Recent photo of my parents in my office

Recent photo of my parents in my office

September 24, 2007

A Chance to Blog this Evening!

Thanks, dear friends, for your ongoing outpouring of support and prayer. It is worthy of more frequent responses, but that is simply not always available, but thanks for the opportunity I have tonight.

Recently, thanks to our church, we have been able to receive daily elements of the body of Christ, which means that we can pray a lay sacramental administration of the eucharist at home. As we do this each day, I am struck with the way that it sets our hearts in order, causes us to rely on the Lord as the source of our lives, and to confess our sins. We exchange the Lord's prayer, the Lord's peace, and then receive the body of Christ, the bread of heaven. It enables me to become centered and to breathe more deeply, to relax from the anxieties of what could burden me for the day, and then cast all of those onto the Lord.

It has been especially cute to see my son Josiah (just turned 2 on September 16th!) become gentle and celebrate having received "Jasu bred" (the closest I can get to describing his early pronunciation!) It seems to bring a love and a peace to him and Charlotte also.

As far as my own health goes, I began taking a 10 day cycle of radiation for the pain in my legs, most likely generated by some pinching of the sacroiliac joint due to a small tumor or a growth of some kind of invasive erosion from the cancer. At any rate, I have completed 6 fractions as of today, and they have definitely reduced the pain while substantially extending my freedom to move. Thanks be to God! I would appreciate any ongoing prayers for the stability of these procedures. I was warned about two things: difficult bowel movements due to taking more higher pain medication; and an increased likelihood of diarrhea later in the process itself. Hmm. Which you opt for?? :-) I can vouch for the possibility of each. Hilarious. My mother's a nurse, and I grew up in Brazil where we were never ashamed as a family to speak of illnesses, conditions of the body in processing ingestions -- you can begin to catch the idea here! Plus, it was a very educational event! But to avoid offending anyone here, I'll hold back on any reports that may seem crass. Just write me if you'd like a private report! :-)

Tomorrow night, Margie and I begin once again leading the Redeemed Lives program -- a program for people in need of spiritual discipleship, healing, and group accountability. It has seemed inevitable to us, to the point that we haven't even had a discussion about it, but stepping back, we are a bit in awe of how God has continued to sustain our strength to be able to do it. Pray that it will be a blessing for those who come.

My parents have been here since early September, and we continue to benefit from their boundless love. I have grown so much through receiving their love, and particularly the love of my father. He spends hours with me at work, moving boxes of books for me, helping me sort things worthy of recycling versus items we ought to add to our library collection. And when I'm caught up in my own work, he simply reads a book, or helps my mother and Margie here at home. What a blessing, and how am I to get by without it?

But those matters are in the hands of God. Meantime, the reading in Psalm 71 last week brought me to tears:

14 But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.

15 My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.

16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.

17 Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.

18 Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who are to come.

19 Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God,
you who have done great things.
Who, O God, is like you?

20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.

21 You will increase my honor
and comfort me once again.

22 I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.

23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I, whom you have redeemed.

24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
have been put to shame and confusion.

May all of us be centered on the work that God wants to do through us in advance of the end of our time here in his service, but not with any despair or lack of hope. "My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you -- I, whom you have redeemed."

Amen and amen.

2 comments:

Flavio said...

Hi John

like a boxing slang The Round just finished with the someone ring the bell...and in your case some how the idea fit like a glove because for most painful or boring that situation can be You a BRAVE and a STRONG MAN and besides God loves you a lot so DON´T WORRY BE HAPPY BECAUSE YOU GONNA BE VICTORIOUS IN THE END just keep your TRUSTH In GOD
FÁBIO SAAD

irena said...

Hi John, this is Irena from Brazil, my family and I are regular attendants at Calvary. Be strong, trust in our God with all your heart, mind and soul. We are praying for your physical and emotional health. We hope to meet you and your sweet family here in Brazil-SP soon.
God bless you!
Irena, Jorge and Bianka Woloszyn.