Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Have I? Been in the Wilderness???

This devotion, well, it was a God moment to find it.....to put into words what I have been feeling. Still working on e-mails from Mark's cancer. I did find more from 2004 and going through my journals, I found entries I made sharing feelings, fear, frustrations, etc. I read and read and get transported to an earlier time, a difficult time, a learning time, a reminder through it all of God's presence and being "reminded" that I can find Him where I left Him because God never walks away....He will always wait ever patiently for me. I find comfort in this now.......
I was deeply saddened by an article I read in the paper.......at times like this, I hang on to the hope that only God can give.....we can't focus our hope on other people or things....."on Christ alone...." ~deb
New York---The homeless man lay face down, unmoving, on the sidewalk outside an apartment building, blood from knife wounds pooling underneath his body.
One person passed by in the early morning. Then another, and another. Video footage from a surveillance camera shows at least seven people going by, some turning their heads to look, others stopping to gawk. One even lifted the homeless man's body, exposing what appeared to be blood on the sidewalk underneath him, before walking away.
It wasn't until after the 31 year-old Guatamalan immigrant had been lying there for nearly an hour that emergency workers arrived, and by then, it was too late. Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, who police said was stabbed while intervening to help a woman being attacked, had died.
Tale-Yax was walking behind a man and a woman on April 18 when the couple got into a fight that became physical, according to police.
Tale-Yax was stabbed several times when he intervened to help the woman. She and the other man fled in different directions, and Tale-Yax pursued the man before collapsing. Authorities are searching for the man and woman.
Lord Jesus, please forgive us. And at times like this.....I just wish You would come now. We humans aren't doing a very good job down here.....

"Have I Been a Wilderness...?"

"Have I been a wilderness to You?"

asked the Lord.

"A place of wandering

and of darkness

as the night?"


It is this void

in which I find myself.

This is my wilderness,

my place of wandering

in darkness and in fog.

You are light

and life.

All I long for,

all I need,

is You.

How can we walk together

once again?

How can I know You, Lord,

as once I knew?

And He

through the echoing of my empty heart replied,

"I shall be waiting for you

at the very spot

you left My side."

~Ruth Bell Graham from "Legacy of a Pack Rat"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the HARVEST.....

Say not ye, there are yet four months and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to HARVEST. John 4:35
Talking to a gal today who, with her husband, grows produce for Walmarts in the Midwest.....pumpkins and melons mostly. My 13 year old son may be able to help harvest them in September. It will be good hard work. The kind of work that helps one to sleep good at night. Living the Christian life isn't easy......my comfort is knowing that I am not having to live it alone.....Christ is ever present. He never does the leaving and He will provide the strength to endure for the Harvest!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On Being "Chosen"....by Ruth Bell Graham

A fellow blogger mentioned about being a Pack Rat today.....had to laugh as anyone who sees my craft room would accuse me of the same thing. They might even laugh "hilariously" about it!

I would like to share something from Ruth Bell Graham's book, "Legacy of a Pack Rat".....the short devotion is titled:

......On Being "Chosen"

In college we had long, lively, and inconclusive debates on "free will" versus "predestination."
Then I read where John Newton told of an old woman who, on hearing a group of ministers discussing predestination, said,
"Ah! I have long settled that point; for if God had not chosen me before I was born, I am sure He would have seen nothing in me to have chosen me afterwards."

Oh, the joy and comfort to know we were chosen before we were even born. We were in His mind because He considers you and I such a delight! Thank you, dear Father, for such love!

It isn't that late or early...."time" does fly, though. Please don't take anything for granted on showing love and appreciation to others. To loving them not for what they can do for you, but because everyone deserves love, love and forgiveness. I know it is hard. For me, too. I wear a ring with an "F" on it.....don't know if I already shared this. This ring is to remind me that I cannot practice my faith without practicing forgiveness!

Hope you all have a blessed week!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I found more entries......

Sometimes, what we grow out of takes work....like these flowers growing out of the bark areas of the trunk of the tree.....

And sometimes, we get to really sprout and blow in the wind!

Either way, it is beautiful in the end!!!

Good evening. It is late. Had a full day! I have spent most of this week going through Mark's things, his memory box, our notebooks of writing to each other, my journals and devotionals....and in the midst, I found more e-mails on Mark's surgeries......mostly from the first ones that took place down in Houston, Texas. I will share some of them, but feel that the Lord wants me to focus mostly on the last ones of our time in Arizona. So, when I get a chance to type some of these up, I will share them with you. I hesitate with all of this....it is hard going through this stuff but know it will bring good along with the pain.

Just sharing with you a quick thing I bought today....amidst all the busyness of the day, I picked up a magnet and it says......"I know I'm in my own world. It's OK, they know me here." Well, I like that, don't you? Whether it is creating or sharing with the Lord....I am ok in either world at the time, safe and sound.

Oh, one more thing....just have to let you know about the last thing I did today outside of my house. A friend of mine, Wanda and myself went down to the Senior Citizen's and shared in the celebration of a gentleman who turned 87 today. There was a dance, cake and food and best of all, great fellowship! I even danced two dances with an older gentleman. My husband didn't want to come.....busy with a project in the back yard. Yes, I told him that I danced with a man! It was such great fun! Sharing in a smoke-free, alcohol-free environment! And oh, if I have as much energy as this 87 year old fella when I am 87! Well, like Wanda and I agreed. Hopefully, the Lord will come before then......I don't think I will have that much energy by then! Lifting those 40 pound concrete pavers for the back yard project (getting them out of the trunk of the car today) about did me in!

Good night!

"Although my outward shell decays,
I'm inwardly renewed each day,
Because the life and power of Christ
Indwells this fragile jar of clay." ---Sper (Our Daily Bread)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

...seeing you all in heaven one day....

Good evening.....after 10 here.....

These next three e-mails span from April 2005 into August 2005. I guess I start writing the rest of the e-mails beginning after these, in April of 2006. As I do research for this book, I have a lot of looking to do as far as other things written during this time in my own personal devotions, etc. During all of this, I was busy maintaining a household, going to doctor appointments near and far and keeping up with the kids and drawing closer to Mark and to the Lord.....couldn't keep up without the last part!

Hard to imagine all the "hoops" one has to jump through to get things done. One of the many things I learned through this, is about Patient Advocates. They are people that work to help people get taken care of, those that have paid for or worked for their medical benefits....such as veterans like Mark. It is an admirable job because so many have neither the strength or ability to continue to try and jump through those "hoops".

After these entries, we will be in Arizona....this is where Mark's journey goes to amazing new heights. We learn more about ourselves, relationships and faith. I hope you continue to walk this journey with us. I look forward to continuing my research on this and putting this all in book form with summary between the e-mails and other things.

Blessings this evening and the rest of the week.....debbie

April 7, 2005
Subject: surgery went well, still a little foggy...

Here is the latest and the greatest.

We finally made it home on Tuesday, the 5th and it feels good to be back among the living. The surgery went well. It was only a week later than it was scheduled for. The good thing was my brother lives only two hours away and we got to spend Easter with his family.

Still kind of foggy from all the drugs, but I am doing much better than the first surgery. I am up and around doing something, even if it's only a walk.

The next step is to rest for about two weeks and then go and radiate the spot where the tumor was. You know, hunt for any little hidden enemies. After that same as last time, just keep looking. I know that you are getting tired of all this, well, so am I. Just hang with me a little while longer, I still need all of your prayers.

For all that you have done for me, I wish that there were some way that I could repay you all. For now, a great big thank you will have to do.

Pray pray pray
Mark and Deb

July 27, 2005
Subject: let's all be ready for heaven...

To keep this short I will leave out the dates. Did a bone scan. We have been watching a spot at the L-1 for about 9 months. It appeared to have gotten bigger so they ordered an MRI. That showed what they believe is another tumor. Also they see spots at L-2. The bright side is they aren't going to do surgery. Radiation or chemo or both is the choice we have at this point. Unless we can find another way to make them little buggers go away or shrink before they eat too much bone. Any ideas?

Now for the really important stuff: Prayer...

I need lots of it. I could tell you about people that have been in really bad shape and BELIEVED what the Bible says about God wanting to heal us if we were to believe and ask for healing. For those of you that do believe we are asking God to heal me. For the rest of you, I hope that there is no rest of you, but if there is, we will pray that you find the Lord before your life is over. We would like to see you in heaven one day. There may come a time in your life when you need Him, and we would be honored to pray with you and for you. You never know, what if it is real?

I will keep you updated as we go.

Thank you

August 23, 2005
Subject: new drug, Avastin...

Here is the latest news. A new tumor was found at L-1 and spots at L-2. We are not doing surgery this time. We will be doing general radiation on both spots (prayer for this is that the radiation kills the tumor, trust the Lord and believe as it is written, "I am the Lord that comes to heal you, and I am healed by the stripes of Jesus").

Also, they found a tumor on the right lung and the liver. Both are about the size of a quarter (2 centimeters). There is a new drug that the FDA has approved called Avastin. It literally melts the tumor away and there are no side effects. The challenge will be, to get the VA to pray for the drug if they don't have it in the system. It is very expensive and my Medicare won't kick in until December 1, 2005. Pray that the VA does pay for this drug.

Thank you everyone.
God Bless
Mark and Deb

Monday, April 12, 2010

Missing holidays.....

Little would we know that this wouldn't be our first holiday away from our family. I begin to e-mail more from this point on....and again, not knowing that my heart would be pouring out and making a difference to those reading our journey. I don't know.....I think my writing was not only to keep friends and family informed but it also helped me in many ways. I hope that you all will be blessed as we continue sharing this journey. God is always with you, with me.....He never leaves, He never does the walking away.....love, debbie


March 24, 2005
Subject: surgery schedule and Easter...


We flew down to Omaha, NE on Sunday to see the doctors to figure out the surgery schedule for the tumor in Mark's neck. They were not able to coordinate the embolization and surgery for this week so it will be on the 29th and 30th. John, Mark's brother, picked us up and we are in Grand Island and will return to Omaha on Monday. The two doctors involved with
the surgeries are Dr. Thorrell and Dr. Vora. So, as always, we would appreciate your prayers on behalf of Mark. And, please, pray for our family as we are separated at this time from each other, especially difficult being a holiday. My folks and Mark's mom have taken on the duties with the kids and we are so grateful and I wouldn't be able to be here with Mark without their help.

And more than anything, our prayer is that you draw closer to the Lord through this celebration of His life. Jesus put Himself on the cross for you...even if you were the only one on earth, He would have done it because of His love for you. Remember, He conquered the grave and He can help you conquer anything in this life. He is always there......

Debbie and Mark

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The journey continues...

Good morning....headed off to work at the Spink County Mercantile, our wonderful antique store here in Redfield. Wanted to share with you a couple more entries by Mark. These next ones were written several months later. To let you know, one has a cancer situation, it is hopefully taken care of and you may feel invincible....you may even take back promises made if the Lord would spare you of this situation....and then, there is a second diagnosis and it takes you to a whole new plane of thought. Maybe even shakes you up even more, realizing now, that "no", we are not invincible! In my book, I will cover more about this....blessings, debbie


February 16, 2005
Subject: scans done...

Had the CT and bone scan and an MRI done last week. They found
another lump on my spine up by my neck. C-5 or C-7 can't remember.

Won't know any more until next Tuesday. As soon as we hear, I will let
all of you know.

Hang in there, and

Pray pray pray


February 26, 2005
Subject: battle on again...

Scans all came back and had the appointment with the doctor Tuesday. They found another...

A lot has happened, only the short version today.

A tumor at C-7. They are going to take this one out also. Things are
going at about the same speed as the first one.

The battle is on again. VA doesn't want to send me back to MD Anderson again, too much money. They want me to go to Omaha again. I have my choice of three doctors. None of them are qualified to do what needs to be done with the tumor. Kinda the same thing we had before. And I had to fire my senator, so I won't be getting any help from the new guy. Really need to get back to MD Anderson where they know what they are doing.

This C-7 is also a really bad spot, one mistake and nothing works below
and nothing works below the shoulder. The first was a tough one, too, but
they found out that you can't beat God. After all, we are all His kids and it
is His money. Same thing that I tried to tell them last time.

Anyway, we are beginning to fight and we don't have as much time on
this one.

Other than that, folks......PRAY PRAY PRAY

We will let you know as we know.

Thank you. All of you. You are in our prayers also.
Mark and his family

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mark's Journey with "Cancer"......

This is the first entry by Mark about his cancer....I thought there was some before this and will continue to search for those. By this time, we already had been to MD Andersen in Houston, Texas. Mark had major surgeries....a kidney removed, a titanium cage built to compensate for the lower vertebrae that had been eaten away by the cancer. I look forward to sharing with you all with mixed emotions. I do believe this will help me with getting busy with the book part. As I have been typing out the e-mails, the Lord has been bringing other things to mind. I ran into a gentleman the other day that shared how Mark had super glued two fingers together while we were visiting Redfield and a group of men from one of the local gas station hangouts helped him get "unglued." Just another one of those great things about living in a small town! Well, I hope you enjoy this journey as we walk it together....knowing it will be bittersweet. But there again, I never hesitate in reminding people that this isn't meant to be our home.....this is just the intro to the Great Story ahead!

In Christ's love, debbie


September 20, 2004
Subject: radiation done...

Hello all

Just a short note. Radiation was done last Wed. Sure is nice not to make that trip anymore. Other than being a little tired, it was not a big deal. Sometime the first part of November, I go in for a CT and bone scan again. Every three months for two years.

As long as you all are praying things will be fine. Remember, total and complete healing.

Thank you all...
In God we trust,

Monday, April 5, 2010

How was your Easter???


I hope you all had a great Easter celebration....for it is a celebration, indeed!!! Pastor Josh's sermon was on I Corinthians 15:53-57. I would like to start at vs. 51 and go to the end of the chapter. Oh, this is exciting news!!!

"But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. Forour dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

'Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?'

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."

Exciting news....yes, yes, yes!!! Pastor Josh elaborated with a great word picture..... If any of you have ever flown stand-by, you will understand this. My family flew stand-by while we were overseas....cheaper but one does have to be patient!

Well, when we try to get to heaven on our own, by our own works....it is like trying to fly sand-by on a triple-booked airplane. By accepting Jesus, we get that "confirmed plane ticket and seat." Oh, I like the sound of that, don't you?!

I want to begin to share my e-mails from Mark's journey with cancer. This sermon was a blessing to me not just for what was shared, but also when I opened up my Bible, that use to be Mark's, he had this passage highlighted! I had given this Bible to Mark in the midst of his cancer, so these passages were marked during his journey.....Mark knew the promise to come, those ready and waiting.....and those accepting of this promise, this great promise!!!

Have a great day in the Lord. Be a blessing to others and do not be afraid to share God's love for you......debbie

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Getting started on "Devotionally Yours"!!!

I have been wanting to start another blog with encouraging stories, devotions, etc. and also have a place to share with all of you my journey with cancer.....walking alongside my husband as he battled kidney cancer. One could say, "he lost the battle, but clearly won the war" and those in Christ would know what I mean by that. I do not know of anyone who has not been touched by cancer in some way. I couldn't continue myself if it weren't for my strong faith and being encouraged by others and their stories and writers who share and people who sing beloved songs....and so on. So, I hope to uplift the name of the Lord in all of this. I will be sharing e-mails from our journey, a two year journey that I hope to put together as the backbone to a book. Most of the emails have been retyped out to get into book form.....now, it is up to me to fill in between the emails. It was difficult to type out those e-mails, now I will have to delve deep inside to share what was going on between them! It is a journey that I must take. Prayers would be appreciated. As stated on my other blog, I am remarried....celebrated 2 years recently. It hasn't been easy.....we both bring so much into new relationships, don't we? I appreciate Joe so much, especially for sticking with me. I have heard it said that it is harder to marry a widow than one who is divorced.....they say it is because the deceased gets almost idolized and who can measure up! Well, again, it is all another journey, another road to walk daily on. To try and look "UP" and be thankful, to look around and appreciate and look forward in faith!!!

I do hope some of you find this place that I look forward to sharing. I do hope others will be blessed and encouraged. It is a journey that I hope that we can share together.

Blessings, debbie