Dearest Loved ones, online and offline;
I told you all on Facebook a while back I would share the results of my neck biopsy when it came in and I received the results a couple of days ago. I could easily just come right out and tell you what they are, but then as I thought and prayed about it, I feel the Holy Spirit is nudging me to use it as a teaching AND a lesson in encouragement. This is after all something the Lord has called me to do, way back when.
First, I WILL “spill the beans” as it were and if you want to discontinue reading after seeing the results, no offense, no hard feelings for I am after all speaking to my loved ones! I have what is called Squamous Cell Carcinoma (the doctor pronounced it squeamish) and here is a link to WebMD that provides very informative information on it. It is new to me as well. The link: https://www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/guide/squamous-cell-carcinoma#1
Now it being a form of skin cancer, I have no idea how I got it for I don’t seem to have any skin irritations and in fact after getting the results, the doctors re-examined my CT scans and found an abnormality on either the back of my tongue or the back of my throat, they may want some more imaging and maybe even a biopsy of the suspected area. They say that it doesn’t just show up in the neck or lymph area without coming from another area. By the way, it is not in the lymph glands as of yet, so they are hopeful and I see a specialist January 3rd who may do further testing.
Now, with that all being said, I covet your prayers. I am not in pain, (from the neck or throat) I don’t seem to have any infection, though I do have and have had a persistent cough for a while. My wife believes that was an “ah ha” moment because she has been concerned about the cough.
As to asking for prayer, let me explain something to you ALL. I believe with my whole heart, without doubting the WHOLE Word of God! I believe it is a Living Word that never changes itself, but causes changes within the reader who is seeking a relationship with the Living Author! I do NOT believe it is a menu where the reader can pick and choose what he/she likes and discard the rest if it doesn’t fit his/her beliefs. You take part of it to develop a relationship with the Author of it, you take it ALL. You reject part of it, you might just as well reject the whole thing; sadly to your own detriment.
The Bible is a book about History, Philosophy, Wisdom, Science (yes, Science!), and about truth, morals, law and how to get along with your fellow man, but above ALL of that, it is a guide to the Nature and Character of our Heavenly Father, God Almighty, the Creator of all that was, is or shall be! It is a guide on how to be like He created us and how to be intimately close to Him.
I said all that as a foundation to why I am asking you for prayer. The Apostle James wrote this: “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” – James 5:15-16. There has been and still is a lot of controversy in “church circles” about these verses and the ones preceding this. They are usually taken out of context and also picked out just like that “menu attitude” I referred too. They are NOT the only verses on prayer and should NEVER be used to justify a doctrine solely based on just themselves. They have to be applied like ever other doctrine to the WHOLE counsel of the Word!
Do I believe God can heal today? ABSOLUTELY! I had kidney cancer just last year (not in anyway related to this bout according to the doctors) and God healed me and completely removed any sign of the cancer that was there. Did He happen to use a doctor and the inspired knowledge the doctor received from HIM, of course and that doesn’t negate the miracle of healing because the Lord chose to use another vessel to accomplish His perfect will! Do I believe God can heal without the intercession of a skilled and educated medical professional? Yes I do! I will NOT put Him in a box, but I will add, if that is His PERFECT will for a person than yes, He will do it!
Now let me put forth a scenario to you who believe in name it and claim it and the belief that healing is only from God if human intervention is not involved. When you meet or hear of someone who has a dire financial need, do you ask God to print up whatever currency is from your country and “snowfall” it into the person’s lap who happens to be in need? Do you criticize their FAITH (or what you consider lack thereof) if the finances do not miraculously appear out of thin air into their wallets or bank accounts? Let’s be honest here, we ARE comparing apples to apples as far as spiritual principles go.
Or do you, as so often happens, praise God, along with the recipient when God uses another willing vessel to meet that person’s need, whether anonymously or face to face? Do you then critique their faith because God didn’t just make the finances appear? Now, as you all are part of the Body of Christ and members individually with Christ as the Head (Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, Ephesians 4:11-16) and all have differing gifts, spiritual and ministerially, are you aware that Romans 12:8 lists giving and giving liberally as a ministry GIFT? Do you question the receiver’s faith because a minister (servant) of giving is the vessel God chooses to use?
I like to believe that the Apostle James, concerning prayer ended on the key part of praying, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Remember what Jesus, Himself taught concerning prayer; “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:9-10. I don’t have to remind you that when He said, “in this manner,” He wasn’t telling people to recite what He said, but was giving a FORMULA for how we should approach “effective, fervent” prayer!
Do you recognize the key to His formula for prayer? “Thy WILL be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Bold emphasis added).
So, as I ask for prayer and I do covet your prayers, I ask that you pray for God’s PERFECT will in my life. You see, I’m still learning. I have NOT arrived yet and as the Apostle Paul writes, I’m still pressing on to that final goal! I KNOW from great past experiences that when obstacles and trials and tribulations come, when I give them to the Lord and rely on HIS strength and HIS peace that is beyond the world’s understanding, I come out the other end, stronger, more full of faith and more able to encourage others who are going through things. God has called me to encourage others! How can I be effective in Him, if I have never experienced going through things myself? I learned this about the depth of His true forgiveness so many years ago when others gave up on me for sinning! I continue to learn even these many decades later!
Hey people, I’m 67 years old and my body is breaking down due to accidents, health issues and such. That’s part of life; PERIOD! I don’t regret where I am at today in Christ Jesus. My only regrets (if you can call them that) are hurts that through my stumbling I imparted to others. The truth of the matter is, there are things in my life that are facts; yet in God’s eyes, I AM FORGIVEN in Christ, just as most of my loved ones (thankfully) are!
I have learned through time and experience that as long as I am willing to learn and willing to stay surrendered to God, through Christ Jesus and led by the Holy Spirit, He will be faithful to continue to teach me and make me more and more in His image. I have shared this with you before and I am sorry I have to bring it up again; I DO truly believe AND know, the truth of the following Scriptures:
“Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:27-28. Notice the key points in these verses that go in accordance with Jesus’ formula for prayer, “He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” This is how the Holy Spirit intercedes for each of us! Isn’t He our prime example to follow?
Plus, I have to add this Scripture always and look at the hope and promises found in these verses also by the Apostle Paul; “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. Look at how verse 15 starts, “For all things are for your sakes, . . . (for) thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.” Again, God’s PERFECT will! Sorry for sounding like a broken record, but this is an awesome promise and blessing for life in Christ!
Okay, one last thing has been on my minds these last couple of days; as with any family, you always want your brothers and sisters to have the best. I have to ask, what is better than God’s perfect will, combined with His strength and His peace in our lives?
What makes a brother or sister? I have been blessed with relatives, by blood, who love me and allow me to love them. But not all my blood relatives are that way. Most are. However, what is stronger than blood? This isn’t a trick question, for I am serious. Blood is natural, the natural according to the Apostle Paul is temporary, according to the Scriptures from 2 Corinthians above. The things not seen, the Spiritual however is eternal. As I said, I have been blessed with relatives that love me as well because they love the Lord! They are closer to me in relation because we are spiritual heirs with Christ Jesus! We ARE going to spend eternity together WITH the Lord, our Heavenly Father! How much greater could that be!
This is why I am so proud and blessed to call you my Brothers and Sisters, because spiritually we couldn’t be closer even if we were related by blood! This is why I am also more concerned with the eternal scheme of things than what happens in the natural and why I have such a penchant for those who are hurting in the Lord as well as those who are sort of “riding the fence” when it comes to surrendering to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Anyway, in closing; again, I covet your prayers for God’s perfect will, for His strength and peace to get through whatever may come and the ability to continue to encourage others in Him no matter what this life brings. Things are going on all around us in the world and not just here in the U.S. so we NEED to continue to intercede for God’s Perfect Will to take place in one another’s lives! I believe revival is coming to individuals all over the world and then Christ will be coming back to take care of business that has been prophesied. We are living in a major time in the history of mankind I believe! Come quickly, Lord Jesus! God bless!