Saturday, May 10, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Saturday!  All is well here at 811.  It has been a weekend of birthday celebrations.  Our dear pastor friend, Rev. Deb. McCann celebrated her birthday last evening and tonight we celebrated Cody’s birthday (Geni’s bofriend) .  The weekend has been one of joy and gladness spent with friends and family.

Dear God, my mind cannot comprehend you, but my heart trusts you. Thank you for your perfect perspective. I am grateful my future is secure in you. Each day Lord, I have the opportunity to choose to be discouraged or to choose hope. Lord, may I meditate on You and ask the Holy spirit to take away the clouds of being discouraged and replace them with the sunshine of hope. Lord, let me not dwell on the challenges of the day allowing them to overshadow my attitude. Lord, teach me to focus on you no matter what.  Lord, I place my hope in you because you are God and your wisdom for my life can be trusted.  I love and trust you Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

There are a couple of movies about the existence of God that are out right now. I have not seen either movie, but I happen to believe God exists. I believe and trust in scripture that says that before there was time, earth and folks on the planet there was God. God was infinitely in our past, eternally in our future and is present with us each day.  Now that is a lot to take in. We are not equipped to think in things eternal because we think of things in a far more linear way. For the most part we look at things that have a beginning and an end. Example…I will begin to receive radiation treatments this Thursday and six and a half weeks later they will be over. But attempting to comprehend God having a beginning and never having an ending is a lot to take in. For me all I can do is accept on faith that God exists beyond the spans of time we have created in years, days and hours.  Because God has always been and knows us so perfectly, He knows our past, our present and our future here on earth and in heaven.  So in the morning my friends let us choose hope each day believing not only that God exists and how God has loved and will continue to love us for all eternity.  God is good and love wins!

“This is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.”
Psalm 48: 14

Take joy in the journey  choosing hope along the way. Wear comfortable shoes, remember your Mom, get some sleep and think pink!  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Thursday! All is well here at 811. Today I was involved in treatment planning for radiation. I received temporary tattoos. I will receive the permanent tattoos next Thursday along with a radiation treatment. I will receive radiation at 9:00 am each weekday for six and a half weeks. Each treatment will take 15 minutes.  My two nurses are Grace and Sherry. They are very nice ladies and will take care of me almost all of the time. I met Carl. He is fantastic, funny and like the others on the staff very caring. 

Dear God, Thank you for protecting me with your wonderful love and mighty power. Truly I have no reason to fear. Thank you for preparing me for this stage in my life. I may not understand it all, but I praise your for surrounding me with people who are caring, kind, gentle and compassionate who will graciously lead me through this stage of recovery. I ask your blessings on them as we journey together. Thank you Lord, for all of the prayer warriors who have sacrificed moments of their day to cover me in prayer.  Because Lord, in a situation that totally sucks it has been perfect. Yes, I am nervous about being bombarded with radiation each day, but you will be with me as you have always been to keep me focused on You and your gentle spirit and loving care.  I love you Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

This happens to me seemingly when I need it that my nightly meditation perfectly speaks God’s holiness to my soul. Tonight’s title is “No Fear in Love.”  The apostle John witnessed and experienced the love of Jesus first hand. When the events of the passion unfolded before his very eyes his worst fears were realized and then those fears were defeated in the resurrection of Christ. John knew as long as we belong to God we would never have needed to fear.  Being scared is like radiation. It is directed in a localized area.  It lasts for a relatively short time and then it is over. Fear is like chemotherapy and goes throughout your system destroying cancer cells and healthy cells in is path. But God is stronger than any foe we could ever face and God’s perfect love of will always protect. Yes, I have prayed for God to “let this cup to pass from me” and then I have humbly surrendered over to God and said, “Let your will be done.”  What or who could stand against our God who had overcome death?  So radiation…come on… and may the God of tender mercies and perfect love attend me each day. God is good and love wins!

“”There is no fear in love.  V Instead, perfect love drives out fear.”
1 John 4: 18
“We can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper. I will not fear; what can man do to me”?

Take joy in the journey and walk with courage. And Carme…I will not be posting any pictures of tattoos, but I will ask about a pink ribbon one. Wear comfortable shoes, get some sleep and think pink!  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Wednesday! All is well here at 811. I am married to the sweetest man on earth. He surprised me today with two beautiful plant stands for the deck. They are just waiting for me to find beautiful plants to place on them. I promise pictures if you are a FB friend.  Also tomorrow is the day I go into the Cancer Center to be marked for radiation. One of the people in the radiation doctor’s office called to remind me of the appointment. He was so very nice and said this procedure would be a piece of cake and I would be out in about an hour.  He was so reassuring and had such a kind voice that he made me feel better. I am still a bit nervous, but God and Bruce will be with me. I would love your prayers.  Thank you friends.

Dearest most wonderful God, truly you are worthy of my worship. How good you are and how deep your love. May I continuously rejoice at your name. I love you. Thank you for a doing so much to have a genuine relationship with me. You are truly wonderful. You, my Lord, are mighty, trustworthy, wise compassionate and soak me in unconditional love. I praise you my Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

When the call came from the doctor’s office I figured it was just simply a reminder call about my appointment tomorrow. And I was right. And then as if he knew I was nervous about tomorrow he offered reassuring words and brought comfort to my mind. He could have been very clinical and simply said this is a reminder of your appointment; see you then. But this man went a couple of steps beyond and began to establish a relationship with me. I am looking forward to meeting him tomorrow.

Nicodemus was raised as a Pharisee who knew nothing but to follow laws and regulation. When Jesus met him by night Nicodemus discovered that God wanted more than a rule follower and law obeyer. God wanted a relationship with based on love.  Nicodemus thought that he had to earn the love of God. God’s love has no limits and does not bind us to a set of rules and laws. God’s love is so unconditional that it allows us to be free to love Him in return. God is good and love wins!

“God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave us His only begotten (unique) Son.”
John 3: 16
“He had always loved those in the world who were his own, and he loved them to the very end.”
John 13: 1

Take joy in the journey loving God with all your heart. Wear comfortable shoes, get some sleep and think pink!  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Tuesday!  All is well here at 811.

Dear God, I am rich in love and comfort, and my heart is full to the brim. I praise you and thank you for all you have given me. Lord, as I approach the time of radiation therapy I pray that you will reign sovereign and be present during prep and each treatment. You have been with me during surgery recovery and I trust you will remain. Help me to step into this phase in faith and not fear. I love you Lord. In Jesus name, amen.

I love the Old Testament stories. I think my favorite part of these sacred ancient texts are these words, “The Lord your God…” and then comes some verb that tells what God has done. I especially love the powerful stories of faith surround the Exodus; the parting of the Red Sea and the crossing of the Jordan after the 40 year journey across the desert. When the Hebrews arrived on the banks of the Jordan Joshua sat them all down and recounted their story and God’s faithfulness throughout their journey. God did not promise them an easy time, but always remained with them providing what they needed when they needed it. The Hebrew nation that crossed the Jordan was not the same nation that began the journey. They carried the Ark of the Covenant with them as a sign of God’s presence with them. Joshua and Caleb were the only two who began that long walk. Crossing the Jordan held the memory of when God helped them cross the Red Sea and escape Egypt. This mysterious phenomenon gave the Hebrew nation the courage to move forward. It was that same God who caused the water to stop flowing until this new Hebrew nation to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. Once again they went forward in faith and courage. They stepped into the water and stepped out on their faith into a new land and new lives.

When God asks us to step out on our faith we need to remember times in the past that God has helped us. We need to remember His faithfulness and walk forward in courage and faith trusting that God is present with us. Whatever we face today; whatever the challenges are; let us remember the times God has parted the waters for us and led us safely through to the other side. God is good and love wins.

“As soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up.”
Joshua 3: 15-16
“The Lord your God caused the water to stop flowing until you finished crossing it, just as the Lord did to the Red Sea…The Lord did this so all people would know he as great power.”
Joshua 4: 23-24

Take joy in the journey and face challenges face to faith! Wear comfortable shoes because sometimes the walk is really long. Get some sleep and think pink! Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Monday, May 5, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Monday!  All is well here at 811.

Dear God, Being obedient is sometimes really tough. Please help me to obey so that I may show my thankfulness and fully receive your blessings. Listening to you requires that I am quiet. I am around so much noise Lord that I am used to thinking with a lot going on around me. But your Word commands me to “be still before you.” Help me to remove all the distractions and hear only your voice so that I know it is you speaking to me. Lord, I love you so much. In Jesus name, amen.

I teach one student at a time for 45 minutes a day. My room is fairly quiet and I am able to communicate with my students in a quiet tone of voice. Teaching one on one does not require a lot of classroom management because the children I teach behave in an obedient, respectful manner. However they are sort of a captive audience and required to be there. With individual instruction of these children I am able to develop relationships with each of them and they are making nice improvement. They can choose to listen or tune me out, but if they do listen to my instruction, correction and encouragement they learn and improve. I, in turn, listen to them and discern their needs then we work in relationship to have a greater learning experience.

The purpose of obedience to God has a twofold meaning. First God does not love us because we are/are not obedient. We do not earn the love of God and God does not stop loving us if we are disobedient. Love is a gift freely given and it is good to be obedient because after all God is God. As our Lord, we show our thanks to God for all of the blessings we receive as an act of grateful obedience. But here is the other point. When we are quiet before God and choose to listen with our hearts and minds we are acting in obedience and in a perfect position to receive the deepest of God’s blessings. We can receive God’s Holy Word and instructions. We also receive correction and encouragement. God knows the most intimate desires of our hearts and no one can give us joy like God does. So let us take a few moments each day to seek God in quietness standing in His presence and know that God is with us.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”
Psalm 46: 10
“Do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you.”
Deuteronomy 6: 18

Take joy in the journey and when the journey gets rough step away to a quiet place and stand in the presence of God. Wear comfortable shoes, get some sleep and think pink!  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Blessed Sunday to you all! All is well here at 811.

Dear God, thank you that you are my strong anchor and that we don’t have to drown in our circumstances. I praise you my Lord. You know the struggles we have with making decisions. Lord, help us to have faith and do as you say. Savior, please protect us and lead us to victory. What a joy it has been to spend time in worship today. I love you Lord. In Jesus name, amen.

I love the stories of Jesus. I especially love the different images we find in scripture of Jesus. There is Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Jesus the Healer, Jesus the preacher and many others. All of these images are images of Jesus as a living person. Tonight I would like to share the image of Jesus as an anchor. Anchors are used on ships. An anchor is used to hold a ship in place even when the waves, winds and currents try to move it. If you have read enough of this piece of writing I am sure you have already discerned Jesus as the metaphor of the anchor that holds us even when life tosses us around.  But here is why this works.  Jesus is the constant connection between us and God. Jesus is constantly talking to His Father about us and representing our needs and wants to the Creator of the universe. And while Jesus talks to God, Jesus represents God to us helping us to understand the ways He is helping us. Jesus is our perfect pastor because He provides direct communication to God and cares so much for our souls. Just like the metaphor of the anchor, Jesus does not waiver when we are in fear of sinking. It is in the anchoring of Jesus that we place our hope as the anchor for our souls believing that Jesus has a secure hold on us! God is good and love wins!!

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”
Hebrews 6: 19
“Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
Hebrews 9:24

Take joy in the journey and hold on to faith and hope in Jesus, our anchor. Wear comfortable shoes, get some sleep and think pink!  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene