Below you’ll find on paper the heart my daddy recorded when he was diagnosed with cancer for the first time in 2000. His struggles on receiving the news and God’s grace given through His word of truth to help him endure it are made evident. While I fail to understand why the LORD chose to end his ministry in this life at the young age of 56, October 1, 2013, I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving that He delivered daddy from his first battle with cancer when he cried to the LORD for an extension of life, for Christ’s glory, and for his wife and children. How different life would be today had the LORD taken him all those years ago. As we grieve over his absence in our lives today, reading the journal entries below stand as a testimony to the LORD’s great mercy and faithfulness in my father’s life and each of the lives of his family. From his first diagnosis of cancer, the LORD graciously gave daddy 13 more years. Wonderful, fruitful years where his family and the ministry the LORD gave he and my Mom grew and multiplied. He and Momma had three more precious sons to fill their quiver, he faithfully taught his children the gospel of truth and rejoiced to see all but one believe on Christ as their Savior, (daddy wasn’t given the gift of witnessing his youngest who is 7, believe on Jesus but the prayers of his burdened heart for him were answered a couple months after his departure) he rejoiced over the lives of 12 grandchildren, lead many souls to Christ and begot countless sons in the faith. Why 56 years were all the LORD would give daddy I do not know, but what I do, is that “He is faithful that promised.” (Heb 10:23) That “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him,” (Heb 11:6) and that He shows Himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him. (2Chron 16:9) By the LORD’s abundant grace daddy labored and brought forth much fruit in the kingdom of God for His glory, and now, he is at rest from his labor, “and his works do follow (him),” (Rev 14:13) as we see the LORD’s glory continually revealed through the labor of his faithful servant being brought to fruition still. May the LORD of the harvest receive all glory and honor for His wonderful works, and may the rest of us be spurred on to serve Him zealously and be an instrument of righteousness able to be used of Him as my father was.
Colon Cancer 2000
Thursday, April 20, 2000
Today we arrived at the hospital at 7:00, had a colonoscopy, found that I had colon cancer, and talked to a surgeon about removing 40% of my colon.
Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplication; in Thy FAITHFULNESS answer me, and in Thy righteousness.
Give me grace, oh LORD, oh my God, to…
Rejoice in the LORD ALWAYS
In EVERYTHING give THANKS
Be anxious for nothing
WORSHIP THE LORD
Praise God continually…giving thanks
Please glorify Thyself in me, oh God!
Friday, April 21, 2000
Please open Thou mine eyes that I may behold wonderful things out of Thy law!
Ps 3- LORD, You are my shield, my glory, and the lifter up of my head.
Arise, O LORD, save me!
Ps 4- Hear me when I call, O God of my righteous…the LORD will hear when I call unto Him.
…put your trust in the LORD…
Ps 5:7- “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy, in thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple.”
LORD, You have said here, “let all those who put their trust in Thee REJOICE, let them EVER SHOUT FOR JOY because THOU defendest them, let those who love Thy name BE JOYFUL IN THEE.” (Ps 5:11)
“For Thou, LORD, will BLESS THE RIGHTEOUS; with FAVOR wilt Thou compass him as with a shield.” (Ps 5:12)
So, help me, oh LORD, today, to REJOICE, SHOUT FOR JOY, and BE JOYFUL IN THEE, looking for You to bless me and surround me with FAVOR.
How I should think, act, and react, that is clear, but what to DO is not so clear.
LORD, You have said, “if any of You lack wisdom, (and I certainty qualify) let him ask of God…and it shall be given.” (Jms 1:5)
So LORD, I ask You now for wisdom as to what to do. The doctor’s recommended immediate surgery to remove about 40% of my colon. There are other doctors that would recommend strict diet, herbs, etc. There is no doubt that the growth is there, for I saw the picture and no doubt that it is bleeding and causing my anemia. But what should I do?
Thank You, LORD, for the good sleep so far. For some reason I am wide awake, and I guess my mind is racing, thinking of all that is about to happen, the doctor’s description of time, and the conditions of the tumor while I wait.
LORD, my soul cleaves to the dust, receive me according to Thy word!
Read: 1 Sam 18-20, Ps 6-21
In the midst of this trial, O LORD, help me to SAY and DO as David…
Ps 7:17- “I will PRAISE THE LORD ACCORDING TO HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and will SING PRAISE to the name of the LORD most high.”
Practical Application: Make a list of all the things that I can truly praise You for.
When they come to mind, write them here and review them with Maureen and the children.
-My name is written in heaven (Luke 10:20)
-Through Jesus Christ I am accepted in the beloved (Ep 1:6)
-I am blessed with ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST
-I am a SON of the Father (Gal 3:23-26, 4:6)
-I know who made the worlds (Ps 8, Heb 11:3)
-I do have a refuge from a time of trouble, like now (Ps 9:9)
-You ARE WITH ME
-for Thou LORD, hast not forsaken those who seek You (Ps 9:10)
-I have been young and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken (Ps 37:25)
-“I will NEVER leave Thee nor forsake thee” (Heb 13:5)
-“Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age” (Matt 28:20)
-I will not leave you comfortless, I WILL COME TO YOU! (John 14:18)
You, my God, save by Thy right hand those who trust in You (Ps 17:7)
-a shield to all those who put their trust in You (Ps 18:30)
-my Rock, Fortress, Deliverer, Strength, Shield, Horn, High tower (Ps 18:1-2)
-a God who hearest prayer (Ps 62:2)
-my Redeemer (Ps 19:14, Rom 3:24, Ep 1:7, Col 1:14, 1 Pet 1:18-19)
-Maureen and the children are all in good health
-My oldest 5, at least, are saved
-We live in a free country
-We have freedom to proclaim Your WORD
-We have many, loving, faithful friends
-I am in the BEST physical condition that I have been in since I was in college
Sunday- I ran 4 miles with Jacob
Monday- weight workout:
Bench: 135 x 10 Squat: 135 x 10 Pwr Clean: 135 x 5
185 x 5 185 x 5 155 x 5
225 x 5 225 x 5 185 x 5
225 x 5 225 x 5 185 x 5
225 x 5 225 x 5 185 x 5
Clean and Press: 135 x 5 x 2
plus: back, lat-pull, dips, sit-ups, leg curl, and stretching
-with favor Thou wilt compass him as with a shield (5:12)
-Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance (Ps 32:7)
-he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about (Ps 32:10)
In Thee, O LORD, do I put my trust…deliver me…bow down Thine ear to me, deliver me speedily. For Thou art my Rock and my Fortress. Into Thine hands I commit my spirit. I will be glad and rejoice in Thy mercy. For Thou hast considered my troubles. Thou hast known my soul in adversity. Have mercy, upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble.
But I trusted in Thee, O LORD, Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hand.
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.”
Dear LORD Jesus, my times are truly in Your hands. Lord, You know the trouble that I am in and You know my frail limitations. By Your abundant grace and mercy You have redeemed me to Yourself BY THY precious blood and adopted me as a son and call me “son” and “child” of God. You have said, “Ask and IT SHALL BE GIVEN” and “everyone that asketh receiveth” and “if ye being evil know how to give good gifts to Your children, how much more shall your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.”
So…I ask, as a son to a Father, please, LORD, let the surgery be a success and all the cancer be removed. Please allow me to live and continue in my service to You, to love Maureen, and to teach and train my children. I feel as though I’m doing a poor job in all three areas, but I long to continue to try.
However, not my will but Thine be done and come what may, I will praise You and Your glorious name.
Sunday, April 23, 2000
PROMISE: Ps 22:8- “I will instruct Thee and teach Thee IN THE WAY which Thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.”
Thank You, LORD, that You will instruct and teach till I know the way I shall go.
PROMISE: Ps “…he that trusteth in the LORD, MERCY SHALL COMPASS HIM ABOUT.”
COMMAND: “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice ye righteous; and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”
PROMISE: Nah 1:7- LORD, You are indeed GOOD, a stronghold in the day of trouble and “HE KNOWETH THOSE WHO TRUST IN HIM.”
*I left my notebook at church till Monday night. This morning I meditated on Ps 34.
Tuesday, April 25, 2000
“For Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.”
LORD, it looks awful but for David and his men it looked hopeless and negative. But…
“But then came a messenger unto Saul, saying, haste thee, and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land.”
As only You can do, at just the right time, You allow a messenger to find his way to Saul with just the right message, that would make him “return from pursuing David.”
Help me, O LORD, o my God, not to be anxious or to fret in the circumstances I find myself in but to look, to trust, to rely upon YOU, the God of David to deliver me!
2:30a.m. Thank You LORD, for Your exceeding great and precious promises…
103:3- …who healed all thy diseases…
4- …who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies…
5- …who satisfieth thy mouth with good things…
34: 8- …blessed is the man who trust in him…
9- …for there is no lack to them that fear Him…
15- …the eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, His ears are open unto their cry
17- …the righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
…many are the afflictions of the righteous but the LORD delivereth them from them ALL!
22- …NONE of them who trust in Him shall be desolate…
Matt 7:7, 9-10 …ask, and IT SHALL BE GIVEN…
…for everyone that asketh receiveth
…what man is there of you whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? …if ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, HOW MUCH MORE SHALL YOUR FATHER, who is in heaven, give GOOD things to them that ask Him?
28:20- …I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
John 14:18- …I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.
Heb 13:5- …I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…
Is 43:2- …when thou passeth through the waters, I WILL BE WITH THEE; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou passeth through the fire, THOU SHALT NOT BE BURNED, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
2 Cor 12:9- …My grace is sufficient; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
1:3-4- …Blessed be God, even the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort…
Ps 37:17- …the LORD upholdeth the righteous…
19- …the upright…they shall not be ashamed in the evil time…
24- …the LORD upholdeth him with His hand…
28- …the LORD…forsaketh not His saints
39-40- …but the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD; HE is their STRENGTH in the time of trouble. And the LORD SHALL help them, and deliver them..
vs 3- “So David and his men came to the city and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives and their sons and daughters were taken captive…
vs 6- and David was GREATLY DISTRESSED; for THE PEOPLE SPOKE OF STONING HIM, because the soul of the people was grieved…”
Example to follow: “But David encouraged himself in his God.”
I, too, have come into VERY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES. My wife and children have not been kidnapped, but I have been diagnosed with colon cancer, will have major surgery on Thursday to remove 40% of my large intestine, and face the uncertain future of dealing with cancer. I, too, have been GREATLY DISTRESSED.
Be it known to all who read this, that in my great distress, I too, as David did, have encouraged myself in God, and that He, the LORD Jesus Christ, is indeed a STRONGHOLD IN THE DAY OF TROUBLE, my REFUGE, and a God of all comfort.
Practical application: I will continue to write down, so as to focus on, #1- the things that are positive and thank God for and #2- the exceeding great and precious promises of God to ENCOURAGE MYSELF IN GOD!
Wednesday, April 26, 2000
Ps 39:1- “I said I will take heed, to my WAYS, that I sin not with my tongue; I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked are before me.”
Dear LORD, as I approach the time that I go into the hospital, go under anesthesia, come out of recovery, and mend in the room for a few days, please protect me, O LORD, from walking or talking after my evil heart’s nature. Cause me to take heed to my ways and my tongue. Let my mouth and my tongue be filled with Thy praise and Thy honor ALL THE DAY and may I walk EVEN AS YOU WALKED. Give me grace, O God, to glorify Your name as I pass through this trial.
Ps 39:7- “And now LORD, what wait I for? My HOPE is in Thee!”
12-13- “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry…O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I depart and am no more.”
Ps 40:16- “Let all those who seek Thee (and I am one who does) REJOICE and BE GLAD IN THEE. Let such as love Thy salvation
(and I do) SAY CONTINUALLY, THE LORD BE MAGNIFIED.”
43:5- “Why art Thou cast down, O my soul? And why art Thou disquieted within me? Hope in God!”
LORD, please let me experience PEACE and QUIETNESS of soul today, tomorrow the day of surgery and beyond.
Allow me to HOPE in You by hoping in Your precious, loving, unchanging WORD.
Ps 46:1-2- Thank You, LORD, that You are a refuge and strength for a day such as this.
Thank You that I can trust in You and be delivered from fear.
57:7- “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise.”
112:7- “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.”
Tuesday, May 2, 2000
Today is day 5 after surgery. I slept relatively well and just got through walking a mile with James. Thank You, LORD, for Your mercy and loving-kindness towards me. Since Wednesday, all my meditations have been in very different physical situation, as, writing entries in my journal have been impossible.
Thursday morning was surgery. We checked in the hospital at 7:00am, and because of a mistake made by the hospital staff, we were together in our room for over an hour. So, Maureen, Mrs. Ledlow, and I got to sit quietly and fellowship together. At one point Mrs. Ledlow read 3 chapters of 2 Samuel aloud and we talked of those truths. This quite time was a gift from God to allow me to focus on the eternal and relax.
The night before had also been a wonderful gift from God. With 12 people scattered around the living room, the bodies all moving around, and the telephone ringing continually, I began to get a little “antsy.”