I was not able to go to church this morning, but I was able to participate in the service. They live stream all the services from the church, then archive them. I was able to see and listen to the pastor's message while sitting in my recliner. It was good to be able to feel part of the church even though I couldn't be there.
I was adopted as a young child by my mother and father who picked me out of all the other kids in the Salvation Army adoption home. I remind myself daily of how I was chosen and so fortunate to picked by my mother and father. I actually met the young boy next to me in that home years later by pure fate. I wonder all the time why that happened. That young man was killed in a hunting accident years later and I wondered why it wasn't me.
I would not change anything because it has made me the father, grandfather and husband I am today. I absolutely have regrets about my life and things I wish I could have changed. I struggle with organized religion. I do say prayers every night, I pray when I am out hunting or just alone. I just have issues that I am still working through and hopefully when I can resolve these, I will be a better man.
I lost my mother to cancer 9 years ago this month. She was a devout Catholic and died saying her Rosary. She fought cancer for over twenty years and was drinking a beer and eating oysters the week before her passing. I wonder why she decided to pick me all the time. I'm sure after all the grief I gave my parents growing up they probably wished they could have returned me more than a few times.
Your questions are reflective and the hardest one for me to answer is "are you satisfied"? My persona never allows me to be content or satisfied. I know the things that cause me the greatest regrets are the things that has shaped me today.
Pappy, although our paths may never cross, I wish you a speedy recovery and I will say a prayer for you my friend. Life is short and fleeting, I wish you many more days and nights with those that you love and need to the most....
If the truth be known, there is a whole world out there that is hurting. that is precisely why Jesus came. He came that we may have life, and that more abundantly!. He came to set the captives free. The Lord has been impressing upon me to choose life so that I and my children after me may live. He has also wants me to speak life to those who are in contact with me. There are people all over hurting and need to be spoken life to. Pappy, you are exactly where God wants you at this time. Usually when God takes you through something it is for the purpose of ministering to others who are going through it too. there are no lone wolf Christians, He wants us to weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn, comfort those who need comfort. God is all you need, and Jesus is your exceeding great reward! Hang in there my brother in Christ!
I know that going thru this has made me really examine my life and my walk with God. It has drawn me closer to Him and realizing how dependent I am on grace. There is no doubt I am where God wants me, just as Peter was where God wanted him, locked in a jail cell, yet he still sang out praises to God in the worst of times. That is my desire, to be grateful even when things aren't going like I would like.
Just knowing that God is in control and that He loves me even more than I can imagine. More than I can even love my babies and grandbabies.
Plumber.. My wife and I have adopted 5 children over the years. My mom asked me why in the world would you go thru all the hoops and hassle? My answer to her was... Mom, you taught me to care and to nurture. I remember all the high school kids you let move in to our home growing up. Kids that had issues at home, or no home. I am just following your tradition.
I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. Thank God I still have mine. I can't imagine not having her here. But one day, I won't have to worry about that anymore, for we will be alive forever more. I have a lot of family I want to see. One in particular is my grandfather. I lost him in 1979 in an automobile accident. There was no chance to say goodbye, so I can't wait to say hello.
Continue to work thru your salvation. God has called us all to do that. Paul said to study to show yourself approved, a worker rightly dividing truth. The wonderful thing about life is I may not be what I need to be, but I am not what I use to be.
I went to church tonight and was challenged by what our pastor was speaking. He was reading from Acts 13:1-4 about when Barnabas and Paul were selected and sent to the churches. Part of the teaching was how much the body of Christ depends on each other, and how we all need accountability partners and spiritual fathers to help hold us to the standards of a christian lifestyle.
I know it would really have helped me in my walk with Christ if someone would have taken me in and helped mentor me thru some of the rough patches when I was younger. I wonder how many young men we are losing today because they don't have someone they know has their back, any time of the day or night, and they can depend on not to spread their situation all over the community. Someone to pray and fast for them, and help them work thru struggles.
I tried to think of someone in my life that I felt that way about, and realized I didn't develop any relationships like that until I was in my mid 50's. And then it was and is only a couple of relationships.
So, after considering what pastor shared, I am of the opinion that we really are missing the boat as brothers in Christ, to bear one anothers burdens, to share in the victories and joyous times, and support each other in sincere prayer. How much easier would this life be if we really loved each other enough to truly care?
I am in the middle of the 4th chemo treatment. When they start the infusion, I am in a recliner with a warm blanket over me. The chemo is cold, and after the first hour or so, it really chills your body. It is so easy to sleep through most of the first 5 or 6 hours of the infusion, so that is what I did today, now I can't sleep tonight, even after taking 10mg of melatonin. I dozed off about midnight and woke back up around 1am hurting. I am ok now, but sleep is evading me again. The good news is that the chemo is not having near the side effects on me this time. I went to church last night. The pastor had sent me a text that he had been thinking about me and praying for me. He said he wanted to talk with me after church.
I went up and spoke with him and told him I was driving straight to Newnan for another Chemo in the morning. He reached out and started praying that I wouldn't suffer the side effects that have plagued me over the first 3 treatments, and they haven't. Right now, I am thinking clearly instead of being in a chemo induced fog that last for 3 or 4 days. Thank you Jesus.
On a side note. We adopted a sibling group of 2, brother and sister over 14 years ago. They know their birth mother, and have visited with her in the past couple years. Well, the mother passed away on Tuesday of last week. It has be a hard road, especially for my daughter. She has struggled with rejection issues her entire life because of being passed around in the foster care system for 6 years before we were able to adopt her and her brother. She is not dealing well with the passing of her mother, and is projecting a lot of hurt and anger back at me and her mom. We are trying to reach out and console her, help her, and just be there for her, but so far her attitude has been she doesn't need anyone or any help. She has always been very independent and strong willed. I think it comes from not wanting to get close to people, because she has been hurt so much from the rejection of her birth family when they came to foster care, and the rejection and moving several times while they were in foster care.
Anyway, if God lays it on your heart, I would appreciate prayers for my children for peace and being willing to work thru the pain of losing their birth mother. Also prayers for my wife and I to be able to share with them Gods love in a manner that they will accept. Right now, they are mad at the world and everything in it. I understand that. I just want to be available to help when they reach out for the help they need. I need wisdom on exactly what God would say to comfort them and help them.
When it rains, it pours. I remember the commercials for the Morton Salt company with the little girl and the umbrella, but as I age, the motto has more meaning than when I was a child.
My dad just called and said that my uncle Steve Smith passed away. He was only 3 months older than I, and we grew up more like brothers or cousins than uncle and nephew. We shared a lot of the same interests. Hunting, fishing, driving trucks, and eating good food.
One thing we did not share is cigarettes. Steve smoked for years. I don't know if he was smoking before he went into the service, or picked it up there, but since our late teens, he was a smoker. We found out 2 weeks ago that he had stage 4 lung cancer, after being treated for weeks for bronchitis and then pneumonia. Steve finally got to a doctor that ran some test and found the cancer. Today, all the fluid retention and such overloaded his heart, and Steve died of a heart attack.
So, here I am fighting colon cancer, 2 of my adopted children lost their birth mom last week, and now I have lost my close uncle. When it rains, it pours.
But through it all, God is good. His mercies are renewed every morning. I don't know how people who don't believe in God and have a personal relationship with Him contend with life. I am not strong enough to handle it on my own.
well, we are done with 5 treatments now, and things are getting a little easier with them. The doc changed one of my chemo drugs to 1/2 dose because the side effects were still present 2 weeks later. It is called oxiplatin and the cause of the burning feeling in my hands and feet when exposed to cold. I am doing better with that side effect now, but I did go and pull some onions from the garden, and the cold plants burned my hands.
I don't know if anyone else is learning from my experience, but I sure am. I was listening to the radio the other day, and heard a song called 'My Story'. It says if I told you my story you would here of unfailing love, undying faith, and a life lived, but not mine. It made me wonder just how much of a reflection of Christ I am in this world, and how others view my life.
I was thinking about Billy Graham this week also. A man who lived and preached Christ for many many years, and the impact he made by taking a stand. I listened to parts of some messages he preached and realized Billy wasn't some great orator, or someone who just oozed out personality, but he was a humble man who had a message, and spoke that message whenever he got the chance.
I am convinced that is what God expects from us. To tell our story, to stay on message, and to take every chance to do so. I hope He finds me doing just that for Him.
Big Daddy Weave has some great songs and 'My Story' is certainly one of them. A couple of other good ones to check out are 'Overwhelmed' and 'Redeemed'.
But just like the band who is telling their story through song, you are telling your story through your experience. That is our story, not our life, but our life in Christ. You are exactly where God wanted you, not that he wanted your pain and your struggle, but that He wanted Christ to shine in you! And so He has!
You now are asking the question God wanted you to ask all along, "Am I a reflection of Christ?" It is good to self-evaluate and ask that but now God has made you into a carrier of His simple message. Carry it with a pure heart that says, 'Lord, just let me live you today!"
May God richly bless you with His presence!
1 Peter 1
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
6 down now. The last one was pretty hard on me. But I have really examined what I am eating, and when I cut out and sugar, I feel totally different and a lot of the daily pain has gone away. I was eating a couple Oreos or maybe an ice cream cone at night and I quit that on last Monday. I have felt much better since that time. I am watching carb intake also, so maybe that helps.
anyway... God is good. His mercies are new every morning, and He delights in His children.
I head back to Newnan tonight for the last treatment. It has been a roller coaster of a ride. Some days you wonder if it was the right choice, and some days you are OK with it. I guess it depends on your thought process on that day and how much pain you are going thru. All I can tell you guys for sure it I am glad to be coming to the end of this road and looking forward to a little rest and relaxation.
To top it all off, while I have been going thru the chemo treatments, we have had a multitude of family and friends pass away. It makes me realize just how precious life really is, and how fleeting it can be also. My Uncle passed away from lung cancer, my daughter's high school running coach passed away. We were pretty close. I traveled with him for 4 years while my daughter was running x-country. My close friend and care pastor passed away, my ex-sister in law passed away last week, and my cousin passed away on Tuesday of this week.
There are so many memories tied up with these people, and a bunch of regrets too. Don't miss a chance to love on the people close to you, and spend time with them. After all, the things you value are the things you spend time with.