Monday, April 29, 2013

Perfect Peace

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
When all around me is too overwhelming, I escape into the everlasting arms. One of Vince's grandmother's (Mammie) favorite hymns was Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. It was a favorite at Alton Bay and one of the first hymns learned by heart.

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 33:27
The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’

Where do others find refuge?

Seeing Dr. McGaughey today and learning that Vince's cancer is treatable and the prognosis is good was such a relief as well as a blessing. The reality of the next two months has not quite sunk in yet. Through the appts we have over the next week all the information will be repeated and the stage of the cancer identified. Perhaps time will assist with the processing of all this information. That's my prayer.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


My life verse is Nehemiah 8:10, Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength. The theme of strength has been in several of the items I've read today.
It began with a devotional this morning about Gideon. God says to him "Go with the strength you have..." Some days that can be a moment by moment.

Whatever you have--surrendered for God's use--will do. In the end, Gideon wins a great victory. But the road to a big victory was paved with a whole lot of small.
...A silly riddle--the kind that comes on bubble gum wrappers--says, "What gets bigger the more you take away?" The answer is "a hole." But I think w might answer the question "faith." God wants the resources to be scarce so that no on will be confused about the source of the victory. When we learn how to answer a big call with small resources, we have a recipe for flourishing faith. The old, small Gideon had become the mighty hero. When our resources are diminishing, we must trust that the strength we have is the strength we need.

The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you. To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else. ---Bernadette Devlin

The above is from Praying the Promises of God by Cheri Fuller & Jennifer Kennedy Dean

While we were doing our Sunday school lesson this afternoon, more verses popped out --
Habakkuk 3:19The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
1 Corinthians 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

May your strength increase is how I wanted to close this posting so I googled it and found out it is a Jewish congratulation --
Yishar koḥakha or Yasher ko'akh יִישַׁר כֹּחֲךָ       May your strength increase

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I cried out, "I am slipping!"
But your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.  Psalm 94:18-19

Walking down the road with my BF prayer partner as her husband has cancer gave me skills that have helped set up Vince's caring bridge site and know the blessings of having others pray for you.
It amazes me how God prepares us for what is ahead. So when doubts assail my mind I remember all my blessings and that gives me renewed hope and cheer.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Where does my help come from?

Hard to explain my feelings today so I'll use another quote from Limitless,

...If you find yourself struggling more than usual with a challenge, my recommended recovery plan is to lean with gratitude on those who care about you, be patient with your tender feelings, do your best to understand the realities versus the emotions at play, and put your faith into action. As hard as it may seem, move forward one step at a time, day by day, knowing that there will be valuable lessons learned and strength gained in each trial.
...There is a certain peace to be found in knowing that there is a master plan for your life and that your value, purpose, and destiny are not determined by what happens to you but by how you respond to it.

During those times when I feel helpless I lean on Psalm 121 -- which I memorized and pray it back to God...
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ridiculous Joy!

CAT scan done, awaiting results.

Reading Limitless, a devotional book by Nick Vijacic. I'm a book blogger for Tyndale House so I get to read books and review them. Heard this Aussie on my ride home one evening on Dr. Dobson's Family Talk who was born without arms or legs... Somewhere in the middle of the night I realized the picture on the front of one of my possible reads was Nick!

So I requested a copy for my Kindle and have been reading it since last Wednesday. It's quite a pithy little book. There are 50 devotionals -- I'm reading them like popping M&M's and highlighting like crazy. That's the one thing I LOVE about my Kindle -- when reading a book for review I can highlight the quotes that are keepers and then they are listed on the table of contents page.

Friday morning we went to get my car inspected at Speedy Auto on 21st Street and had breakfast across the street at IHOP. I brought my Kindle and shared the highlighted portions with Vince after we had eaten. It was a time of real encouragement for both of us as I read through those statements that had resonated with my spirit. That's where the title for today's entry comes from -- one of the funniest stories I read--and will share here:

We were in Africa. When we arrived at the airport, I grew bored waiting for our luggage, so I told my caregiver, Kyle, that I wanted to ride the carousel.
He looked at me like he was thinking, Dude, have you gone made as a cut snake?
But Kyle came through. He hoisted me up and plopped me next to a big Samsonite suitcase. Off I went with the rest of the bags and cases. I rode the carousel through the terminal, making like a statue wearing sunglasses and drawing shocked stares, pointed fingers, and nervous laughter from the other travelers. They weren't sure if I was (a) a real person or (b) the world's most handsome duffle bag.
Finally I rode the carousel up to the little door leading to the backroom loading area. There, I was greeted by some African baggage handlers, laughing and smiling at the crazy Aussie on a joy ride.
"God bless you!" they said, cheering me on.
The baggage workers understood that sometimes even grownups have to hitch a ride on a carousel. Youth isn't wasted on children. They enjoy every minute of it. You and I should do whatever we can to keep our youthful joy alive. If your life is too predictable, don't go postal. Take a ridiculous ride back to whatever it was that gave you joy as a child....
It's important to occasionally have a dose of ridiculous fun. It's about enjoying the ride, embracing the blessings, and always pushing not just to live but to enjoy your life to the fullest...       #15 Enjoy the Ride from Limitless by Nick Vijacic

Now for my take on this challenge -- Stephanie and I went for pedicures on Friday afternoon. Having just read this to Vince earlier in the day, when Lucy commented my pastel green was "typical" for me, I asked her what she would do -- she said neon green! I accepted her advice and went for some ridiculous fun for a change. Since the blog won't cooperate and add my pedicure picture you need to engage your imagination. I think Nick would approve. ;D

Today's scripture is Psalm 20
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
    and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory
    and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant all your requests.
Now this I know:
    The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
    with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
    but we rise up and stand firm.
Lord, give victory to the king!
    Answer us when we call!

God is our defender, protector, champion, trusted listener and faithful friend.   

Monday, April 22, 2013

April Thoughts

Life changes so quickly...
In March after a good physical report from his primary doctor about his diabetes and A1C, Vince had trouble swallowing. The gastroenterologist ordered an endoscopy which he had last Thursday. The doctor came in following the procedure and explained he had found a large mass at the bottom of the esophagus which in his opinion was cancerous. He had taken several biopsies which would be back on Monday. He ordered a CAT scan which will be done Tuesday morning at 7:30.

In so many ways this seems like "deja vu." In 1993, Vince had bladder cancer with a recurrence in 1996. We've been down the cancer road before. As before, the Lord gave us both peace before the doctor's appointment that it was cancer -- the test was just a confirmation.

Vince now has his own Caring Bridge site for posting the journey. If you would like to follow along with us, the link is here:
Caring Bridge Site

Blogging will definitely be a more common and necessary activity now. The Lord is showing Himself so magnificently in this new journey. I will post here scripture, lyrics to songs, whatever the Lord is using in our lives through all of this.

How could we travel this road without our intimate, personal, loving and caring God? It would not be possible.

Today's scripture: Psalm 18:1-6
I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
    the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
    the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
    I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
    my cry came before him, into his ears.
What a way to start the day...

Before the Throne of God Above by Charles L Bancroft

This hymn was on the same CD as Still and the words were a balm to my soul. When I went and looked up the lyrics the hymn was written in 1863 and the second line of the first stanza said "perfect plea" not perfect peace. But before I saw the words I had been singing perfect peace... It fits our current situation so much as perfect peace so I hope the author won't mind the change.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect peace.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

Hymn: Still by Hillsong United

Hide me now
Under Your wings
Cover me
Within Your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father You are king over the flood
I will be still, know You are God
What a comfort to know in a time of waiting, the truth of Psalm 46:10,  Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”