Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Great is Thy faithfulness

Thinking a lot about who God is these days. I think one of the biggest obstacles that Satan uses today is the obstacle of distraction. There are so many things to distract us from our heavenly father.

Yet when we are in need we are reminded of his faithfulness and our need of him.

Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

 “Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
  Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Sunday, 7 July 2019

His way is perfect

Psalm 18:30 ESV
This God - his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

He is more than enough for me and yet as I look back and even now, it is so easy to fall into the trap of doing things on my own strength. The devil is prowling around, buzzing in my ears. I have this picture in my mind when I pray for God's strength and protection against the evil one, of the devil being kicked to the curb like a wild dog. I know my God is stronger, bigger and wants to "be a shield for all those who take refuge in him". I am so thankful for that.

This God - his way is perfect.....while sometimes it is easy to get frustrated with the health journey we have been on over the last 14 plus years, I find it important to remember a few things.
- we (mankind) chose to sin, which brought upon us sickness, death, and hardship
- he has always pursued us to make a way for a right relationship
- God sent his son, the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation
- his desire for us is to become more Christ-like as we journey through this life
- he has a plan to further his kingdom

So am I deserving of better when I chose to sin? I am in awe though of his willingness to pursue me and grant me the gift of salvation. I am ever thankful for all of the undeserved provision through our difficult journey. So many things have been provided to make the burden lighter.

I am reminded of this song today.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,

Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Scott health July 6, 2019

Here I am on this gorgeous July Saturday Morning listening to the encouraging tunes on Positive Life Radio", recovering from my most recent chemotherapy session. As written in my last blog entry my cancer was slowing creeping back. On May 30th I was informed that I needed treatment. I am so thankful that while the cancer presented much differently this time, it is the same cancer and is contained to my lymph nodes. 
Just the same it is disappointing. Nobody lines up saying pick me to go through cancer and treatment. We had hoped to take a long summer trip with our beautiful teenaged son and daughter. The unknown can also lead to a myriad of questions and what-ifs that when dwelt on for too long can lead down a long slippery slope. Sometimes I find myself going down this slope. There are really only 2 options, ride it to a rocky and painful bottom or grab your saviour's outstretched arm before you slide too far. I am so thankful for my Jesus; for the peace he has given me, for the encouraging words he brings me through others, his word and prayer, for the medical staff he has surrounded me with and for my family and friends. He always goes before us. I am reminded of that in so many ways but here is an example. Last fall we contemplated selling our RV trailer knowing that our camping experience was changing with our oldest child's weekends being consumed with part-time work. We tried selling it in the fall. No real offers. Tried again in January and it was quickly sold to a nice family at a fair price. God does go before us and knows our needs. Perhaps that example seems trivial, but it is one thing less to worry about this summer and we praise him for it.

Here is a sample of scripture that ministered to me yesterday

Galatians 2:20
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

As I wrote this the song playing in the background was
through the valley of the shadow, I am not alone, you will go before me, you will never leave me .........you bring healing to my soul
By Kari Jobe

As always, appreciate your prayers

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Scott Health 2018 lymphoma status

Here I am, just past the 6 year mark in my cancer journey. This a journey that started with 6 initial treatments for non Hodgkin's B cell follicular lymphoma followed by a 2year maintenance program consisting of chemo every 3 months. That ended in February 2014 and since then I was monitored every 3 months before graduating to every 4 months for  a year or so. Things appeared to be going very well and then during my scan check in the summer of 2017 I was informed that some of my lymph nodes were measuring on the high side of normal (2cm). This meant some cancer growth and of course brought up the what now question. What lays ahead? I had been told at the start of the journey that several chemo treatments may be involved over a period of time to manage the cancer, but still one is never quite prepared for bad or in this case reoccurring bad news. I was in the midst of becoming a partner at work, which my wife and I both really felt was God leading. So why then, why would it be creeping back into my life then? That is an answer I don't have, but what I do know is that ever present health challenges in my wife's life and in mine have had a way of increasing are dependence on God that is not easily possible without some kind of challenge. God has increased our faith during these tough seasons and has provided in ways only he can. The apostle Paul prayed that his thorn in the flesh would be taken from him, but it never was and I am sure that his faith was increased as he had to depend on God to meet his needs. My wife and I push forward, both with very uncertain health futures, but with a very certain future in eternity. This is a  future guaranteed by the blood of Jesus and our acceptance of his free gift of salvation.
More recently I was checked again and while there have been signs of lymph node growth, they were thankfully very minimal. Its always interesting who is placed in our lives. We are ever grateful for Dr T and her cautious approach. She is kind and thorough in her follow-up and detail of what could lay ahead. Aside from a complete healing, treatments such as chemo and a stem cell transplant could lay ahead.
God is sustaining us, maybe not always as we prayed, but he always is and we are very thankful for the people he has used along the way.

Our lives are His to work out His will for His honour and glory.

Elizabeth health 2016

Here we are in Oct 2016 and I am learning we are never out of the woods and simply have to enjoy the months strung together where Elizabeth ( and I ) enjoys good health. A typical year since 2009 for my wife has involved multiple stays at the hospital for bacterial infections and residual effects from the many surgeries she has had for flesh eating disease, gull blater removal, twisted bowl, and strep A. To say this has been a stressor in our home, marriage, kids lives would be a considerable understatement. However to say we have not enjoyed God's abundant provision would be even more of an understatement. He has been their each step of they way helping us when we reach our limit.
Elizabeth's latest diagnosis is diverticulitis, a very painful inflammation in the bowels. Again we turn to our God for refuge to lead us through this latest jungle. Satan is there every step of the trail, throwing thistles, whipping branches and other obstacles in our path. We trust God to increase our faith and thank him for sustaining us.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Identity crisis

Many of us face an identity crisis. Who are we, what defines who we are? I have been considering this of late and can see that my joy often swings to the tune of the events in my life. Should my joy be based on what I experience or in who I am as a person saved by God's grace? Often I wallow in the mire that is work stress, health stress & worry, my kids challenges with friends and school and so on and so forth. It creates a real yoyo effect when my joy is based on such fleeting things.
As a Christian I know that God want me to find my Joy in my identity, which is a sinner saved by Grace (his sacrifice for my sins). My identity is that I am a child of God, not that I am a cancer survivor, what kind of dad or husband I am. This is not who I am, but rather are my experiences, which should flow through the filter of my true identity.
By definition Joy is ; a source or cause of great happiness : something or someone that gives joy to someone
By definition Identity is; who someone is, the name of a person

: the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others
Below is a link from a pro basket ball concerning his identity;
"My Identity Is In Christ, Not In Basketball" -Jeremy Lin
When my experiences flow through the filter of who I am in Christ and the vast array of things he offers me to face life's situations, should I not have a sense of peace and joy in any situation. Should I not feel peace knowing God is at my side, and joy because he is working out his purpose in me. These are questions I ask myself as I deal with anxiety and fleeting joy. Yes I should be thankful for my recent good health check, but should that define who I am? Should my performance at work define who I am? Sadly I find that it often does and I believe that I seldom experience the Joy that I should because of my identity crisis and what defines me v.s. what should define me.
Here is what the bible has to say about my identity (https://www.biblegateway.com);
2 Corinthians 5:17New (NIV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
John 15:5 (NIV)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Galatians 3:26 (NIV)
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
Colossians 3:(NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
1 Corinthians 6:19-20(NIV)
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
These verses describe who I am in Christ and what God desires of me. The following verse describes how God wants me to approach him when I am in crisis; Ephesians 3:12New (NIV)
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

TILL I MET YOU" by Laura Story
He Will Not Let Go" by Laura Story (with lyrics)
Perfect Peace - Laura Story (lyrics)
Learning My True Identity In Christ with Rick Warren

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Health journery- Scott Nov 2015

It's been 4 years since I was diagnosed with non Hodgkin's lymphoma. It has been a journey of ups and downs. I learned that God is ever faithful, that Chemo is nasty, that friendships change, that its ok to speak openly to God about my anxiety's, that I am more prone to be anxious about what's next than to live in the moment and revel in the good things such as my remission and my wife's recent good health. The latter has been more of a struggle for me of late, with me being a person who is more apt to see the glass 1/2 empty than 1/2 full, more apt to worry than enjoy. At times this has robbed me of joy and in some sense, I think has displayed a rude attitude towards God's goodness to me.
Recently I heard of someone who passed away, he had entered treatment at the same time as me for the exact same cancer. I have heard of others who have also been less fortunate. This is something I experienced when my wife was ill as well and watched many carried out on the dreaded red gurney, while she was spared. Perhaps this has left me with some sort of guilt feeling, why has God spared us. What is his plan for us as he continues to give us the tools to persevere.
Resting in the palm of his hand is not easy for a control freak with anxiety tendencies, but I know that's what he wants. I know he want me to place the future in his capable hands. Some verses precious to me are;
Matthew 6:25-34New International Version (NIV)
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Philippians 4:8New International Version (NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
You raise me up - young Chinese boy and girl
Westlife - You Raise Me Up