Wednesday, February 27, 2008

~Christians by Maya Angelou~

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ

that a man should have to seek Him first to find her."

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'"

I'm whispering "I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride.

I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong.

I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success.

I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect,

My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain..

I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou,

I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!

Pretty is as Pretty does... but beautiful is just plain beautiful!

Monday, February 25, 2008

~New Week~ New Focus~

Well, this is a new week and new focus. Yesterday was Sunday and it was good to be in church and spend time with God. Jan is adjusting to her medications somewhat. That is always a plus. Trust~Faith these two words to me kind of go hand in hand. Sometimes it is hard to trust and have faith. But we just need to have a little. Remember we just need to have enough faith ~ the size of a mustard seed. That is so small.

I think I've become consumed in helping my sister that I'm not accomplishing anything else. I want to help her, spend time with her, but I also need to get back into all of my regular routines such as exercise and spending time with some of my friends, etc. so that I can be refreshed all around.

Lamentations 3:21-25

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him! The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

I also want to try my hand at web design. So look out for a new look (hopefully) on the blog soon.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

~Always Available~

This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that is we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14 NIV

"You will never get a busy signal on God's prayer line. The circuits of heaven are never jammed. You can have an audience with God at a stated time in a holy place, or you can talk to him as you run to the next thing in your life. You can get through to God anytime you want.

Ready and constant access to God is your birthright. By being always available, God shows how much you mean to him. You can count on God's focused attention because you count so much to God. God honors who you are to im by listening to everything you have to say.

You can talk to God because you know he listens to you. His ears are always oustretched in your direction." Taken from Quiet Moments in the Presence of God

As I wrote earlier in the week, it has been such a difficult week. I've been trying to help my sister get the medications needed to start on the clinical trial. It seemed that the devil was working against us this week. We had a wonderful day last Saturday. We had a benefit for my sister and brother-in-law to help shoulder some of these costs and raised $13,000 and still counting. I found myself rushing through the week trying to get my work done and trying to accomplish getting these medications so that she could get started in a timely fashion. (Time is important when you have brain cancer, or any cancer for that matter). So, instead of going to God and trusting on him as I should, I found myself trusting no one. Everything got accomplished, but it could have been accomplished in a less stressful manner. God was waiting for me, if only I would have trusted him. My prayer this week is that "I let go and let God."

My sister did start her new chemo medication, as well as numerous other medications. They have made her extremely tired. She has really done nothing more than sleep for the last two days. Please pray that this is temporary and that she is able to adjust to the medications. And, please pray for her complete early healing. The above picture is Jan with her grandbaby taken just 2 weeks prior to finding the brain tumor.
May God Bless You and May you have a Wonderful Week!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

~The Angel with the Golden Glow~

By Elissa Al-Chokhacy. She did a brief (sort of) synopsis of the book.

I wanted to share is the story:

Once in a village in a faraway place, a child was born. He was unlike any other child. He was special. Of course all babies are special, but this child was different. He was really an angel in disguise. His golden hair, long curly dark eyelashes, cherubic cheeks, and sweetness were the only telltale signs that could possibly give away his disguise. This angel was full of courage, as most angels who come to earth. Shortly before the cherub's birth, God gathered all the angels and held an important meeting in heaven. "My beloved angels," He said, "how I love each of you for the joy you bring! Soon there is to be born on earth a special child. He will be different from the other children in the things he will be able to do. I need the bravest of all My cherubs to bring healing. You will be born in this special earthly body. It will not work in the same way as most do. Although you'll have loving parents, life will not be easy. Soon after your birth, they will know your time on earth will be brief."

The cherubs started jumping up and down, waving their hands, hoping to be chosen! An angel's purpose is to spread love, joy, hope, and healing. Each knows it is a great privilege to do God's work. God looked among His angels and noticed one whose halo shone brighter than all the rest. "Little Angel with the Golden Glow," He announced, " I choose you to be born unto this earthly home. Your light is so bright it can penetrate even the deepest sadness and change it into love. It is you, blessed angel, who shall do My work on earth. The angel was thrilled! How he had hoped he would be chosen! He would work with all his might to bring healing into his new home. All the angels gathered around their friend to say goodbye. They would miss him. Yet they knew it was a great honor to be chosen for this wonderful journey. One cherub, the Angel with the Tender Heart, was especially sad. He cried because the Angel with the Golden Glow was his best friend. What would he do without him? Sensing his friend's despair, The Angel with the Golden Glow hugged him close. As he did this, his halo shone so much light that his friend's sadness soon lifted. "Don't be sad. This is the greatest day of my life. I'm off to share my love with the world. Remember I'll always love you...whether we are together or from the other. One day you too will be chosen, and you will understand."

When the Angel with the Golden Glow was finally ready, he was born into the chosen home. There was great celebration for he was the family's first child and first grandchild. His mom and dad and the entire family were ecstatic.The story continues that the Angel with the Golden Glow quickly becomes sick and it is known to the family that the child would not survive. However, sadness was difficult to achieve around the angel because of the beautiful, love, and happiness he let shine each day. Most of all, the angel brought love to this earth family. Sadly for the family, the angel returns to Heaven. Returning to Heaven, he was sad because he missed his family on Earth, yet happy to reunite with his best friend, the Angel with the Tender Heart. The story continues with the Angel with the Tender Heart proclaiming,"I missed you so much. Yet our time together in heaven will be short. I have the most amazing news! God has chosen ME to be born into the same family. There is still much healing that needs to be done. Just think! We will be earthly brothers as well as heavenly brothers! This is surely the greatest honor of my life!" The Angel with the Golden Glow was happy for his friend's wonderful opportunity. There wasn't anyone in all of heaven he would rather send to his earth family than his dearest friend. Yet he would miss him..........

The last page...As the Angel with the Tender Heart was leaving, he said, "I love you, dear friend. I promise to take tender loving care of all those you love on earth. Don't be sad....for there will be a day when we will be together again. And remember, as you wisely taught me, I'll always love you....whether we are together or from the other.

~Off to a Rough Start~

My sister started her new medications yesterday. All was well until this morning. The Thalidomide has caused nausea and vomiting, as well as tiredness. We've contacted M.D. Anderson and they have given us some suggestions on how to hopefully prevent this from occurring again.
Thank you for opening your hearts to us. As we face this new trial ahead it is impossible not to be anxious over the possible side-effects, but we do not have hearts of fear, and we lay our worries down at the feet of Jesus. We are able to see the power of God in the perfection of his plan, the strength of Jesus in the sacrificial love of our friends, and the peace of the Holy Spirit filling us and preparing us to enjoy each day as it comes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

~Bee in My Bonnet~

How in the world is anyone expected to deal with cancer, as well as the outrageous cost of cancer. My sister who has brain cancer is starting a new treatment program. One of the medications is as high $27,000 to $18,000 per month depending on the pharmacy. Her portion on the $18,000 is $3,600. This is only one medication. Who can afford $3,600 each month for at least a year over and above their other expenses. I guess you can, but then look at the debt. Her life is worth thousands more than this. The pharmaceutical companies should not be allowed to charge this, especially for a medication that is over 45 years old. She has excellent insurance.

It has been a very exhausting week. We had a wonderful weekend. Her church put together a benefit dinner and silent auction in her behalf to raise money which we are so thankful for. This money is so greatly needed. We are now in the process of trying to figure out so many other ways to raise money after finding out this news.

A person with cancer needs a positive attitude. It is so very important to be able to have this. We, as her family, are trying to shoulder so much so she can concentrate on her health, but we cannot lie to her and not tell her about these expenses.

We ask that you pray for peace for Jan. For her to have a positive attitude. She has so much to live for and work still left to do here on earth. It is still baffling to know that she has brain cancer. You just never think your sister will have brain cancer.

Here is a devotional I read: “Defeating Unbelief” by Joyce Meyer.
“Turn all your worries over to Him. He cares about you. Control yourselves. Be on your guard. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion. He prowls around looking for someone to chew up and swallow. Stand up to Him. Stand firm in what you believe. All over the world you know that your brothers and sisters are going through the same kind of suffering. God always gives you all the grace you need. So you will only have to suffer for a little while. Then God himself will build you up again. He will make you strong and steady. And he has chosen you to share in his eternal glory because you belong to Christ.”1 Peter 5:6-10

“When struggles, trials and hardships come your way - and they always do - you have a choice. You can heed Peter’s words and give God your cares, worries and concerns. No matter how dark the night or how evil the situation, you must remind yourself that God is not only present with you in those situations, but He also loves you and will provide for you.

One more thing. Sometimes you may wonder why you have so many trials and problems. Is it possible that the devil may have singled you out because of God’s great plan for your life? The more faithful you are, the more you have to resist him and his lies of unbelief. The enemy often tries to fill you with unbelief and make you deny God’s powerful love for you. Stand firm on God’s promises and thank Him for always being with you.” Joyce Meyer

Thursday, February 14, 2008

~Happy Valentine's Day~

This girl is such a sweet dumpling! God placed her in our family and especially in my sister's life at the most perfect time. We are all so CRAZY about her and she is such a good baby.

I spent the better part of today helping Jan get things squared away to start on her new "Clinical Trial." The chemo will be paid for, but the other medications she will have to pay for. They are covered by insurance, but they are still quite expensive. It's sad that not only do you have to deal with cancer, but all the financial issues as well. So far, her insurance has done a good job. We feel blessed that she has not been stuck with a lot of out of pocket expenses to date.

Her church is organizing a benefit which includes a dinner, silent auction and bake sale this Saturday evening. My Mom and I have also been taking part in helping in this regard. We put together 8 or so baskets for the auction and we also been baking for the bake sale.

We had originally planned on going to the first support group since Jan's been back from M.D. Anderson, but since it was tonight, we decided to wait until next month.

The next few days will be busy with preparing for the benefit and spending time with friends and family. We have been overwhelmed by all the support and love that has been shown since Jan started this journey. God's people are good.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have love you, you also should love one another. John 12:34

~Feeling loved~

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

~Sweet Girl~

What a girl ~ There is no doubt in my mind that I'm prejudice. But, this girl is so cute.
I've been trying to work, but it seems rather difficult. I'd rather be spending time with my sister, especially when the Missy is there.
I went out for a bit tonight to look over the new plans for the Clinical Trial for Jan. It all seemed a bit overwhelming, but when you reviewed it, it doesn't seem all that bad. She did find out she will be on the Temodar, plus all 3 of the other meds.
Please join me in praying this treatment is the correct treatment for her and she wins this battle with cancer. This little girl above so needs her Grammy.

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

~Test Results~

Jan has called with the results of her MRI.

You'll remember the MRI from M.D. Anderson from early December, 2007 showed the original tumor area, a small area on the brainstem and a small area on the front right side.The results show:

1. The area on the brainstem is gone;

2. The doctor is unsure about the front right area, but thinks this is swelling now from the radiation and no longer tumor. He's not positive, but had another patient with a similar area.This patient is now 4 years cancer free.

3. The area where they were able to remove part of the tumor "has improved a lot."

We want to PRAISE GOD for these results. Even though there are still signs of cancer, EVERYTHING HAS IMPROVED. There are NO SIGNS OF NEW TUMOR AND NO SIGNS OF GROWTH!!!!!

Of course, we wanted it to be completely gone, but it is decreasing in size, so we'll fight harder.


Dr. Gilbert wants to be more aggressive.

1. Jan is being put back on the "Study."
2. She will return to M.D. Anderson every month instead of every two months.
3. With being on the "Study" the Temodar (chemo) will be paid for. She has the potential of being on 1 to 3 other medications along with this chemo.
4. Her schedule for the Temodar will be one week on and one week off.

Thanks so much for checking and praying. PRAYERS ARE OUR LIFELINE.

Be still & Know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fear or Faith

Here it is Sunday evening. The last few weeks have flown by since Jan has been home from M.D. Anderson. Tonight, her and Gerald are back in Houston. Tomorrow is TEST day. We will see how the first round of treatment of radiation/chemo has worked.

I titled this blog entry "Fear or Faith" because I just got a reply from an email I had sent my cousin early this evening. She is also facing her own battle with cancer (Leukemia) and made a note that she has to keep reminding herself that the opposite of FEAR is FAITH.

Just rest in the Lord. This is what I should be doing. Trust the Lord. This is SO much easier said than done! This is my baby sister, her health, her life, and her future is all at stake! She has so much to live for. I feel guilty that she's the one with brain cancer.

Life is hard! God never said it would be easy. It just seems to be getting harder. It just seems like our family has been hit hard lately and the hits still keep coming.

Please pray for great results tomorrow for Jan; peace, wisdom for the doctors in the decisions for future treatment, wisdom for Gerald and I to know which treatment will be the best for me and lastly for safe travel.

Please also pray for other pending testing for our family that these results will be favorable. Please pray for our little Missy. She suffered an accident Friday. Please pray for no lasting problems or deficits from this accident.

We have a lot of health issues and problems, but yet so much to be thankful for.

I'll leave you with this devotional tonight:

Press On


Weymouth13 thing I do--forgetting everything which is past andstretching forward to what lies in front of me,14 with my eyes fixed on the goal I push on to secure the prizeof God's heavenward call in Christ Jesus.

Believers face many difficulties. Trials. Adversaries. Doubts.At times we're all tempted to quit. The struggle seems toomuch, and we wonder if it's worth it to continue, to hold on toour faith when there seems to be no hope left.

But there is a goal -- supremely worthwhile: life with ourwonderful Lord. Not just existence, but intimate fellowship.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

~Psalms 23~

The following is a unique view of Psalm 23.

I'm not certain who originated these thoughts...but it ministered greatly to me and I would like to share it with you in hope that your heart will be encouraged.

"The Lord is my shepherd" ... that's Relationship! "I have everything I need" ... that's Supply! "He lets me rest in green meadows" ... that's Rest! "He leads me beside peaceful streams" ... that's Refreshment! "He renews my strength" ... that's Healing! "He guides me along right paths" ... that's Guidance! "Bringing honor to His name" ... that's Purpose! "Even when I walk through the dark valley of death" ... that's Testing! "I will not be afraid" ... that's Protection! "For You are close beside me" ... that's Faithfulness! "Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me" ... that's Discipline! "You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies" ... that's Hope! "You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil" ... that's Consecration! "My cup overflows with blessings" ... that's Abundance! "Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life" ... that's Blessing! "And I will live in the house of the Lord" ... that's Security! "Forever" ... that's Eternity!

Face it, my friend, the Lord is crazy about YOU!!

~Random Thoughts~

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Don't be afraid that your life will end,be afraid that it will never begin.~anonymous~

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Prayer ~ Hope

This Sunday, February 10 my sister and her husband head back to M.D. Anderson for testing on Monday, February 11.

I would like to ask anyone who reads this to please join our family in praying for peace, excellent results, wisdom for the doctors in the decisions for future treatment, wisdom for Gerald and Jan to know which treatment will be the best for her and lastly for safe travel.

Philippians 4:6-7"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."