Monday, July 21, 2008

Something we can do together

I have missed writing you, but last week’s events left me feeling quite tired most of the time. I think the main contributor to my fatigue is the radiation treatment, but I also think it is helping tremendously. My tongue itself continues to feel better, and I am so grateful for that. The vicious side effects Doug mentioned, such as dry mouth, excess mucous, and mouth sores, are indeed daunting, but they wax and wane at this point. The excess mucous has a powerful mental effect as it creates a constant need to clear the oral cavity and adds to nausea, as well. Thankfully, the nausea Doug spoke of on Saturday following chemo has improved tremendously. I do continue to have hiccups, which apparently is an odd side effect of chemo that not many people seem to have, but they are lessening today; thus far, it happens to me after every chemo infusion.

That brings me to an update on the treatment plan. This past chemo infusion will likely be my last where the main treatment is concerned. Dr. Gilbert talked about doing three sessions of this particular drug if they could be completed by the end of radiation. There must be 21 days between each of the infusions, though, so there won’t be enough time for another infusion before radiation is complete. I only have 13 radiation treatments to go!!! God willing, they will finish up on August 7th. I am so grateful that this number is decreasing. I still need your prayers to cover me during these remaining days. Generally, head and neck radiation therapy just gets worse and worse until the end of treatment, and the side effects take various times to relent after treatment has stopped. I do feel as though I have been protected from the full severity of the side effects by your answered prayers. Thank you, but most of all, praise His Holy name. He is beautiful beyond our comprehension.

We’ll talk more about what happens following radiation therapy as these next few weeks pass. Right now, future plans are very dependent on how I respond to the rest of the current treatment.

Switching gears, many of you have asked if there is anything else you can do for me. There is. In fact, there is something we can do together. You know that I want to be healed from this disease, but I desire that God be glorified no matter what His ultimate plan reveals. One of the easiest ways to glorify Him is to tell of the great things He has done for us – to share Him with others. Every day, we come in contact with so many people who need His love desperately. Imagine what a difference it would make if we all sought out just one opportunity to tell someone about Him … what He has accomplished, His unwavering friendship, His power, that He is mighty to save.

We tend to get so scared at the thought of sharing our faith. For some reason, it has become safe to mention God in passing, but dangerous to share the redemptive truth of Jesus Christ. I think we are also scared, at times, because we have these misconceptions that we will say something wrong or that we are responsible for performing the redemption ourselves. Jesus simply told us to tell of His love for all and His intention to transform lives. He never said there was a perfect way to deliver the truth, but He was very clear that we should be making an effort to deliver it. He takes care of the rest. He performs the redemption. He is the only one worthy of doing so – the spotless One who gave His life to pay the penalty for all sin. He has already accomplished the great work that is to be done. We are simply charged with telling the world that He waits with open arms to accept all those who desire an eternal relationship with Him.

Here’s what I am asking us to do. Let’s diligently look for opportunities to share Jesus Christ and His love for all people along with His desire that all come to know Him as Savior and friend. You may already have someone in mind right now that you have been meaning to share Him with but have hesitated. Stop hesitating and start a simple conversation. We tend to treat telling others about Jesus like it is a dreaded sales job. Somehow, that has to stop. Our methods of sharing may look different every time we do so. At times, it may seem appropriate simply to ask someone whether or not they have a relationship with Jesus. At other times, that may seem too pushy. It may take months of further cultivating a relationship before we can share the amazing love of Jesus. One thing is for sure, if we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we cannot mess up. Remember, we don’t do the work – He does.

Let’s trust Him to guide us and try our very best to go tell about Him. Remember, it is all about Him. It is not about our church or about our religion or about us at all; it is all about the person of Jesus Christ! So, let’s go tell others about Him!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. –Romans 10:13

I love you all. Thanks for everything you are doing. All of your efforts, even if you have not heard from me personally, are greatly appreciated by my family and me. God bless you richly.

10 comments:

Heather McCormick said...

Daniel,

You are truly so amazing! All day long I have whined and fussed about the silliest, tiniest things. Even in your extremely hard trials, you are so focused on living to share God with others. I am truly ashamed of the person I am. I needed your insight and long for your continual example. Thank you for making me a better person, for making us all better people. I love you and am humbled by you. We are all counting the days down with you and pray for relief from the side effects. Continued blessings and prayers-

KF

ashley said...

Too bad we don't carry out God's commandments to disciple the world until faced with such traumatic events in our lives and the lives of our friends. I thank my Lord for you everyday and pray for His redemption to spread like wildfire from your inspiring words.
So be it my friend!
ashley

Tammy said...

Daniel
You never cease to amaze me. You are so good to remind all of us what we should each be doing each and every day... winning souls to Christ. I am thankful you felt like posting today and so very thankful that your tongue does feel better. Hopefully each day will be better and better. THank goodness the nausea is some better too. That is a terrible thing to deal with WITHOUT any other problems! Im sorry about the hiccups... we used to give a med before the chemo infusions to help with that. I am sure you have already asked about that tho... There are many, many contraindications so you might not be a candidate for that. The countdown is looking better and better! I am marking the days off as you complete them with the radiation!! You remain in our thoughts and prayers... Your MS family.. Tammy and all

Mom2rayray&colten said...

It is so good to hear such encouraging words from you. I want to know how you are feeling and what is going on with treatments but when you write of your faith and how you want others to learn of his gracious power it just lights me up!!!
You are such a wonderful writer with great expression of how you feel and how you portary God's glory is exceptional.
I look forward to more of your writing and will continue to pray for God's will to be done.

He is always at work!!
Keep up the fight!
MUH

Anonymous said...

Daniel-
I haven't written in a while, but I check your page daily and think of you often. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I can't wait for you to come through this on top. :)

Kerry

Anonymous said...

Daniel I continue to share your inspiring words with others. You are such a FORCE!!!! Praying for you....
Tootie

Biter said...

Daniel,

Your "number" is great--down to 13 left! Oh you are doing it, Daniel... Keep it up--Keep strong as you can--I'm cheering for you from the sidelines, one of the voices shouting from the crowd--keep running hard, and pacing yourself... you WILL reach the finish line--it's coming into view!

Love,
Biter

jenpinkner said...

Thank you for being obedient in the midst of exhaustion, pain, continuing discomfort. I have been out of town this week, and I just checked your blog. I was battling the fear of sharing my faith with someone that I feel called to as I began reading your blog. Thank you for sharing this, Daniel. God used exactly what you said to remind me to trust in Him and not think that I have to have every formulation of every move. He is good. He is in control in all things. He is with you as the Great Physician and I so thank Him for that. Love,
Jen

Richard said...

Daniel,

You continue to be such a faithful servant for the Lord.

I totally agree with what you have posted; it is hard for folks to share Christ with others. But we must not be so selfish and self-conscious. The redemptive power and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ needs to be shared, since there is by no other name that we shall be saved!

I pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen your faith and that His will be done. Your faith is an inspiration for many, and I just wanted to let you know our Sunday School class (the Barnabas Group) is praying for you Macedonia Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.

God bless!

Rich Bishop

Kelly Shrout said...

Hi Daniel.

(I am Mark Shrout's wife Kelly.) Mark and I have been praying for you almost daily. I am greatly moved that you have such an evangelistic spirit during this time in your life. Thank you for the charge and reminder that we must daily tell others about the Savior.

Your love for Christ is evident and we admire that tremendously. God is truly our deliverer ... our refuge and strength. He is our helper in times of need. Psalm 46.

We will continue to pray for you. And we will be mindful to share Christ with others.

Mark and Kelly Shrout