Tag Archive: Bible


Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children.

Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us………..

Ephesians 5:1-2a

In Genesis, we read that the Lord God told Adam, “because you have listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, Do not eat from it: the ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”

Now many will say, after reading this passage, God is mean, unjust, and just cruel. If He is so nice, you would think He would have told Adam, this is only your first mistake, I will give you another chance.

But God is just, and if you are just, you have to do the right and just thing, the law demands it. If you did not, then you are not just.

The Lord God, who created Adam told Adam up front, before hand, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. For on the day you eat from it, you shall certainly die.” What did the Lord God actually say to Adam, “All these trees, here in the garden, you can freely eat from; all of them. But there is one that will cause you to die, don’t eat from that tree. I have given you life, but this fruit, that offers the knowledge of good and evil (Law), causes death.”

Before Adam gained the knowledge of the law. In God’s holiness, God only had to share His grace with Adam, not His justice. Paul clearly gives us the reason the Lord God told Adam not to eat from that tree. The law produces wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression. Romans 4:15

What we also neglect to read, and understand, is the Lord God firstly told the serpent (Satan), “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. I will put hostility(enmity) between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. (just a note: the woman does not have seed, the man does. The Lord God was letting us know right from the beginning that a miraculous (virgin) birth would occur). He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. ”God was telling Satan that a man, born of a woman, will someday deliver a mortal blow to Satan. In this same verse, the Lord God is telling everyone, that Yeshua the Messiah (the Christ), Jesus Christ, will someday come and defeat Satan, along with the sin that Adam just committed, and death because of the knowledge of good and evil. In Christ, the Lord God would once again, in grace, meet, walk, and talk with His creation

I have been a Christian now for 38 years. I put my faith in Jesus Christ when I was 34 years old. Over these last 38 years, I have heard a certain theme about God. He is mean, demanding, unjust, angry, kills people, often good people, and even lets children starve. Many who think this, who believe this, I have found never studied, much less read, the only Book that actually reveals who God is.

There are some who claim they have read the Bible, but also say it was for the purpose of finding errors in it. And there are others who have started out with that same purpose, and have come to believe the Bible is the perfect, inerrant Word of God. There are others who believe, but do not read the Bible. Often I have found that it is because they are just not readers. However they believe and are often eager to hear and know more about the Bible. Then there are others who were told about the wonderful love that God has for them. And because of His love, He sent his Son, to pay for the sin Adam did, and all the sins they have done. They believed what they heard, and then began reading about it, in the Bible.

Of course there our also those that I have met, that do not believe there is such a thing as sin, or say they have never sinned. To these people I only remind them of what the Apostle John wrote. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1John 1:8. With that said, I cannot stop there, but must tell you the next thing John said. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9

One does not have to read the Bible to be saved, it is Jesus Christ who saves. Yet by reading about this love that God shows to His creation, in Christ; gives the believing reader the opportunity, and ability to grow in that faith.

If one reads the Bible, one would find out that it is the devil that had the power of death. Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself (Christ) in like manner partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is the devil. And might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15.

It is Satan that hates what the Lord God created and has always wanted the human race dead. It is Adams original sin that caused a curse on the earth. It is because of that sin, we see disease, sickness, hate, and everything that lends itself to the destruction of human life. The good news is, Christ took the power of death from the devil, and offers life, health, and His love to all.

Now as for God being mean, demanding, unjust, angry, kills people, often good people, and even lets children starve. To those accusations, I say the law is demanding, we are unjust, and usually angry. People kill people, and it is people who cause children to starve.

God causes the crops to grow every year in most places around the world. The world grows more food for every man, woman, and child than we can eat. The world produces enough food to feed everyone. (www.worldhunger.org) The principle problem is that many people in the world still do not have sufficient income to purchase (or land to grow) enough food.(www.worldhunger.org)

Yet, the United States alone sends thousands and thousands of tons of free food to starving nations every year, yet the children continue starve. Those who receive and hand out that food though, seem never to starve. The leaders of those poor starving countries, never look like they are starving. Why is that? Have you ever asked yourself that question.

Let me finish with this; why do so many hate God and will not read the Bible? Well the Bible gives us the answer. For when they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God, nor were thankful, but became vain in there imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds and four footed beasts and creeping things. Romans 1

This same Bible tells us also how much God loves us, and His whole creation. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

 

 

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My Journey

Good morning all, I have not written on this blog now for over a year. So I thought I would bring all of you up to date on my walk with SLL/CLL. And for those who were wondering; yes I am still alive, and doing very well.

I have included an updated chart along with a short version of my last five years. You will see that my 100 Leukocytes has fallen below normal now for three blood tests. What does that mean? It means that it may take longer to beat a cold or infection, if one should occur. Hoping to see them rise when I have blood tests again in March 2016.

As I look back on that day, December 25, 2010, when I was first told I had cancer, I was certainly caught off guard. then just a couple of months later I came to realize that it is not just cancer, but a terminal disease. It  was march 2011 when the doctor finally told me I had Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, (SLL/CLL) stage 4, and there was no cure.

Soon after, I found out that I had the dreaded chromoseome 17p deletion and it was 92% deleted.

Life expectancy, at that time, for those with the17p deletion was that 50% of patients died by nine months after diagnosis, and the rest of them usually died within thirty months. Now in 2015, several new therapies have been approved for SLL/CLL and even 17p patients have much more hope now, to live well past previous life expectancy estimates, of previous years.

I found out, and was later told that chemotherapy was not viable for 17p deletion patients.

In June of 2012, my nose was bleeding, often for more than an hour at a time. My spleen was twice the size it should be. Lymphnodes in my neck and jaw were the size of large marbles and I was short of breath. At my June 2012 appointment, my doctor finally said, “nothing could be done”, that mabybe I should try to get into a clinical trail. On our way back home from the VA in St. Petersburg, my wife and I stopped at the VA cemetery in Sarasota, and got all the information needed for my wife to have me buried there.

The next day I called NIH in Maryland, and after talking to someone, the head doctor called me and said I would be perfect for the trial he was conducting. It took about a month to get all my tests prepared to be sent. However a few days before I received the papers, I was called by the head doctor up there, telling me the trial had been filled. It was now near the end of July 2012.

Feeling sick right at that moment, about one minute later, a verse came to my mind….” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Honestly, all fear left me at that moment. Also one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Isaiah 26:3 Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. The word peace here in Hebrew is Shalom which means, everything is well.

About one week later, I was watching, on television, a Christian Creationist preacher mention Genesis 1:29. God also said, Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This food will be for you. After reading the verse, he said that bitter apricot seeds kills cancer cells.

Believing God, that every seed bearing plant whose fruit contains seed is for eating, I started eating bitter apricot seeds. I was given this verse when my blood counts were near their worse. Cancer count in my blood was at 70%. WBC 12.4, (high 18.5) HGB 11.4,(low 10.3) PLT 59,(low 53) ALC 8.7,(high 13.5)

It is now Sept 2013 and my blood counts had become close to normal again.So my doctor looked at the lymph node biopsy, that was done in March 2011 and yes, the lymph node was positive for SLL/CLL. Okay we concluded, I did and still do have SLL/CLL, but why the consistently improving blood counts. It was then that I told her what I had been eating.

Since that time, my doctor has told me I am at stage 0, which was stage 4 when first diagnosed. My blood counts are now normal or near normal.

Has this been a miracle in my life, who knows, but for me, it certainly is. When I think of what has happened over the last five years, I thank my Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for calling me, to believe Him.

The night I was told I have cancer, my wife unknown to me, sat in the hall of that hospital, next to my room and prayed that our Father in heaven would do for me what he had done for King Hezekiah in 2nd Kings 20. Give him fifteen more years. And as King Hezekiah left his sick bed in three days, so it was with me. There is so much more I could tell you, but it would take far to long. There is much more detail in my previous blogs, for those who may be interested.

I do want to finish with this, I do not have faith in bitter apricot seeds, but I do in the One who healed all who were sick, the one who cleansed the leper, and made the blind to see. You see the grace of God is not a subject, just to discuss, the grace of God, unmerited favor, is a person, and that person is Jesus Christ. The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. It is one thing to give, you can give at a distance, its another thing to come, personally.

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. When I put my faith, when you put your faith in Jesus Christ, our position, moves from being condemned by our sin, to a place of righteousness, and no condemnation. That is, not my righteousness, for I have none in myself, but Christ’s righteousness.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21.

He Himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, so that having died to sins, we should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes I am healed. I Peter 2:24.

DATE WBC HGB PLT ALC Lymphocytes/
12/26/10 15.6 12.8 87 4.3 100 Leukocytes
01/10/11 15.8 13.3 112 4.3 27.00%
01/19/11 11.7 13.1 78 4.2 36.00%
02/17/11 12.5 13.7 87 4.5 36.00%
05/12/11 11.6 11.9 77 5.5 47.00%
08/08/11 13.3 12.4 85 7.63
09/08/11 18.5 12.9 63 13.5
10/20/11 15.7 12.1 60 8.6 55.00%
12/21/11 13.4 11.9 64 7.85 58.00%
01/06/12 12.5 11.7 63 62.00%
01/26/12 11.1 11.1 62 8.4
04/26/12 11 11.4 54 7.4 67.00%
05/25/12 11.7 11.1 53 8.1 69.00%
06/22/12 12.4 11.4 59 8.7 70.00% Started eating
08/19/12 9.7 10.7 63 5.9 Bitter
12/03/12 9.1 11.1 73 5.1 55.00% Apricot Seeds
03/04/13 6.1 10.3 63 2.94 48.10% 06/02/12
06/03/13 6.6 11 72 2.6 44.20%
08/08/13 6.4 11.1 101 1.89 29.70%
09/05/13 5.8 11.9 88 1.59 27.40%
12/05/13 5.5 12.7 88 1.29 23.70%
03/05/14 5.8 12.8 80 1.21 20.70%
08/14/14 3.9 12.8 85 0.89 22.60%
09/05/14 6.8 12.7 80 0.92 14.50%
03/05/15 5.9 13.2 90 0.67 13.40%
09/05/15 5.2 12.8 85 0.64 12.20%
Normal WBC Normal HGB Normal PLT Normal ALC Normal Ly
4.0-10.6 12.8-17.0 150 1.0-3.7 16.2% to 48.2%

I hope all of you SLL/CLL and CLL patients are doing well. Lot of great news in the advancements of new medicines. Iburtnib has been giving good results, and has been approved for sale in the USA. It had been approved originally, for only chromosome 17p patients, but I believe it now approved for all chromosome deletions. Please correct if I am wrong on the approval for all patients. Also I have been reading that a Phase 1 trial of second generation BTL inhibitor, ACP-196, and has been demonstrating some very good results.

DATE WBC HGB PLT ALC Lymphocytes/
12/26/10 15.6 12.8 87 4.3 100 Leukocytes
01/10/11 15.8 13.3 112 4.3 27.00%
01/19/11 11.7 13.1 78 4.2 36.00%
02/17/11 12.5 13.7 87 4.5 36.00%
05/12/11 11.6 11.9 77 5.5 47.00%
08/08/11 13.3 12.4 85 7.63
09/08/11 18.5 12.9 63 13.5
10/20/11 15.7 12.1 60 8.6 55.00%
12/21/11 13.4 11.9 64 7.85 58.00%
01/06/12 12.5 11.7 63 62.00%
01/26/12 11.1 11.1 62 8.4
04/26/12 11 11.4 54 7.4 67.00%
05/25/12 11.7 11.1 53 8.1 69.00%
06/22/12 12.4 11.4 59 8.7 70.00% Started eating
08/19/12 9.7 10.7 63 5.9 Bitter
12/03/12 9.1 11.1 73 5.1 55.00% Apricot Seeds
03/04/13 6.1 10.3 63 2.94 48.10% 06/02/12
06/03/13 6.6 11 72 2.6 44.20%
08/08/13 6.4 11.1 101 1.89 29.70%
09/05/13 5.8 11.9 88 1.59 27.40%
12/05/13 5.5 12.7 88 1.29 23.70%
03/05/14 5.8 12.8 80 1.21 20.70%
08/14/14 3.9 12.8 85 0.89 22.60%
09/05/14 6.8 12.7 80 0.92 14.50%
Normal WBC Normal HGB Normal PLT Normal ALC Normal Ly
4.0-10.6 12.8-17.0 150 1.0-3.7 16.2% to 48.2%

As you can see from my last results, my blood readings are staying fairly close to normal, with the exception of course, my platelets. My lymph-nodes went back to normal well over a year ago, and are still that way. My spleen is just a bit enlarged over normal, but undetected to the touch.

I have cut back from eating 18 bitter apricot seeds, to 15 a day. I would like to see my ALC numbers get back into the normal range. Even though they are low, I see that my white blood cell count is in the normal range, and I am thankful that I have no infections, nor illnesses, like any of the current bugs, that are going around. With all of the illnesses around me, I think of Psalms 91:1-4 (AMP). He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (Whose power no foe can withstand). I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him I lean and rely, and in Him I (confidently) trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence.

All in all, I am feeling fantastic. I will be seeing my Oncologist in March, I am looking forward to seeing what my blood counts will be.

Peter said, “Repent and be baptized …………” If you were like me, you were told that this meant that you first change the way you do things, then you get baptised for the remission of sins. However the Greek word used for repent is matanoeo, which means to change one’s mind, or to think differently. It has nothing to do with changing things, but thinking differently (or changing your way of thinking.)

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave He ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost. Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons wh need no repentance. Luke 15

Wait one minute, where and when did this lost sheep repent? In this whole story, I read no where that this lost sheep repented. This lost sheep did not change direction and try to come home. This lost sheep did not say it was sorry for going astray. This lost sheep did nothing but let his Shepard put him on his shoulders. It was the Shepard who rejoiced. It was the Shepard who carried the lost sheep home. It was the Shepard who calls all his friends and neighbors together asking them to rejoice with him, because he had found his lost sheep.

All this lost sheep did, was to rely on his Shepard to do everything.

So what is repentance? Relying on the Good Shepard, Jesus Christ to do everything. It is changing our minds from what we must do to be saved, to what Christ has done to save us.

Over the last twelve months, I have had the good fortune of being able to write, in my blog, the gains I have been having, battling my cancer.

I received my blood readings today, while at the doctors office for my annual check-up. The last entry, dated 08/8/13 is what they currently are. My doctor made an appointment for me to have a sonogram, so they can know exactly how much my spleen has gotten smaller. She believes it is back to normal, as she could not touch it anymore.

DATE WBC HGB PLT ALC
12/26/10 15.6 12.8 87
01/10/11 15.8 13.3 112 4.3
01/19/11 11.7 13.1 78 4.2
02/17/11 12.5 13.7 87 4.5
05/12/11 11.6 11.9 77 5.5
08/08/11 13.3 12.4 85 7.63
09/08/11 18.5 63
10/20/11 15.7 12.1 60 8.6
12/21/11 13.4 11.9 64
01/06/12 12.5 11.7 63
01/26/12 11.1 11.1 62
04/26/12 11 11.4 54
05/25/12 11.7 11.1 53 8.1 Started Seeds beginning of June 2012
06/22/12 12.4 11.4 59 8.7
08/19/12 9.7 10.7 63 5.9
12/03/12 9.1 11.1 73 5.1
03/04/13 6.1 10.3 63 2.94
06/03/13 6.6 11 72 2.6
08/08/13 6.4 11.1 101 1.89
Normal WBC Normal HGB Normal PLT Normal ALC
4.0-10.6 12.8-17.0 150 1.0-3.7

For the first year and one half, I had seen my blood counts moving in the wrong direction, showing my doctor and me, that the cancer was becoming more aggressive. It was at the point where I was told that the best course of action was either a stem cell transplant, or a clinical trial. It was agreed that with my chromosome 17p deletion, chemotherapy may not be very effective.

Since that gray day in May 2012,  knowing I was stage 4, I have seen my cancer go from getting ever more aggressive to remission.  All of this happening without chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, or clinical trial.

I do continue to eat 15 to 18 bitter apricot seeds everyday. I have an apple twice a week, and also the seeds in it. I call it God’s chemotherapy.

As I look back on that day in 2010, when I was first told I have cancer, I have come to realize that it is not just cancer, but a terminal disease. It was March 2011 when the doctor told me I had Small Lympocytic Lymphoma/Chronic Lympocytic Leukemia (SLL/CLL) and that there was no cure. I guess that was a nice way of saying your cancer is terminal.

(Bing dictionary: causing death: inevitably, but often gradually leading to death of the patient affected.)

While focusing on what has happened to me, I remembered back to the time when I first realized that everyone, including myself had a terminal condition.

However this terminal condition was and is, far worse than the physical one I have now. This one is eternal, forever, with no end.

God wrote in stone what His commandments (the law) were. And to fix them in stone, must mean they are quite important.

   1.  I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods besides Me.

   2.  Thou shalt not make for thyself  any graven image.

   3.  Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

   4. Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.

   5. Honor thy Father and Mother.

   6. Thou shalt not murder.

   7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

   8. Thou shalt not steal.

   9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

 10. Thou shalt not covet.

So I thought back to the time when I asked myself, okay what commandments have I broken?  To many, was my answer. Then I realized that if it was only one, I would still be guilty under the law. So without listing all of them in order again, I knew I was an idolater, adulterer, thief, liar, and so on.

As I began to read more of what God had to say, I came across these verses. Romans 2:15 clearly shows that the works of the law are clearly written in our hearts, as our conscience bears witness to it.

Now Romans 3:19 says: “Now we know that whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

And “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall be no flesh justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20

So I thought, when God judges me, am I innocent of sin, or guilty of sin? I had to conclude, if I was to be honest with myself, I am guilty of sin.  I read that the wages of sin is death. Of course back then I was very healthy and realizing that sin led to death, I found nothing appealing about it. I also did not find the second death very appealing either. I did not want to go to hell, period.

Realizing how serious God was about sin, and how severe sin really is, I asked Jesus Christ to save me. I truly felt sorry for everything wrong I had done, even though I knew I could not make most of them right. I still believed Jesus would and could save me from the holy judgment of God. Now more than thirty years later, I am confident He did.

Now in this present time of my life, physical death does not seem as bad to me, as it once did. But that second death, well I am still not crazy about it, and you shouldn’t be either.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelations 20:14.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murders and whore mongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” Romans 21:8.

Well if the above is true, then God must punish law breakers. But I am told, He is to good to let people go to hell. Well, if someone steals from me, goes to court, is found guilty, under the law, and then the good judge lets that person go. I would not conclude that the judge is good. It is just the opposite, those under the law are found guilty because the judge is good.

So if God is truly good, then He must be just. That’s just great, because He is good, and I have broken  His laws, I must pay. So the wages of sin is truly death!  So how do I get out from being under the law?

Since that time way back in 1978 I have heard many people, over the years, say many things concerning God, I have been told about His goodness, His meanness, His anger, His Holiness, and every other description that man could think of.

Then I read what Jesus Christ says, “take my yoke and put it upon yourself, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest unto your souls.”

But wait I then read that God commended His love toward me, in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. Romans 5:8.

And again I read that Christ died for my sins according to God’s word.  1Corinthians 15:3

Then I am told that Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law. Galatians 3:13.

So what am I to make of all of this? Because God is good, He will fulfill His justice, according to the law. And  then I find He has fulfilled the demands of the law.

By His goodness, He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to stand in my, our place, and receive His judgment.

For the wages of sin is truly death, but the gift of God is eternal life. How? Through Jesus Christ.

For the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many.

So if your heart condemns you because of the commandments of God (law), know that God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things. Also know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in his son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

I was told by someone, this all sounds great, but you must really believe it, not just say you do. That person was absolutely correct, and without realizing it, knows what the Gospel really is.

If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” “For with the heart, man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. “Romans 10:9&10.

We hear a watered down gospel these days, God is love, God forgives, God cares about you, and all of that is true. But we have neglected to say that God is also Just, and Holy. There is no darkness in Him at all. He renders judgment on those who are under the law, and have not followed the law.

After revealing the whole truth, as written in His word, then and only then can we declare what else He has done.

For Christ is the end of the law, for righteousness to everyone who believeth. -AND- Knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ and that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

I would like to thank all of you who read my blog. May God show you His truth in all matters.

I received this the other morning, and thought I would share it will all of you. This is something I would like to be able to write, but I am not gifted enough to say it like Pastor John Glenn. What he wrote is as follows:

One of the most serious obstacles we face in American Christianity is the confusion between true spirituality and religiosity. Many people get the two confused because of the natural, human tendency to equate being spiritual with being religious. To them, spirituality is simply a new lifestyle of religious activities such as church attendance, or membership and faithful involvement in a religious organization. Those who regularly engage in such religious activities or rituals are thought to be “spiritual” as opposed to those who do not.

Because of this confusion it is best to operationally define our terms. Religion may be defined as a system of rules and customs based on orthodoxy that is generally imposed on individuals who are born into the system and raised to obey its practices without question. It has a tendency to formalize, ritualize, and legalize individual experience and expression of spirituality; and is generally concerned with understanding and applying some form of spirituality to improve the human experience while also reinforcing the religious rules and customs.

Spirituality, on the other hand, is more fundamental than the various religions that may grow out of it. It is highly personal, unique to the individual, experienced from within, and cannot be explained or contained in a system of rules and customs. It is rooted in the spiritual nature of the individual, not in the collective experience of the culture. At its core, spirituality is the recognition of a spiritual reality, the personal realization of that spiritual reality, and the expression of reverence for that which is spiritual.

Because true spirituality is so vital to functional living and healthy relationships, it should come as no surprise that the enemy would seek to undermine it with a counterfeit. In an effort to maintain our false identify in the flesh, the carnal mind immediately seeks to feign acceptability and, therefore, worth by turning all of its attention to becoming religious. It is all too happy to “dress itself up and take itself to church”. There it can engage in its own plan of self improvement for its own glory. Remember, false assumptions of personal worth don’t always look false! The evil thoughts of “I will be worthy if… can be completed with good looking religious activities such as church attendance, worship activities, and outward compliance with a moral set of standards. The end result of such infantile thinking in the baby Christian is what Paul warned as “falling from grace”. Such was the case for the Pharisees of Jesus day.

In this sense religion has always been the enemy of the cross of Christ. Biblical history records many examples of the terrible consequences of religiosity beginning with Cain murdering his brother, Abel. The fleshly attempt of Sarah and Abraham to fulfill the promise of God through their own natural means; the repeated failure of Israel as a nation to keep the law of Moses; the rejection and persecution of the prophets; and the continual opposition of the Pharisees to the grace and truth of Christ all illustrate the historical tendency toward and dangers of religiosity.

Satan being able to transform himself into an “angel of light” and his servants into “ministers of the gospel” demonstrates the deception of religiosity. His most subtle lies are based on “half-truths” that often sound religious and on the surface appear to be good. The “seducing spirits” Paul warns of in 2 Timothy are religious in nature suggesting that we may guarantee our worth as persons by a flurry of religious activities, emotional experiences, and intellectual insights. The blinding power of Satan always involves turning our attention away from the good news of all that God has done for us to focus on what we need to do, feel, or think to make ourselves worthy. This is the core of religiosity that literally denies the gospel and blasphemes the work of Christ on our behalf. As a result, most of the historical crimes against humanity were committed in the name of religion (witness the period of crusades as well as the modern day jihads).

True spirituality, however, is based on an authentic faith in what God has, is, and will do for us to make us worthy as persons. Such faith produces a genuine hope (confident expectation of our future) that allows us to care about someone besides ourselves. True spirituality is simply trusting God to meet our own needs so that we can be used of him to meet the needs of others. Those who are “spiritual” are those who are indwelled by the Spirit God and experience his personal comfort and direction in their lives. Ironically enough, true spirituality doesn’t look very religious at all. That’s why it was the religious people who cried “crucify him!”

Johnj

If you would like to hear more of what Pastor Glenn says, go to www.alphaministries.org

It has been awhile since my last blog, but honestly, I was just not in the proper frame of mind to write anything.

Let me begin by telling you that I had very high hopes of getting into a clinical trial that looked to be the answer to my SLL/CLL 17p deletion problem. My doctor ordered all the tests I needed to send for my approval of entering the trial. I was told that I was perfect for this trial, especially as no other therapies offered good results for me. The day I received my results, and was getting them ready to mail, I received a call from the Chief doctor of the clinical trial, informing me that the trail had been filled, and there were no more spaces for me.

After several hours of concern, doubt, and worry, these words entered my mind. We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.

I say this with humility, but never less it is true. I slept very good that night, and so far every night since then.

I was reminded this morning, of that day, and wanted to share this.

One main problem with walking by faith is it often causes us to worry. Why is that? Well “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” It is impossible to walk by faith and see or know how something, or for that matter anything, is going to work out. In fact, the more we want to walk by faith the more evidence we see that things are not working out so well. We continually imagine how they could work out, or how they should work out, but usually end up disappointed as one scheme after another seems to fall apart.

I believe this is why Jesus broke this faith business down for us in the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus calls on us to quit worrying about our lives so much, He uses the analogy of the birds and wildflowers in nature. In this sermon, He illustrates the faithfulness of God to meet our needs continuously. Jesus says, “take no thought of your life, or what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body to what you should wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing.” In other words, stop worrying and scheming to make things happen. Then He talks about God taking care of the birds, and how the flowers grow without having to do anything. Then Jesus concludes with, “if God does this for the birds and flowers, don’t you realize that He will do even more for you, ye of little faith.” He then reminds us that no amount of worry can change us in any way, and calls on us to focus our attention on God’s kingdom and His righteousness instead.                                                                                                              

I know this will sound contrary to most; Christians as well as non-christians. For most of us plan daily to do what is needed to succeed.  But I say that living in these times, being that most are living on the edge, this admonition to stop worrying is just as relevant today as it was when Jesus gave this sermon 2000 years ago.              

Jesus hits the nail on the head when he refers to us as, “ye of little faith”.  Please realize that this statement from Jesus is not so much a rebuke as it is an explanation of our problem. It’s not that we don’t have enough faith (the faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to move mountains), but that we seldom use the faith we have been given. Rather than trust God to do what He says He will do, we prefer to worry, complain, and then attempt to fix the problem as quick as possible. Have you noticed how quickly we forget about things God has miraculously provided for us in the past? That’s because faith must be exercised daily rather than just once in a while.

Jesus knows we are going to worry about our lives each day, so He directs us to “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”. Instead of thinking about our own needs and planning how we are going to get them met, we are told to seek the kingdom of God. This is the place where God is in charge and makes all the decisions. Seeking this kingdom means that we actually want and trust Him to decide what needs to be done regardless of what it may mean to us personally. Plus we are to seek His righteousness, meaning that we are to concern ourselves with living out the life of Christ in the midst of our circumstances. Our lives are much more than what we have and experience in this physical world, we who believe in Christ Jesus, are really awesome spirit beings who are inseparably joined to Christ. He may make our life comfortable in this country, by His mercy, but we are not here just to be comfortable and have a good time. We are here to be Christ to others! We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which He before ordained that we should walk in them.

Instead of worrying about what is going to happen to me tomorrow, I am called to deal with who I am, and what my purpose is today. Do I have what I need to love others like Christ right now? Can I actually care about others around me today? I have enough problems to deal with today; so I need not worry, nor scheme about those that are coming tomorrow.

Our calling of God in Christ Jesus is summarized by the new command to love others like Christ. That we can do no matter what circumstances we face each day. By exercising that tiny faith I have been given, I attempt to love others believing the promise of God. I’ll attempt to face tomorrow the same way.

Good morning to all, on this beautiful sunny, warm day in the south.

I thought I would again post my paper on “Why Disease, Hatred, Sickness and Death.” For many who have read it before, know it is my testimony of why I believe I have SLL/CLL, and what really happened. I last posted this paper Sept. 2011, and since then made some revisions. For those of you who have already read it, you will find additions, and hopefully I have made it a little easier to understand my thoughts.

Around the country, we continue to hear about the economic recession, and job loss. Around the world we hear about the latest terrorist attacks. Innocent children are dying of starvation, people are dying of cancer, heart disease, and so on. What in the world has gone wrong? How could a good God create a world so full of disease, pain and death? Pain and suffering afflict even the most seemingly innocent people. Animals rip other animals apart in a desperate attempt to survive. How could any rational person think a benevolent being was behind so much death and suffering?

I have SLL/CLL, that is small lymphocyte lymphoma/chronic lymphocyte leukemia. A cancer in the lymphodes and blood. There is no current cure for these cancers. So why did I get cancer? Some have asked, “Why do you have cancer?” You have been a Christian for 33 years, you have told other about Christ, taught Sunday school, even preached in some churches. I thought God loved you, you are part of His family, why would He do this thing to you?

Well is it God who did this to me, or is it something else that did? The following is what really happened!

Lets take a look at what God did do. Day 1&2 – God created the heavens and the earth and separated the waters from the waters, and He saw that it was good. Day 3 – He made dry land, and saw that it was good, then grass, trees, seed, and saw that it was good. Day 4 – He made the sun, moon, stars, and saw that it was good. Day 5 – God created birds and fish, and saw that it was good. Day 6 – Animals, man and woman were made by Him, and He saw everything He had made, and behold, it was very good.

So what happened? When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. When Adam ate of the fruit, the human race had the death penalty placed on it. God told Adam, to eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned. We all have Adams DNA, and we all choose to sin.

The tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – How do we know what is good and what is evil? Where does this knowledge come from? The law, commandments, came by Moses. We also learn the law and laws, from out parents, then school, then peers, then work, society, and church. All religions have some sort of laws, or rules. Governments have rules and laws, Christians, Athiest, Evolutionist, all have rules and laws. We even know it by nature, it is written on our hearts. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they (we) are without excuse.

But the Law is Good – Is the law of God evil? Of course not! It showed me my sin. When I learned the law, I realized I had broke it. So the law that was to show me life, gave me the death penalty instead. Sin took a good law and used it to make me guilty, so death pursued. But the law didn’t change, it is still holy, right, and good. How can that be, the law that is good, brought my condemnation. It didn’t, sin used what was good to bring condemnation. That’s how terrible sin really is. The law is good then, the trouble is with me, because I have sin as my master. So by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. So what is the conclusion for sin?

THE WAGES OF SIN, OR OUR PAYMENT FOR SIN IS DEATH. 

So why do I, and others get cancer that has no cure, and can and does cause death? Why are you going to die? Whether from old age, accidents, diseases, war, you name it, all of us, and those who are considered the very best of us will die. Why? Because of the law, which gave us the knowledge of sin, which Adam and all of us chose by disobeying God. So I must conclude that God didn’t cause me to have cancer, my race and I chose it.

These are the facts as I see and read them. No scare tactics, not trying to get you to live a better life. Why, even when we try, we fail daily and completely more often than not. For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. So we can all conclude that no one does good, we try, but we fail, why, because we are born in sin, born self centered, self important, wanting, etc.

There’s got to be a better way? Yes, there is, Jesus said – “I am the resurrection and the life, anyone that believes in me, though you were dead, yet shall you live.” This is good news, true news, needed news, and eternal life giving news. Do you realize that the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death, and knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Question: so what happens when some one asks Christ to save them? We are buried with Jesus by baptism into death, and as Christ was raised up from the dead, we are raised with Him. (This is not the physical water baptism we see in churches.)  So if we are with Him in death, we will be with Him in His resurrection. Knowing this, our old man is crucifed with Him, we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death has no more dominion over Him. Christ died unto sin once, and now lives unto God. So realize that your are dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yes, but I still sin. Sin still persists, because you and I still have these physical bodies. Our cursed physical bodies have not died yet. (We still have physical death, sickness, disease, and so on.) It is our cursed and eternal sinful spirit that I am talking about.

God said that He formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

We are a new creation in Christ, born again with a new nature, God now sees our new nature, even though we are still stuck in our physical bodies. Notice that I said “God now see our new nature. He only sees Christ in us, His Spirit in us, and our born again spirit in Him, perfect, loved, loving, sinless, that will live forever. So then, it is my old body, my physical body (sins of the flesh) that is going to die. It is the sins of the flesh which is still under the law, and is emnity with God, that will die. In Christ, God only sees you and me as righteous, as Christ is righteous. My new man, my new nature, my spirit, in my new body, is what is living forever, and not just forever, but forever with Christ.

So how do I ask Christ to save me? Repent and believe. What does it mean to repent? To change direction 180 degrees. In other words, change what you believe, and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some become Christians, and to change (repent), start going to church, try feeding the poor, give to charity, and on and on (by the way, these are good things, and Christians are called to love and help others).  But after awhile, we tire of doing these things. our feelings may have been hurt by another Christian, we are young in our Christian walk, and believe things that others tell us, things that God does not say in His word. Things become more important, and doing good, becomes less and less a part of our lives. Not only that, but we find sin has reared up its ugly face again, and even worst, we are not only sinning, but we are living with a spirit of self-righteousness, judging others, their life styles, their dress, and even their words. Look, speak out for your values, for your beliefs, share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but only because you love others, not because you condemn them. If your repentence is condemning, you have gone back to that which you have been freed from, the law of the knowledge of good and evil. So be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

To repent, is to stop believing that as a believer, you are under the law of Moses, instead believe now that you are under Gods grace. Christ fulfilled that law, and paid the penalty of death for it, so you are no longer condemned by it. Change what you think, not what you do. God will take care of the doing.

But what if I seek to be made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ, and find out that I am still a sinner? Has Christ led me into sin? Of course not! Rather I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law, so that I may live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God. I am not one of those that treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if I could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die. So if you chose to put your faith in Christ, do not at a later time try to become perfect by your own human effort.

What is the Gospel? The good news about Jesus Christ. That Christ came, died, rose again, and anyone who believes in Him, will have eternal life, with Him. It is not more, nor is it nothing less than that. No human religion, no religious acts, no good deeds, nothing but Christ. The Bible declares that the gospel which was preached, is for you to receive, and has been received by many, wherein you may stand. It also states that by this gospel, you also are saved. Just remember what it says, otherwise your belief is in vain. For what was told and then written, and now delivered unto you, and that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. This is the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.

So I can’t sin anymore. Wow, so I can do anything and it will be okay, right! Many believe that they can sin, because we are not under the law anymore, but under grace. God forbid, know ye not that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness. But God be thanked, that you were servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being made free from sin, you became servants of righteousness. Once you belong to Christ, and find yourself fighting not to sin, know it is your old nature (fIesh), that wants to sin. Remember you are a new creation in Christ, never having sinned, not sinning now, and will not sin in the future.

I live in this physical body, trying daily to obey the law (commandments), even though I know that my eternal spirit, is no longer judged, nor accused by those laws. I thank God, through Jesus Christ my Lord for that. So then with my spirit, I serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin. There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

I must point out here that walking, in the Spirit is characterized by the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes held by each of us, and serving the law of God, only happens by a continual reliance upon the power of the Holy Spirit, not on our ability, to overcome the power of sin in the flesh.

So how does Gods law tell us to live in the Spirit? Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Please note that not everyone who calls themselves Christian, are believers in Christ. Christ said, “many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful things. And then Christ will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.” Christ does not say, look I knew you, but you screwed up, so you are not saved anymore, no He does not say that. He says I never knew you.

The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel, these are Christ words. For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. So please remember, the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

What does that mean? Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. We live our lives under the law, we then ask Jesus to save us, He does, then we try to do good things, we work to keep our salvation. We usually fail, give up, and worry that we might not be saved. Yes as I said earlier, do good works, but don’t count it for righteousness. Work out your own salvation, with fear and trembling, for it is God that works in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure. Notice we are not told here to work for our salvation, but to work it out, or demonstrate its reality in our daily lives. Our salvation must be entirely received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, or else it is not true salvation. Inclusive yes, but it is not me that said that, it is Jesus Christ himself that did. “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but by me.” Again Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, anyone that believe in me, though they were dead, yet shall they live.” Yes it is inclusive, but free for all to join, so tell others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you join me in this story, don’t try to make anyone believe it, nor condemn them if they don’t, just tell them.

Sanctify the Lord in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to anyone who asks you a reason of your hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

Christ and only Christ saves, nothing else. My eternal spirit will live forever, in my new resurrected body (I trust Christ only). How about you? Some will live forever with Christ, and some will live with the spirit of the old man, old sinful nature, paying the wages of sin by living an eternal spiritual death, separated  from Christ, cursing the fact that they are eternal beings, in a bottomless pit, with no way out. The bottomless pit that was made for fallen angels, but many of us chose to go there also.

The Bible has something to say about this choice. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things that were written in the books, according to their works, and the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged, everyone according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.

Those who are in prisons, that is behind bars, or those who are behind bars in their own mind, fears, emotions, and diseases, know the burden of the law first hand. It takes away many freedoms, dreams, joys, and much more. This life is sometimes hard for us, and for some, very hard, but what’s to come, may be harder, and definitely longer. Who wants this for an eternity!

If the opportunity ever arises, please read Luke 16:19-31 and then answer this question: Will you be the one who will not be persuaded, neither will one raised from the dead, persuade you.

But not as the offense, so also is the free gift; for if by the offense of one, many did die, much more the grace of God, and the free gift in grace of the man Jesus Christ, abound to many.

Speak the truth with humility and love. Walk in the same way Christ did. Christ tells His disciples just before He left, “A new commandment I give unto you, love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another, and this is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.

We live in a world of choas, hurricanes, tornado’s, floods, sickness, children starving, wars, people killing each other. Do you now, or can you now see that it is not God who causes or caused these things, but man. When God created everything, on those first six days, He said everything was good, very good.

The judgement on man, which affects the whole universe, came when man freely chose to disobey, and sin and death entered into man, and all creation was cursed. We must conclude with this, disease, pain and death, innocent children dying, people dying of cancer, heart disease, is not because of what God did, but because of what we, as a human race did, and do now to ourselves, and others. It is you and I who are part of that race. But thank God for Jesus Christ, who came, was born a human, died as a human, paying the death penalty for sin, for the human race. Then rose again, bodily, defeating death forever. So I conclude that I have cancer, not because of what God did, but because of what I, as part of the human race did. I thank God for Jesus Christ who came, was born, died, and rose again, all this for you and me.

Finally for my friends who love riding their motorcycles, like I do.

Strong: Physically powerful, great physical power, muscular body, and great strength.

Tough: Able to withstand great strain without tearing or breaking. Resilient, firm in texture, but flexible and not brittle. Able to withstand adverse conditions, or rough or careless handling. Will bend, twist, without tearing or breaking. Does anyone see a difference between the two?

Learn to hang around with the one who is really tough. He left glory, cloaked His glory, became a man, falsely accused, found guilty of breaking the law. Beaten, cut, stabbed, laughed at, mocked, nailed to a cross, only said, forgive them Father, they know not what they do. This same man could have weakened, broke, and destroyed everything and everyone, just with speaking only a word. but chose instead to be tough. Why? because he cared about you and me so much, that He would die, so we may live. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

                                                                                                                                                                        Jack Rowe 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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It has been awhile since I last posted anything, so I thought I would bring everyone up to date on what’s happening.

As I said in a previous blog, I have a 17p deletion, which is the worst one to have in the game of SLL/CLL. Life span is not usually to good for those with this deletion. Somewhere around 32 months, where as I have had this cancer going on 52 months so far. I am still on watch and wait, and am real happy about that, as no current chemotherapy works very well on this deletion. Sounds bad, but all of this time, I have felt quite healthy, occasionally having bouts with shortness of breath, excessive bleeding, but really nothing that stopped me from living my life as I always have.

Many have been working on finding something that will work on this 17p, and as I have been reading, I have been seeing that two new therapies are being tested, and are in their third phase of tests. PCI-32765 and  CAL-101. It looks as if they are targeted drugs, and are in pill form. They have not been approved yet, but there is much promise in them, and hopefully will be approved for human use soon. The PCI-32765 has shown to be quite promising for those of us with the 17p deletion.

The following is from the National Cancer Institute, April 2, 2012. Investigational targeted drug induces responses in aggressive lymphomas

Preliminary results from clinical trials in a subtype of lymphoma show that for a number of patients whose disease was not cured by other treatments, the drug ibrutinib (formly called PCI-32765) can provide significant anti-cancer responses with  modest side effects.

Lymphomas are the fifth most common form of cancer. They are caused by an abnormal proliferation of white blood cells, can occur at any age,  and are often marked by lymph nodes that are larger than normal, fever, and weight loss. Diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL), which were studied in this trial, are aggressive cancers that grow rapidly and represent 30 percent to 40 percent of newly diagnosed lymphomas. DLBCL originates from B cells, which play a crucial role in the body’s immune response.

Based on this molecular research, investigators chose to use the drug ibrutinib (formerly PCI-32765), a potent inhibitor of BTK, in their clinical trials. Ibrutinib is an oral, highly specific and irreversible inhibitor of the BTK enzyme.

Participants in these studies were given ibrutinib as a pill at a fixed dose of 560 milligrams daily until the disease progresses. Ibrutinib  induced multiple responses including some complete remissions in ABC        lymphomas. Remissions were also observed in patients with non-ABC DLBCL, suggesting a broader role for the B-cell receptor pathway in this type of lymphoma. A final analysis will provide additional insights into the safety and efficacy of ibrutinib in the treatment of DLBCL.

I know that the above may be uninteresting reading to some of you, but thank you for reading it anyway. There are some who read this blog that are going through this fight right now, and I hope that if they have not seen this information yet, reading this blog with lift their spirit. It is my hope that these new therapies will be effective for those whose current therapies just will not work.

For me currently, I have been feeling real good since my last visit to the doctor, so good, that I sometimes wonder if they made a mistake in my diagnosis. Wouldn’t that be nice.  Anyway I have been doing really good, I have no pains, spleen, stomach, or neck, and no night sweats. It seems that some of the tumors that I had in my neck have gotten really small, and some of the bumps on my back are gone.

I am eating more than I had been, and I work around the place more each day, because I am not losing my breath at all, and I don’t get tired as easily as I did before. At my last visit, my doctor was surprised that the aggressiveness of my cancer looked to  have stopped. He did not know why, but was pleased, as was I.

Again I have to thank all those who have been praying for me, and I have been thanking the Great Physician. I am reminded of one of my motorcycle club members, that was told he had throat cancer, stage 4, and had five months to live. He told the doctor that he was going to talk with the Great Physician, and the doctors reply was, if you change doctors, you will not be covered by your insurance here any longer. (That was two years ago, and his last tests showed he no longer had throat cancer).

So with this dear doctor in mind, I am talking about Jesus Christ, the one who said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For MY yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I will be seeing my Oncologist on April 26th, and I have no idea what my blood results will be, but one thing I am sure of. It is God who knows the number of my days, and until that number is up, I will be here enjoying and marveling at all He has created.

But what if I seek to be made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ, and find out that I am still a sinner? has Christ led me into sin? Of course not! Rather I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. so I died to the law, so that I may live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God. I am not one of those that treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if I could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.      Galatians 2

So if you chose to put your faith in Christ, do not at a later time try to become perfect, by your own human effort.

http://justin.tv/alphamin – great live Sunday service at 11:00 am. If you don’t like mountain music, then tune in around 11:20 am. I guarantee that you have not ever heard, what you will hear there.

God bless, and keep the faith

My Journey

Hello to all on this beautiful January 4th day. It was quite cold last night, and I believe the temps went down to 29 degrees. I covered my tomatoes, so they look ok, but I will be covering them again tonight, just to be safe.

I cut my arm on my golf bag the other day, and after keeping it clean, ozonal ointment, and covered, it is getting red and sore. I am hoping that it will heal soon, but will show it to my doctor on the 13th. I will be getting blood tests this week, with a follow-up the following week, then have to get blood tests again later this month, before seeing the Oncologist. I am hoping for the best, but being a realist, I will take what ever the results are, why, I have no choice.

I have been eating real well, juicing, eating raw vegetables, with fish or chicken. Can’t do much more, but to try to stay as healthy as possible. Need to exercise more, but finding it hard to, as I have always been a person that likes to accomplish something when I am moving. Walking is not my idea of  getting something done.

Question: Why is it so important for Christians to attach our faith so securely to biblical authority? We cannot deny the omnipotent work of the Holy Spirit in opening our hearts to the very essence of His truth. But we also cannot deny that many aspects of the gospel challenge our mortal minds. Yet these very elements are the essential components of the message.

Let me list just a few.

  • God became human.
  • He was born of a virgin.
  • God placed Himself under the condemnation of a criminal’s death.
  • He rose from the dead.
  • All humanity is essentially evil because of sin.
  • We all face judgment because of sin.
  • To accept Christ we must deny ourselves to follow Him.
  • No matter what we want to think or believe, there is only one narrow way of salvation.

If you are ever going to share this message, you’d better have it on very good authority. If someone asked you today why they should believe such a message, what would you say?

Simply to say that you have “experienced Christ” is subjective and does not answer the question for anyone but yourself. Who is to say your experience is genuine? The gospel surely has to be linked to a source of ultimate authority and objective truth. Will scientific evidence by itself settle the debate that the Bible is correct? I doubt it, even though the more that is found, the more everything points to God and creation. However everyone has presuppositions, and different world views. In other words evolutionist, atheists, old age theists, have different ultimate standards by which all evidence is interpreted. We can look at the same evidence, and depending upon our world view, come up with different conclusions.

However, when I look at morality, without the God of the Bible, there is no logical reason to believe in any sort of moral imperative. Some will say that people create their own moral code apart from God. However this is silly reasoning, because if everyone can create their own morality, then no one could argue that what other people do is actually wrong. So if someones moral code is to harm others, then who can say they are wrong. Some may say that morality is what the majority decides it to be. Don’t think so, remember Hitler. And one other I can think of is, morality is just relative. Some have told me, there is no such thing as absolute morality, therefore you should not try to enforce your personal moral code on other people. Wait a minute, when I am told that “I should not”, then they are doing just what they told me not to do.

There our other things that show me the Bible is true, and to be believed. I may talk about them in other posts, but for today, I think I have exhaled enough on those who tell me not to use the Bible in todays debates or conversations. I can only use that which I believe to be true, others may use what they believe to be true. I chose believing the God of the Bible, others may choose what others, others like you and me who are finite, write or say.

I have not said anything about SLL/CLL, or any other cancer today, but will be updating important articles that I my be told by my doctors, or what I read.

My Journey

Some of you who may be reading this blog today, may not find the first couple of paragraphs very interesting, as I thought I would update some of my SLL/CLL buddies out there about some of the new drugs that are currently being  researched. Later in this blog, I do have some thoughts that I hope will be of some value to all of you.

Research into new therapies for chronic lymphocytic leukemia is leading to the development of several new agents. These new agents are showing significant activity in clinical trials of patients with CLL. One drug currently being investigated for the treatment of CLL, is lenalidomide. It is currently approved in (clinical trials) for use in patients with previously treated multiple myeloma and for certain patient with myelodsplastic syndromes (MDS). In 2006 Chanan-Khan and colleagues published result of a phase 2 study of single-agent lenalidomide in patients with relapsed or refractory CLL, showing  almost 47% of patients responded to this drug. Later clinical trials have continued to show the (good) activity  of lenalidomide in CLL, but also revealed an immune response called tumor flare reaction that occurs in a large proportion of patients receiving this drug. (Signs of  tumor flare reactions include painful enlargement of the lymph nodes or spleen, rash, and bone pain). The problem is, that these reactions, under the current trial endpoint markers, (MRD-minimal residual disease) show more aggression in the disease, but has also found that those who have tumor flares, have a significantly higher complete response to this therapy than those without the tumor reaction.

Another investigational compound that is showing activity in CLL is CAL-101, it is an orally administered drug that inhibits P13K, a molecule that is central to the development of B-cell malignancies. However the same problems are being found with this new therapy. Even thought CAL-101 is showing significant activity in reducing lymph node swelling in all 32 patients tested, and many of these patients had other benefits, including resolution of  CLL related liver and spleen enlargement, lymph node enlargement, trombocytopenia and anemia. But along with these good effects, came another effect – a rapid increase in the number of circulating lymphocytes in the blood stream. This increase has been called rapid redistribution as it involves the movement of lymphocytes from the lymph nodes into the blood stream. With this effect showing itself, some have concluded that using lymphocyte count alone to define disease progression may mischaracterize the clinical benefit of CAL-101. Researchers have suggested that lymphocytosis, in the absence of other signs of disease progression, should not be counted as a disease  progression event. However more research is needed to fully understand the clinical relevance of lymphocytosis associated with this new drug.

The conclusion of those attending the new drug therapy workshop have concluded that they must take steps to ensure that these new agents are being evaluated carefully and objectively. That way, new drugs that are found to be safe and effective in rigorous clinical trials can undergo the FDA review process smoothly, and hopefully reaching patients as soon as possible.

With all of the above, one must begin to look positively at all the advances that are being made for helping we, who have SLL/CLL. I know as well as you do, that even though these new drugs may save our lives, they come to us, often very slow, and to late for some. So we must, as well as our loved ones understand how our mind thinks. Realizing that the way we think, is the way we will behave, and how our feelings will affect us, being either beneficial or damaging.

The biblical proverb, “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. . .,” illustrates the importance of understanding the operation our mind. If we are going to understand, much less change, our behavior or feelings, we must look at the underlying thought processes of the mind. Since our thoughts determine the quality of our emotions and our feelings determine our behavior, it is important to clarify and, ultimately, change our thinking, in order to affect any lasting changes while fighting this cancer.

The concept of the mind may be best understood by divinding it into two components.The part of our minds that we are aware of at any given moment is called the conscious mind. This includes all the perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and reasoning that we are aware of during our waking hours. Although most of us would tend to deny that we talk to ourselves, research indicates that eighty-two percent of our brain activity involves speaking to ourselves in words and sentences known as “self-talk.” Each day we talk to ourselves about how we relate to what we see going on in the world around us. What we say to ourselves will let you, and me,  know the way you view your place in any current situation and environment.

The second component of the mind is the part which is below our conscious daily awareness. Psychologists call it the subconscious mind because it operates beneath the surface of our personal awareness, and we are normally unaware of what is going on in the subconscious mind. However, because the subconscious mind serves as a storehouse or reservoir of all our experiences, it constitutes the greater part of our minds. Just as the greater mass of the iceberg is found beneath the water level, so also is the greater mass of the mind found below our awareness level. Included in subconscious mind are all the memories from past experiences regardless of their nature and all we have learned in order to survive and cope with life. The subconscious mind is the deepest part of our being, and, therefore, may be equated with the biblical concept of the “heart.”

The Bible is invaluable for shaping the heart and mind for personal growth and development, it is not simply a rule book for successful living, or a manual for emotional health. The written word is a revelation of the grace and truth of the Living Word, Jesus. It is meant to lead us to true repentance and faith. The word “repentance” comes from a compound Greek word (metanoia) which literally means “to change your thinking.” Thus, the Bible is concerned with the renewing of the mind in order to effect lasting changes in our emotions and behavior.

In Ephesians 4:17-24, we are given a summary of the process involved in changing our natural state of worry, fear, hate, (dysfunctional life) into a supernatural healthy state; and doing it from the inside out. The Apostle Paul begins with a description of the need to change by telling us we are not to “live” (behave) like others who live (behave) “in the vanity of their minds.” This last phrase of verse 17 refers to the emptiness of dysfunctional thinking, of both the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, and is further described in verse 18. The natural state of mind is dysfunctional because of confusion (darkened understanding), dissatisfaction due to ignorance, and the inability to live in reality (hardness of heart).

Such dysfunctional thinking will naturally produce serious emotional and behavioral problems which are described in verse 19. “Being past feeling” refers to the overwhelming flood of sinful emotions which simply cast aside all good intentions in favor of doing anything to make one feel good. In other words, when hatred, self-pity, and anxiety have become so intense that we can no longer stand it, we forget everything else and naturally set a goal to feel good at any cost. When the single most important thing in our lives is to feel better, we have given ourselves over “unto lasciviousness, to work uncleanness with greediness.“ We become totally self-centered and obsessed with making ourselves feel better regardless of what the long-term consequences may be. We must remember that our family, friends, and cancer partners are going through the same emotions, feelings, fears, anxiety, self-pity, and even hatred, that we are going through. Some may hate God, for what has happened, some, other family members, and even some, themselves.

With a note of reassurance concerning our true identity in Christ, Paul goes on to describe the biblical process of becoming healthy and functional. By personal experience with Jesus Christ we can learn there is a better way to live. As the truth concerning our worth in Christ is understood and believed, we are able to shed the naturally corrupt life-style of emotional and behavioral dysfunction. The critical step is emphasized in verse 23 which reveals we must be “renewed in the spirit of your minds.” This means there must be renewed thinking (consciously and unconsciously) that will free us to take on a brand new identity (clothe yourselves with the new self) in Christ. The psalmist summarized this process when he cried out “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10).