Update 5-21-19

I Called… You Answered!

 

Psalm 138 

   I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;

before the gods I sing your praise;

   I bow down toward your holy temple

and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,

for you have exalted above all things

your name and your word.

   On the day I called, you answered me;

my strength of soul you increased. [1]

 

Just about a year ago I was told that I had larynx cancer.  I think it didn’t really surprise me that I had cancer.  I had struggled for three years with my voice and I knew something was not right.  Yet, no one likes to hear that ugly word “cancer.” I saw my oncologist for the first time on May 16thlast year after being told on May 14ththat I had cancer by my ENT doctor.   They got me in fast and started my treatment process immediately.

I am so grateful for the many prayer warriors throughout this past year.  We called out to God and He answered our prayers.  To be honest with you, the treatment was not easy and there were some very tough days but through it all I could see God’s hand in his care and love for me and for my family.

Here is the latest update:

  1. Every scan shows no sign of the cancer.
  2. My ENT says my vocal cord area looks clean and good. I only have to see him every six months now.  I still have trouble with the left vocal cord.
  3. My blood levels are better but my red blood cells and white blood cells are still running a little low.
  4. I have lymphedema in my neck area and wear a compression wrap every night to try and control the swelling.
  5. I have gained over 20 pounds back and over all I am able to eat. However not all taste buds are normal and some things do not taste just right, but it doesn’t keep me from eating.
  6. I have had my esophagus stretched several times. Last time I went in for the procedure he did nothing and said it has healed and I don’t have to do that again. I still have small problems with swallowing but it is a lot better.
  7. I have a little neuropathy in my hands and feet. That is due to the chemotherapy that is still in my system.  It is getting better and hopefully it will go away.

Overall, I am feeling almost normal (whatever that is for a 66 year old man).  I am back to preaching again.  I have the opportunity to fill in for a small church that is without a pastor right now.  I am so thankful for this opportunity that they have given me to preach the gospel. I must admit the first couple of Sunday’s were a little hard on my vocal cords, but each Sunday I get stronger and my voice is getting better.  (just wished my preaching would get better….ha)

Janette and I have put our house on the market and hope to move to Amarillo, Texas.  We love living in Kansas and it will be hard to say good-bye to all of our friends in this state.  God has allowed me the opportunity to know people all through this state and beyond.  I am grateful for the opportunity to pastor in Liberal, Ks, to be the DOAM in Central Baptist Association, to work with CrossPoint church and to be the transitional pastor at FSBC Great Bend.  For 28 years we have lived in Kansas and it is home to us.  However, we feel like it is time to get closer to my mom and sister and to my wife’s sister.

I want to echo what King David said, “I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart.”  I am grateful and with my whole heart  and want to give God the glory for the healing that is taking place in my life.

I feel like I lost a whole year of my life, it was a difficult year. It started with my dad being very sick in March last year and then passing away in April.  I went from grieving my father’s death to right into treatment for my cancer.  I’m not sure I have had proper time to grieve the loss of my dad. I think what I miss most are the times we had fishing together. It was there in those moments that I felt closest to my dad.  We would talk, we would fish hard, we would laugh and we would argue about who caught the biggest and most fish.  I will never forget the many times we would head to the light of the cross on the side of a church encampment at Lake Texhoma in Rock Creek.  We would always be reminded of Christ and his love for us to give his life so that we could have eternal life in spite of our broken and sinful lives.

One other moment I remember from my dad was when I was in college.  We were headed to Lake Meredith to fish for crappie.  Dad looked and me and said, “Son, I don’t have much to offer you. But what I do offer you is my name; make me proud.”  That was dad’s way of passing the baton to me, a way to say you are no longer a boy, but a man.

I bow down toward your holy temple

and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,

for you have exalted above all things

your name and your word.

The steadfast love and faithfulness of God has sustained me through this past year.  I am thankful for that.   It is His name we are to proclaim, it is His word that is Holy. “Make HIM proud!”

[1]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 138:title–3). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

6 thoughts on “Update 5-21-19

  1. I believe you have made your heavenly and earthly very proud and you are not done yet! You are a blessing to everyone you come in contact with. It is very sad to see you go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pastor Keith, you have left such a huge footprint on our community. In sunshine and shadow you have been a faithful witness to God’s goodness and provision. We wish you all the best of everything in your new home. You will certainly be missed, but we look forward to the day when we can all be together forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so thankful that your still able to preach and still teaching us so many lessons. You are a blessing Keith !Praise God for you and Jannete. I know you will be missed in Great Bend but being closer to family will be good . Love you both!

    Liked by 1 person

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