Next blog update will TRY to be posted by Saturday, January 12th, at midnight.
Hello again everyone! 13 weeks down, 5 to go! I’m just now starting to feel 100% after the latest chemo regiment. This time it took a full 10 days before I’m feeling normal. It seems this number of days is growing with each chemo infusion, but luckily I only have one more infusion to go! I’ll go out on a limb and say I may need 11 or 12 days to fully recover from the last chemo, but I’m okay with that. That chemo is scheduled for 1/17/19.
I had the opportunity yesterday to do the devotion at my kids Upward Basketball games for the players and their parents/grandparents/guardians etc. I had to do it 4 times at the half-times of various games (broken up by age level). If I had to estimate, I was able to do this in front of 200 people. Rather than type out a whole new update for the blog this week, I thought I would just post the transcript of the devotion I gave. I will say this, I’m so thankful that God is already giving me opportunities (in addition to this blog) to tell my story and point others to Christ.
How is everyone doing today!?
Let me start by asking you all a question. How many of you have practiced over the past few weeks before showing up this morning for the game?
What are some of the things you practiced?
So, the reason why we practice is so that we are prepared for the game.
Just like taking a test at school… you have to prepare. You do this by doing your homework and studying.
Even as an adult, I like to be prepared. I have extra food in my basement in case we should get a big snowstorm and I can’t get to the store for several days. I have a generator in case I should lose power for several days. There was a time when I thought I was prepared for anything.
However, last August, something came along that I was not prepared for. I went to the doctor thinking I was having a heart attack. After doing a series of tests, I was told that my heart was fine, but instead they found a mass in my chest the size of a 12oz Pepsi can. I was then diagnosed with a cancer called non-hodgkins lymphoma.
It was at that time I realized nothing could have prepared me mentally or physically to be told, at the age of 32… that I had cancer. However, I thank God that I was SPRITIUALLY prepared. You see, many many years ago, I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart as my personal savior. Having the Holy Spirit living within me has given me strength and confidence as I have navigated this trial. Today, I have completed 5 of 6 chemo therapy treatments, then I have 4 weeks of radiation, and by March, the cancer should be in remission.
Now, I’m not here today to focus on talking about me. Rather, I want to tell each of you how you also… can be spiritually prepared…
You see, God gave us instructions in His Word, that we call the Bible. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Can anyone tell me what sin is?
That’s right; sin is all the bad things that we do. Romans 6:23 says “for the wages of sin is death”. The word wages means payment. So what the bible is telling us is that we have all sinned, and the payment for that sin is death. Luckily, Romans 6:23 does not stop there. It goes on to say “but, the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord”.
The gift of God… What is this gift? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 says “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” John 3:16 says “for God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.
You see, the Bible tells us that Jesus died in our place for our sins. However, He did not stay dead, but rose again 3 days later. It also tells us that “whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. The word whosoever means that this gift is available to each and every one of us.
So, let me summarize all of this. In order to become spiritually prepared… in order to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal savior… you must first ADMIT that you are a sinner. You must BELIEVE that Jesus died on the cross in your place… for your sins, and that He rose again on the third day. And you must CONFESS this with your mouth. This simply means you must pray and tell God you believe.
Let us pray.
Dear heavenly Father, thank You for each and every person that is in this gymnasium this morning. I pray that if anyone here has questions about what we have discussed, or wants to better understand what it means to accept Your Son as their personal Savior… that You would give them the courage to come talk to me… talk to one of the coaches… or talk to the pastor. I know any of us would be glad to sit down with them and walk them through the scriptures, showing them what it means to be saved. I thank You Lord for helping me with my cancer fight. I pray that if anyone here is going through a trial of their own, or if they have a loved one that is going through a trial, that You would give them strength and encouragement today. I pray for the safety of the players as we continue to the next game. Thank you for all that you do, amen.