June 2010


The author to the Hebrews says:

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16

I know so many of you are praying, and just this way too. I need to remember this when I am praying to the Lord; I have never ever felt so desparate in all of my life. At this point it “feels” like we’ve been doing this forever, and that the end is nowhere to be found. Then you throw in some side effects (like this ridiculous neuropathy), and everything only becomes that much more magnified.

My wife and I went boldly to throne of grace tonight; we are both tired and we need the Lord to intervene and expidite this whole process. We need to have some sort of sense of normalcy again (which at this point is all too elusive). So we’ve gone to the throneroom. Please go there for us! At this point we are almost beyond tears (almost), beyond talking, beyond anything; there is nothing else to do but try to find rest in the Lord’s throneroom.

P.S. I go in for my 9th cycle of chemo tomorrow (it’s only a 1 day chemo, thankfully, out-patient too); please pray that this all goes well, with no added side-effects. And just a reminder, please pray for the neuropathy in my feet (it’s terrible: it feels like the bottoms of my feet right by the edge of my toes is “asleep,” and then my toes also have a “numbness” and there is some burning sensation as well).

Thank you, everyone, I know we’re going to get through this; it just doesn’t “feel” like it alot of the time.

Just a quick prayer request. One of the side effects of chemo is to get neuropathy in the extremities. Fortunately Unfortunately I am now experiencing this joyous (yeah right) condition in both feet. Would you please pray for my feet, that the Lord would just touch them and allow this neuropathy to quickly subside (even before I quit the chemo)? We just saw a really good naturopath doctor who works specifically with cancer patients (out of Providence Cancer Center in Portland, OR); and he has me on quite a few supplements that are going to support my body through this last bout of chemo. A couple of the supplements are supposed to deal with the neuropathy (amongst other things); please pray that these supplements deal with this condition, indeed!

There are so many “little things” that accompany chemo, and this is one of those. Apparently neuropathy subsides once the chemo is over with; but with the prospect of at least a couple more months of chemo, I really would like to enjoy a life that is absent of things like neuropathy. I know your prayers are powerful, because the Lord you pray to is powerful; so please shoot those up for me in this instance! Like I’ve said before, I’m the worrier of worry-warts; so of course, when I started experiencing some of this tingling/numbness in my feet my mind immediately runs to the worst case scenarios (even though I know this is a temporary thing). Anyway I share this about myself so you might know how to pray even that more specifically. Love you all, and thank you in advance . . .

Something that has plagued me at points through this season is the question of “why” some folks die from cancer and some folks don’t. At moments the “enemy” has said ‘look they’re a good Christian, and yet they have died from their cancer; so will you’. The reality is, is that death has indeed been conquered by our Lord; so in moments like those, at the depth, I can say so what . . . but that’s usually not my response, truth be told — I want to continue to live!!!

But it does cause you to wonder “why;” why do some die and some don’t? The Lord has pointed me to a particular passage of scripture to help with this real life issue:

15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

20Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

This passage of scripture doesn’t necessarily answer the question “why” in detail; but it does say something to what can look very random (i.e. the fact that some die from cancer and some don’t). And that is that the Lord has a different plan for each one of us; He has tailored exactly how it is that He wants us to live out our lives in service to Him. For some that means He’s going to call us home (sooner) and for others of us later. This is what the Lord has constantly been impressing upon me through this season; that He’s in total control, and that just because “this” person or “that” person is taken through cancer, does not mean that I am necessarily going to go home through this cancer. In fact this cancer might just be a catalyst for something else the Lord has in mind for me and my family while on this earth.

Now I’ve applied what Jesus said to Peter in this context to my situation; but this is just as easily applied to any and all of our situations and life circumstances. The reality is, is that there is nothing normative about any circumstances we face in life; in other words there is a special plan laid out for each one of us, and our particular life stories and circumstances all differ one from the other — according to the plans and purposes of the Lord for us. I think sometimes we all fall prey to wondering why that person or this person seems to “make it;” and others don’t. The bottom line is that the Lord is in control of each of our lives in very personal and intimate ways.

We are at a real turning point. I have started into my last cycles of chemo (potentially 6 more), and to be honest it is very depressing! The doctor said that we would take one cycle at a time, and that how many more we do is kind of up to us. Please pray for wisdom for the docs and us on how far to push this. At a certain point I would think the chemo is doing more damage than good; and so we need real concrete wisdom on when to say enough is enough (I’m ready to say one more cycle and enough). We are going to take one cycle at a time, and make a decision from there; again though, that’s the hard part (please pray the Lord would make it clear when we should call chemo quits). And please pray that the cancer never comes back; i.e. that as I type this to you that I am cancer free even now (and as far as we know, given the surgery, I am).

Beyond all this, my wife and I are completely beat — we are spent, and completely on the edge. We know the LORD is sustaining us through His grace and provision; but you would think that we were in the easy part now, I’ve come to realize there are no easy parts to this season of life. Please continue to pray us through this! You all are awesome, and it is so great just to know you’re still there with us — we can’t bear this alone (cf. Gal. 6). Love you all  . . .

We just received an unfortunate bit of mail. It was from my union, where my disability benefits come from, and they just notified us that they are done giving us disability checks — which amounts to $1,200 a month. You all have helped us out so much already; but I just wanted to let this need be known.  We are confident in the Lord, and we know He’s got us; and He’s faithful to take care of us (and has been through His body — you guys 🙂 ). Anyway, I just wanted to let you know of this need; we are thankful for however the Lord might lead.

A further prayer request. I’ve been recovering from chemo, and surgery; and I’m still pretty beat. Please pray that the Lord would give me and my family continued strength through this last bit of treatment and recovery. You guys are so awesome; we would not have made it this far without you all, your prayers are making the difference! Love, Bobby . . .

Here’s the song that Doug Eaton used in his video below. I think it’s awesome, so I thought I would share the whole of it here; it’s what I’m going to sleep to tonight:

HI everyone! This is Angela, Bobby’s wife.  Bobby just finished up his 8th cycle of chemo.  He spent 4 days in the hospital this time (he spent his birthday there :-().  He is pretty wiped out and frankly I am worried about him.  This is the cycle that usually lands him back in the hospital with severe sideaffects from the chemo.  I am asking for intesive and specific prayer that Bobby WILL NOT have severe sideaffects and WILL NOT have to be re-admitted.  Thank you so much for your support, you don’t know how much it means to us!  Even though this has been such a hard journey (a nightmare, really), the LORD has shown HIS faithfulness through out.  I will keep you updated on how Bobby does in the next few days of recovering.  Blessings to all!

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