Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Article by John Piper. Don't waste your cancer


I read this and had to share this article by John Piper.  

Don't Waste Your Cancer



I write this on the eve of prostate surgery. I believe in God's power to heal—by miracle and by medicine. I believe it is right and good to pray for both kinds of healing. Cancer is not wasted when it is healed by God. He gets the glory and that is why cancer exists. So not to pray for healing may waste your cancer. But healing is not God's plan for everyone. And there are many other ways to waste your cancer. I am praying for myself and for you that we will not waste this pain.
Don't waste your cancer
1. You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.
It will not do to say that God only uses our cancer but does not design it. What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer, he can stop it or not. If he does not, he has a purpose. Since he is infinitely wise, it is right to call this purpose a design. Satan is real and causes many pleasures and pains. But he is not ultimate. So when he strikes Job with boils (Job 2:7), Job attributes it ultimately to God (2:10) and the inspired writer agrees: "They . . . comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him" (Job 42:11). If you don't believe your cancer is designed for you by God, you will waste it.
2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). "There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel" (Numbers 23:23). "The LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11).
3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.
The design of God in your cancer is not to train you in the rationalistic, human calculation of odds. The world gets comfort from their odds. Not Christians. Some count their chariots (percentages of survival) and some count their horses (side effects of treatment), but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7). God's design is clear from 2 Corinthians 1:9, "We felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead." The aim of God in your cancer (among a thousand other good things) is to knock props out from under our hearts so that we rely utterly on him.
4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.
We will all die, if Jesus postpones his return. Not to think about what it will be like to leave this life and meet God is folly. Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, "It is better to go to the house of mourning [a funeral] than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart." How can you lay it to heart if you won't think about it? Psalm 90:12 says, "Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Numbering your days means thinking about how few there are and that they will end. How will you get a heart of wisdom if you refuse to think about this? What a waste, if we do not think about death.
5. You will waste your cancer if you think that "beating" cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
Satan's and God's designs in your cancer are not the same. Satan designs to destroy your love for Christ. God designs to deepen your love for Christ. Cancer does not win if you die. It wins if you fail to cherish Christ. God's design is to wean you off the breast of the world and feast you on the sufficiency of Christ. It is meant to help you say and feel, "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." And to know that therefore, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 3:8; 1:21).
6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.
It is not wrong to know about cancer. Ignorance is not a virtue. But the lure to know more and more and the lack of zeal to know God more and more is symptomatic of unbelief. Cancer is meant to waken us to the reality of God. It is meant to put feeling and force behind the command, "Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD" (Hosea 6:3). It is meant to waken us to the truth of Daniel 11:32, "The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action." It is meant to make unshakable, indestructible oak trees out of us: "His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers" (Psalm 1:2). What a waste of cancer if we read day and night about cancer and not about God.
7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.
When Epaphroditus brought the gifts to Paul sent by the Philippian church he became ill and almost died. Paul tells the Philippians, "He has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill" (Philippians 2:26-27). What an amazing response! It does not say they were distressed that he was ill, but that he was distressed because they heard he was ill. That is the kind of heart God is aiming to create with cancer: a deeply affectionate, caring heart for people. Don't waste your cancer by retreating into yourself.
8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.
Paul used this phrase in relation to those whose loved ones had died: "We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13). There is a grief at death. Even for the believer who dies, there is temporary loss—loss of body, and loss of loved ones here, and loss of earthly ministry. But the grief is different—it is permeated with hope. "We would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). Don't waste your cancer grieving as those who don't have this hope.
9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.
Are your besetting sins as attractive as they were before you had cancer? If so you are wasting your cancer. Cancer is designed to destroy the appetite for sin. Pride, greed, lust, hatred, unforgiveness, impatience, laziness, procrastination—all these are the adversaries that cancer is meant to attack. Don't just think of battling against cancer. Also think of battling with cancer. All these things are worse enemies than cancer. Don't waste the power of cancer to crush these foes. Let the presence of eternity make the sins of time look as futile as they really are. "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" (Luke 9:25).
10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.
Christians are never anywhere by divine accident. There are reasons for why we wind up where we do. Consider what Jesus said about painful, unplanned circumstances: "They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness" (Luke 21:12 -13). So it is with cancer. This will be an opportunity to bear witness. Christ is infinitely worthy. Here is a golden opportunity to show that he is worth more than life. Don't waste it.
Remember you are not left alone. You will have the help you need. "My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org. Email: mail@desiringGod.org. Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Moment of Blessings

I have posted my first post on my new blog.
To check it out go to
Moment of Blessings
or click on the link on the left.

Blessings

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blessings...


Blessings
Artist: Laura Story
Album: Blessings
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
You long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Life goes on

Life goes on....
even after a dramatic event in our lives....life goes on.  We are getting back to normal as a family.  This summer has been a good healing time for us.  The days seem to go by at a nice slow pace, not that we aren't busy, it just doesn't seem like the summer is going to fast.  I am thankful for that.  My body is healing although I am still surprised by how long all this healing takes place.  I suppose my body was just put under a great deal of stress.  My children have completely forgotten the days of me laying on the couch or the frequent trips to the doctor.  Children have a wonderful way of living in the moment.
I am thankful that I was able to have such wonderful treatment.  I am thankful it is all over.
I have a changed heart for those who have cancer.  It breaks my heart when I hear of someone new with cancer...someone who has to begin treatment.  It is such a scarey time.  All the uncertainty of the unknown.  I hope that through my treatment and through this blog I have been able to encourage someone.  I hope that I can encourage people that they can go through cancer and treatment and come out on the other side healed.  I want my story to be 'cancer can be a curable and doable' disease.  By no means do I say it is easy.  Treatment can be difficult.  But having a positive attitude, looking for the blessings in the everyday and praying and trusting in a great God (that last one is really the most important one) you to can go through treatment and come out healed on the other side.  I really believe that.
I am thankful for all of the prayers that went up to our Lord on our behalf.  I know that those prayers kept us sane many days.  I am thankful for all the help that was given to us by those who love us and love the Lord.
I still have doctors appointments and pet scans coming to ensure my healing...I will for a long time.  But I am ready to put this part of my life into the file of 'past experiences'.  I know I am changed forever in many ways and that cancer has had a lasting and forever effect on my life.  I have a life that will be forever linked to anyone else who has had or will have to go through cancer treatment.  Know I will be praying for all of you.
Although I will update this blog with any new results I have decided to begin a new blog.  I have loved sharing what the Lord has allowed me to share through this blog and I believe He has a lot more to say through me.
So be on the lookout for a new blog.  I have decided to name it 'Moments of blessings' because I feel when God reveals himself to us it is always a blessing.
So be encouraged today...God is good and He is mighty.  He can handle any difficulty in your life if you just allow Him to work in your life.  Give Him your heart aches, your diseases, your troubles and let the creator of the universe (and the creator of you!) work in your life.  You will be blessed.

Blessings

Thursday, June 21, 2012

From Streams in the Desert....Intense Prayer


From Streams in the Desert this morning.  Loved it so much I had to share......


Intense Prayer

"Peter was kept in prison: but prayer (instant and earnest prayer) was made for him" (Acts 12:5, margin).
 
Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The Church had neither human power nor influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but there was help to be obtained by the way of Heaven. They gave themselves to fervent, importunate prayer. God sent His angel, who aroused Peter from sleep and led him out through the first and second wards of the prison; and when they came to the iron gate, it opened to them of its own accord, and Peter was free.
 
There may be some iron gate in your life that has blocked your way. Like a caged bird you have often beaten against the bars, but instead of helping, you have only had to fall back tired, exhausted and sore at heart. There is a secret for you to learn, and that is believing prayer; and when you come to the iron gate, it will open of its own accord. How much wasted energy and sore disappointment will be saved if you will learn to pray as did the Church in the upper room! Insurmountable difficulties will disappear; adverse circumstances will prove favorable if you learn to pray, not with your own faith but with the faith of God (Mark 11:22, margin). Souls in prison have been waiting for years for the gate to open; love ones out of Christ, bound by Satan, will be set free when you pray till you definitely believe God. --C. H. P.
 
***
 
Emergencies call for intense prayer. When the man becomes the prayer nothing can resist its touch. Elijah on Carmel, bowed down on the ground, with his face between his knees, that was prayer--the man himself. No words are mentioned. Prayer can be too tense for words. The man's whole being was in touch with God, and was set with God against the powers of evil. They couldn't withstand such praying. There's more of this embodied praying needed. --The Bent-knee Time
 
***
 
"Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused." --C. H. Spurgeon,  Step-By-Step Grace
 
***
 
"When thou passest through the waters...they shall not overflow thee" (Isa. 43:2).
 
God does not open paths for us in advance of our coming. He does not promise help before help is needed. He does not remove obstacles out of our way before we reach them. Yet when we are on the edge of our need, God's hand is stretched out.
 
Many people forget this, and are forever worrying about difficulties which they foresee in the future. They expect that God is going to make the way plain and open before them, miles and miles ahead; whereas He has promised to do it only step by step as they may need. You must get to the waters and into their floods before you can claim the promise. Many people dread death, and lament that they have not "dying grace." Of course, they will not have dying grace when they are in good health, in the midst of life's duties, with death far in advance. Why should they have it then? Grace for duty is what they need then, living grace; then dying grace when they come to die. --J. R. M.
 
***
 
"When thou passest through the waters"
Deep the waves may be and cold,
But Jehovah is our refuge,
And His promise is our hold;
For the Lord Himself hath said it,
He, the faithful God and true:
"When thou comest to the waters
Thou shalt not go down, BUT THROUGH."
 
Seas of sorrow, seas of trial,
Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain,
Rolling surges of temptation
Sweeping over heart and brain
They shall never overflow us
For we know His word is true;
All His waves and all His billows
He will lead us safely through.
 
Threatening breakers of destruction,
Doubt's insidious undertow,
Shall not sink us, shall not drag us
Out to ocean depths of woe;
For His promise shall sustain us,
Praise the Lord, whose Word is true!
We shall not go down, or under,
For He saith, "Thou passest THROUGH."
--Annie Johnson Flint

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Praise Him

Psalm 43:5
Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Wow!  I have been out of the hospital for two weeks tomorrow.  Life has gotten back to normal.  I feel like a normal wife and mom again...well sorta.
I was surprised when i got out of the hospital that I felt so tired, I mean I had just layed in bed for 4 days!  Seriously!  How was it possible to be tired?????  Well I was.  My mind was nice and fresh, but my body just wasn't going to work the way I wanted it to.  It was sorta like carrying heavy weights on my body.  Very strange.  But I suppose my expectations are far to high.  I guess I believe I am super woman even though I would never claim to be that.  I am not.
Now my body seems to be getting back to working order.  I can get through the day without naps now:) and I don't feel like I am carrying heavy weights on my body.  I am trying to get my energy back by just doing the things I normally do, and going for walks....
I still seem to have an ache here, a funny feeling there....Is this normal, is that normal?  Lots of questions and concerns sometimes....
Then tonight at church we were singing a praise song that talked about praising God.  Just because He is God.  And because He has done so many good things for us.  Dying on the cross so we could have a right relationship with God was enough, but He does so much more for us....He gives us peace in our trials.  He leads us down the paths in our lives that are right and good.  He comes to our rescue when we need him so desperately, or just when we need him.  Yet here I am, fresh from a deliverance and so many amazing moments where God just showed up and made things go smoothly, gave us blessings after blessings....and I am focused on a few funny feelings, a strange sensation, wondering if this ache is normal, basically focusing on ME!  Not on all the wonderful things God has JUST done in my life.
I know I am not super woman (not even close) so I suppose these things do not surprise me about myself.  But I remembered this verse.....I will yet praise Him....It is a choice.  I will praise Him, even when I have fear, or anxiety, when my body isn't working the way I want it to.  I will praise Him for all the good things in my day and not focus on the things that may not have worked out as I would have liked.  I will remind myself to praise Him.  He is worthy, I know He will honor my praise.

Isaiah 6:3
And they were calling to one another; "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.

Blessings

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Last day

Today is my last day in the hospital. I have been here since Monday having my final dose of radiation. I have been confined to my hospital bed and required to remain on my back. I can raise my head and upper body some but I need to remain flat no turning to a side.
It hasn't been overly pleasant but again I believe God has graced me with the ability to bear it.
My husband had been reading Job so I thought I would look at it this morning. I began in the beginning and read all the disaster that faced Job. He really had it rough. I heard his painful cries to God, read about his insensitive friends and in the end read God's amazing response to Job.
I think somehow we believe we can somehow be good enough to ensure that we have a good life. Our view of a good life. I think we believe that sin is punished and if we don't have sin we shouldn't have to endure hardships. The only thing is that we all have sin. God is holy and even our best days are so unholy we can never be held up to a holy GOD.
When I was reading about Job I thought I could hear him....Hey God, I have honored you all my life (he had, God  said that when Satan came to test him) why are you allowing all these bad things happen to me?  I don't like this, I don't know what I have done wrong to bring this all on? 
See the thing is God's way are so much higher than our own. The end of Job is such a wonderful reminder of how powerful and amazing God is. We don't understand His ways and we won't. We can't. We are not God.
I wonder sometimes what I was to learn through this whole journey of cancer. I know I have learned many things. Some surprise me. I have learned that I am not perfect 'yes, I knew I wasn't perfect before but don't we all think we have so much good in us?  I have learned no matter how badly I want to control a situation it is not mine to control (I am sure that will be a lesson I will learn on again and again and again....). I have learned to relax. Enjoy the gifts that God has given me. To have some fun. To not get so caught up in making my life go the way I think it should that I miss the blessings all around me. I am learning...to give up control. To trust a trustworthy God to do the things in my life He promises in His word.  To not focus on getting it all right but to focus on the beauty of God all around me. To read His word and trust His plan for my life, my husbands life, my children's lives. Even when I don't know what that plan is.
So in a few hours I get out of this hospital bed. I don't know how things will go from here but I know my God does. And that is good enough for me.

Blessings