Encouragement

He Never Make A Mistake

In The Joy in Loving, Mother Teresa says,

“I don’t know what God is doing.

He knows.

We do not understand, but one thing I’m sure,

He doesn’t make a mistake.”

 

“Why me?” “Why did cancer spread?”  “Why———?”

Such questions never give us satisfactory answers, though we are tempted to ask whenever we hit calamities.

Yet, she is right.  God never makes mistakes, and He promised never to abandon us, who believe in Him.

If we know this, it’s enough.  Faith leads us to exits where we find the light.

Being encouraged by Mother Teresa, I’m going to the chemo ward today, again!

Beating Odds

This story was forwarded through e-mail.

What are the odds of  a dog, which was born with two legs, surviving?   It must be so small.  Yet, this dog beat the odds by hope, faith, and love .  This story can be applied to cancer patients and I was so encouraged.

Forwarded message:

She named him Faith 

This dog was  born on Christmas  Eve in the year 2002. He was born  with 2 legs

He of  course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.

Baby Faith

His  first owner also did not think that he could survive and he  was thinking of ‘putting him to sleep’.

But  then, his present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met him and wanted to take care of him.

She  became determined to teach and train this little dog to walk by himself.

She  named him ‘Faith’.

In the  beginning, she put Faith on a surfboard to let him feel the movement.

Later  she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him for standing up and jumping around.

Even the other dog at home encouraged him to walk..

Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his hind legs and to jump to move forward.

After  further training in the snow, he could now walk like a human being.

faith the dog

Faith loves to walk around now. No  matter where he goes, he attracts people to  him.

He is  fast becoming famous on the international scene and has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows.

There is now a book entitled ‘With a Little Faith’ being published about him. He was  even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies.

faith the dog

His  present owner Jude Stringfellew has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect  soul’.

faith the dog

faith the dog

In life there are always undesirable things, so in order to feel better you just need to look at life from another direction.

I hope  this message will bring fresh new ways of thinking to  everyone and that everyone will appreciate and be thankful for each beautiful day.

Faith is  the continual demonstration of the strength and wonder of life.

Either Lose or Keep the Peace

While the story above encourages us to “look at life from another direction” to feel better, I encountered the similar message from a Christian monthly magazine ‘The Upper Room’.

One day Noel lost his job all of sudden.  After a few depressing days, he changed his mind asking questions:

” What does God want me to learn from this?  What new door is God about to open?”

He could successfully change fear into hope remembering that every trial is ” an invitation to become more like Christ.”

He concluded that it’s our choice to let fear steal our peace or keep it by trusting God.

May God help us focus on Him as we walk on stormy water!

Close Relationships Help Survival Rate

Several days ago I read an article that cancer patients who had close relationships with their families and friends have less death rate than the group who didn’t have such relationships.

Like the story of Faith, cancer patients are also able to improve the survival rate by deepening our relationships.

Families and friends are for loving and helping each other.

If the article is accurate, loving God, who loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for our sins, must improve the survival rate, also.

Today is Thanksgiving.  I want to give many thanks to the family, relatives, and friends who have supported me consistently!  Also I am grateful for the heavenly Father who has sent me such loving people in my life!

 

 

The Glimpse of God’s Love

“Can I have a happy life if I believe God?” asked my friend.

“ If so, I will believe God.”

I thought she was honest.

Probably we all want a good healthy, wealthy long life which promises us to be able to go everywhere we want and get everything we want, and if any calamity happens, we may feel like being betrayed by God, and being tempted to say there is no God.

Yet, Jesus, Son of God who was born as  a son of man, was born in a barn and lived without a house and possessions.  He didn’t become a king like David or Solomon who reigned the country, and was crucified at age 33.  His disciples were also persecuted, whipped, jailed, and killed.    The Bible doesn’t promise us the happy life we wish, rather, it warns us to be ready to face suffering if we follow Jesus.  Yet, it promises us that we will have eternal life by following Jesus, instead of the wealth we lose once we die.

A son of a friend was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer which has little possibility of treatment.  Another cancer friend was told she would have only 6 months to live.  A son of a friend has been placed in a mental hospital for long time being depressed. An aging friend who had lost eye sight, hearing, and mobility is now losing even the joy of eating food.

Even when we feel like we are falling into an endless deep dark pit, God promised to be with us all the way to the end, tucking us in his warm chest.  This is the hope and the happiness for ones who believe the Bible.

Watching the video of a boy with Down Syndrome and a dog that seems to tell him, “ I love you,” I thought that our God also comes close to us and says, “  You are so precious and I love you,” when we feel down or hopeless.  It was beautiful and I was moved.

Come to Jesus

I saw a youtube video of cast sheep, which was unable to get up by itself, turning over on its back, and rescued by shepherds.

Sheep are stubborn, but vulnerable and timid.  Because  they get sick or die easily, a job of shepherd requires unrelenting effort.

In the Bible the relationship of God and us is often depicted as sheep and the Good Shepherd.

 

Listening to this song George taught in a Bible class, I adored Jesus, our Good Shepherd who laid down His life to rescue  “cast sheep” .

Weak and wounded sinner

Lost and left to die

O, raise your head, for love is passing by

come to Jesus

come to Jesus

come to Jesus and live!

 

Now your burden’s lifted

And carried far away

And precious blood has washed away the stain—-so

Sing to Jesus

Sing to Jesus

Sing to Jesus and live

 

And like a newborn baby

Don’t be afraid to crawl

And remember when you walk, sometimes we fall—so

Fall on Jesus

Fall on Jesus

Fall on Jesus and live!

 

Sometimes the way is lonely

And steep and filled with pain

So if your sky is dark and pours the rain —then

Cry to Jesus

Cry to Jesus

Cry to Jesus and live

 

O, and when the love spills over

And music fills the night

And when you can’t contain your joy inside—then

Dance for Jesus

Dance for Jesus

Dance for Jesus and live

 

And with your final heartbeat

Kiss the world goodbye

Then go in peace, and laugh on glory’s side—and

Fly to Jesus

Fly to Jesus

Fly to Jesus and live!

The Good Ending Makes The Good Beginning

The Temperature was 75 ℉.  The sky was clear and blue without a bit of cloud. The trees on streets have still twinkling orange, yellow, or red leaves.  Both the New Year’s Eve and the New Year’s Day were just gorgeous and beautiful.

Walking on beach with George on the New Year’s Day, I was so thankful that I could live in such a paradise, South California, but it was also true that the wonderful New Year’s Eve contributed to fill my heart with joy as much as the beautiful weather.

In the daytime of the Eve, George and I drove down to UCLA Tiverton House to see a Christian couple, whom I first met 8 years ago when the husband needed a heart transplant, and now they were here on their vacation.  Then at night George and I celebrated the good results of his vocal cords treatment, my CT scan, and one of friends’ heart surgery together with three Christian friends.

Sharing the same value and perspectives, George and I were so encouraged all day long and that was the best day to close the 2013.  Japanese say, “ a good beginning makes a good ending,” but my case was opposite.  I feel like; the New Year looks so hopeful because the ending was so good.

 

The Psalm 1 I read this morning says,

“Blessed is the one—whose delight is in the law of the Lord,

and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streamsof water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leafdoes not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.”

 

I want to be like such a tree, and this should be my resolution of this year.  I know there will be a lot of trials and temptations waiting for me this year, as well, but as though God were talking to me, “ I’m with you,” everyday, my spirit is high and my New Year is starting well.

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

Encouragement –“God Is Not Dead”

I had no idea what the movie was about, but just being drawn by the title, I went to see it with George and it was surprisingly good, and tremendously encouraging!

It was a story about a college professor who wants to teach that God doesn’t exist in his philosophy class and a Christian student who doesn’t want to deny his faith. The movie was showing unfairness, intimidation, pressure from the secular world,  desolation  or  rejection when we choose to go against  an authority or a current of the world, and so on—common afflictions or challenges we face every day.

Being surrounded by different struggles, the Christian characters chose to be faithful to God instead of giving in or giving up.

I’ve felt heavy since yesterday with the bump on my head, but what I am facing is nothing new.  This is just one of very ordinary trials people encounter; God knows and cares what we are going through. HE IS NOT DEAD!  He is restlessly watching us and guiding us.

The world has been changing quickly; good becomes bad and bad becomes good.  That makes me scared, but Christians are speaking up boldly.

I should turn my eyes away from myself and pay attention to what God wants me to do.

I feel like the movie was God’s response to my prayer.

Just like a quote in the movie, I want to resonate,

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

Amazing Grace

“Gather as many believers as you can and lay hands on her and give it to the Lord— I will ask that God be the healer in this– I know this must be difficult to be going through with the woman you love and i’m sure like any person would ask “WHY GOD WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS…?” I’m reminded of the promises of God when I deal with crazy things in my life– GEORGE STAND ON THEM! SAY TO GOD, God you know what the heck is going on in my life and your words says, ” (eph 3:20) AND “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14). GOD knows what the storm is going through your life and I pray for comfort because He didn’t given a spirit of fear but of a sound mind and I pray that you guys will spend the necessary time with each other to keep happiness and joy in your life no MATTER what the circumstances are as you know my broth’a he says for us to rejoice even in our trials and sufferings— just get up and say God I know you’ll get us through this– I’m trusting in you!!!!! “

The e-mail came to George from a young man with whom we traveled to Israel together.
As George read the e-mail at the Bible class on Tuesday night, a day after I received the bad CT report, the class surrounded me putting their hands on my shoulders and prayed for me. I was moved and overwhelmed with the appreciation and joy. The encouragements have continued through e-mails and phone calls including even an invitation to Hawaii and a financial support.
It is incredible that  so many people care about me so much, but what I have been experiencing must be God’s amazing grace. I feel like this is the answer from God, saying, “ You are precious to me and I am with you.”

My words are never enough for the kindness and supports I have received, but thank you so much for your tender care and prayers! I am blessed and GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

Stands Up From the Desperation: Ed’s Story

“One day it will be over. But it’s not about how long I have left. It’s about how I spend the time I do have.”

Pastor Ed, who has been on a journey with ALS, a deadly disease without cure, said so in his short films, “Ed’s story” I saw recently in the adult education class at the church.

He feels he is getting close to death day by day.  In spite of that, he’s found the purpose to live and hope in Christ.

When he learned that he would be in a wheel chair depending on tubes for nutrition and breathing, and eventually become unable to speak and die in 2-5 years, he, who had given hope to so many as a pastor, fell into dark bottomless pit.
He was neither able to open the Bible nor even pray.
Yet from there, dragging his heavy heart, he began to copy a Bible verse on a card.  On the first card he copied the verse:
“‘ I will never fail you. I will never leave you.’  So we can say with confidence, ‘the Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear.'” ( Hebrew 13:5-6)
He had to read this verse, every day, many times a day.

When his youngest son was deployed to Iraq, Ed gave the card to him, whom might not come back again alive. Ed had to give his son’s life and Ed’s future to God over and over.

After a while, his son came back safely.  Ed, who thought he would not be able to make it to next Christmas, losing a job, future, purpose, hope–everything,  is also still alive 10 years after his diagnosis.

“When we worry about tomorrow, we often miss out on the beauty, richness, and fulfillment of today,” but,
“‘ Look at the birds.  They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?'” (Matthew 6:26)

” God is taking care of me.  It’s not over until it’s really over.”

From ground zero, where he lost everything, Ed wanted to follow Jesus and live like Jesus again.  As he began, people who had ALS like Ed, came to him one by one.
At the place of desperation, God gave Ed a new assignment, and Ed found the new purpose to live; new hope in Christ.

In front of the great fear of death, human beings are so helpless, but with God, who gave his only Son Jesus to defeat death, we never lose hope!  Even if our body deteriorates, the love continually feeds and strengthens us!

” Fear not! For I am with you.”

I want to remember God’s powerful promise until the very end, just like Ed.

The Secret of Contentment

Detaches from the world

I remember when I was a bilingual instructional assistant at a local high school, a history teacher was teaching that one of core Buddhist teachings was to detach oneself from the world and reach to the state of nothingness.

Now days I hear the word, “meditation” very often not only in a yoga or tai-chi class but even among Christians. For yoga, or tai-chi my understanding of the meditation is to stop all thoughts and think nothing.

Indeed, if things don’t go my way, I may get stress, frustration, anger, or even jealousy.

So, if my cancer gets worse, in spite of the strong desire to become cancer free, I think I need to give up the desire, and not even think about cancer— if I apply the Buddhism teaching.

Invites God into the Heart

On the other hand, Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-13;

“I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Paul was lashed five times, stoned once, shipwrecked three times, attacked by robbers and mobs who didn’t like the gospel he delivered, suffered from hunger and coldness (2 Corinthians 11:24-27), and was martyred eventually.

How come he, who went through so many afflictions, could make such an incredible statement?

Probably Paul, who had arrested and persecuted Christians, realized the weight of his Sin when he was struck by God and became a Christian, as well as the weight of God’s Grace, which redeemed him by the cost of the blood of Jesus. He could say so because he acknowledged that he deserved nothing but being loved so profoundly by the almighty God, I guess.

My medical record four years ago says about me as “ a patient with very aggressive breast cancer.” In the same year, an UCLA doctor, whom I asked for the 2nd opinion, said that he would be happy to see me if I could survive five years.

Cancer could’ve killed me by now and if I think about it, I become grateful. If I think that I, who am selfish, greedy, and arrogant, must have made God cry many times, the fact that I was still given loving family and friends, who pray for me daily, makes me humble and overwhelmed with joy in spite of cancer, which may never go away.

God loves me. His love penetrates to my core as though the strong summer sunbeam goes through my skin. I feel like I am blessed so much that there is nothing to complain about. This may be the secret Paul talked about.

For Christians, meditation means adding one more step, which is to invite God into the heart, after cleansing all junky thoughts.

If such a loving God is with me, why do I need to worry about tomorrow? Once I do my best, then the rest is in His hands. Just like Paul, I should trust Him and live today to fulfill the purpose God assigned for me as much as possible.

Song Of A Girl Who Lost Mom

Rhema Marvanne

Rhema Marvanne was three years old when her mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and when she was six years old, Mom passed away at age 36. It was November 2008.

As Rhema missed Mom, Dad taught her gospel songs.

After the tears, pains, and grief, Rhema, who had received the gift of singing and the faith in Christ from Mom, became a gospel singer at age 7.
A new sprout appeared after a grain of wheat fell into the ground. God created a new hope out of the desperation.

Listening to her singing, I can’t help thinking that she knows not only the suffering of life but also God’s Grace.

I pray that God will protect her and guide her to flourish outside and inside with beauty and strength as much as Mom.

When Enemies Increased

“O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me.

So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!’ ”

This is the opening of Psalm 3 written by King David about three thousand years ago when he was hunted down by his son, Absalom, who was trying to take over the throne of Israel.

How many times have I found myself in this poem?

The enemies are not only cancer. Sometimes our lives unfold in totally unexpected ways and we face troubles one after another.

Before I knew Jesus, I was seeking protection from such situations in money, psychology, or even charms and fortunetelling.

“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.”

Hiding from cave to cave, and being overwhelmed by the numbers of approaching enemies, David clung to God—I imagine.

“I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain. Interlude
I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.
I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.”

Instead of giving up, David received hope, encouragement, and strength.

After I found Jesus, I, too, learned to escape to and depend on only God.

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. “ (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

“Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” ( Isaiah 26:4)

Being encouraged by these verses,

I pray like David;

“ Arise, O Lord! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people. “

King David

Michelangelo’s David statue

God I Will Meet In Heaven

Thursday morning, the ESL Bible class is the most favorite time for me in a week. Five years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and stopped working, I thought that my days might be numbered, and if so, I wanted to know God, whom I would meet soon, better. So, I decided to join the class, and that was a truly right decision I have made.

Jesus said,
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you, ” (Matthew 7:7)
That was true. The Bible has revealed who God is as though it were rushing spring water, and God has drawn me closer and closer to Him since I had a desire to get to know Him.

In yesterday’s class, we studied my favorite Psalm 23.

The poem written by King David, who used to be a shepherd, considering himself as a sheep of the Great Shepherd, has comforted me over and over whenever I was overwhelmed with sadness, depression, or fear.

“ The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.”

As David said that he would not need to worry about anything because he belonged to the Great Shepherd, I am under the care of the same Shepherd as David’s.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. “

My Great Shepherd provides me what I need and lets my weary heart rest.

“He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. “

He comforts me and encourages me. He leads me to the right direction because He cares; He is the Great Shepherd.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;”

Even when I fear death, He is with me pouring out so much love.

“You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

As David declared, I may also declare the same: Because the Shepherd never leaves His eyes from us, even when we suffer from illness, loss of someone we love, fear of going broke, or feel like in a dark endless tunnel without light.

As though The Great Shepherd had held me, who ran into his strong arms, each time I cried out, He surely has wiped my tears.

May the poem continually touch many people bringing comfort, hope, and encouragement just as it has done so for millions of people for three thousand years!

Craftsman

In ESL Bible class, we learned meanings of craftsman and handiwork. I didn’t know handiwork include not only furniture, or jewelries, but also houses, music, literature or cooking. Being able to make an exact image in the mind into a product is really fascinating and I wish I had such ability.

According to the Bible, God is like a craftsman, and we human beings are his handiwork or even masterpieces that were created to do good work for His Kingdom.

This is really encouraging when I get down thinking that I am a loser, old, or a waste, because God is so perfect that He doesn’t do shoddy work.  Although I don’t have any hair, but many wrinkles and cramps, can’t spell, can’t remember people’s names, and am late everywhere, I am still His carefully made masterpiece.  The Craftsman has spent more time on me especially since I got cancer, and will never stop working on me to make me better person in Christ regardless of cancer or age. Therefore there is no reason to get down or give up! It is still possible for me to do good works and get mature!

Yay! GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

Juck o lantern

George’s handiwork; Jack o Lantern.

 

My Hero; Lauren Hill

Someone who read the previous post told me about Lauren Hill, another terminal brain cancer woman, but who chose to live instead of die. So I googled her and found this video. http://bcove.me/6em3knme

She was diagnosed with a very rare type of brain cancer, DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), 49 days after her 18th birthday last year.

Prom Queen
DIPG usually occurs in children.  It grows its roots like tentacles at the base of the brain stem weaving around the nerves. It is inoperable and nobody has survived from this.  Lauren was given a maximum 2 years to live.

How come such a horrible thing happened to her, who is so young, beautiful on the outside and inside?

Often I don’t understand what God is doing.  Yet, at least it is clear that she has been sending an incredibly inspiring message of life, courage, and faith to the world. She has been informing us of this unfamiliar cancer and the need for research.  She is “a grain of wheat” that falls and dies to produce many grains.  She is my hero!

stretching

‘I never gave up for a second even when I got a terminal diagnosis; never thought about sitting back and not living life anymore,’

said she.

I wanted to know where she gets the strength from, and then, yes, she was praying. She was searching for the purpose of her life.

[One January night, I was having a meltdown, “ she begins. “I asked God if I could do anything. I didn’t know what He sent me here for. I wanted to know what He sent me here for. Whatever you sent me here for, I’m ready to do.”] (from the article)

God answered her and she made up her mind to speak out about DIPG using every single opportunity she got for children who couldn’t speak so that someday the cure would be invented.

“What keeps me going is remembering why I’m here.”

She, who loves and continues to play the basketball, is focusing on Jesus instead of seeing the stormy water of brain cancer. God has been giving her strength and power, and then people who watched and listened to her responded.

Her dream, praying in the first collage basketball game, which was scheduled on November 15th originally, was moved up two weeks to November 2nd after a MRI in September revealed that she might not be able to pass this December.  10,000 game tickets, whose benefit will be donated to a research institution, were sold out in just a few minutes on the first day of the sale—Amazing!

The game was over giving her glorious opportunities to score four points and the victory for her team.  Receiving a stand ovation, she said to the 10,000 person crowd, ” I ‘ve never had such a wonderful day in my life,” her voice choking.  God anointed her head with oil and her cup overflowed.

tears

Cancer has been taking away her abilities to hear, see, run, dribble the ball, and her precious time mercilessly. Yet she hasn’t surrendered.

Steroids have puffed up her face, and her figure.

Nevertheless, she is shining!

She is living every minute meaningfully.

Lauren, you are so beautiful to me full-bloomed cherry blossoms!  I guess “why” questions are no longer necessary.

Tshirt

The T-shirts says,
  PLAY FOR 22 (Lauren’s number)            
 “Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9″

Crush On Jesus

Being invited by a friend, I went to see Pageant of Our Lord at Rolling Hills Covenant Church. It was a powerful inspiring show of a human size replication of Biblical famous art with human manikins, choirs, full orchestras, and narrations.

I was very moved, and appreciated all presentations, but especially one of music peace called, “ Via Dolorosa” impressed me so much that all night long even after I got home, I listened to it from Youtube over and over meditating about Jesus. The pageant, the song, and many memories of Israel I visited last year made me feel Jesus’ Love so deeply that my heart ached.

No other gods but Jesus is the only one, who chose to suffer and die for me taking away my Sin. He, His father, and Holy Spirit are my beloved God. If I have Jesus, I don’t need anything else. I love Him very much!

Down the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem that day
The soldiers tried to clear the narrow street
But the crowd pressed in to see
A Man condemned to die on Calvary
He was bleeding from a beating, there were stripes upon His back
And He wore a crown of thorns upon His head
And He bore with every step
The scorn of those who cried out for His death

(chorus)
Down the Via Dolorosa called the way of suffering
Like a lamb came the Messiah, Christ the King,
But He chose to walk that road out of His love for you and me.
Down the Via Dolorosa, all the way to Calvary.

Do Not Be Discouraged

“People hate to lose,” said the new friend whom I met at LAX and who used to be a dealer in Las Vegas. “It’s not fun to lose, so the people drink and then pick fights.”

I see.

We envy someone who won something we are not able to, who looks happier, or better than us, and this coveting may turn into bitterness and even into the desire to screw or curse that person.

Now I understand why the Bible says not to covet. Genesis tells that Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve, killed his brother Abel as the first murder in the history, because Cain was jealous of Able, whose offering was favored by God. Not only murder, but gossip, scorn, or harassment also may be often caused by jealousy.

A friend of mine, who returned from the U. S. to Japan, once said that as she was looking for some opportunity for volunteering, the value of which she had learned in the U. S., her friend said, ” Oh, I didn’t know you were such a good girl,” and discouraged her. This “hammering a standing-out nail” is also not unusual.

However Mother Teresa said this:

“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.”
–from Mother Teresa’s Creed

Jesus Said So

There was nobody
You could talk to

You were sorrowed –
you didn’t have luck

Defeated and rejected,
you thought you had no worth

Yet, now, you are with me

Be bold and step out
It’s all right
If you stumble, I will catch you

Do you know how much I love you?
I laid down my life for you
so you can live eternally

Jesus said so

There was no hope
you couldn’t find anything to hold on

You thought it was over
your loss was too big

In the whirl of “Why?”
You thought you were going down
into the darkness

Yet, now you are with me
Be bold and hold your chin up
It’s all right

I will carry your burden

Do you know how much I love you?
I laid down my life for you
so you can live eternally,

Jesus said so

Like an ugly duckling
becoming a beautiful swan,
Crawling caterpillar
becoming a flying butterfly
Jesus, who can change hopeless to hope, said
“Come and follow me.”

Message from God

While I was sitting in front of the computer and hitting the keyboard, all of sudden some accident happened and a collection of encouragements from a women’s Bible study I assembled for a friend in the past suddenly popped up.

Joshua 1;9

Joshua 1:9
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Sheep

 

“Please remember; you are a precious sheep for our shepherd, the almighty, loving Creator of Heaven and Earth!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Perhaps this was not an accident. I was greatly encouraged and comforted.

Life Can Be Beautiful

I saw a short video, “Denali”, which is a story of a dog Denali, who kept along side of his master, Ben, when he was battling cancer in 2004. Ben beat the cancer, but 10 years later, this time Denali got cancer and died. This video was made by Ben, who is a photographer, as a tribute to Denali.

I ,as a dog lover, am moved deeply always by such a story, in which the master and the dog were so faithful each other and became one till the end.

Denali & Ben

At night in the Bible study, we read the love chapter, 1st Corinthians chapter 13:

“ Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Though it was only Jesus who demonstrated such love perfectly, I noticed I saw this love in the video, “Denali”.

I also noticed this is the reason why I love dogs. They are not only cute, but also very loyal to their masters, never give up, never betray, and keep loving in every circumstance.

The Bible says that the most important commandment is to love God, our Lord, with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our soul, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. I wonder if God gave a dog to humans as a good example for this commandment. In the video, the narrator quoted from a dog scientist, “ people can learn a lot from a dog. If someone you love walks through the door, even if it happens five times a day, you should go totally insane with joy.”  If we could do so, how much  would we make people happy?

Regardless of any circumstance , even in the terminal stage of cancer, if we practice such love towards God and someone else, life must become so beautiful like the story of “Denali” no matter how it ends up.

It’s not too late yet. I can change my life to be beautiful—I was inspired.

Woman Who Beat Stage 4 Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Her name is Wendie den Brok. She was diagnosed with TNBC in 2005 when she was 36 years old. That was also the time when she was accepted at a medical school in England.

Though she tried all the treatments such as a surgery, radiation, and chemo staying in the intense course of the medical school, cancer came back as a metastatic status, stage 4, in less than a year.

Her choices were limited and cancer progressed. As the last option, her doctor recommended two chemo combo drugs, which were not common for breast cancer.

She bet on that combo though there was a little chance. Usually it is said that stage four cancer is incurable, and especially for triple negative, the prognoses is poor. Yet, to everyone’s surprise, that combo shrank cancer and saved her life. Nobody could explain why her cancer disappeared while so many struggle and die.

Wendie, who is now cancer-free and practicing as an oncologist, said that because every cancer is different and considered as a different disease, it is important to find a different treatment that fits each patient. The combo, which saved her life, must have suited perfectly with her cancer.

Enduring the side-effects while facing death threat and even achieving her goal to be a doctor, she also said, “”Regardless of the prognosis and diagnosis you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.”

Do not be destructed by cancer, pain, or death threat, but keep hope and keep going to accomplish the purpose of life—-I am grateful for her inspiring survival story and message!