Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Upon which I Talk About Crossing the River

When we were young (half a century ago!!!) we thought our life paths would go straight forward to job, marriage, children, and far down the road it was almost old age and death. In fact, according to our youthful thinking non-thinking, old age and death would never arrive. It was simply too far away. Eons, centuries, and eras so far forward that effectively the day simply would never arrive. When we were young we were so busy thinking of "living" that we just knew we would never arrive at the "dying".

I hope you do not think I am being morbid. But, frankly, when you have been living with ovarian cancer for two years, unless you live in intense denial, you are quite naturally going to think about the end result of your nasty disease. At first with weeping. And prayers. And questioning. And googling. (Please note the order my way of thinking, prayers naturally have prior place to googling.)

All of this to simply mention (for those of my readers who have cancer) a blog I ran across a couple months ago. You see, cancer patients have much to offer other cancer patients. And so, today, I point you to a blog by Joe Hendricks and his wife, Heidi. When You Both Have Cancer is their story. They write with grace, strength, love, and courage.

And now I'm jumping back to my own blog. At our house we, too, both have cancer. Oh, Hubby's disease isn't specifically labeled "cancer". But the doctors tell us it is "like cancer". His "light chain deposition disease" has knocked his kidneys out...perhaps for the he's on dialysis three times a week as well as trying various chemo drugs to slow the damage to other organs in his body. Needless to say, his body is not happy about these medical events. Frankly, he struggles daily with the fatigue and pain and other effects of disease and drugs.

Hubby and I find ourselves in a strange place. We find ourselves residing in the land of the enemy (death) as we approach the River Jordan and the Land of the Promise. We take new joy in the words of that old hymn, "Shall We Gather At The River" for it reminds us of the words in the last chapter of the Bible.

Revelation 22:1-4 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal,
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb...."

and again in the previous chapter, Rev. 21:4
(God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death (our old enemy) will be no more,
neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore,
for the former things have passed away."

This is our hope. We rejoice in this promise. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, has taken our sins to the Cross where He died for us. In return He gives us His Righteousness. When we stand before God we are seen by Him as "clean, forgiven, justified, made holy" by the work of our Redeemer in giving us His Robe of Righteousness. This is a precious promise that we take "by faith" while we reside here but which we will experience in full on that final day.

P.S. You can read how Joshua led the people of Israel across the River Jordan into the Promised Land in Joshua Ch. 3.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Story Behind the Party

Oh, I have a wee bit o' Irish in me. Just a wee bit of Irish blood mixed in with half a dozen others.

Many love to party on St. Patrick's Day, guzzling green beer, thinking they are "celebrating" when in deed they are denigrating a great man of Christian faith by their foolish "party-hearty" attitude.

I hope you are a bit more serious minded, and if such, I hope you will take a look at the real story of the real St. Patrick as mentioned at this website and I hope this will inspire you to google a bit further into the biography of the man who brought Christianity to Ireland some 1600 years ago.

(The photo is of the Saint Patrick stained-glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California. Borrowed from the web...I do not know who to credit as I've seen it at multiple sites.)