Monday, March 26, 2012

Free Access

This weekend we focused our service on Hebrews 4:13-16.

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.   For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

The emphasis of the message revolved around the thought that Jesus came to experience what we experience.
  • Jesus understands us.
  • Jesus sympathizes with us. 
  • Jesus invites us in.  
I am so thankful for the way in which the Lord is using our journey to guide my thoughts and direction for PCC, and especially our family.  He continues to show himself faithful and true every step of the way.

We ended the service with Laura sharing her story via video.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

God's Amazing Timing

Each week I get asked multiple times to give an update of our current cancer ride.

For the most part all are doing well.  There have been some moments when things are bit emotional, but overall we are counting our blessings for the progress so far.  Based on the most recent MRI results as well as Dr. Gize's assessments it is clear that the therapy is doing it's deal along with the hand of God at work.  We are so thankful for all that has happened so far, and for the many ways God is blessing us.

Our chemo treatments have turned into opportunities to look beyond ourselves.  We have been privileged to arrive at the clinic only to find someone from Pathway showing up at the same time for their appointment.  This has allowed us time to not only catch up, but to encourage one another in our fight.  Each time I am reminded of God's perfect timing in all things. 

Over the past several weeks we have had the wonderful opportunity to meet for the first time, other couples from PCC who are on the same journey we are.  I find myself walking into each Monday with my eyes a little more open, and wondering who God will introduce us to that week. 

A couple weeks ago following one of those unusual moments Laura put up her hand, gave me a high-five and stated, "We have the best job ever!"   I echo her thoughts. 

It seems each encounter has given us added confidence as we walk with others with the hope we have in Christ Jesus.  Our sense of community is certainly expanding, as well as the common ground we now share with others.   We certainly don't celebrate the disease, and would prefer some other means for meeting people, but these divine appointments have opened our eyes to the various ways God is using this in our lives and with others. 

This past Saturday following service I popped into the benefit for ten-year-old Devon Grobaski.  I was so thankful for the remarkable number of people from PCC who showed their support.  Devon has a battle on his hands, but this little guy is walking through this with amazing strength and fortitude.  He's such an inspiration to so many.  Again, our hearts have become even more sensitive to such stories because of our story.

We know God will not waste our cancer, because we refuse to waste it.  We long to learn from it, grow from it, and gain a deeper level of trust through it.  We are different today then what we were several months ago, and I'm deeply thankful for such growth. 

The cancer certainly rearranges your life, but it is what it is.

Yet, God is using it to open our eyes to the wonder of His works and His timing in all things.  He is etching into the fabric of our lives a greater awareness of His amazing grace and goodness.  He is allowing our story to intersect with the stories of others, and hopefully to be a source of comfort to them along the way. 

So I end with Paul's words to the church in Corinth.  Words that have become incredibly personal and meaningful these days.  Words I've often taught, but can now apply in ways like never before. 

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ." - 2 Cor. 1:3-5