Saturday, November 29, 2008
Our goal was to make it home before the Alabama/Auburn game was over. My brother called Cynthia each time Bama scored and we made it home in the middle of the fourth quarter. She was excited to see the last touchdown--more so that her team won. My dear wife bleeds Crimson Red. Otherwise she is pretty normal.
We had a good time in Mobile. Nathan and Bryant think the "bay house" is Alabama. They are too young as yet to know the difference, but they are old enough to enjoy it! We played in the water and hiked in the "big woods." We all ate too much on Turkey day. Family time is good time.
While driving down we got a call that the father-in-law of one of Cynthia's sisters had died. I had the opportunity to conduct the grave side service--interestingly, it was the only time the gospel was given. Mr. Bush knew the Lord; I had personally heard his testimony. So it was easy and a joy to point folks to "life in Christ Jesus." I thank God for opportunities like this!
Now we have a busy week ahead. I wish every believer had the privilege of being a part of a good, sound, active grace church! It fills life with excitement and joy! Its the real reason Cynthia and I were anxious to get home tonight. She's busy at the moment getting her Sunday School class lesson ready; I've already got my a.m. study on "Paul's Prayer Template" (Phil. 1:9-11) done and am almost finished with the p.m. study. Just taking a break to answer email (37 of them) and post this before I finish that--and read I Tim. thru Philemon!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
That also reminds me to remind you that we have purchased 13 weeks of prime time on DirectTV channel 367. We are now on at 8:00 p.m. Saturday. This new audience has already been very responsive and we are praying we will have the needed funds to continue this time slot when the 13 weeks come to an end. One brother donated half the cost in an effort to help us reach out to a larger group of viewers. So, join us: if you do not have DirectTV, join us via the Internet. If you have DirectTV, we are on channel 367 at 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. Saturdays.
Cynthia and I are currently in Mobile for Thanksgiving. David and his family have joined us for this family time. We had a long drive down on Sunday evening and Monday. Its fun playing with the grandchildren! Before we left I got the next issue of the Grace Journal to the printer, another month’s programs for Riches of Grace and Daily Bible Time done. We also had an important business meeting at Shorewood Sunday afternoon. I will be working at least two of the days we are in Alabama—laptops mean you never “can’t work”—but hope to have a couple days of diversion. My strength hasn’t been the greatest the last few weeks. Just when I thought I had turned that corner it seems it may have been a dead end!
While in Michigan for TV taping, Tom told me a viewer had asked I personally call him. He and his wife have been watching and are rejoicing in understanding the message of grace. She just had a stroke. He told me she had been able to say to him, “Call Brother Jordan and ask him to pray for me.” “That’s how important you’ve become to us,” he said to me.
The very next day a lady facing potentially life-threatening surgery called. She didn’t want to go through it without having taken the opportunity to personally tell me how her life had been changed by what she was learning through the program. “I’ve known something was wrong—now I know what’s right!”
I don’t get to personally talk to a lot of callers, but these two are representative of the majority we hear from. The Word rightly divided brings light, understanding, clarity, joy!
Then I got a call from a lady in our assembly whose husband had just died. When she had gotten saved, several years ago, and started reading (and understanding!) her Bible, he thought she had joined a cult. Things were so strained at one point that he almost had her committed! Anyway, they have been divorced for some time, but when he was diagnosed with cancer she became his primary care-giver. She would gently tell him, “Jesus died for you, not Mary. Only He can save you.” Along the way, he gave clear testimony to having come to faith in Christ alone. Now he was in heaven and she wanted to have a memorial service.
It was a “hard crowd.” Although she and two of her daughters are believers, there were no others in evidence among family and friends. Romanism was heavy in the background, but grace won the day. I was able to give a clear presentation of the gospel to a remarkable attentive—even curious—audience. We pray the seed planed may sprout!
By the way: Fred Bekemeyer had a heart procedure done this morning and things went okay. He has some blockage issues but they were not as bad as first thought, but they did discover a new porblem that will now need monitoring. We look forward to Fred being back to full strength very soon.
Have a great Thanksgiving—the most authentic Christian holiday possible!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
A year ago today (November 5) I had 89 radiated “seeds” implanted into my prostate gland. It wasn’t a real good day! I had never been sedated before—never even been to the hospital except for a few outpatient tests. The first thing I remember after awakening is a nurse standing at my feet with a Geiger Counter! When I asked her what she was doing, she told me they had to get a radiation reading. “But you didn’t put them in my feet!” was my reply. Still makes sense to me!
Anyway, it took about a week and a half for the radiation symptoms to begin to appear. Don’t worry, though, because the immediate aftermath of the implants was misery enough to carry me through until the impact of the radiation began to appear. I mostly recall it as a “site-specific” miserable experience.
It was not until January that the pain levels subsided enough to call them “no real problem,” and it wasn’t until the August/September time frame that the chronic fatigue began to become simply fatigue. It is actually much better at this point—a year later. Doctors don’t seem to understand why it has lingered so long; but it has!
I am happy to report that my doctor reports I am doing very well. My PSA numbers are the lowest they have been in five years (if we can trust the current tests—which he isn’t sure he can, yet!! Wheeee!!! They don’t call it the “practice of medicine” for no reason). The pains are mostly gone and my energy level allows me to work 40-50 hours a week (not back to the 60+ level just yet).
Also, all the bills are paid so far. They do keep dribbling in, but they are paid. This is thanks mainly to so many friends who generously contributed to the Medical Fund established to help with this. My health insurance had (in fine print on page 23 of the 24 page policy) an exclusion clause for just the problem I experienced! “Standard practice,” they informed my, for men over 50.
So there you have the annual update. One thing: If you are or have in your life a man who is 50 or older, get an annual PSA test. It is a simple blood tests, takes only minutes and costs about $100. Every man will eventually have prostate problems; the only way to know if it is cancer is via the PSA test. Having it annual is the only reason I caught mine in a very early stage and thus have a high probability of successful treatment. So: get the test done annually.
The reason I started blogging was to keep folks up-to-date on my progress. I have enjoyed the outlet and will keep doing it even without the need for an “organ recital” on my health. Thanks for visiting and reading and commenting. Its enjoyable to keep in touch this way.
My dad used to say, when he would hear someone longing for “the good old days,” that "these may be bad times, but they are only times we are given--and despair is no an option." I agree. I have learned not to get my comfort from the “odds of recovery,” or any such foolishness. My comfort comes from the God of All Comfort and is founded on the excellency of the power of the Word of His grace to us in Christ Jesus. II Cor. 4:7-18 and Romans 8:18-39 and Eph. 3:13-21 become part of one’s experience when you don’t waste your cancer/problems, but use it as an opportunity to trust in the living God!
As Paul says, “Not I, but Christ.” That’s the reality. My weakness is where His strength is made perfect. PTL! Without that need, there would be no appropriation into our experience of the blessings of our identity in Christ Jesus. And who would want to miss that!Maranatha!
It can’t be denied that something good happened last night. Those who supported other candidates would be wrong to deny it, and would, quite simply, be denying reality. The good thing that happened was the election of the first African-American president in our history. That in itself is remarkable because even a few years ago, it was unthinkable. And it is an important step forward for our country. Frankly, I am thrilled for my African-American friends--and for my country.
As I watched the events in Grant Park last night I confess it was an amazing sight, and an amazing moment, and we would do well to be glad about it even if we voted for someone else. By the way, I did vote for someone else. No, I didn’t vote for John McCain either—got ya on that one, didn’t I! I simply haven’t found the two major parties to reflect my views of the world of politics—and I consider it a waste of my vote not to cast it for my convictions.
But last night was a special moment, no matter who you supported. I have a few more thoughts about this, but its late and I want to get to bed.Maranatha!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
One event prior to beginning gave the conference a different kind of start and made the night's topic all the more appropriate: When John Verstegen was about an hour from Phoenix, he called Rick with news of a sad nature. Barry Curtis (a member of John’s assembly in San Juan Capistrano) had emergency surgery this morning and it was discovered that he has terminal cancer. At age 40 and the father of a young family, this is stunning news. John, of course, turned around and returned home to be with Barry and his family.
John recounted that as he talked to Barry yesterday he said, “I’m so thankful to have learned this message! If we were still in the confusion we were once in, Sil and I would be basket cases now!” To this we can only say, Amen!
Rather than fearing that God has abandoned them, or doesn’t really have their best interests at heart, Barry and his family are resting in the understanding that even though the curse is random, God’s love and provision for us is in Christ Jesus and thus unalterable and unaltered even by the most extreme of circumstances. “There is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful!”
And it is His faithfulness to us in Christ Jesus that gives the consolation and good hope through grace that can/will/does strengthen Barry and Sil (and all the saints) unto every good word and work during the days ahead.
So we continued on with the conference, remembering the Curtis family and all the California saints in prayer and resting in the riches of God’s grace to us in Christ Jesus made so clear and evident through His rightly divided Word.