Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: don’t waste your life (Page 1 of 3)

Cancer or Not…A Must Read

I purchased Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo a month ago, receiving it on a Wednesday afternoon, finishing it that evening. Two reasons I read it so fast, I know and love the author Elaine who is battling cancer, and as a pastor’s wife, I am walking with many in our Church community suffering from cancer. I have read several books this year on suffering and was curious what more could be said on the subject. I was not disappointed. Whether walking the road of cancer or not, this book is an encouragement for anyone who wants to better follow and love the Lord. Elaine does not write from an ivory tower, but from her own experience of living with leukemia.
The overarching theme of this book is to ‘seek God no matter what.’ Elaine encourages throughout to not ask God why but to seek God. “Don’t seek him for answers. Seek his presence.” How do we seek God’s presence in the midst of a cancer diagnosis? Or after cancer surgery? Or in the middle of many rounds of chemo or radiation? She poses the question of “how do we remove the trauma of cancer in our bodies and our minds?” I was thrilled with her answer as she turns to the Word of God for everything she needs for life and godliness. Her answer…”dwell in the Word of God. Don’t just read the Bible…dwell there.”
This book is a great read full of help and encouragement for those who have cancer. You will want to read this book if just for chapter 14 where Elaine explains the blessing of cancer and the things she does practically at cancer centers. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to read about a woman who loves God heart, mind and soul and her neighbor as well, all the while living a full life in the midst of cancer.

Dusty Women-Patti

This category of posts on Dusty Women is one of my favorites.

They are ordinary women who love and serve an Extraordinary God. Women I want to be like so the Word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:5 I wanted a catchy title other than God’s Women, so I asked a friend for help, this is how she answered when I asked her help on a title for his series–

what is something that defines us? Maybe not where we’re from but where we’re going? I always love the analogy of following Jesus so closely that you get the dust of your shepherd on you. Following in the footsteps of your Shepherd.  So you could call us Dusty Women.

I love the fact that she said we need to be defined by where we’re going not where we’ve been. As Paul says in Philippians 3:12-13

forget what is behind.

Patti was definitely a dusty woman, she clung to Jesus every single day. I am sad that I didn’t interview her, but I’ve known her for many years. I speak of her in the past tense, because she is now with her Lord. On October 13, she closed her eyes in this world and opened them to see her Savior. I’m thrilled for her, but the spot she occupied in my heart and many others is quite noticeable, and her pew at church is empty.
But I learned from her to not dwell on the sadness. Patti was a shining example of how to live every single day to the fullest, not focusing on her suffering and circumstances, but always asking how you were doing. Her words were Bible saturated, and her response to any difficulty was not ‘woe is me’ but praying fervently and without ceasing. She was a trained professional cook, also working as a nanny because she loved children.
Patti left notes for my husband, also her pastor, on what she wanted included at her funeral service. She didn’t want a eulogy, and she probably would have said ‘stop talking about me’ if she heard what was said during the sharing time. She was not one for the spot light, she wanted the focus of her homegoing celebration to focus on what she had in Christ.
She and her husband did not have children, their needs were always met, but were not wealthy, Patti suffered many years with Chrohn’s disease, cancer, along with other physical ailments. She never complained, not to me anyway. You knew where you stood with Patti, one my favorite qualities about her, she lived transparently, never beating around the bush when answering a question.
I usually end my interviews asking some fun questions about food and drinks. She didn’t drink coffee or tea and she loved black licorce. She loved to cook, and was often found in our church kitchen showing us the way to prepare excellent food.
Patti loved God ultimately, God’s Word passionately, her husband unconditionally, and she didn’t know a stranger. She taught me how to live. She truly lived out Titus 2:3-5.

I Was Them

As we walk the way of the cross this week towards Good Friday, I have been reminded of a very simple truth.

We remember that Jesus was arrested for a crime he did not commit, questioned by the high priest then shuffled off to the office of the roman governor who would not make any decisions as to Jesus’ future but took the coward’s way out by letting the crowds decide.

Crucify him, crucify him was their demand and cry.

There’s much more to the story, I encourage you to read it in Luke 22-23. But the end of the story, Jesus is crucified, dead , buried and rose again on the third day…that’s why we celebrate Easter.

The simple thought I was led to Sunday morning was Luke 23:34

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

I have been gently reminded I was them. 

No, I wasn’t standing at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying,

no I didn’t cast lots for the clothes that had been stripped off him

and no, I wasn’t there condemning him to death or yelling from the crowd to crucify.

And yet…

my sin put him on the cross, my rejection of what Jesus Christ came to do; reconcile me back to a loving Heavenly Father; was why he hung on the cross, bore the shame and agony of his Father turning away from him, yes…

I was them.

But it didn’t end there for me and it doesn’t for anyone who repents of their sin, asking forgiveness of their sin through Jesus Christ, and trusting in him for salvation, of being able to say I am now a friend of God.

It’s all right there, read for yourself in Luke 23. And no longer be among them.

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