Sunday, June 29, 2008

From The Mouth of Babes

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" - Mathew 5:8

It's a lovely lazy Sunday here filled with homemade blueberry pancakes, beautiful sunshine filtering through the lace covered windows and the morning paper read cover to cover. Johnny is taking it easy after a chemo-filled day on Friday. We rolled through the gates of Mayo Clinic early in the morning and didn't leave until late afternoon.

It is indescribable though, the feeling of healing and peace that hits you the moment you enter the campus of Mayo Clinic. Lush flower-filled gardens abound everywhere, intricately woven amongst the trees, and the ponds and the waterfalls and the walking bridges. Benches are scattered throughout in both shady and sunny spots to provide moments of reflection, rest, quiet and prayer. This is the 'disneyworld of medicine."

Stress is left behind! Once you enter the building you encounter smiling, sunny personalities of staff members on all levels who seem to emulate the motto of Mayo - "the patient's best interest is our first priority." You feel welcome. You feel relaxed. You feel cared about. You feel "at home." You see God everywhere.

Yesterday I got an email from my parents' dear friend Barbara Jean Woomer showing God through the eyes of children, and I just HAVE to share it. I printed it out for Johnny to read and we both got a chuckle from it. Here it is. Thanks Mrs. Woomer!

A fifth grade teacher in a Christian school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God. I love the wisdom of pure hearts! Here is what they thought God was like:

God is like....BAYER ASPIRIN...He works miracles.

God is like...a FORD...He's got a better idea.

God is like...COKE...He's the real thing.

God is like...HALLMARK CARDS...He cares enough to send His very best.

God is like...TIDE...He gets the stains out that others leave behind.

God is like...GENERAL ELECTRIC...He brings good things to life.

God is like...SEARS...He has everything.

God is like...ALKA-SELTZER...Try Him, you'll like Him

God is like...SCOTCH TAPE...You can't see Him, but you know He's there.

God is like...DELTA...He's ready when you are.

God is like...ALLSTATE...You're in good hands with Him.

God is like...VO-5 Hair Spray ...He holds through all kinds of weather.

God is like...DIAL SOAP...Aren't you glad you have Him? Don't you wish everybody did?

God is like...the U.S. POST OFFICE... Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination.

God is like...Chevrolet. . .the heart beat of America

God is like...Maxwell house. . .Good to the very last drop

God is like...B o u n t y .. . .He is the quicker picker upper. . can handle the tough jobs. . and He won't fall apart on you.

I hope your day is filled with seeing God in everything! He is our Father and we are His children - that is one thing that He never wants us to forget. He tells us in Matthew 18:3 that "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

A card I received from my cousin Robin (soul-sister!) and her husband Chris reminds us, that as children, there are 10 things God wants us to remember:

1. I am for you.
2. I love you.
3. I believe in you.
4. I will bless you.
5. I will give you rest.
6. I will be with you.
7. I will not fail you.
8. I will provide for you.
9. I will strengthen you.

So open your hearts to your heavenly Father today and join us as we kleft in His bosom and enjoy the rest we all need! I wish you faith, hope and love as your soul is restored and your trust is strengthened as you continue to BELIEVE!

Beautiful Blessings,


Friday, June 27, 2008


Happy Birthday to the most wonderful mother in the world! I love this picture of her and daddy from last year!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Your My Fella - My Rock-a-fella!

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" - Matthew 6:21

Tomorrow is my 55th birthday and also the second chemo session for Johnny. He has had a wonderful two weeks since the side effects from chemo #1 subsided. His appetite has come back full force, his energy has increased, he's put some healthy weight back on and we've been enjoying outings during the day to break up the monotony of things. We've been out to eat for breakfast or lunch and taken rides up and down Jacksonville beach to catch a few rays, some good minerals from the salt air and of course, all those good negative ions from the crashing waves! Trust me folks, negative ions are the "wave" of the future! But that's a story for another day.

This week has been special because Johnny has declared some new rules on love. Birthday weeks instead of just one day. I told him that's just fine but that goes both ways so he has his week coming in December and I intend to spoil him BIG TIME come December!

Around birthday time my mind always takes me back to years ago during our happy go lucky courtship at Florida State University. Johnny was living with his Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Inda in Crawfordville, Florida. We tooled around town in his Uncle's little Honda car that we could fill up on spare change! Ah the days of being poor and living on love! What-A-Burgers were our big treat on dates back then because they were SO BIG and we could split one and save money.

But we also did alot of walking around campus - just for the fun of it - singing and holding hands and acting goofy. Our favorite tune we'd sing was an old fashioned song - I don't even know all of it - but I would sing "You're my fella -my rock-a-fella" and then he would sing back to me "You're my lady - my lady blue." Pretty silly huh? We still sing it after all these years.

At the time we had no idea where the future was taking us. It didn't matter. We started our journey with $30 in the bank, a Mach I Mustang packed to the rim, and hearts full of dreams on our wedding day. Off we drove (at high speed I might add) into the unknown without fear and ready to conquer the world. Trust me when I say there has NEVER been a dull moment in our marriage. But in the midst of all the joy and laughter and sorrow and tears - I have found my treasure.

I have learned that love is not exactly like the storybooks tell it - but it can endure through many roller coaster rides of life when two hearts recognize each other as soul mates - and keep on holding on. True love waits. True love grows. True love survives. True love appreciates. True love simply loves. True love gives 101%. True love takes 100%. It is always changing and rearranging. But true love endures.

But may I share with you - the moments of our greatest love - I have found - was when we started praying together. When we truly put God in the middle and as our solid foundation. God is the glue that has brought us our greatest victories and happiest moments.

So today I wish each of you the joy of praying with the one you love. "You complete me" takes on a whole new meaning when God completes your circle of love...........He is the treasure all other treasures flow from. He is our "rock" and the mighty hands that I lay my own "rock-a-fella's" life in, knowing that "good things come to those who love the Lord."

Beautiful Blessings!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Get Your Grace On!

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" - Hebrews 4:16

Have you had your serving of grace today? Yes! Grace! That unmerited love and favor from God to man....that sprinkling of "divine influence" in action that purifies us and makes us morally strong. It is available to each of us but how often do we reach up for it and grab it?

The Lord tells us that everything Satan intends for evil will be turned around for good. I believe this to be especially true when one receives the "dreaded" diagnosis of cancer. What we come to realize is the moment of grace that is sent to us when we cry out for the Lord's help. We receive the grace of a certain clarity of vision that comes to us in the "twinkling of an eye." We suddenly just STOP in our tracks and look around at our life. Often we realize we have just been going through the motions letting the world control us, pushing us further away from the truth within us and the purpose we were created for.

Grace affords us the opportunity to re-examine everything. What matters - what doesn't. We get a new chance to start living life on purpose. You never really start living until you truly believe you are going to die. That is the gift of grace we get when we hear the "C" word. You suddenly realize in that twinkling of an eye that you don't have a moment to spare in living every moment.

It is the time when everything you are made of comes to light. It is a delight to see Johnny's "warrior spirit" surface in the face of this new challenge. He has recovered from the "left hook" of the diagnosis and the first chemo and neulasta shot, and he has come back swinging! Here is a man who understands what BOLDLY coming to the throne of grace means. In the dictionary the word bold means ready to take risks, or face danger, with a FEARLESSNESS.

He has reached deep within to that well of strength that flows from that Almighty source. He has connected with the roots planted deep so many years ago by his Mother and Grandmother in the Baptist church of his childhood. They obediently raised him up in the ways of the Lord and he has come back around full circle to surrender to the greatest source of power in the universe. He finally understands because he has "come home."

This is a miracle in itself. The outpouring of love from friends and strangers and the avalanches of prayers being prayed by so many has transformed Johnny's definition of what is possible. As he boldly comes to the throne of grace he now boldly proclaims his acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is Lord and humbly bows to Him as savior of his soul and body.

He now boldly speaks of God to everyone.

He now boldly prays with people.

He now boldly thinks "what would Jesus do" in his actions.

He boldly tells people he loves them.

I don't think he ever realized how beautiful he is when he prays. He tells other people "well I don't have all those wonderful words like you do...." Yes he does. Because when he prays he simply speaks from his heart. He talks to God just like he talks to you and me. That's how it should be. Prayers are merely conversations we have with our heavenly Father. We got a card yesterday that compared prayer to a toll free 800 line to God 24/7. I love it! Have you made your call today?

I encourage each of you to get your grace on today! You don't have to earn it. The Lord gives it to us just because He loves us. Remember there is nothing that can happen today that you and God can't handle together. So get some grace to go.

Go in peace!

In His Love,


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Faith That Makes Your Heart Sing

“Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose” (Acts 16:26-34)

This morning as Johnny and I woke up we listened to the birds chirping gleefully, as they stretched their wings to greet the morning sunrise. My heart felt glad as I watched Johnny's eyes flutter open. My first words were "Thank You Lord for waking me up to another day of loving Johnny!" These mornings of late have been so much more special because I savor every moment I spend with Johnny.

Usually I sneak downstairs to get my prayer time in before the world and all its responsibilites of daily living hit. Johnny apologized as he came down the stairs right behind me, "I'm sorry if I interfered with your prayer time." I told him not to worry. Life was becoming a "living prayer" lately and it felt good to feel that joy of the Holy Spirit alive and well, despite many trying circumstances.

Probably not by coincidence, as I groped through my stacks of books waiting beside me at my coffee table, I came across the Baptist Hymnal given to my by a dear friend, Frances Watson. I just love hymnals! The poetry contained within is from the hearts of ordinary people. Two of my favorite hymns were written around 1870 and it fascinates me that a century and a half later, we see people going through the same human struggles. One hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour" was written by a housewife doing her daily chores. The other "It Is Well With My Soul" was written by a Chicago lawyer who had lost everything in the great "Chicago fire" right before he lost his daughters at sea while on a pleasure voyage. Yet he could travel with his wife to the location at sea where they drowned and penn those mighty words.

I felt so inspired I decided to just belt out those and a couple more hymns hoping I wouldn't bother Johnny too much as he read his morning paper in the den. Before I knew it he came rushing in the living room. "That's it!" he exclaimed. "That's the spirit I was waiting for! Get the Holy Water!"

I laughed. The night before I asked him if he was ready for me to anoint him with the Holy Water that Donna and Richard Carter had brought us from the Holy Land. He told me to wait until I felt that deep spiritual connection with God because he didn't want to waste something holy. I guess the sound of me singing did the trick. He was ready to receive the healing!

So I told him to lay down on the couch and I kneeled beside him. I find it interesting that the cancer lays right over his heart. I laid my hands over his heart and moved them in circles of love over his left chest. I told him I had read that the most effective prayer that got results was praying in praise and thanks. So I recited my prayer of thanks I created and memorized and I was so glad I had memorized it. It made me realize the importance of my simple act of obedience (going to the trouble of memorizing it) was paying off at a precious moment. (You will see the prayer in one of my previous blog entries.)

Next I sprinkled the water on my palm and rubbed it into his heart area while I prayed aloud for "Thy will not my will" to be done but requesting if it be His will - to destroy the cancer in a million pieces - and to refresh and restore Johnny to become a strong vessel to be used by God. I repeated the many promises of the Lord that what we decreed would be established, that no power can stand against prayer, that if we believe we will receive, that nothing is impossible for God, and that the victory that has overcome the world is our faith.

Then I asked God to use me as a healing vessel to blow the breath of life on Johnny's heart as I blew the Holy Water dry on his chest. Now it is up to Him and I accept His will in all things.

Later this morning I was reading about Paul and Silas after they had been beaten and thrown in prison because they exorcised a demon out of a young girl who could foretell the future. Her parents were angry with the two because they had also removed income from the family! Yet that night at midnight there was Paul and Silas just singing their hearts out to the Lord. Before you knew it an earthquake thundered, the prison doors flew open and all the prisoners who heard them singing were freed and the jailer saved!

So it made me smile to think of how singing to the Lord this morning stirred Johnny's heart to a moment of faith and trusting in God. It made a difference to Paul and Silas and the notes of music can transcend centuries and lead to miracles even today! Thanks again to all of you who continue to call, write, and visit and keep us encouraged to stand on our faith. It awes me how the Christian spirit rallies to unite behind a call to prayer for a friend AND even for one some have never met. That is God in action and proof that he uses us all to be angels to one another in time of need. Praise God! Jesus is Lord.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Got Miracles?

"And ye will seek Me and find Me when you search with all your heart. I will be found by you says the Lord and I will bring you back from your captivity." -Jeremiah 29:13-14

Do you believe in miracles? Have you ever witnessed an event or action that apparently contradicted scientific law and appeared to be a supernatural act of God? Is it possible that Jesus wasn't kidding when he said to an apostle, that we who followed Him would do even greater miracles?

I believe that miracles are all around us everyday and that too often we write them off to coincidence. I think it would blow alot of people's minds if they really took stock of the power we are given by The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. There is a "secret code word" that is revealed to those who search for it within the pages of our bible. It is the secret that unlocks the power to achieve miracles in His name. Got a clue? The word is FAITH. Actually it is no secret. It just cannot be found until we search with all our hearts. It appears over and over and over again.

Faith is the truth that sets us free from the captivity of limited power. Faith makes miracles possible. Faith is the unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence. I have faith that we will receive the miracle we have asked for as we give thanks for Johnny's healing. I told Johnny this morning I refuse to believe in the diagnosis, I choose to believe he will conquer cancer by the grace of God, the sword of the spirit, the prayers of love and His promises that we have claimed by decreeing Johnny's victory. Two or more have gathered in His name all over this country to lift Johnny up in prayer.

This afternoon we received what I would like to call a "confirmation" of my belief that God is not done with Johnny yet. Two of our dearest friends, Richard and Donna Carter, stopped by on their way to the Holy Land! They leave tomorrow for a whirlwind trip to several countries to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. They brought by some HAND DRAWN water from the spring at MERYEMANA, the place where John took Mary in Ephesus after the crucifixion. It is reported to have curative powers, but it reads, "the true power is in prayer and FAITH."

Works for me! I know miracles are possible because I have a miracle story that occurred Christmas week 2004. It was the Christmas I almost died. It was the week I saw the face of God - in a flock of birds.........

My story began when I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer - stage 3 in April 2004. My chances were not that great. They had only just discovered specific medicine for THAT kind of breast cancer five years before. I started Chemotherapy every two weeks for three months the beginning of June. I stopped in September to allow my body time to restore itself as much as possible to brace for the masectomy of my right breast on October 6, 2004. After another month of healing I started on an oral chemo which led to all the trouble Christmas week. I had been taking 18 pills of chemo daily and had been enduring the side effects of chemical burn to the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet. It felt like walking on fire!

But then the king of all side effects kicked in early December keeping me in the bathroom every two hours all day every day for weeks until I finally became so dehydrated that they admitted into the hospital Monday of Christmas week. Christmas Day was Saturday. My greatest wish was to be back home before Christmas so I could wake up Christmas morning in my own bed. It was not to be. Each day I got worse. All my veins had collapsed so they had to put a P.I.C. line in me that weaved its way up through my arms, across my chest and down my sternum. They finally were able to administer meds through a portal in my upper arm.

But nothing seemed to work. My universe became the small area in my room that connected my bed to the path of the bathroom. My bedside table was all I had power over. I kept it fanatically organized. After several days and night I was in so much pain that it was difficult to even pray. They were giving me a heroin derivative for pain. I was losing hope fast. I realized soon that I would not be going home for Christmas and I was in despair. Christmas was also my daughter Scarlett's birthday. I would be missing the birthday of Jesus AND my daughter.

One night in the very wee hours of the morning I tried to pray but was so weak and my mind was befuzzled. All I could simply do was to ask the Lord to give me a sign He was with me. I no longer cared what the outcome was as long as I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE was with me. I did not pray to be spared. I prayed to see HIS face knowing the outcome did not matter as long as I knew HE was with me. I totally surrendered my soul to THY will not MY will. I asked Him to send my a sign by sending me a bird to fly by my window. I had not seen the first bird fly by all week.

The dawn came and went and the day passed on. I waited gazing constantly at the window in anticipation of my bird. No bird came by. Scarlett came to visit me and I was in tears. "God won't even send me a bird!" I cried. She went back to work and decided to help God give me the miracle I was asking for. She found a beautiful picture of huge strong hands holding a frail injured bird and wrote me a letter over the picture - from the bird to me. The letter basically said that the bird was sick and dying just like me but still God was holding it in HIS mighty hands. It reminded me that all God asks from us is to believe that HE is our rock. HE is our redeemer. HE is our strength. That we would BOTH fly again in HIS time. All HE asks us to do is to believe.

AS Scarlett handed me the picture with the letter she told me that I should believe God answered my prayer through her. I did believe it and thought it was wonderful. But then the birds just kept on coming. Next my nursing aide brought me a tiny cross pin that had a dove perched on it. Then my niece Becky brought me an angel holding a bird in its cupped hands. Then my Aunt Ruby called to tell the story of the bird perched on her windowsill pecking itself to death trying to get in to her (with a heavenly message?) Then my brother Chip arrived with a feathered bird statue. Finally my girlfriend Debi was visiting and as I was relating the bird stories she pointed to the window and said "look!" As I leaned forward to peer out the window a flock of birds flew by with beautiful majesty.

Amazingly, that Christmas Day was my best Christmas ever. Another miracle was that Johnny had to do the Christmas shopping for the first time in his life. And he went to Publix and bought Scarlett a birthday cake so that when she came down the stairs Christmas morning, he was waiting for her with candlles lit and singing "Happy Birthday" to her on the special day she shared with Jesus. They arrived later at the hospital with sacks fulll of presents and we sat in a circle on my bed and opened all the presents one by one like we do at home. I learned that Christmas is where your heart is at - not where your body is.

And the next part of the miracle? That night on Christmas Eve, everything going haywire in my body just STOPPED. They sent me home the next day. And the moral of the story? Whenver you ask God for something He always answers prayer and He always gives you so much more than you ever dreamed possible. If He had just sent me one lone bird flying by the window it wouldn't have been half as significant as all the birds that came my way from family, friends and those who were caring for me.

So miracles? Yes! I believe in them. And I am believing again for Johnny. If you have a miracle story please send it and share it with the world! We need more reminders that miracles are possible and are happening with all of us. I wish every one of you a miracle and a dream come true. His praise shall continuously be on my lips!

Beautiful Blessings,


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Think On These Things

Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things."
-Phillipians 4:8

Here is the power of positive thinking at its finest explained in simple terms to us by Paul, as he languishes in chains in some archaic prison, but still musters the power to encourage all Christians to stand fast together in spirit, "with one mind" and to not "in any way be terrified by your adversaries, which is to them "a proof of perdition." I looked up the word perdition which means the loss of the soul, damnation, hell. Oh my! Fear certainly does have some nasty consequences!

So let's look up the words Paul uses to provide us "swords of the spirit" that we may wield in confidence to thwart the evil plans of pitiful Lucifer who was cast out of heaven without with any true power to harm us. Remember that his favorite attack spots are our emotions and our mind. But it is all smoke and mirrors and he only has the power we allow him.

So what words do we need branded on our spirits that plant seeds of thought to fight?

TRUE - conforming to an original pattern, rule, standards, rightful, legitimate, accurately fitted, placed, real genuine, authentic, honest virtuous

NOBLE - showing high moral qualities or greatness, high heredity rank or title, superior

JUST - deserved, merited, lawful, fair, righteous, proper, fitting, accurate, exact

PURE - simple, free from defects, perfect, faultless, undefiled

LOVELY - having those qualities that inspire love, affection, admiration. Spiritually attractive.

VIRTUE - effective power or force, the ability to heal or strengthen.

Did you look closely at these words and their definitions? Hello! This is the picture the world should see when they look at us. This is the picture we must hold in our minds 24/7 if we are to access the promises of our inheritance! If we want light in the room we must make sure the lamp is plugged into the source of electricity. If we want our reflections to shine and blind the world with the brilliance of God flowing through us, we must plug into these power words on a daily basis.

No matter what is happening, no matter where we find ourselves at the moment, despite any disappointments or emotional torture or self made prisons we find ourselves in - here is the lifeline! We are told to THINK on these things! Paul continues on to proclaim "for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." He knows that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. This from a man in a stinkin nasty prison with no modern "amenities."

What prison is holding your soul hostage today? Take heart from these encouraging words that come to us through the centuries straight to your heart. Claim the power to overcome. There IS power in words so start using them to empower and nourish your soul. Every word you speak aloud is a command to your subconcious and spirit who interpret them as marching orders! So start using the weapons you have to break free from your own prisons and win the battles that lead to your own victory in life. It is our inheritance as Christians. Let us not squander these gifts with doubt and fear, and depression. Instead each morning look in the mirror and shout - "Today I am true, noble, just, pure, lovely, speaking only good things and full of God's power to do anything!" I challenge you each to try this.

Here's another favorite poem that really shows us we "we are what we think!"

If you think you're beaten you are;
If you think you dare not you don't.
If you'd like to win, but you think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose you're lost,
For out in the world you'll find
Success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man that wins
Is the one who thinks he can.
- Walter Wintle

I have seen in these last few weeks that true spirit of christians "standing together in spirit with one mind" as friends and strangers continue to reach out to Johnny and our whole family - almost as if hovering in a circle around us spreading their angel wings to encourage us and remind us of God's truths and blessings. We read each card and personal note written out loud together and it turns into a moment of prayer with each envelope open. The phone continues to ring and I thank everyone for their continued efforts to stay close and showing such love and affection. God bless you all.

In His Love,


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pressing On to Victory

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." - Galatians 6:9

I stumbled across one of my all time favorite poems that has encouraged me over the years in my many dreams I have pursued. It reminds me so much of Johnny because he is one who has achieved so much in life by not quitting. I tend to be a great starter but not always a great finisher. I was always ready to plunge in to some new endeavor and sometimes my enthusiasm outweighed my fore thought. So consequently, though I did achieve some wonderful goals, there are trails of many things I did not finish.

Johnny is different. He did not tread lightly into anything. His perceptive mind always thought things out. If he committed to something, I always knew he would see it through to the end. He has always been a cautious man who always considers all aspects of a situation. He is also a great prognosticator of world events. His passion is history - whatever era - whatever location - but his favorite history is that of his Southern heritage. He takes great pride in his ancestry and all the good things the South represented over time. He loves the fierce spirit of his ancestors who fought so hard for a mighty cause of protecting all they loved.

It is that same spirit that I see alive and well in Johnny today as he fights this latest "good fight" but allowing the awesome power of the Holy Spirit to lead this charge. He reminds me of the story of the mighty eagle who, when his feathers are frayed and his beak is knotted with hard deposits, seeks to soar to the highest "rock" that is closest to greatest light of "the sun" (the son?) to be renewed and restored. He then plucks his thousands of feathers one by one until he is naked and totally frail and vulnerable, perched upon that mighty rock and soaking in the brilliant rays of the sun. His feathers all grow back. The renewal process takes fourty days. Pretty coincidental no? Then off he flies again back to life and back to living.

Isn't God and all He designs so amazing? It takes my breath away. It gives me hope to remember how much God is in control of each and every one of our lives. And if we will just open our hearts and listen to His instructions He always leads us to victory. So I send encouragement to all of you, to give to others in your life who are fighting their own battles. It seems we all know someone with cancer these days. My message is to "don't quit!" It is also the title of the poem I want to share with you. The author is anonymous - but the theme is well known and one we all need to keep close at heart.


When things go wrong, as they often will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit!

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns;
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he's stuck it out.
Don't give up when the pace seems slow -
You might suceed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the winner's cup,
And learned too late, when the night slipped down
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you can never tell just how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the light when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worse that you musn't quit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Daring To Believe

"Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life and few will find it." - Matthew 7:14

It takes alot of courage to believe when the world around you cries nay! It takes more than wishing. It takes a burning desire to cling to that which you know to be true in your heart and to keep walking on path despite what you cannot see. I believe in miracles. God says anything is possible and anything means anything or it means nothing at all.

There comes a time in each of our lives when we must draw the line in the sand. We fight for the truth or we give in to the pressure of worldly influences and never come to realize our true purpose while here on earth. The gate never changes or widens to accomodate all the excuses and detours we take in life. We eventually must take a stand or live a life underlined by a misery we don't understand. As for me and mine........give us the narrow gate!

And what is our purpose? I have come to believe that love is all that matters. We struggle here on earth to find it, to keep it, to understand it, to weather its ups and downs, but to keep holding on. It is worth the struggle. Love comes down to alot of simple moments that add up to an ocean of love.

Johnny and I had a few of those simple moments that I cherished these last two days. He has endured the "chemo-storm" that weakened him and took away his appetite. He is rallying once again and enjoying the simple pleasures in life. We had a most excellent Father's Day and beautiful family time with Scarlett. We knew the tide was turning when he requested a take-out from one of his favorite restaurants - Enza's Italian Restaurant.

Yesterday he felt good enough to venture out to a Japanese restaurant for lunch. It was a quiet little place and very stress free. Later that afternoon I gave him a manicure and we laughed and talked about old times as I clipped and filed his nails. I rubbed his fingers and hands with sweet smelling hand lotion and realized how truly beautiful and precious those rugged hands were.

Seeing Johnny back to his old self restored my faith that a miracle was possible because we are daring to believe - and to get "mad dog mean" about beating the odds. I simply pray to be able to keep that fire of faith burning strong during his "down" moments when I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Get thee from me fear! We have received the power of love and a sound mind through the great sacrifice on the cross. I claim it and I believe we will conquer cancer through the sword of the spirit.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A thankful Father's Day.

"Here's to a few more Father's Days," my dad toasted at dinner. I tried to hold back the tears hoping it was true.

For obvious reasons, I truly cherished this Father's Day. It was the simple moments like him laughing at my cards, or all of us eating take-out from his favorite restaurant, or watching him get up from the recliner and shake his booty dancing into the kitchen with the most energy I've seen him have in a week. His energy levels have been pretty low since starting the chemo, but it was such a blessing to see God give him enough energy to enjoy Father's Day.

Here's some pictures from the day from my iPhone!

A handful of all the cards everyone has so graciously sent him! It's amazing how he continues to get a dozen new cards in the mail each day! Thank you to everyone who has gone out of your way to encourage him with your prayers!

Holding On To Hope

"Be doers of the word and not hearers only"
-James 1:22

How do you hold on to hope? Believe it or not - it is not as daunting as it might sound. You simply "become" hope. To "become" hope you "become" pro-active. That means, you make the decision that nothing else matters in your world except for one thing - you have hope. If you want to find hope with all your heart and soul, it is time to put feet to your faith and go after it with a vengeance.

I wrote these words awhile back after I had conquered my own battle with cancer. And now they come back to haunt me as I struggle to hold on to a different type of hope. Just as it is easier to endure your own pain rather than watch someone you love is easier to rest in hope when it is your own life. The stakes are so much diffferent when you must keep the faith and humbly surrender to "THY will" when it affects someone you love. There is so much more fear to fight, patience and trust to be had, and loss to endure when it is all about someone that you love and cherish.

Yes, this fight is alot harder for me than my own bout with conquering cancer. But, I am forever grateful to all those I know and those I don't know who have rushed in to offer love and encouragement to our family on a daily basis. Our mailbox is brimming over each day with letters and cards. The phones ring regularly. And I can feel the massive prayers being prayed for Johnny and our family.

This has been an extra tough week after the good weekend we had last week. The good news is we were able to get under the care of Mayo Clinic immediately so my confidence is restored that Johnny has the best medical care in THE UNIVERSE! Mayo Clinic is truely the "disneyworld of medicine." I thank God for that grace. It came just in time as Johnny struggled through the devasting effects of the chemo-therapy and the neulasta shot to rebuild his white blood cells.

His bones screamed with pain all week and he also had flu symptoms which sucked every ounce of energy out of him. I had to take him back to Mayo Clinic Friday so they could give him an IV to rehydrate him. His stomache was "tore up" and he didnt eat much. He unfortunately was in the bathroom every several hours for many days which caused him to become dehydrated. Today is the first day he did not lose weight when he weighed.

Today is a special Father's Day because we don't know if it will be Johnny's last one. I encourage all of you to cherish your Fathers if they are still alive and let them know how much you love them. The recent death of my favorite news commentator, Tim Russert, really hit me hard because it reminds me that all we are promised is today. So today go find your Father and make this moment count. And don't forget to thank the most important Father of all.....our heavenly Father.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Finding the light of hope

“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path”
-Psalm 119:105

Today I am going to the beauty shop to get my color corrected. Scarlett was in last week and when I made my appointment her hairdresser told her that the appointment after me was a lady coming in to get her "chemo cut." I remember my own "chemo cut" back in June 2004. I had already started my chemo treatments and my hair was thinning leaving strands all over my clothes and the backs of chairs I sat on. So I said the heck with it. I decided to cut it in a short pixie - Halle Berry style- to make the loss more manageable. Later on my dear hairdresser at the time, Annetta Nadolna, came to my house and shaved the rest. I realized after all was said and done that we ladies never realize just how much time we spend messing with our hair. It was the most liberating aspect of the whole chemo experience to me to be bald and beautiful!

So I wanted to leave a little letter of hope for this Lady who I do not know but yet am connected to as a sister by the ties that bind all of us who conquer cancer. I know she will conquer cancer also. I am adding her to my daily list of those who I continue to pray for after all these years. Prayer is such a lovely gift because it gives both ways. You bless and you are blessed in return through the joy of giving.

My gift to this lovely lady today is something I wrote a while back about finding the light of hope. Here it is. God bless you my sister in Christ whoever you are:


Do we find hope or does hope find us? I found it appears to us in moments of surrender. In my own cancer journey, the light of hope glimmered when I finally stopped fighting the fear that cancer could destroy me, and surrendered my fight to the power of God to fight for me. It was at that moment I decided to win. I faced my fear and remembered my brother Chip’s motto about fear – that it is False Evidence Appearing Real. So what is the true evidence that is real? These “facts” can be found in the greatest book of truths – THE BIBLE.

I started scouring the bible for verses that revealed the promises of God to each of us. I found a blank journal book and began recording the truths I found to feed my soul each morning and arm myself with the protection I needed to face each day. It brought me great joy as the nuggets of power jumped off the pages at me. They had been there all along but I think the difference was my new receptivity to embrace them. I finally understood what is meant by “power in the word.”

A popular country music song “Jesus Take The Wheel” by Carrie Underwood offers us great advice. It encourages us all to remember that God is in control. If we can begin by believing this, we can allow hope to perch itself and make a nest in our souls. But the key to this, is believing with all your heart and soul. Hope is believing in the outcome. It is believing what you cannot see. It is realizing the victory is already ours. Cancer is not so much a battle for your body as it is for your soul.

What we cannot see is more important than what we CAN see. What we CAN see is limited. What we CANNOT see is unlimited power of God’s universe that is available to us. There is great power in the unseen – it is that place where we can cleft in God. When we learn to abide in God, to immerse our spirits in quiet, we start to hear the whispers God speaks to our hearts.

The most important aspect of hope is understanding that you can hope because YOU ARE NOT ALONE. God has promised us He is there all the time. Wherever God is there is power. It’s up to us to accept that truth. Once we do the universe unfolds and begins to unleash mighty miracles.

The spoils of our victory is that peace that surpasses all understanding. It is knowing that no matter what God’s will is for our bodies, we have won the battle for our soul. When we can honestly say “No matter what happens – it is well with my soul” then we become filled with a happiness that makes us want to run out and bless the world. That, my friend, is what winning is all about. It is a battle we win day after day if we refuse to give in to despair and choose life.

Mom's Letter

It's Wednesday morning and Johnny has really been under the weather with flu symptoms and EXTREME bone pain. He lost 7 pounds in one day. It's so heartrending to watch one you love suffer and feel helpless beyond keeping him comfortable and popping the Moutrin to him every 4 hours. He took a leftover darvocet last nite which helped him sleep a little better.

My thoughts traveled back to my Mother in times of my own pain. I remember one particular incident in my younger adult years when I had come back home to visit after another detour in life. I just cried and cried next to her on the bed and she swept me up in her arms and bundled me into her warm soft chest and wrapped her arms around me and let me cry while she stroked my hair. Now THAT is medicine no one can bottle! It's wonderful that Mothers always wait with loving arms for us to come to whether it be a child with a boo boo that needs a band-aid or or a grown woman with a heartache.

How is it that Mothers always have the right words to say for any given crisis? My Mom, Mary Elisabeth Bowdren, is a skilled writer whether she admits it or not. We used to tease her about her letters we would watch her write. No letter was perrfect until it had been written and re-written to peerfection. It was important fo here to convey exactly what was coming from her heart.

And so, when this latest e-mail came from her I smiled and secretly wondered how many re-takes it took her to write this one. When I asked her she said this one was written only once. I love the way she always includes Dad's name on everything she writes. For if eveer two were one - they are. Thanks Mom. You lift my wings and help me fly again:

Dear Johnny, Rene and Scarlett:

After hearing the news on Thursday, we were shocked and unbelieving of the diagnosis and prognosis. The doctor said that the treatment should start right away.

God works in strange ways to make things happen and only He knows why.

I am going to mention a few things and hope that they will give you strength.

When your dad was given the diagnosis of stage 4 Lymphoma cancer, the doctor told me to call the children home immediately. But your dad remembered, (no praise for me), the advice I received from my radiate oncologist - "A positive attitude is 95% of recovery." Your dad said, "Mary,we can do this." I would ask that you be strong and move ahead with prayer, family support an d encouragement.. Don't misunderstand - he was one sick man but kept going when he didn't feel like it. He got through it with prayer and love.

Then there was you, our daughter who was far, far more ill than her dad. Tho' we were not with you as much as we would of liked, Johnny, Scarlett and your friends took wonderful care of you. You were very sick and we all were so worried, but God took wonderful care of you assisted by through prayers, love, and your Angel birds.

As Johnny starts his chemo treatments, things will start looking up giving him encouragement, feeling better and being better.

We have Emailed family and friends for prayers, the lighting of candles, and the placing of Johnny's name on daily prayer lists.

We, of course, are always ready to be there as you need us for hugs, kisses and encouragement. We love you all and are always here for you. Remember,



Mom and Dad

Remember, there is always "HOPE"!!!

P.S from Rene................Isnt my Mom the greatest? :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Do You Pray?

Do you ever think about who your God is to you when you pray? Do you believe in your heart that He truly has the power to care about little ole you in the midst of that mighty universe He is so busy running? And do you believe that indeed we have access to that power through prayer? If He is in us then we are in Him and all is one right?

So if I am to remain at peace and know my universe is under control at all times I must be able to trust in that immense mightiness. If I am to trust in it I must believe in it. If I am to believe in it then I must know it and understand Him in the very core of my heart. I must KNOW He is there. I must SEE the face of God. And at any given moment if I am asked "Who is your God?" I must not hesitate to describe Him so others may see what I know to be true in every fiber of my being.

I created the following prayer of thanks that I memorized by heart so that at any given moment I would be able to access Him through KNOWING my source of His power. I recite this every morning when I wake up and every moment I feel fear:

Thank You Lord for waking me to another day of serving You.

I thank you for ALWAYS BEING AVAILABLE to me every second, every minute, every hour, every day of my life. You are ALWAYS on time no matter ewhat time I call you. And you ALWAYS aanswer all prayer.

I thank you Lord for BLESSING ME WITH BEAUTY in all I see, all I hear, all I feel, and all I touch. Your beauty is everywhere and in everyone.

I thank You Lord for COMFORTING ME WITH COMPASSION when I make mistakes. Your understanding and forgiveness get me up off my knees when I make mistakes. Today I forgive all who have offended me and ask forgiveness for all who I have offended.

I thank You Lord for DESIGNING MY DREAMS according to Your divine plan for my life You alone know my true hart's desire and what I was born too do.

I thank You Lord for EXPECTING EXCELLENCE in all I do to greater maximize my potential to serve You and glorify You.

I thank You Lord for FRESHENING THE FOUNDATION of my heart with your unconditional love and power. I can do all things through You because you strengthen me.

I thank You Lord for GIVING ME GRACE to handle every situation and day with Your Divine solutions. I know there is nothing that can happen today that You and I can't handle together.

I thank You Lord for HELPING ME TO HEAL when my heart, my body or my spirit is weal. Your love is the best medicine I could ever take!

I thank You Lord for INSTILLING INTEGRITY in me to always do the right thing, at the right time, at the right place so others will learn of You through my example.

I thank You Lord for JUMPSTARTING MY JOY with Your laughter and music. You put a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

I thank You Lord for KINDLING YOUR KINDNESS in me reminding me how treat each person I meet as my neighbor to love as I love myself.

I thank You Lord LIFTING ME WITH YOUR LOVE so I will rememvber - whatever the question love is the answer.

I thank You Lord MAKING MY LIFE A MASTERPIECE painted with heavenly strokes of amazing grace by your mighty hand.

I thank You Lord for NEVER NOTICING my flaws but always magnifying my best assets to serve you.

I thank You Lord for ORGANIZING MY OPPORTUNITES that appear each day and remembering that miraclexs are all around us if we will just open our eyes with an expectant heart.

I thank You Lord for PROTECTING ALL THAT IS PRECIOUS TO ME and guarding my family, my friends, and my pets as any shepherd would guard His flock.

I thank You LOrd for QUENCHING MY SOUL WITH QUET so I can hear Your whispers to my heart. I know in silence I can find You whenever I seek zYou.

I thank You LOrd for STRENGTHENING MY SPIRIT when I am weak by carrying me on YOUR Shoulders. It is at these moments I see only one set of footprints in the sand.

I thank You LOrd for TEACHING ME TO TRUST YOU that all is well all the time - even when I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I thank You Lord for unveiling Your universe before me everytime I look out across the ocean or up at the stars. Your magnificence takes my breath away.

I thank you for WRITING YOUR WISDOM in Your instruction book called the bible. You are the beacon of light my soul follows.


And most of all LOrd, thank You for ZAPPING ME WITH THE ZEAL I need to spread the news today of Your saving grace and love in Jesus' name - AMEN!

Forgiveness = Love

Each morning I get emailed a verse of the day along with a prayer, so today in my quiet time I reflected on today's verse:

Colossians 3:13
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Thoughts on today's verse
How can I not forgive a brother for whom Christ died, when I know what God paid to forgive me?

Holy Father, I commit today to release any grudge or bitterness that I have against one of your children. I am sorry for not reflecting your grace and mercy which you lavished on me. But Abba Father, I need the help of your Holy Spirit to relinquish my claim on the wrongs committed against me and to treat those who have hurt me as full siblings in your family. Empower me as I commit to follow your example in forgiving, even when it is hard. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.'

With everything going on with my dad, it really makes me appreciate the weight of this verse. Life is simply too short not to forgive.

Tonight I have a date to watch "The Bucket List" with my dad. I saw it in the theaters but he hasn't seen it yet. There is a storyline in the end where, before his own life ends, Jack Nicholson's character has to overcome whatever bitterness he has had with his daughter to find freedom in forgiveness. He is stubborn at first, but Morgan Freeman's character finally pushes him to do so. As a result, Jack finally finds joy in having not only his daughter back in his life, but now his grandchild that he had never met. Had he not finally forgave her, he would have missed out on the new life their relationship took on now blessed in love and grace. It was something that wasn't on his bucket list, but it was the most important thing he accomplished.

Unfortunately, life doesn't always end up happily ever after, and I've learned the hard way that we are not promised forgiveness from those who we seek forgiveness from. But that's not the point or where the true freedom is found. Jesus doesn't promise everyone will forgive us, He simply asks us to forgive 77 times. (Matthew 18:21-22).

Even in my own relationship with my dad, over the years, there have been challenges along the way that required forgiveness on both our parts. Just as he has continued to forgive me, I have continued to forgive him, and now we are closer than we've ever been. It took me a long time to realize that great love is not having a perfect relationship, but loving through the imperfections. Loving someone when it is the hardest to love them. Loving them by running toward them, not away from them. Loving by forgiving them, and how that opens your life to the greatest love of all, God's love. I have seen the greatest example of this in my parents' marriage and pray that I can one day be given the same grace in my own.

They say it's not until you think you are dying that you really start to live. I also believe it's not until you can finally forgive that you really start to love.

Let Me See Your Sermon

Johnny has been slipping into the side effects of his first chemo since yesterday. Today he got his neulasta shot to help the bone remake white blood cells. He is very ackey - especially in his bones. It feels like the flu. I told him it will only last a few days. No nausea yet so far - hallelujah! And the cards are hitting the mailbox!

Tomorrow night we have a family date to watch the movie "The Bucket List" with Scarlett. It's all about doing th things you always wanted to do - and what really matters in life.

I ran across a favorite poem during my quiet time with God today. It's in a book called "Heart Blessings." It is a scrapbook of Christian poetry and prose for inspiration and daily devotion compiled by Dale Crowley. I read it as a companion to the bible each morning.

The poem is called "Let Me SEE Your Sermon" and I love it because it's all about one of the greatest lessons I learned while conquering cancer. My friend Rea has a favorite saying "You can talk the talk and you can walk the walk but it's better to walk the talk then to talk the walk..." Got it?

What that means is to simply wake up each morning and start LIVING your Christianity with every step you take.........with every word you speak.......with every action you do......keeping always in the back of your mind - what would Jesus do? Stop talking about it and over-analyzing - get out and do something about it!

I heard Joyce Meyers say "Going to church on Sundays won't make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage will make you a car. We need to be in church on Sundays to feed our souls on the Word and recharge our lights through fellowship where two or more are gathered in HIs name. But Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday you'll find me walking the talk and spreading the love to every person I encounter through my actions, through my interest because I believe every person I meet is a heavenly assignment.

And Jesus spread His message by teaching not preaching. He taught by example. He went out of His way to touch people and heal them with love and kindness. How often do we go out of our own comfort zones - just stop and go out of our way to do a kindness if just to make someone smile. I think the moments that count are the ones we don't have time for or don't feel like going to the trouble for - but we do it anyway because we know that one life will breathe easier because we did. That's living as God intended us to. Here's the poem:

Let Me SEE Your Sermon

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one anyday,
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely show the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear;
Fine counseling is confusing, but example's always clear.

And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see the good in action is what everybody needs.
I can soon learn how to do it if you'll let me see it done,
I can watch your hands in action but your tongue too fast may run.

And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true;
But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do.
For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there is no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Johnny's Thoughts

This has been a really good weekend. Johnny talked to many old friends from the past as well as his good friends today. He felt good Saturday. We have had a wonderful peace about it all this weekend. He had a hearty appetite and so far has had no side effects of nausea. Last night the three of us sat together and talked about our journey through this healing experience and things we wanted to say on the blog. We listened to his favorite songs. Here is Johnny's own thoughts and feelings as told to us during our conversations. He wanted to let everyone know how his faith is sustaining him through all this:

"Even though I have a bad diagnosis, I still give thanks to the Lord for His blessings everyday. No matter how bad it gets everyday, it is important for every human being to thank the Lord for your blessings. I was baptized and raised in the oldest Baptist church in Florida in my hometown of Campbellton, Florida. I was in church every Sunday morning and evening and on Wednesdays in "training union." My Mother Bernice Skipper and Grandmother Lillian Norsworthy made sure of that, and it was the greatest gift they ever gave me.

There is a sign in Jackson county I always used to pass on my travels back and forth, after I left home and ventured out into the world. It read "Jesus loves you anyway." Through my ups and downs and detours in life that sign always reminded of the way back home to my family and to the Lord.

I thank Him for being here.
I thank Him for being his child.

My message to each of you is, no matter how rough it is, you were brought into this world as the Lord's child. You are blessed with life and you are blessed with a chance to love the Lord. It doesn't matter how you bad a day you may have had, you can still love the Lord. Nobody can take that away from you. You don't even have to say it aloud, you can just close your eyes and say it in your heart.

The chance is there each day. On the good days, you REALLY can bless the Lord and on the bad days, it doesn't matter how bad it is, as long as we remember the Lord is there always.

When it's time to go, then you go with a good spirit. When you do have to face the Lord hopefully you are 51% on the good side! I've done some things I wished I hadn't but I've always recognized goodness too. I've learned that good always triumphs over evil. It's important to do the right thing.

I just want to give people an attitude of not quitting. I've been knocked down many times, but I get back up. People that lay down and "waller in their squaller" never get anywhere. It seems that's when all the bad things come in. If you keep on doing what you're doing you keep on getting what you're getting.

People that don't have as much to live for don't fight as much to live. So grab life and find something to live for! Look around you! We need to look at the full glass of water. Maybe sometimes need to read something to remind us of the truth's in life and the bible is the best instruction book in the world. We read and know things as we go through life but you can't remember everything. Sometimes something reminds you of the wisdom you knew 10 years ago, and all of a sudden you'll hear it again and you are back in the groove. The truth will always set you free.

I have been feeling more emotional lately and I don't know if its because of the terminal prognosis because I know we are all going to go one day. I don't know if it was the stress of not knowing what was wrong with me. As long as I know my enemy I do well and can fight it... but I didn't know what my enemy was.... and now that I know what my enemy is, the release of the emotionalism is coming out, which is natural to cleanse your mind. I am realizing that when you are showing your emotions and crying, it is building your strength back up.

The stress release then gives me the strength to get mad at that scourge of the earth called cancer that takes so many people. I know lucifer is out there smiling thinking he's got me for a while, but I can't wait to pop him good and tell him I got him back one more time, so hold off your victory party! So things like that give me strength to fight and stick around longer than predicted and love my family and make up now where we are, for mistakes I wish I could undo or rectify. But I have learned that if you learn the lessons there are no failures.

I encourage you to just let everyone know that a victory over cancer is a victory against the devil and tell anybody out there that has cancer or has a relative with cancer, to make sure they fight hard and not give the devil another victory. The devil can kiss my grits. Get mad dog mean, like Josey Wales said in the movie "The Outlaw Josey Wales."

I don't want this blog to be a selfish thing for me, I want this to be something that as people read this, that it can help them and give them strength knowing that you are going to have ups and downs, and how to handle the ups and downs, to help them not give up. The reason of the blog is not to get sympathy, but to share and uplift. I am appreciative but I also want to give back in return. I want to help the people that write in with their prayers, to not give up. I believe the Lord, when he's scanning the blog, will look down at all of us right here and it will make him proud.

When you give you receive and what goes around always comes back around in God's circle of life.

Today the three of us listened to Martina McBride sing the song "Anyway." It talks about walking through your fears and building, dreaming, believing and loving no matter what. Do it anyway. I wish you each the same. Remember, every moment counts."

20 CANS of Success

I picked up this pamphlet in the doctor's office the other day and read it to my dad when we got home. I thought it was amazing truths and encouragement for anything anyone is striving toward, whether good health, career advancement, overcoming addiction, trying to gain courage for whatever, and all the smalls things in between that we each sweat over. I pray this blesses you!

Victory Over Darkness
by Neil T. Anderson

1. Why should I say I can't when the Bible says I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)?

2. Why should I lack when I know that God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)?

3. Why should I fear when the Bible says God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)?

4. Why should I lack faith to fulfill my calling knowing that God as allotted to me a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)?

5. Why should I be weak when the Bible says that the Lord is the strength of my life and that I will display strength and take action because I know God (Psalm 27:1; Daniel 11:32)?

6. Why should I allow Satan supremacy over my life when He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)?

7. Why should I accept defeat when the Bible says that God always leads me in triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14)?

8. Why should I lack wisdom when Christ became wisdom to me from God and God gives wisdom to me generously when I ask Him for it (1 Corinthians 1:30; James 1:5)?

9. Why should I be depressed when I can recall to mind God's lovingkindness, compassion, and faithfulness and have hope (Lamentations 3:21-23)?

10. Why should I worry and fret when I can cast all my anxiety on Christ who cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)?

11. Why should I ever be in bondage knowing that there is liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is (2 Corinthians 3:17)?

12. Why should I feel condemned when the Bible says I am not condemned because I am in Christ (Romans 8:1)?

13. Why should I feel alone when Jesus said He is with me always and He will never leave me nor forsake me (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)?

14. Why should I feel accursed or that I am the victim of bad luck when the Bible says that Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law that I might receive His Spirit (Galatians 3:13-14)?

15. Why should I be discontented when I, like Paul, can learn to be content in all my circumstances (Philippians 4:11)?

16. Why should I feel worthless when Christ became sin on my behalf that I might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21)?

17. Why should I have a persecution complex knowing that nobody can be against me when God is for me (Romans 8:31)?

18. Why should I be confused when God is the author of peace and He gives me knowledge through His indwelling Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:33; 2:12)?

19. Why should I feel like a failure when I am a conqueror in all things through Christ (Romans 8:37)?

20. Why should I let the pressures of life bother me when I can take courage knowing that Jesus has overcome the world and its tribulations (John 16:33)?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hospital smiles.

Hey everyone! I've already posted a few entries on my blog about the journey of finding out the news about my dad. For those entries, you can view them by clicking here.

But with the start of this new blog, I wanted to add these two photos to this blog that we took when my dad was in the hospital as they were running all the tests to find out what the large mass on his lung was. Despite everything he was going through, he still was able to flash a smile for his photographer daughter and her camera. He has amazed me with his positive attitude and his continued faith in a time when I know he could easily be doing the opposite.

God bless,

Welcome family and friends!

Thanks for joining us on this journey of faith. We appreciate the outpouring of love letters, emails, cards and phone calls that we have received from all of you. We now realize how overwhelming it is to go through the experience, as well as respond to everyone and keep them updated on the progress, so Scarlett and I decided to start this blog that we can both contribute to and faciliate greater communication between all of us. Be sure to sign up on the subscription list on the side which will automatically email you everytime we update the blog so you can stay up to date easily.

Here is an email I sent out recently to family and friends with the initial news and prognosis and requests to keep Johnny encouraged through your continued love letters and caring. Though we can not respond to everyone personally, we are thankful beyond measure for all your efforts and time spent to reach out and share God's love and prayers.


Today the oncologist told us that Johnny's lung cancer has been diagnosed malignant non-small cell lung cancer in stage 4. He recommends chemo therapy (which will not cure - only relieve symptoms and reduced the has entered the bloodstream and spread to the adrenal glands.)He will start tomorrow afternoon and every three weeks for 3 sessions then evaluate progress after that with a pet scan. The prognosis is 6-12 months with the chemo and 2-3 months left without treatment.

This is a very difficult day for Johnny, Scarlett, and me, spent in tears of shock and unbelief. We have not called anyone yet except Mom and Dad to tell the news. We want to wait. Today we rallied together as we have weathered every other past crisis in our lives and spent alot of time hugging and praying as we strengthen our faith. We have cried our eyes out together and allowed ourselves a one day pity party. Now we are ready to face this giant and give the ole devil a boot in his pants!

Stand back cancer cause the Williamses are comin at ya! We are grabbing that "sword of the spirit" and charging ahead! We are putting on that helmet of salvation...........that breastplate of rightousness.......girding our waists with the sash of truth......grabbing our sandals to turn this test into a TESTIMONY and getting ready to PRAY without BELIEVE we will receive HIS promises.......

We're knocking and we know the door will be opened. We're seeking and we are going to find that victory......that peace that surpasses all understanding. We are taking Paul's advice and to we plan to be content in whatever state we are! We are overcomers and this is the Lord's fight. We have the confidence of David who dared to challenge Goliath against unbeatable odds.

Get ready devil! Every morning when we wake up you can start trembling and say "Ut oh! They're up!" We are going to hit the ground running praising God and thanking Him for all his blessings and claiming that power to know NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE with God. We can do all things because He strengthens us!

We ask all of you to arm us with as much prayer as you can rally up. Tell your friends. Get those prayer chains rolling. PLease write Johnny snail mail letters to give him a reason to go to the mailbox each day for encouragement. It was my greatest joy when I went thnrough my own journey. Our address is:

Johnny Williams
11747 Greenland Oaks Drive
Jacksonville, Florida 32258

I have already started an "inspiration wall for Johnny in the kitchen. I will tape up every letter on the wall so if he has a down moment he can walk by and remember all those who care for him.

I will call all of you in the next few days. We needed today alone. When you call the house please ask for Johnny first. Please encourage him in terms of "we will win this fight!" We are no longer focusing on the grim diagnosis. All positive thinnking now.

God sent us an angel this morning in the lobby before we went in to speak to the doc. She was a bald headed smiling plump and happy lady. She patted my hand as we sat there and said "Listen! I told the doctor - dont tell me any bad news. I dont want to know how long I have cause I'll just spend my time counting down the clock to death. Just tell me how we're going to fight this thing!" And then she hopped up and went merrily on her way to chemotherapy.

We are taking her advive. Never give up! Never! Never! Never!

Thanks to all of you for your calls and cards so far as we figured out what was wrong with Johnny. We appreciate your tender loving care. WE ask you to join with us as we win this mighty battle. Dream team - ten hut! And Mr. Devil? You can kiss my grits! God wins everytime!


Most importantly as we journey to victory, we hope that this blog will set other souls on fire for the Lord and help them achieve their own victories in Jesus' name.

Beautiful blessings,