The Battle Over: Janie Blake graduated and went home @ 7:24 Central time 12/29/2010

This is basically a brief status update. When I have more time and more clarity to write some “memoriam” thoughts I will do so. Janie died last night and we are filled with grief.  Visitation will Sunday evening at Washburn McReavy Funeral home in Hopkins and there will be a memorial service on 1-3-2011. More details to follow.

For any looking to send anything the family request is that in lieu of flowers they are taking donations for the Bridge of Hope Orphanage in Mexico or more specifically supporting her son Tim White as a missionary there.  Website is http://www.bridgeoflovehome.com/.  Please let me know if need information to do so and not just donate on the website as it will not be noted as a memoria gift for Janie Blake. 

So keep me and family in prayer and will share more extended thoughts when able to do so.

Musings on Personally Perceived Strangeness of this Christmas Season

Many things are on my heart and mind and it is all in general very connected. We are at the time designated to celebrate God’s birth, His incarnation. The focus is on family and sharing love through gifts and fellowship. For me this time, this season is strange. Currently am moving in and out of feeling my own pain and connecting with the pain of those around me. Currently my brother and his family is in town. It is uplifting to spend time with them, knowing that they have come through a tough time with the death of my sister-in-laws mother from breast cancer and their issues with dealing with her father. They also are caring for their son, Anant, who embodies a joyful creativity even at four going on five years old. All this is rather normal. Here are the things that have gone to make this season strange.

If you are a follower of this blog you know that the central portion of the strangeness is the health of Janie Blake. When Cancer returned a few years ago, she reported having a word from God, “you shall live and not die.” Then she went on to engage the battle and appeared clear of cancer cells, only to have them reform to the point where her very life is in jeopardy. It was a shock hearing the news back in mid-October and even more shocking the rapid degradation of her health. Today is first I have seen her since stopping by to help the clean in preparation for her brother’s visit. The sight was heart breaking. For I really appreciate how God has used Janie in my life and the life of those I love. Yet, what God’s sees is even beyond what I see. He knows His will and His plan. He is always faithful to what He promises our job is to surrender no matter how things look. It means letting go of our will for His. He can heal. He can restore. He is the one that makes all things new. We submit to Him alone. I really want Janie around, but that is up to God alone. There is life here and greater life in His presence.

Janie’s health is not the only aspect of the strangeness of this year. There is my mother’s ongoing vision loss and going through a process of learning. She deals each day with great pain and loss while focusing on learning how to function without depending on vision. My mother has endured and survived through a lot of suffering in her lifetime. Now she faces this challenge. Yet, I know God is using this to strengthen her and use her in the lives of others. He has given her special moments one of which will eventually share on this blog, as it likely connects to all that has been going on. Now, my mom’s vision loss is nothing new. It has been ongoing. But it is one more dynamic to the strangeness of this year.

Now not all that is going on is dealing with health and illness. For my wife has been going through and interview process for a potential promotion to service manager. My wife really does posses natural talents that would make her a great manager. Her prayer has been for those interviewing her to see what God wants them to see in her. Her heart she simply wants whomever they promote to be someone that will build and strengthen the team. We know it is in God’s hands and the promotion would be a great blessing to us. As I am writing this, in my mind the elevation of Daniel standing out over all others in Babylon would fit, if that is God’s will for Liz. We simply await the answer, hoping one thing but surrendering to whatever the outcome.

In my own life, still am working through matters of reluctance and holding self back. Yet, my workload is increasing and there are things on the horizon, yet many obstacles still stand with my-self being one of the obstacles. There is the ongoing question as get busier whether I can take on more or how can I find ways to improve all together. There are lessons learned as always in this process. The key principle to all here is coming back to surrender. There is much we cannot see in terms of what is ahead. Some like my mother have to learn to operate without sight. My stepmother appears quickly headed to death. My brother and his family already faced loss, may face more, are loving and building up their adopted child who is God has made as one who is joyfully creative in the midst.

So it is a strange season, this year. There is hope of seeing God give blessings and doing amazing things. There is the need to move beyond the visible. Ultimately, it is surrender to God regardless of the outcomes, walking not by our sight, but depending on Him alone. For He alone is the Rock. He alone is our safety. By Him alone to we stay or go. By Him alone do we rise or fall. He is the one who gives life or takes it. Yes, our choices and actions play a role we can walk His path and walk his way or go our own. One leads to life, one to death. God allows us our choices and then simply calls for surrender and walk the way He leads even if it seems impossible. There will be barriers from inside and outside. We want to make everything about us, but it is always about God and His glory and purpose which ultimately is to show and reflect His love in pain, in sorrow, in struggle, in fear, in reluctance, in anger, in pain, in joy, in blessing, in hope and so on which is all in His life in us.

Video Selection: On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand

Well God has brought a new song into my mind during this time.  My heart is heavy for my Dad and Janie Blake.  I feel ongoing immense emotional pain but know that anything here is but fragile and temporary. All hope rests solely on Jesus the Christ.  There is nothing else that stands.

Late Night Musing Related to Care and Concern for Bill and Janie Blake

Well tonight I am writing because I know not what else to do.  I was set to head to bed to sleep and plugged my phone in to charge when saw a text from my father. The text indicated Janie Blake had less energy today and that to him it seemed that the Janie that we have all come to love is slowly slipping away. Turning to God in prayer with no real words all I sense is pain. It hurts.  Questions fill my mind as my heart reels with the pain.  What is occurring that brings this point forward? Is this a point to the death? Is that what this pain is?  Does God still hold her with life left. When the battle was engaged a few years back leading to her appearing cancer fear over a year ago Janie reported receiving a promise or word that it was not to death so did something change?  I do not have an answer to the question. Only the response of pain.  So here I sit and write. I did dig out notes and an article someone sent me in the mail, looking to see if God had an answer for me. The notes discuss the nature of cancer. Cancer being a twisting of natural DNA so that they no longer are fulfilling their God given roles and have gone rogue or independent. The articles go on to discuss the nature of transcription errors and the God design of apoptosis. This is what most cells do when damaged. Cancer are cells that have failed to do so, pretend to be something they are not, take over, and steal nutrients.  Now there are nutrients that can possibly aid and help defeat cancer such as Tumeric, Green Tea, elderberry, ellagic acid, skullcap, Vitamins D3 and A, and Broccoli with “Indole 3-Carbinol.”  Now I don’t know what nutrients Janie is taking. I know she is aware of tumeric.  I know that whether she takes the nutrients or not whether she lives or dies is in God’s hands. Yet, there may be things that need to occur to allow God to move.  Actually, there is one word that comes to me in the midst of all the pain and that is surrender.  Of course surrender to their proper place and role is what cancer cells do not do. I don’t know what that word means to Dad and Janie.  All I know is God calls each of us to surrender, of walking in accordance with God’s will and not walking in accordance with our own.  I do not know God’s will here.  I know that God will keep his promise, but we always need to submit or like cancer we are going rogue and wild.  Yet God has given us this verse in Romans 8:13 (ESV) For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Now I do not know if that is a specific word but felt led to Romans 8 and that verse stood out to me given the nature of cancer and the way cancer will be undone through the activation of apoptosis.  So even taking the proper nutrients, if done in flesh will be of no avail. This again leads to the importance of surrender to God. And ultimately the battle belongs to the Lord. If Janie is to live or die at this time it is in God’s hands. She is currently described as slipping away and it is difficult to see beyond the now. But God is in sole control and always as Paul wrote, “To live is Christ, to die is gain.”   All of us are to walk in surrender to Him.  Like the cells in our body we are all exposed to things that damage us daily.  Each of us in a moment can suffer great illness or injury.  We need to walk in surrender to the King of Kings no matter what the cause.  If we walk in surrender to God and equipping ourselves with His armour, the battle is His, and His alone. We just need to walk in obedience in truth and love even when it appears that our hopes and dreams and desires are shattered. Maybe they were only our own flesh to begin with and God has something else in store. Maybe it is all the process of being sanctified and refined in trials of this life.  I don’t know, but I know God is with us every step of the way. God feels our pain. The empathy and overwhelming sadness I feel is felt in whole by God.  As my most recent musing discusses in part, God’s empathy is a reason he cannot tolerate sin, for it hurts him, and the closer He is to sin the more the pain.  Some other articles make similar points Does God Feel our Pain and Empathy and New Testament.   Well I think I am done rambling but hopefully there are thoughts here that build up and encourage.  Perhaps now God will allow sleep. For right now the path my Dad and Janie on is tough and filled with pain. Yet, in Jesus and Him alone is life. In Him alone through the cross is any healing. It is His stripes and His suffering that will make all things right it is just a matter of when, but all who are in His Kingdom are in the process.  In Him alone is life, and the life is everlasting and not of this world.   So to close this off these are the words that come to my mind:  Verily, verily all life is in the Son, the walking embodiment of God’s divine empathy. The great physician.  The seal of that life is the Holy Spirit, the great comforter, the counselor, the one who leads us to His restoration.  Walk in His ways, not our ways.  Follow His steps.  He alone makes the twisted straight. His word gives light to the path through the darkness. Whatever is, is!  For all that is comes from God the Father who we can approach by the gift of Jesus our Messiah and we are guided to the the right way and empowered to walk in it by the Holy Spirit.  So submit therefore to the Godhead for there is no other way.  AMEN!

Prayer requests and Answers: Our God reigns: Janie Blake Cancer free!

God is good all the time!

God is good all the time!

Well just got report back from Janie and my Dad that Janie is cancer free.  This is evidence that God is indeed in control and His purposes and will, will stand.  I believe God used the physical tools such as chemotherapy and the supernatural to heal Janie from Cancer.  This also shows that God is not yet finished with how He intends to use Janie in the lives of others.  God made Janie promises and He delivered. 

Now there may be some out there who will readily dismiss any supernatural working in this matter, but I know this not to be the case. Is there “evidence” of supernatural healing versus the tools of modern medicine, not directly. It is all a matter of perspective.  I do not believe Janie would be Cancer free without divine intervention.  The simple fact is that Janie is now cancer free and pray for God to set the path for what remains ahead for my dad and step-mom.   

In terms of ongoing prayers for members of my family here are the following concerns:

My mother, Kris Blake:  She is facing visual decay with rod dysphasia vision problem that restricts her ability to see in the dark.  Pray for God to guide her on the path.  I pray that she may see in ways that she has not seen before. That whether or not the visual decay is reversed, that she may see with clarity and be able to speak forth and share all that she sees. 

My wife: Liz Blake:  She is on the course of going through some emotional healing.  Pray for her deep heart wounds to be healed.  Pray that she makes it through her journey with a greater focus on God and greater intimacy with God as Father so that she may truely know him.  May this process draw God’s song from within, out toward others.  As the internal is healed and revealed may the changes be evident physically.

For my brother and his family: Rob, Mary, and Anant Blake:  Pray that they are given strength to endure the trials. Pray that God’s love pours out from their midst and serves as a healing balm.  May the tears of suffering sooth the recesses of pain and may the sorrow lead to joy.  May they be able to show God’s love to young Anant and may he be a vessel spreading God’s love and cheer so that all may love to God and declare that He is good. May Anant’s very presence draw people to the love and joy of the Lord.

For Nancy Kimmey:  Mary Blake’s mother who is struggling with matastesized breast cancer logged in her bones.  Pray that the love of God enfold her broken heart.  May she be given moments of clarity admist the pain and fog that she may see and taste that God is good.  May she see that God has always been faithful. Holding her heart in His hands.  He has seen her great sorrow and brokenness and His love for her is unfaded. May even the light of a child give her strength and comfort and may she find that her true rest is in Jesus.

Pray for my uncle Fred Friswold:  He recently had a relapse of testicular cancer.  He has a heart that is failing.  I pray that he receives a touch of God’s love.  In the journey ahead may he see God’s love and truth. May he see the permance of God’s salvation in contrast to  the temporary satifactions of this life.  May he draw close to God truely, and may any barriers to the Gospel of peace in his lift quickly fade and may God’s peace rule his heart.

For my mother-in-law:  Sonia Bezerra Almedia that God may see her through the minor health issues that seek to drag her down. May she always have strength to serve God and serve him with love. May His love, grace, and truth continue to flow from her. May she be an ongoing vessel sharing the bread of life and living water with those around her, wherever she goes. May her heart wounds be filled with God’s love and truth.

For my brother-in-law Lon Davisson Almeida: May God use him to draw others to the Gospel. May the church he has been called to lead Fellowship Macieo be a place of truth, grace, and peace.  May God’s love sign forth. May any barriers of the Gospel be torn down and may God’s work be accomplished. May he and his family be protected from the wiles of the enemy. Keep him and his family on the true path and may they not stray to the left or right. 

For the rest of extended family who have employment, family, and various other concerns.  May they be drawn to seek after the one true God in the midst of any storm.  If their eyes are blind to the Gospel of God’s true peace may their eyes be opened.  May God move in their lives through the storms that come and may they see God in the midst. 

Finally pray for me:  Pray for this blog, that I can communicate in a clear manner that shines the light of truth and ultimately draws others in to a sound, deep relationship with Jesus the Messiah.  May God’s will be done on the path set before me and may God’s directions be ever clear.

_____

Sadly the cancer returned and she did 12/29/2010. Yet, God is still worthy of praise.  What was but a moment is now eternal.  Healing in this life always temporary, God’s setting all things right is still to come.  Praise God for His answer and for How he works all things out according to His purpose and His glory.

Update on Step-mother and ongoing prayer request.

Well the results from the liver biopsy returned and came back positive for cancer.  The internist also told my father and Janie they were concerned about spots on her lung, which is weird because were told that chest X-Ray was negative.  She will have a bone scan tomorrow. 

     This news came as a gut punch since every one praying for her had faith and confidence she would come back clean from cancer.  However, it turns out this battle is not that easily won.  The events my father described of the process of the day definitely point to a battle going on.  Last night she had a roommate who also had a friend visiting.  They were loud and kept Janie up most of the night.  They left today, when they left, Janie and my Father felt the Peace of God again.  However, shortly there after waiting all day and communicating that there was nothing documented in her chart, the internist came and gave the bad news, left, saying options would be reviewed tomorrow. 

    Now, I must confess that I felt enough confidence that the test would come up clean that I relaxed a little and didn’t spread the word to pray as far as possibly could or even spend much time talking to God about it, cause felt it was settled.  So lesson learned there, that until you know the results of a matter, continue to pray because the enemy does not relent. 

     Personally, I have not been given any direct discernment.  My wife when praying about it, feels she gets an answer back that this situation is “rain.”  She distrusts what she believes she hears from God because in the past she felt she got a word from God about a 17 year old male in our congregation, named Allen Ellingson,  that hand brain cancer, that we would be perfectly healthy.  Turns out she perceived the health here on earth, when  God simply took him to where there is no more suffering and pain.

    My dad and his wife had also expressed confidence. Janie reported that while praying with their pastor and his wife (Mark and Julie Maxhausen) that she received Psalms 117 and 118 as a word from God.  The pastor and his wife have told them to continue to believe in God’s promise. It is tough and faith does waiver.

     There are tons of emotions clearly going through all the people that care for Janie. The emotions range from denial, to anger, to confusion, to grief, helplessness, and to fear.   Personally, I have written about rejoicing always as a Thanksgiving article, little did I know the test that was coming.  Over the weekend God had me at peace and able to rejoice. Today, it is hard and the emotions can overwhelm.  However, as I write this what comes to my mind is “The Joy of the Lord is my strength.” God has used Janie to touch a lot of people as a tool to help free them from snares and heal spiritual and psychological wounds.  The enemy stirs up fears of all the people who could fall back to past snares and healing wounds re-opened as a result.  God has to have bigger plans.  So, all those that read this blog or happen upon this request pray.  Email me or leave comments for me to pass on to them as you feel led.  Above all, God will be glorified and His will, will be done.  Those of us around the situation have varying degrees of faith.  Yet, when storms come, always our faith is little compared to the greatness of God, this is a lesson previously learned in my life.  God is always faithful.  So to wrap this post up, I do so with thanking and praising God for what He intends to do in this instance regardless of my will.  I believe God will heal Janie of the cancer and that the enemy will not be defeated.  God is good and His mercy endures for ever.  He alone is Holy and Worthy of praise.