Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Thursday!

I am cancer free! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. The good news is that the tumor grew down instead of out and wider. The wound site should be smaller. I have 29 stitches and swelling at the wound site and towards my left eye. Basic instructions once again are rest, no lifting, no bending over, lots of ice and this time I will make use of the pain killers. Stitches come out in a week and the centipede like scar looks pretty good. I am very grateful for Mary Kay!! As the doc was doing the repair work I began to get a bit restless in the chair on which I was laying as he worked. So I shifted as carefully as I could so as not to disturb his work. Dr. Martinelli asked me if I was doing okay? I replied, “As long as you don’t say oops while you are working I am just fine.”

Psalm 73:24 “You shall guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”

The actual excision of the tumor does not take very long. The closure and the repair work takes a bit of time. The doc was unable to remove the entire tumor the first time, so he went back in and got the rest of it on a second attempt. As he was doing the repair work I began to silently sing the words to the beautiful song, “You are My Hiding Place.” The verse states with the loveliest haunting melody,

“You are my hiding place. You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance. Whenever I feel afraid, I will trust in You. I will trust in You, When the weak say I am strong in the strength of the Lord.”

This beautiful melody and words of faith helped me to remain calm and focus not on the work being done to my body, but on the work of the Spirit being done in my soul. I felt the presence of God calming me and being ever so close. I felt secure in the knowledge that the master Healer was present with me and guiding the skilled hands that removed the cancer and repaired the healthy tissue. Yes, there will be a scar there that will forever remind me of what was there, but Christ carried around the scars left by nails and spears and thorns as a reminder of His sacrifice for our sins, His love for each of us and obedience to His Father.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Thank you all, mighty and faithful prayer warriors and friends for all of your prayers today. I felt Gods loving presence through your prayers and the music. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

PS We will be leaving for Mom and Dad’s sometime after lunch tomorrow. I will write again upon our return. Please continue to pray for my Uncle Gene and Aunt Imogene. Thanks again, gc

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

I hope this writing finds you all well and some place cool! Bruce and Travis are painting a house right now and began painting in the morning, came home for several hours and went back after supper. The heat is getting quite unbearable!

Mark 6:31 “And He said to them, Come you apart into a desert place, and rest a while.”

Tomorrow I have my second surgery. This spot is on my nose and is about the size of a pencil eraser. It is a great deal larger than the other spot. I do not know if surgery and repair will be take longer or if there will be more pain. But I know that I trust myself into the hands of the doc and God. My prayer is for perfection. My prayer is for the skilled hands of this surgeon to be joined with the hands of the Master Healer. My prayer is also that the doc will get all of the cancer in one scraping. At the cousins reunion this weekend I will insist on no pictures! I may look as if I have been hit with a bat! But the centipede goes away tomorrow!

I must admit I have been a bit nervous today. I have busied myself around the house, looked at educational supply magazines in planning for the fall, watched TV, cooked dinner and worked crossword puzzles. I am not afraid, but I am somewhat nervous. This passage of scripture tells me once again to rest. I believe the message for me is to rest my nervousness into the calming, healing loving arms of the Savior. I need to rest in His grace until His very life force flows through me and every anxious thought is gone.

When Jesus was stressed (He was in human form after all. He felt pain and the full range of emotions.) He went apart from His disciples and the crowds and spent time with the Father. He spent time healing and becoming recharged. Jesus managed His stress in quiet and prayer as instructed by His Father.

I am not sure what instructions I will be given tomorrow post surgery, but I am sure they will involve rest. This weekend will not be a time of rest, so when I begin to feel tired or pain sets in I think I will follow the way of Jesus and step away from the crowd and find a place to rest, pray and become recharged. Maybe I need to adopt this practice in my daily life all the time. Just a thought…

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Uncle Gene update: As of this afternoon no decisions had been made as yet. He and my Aunt Imogene had not met with the hospital case worker as to a choice of options and a course of action. I just know that he will not be allowed to stay in the hospital for much longer. Please continue to hold these two dear people in your prayers. Thank you, mighty and faithful prayer warriors. gc

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Tuesday!

My uncle, Eugene Smith, was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer yesterday. I received the information today. He is in his 80’s and has lived a long life with his wife, my Aunt Imogene. I always thought it was so cool how they made their names work like that - Gene and Imogene. They were my first babysitters. They were never able to have children of their own and in some ways we, my cousins and I, became their children. There was always a quarter in Uncle Gene’s pocket and sometimes a small toy for us when we were small and as we grew the small gifts changed into other things like scratch off lottery tickets or some other small remembrance. Uncle Gene was always the big tease with a joke to tell or a funny story to relay. He always loved his family, brother and sisters and all of us kids. Right now, they have to make some difficult decisions in where to go from here. Do they go to a skilled care facility or back home with some home health care? Our family has been in prayer for them all day. I ask you to be in prayer for them too.

Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no man pursues; but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

The meditation tonight talks about the Red Sea. If you think about the nation of Israel and the crossing of the sea, they were walking from captivity into freedom. They were going to a place they had never been before, but a place they had been promised for hundreds of years. The Hebrew nation walked out of Egypt boldly and then they came to the Red Sea. The armies of the pharaoh were in the rear view mirror and the Red Sea was in the windshield. It seemed that no matter which way they turned they were going to perish.

Then Moses prayed to the Father and commanded the Hebrew nation to surrender themselves into the hands of God. God opened up the sea and allowed the people to walk through safely while He held the Egyptian army at bay until they were across. Then to seal the deal, the army of Pharaoh entered the dry land of the sea and God caused the sea to crash down upon them.

How often do we fear our own Red Seas? Maybe we just think of these situations of being between a rock and a hard place. Do we go back to where we began or do we boldly surrender ourselves into the arms of God and go forward? My meditation tonight says, “Go forward fearlessly. Do not think about the Red Sea that lies ahead. Be very sure that when you come to it the waters will part and you will pass over to your promised land of freedom.”

Let us put away the past and take joy in the journey to freedom in faith that God will part our Red Seas and lead us across. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Monday!

It seems like my summer vacation was cut a bit short today. I attended my first training for the new reading program to be implemented in the fall. I will attend the second part of the training tomorrow afternoon. There are some other training sessions throughout the summer. I am trying to get them all out of the way before July when I will begin attending my class at TCU. Whoever says that teachers get the summer off hasn’t talked with a teacher in a while!

A praise! My student teacher from this past spring was hired today by the Norman, Oklahoma ISD. She called during my training this morning. She was floating about three feet off the ground. I am so proud of her and so excited for her. Norman ISD is getting a wonderful young teacher!

Matthew 11: 29-30 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

How interesting that tonight the verse is all about learning. I have been teaching a little more than 30 years and Kellie, my student teacher, is just beginning. Both of us are in a learning curve. She will learn how to shape and teacher her own classroom and I will learn how to manage technology and just try to keep up. It is often said that a good teacher can teach in a cabbage patch. The only problem with that statement is, “Would you want your child taught in a cabbage patch?”

Jesus asks us to learn of Him. He says, “learn of Me”. The only way I know to learn of God is to live daily with Him and share His life. We need to keep God in the forefront of our thoughts daily. The students in my classroom learn of me by showing up to class each day and being active with the teaching I provide. Sometimes I talk and they (hopefully) listen. Sometimes we work in conversation. Then I give assignments so that they may apply their learning.

God does the same for us. It is our job to show up each day and acknowledge Him and spend the day learning about Him in all we do. Sometimes God talks and (hopefully) we listen. Sometimes we are in conversation. When God has prepared us He then sends us out to apply what we have learned to further the kingdom.

So my friends, let us show up each day and greet our Lord and Savior. Let us listen and learn of Him.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.
Blessed Sunday and Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there!

I received an email tonight from a old friend I had not heard from in years. She was my next door neighbor. She saw Mom and Dad at a play and then found me on the computer. She shared with me that both of her parents were gone and how she wished she still had them around. Her words made me appreciate that my parents were still with us and we could still celebrate occasions together.

Psalm 91:10 “There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.”

Growing up with my parents was amazing. When other kids were fighting with their parents I came home to a peaceful home filled with love, understanding and an intense sense of security in the love my parents had for each other and for me and my brother. They both expected obedience. Don’t get me wrong, my brother and I had our share of disobedience but discipline was always fair and befitting our wayward ways. The one I remember most distinctly was when I was in high school Daddy had taken me to the basketball game at the high school and left me with enough money for refreshments and an extra quarter with explicit instructions to call when the game was over so he could come and pick me up. During the game an ice storm hit and before I could call home a boy I really liked said he would take me home. So without calling to simply say, “Daddy, I have a ride home with Danny”, we left the basketball game. Well I was very late getting home because of the ice on the roads and we lived out in the country.

When I finally arrived at home Mom was there, but Daddy was out looking for me, terribly worried that something had happened to me. When he got home, right after the look of relief showed on his face that I was okay, the discipline came and I think I was grounded for what seemed at that time like eternity. Why didn’t I just call? Why did I act in disobedience?

Well, I did not experience plagues or evil, but I did see the inside of my dwelling for the next several weeks. Instead of asking for permission or just calling Daddy to tell him my plans had changed I went ahead without notice. Sort of a “forgiveness is easier to get than permission” attitude.

Isn’t that how we deal with our will and God? How often do we forge ahead and ask God to bless it later without receiving His blessing and His permission first? Totally guilty on that one! We need to wait to hear God’s will and then obey. This is where the listening to God in our prayer life is so important. When we are obedient we need not fear that what we are doing is wrong because when we come to God in Jesus name and wait for an answer we receive His full blessing. God works His Will in our lives when we are obedient.

Take joy in the journey. Phone ahead! Wear comfortable shoes, count your blessings and say your prayers. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.