Catch Me When I Fall

dad and I
*Dad and I on my birthday, May 7th, 2013

Last night, I was playing my guitar and singing for daddy…Momma said, “I would ask you to sing Catch Me When I Fall, but I know it’ll make me cry…I do wish you would post the lyrics on your daddy’s blog though.” Trying to refrain from breaking down in front of daddy again I didn’t sing what he calls is his favorite song, but I would like to share the lyrics with you. This song is my daddy’s favorite that I have written. It tells a simple story of time spent with him when I was a youngster and the powerful lesson of what it means to walk by faith that he taught me. Through such a simple game, my daddy gave me the precious visual of walking by faith and not by sight, as I would hear my father’s voice, and he would command me to blindly, with eyes closed and fists at my side, fall into the arms I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, would catch me, even though I couldn’t see them because of the darkness. As life rolls on, and the pain of trials that test this faith is indescribable, how thankful I am for the lesson learned that I have a heavenly Father Who catches me and upholds me with His everlasting arms, (Dt.33:27)through the love and devotion of my earthly one whose heart was to teach me to love the LORD with all my heart and walk by the light of His word and not the shadows of death that would surround me.

Today, abiding in the shadow of death, as I watch my sweet daddy wasting away, his condition worsening, I am reminded of what it looks like to walk by faith, begging God to strengthen mine and protect me from my own unbelief as all that I can see defies what God had said. My father is weaker then ever, and my hearts breaks as I see his body so broken, but should it cause my faith to falter?

What is faith and how can I walk by it?
“Faith comes by hearing and hearing BY THE WORD OF GOD.” (Rom.10:17)
Faith is simply believing what God has said. My favorite example and simple definition of faith:
“…according to that which was spoken…(Abraham) staggered not at the PROMISE OF GOD through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded that what He had promised, HE WAS ABLE ALSO TO PERFORM.” (Rom.4:18-21) Abraham was strong in faith and able to bring glory to his maker because he simply believed the promise of God that was given to him and refrained from focusing on the circumstances that seemed impossible to the human eye.

I know that my thoughts are not His thoughts and neither are my ways His, but I do KNOW, that God cannot lie and that He will perform all that He has promised. (Tit.1:2,Heb.10:23) I do not know exactly how He will deliver but I am confident He will deliver my daddy. When prayerfully seeking His will, asking that He reveal from His word which is alive and powerful, if it was time to prepare for my daddy’s early departure or that He would grant him length of days and long life (Pro.3:1-2) He revealed day after day, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps.46:10) “thus saith the LORD unto you, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but God’s…ye have no need to fight in this battle; set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD…” (2Chron.20:15,17) “Fear not, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD which He will show to you today…the LORD shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace.” (Ex.14:13-14)

On the basis of God’s written word (not what I see with my eyes and certainty not the ache that my heart feels) but according to what He has spoken, I eagerly await the salvation of the LORD that He has promised! And now, just as I fell blindly into my daddy’s arms, I fall into those of my Savior Who is, “faithful that promised,” (Heb.10:23) fully expecting that He will deliver us as He promised.

Catch Me When I Fall

We’d stand in a line round the living room
As we watched and waited for our turn to play
Dad sat on the floor with arms open wide
As we stood up strait an tall, fists at our side
The rules were very simple you had to close your eyes
And trust that daddy would catch us

Ch: Daddy catch me when I fall
When I trust you I’m not scared at all
‘Cause I know when I look up
I’ll find myself safe in my fathers arms

We named the game trust an exercise of faith (Heb.5:18)
As we fell into the arms we couldn’t see
But with a sure promise from our daddy (Rom.4:20-21)
We could trust though we couldn’t see (2 Cor. 5:7)
But every now and then fear would enter in
And doubt would get in the way of trust
Our knees might buckle as we tried to catch ourselves
And daddy would remind us

Ch: Dad will catch you when you fall
When you trust me you won’t be scared at all
You should know when you look up
You’ll find yourself safe in your fathers arms

Now that I am older and my Savior reveals
Who He is and who I’m to be
My faith like a child is tested with trials
And I often become afraid
Knowing that I am weak (Joh.15:15)
His grace I boldly seek (Heb.4:16)
And this becomes my prayer

Ch: Father catch me when I fall
When I trust You I’m not scared at all
‘Cause I know, when I look up
I’ll find myself, safe in my Father’s arms

*You can hear Catch Me When I Fall on iTunes

Update On Daddy

The last few weeks have been quite a challenge as we’ve watched a slow decline in daddy’s health. His ability to speak and communicate has dwindled over the last few weeks, and now after he suffered a seizure Tuesday, his ability to communicate is none existent. As our hearts break watching him in this state, we praise the LORD his mind is sharp and he has been able to relay to us that he is at perfect peace. He is unable to read the scriptures or write, but what comfort I find in knowing, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom.10:17) Through hearing God’s word as we read it to him, the word which is alive and powerful, daddy’s faith can continue to be strengthened in our LORD. We have enjoyed precious family time as my married siblings are constantly in and out helping in every way they can. My married brothers have been such a blessing as they take leadership and encourage us all with the word while daddy cannot. My heart has never ached as much, as I see my strong daddy now weak, and how I miss hearing his sweet voice and the truth from God’s word that before was always ready on his lips. For a few weeks, when his speech became more laborious and his words became few, by the LORD’s grace he was able to sing without skipping a beat, or stumbling over his words. I saw this mercy from the LORD to be a great, precious gift to our family. While he could sing, he reminded our family often that regardless of what happened in this trial or how bad things may soon become, we knew God’s will was clear, we were to “in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1Thes.5:18) He would say, “We are going to give thanks and sing praises to our God.” It hurts my heart that he is now unable to sing praises verbally to his God, but I am confident his heart has been faithful to praise Him just the same. We gather up often as a family, read the scriptures, and sing. We love to sing songs that are verses put to a simple tune, asking the LORD to use these tunes to bring truth to his mind more often. It is often difficult to choke back the tears and sing especially as his voice, the one that was before always the loudest and strongest, is silent, but I never fail to smile and give thanks to the LORD when I see him sway his head slowly from side to side, affirming his heart is singing with us.

Daddy has lost some coordination and though slow and a little off balance, we praise the LORD he is still able to walk. The right side of his body is having trouble due to a tumor on that side of his brain, he has lost most of the use in his right arm, and has trouble eating with the right side of his mouth. I now have the privilege of caring for him in ways I never have before and enjoy sitting with him as I feed him his meals bite for bite, quoting scripture or singing to him as we sit together. And though he cannot respond verbally, he often nods as an “amen” to scripture we share with him.

My precious mother is doing exceptional under the circumstances…the LORD’s grace is so evident in her as He gives her broken heart joy and peace. Needless to say, it is harder on her then any of us as she watches and cares for her precious husband in this season, but as I see the ache of her heart and hold her when she cries, I watch amazed when she is tending to my daddy and when her strength is needed for him, how she radiates the grace of our LORD. He is truly “a very present help in trouble.” His grace, promised to be sufficient, has been proven to be such moment by moment. It does not take away the pain, but it enables us to bare it.

As things worsened over the last several months and we received nothing but bad reports from scans, etc, we were encouraged to do a number of medical procedures, but we believed the LORD’s will for us was to “be still, and see the salvation of the LORD which He will show to you today…He shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace” as He commanded the children of Israel. (Ex.14:13-14) We felt like we have been at the Red Sea since February…the sea was before and the Egyptians were over the horizon as we could hear the thunder of their horses hooves coming our direction. Now, we feel as if our feet our wet and our enemy is in arms length, but we still trust our Heavenly Father to be our deliver, and rest assured that He will be in whatever way He deems best…He has promised to fight for us and we trust He will.

I know that I can safely say on behalf of my entire family, that this is the most painful trial we have yet to endure, but as the LORD draws near to our broken hearts, it is one of the most precious at the same time. And though our flesh and our heart fail, God is the strength of our lives and our portion forever. (Ps.73:25) The LORD has been such a present help in trouble, has been our stronghold, rock, and haven of rest in this storm, His grace is sufficient, His peace is sweet, and His joy is full.

We are each humbled by the constant out pour of love, prayers, encouragement, and help by so many.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! We are thankful beyond words for Christ’s abounding love shown to us through His body.

Please continue to pray with us that the LORD will be glorified and make His mighty power to be known! Pray He strengthens our heart and does not allow our faith in this trial to fail and grants grace to walk by the promises of God He has proven to be true all our lives, and not the circumstances that can often cause us to doubt Him.
We are confident that “The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear Him, and DELIVERETH them.” (Ps. 34:9)

Because He abides faithful that promised, Joy Phillips

 

Psalm 20

photo (3)

Psalm 20:1-9

“The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble;
the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
Send thee help from the sanctuary,
and strengthen thee out of Zion.
Remember all thy offerings,
and accept thy burnt-sacrifice. Selah.
Grant thee according to thine own heart,
and fulfill all thy counsel.
We will rejoice in thy salvation,
and in the name of our God we will set up our banners:
the LORD fulfill all thy petitions.
Now know I that the LORD saveth His anointed;
He will hear him from His holy heaven with
the saving strength of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots,
and some in horses;
but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
They are brought down and fallen,
but we are risen and stand upright.
Save, LORD, let the king hear us when we call.”

Psalm 31:14-16,19

photo (2)

“But I trust in Thee, O LORD;
I said, Thou art my God.
My times are in Thy hand;
deliver me from mine enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant,
save me for Thy mercies’ sake.
Oh, how great is Thy goodness,
which Thou hast laid up for those who fear Thee,
which Thou hast wrought for those who trust in Thee
before the sons of men.”

Psalms 31:14-16,19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update From Randy

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ! Unto Him that loved us and washed us in His
own blood, be glory and honor both in this our earthly life and in the ages to come! It
is He that, knows all, Who said, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of
God in Christ Jesus.” (1Thes.5:18)

photo

Our circumstances are to the human eye, impossible. The last 3 scans show nothing but
rapid growth of Melanoma. A couple of weeks ago scan showed 3 tumors on my brain. One
tumor is causing inflammation which is affecting my speech and ability to read and write.
I feel like our circumstances are comparable to the evil tidings Asa received In 2
Chron.14:9 when an enemy “host of a million” came up against them, and like
Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 20) who was confronted by “a great multitude.” In both
instances, there was NO hope, to the eye, surroundings made it impossible to survive the
odds that were against them, BUT, the LORD spoke words by which these men found practical
wisdom; words they could rest in and be comforted by.
In 2 Chron.20:15,17 the LORD said, “Be ye not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this
great multitude; for the battle is NOT yours, but GOD’s…ye shall not need to fight in
this battle; set yourselves, stand ye STILL and see the salvation of the LORD with
you…” God’s command to these fearful people was very much like what He spoke to
Moses and the children of Israel at the Red Sea. With enemy troops barreling down behind
them and their only route of escape cut off by a sea too great to be crossed, the LORD
said, “Fear not, stand STILL, and see the salvation of the LORD which He will show
to you today…the LORD shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace.”
(Ex.14:13-14)

Medically speaking, cancer of this type in a confined space as the brain, will cause
things to only progressively get worse. All indicators point to the end drawing near, IF
God does not choose to deliver me. However, all along we have seen “the enemy”
and heard nothing but bad reports, and our Father has remained “faithful that
promised,” (Heb.10:23) through it all. All throughout the scriptures and the ages of
history, the LORD has defied odds, worked the impossible, and shown “Himself
strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” (2 Chron.16:9) He has
heard the cry of the righteous in their day of great need, led them by the light of His
word, and sustained their souls by the same.  Although the last couple of weeks have been
spiritually, emotionally, and physically difficult and trying, by the LORD’s grace, He
has sustained us and allowed us to be steadfast and immovable, believing that HE abideth
faithful, and that He “is able” to keep us from falling and present us
faultless before the presence of His glory. (Jude 24)
“…From whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the LORD, Who made heaven and
earth!” (Ps.121:1-2)

There are a couple of treatment options available, but as we call upon the name of the
LORD for help, we see these to be grasping for straws. So after prayerfully seeking His
will on the matter, we have decided not to do them. Saul offered armor to David when he
went out to fight the famed Goliath of Gath, but David felt weighed down by it, he
decided to enter battle with the shield he felt more comfortable with, the proven promise
of God. We have listened and considered the recommended treatment options, but for now,
until the LORD speaks to me otherwise, we all as a family, feel more comfortable trusting
the LORD to stay the course He has directed us to previously. If He chooses to allow me
to depart this life sooner than we had hoped, so be it, but IF He chooses to deliver me,
we desire it to be abundantly clear that it was HIS hand that has done so. 2 Sam. 24:14
speaks our heart, “I am in great distress, let us fall now into the hands of the
LORD, for great are His mercies…”

As for the quality of life, the LORD is sustaining me and I feel wonderful under the
circumstances. I just completed a 5K with my kids Saturday and was thankful to enjoy that
with them. My speech presents constant challenges but His grace has been sufficient to
work through them. We are continuing the course that we began over a year ago when I was
first diagnosed. I’m still eating a super healthy diet, am juicing, taking supplements,
and am doing a few other natural remedies as part of our “team” modality from
home.

If the LORD allows I will have one more round of immune therapy in Grand Cayman this
month. Persues is the group we have been doing the therapy with. To clarify the reason we have
gone this route of treatment, we’ve felt comfortable with this because it is a natural
form. They have taken my blood and my cancerous cells to create a vaccine specifically
for me. The philosophy  behind it; immunization boosts the natural ability of the body’s
immune system that the LORD has created to combat sickness and disease. This being the
case, we believe it to be comparable to a lump of figs the LORD commanded to be put on a
sore, or the leper dunking seven times in the river, or other examples in scripture where
the LORD healed using natural things in creation. However, with the lack of visual
progress after 3 rounds, Persues also is recommending radiation and a drug, but to do so
would be deviating from what we feel the LORD would have us do, so we plan to stay the
course. We continue to hope in the LORD by the word of His grace and approach His throne
for mercy and help, asking Him to heal me, and deliver us, using these forms of natural
treatment if He so chooses.
My family and I have been overwhelmed by the outpour of love and prayers by so many. We
are so very thankful for such dear, dear friends that have prayed for and with us, and
continue to encourage us by pointing us to the word of God. We feel like we are far from
alone in this trial and are continually strengthened by the brethren.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

As for specific prayer requests, please pray the LORD will grant us abundant grace to
rejoice, sing praises, be thankful, that our faith would fail not, and that He would
grant us strength and make us strong in the LORD by the power of His might.

My times are in His hands, Randy