Thursday, December 13, 2012

Words of Encouragement from The Word

I love technology!  I have actually written a lot about how much I love technology in several of my pre-cancer blog posts.  Technology really has made our lives so much easier.  Well, it has certainly allowed us to accomplish more during the day than we could accomplish, say...20 years ago.   Think about it--I can create a blog post here and the many prayer warriors who care about me can know exactly for what to pray.  How could we have accomplished this 20 years ago?  It would mean a lot of phone calls--a phone prayer chain.  And, the message could get misconstrued a bit by the time it made it to the 20th person.  And this is just one example.

Prior to the advances of technology, if I wanted to participate in a daily devotional, I would probably go to the local Christian book store and browse my options, purchase the book and then bring it home and begin reading it daily.  Today, I participate in several daily devotional plans via my handy dandy free Bible phone app by youversion.

My dashboard for today's devotionals on my Bible app.
They have hundreds of free plans to participate in, as well as the entire Bible in whatever translation you would prefer.  You can browse sample days from the various devotions before deciding to begin them.  You can also set up reminders or even get the widget for your phone's homescreen so you can be reminded daily of whether or not you have read you assigned reading.  I have completed several of these plans over the past few years and I get something out of each day's reading.  It is amazing to me that, although I am reading several different plans, I receive from the Lord EXACTLY the words I need to read daily.  The daily reading encourages me immensely, convicts me when needed, and continues to provide me spiritual growth and development.   I am loving this current "The Essential Jesus" plan that I am reading.  From the description of the plan on my app:  "In 100 carefully selected passages from the Bible you will discover who Jesus is and why he is so significant--even life transforming.  Through both Old and New Testament readings you will discover why God sent Jesus, what Jesus taught, how he treated people, why he did miracles, and the meaning of his death, the significance of his resurrection, and what the Bible says about his second coming."  Lately, the daily readings have been all about the miraculous healings.  These have been very appropriate for me to read during this time of my life.  I usually read my daily devotions at night just before I go to sleep.  I follow the devotions with prayer, specifically praying about what God wants me to learn from the passages and how I need to apply what I learned to my life.  Two nights ago, I actually began praying before I read my devotions.  I had been having new pains/symptoms and fear had began to creep in.  So, I was praying for miraculous healing and palpating the cancer area.  I was noticing how greatly the area has diminished in size and thanking the Lord for his continued miraculous healing.  Then I realized I had not yet read that day's devotions.  So I began reading.   My "Essential Jesus" reading for the day was the following:

Mark 5: 21-43:  21When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. 22One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet 23and implored Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live." 24And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him. 25A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse- 27after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well."29Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" 31And His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'" 32And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34And He said to her,"Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."35While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?" 36But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe." 37And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. 39And entering in, He said to them, "Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep." 40They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child's father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. 41Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). 42Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. 43And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.

Although I knew the story and had read it in the past, it was the exact passage that I needed to read at that point in time.  God's timing is perfect in every way.  He continues to provide me with clear examples of how he is orchestrating my life for His Glory.

Today was my 4th attempt this week at receiving chemotherapy treatment.  I attempted on Monday (ANC too low at .3), on Tuesday (ANC too low at .7) and on Wednesday (ANC too low at 1).  I received a Neupogen shot on each day to give my immune system a boost.   Today, I was expecting to see my ANC (neutrophil count) to be in normal range (1.5-8).  Mine was not in normal range today.  But, surprising, it was off the charts in the opposite direction it has been.  My ANC was 18!!!!  I had to ask the nurse several times what she said---she said 18!!!  Well, I guess the neupogen kicked in.  It would be great if these neutrophils could hang around for a little while and help protect me from all of the illnesses going around.  I know God has a perfect plan for delaying my treatment by a few days, moving me to this new day of Thursday and for allowing my ANC to be so high today.  I don't know yet why, but I know he is Sovereign, and is the author of my life.

ANC of 18--what?  :-)

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