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Archive for the ‘Knowing God’ Category

This is it – my last post on the blog.

On this day a year ago I was told I had breast cancer. Today I begin a new year – my journey beyond breast cancer.

Thank you for walking this path with me. I will miss our cyber-friendship. Please keep in touch.

My blog stays open. You can leave comments and contact me through it.

To those who join the breast cancer path after me and find this blog, I offer my warmest good wishes.

I close with the words and music that have filled my head and my home for the past week – the focus of my hope and my future . . .

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

King of Kings, Majesty

God of Heaven, living in me

Gentle Saviour, closest friend

Strong deliverer, beginning and end

All within me falls at your throne

Your Majesty I can but bow, I lay my all before you now

In royal robes I don’t deserve, I live to serve your majesty.


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Scary – isn’t it?

A whole new horizon – and no markers in the sand to say ‘THIS WAY’

This is how I feel as I begin my journey beyond breast cancer.

And yet there is warmth in the sun and the breath of life, and boy does it feel good.

I am thankful to be alive.

6th October marks the anniversary of the day my life changed when I was told I had breast cancer. This is my week of transition when I step off the bridge.

Please come with me on this new journey.

I look back at the things we did before my year of breast cancer treatment. We had workshops on Spiritual Journalling, Touching the Edge of His Cloak, Listening to God’s Heartbeat. We joined the Benedictine Monks for retreats, and we spent a season Listening to God’s Heartbeat.

And now we can also look back on a long slow year exploring a journey with God – making breast cancer an opportunity to get to know God better.

I would like to keep learning and keep sharing – and to do this I value your help.

We have a Celebration on 16th October. BC and I are thrilled at your enthusiastic response. Please let us know if you have missed an invitation and would like to come.

And after the party, I want to build again on the foundations we laid. I value your feedback on two questions:

  • FIRST – I would like to run another WORKSHOP or RETREAT in the New Year? Are you interested to join me, and if so, what topic would you like?
  • SECOND – I would like to start another blog. This would be about what it means to have life to the full: taking John 10:10 and exploring what that means in our lives day by day.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full

Please let me know what you think. You can comment in the usual way by clicking on the comments tag at the end.  Or you can email me directly.  The next post tells you how to do that.

And about the new header to my blog. I took this photo after one of my early morning radiotherapy treatments. Sitting in the peace of a summer morning, I recognised how much the obstacle of treatment had become an opportunity to listen to God. What do you think – do you like it or did you prefer the orchids?

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Here is an interesting thing – in the Apprentice Training Programme, creating MARGIN is the Soul Training exercise linked to the chapter headed God is Holy.

The Diamond Ring Effect - the Sun's light peeking from around the edge of the Moon's surface

An important aspect of decluttering your life is making space to understand and know God.

Writing about God’s Holiness in Knowing God,  J.I. Packer speaks of the goodness and severity of God (p181). He warns against creating a false Santa Claus theology where God’s goodness is welcomed and his severity ignored.

Understanding and responding to all of God’s attributes is both urgent and important.

When do we take time to gaze at the stars – lifting our attention from the urgent issues that shout for our attention and beginning to consider the important issue of seeing ourselves and God in perspective?

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

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Someone to help you avoid painful mistakes?

Someone to lead you through the maze of life – decisions about your career, your relationships, even about who you are and what you want to change about yourself?

Who doesn’t?

This someone has to be very special if you are going to allow them to speak into your life. They need to have a track record of wisdom, honesty and integrity. And most of all you need to know they care enough about you to tell you the truth and to stick around for the long-term, because changing can take us a long time

If you say yes to this, and you want to get to know God better, have a look at The Divine Mentor. It is a great book and gives a different slant on the value of reading the bible regularly.

Wayne Cordeiro tells how he learned to hear God speak to him daily through scripture. And how he learned through the stories of the heroes and fools of the bible.

“By walking with David amid the smoldering ruins of Ziklag, I find help and strength for challenges that come my own way.

Jeremiah saved my life. Nehemiah buoyed my faltering ministry. Through his struggles with riches and greed, Solomon tutored me to be a person of excellence without opulence.” (p9)

“Abraham will mentor you on faith. You will learn from Samson about sexual self-control. Daniel will instruct you in how to influence your community. Ruth will teach you about love and loyalty.” (p11)

Click here to listen to Wayne Cordeiro tell how Jeremiah saved his life, and how God can speak into our lives through the lives of the people we read about in scripture.

And don’t we love to hear each other’s stories so that we can learn from them too?

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If you think of humbling yourself before God you might imagine lying prostrate or covering yourself in sackcloth and ashes.

I can testify that lying on your back, bare-chested, arms stretched above your head, feels pretty humbling. Add some strangers to the scene and the feeling intensifies.

Mark Twain was right

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society

You will not be surprised to hear I have been thinking a lot about this.

In the brief minutes on the rack while I have my treatment I feel vulnerable, powerless and naked before God.

Here I am, God,

No pretence

Flesh and bones

And the part that is me

No secrets

You knew me before I was born

You know me from start to finish

. . and I am not finished yet

Just as I am dependent on BC’s attributes when we have a disagreement, I reflect on how dependent I am on God’s attributes.

Lying naked and vulnerable, not knowing the future, I am dependent on God who tells me he is . . .

accessible creator eternal faithful father good gracious guide holy impartial immutable incomprehensible infinite jealous just long-suffering love merciful omnipotent omnipresent omniscient perfect preserver provider righteous saviour sovereign wise

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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Week three, treatment 10 and all is well.

The sun keeps shining. Life and growth are all around me.

I know the routine:

Mosaic Art Sculpture - to support breast cancer

Brisk walk

Sigh under sign – RADIOTHERAPY

Doors engulf me

Card in box

Alcohol gel

“Hi, fish”

Read book

Blue gown, smiling faces, harsh room

Stretch on rack

Bare breasts

No jewellery, no blanket, no pretence

Nowhere to hide

Measure . . check

Adjust . . check

Pray

Pushed to the wall, I called to God; from the wide open spaces, he answered. God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid . . God’s my strong champion; I flick off my enemies like flies.
God’s my strength, he’s also my song, and now he’s my salvation.

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

The machine whines – I give thanks that any cancer cells are flicked off like flies.

Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego I am not alone in the furnace.

As I walk back into the sunshine I breathe deeply – no smell of fire on me!

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. . FAITH is dancing to it NOW

While one part of me gives its full attention to how serious a matter it is to have breast cancer, another part of me can dance and rejoice.

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives…a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.”

1 Peter 1: 3-21 (The Message)

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