Colossians 1:15-20

Christ Is Supreme

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,[e]
16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
18 Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.[f]
So he is first in everything.
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Church Discipline: A Loving Act?



As I write this, I'm listening to John MacArthur give the most beautiful, most comprehensive explanation of church discipline I've ever heard. He's framing it as a great act of love. We know the Good Shepherd goes after that one lost (straying, also?) lamb, but through church discipline, administered according to the Scriptures with compassion, humility (for none of us are without sin), love, and truth, Father allows us to be a part of that act of drawing the wayward lamb to repentance and restoration. He does not simply let His sinning child wander farther from the Savior. That would be cruel.
Why does He let us have a part in the reclaiming and restoring of that person from our faith community? I think it gives each member of the body opportunity to closely examine his own spiritual condition. We're not to exercise church discipline to make ourselves feel self-righteous, for we have no grounds for such arrogance. We're all wretched sinners, even on our best days.
Of course, the one being disciplined may refuse to accept it. The Bible also instructs us on how to respond to that circumstance. Whatever the outcome, we cannot cease to pray.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Note: Type "The Gospel According to Joe" in the blog search window to read previous epistles.

The Gospel According to Joe: HOME AT LAST!


O, GLORIOUS MORNING!
I'M HOME AT LAST!

I'm looking upon His Face, the One Who saved me by His GRACE!

("Joe" entered the presence of our Saviour and Lord at 3:16 a.m. this morning.)

Monday, March 21, 2016

A View Toward Calvary




At the Cross
© 2007, 2014, and 2016 by Sharon Kirk Clifton

I huddle at the foot of the Cross.
My arms stretched to grasp it,
my head bowed,
eyes pinched so tightly they hurt.
Silent sobs wrack my being.

The men are gone.
The Brotherhood, save one, has forsaken the Master.


Other women stand,
bow,
lie prostrate nearby,
each alone,
forsaken,
desperate,
desolate.
I hear their weeping off in the distance,
at the perimeter of my own sorrow.

Roman soldiers stand silent,
stone-faced,

trying to understand,
yet bound merely to duty.
Scribes, 

Pharisees, 
Sadducees
cluster together and mutter into their self-righteous beards,
rehearsing their excuses.
Their mumbling blends, segues 

into the rumbling of a gathering storm.

Messiah, on the Cross, lifts His head to Heaven.
With one last lingering remnant of strength,
He pushes against the spike that impales His feet,
pulls up on the nails that pierce His wrists,
draws in a gurgling breath,
licks His lips to moisten them, to make speech possible,
And cries out to the Father Whose Face is turned away.

"It is finished!"

A pronouncement that will echo throughout Eternity.

I look up as His weary, abused head
sinks to His bosom,
where so many children had rested their heads
and received His blessing.

A drop of His vermillion Blood
rolls down one of the thorns
that comprises a crude crown.
In one interminable moment,
I watch it
fall;
I tip my face downward in shame,
knowing my own unworthiness,
yet yearning for His anointing.
That Sacred Drop
Splashes on my head and covers me o'er.

A mourning veil shrouds the sky.

Night invades midday

The Earth shakes.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Crisis in Nepal

I just tweeted:
India has Nepal under siege. Pls pray! Pls contact gov't reps to pressure India: "Lift blockade!" Ppl are dying w/o food, fuel, and medical!
Nepal recently held an election and adopted a new constitution. Because the people chose not to return their country to being declared a Hindu nation, the prime minister of India, an ardent Hindu, is enraged. Nepal is its own sovereign country, but the PM of India is bullying India's northern neighbor in an effort to force the people to renounce the constitution. He has set up a blockade to keep all supplies out of Nepal. That includes fuel, food, safe drinking water, medical supplies and trade items. Further, he is inciting border thugs to riot along the border. People are dying in the skirmishes, and millions more will die of starvation, exposure, and lack of medical care, if the blockade continues. Also, Nepal depends heavily on the tourism of trekkers and mountain climbers. They're not likely to go to Nepal if they have no guarantee of being able to get around in the country or secure supplies. Nepal is a country in crisis.

Will you please PRAY, tweet, and post on your social media platforms about this situation? Will you contact your representatives on Nepal's behalf? It's worse than the chain of earthquakes Nepal suffered earlier this year because the blockade affects EVERYONE! It's winter here; it's winter there. They have no fuel to heat their humble homes, very little food and medical supplies. I feel this very personally because my family soon will return there and soon will resume serving "the least of these," children, people they love very much, the poorest of the poor--people who are just like you in the ways that really matter.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Gospel According to Joe: Celebrate Me [Nearly] Home!

Today's update is brought to you by God, author of the Number One Best Seller, the Holy Bible

First a note from Joe's Pastor

My heart is overwhelmed with both joy and sadness. It is right to grieve, but I will not grieve as Joe's wife or children will—and perhaps others. I grieve as pastor, a brother in the Lord, a friend and as one of those who have been greatly impacted by Joe's influence. No one else has had a more significant impact on my adult life than Joe - particularly on my role as a husband and a father. His unity in the gospel has been a unique privilege. There's just so many times he has been used by the Lord as I have served Christ as a pastor to minister to me I don't know where to begin. For now, I simply send this to you all - the church family he has so loved. I will travel this Monday with my friend Andy McCracken to visit Joe and his family. We all would do well to read this final note - repent of our idols and seek to live in light of eternity. His idols are mine as well. I'm broken.

With a heavy heart and much hope in Christ,

Kevin R. 
Pastor

*******
I have had a great life: 57 years. A wonderful childhood, a loving family—Mom and Dad, sisters and brother, an aunt and uncle who loved me more than I can know, great childhood friends—Jim, Roger, Brett, Steve, Tim, and many more whom I can’t remember right now.
I’ve enjoyed freedom to explore, freedom to make mistakes, freedom to take risks. I have traveled to all 50 states and several other countries. I’ve taken trips to some of the most wonderful places on Earth, spent two summers running a fishing camp in Canada, made four trips to Hawaii, including one for five weeks.
I earned a master’s degree from the #1 business school in the country and exercised that knowledge through great careers spanning 35 years, leading and helping others reach their potential.
God has blessed me with a wonderful church family and pastor, great friends, amazing in-laws, a wonderful Godly wife, seven great children, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and a son-in-law who is a wonderful mate for my daughter.
For 56 years I was in great health. During that time, we built my dream house, a 6,000-square-ft. log home on a secluded and beautiful property that we named Utopia (thanks Linda for loaning us the name). I acquired tractors, motorcycles, ATVs, a powered parachute, guns, snowmobiles, and basically anything my heart desired. If it sounds boastful or prideful, I apologize. I am merely stating facts to make a point.

So what is that point? All the above were idols for me. ALL. Of my 57 years this last year with this lousy cancer has been my best! None come close to being as good. It has been the hardest and longest year of my life but I would not trade one day of it for the any of the 56 years prior.
How can this be, you might ask. Because God, through His Son Jesus Christ and with the work of the Holy Spirit, has redeemed me. He has saved my soul. He has striped me of every idol mentioned above. He has shown me that He alone is worthy of my love and praise. He has proven over and over that He is completely trustworthy. He has opened my eyes. This is my best year!

Today Hospice takes over my care. I have stopped all treatment. The side effects of the drugs aren’t worth it to me. After four different chemo regimens that didn’t work, it’s time to throw in the towel. I am so happy that the end is near for me. I won’t miss anyone or anything here because I will be in the presence of Jesus Christ, worshipping Him forever!
Obviously, I don’t know my time. Only God does, and I trust His timing. Would you pray a specific prayer with me that God will take me soon and peacefully? My prayer is tonight, but again, it is His will, not mine. But I do know He answers the prayers of the righteous. Please stop praying for my healing. I want to go Home. My wife and family are in agreement, as well.
So I leave you with this: Trust Jesus, Trust Jesus, Trust Jesus. He alone is worthy. He alone saves—not any of your good works or good intentions will get you to Heaven, but they will send you to Hell. If He can save a wretch like me with all my idols, He can save you. Trust Jesus, Trust Jesus, Trust Jesus.
If you know me and can do so, I hope you will make it a priority to come to my funeral in Columbus Indiana. It will be a great time of celebrating!
Good bye and I will see some of you in Glory.
Love,
Joe

And as always if you ever want to start at the beginning of these updates then please check out the link posted by my dear sister in Christ Sharon at http://sweetwaterfromtherock.blogspot.com/


Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Gospel According to Joe: The Good News Makes a Great Day

Joe's Eighth Epistle

Today's update is brought to you by the following sponsors: College Park Church, Indianapolis; Jesus Christ, and the Holy Bible.

Yesterday, April 26, 2015, was a hard day and a great day for me. Friday I had back surgery on three vertebrae. They attempted to rebuild them. Time will tell the success of the surgery. On one of them, the surgeon had to hammer through the outer layer to get to the inside, where he said it was mush.
I am so ready to be going home, but, for now, God has me enduring. Today I go in for a blood draw to check my numbers to determine what the next phase of treatment will be. I’ll meet with the doctor the following Monday to review the numbers and discuss options. This Wednesday is my last scheduled chemo treatment; however, they tell me that I will be on chemo the rest of my life, so it simply means they will change the regimen. They want to do two bone marrow transplants, if the numbers are favorable. I am not excited about the idea but remain open to God's leading. Such a hard journey, but God is good! I will be praising God and laughing about this in eternity.
I say yesterday was a great day, because I got to hear the Good News that Jesus died for my sins to make a way for me to have a restored relationship with a Holy God—that Christ has forgiven me of my sins and has provided mercy and grace through the sacrifice of God's only son, Jesus. While I was not able to attend our church that we love and fellowship in, I was able to attend on-line our son and daughter-in-law's church at www.yourchurch.com/watchthissunday  (8 am, 9:45 am or 11:30 am). When I can't make it to our home church, this is where I go and am always blessed by the worship and preaching of the Word of God. Don't get me wrong. There is no substitute for the local church, and, if you have a church that is faithful in rightly dividing the Bible, then you should always prioritize fellowshipping, worshiping and serving there. God has so much to say on that subject. Please support your church! If you don't, won't or can't get to a church that preaches truth then I highly recommend the link above. I have others to recommend as well. (Thank you to those who have linked me to their churches).
The message yesterday was http://www.yourchurch.com/sermon/whoever-calls-on-the-name-of-the-lord-will-be-saved/ from Romans 9:30-10:13. It was directed at unbelievers and “religious” people who lack real saving faith. It doesn't get any clearer than this. Take time to listen. It could very well be the most important thing you will do in this life. My soul was so satisfied and blessed, as it always is when God's Word is taught boldly and correctly. If the Gospel is not preached boldly and honestly where you attend, find a church where it is. I can help. I am so thankful that I have a pastor who does.
Again, I thank you for joining me in this journey.
Oh God, help us to want You!
Joe

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Gospel According to Joe: Preparing for the Court Date

Joe's Seventh Epistle

Paoli Peaks, southern Indiana

Today’s update is brought to you by the following sponsors; 3/4, Anna, Bowles, Suffering, Card, and Mom.

Yesterday, February 19, 2015, was Chemo # 14. The last two weeks have been rough. I learned that Chemo treatments need to continue as my main cancer marker number has stalled out at 2.5 for the past month. It needs to fall below 1. I also learned that I most likely am not a good candidate for a bone marrow transplant because of a genetic marker I carry. I have another appointment on March 4 with the doctor to get an update and discuss future treatment options. 
Next week I have an MRI to determine if additional back surgery options are in my future. This past week was four hard days, two not-as-hard days, and one okay day. The chemo effects are building up in my body and the dynamics of how I feel continue to change week to week. I am so ready for relief one way or another. Although I am ready for this cancer to leave, I thank God every day for this lousy cancer and how He is using this to refine my faith in Him.

***
Anna, my daughter Lily’s best friend, celebrated her 14th birthday with a party at Paoli Peaks, a ski slope in southern Indiana, this past Tuesday, which was my one good day of the week. Anna has been such a joy to Lily and our entire family for a decade. She is a lovely young woman full of grace, kindness, joy, and smiling. We love her dearly. In fact, we love her whole family dearly. They minister to us through our local church as faithful members serving the entire body and encourage us weekly in so many ways.
Anna invited our whole family to go skiing. Even though I grew up on skis living in Iowa (I know; who grows up on skis living in Iowa?), I failed to teach our younger four children how to ski—another regret from a life sacrificed to the idol of work. So off to the slopes they go to learn from someone else.
What a perfect day for skiing! First snow of the year here and 23 degrees! No broken bones, and I was able to watch them for a couple of hours. Plus two bonuses: first, Tyler, our second oldest and now a doctor, was able to go with them. He headed home early with us to rescue his wife from finals as she finishes up her teaching degree soon from IU. So we were able to enjoy a couple hours with just Tyler, which was great. The second bonus was my getting to film Stephen, our youngest son (16), falling. He claimed it was the only time that day. To quote Stephen, “Un-stinking Unbelievable!” Somehow it was my fault, which further made my day. Happy birthday, Anna!

*** 

I am learning that every one of us will suffer. Up until this cancer, our family has had some suffering, but never to the extent we are experiencing now. Anyone who has lived long enough will testify to this truth: you will suffer. How we suffer, how we endure, and in what hope we put our trust matters, being of eternal consequence. For the unbeliever and for the fringe “Christian” (one who perhaps attends church now and then and even knows the vocabulary, but does not have an authentic relationship with Christ), suffering will result in despair and unbelief. There will be no eternal reward for them. It is so hard for me to watch and listen to those suffering without Christ. They are fighting a losing battle and are having “their best life now.” Oh, how my heart breaks for them!
I honestly cannot believe all the people that have had, are having, and will have cancer. Nearly every family has someone or will have someone fighting this battle to varying degrees. If we don't stare cancer in the eye at some point, we certainly will face some form of suffering. So how should we prepare for the events that will shake the foundations of our faith? With a sound Biblical belief system that can only come from the One Who created us, the One Who modeled the ultimate suffering by sacrificing His only, perfect, sinless Son for a sin debt He didn’t owe, the One Who proved His infinite love for us by dying on a cross to pay off our debt so that we could make peace with God the Father once and for all! God gave us Jesus. He has given us everything we need in this life and the next through His son Jesus.
What we believe matters!
In fact, it matters most. We need to prepare ourselves now. It will be too late when suffering hits. Moral fortitude, rugged individualism, positive thinking, perseverance and endurance on our own leads to death and leaves us empty and without hope. (This is no weak, watered-down hope, as we often use the word today. I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow. I hope I get a raise soon. This hope is an assurance that rests on the promises of God as presented in the Bible.) For the believer who has mourned greatly over his sin, asked forgiveness, placed his faith in the living Christ, and truly made Him Lord of his life, there is such glorious hope in the promises of God and the peace that Jesus gives—peace that will see the Christ-follower through every circumstance. That person can face suffering, assured that Jesus Christ will go with him every step of the way.
And if that suffering should bring the believer face to face with the Righteous Judge, he can know the living Christ has wiped the sin account clean with His redeeming blood, shed on the cross. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we stand firm in our faith. Christ will restore! He has promised to save to the end for a future reward with Him. Hold fast to the promises of the Bible. Be ever aware of the enemy, for Satan seeks to destroy our faith. As my good friend reminds me, “Cling to Jesus, cling to Jesus, cling to Jesus!”
For those who haven't had their sins forgiven, read the Bible (begin with the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), listen to Biblical teaching at a Gospel-preaching church, pray to God that He open your eyes to your sin and your need to repent before a holy, loving, just God, and run to Jesus. Friend, you will be spending an eternity in either Heaven or Hell. No sane person willingly chooses Hell, but here is the crazy thing: no one can choose God. Only God can open the eyes of a sinner. We all deserve the wrath of God. The critical starting point is to understand Who God is. Pray. Read the Bible. Pray. Read. Pray and read!

***

Last time I reported that I was able to sleep in my own bed. Well that was short lived as I soon found out that our bed, after 15 years, was worn out and had a huge sag in it that caused my back to ache every night. So we went bed shopping. Six mattress stores later, we bought a Bowles mattress which is made in Indiana. At last, I can get a good night’s sleep.

***

Recently I told you about my brothers in Gatesville Penitentiary, Texas. They continue to encourage my soul. I have received at least a hundred Cards of encouragement from friends and family since this lousy cancer. My friend Jim, who ministers to these men regularly, forwarded me a card handmade by Danny, one of the brothers, and signed by many. The card is the most beautiful card I have ever received and the notes from my brothers brought me to tears. Please pray with me for these men: DAnnal, Sebastian, Luis, Gerardo, Robert, Alex, José, Wes, Matt, Alberto, William, Ruben, Stanley, Vance, C.J., Rashid, Rick, Laredo, Cervantes, Loren, Stevie, Faluth, Leo, Clint, Keith, Goodson, Aulie , D.C., Philip, Ron, Charles, Adrien, Danny, Sammy, Jonathon, Jamie, Eugene, Ruben H., Jeremy, LeRoy, Patrick, Clayton, Oay, J.J, and Steve. I am so humbled, honored and thankful for these men who continue to encourage me in the midst of their suffering. I love these brothers and can’t wait to see them either in this life or the next!

***

Speaking of love, I love my Mom. She is an exceptional godly woman. She is fun, funny, smart, wise, loving, caring and has more common sense and business savvy than most people I know. I wanted to share some wisdom and encouragement she recently gave me.
OVERCOME; to obtain the mastery over or the control of.
Of course, it is not of your own doing to overcome. Is it not the Lord God who is in control of your life to cure or not to cure? You and I both know that everything happens because of His grace, goodness and mercy. Surviving the cancer is up to Him. I hope I'm not detecting doubt. Yes you do have the worst kind of cancer and the highest stage. You have come a long way since Oct. Just because your doctor said maybe you would not be a good candidate for a transplant, doesn't mean that’s final. I’m sure you must have an inkling of what Hell would be like, with all the agony, pain, nausea, tingling, sleeplessness, muddled mind, stress, anxiety, loss of strength, weakness, concern for Beth and family, tired of pills and shots and just plain weary. You have to be motivated not through the body but through the Holy Spirit. You're thinking, Sure Mom, you don’t have the cancer. Remember we are more than conquerors through HIM who loves us. Praise God you have been saved and chosen to be a child of God even before you were born. Will all the suffering you’re going through help you to realize how Christ suffered on the cross? After blessings comes the battle.
Love, 
Mom    Psalm 46:10. 

 Friends, brothers, and sisters, I am praying for you as I trust in Christ alone,
Joe


Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Gospel According to Joe: Reason to Hope

Joe's Sixth Epistle 


Today’s update is brought to you by the following sponsors: my bed, Smart Water®, brothers in Gatesville Penitentiary [Texas], pastors, 2.9, and the number 30.


Today, January 14, 2015, was Chemo # 9. Last week was tolerable because that was Cycle 4 in my regimen, which leaves off the infusion and the massive dose of steroids. But today is Cycle 1, which calls for all the guns and translates typically into four days of survival mode. This, too, shall pass. Believe it or not, I still thank God every day for this lousy cancer. I would not trade anything in my 56 years for what God has taught me and changed in me through this cancer. Nor would my family. For he has revealed to me Himself and like Paul the Apostle, I count all other things as filthy rags in comparison.
Last night was the first night in three months that I got to sleep in my own bed with my own wife! Oh, what a thrill it was to upgrade out of the hospital bed (a lifesaver when I needed it) to our king-size pillow-top bed. I was giddy! The kids thought I was nuts. The things I long for are the simplest things in life—walking outside, listening to a friend over a cup of coffee, throwing a rock in the water, fishing, dancing with my youngest daughter, Kiara . . .
Speaking of simple things in life, I want to take this time to do a commercial. May I recommend Smart Water®? Purity you can taste, hydration you can feel. Before cancer, water was not my drink of choice. Not sure what was, but I know it wasn’t water. I’ve never been a proponent of buying water when it runs freely from the faucet. Until now. It seems that the smart people at Smart Water have figured out how to bottle clouds! I really can taste the difference. And now that I have to consume at least three liters of water daily to keep my kidneys and liver functioning properly, well I am a fan of Smart Water. And if you want a double blessing, buy it at the greatest store ever in the history of the world (according to a good friend): Walgreens!
I have had several requests to forward these updates to others and am happy to, as you instruct, for the Glory of God. Be encouraged not by what I have penned, but rather by the Source of my hope.
Recently I learned from a dear friend that he and about 100 brothers he ministers to in the Gatesville, Texas, penitentiary have been praying for me. I am so humbled, honored and thankful for these men who in the midst of their suffering would consider me. My heart is drawn to them. I find myself praying for them daily and desire to someday greet them in person and pray with them for their deliverance. Before cancer and this great work that the Saviour has done in my life, I never would have dreamed of setting foot inside a prison. Now, I see and know that I am no better than any of my brothers in Gatesville and just as deserving a sentence as any of them—if not to society, then to God. I love these brothers. Will you join me, brothers and sisters in Christ and pray for these men, that their souls will be set free by Jesus?
Thank you, God for showing me the love of a stranger who is suffering perhaps more than I. Oh for the day when we all worship the risen Saviour as free men! Free from the slavery of sin! Oh what a glorious day that will be!
During this journey, I have been encouraged by hundreds of people in so many ways. One small group that has provided me with much encouragement while feeding my soul daily is a handful of pastors. One of these men is my own pastor, whom I love dearly, as he is faithful to the Gospel and preaching verse by verse. Additionally, I have been blessed by four other pastors that minister to me on a regular basis. God has sustained me as they take time to share with me their passion for preaching the Truth and their ability to rightly divide the Word of God. They have spent countless hours with me, either in person or via emails. I thank God for these faithful men. What is amazing to me is that each of these men has a profound ability to preach the Gospel but have been called to, and is faithfully serving in, a “small church”. I often have wondered why God doesn’t call them to “big church” so that many more people can hear truth.
I am starting a new email list for any of you who wish to be included as these men share their truths with me. Leave a “Comment” to this post, and I will send you their updates a couple of times a week. Be sure to include your email address. Please pray for these faithful brothers as they face so many challenges in our culture that despises the preaching of the Gospel.

God has been so faithful to our family through this lousy cancer. We continue to thank God every day for His care and for refining us through this suffering. I have shared much before about how He is using His Church in our lives and we continue to be amazed at the faithfulness of His own. God has left us speechless with the generosity of the faithful. It is so humbling and yet glorious to see His handiwork. Never would I have imagined that I would have been on the receiving end of so much outpouring from His people. I want you to know that we see His glory through your generosity of provisions and prayer. Thank you, saints! Thank You, God!
When I was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer October 22, 2014, they tested marrow and blood to determine what stage I was in. Stage 1 is 0-3.5. Stage 2 is 3.5 to 5.5. Stage 3 is above 5.5 and comes with an average life expectancy of 309 days if untreated. My number came in at 5.9. Honestly, without prayer and treatment I am fairly certain that I would not have made it to Christmas 2014. Now, after three months, thousands of prayers, and nine chemo treatments, my number is 2.9! Praise God! The Doctors are encouraged and they are beginning to talk about bone marrow transplantation. My bones are beginning to heal and my thoughts have turned to survival. I know this disease is incurable, and typical life expectancy is 2-5 years after treatment, but there are plenty of examples of survivors making it 10-15 years. I am thankful for His healing. The pain is tolerable. The chemo is terrible. The future is scary only because I am fearful that all He has taught me will be lost, and my idols, pride, and criticism will creep back in. Please, please pray for me that God will continue to heal my heart as He heals my body.
Lastly, I have a specific rather selfish prayer that I am praying for: that I can be done with chemo in 30 days. Original time frame was six months, but four months sounds much better. Will you pray with me? God doesn’t promise healing or shorter-than-normal chemo. He promises healing to the soul and rest for the weary. He also delights in giving good gifts to His children and glorifying Himself. Perhaps he will delight in granting my request.
I am praying for you as I trust in Christ alone,
Joe


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Gospel According to Joe: Dancing in the Surf

Joe's Fifth Epistle


Today's update brought to you by Monsterfroboy

Today’s is Tuesday, December 2, 2014. So tomorrow is Week 3 of chemo. I’m beginning to learn what to expect, especially after spending two days with my sisters this week, both of whom are nurses. My kids inform me that evidently some of my most endearing traits run in the family. Stephen summed it up best: “Your sisters are a lot of fun, but they are nut mutts.”
Wednesdays are OK days, with anxiety about needles, pills and learning something new about what’s coming down the pike. Thursdays through Sunday mornings are just tough. Sleepless nights, tingling arms and hands, blah stomach, headaches—and nothing tastes or sounds good to eat. “Chemo Brain” and simply getting through the day is a struggle. Sunday afternoons through Wednesday mornings are bearable and sometimes good. It’s good to begin to see a pattern, to know what to expect, generally.
I am happy to report that lately my thoughts are, Lord, what will I do with my life, should You spare me of this lousy cancer? Two weeks ago, I was losing ground daily and could not even imagine the thought of survival. Wow! My son the doctor was so frustrated with me because I honestly couldn’t see any hope of getting past this. Now watch. Tomorrow I will be taken home. Wouldn’t that be funny in an odd way?
One of the things that has lightened my day when they are so long is to watch some old video music clips that Brett, our oldest son, put together of a few family gatherings many years ago. Check out “A Day at the Beach,” and “Monsterfroboy” on YouTube to see several of his works.
Thank you so much for your prayers, cards, visits and encouragement.
Trusting in Jesus Christ Alone,
Joe