My dad passed away this past November and left me his 1965 Pontiac GTO. I had always drooled over the car since I had seen it for the first time way back in the early 80’s when my mom met my dad. Unfortunately he had already “parked it” and I never got to ride in it. The last registration date on it was 1982.
My dad was the original owner of the car and ordered it brand new with the “GTO options” back in late 64′. Fortunately he saved all the brochures, order forms, sales receipt, and manual (with protecto plate). It is a true barn find that I am happy that is now mine ?.
The plan is to get it running and looking nice so we can take it on Sunday drives (and maybe so if we can do a little classic auto cross ?. This car was meant to be driven and that is what I would like to do with it. It only has an original 85k miles so I know she’s got a lot of life left in her. Shoot. We were able to start it right up after giving it just a standard tune up! I would be driving it right now if it had brakes and maybe a top. Here are some pictures of my new baby as we dug it out of the side yard for the first time in 30 years.
I am happy to report that another routine CT scan has come and gone and it continues to show that there is no cancer in my body. This puts me into my 4th year of being cancer free. 12 months from now it will be 5 years cancer free and according to the medical community I will be cured from esophageal cancer. Can I get a WOOT!!! For me this scan was a little different in that I know that I have not been sick but knowing that the test was clean was a validation that feels really good. In the last 9 months since my last scan I have begun to adjust to this “New Normal”. It is very different then my life was before but I am beginning to accept where I am. Yes, I am happy to be alive but I am also happy that I am living a semi-normal life.
New Normal Vs. Old Normal – What’s the Difference?
Energy. Yes, it is that simple. A secondary issue to that is pain but it is very much related. The pain is from the trauma that my body went through while going through treatment and is controlled via pain meds. These pain meds and the side effects of chemo/radiation/surgery all keep my energy level at about 50-60% of what it was pre-cancer (pre-cancer being 6-12 months before I was diagnosed). It’s pretty much like having the energy level of someone twice my age. Despite this I think I am more accepting of the limitations of my energy now then ever before. I am learning to work around it by not committing to too much and resting several times during the day. Every once in a while I will push it too hard and my body makes me pay for it by making me rest for several days. I can’t really fool or bargain with my body any longer. My body has its limitations and it holds pretty hard to those limits.
That is a very good question. I’m not a stay at home dad. I’m not a go-to-work husband. I am a husband/dad who uses his limited energy to spend with his family. I am still trying to figure everything else out. One thing that I am looking into is how I can share my experiences in order to give hope to others that may be facing similar challenges. There have been several people along the way that helped me when I could not help myself. People like this are instrumental to winning any type of battle like this. I don not believe that we were meant to fight alone. I am very thankful for those people in my life. Something else that I really believe enabled me to make it this far is my faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ. I was a Christian before getting sick and could not image going through this without God. There is no one on this earth that can always be there for you 24/7, that is just impossible. It was in those times that I felt that God was with me and that He was going to use people to get me through this. This gave me peace in the mist of the battle which I believe was key in overcoming. It is when everyone works together that things turn out the best. Here’s to another 12 months of great health and being cancer-free!
I stumbled upon this product today in the pharmacy department at Walmart called Gluten Cutter. It immediately caught my attention because as far as I knew there was nothing available that allows a person with gluten sensitivity to eat gluten. I have heard of vaccines but nothing that you could buy over-the-counter.
The box states that “Gluten Cutter helps digest wheat, dairy, and other grains”. The box then explains what gluten is, where it can be found, and how their product is supposed to circumvent the negative effects of gluten. The secret sauce appears to be in their proprietary blend of enzymes named GCX50. There is no explanation how this magic enzyme actually executes this previously impossible feat. The box is very clear in stating that these claims have NOT been evaluated by the FDA so… good luck! We hope it doesn’t make your symptoms worse!
Well, Does It Really Work?
The jury seems to still be out on that one. In reviews on Amazon.com one reviewer states:
Works for gluten intolerance - I have been gluten-free for 2 1/2 years. I have tried this product twice and I was able to eat bakery products with wheat flour in them without getting sick to my stomach. – By M. Wheeler – May 27, 2013
But then someone else comes along with the opposite review:
Gluten intolerant – I have a gluten intolerance so I wanted to try this product for when I am out at a restaurant. The first time I tried it I had bad stomach cramps a few hours later. I tried it once again to see if the bad reaction was from something else. I had another bad reaction, although it was not as immediate. Sadly, this product made me react in a worse manner than when I do eat gluten products. – By Janna Owens – August 20, 2013
This seems to fall into the same category as most that deal with celiac disease – what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. There seem to be enough positive verses negative comments in the Amazon product page to make it interesting enough for me to try. I just have to figure out when I can afford to be brave in the case that things don’t go so well.
Have Your Tried Gluten Cutter?
If so sound off in the comment section and let us know how it worked for you. Even if you haven’t tried it yet, now that you know it is out there, will you try it? Let us know about this as well. I’ll report back when I work up the courage.
I just came across this funny video which is a collection of the terms that Christians say. It’s funny to hear them back-to-back.
Air hogs is gearing up for the holiday season with some new heli’s along with some hybrids of others. Enter the Drop Strike.
The drop strike is a combination of the Fly Crane, Hover Assalt, and Sharp Shooter. The Drop Strike has the ability to drive on the ground, then drop it’s wheels, fly off, and start shooting. This heli is full of action.
The price is good as well and can be found for about $40. It does lack a gyro so control and stability won’t be as good as the Gyroblade or Repy
I was walking through Fry’s Electronics in Houston in the RC Toys section and I noticed this cool looking quad copter. I picked up the box excited about the capabilities for the price until I noticed the following:
Don’t see it? Look a little closer:
I have never heard of a “chemical light” before but it sounds toasty in a radioactive way. Also I noticed what looked like a sticker where it says 3-axis gyroscope. On the same box, same quad copter next to it, it says 6-axis gyroscope. It seems that they cannot make up their mind from one box to another.
Now I don’t want to knock Fry’s, the Chinese person with the broken English who designed the box, or even the person who would spend their hard earned cash on this RC toy, but man, couldn’t they have at least ran the packaging by someone who could fix these discrepancies before shipping them half way around the world?
I guess the biggest point that I want to bring up in regard to this observation is this – if this is the level of attention to detail they have for the box, what kind of quality is going to be in the box? I am not saying don’t buy it, but if you do have a realistic expectation that this type of toy isn’t going to last very long at all. Also. For around the same price you can get the Air Hogs version which will last longer and even has a warranty that Air Hogs stands behind.
Just a word of warning this holiday season, take the time to read the box as it will tell you a lot about what’s inside.
I have become a regular listener of the Moth podcast where people get up in front of a microphone and share a personal story about their life. It is interesting to hear the various stories of people that range from humorous to very serious and/or emotional. Either way, these people are making themselves vulnerable in front of strangers in order to share something that they feel may be beneficial to other.
One particular story that I recently listened to was about a school teacher that had an anonymous group of people try to use things that he had written on his blog to try to get him fired. He ended up keeping his job but never found out who was behind the movement to have him fired. In his story he explains that there is not a day that goes by that he does not think about what those people tried to do.
Instead of focusing on what those people almost accomplished he makes an effort to remember what really happened – he won. Now when he walks into his classroom each day he remembers – I am still here. Despite that group’s best efforts he was still doing what he loved.
Am I Still Here?
Over the last few weeks I have been silently asking God what is it that He would like me to do in light of my current physical limitations. I don’t have the energy to be apart of any active ministry, in fact getting to church each Sunday is proving to be difficult. I feel that my spiritual life could use some work but at the same time I know that God can and will use you no matter where you are in your life.
That being said I have not been doing anything that I would consider ministry or beneficial to others. I have a tendency to get down on myself like this at times not taking into account the past several years of debilitating health issues I have had. For me I am and have not been satisfied with taking those things into account. I feel that if I do “then the terrorist (satan) has won”. At the same time I am realizing that I need to be realistic and recover properly so that I do not put myself in that situation again.
But still, I have that yearning to be in the game for God.
Can God use me where I am right now?
“God. Can you use me the way I am? I mean I can barely take care of myself let alone take care of others”
I felt God’s answer to me was to look around and see what would take the least amount of effort yet have the most impact for Him. For me it is this website. The problem with that was the fact that I didn’t feel that I was exactly the best Christian role model at the moment.
I mean I am not in sin or anything like that, but I am not “active” spiritually like I have been taught to be. When I say active I mean having a daily/regular/deliberate relationship with God through reading and prayer. I have felt that I needed to have that in order so that I could minister here (or anywhere).
It’s funny, as I read that previous paragraph I had an ah-ha moment. When I was asking God about ministering, He did not say “Boy, get your reading and prayer life right, and then we will talk about it”. No, I felt that He said “look around to see what you can do now”.
I realize now that the little bit of ministering I have been doing at this website has been pulling me into a more frequent and deeper times of prayer and reading. I had it backwards.
If They Can Do It, Then So Can I
In going back to the Moth podcast, I admire the people who share their stories. I do not expect perfection from them. In fact it is their flaws, their mixups, their embarrassing moments that enables me to connect with them. They are not perfect and neither am I, that is why we connect.
In looking at myself and at what I have that I could share with others, I have something that is valuable, something that can help other people. Why would I want to keep that to myself? After all, if these other people can share their intimate life moments for entertainment purposes, why can’t I share my experiences where God has helped me through difficult situations. I don’t have to travel very far to do it. I just have to sit down at my keyboard.
I am still here.
UPDATE – I looked on Amazon.com to see how much the App Copter was going for there and it is the same price. You can click here to order it – Air Hogs App Copter @ Amazon.com
Now the original post:
I was walking through Toys-R-Us today and came across the Air Hogs App Copter on sale for $19.98. This is gyro heli that you control through a dongle that connects to your smart phone via an app. I personally do not have this helicopter but I do have the dongle and have used it on other heli’s from Air Hogs.
Here’s a pic of it on sale at Toys-R-Us in the North Austin store.
I don’t write specifically about the church that I go to on purpose as I have never want to be confused as a representative of the church in an official capacity. I am breaking from that tradition today after viewing this morning’s message concerning the future vision of Celebration Church. I will sum up how I feel in these few words:
I am so proud to be a part of Celebration Church.
I believe that Pastor Joe is a true man of God who is willing to put everything on the line for the will of God for his life, his family, and for the church. As fast and big as the church has grown in the last 13 years God is still wanting to do more through Pastor Joe and Celebration Church and they are open to God doing it. Through the vision that Pastor Joe shared this morning he demonstrates his faith and determination in God’s will for Celebration Church. I believe that God is just getting started with Celebration and am excited to see the vision manifest.
My Next Chapter
Seeing Pastor Joe this morning ignited something on the inside of me concerning God’s vision for me and ultimately my family. Just as Pastor Joe is the leader of the church and his family I am the leader of my family. It is my responsibility to seek the vision/plan of God for my life and for my family, build my faith in regard to that vision, then communicate the vision to my family in order to allow God to manifest it.
In Pastor Joe’s message he mentioned all the great things that God has done in the church over the last 13 years. It included the different buildings and areas they moved to as they grew. Each time God would call them to stretch a little further, to take another step even though they had just finished taking one.
In my life I have been through a lot of different things over the last few years. It is tempting to say “I need to rest, I have been through so much” but no, God is only getting started in my life as well. It is weird but everything up until now feels like it was just preparation for this time in my life. Just like Celebration Church – I’m just getting started.
Where Do We Go From Here?
For Celebration Church we are taking the hill. Pastor Joe spoke about how someone before us made room for us at Celebration, now it is time for us to make room for someone to come after us. This calls for a new building that can accommodate more people and have better facilities for our kids. This is being done through the Forward campaign at the church.
In my life it is about spending some more time in prayer and in the word in order to bring clarity to the vision for my life. I know that I am not supposed to return to the life I had before. That chapter is over. This part of my life is a new and is barely getting started. I believe that God has vision for each of the different parts on my life such as family, finances, and ministry. I look forward to hearing the vision and seeing it manifest.
An Exciting Time to Be Alive
I love being a part of things that are alive and active such as Celebration Church. My life is also transforming and is becoming exciting once again. I look forward to the coming months and years as God’s plans unfold at Celebration Church and in my life as well.
Here’s a video of what the Forward campaign is about - For more room, for more children, and for more connections.
Being on a gluten free diet seems to have gone mainstream now as Udi’s gluten free products are now available at Walmart. I got an email from them announcing it but they also posted the great news on Twitter as well:
Great news @Walmart fans, our #glutenfree breads are now available at select Walmart stores! Sandwiches are back! – Tweet link
Hopefully now that more places are carrying Udi’s there will be more completion between stores which will bring the prices down.
Hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone!
Fresh off the holiday season Air Hogs has finally introduced the GyroBlade, an affordable 3 channel helicopter that has a gyro. Just about everyone else has made gyro’s standard while Air Hogs seemed to ignore them.
The only difference with this micro heli is that it is not your standard counter rotating blade heli. No, Air Hogs has stuck with their original single main rotor with a horizontal tail rotor. While I was skeptical with this configuration at first it proved to be a win-win. Win #1 is that it is a really stable heli – probably the most stable that I have flown from Air Hogs. I put is up there with the likes of the Syma S107.
Win #2 is for finally nailing forward flight. While the Syma S107 has awesome stability forward flight was challenging. I mean not to fault SYMA, but it was obvious that stability was the first focus of the copter while forward flight seemed an after thought. Not so with the GyroBlade. It seems that they have sacrificed a little of the stability that the Syma had for a equal but important part of the flying experience – getting the heli where you want it to go. You can do that with this – in any direction – left or right – forward or reverse. Point and shoot – just like it was a camera.
I have only had one flight with the GyroBlade with the charge it had out of the box but I can already say that this little guy has peeked my interest. I am looking forward to putting it through it’s paces to see all that it is capable of.
I will post more updates here as I play with it more.
As human beings we can get comfortable in certain situations or routines. This can happen in good or bad routines. I know for me going to the doctor, getting treatments, and generally not feeling well were just everyday life and I was used to it. I got comfortable in it which sounds weird but it happens.
It has been a little over 3 years since I was diagnosed with cancer. In that time I got really used to being sick, going to the doctor, and getting treatments. It has been a year since my last major treatment and since then I have been feeling better and my doctor’s appointments have been tapering off. I have resting a lot and have been working towards getting my energy back. That chapter of my life is coming to an end.
God saw me through that chapter and I am so thankful for bringing my family and I through it. I have been healed from cancer.
A New Chapter In My Life
So hear I am at the beginning of a new year with a blank slate for my life. I have been praying for God to show me what to do with this new life that He has given me. A month or 2 ago I had felt that God had said for me to spend time with the kids as my wife went back to work during the tax season. This sounded great as I knew that I did not have the strength to return to work full-time myself.
This is when things got difficult.
For whatever reason things shifted for us financially to where money got really tight and I got really uncomfortable. My first reaction was to look for a job in order to solve of financial issues even though I knew that was probably not up to it physically. I talked with my wife about this and she voiced her concern about my physical limitations as well.
In the course of that conversation things shifted from me working to me staying home with the kids. As my wife started sharing some of her insight from when she was at home with the kids I was reminded of what God had previously showed me. It was not time for me to start working but time for me to spend with the kids. Things had come full circle.
I was struggling because I wasn’t doing things God’s way.
My Way is Wrong
In the Bible God is very clear that He does things differently then we do.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord . “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9
To me it does not make fiscal sense to not work and to stay home with the kids. But I believe God sees things different. I think that He thinks that having a parent home for our kids is more important then some extra money. Yes, things are tight financially. But that tightness often causes us to evaluate how we are spending and to make whatever adjustments that are necessary.
I also believe that there is another side to me staying home with the kids as well.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, – Psalms 23:1-2
In these verses God is
causing making the sheep to rest yet He is providing everything they need and want. They are complete, not lacking in anything. God’s provision is based on obedience as opposed to direct work. He is another verse that demonstrates that:
But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. – 1 Samuel 15:22
Doing whatever God wants you to do is always better then doing things your way and they having to ask forgiveness when it doesn’t work out God’s way.
Sometimes in life God calls us to do things that seem contrary to what we think is the answer or solution. We forget that God’s resources are more then we ever need and that he can get them to us in any way that he pleases. When we try to do things on our own even if they do work out then we are talking the glory (credit) for it as opposed to giving it to God.
In my life I know that for this season in my life that I am supposed to stay home with the kids and work on increasing my energy. This does not directly bring money into our house, but it does put me in the place of obedience to God’s will so in return I can expect Him to meet our needs. It is tempting to just try to work anyway but in the long run I know that God’s way is better.
- Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don’t Control You – Joyce Meyer
- Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice – LaTarsha Forbes
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. - Proverbs 14:12
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. - 1 Corinthians 1:25
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” ; - 1 Corinthians 3:18-19
In a few hours 2012 will be fading away and 2013 will be upon us. 2012 was a year of recovery for me after a couple of years of intense treatment. I can eat almost normally now and have not had anything major happen over the last year which is a big step for me. In looking to 2013 my hope is that I can bring some stability to my life and to my family’s lives. Life by itself is enough to deal with without being concerned for a loved one’s health.
In this new year I would like to get involved in a couple of activities that hopefully can get me out of the house. I would love to be apart of the Austin WordPress Meetup again and would love to be involved in my church again as well. I would also like to do some money earning as well but we will have to see how things pan out.
I think if I would like to get anything out of 2013 it would be purpose. I have made it through a lot of really difficult situations in the past few years. I am still getting back on my feet but I know I went through those things for a reason. I would like to figure that reason out this next year and do something with it.
If anything, I have learned in 2012 that God can bring me through anything. I want to carry that thought into 2013 and apply it other areas in my life and help others do the same. If anything, I would like to share hope with others that may be in situations simliar to mine. Purpose and hope are powerful things, they helped to get me where I am today.
Here’s to 2012 and looking forward to 2013!
OH HAPPY DAY!!! I accidentally stumbled upon a teriyaki jerky that uses gluten free soy sauce. The name of the jerky is Krave Jerky and I found it at Walgreens. Not only is it gluten free but it tastes great also. They had a couple different flavors but I picked up the Smoky Grilled Teriyaki favor that uses natural pork.
Now in full disclosure, the package does not advertise the jerky to be “Certified Gluten Free”. It does list the teriyaki sauce that is used to be gluten free and the rest of the ingredients do not have gluten as well.
The next time I am at Walgreens I will be sure to try the other flavors as well. You can visit Krave Jerky’s website at KraveJerky.com.
I have been a blogger going on 7 years now. I started with a simple person website where I took some pictures and posted them online in a type of photo-blog. This turned into a family website as the kids were born and from there several other blogs were started to post info on various subjects and topics.
Along the way I felt the need to express some feeling on some personal issues that I was facing. I wanted to have a place where I could say anything that I wanted but did not ever want that to get out. I needed a place to unload so that I did not unload inappropriately towards anyone.
Thus my personal journal was born.
I setup a personal password protected website online. This was so that I could access it anywhere I had an internet connection but at the same time if someone accidentally stumbled upon it they would not be able to access it. I didn’t feel comfortable with keeping a hand written journal because that could easily be opened and read and because I prefer to type as opposed to write with a pen.
What do I write in my journal?
Anything and everything except people’s names. If by the slim chance that someone did find my journal they would really need to know me and the people I know in order to really know who or what I was talking about. My journal is not for others to read anyway. It is a place for me to empty and collect my thoughts so that when I do interact with other people I can do so more effectively.
For instance, today before I wrote this post I wrote a post in my journal. The post was about a disagreement that I had with someone. When I started the post I was extremely upset at this person. But as I wrote the post and saw the reason that I had stated that I was upset I realized that it was not such a big deal after all. I ended the post writing about how thankful I was that this person was in my life and how thankful I was that I knew God was going to resolve this issue. I went from anger to thankfulness in 500 words or less.
The God Factor
The other thing that I write about a lot is my relationship with God. I actually type/write prayers to God in my journal. There are even times where I express my anger or frustration with God because I either don’t like a situation that I am in or I don’t understand it. By doing this it helps me to work through my feelings and I feel it has really help my relationship with God grow.
I think writing to God is very similar to the psalms where David and the other authors expressed their wide array of feelings about and towards God. Here are some examples:
Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
- Psalm 10:1
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
- Psalm 22:1
I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
- Psalm 42:9
I heard a message where the pastor spoke about how it is actually healthy to express our anger towards God. He mentioned that God can handle our anger and that when we open up to God in that way it can actually strengthen our relationship with Him. Now I am not saying that you should just open your journal everyday and yell at God. I believe that dialogue with God should be a two-way street. We talk – He listens, He talks – we listen. Communication is at the root of any good relationship.
The public journal
Just as I believe that it is healthy to have a personal and private journal I think having a public journal (or blog) is also a good idea. With a public journal it forces you to take what you have worked out privately and share it with others. Just as I shared here about how I worked through a disagreement in my personal journal, it shows the human side of me. It allows me to show people that I am not perfect and that I do have disagreements and make mistakes.
I also believe that a public journal can be a form of accountability as well. When you post something on your public journal you are opening yourself up to be scrutinized and judged by others. Other people can and will be quick to point out when your may be a little off in your views and/or thinking.
Due to the high probability of people judging your written words a lot of people opt not to be public with their thoughts and views, and I think that is a very wise decision. People have a tendency to be mean and cruel to each other especially when they are masked by a computer screen.
I have had my fair share of negative comments on this site. I have a choice to either approve or delete each comment but 99.9% of the time I opt to approve the comment for all to see. I am aware of the risks of posting my thoughts on religion for anyone in the world to see but I believe that when you allow people to express their feelings without censorship that you will gain their respect. This website is not about me forcing my opinion on others, but to share my experiences in walking with God so that others can see that I am human and do make mistakes. But even when my life is broken and in need of repair, God is still their to pick me up, dust me off, heal me, and send me on my way. I want people to know that if God can do it for me then He will do it for them too.
The wrap up
I believe that with any good blog post or journal entry you need to have a wrap up. The wrap up is a summary of all the things discussed in the entry and what the lesson that has been learned is. For this post, the wrap up is, that I believe that journalling is a healthy and productive way for a person to work through their own thoughts and issues in a non-judgmental arena. It is a place where they can talk with God and get perspective on things.
With a public-facing journal people can share what they have worked through in their personal journal for others to benefit from. It is a place where a person can spawn a discussion around something they feel is important that they want other people’s input on. It is also a place where a person can show their human side so that others can have a reasonable expectation of them.
I believe that the happiest and most productive times in my life have been when I have journalled both privately and publicly on a consistent basis. In the times that I have dropped off journalling is when I feel that issues and problems seem more overwhelming and difficult. For me journalling helps me to keep the perspective that I believe God wants me to have.
In life we all have times when certain life events can through us off the back of the proverbial “horse”. It can be embarrassing to be tossed from the horse because as humans we always want to portray that we are in control no matter what life throws at us. The truth is life has a way of unseating us seeming at will. It is not a matter of whether you will every get bucked from life, but when.
In the book of Proverbs there is a verse that says:
For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity. Proverbs 24:16
In my own life I have fallen several times, sometimes by my own hand, but other times through no fault of my own. Either way, the majority of times I get back on the horse quickly and try not to get into the same situation again.
How did I fall?
This time around my “fall” as I would put it was my cancer diagnosis. As far as the doctors tell me I did not cause this to happen to me but I have been doing everything I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The good news is that I have been cancer free for 2 1/2 years now. Praise God! The not as good news is that I am not fully recovered from the extensive treatment that I went through to help me to be cancer free. 3 years later, I am still dealing with side effects of treatment and am only about at 60% of my old self that I was before I got sick.
While that would seem like the “fall” that is the major thing in my life, for me, there is another fall that I am still struggling with. This fall is the testimony that I have been given. For the 1-1 1/2 years of my battle I was avidly blogging about my experience. People would come to my site for encouragement and I would also be encouraged by them.
Along the way the road got hard. I was no longer battling cancer, I was battling recovery. I thought I was going to have some treatment, recover for a couple of months, and then go back to work. Now, I have no set time on when that will happen. I am still believing that I will return to a “normal life” someday but I don’t know when that will be.
This is where my true fall has taken place. for the past year I have not shared about what God has been doing in my life. I have stopped talking to people. I have stopped sharing and being a part of my local church. I died socially. Part of that was because I didn’t have an answer anymore. When I spoke with folks I didn’t have an update as to my status. “Have you gone back to work?” someone would ask, I would reply “no, not yet”. “Are you going back?” they would continue, “the doctor says someday, but they don’t know when”. “Oh” they would reply and the conversation was over. It was awkward and it got old. After 6 months of the say Q & A session I just didn’t want to play anymore so I withdrew.
What do I do now?
This has been the question on my mind for the last year. What do I do now. I am not laid up in the hospital but I am not well enough to return to work either. What do I do? I tried helping out at church but it was too much for me physically and I fizzled out after a couple of months. I graduated from physical therapy which was great but quit the YMCA after 1 week because it was too much for me. The question slowly changed from “what do I do now” to “what CAN I do now?”. That’s the scary question.
This has been the question that I have ben hiding from all this time. I haven’t wanted to talk about it and I have done a pretty good job of eliminating everyone around me that would ask anything close to that. I stopped pushing and challenging myself. I had been knocked off the horse and decided that the ground was a good spot to say. After all, I couldn’t ride the horse – right?
Where I’ve been and where I’m going
So that is where I have been, for a while now. While I didn’t die from cancer, I gave up on life. I gave up on it because I didn’t want to think about being limited in this life. I didn’t want to talk about it and honestly I really still do not want to.
The reason that I am writing this though is that I have to talk about it. I cannot stay where I am. It is not fair to all of those who helped me to make it through cancer only to check out on life because it got hard. I know life is hard without cancer and all those things. To be honest though, life is harder when you are trying to be a husband, father, son, grandson, friend, business man, and all the rest and you are recovering from cancer.
See, I did not know about this recovery thing. I guess the doctors really didn’t talk about it because they weren’t sure that I was going to make it to this point. Well I did. Now I have to fight hard like I did when I was battling for my physical life, only this is more mental, and spiritual.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
I believe that these truths have not been as much of a focus in my mind as they were when I was battling cancer. After I got victory over it I relaxed but that was not the time to do that, the next battle was just around the corner (it always it).
So what changed?
What changed for me was the death of my grandfather who was 101 years old. I spent time with my father celebrating his life and saw what God was doing in their lives – He was blessing them. I realized that the same blessing that they were experiencing was also waiting for me.
I don’t want to have been saved from cancer only to die spiritually. God turned the thing that satan intended for evil into a glorious testimony. God used faith, prayers, doctors, medicine, surgeries, and a whole host of other things to heal me so i could be here today.
Yes, life is different and harder then I thought it was going to be. This has taken me by surprise but it did not surprise God. He knew that there would be this chapter in my life and His plan is to bring me through this to the next chapter. Everything that I need is available through him. He did not bring me this far to leave me here.
I also know that he has given me a story to tell so that it can give other people hope. Yes, God can heal you from cancer. Yes, God can provide for you even if you haven’t worked for 3 years. Yes, you can fully recover from extensive cancer treatment (this is the one I am working on).
It is my job to tell the story of where God brought me from and also where He is taking me. I cannot shy away from it, that is a disservice to Him and everyone else that put their faith out there for me too. It may be hard to put myself out there and not everyone may receive my message, but that is alright. As long as I know that I am doing what God wants me to I will be alright.
So what happens now?
My intention is to finish the book that I started on this website. I had more then one of my family members tell me that I should write a book about my experience. Yes, I should. I also want to write here more. This site helps me to be accountable to the message that God has placed in side of me. I cannot say when and how often that will happen but I will make a concentrated effort to post here more.
So if you have made it this far congratulations and hopefully you have been inspired by my writing. I am not a perfect person but I do love God and am thankful for what He has done in my life. I believe that I can truly demonstrate my thankfulness by letting others know of the hope that I found in Him and His Son. I hope that is what you see when you read what I have written here.
Until next time…
I got the results from my latest CT scan and I am still cancer free. The doctor also remarked at full my face looked compared to when he had seen me 6 months ago. I have now been pushed to a 9 month test cycle as opposed to the 6 month cycle I had ben on.If looking up all the dates and everything it has now been 2 1/2 years since any know cancer was in my body. My oncologist was quick to add that at 5 years I would be considered “Cured” from cancer. A tear comes to my eye as I write that since their were some many points along the way that I didn’t think I was going to make it at all.
Cancer can be beat.