Faith, Fear or Pride?

May 10, 2020   (Post #39)

(From Journal #3:  December 28, 2005)

Since the ER visit, things have been moving pretty fast. I had a colonoscopy and everything was perfect; thank You, Jesus!  I also saw the oncologist and had yet another CT scan.  But there’s still nothing showing as the cause for the pain in my side?  My lymph nodes haven’t grown back any, but they haven’t shrunk further either.  For this reason, the doctor suggests another round of Rituxan and he scheduled it for January.  This afternoon I see the surgeon again because it appears I have developed a hernia at the surgery sight, so now I have this to deal with too.  

I know I am healed.  I always felt in my spirit that one round of immunotherapy is all that would be needed. What is Your will for me, Lord?  I don’t want to refuse treatment to “prove that I have faith” to others that I believe I’m healed. That would be about me, my pride, and stubbornness. That would be foolish and dangerous and isn’t true faith.  I don’t want to take treatments I don’t really need and risk side effects. But I also don’t want to refuse them out of fear of side effects. Help me make this decision based on faith and wisdom, not from fear, unbelief, or pride.

A few days ago, Pastor Rob emailed to wish us a Merry Christmas.  That opened the door for me to seek his counsel about what to do.  He helped me so much to put the confusion to rest.  You are not the author of confusion. I feel peaceful and confident about treatments.  I’ll take them with the same faith I did before.  This is about my FAITH IN YOU, not faith in my faith…

1 Corinthians 14:33:  For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…”

Philippians 4:6-7:  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Psalm 32:8:  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.

Planting in Faith

May 3, 2020  (Post #38)

(From Journal #3:  December 7, 2005)

So much happened over the past week.  While in Atlanta visiting Pam, the strange pain that’s been off/on in my right side began to hurt about 10:00 p.m. and it didn’t ease at all.  By 2:30 a.m. it had become excruciating.  I’d been praying for hours and wisdom told me to wake Pam and go to the hospital.  Appendicitis kept coming to my mind.  The ER doctor feared appendicitis too because I had an elevated white blood count, and he would not release me without a CT scan.  He said the scan didn’t give a clear view of the appendix but he felt it was okay.  Thank You, Jesus!  I’d told him about being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and he saw one of the lymph nodes as 2×2.5 cm?  I believe that’s even more shrinkage from my last scan!

It was about 8:00 a.m. when we got back to Pam’s and just a few minutes after, I got a call from a friend in Texas.  She said she woke up around 4:00 a.m. with me on her heart and she’d been praying for me that morning and wanted to know if I was okay?  I was in the ER at that time waiting for the CT scan!  I know You woke her to pray for me and against the attack on my body!  Bless her for her faithfulness to pray and intercede for me.  I am so grateful Lord!  

I was glad to get back home finally but fatigued and a little overwhelmed from the pain and ER experience.  As an act of faith on healing, Saturday I worked outside in the yard most of the day.  I dug up off-shoots of crepe myrtles and replanted them where I want them to grow.  I planted mums and 5 flats of pansies. I could not have done this without Your strength. 

There was something very healing about planting and expecting these things to live, grow and thrive, especially the crepe myrtles.  It’s like planting little sprouts of faith expecting them to grow deep roots and grow tall, strong, and beautiful.  I worked like a healed, energetic, pain-free, focused person and it felt like I was making a statement to the enemy that he is defeated!  Thank You for being my healer!

Luke 8:15: But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

1 Corinthians 3:7:  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

Ephesians 6:18:  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Romans 8:26:  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Don’t Cherish the Sin!

April 25, 2020 (Post #37)

(From Journal #3:  November 1, 2005)

This morning as I read the Word, Psalm 66:16-20 spoke so powerfully to me:

“Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!”

The phrase “cherished sin” really jumped out at me.  What does it mean to cherish sin?  One definition describes cherish as to harbor, entertain, possess, hold on to, cling to, keep in one’s mind, foster, or nurture.  Wow, Lord!  This hit me between the eyes.

So often we pray about people and situations, but we “cherish” sin while we’re praying. We pray to You but we’re not really willing to lay down some things.  If we’re honest, we’re holding on to unforgiveness, anger, resentment, bad habits, addictions, unhealthy relationships, lack of self-discipline, greed, reckless spending and bad stewardship, and even downright laziness.

Lord, help me to be honest with myself about any sin I may be cherishing in my heart when I come to You in prayer, that my prayers are not hindered!

Psalm 26:2:   Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

Psalm 32:5:   I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Psalm 139:23-24:   Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

2 Corinthians 13:5:  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? 

There’s an Order to the Armor

April 19, 2020   (Post #36)

(From Journal #3:  October 31, 2005)

As Christians, we so often talk about “putting on the armor of God” but You showed me that the armor has an order to it.  First, there must be truth.  Then we need righteousness, which cannot exist without truth.  And our feet cannot support truth or righteousness without the readiness that only comes from the gospel of peace.  If truth, righteousness and peace aren’t in place, I cannot effectively raise the shield of faith or wield the sword of the Spirit.

I’ve been trying to use my sword and shield without having the foundation of my armor in peace.  Without my belt of truth, I don’t even see the true enemy.  Without righteousness, I cannot operate in obedience and love.  Without my feet ready to stand firm on the gospel of peace, I will only have strife, fear and unbelief.  How could I possibly have a sword that is sharp and effective without faith, or a shield of faith without my body armor?

The belt, breastplate and shoes are body armor.  The shield and the sword are weapons of war.  The helmet of salvation protects our minds as we boldly stand in the authority of Jesus and on His Word.  I must be sure to “cover” and protect my body with truth, righteousness, and peace before I take my weapons into battle.

Ephesians 6:10-18: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

Shake off the Viper!

March 8, 2020 (Post #30)

(From Journal #2:  September 7, 2005)

In Acts 28, Paul made it to the island of Malta.  All on the ship were saved because of him.  He gathered brushwood and as he put it on the fire, a viper driven out by the heat fastened itself to his left hand!  The islanders thought he must have done something to deserve it, that it was a punishment.  The people expected him to swell up and die, but when he didn’t, they changed their minds and thought he was a god. Paul had so much faith (fire) that he didn’t panic or fear the viper.  But Paul shook off the snake and suffered no ill effects! The people then knew Paul was different and that something special was on his life.  He then, through the power of Jesus, healed everyone on the island!  Then Paul did much traveling to get to Rome.  The Lord sent some brothers who invited Paul, Luke and the others to stay with them.  The Bible said that at the sight of these men, Paul thanked God and was encouraged.  Even though Paul had been through so much and seen God’s faithfulness many times, he still needed encouragement and God provided it! 

I see a parallel:  It was raining and cold.  Life can be such.  But when we fight back and build a “fire” in our heart with the Word of God, and keep putting “brushwood” on it by studying/meditating/growing, the vipers in our life will come out of the fire and attack us.  As Christians, the more we grow, the bigger the threat we are and the more the viper (satan, the enemy) wants to attack.  You see, if we don’t apply any heat, the viper remains comfortable and unthreatened.  But when heat (the Word, faith) is applied, he will attack.  And people are watching.  They’ll make assumptions about why things come against us.  They’ll blame God or think we deserve it somehow.  People expect the worst when you say “cancer,” but because of Jesus, I choose to shake off that cancer viper, praise God!  And just like Paul, You’ve encouraged me so many times, especially since the lymphoma diagnosis.  I am healed; I know it.  But during this journey, You have sent people to encourage me with a Word of confirmation You’ve give to them.  You bless me so, Lord!  Thank You so much!

Acts 28:5:  But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.

Acts 28:15:  And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to see us…  When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.

Protect Your Faith

February 15, 2020 (Post #27)

(From Journal #2:  August 15, 2005)

Back in May I began to visit another church.  Our regular church added an early service, so I go to one church at 8:00 with John the other at 10:00 by myself.  While I love our church, the pastor and the people, there’s really no teaching on faith or healing.  To be frank, the pastor couldn’t really pray for me in faith that God wants me healed.  There were too many “ifs” in the prayer.  It just sort of negates the value of our faith having any role in what we receive.  That’s not what I read in the Word? I do realize people of great faith don’t always survive, but Jesus clearly mentioned the role of faith in those He healed and those who did not receive healing.

Yesterday, the pastor’s wife at the new church caught me as I was leaving and I told her I can now come regularly.  I explained to her that spiritually the other church wasn’t helping me stand in faith for healing.  She told me she’d written down something the Lord had given her a few days before and now she realized it was meant for me.  She took a piece of paper out of her Bible and when she read it, it astounded me!  Then she said, “Girl, the Lord really loves you.”  Thank you, Jesus!  This is what You told her:

“This is an exercise of faith.  You have to protect your faith from doubt and unbelief.  Words and thoughts are the most powerful weapons for or against your faith.  It means having to separate yourself from doubt and unbelief UNTO thoughts and words of faith in what you read, watch and hear… including the people you associate with.  Be yoked with people of like faith and you’ll witness the manifestation of your desires.  Be yoked with unbelief and you risk the frustration of the postponement, or even unfulfilled desire.  Your faith is precious.  Don’t allow little foxes to steal it.  Everything was made by the God-kind of faith, and it’s a gift from your Father.  It’s a mystery to the world and a treasure for the believer.  Pray for all close-knit relationships and associations to be of faith and agreement, especially where your desires and needs are concerned.  Because “if any two (agree)…it shall be done.” 

Lord, thank You for this Word.  Unbelief is contagious.  I want to protect my faith.

Matthew 18:19: “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

John 11:40:  Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God?”

Mark 10:52:  “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Mark 5:34:  And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

Praise the Praise Report!

January 23, 2020  (Post #25)

(From Journal #2:   May 3, 2005)

Yesterday I had a follow-up CT scan and the report was great!  Thank You, Lord Jesus!  The lymph nodes are shrinking and there are no other suspicious areas; no more treatment ordered!  My next scan will be the first part of July.

Thank You, Lord, for Your Word and its healing power which is alive, active, and working in me.  I will continue my study of healing.  I feel great and know I am healed!

Hebrews 4:12:  For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 

Matthew 24:35:  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will never pass away.

Isaiah 32:17:  The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

Jeremiah 17:7:  But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.


January 17, 2020  (Post #24)

(From Journal #2:  April 3, 2005)

The time changed tonight, so I’m technically up at 4:30 rather than 3:30. I’ll continue my scripture study on healing.  Give me discernment and revelation, Lord.

As I read about all the times Jesus healed, faith always played a part.  There are only two instances in the Bible where Jesus “marveled” and they both involved faith: great faith and no faith (unbelief).  Unbelief prevented healing. 

Lord, I don’t believe You “give” sickness to anyone.  I don’t think this is Your will for me at all.  We live in a fallen world.  You are the all-powerful Creator, the first-in-command of everything!  In Your complete sovereignty, You gave us free will.  Man blew it, bringing sin and sickness into this world and into all of our lives.  This is why You came, to redeem us from our own mess!  You don’t force us to do the right thing, and You certainly don’t tempt us to do the wrong thing.  If I believed that You wanted me sick, then why would I even go to the doctor?  Wouldn’t I be fighting Your will?  

When I reflect on Peter walking on the water, he said, “Lord, IF it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” What was Jesus supposed to say, “No, it’s NOT Me?”  Jesus said, “Come.”  When Peter began to focus on the storm and not Jesus, he began to sink.  But he didn’t sink like a rock; he kept sinking as the fear and unbelief grew stronger.  He had enough faith to ask, but not enough to receive. Jesus NEVER changed!  Peter is the one who caused the sinking, just like we can sabotage our healing by doubting God and His Word.  We will always have a tug-of-war between faith and fear and unbelief.  Jesus doesn’t move; we waver!  This is why we must know we have victory before the battle! 

When Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out His hand.  Jesus’ will was for Peter to come to Him right through the storm!  But Jesus didn’t force Peter to walk on the water because it was His will. In His sovereignty, Jesus allowed Peter free will to look at and respond to the storm.  What would’ve happened if when he began to sink, rather than cry out to Jesus to save him, he thought, “Well, it must be God’s will for me to sink or I wouldn’t be sinking…” No! No! No!  The wind did not die down until they climbed into the boat.  The battle still had to be fought.  Jesus saved him in the midst of his circumstance. 

Dear Jesus, this was one of the most powerful revelations I’ve ever received!  Thank You so much.  May it flow from You through me to others as You please and direct.  I know that people of great faith don’t always survive.  But I stand on Your Word and fight this battle in faith, trusting You have my hand no matter what.  Let my outcome not be determined by a lack of faith!

Mark 6:5-6:  Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.  And He marveled because of their unbelief.

Matthew 8:10:  When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!

Don’t Own It!

January 10, 2020   (Post #23)

(From Journal #2:  March 30, 2005)

Yesterday I had my 4th and last treatment!  I’m praying for a clean scan in 6 weeks.

Lord, You’ve helped me realize something good I’ve not been doing.  I’m so grateful this instinctively was inside me, because You said in Luke 7:45, “…For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”  I’ve not once said that I “have” cancer.  I’ve stated that I’ve been “diagnosed” with cancer and/or “battling” cancer, but I have not taken ownership of cancer!  It doesn’t belong to me; You nailed it to the Cross!

The more that I meditate on this, the more I see how powerful this is in building our faith in Your Word and not our circumstance.  Romans 10:17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

If we speak words of ownership about sickness, then every time our ears hear those words, we build faith in the sickness, not the healing!  But when I use the terms “diagnosed” or “battling,” my ears hear that this is not acceptable and my faith is strengthened in the fact that sickness must leave!  I’m not allowing it to be part of my identity!

1 Peter 2:24  “…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Proverbs 12:14:  “A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth…”

Proverbs 13:3  “He who guards his mouth preserves his life….”

Psalm 141:3  “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Victory Before the Battle!

December 31, 2019 (Post #22)

(From Journal #1:  March 22, 2005)

Yesterday I had treatment #3.  The doctor said I’d be scanned again 6 weeks after the 4th treatment.  I’m praying for no more treatments needed! 

I read the book of Joshua and I continue to see the Matthew 11:12  “forceful men lay hold of it” revelation portrayed in the Bible.  When You told Joshua to cross the Jordan River, the river only parted AFTER they stepped into the water.  Action was required before the miracle.

At every battle, You told Joshua, “Today I have given unto you….” BEFORE the battle began.  It was spoken as a “done deal” BUT they still had to fight the battle in faith!  Lord, this is HUGE!  If we believe we have VICTORY BEFORE THE BATTLE, then we fight from faith and not from fear!!!  This is a game-changer for every battle we face in life.

This helps me so much in this battle against non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  I HAVE the victory.  You are with me, but the battle must still be fought.  I just have to fight from faith and not from fear.  Jesus!

Joshua 3:15-16: “…and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away…”

Joshua 6:2-3:   And the Lord said to Joshua:  “See!  I haven given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.  You shall march around the city all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once.  This you shall do six days.”

Joshua 8:1:  Now the Lord said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai.  See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.”