The End of the Journey, The Beginning of Eternity

It has been a while since I have updated my blog and I’m not sure why I have waited so long to update except that I deliberately postponed the story and journey concerning my mom.  The truth is, I needed some extended time to grieve.  My last update was September 22, 2020.  At that time we were starting mom’s cancer treatment and we thought we had a good plan and mom was going to spend the weekdays with Janette and me and the weekends at her home.  God had other plans for my mom and I must admit the days that followed were some of the most difficult of my life.  

Mom took a couple of chemo treatments and four radiation treatments and her body deteriorated rather quickly.  I can’t even remember what day it was, but on a Thursday evening, my mom could not get out of bed without our assistance and we got her to the bathroom and back to her bed and then I said, “mom we can’t keep on doing this”, and she gave me permission to call the Dr.  After talking to the doctor it was decided to call the ambulance and take her to the E.R.  That was the last time mom was able to get out of the bed.  Because of covid-19 restrictions I was in the E.R. with her for 26 hours.  No one else from my family was able to be with her.  They finally put her in ICU.  One of the doctors asked us if any one had ever told us how bad her heart was.  After a week of being in the hospital it was decided by her and the doctors that we would start hospice and get her home as soon as we could get there.  A snow and ice storm made our hospital stay a little longer than we wanted and covid-19 was starting to run rampant and the hospital really needed the bed.  

I am thankful for the nurses and personnel from the hospice group and we also hired another group of nurses to help us through the nights so Marla (my sister) and Janette, Ralph and I could get some rest.  Nonetheless, there were some very difficult times during hospice care but there were some very precious moments in mom’s fleeting last days on this earth.  

During the day and night mom would talk to people that were from the past or not present in the room.  She mentioned her siblings several times.  She spoke to granddad and grandma several times.   She would speak of dad and every now and then she would be coherent and talk to Marla and me.  One special moment for me is when mom looked at me and said, “every body should have a son like you.” One of my personalities flaws is that I like pleasing everyone and pleasing my mom was always on the priority list.  I am a momma’s boy and I am proud to admit that. 

There were some emotional spiritual moments in her rambling discourses.  In one moment she was talking to granddad, “Daddy…. You sure look happy over there.”  One can only imagine her seeing my granddad in glory.  One night she was babbling in indiscernible words and after the loud outburst of unknown tongues, she simply said, “Jesus, I love you too.”  There were other times where she would cry out for the Lord to please help her.  Or she would cry out for the Lord to make her humble.  It was obvious that mom was having several conversations with Jesus. 

Without a doubt, I would not be where I am today without my mom’s steady faithfulness and commitment to follow Jesus.  I am sure I would not have been a believer in Jesus without mom’s persistence that our family go to church and believe in Jesus Christ.    She was a physically and spiritually strong follower of Christ.  There were times where dad worked shift work and he could only go to church about twice a month.  But we would get up and go to church every Sunday.  She made sure that we heard the gospel truth be poured into my life.  

Mom was always worried that I would wander away from my faith and I know she would pray for me and she was always stern in her curfews even when I was in college and not living at home any more.  When I was a sophomore in college I was home one weekend and my friend Jimmy’s car broke down and I helped him get his car home by pushing his car with my car.  I got home at 12:15.  Mom was up waiting for me;  “Where have you been” was her first question.  Her second one was quiet disturbing for me.  “Have you been smoking that marijuana?”  It was the 70’s and that was a part of many college scenes.  The truth is I have never seen marijuana and I am not sure what it would even smell like.  For once in my life I had a good honest reason for being late.  I was helping a friend.  But, I am glad I had a mom who waited up for her son and showed me just how much she cared about me.  I think I still had a curfew even up to the last moments with my mom.  Did I mention she was a strong willed person?  

On Thanksgiving Day November 26, 2020, it was obvious that mom’s breathing had changed and she was not very coherent at all.  I called my sister and said you should get here soon because it appeared that her breathing was very shallow and difficult.  Finally at about 3:00 pm that afternoon mom breathed her last breath and entered in the Kingdom of God for eternity.  

Because of Covid-19 we decided to do a graveside service only.  We are grateful for the small group of family and friends that came to the service.  My nephew Josh did an amazing job singing and sharing the eulogy.  He has a special gift of using beautiful , articulate words and described mom’s life and character with impeccable accuracy and love. 

It has taken this long to write this update because I am still grieving and even now I find it difficult to write this blog.  I thought I would have one more Christmas with mom.  I am grateful that we had Thanksgiving together.  I am pleased to remember that mom died on Thanksgiving.  That may seem like an odd statement because so many people would say that it would be a sad holiday for the rest of our lives.  Maybe so, but Thanksgiving  has always been the favorite holiday for our family.  It was the time when we would spend that day with the extended family.  Christmas and other holidays were more of just a personal family time, but Thanksgiving was meant to be with as many family members as we could.  As a kid most of them were spent at our grandparents in Oklahoma.  As a young adult we spent many of them at Aunt Juanita’s and Uncle Olan’s.  As a middle-aged adult we would bring our family to Stinnett and had many a fun times playing 42 and watching the Dallas Cowboys.  My fondest memories of  our family have been at Thanksgiving.  So, I give God praise and thanks that mom went home to a wonderful thanksgiving reunion in glory.  In fact one of the things that mom said to me when she first went on hospice was, “there is going to be a great reunion in heaven real soon!”  What a Thanksgiving feast she enjoyed at the feet of Jesus being reunited with Dad and all of her family members.  

Mom stood at the kitchen window late one afternoon in August this past year.  She began to sing the song “What a Day That Will Be”.  

What a day that will be
When my Jesus I shall see
And I look upon his face
The one who saved me by his grace
When he takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land
What a day, glorious day that will be

There’ll be no sorrows there
No more burdens to bear
No more sickness and no more pain
No more parting over there
But forever I will be
With the one who died for me
What a day, glorious day that will be

What a day that will be
When my Jesus I shall see
When I look upon his face
The one who saved me by his grace 
When he takes me by the handAnd leads me through the Promised Land
What a day, glorious day that will be

When we have an unwavering faith, we have a undeniable hope and unshakeable promise of eternal life through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Today mom is rejoicing and celebrating that gift of grace through her savior.  

I can rest in the hands of God because He has told us not to be discouraged, not to fear for He is our God and He holds us in His righteous right hand.  In Him I find my strength and the source of encouragement.  

If you are reading this and you have never had a moment where you asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, I invite you to pray the prayer of salvation.  Ask Jesus to forgive you for your sin of unbelief.  Ask Him to come into your life.  Trust Him that He is the Son of God who died on the cross for our sin and was buried and rose again after three days in the tomb.  Trust that He has promised to return again someday in the future.  

For those who accept Christ, there is eternal life, for those who do not, there is eternal condemnation separated from God in eternity in a place called Hell.  Those are not my words; those words are straight from God’s word.   If mom could speak to us today, she would want all of us to know how wonderful heaven is and how great it is to be in presence of God.  

I love all of you, thank you for letting me express just a few of my feelings concerning the journey that I experienced with mom.

9-22-20 A New Journey

I thought last month’s entry would be my last. However, a few things have changed and I wanted to continue my blog to inform my friends of some new developments. Last week we found out that my mom has cancer. She is 83 years old and while she is a tough woman, the days ahead will certainly be a rough road.

The irony of this cancer is that it is in the same area as my cancer and that is in the left side of her throat. Her cancer is mostly in the tonsil area while mine was in the larynx area. Today we heard the treatment plan from the radiologist and the oncologist which sound almost identical to my plan. Because of her age they are going to try and use a different chemo treatment than what I went through and the 35 sessions of radiation. They will also spread out the chemo over the next six months. (I think)

So, the journey begins with my mom. She has been complaining of a sore throat for some time now and she thought it would go away, but it didn’t. With all of the pandemic scare and the new procedures for doctors offices, it made it difficult to get in to see a doctor. She did receive a couple rounds of antibiotic and of course it didn’t take away the cancer that was growing. The pain in her throat was making it hard to swallow and eat.

Please pray for my mom and for my sister Marla, and her husband Ralph, and my wife Janette and me as we do our best to help care for her needs during this time of treatment. The radiologist told her the same thing that mine had told me, “this is a rough treatment”. She will have a feeding tube and port inserted in the days ahead.

So once again I claim Isaiah 41:10. I will not be discouraged, I will not fear, for God is with me and my mom and He will hold us up with His righteous right hand. In the most difficult times of our life we must rest in God’s righteous right hand for He is the one who gives us strength. His right hand is a symbol of power and authority. He is good and He cares about what we go through. It will be difficult for me to watch my mother endure this pain and suffering. It is already hard to watch. I pray for wisdom to be used by Him to provide comfort and care for my mom and my family.

This new journey feels so familiar but is profoundly different. This time it is my moms journey. Last time it was mine. I invite you to follow along with me on this blog and I will try to keep all of you updated frequently.

I love you all and I want to thank you ahead of time for your prayers.

August 13, 2020

I realize that it has been six months since writing and updating my blog. Honestly, I may decide to delete this blog in the near future.  Why?  It has been a little over two years since completing my cancer treatment.   I have a PET scan every six months  and once again I just received the results of the last one and there were no signs of cancer.  I am truly blessed. But unless you all let me know otherwise, I will probably just do a shorter update on facebook in the months to follow.

We have been living in Amarillo for about a year now and we are enjoying being close to restaurants and shopping.  I am able to see my mom and other relatives a lot more and we are extremely happy to be a part of the Paramount Baptist church family.

Needless to say, the pandemic has made it more difficult for us to get acquainted with   people in the church and our neighborhood. With the help of zoom and taking opportunities to reach out to our neighbors we are slowly but surely getting to know more and more people.

Today I prayed for as many pastors as I could think of.  It has been a difficult period for them.  I am also praying for all of the school administrators and the teachers as school is about to start up for many.  It is difficult to please everyone in every situation.  You have  an equal number of people on both sides of every issue.  There is no way a pastor, a teacher or an administrator is going to make everyone happy.

Contentment and happiness are not found in a plan but in a person.

Today I was reminded of the simplicity of being a believer  and the love of God by reviewing John 3:16 and John 5:24.  God loves us and he has given us the gift of his Son and the promise of eternal life.  Why is this important?  Our world is in a state of chaos.  Many have forgotten that our hope is in Christ and not in politics or in rebellion.  In our brokenness and sinfulness, God still loves us.

I read the following text from Isaiah 28 this morning:

16Therefore the Lord God said:
“Look, I have laid a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,

a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;

the one who believes will be unshakable.

17And I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the mason’s level.”

(Christian Standard Bible © 2017 Holman Bible Publishers)

Fear, brokenness, pain, and confusion surrounds the world today.  However, we are “unshakable” when our faith is in Christ, “the precious cornerstone”.  Cancer has taught me one tremendous truth, regardless of our plans in this world, God has a great plan for our lives and He has a wonderful promise of eternity waiting for us.  We must not forget that God is the one in control. He is the judge.   He is the one who sets the standard and the measuring requirements.  Praise to God that he has made righteousness attainable through the sacrifice of His Son.  His judgment will be seen through the lens of our faith in his Son. He is a merciful God, but He is a judging God.  All will be judged according to our faithfulness in Him.

Once again, thank  you for all of your prayers and your love for me and my wife.  I am praying daily for several friends of mine.  Mark, Ruth, Jamie, Tim, LaDonna and their spouses.  These are just a few that I pray for as they all deal with cancer issues.  Please let me know if I can pray for  you especially if you are dealing with cancer.



Full Joy!



11    You make known to me the path of life;

in your presence there is fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Today I got results from my semi-annual pet scan.  The words from the oncologist were music to my ears,  “the scan is ALL CLEAR”.  For all of my friends and family who have had cancer, you know how anxious you get before this kind of check-up.  I felt confident that everything was okay, but the report that there are no signs of cancer provides a sense of relief and a feeling of joy.

I am thankful that there are no signs of cancer, however; I am still dealing with side effects due to the treatment of radiation and chemo therapy.  I had a lot of scar tissue in my larynx area.  That creates dry mouth, cracked voice and I have had my esophagus stretched five times since thanksgiving.  The results have been helpful, but it appears that I will never have the original size of that area in my throat.  The physician was able to almost double the size it was when we started but needed to stretch about one third more to get it normal.  I am swallowing and eating somewhat better, but I still struggle with some of the medicines that I have to take.

I have also developed neuropathy in my feet and standing for long periods of time often becomes painful.  I received some new medication and I am hoping that it helps.

Janette and I felt led by God to become a part of Paramount Baptist Church.  It felt like home from the first day we visited.  Janette has got involved with the ESL classes and also a ladies Bible Study.  I am beginning to teach in the small group ministry of the church.   We had a wonderful winter Bible conference with great speakers  H.B. Charles,  Danny Forshee  and Nick Maddux.   We love our pastor Andrew Hebert and his family.  His preaching is with a solid communication and his exegesis of the scripture is spot on.

It doesn’t matter where we live; the same problems and opportunities exist.  We live in a broken world and each of us deal with different issues and have questions directed toward God.  The word “why” seems to be the most common question.  Why does God allow suffering in our lives?  Why does life seem so unfair to some?  For me the answer always lies in the future and not the present.  God guides my path; he always has my best interest in His plan.  He will always reveal that path and ultimately it leads to eternity with Him.  That is the funny thing about growing older,  I seem to think about eternal things more than I did when I was younger.

Catch the last phrase of Psalm 16:11 “at your right hand are pleasures forevermore”. Heaven and eternity with the father will not be a dull place.  We will finally know the fullness of peace, joy, gentleness and….. well, you get the picture.   The broken world seems to only think on death, disease, and disunity.  Heaven will be none of those things.  We will experience the fullness of life with the pleasures of heaven as only heaven can provide.  As much as we try to explain the beauty and wonder of heaven, our words always fall short. The best we can do is long for the truth that God offers the fullness of joy and the pleasures of heaven for eternity.

We live in a world full of hurt and pain.  Genuine peace and true joy is only found in the presence of God.  It is my hope, it is my desire to know and experience all of that and as much of that that I can while living in this world.  When I pass from this world I will fully experience it for eternity.

Once again I want to say thank you to everyone that has prayed for me and continues to do so.  Please add my friends Jim and Ruth Monroe to your prayer list.  Ruth is in the midst of cancer treatment.   Jim and I served together on staff at FSBC Liberal, KS.  He and his family are still my dearest friends.




Update 8-14-19 “Anxious?…. Don’t Be”

Matthew 6:25-30 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [1]

I had another PET scan a couple of weeks ago.  The good news is that there is still no sign of cancer!  God is good and I am so thankful for that report.  However, I must confess, there is always a little anxiety when preparing to go the doctor and get the report.  I felt confident that there would be no sign of cancer, but there is always that little doubt residing in your mind.

I have read the passage above several times and the message is clear, trust God; He is in control of our lives.  It is the everyday details of life that seem to get us down and causes worry in our life. If we can trust God in the big things we can trust God with the small things.  In other words, give everything over to Him.  I don’t think that means we stop doing everything to take care of our business and our lives.  It means we do what we know to be the will of God and we leave the results up to Him.

I know that God has some important things for us in the days ahead.  I don’t know what they are yet, but I am patiently waiting for a word from Him and His leadership in our lives.  Please pray for us as we find a new place to serve in a church.

We have made the transition to Amarillo, Texas.  I am thankful for the new doctors that I have already found and I am confident that God is leading me to the right physicians to help care for my medical needs.  For the most part, our house is starting to take shape.  It is always amazing to find out how much  we have accumulated over the years. We have intentionally downsized our home. So, the big challenge has been to find places for all of our belongings (stuff).

It is good to be back in the Texas panhandle.  I miss my Kansas friends, but I have already come across some of our friends from days gone by.  The other day I went into Starbucks and turned around and saw Sonia, one of our family friends since childhood.  I have been able to see my cousin Carolyn more than I have seen in the last several years. Above all it is good to be close to my mom, my sister and to my wife’s sister.  I am looking forward to making new friends and being available to serve our Lord and savior with our next assignment.

[1]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 6:25–31). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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.

Update 1-21-19 “A Thorn in the Flesh”

A Thorn of Flesh

2Corinthians 12:7

2Corinthians 12:7

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.[1] 

Last spring I had a feeding tube inserted into my stomach to provide nourishment.  I think I referred to it as a necessary agitation.  The stomach tube was a constant irritation to my stomach and to by sleeping habits.  During my most intense treatment of radiation and chemotherapy I could not eat at all through my mouth.  Without the tube I would of not had any way to receive nourishment.  There were days where the liquid diet would not even stay down. I forced myself to put eight bottles of Boost down my tube every day.  I knew I could not lose any more weight.

Last Wednesday I was able to have the tube removed.  I have maintained my current weight for two months and I am eating and taking all of my medications through my mouth now. So, I was able to have my thorn removed from my side.

Overall, I am recovering from all of my treatment. Recently, I had a small concern, I was losing blood in my digestive system somewhere.  My red blood cells and my Iron have been low for the past two months. I had a colonoscopy and upper scope done last week and the doctor said that the blood was coming from my stomach tube. That is another reason that I am glad that it has been removed.

They also discovered that the radiation had caused my esophagus to shrink and it was extremely small.  They could barely get a scope down.  They stretched the esophagus and as a result I am able to swallow and eat just a little better.  The doctor wants to stretch it again in six weeks.

I suppose as long as we live in this world we will always ask ourselves, “why do I have a thorn in the flesh?”   For the apostle Paul it was a necessary agitation.   It allowed him to stay humble and in tune with the Lord.  It provided opportunity for him to minister to others.  (Galatians 4) I know that the lingering side effects of this cancer will stay with me for the rest of my life.  That is okay.   God is given me opportunities to minister in other ways and I look forward to what is next for me.

I have learned much over the past year.  God has been good to me and has blessed me in so many ways.  My wife and  family have loved me and nursed me during this difficult time.  Our granddaughter called the other day and said she was so excited.  When we asked why she said, “Pop got his stomach tube taken out.”  That may not seem like much, but to me it was such a source of inspiration that my grandchildren are so concerned about me and that they get excited about the same things that I get excited about.

I got to preach a couple of weeks ago for the first time since my dad’s funeral last April.   It was a blessing to be allowed to preach at my home church.  It was emotionally and physically challenging. However, I now know that I can endure a couple of hours of preaching and I am looking forward to having opportunities to preach at other locations this year.

At the beginning of this journey I used Isaiah 41:10 as my theme verse“Do not fear for I am with you, do not be discouraged for I am your God, I will strengthen you and I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

In spite of the physical thorns in my life, God continues to strengthen and encourage me.  I know I can rest in his hands.  I still pray this verse as I go through my journey.  I know that whatever new thorns  come my way that I can continue to do what God has called me to do.

[1]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Co 12:7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Update: December 12

White as Snow

Today has been a good day and a day to praise the Lord and bless his holy name.   I went to my oncologist today and received my report from my recent x-ray and PET Scan.  Both test showed no sign of cancer and at this time I am cancer free! That was sweet music to our ears today and we are trusting God for a continued healing and I am looking forward to what is next for us.

I still have a few minor issues to work through.  I have had a few sores in my mouth and one of them did not heal and a small area of bone is exposed on my lower jawbone.   I am seeing a dentist, an oral surgeon and my ENT doctor to see what can be done.

Also, for some reason I have low iron and we are not sure what is causing that, however I did have a horrendous bloody nose last month that would not stop and it required a trip to the ER and they packed my nose to stopped the bleeding. I will be doing a few tests to eliminate the possibility that I might be losing blood somewhere else. I was hoping to eliminate the feeding tube, but since I can’t swallow huge pills I will be putting some iron medicine down my tube the next month.

I believe God has healed me and that he has removed the cancer. The word that continues to pop up in the reports is “resolved”.  In other words what was once there has been resolved and is no longer present.

I started thinking about God’s redemptive plan and how He has also removed our sin through His Son Jesus Christ.

I don’t believe that a specific sin caused my cancer. We live in a fallen and broken world.  Bad things happen to our bodies sometimes and has nothing to do with our spiritual status.  But,  everyone in this world has a sin problem that needs to be addressed. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior our sin problem has been resolved.

That is what God does with our sin when Jesus comes into our lives. Please read the following scripture:

Isaiah 1:18

18    “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:

       though your sins are like scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow; [1]

Isaiah 53:6-8

All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

       and the Lordhas laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth;

       like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

so he opened not his mouth.[2]

The prophet Isaiah is clearly talking about the promised Messiah who would come on purpose to this world to be a living sacrifice so that our sin problem can become “white as snow”.

Jesus took our sins and laid him upon himself on the cross.  I do not fully understand God’s plan.  I trust and place my faith in God’s plan. When I look at how ugly my sin is, I wonder why God would love me so much to give his only Son to make me white as snow.

We all are sinners and the only way for us to become righteous is through his grace….a gift of eternal life.

Romans 3:23-24

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,[3]

Redemption is in Christ Jesus and only in Christ Jesus; only He can make us white as snow.  Only he can remove our sin and make us just and holy. We will never be able to accomplish holiness on our own merit.  We are not free to continue in  sin once we come to Christ.  We become free from sin because of Christ.  We continue to live for His glory, not ours. We are to pursue holiness.  Once we come to Christ, we are sealed by his precious Holy Spirit and he lives in us.  The Holy Spirit is unable to sin.  He is God.  So we spend the rest of our earthly lives with this spiritual tension and battle with fleshly sin versus our holy pursuit.  Praise God, the victory has been won through Jesus Christ and our faith in Him.

So today I can celebrate life in two ways.  One, a deadly cancer has been removed from my body and I still have time to continue to honor and glorify God with my life.  And second, I can celebrate because Jesus has removed my ugly sin and God sees my life through the lens of Jesus.  I have been given a gift of eternal life through the grace of Jesus.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and for the many notes of encouragement I have received through my blog, through social media and mail.  I love each and every one of you and if I can stand in the gap and be a prayer warrior for you please let me know.

I will continue my blog as I still continue this journey with my oncologist and other doctors. However in the days ahead I may go to another format and do a blog on a regular basis based on my daily Bible readings.

[1]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 1:18). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 53:6–7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 3:23–24). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Update November 8th Our hearts ache, but we always have joy….

 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy….

2 Corinthians  Chapter 6

As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says,

“At just the right time, I heard you.

On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy.We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. [1]


Almost 19 years ago my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It wasn’t our first encounter with the awful word of cancer.  Her mother had died 18 years earlier with melanoma. But reality hit us both very hard with the news of my wife’s cancer  and knew that we would face a very difficult year of treatment.  When the doctor told us the news, one of the first things my wife said was, “ help me find the joy in this journey.”  I wasn’t for sure I could do that, but the word joy became our favorite word and God’s word continues to speak to us through all of our circumstances.

Once again I am reminded that joy is what God gives us because of his promises and despite what we go through in this life he is in control and assures us the hope of eternal life through his Son Jesus Christ.    I am reminded that what pain and suffering I have experienced the past year was nothing compared to the troubles and hardships that Paul went through for sharing the gospel.  And, I am always drawn to the cross for which Jesus endured and it was for joy that he did so. (Hebrews 12: 2)  Why? He knew the future; he knew that the cross gave us victory over sin and death.  That is the only reason we can have joy through our heartaches.  Without Jesus there is no hope and there is no reason to find our joy.

In these verses we find a plan on how to address our difficult moments in life.  Use the weapons of righteousness.  We attack our weaknesses and we defend righteousness. We serve God first and foremost. Live a life of integrity full of honesty.  Know that people will ignore us, fight us, call us names and try to destroy the joy we have.  Death surrounds us with threats, health and terror.  But we are still alive! And, we still have joy! We have everything we need.

I am getting stronger every day.  I still struggle with an appetite and with eating certain foods.  But each day I see improvement.   I am hoping to have my feeding tube gone before Christmas.   I am taking all of my medicine by mouth and have stopped taking my supplement.  The bad news is that I have lost some weight because I am still not eating enough.  I think I will start leveling out soon with the ability to eat more.    I have a Dr. appointment next week.  I had a swallowing test done last week and the Dr. said everything is working well.  However, I still have problems swallowing medium sized pills.  I have to cut them to make them smaller. I will have chest x-rays and a PET scan in December, although the PET scan is not scheduled yet.

THANK YOU for all of your prayers.  God has been gracious and I am looking forward to what God has next for me. Please pray that all goes well with my feeding tube and with the PET scan.

[1]Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation(2 Co 6). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Update October 17

Psalm 34

I will bless the Lordat all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

   My soul makes its boast in the Lord;

let the humble hear and be glad.

   Oh, magnify the Lordwith me,

and let us exalt his name together!

   I sought the Lord, and he answered me

and delivered me from all my fears.

   Those who look to him are radiant,

and their faces shall never be ashamed.

   This poor man cried, and the Lordheard him

and saved him out of all his troubles.

   The angel of the Lordencamps

around those who fear him, and delivers them. [1]

Today is a good day. It has been a long year of grief and pain, but praise to God I see a ray of sunshine and I am looking forward to stronger and healthier days ahead.  I could not have come through this journey without all of you and all of your prayers.

My oncologist gave us the result of the CAT scan I took on Monday. The results of the test were positive and the mass in my larynx has been resolved or in other words, it is gone.

For that I say along with the psalmist “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.”  So many of you have been a source of encouragement and inspiration for me.  I know you rejoice along with me. Your prayers, cards and phone calls have meant so much to Janette and me.  THANK YOU!

I am not through with the journey.  I will have a PET scan sometime in December.  I will go to the cancer center monthly for blood work and to see the doctor. I still have a feeding tube and I am still not eating enough to have it removed.  The feeding tube area had a small infection, but it is getting better. My strength is still not where I would like for it to be, but each day I see small improvements.  This may be a journey that will always be with me for the rest of my life.  But I know I am not the only one on a cancer journey.  I have at least three relatives going through the same type of cancer treatment.  I also have many friends who are right in the midst of their own personal journey with cancer.  My prayer life has been keenly improved with daily request for all of my friends and relatives who are on their journey.

My wife asked if I was anxious to get the results and I said not really.   I know that God is in control and whatever the results were that they would be what they would be.  I am grateful for the excellent news.  However, I know there are many who do not get positive news when they get the results of their test.  Yet, I trust God to give me the courage and the strength to deal with whatever life my throw at me.

I am looking forward to resuming some of my ministry in the days ahead.  I was unable to attend the KNCSB annual meeting this year for the first time in a long time.  I missed seeing all of my fellow ministers in our convention.  I have been blessed with many friends and many mentors and many leaders who have been praying for me and encouraging me along this journey.

We gave many thanks to our oncologist and he was quick to acknowledge that it was not him but God who had done the healing. Therefore, we should all “boast in the Lord.”   My soul will continually and eternally bless the name of the Lord; He alone is worthy of our praise.

[1]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 34:1–7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.