Hello again. It's amazing how through life's greatest trials, it's possible by God's grace to be at peace and encouraging to all, like when I was in the hospital with cancer, and yet then to come home and get something mild like a cold and then be grumpy and snap at everyone that annoys you. That has been my trial of the week. The lesser my pain and troubles, the more distant from God I become and the more in sin as well. O what a wretch I am! True devotion comes when all is stripped away, not when it is returned.
In other news, I had my blood lab appointment yesterday. My WBC (white blood cell count) was 9.1 even with the sniffles so I'm still really healthy on a cellular level at least. Physically as already stated I have a head cold and b/c I stopped the chiropractor my back and leg pain has returned.
Tomorrow, Jessica and I are going to the beach to say good-bye. She has been one of my best friends for three years. No one angers or convicts me quite like she does, but then again no one makes me laugh or forces me to examine myself like her as well. During our time together she has been one of the Lord's greatest tools and comforts in my life. I have so many memories with her, the most recent being that it was her voice recorded on my voice recorder singing that lifted my spirits and reminded me of God's grace during chemotherapy when I was partially blind and vomiting. To know what life will be like without her has not set in yet, but I know that it will be alright (that's the title of one of our songs) b/c it's God's will and He saw all other roads for the both of us and chose the ones that we are on. I'm so happy for her success and I know she will excel at PA school as she has excelled at everything else. So I rejoice in knowing that the refinement of her talents will only lead to God's glory in wherever He leads her.
I have been reading more lately. In in the Puritan class at my church and so for that class I have been reading "Light and Heat: The Puritan View of the Pulpit" for Sunday. I'm half way through now and found the most interesting passage at the end of the first half. It said:
"The spirit of this age would have us believe that the avenue of preaching is no longer the means by which God will revive His Church. Rather, we are to engage in and enlist more contemporary means to accomplish what God has said He would do through the foolishness of preaching. More ritual with attention to ceremony, or one or more of the many forms of entertainment-films, music, drama, and testimonies-are the answers to the ineffectiveness of the church, we are told. Yet others will say that the need of the hour is small groups, where we can relate to one another and share our concerns. In such an era as this, a study of the Puritan view of the pulpit is like a refreshing drink of water in a desert atmosphere...Historians tell us that we should not forget the events of the past so that we can prevent their reoccurrence. Does not the same hold true for that which was successful? If the test of a sermon is the quality of life that it produces, then the Puritans were superbly successful. Thus, we must return to the Puritans and their view of the pulpit if we desire to alter the conduct of those whom we serve" (Bickel 67).
This is not modern-day Christianity. If my opinion is to be refuted, please read "Sinners in the hands of an angry God" by Jonathan Edwards or listen to my Pastor, Dr. David Downs on sermon audio.com and then tell me your pastor preaches like them. If so, then you are blessed b/c your pastor like mine is rare in our depraved nation.
I think that's it for now. Right now, my next chemo session is scheduled to start on the 21st of May. I'm trying to push it to at least the 23rd so I can go to Roberto's wedding.