I’d love to see you at the Cup Filler on the Square in downtown McKinney tomorrow (Saturday the 6th) from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Stacy and I will both be there (and maybe a couple of my kids if we can talk them into going) to say “hi” and have fun talking to our many friends. I’d be honored to sign a book or two for you (and especially for those to whom you plan to give a book). It will be a great day- beautiful weather, great options for lunch, and tons of smiles to go around! Hope to see you there.
I’ve never considered myself a public speaker or a writer (and I empathize with those of you who really don’t do the “blog thing”), so please bear with me as I take my turn and attempt to express my heartfelt thanks to you for your prayers and loving encouragement to me and our family. I am so humbled by your prayers on my behalf and be assured they are being answered in miraculous ways. Your uplifting notes not only here on our Live Forgiven website, but also the many, many expressions of love through cards, gifts, and caring deeds have strengthened me daily.
As our family enjoyed one of our favorite places in Colorado this past July, Jeff and I knew that there was the possibility of a very challenging event in our future. We determined to make the most of our family’s time at Wind River Ranch and our hike to the top of Estes Cone (elev. 11,006 feet) was the highlight of my week. Little did I know that exactly one week later, I would receive a diagnosis of cancer and be faced with a mountain-climbing challenge of another kind.
A friend recently told me that fighting cancer is like climbing a mountain. You don’t look at how far you have to climb to reach the top, you just look at where to place your foot for the next step.
Just as our family encouraged one another and our hiking friends to the top of Estes Cone, so our family of faith from around the world is encouraging us to make it to the summit of this battle with cancer, and what a glorious view awaits!
Along the way, I am learning to take one day at a time and to continuously die to myself in order to be fully available for Christ to live in and through me (Gal. 2:20). I’m excited about the fact that He is changing me for the better and for His purposes. I’ve only really had a few big trials in my life, so in a strange way, I welcome MY TURN once again to show my Lord that He is all I need.
One last thought: July 31, 2008 was a bittersweet day. I find it interesting that on the very day I got my diagnosis, Jeff and I received the first copy of his book Live Forgiven. I believe God will bring many to the Savior through His message of grace presented in the book. In all things, may He receive glory and honor for He alone is worthy!
My love to each of you,
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV
It’s surprising for one who traffics in words to find himself at a dead end. But here we are, struggling to find the words to express our gratitude to you, our dear friends, for the outpouring of love that we have experienced over the past few days. Stacy wants you to know that she is overwhelmed by your love. Your words have not only sustained her but have allowed her to prevail in these days. We love each one of you so much.
By the grace of God she is recovering well from surgery. She is experiencing the sweet presence of Jesus and clearly the joy of the Lord is her strength (I caught her singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” yesterday morning). We had the first of many meetings with doctors and we have established a course of action that will include chemotherapy and radiation. We hope to begin chemotherapy in a few weeks which will last for about six months with radiation to follow. We’ll keep you posted. Most of all we want to thank you for your prayers. What a great God we serve. Our Redeemer is faithful and true.
We love you all.
Many of you now know that my precious Stacy has been diagnosed with cancer. Following a routine mammogram we discovered that she would have to undergo surgery. Believing that this would be a simple “bump in the road” we moved ahead with surgery on Tuesday. During surgery the doctor informed me that he had found that the cancer was not as contained as originally thought. Chemotherapy would be the next course of action.The past month has been a difficult, heart-breaking, and yet hopeful journey for our family. We have all embraced this unexpected journey as an opportunity for God to show Himself great. We have incredible children who love God with all their hearts and they have been amazing. I’ve often said, “Stacy is the purest person I know” and she has a heart to serve Jesus with her life. On Tuesday night, as she was brought into her hospital room following surgery, through tears she quoted her life verse:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Stacy has totally surrendered this situation to the Lord for His purposes and glory. Knowing that we serve a loving and sovereign God who is control of all things, our entire family is committed to a desire for Jesus to be known and seen through our lives. I will honor my wife and at the same time inform you along the way. What we need more than anything else is, of course, your prayers. I would love for you to encourage Stacy. You can leave a comment here and in time she’ll read every single one. We love you all so much. Please pray for peace and wisdom in the coming days.