do it." Tony Evans

Friday, September 17, 2010

Very good checkup

We went to Birmingham yesterday for a scheduled checkup with my surgeon. He said my mouth looked better than it had looked in a long time. I had not found any lumps in my neck, and he didn't find any when he checked, so all was good. He had looked at the CD I brought with me of the MRI I had in June. He had already seen the report and just confirmed the CD showed nothing to be concerned about. He, of course, advised that I continue the monthly Erbitux, and then he cut me loose for 6 months. It had already been 5 months since my last surgery. Another 6 months before I have to see him again will be wonderful. God is faithful, and He is blessing!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yes, God listens

"I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray." Psalm 17:6 (NLT)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Do not rush God

"Wait on God’s plan to unfold. Then you will know He did it and you were part of His bigger plan."
"Do not rush God. He can be trusted. What He says, He will do. He will accomplish His will, His way—in His time."
Read the full article at Wisdom Hunters.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Shaylynn's story

I wanted to share the story of a young woman, Shaylynn, that I have met through an OCF email newsletter that featured her story. Shaylynn's story is featured in the lasted edition of Denistry IQ. Please check it out here. She is inspiring in her quest to bring awareness about oral cancer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting for Him

"Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your Presence – as fire burns brushwood, as fire causes water to boil – to make Your Name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your Presence! When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, the mountains shook at Your Presence. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him." Isaiah 64:1-4

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Life is a journey

“Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.” 1 Peter 1:17, The Message

Monday, July 19, 2010

God understands our sighs

When God Sighed
by Max Lucado

Two days ago I read a word in the Bible that has since taken up residence in my heart.

To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to do with it. It’s only one word, and not a very big one at that. When I ran across the word, (which, by the way, is exactly what happened; I was running through the passage and this word came out of nowhere and bounced me like a speed bump) I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t have any hook to hang it on or category to file it under.

It was an enigmatic word in an enigmatic passage. But now, forty-eight hours later, I have found a place for it, a place all its own. My, what a word it is. Don’t read it unless you don’t mind changing your mind, because this little word might move your spiritual furniture around a bit.

Look at the passage with me.

Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought a man to him who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. (Mark 7:31-35)

Quite a passage, isn’t it?

Jesus is presented with a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. Perhaps he stammered. Maybe he spoke with a lisp. Perhaps, because of his deafness, he never learned to articulate words properly.

Jesus, refusing to exploit the situation, took the man aside. He looked him in the face. Knowing it would be useless to talk, he explained what he was about to do through gestures. He spat and touched the man’s tongue, telling him that whatever restricted his speech was about to be removed. He touched his ears. They, for the first time, were about to hear.

But before the man said a word or heard a sound, Jesus did something I never would have anticipated.

He sighed.

I might have expected a clap or a song or a prayer. Even a “Hallelujah!” or a brief lesson might have been appropriate. But the Son of God did none of these. Instead, he paused, looked into heaven, and sighed. From the depths of his being came a rush of emotion that said more than words.

Sigh. The word seemed out of place.

I’d never thought of God as one who sighs. I’d thought of God as one who commands. I’d thought of God as one who weeps. I’d thought of God as one who called forth the dead with a command or created the universe with a word … but a God who sighs?

Perhaps this phrase caught my eye because I do my share of sighing.

I sighed yesterday when I visited a lady whose invalid husband had deteriorated so much he didn’t recognize me. He thought I was trying to sell him something.

I sighed when the dirty-faced, scantily dressed, six-year-old girl in the grocery store asked me for some change.

And I sighed today listening to a husband tell how his wife won’t forgive him.

No doubt you’ve done your share of sighing.

If you have teenagers, you’ve probably sighed. If you’ve tried to resist temptation, you’ve probably sighed. If you’ve had your motives questioned or your best acts of love rejected, you have been forced to take a deep breath and let escape a painful sigh.

I realize there exists a sigh of relief, a sigh of expectancy, and even a sigh of joy. But that isn’t the sigh described in Mark 7. The sigh described is a hybrid of frustration and sadness. It lies somewhere between a fit of anger and a burst of tears.

The apostle Paul spoke of this sighing. Twice he said that Christians will sigh as long as we are on earth and long for heaven. The creation sighs as if she were giving birth. Even the Spirit sighs as he interprets our prayers. (Romans 8:22-27)

All these sighs come from the same anxiety; a recognition of pain that was never intended, or of hope deferred.

Man was not created to be separated from his creator; hence he sighs, longing for home. The creation was never intended to be inhabited by evil; hence she sighs, yearning for the Garden. And conversations with God were never intended to depend on a translator; hence the Spirit groans on our behalf, looking to a day when humans will see God face to face.

And when Jesus looked into the eyes of Satan’s victim, the only appropriate thing to do was sigh. “It was never intended to be this way,” the sigh said. “Your ears weren’t made to be deaf, your tongue wasn’t made to stumble.” The imbalance of it all caused the Master to languish.

So, I found a place for the word. You might think it strange, but I placed it beside the word comfort, for in an indirect way, God’s pain is our comfort.

And in the agony of Jesus lies our hope. Had he not sighed, had he not felt the burden for what was not intended, we would be in a pitiful condition. Had he simply chalked it all up to the inevitable or washed his hands of the whole stinking mess, what hope would we have?

But he didn’t. That holy sigh assures us that God still groans for his people. He groans for the day when all sighs will cease, when what was intended to be will be.

From God Came Near: Chronicles of the Christ
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1999) Max Lucado

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joyful in hope

I had the repeat MRI a couple of weeks ago. My doctor's office called to let me know that all is ok. There were no changes found, aside from having the knot removed. That was good news to hear. I would be seeing him on Monday, however with his busy summer surgery schedule I had to reschedule. I won't see him till September since my treatment conflicted with the one date available in July and a planned trip I have in August. He is one busy surgeon. He deserves any time he can have free to be with his wife and daughters this summer.

Here is today's email devotional from The Presidential Prayer Team website. It lends itself to the hope that God has placed in those who believe:

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

It's All in His Timing
As World War II was coming to a close, President Franklin Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Yalta to discuss how they would rebuild the war-torn nations. When Roosevelt, who was in poor health, expressed hope that the conference would not last more than five or six days, Churchill replied: "I do not see any way of realizing our hopes about world organization in five or six days. Even the Almighty took seven."

You have probably discovered that God does not always adhere to your personal timetable. He has His own ways, His own means. In the meantime, here you are with hopes unrealized and patience waning. How do you handle it? And how can you honestly be joyful in hope and patient in affliction? The key to following those first two directives is found in the third - be faithful in prayer.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Purpose of trials

Trials are not enemies of faith but are opportunities to prove God's faithfulness.-- Author Unknown

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yes it is

“Your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:21 NIV

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

He who gives hope

"I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 New Century Version

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Where does hope come from?
"Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope." Psalm 119:49 (NIV)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The path of His choosing

From Jesus Calling, May 1:
You are on the path of My choosing. There is no randomness about your life. Here and Now comprise the coordinates of your daily life. Most people let their moments slip through their fingers, half-lived. The avoid the present by worrying about the future or longing for a better time and place. They forget that they are creatures who are subject to the limitations of time and space. They forget their Creator, who walks with them only in the present.
Every moment is alive with My glorious Presence, to those whose hearts are intimately connected with Mine. As you give yourself more and more to a life of constant communion with Me, you will find that you simply have no time for worry. Thus, you are freed to let My Spirit direct your steps, enabling you to walk along the path of Peace. Luke 12:25-26, Luke 1:79

This one was tough. It's been hard not to let my mind drift since my last doctor's visit, hearing his knowledge expressed. I don't want to 'forget' my Creator in the midst of this struggle. Though I am fully aware of His Presence every moment, I don't want to lose intimacy with Him in the midst of this struggle. Though I continue to seek communion with Him, I don't want it minimized in the midst of this way to worry. That path of Peace is compromised when the struggle consumes me. Yes, I speak of my physical and mental struggle here. However, a struggle of any kind that keeps me from staying focused on my Creator, His Presence, and our communion, thus stealing my peace, becomes an idol. I don't want to wake up and go to sleep with idols.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Faith is Living

We went for my surgery follow-up appointment to Birmingham today to get my stitches removed. I had not talked with the doctor since the day we went home from the hospital on April 7th. Surgery went well on April 6th. The tumor was in the muscle so the dr. had to take some of the muscle, too. Though, it wasn't as much as he had to take before on the right side, it still has affected my range of motion for my left arm, too. I'll try the therapy exercises I've done for the right side to keep the shoulder muscles loose so they won't tighten up even more.

The doctor told me today that the cancer was in the muscle which means it traveled there through the blood stream. He removed 11 lymph nodes and they were all clear. He said I'm what they would call an enigma--not a textbook case. (Enigma-something hard to understand or explain; perplexing, puzzling situation--actually, I've stumped all 3 of my cancer drs) He said they can't go to the textbook and find what to do about my case. He advised continuing the monthly Erbitux. He'll schedule a repeat MRI for mid-June to check the BB size spot on the right side. I'll see him afterwards, unless I start feeling something there before then.

As we were coming home, I got out my iPod and started listening to my music. I'm especially enjoying the music of John Waller right now. His song Faith Is Living especially ministered to me. Some of the lyrics:

I wish I could see just three steps in front of me
But the lamp unto my feet
it only moves when I take a step
and believe Your word to me
Lord, You have a history
that proves You're worthy of my faith

You are who you say You are
And You will do what You promised to
And I believe,
That's faith.

Its the evidence of things I cannot see
and faith--its the confidence that You are holding me
It's stepping out, It's breaking through
All my doubts and all I thought I knew
'cause you've never lived until you live by faith

you've never lived until you've lived by faith
you've never lived until you've trusted grace
you've never lived until you lay it all down
so come and live...
Faith is living. (John Waller)

After hearing that song again (for the umpteenth time), it just helped to ground me.This journey that God has me on is all about by faith, trusting grace. I'm obviously not going to know what lies ahead for me. If it's complete healing, we'll see. But if it's not, God wants me to trust him moment by moment and keep myself attuned to how He wants me to respond to what comes my way. I pray I will hear and see His direction so I can fully be used in this particular plan He has mapped out for this child to follow.

I read these passages from a Max Lucado email devotion after my surgery, Dashed Hopes:

I had made preparations to build it. But God said to me, “You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.… Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts.” (1 Chronicles 28:2–3, 6 NASB, emphasis mine)

Yet, the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.” (1 Chronicles 28:4 NASB, emphasis mine)
David's "but God" became a "yet God".
I can put myself in the place as this devotional ends:
Who's to say mine won't become the same?
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9, NIV

Saturday, March 27, 2010

No matter what

Seems quite appropriate to post a recent Twitter post by John Piper: No matter what. "I trust in the steadfast love of God forever" (Psalm 52:8).

I had an MRI about 2 weeks ago to see why I was feeling pressure in the right side of my neck. From the reading of the MRI, it must be from all the scar tissue. However, a couple of things did show up. There is a BB size spot higher up on the right side, like more in my hairline. It's too small to even feel. Also, a lymph node on the left side showed up as abnormal. Actually, I found the knot on the left the night before the MRI when I was doing a routine check of my neck.
I saw my dr. in B'ham on Thursday. He couldn't feel the small spot on the right side either. He said we will just watch it and do a repeat MRI in 3-4 months unless I start feeling it. He said it wasn't necessary to put me through a biopsy to check the knot on the left. He said he'd want to remove it no matter what a biopsy would show. So I will have surgery again on Tuesday, April 6.
Compared to my oral surgeries, this will be a quicker recovery. Just praying my husband can go with me as he's recovering from surgery that he had last Monday. We'll see what his surgeon says at his followup on Monday. Small world--his surgeon and my surgeon interned together!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Approach Your Future With Joy

Approach your future with joy. This was the title of our pastor's message on Sunday. His message came from Philippians 1:18-20. The main teaching from the passage: We should be confident that our future will be an opportunity for Christ to display His glory--that our future is an opportunity for Christ to be displayed as the famous, glorious One. Be resolute to live your life so that Christ is honored no matter what happens.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Oral cancer's toll, Cruel

Here is an article just put out by The Oral Cancer Foundation: Oral cancer's toll, Cruel. Truthfully, all cancer is cruel. This article just gives voice to those of us who have dealt with and are dealing with this kind of cancer.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mercy Granted

"The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer." Psalm 6:9 (NIV)

I'm very glad to report today that it has been one year since my last surgery/recurrence.  I am thankful that I have really been feeling well.  I still continue my monthly treatments of Erbitux.  I still have to deal with the bothersome, though not severe, side effects after each treatment.  My doctor said it wasn't protocol to do it this way...but pretty much because my surgeon was insistent/desperate to find a way to slow down/stop this cancer, my oncologist agreed this might be a good treatment plan.
Who am I to say that over two years later, Erbitux might actually be doing what the doctors have desired to see.  Though, my oncologist is fast to say that he believes God most definitely has a hand in recovery...and so do I!  God has been so good, and I give Him all the glory that I can share this post...that I have come this far!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A quote

From John Piper's Twitter & Facebook posts on December 14:
"When you take a breath and exhale in sobs, fall against the chest of Jesus. He will hold you up till you can breathe again."