This past week has been a mixture of challenges, sweetness, and continuing the journey of trusting the only One worthy of trust.
Although my wife, Bev, has been feeling great for the past six weeks, her oncologist discovered that her blood “markers” were elevated indicating that her bone cancer was growing. So, they conducted a bone scan – she was so radioactive that Bev couldn’t hold the grandkids for two days!
Her oncologist called her at night with the results: the tumors along her spine are growing. He told her to stop the medication that wasn’t working and try a new one that he prescribed. Although we admire her oncologist, we asked to see a breast cancer specialist at MD Anderson for a second opinion. He gracious agreed, and helped to schedule it.
What are we learning? Several things.
First, we’ve been reminded that for those who know Jesus Christ personally, we’re pilgrims just spending a short time here on earth before going to our permanent home in heaven. Pilgrims see their earthly possessions for what they are: useful for kingdom purposes, but far too flimsy to bear the weight of trust. Our complete hope is in Christ alone. Jesus is enough.
Second, it’s a huge blessing not to go through a crisis alone. To have a loving spouse, family or friends is a wonderful source of encouragement and support. To hear from so many who are praying for Bev’s healing is an overwhelming encouragement.
Last, there is no substitute for spending time reading God’s word and for praying. The Lord promised us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Only when we gain God’s perspective as revealed to us in the Bible, and walk closely with our heavenly Father, can we experience the peace and even joy He has for us, regardless of the circumstances.
Love in Christ,
This journey with Bev’s cancer is a journey of faith in Christ. As I mention in my last blog, Bev’s excruciating pain was and is still gone! We praise God and thank you for praying for this relief.
However, when we met with her oncologist several days ago, we learned that the “markers” in her blood were elevated. 35 is normal, she had 48 a month ago and 58 now. The doctor promptly ordered a bone scan which she will undergo today. We should find out the results tomorrow. The blood tests are not always accurate, while bone scans are.
We remain supremely confident that our heavenly Father is in total control, and are trusting Him for her healing. As always, we need your prayers.
I’ve been working with a wonderful group of business people for about a year on the Business God’s Way materials. There is such a need for those in business to understand how the Lord wants them to use their platform in the marketplace to influence Continue reading Business God’s Way
Our 4th Annual Compass Retreat is coming to a close tomorrow and it’s best summed up in Psalm 133:1 which says, “How good and how pleasant it is for brothers [and sisters] to dwell together in unity.”
For years I’ve felt that one of the clearest indications of a ministry or organization experiencing God’s favor is by the quality of the people that the Lord brings to it. Here are the words I’d use to describe those people the Lord is bringing to Compass: godly, capable, humble, servants, called, courageous, passionate . . . oh, and did I mention they also love to laugh have fun!
As important as it is for us to fulfill the Lord’s calling for Compass by teaching as many people as possible God’s way of handling money – the icing on the cake is to do it with a band of women and men who love each other and encourage one another to know Christ in a more intimate way.
During the retreat we heard reports from around the globe. Compass is now Continue reading Glen Eyrie Retreat Update
The past week has been among the happiest of my life! For the past five months, my wife, Bev has battled breast cancer that spread to her bones. Bev has experienced excruciating pain almost every day . . . until last week.
The pain in her ribs, hip, and back had been diminishing, but her knee then flared up, and she could not walk unaided. An MRI determined that it was not cancer, but a torn meniscus – thank our Lord! Last week we went to an orthopedic surgeon to have him examine the MRI and schedule surgery.
When Larry Burkett was fighting his renal cell cancer, he used to tell me, “Howard, there’s a big difference between doctors who were at the top of their medical school class and those at the bottom of their class. Get a smart one. The Lord did just that by bringing us, Dr. Mintzer, who works on million dollar knees as the orthopedic physician for the Orlando Magic basketball team. He took one look at Bev and told her she didn’t need surgery and that he didn’t need the money from the surgery.
She left with one quick shot to the knee, and Continue reading Bev – Cancer Update
Bev and I got our first dog on our wedding day. We found the little stray in the back seat of our car eating our wedding cake. We learned that he had been beaten and his hair shaved by his drunk former owner. He was so pitiful looking that we named him Frumpy. For the next dozen years Frumpy was a beloved member of our family.
We always had dogs and our last one passed away just before we moved to Georgia when we merged with Larry Burkett’s ministry. Because of our travel schedule, we agreed that we had had our last canine.
So, you can image how surprised I was when Bev told me a couple of weeks ago that she would like a small dog! She felt she would benefit from the companionship and encouragement during her battle with cancer. Two days later she chose a toy poodle puppy named Fluffy weighing 1 pound 4 ounces . . . who needed to be house trained! Our last dog was a German Shepherd and his paw was bigger than Fluffy!
I am fully convinced that the key verse describing the role of the husband as he relates to his wife is Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” This is a sacrificial love. A friend once told me, “View every request by your wife as an opportunity to serve her.” So, whether it is Continue reading Dogs, Serving, and Cancer
I once asked a very successful business man if he would recommend another businessman in his community. He responded, “I know him pleasantly, and he seems to be cable and committed to Christ. However, I’ve never seen how he acts when in the midst of a crisis, so I don’t really know what kind of a person he is.”
Think about that! We know that Daniel was really committed to the Lord because he prayed even though he knew he would face the lion’s den. Moses trusted God for His protection when he confronted Pharaoh, the most powerful man on earth. The Bible reveals that when a person faces a crisis, you discover their true character.
I have been living with quiet spiritual giant for 42 years. Bev has been through a number of significant crises during our marriage – let’s face it, living with me for that long is a challenge. Haha!
Her current fight with breast cancer that has spread to her spine is her greatest crisis. How she is dealing with the pain and challenges is nothing short of crystal clear evidence of the Lord’s grace and kindness. As I mentioned in the last blog, her radiation has been suspended because of the terrible side effects. Her oncologist prescribed an additional hormonal drug that is intended to amplify the effectiveness of her primary hormonal medication. We should learn in the next 4 weeks or so if they are effective.
We don’t have adequate words to thank you for praying for her complete healing.
Love in Christ,
A couple of things to share with you today: An update on my wife’s fight with cancer and the first in a series of insights that will help those starting a business.
First, we met with Bev’s radiologist to try to solve the debilitating side effects she was experiencing from the radiation treatments for her bone cancer. Thankfully, the doctor recommended suspending the treatments.
Here’s what we are praying for her: that the hormonal treatments would put the estrogen dominate cancer in remission. Bev continues to be overwhelmed with the kind prayers for her full recovery. We know that the Lord, “Will never leave us nor forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5). And we have total confidence that He is able to bring her back to full health.
The Compass Business God’s Way small group study is close to completion. In each of the six chapters, we have a brief section for those who are or who want to start a business. Here’s the start-up section from Chapter 1:
What do you have in common with Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates? Plenty, if you’re starting a new business. Your business may not grow to the size of a Walmart, Apple, or Microsoft, but every business is begun by an entrepreneur who has a vision. The French word entreprendre is the root word for entrepreneur and it means “one who takes a risk.” Let’s face it; it’s risky and takes courage to start a business from scratch. A friend is fond of saying, “I learned a lot about business through trial and terror!”
Every new business also starts small; many on a dining room table or in a garage. I’ve been involved in two business and two ministry start-ups and it’s Continue reading Starting A Business
An update on Bev’s battle with cancer and some practical things I’m learning about – time.
First, my bride of 42 years has decided not resume the second round of radiation until she recovers from the awful side effects of the first three of fifteen treatments of round two. She has definitely improved the last several days and actually enjoyed her first pain-free day in two months. Despite experiencing more discomfort today, Bev is thanking our Lord for His kindness and care as she walks closely with Christ while dealing with breast cancer that spread to her bones.
This morning we held our monthly conference call with Compass leaders from around the world. What an encouragement to learn Bev is being prayed in Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Mexico, and in churches throughout India just to mention a few! We are sooooo grateful for your prayers!
Now, here’s a little of what I’m learning about time as I work on finishing the Business God’s Way small group study: Just as we use a budget to prioritize the spending of our money and to avoid unwise impulse spending, so we should be Continue reading The most of your time
First, an update on my wife’s fight with cancer: Bev started her second round of radiation that is focused on helping to control the breast cancer that spread to her spine, specifically the Lumbar vertebrae and T-7. The only side effect of the first round was relief from pain, but this time it is much different. After each of the three treatments (she will need 15 in all), she has experienced severe headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Each time it has been more difficult.
We’ve been asked to share the biggest lessons we are learning through this journey. This past week it had to do with obedience. James 5:14-15 is a command followed by a precious promise. It says, “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayers offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed son, they will be forgiven him.”
It was such a sweet time to be with these Continue reading Obedience
Today was a hard day for Bev and me. We visited her radiologist, and he showed us the results of her latest MRI. The Lumbar (lower portion) of the spine is infected with large cancerous tumors on each of the five vertebrae. We were unaware of this, but it does provide us the reason for her extreme discomfort in this area.
Tomorrow we return to the hospital for the outstanding staff to prepare Bev for a series of 15 radiation treatments in this area along with vertebrae T-7, which is located on the spine around the height of the shoulder blade.
We remain incredibly thankful for all the prayers on Bev’s behalf. We remain completely confident in our Lord: in His amazing love, His almighty power, and His unfathomable wisdom. We keep asking each other: How do people face this with any type of peace and keep their wits about them when they don’t know Jesus and His tender love for them? Do they wonder what will happen to them when they pass away? What comfort in knowing with certainty that we will spend eternity with God Himself, our loved ones, and all those who know Christ as their savior.
I remain so grateful that I am married to a godly woman that I love more than my life and have been for 42 years.
Warmly in Christ,