Excerpt Reading #13 Is It OK to Pray for Something just Because I Want It?

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4
What do you need to do to be given the desires of your heart?

What does delight in the Lord mean to you?

When the things that delight the Lord also delight you, then you’ll receive the desires of your heart. Why? Because you will only desire the things God desires. Isn’t that cool? When God’s desire is also your desire, His joy is your joy, and His purpose your purpose, and you will find that you have all that you ever need. Ask God to make your desires God-pleasing and keep asking. It’s what He wants for you.
Every person on a cancer journey has different heart desires. You may not be particularly interested in healing. Perhaps your concerns are more with pain and quality of life. Or maybe the desires of your heart concern how your loved ones are coping. Many cancer families desire to have God take care of the practical issues like housing, finances, and employment. Complete the exercise below but during the week, if you think of new desires of your heart, come back and add them to your list.

Rate these in order of the desires of your heart. Put a 3 for strong desire, a 2 for moderate desire and a 1 for little to no desire. Add any desires of your heart that are not included, and make your request specific.

The desire of my heart is to…
___ Receive complete healing for me or my loved one.
___ Live a cancer-free life.
___ Remove pain and side effects for me or my loved one.
___ Find a solution for financial problems.
___ See my loved ones cared for.
___ Remove my fears.
___ Receive guidance and wisdom for my decisions.
___ Give my doctors Godly discernment.
___ Provide for my family.
___ Continue to work.
___ Be reconciled with ___________________.___ Be reconciled with ___________________.
___ _________________________________________________
___ __________________________________________________

• Take a few moments to lift all of your strongest desires up to the Lord in prayer. Don’t hold back. No matter what has come between you and God, He is sitting on His throne right now waiting for you to ask for more than you need. He wants you to pray for all your desires that will delight His heart.

Lord,
Let me share with you the desires of my heart….

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God is Bigger Than…a Stuffed Bunny

For my brother, sister and I, Easter morning always began with Easter baskets sitting on the dining room table.  Each basket held assorted chocolate delights and a special toy.  One Easter morning, I rushed out to the baskets and saw an adorable stuffed bunny.  Squealing for joy, I grabbed the bunny and held its fluffy softness against me as I heard my mother say “Karen, the bunny belongs to your sister.”  After having the bunny ripped from my vice grip arms and tears wiped from my cheeks, I learned an important lesson.  Karen doesn’t always get what she wants.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can go from high hopes to utter disappointment?  It’s easy to learn to not expect too much, ask for too much or hope for too much.  But here’s the thing: the real pain is not the disappointment of not receiving the bunny or whatever it is you wanted.  The real pain is being disappointed the person didn’t fulfill your need or desire.  So gradually, you protect your relationship and stop getting your hopes up.  Over time, you not only stop hoping, you stop wanting.  Then the relationship grows stagnant because there’s no risk and no discovery.  Relationships need hope.  When you get your hopes up and they’re fulfilled there’s this amazing sense of “They love me THAT much?”  ?”  And if we get our hopes up and are disappointed, then we must work to convince the ones we love that we really care even though we’re disappointed.  It can be a struggle but believe me, this is how stagnant relationships are revitalized, but why risk it?   If you hope for little, you receive little and get disappointed little. No struggles.

The crazy thing is that this same pattern of keeping our hopes small to avoid disappointment can too often describe our prayer life. Really, think about it for a minute.  When your life is facing the BIG fears like a lengthy unemployment, a frightening illness, or a messy legal battle do you pray the BIG prayers?  Do you ask for the prefect job, a body free of illness or a sudden legal solution? Or do they seem like too much to ask for?  Maybe you question if God really want to hear about what you are really hoping for?

NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING is too much to ask of God.  Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” God hungers for you to delight in Him and He longs to give you the desires of your heart.  God does not want you to just pray for the realistic things or the practical things. God wants you to pray for each and every desire of your heart.  Did you know that each desire of your heart that you trust to the Lord will strengthen your faith?  It’s true.  When you pray the big prayers either your desire will be fulfilled and you’ll sing praises of how much God loves you.  Or you’ll be disappointed, and right there, it that place of heart ache, you’ll find God clinging to draw you into His mighty arms.  Don’t settle for a relationship with God that has little wants, little hopes and little of your heart.  Don’t hold back.  Give Him all of you-body, soul and heart.

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I have This Hope by Tenth Avenue North

Nights can be the hardest part of a cancer walk.  Do they sometimes they feel like they will end? or cancer will never end?

But sometimes my faith feels thin
Like the night will never end
Will You catch every tear
Or will You just leave me here?

Let Tenth Ave North breath the light of hope into you with this precious song.

As I walk this great unknown
Questions come and questions go
Was there purpose for the pain?
Did I cry these tears in vain?
I don’t want to live in fear
I want to trust that You are near
Trust Your grace can be seen
In both triumph and tragedy
I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
But sometimes my faith feels thin
Like the night will never end
Will You catch every tear
Or will You just leave me here?
But I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
Yes, I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
So, whatever happens I will not be afraid
Cause You are closer than this breath that I take
You
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Seeing God Cancer Stories – Episode 1 – Nancy Cook

“You find joy. Who doesn’t want to feel joyful? Who doesn’t want to feel hope? Who doesn’t want to feel connected? Cancer Companions gives you that.”

Join Jane Ingle, Bob Andersen, and Nancy Cook as they share Nancy’s walk with Cancer and how she came to find hope and joy with Cancer Companions.

After being diagnosed 8 years ago with endometrial cancer, lung cancer, and a terminal brain tumor Nancy continued to find peace with God and she graciously shared her journey with us.

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The Breakup Song by Francesca Battistelli

What if as you step down your cancer walk, you get fed up and just break up with fear?  Would it sound like this?

Sick and tired of being sick and tired
Had as much of you as I can take
I’m so done, so over being afraid

That’s the WONDERFUL message that Francesca Battistelli gives us in this song with not just her deep resounding voice but with passion that knows the trap that comes form fear.  ENJOY!

Sick and tired of being sick and tired
Had as much of you as I can take
I’m so done, so over being afraid

I’ve gone through the motions
I’ve been back and forth
I know that you’re thinking you’ve heard this before
I don’t know how to say it
So I’m just gonna say it, yeah

Fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you
Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me well guess what?
I know who I am
I know I’m strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here

Take a minute, let it settle in
You probably never saw it coming
Something’s gotta give so I give up you, oh
There’s no room for you here
Yeah, I’ve had enough
The “No Vacancy” sign on my heart is lit up
In case you didn’t hear it
Here it

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Excerpt Reading #1 from Seeing God in Your Cancer Journey

God is bigger than your cancer. Have you ever heard such sweet words? There is something passionately comforting in knowing that this heinous disease that has seeped into your life is not in charge of your life: God is.

After diagnosis, cancer can stalk you like a giant, always in your sight no matter what you do or where you go. This is true for both those persons with cancer and those loved ones standing by their sides. For anyone close to this disease, cancer requires a huge amount of focus to process the tons of information your doctors throw at you. Comprehending the choices of treatment, the date of appointments, the names of prescriptions, or the types of side effects leaves little energy to understand the emotional impact of cancer. Although it’s a struggle to take it all in, here’s the important thing- you can’t let cancer take over your life.

Cancer doesn’t get to swallow your days and your nights. It doesn’t get to put stress in your life or plague you with fear. It doesn’t get to come between you and your loved ones and it doesn’t get to come between you and your God. For many, these emotional and spiritual cancer battles can be as difficult as the physical battles. In short, cancer does not get to be more important than the most important things in your life. The most important things in your life are the things you can use to push the cancer back so you can breathe again.

Before a cancer diagnosis, you could easily see the most important things in your life, the things that made life full, rich, and worth living: sitting in the backyard with the sun on your face, watching your favorite baseball team win in the bottom of the 9th, buying a silly birthday card for your granddaughter, helping your neighbor fix his car, eating a tomato fresh off the vine, singing a favorite song in church. The most important things in your life bring joy, hope, fulfillment and purpose. Christ is the Light to reach in the darkness of cancer so you can thrive on the blessings He has given you.

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Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells

Typically, the longer a cancer treatment last, the more valleys a person faces EVEN if the doctor is pleased with the results.
For me, when my body is ill, my faith is more easily attacked. But you know what? The view of God from the valley will take your breath away. LOVE this song. Says it all.
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God is Bigger Than the Playoffs

I love the playoffs.  We lived in Chicago MANY years ago when the Bears were in the playoffs.  Then the Lakers stayed in constant playoffs status while we lived in Southern California and of course, now we live in St Louis.  Need I say more?  The Cardinals are not just the boys of summer but of Red October too!

The truth?  The playoffs change people.  Not just one or two people, but a whole city.

Everybody becomes a fan.  For a few short weeks the playoffs seem to come up in every conversation, text and email.  And social media?    People sport the team’s colors in the strangest ways and not to mention what they do to their pets! Continue reading

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Excerpt Reading #39- Seeing God in Your Cancer Journey

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Yes, God has prepared things for you to do and yes, God knew when He prepared these things for you that you would have cancer.  On the day you were diagnosed, God didn’t think “Wow, that really throws a kink into my plans.”  God thought, “Man, I hate that he has cancer, but everything is right on track.”  God’s not startled or surprised by your cancer. The things he has laid out for you to do can only be done by someone with your story. Continue reading

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“Last Word” Elevation Worship

I would call cancer a storm…even a violent storm.  The lyrics to this song seem to understand that faith is not about avoiding storms, it’s about remembering who can calm the storm.

That’s really the hard part of cancer or any storm- remembering who has the last word.  Christ the LORD!! Continue reading

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