View From The Ridge

View From The Ridge

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Encouragement

Over the last decade dealing with various forms of cancer, I have received ton of notes, letters, emails, texts, phone calls and visits that all been encouraging.  Recently they have been even more conforting and encouraging.  Some have been special, and deserve to shared for others to perhaps be encouraged.  I felt it was being shelfish if I kept them to myself.  So I contacted the individuals of the notes I wanted to share and they have graciously concented to my posting them in this blog.  I truely hope they are as encouraging to you as they have been to me.  

Please do not assume that yours was not included because they were less encouraging.  Just the fact that you took time to wish me well, that you were praying for Jeri and me, maybe shared a scripture or quote was tremendously encouraging.   Thank you all.

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Dear Mike & Jeri,

I've been praying for your family and remembering the very stressful time when Bob had his aortic dissection.  There were weeks that I didn't know if he would live or die. During those dark days where I had absolutely no control, I remember clinging to Jesus' feet. He gave me peace knowing that He was in control.

One night I cried and prayed until dawn.  I started out telling God that  Bob was His.  Then I'd take him back.  Again I told God that He could have Bob....I knew that He loved Bob even more that I did.  Then I'd take him back.  This went on for hours.  When the dawn broke I finally gave Bob over into God's hands with one caution.  Lord you can have Bob, he belongs to you...however, if you take him you are going to have your hands full taking care of me because I will be a big mess.  

God was gracious to me and healed Bob. I've often thought that God put us through a "dress rehearsal" for what would happen 9 years later.   Those bonus years were precious but hard.  After Bob went to his heavenly home I realized that God had taught me to have confidence that He would be my husband and father, my provider and lover. 

What lies ahead of you won't be easy. There will be dark days.  But God will walk with you through the valley. He is dependable, loving, caring, trustworthy,   He knows and loves both of you (and your family) deeply,

Psalm 73:23-26

Yet I am always with you, you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And being with you, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Love....Beth

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Mike, the battle is already won.  Satan is long vanquished. You are a sweet aroma of Jesus Christ as you join in His victorious parade.  There will be earthly skirmishes  until you leave the shell of an earthly body we all must live in, but you will receive the ultimate healing the Lord provides all of us. All of us will continue to pray for your strength and comfort, and healing should the Lord choose to do so.

I love this quote I read recently: “We do not always get the life we want, but we receive the strength to love the life we get.”
You have made some hard, wise decisions.  May all continue to be well with your soul.  Blessings, Eric
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Bless your little pea-pickin heart, as my mother would have said. You have just confirmed the lesson that God was teaching me this last week. I started out by questioning the path He has chosen for me - single mom of a drug addicted son, still working and living payday to payday at age 66, house and yard falling down around me - you get the picture. But I worked through it and arrived at the correct conclusion that this is my path to walk, and I can trust that God has His own mysterious reasons for the twists and turns it has taken over the years. I can walk it humbly with peace and joy, or I can walk it in fear and anger and envy - that choice is mine and a part of my sanctification process. Sigh.
Love you two.

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Hello My Friend,

Mikey, read your latest Blog, as always your courage brings encouragement to so many. Some people may be believers and others may not.  That is why I am waiting for your book “View from the Ridge” to be published.  All people need to know that hope (good or bad) comes from the Lord. That He alone is  our strong tower. We hold onto to Him just like he holds on to us. Many times I have prayed “wrap me in your wings Lord, hold me, carry me through”. When He revels His presence, there is no comfort ever known.  Love you Mikey, love Jeri too. You have already written the book. Does that mean God is done with you? Absolutely not!  God gave you and Jeri an amazing literary talent. Please publish the  book. Love you both so much, Debra

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Mike, your most recent post needs to go viral.  Thank you for your deep, deep insights. I am keeping you constantly in prayer.  May all be well.  Obviously, you are deeply in God’s hands.  Whatever His will, you are completely loved and comforted, by Him, and by your many, many friends.  Blessings and Love, Eric

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Dear Mike and Jeri, people have come into our lives over the years that have had an impact on our lives. You are two of those people that we admire so much. I am fairly certain you don't have a clue how much of an impact you have on our lives, even from Hawaii you do without saying a word to us. How does that happen? I can say with confidence it is because of your strong commitment to Christ over the many years you have been His. You have worked out your salvation and weren't afraid to admit you were not always good at it. You weren't perfect, but you held the course, you still are holding the course even though it's difficult. Christ bears you up and you aren't ashamed to say it. This is a fact, there have been many times these past few years when I (Karen) have been ready to throw in the towel and the Lord brings you both to mind. Your strong commitment to each other now that is stronger than ever is because of hard things you both have walked through and continue to walk through. Because of your testimony I know Christ in me can help me stay the course.
I just wanted to let you both know we love you dearly and you are in our prayers. Our prayer of course is that your cancer is not back and that the eye surgery goes well and that you have good strength through the days ahead. As you have impacted our lives, may you continue to impact those you will be meeting again and those who you have yet to meet. You both have blessed our lives! Our love and prayers, Bob and Karen         Isaiah 40:31    Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed.  They will soar on wings like eagles.  They will run and won't become weary.  They will walk and won't grow tired.  


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Mike I want to thank you for your brutal honesty.  Not often does someone like me (and not a relative) get to peek inside the head or thinking of someone going through cancer and see and hear your thoughts on the subject.  I grieve with you that you don’t think you will see the 80s and 90s.  That is such a startling thought to think about let alone verbalize.  But can I even say that?  Is it morbid to suggest that with you?  I’ve never engaged in such a conversation before.  I am thankful and say with biblical hope that you believe in the sovereignty of God.  But having answers?  there are none from this corner.  We always wish we had answers, some of us more than others.  

I had an interesting conversation today with my non Christian friend about assisted dying and that whole power of attorney at end of life—sheesh, I can’t think of the name of it.  Anyway, she asked if I believed calling your own end to your life was ok.  I said, first, I would hope that I would and could sit with the person I loved and hold his or her hand the last couple weeks of his/her life.  (compassion is needed)  And talk about it!  And also, I would want to still be having a vertical relationship with my Lord even if I couldn’t talk.  But that’s easy to say when I have no pain.  

Well, I ramble.  But thank you for your honesty, your sharing of such deep thoughts, and your walk with the Lord.  It encourages the rest of us.  Love to you both and will continue to pray for you both and the family as you walk this difficult path with Him,  A fellow walker,  Jo Anne

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Dear Mike & Jeri,
After reading your recent blog post, it sparked a conversation between us about La Grande. As we have looked back on our lives together our time in La Grande stands out as our favorite time. To have had the opportunity to raise our kids there was marvelous. Granted there were some challenges but the good absolutely beat out the bad. We wanted you to know how happy we are that you asked us to join you there. We believe that God had his hand in that as He always does. As we grow older our memories are what we have. Our memories of La Grande will always be great.

Our memories of you both will always be special to both of us as well. None of us know what the future will bring but this we know for certain, we are not in charge. Our days were decided well before we ever showed up. Today we also know that you both are in Good Hands and we are comforted by that fact. Take care and keep us updated.
Love,
Ron & Linda

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The news we read is not what we hoped to hear from you. It's such a hard thing to put a time to a person's life who you dearly love and care about. We know God is good and He still has a plan for your life. The doctor may have an approximation, but the Lord has the exact number of your days. Keep on with the fight, you have so much more to give to others! It is so admirable that you are thinking of what's the best in the days ahead, I pray you will be able to enjoy many more days in Hawaii waiting for the house to sell, even going back as a visitor instead of a resident. You are on many hearts, in many prayers, ours included. This verse reminds me of what you have done through your blog year after year, "But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works."  Psalm 73:28  Keep posting! You have had a mighty witness through this. We love you, Bob and Karen 

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Mike;  I read your last blog today regarding your decision as to how to proceed with medical treatment.  I know this had to be very difficult, especially  with what you have already been through.  I thought I would share some encouraging thoughts from our brother Spurgeon, and hope you find them comforting during this difficult providence.
Jeremiah 17:17  Thou art my hope in the day of evil

“No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows.  Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path because you were weak an timid.  He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual, you must enter the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children.  We need wind and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self dependence and to root us more firmly in Christ.  The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.”

Psalm 139:17   How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God.
“In our sorrows He observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes Him; in our toils He marks all our weariness, and writes in His book all the struggles of His faithful ones.  Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization is uncared for, all the littles of our little world are thought upon by the Great God.”

Matt. 12:20  A bruised reed shall He not break, or smoking flax shall He not quench. 

“What is weaker than the bruised reed or the smoking flax?  Look at the smoking flax----what is it?  It has a spark within it, it is true, but it is almost smothered.  Yet, weak as they are, and because they are so weak, they have this promise made especially to them. 
Herein is grace and graciousness!  Herein is love and loving-kindness!  How it opens to us the compassion of Jesus, so gentle, tender, considerate!  We need never shrink back from His touch.  We need never fear a harsh word from Him;  though He might well chide us for our weakness, He rebukes not.  Bruised reeds shall have no blows from Him, and smoking flax no damping frowns.”

Mike, I want you to KNOW that you & Jeri are being continually uplifted before the throne of grace.  We will especially be praying for you on Friday.

 Heb. 13:5  I will NEVER leave thee nor forsake thee. 
And NEVER means NEVER!!


Hang in there brother!    Ron

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