Kate McRae

 

McRae Family

Aaron, Will, Olivia, Kate & Holly

 

I have been following this story about Kate for a long time. Below is Wednesday evenings journal entry regarding life at the McRae home.  I am asking you to pray for the McRae family. The journal entry is heart-gripping and life changing. (to me) As a parent I am learning from this family about life, love, trust, patience, and prayer! They are trusting God in the deepest of valleys.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thank you for your prayers. We are struggling today, but I would expect no less given the news we were dealt yesterday.

Kate went to school today, much against my desire to keep her home. She just desperately desires to be “normal” and to live like a kid. So we painstakingly let her go.

It looks like we will have no real news for a few days. Her PET scan is not scheduled until Tuesday of next week. Not sure how we are supposed to sit and wait on that one, but unfortunately we can’t provide the isotopes needed to perform the 2 specific tests they will be running. We have no idea what we will do with ourselves for the next week. A day has almost killed me.

We sat down and talked with Olivia and Will last night. We told them as much as we knew, and yet emphasized that nothing was for certain right now. My heart breaks for them. They each played out their concerns in their own way. Neither desiring for our family to be apart again. No one desiring for Kate to suffer.

So for now we turn the world over looking for something that would be best suited to help our daugther. We know this, there is no obvious answer. There is nothing that is breakthrough right now helping kids with recurrances of this disease, not when she has had the most promising of treatments already. Kate’s Dr’s and we ourselves, will be contacting the best minds in the country, getting their opinions.

I did hear from Dr Etzl today. Tumor board met, and the obvious thought is that it is cancer. As of now, they don’t believe surgery to be a great option, and radiation does not seem to be an option either. Which leaves us thinking if it does prove to be cancer, it will most likely be something very experimental we will have to attempt.

We have cried, and cried and cried some more. We try and hold it together around the kids, but oftentimes the tears just keep coming. We had to talk with Kate again tonight. She doesn’t want to loose her hair again and go to school without hair. Obviously this is the least of our concerns. But we talked about hair, wigs, and treatments that you don’t lose your hair with. We both seemed to settle down, that is until we started talking about heaven.

I wept as we talked about heaven and she softly said, “mom, I don’t want to go without you, I would miss you way too much.” “And I don’t want you to go without me either baby.” And then the question again that pierces our hearts daily, “Why hasn’t Jesus used his power yet? He’s so much stronger than cancer, why?” So again we talked, and cried some more. We ended the conversation with her whispering in my ear, “I will love you no matter what.” I had to go to my room to cry alone.

So we ask you to intercede. We know Jesus can heal our daughter. And we will not stop asking for that healing for Kate. Please join us. We are still praying that the spots will disappear for the PET scan. We are still begging for a lifetime with our sweet daughter.

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Not sure words can bring comfort, not sure I knew what to say. As I knelt down to my knees at my office desk, these lyrics from Michael W. Smith came to mind and the scripture below. Nothing brings comfort better than God’s Word! And so this was my response to their journal entry.

 

Let it rain, let it rain. Open the floodgates of Heaven

Psalm 97:1-6
The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad
Let the distance shores rejoice
Clouds and thick darkness surround him
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne
A fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side
His lightning lights up the world
The earth sees and trembles
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord
Before the Lord of all the earth
The Heavens proclaim His righteousness
And all peoples will see His Glory

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One -vs- Many

 

I purchased Word search Bible sometime ago enjoy using it in the ministry and for personal study.  Deuteronomy  6:5 is what I am Life Journaling. Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary says, “It is better to have one fountain than a thousand cisterns; one all-sufficient God than a thousand insufficient friends.
Most of the culture around us is so different than the guidelines the Bible gives us to live by. People today run from place to place to fulfill their desires. It is so much “ME” driven. I struggle admitting this but feel that this pagan idea has crept itself into the church and those who consider themselves Christians. Many do not find a church and get settled in, but move from church to church and then often cycle back around to some of the same churches. Most often the church is still doing the same things and things aren’t much different than when they were before. My parents have attended 2 churches in their lifetime. We moved when I was about 13 years old form a smaller church that didn’t have students or younger people to a church that had programs for all ages. My parents are still attending that church. I am VERY thankful for the stability and the end result in my spiritual life.

 

We are to love God with all our heart, and soul, and might.

1. With a sincere love; not in word and tongue only, but inwardly in truth.

2. With a strong love. He that is our All, must have our all.

3. With a superlative love; we must love God above any creature whatever, and love nothing but what we love for him.

4. With an intelligent love. To love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, we must see good cause to love him.

5. With an entire love; he is ONE, our hearts must be united in his love, and the whole stream of our affections must run towards him

The last statement has me thinking! And the whole stream of our affections must run towards him.

So where are your affections running? Toward one (Jesus Christ) or towards many? Do you have an all-sufficient God or a thousand insufficient friends? Are you drinking from one fountain or a thousand cisterns?

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A Life of Love

We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. To Love, to Be Loved God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. http://bible.us/1John4.16.MSG

So have you taken PERMANENT residence in this kind of love? 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) states, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Can you imagine what the world would be like if the whole world LOVED like this? How about the church, your neighbor, your family, your spouse, your children and how about YOU!

My desire is to take up PERMANENT residence, how bout you? I’m in HIM, HE’S in me!

 

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Day 21 (The last day)

Below is the scripture and devotional thought for the last day of my 21 day fast Bible reading plan.

The River From the Temple

Ezekiel 47:1-12

1 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side. 3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

No matter how deep you are now, wade in deeper still. Don’t worry about what’s going to get wet. Don’t stop at the point where you can keep your feet underneath you. Get swept away. What are you holding on to? What are your hesitations to living a more Spirit-led life of faith? What illusion of control are you clinging to? Go all in. Pray today that this fast will be just the beginning of a deeper relationship with God. Pray that He will continue to beckon you to dive in and let Him take complete control of your life.

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30-Hour Famine – 7 day fast – 21day fast

27 students & 2 adults started their 30-hour famine at 7 pm on Thursday, January 20th and we ended it at IHOP at 1 am Saturday, January 22nd.

Several started their 7 day fast (social media, video games etc) Sunday, January 16th and it will end today.

Several started their 21 day Bible reading on fasting Wednesday, January 5th and it will end on Tuesday, January 25th.

The 30-hr famine was more than just not eating for 30 hrs & raising money for the CPC. (We only use it in name not logo and the money raised goes to the Crisis Pregnancy Center)

I also challenged the students to do a 7 day fast where they gave up something for 7 days. Such as…facebook, texting, video games, etc…

A few students gave up facebook for the week (I did) and some students gave up texting for the week. A high school student gave up facebook the week prior to our 7 day fast (I asked them if that was a trail run) well then they decided to give up texting the actual week of the fast.

A middle school student gave up their iPod a week early and then realized as well that they had done it on the wrong week so decided to fast the actual week from their iPod and at the end realized it was something they didn’t really need and gave it to a sibling.

One middle school student gave up their MP3 for the week.

The other challenge was for them to participate in a 21 day Bible reading plan about fasting. It was more than just reading God’s Word for 21 days it also encouraged them to give up something for 21 days.

One middle school student gave up youtube, (on-line videos) another video games and one middle school student simply turned off their cell phone.

The church where I am one of the pastors, Faith Wesleyan Church is a very GIVING church. They have ALWAYS given from their heart and the Bible remind us that God loves a cheerful giver. Not only did adults give cheerfully but we even had children sponsor our students. (From a dime to $13)

One 5th grade student ask me if he could do the 30-hr famine and I had to tell him that he was not old enough. So he went to his mother and said, “Mom could you sponsor me for $24.75?” The mother asked, “why such an odd total?” He stated, “Well you sponsored my sister for $30 and so will you sponsor me for $24.75 and the rest of the money tax included is enough to buy me a $5 foot long sub at Subway.” Guess he was planing on breaking his 30-hour famine at Subway.

So the total we raised for our 30-hour famine 2011 was…….well we keep getting money donated so the total is already more than what I am going to tell you. 2010 total was $3,000 and 2011 total so far is…..$3625

So would you be willing to fast for 30 hours? What could you give up for 7 days or even 21 days?

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Forgiveness Follow up Part 1

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Forgiving those whom have offended us is not the easiest thing to do.  Forgiveness is a choice, it removes our right to get even and it has nothing to do with the actions of others, but has EVERYTHING to do with God’s grace.

Phillips, Craig & Dean wrote a song “Your Grace Still Amazes Me” I have included the words to a portion of that song.

Your grace still amazes me
Your love is still a mystery
Each day I fall on my knees
Your grace still amazes me
‘Cause Your grace still amazes me

It’s deeper, it’s wider
It’s stronger, it’s higher
than anything my eyes can see

I have heard Darren Whitehead speak on a few occasions. He is the Teaching Pastor at Willow Creek in Chicago. He made the following statement that really challenged me in forgiving others.”Forgiveness is relinquishing my right to hurt you back after you have hurt me.”

Why is it that we so much desire to “hurt” those whom have “hurt” us?

Hurt people, hurt people. If we don’t release those who have hurt us, we will begin to resemble them.

Free people, free people. Let me remind you of the scripture verse again. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:15 NIV

I can see an incredible REVIVAL breaking out as a result of choosing to FREE people, not HURT them.

So what about you, is there someone the Holy Spirit is bringing to your mind that you need to FREE?

 

 

 

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Forgiveness

In May of 2008 I ran across this article about forgiveness and added it to my EVERNOTE.

Forgiveness is unconditional. We don’t earn it; we don’t deserve it; we can’t bargain for it. Forgiveness is not based on a promise to never do it again. We offer forgiveness to somebody, whether that person asks for it or not.

When somebody says, “I will forgive you if”, that’s not forgiveness; that’s bargaining. When Jesus stretched out his hands on
the cross and said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), he took the initiative, not waiting for us to first clean up our lives.

Forgiveness doesn’t minimize the offense. It actually cheapens forgiveness when somebody comes and asks for your forgiveness and you say, It’s no big deal. It really didn’t hurt. It’s okay. It didn’t really bother me. If it wasn’t a big deal, you wouldn’t
need forgiveness, and you wouldn’t need to offer it. If it really requires forgiveness then you should not minimize it when somebody asks you for forgiveness.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean the relationship resumes without change. The Bible teaches three things that are essential to resume a relationship that has been broken:

1.) Repentance

2.) Restitution

3.) Rebuilding trust.

You have to be genuinely repentant and truly saddened about what you did. That’s not just saying a quick, *I’m sorry. It means
heart-fully and meaningfully saying, I was wrong. Please forgive me.

Sometimes forgiveness should be accompanied with some sort of physical or material restitution. If I came over to your house and burned it down, it wouldn’t be enough for me to go, Oops! I’m sorry. I’d need to assume that debt because I destroyed your house.
When it comes to rebuilding trust, it may take a long, long time. Forgiveness is instant, but trust is something that’s only rebuilt
over a period of time. It must be re-earned.

Forgiveness isn’t forgetting what’s happened. You’ve heard this phrase over and over: forgive and forget, forgive and forget. There’s only one problem with it  it’s really difficult to forget a hurt that’s been in your life. It’s like when you go on a diet; you think about food all the time. You think about it more than when you’re not on a diet. The only way you can forget something is to actually refocus on something else.

And that is focusing on how God takes the bad and works it out  for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28, NLT).

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