Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Opportunity - Benefit Dinner


The Benefit Dinner was a blast!  It was so sweet to see so many of you at this event.  Our family was so overwhelmed with your love, support and generosity.  It truly was a special night celebrating what the Lord has done for our family over this last year.

I just thought I would post some of my notes from what I shared at the Benefit Dinner for those of you who could not be there.

1. Trials are an opportunity to prove the faithfulness of God in our lives.
Cancer has been the hardest thing I've had to face in my life.  I've heard it said that God won't give you more than you can handle.  I don't believe this anymore.  I think He gives us more so that we can reflect Him and His power to others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God.

Ephesians 3:20 To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us.

2. Opportunity to Wrestle With God.
Have you ever had to ask God the hard questions?  Why me? Why now? Why cancer?  Why not fill in the blank...for your life?

Isaiah 40:27 Why do you say O Jacob and complain O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord, my cause is disregarded by my God?

Another words...Ahhh God it's me here...well don't you see that I have a life going on right now, a son to take care of, chores, friends and family...I'm busy!  They say it's cancer God...Don't you see my pain?

"The only ones we can rest in God are the ones who have wrestled with God...I will not let go until you bless me...There is no tighter embrace than the grip of the wrestle." Ann Voskamp

3.  Opportunity to Renew Strength and Grow Stronger
This last year has been like having a sabbatical.  All of my so called "normal" every-day chores were just impossible for me to accomplish.  I had to learn to let go of my to-do's and hang onto God in a brand new way.  I did a lot of waiting.  I did a lot of counting.  I counted days.  My days consisted of waiting till the next treatment or lab results...waiting.

Isaiah 40:29  God gives strength to the weary and he increases the power of the weak.

12 rounds of chemotherapy later I have learned what it means to wait on the Lord.  Through it all I discovered I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).  It's not about me, but about Christ in me, that's how I made it through...daily...moment by moment.

4.  Opportunity to Be Thankful
Life is messy.  Stuff happens.  Words are spoken that you can't take back.  Circumstances are UN-controllable.  Here is a definition I like for thanksgiving:  Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives -- thanksgiving is the manifestation of our yes to His grace.  It's choosing the have a thankful heart and live in a way that reflects gratitude regardless of circumstances -- yes, even cancer!

1 Thessalonians 5:16  Be joyful always. Pray continually.  Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I'm still learning this.  But the crazy thing is this: discovering joy and the freedom that comes from having a thankful heart is changing me.  I am learning to not complain and to recognize the things I can not change.  All means all.  All the time we are to be thankful -- you can fill in the blank...

5.  Opportunity to Share My Faith

I'm just doing what Jesus told me to do.  Like the disciples untying  a donkey.  It doesn't make sense but this is what god said to do.  Many people ask, what are you doing? I'm just following instructions and being obedient to what Christ asked me to do.

I can't share about this past year without talking about my personal relationship with Christ.  I don't know why God choose me to get cancer. I do know that it has deepened my faith and my relationships to those I am closest to.

Psalm 73:28  I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge and I will tell of all His works.

I vowed at the beginning of this journey to not waste my cancer. So it would not be right for me to take this opportunity to give you an opportunity to accept the free gift of salvation.  So that you too can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  God's love is so big, so crazy, so consuming.  He desires a relationship with you.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3:3  I tell you the truth no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

John 14:6  I am the way the truth and the life. No noe comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 10:9-11  That is if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Revelation 3:20  Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.

Pray with me:

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