A more upbeat plot twist: Total remission!

 This is a follow up to Plot twist: I’ve got cancer and Cancer treatment update: So far, so good.  Thanks for the prayers!

Short version: Total remission! I had my 5th chemo treatment today and will have one more treatment next month as precaution. I’ll probably just have annual scans after that. Thanks for all the love, prayers and support and thank-you to Jesus for countless answered prayers.  By the way, I thought tumor was only golf ball sized. Turns out it was about 3 inches!  But it is gone.

It is interesting to rewind the tape at this point and ensure we’ve learned all we can from this and celebrated all the seemingly countless blessings God brought our way.  I had cancer, but I also had Jesus — and still do — and that made all the difference.

I imagine that it works this way for many cancer patients.  At some point you get an official diagnosis, but you realized you had something serious long before that.  For me it was when my general practitioner called after an ultrasound (they had suspected kidney stones).  He said that there was a triangle shaped thing on my kidney.  I immediately knew that it was cancer, even though they wanted to do a CT scan to confirm it.  In an odd way, it was good that it was cancer instead of something benign, because either way it was causing serious problems.  Chemo took care of it, but had it been benign it would have involved a tricky surgery to remove.  And if the cancer was part of my kidney and stomach, as it first appeared, that would have required removing the kidney and some of the stomach.

Before the PET scan that was the final confirmation that I only had this one cancer, I sat there and realized this would go one of 3 broad ways: (1) a miraculous healing, (2) the Lymphoma they had predicted that would be treatable, or (3) that there were other more serious cancers that could require more testing and/or serious procedures or be more life-threatening.  By the grace of Jesus, I was at truly content and at peace with any of those and was that way through the entire process. But to be candid, my reaction to range of options when you know you have cancer – which was before they officially told me — was more about laziness than fear – though I’m not sure which is worse.  I was content either way trusting in Jesus, but I wanted the least amount of work for me to get the maximum glory for Jesus. I suppose that’s my Spiritual Gift of Laziness — one of the lesser known gifts, along with my Spiritual Gift of Rationalization.

The medical team was amazing.  Every last person.  The doctor and many of the nurses were committed believers.  Oncology is a tough discipline even for the medical field.  I am so grateful for their education, their hard work and their dedication in a truly challenging field.  Many cases don’t work out like this.  And their jobs get tougher daily with all the bureaucracy and funding requirements they deal with.

God can and does do miracles, but He will ultimately draw to him whomever He wills.  But He doesn’t always do miracles.  If he had cured me immediately or even partway through with a miracle I would have missed out on so many blessings.  I have zero complaints about any of this.

Many people prayed for it to be miraculously removed, and that would have been fine with me.  But Jesus is still the same King of Kings and Lord of Lords regardless of how this played out with me – live or die.  He can be glorified in so many ways.  See If I Have Enough Faith, Will God Heal Me?  for more on that important topic.

And since we will all eventually die, we need to think carefully about eternity and whether we are right with the one true God.  Make no mistake: I know people have been wounded by church and by Christians,  heard bad theology, been repulsed at prosperity gospel preachers and seen much hypocrisy (and the Bible predicted many times that all those bad things would happen).  And I’m well aware that every day Christianity becomes more in conflict with the world’s values — though that is a design feature, not a bug.

But do those things mean Jesus didn’t rise from the dead or that you should reject Christianity?  Not at all. That, my fiends, is the central question of human history. If He didn’t rise from the dead, then Christianity openly admits that it would be false (1 Corinthians 15). But if He did, that changes everything.  The only miracle I really need is the resurrection. Everything falls into place from there.  It proves all his claims.  And He affirmed the Old Testament  to the last letter and authorized the New Testament, so we can trust what He has delivered to us.

Sadly, most people — even in churches! — don’t know about the evidence for the resurrection.  I love pointing out how that even atheist historians concede many facts of history that support the resurrection and debunk the alternative theories (i.e., that the disciples stole Jesus’ body, that He didn’t really die, that people had mass hallucinations, etc.).  Nearly 100% of historians of that time period agree that a real person named Jesus died on a Roman cross, that his followers believed He rose from the dead, that the Apostle Paul went from persecuting Christians to being the greatest evangelist in history and wrote nearly half the books of the New Testament, and more.

The cross was simultaneously the greatest evil and greatest good in history. The only perfect human ever – and God in flesh – was found guilty in a mockery of a trial, beaten, humiliated and nailed to a cross like a piece of meat until he died.  Why?  To save us from our sins, if only we would repent and trust in him.  Please carefully consider these claims and don’t think that you will be able to sit in judgment of God or dictate the terms of eternity to him.

So whatever you do, don’t believe either of the opposite but equally wrong lies that you don’t need God because you are good enough, or that you are beyond his forgiveness because you are too bad.

Again, this is my #1 book recommendation outside of the Bible: If you would like a great summary of the Bible and Christianity, check out The Story of Reality by Greg Koukl.  Though it is easy to read and less than 200 pages, it covers the major themes of the Bible from beginning to end and provides evidence as to why Christianity is true and other worldviews are not.  Even if you don’t end up believing you will have a much better understanding of what you disagree with.  It gives solid answers to common questions while showing how Christian worldview best conforms to reality.  And if you believe it will strengthen your faith and give you something to share with others.

Again, the blessings haven’t stopped coming with this adventure.  I have such a great wife and kids and extended family, and countless friends who have prayed for us and offered to help in any way.  I had it fairly easy.  Really, I just laid down for various scans and had medicine pumped in me while sitting in a recliner. Mrs. Eternity Matters did so much more and with such love.  We had countless relationships that thawed/renewed/grew/started, and those alone would have been more than worth the price.  We learned to give people the benefit of the doubt more and to be more assertive in reaching out to others who need encouragement.   And so much more.  So our main prayer — that we wouldn’t waste any of this — has been answered countless times, and we thank God repeatedly for that.

In short, we’ve lived what we believed, and that would have made this process better regardless of the outcome.

Thanks to everyone who offered prayers and encouragement to me and my family throughout this.  You have no idea how much every comment meant.

Be blessed!


A couple pictures: We got Daisy, a French Bulldog rescue, shortly after treatments started.  We weren’t in the market for a dog, but a good friend runs a small pet rescue and had the perfect one for us.  The timing was great.  She was a great nap-dog as I slept through the chemo crashes.  Here she is drunk-Tweeting.  Again.

Here she is sobered up.  Truly a blessing.  Sweetest dog you can imagine and a great stress relief.

Despite the chemo treatments, Mrs. Eternity Matters and I were able to continue practicing and had a joyful time at a ballroom dance competition.  The process was a great distraction and staying active really helped me feel better.  One of the many tender mercies from God.

Advertisements

Roundup

Good idea here: Use Feedly (it is free!) to select what blogs you want to follow and quit letting Facebook give you what it wants. One of the great things about blogging is how you can find trusted news and commentary sources. I’ve had many over the years that I had to delete because they wouldn’t make corrections when wrong or deliberately skewed things. But you can find the legitimate sites and follow them and be way better off than anything Facebook or the mainstream media gives you.


Great video (and yes, I get the irony of posting it on social media).  But I’ve taken all social media apps off my phone, and haven’t missed them.  And I deactivated my Facebook page and haven’t missed that, either.  I encourage everyone to think carefully about their habits.


Make no mistake: Leftists want to ban guns. Anyone saying otherwise is ignorant and/or malicious.


Tragic but not surprising — and not just the incident but the silence of the Left — including the “Christian” Left.  Uh, how does this fit into their pro-Islam / pro-feminist ideals?  As usual, anything that doesn’t fit their narrative immediately goes down the memory hole and their sheep never even hear about it.

Parents of a Texas high school student who was reported missing in late January had abused their daughter after she refused an arranged marriage, leading her to run away from home until she was found in mid-March, police said.

Maarib Al Hishmawi, 16, was reported missing on Jan. 30 after she was last seen leaving Taft High School in Bexar County. …

Authorities on Friday said Al Hishmawi’s parents — Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi, 34, and Hamdiyah Saha Al Hishmawi, 33 — had allegedly beaten their daughter with a broomstick and poured hot cooking oil on her when she refused to marry a man in another city. The parents reportedly agreed to the arranged marriage in exchange for $20,000.


Well, they do have diversity there.   The Religion of Peace at work. Via Holocaust Survivor Killed for Being Jewish in Paris

Last Friday, firemen were called to the apartment of an 85-year-old woman living in Paris. They managed to put out the fire and found Mireille Knoll had been stabbed 11 times before the fire was set. [Yesterday], French police confirmed they have two men in custody for the murder and believe Knoll was targeted because she was Jewish. In fact, as a child she had survived a round-up of Jews by the Nazis.


Facts are your friends.


 

Roundup

Haven’t done one of these for a while!  I used to do them but started posting individual items to the Eternity Matters Facebook page.  I avoid just posting links and/or doing just teasers that don’t tell enough about the link.  You can always click for more, but I try to summarize it as I would on Facebook or Twitter.  Be blessed and happy Resurrection Day!


Really, really glad that we are becoming members at his church.  And it isn’t just him.  We can tell the church was like this all along.  Via Let Us Never Grow Weary of the Cross:

Sometimes the people get bored, but too often the preacher gets bored first. Careful, pastor, this is not the week for trying new things and introducing new themes. It’s the week for celebrating old things that still have the power to make us new.

Let us not wander far from sin, salvation, and judgement. Let’s not strain to make ourselves relevant to the politics, the pop culture, or the presidential controversy of the day. Christ’s death and resurrection will be relevant on its own. The message of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is still the message people need. They need to see the cross—who was hanging there, why he had to die, and why he could not stay dead.

Sin is worse than you think. The good news is better than you imagine. That’s what our people need to hear.

Jesus lived. Jesus died. Jesus lives again.
Christ arose. Christ reigns. Christ will return.
We have sinned. We will die. We can live forever.

Keep is simple. Play it straight. Preach Christ and him crucified.


New motto after the Omnibus spending bill: Vote Republican!  We’ll destroy the country a little more slowly than the Democrats.


So true and so fun to share with Leftists: Harry Potter Is An Inspiring Parable About #Resisting Gun Control

I’ve read all seven books on several occasions, and they make the strongest case for an armed populace and the evils of gun control I’ve ever read.

Instead of guns, wizards in Harry Potter use wands for self-defense. Every wizard is armed at eleven, taught to use dangerous spells, and released into a society where everyone’s packing heat and concealed carry is the norm. It’s an inspiring example the United States should strive towards.


Bitchute is a video site like YouTube but without the censorship of conservatives, just as Gab.ai is the uncensored version of Twitter.   I encourage you to check out both.  They will get better and more functional as time passes.  @getongab


Phillips’ Axioms by Dan Phillips.  These are brilliant.  Read them all at the link.

Unlike Biblical Proverbs, they’re uninspired. Like Biblical proverbs, the aim is memorable, thought-provoking, stick-in-your-mind brevity.

Strictly, some of these are proverbs or apothegms… but that would make too long a title!

If this list has no interest to you, I’d just ask you graciously to remember what you paid for it.

  1. If you ever weren’t God, you never will be.

  2. When you sin or do something really foolish, you have two choices: repent, forsake, and rectify; or start an endless cycle of doubling-down degradation. Most people do the latter.

  3. Don’t be the last to know you’re wrong.

  4. Trolls are thoughtful people. Nail them for what they are, and they immediately prove you right.

  5. Pastors who don’t pastor aren’t pastors, they’re lecturers.

  6. Anyone who claims to be an apostle today is ‘way, ‘way too young.

  7. Any woman who seeks to lead men in church is eo ipso disqualified—if open rebellion against the Lordship of Christ is still a disqualifier.


Leftist policies increase fatherless homes, and fatherless homes drive all sorts of societal ills, including mass shootings: 72% of adolescent murderers, 60% of rapists, 70% of incarcerated juveniles grew up withou fathers. Fix those policies instead of grabbing guns.


The latest gun-grabbing nonsense further demonstrates the ignorance and/or malice of the Left — including the “Christian” Left.  They use kids as props and pretend to care for them while pushing abortions to the child’s 1st breath.  Too bad children in the womb can’t march for their lives against the mostly pro-abort gun-grabbers. More children are killed in the womb daily than the total of those killed in U.S. school shootings to date.   If only the victims of the Holocaust, Communism, etc. were her to join the protest . . . oh, wait, they had their guns confiscated.  Satan is evil but he isn’t stupid.  The government schools “forget” to teach kids what happens when the government confiscates guns.

Corollary to this classic: Trump is Hitler, so let’s beg him to take our guns!

 

 

 

 

Other than everything, the Omnibus spending bill is great

Still can’t believe Trump signed it.  And no, he isn’t playing 4-D chess.  He made a huge mistake.  Republicans have the White House, the Senate and the House and we are still funding Planned Parenthood, wasting billions of dollars on ridiculous things and not building a wall.   We are loading tons of debt on our children and grandchildren for the most wasteful and counterproductive things imaginable.

The 2018 elections were already looking bad, but had some bright spots with the tax cuts and such.  But this is a huge step backwards.

The Democrats are cheering this budget.  Meditate on that.  They didn’t cheer at the State of the Union for anything, including record low black unemployment, but they are cheering this budget.  My only hope is that it shames Trump into fighting back against them.

 

Deactivating (or deleting) Facebook

Big Tech (Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are furious that Trump won and will not let something like that happen again.  They already stacked the deck against conservatives but are now getting unhinged.   I knew they did targeted advertising and such, but didn’t realize quite how evil they were (though not really surprised). But with Trump’s win they are going over the top in censoring conservative content.

I deactivated my personal Facebook account. Yea! No regrets.  Facebook asked me why.  I told them I didn’t trust them.  I still use my Eternity Matters page, though.  This article is very helpful: The Ultimate Guide To Freeing Yourself From Facebook And Keeping All of Your Data.

It is very easy to restart it if you need to.  You just log back in.  So even if people want to keep their accounts they can send a message by deactivating temporarily.  And they may realize they don’t miss it!

I had already taken Facebook, Twitter and my blog reader off of my phone and haven’t missed them.  I am more likely to go through Bible verses on my ScriptureTyper app.

I also highly recommend dumping Google Chrome and switching to the Opera browser, and using DuckDuckGo for searching instead of Google.  

I highly encourage people to get on Gab — gab.ai.  Pure free speech.  Yeah, you’ll have to mute some cranks but I have had to do the same thing on Twitter, Facebook and Disqus.  Gab doesn’t have an app because Apple and Google won’t support free speech.

And apparently Facebook tracks your calls, messages, and contacts on Android devices.

Not to be outdone, YouTube is banning gun videos – because you wouldn’t want people to know how to use them safely!

It is amusing that because of the one group that benefited Trump via Facebook – though only about 1% of what Facebook et al did for Obama and Hillary — lots of Leftists are furious with Facebook and leaving it.  Sweet, sweet schadenfreude.  You might want to join them.

About those lobbyists and the NRA . . .

The Left tries to blame the NRA every time there is a shooting, even though none of the NRA members ever do the shootings in question.  They make a big deal out of how the NRA has donated to politicians.

But check out the top lobbyists for 2017.  The NRA is not one of the top 20 lobbyists, but even if they were, shut up, because 2nd Amendment.

And look who is on the list! Comcast, the customer service giant (ahem) and supporter of Leftist favorite “Net Neutrality.” So you know that would be good for consumers.

There are also lots of medical companies who want the government to give them more business. And the Chamber of Commerce, which loves illegal aliens as much as the Left.

And worst of all, the gun-grabbing Leftists ignore how Planned Parenthood, government-sector unions and other Leftist organizations partner with the politicians to take turns giving each other our money.

Please remind Leftists of these things when they bring up the NRA.

Here’s a handy jpeg to share wherever you like:

The benefits of the tax bill keep increasing, so Leftists are getting more unhinged

The tax bill in particular and Trump’s other economic initiatives in general (such as reducing regulations) are dramatically improving the financial situation of the entire country.  Nearly everyone benefits from one or more of these:

  • Tax cuts that help at least 80% of the population and make it much easier to file for most people.  And the few that do have to pay more are mainly the rich in Leftist states (as if you could do anything to please them anyway — and don’t they claim to like paying higher taxes?).
  • The stock market gains have been phenomenal.  Anyone with any sort of retirement account has to be enjoying this.  And it is all because of the Republican financial moves.  The stock market always looks forward, so this is all about these changes and has nothing to do with Obama.
  • Many companies have raised wages and/or given bonuses, including Wal-Mart.  This helps nearly everyone, because other companies will need to raise wages to keep up.  That supply and demand thing has its sharp edges, but in this case it will help.  And while wage increases can ultimately be inflationary, in this case the companies are using their tax savings to fund them so they won’t necessarily be raising prices.  Haven’t Leftists always lamented Wal-Mart?  Shouldn’t they be cheering now?

Also, while we don’t have a wall yet, illegal immigration is down and that will provide more jobs to citizens and help increase wages.   And the tax bill gutted Obamacare by eliminating the individual mandate.

This is all so spectacularly good for everyone — except the radical Leftists who hate Trump so much that they’d deny these amazing benefits to the people they claim to care about.

The Left will go on hating Trump and get even more unhinged, but how do you think all those people getting tax cuts, pay raises and fatter retirement accounts will feel?  Hopefully they’ll realize that Republicans have always been the adults in the room on economics. and that the Left has not only been lying to them but that they never really cared about them to begin with.  The Republicans can campaign on having kept some major promises.

Pass the popcorn.

Leftist sound bites that make you embarrassed for those that use them . . .

Just saw this today:

Build a wall? Does anyone remember Berlin?

Yeah, because the U.S. protecting our southern border is virtually indistinguishable from the Berlin wall.  Millions of people were illegally breaking into the Communist paradise of East Germany to get a vastly improved standard of living.  They made all sorts of demands and were not getting deported even when they committed multiple felonies.  And so much  more.  They are so ignorant that they don’t realize the Berlin wall was to keep people in the Communist hellhole.  The Communists worked 24×7 to keep people from knowing how much better the West was.

In case you think that quote couldn’t be any more stupid, it was written by someone who spent decades teaching in public schools.  And what did he teach?  History.  

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.