Sunday, September 30, 2012

FIRST WARNING

How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?



Thursday, September 27, 2012

THE MAN IN THE ARENA

Fightin' words from President Teddy Roosevelt:



It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Monday, September 17, 2012

WHAT CONDITION MY CONDITION WAS IN

Yikes. I'd heard that the effects of chemo were cumulative. Sure are. This third experience was the toughest one yet. The first week I felt better by the end of the last day of meds. The second week I felt better the day after the end of meds. Two days following the end this time and I'm still achy and beat.

I preached from a stool yesterday, and didn't feel like expending energy singing, either. By the end of service I felt a bit better and we went to a light lunch. I spent the afternoon in bed because I just couldn't face laps in the pool. Today I got up expecting to resume my "normal" abbreviated schedule. But after going out to breakfast I decided to skip errands and go back to bed. I did finally get back in the pool this afternoon for a short thirty-minutes.

Beyond the aches and exhaustion, the worst part is my dead taste buds. Apparently, since chemo attacks fast-growing cells taste buds are a prime target. Everything tastes like... John Nance Gardner's description of the value of the office of the Vice President: "a pitcher of warm spit." Oh, well; three down, three to go. Nothing for it, but to make the best of it and see it through.  ...Actually, I was beginning to feel a bit guilty at how easy it had been to this point.

Well. as Super Chicken says to his sidekick Fred; "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it." 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

THIRD CHEMO-THERAPY SESSION

SIT-REP 09-11-12 Momentous day to have my third Chemo-Therapy session. This marks the halfway point. Sitting here thinking of 9/11 and the people who never got the chance to live the last 11 years that I've had. Thankful, but somber with that thought. Remember with pride that our country was united for a few short months before the usual  political drivel drove its silly wedge in.

The needle has been plugged into my bionic implant. Start-up fluid is pumping but I'm waiting for the doctor to authorize the chemo regimen to begin.

I'm also nervously waiting to hear the results of last week's PET/CAT scan. The scan is supposed to reveal if there are any other cancerous growths. There is no medical test that can find individual cancer cells in the body. The PET can find groupings of such cells. I awoke this morning to a 246 blood sugar reading. Normal is 75 to 130. My morning average is 100. I immediately took a maximum dose of insulin (100 units), waited an hour and got a reading of 295. YIKES! I took another maximum dose. I've never had to do that before. These numbers are not a result of the cancer but of stress. I've been pretty confident in my mind but my body seems to have a mind of its own.

PET SCAN UPDATE No Longer Applicable
Doctor just came by and asked me to see him in his office after chemo. This is ominous. I figured that good news could be said in front of everyone, but bad news would be given in private. I tend to be pessimistic, so maybe I'm reading too much into this. I'd appreciate your prayers... I even believe in retroactive prayer.

ADDITIONAL PET SCAN UPDATE...
Wow. God is so good. The PET SCAN came back negative. No sign of cancerous growths in my body. The reason the doctor asked to see me in private is to ask me to pray for him. Oncology is one of the toughest disciplines in medicine. Dr. M told me his department is undermanned because of the economy and he loses @ two patients a month. He is a compassionate man and needs our prayers. Please remember him. I won't give his full name but God knows who he is. He told me a story of two patients with stage four Liver Cancer. One patient was a believer, the other had no hope and expected to die. The patient without hope saw his immune system fail and soon died. The patient with trust in God is cancer free and doing well. Faith in Someone greater than yourself makes all the difference.

Some Saturday this month is the Walk for Cancer in Quartz Hill. They are supposed to walk in my name. In October 2nd is my fourth Chemo-treatment. And Desert Christian High's Home Coming football game in October will be in my honor as well.

I prayed for opportunities to help others with cancer and they are coming my way. No matter the outcome, this is a good thing.

Monday, September 10, 2012

REMEMBER 9/11

This is a time to remember the thousands who perished and those who gave their lives to save some, if not all.



As time passes it is easy to forget. But an attack on our country based mainly on who we are is not something to put behind us. There are still those who wish and plan for our demise. Never Forget.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

CHRIST AND MOSES

 
The Son of the Master is greater than any servant, no matter how great. Hebrews exhorts us to have the courage to not just BELIEVE, but to LIVE for Jesus the Apostle and High Priest of our faith.

 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

THE MYTH OF SINLESS PERFECTION

During my freshman year of college we called it "Getting Tinked." The term came from a remark from one of the students, who said the Sinless Perfection movement sweeping the campus was like God plowing through the students, knocking them over; tink, tink, tink.

That was a heady year for me. The Jesus People introduced me to the Charismatic Movement, I met Joe--my best friend for life--and the "Tinkers" assured me I must be absolutely sin-free before God could ever use me. Well, at least one of those things--namely Joe--lasted.

Sinless Perfection is the notion that you can stand before God righteous and holy because of the pure and dedicated life you live. Now--obviously-- we're not talking about "sinners" here. C'mon! You have to be "saved" by Jesus, "washed in the blood of the lamb!" Then, because you have the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit it is possible to Just Say No to Sin. Therefore, since you CAN be sin-free, it follows you MUST be perpetually sin-free in order to be acceptable to God.

Okay, Theologically, it IS technically possible to fall on the grace of God in every temptation and escape. ... But DO you? I certainly don't, not consistently. Even the great Apostle Paul despaired that he kept doing the things he didn't want to do. That's because though you might be saved by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus you are still a fallen, corrupted, being. Christians battle the old sin nature every day of our saved lives on this earth. You are righteous in God's sight because of the overflow of Christ's imputed righteousness, not your own.

Given that the Bible is replete with references to man's fallen, sinful nature, I find it absurd that the notion of sinless perfection is a perennial among religious people--Christians in particular. Yet it continues to make the rounds, putting on a pious new face every so often and enticing believers who ought to know better. When we find it in someone else we call it legalism, or Phariseeism. In our self, we often praise it as holiness.

As something of a theologian, I find it necessary to correct this misunderstanding. Here goes: You are not righteous in and of yourself, nor am I. On our BEST day you and I have more in common with Adolph Hitler than with Jesus Christ. I state the contrast in such graphic terms that even the most spiritually myopic might understand my meaning.

Let me give you a couple of examples of how the Bible deals with the doctrine of Sinless Perfection. Paul lost his temper with John Mark. Peter acted hypocritically around the Judaizers. Did God stop using them? No.

Though Christian believers DO have the indwelling Holy Spirit we find we must fall on God continually for strength and grace. That is because we are not spiritually self-sufficient. in Paul's words, "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 3:13-14.

The Christian life is a process. It is true to say I have been saved, I am being saved and one day I will ultimately be saved. As for here and now in this life, it is the beginning and the process we experience. The ultimate will not be true until we get to Heaven, or God intervenes with the "2nd Coming Shortcut."

I say all this because I keep hearing Christians talk about salvation by grace, while demanding sinless perfection from others. Brethren, lighten up.