“5 Year Clean” Anniversary

Like a marathon runner stepping over the finish line, I have reached the “MARK” – and the medical field supposes I can breath easy now – I made it!

I am enjoying my  “5 Year Clean” Anniversary season!

CLEAN & CLEAR of detectable CANCER!

WOO- HOO!

This is what every cancer survivor hopes to do –

step over the numbered-year-mark that science says gives you the highest likelihood that you will not have a return of the cancer.

So here I am.

I have arrived.

Now what?

In anniversary fashion, I  am taking a look back to see from where I came.

The journey was unexpected – nothing I would ever have chosen.

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When God says He has a plan for each one of us, none of us imagines that the plan might include cancer.

Yet, mine did.

I never imagined that I would write a book either; but God included that in the plan for me as well.

This is how it happened:

I got Cancer. I endured and survived horrible treatments. I sat down to write about my experience, in hopes to give “my story” to my family, members who may or may not know the God who carried me through.  So, I had a few friends proof read it, to make sure I kept out any Christian-jargon, so it was understandable to all.  One friend said,
“More people need to read this.”

With some awkward disbelief, I said, “Really?”

Meanwhile, months previous, a few of my close friends bought me a ticket and took me on a cruise to celebrate the end of my treatments! (I never expected that as part of God’s plan for me either!)  As we boarded the ship, and checked in, the last check point person asked me,

“Do you have an appointment with an editor?”

I said with a laugh, “No, but how do I get one?”

I was told that you had to book one when you bought your ticket…..but if I wanted to check back after check-in was over, I could see if someone didn’t show up. I chuckled to myself and said, okay — like who doesn’t show up for a cruise!  For laughs – I came back – and lo and behold – ONE person did not show up – and so they gave me the editor’s meeting.  This was for a 15 min. block of time to show the designated editor your stuff.  As this was unexpected, I had not even one line written to show – all my pages were at home.  Nonetheless, empty handed I went.  And since I was the last meeting on the schedule – I could stay and chat with this expert editor as long as I wanted.  She gave me 45 minutes of her precious time.  Keep it authentic, was the take-away for me.

Yup – this was part of God’s plan for me too.

Simultaneously, as I arrived home from the cruise, another proof reading friend said,

“I know a publisher that would like to read your manuscript; she said just to send it to her”

I sent it.

Tracy Ruckman, then publisher of Write Integrity Press/Pix-N-Pens, called 2 weeks later, and said she wanted to publish my book.

This journey too, was unexpected — nothing I had set out to do.

Wham!

Wham!

Wham!

That is the sound of God throwing open the doors to my adventure in becoming a published author.

God did it.

He planned it.

And it was awesome!

Towdah, A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope was published in 2012.

Over the next several weeks, I am going to share what God did for me so that perhaps you may be encouraged to persevere and hold tight to God’s hand through whatever trial of suffering you are enduring.  God planned this all for me –

so that I could be used by Him,

to share His love with you!

Follow my next several posts if you want to hear authentic telling of my suffering and my awesome God!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

 

God’s Plan = Trump is President

Bold, yet true.

God’s Plan = Trump is President.

…and, if Clinton had won the election, the same could’ve been said.

God was, is, and will always be, in control of all things. The outcome of this election did not surprise Him. Nothing surprises Him.

In fact, He allowed Trump to win.

And because God is in control over all rulers and authorities, take comfort in knowing, that Trump can do nothing that God does not allow.

Our government can do nothing that God does not allow.

Just look at the conversation between Jesus and Pilate.  Likewise, Trump cannot bring this country down, or make it great again,

unless God gives the “go-ahead!”

So do not fear.

Now is the time to trust in God.

Now is the time to keep on praying for our Nation.

Friends, it begins with us. We need to get right with God in our own lives, and love others.

We need to do God’s will ourselves...

And what is that?

Rejoice. Pray. Give Thanks.

We need to obey God ourselves

This morning, a FB friend posted a question, steeped with some frustration, wondering:

“what to say to the passionate, idealistic, and thoughtful young women in my classroom this morning.”

And I said:

“Say: God is in Control and He loves us.”

Because that’s the bottom line.

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God loves us & He will work it all out for our best.

Here’s the real question today: “Do you love Jesus?”

For most reading my words here today, I believe the answer is yes.  To you, I just speak in truth, as Paul did,

to remind us of the focus of our hearts – cuz we are a people that forget.

To you, dear reader, who may not have considered Jesus before, I encourage you to consider.

Consider the Truth.

Jesus loves you.

Will you love Him back?

 

 

He Saw Me in the Future!

Have you ever had the experience of someone coming up from behind you, clamping their hands over your eyes, without warning, exclaiming, “Guess who!”  For a moment you are confused, caught unaware, and then by scent or voice recognition, you take a guess.  Sometimes it is clear, other times it is a surprise – either way, the hands are lifted off your eyes and there is perfect revelation and joy as you recognize the playful spirit behind the mystery.

That’s how it was for me when I gave more thought to an all too familiar passage of scripture: Romans 5:8.  Jesus died for me, while I was a sinner.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.  How many times had I heard this read from the pulpit or proclaimed by a fellow church-goer on communion Sunday.  Like hands clamped over my eyes, I had guessed at the meaning nonchalantly.  I get it. I am a sinner and Christ died for me. Plain and simple on the surface, I thought I knew whose hands were covering my eyes.   Aaaaah! – but when the hands came off, I saw so much more –  recognition of truth in this all too familiar passage.

Do you see?

While!

It’s in the word while…..

WHILE I was a sinner….HE SAW ME IN THE FUTURE!  He saw past me – the sinner – and chose to pour grace out on me and save me from the punishment of my sins….this is the revealed mystery.  Jesus sees us beyond our sinful state!  Before we were born, before we physically sinned, He saw us through it all and died for us; Grace poured out in faith and love, abundantly. 

In turn, we ought to do the same.

We need to see beyond people’s sin. No avoiding, no judging, but instead: pour grace abundantly.  The mystery paid forward: we need to see others as Jesus sees them – just as he sees us; God sees all of us as His children.

Friend, Jesus sees you in the future as well and He died for you too.

What an awesome verse! 

Quoting the words from a recent conversation with Bill Vanderbush, “Jesus is even better than we think.”

 

 

 

 

Too Much Grace?

Rhetorically speaking,

Is there such a thing as too much grace?

That is what I want to know with much exasperation as I scramble to come up and out from under, being crushed by yet another disappointment in a relationship.

I mean, how many times do I offer grace?

I  feel used. I  feel baffled.  I  feel angry.

Have you ever felt that way?  You give and give and pardon and give….and wonder if it makes any difference.

With a heavy heart and tears welling up, I speed out of my driveway.

The colored leaves nearly gone, exposing the stark, dead-ness of winter coming seems an appropriate picture of this situation; dried up and bare.  Yet, like grace poured out, the limitless sky and  clouds, illuminated by the sun, offset the trees and creates a brilliant crisp image before me; perfectly beautiful. And that ‘s how grace is , isn’t it – perfectly beautiful.

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My thoughts turn to Jesus as I praise Him for the beauty.  And the answer came forth:

No, there is no such thing as too much grace.

1 Timothy 1:14 tells of ABUNDANT grace poured out onto us – onto me, along with faith & love.

Dried up and bare, I ponder…

…how much grace was poured over me before I was a believer? How much grace is STILL being poured over me as I continually strive to walk this walk in Jesus’ Way?

Humbled by my own need for grace, all my angst disappeared. Truth fills me; no longer dried up and bare. Truth refuels and centers us, doesn’t it?

Jesus gives ABUNDANT amounts of grace.  In fact, “abundant” conveys it is even more than is needed.

I answer my own rhetorical question as the drive in my car comes to an end.

Nope!… there is never too much grace.

Thank the LORD for that, yes?   I am continually poured upon…therefore, in His image, I must keep pouring grace out upon others, with faith and with love. Won’t you join me in this venture to keep on pouring out grace abundantly?