Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mom is still here, and New Years

Quick update. Mom is still here. For how much longer we don't know. I would ask for prayers as the prognosis isn't good. We need a miracle from God for her now. When I think of mom and everything else in life, it's times like these that puts things in perspective. Take New year's for example. 

So much hoopla about a new year and making resolutions. I keep reminding myself about what the Bible says about making oaths/vows/resolutions in Matthew 5:33 - 37, 33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. 

So it's clear, don't make all those New year's resolutions and promises that we know we won ever keep. Instead, let our "yes be yes and our no... no." Yes and No. Not well... maybe... kinda... sorta... possibly... might be... etc. Just yes or no. "Yes - I will lose that weight I have put on or no I won't." "Yes i will stop biting nails or I won't." "Yes I will... or no I won't." 

Push ourselves some sure to challenge ourselves, but don't make unrealistic expectations or promises that we know we cannot keep. 

In relating this to what's going on with mom, "Yes, I will be there to help." "Yes, we will be there to help and encourage and pray." Those are two promises I/we make as a family. We can keep those.

I hope for everyone out there that 2016 will be a good year, that in spite of any situation you go through that you will know God's presence with you as you journey through it - in good times and the bad.

God bless.

Monday, December 21, 2015

When Christmas is tough...

When Christmas is tough...

Sometimes we get through Christmas and it's all great and smiles and no issues. Sometimes though we get on each others' nerves and there is a little squabble. There are times though that Christmas is really tough. For some people they are dealing with the fact of losing a loved one or a job or something else. For us this year, we are dealing with my mom being diagnosed with brain cancer. 

We got the diagnosis a couple of weeks right after Thanksgiving. We've seen the changes such as her memory (short term) being affected and her balance, heard lots of doctors' reports. Mom has had surgery for one tumor, while the other one starts to be treated in January because it is inoperable. 

We will be having Christmas at mom and dad's on Boxing day as usual, but this year dad has ordered in the turkey and trimmings while my wife and my brother's wife are bringing salads and the like. We are still looking forward to Christmas because it is celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the celebration is a little different though with our circumstances. 

My dad has been a great example through this loving and serving my mom - his wife - using strength that is, in his words, "not his." We have had talks about things as father and son - some that are still obviously private and for family. What I want to say through this is that we are praying continually for mom and dad through this, and how we can help through this as well. People without hope, and without Jesus... I don't know how they manage in times like these. We as a complete family - my parents, my brother and family, my family, and my sister and family - are relying on God for our strength because we know in times like these our strength is insufficient. It is in Christ's strength alone we place our trust and that we know we can weather this storm. I love you mom and dad both, and this BLOG is for you, and for God. It has been tough to write about this, but God has given me strength to do it.

That's all I can share right now. I just wanted to share this much to try and encourage others who might be going through a hard time this Christmas, that there is a hope beyond our pain - it is Jesus - and He came some 2000 + years ago in a manger, born of a virgin. "Born to die, that man might live..." is what the song "Ring the Bells" from Word of Life Bible Institute's musical of the same name says. And it's true. Yes, we celebrate that Jesus came, and then at Easter we remember His death, burial and most importantly His resurrection from the dead so that we can live in Him. And yes, one day all sickness and pain and sorrow and death itself will cease. He will return and set things right. Until that day, though, His grace is sufficient to get us through the storms of life such as what we are encountering with my mom right now. Praise the Lord for... our Lord! May the peace that transcends all understanding be with you all both now and forever, A-men.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Just 17 days until...

Just 17 days until...

No not Christmas, that's 24 days... (but I'll get back to that)

Yes, time once again for the sci-fi geek in me to get all excited like everyone else on the planet for the release of this highly anticipated movie! It puts to rest, "What ever would have happened after Return of the Jedi?"

The biggest secret however is Luke Skywalker... 

he has not been seen in any previews, posters, and only heard in the very first tease where he says that famous line about his family. Other than that it has been a tightly guarded secret.

It got me thinking though. Is this how we treat the message of the Gospel? as a tightly guarded secret? If people looked at the previews of our lives would Jesus be there?

Think about it, we have the BEST message in the world and yet sometimes we so afraid to share it that people might think it was the Fort Knox of secrets! But it's no secret who Jesus is. 

We're about to celebrate His birth very soon...

If we have the BEST new ever, then why hide it? Let it leak! Let it flow! Share it now on Facebook and your Twitter feed! Go tell it On The Mountain! 

So the best countdown? Is just 24 days away... when we celebrate Jesus' birth, then a few months from now we remember His death, burial, and the best part, His resurrection from the dead so that we could be called His children!Saved from our sins, saved from eternal separation from Him, and in a new position of eternal glory with Him! Now THAT's awesome!