Quote for October

A Prayer for the Ephesians Eph. 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Joy that Music Brings!

Dear Friends, If you have read this blog for a few years, you are aware that I frequently refer to music as helping me weather the storms of having cancer. In fact, it is a source of joy! I have quoted songs by Francesca Battistelli, Jeremy Camp, Matt Redman, David Crowder*Band, and others. Yesterday I found information about how and why music is so helpful to Christians. The new information is in the book Knowing God Intimately by Joyce Meyer copyright 2003 by Joyce Meyer. It is in chapter 10 "Ever Be Filled" with the Holy Spirit in the section HAVE A HAPPY HEART.

Joyce points out that some actions and some attitudes do NOT help us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. "Why not? Because the Holy Spirit is not negative in any way. His silence during such times is our signal that He is not pleased with our conversation.

When I feel the Holy Spirit being stirred up in me, I know He is pleased; when I feel Him receding, I consider that He may not be pleased.

The Holy Spirit is very fond of 'right' music--music that is encouraging, up-lifting, positive, and joy-filled--music that has a good message. In the last part of Ephesians 5:19, the King James Version says that we are to make melody in our heart to the Lord. That literally means we are to go through the day with a song in our heart...In fact, it is also spiritual warfare.

Satan is opposed to joy and will do all in his power to prevent us from having it. According to Nehemiah 8:10 KJV, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Satan wants us weak, but music stirs up our joy, and therefore, our strength. The more we sing and make melody in our heart, the better off we are."

Now I understand better why I was helped so much when all I could do was pray the songs by Casting Crowns and others as I drove to work everyday after my cancer diagnosis. I was increasing my strengthin the Lord. Plus, the Holy Spirit was pleased with me and spending much time in my company. Thank you, Father, for your strength and Your love.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Most Recent Visit to the Oncologist 4/6/11

Dear Friends,
I was just at the doctor ( Dr. Z, my oncologist) yesterday where everything went well. My symptoms continue to stay minor. Oddly, I had gotten confused about the date of my Octretide injection and had come in a week late for treatment. However, I was fine. That was the first thing my doctor asked me about, did I notice any problems after going 5 weeks since the Octreotide? No, just a minor problem on Monday, for which I had taken one dose of Welchol. Doctor Z thought that was great.
Dr Z has become much more personable in the last two years. At that time he had told me very bluntly that I didn't need to ever hope for a surgery that would remove the cancer from my liver. Since the carcinoid cancer was in my bloodstream, it was everywhere in my body. How else had it gotten to my liver except through the bloodstream? I guess he wanted to make sure I didn't have any foolish notions that I could ever be cured.
Ever since I had known him, Doctor Z was so uncompassionate and unsmiling that I wondered if he had Aspberger's syndrome or another disorder that keeps him from connecting from people. He is a researcher at the university medical school where I am treated. He is in clinic only Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings; the kind of schedule that would suit a very reserved person.
(My surgeon is totally different. He is outgoing and always has surgery students trailing after him. He is an upbeat guy who hoped to effect a cure of my carcinoid by resecting the duodenum even when my tumors were not visible. He knew an expert in endoscopic ultrasound could locate the tiny tumors in the operating room before the surgery, so the tumors did not have to be large. I went through the surgery, but unfortunately, the first tiny tumor had already metastasized to my liver.)

Yesterday Dr. Z asked about how I liked being retired, and I told him about how I am caring for my daughter now. I am driving her to outpatient services at a hospital associated with Loma Linda University. Each time I take Kay or pick her up, I drive 52 miles. Dr. Z was understanding, and said six months from now things will be alright, but it is hard going through it.
He understood about her condition and said what she is doing is quite normal under the circumstances. Before he left he shook my hand and wished me well. He said all the right things. It is as if Dr. Z has been taking lessons in how to relate to patients. Ironically, I had felt as I drove to the Cancer Center that my friends were not being supportive enough to me as I go through this hard time. I wondered why no one responded to me. Then, when I go to the oncologist, I get support!
God is good. One more time He worked behind the scenes to bring about a result that benefited me without my "helping" Him. My main lesson learned this week is that I can ONLY RELY ON GOD. No one else will come through all the time. Some people rarely come through for you, but God always does. Thank you, Father. I know how You love me.
Love, Sharon

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You can Rely on God

Dear Friends,
I have been listening to Jeremy Camp Cd's as I drive back-and-forth from home to Kay's therapy and to my appointments at the Cancer Center. It has been exhausting the last two days because I have been driving 150 miles per day to take both of us to our appointments and back home. I have found strength and favor from God, and encouragement from Jeremy's music.
When I started out on this journey I thought I might be driving closer to 180 miles per day, and taking 1.5 hours to go from Redlands to Orange, California. By taking the most direct freeways, the route was only 150 miles round trip, and I got to Orange in only 1 hour and 10 minutes. So conditions were not as bad as I thought they would be. I was driving between 7:50 am and 2:30 pm, so that helped me to avoid heavy traffic. God blessed me by giving me smooth sailing free of traffic jams.
One of my favorite Cd's is Restored by Jeremy Camp 2004. I have had the record for several years, and I have never put it away for even 6 months. Other Cd's get played for 1-3 years and are then stored in a Cd rack. I love the title song; it has lifted me up many times. However, Everytime, reaches me every time I hear it. It is all true.
Everytime I'm on my knees pleading for Your strength I will find You there, Find You there.
Everytime I'm on my knees reaching for Your strength I will find You there, Find You there.
To feel the crown of the One I have breathed for To know the door It will never be broken
Because I've found that time, this time,
Has no hold on the rate that I need You! And I know it's never hard to find You.
I'm holding onto this hope I've been given To be always with You.
I'm seeing now that this fullness of faith is Always seeking You
Another wonderful song is Enough from Carried Me, The Worship Project.
All of You Is more than enough for all of me For every thirst and every need You satisfy me with Your love And all I have in You is more than enough! "
Thanks for your love, Sharon