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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Luke 18:16 (MSG)

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For the past several months I have been sharing you an awful …but incredible journey that my friend, Tarah Powell is traveling through. She’s a Woman of God, a Wife, a Mom, a Daughter, a Sister, a Missionaries Kid …all these things …but what is consuming her life right now is:

BREAST CANCER

…as I’m typing those words 0ut, even now, the thought makes me cringe inside. She’s so young, she’s so vibrant, she has a beautiful son …how can this be happening.

But then I read her blog post and I am blown away on the peace and joy she has going thru this difficult challenge. She’s honest, it’s pretty tough at times as you can imagine but she is totally relying on God to restore her and to take care of her every step of this journey.

Here are the words from Tarah’s latest blog post – I hope you are uplifted and encouraged …and motivated to pray for her daily.

Well, it’s been WAY too long since my last update; a lot has happened in over a month!  I’m sorry for not getting everyone better informed; and I’m sorry if anyone was worried!

 We went to MD Anderson last month; my doctor there concurred with all that my doctor here has said and done.  He suggested that I continue through my chemo here and go up there for my surgery and radiation once my chemo is done.  My last chemo treatment will be April 13, as long as all goes as planned, and then I’ll have my surgery a few weeks after that and start radiation a few weeks after THAT.  My radiation oncologist is pretty sure I will have to do twice daily radiation treatments for five weeks because of the aggressive nature of my cancer, so that will be hard.  It’s a forty-five minute drive up there with no traffic, and the sessions have to be a minimum of 6 hours apart, so I’d have to go first thing in the morning, come back to work for a while, then go back.  That’s the plan anyway….I’ll need prayer. =)  I had to have a mammogram, ultrasound and MRI to get a “starting point” image for each one.  MD Anderson has a whole clinic specifically for Inflammatory Breast Cancer, so it’s pretty great to gain their knowledge and to contribute to their research, and get a better grasp on what others have gone through.  Even still, only 10 of every 150 of their patients are under the age of 30.

I started my 2nd round of treatment (Taxol/Herceptin) at the end of January, and so far it’s been worse than the first “hard drugs” round.  They say it’s because all of the chemo has just been accumulating in my body – building up more and more, so it can get worse over time.  The hardest things are the nausea and fatigue, but especially the unpredictability of when it’s gonna hit.  It’s different every single day, and every single week, so it’s getting harder and harder to plan for anything…even going to work.  Thankfully, I have the most supportive bosses and co-workers ever!  I know they’re all having to work harder to cover for me, and they’re doing it without complaints.  I wish I could do more, but for now….thank you, ladies.  Besides, God is working with me; I got more hours put in over the last two weeks than I have since I was diagnosed!  So, He’s definitely helping me push through, even if I have to work from home! 

The chemo is really starting to take a toll on my body.  I look more and more like a chemo patient every day, although God uses perfect strangers, wonderful friends on FB, and my awesome family to tell me otherwise every single day. =)

Last week, my White Blood Cell (WBC) count was too low to get my treatment: it was 0.8 on a scale of 3.5-10.0. In order to get it up, they had to give me a fast-acting booster shot called Neupagen, which pulls WBCs directly from my bone marrow, starting at the biggest bones in my body.  This was extremely painful.  It was about 5 or 6 hours of me writhing, crying and screaming out in pain.  We were crying out to God for SOME relief, and finally I was able to fall asleep and woke up in much, MUCH less pain.  But, I was able to get my treatment the next day!!!  That was Wednesday. 

The funny thing is, my mom wasn’t supposed to get here until Wednesday night, but because of the bad weather in Dallas, she came down a day early.  My son and husband had the flu and had to stay away from me, so if it weren’t for the bad weather in Dallas, I wouldn’t have had my mom here to help me through it.  God’s funny like that.

God’s teaching me new levels of faith and trust and new ways to pray.  I call out to Him countless times every day, about every little thing…just seeking his guidance.  In some ways, it’s easier to put all of your faith in Him when you have no choice (there’s a sermon in there, Pastors), but in a lot of ways, it’s harder because I’m surrounded by physical distractions whose sole purpose is to bring me down.  And, let me say, they can be pretty overwhelming!  Not only my own physical issues, but my family’s, too.

It was miserable seeing my son so sick last week.  Any parent can agree that it is just the worst feeling in the world when your child is sick and you’re practically useless to make it go away.  I can’t imagine what my parents must be going through; how frustrated and useless they must be feeling that they can’t fix me and make it all go away.  As a family….no-as a missionary family, we have had our faith tested over and over and over.  We stood strong through death threats and going into hiding, through stalking and repeated break-ins, through getting stones thrown at us and churches lit on fire that we were in, through death and loneliness.  And, then, in my adult life, they were with me through scarlet fever, depression, car accidents (yes, plural), a very difficult pregnancy, gallstones, financial troubles…..and breast cancer.  God is my Rock and my Light, but my family is my foundation. 

I AM ONLY ABLE TO FACE THIS BECAUSE OF THE PERSON MY PARENTS HAVE SHAPED ME TO BE AND BECAUSE OF THE EXAMPLE THEY’VE SHOWN ME ON HOW TO HAVE FAITH IN THE WORST OF CIRCUMSTANCES….TO LOOK TO GOD AND FOR HIS PLAN IN EVERYTHING.

It also helps that I have such an awesome support system.  I know that God would not have chosen me to go through this if He didn’t think I could handle it.  For SOME reason, He deems me worthy enough to live the awesome miracle that He’s going to do…and I’m honored.  Its hard, it’s VERY hard to stay positive 24/7, but I’m doing pretty good at looking to God in the really hard times.  And when I’m not, my wonderful husband, or my wonderful parents, or my wonderful sister or brother, or my wonderful friends point me in the right direction.

I am surrounded by the best people who love me and love God!  My parents, my sister, my brother, my couldn’t-ask-for-better-in-laws, my wonderful co-workers, my wonderful FB family…and my perfect husband who gave me the perfect son!

 And my Perfect God has control over my not-so-perfect cancer, and THAT is what makes my life….pretty perfect! 

SPECIAL NOTE:  Thank you all SO SO SO SO much for your endless words of encouragement, prayers, thoughts, and love!  Even though I may be too sick or tired to answer, please know that I read them almost immediately from my phone and they ALWAYS, without fail, make me smile.  So, thank you for sending me smiles!  I love you all so much and I promise not to take so long to write again.

Read Part 1: A PINK CHRISTMAS here…

Read Part 2: Round 1 of Her Fight here…

Read Part 3: A Few Bad Days here…

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We all remember too well where we were when we heard the news on September 11, 2001.

The thought still shakes me to the core. The images still so vivid in my mind.

In the weeks that followed it seemed like the pews of our churches were full across America. We heard people talk about God more than we had in decades. The song “God Bless America” was definitely the theme over the next year.

…but what about now? What about the state that America is in right now?

There is a 1 hour prayer gathering at courthouses around the country to CRY OUT and pray for a powerful CHRIST Awakening that will change the Church and the culture of America. We desperately need God’s help in these challenging times.

Cry Out America ~ Saturday, September 11, 2010 ~ Noon

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What If His People Prayed?

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Gulf Coast Prayer

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Christians from across the Gulf of Mexico are calling on God’s help in this time of trial.

On May 6th, the National Day of Prayer Christians came together at city hall in Biloxi, Mississippi to pray for various needs…with a theme of “Such a Time as This. A main focus of prayer for the day was the oil spill crisis. “We pray for protection of our coast and protection of the businesses that profit from this resource. Protect our shores. Protect our land. And protect our habitat,” was the prayer of David Oliver, of Cedar Lake Christian Assembly.

Venice, Louisiana, is a small shrimping community that is praying for God’s help in this time of crisis.  Steve McNeal, pastor of First Baptist Mission in Venice hosted an impromptu prayer service shortly after the oil started heading their way. “One day that we prayed was right after they fond out there was not going to be shrimping anymore, so we prayed and the next day they announced that they were going to use the shrimpers as part of the cleanup and pay them at a pretty good amount to use their boats and their crews to go out and clean up.” McNeal said. As Southern Baptist watch coverage of the oil spill on the news. McNeal urges them to pray for Venice and people along the coast whose lives are impacted by this disaster.

One Sunday afternoon, Pastor Rick Long of Christian Life Church called together a group of men, women, children,  school officials, and local business owners around a cross at Cotton Bayou for prayer concerning the oil spill crisis.

About 100 churches in the gulf states held prayer vigils this past Monday from Destin, Florida, to the Louisiana state line gathered to pray. Christians prayed for the oil leak to stop and the spill to not reach their shores. Church embers also prayed for volunteers, oil workers, scientists, and the families of the lives lost in the explosion. Included in this vigil were nearly 150 people in Dauphin Island, Alabama. Upwards of a thousand residents met across the gulf to pray for the end to the oil spill organized by the Gulf Christian Evangelistic Association.

As more and more Christians come together and pray for this tragedy in our Gulf waters…what miraculous things will come of this which we call a disaster?

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I’m not all political for the most part …but when you mess with my Jesus …or you mess with the right for prayer…it get’s me kind of riled up for sure.

The City Council of Lancaster, California is being sued for opening its meetings with Christian prayer.

By a three-to-one margin, voters in the Los Angeles County city voted last month to make the invocations policy.

Mayor R. Rex Parris stated in February that he wanted to “grow a Christian community” as he intended the tradition of opening the City Council meetings with pastor-led prayer.

Of course, the ACLU is involved and has demanded that  the Lancaster City Council cease immediately what they see as an unconstitutional practice. A letter outlining the complaints states that in 2002, the California Court of Appeal upheld a Superior Court ruling that concluded that a prayer given by the city of Burbank “in the name of Jesus Christ” violated the First Amendment. The court ordered the city to cease opening its meetings with sectarian prayers, and to inform anyone conducting a prayer that sectarian prayers are prohibited.

The city of Lancaster has until August 14 to respond to the letter…and I’m sure the ACLU isn’t through with this yet …and I’ll be keeping up with it to see the outcome.

I mean a Christian mayor …do we still have Christian politicians out there anymore? …it looks like we do.

…and one who isn’t afraid to stand up for what he feels is right.

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So should we look at this prayer in the name of Jesus – as something that is unconstitutional? Should we separate prayer from our government institutions and leave it only to the churches?

Even the money I have in my wallet (not that I have much!) states “In God We Trust” – I sure trust Him. Not a god with a little “G” but the one true God …and I will call on His name – the name above any other – anytime – anywhere …for as long as I have breath.

…and that’s constitutional.

…just sayin.

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Today is the National Day of Prayer.

“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in Him” Nahum 1:7

Watch LIVE: NDP WebCast from Washington D.C. with Franklin Graham, Dr. James and Shirley Dobson, Ricky Skaggs and many more from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon EST. Click Here to View.

As our nation faces deepening moral and spiritual challenges, strategic prayer is desperately needed. In response, the National Prayer Center of the Assemblies of God has launched a special 20-week prayer initiative themed, “Praying through the Heart of the Year for the Soul of Our Nation.” This prayer emphasis is built around twenty indicators of spiritual awakening in the Church and Culture as drafted by the Awakening America Alliance.

This prayer emphasis started this past Sunday, May 2nd, and will continue through the week beginning September 12, the Sunday following 9/11 observances. Click here for more information, courtesy AG News.

Below you will find downloadable prayer guides, promotional materials, implementation guidelines, PowerPoint (version 2003) presentations for teaching, and an inspirational video presentation for use in promoting and resourcing this vital prayer event. (NOTE: In order to print the poster, click the link to open the file in a separate browser window. Then right click on the image, click “Save Image As…” and save it to your desktop as a jpeg file.)

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