Archive for May, 2012
Posted by cindyhfrench on May 31, 2012
2nd Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now, there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord , the righteous Judge will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
This scripture has a lot of meaning to me. First, it is how I would have described my mother and her life in Christ. This was read at her funeral, just a few 3 1/2 years ago. I still miss her every day, but I know that when I am taken to heaven one way or the other, I will see my parents and so many who have gone before me. If she has not already laid her crown at Jesus’ feet, she will be wearing it and because I too long for His appearing in that day, I will be given one–still that is not exactly the righteousness I want to talk about tonight.
The Holy Word talks about righteousness a great deal, going all the way back to Genesis, when He God credited it (faith) to him as righteousness. 1st Samuel says the Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and this is the way the world will be judged–in righteousness.
So what exactly is righteous? Webster’s dictionary says it is acting or behaving in accordance with what is just, honorable, and free from guilt or wrong. then it adds the words virtuous, noble, moral, ethical. I would disagree a bit with that definition in light of what God says about it. Because I have personally known people that were perhaps virtuous, but not exactly what I would call sterling character. So maybe Webster’s is a little off too. I think you can be ethical, moral, noble and even virtuous without any relationship with God our Father. I know people who are tremendously good people who are all those things but without a Savior.
In 2nd Corinthians 5:17 It says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All of this is from God-nothing we did ourselves. He reconciled the world to Himself in Christ, not counting mens’ sins against them. Or to make this very personal, not counting my sins against me! And so if we are now reconciled, then we are Christ’s ambassadors…. as God was making His appeal through you. I have to stop here again and say, yes that has happened to me numerous times, when He has just taken over, given the message, and then reconciled that person to Him. That is an awesome thing to be a part of! The appeal is to be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2nd Corinthians 5: 18-21
But still what is this righteousness? Well it is described as Robes of Righteousness and also a necklace of Righteousness which can become tarnished because of lack of obedience. Faith is also credited as righteousness. He credited Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham that by their faith, became heirs of righteousness that comes by faith. Then Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses’ parents, Moses, the prostitute Rahab, and even more with Gideon, Samuel, David, the prophets–they too were credited by their faith to righteousness. And so then I must ask what is faith? Hebrews 11:1 gives us the perfect definition. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
So I see a pattern. Do you? Faith which leads to obedience and obedience which leads to holiness and holiness to righteousness which is defined by us as the Lord’s Righteousness, The robes of Righteousness, and the Righteousness that has been credited to me because of my faith! I’d call that a perfect circle, a double whammy! The more you do, the more you do.
And that is true for me, the more you study God’s Word and talk with Him, the more you want to. I used to wonder what anyone could pray about to God for a whole night. Now I know.
I told someone earlier tonight that until the last 2-3 years, I thought I could choose when to be obedient and when to pursue holiness, but it doesn’t work like that! When you give your heart to Jesus, He is going to uphold His part of the covenant. That part is to refine you like gold and make you ready for heaven. So no, you don’t get to choose, once you’ve made the choice for HIM, eventually He will get you in a place where you can’t do anything but obey Him and once you are, you’ll find it rather pleasant, because His burden is light, remember, and then it is so easy to start pursuing holiness, excellence, faith.
Posted in 4 spritual laws, Apostle Paul's Missionary Journeys, Bible study, christian, Christianity, Creativity, eulogy for dad, GriefShare, holiness, life stories, Life's Answers, missionary journeys, obedience, Prayer, relationships, Religion, righteousness, sharing loss of loved ones, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: Christ, Christianity, dealing with loss, death of parents, faith, God, Hebrews Chapter 11, Jesus, Lord, Moses, Prayer, Righteousness, Second Epistle to the Corinthians | Leave a Comment »
Posted by cindyhfrench on May 30, 2012
I read a post this week by a young man named Chris Vennard.
This posting gave me two ideas that have been rolling around in my head for at least 3 days. I kept going back and re-reading to make sure that I was not misunderstanding but was indeed in total agreement with this writer! The ideas so boggled my mind that I couldn’t imagine that if indeed they are true, why in the world our Righteous and Holy God has not just zapped most of us. He certainly had the legal grounds to do. And isn’t that pitiful for God’s people to learn. THAT EVEN THOUGH JESUS DIED and WAS RAISED AGAIN, there is still so much work to be done by His followers to tell the message and to live the message. ere now before you read what I say or after. It doesn’t make any difference. You see one, you will see both. his title was “Struggling for Holiness”. I am paraphrasing a bit, but here is he said:
Struggling for holiness–Our problem is that our attitude towards sin and our victory over it is what we are commanded to do. So we look….and never do find it (that we should ). but it is right there for us. First let’s look at Romans 6:16 “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, your’re slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are sins to sin, which leads to death, or to OBEDIENCE which leads to RIGHTEOUSNESS? and then in 2 Cor 7:1 let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting HOLINESS out of reverence for God.
Could it be our problem that our attitude towards sin and our victory over it is not what we are concerned about? I mean, we all are sinners, going to be sinners until the day we see Jesus. So we try to a degree to not do the overt horrible sins…perhaps never thinking that God, our Creator, our Father, our Deliverer might consider that sin is sin is sin; that there is no “good” sin and then ‘really bad’ sin; that any sin at all is repugnant to Him because He is HOLY. Do we not know that our sins grieve the heart of God? We are a success-oriented people so we don’t want to fail in our struggle, not because we know it is offensive to God, but because of our image of our success.
God wants us to walk in obedience-not victory, victory is a by product. We do not take some sin seriously. We categorize some as unacceptable, some as tolerated. But that is not what His Word says. Even in the Old Testament, in 1st Samuel 15:22 God said to obey is better than sacrifice, and in those days, sacrifice was necessary for forgiveness of your sins! So how could it be Better? Obedience is better because if one is living in obedience, there isn’t the need for sacrifice! Wait, Cindy, everyone sins! yes! But the SACRIFICE has been made; the DEBT has been paid. What is left but obedience to the Lord’s laws and ways?
If obedience were not still important, then why is it spoken of so many times in the Word? Lot’s of times promises are given, that if you are obedient, then I will do this for you. Obedience is important to God. And there is no choice in the matter-I knew this instinctively at age 9 when I told Him He couldn’t tell me what to do any more than my daddy. But eleven years later, I gave HIM that right to tell me what to do. I thought I got to pick and choose what it was that I wanted to be obedient about!! HA! He’s let me think that for far too long! I know now that I have to be obedient in all things if I am obedient in one thing!! and that is very very hard?
How can I do that? Of course, only by His Power, His Grace-not mine. And if Obedience leads to Righteousness which leads to Holiness…then He does have a plan to make that happen as they are intertwined-separate, but intertwined. That’s the part, that when you and I get there, He will be there to lead us to the next thing and the next thing, because He has a plan.
His plans have always worked better than mine. His have been made since before the foundation of the earth. His are made knowing past, present, and future and everything that will impact those times. Whereas if I went by my plan which if I try for one day to have a plan and it gets off kilter for one reason or another, I am supposed to base my whole life and my eternity on this? I don’t think so. I have given it to the One Who Holds It All In His Hand-Who Keeps All Things (such as atoms) Together By His Very Thought. I am ok with being obedient to such a One as this, Who has told me that I will be His Righteousness.
Posted in Apostle Paul's Missionary Journeys, Bible study, Christianity, Creativity, Life's Answers, missionary journeys, Prayer, relationships, Religion, righteousness, Spirituality | Tagged: childhood stories, Christ, Christianity, God, Holiness, Jesus, Jesus Christ, life stories, Lord, Obedience, Old Testament, Righteousness | 6 Comments »
Posted by cindyhfrench on May 29, 2012
I am to answer the next 10 questions and then list nominate at least 5 min, 10 max bloggers that I appreciate or have been especially encouraging to me. So to those bloggers you will do the same.
1. What is my favorite color? red, but then yellow would be a very close second
2. What is my favorite animal? my Yorkshire terrier of course!
3. What is my favorite non – alchoholic drink? well that depends on the time of the day and do I need a pick-me-up. I must have gatorade and coke zero
4. Do I prefer Facebook or Twitter? I am 60, need you ask?
5. What is your favorite pattern? small houndstooth
6. Do I prefer giving or getting presents? I love to give-I can’t take anything with me after all.
7. What is my favorite number? 13 I
? each day is my favorite because I can be sharing Jesus with someone who opens his/her heart to Him
9. What is my favorite flower? I blue iris, yellow roses, lily of the valley
10. What is my passion? That’s easy! To know Jesus Christ in all of His Fullness and to share that with whomever the Father brings to me. of course writing about it all is pretty obessive too.
There are some writers that probably have been given so many awards so many times I am not sure that another will fit. but each of these ladies were with me in the begining. It was their encouragement that kept me writing regardless of how I felt: Marianne http://God’sPromisesAreReal.wordpress.com ; Joyce http://joycedevivre.wordpress.com; Debra http://TellGodThankyou.wordpress.com ; Jo http://momentumofjoy.wordpress.com ; Dee http://lillies,sparrowsandgrass.wordpress.com ; Steven http://totheassemblywithlove.wordpress.com ; Rob http://settledinheaven.org
- Awards Received and Passed On! (lovinglifeagreenjourney.wordpress.com)
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Posted by cindyhfrench on May 27, 2012
He loved you before you were, He loved you as you were, and now He loves as you are!
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Christianity, Completion, Good works, Holy, Holy God, Jesus, Love, Philippians, relationships, religion | Leave a Comment »
Posted by cindyhfrench on May 26, 2012
English: Jesus and Nicodemus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The scripture, Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus, the rich, young ruler: v3 “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. v5-6 I tell you the t ruth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is first born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
Essentially, Jesus is saying there are two births. One of the flesh is the first birth, the human birth-born with sin nature. The second birth is of the Spirit . It happens when one accepts the Lord Jesus as Saviour and Lord and at that instant, the Holy Spirit comes into the spirit and heart of the person and makes that person wholly new (Col 3:10)
“Born Again” is one of those descriptions used lately rather derisively. Recently I was asked if I attributed my attitude, my appearance, my ability to seemingly come back over and over again, to being “born again.” In this particular case, I don’t believe my questioner was being derisive, simply curious. He was one of my new doctors and he listened to me tell my story over the course of one hour in his office! It all started with the question-as it usually does. In fact my husband and I looked at each other as the question was being asked. He smiled at me because he knew exactly what was coming.
This is exactly the kind of opportunity that comes my way every day in some way or the other. Now vs when I was younger in years and always running 100 miles/minute, I just seem to be more aware. Of course, the fact is my voice is controlled by the Lord since He gave it back to me in October ’06 and so He can speak anytime, anywhere with His voice. He sends prepared hearts because He knows I will open my mouth to speak His words.
The one thing that I really emphasize to a new believer is how important it is to get into Bible Study. In our world today, there are too many distractions, requirements, and even those fiery darts that come out of nowhere that keep our attention to anything and everything that is not the study of the Word of God. I will admit that I have to fight for my time and carve it out. I have learned though that if I will spend that time in the morning, my day is so much better ordered! and my responses so much more Christ-like. Not that any of it was bad, there is always just a better way. That ‘s the way I want; the best way. It’s so easy to keep that conversation that was started early, going all through t he day. Then you know that everything you are doing is exactly what He wants you to be doing. And when you are that new creation? You now have spiritual eyes and ears, which means that you can read the Word, study the Word and understand it, because now it is His love letter to you. And with those ears-open them to His voice. Don’t wait as late in life to even think to ask Him to speak to you, because He will. Remember He said “If you seek me, you will find me.”
Posted in Bible study, Christianity, life stories, Life's Answers, Prayer, Relatioships, Religion, Spirituality, surviving major health issues, Uncategorized | Tagged: Bible study, born again, Christianity, God, Jesus Christ, life stories, Lord, Prayer | 1 Comment »
Posted by cindyhfrench on May 25, 2012
I hope that anyone who knows me would say I belong in bed right now! I agree! I was! But then this little problem I have with coughing and asthma has decided to interrupt my sleep tonight. It is not so bad that I think I am in trouble, but bad enough for using my nebulizer–so here I sit. I had been disappointed that earlier I hadn’t had time to post tonight and I have so very much to be thankful about this week and today–so I am glad for this opportunity regardless of the reason.
Today was the most awesome day! It was sharing day –the last day of our Bible study class until next September. This is the day when different women from different groups get up and tell the rest of us what God has taught them or done for them this past year. Oh I did want to speak this year! But I had spoken last year-so it was important to give this time to others. It really was glorious hearing about the miracles that God is doing everywhere. And how a woman had prayed for her husband salvation for over 40 years to see him come to Jesus! Thank goodness she never gave up!
After the 2hour session, we went to our group leader’s home for fellowship-lunch.This time I was asked to share what was going on with me–I do think I have an exciting job-as a recruiter, I have a chance to make a positive difference in someone’s life every day. I also get to share Jesus so many times. God sends me prepared hearts because He knows I will share His Good News with them. I got to do that every day this week. I also just simply had a good week hunting as I call it. And then yesterday, I spent the day with my client who was in town for a few days of vacation. She asked me if I could take off a day. I said, well, you hired me to search for your company. That sort of makes you my boss. Can I take the the day off, I asked her? So we spent the day at the beach-of course talked business but inline with how I do it it with the Lord. It was a wonderful time. Somebody who likes hearing my stories! We will see what tomorrow will bring- now I am going to try and go back to bed.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: answered prayer., cancer, Christianity, Hope, Jesus, leukemia | 2 Comments »
Posted by cindyhfrench on May 22, 2012
- Hungerford common (Photo credit: Pete Reed)
“All these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition. ” I st Cor 10:11
About 25 years ago I had the opportunity to go to England for the first time in my life. My sister had found our distant and very ancient family seat just outside of Bath, called Hungerford. There was a Baron and Baroness! But Cromwell didn’t like them very much and as I understand it, they lost their heads; the family lost the property. The property had apparently been in the family since the Norman days, as an ancestor followed and was rewarded with land when King Harold was defeated and William the Conqueror became King. I loved history as a child and knew my English history well. To be able to actually see the places I had only read about was a dream come true for me. Everything I saw was so old! There was a quietness around a lot of the shrines and tourist places because they were so special. At Hungerford, the land had just come back into the family hands. All that was really left was the chapel, pretty intact I thought and a staircase and stone wall leading up to heaven just off by itself. Still the sense of history there was incredible, but made even more so by the effigies on top of all the coffins that were in different parts of the chapel. The spookie part for me was looking at the faces and seeing such a very strong resemblance to my Father.
We were in England to celebrate my sister’s 10th wedding anniversary. They had invited friends and family to a ‘night before’ party and then the ceremony and to the dinner party after. I was so amazed that my sister was able to gather so many friends and family in England for such a party! but it was absolutely wonderful-from the carriage ride to the church, with the musical instruments from that long ago time…. being used to make beautiful music to the after the ceremony party which was just such a feast of food and wine. The locals were interested in all of the goings on. There was a picture of the “Hungerford Bride-first one since Cromwell” and then all these comments heaped on Cromwell.
So what does this possibly have to do with the scripture and the question I asked as I started? As I said before history gives everyone a perspective and context and consequences, that helps me make the most sensible reasonable decision I can ...if God has not chosen to open or shut a door. Still I believe that God tell us when it is time to move on. Remember the scripture that tells you that? It is Isaiah 30:21…. that is life verse material in that you can use that every day .
The Apostle Paul saw the value in history as well, and in his writings he often brought the bad choices that the Israelites made, wandering in the wilderness and even when they reached the Promised Land the first time, their refusal to trust in God and enter. They were afraid. And that’s where Paul writes the scripture I gave you at the top. I think that God has given the Bible to us for examples of what NOT to do. For examples and warnings, that guard us and keep from doing harmful things to ourselves. And of course, He gave it to us to tell us the whole story! Armed with that story, we can live more wisely. Of course we are constantly choosing the good or the bad that we learned from those lessons. I have found that if I didn’t learn the lesson well enough the first time, it will be repeated a 2nd time, a third time, even a fourth time if necessary.
Because of course, our Lord‘s only intention is for us to be made perfect through His lessons, so that we will shine as His Righteousness! And be made perfect for that Day when we will see Him face to face.
Posted in 4 spritual laws, Apostle Paul's Missionary Journeys, Bible study, Christianity, Creativity, life stories, Life's Answers, relationships, Relatioships, Spirituality | Tagged: Christianity, england, history, hungerford, Jesus Christ, life stories, wedding anniversary | 2 Comments »
Posted by cindyhfrench on May 21, 2012
Brand new 2 (Photo credit: Andreas-photography)
I was recently asked to write about my experience with adoption. I had written a little of this in an earlier post, if it sounds a little familiar.
In 1974, I was 22 years old and had an emergency hysterectomy. I was told how fortunate I was that I was already married and had a child. But I didn’t feel very fortunate! I had wanted 3 or 4 children, now that was obviously not to be. I wasreally confused. I thought that I had done everything in the world that would make God choose to bless me. He Had with the miracle birth of our daughter who was 13 months old at the time, but I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong. Oh I had so much to learn!!
But then in January 1976, in my quiet time of the morning, He spoke to me through scripture and told me to “prepare for the child He was going to give us!” I was thrilled, excited, overwhelmed and yes, scared all at the same time. Scared because what if I was imagining this? And if it is true, how were we going to pay for it?—minor details I hadn’t worried about when I was praying my desire! Still, I did what God said to do. I prepared.
We got down the crib and the baby clothes from the attic. And I washed and ironed everything. Put the clothes and blankets away in the drawers. Had the crib all set up, made curtains for a nursery and created that room for the baby to come. I know everyone thought I was nuts, but humored me.
Then in April I got a phone call from a friend. She had a friend who was pregnant and wanted to give up her child for adoption. Would we be interested?? Oh yes! We would be interested I told her and explained exactly how prepared we were and would she please tell the birth mother this. It might make her feel better knowing that this child was not an accident, but planned for me.
Our daughter was born in the early morning of August the 8th. She came early by a couple of weeks, so I was surprised when I got the call from our attorney (who was the go between). He said your new daughter looks just like you! She has dark hair and eyes and dimples in the same place as yours! He was amazed because of course there was no matching, but here was a baby who looked more like me than my natural child (blonde/blue eyed, and tall-she does have the dimples too). And let me insert here that years later, I am 5’4 and she is 5/2 ½ while my oldest is 5’8. My natural child has a very laid back personality and goes with the flow, but the child of my heart? We are just alike! Emotional, extroverted, service oriented. She has her own story to tell of how she has arrived at 35, almost 36 a professional nanny who specializes in ADHD children and multiples; who finally got everything straight with the Lord who protected her from the moment of her conception-because He had a plan for her life; who has been on 2 mission trips in South America to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and this year will go to Haiti.
I could tell you that raising a child of your heart is easy, but I do not lie. And unfortunately for my child, her adoptive father left and divorced me when she was 2.
I married again when she was almost 4 and my husband has been her dad for the most part. She tried very hard in her teen years to live with her adoptive Dad, but there were so many issues on both sides, that it didn’t work. When she came home again, she brought the same problems with her and I certainly hadn’t learned the lessons I needed to learn that I have learned by now. So we all struggled, but we all loved, there was never any question of that on either side. I just kept praying and holding on to God’s promises that He has a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11) I knew He had saved her life for a special purpose. It may be to be that all important nanny. It may be that all important person who leads a seeking heart to Jesus. I don’t know. I do know The ONE Who Holds The Future and I am convinced that nothing can separate us from Him and His plan for us and His commitment to finish the work He began in us…whatever it takes.
Posted in 4 spritual laws, ADHD, adoption, Christianity, divorce, hysterectomy, life stories, Prayer, Relatioships, Religion, second marriages, Spirituality, surviving major health issues, Uncategorized | Tagged: adoption, childhood stories, Christ, Christianity, chronic pain, divorce, Father, God, Haiti, Jesus, life stories, Lord, mother, second marriages, South America | 9 Comments »
Posted by cindyhfrench on May 18, 2012
Oh today what a bittersweet day. We come to the end of our study in Acts that we have had this year in Bible Study Fellowship. I always dislike the summer time because without BSF or a planned study where I am accountable, it is just too easy to get too busy to really study God’s Word! Even as I type this, I find that appalling behavior! I know better! Yet here I am, just like Paul, back doing what I don’t want to do and not doing what I do want to do! This summer, I have purposed to change that behavior! I have invited any of the BSF ladies to join me at either at Starbucks or the nearby Crispers….same day, same time for an an hour and a half of discussion of our weekly Bible study lesson. I have one study book we could use or there may be other suggestions. But come what may, I will be there every week even if there is only one other person-because then I will be accountable. What I find really interesting is that I still don’t feel so very “accountable” to the Lord God that I would be so disciplined to do it all on my own.
Maybe I should qualify those statements a little. I do have a quiet time devotional every day where I read a little scripture, a little devotional passage for that day and I pray for so many people and things that need to be done; for a clear, organized mind, the people I will be speaking with today…all of those things come after I am done praising the Lord God of Heaven and Earth. Because I have learned that He wants us to pray a certain way–and praise always comes first. Just like saying hello, how are you doing? and listening politely does for us when we first meet up with a friend. Ah, He is so much more than just a friend!
My God and Father is a Father to me as my earthly father has passed on. So now I do depend on the Lord God to act and steer me, and care for me as a father does for his own children, regardless of their ages. My God and Father is and was and His Son will come and greatly to be praised. Look around you and see what great things the Lord has designed and made! Is He not the most creative and wonderful designer ever? He never runs out of ideas…. every day if you look you can see something new! And the Lord God guides and protects. He hides me in the cleft of the rock, holds me close to His heart, covers me with His feathers, holds me with His strong right arm–and promises to never, ever let me go! Oh as I have read again His promises this week, how thankful I am that I know Him, that I have been given the right to be called His child. Truly I am overcome with His mercy and compassion and love towards me.
This year, studying the lives of Peter and then Paul and Silas and Barnabas and what they endured to spread the Word of the Gospel, showed me that I suffer so little in comparison. If my suffering is just to identify with others so that I can connect with them on that level, then I must surrender to that suffering. For is it not just a little while in comparison with the eternity that whoever I am sharing Jesus with would suffer without Him? I am no martyr! Not trying to make myself out to be one, but I know that it makes a huge difference when you can speak with someone who knows exactly how you feel. Someone who has survived and come out the other side.
So, here is to a summer Bible study and to whomever God will call to it! Pray on that will you?
And please continue to pray for my brother in law. Thank the Great and Good Lord, he has an appointment at Moffit Cancer Center next week! However his red blood cell count is down to 9.4. They transfuse when it is below 9-so you can imagine how funky he feels. Secondly the older brother of another brother in law has been diagnosed with 4th stage pancreatic cancer with about 90 days to live. Of course that is for God to decide, still I don’t think or know that he is a believer. He has 2 little girls who will apparently go to the oldest boy’s family. Please pray for them all. I am asking my Lord to send someone to give them the good news of Jesus! Especially quickly for the sick brother and then for the others and for the children-comfort and care that they will not be bitter to God. As I read on one blog site this week, many agnostics say they stopped believing in God because they lost a loved one at an early age. So that is the specific reason I am asking for this prayer for them-you never know…
Posted in 4 spritual laws, Apostle Paul's Missionary Journeys, christian, Christianity, Creativity, leukemia, life stories, Prayer, relationships, Religion, surviving major health issues, Uncategorized | Tagged: agnostic, Bible Study Fellowship, chronic pain, dealing with loss, Jesus Christ, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, Praise, Prayer, Salvation | 5 Comments »