Tag Archive | cancer

A Song in the Night

“….‘Where is God my Maker who gives songs in the night, who teaches us more than he teaches the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?’” Job 35:10, 11

Clouded moon

Christ’s death and resurrection is particularly dear to me this year, as our earthly celebration follows mere days after my sister-in-law passed away. Over the past four years, some of my posts documented Rebecca’s battle with cancer and requests for your prayers.  You shared in her victories and disappointments. Now she is gone–and it’s as difficult to write that as to believe it.

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” 

I Corinthians 15:56, 57

Becky wrote a song the night before she had a very difficult back surgery to remedy months of excruciating pain caused by an unforgiving tumor.  The song was put to music by the worship team at her church and played at her memorial service last week.  I may have a word or two wrong since I transcribed this from a shaky recording, but it deserves to be shared:

Becky’s Song in the Night

Jesus you are the bright and morning star

Illuminate our hearts and guide us where you are

Help us dear Lord in the shining light you send

Oh morning star, we love you, and we long for You

Jesus morning star, our lives in you made new

Jesus morning star, our lives in you made new!

~~

Chorus:

Praise the bright and Morning star

Praise his holy name

Praise the Master and the Saviour,

You won’t be the same

Praise Him, Morning star!

Praise Him, The bright and Morning star!

~~

Now as you rise in heavens glory, morning star

Help our hearts to rise up on your wings

Help us know the ways you made us free,

And let us see your beauty and your majesty!

~~

Praise the bright and Morning star

Praise his holy name

Praise the Master and the Saviour,

You won’t be the same

Praise Him, Morning star!

Praise Him, The bright and Morning star!

How amazing, that her song in the night focused entirely on her Morning Star!  Becky’s eyes were fixed on Jesus!

As we remember our Lord’s Passion, his suffering, pain and grief, may our songs in the night melt into praise in the morning, as we see Him, risen with power and glory, paving the way of Hope for our eternal future!

~~

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.   According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

And so we will be with the Lord forever.

I Thess. 4:13-17 

~

Still Praying for Kate

 

Will you please join me today, and pray for Kate and her family?  Learn their story HERE.

I blogged about Kate’s battles and victories with brain cancer, Here and Here.

Now, it seems the cancer is back.  This is devastating for a 7 year-old and her parents.  So, please remember them, pray for them, and even sign into Caring Bridge and share a prayer, thought, or Scripture. 

I thank you.  But more than that, they will be encouraged, and the Lord will hear your prayers!

My Hope

“My Hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

Hope is….to cherish a desire with anticipation.  That defines My Hope…Jesus.

“Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life!”  Titus 3:7

In memory of Todd’s recent passing from death to eternal life, I needed a reminder of  hope and encouragement, since I find myself on this side of eternity, seeing a bit darkly, and walking, sometimes hobbling, by faith.

C. H. Spurgeon writes:

‘The voice of weeping shall be no more heard.’  (Isaiah 65:19)   The glorified weep no more, for all outward causes of grief are gone.  There are no broken friendships, or blighted prospects in heaven.  Poverty, famine, peril, persecution and slander are unknown there.  No pain distresses, no thought of death or bereavement saddens.

  They weep no more, for they are perfectly sanctified.  They are without fault before His throne and are fully conformed to His image.  Well may they cease to mourn who have ceased to sin. 

They weep no more, because all fear of change is past.  They know that they are eternally secure.  Sin is shut out, and they are shut in. They live in a city that will never be stormed..bask in a sun that will never set…drink from a river that will never run dry…and pick fruit from a tree that will never wither.

They weep no more because every desire is fulfilled.  They cannot wish for anything that they do not already have in their possession.  Eye and ear, heart and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire, will, and all the faculties are completely satisfied.

The joy of Christ, which is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them…and that same joyful rest remains for us.  It may not be far distant.  ‘Wherefore, comfort one another with these words!’ (I Thess. 4:18) 

John Newton wrote this hymn about a loved one’s death:

In vain, my fancy strives to paint
The moment after death,
The glories that surround the saint,
Then yielding up his breath.

One gentle sigh the fetter breaks:
We scarce can say,”They’re gone!”
Before the willing spirit takes
Her mansion near the throne.

Faith strives, but all its efforts fail,
To trace her in the flight;
No eye can pierce within the veil
Which hides that world of light.

Thus much (and this is all) we know,
They are completely blest:
Have done with sin, and care, and woe,
And with their Saviour rest!

Before our Lord, they praise His name,
His face they always view;
Then let us followers be of them,
That we may praise Him too.

 

This is an encouraging quote from Bunyan’s Pilgrim:

There also you shall serve Him continually with praise, shouting, and thanksgiving, Him whom you desired to serve in the world, though with much difficulty, because of the infirmity of your flesh. There your eyes shall be delighted with seeing, and your ears with hearing the pleasant voice of the mighty One.

 

And from Jesus:

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”  John 11:25

“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hell.” Revelation 1:17, 18 

“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”  Revelation 22:17

 

What is your Hope? 

 

The Todd for whom we Prayed

“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.  The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never been here.  But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children.” 
Psalm 103:15-17

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the joyous news of Kate McRae’s present progress in her battle with cancer. And we continue to pray she will remain cancer-free, so every day of her life will glorify the Lord. 

Well, another precious one we’ve been praying for is cancer-free too, except his pathway to healing was a little different.  Todd passed away Saturday night and is now present with the Lord. His life and faith truly brought glory to the Lord, and his faith has become sight!

If you’ve been praying for Todd, or want to know more about someone who demonstrated joy in sorrow, hope through despair, and unfailing love in His God and Saviour, even when obstacles became bigger than life–then please go to Beth’s Blog, HERE.  

Please remember to keep Todd’s family, his wife and two children, parents, and many dear friends, in prayer as they face the future without him, but never without our loving Lord.  Thank you!

In honour of Todd, here is an encouraging excerpt from The Pilgrim’s Progress, as Christian enters the Celestial City:

The Shining Ones answered, “You must receive the comforts of all your toil and have joy for all your sorrow; you must reap what you have sown, even the fruit of all your prayers, tears, and sufferings in your journey for the King….”

“These are the men who have loved our Lord when they were in the world and who have left all for His holy name….”

O by what tongue or pen can their glorious joy be expressed!! 

 

Remember to visit Beth Stone’s Blog  to learn more about Todd.  Additionally, you can read about his testimony and funeral service details HERE.

The Kate for whom we pray

Exceedingly better than I deserve…that’s how I’m doing.

That’s the short answer to how I’ve been, since I haven’t updated my blog much lately.  John has probably taken 10000 photos of our journey, our days, and our family, all of which I hope to eventually share (well, just a few pics perhaps :-)).

In the meantime, I want to let you into the life of the “Kate” for whom we pray (see avatar, above right).  In the next few days, I will cover “Todd” and “Matt,” who are also battling cancer, yet staying strong in their faith and walk with Jesus. 

The following is from Kate’s care pages and is written by her mom, Holly. 

“Monday, July 26, 2010 4:07 PM, MST

 

2 years ago I thought life was stressful. We were again uprooting our family, this time to move to the desert, the suburbs of Phoenix that is. We were moving to start a church none the less. And we were raising money to live on in a less than favorable economy. Not the practical choice in many eyes. We were excited and overwhelmed at the same time. Excited about the possibilities, overwhelmed knowing if God didn’t come through for us, we were in trouble.
 

I think about those days often. The things I worried about, the things I failed to enjoy amidst the uncertainties. And now we find ourselves in a far more stressful, far more uncertain and heartbreaking situation. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t secretly wish we could go back to those pre cancer days. That I wouldn’t take those stressful moments in exchange for the ones we now face. That I don’t wish I would have taken each day as it came and simply cherished having my three babies home under one roof. Little did we know the mountain that lay ahead as we were so busy climbing that hill.

None of us know what lies ahead for certain. We simply have a poignant reminder each and every day. It came in the form of cancer. So each morning we wake up and are faced with unknowns and oftentimes impending decisions that no parent should ever have to make. Most days I want to crumble. Most days I could shut my blinds, crawl back in bed and cry all day. And cry I do. But I realize just as before, I don’t want to look back and have regrets. I don’t want to waste the time we do have raising our 3 kids. I want to enjoy them in spite of cancer.

It is a battle. And most days it is anything but easy. But we are learning to see the blessings amidst the uncertainties, amidst our heartbreak. To be thankful, even when life is uncertain. So I felt compelled to share just a few of the blessings with you over the next few days…here is one example…

For as long as I can remember Kate has wanted a dog. All of our kids have, but Kate always seemed to beg the loudest. Each time we would lay out the reasons why this wasn’t a good time. After Kate was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had her subsequent brain surgery her love for life seemed to slip away. A frown often replacing her vibrant smile. A blank stare replacing the ever mischievous sparkle in her eyes. There were days we didn’t know if “our Kate” would ever be back. It was crushing.

 

 Finally, after what felt like years (hospital days do) she began to smile again. This was thanks in part to the pet therapy dogs. Every time we saw a dog in the hospital we would beg for them to bring it in Kate’s room to visit. Then through nothing but God orchestrated events, we were put in touch with a family who wanted to provide Kate with a dog, the exact kind we had looked into, but were unable to afford at the time. And so on Kate’s second trip home from inpatient chemotherapy with her thinning hair,  mere handful of eyelashes, her feeding tube and assortment of braces, she was given one of her wishes, Patrick, her goldendoodle. There was nothing that could temper her excitement that day, not even cancer. I included a picture so you could see the missing smile that had returned with such vibrance. One of the many blessings amidst the pain.”

You can follow Kate and her family’s journey with cancer on her Carepage link: KATE   Please consider signing their guest book, and encouraging this family in some small way.

Secure in Him

“He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock”
Psalm 27:5

 

I’m feeling better, brain is working, and ideas are flowing again!  I see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! (Ps 27:13). 

Praise the LORD!  My sister-in-law, Becky, was pronounced CANCER FREE this week by the doctor and medical staff that have been treating her over the past 9 months!!  She was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer last May, and underwent extensive, painful surgery and difficult chemo treatments!  Undergirding all the medical treatment, was constant prayer for healing and comfort! ! [I posted some thoughts and battles about her cancer HERE and HERE.] 

Can we praise the Lord, even if we don’t understand the trial, or why it happened? Is our security in our understanding?  I hope not.  I hate cancer.  I don’t understand why it strikes so randomly.  As I pray for others with cancer, like Kate McCrae and Matt Chandler, I wrestle with a lot of ‘whys’, but my security and peace aren’t based on having all the answers.  Paul David Tripp says in his book on Psalm 27:

You are not secure because you have control or understanding.  You are secure even though you are weak, imperfect, and shortsighted.  You are secure for one reason and one reason alone:  God exists and he is your Father.  He will never leave your side.  He will never fail to provide.  He will make good on everything he has promised.  And he has the power to do so.  He is Lord.”

So, in our weakness and lack of understanding, let us run with prayer and praise to our loving Father, and find shelter in His rich mercy, mighty power, sovereign rule, unsurpassed grace, and unconditional love.

What “whys” is he asking you to relinquish to Him?