Last night my friend Maureen left a quote from her Study Bible that is a paraphrase of Philippians 4:7. Here is what she wrote on her Facebook page:
“True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from knowing God is in control”
For a lot of people, they feel that they are in control of their lives — that the reason they are doing well is all because of their doing. Of course, for a lot of people, the reason they aren’t doing well is not their fault — it is, inevitably, someone else to blame for their misfortune.
It is, in my opinion, the ultimate form of denial to look at the world — all of the incredible things that we take for granted, such as air, lungs, the ability to breath, the ability to have children, to witness those children being born and growing up — and not acknowledge that God is at work in our lives. For many of these people, they don’t even acknowledge the existence of God — to them, it’s all because of science, that the evolution of the human race is all because of some big bang that caused all of this to come into being.
The way I see it, the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian isn’t really all that much — in my case, I make a lot of the same mistakes that many other people make. I sin, I think of myself more often than I should, I don’t give God thanks enough for all that He has given to me, and I don’t turn to him to help me out as much as I should. In short, I view things from my “self” perspective, thinking that I can take care of it all. Many non-Christians are much the same. The difference, though, is that eventually I realize that I haven’t been turning to God like I should, and I do just that — I bow my head, I pray to my God, I confess to Him the sins I have committed, I ask him to forgive me, I tell him how grateful I am for all He does for me, and I ask for the things I need help with.
As soon as I do that, the greatest gift in the world is given to me — God’s Peace descends upon me, into me, into every essence of my being, and immediately my worry is gone, my anxiety is gone, my cares are lifted away.
Now, I’m not saying that my problems are totally taken care of for me — that is not the case. I still need to deal with the problems. But, I’m able to do so because God is on my side, and He helps me take care of those problems. Most of my problems are because of my sins — and while those sins are forgiven, the one thing you need to remember is that all sin has consequences — the greater the sin, the greater the consequence.
Now, please read along with our prayer requests, and pray for those.
- Please pray for my sister-in-law Nancy’s Mom Sherry. Here is what Nancy wrote on Facebook:My mom is in ICU — long story short — yesterday a cyst on her kidney burst and now they’ve discovered that she’s got a fatty tumor on the same kidney that will be removed. (Monday? ) Please keep her in your prayers.
- Please pray for my friend Frances and her family. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:Please say a prayer for my family. We have buried three loved ones in the last week and half. We just got news that an Amazing Aunt is in the hospital after attending my grandma’s funeral. She is currently in Chattanooga and has fluid on her lungs and her liver plus additional complications. She was in the hospital a few days ago and they took off 2 liters of fluid off her stomach and her lungs. Her kidneys are functioning at 23%. Thank you in advance.
- Please keep my friend Dee’s father-in-law in your prayers. Jim is being transferred to Hospice care, so please lift him, his wife Margaret, and his children up in your prayers.
And now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.
My friend Amanda has an update on her husband Daniel. Here is what she wrote:
Merry Christmas! We had a lot of things happen in the past few weeks and needed to get an idea of direction before we could send an update. First, it looks like we are staying off the CPT-11 (irinotecan) indefinitely. Daniel’s liver enzymes came back into normal range after a few weeks off the CPT-11. His Alkaline Phosphatase is still high but is lower than it has been since it went up shortly after surgery. His platelets are still struggling to stay above the level to get chemo so we have had a delay and started round 6 last Wednesday. This round should have started last Monday but he has developed a spot of osteonecrosis of the jaw in his mouth. This is basically an area of trauma that has developed an infection and eaten at the gum so the bone is exposed. As horrible as that sounds, after a consult with an oral surgeon, they determined the infection hadn’t spread to the bone and we are treating with 2 types of antibiotics a total of 5 times a day for 30 days. We go back in a few weeks so they can check progress and determine if the antibiotics are working. We really need the antibiotics to work because as it spreads, the outcomes get worse.
Because of the osteonecrosis, they have also taken him off of Avastin indefinitely. This means that he is only receiving the 5FU chemo drug. Because we are down to only 1 drug, they are thinking he will need to extend his chemotherapy through February. Not what we were hoping for but we can find the silver lining! Because he is off the Avastin, we can look at getting the hernia repair done as early and mid-January. We meet with the surgeon to discuss the fluctuation in liver enzymes and hernia repair on Wednesday. He should also get a PET Scan sometime the next few weeks to make sure there are no new areas of cancer developing.
Specific prayers for the next few weeks are for the osteonecrosis to heal as or better than expected, any scans we have to come back with no issues or cancer, a clear plan for the hernia repair and for mental, physical and emotional strength to Daniel to help him weather this additional treatment.
Thank you all so much for walking on this journey with us! May you all have a blessed and happy Christmas and a safe holiday season!
Please continue to pray boldly for Daniel, Amanda, and all of their family. Thank you!