Prayer request update: Janie Blake- Cancer battle continues

Yesterday received some sad news.  Previously reported that my step-mother Janie Blake was cancer free.  She had battled breast cancer that had metastasized to liver and the last remnant were spots on brain. So since June of 2009, the battle against Cancer appeared to be over. Yet, there was trouble unseen.  She had a recent scan with the expectation from all of us that the results would come back that she has remained cancer free. However, her last scan did not come back with those results.  Instead she was informed she has small spots returning in her liver and brain.  So the battle against Cancer renews.  This like all the suffering and battles in life is hard to understand.  God giving victory only to have the battle return anew.  What is even more confounding is that her energy had been returning and they were well on way to putting time into establishing and moving forward with a ministry Servants of Christ.  Yet, now the cancer cells have returned.  Here is a truth that remains, God is God and we are not. He is in control. His ways are not our ways.  The pain and suffering we encounter in this life are but temporary and help serve to shape us more into God’s image.  The battle continues.  There are real threats. Threats to health. Threats to truth. Threats to the Gospel. There is ongoing and enduring pain.  So the question is, in these battles where is the focus.  Do we bow under the tyranny of suffering and simply hold on to get by to another day ordo we enter into the fellowship of suffering and embrace the battle. The battles with the suffering in this life and in this case a raging pestilence that seeks to consume and destroy serve to give us deeper connection to Jesus and what he suffered.  There are two verses that have come to mind that highlight the fellowship of suffering that is a move beyond surviving under the tyranny of suffering to embracing the fellowship.

Romans 8:16-18 (ESV) The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. I consider that out present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

 

Phillipians 3:10 (KJV) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

So, please keep Janie Blake in your prayers.  God still has the victory.  The prayers that come to my heart and mind are to pray for clarity, wisdom, and understanding particularly in reference to how God is calling them in this time.  Pray for God to give clarity of vision and strength for the battle.  Previously the word from God has been that this battle is not unto death. Janie’s time has not been yet called to the end, that she is to face and enter into the battle that comes in the fellowship of suffering not just for herself and in her own life but in the lives of others.  And this battle is one that serves to lead and establish further what that call and ministry is and will be.  Perhaps what Dad and Janie envisioned and thought what there call and ministry will look like is different.  Whatever the difference is between what they saw and what God will do through them, God difference is greater.  For he gives us out of his exceeding abundance so that He may be glorified and that me may grasp an inkling of the enormity of His love.   And part of moving from living under the tyranny of suffering into embracing the fellowship of suffering is accepting and knowing that what we face and endure in relation to suffering gives us an new opportunity to grow and experience God’s love.  And ultimately, whatever twists and turns unfold in the path ahead, the end result is God’s glory.

So please take time to seek God and pray over this situation.  Then take time to reflect and pray in relation to your own life. What stress and suffering are you under?  Is your stress and pain in your life something to be endured as a tyrant or is there an embracing the fellowship of the pain that can open eyes to recognize more profoundly the awesomeness of God?  Please feel free to share any ongoing requests in your own life or thoughts related to suffering in your own life.

Swineflu Health Alert: Responses to health concerns

     Most everyone should be aware by know of the ongoing concern regarding the H1N1 virus being described as a swine-flu. Anytime there is a prospect of a pandemic it is scary.  We all have choices when we hear these kinds of news reports and world news events. 

     We can ignore concerns and engage in no preparation or precaution.  This is not a wise course of action, for there will be times coming when varied plagues and illness become more rampant.  There will be plagues about the earth, it is just a matter of when. 

     We can become panicked and fearful.  Often when news of disaster, world health concerns, or other potential disasters fear easily takes hold.  Fear is a natural response to such news events.  The question is what do you do with the fear.  You can become obsessed and withdraw or you can use it to draw you to take steps for your safety. Our feelings of fear are always a signal of a need for action, the question is always about whether the fear is real or perceived. 

   Another natural response is that of becoming obsessed over the concern.  When there is concerns of significant magnitude it is real easy, especially in this day and age to get caught up in attending to every piece of news on these items.

   The best course of action is to simply take the steps ready to prepare for the eventuality and take reasonable precautions.  The biggest thing any person can do to avoid infection is to engage in frequent hand washing.  When in public, it is also important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.   There are also vitamins you can take that can help prevent or minimize viral infection. This can include use of Vitamin D, heavy doses of Vitamin C, or other supplements.  There is information on the Internet that gives extensive directions for natural preventive supplements such as here: http://standeyo.com/NEWS/09_Health/09027.prep.4flu.

     Times like this are also a good time to re-evaluate your spiritual status.  It is a perfect time to reflect on areas of your life to make changes. It is a perfect time to consider whether or not you have turned your life to Jesus the Messiah and accepted the gift of salvation. For those that have, it is a good time to pray and seek and follow any prompting God may be stirring in your life.  This is true whether this health concern turns into a global plague/pandemic or just is simply another wake up call. 

    As a believer in Jesus as Messiah and one who seeks to walk in surrender to the Kingdom of God, it is not easy.  At times like these, thoughts become focused on how personal plans can be undone by such concerns. Yet, not my will but God’s be done.  God is and remains in control.  Sickness, illness, plague, and death all are in the course of the human experience, yet ultimately God has greater in store.  Only in God through the work of Jesus as messiah is there any true peace and joy.  And this is a perfect time for the body of Jesus, those of us serving the Kingdom of God to reach out to others and point them to the truth of God’s grace.  It is a time to pray and a time to call others to turn from their selfishness and recognize that no one is capable of self-redemption. Redemption is only possible through Jesus.

     So in closing, this is a time of concern.  There is a real threat to health that may impact the globe.  This is a great time to see to taking precautions for this life and to evaluate your spritual health and status.  It is also a great time to find ways to reach out to those around you and it may be as simple as praying for the safety and well being of those you know and who are around you.  Above all seek what God would have you do in time like this, at whatever the cost to self.