Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ups and Downs and Ups

Greetings from hot Manitoba!
I want to give you all a short summary of my weekend. Last week was marked by much fatigue and being tired. Friday Wally and Dominic came to Rosenort from Alberta for the weekend. We had family supper that evening and my prayer was for energy to make it to that gathering. PRAISE GOD HE GAVE ME THE STRENGTH TO GO!!!!
Saturday was another big day as the extended Friesen Family had a get-together. And I rested up for that and again God supplied the energy to attend. Thanks to God!
Sunday was the biggy. I wanted to attend church, which we did, and I so very much wanted to attend the Goldeyes's game. Our friends Dust and Tam Waldner had a suite and so I really wanted to go. Praise God, again He filled me with the strength to attend. The Suite saved the day. Even though I fought with fatigue, God was there to help.
What a wonderful God!
Thank-you for answering my prayers, Lord.
Thank you for praying, dear friends.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Julia and I ehave really enjoyed participating in the ABS of Touring, and HOG game where riders find a city, and county beginning with each letter of the alphabet. There are other spots to aim for as well: National Parks, Natural Forests, Countries, and so forth. It gave us a destination, and kind of a motivation to ride.To accomplish a high number, for us it meant going on a trip of some kind. In the summer of 2008, Julia and I started out for central Iowa. That was our turn about point. The ride began on a Friday to Grand Forks to watch the World Of Outlaws Sprint  racing.
We met some friends in Grand Forks who were on a shopping spree. Saturday we awoke to solid cloudy skies wiht rain a coming down. We had breakfast hoping the rain would pass. No passing on this rain!.The long and short of it is it never stopped raining that whole day. Yes, we did browse around in one of those lady estrogen craft stores at which time it looked like the rain would pass. It did stop raining for us to get out of our rain gear. We simply threw the gear over the seat and went to shop. Half and hour later I took a peak outside, and sure enough, it was raining.
At times it just poured rain; at one fuel stop it rained so hard it looked like snow drifting across the parking lot. We had rain all day, and my Harley Davidson brand rain gear kept me dry as could be.
And we got many ABC pictures, enduring the torrential down pours. I tell you when we finally hit Alexander, MN it stopped raining, and we settled in for the night.
Life is full of torrential rain. At times they seem more like hurricances and typhons. The idea is to set your mind into a state where we have decided that nothing will get us defeated and put us into a state of despair. We make up our minds we are going to conquer this rain. Here is a wonderful verse from Isaiah 50:7 that speaks exactly to this situation.
For the Lord GOD helps Me,
Therefore, I am not disgraced;
Therefore, I have set My face like flint,
And I know that I shall not be ashamed.
Yes, dear readers, I know this is a prophecy about Jesus facing the cross, but it is for us to read and follow Christ's example.Dear precious reader friend. The key to that verse is For the Lord GOD helps Me. And He will never leave you. Come to Jesus in faith my friend, and experience His helping hands. We sure felt His care this weekend. I will try to bolg about that next time as this post has become long enough.
Thanks for your prayers.
Thanks so very much!
He is answering your requests.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

God Still Rules

"From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and sufer amany things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, AND BE RAISED ON THE THIRD DAY. (Matthew 16:21)
Jesus knew it. He was going to die. He came from heaven's glory where there is no tear, no sadness, no pain, no death. And He can to earth where there is tear, sadness,pain death. We wish to leave this place of pain and Jesus obeyed His Father by coming down into the place, and died for us. What person in his right mind would do that?
I am dying also. Doctor gave me 3 months. I wonder if I will make it that long. I would like to go today.
Monday was my strongest day in a very long time. After monday it has been my weakest days ever. I am mostly lying down. I am exhausted and extremely tired.
That's it for now.
Thanks for praying. Please keep on.
God still reigns.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Does God Have A Sense of Laughs?

The other day a person dropped by and wanted spent some time with me which was very much appreciated. In the conversation he commented on how my legs looked- very water retained and fat looking.  But he meant well, I loved his visit, I loved he prayed for me, I appreciate that he took time out of his busy, busy day and came to say HI to me. He is a dear friend, and I love him dearly.
My body does not look good-Nothing that would pass on the cover of GQ magazine. In fact, my body is skin and bones above the abdomin and water and skin and bones below the naval base.
After my friend left, I hurried into the Bible and raced for the Psalm section. As soon as I saw Psalm above the page, I stopped and read- it was at Psalm 149.
Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song.
And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.
Let Israel be glad in his Maker,
Let the son of Zion rejoice in their king.
Let them priase His name withdancing;
Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.

I stopped reading right there and burst out with laughter and praise. Yes, one day this frail, lean, skinny, boney body will be beautified with His salvation. The ship is coming in. The ship can be seen in the distant. It's coming to pick me up and taking me to heaven. It wouldn't be long.
What about you, dear reader? Where are you at in your life? Do you have any savior other than Jesus? There is only one God, Lord and Savior of creation, of the whole universe. His name is Jesus, and He is your hope, He is your Savior, He is your friend. You need Him. You need to repent of not following Him, and you must believe in Him, and obey His will. Then He will cover you with His blood and make you holy.
I can help you with that step. Contact me and let's do business with Jesus. He is waiting with open arms for you to come.
Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beautiful Summer Days

The blogs have not been numerous, and yes, you guessed it, it's because I am not feeling strong and full of vinegar. My legs are very water logged. I stopped wearing the compression socks because the water is forced into other parts of the body, and that is more uncomfortable. We have another appointment July 12, so see what can be done then.My eating is interesting. There are times when food tastes good and then when it tastes like nothing. I am not really hungry, and my stomach or gut area continues to expand. Girls, how much bigger can that skin stretch? I feel there is a baby in there.
But God is good and His hand is upon me. A tremendously encouraging verse for me the other day was "My God loves me, and He will come to me." Ps. 59:10 TEV.
Many of you know that I have been quite firm in my resolve to donate my body to science, but that is not as simple as it seems, and yesterday in conversation with the U of M i became clear to me that I am not longer pursuing that avenue. It's to complicated, and has a very definite possibility to create real confusion and further grief to the family.
I thank you for your prayers. I will keep blogging as long as I can.
Until then, lift your eyes to Jesus.

The Beatitudes

The Beatitudes, a name typically given to the passage covering Matthew 5:1-11, is Matthew’s first recorded sermon by Jesus, and it is part of a three-chapter length message given on “the mountain.” It does not say whether the multitudes came up to the mountain with Jesus, but it is clear that the disciples did. This leads some scholars to conclude that ultimately Jesus was addressing the disciples only.
It is of interest that Jesus ἐδίδασκεν (began to teach them). The Greek word means “to teach” and so Jesus is not on a preaching assignment. Jesus begins with 10 “blessed” statements. The first “blessed are the poor in spirit” means blessed are those who recognize their own spiritual bankruptcy and place their total dependence on God. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn.”  The Greek word for “mourn,” πενθοῦντες,  means “grief so intense it expresses itself externally.” These who mourn are mourning and grieving over all the sin and evil in this world. They will comforted.
Blessed are the gentle. These are the humble, the dependent on God who reject and refuse to take advantage of selfish goals and ambition. They shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are the saints who yearn for the righteousness given by God and not attained but received righteousness. They shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful- those who have a habitual bent towards extending mercy. They shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart. The heart is the center and whole of mans inner life, and the pure in heart have a life characterized by a holy and pure heart. They shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, not peacekeepers. Blessed are those who end hostilities and unite in harmony the quarrelsome.
Now come the tough parts of the beatitudes, saved for the last. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely on account of Me. Those are tough words, and yet that is what Jesus is teaching His disciples.
There is a brief paraphrase- while remaining true to the Greek- of the Beatitudes.

Friday, July 1, 2011

God is Love

Searching thru the scripture last night I asked God to show me a verse. I was down, and I was in need of a boast. I am not coming off a grand week, but a week of continuing weakness, fatigue and loss of power physically. This past week Julia and I were going to go to Winnipeg with motorcycle. We needed gas so we stopped in town here for gas. As I rolled away from the gas pumps, the bike came to a stop, and then it leaned just a bit to far and down it went onto the pavement. Since I was at a standstill to begin with, nothing happened to the bike, but inside I knew my bikings days are coming to a close.
 What hurts now so much is how people plan for vacations, camping trips, holidays, and all that kind of stuff that is nothing wrong with, but things we probably are done with. I cannot foresee myself going on vacation and actually enjoying it. I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty about going on their trips and vacation. Enjoy them, my friends! Enjoy the times with family and God's great outdoors. My time is coming soon, and I will camp with my Dad and Bathsheba, and David and Moses and we will have a blast. I will be with Jesus of my Salvation, and worship Him. What joy awaits me.
The verse God showed me was 1 Peter 1:14
I have now attached the message I preached June 26 at RFC. To get to it, just go to the "Heavier Readings" part, click onto the subsrib icon and you should find the sermon.
Thanks for your prayers.
Thank-you very much!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Victory Sunday

"And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." (Act 2:24)
Sunday, June 26 has come and is gone forever.
Praise the Lord!
I was asked to preach, and I did preach on that day at the Rosenort Fellowship Chapel. I know I had a herd of sheep praying for me, and so I had nothing to worry about. Preparation week had gone well, and now just to speak forth the word I thought the Holy Spirit had given me to say.
When I got to the church, I was indeed very tired. We prayed in the pastor's office, and I was assured everything would be alright. I struggled through the message. I had not the energy I needed to put more into it. But I left it all on the pulpit. I gave it all I had.
And the rest of day I paid for it. We were invited out for lunch, and after that I crashed into our bed at home till this morning.I told Julia yesterday that Sunday's message might just be the last one I will preach here on earth (and nobody is ever going to ask me to preach in heaven when we have Jesus as our Teacher there).
I simply express deep heart-felt thanks for praying for me about this past Sunday's sermon. Thanks for praying.
I will post the message on my blog shortly as it needs some tiny editing.
In Christ our Lord,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And the Doc Said....

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Peace and grace to you, and love that is uncomprehendible from the Holy Spirit.
The water keeps arising. Certain body parts are bulging with water retention.
And yet the Lord Jesus has filled me completely with His peace, joy and calm assurance that all is well.
I voiced some concern on my blog post yesterday that I was ready to be admitted to the hospital until they could resolve the water retention issue. My doc seems not to have such concern over the water issue. So I will not either. I will start taking some pills for that tomorrow and see what happens. So no hospital admissions. YEAH!!
The doc advised me to increase the morophine by one pill a day. There are interesting things that come with morophine. There are times I might look about totally spaced out. Don't worry, somewhere out there is Chuck Friesen. This morning was a classic. We were finsihing up on our prayer time with our Loving Heavenly Father when I asked Julia, "When are they going to shorten Mom's hoe for her?" Reminds me of the movie "A Beautiful MInd" starring Russel Crow.
Anyhows, on a different note, with which I close....
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  Eph 1:3.
Thanks so much for your relentless, on-going, persistent prayers.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Sunday Surprise

There are many times when the Lord does more than we ask of Him.
First, thanks so much for your prayers as I went riding on the Morris Youth for Christ Bike Fund Rasing Ride. I had energy, strength, stamina, a good appetite so I could enjoy the tasty foods, safety and a super time of fellowshipping with other bikers who love God more than Hogs. And the weather was unbeatable. One could not have asked for a better day of clear skies, calm winds and warm temps. It was perfect. All praise and thanks to God our Creator Lord and King.
Having about emptied the tank on Saturday's ride, I was not expecting Sunday to be a stellar day, but God gave me a nice surprise. I felt pretty good on Sunday. Stephanie (my niece) invited Jule and I to her Father's Day BBQ, and it was a really very special time together. Thanks so much, Stephanie. In spite of how I pushed myself on Saturday, Sunday turned out fantastic. What a blessing to have a family behind one in such times as these.
Tomorrow we have another DA (doc apptment) and I will ask about the fluid in the legs. I will not be surprised if they admit me for a night or two to see if they can get the swelling down. But we will see what they will do with me.
Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hog Times

"What shall I render to the LORD
for all His benefits toward me?
I shall lift up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the LORD" Psalm 116:12-13

I am coming off a tremendous weekend of good riding and safe riding. Saturday Jule and I went to Wpg with the Hog. We did some light shopping, then visited Mom and family in Landmark. I really was a good day of beautiful weather. I did ingest 2 percocet tablets and it seemed to really help me. Yesterday four of us went to Tim's in Swine Crack for another treat.This time I went cold turkey. No drug assistance, and it was not a problem.
I really thank God Almighty, King of the Universe and LORD of all that which has, is, and will exist, that He is granting me strength to ride bike. There for a little while I was not sure how much riding I would do this summer. The pain killers are working very good, but I don't want to over use them. My big prayer requests are two: Energy, strength and power to do the bike ride on Saturday. And then for wisdom guidance and direction along with ESP (energy, strength, power), for message prep for RFC on June 26.
Thanks so much.
On a personal note. Julia and I have both noticed that my feet are swelling so much. They get to be almost gross. We went to the Pan Am Athletic Support Store and found some nice hip length socks that I wear now. Yesterday was the first full day with them things on, and it worked very well. Swelling of the feet is not a good sign, but we are praying and trusting God for His ongoing care
Thanks to you for all you have done for us, God bless you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cop Outs

"I don't understand what you are going through." "I can't even imagine what you must be good through." "I have no idea what it must feel like to be in the situation you are in."
Those are stupid, silly and blatantly ridiculous cop out statements that MUST BE AVOIDED!!!!
Yes, I am deadly serious in saying that.These statements have got to go!
I know you can't understand what I am going through. Here is the dirty little secret: Nobody needs to understand what the other person is going through in order to be an encourager to the suffering person. Are good counselors good counselors because they have experienced everything their clients have gone through? Not a chance! Good counselors are people who are gifted and are willing to work at trying their best to enter into the client's world and then seeking out the best coping strategies.
Why do our friends use these cop out statements? I have some theories.
They are not willing to take time to try to enter into our world. They are focused on their world, and their world is peachy great, and if you and I would just adopt their ways of doing things, then our world would also be peaches and cream. Here is the irony of it all. These are the people who say they cannot understand what you and I are going through, but they are at the front of the line when it comes to giving you and me advice.These are the people who have a book for you and me to read, or a CD to listen to, or a TV program to watch, or a retreat to attend, or anything for us to do as long as they don't have to be involved,  and if we will just follow what is written in that book, or listen to the CD 24/7,  we will get our lives together just as their life is together.
That saddens me, and quite frankly, I find zero encouragement from such people.
Another theory I have for why people use cop outs is because they are to afraid to try to understand our scary world of cancer, death, chemo and vomiting. They are too fearful they may not cope with the information you and I give them. These people are turtles. Just let me climb into my well protected world, and you who are struggling, STAY AWAY from me.
How sad. Recently a friend confided in me about the strange absence of his best friends during a really difficult time. "Where are my friends?" he was asking. They are turtles. Retreating into their fortified walls of security far away from you and me and our problems. Turtles turtle because they don't know what to say. Well, they have already acknowledged that they actually have nothing to say since they can't anyhow identify with you and me, so they are correct- they don't know what to say. The first positive sign.
I have a wonderful friend in whom over the years I have often confided in. This person does not always understand what I am going through, but that's alright. This person is such an encourager because she/he goes to make the effort to try his/her best to understand my world  I live in. She/he asks pertinent questions about me. He/she is slow to share from her/his own life. But the key is that this person tries desperately to understand my situation. I always leave his/her home feeling much better than when I came.
"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things, as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15
Thanks for your prayers. I really cherish them all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Managing Pain

Know pain, no gain
no pain, know gain.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the King of Glory and Lord of all lords, to Him be the praise, the glory and the honor. His name is worthy of all the praise our human bodies can muster.
I have had some wonderful days lately, and there have been some not such great days of late as well. Yesterday was indeed a full day with Palative Care coming for a morning visit to our home. It's really neat to simply go through things that one could deal with in the future- to be able to talk about those things now while one is still in good shape. These people want to help us, and care for us. There are lots of things to discuss during a time like this, and it's good to get it discussed.
Over the course of the disease my feet have begun to swell up. It's not a good sign, and so we went to the doc to see what could be done. The cause of swelling feet is water retention which could be caused by a few things like a shortageof Vitamin B12, or blockage in the liver of some kind, or lack of Harley rides.
While we were at the doc, we also discussed pain management. Up till now I really did not have a good mechanism in place for dealing with pain. But the pain is getting greater, and I needed help. So the doc started me on a morophine program. I took the pills yesterday, and for the first time in a LONG time I had a restful, peaceful, relatively pain free evening as Julia and I watched "The Rainmaker".
Dear friends, once again Julia and I thank you so much for your caring concern in the form of emails, cards, phone calls and other ways. What a blessing to have such a huge support network behind us.
Thanks so much.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday's Victory

Thank-you for all your prayers concerning my preaching assignment on Sunday- yesterday. Your prayers were all answered. I am so blessed to have such a prayer base behind me. Julia and I extend our deepest thanks. It was definitely the prayers of the people the helped me through the sermon, and this includes the preparation time. I hope people realize the real battle in sermon work occurs during preparation time. Anyways, to God be the total glory.
Perkaset, no idea how to spell that, is a pain killer drug recommended to by Melvin Friesen. And it works, but differently for me than for others- at least so it seems. It is a narcotic painkiller, but for me it seems to be a perker upper. I have used it before to take away pain, and it simply perks me up and helps me fly through the day. Side-effects? I have not noticed any yet. Anyways, I have taken perkaset before key events that I really want to be at. Last Sunday was a classic example as I so very much wanted to be at a baptismal lunch celebration for some friends of ours who had 2 of their children the were baptized. It worked! I breezed through the afternoon celebrations without a problem. Praise God for a drug like perkaset. Bottle says warning may cause drozziness and dizziness. Does not seem to affect me that way.
Anyways the next sermon is scheduled for June 26. I am asked the prayer band to start praying again as I prepare for that. I love preaching, but I don't like choosing topics.
This past Sunday's sermon notes can be found under Sermons, Writings and other Composition on the right hand side of the blog. Just click on the little picture and the takes you to the library where all my other writings are posted for anyone to read.
Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

After the Fact

So how am I feeling after our decision- now that it has been a few days. I feel no different now than I did a week ago, except I am glad I have no more treatments to dread. Now I have nothing to dread. I have peace, and I received a wonderful phone call from a friend who encouraged me by saying she thought I had made the best choice. That was encouraging! I know I made the right choice.
I don't think I have shortened my life with this decision- in fact, I may have lengthened my days. If I can start to feel a little better, that would give me more life I would think. So I don't see it as oh now we just sit around and wait for my death. No, I don't think that has been altered. When I feel my worst, I just want to go home to Jesus anyways. I will be faithful till my last day on earth.
The next steps are working on pallative care procedure. Yes, the "p" word. I was asked by my wife what I thought of that phase of my life. I am ok with that. These are people who care for their patients and they just want to make their patients as comfortable as possible. They are there to help me. They know how to do this, and I am sure they do it well.  Should I need hospitalization, my choice of care is Boundary Trails. It gives my biker friends a reason to make a trip on their bikes (should it come to that).
I would so much desire to get at least one spell of feeling stronger and feeling good enough to do something fun with Julia, like go to the races on bike at Grand Forks. My wife loves that kind of stuff. Especially if it is the World of Outlaws. But we will take it one day at a time and see what we can all do yet.
thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Greetings dear Blog readers.
Yesterday was the last of May for 2011. May 31, 2011 has been lived, and that day ain't ever going be lived again. It's done. That was the day (yesterday) when Julia and I went for a serious visit with the oncologist at Boundary Trails. Dr. Bob Menzies is truly a very classy doctor. The nurses at Cancer Care are truly one of a kind. All are very supportive in one's journey.
Yesterday I decided to terminate further treatment with Cetexamub.
There is no further resource or treatment the medical field has for my case. This is it. Cetexamub was the last kick at the cat (or whatever one kicks these days to stay in good standing with PETA).
Dr. Bob admitted that while the biological based treatments like Cetexamub take longer to work, there is no indication that Cetexamub was doing anything drastic. He said I had a valid point, and he never tried to talk me out of stopping treatments. My rationale was that since I started Cetexamub about 11 weeks ago, I have felt nothing but successively worse each week. My skin is doing all kinds of crazy things. My strength is getting less and less. My pains are not getting less. My eating is getting more and more limited. There really are not many positive things that have come about due to this treatment. It has not done enough to make it worth paying for the terrible side effects.
Do I think I have shortened my life span by stopping treatments? No, I think I have increased my life span with this decision. I am hoping that when the drug wears off in my body, my  body will make a bit of a resurgence where hopefully I can have a few better months, and then go home. There is one unfinished writing project I would like to complete, and I will need to be in better health to do that.
Was the decision hard to make? Not really. It was really a matter of realizing that I feel lousy, tired and fatigued most of the time, and coming off this drug I can't imagine I will feel any worse- only better.
The other deciding factor was that the cancer I have is medically incurable. I was told that from the start. This is not a cancer for which medicine has a cure. Therefore, what is the point of taking a drug that makes me feel this pits and yet carries with it no promise of a cure. I don't see that point.
So now what? Do we just sit back and wait for the day when I die? Well I suppose that is one way of looking at it, but I did not expect to live this long in the first place. I have done better than I thought I would. No, we don't roll over and wait for the final curtain call; we continue boldly to do what we can still do. And that is my attitude till my dying day. There is always something the LORD has for me to do.
Your prayers are deeply cherished.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Questioning Treatments

Today at 2:45 PM we are meeting with Dr. Bob of Boundary Trails Health Center in Winkler about the pros and cons of continuing or discontinuing treatments.Why would I call off any further treatments> (1) The cancer, medically speaking, is not curable. (2) The treatments are making me extremely tired, their is muscle aches involved, and itch that is requires constant attention so it can be kept in check. (3) The treatments are not doing anything that is overwhelming positive. Yes, the tumors did not grow as much as they could have, but I want shrinkage, not slow down in growth. If you ever have had 'faatah haan" (English lierall says fat hen) in your garden, you want to get rid of the horrible weedand not just a reduction in its numbers. (4) Since I have started these treatments, I have been going downhill and I don't like it. Stopping these treatments will (medically speaking) hasten on the advance of cancer. I will most likely die sooner. I am ok with that- I think. (5) I am hoping that stopping treatment will give me a few better months in which I can complete some projects and actually live and not just exist.
The reason for continuing treatment would be the ever present optimism that perhaps a miracle would happen and the treatment would do more than ever expected.
At this point I just don't think that the treatment is doing enough to make the suffering worth it.
Your prayers are cherished.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Plan of Salvation in the OT

Can anyone out there give me a quick summary of the Plan of Salvation According to the Old Testament? In other words, how did the Old Testament believers come to salvation? How were they saved? I am preaching on this June 5th at the Pleasant Valley Church. Yes, this is way over my head, but I am going to prepare for it. Perhaps I can learn it well enough to relate it to others.


They say speed kills. It is not always that way. Speed sure can kill time. Not everything in my biking career is something to be proud of, but traveling home from Abbotsford, BC to Sylvan Lake, AB in about 11 hours is something I thought was a great accomplishment. I lived in Sylovan Lake from March 2000 to June 2oo5. During that time I made some trips with my 03 Heritage Softail Classic to visit my brother in Abbotsford. Good times. On my way to Abbotsford I would drive to Golden, BC and stop for night, then arrive early afternoon the next day in Abby. This time around, on my way back home, I had a long twist on the throttle. The Trans Canada Highway was jammed with traffic.I was passing 5, 6 up to 10 vehicles with one pass, and I was not even close to keeping the Speed Limit. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I was having fun. And I was making good time. Up ahead in the distance I saw another biker who also seemed to have going home on his mind. Eventually I caught up to him, and now we had two "middle aged crisis" guys tearing up the highway passing hordes of vehicles with one pass.
To this day I still cannot believe that I did not see one single cop! Our driving made us stick out like red paint on a John Deere. And no cops!
Somewhere along the ride I noticed that my new found friend lost his clutch case cover on his Harley. We stopped at a 7 Eleven and cut a circle out of some plastic jug and taped it on their with duct tape, added some oil of some type, and away we were.
I was always envious of my buddy back in Morris who always seemed to get away with everything, especially when it came to speed. Well, this time for once, I got away with it. I am still amazed no cop stopped us on that ride home from BC.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Resumption of Same Treatments

Yesterday they resumed the same treatments as the last cycle was- weekly treatments for 8 more weeks, and the reassess. These were not easy treatments before, I hope they are not going to be so hard on me this time around. I will approach them differently this time. I will take a break next week from treatment, and wil take another one at the end of June so I can find time to recuperate more from one to the next.  Too many of such breaks and the doctors would get suspicious, but one here and there will not be an issue.
Today's treatment went quite well. I let Julia drive home though. I was a bit dizzy and lightheaded after it all. And now I can't deal properly with the itch so I am up late typing this post. Can't sleep because of various things, but that's ok, sleep is not promised to be ours. We all have experienced sleeplessness nights in our lives. It's not the end of the world. At least I got to see Vancouver beat the Sharks in 5th period of their game. What a fluukie goal it was.
Anyways, thanks again for your supportive prayers for us

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Good Week

Dear friends,
This past week has been one of the best weeks- no, it was the best week since I started this cetexamub biological agent drug. I will not have had treatment for 2 weeks come Tuesday (when the next treatment is scheduled for). Today I actually never felt "bloated gut pain". Praise the Lord of Heaven and Earth!! I am sure the sunny weather helped!
Yesterday I overdid it, Thursday I over did it, and Wednesday I over did it because I CAN!! because I felt so good. Oh, don't get me wrong, I did not repaint Sistine Chapel's ceiling nor manufacture any Le Tourneau earth moving equipment. But for my circumstances, I did things I would never have done 2 weeks ago.
I am still quite weak, fatigued and listless.
To be brutal honest, I also deal with irritability. At times everything irritates me. And since Julia is the closest to me, she often gets to feel my irritability. I don't like it that I am this way. Kids who kill their mother blame it on the brand of baby food they were fed, and I suppose I could blame it on the ongoing frustration in fighting cancer. But that is not where I am going. It's my fault, and I need to deal with it. Please pray for me concerning this irritation. It's a cancer of its own brand.
Dear f riends, Tuesday I have a decision to make. The treatment I have taken for the past eight weeks was administered once a week for 8 weeks, and it was tough. During the last half of those 8 weeks I was pretty much on my back. I was not really living. Ya, you may have seen me bike to the store and stuff, but I was pretty wiped out during that 8 week period. Do I continue with this treatment? The treatment is not shrinking the cancer- according to the last CT Scan. Yes, it slowed the growth of the cancer, but did not shrink it. If they are going to suggest another regime of weekly treatments for 8 weeks, then I will most likely stop- unless the doc has a very convincing reason to continue. If they prescribe a bi-weekly regime of treatment, then I would go for that.
Please pray that the decision would be clear.
Thanks for all your prayers,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Psalm 73

If you follow the “Our Daily Bread” devotional book as we do, you will have noticed the reading was Psalm 73. This is EXACTLY what I needed today. I have been quite low, maybe almost depressed of late. I don’t like it. I want to be happy.
Comparison conceives discontentment, jealousy, envy and general unhappiness. We usually compare ourselves with others whom we perceive are in a superior position compared to ours.
It’s precisely what the Psalmist is guilty of in Psalm 73. Comparison!
Perhaps I am in one of those stages cancer people go through. I have not read any book that outlines these stages, but here is how I would describe my stages. July 2009- diagnosis of cancer and a numbing stage of disbelief. Anticipation of surgery and hope for the best case scenario. August 2009- diagnosis that cancer went to the liver. Cold shock! August to September 2009- recovery from surgery, a period of getting better. Optimism and sense of hope. October 2009 to November 2010- treatment, a sense of hope that things will get better eventually but slowly realizing it is not improving. December 2010 to present day- slow slide into despair that things are not getting better. The next step I hope will come soon- acceptance of the final outcome and peace, joy and assurance of going to heaven.
Psalm 73:21ff describe me of late- an embittered heart. Since I do not know Hebrew, I am at the mercy of translations and commentaries on the meaning of the word “embittered.”  The TEV (Good News Bible) has it this way:
            When my thoughts were bitter and my feelings were hurt,
            I was as stupid as an animal; I did not understand you
                        (vs 21&22)
The popular NLT says it this way:
            Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.
            I was so foolish and ignorant- I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
I like how the Anchor Bible commentator Dahood puts it:
            But when my mind has soured, and when my emotions had dried up;
            I became a stupid fool without understanding, a mere beast in your sight.
Folks, that’s me!
I have a soured heart! Yep, my heart is embittered, and it’s soured!
Sunday morning (yesterday) was a brilliant morning of sunshine and just beautiful clear skies. The first thought that came into my mind was, “This day is not created for you, Chuck. You are not able to do anything to enjoy the good weather. You can’t do this and you can’t do that, so the beauty of the day means nothing to you.”
I was crushed.
Friends, it’s not always pretty what goes on in my head. I must get out of this rut. I want to get out of it. I need to get out of this embittered, soured state of mind and heart.
But look at verse 23 and on:
            NEVERTHELESS I am continually with Thee;
            Thou hast taken hold of my right hand.
            With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me,
            And afterwards receive me to glory.
            Whom have I in heaven but Thee:
            And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth
            My flesh and my heart may fail,
            But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Is it not wonderful that God remains faithful even when we push Him aside. Today it felt as if God took hold of my right hand.
Today was a much better day. I could eat pretty good for a change, and my spirits were better. I walked to the store with Julia (and back), but that was about all that was in me. I thank God for this day.
I hope today was the start of a grand turnaround in my life.
Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Answered Prayers

Last night I sat on the porceline god (toilet in plan language) and just wept. I was feeling the itch coming back. The oncologist says its amazing what people will pick for adversity. They usually pick pain. Give me pain, but take away the itch. Give me pain, but take away the nausea. Of all the "pains" to deal with, pain is the most friendly. Itch is horrible! Nausea is vicious! Pain is managable.
I was sitting on the can weeping as it felt as if the itch was returning. My way to deal with itch is to take a shower and lather myself with Aveeno. I should be doing commericals for Aveena. I guess here is one. I got into the shower, weeping as the water hit the sores and stings the spots. Wiping down with a towel shrings the spots. And then on comes the lather of lotion- Aveeno, made from oats- one of the most prickly, itching grains a farmer can grow. Yes, I know nothing can hold a candle to canaryseed for itch. The word "canaryseed" itches. If they would make Aveeno from canaryseed, maybe that would combate itching even better!
I went to bed fearful, fearful the night would be a long one.
It wasn't.
I never once itched all nght.
I slept very well, having only once awoken by a pain spell which tylenol did away with.
Praises be to God Who gave me yet another itch free night. Thank you Jesus Lord of the night!


Wednesday we had a prayer meeting where my Uncle Ken (Loewen) specifically prayed that God would have a surprise for us at the oncologist visit today. Uncle Ken, God showered us with many more surprises.
The surprises began this morning already.
Surprise- I had plenty of energy to bike to the church office on a very windy morning.
Surprise- Pastor Darren invited me to stay for coffee.
Surprise- He had actually prepared a very healthy coffee break of fruit and cheese.
Surprise- I had gotten information about a drug that my good friends in Rosenort had discovered on the internet. A drug used by a Chicago based clinic to treat cancer. It is FDA approved, and not just some internet scam sham like eating 1 lemon a day takes away cancer, or eating the white parts of your fingernails will treat cancer in some people, or sniffing pet hair toasted in a microwave will cure some cancers- you get the idea. The drug is available in Canada, and must have a doctor’s prescription. So I got Dr. Fraser to get me a prescript. My friends found a compound drug store that would make that prescription. I forgot to fax it, and so I called the drug store, in Whyte Ridge, and asked them on the phone if they would start mixing the drug (since I was informed it took a while to make it). Without me sending them a prescription, they started making the drug for me! Surprise, surprise, surprise….which other drug store would do that? Eventually we did scan the prescript and emailed to them.
Surprise- They said it would be ready late tomorrow- it was ready this afternoon.
Surprise- We got to Cancer Care Winnipeg where parking is like finding a vacant ant hole, but a lady pulled out, came running to us and gave us her ticket which still had well over an hour remaining on it! Surprise!
Surprise- I was to have a blood test, and I wanted them to include a magnesium test (which they had not included). I asked the nurse if she could add that. She said she was not supposed to do that, but she did it for me. Surprise!!
Surprise- And this is perhaps the biggest surprise. The tumors are still growing, but not nearly as much as I had suspected. That was a surprise! The tumors grew by about 13% and a 25% growth rate automatically cancels further treatment. The oncologist will have a meeting and decide if I qualify for further treatment. No, I am not worried about what they will say. I am ok either way.
Surprise- the cancer count numbers went down, but the tumors grew. How is that possible?
Surprise- This drug I was talking about before was known by the oncologist, and he had no issue with me taking it. Surprise!
Surprise- This drug had no harmful interactions with the cetexamub (the biological agent I am being treated with).
Surprise- The autopac rebate cheques were in the mail when we got home.
It was a good day of surprises. Thanks for your prayer, Uncle Ken. It did not get answered the way you prayed- God exceeded your request.
Many people were praying for us today. Thanks so very much.
We have mixed feelings. We keep trusting in the LORD JESUS.
My brother Eldon said if they give you any little hope, hang on to it.
We got a little hope today.
Praise to Him Who doeth all things well!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


One ship drives east and another drives west
With selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life:
'Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

              Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Last of Ate

Two day was the last of ate once a weak four ate weaks treatment. Aft her the treatment a CT Scan was take in. That is a diff a cult day, butt God is there four us. He in courages us and strength ins us. Watt wood we do with out Hymn? Then on Thursday we go two Cancer Care inn Winnipeg two get the test results. Know, I am knot anxious. I have piece. I have come plete piece. I no my future- heaven! I no God has my life inn His hands.
Two day went very well. Considering that I had treatment and a CT Scan, I wood say things went well. I could eat a big lunch a round to o'clock, witch did knot make me hung gary at supp her. Over all eating is still knot much of ann in joy meant.  They did ann x ray on my abdominal area, butt there was know constriction two bee scene. Wee still do know no what makes four such a chore two eat. I am thinking it is just cancer taking its toll on me.
Thursday the verdict will bee quite simple- two con tin you with treatment, oar two abort further treatment. If the latter is the case, then I have more options. Thanks two our friends in Rosenort, they have found a drug that must bee obtained by prescription sow it is a drug, knot just sum inter net stuff that has knot real lee been medically tested and tried.
Thank ewe all very much four your prayers.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One More to Go

Yesterday was by far the toughest day of treatment yet.Physically I was extremely tired. My gut ached incredibly and my back was not without pain. But as treatment went along I felt better. Dexamethasone, the wonder drug! I lost more weight, and I am losing energy. I still have a real issue with eating as my gut is so bloated that it feels like I overate on the last meal. But the doc gave me some advice, and that is helping. Praise God. Yes, it's another pill to take, but at least it helps. The last thing I expected of myself was to be a pill taker like I am now. But at least it helps.
They took some X-rays to see if there is a blockage of some type in the abdominal area that gives me that overeating feeling when I have not eaten anything.
There is one more treatment under this once a week regime. Next Tuesday I have a CT Scan and that will show what the cancer is doing. If it is stabilizing, then I think treatments will be less frequent. If the cancer is still growing, there is no more treatments the medical field has for me.
All the way my savior leads me, what have I to ask besides? Can I doubt His tender mercy He through life has been my guide? Heavenly peace divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell! For I know whate'er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well, for I know whate'er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.
Thanks for your ongoing prayers.

Tough Passages

There are some extremely tough passages in the Bible. Tough enough to understand that people have abandoned their faith on account of them- supposedly!
Consider Matthew 11:2-6.
John the Baptist is in prison. Jesus is out there within earshot of John. We are never told Jesus came to visit John in prison. But John is hearing of the works of Christ, and this gets his curiosity. He sends his disciples to find the answer to this question: Jesus, are You the Expected One or do we look for someone else?
What prompted this question by the greatest man born of a woman (that is how Jesus describes John)?
It may well be that John is baffled by Jesus not acting on his behalf. John stood boldly before Herod and accused him of wrong doing. It got John imprisoned. But certainly Jesus would get him a free get out of jail card, right?
Doesn’t happen!!
And John is perplexed! And John begins to doubt! And John asks, is this the One we were expecting?
His disciples go to Jesus, and the answer stings like a jagged blade of a rusty saber. Jesus rattles off a list of miracles He is doing among the people and says go and say that to John. It is almost a slap in the face to John.
Everyone is getting a miracle except me in this prison. All those wretched sinners are getting healed and cured, and here I am, a righteous man of God, in this prison. Are You really the Christ?
Can you feel it?
And then for good measure, Jesus says, “And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.”
In other words, “John, grow up. I am doing what I am doing and you may not understand why or what or whatever, but don’t let your lack of comprehension cause you to jettison your faith.”
It’s a stunning passage.
And Jesus never rescues John.
John gets his head lopped off.
That’s faith- to hold on when nothing makes any sense. That’s faith- to persevere when it makes no sense to do so. That’s faith- when all around people are prospering and here John sits in prison! That’s faith- when faith is all there is left.
Thanks for your prayers!
We continue to walk in faith!

Jesus doeth all things well!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two More to Go!

Yesterday's treatment went quite well. It was not busy at BTHC/CC and so the process did not take long. Praise the Lord for it all being so smooth. Once we got home I even enjoyed a large, healthy supper. Eating pleasures come and go for me, so when it is a pleasure to eat then I usually try to eat well. I was quite concerned about the itch, however, as the itchy skin seemed to be coming back in the evening. I pleaded with God for a night of no itch, and eventually after watching Vancouver beat the Hawks in overtime, I finally feel asleep, AND NO ITCH! Praise Jesus!
The concern still remains with my butt/back muscle spasms. I would ask for prayer that that situation would be healed. It flares up when I sit for too long, and too long has a relative time period. I can sit best in church. Our church pews sit very comfortably- maybe I will have to get a pew into our house. Anways...
Yesterday we had a real answer to prayer. My mother-in-law (MIL) was going to join Julia and her sister from Landmark and together we would all go to Winkler. The ladies were going to visit some relatives, shop and coffee around town while I had the treatment. Well, Monday evening MIL calls and says she is not feeling good at all. We prayed God would take away her pain, and praise the Lord, Tuesday (yesterday) she felt good and had a great time in Winkler with her daughters.
Thanks to all of you for praying for us.
Thanks so very much.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Towel

I have a wonderful friend with whom I have gone of several trucking-type bike trips. By this I mean that miles is what it was all about. Stopping at tourist attractions was not our style of touring. It was gettting here to there STP (Sooner Than Possible). And we drove, and drove and saw much ditch pass by. And trees. All a blur really. But we had fun and saw lots of country side, and the odometer turning over at a fast rpm.
The mother of all bike trips happened in January of 2005. We toured through Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. How it began will have to be saved for another time, but let me tell you about Brian.
Brian is maeyklich (Low German for "fussy"). He would tend to favor cooked meals coming out of his house. It had to be done his way, or he would sniff at it in curious criticism. I tried to serve him tapioca pudding one time, but it was not made the way he made it so it was not applauded with unreserved delight. Brian was a tad maeyklich. Fussy. Peculiar to detail.
Which brings me to the towel incident.
This is a true story, by the way, with no exagerrations.
Where in South America we were at this time I am not sure. I think it was in Brazil, but not sure. What I am sure of is that it was around lunch time and we needed two things: a shipping department and recieving station. We found a road side diner (that's the recieving station) where we would eat, but first Brian and I had to do some shipping, or unloading (ok, have a bowel movement, for those who can't read between the lines). Brian went first. Then I went. Or at least that was my intention. What greeted me at the toilet was not making me comfortable. There was the toilet, a be-day (rear end washer unit in plain words) and a towel (it think it was blue- at least I knew I was in the boy's washroom!). No toilet paper to be seen. Just a towel hanging over the cement dividing wall of the two privacy stalls. I assessed the situation and wondered how Brian had done it. Two things I had clearly etched in my mind: the towel was not for drying hands, and that towel was not coming in contact with my anal orfice. And besides I was not  touching that towel with my hands. If there is one thing I can't stand in Canada or US is when a public facility has a towel to dry one's hands on, and here in this public toilet I was to wipe the valley between my two butt cheeks with this public towel? Not in a million years! Not for the love of a woman! Not for anything was I to risk contracting feces-activated-rare-terminal-sicknesses- FARTS for short! I could imagine all the rectums this towel had met on a personal basis and mine was not signing that service record. I went back to the diner still needing very much to accomplish this shipping order. I asked Brian what he had done. Well, remember, this is fussy Brian! There is no way I thought he would have employed that towel to clean his rectal area. Yet I had not seen him retreat to get some tissue, and I for sure did not think he would not wipe, and I did not see a pair of Fruit of the Looms anywhere which meant he had decided to drive commando style, and there was not old Sears catalog in sight either. So I went to him to retrieve his method of finishing the job. Well, he had used the car wash to clean off his rear, and then yes he had taken the towel and dried off. Unbelievable! He said he had looked for a clean spot of the towel and used that area. Brian, it may have looked clean, but did it ever occur to you that it has just dried? How many paramecium, and other microscopic parasites were not just waiting for another victim to invade his privates? I could not believe Brian had done that. His butt was now listed as one of the who-knows-how-many-other-butts that had used that towel- which was, might I remind you- still prodominately blue. Folks, I was not going to do that. I find it traumatic to have to wipe my hands with a public towel, how was I going to use public toilet towels for wiping my precious dear rear. I grabbed a big hand full of those light weight table napkins from the diner and proceeded to the toilet, dropped what needed to be, and then using virgin paper I cleaned up the way it was meant to be. To theis day I still cannot believe dear buddy Brian used that towel for wiping his colon exit portal. More power to you, Brian.
Remember, Brian, there is a comment section on this blog that enables you to reply and get me back. Go for it. I look forward to it.
Thanks for not throwing in the towel, Brian.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Scripture and the Resurrection of Jesus

He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!!
If you were Jesus, how would you go about proving your resurrection? Today is Easter Sunday. Would you simply come into the presence of the people and declare, “Here I am! I have risen from the dead!” This would be the more empirical approach: the appeal to the five senses! Well, He tried that, but they would not believe the report others were bringing to them (Mark 16:14).
Luke 24 is an interesting chapter on Jesus’ way of proving, or substantiating, or showing Himself to be the risen Lord Who was crucified a few days ago. When Jesus travels down the Emmaus road with those two people, He is asked if He is not the only One Who has not heard what has lately happened in Jerusalem- namely, the crucifixion of Jesus! What bothers these two persons is that the body of Jesus is missing, and they cannot explain it. Jesus could have made short work of it all by simply saying, “Look, here I am. See my hands, see my side. It is I.” But He does not do that!! Jesus uses Scripture to prove His resurrection!
Let that sink in for a while, dear reader. He uses Scripture which for these folks is the Old Testament. Imagine that! Rather than showing Himself, which He does later, He resorts to the ultimate authority- the word of God, the Scriptures. This for me shows that Scripture carries greater weight for the proof of Jesus’ resurrection than His own body which appeals to the empirical proof so many of us would choose over the metaphysical proof of Scripture. We would tend to say, “Who can argue against His resurrection when we have seen His resurrected body?” Jesus seems to be saying, “Who cannot help but believe I have risen because of what the Scriptures say?!”
Later on in Luke 24:36-46 Jesus, when with His disciples, uses both the empirical approach and the more metaphysical, or faith based approach as per the appeal to Scriptures. Jesus has a very, very elevated view of Scripture. For Him I believe Scripture has even more authority than what is gained through empirical means. What we attain through the senses needs interpretation. And we can interpret experiences in very erroneous ways. Scriptures clarify our experiences, and Scriptures for Jesus clarified His resurrection.
John 20:29 is the real thrust of this writing. It’s all about the Scriptures. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe. The only way you and I can believe today is through our faith in the written word- Scripture! It trumps experience.
Today we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection not because we have seen Him with our eyes, but because of what the Scriptures say. And that is exactly where Jesus, I believe, wants us to be at- believe because of the word of God.
He is risen!
He is risen indeed!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Miracle at Gravel Road Church

Yesterday was Good Friday. Those who attended the Pleasant Valley Good Friday service yesterday, April 22, witnessed a miracle. And the recipient was me. Sermon prep involves, for my style of prep anyhow, working on the computer writing down the sermon notes. It involves sitting. I cannot specifically recall when the pain started, but it was somewhat present on Monday of this week, cause I recall wondering how I was going to make it through chemo sitting for that length of time. By Wednesday I knew I needed help. So I called Kim Siemens for a massage appointment. She did stretch out my back nicely, but it was not the ticket yet. On Wednesday I planted myself in front of the computer and sat for a long time working on the prep. I said people are praying, and so I am going to sit and work. God will take care of the pain. By 5:00 pm Wednesday I was in mortal pain, incredible pain. I could not stand, sit, kneel or walk. I managed to get up the stairs and I lay on the hard floor. That was the only way to get relief. I thought there is no way I can stand up in front of the church like this on Friday and preach. Then I called Kaylee, my niece-in-law if she could work on my butt. That is where the pain was and I needed someone who was not ashamed to work on my butt. She said she had seen a lot of butts, and she did not mind coming to help me. She also did a wonderful job, but the pain did not leave- it certainly was less. Still, I could not sit. Thursday came around and with lots of prep left, I sat, knelt, stood, squatted, bent, leaned, and crouched in front of the computer to change my position often and regularly. It did not work. My butt muscle tightened up, and pain sheared through my butt and lower back like a bolt of electricity. And Friday morning was approaching. Friday morning I got up early and worked on the final prep. Again my back and butt just would not cooperate. With mere hours before I was to preach, I wondered how this was all going to pan out. Julia started texting people asking for prayer. We prayed. I called my sister-in-law to bring pills for me to church. (Too bad Melvin does not attend our church, since then I would have called him for more pills.) We got to church, and I had visions of how this was going to look. With laying on a hard floor as my only relief from the pain, Julia wondered if I should preach laying on my back in front of the congregation. I found I could sit in church. That was OK. When it came to preaching (and I went overtime by 10 minutes of so) I found that my back was tightening up a bit as I preached, but I could walk, stand and move about without pain. THAT WAS A MIRACLE SINCE THERE IS NO WAY I COULD HAVE DONE THAT ON THURSDAY OR WEDNESDAY. After Church, we had a Friesen Family gathering, and again I could sit, stand and walk without any pain.I found it very strange that as soon as I was done preaching, the pain issue was also done. That is really interesting.
Thanks for all who prayed for me and Julia. Good Friday was truly a miracle day for me and Julia. Thank God for His answered prayer. Thank God also that the itch is not nearly as bad as it was some days ago. I would say now that itch is not really an issue any more. And with that comes the ability to sleep. I am very grateful for that. Thanks be to God.
And thanks  for your prayers.
Thank-you all very much!
If you are interested in the sermon, I have it posted under "Deeper Readings" section on the blog home page. It's called "the Shame of the Cross."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Night of Rest

After many nights of seemingly endless itching and fighting for a wink of sleep, last night I was blessed with no itch issues. What a relief, what a joy, what a blessing. Thank-you Jesus, thank-you Lord for that relief. Today is the 5th treatment of 8 in this once-a-week-cycle of cetexamub treatment. The past few days have been quite good, but there were indeed some rather dark days and nights before that. Friday we had friends come over in a supportive visit, but I was simply zonked and could not contribute much to the evening. I thank God so much for Julia who is so understanding, so kind, so patient, and so loving. Where would I be without her?
A night like last night gives one hope that there are more days coming like that. It gives me the notion that perhaps this fight is being won. It gives me the strength to go into today’s treatment with renewed courage. With Jesus, I can do this again.
The challenges, however, do not stop. Eating is still a hassle. My back is often in pain. That is part of the side-effects of the treatments, but I need to have a sermon ready by Good Friday, and sitting tends to irritate the lower back, but you know, God will give me the strength to do the prep work for that sermon, and He will give the power, stamina and energy to speak up for Him.
Thank-you so much for praying for us. God is listening to and hearing your prayers. The last few days have actually been quite good. And I thank God for each of you. Thanks so much for your prayers. I never take them fore granted.
One night when I could not sleep, I took my Bible and asked God to show me something. I thought of reading about the Passion Week, and so I read from Matthew 26. My eye caught something in verse 6: “now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper…” Mark writes of the same account but he says, “and while He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table…(14:3)” Luke also mentions this incident where Jesus is at a Pharisee’s home, who is called Simon, but Luke does not mention anything about him being a leper (7:36-50).
What’s my point in all this? We never read anywhere (that I know of) that Jesus healed this man of the leprosy. A lady pouring rich perfume over Jesus’ head steals the show. And we never read of what happened to Simon’s physical well-being. Why did Jesus not heal Simon? Maybe He did, but we just don’t read of it.
But you see what Jesus did? He reclined with him at the table. He gave Simon his desired audience. Jesus may not always heal as we would define being healed, but I know that He always is ready to recline with us. And perhaps there is more healing in Him reclining with us than if He took away our infirmities.
I trust you will invite Jesus into your home today, and take time to recline with Him. Get a cup of coffee, or tea, or whatever; take your Bible and just recline with Jesus for a while. You will find His healing presence to give you strength for the day.
Thanks again for your prayers!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Still Looking for What I Have Not Found in Looking for It

It's 1:30 am Wednesday.
Sleepless in Rosenort.
This is what I took before bedtime tonight: 2 Tylenol Pain Manager pills, one to take away the pain on the rught side of my lower back, and the other for any other pain (I should have taken the third for the pain in the donkey that the sleeplessness in giving me). I have no pain this night- Praise the Lord for that! I also inhaled 5 10mg Apo-Hydroxyzine pills to help manage itchiness and to enhance the study of the interior walls of my eye lids. In addition I swallowed half of a Pms-Zopiclone 7.5 mg pill which is a basic sleeping pill. Then I applied an external steriod lotion called Betamethasone which is a powerful itch fighter. And the cocktail to toast a good night of sleep was 1000mg of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C mixed in a glass of Rosenort Coop Filtered Water.
None of these are Melvin pills.
The results?
It's now 1:42 am, and I am pretty much on schedule to catch the annual Wednesday Owl Business Meeting.
So I decided to get up and eat Puff Wheat with some protein powder from New Zealand. I bought the powder, and when I got home I read the fine print and part of the revenue they make from that protein goes to the David Sizuki Fund to help save the world from the stuff you and exhale every day. That will be the last time I will buy that stuff. It's probably a protein powder that would not cause human anal emissions.
Part of the reason for this itchiness this night is- at least this is my belief- my lack of adequate water intake. I think this is rather very important.
We did start juicing vegetables again, so I am enjoying that lovely taste again, but I believe this is critically important since my love for eating veggies is on the same level as eating headcheese and klik luncheon meats at supper.
Today, which is yesterday, the treatment went very well. I actually left chemo room feeling better than when I came in there. Not sure why.
I have forgotten what a good night feels like.
I have forgotten what it feels like to not have itch.
I have forgotten what a really good day is like.
I have forgotten what living without cancer was like.
I have forgotten what a joyful anticipation of going to bed is like.
But I have come to anticipate with greater anticipation Jesus' second coming.
But I have come to envy people like Liz Friesen who went home to Jesus yesterday afternoon.
But I have come to view this world as not my final home, but that being in heaven.
But I have grown to appreciate how wonderful it will be to move into that place Jesus is building for me.
But I have come to understand better what the Bible says to us about hope, and it's not in this earth.
But I have come to the point that I know God is using this cancer to accomplish His will in me.
I would rather spend 30 minutes with a dying saint, than a day with a rich man.
I would rather spend a day visitng with saints in persecution, than a week by the lake in some ritzy cottage.
I would rather spend a day in a house of mourning than a week in the house of pleasure.
In all cases, the former have life while the latter are trying to find life.
Life begins when it sees death.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Better Days Ahead

Today was not one of those days. Fatigue set in today. I hardy even have ambition to do this. But I have to do something. I feel like deleting this already. I lay around most of the day, just too tired to do anything. And I have a paper to write for my Seminary class. One more paper. I suppose it will get done. My life is currently characterized by trying to be comfortable. If it's not the itch, the skin rash, the sore back, the bulging liver, it's just trying to keep the head up and the spirits high.
Maybe I should not have written anything today, but here is how I felt today.
Thanks for your prayers.
Thanks for your interest.
Thanks for being there for us.
Thanks for praying.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Some Hope (Rev Ed)

There was some hope expressed today at the Cancer Care Center Post (CCCP) in Winkler. The CCCP said that the facial blotches of ache and sores is an indication that the Cetexamub treatment is working. That is what Cancer Care Cemtral Prescriptions (CCCP) in Winnipeg has said is the case. So the zits on my face are a good thing. Nothing that a nice Scheck 5 blader razor can't scrape off.
Treatment went well, except for some moments of really bad itchyness. I am hoping my body will adjust and be able to fight off that itchyness. Doc Bob gave me a prescription to assist in dealing with itch. Julia looked up itch remedies on the internet, and while there are no posted prescriptions she found that involved sitting on dung heap with a broken piece of pottery to scrape myself. Well, we are going to try sitting in the bath tub with oatmeal.
Wonder if Melvin Friesen has any pills that would work?
However, all seriousness aside, I have a renewed sense of optimism in that if it really takes a face like mine to indicate that the Cetexamub is working then bring on the zits en leben on der gezecht (the zits in life on the face)!
To complicate matters, Julia and I went to the Gingerwood Tea House in Winkler and we each had a dessert. That tasted good. Yes, I am eating sweets again. I want to live with joy. I am disillusioned with the health kicks. But I shall be careful.
Anyhow, I thank you for your prayers.
Oh, did you know anyhow was Gordie Howe's sister?
Thanks Al.

By the way, the current plan of the treatment calls for 8 weeks of weekly treatment. This is, according to the Winkler oncologist, the loading phase of this regime. After the 8 weeks of loading are completed, the treatment is reduced to either every  two weeks or perhaps even every three weeks. So again, there is some hope and something to shoot for. I did not take a single anti-nausea pill last treatment cycle, and I had virtually no nausea to deal with at all. If there are any side effects of this treatment, it would be the zits on my face, a little more likely to get sore muscles (especially in my lower back), itchy skin, and that's about it. Anyways, I thank God that He is blessing us with His love, His hope, His joy, and His comfort.
I really do feel quite good. My sleep is not what it used to be, but neither is my clean and jerk. Gordie Howe's sister, have a good day.
Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, April 4, 2011


"And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he wa sitting among the ashes." Job 2:8 (NASB)

καὶ ἔλαβεν ὄστρακον ἵνα τὸν ἰχῶρα ξύῃ καὶ ἐκάθητο ἐπὶ τῆς κοπρίας ἔξω τῆς πόλεως (Job 2:* LXX) This translates as "and he took a potsherd to scrape away the discharge, and sat upon a dung-heap outside the city." The ESB translates "potsherd" as "a piece of broken pottery."
Well, that's about how I have felt the past few days. I would like to take a piece of broken pottery and scrape and scratch away the bumps and the itch. It has been quite the challenge dealing with this itch. If it would help sitting on top of a dung heap, I would be there already.
Otherwise, not much new to report.
Thanks for your prayers.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Advancing the Limits

This is how I think about God.
"Aided by my intelligence, I make up my mind about him. I know how God must act, in order to be really God. He must, for instance, be wise (wise in a way I can understand). He must act in a way that makes sense and is best for me. He must enrich my life with happiness and perhaps also with suffering (we clever human beings also know something about the uses of suffering!). He must preserve our nation, for our nation knows it is called to a mission in the world, and that God and providence can only exist when this mission reaches fulfilment. [After all, our anthem of unholy worship bows at the shrine of FREEDOM!!!] God must do all kinds of things if he is to be acclaimed as the true God. God must turn stones into bread. God must be able to leap from the pinnacle of the Temple, if he is to be acclaimed as God. [God must heal me of cancer in order for him to be worthy of my bended knee. God must take away this itch so I can sleep at night before he is to be acclaimed as God. God must do what I want him to do for my benefit and then I will bow before him.] It would appear, therefore, that is is we ourselves who set the conditions which God must satisfy in order that we may proclaim him God. We are God's masters." (Helmut Thielicke in Between God and Satan.)
I ask God for things, and they don't happen. I am not yet healed of cancer. I can feel the cancer lump in my abdominal region. I ask God to take away the itch so I can sleep at night. I itch and don't sleep. I ask God to heal me of cancer. I still have cancer.
God is not answering my prayers and so why pray!
If only God would leap off the blasted pinnacle of the temple already!
And then what? And then what?
And there comes Satan. "Chuck, you have been asking for physical intervention in your life, and it's not happening. You still itch. Chuck, forget asking God to take away the itch. It's not going to happen. Chuck, God has abandoned you. You are getting worse, you still itch, you still have cancer. Chuck, forget praying cause God ain't answering your prayers."
You know what, Satan has at times almost convinced me he is speaking the truth.
And my prayers stumble.
Back to Satan's lines: "Chuck, you know God can do anything. You know he could easily just snap his fingers and the itch and cancer would be gone. He could have jumped off the pinnacle of the temple. He didn't and he is not going to take away your itch. He is not doing it. He does not care."
Those are the lines I deal with. God can, but isn't. God could jump off the stupid pinnacle already. He could turn the lousy stone into bread. Why don't you just do it already? What's the silly idea of having stones around when they could be loaves of soft, fresh delicious seven grain bread?
Are my prayers treating God like a magician? Are my prayers asking God to jump off the pinnacle of the temple? Are my prayers- "Lord, please take away this itch." "Lord, please heal me of cancer." "Lord, please help my sex to be good tonight." "Lord, please give me a good crop this year." "Lord, give me a good job." "Lord, give me, give me, give me, give me... Lord, just jump already!"- are my prayers basically reduced to trying to get God to make bread out of stones?
Do you get what I am trying to say?

The Church of the Ecclesiastes

Yes, I am well aware that Ecclesiastes is in the OLD testament. Yes, yes, I know we live in the age of the NEW Testament. Ok, so how often do you turn to the OLD Testament Psalms for your comfort? Ever entertained the idea of pausing at Ecclesiastes as you turn backwards from the NEW to the OLD?

Join the ranks of people like myself. It took dear friend to get me to pause and listen to the words of the Preacher, the son of King David.

Pull up a chair! Fertilize your cognitive powers with a hot cup of coffee, or whatever.

Here we really go.

Eccl 7:1 TEV
“A good reputation is better than expensive perfume; and the day you die is better than the day your are born.” (emphasis mine)

I can tell why we don’t stop at this book as we turn backwards from the Old to the New on our way to the Psalms.

We rejoice, hoot and holler and buy cigars and have baby showers and parties and live it up and celebrate the birth of an innocent child into a world of sin, evil, pain, heartache, deadlines, pressures, making ends meet at the middle of the month and seeing met ends apart by the end of the month, credit card debt, sickness, pain, sorrows and the like (and yes some joyful times- touch on that in the next verse), and yet when it comes to the passing of a saint into the joys, bliss, peace, pain-free, tear-free, heartache-free, care-free, FREEDOM FROM THIS WHAT IS HERE to the REALIZATION of WHAT IS TO COME IN HEAVEN, we mourn. How backwards is that?

Quite backwards, according to the Preacher, King Solomon, the wisest man on earth.

Still with me? I hope I don’t lose you on the next verse, or rather, I hope the Preacher does not lose us on the next topic.
Verse 2 TEV

It is better to go to a home where there is mourning than to one where there is a party, because the living should always remind themselves that death is waiting for us all.” (emphasis mine)

Morbid? No, REALITY!!

Why do people go to bars, parties, movies and paperbacks? To enter a different world that for a short season gets them out of their world, thinking the other world is better than there own.

I know what some are thinking. Yep, parties have their place, but read the line again. There is nothing wrong with a party! Read the line again. It is BETTER….than….!!
Where would we sooner go: to the home of a bereaved person, or to the home south of town that is throwing a big party? Here is the difference. In one home there is life; in the other place there is the ATTEMPT at an escape of life. In one home there is the realization of reality; in the other, an ATTEMPT at a temporary escape of reality. In the former there is honesty; in the latter there is repression of the honesty. In one there is healing of the pain; in the latter the icing over of the pain.

It gets better in verse 14, so just hand in there.

Verse 3 NASB
Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad a heart may be happy.”  (emphasis mine)


Here is what the TEV says: “Sorrow is better than laughter; it may sadden your face, but it sharpens your understanding.” Parties dull one’s understanding; sorrow sharpens one’s understanding. Parties and cigars seek refuge from sorrow, while sorrow finds refuge in understanding.

Yes, yes, I hear you! I know that laughter is the best medicine, but that is not a verse from Scripture, not even in the Apocrypha. It’s comes from the Reader’s Digest, not the Holy Bible. I know. Laughter is good at times. I know that, but the verse never says that laughter is bad. It says, “Sorrow is BETTER than laughter.” (emphasis mine)

Verse 4 NASB
“The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, while the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.”

TEV says, “Someone who is always thinking about happiness is a fool. A wise person thinks about death.”

Chuck, what’s gotten into you? Did the Doctor just inform you that you have x number of months or weeks to live? Wake up, dear reader, we all just have x number of months, days or years to live. Has it ever occurred to you that I could outlive you? I certainly have thought hard about you outliving me. And, no, the doctor has not told me anything about my life expectancy.

The fool is a fool cause he/she does not think about death. That’s the definition of a fool. In other words, a fool has lost touch with reality. Death is reality, and the fool is in the house of pleasure seeking to escape reality, but ending up making a reality that is worse than he really wants it to be. Next morning he/she realizes their present reality needs to be escaped by the same method that never worked in the first place, and the repetition of failed attempts is the definition of psychosis. The wise guy/gal faces the giant of reality and gets wise. Death is a real part of his/her reality, and they find wisdom.

So far the Preacher, king Solomon, has nothing great to say about the place everyone wants to be at- the party house- and has everything good to say about the home nobody wants to visit- the home of mourning.

I know, I know, I hear you! It’s just the OLD Testament.

So is Psalms!!!!!! And Isaiah 40:27-31 and Jeremiah 29:11!! Oh, we love those verses from the OLD Testament.

Let’s skip to verse 10 in Ecclesiastes 7.

NASB v 10
Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these? For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.”

TEV v10
Never ask, “Oh, why were things so much better in the old days?” It’s not an intelligent question.

Oh how we love to say, “Oh for the good ole days.”

Ya, oh, for the good ole days when I did not have cancer and could truck with joy and gladness.  Oh for the good ole days when I lived in the house of gladness, parties and pleasure. Oh for the good ole days when I had much less of a burden for hurting people. Oh for the good ole days when I was not so in tune with those who had cancer. Oh for the good ole days when I did not have to spend so much wasted time on my knees seeking God’s help because, after all, I could do it alone. Oh, for the good ole days when we had plans of trucking together, Julia and me, and take our Hog along and just LIVE IT UP IN THE HOUSE OF PLEASURE!!!!!!! Oh for the good ole days!!!!!

Oh, for the good ole days when I was a fool????? When Church plans were on the back of the truck, not on my hood?

Oh for the good ole days when your kids were more obedient. Oh for the good ole days when you had more money. Oh for the good ole days when this was not and that was so.

Let’s stop that foolishness. The Preacher says that that’s not intelligence on display.

Let me share briefly from the true story of Brother Yun, a house-church pastor in China. He was 4 years in prison, and suffered incredibly. How can I describe it? We yawn and shrug it off. It’s to far removed from the reality of those residing in the house of pleasure. It’s too far from the reality of the fools who believe laughter and mirth is the way of wisdom. Brother Yun was tortured beyond our comprehension. His torture reviles our pleasure. Go imagine your methods of torture, and it most likely happened to Brother Yun. Cold and hungry, he was given a blanket. Somebody in the prison took his precious blanket and soaked in human feces and urine and gave it to him. Cold and shivering, he had the comfort of a pathetic blanket that smelled like you know what. Long needles stuck up his fingernails. Electric shock bars stuck up his mouth. Whippings. Beatings. Kicking. Guards and prisoners urinating on his face. You name, Brother Yun probably experienced it.

I know. It’s just to far from our reality of pleasure.

Then he was miraculously freed. What do you think he said? Yep, you’re right. Oh for the good ole days. Actually he said this, and it’s a quote from the book The Heavenly Man, “In a way, even thought I was now free, I found it difficult to leave the prison. Inside, the spiritual fellowship with my fellow Christians had been very deep and sweet. The bonds we made were very strong. We served one another in love and shared our whole lives with each other. In the outside world people are busy and have many things to do. Most of our relationships are little more than skin-deep (p. 188).”

I can relate, my friends. I can relate. Cancer has awakened me. Cancer has brought me much closer to my loving God and Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Cancer can be a curse, but it can also be a blessing. It depends if one exists in the house of pleasure, or lives in the home of mourning.

Thinking back to the good ole days of not having cancer is not an intelligent exercise. Like my dear wife said sometime ago, “We cannot wish ourselves out of our situation.” My wife could have been a Preacher. I think the Preacher would like her.

Ok, now for what we have all been waiting for- verse 14.

Prosperity, wealth, riches, ease, glee, party time!!!! Hang on!

NASB- “In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider- God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him”
TEV- When things are going well for you, be glad, and when trouble comes, just remember: God sends both happiness and trouble; you never know what is going to happen next.”

A dear brother and long time mentor friend told us recently that learning does not just happen in trouble times of life. We probably learn better in those times because we tend to study a little harder, but he challenged me to not poo-poo the good times of life. God is even trying to teach us in the pleasant times of our life.

Dear reader (if anyone made it this far), cherish the good times. Don’t be consumed with my world, or your neighbor’s life. You have your life to live, and if you are living “in the day of prosperity, be happy.” For myself the challenge comes from Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” See, that’s good ole New Testament stuff. But when trouble comes, then realize that both come from God. Both have a place. I know, we don’t hear much about that anymore in our churches of pleasure. Therein lies the monster; we have become fools because even our churches have leaned toward the existence of the pleasure principle.

Oh for a Church of the Mourning. No church I know calls itself that.

Oh, but wait! There was such a church back in the OLD Testament. And its pastor was the Preacher. How do I know that? I just went over one of his sermons.

Next time you turn backwards from the New Testament on your ways to Psalms in the OLD TESTAMENT, try not to trip over Ecclesiastes. Spend some time in The Church of the Mourning and listen to some of the Preacher’s other sermons.

And thanks, my dear Brother Cameron, for the trip into Ecclesiastes.