Friday, March 30, 2007

Living Strong In Him

"God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved." (Psalm 46:5 NASB)

This is the verse the Lord gave me the day of Jay's surgery last year when I first found that he had cancer.  I will never forget that day as long as I live.  I can still picture it, as though it happened just yesterday. 

As soon as the surgeon sat down next to me in the waiting room, I knew something was up.  I listened to him tell me that Jay was still in the operating room and that he had found a mass...and he held his hands like he was making the shape of an orange, as if to tell me the size of what he had found.  And then he said the words that I cannot erase from my mind because it has been burned to my memory, "It's a tumor.  Mrs. Hare, Jay has cancer."  What he said after that point, I have absolutely no idea because the entire world went completely silent. I just saw his lips moving, but nothing coming out.  

Then came the breakdown...but, as quickly as the breakdown came, it went.  I sought out the comfort of the words in my bible.  After all, it is the 'LIVING Word.'  I just opened the pages up, not looking for any scripture in particular, and the page I opened up to was Psalm 46:5, "God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved."  Well, praise the Lord for that!!!  It was exactly what I needed in that very moment.

The Lord absolutely meets us where we are at.  There is nothing greater than the feeling of knowing that the Lord loves us so much that no matter where we are at, whether walking strong, or in a weak existence, or no walk at all...He will meet us right there!

So, that verse gave me the strength then, and gives me the strength today to persevere. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your endless and unfailing love for me, and all of those who choose to believe.  I pray for Your continued strength, peace, and discernment.  I am in complete AWE of You and the power that You pour out.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.  



Thursday, March 29, 2007

Total Surrender

"Bring me anything that brings You glory," is what the song by Mercy Me says.  Amen to that!

There are few, if any, who would say without hesitation, "Lord, I surrender everything to You," but not only that, "Lord, I'm asking You to bring trials so that I may demonstrate my whole hearted surrender."  I know I wouldn't be that person!  But, what I can and will say is, "Thank You, Lord, for this trial that is teaching me to walk more closely with You."  The Lord has been faithful to walk with me throughout this, and all other trials which makes it so much easier to surrender with my whole heart.

"May the LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the LORD, be near the LORD our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day may require, that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day." (1 Kings 8:57-61 NKJV)

The Lord calls us to surrender everything to Him.  What do you do to allow yourself to be ushered into the presence of the Lord so that a whole hearted surrender can take place?  For me, it is worship music.  Music is what speaks to my heart instantly and it is only a matter of seconds before I am in the presence of the Lord, praising Him with hands held high no matter my present circumstances.

Meditate on the words to this song:

Bring The Rain by Mercy Me

I can count a million times

People asking me how I

Can praise You with all that I’ve gone through

The question just amazes me

Can circumstances possibly

Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed

Long before these rainy days

It’s never really ever crossed my mind

To turn my back on You oh Lord

My only shelter from the storm

But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray

Bring me joy

Bring me peace

Bring the chance to be free

Bring me anything that brings You glory

And I know there’ll be days

When this life brings me pain

But if that’s what it takes to praise You

Jesus bring the rain


I am Yours regardless of

The dark clouds that may loom above

Because You are much greater than my pain

You who made a way for me

By suffering Your destiny

So tell me what’s a little rain

Bring me anything that brings You glory

And I know there’ll be days

When this life brings me pain

But if that’s what it takes to praise You

Jesus bring the rain

Holy, Holy, Holy

Is the Lord God Almighty



So, it may seem or even feel sometimes as though there is a rain that won't stop pouring down on me or a darkness that will not give way to light, but through worship music I find a way to praise the Lord in this storm, and He is glorified and in turn, I am blessed beyond measure. 

Jesus, bring the rain...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

All My Praise

"My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped. I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.  Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes." (Psalm 17:5-7 NIV)

The picture that I picked for today's journal entry fits so perfectly with how I feel.  When I look at the picture, I see Jesus leading the way and leaving His footprints for me in the sand.  Yes, much like the famous story of "Footprints" where there is one set of prints in the sand and the man asked, "Where were you, Lord?" and the Lord replied, "There was only one set of footprints because it was then that I carried you." 

Today, the Lord carries me.  Well, everyday the Lord carries me, but specifically today, I rely on Him to carry me.  Jay had a doctor appointment this morning and he looks good, he has gained a couple more pounds, and all the blood levels look really good...except one.  His liver enzyme levels are elevated, not too high, but enough for the doctor to tell us that he's 'not taking a chance' and he increased Jay's dosage of chemo drugs. 

It is now that I rely on the Lord to carry me through to the next appointment and pray the enzyme level does not continue to increase.  I can hear the enemy whispering in my ear, but I am choosing to allow the Lord to deal with that loser

My Lord can do amazing and wonderful things and I know that if it is His will, my husband will be cured of this disease.  I trust that He knows what He's doing and it is in HIS footsteps that I will follow.  Praise the Lord that He is strong enough to carry all of those who believe on His glorious shoulders.

Just as the enemy is trying to distract my focus, I am reminded that all I need to do is worship and praise the Lord and He will protect me from the enemy's evil ways.  Listening to worship music is one of the ways that I have found works best for blocking out the lies of Satan.  I envision my heart being filled to overflowing with the Lord's love, so much so that the enemy is drowned completely out.  Oh I love that! 

There is a song by Selah that is simple in it's message, but very powerful.  I have attached the words to this song.  If you have a chance, go to and listen to the song and let the words just resonate in your heart. 


All My Praise
Word and music by Audrey Hatcher

I will follow You through green pastures
And sing hallelujah to Your Name
I will follow You through dark disaster
And sing hallelujah through the pain

And even in the shadow of death
I will praise You
And even in the valley I will say

Holy, my God
You are worthy of all my praise
Holy, my God
You are worthy of all my praise

You are seated on Your throne in heaven
And You see all of us down here
And You have promised You will not abandon
So I shall not fear

And even in the shadow of death
I will praise You
And even in the valley I will say

Holy, my God
You are worthy of all my praise
Holy, my God
You are worthy of all my praise

You made every star
And You taught it how to shine
You knew my name before there was time
And all this was just part of Your glorious design
Hallelujah, Hallelujah


Heavenly Father, I praise You in all circumstances, good and bad.  I will follow as You lead.  Make Your ways mine. May Your will be done.  Amen


Monday, March 26, 2007

Drawing Near

"Submit therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:7-8a)

Jay and I are about to see his oncologist in the morning.  It's just a regular check up, but then again, what's a 'regular check up' anymore?  No matter what happens to Jay from here on out, I will always feel a bit nervous before any of his appointments.  I'm sure he's feeling the same way. 

Once someone you love is diagnosed with cancer, nothing is ever the same.  It's not like you can just sit back and say, "Oh, there's nothing to worry about."  When cancer enters the picture, it consumes the life of the patient, as well as that of the spouse.  But, you can choose to live one minute at a time and pray that you can go at least one or two minutes without thinking about cancer or something related.

I can say that I think about Jay's cancer a lot.  But, as I draw near to the Lord, He is faithful to help me not be fearful.  I am scared, but I am not FULL OF FEAR as the word 'fearful' indicates.  I trust the Lord with Jay's illness, and the only 'fear' I feel now is that of REVERENCE for God and His mighty powers.  Praise the Lord that He is at work in my husband's life, as well as mine, through this cancer.

So, when I get scared, I draw closer to God and hand over that nauseus feeling in my stomach, the questions of "What if?" and the lies that the enemy is whispering in my ear and I say to the Lord, "Take these that I give to you and work it out for your glory!"  And he is so faithful to do just that.  And each time that I take them back, He is faithful to receive them back from me again, and again, and again.  Our God is so good!

So, as I said, we are seeing the oncologist tomorrow morning and we will be reviewing Jay's progress thus far with the chemo and radiation treatments.  We will also get the results of blood tests to make sure that his levels are all where they should be.  I ask my Christian Family to be in prayer for this appointment and for the test results, as well as for continued comfort and relief from minor side effects.  I thank you for your faithfulness to pray for my honey.






Sunday, March 25, 2007


"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much." (Luke 16:10 NASB)
I've been learning to pay attention to the smaller details of life lately, because the Lord is showing me that it is in the smaller things that you learn the most about being obedient to Him. 
Now, this may be a stretch for some, but just hang in there with me... 
Everyone shops at the grocery store, but how many times have you seen people just leave their carts right where their car is and not walk it back to the cart keeper?  Even if the cart keeper is one parking space away!  Well, I don't know about you, but I've been guilty of it.  By taking that extra step and putting the cart away where it belongs, is it possible that it is a form of obedience to the Lord? 
Or how about this...upon getting your groceries home and checking the receipt, you see that you were not charged for one of the items.  Do you go back to the store and bring it to their attention and make them charge you for it?  If you're saying to yourself, "Well, it depends on how much that item costs, or more boldly, just answer the question with a resounding 'No,' you are not being faithful to the Lord.  He tells us that if we are faithful in the little things, we can be trusted with the bigger things in life, and on the flip side, if we cannot be trusted in the small stuff, He knows not to trust us in the big. 
My awareness of these 'minor' matters has been brought to the forefront of my mind, and even more so, the Holy Spirit has put conviction on my heart for these little inconveniences and many more just like them.  But, I have found a way that I can honor the Lord by taking that extra step in the name of Jesus Christ. 
My friend and I have joked around about paying attention to our surroundings.  I never used to stop and increase my awareness of the happenings around me, but she pointed out to me that if I just took the time to look around at things and people, and really listen to sounds and noises that I would become more keenly aware of everything.  And you know what? It is absolutely true!  But, it's not in just the physical or tangible.  This process of awareness has effected my spiritual life as well.  I am taking the time to apply my keen sense of awareness to differentiate between what is right according to human standards and what is right according to the standards set by the Lord. 
I know that I will never meet the Lord's standards, but what I can do is hold myself accountable to do more than just what is accepted by the world, or even allowable by the standards of other Christians.  I will not live my life as if I were living in the world again, and just the same, I cannot set my standards based on what my brothers and sisters in Christ deem as acceptable for themselves.  Instead, I need to set the bar higher than that when I receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit and I know in my heart that the Lord can be glorified on a deeper level. 
I am amazed at how faithful the Lord is to bless me when I am obedient to Him by persevering through the tedious little things in life in order to honor Him. 
I invite you to find your own awareness level.  It will be a challenge, no doubt, and it will stretch you in your walk , but in your obedience, the Lord will bless you abundantly.
To my friend who has taught me to be aware, thank you for following the Lord's leading to share such a valuable lesson with me.  My life has been changed.  I pray that the Lord continues to use you as a vessel to stretch and mold me into the Christian that He wants me to be.  I love you very much for your faithfulness.
I'm off to do the dreaded laundry...but, as unto the Lord!  :0)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pressing On

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14 NIV)

My walk with the Lord is not perfect by any means, but I do try to keep in mind that if I just stay the course, repenting of my wrong doings and moving forward...pressing on...I will someday receive my heavenly reward. 

There are some days when I truly feel homesick for heaven.  I desire to see what the Lord has in store for me there.  If I listen to the enemy, he tells me that I am unworthy of anything at all and that I deserve to burn in hell.  Well, part of that which he tells me is true...I am completely unworthy of anything the Lord has waiting for me, but by His grace, I will receive a reward.  All praise and glory to Him who loves me!

My longing to see Jesus face to face seems unbearable at times.  I feel ready to leave this world behind and never have another dark day.  Wouldn't that be great?!  I imagine that the sun would shine brighter, the colors would be more vibrant than I could dream of, the feeling of love greater than I've ever felt, and there before me stands my Savior Jesus Christ.  Of course, I would have to fall on my face before Him and kiss the feet of the One who died for me and made it possible for me to be there in the first place!  And my greatest desire would be to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21 NIV)

I remember my pastor giving a message one time and he referred to another pastor as having said when asked about maintaining the longevity of his marriage, "Just stay the course."  Meaning that, no matter the circumstance, no matter how rough it gets sometimes, just hang in there and and press on.  Well, that is exactly true in our faith.  No matter the circumstance, no matter how rough it gets and how persecuted we feel, have faith, hold fast and press on.  Allow the Lord to  turn those things that the enemy intends for bad into something that He can be glorified by. (Romans 8:28)

Last night, Jay and I had dinner with some friends that I used to work with.  During dinner, I had this sudden burst of gratefulness wash over me as I watched my honey conversing and laughing with the group.  In his present circumstances, with daily chemo and radiation treatments, he could very well be at home suffering from side effects, but he isn't!  He is able to do the things that he would normally do and for anyone to look at him, they couldn't say that he looks like a cancer patient.  The enemy would have him surrendered and on death's door if he could, but the mercy and grace of my Father is extended to Jay and he is well and able to live his life in spite of this disease.  I praise Him for that.

Stay the course, I will.  In bad times, I will press on because my reward is waiting for me at the finish line and I am eager to be a faithful servant  that finishes this race.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A New Day

"Great are Your tender mercies , O LORD; Revive me according to Your judgments." (Psalm 119:56 NKJV)

Praise the Lord for His mercies!  He is so faithful!! 

Jay just completed his second full week of radiation with very little side effects.  Yes, he is having side effects, but he is able to withstand the annoyances of them.  I give the glory to the Lord for that! 

Each day that Jay is able to go about his business is a day that I am grateful for and rejoicing in.  I believe that my husband is the strongest man I have ever met.  To endure these major life changes in such a short span of time and be able to persevere as he has, I can't express enough how much of a hero he is to me.  I couldn't be more proud to call him my man!

My prayer, as he gets ready to go in for his third week of treatment, is that the Lord would sustain his energy and protect him from any harm that could potentially come his way.  Those of you who pray could assist me with my request to the Lord for this.  I've heard that energy levels can decrease with each new week of treatment, and other complications can begin to happen, but I am secure in my faith and trust that the Lord will only allow His will to be done, and His will is all I want. 

One thing I am appreciating about my Jaybird being at home, well...there are many that come to mind, but the one that stands out to me right now is the fact that we have been able to spend more time together and enjoy each other's company.  Most of the time, we just hang out at home and watch movies or TV, and we try to watch things that will make us laugh. 

I will tell you that listening to my husband's laugh is a huge blessing to me.  My heart is filled with such joy to sit and listen to his big belly laugh.  He watches a bunch of shows on cable that the humor seems to escape me, but he certainly gets it, and boy...that sound just blesses my soul. 

It's a great day when we find a show that caters to both of our senses of humor.  Both of us have a really BIG laugh when we get going, so I would imagine it would be a sight for someone to walk in on us holding our stomachs from the pain of laughter.  Ahhh, there is no greater feeling than that of the pain felt from really hard laughter.

I am grateful to the Lord for those treasured times with my honey.  I do love him so.

To my beloved Jaybird, I will love you until the end of time.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Not My Plan, But His

"For I know the plans I have for you, ' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you a future and hope.'" (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB)

Well, praise the Lord that He has a plan for my life.  At 37, I still wonder in which direction I should go with my life.  The best thing about that Lord has my life all mapped out and I only need to seek Him to find out which direction to face and when to take that next step. 

I sometimes think about my life and wonder what tomorrow will hold, and I even try to speculate sometimes what will become of me, but as soon as I dream up some crazy idea of what will be next, the Lord is quick to redirect my thoughts back to Him because He is the Keeper of every second of my life. 

Some people stress out about what they will become when they "grow up" or what their next job will be as they move up that corporate ladder, but I don't have the desire to expend unnecessary energy on that thought process.  My desire is to follow as the Lord leads me and live for each moment He allows me to remain on this earth.

With Jay having cancer, it has given me much more appreciation for life in general.  I don't know that I have taken my life completely for granted, but it has never been made more clear to me than now that time is so very precious and I need to savor it as much as humanly possible. 

My husband could be cured of this disease or not...the Lord holds that in His hands and I am learning to be okay with that.  I'm not saying that when Jay is in pain or feeling sick that I don't freak out on occasion, but again, the Lord is in control and when I am too scared or hurt to turn my eyes to Him, He is faithful to gently take my chin and raise my head up for me. 

The Lord sends us angels to be our protectors, our guides, our "God with skin on."  I have one friend in particular that I KNOW, that I KNOW, that I KNOW is being used by the Lord for that exact purpose!  Now, I will not give her name out, but anyone that knows me at all, knows who this young lady is.

She is the one person that the Lord uses to help me grow in my spiritual walk.  When my thoughts are not right, she gently corrects me.  When my actions do not glorify the Lord, she shows me the way back to living with the Lord's righteousness.  Just turn left when there is a "right turn only" sign, and she is faithful to redirect.(lol) 

But, I couldn't ask for a better angel for the Lord to place in my life because she is REAL and HUMAN and just so beautiful.  She gives me hope that I might be able to be used by the Lord for the same purpose that she is used by Him in my life.  It is a wonderful thought that I may be used to encourage someone else in their walk and help them to see that there are no perfect Christians, just forgiven sinners through Jesus Christ's shed blood on the cross.  I will forever be grateful to the Lord for counting me worthy of such a friend, sister, and angel. 

No matter who may be walking beside me in this life, I will make the most of my time with them, making sure that they know how much I love them, how special they are, and how much I treasure our time together.  To be truly loved by others, you must first extend true love.  

Heavenly Father, it is You that gives me True love in my heart. May those that surround me feel You and see You.  In Your Precious Son's name.  Amen.   

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Count It All Joy

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."  (James 1:2-4 NKJV)

There are many things that Jay and I could focus on and worry about, but I am trusting that the Lord is at work providing for us, for our future together.  This is definitely a trial, but the Lord's hand is on it and I can see Him working on our behalf.  No matter if it's physical, emotional, or Lord has it covered! 

People come up to me every single day and tell me that they are praying for us, and my response to them is, "Thank you so much!  I appreciate it, and keep it up because IT'S WORKING!"  Praise the Lord! There is a lot to be said for intercessory prayer.  I don't believe that Jay would be doing as well as he is if it weren't for all of my beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord lifting up those prayers.  I pray for the Lord's most abundant blessings on them for their diligence and dedication to our cause.

The blessings that have been bestowed upon me are more than I can handle sometimes.  I have been made to feel as though I am a special person, and I know that not to be true.  I am unworthy of the love that I receive from the Lord and the others that have been so strategically placed in my life by my loving Father.

To those wonderful people, I say to you, I love you more than you'll ever imagine!  It is your love that lifts me up and energizes my soul.     

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

First Things First

First things first...the Lord receives all the credit for getting Jay and I to where we are right this minute.  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)  Minute by minute is how I choose to deal with this trial, and I can see the Lord at work in every one of those minutes that pass me by.

Intellectually, there is absolutely no reason I can think of that someone should be the recipient of the disease known as cancer...the "Big C."  This disease is terrible at best, yet the Lord has managed to work it out to where HE would be glorified through my husband's illness.  My Jaybird has been able to withstand daily chemotherapy and radiation and all of its side effects, and still manage to go fishing or get in a round of golf on a regular basis. 

It is a miracle to me that my honey can ingest poison on a daily basis, and receive radiation blasts to his abdomen five days a week, and still be able to perform his regular daily tasks.  He is able to keep going through all of the nausea, fatigue and neuropathy.  That, right there, tells me that not only does God exist, but that He exists for the purpose of giving my honey the strength to persevere.

All the prayers that have been lifted up on Jay's behalf (mine too) have made this experience much easier to deal with.  I'm not saying that it is easy by any means, IT'S NOT, but anyone who knows the Lord, knows a "peace that surpasses all understanding"(Philippians 4:7) and that is what makes it so that I am able to carry on and not just exist in this life, but actually LIVE IT.  It is the love of the people that surround Jay and I, the prayers they lift up on our behalf, and the faithfulness of the Lord to hear those prayers and answer that make it all possible.

So, this journal is intended to be my way of expressing my experience of walking beside my very courageous husband as we fight the good fight.  I intend to allow myself to feel every emotion that comes with thisand not hide from it.  It would be very easy to go to the doctor and request some type of pill that will make it "all seem better," but that is not what is best for me.  That only delays the inevitable, which is, I will feel all of these emotions at some point in time anyway, so why not feel them now and allow the Lord to work in me through these experiences.

All I can say now is enjoy the ride!