Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”
The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord.
In the morning when I was going to start new chemo, I found an e-mail with the following story from Sam & Lois, who have facilitated the Good Grief Group at the Neighborhood Church and other bereavement support groups in the community for the past 23 years.
Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of Passage?
His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him an leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.
Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.
He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him . Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.
It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.
He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.
We, too, are never alone.
Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, Sitting on the stump beside us.
When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.
My sons have sent me cute animal videos to cheer me up. According to the Kaiser newsletter, having a pet is effective to reduce stress. It helps lower blood pressure and patients who have had heart attacks have shown a significant difference between people who had pets and people who didn’t; one year later the death rate was 1 to 5. With pets people can increase activity level, get comfort and encouragement, and help them connect to the outer world.
For me, an animal lover, the videos my sons send are absolutely a part of healing.
I am losing all hope;
I am paralyzed with fear.
I remember the days of old.
I ponder all your great works
and think about what you have done.
I lift my hands to you in prayer.
I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.
Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me,
or I will die.
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to you.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
I run to you to hide me.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
She’s a grey speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana .
She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled.
While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected, and her vet went to LSU for help, but LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case. You know how that goes.
But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn’t seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her.
She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn’t overload her good leg.
She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.
Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee, and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.
‘This was the right horse and the right owner,’ Moore insists. Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient.
She’s tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.
Molly’s story turns into a parable for life in Post-Katrina Louisiana ..
The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb.
A human prosthesis designer built her a leg. The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly’s regular vet, reports. And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. ‘It can be pretty bad when you can’t catch a three-legged horse,’ she laughs.
Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.
>’It’s obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life, Moore said. She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury,
and now she is giving hope to others.’
Barca concluded, ‘She’s not back to normal, But she’s going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.’
the ground surface that she stands on, which has a smiley face embossed in it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind
As I was walking my dog, I ran into Iris, who lived in a senior home in our neighborhood. She noticed something wrong with me; I was wearing a beanie instead of a wig. I explained that I had been fighting against cancer.
“ Are you ok?” she said, immediately worrying about me.
“ Lots of concerns one after another, but I am doing fine.”
“I’ll pray for you. Even if things get tougher, there is always hope, you know?” she continued.
“Yes. I know. I believe there is hope beyond our deaths, and even at this moment, God is right here between you and me.” I answered.
“ Good! Go for it, girl!” she answered in a strong voice raising her fist in the air.
Being encouraged, I remembered the Bible verse:
“ That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”—2 Corinthians 4:16-18
In the bible, there are lots of miraculous stories that people were saved from incurable diseases and even from death. It is not a magic, but the faith in Jesus as our savior, gives the power of healing, I believe.
From Matthew 9:19-22
So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him. Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”
Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me! 8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” 9 Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
O God of my salvation! 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.
11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me. 13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
” Every religion believes in eternity–another life.
This life on earth is not the end.
People who believe it is the end, fear death.
If it was properly explained that death was nothing but going home to God, then there would be no fear of death.”
from the Joy in Loving by Mother Teresa
I wonder if death is something like birth. Delivering a baby is scary and has pain, but once it’s over, there is a new life. Just like that, after death, we can enter God’s kingdom with a new life.
“Endless must be our terror, until we come heart to heart with the fire-core of the universe, the first and the last and the living One.” –George MacDonald
Yes. If we hold on to God who created this universe, our fear ceases.
“It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burdeon of today, that the weight is more than a man can bear.
Never load yourselves so, my friends. If you find yourselves so loaded, at least remember this; it is your doing, not God’s.
He begs you to leave the future to Him.” (George MacDonald from Annals of Quiet Neighbourhood)
At last, Paul, who was prisoned, tortured, and martyred, said as follows in a letter to the Philippian church.
“I’m torn between two desires; sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would be far better for me, but it is better for you that I live.” (Philippians 1:23-24)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
The George’s Bible class assigned the students to write a personal Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd”.
This Psalm was written by King David, the father of King Solomon and ancestor of Joseph, the father of Jesus, in about 1000 B.C.. He depicted God as a shepherd probably because he himself was a shepherd before he became a king.
If I, whose job is fighting against cancer, apply the Psalm 23 to my life, God would be my oncologist.
So here is my version of Psalm 23.
The Lord is my oncologist.
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down on an exam table in peace listening to all my concerns;
He leads me to hope assuring that he knows about every single cancer cell in my body;
He renews my strength.
He guides me to the best treatment, for his name sake.
Even though I walk through the storm of breast cancer,
I will fear no death or side effects,
For you are close beside me.
Your wisdom and your skills protect and comfort me.
You prepare a chemo ward before me in the presence of uncertainty;
You respond to my needs promptly; all prescriptions and procedures I need are given.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my battle: and I will place my life in your hands forever.