Tag Archive: Christ


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

 

 

 

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.

My Journey

I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about Christians. That is, I have not been thinking about those who by words, say they are Christians.  I have been thinking about those who have faith, in Jesus Christ. I have been thinking about those who by faith believe He was God in the flesh, and is God. By faith that He died and was raised again, and believe by faith, that in Him and Him only is salvation.

I began wondering how do these Christians understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

With that thought, I began to think about those early Galatian Christians, where legalist came into the Galatian church and began preaching that they needed the law to complete their faith in Christ for salvation. Because of that false teaching, Paul wrote a letter to them.

In that letter, he begins by telling them that Christ won the victory over the law, sin, and death.  “Paul and apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.” He then greets those Christians in the Galatian church, by writing, “Grace be to you, and peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Then not very far into his letter, He calls these legalist, teachers of the law, false apostles.

Grace remits sin, and peace quiets the conscience. Sin and conscience can torment us, but Christ has overcome these fiends now and forever. Grace involves the remission of sins, and peace, a happy conscience. Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the law. The law reveals guilt, and fills us with despair. Grace and peace make a person strong, and courageous to bear and to overcome all difficulties, because we have the victory of Christ’s death and the assurance of the forgiveness of our sins.

Sin cannot harm those who believe in Christ, because He has overcome sin by His death. The genius of Christianity takes the words of Paul “who gave himself for our sins” as true and efficacious.

The false apostles objection to Paul’s Gospel is identical to that recorded in the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Acts to the effect that it was not enough for the Galatians to believe in Christ, or to be baptized. But that it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

I must say that every teacher of work-righteousness is a trouble maker. Paul continues in verse 7 to say that they pervert the Gospel of Christ, or in other words, “these false apostles do not merely trouble you, they abolish Christ’s Gospel.

Christ and the law cannot dwell side by side in the conscience. It is either grace or law. To muddle the two is to eliminate the Gospel of Christ entirely. To mix law and Gospel not only clouds the knowledge of grace, it cuts out Christ altogether.

The Bible clearly teaches that we are all naturally depraved. Let man’s free will, strength, wisdom, and righteousness be condemned. We attain grace by the free mercy of God alone for Christ’s sake.  I know this is a hard saying to hear, and brings disfavor to those who say it. But I am reminded of what a preacher, not so long ago said, “If you preach the Gospel of Grace, and no one condemns you, then you are not preaching the same Gospel of Grace that Paul preached.”

The truth of justification is fragile. Not that justification itself is fragile, for it is not. Ah, but our knowledge of it is. I know how quickly we can forfeit the joy of the Gospel in the midst of trouble. In those times of conflict, we should be consoling ourselves with the Gospel.

Knowing that the flesh resists the Spirit, or as Paul puts it, “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit.”  We by our own reasoning, say that to know Christ, and to believe in Him is no achievement of man, but the gift of God. This Gospel of Grace gives glory to God alone, and none to man. Never can too much glory, goodness, and mercy be ascribed unto God.

On the question of justification, one must remain solid, or else we lose the truth of the Gospel. It is a matter of life and death. It involves the death of the Son of God, who died for the sins of the world. If we surrender faith in Christ, as the only thing that can justify us, then the death and resurrection of Jesus are without meaning.

Some will tell me the Law is divine and holy, and to that I agree. So it is divine and holy, but it has no right to tell me that I must be justified by it. The Law has a right to tell me that I should love God, and my  neighbor. It has every right to tell me that I should live in chastity, temperance, patience and so on. But it has no right to tell me how I may be delivered from sin, death, and hell. It is the business of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to tell me that. We must listen to the Gospel, for it tells us not what we must do, but what Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has done for us.

I conclude that the true Gospel is; we are justified by faith alone, without the deeds of the law.

My thanks to the Apostle Paul and Martin Luther.

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

As most of you know by now,  I have CLL (Chronic Lympocytic Leukemia) and finally found out what the percentage of my 17p deletion was, I calmly accepted it, realizing once again that God has known from the beginning what it was. I know it did not come as a suprise to Him.

With that in mind I was reading a article from my favorite pastor, Pastor John Glenn.  I saw myself in this article, so I would like to share a few of these thoughts as well as some of mine own.

Hebrews 12: 1,2, “Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doeth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

These words were given to all believers to help them realize the significance of their lives here on this earth. They were written to encourage everyone, but as I read them, I saw them as being written clearly for my encouragement.  I, as well as every believer in Jesus Christ is viewed by the writer as Olympic athletes running a race in front of a heavenly crowd of those who have gone on before us. So I am told to “lay aside every weight” or the bondage of the law, and the “besetting sin” of my natural unbelief so I may run with endurance the race that I am in. In short, I am to run my race in the grace of God rather than the energy of my own religious flesh.

The key to my victory in this race is looking unto “Jesus the author and finisher of our faith“. He is the author and originator of my faith, and he is the finisher, the one who will complete it in me. It is in his strength that I can run the race and his joy that gives me the endurance I need to finish my course.

Even though it appeared to all that Jesus was losing, especially as he hung on the cross; his resurrection from the dead and ascension to the throne of God proves that he was victorious. The writer of Hebrews tells me that what motivated Jesus through the difficult times was the joy he experienced in submitting to the will of the Father. Because of that joyful and confident expectation of his ultimate victory, Jesus was able to “despise the shame” by enduring all that was involved in his sacrifice on the cross and completing his work of saving humanity.

 As I run the race that is set before me, I too may experience some difficult times in which it looks like I am going to lose somehow. I should not expect to avoid the hard times, but seek to endure them in the same joy that motivated Jesus.

When I finish my race, it is my hope and my prayer, that my grandchildren know that I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.

Each of us has our own unique race to run in the grace of God. All who believe on Jesus are called to do his works and greater because he has gone back to the Father and left us here to love one another.

Thanks be to God who has made all who believe in Jesus Christ, more than conquerors.

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.

My Journey

February is almost over, time does not stand still for anyone. This month has been a very joyous one for my wife and me. We had visiting with us one of our daughters, her husband and their three children, our grandchildren.

We spend several days at the Magic Kingdom, and had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect, not to hot, with low humidity. We could not have asked for better weather, or better times. We were able to go on all the rides, and see all the other sites we wanted to see. We stayed there until 1:00 am and all of us had a great time. I have been a blessed man.

I have been feeling really good, just like I felt several years ago. I am finding that I do not lose my breath as quickly as before, I have not bruised for quite some time now, and I have no pain at all. My lympnodes have gone down a bit, and I have no pain in my spleen, even though the sonogram showed it was at 20 cm. I have not changed anything I had been doing, but something seems to have changed. My numbers had been falling rapidly for several months, and just when I thought I would have to start chemo, my numbers leveled out. My doctor, who was preparing me for FCR in January 2012, said lets stay on w&w.

I do not like to go to the doctor’s office, and I have not changed on that. However, I am looking forward to seeing my Oncologist in April, really believing that maybe my blood counts may be somewhat better than before. I have no way of telling, but feeling the way I do, I am hoping for the best. I know that with what I have, everything points that this may not be the case, but hope is a wonderful thing. It is  one of those things that God makes available to us.

Romans 5:1-5 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that,  but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Again I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me. I am so grateful that many of you think of me often.

Hezekiah’s Life Extended 2 Kings 20:1-6

In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’”

Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. 6 And I will add to your days fifteen years.

In the following verses, Hezekiah asks for a sign, and is granted one. My wife did not ask for a sign, but I did get up and leave the hospital on the third day, after being told I would have to start chemotherapy immediately. It has been over a year now, and I am still on watch and wait, and in my fourth year of having SLL/CLL with a 17p deletion.

My wife found these verses the night I was told I had cancer, late stage cancer, and she has held fast to these verses, living with fear some days, but not doubting that Gods promise to Hezekiah is also a promise to me. She has been an anchor, for me, in a very serious storm.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much.

Here’s to another wonderful day, in this beautiful creation, that God made.

Well it has been a little over a week since I met with my Oncologist.

I was told that my blood counts were staying steady, so I would not have to see him again until April 2012.

I want to thank those who have been praying about my suituation, God answers prayers.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.   Galatians 2:20