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Tuesday, June 27, 2006
A new chapter
"Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10

The memorial celebration in memory of Malcom's life was yesterday. It was all that I had hoped for and truly a wonderful tribute to a life well lived. He loved the Lord, loved souls, loved me, loved his children. He was my best friend and it will take great grace from God to navigate through the next months and years.

In the days since Malcom's homegoing, I have coped by being busy taking care of one detail or another. Friends and family have surrounded me, done their best to see that I was not left alone unless I wanted to be, lovingly supporting me each day. But the "busy-ness" cannot take away the lonliness, nor answer my questions about the future. Today I sensed God nudging me into a new chapter of my life.

I have found great comfort in the Psalms these past months. Psalm 46 is especially meaningful to me. It begins with that great declaration: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear..." (vs. 1-2) I have sought refuge in the Lord. I have felt His strength lift up my weakend spirit. He has been there for me through every trial, every heartache. Then in verse 10 God says, "Be still and know that I am God." Whatever the future holds, whatever plans and persuits await me, these are all in God's hands. I will be still for now and allow Him to comfort, strengthen, guide. The new chapter begins by waiting on God.

posted at 10:40 PM  

Friday, June 23, 2006
Funeral Details
"The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." Psalm 118:14

Noble Hill Baptist Church
Monday, June 26, 2006, 11 am
Interment 1 pm Missouri Veterans Cemetary

Visitation and viewing:
Sunday, June 25, 3-5 pm, Thieme-Shadel Funeral Home

Memorial contributions may be made for a Taiwan church building (Dali City Faith Baptist Church) to Baptist Bible Fellowship, PO Box 191, Springfield, MO 65801

A complete obituary will be published on our web page soon.

posted at 9:18 AM  

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Gathered Home
"He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom." Isaiah 40:11

This morning, June 22, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. the Great Shepherd came and gently gathered His lamb to His bosom. Malcom is now at home with the Lord and rejoicing in complete healing.

Details as to family visitation and funeral service will be posted later. Thank you for your continued prayers. We thank the Lord for His mercy.

posted at 1:36 PM  

Monday, June 19, 2006
His time, not mine
"All flesh is grass, and all it's beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it." Isaiah 40:6-7

The breath of the Lord is blowing and we see the grass withering, the flower fading. I realize anew the sovereignty of God. It is not possible for any man to choose the moment of his departure. All is according to God's plan. It is one of those mysteries that puzzles me; how quickly one can pass and how slowly another goes. Two years ago the breath of God reached down and plucked our daughter, Sue, much as one would pick a beautiful flower at the height of it's beauty. She was gone in an instant and nothing man could do would bring her back. Now the breath of God is blowing gently and while we desire that God would hasten to take Malcom home, yet we acquiesce to a sovereign God who for His own reasons delays.

Last Friday it appeared the end was near, but he rallied and God said "No, it's not time yet." So we wait upon the Lord and His time. Thank you for continuing to hold all of us up in prayer. When God is ready, we will applaud His decision.

posted at 6:15 PM  

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
One size fits all
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Something I hear people say a lot is this: "I cannot imagine facing the things you are going through...I could never do it." It's amazing the things one cannot imagine doing or facing--myself included. I have friends who are enduring trials and troubles of all sizes and shapes. I, too, cannot fathom facing those things. Two years ago I could not have imagined the things that were in my future. Looking back I know it is only the grace of God that has seen me through it all. It strikes me that God's grace is as big or small as any situation I may face. It is "one size fits all." As I need it, God's abundant resource is always available to meet my every need. It will not be used up or insufficient.

Since coming home from the hospital last Thursday, Malcom has continued to weaken and decline in health. He did, however, summon up the determination to attend church on Sunday so that he might witness the baptism of our friend Joe. Each day he grows weaker in body, but stronger in spirit. He doesn't complain, but shows concern for others and especially for me. I am becoming aware of the "dying grace" that others have spoken of which I see the Lord giving not only to Malcom, but also to me and our children. In this time of our lives, God's one-size-fits-all grace is much needed.

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

posted at 11:04 PM  

Friday, June 09, 2006
One more work
"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He hath sent." John 6:29

Tuesday at the hospital, when Malcom was so ill, with a sense of urgency he spoke by telephone to someone for whom God had given him a burden: Michael's Dad, Joe. In my blog entry of February 13 entitled "Michael" I wrote, "I do not believe that the story stops here. God is working in lives, bringing people together to accomplish His eternal purposes." Malcom told Joe he wanted to see him. Of course part of the reason was to have one more chance to witness to Joe of salvation in Christ. He said, "I still have a work to do."

Joe immediately purchased a ticket and arrived at the Springfield airport after a flight from Pennsylvania. It was about 5 pm when he went up to the hospital. Malcom spent the next hour or so opening the Word of God and sharing how he might experience forgiveness of sins and a changed life like he had seen in others. Joe gladly bowed his head and prayed the prayer of belief and in that moment became a new creation in Christ! Praise God!

Today was quite busy with Malcom released from the hospital and then having the Hospice people come to our home with equipment, medicines, instructions etc. As always we depend upon the sustaining grace of God for the days ahead. Intertwined is joy because another child of God is on his way to heaven, the result of a life well lived...doing the work of God.

posted at 1:37 AM  

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
I walk in His faithfulness
"For your steadfast love is before my eyes and I walk in your faithfulness." Psalm 26:3

In the midst of trouble and suffering, it is possible to feel God's love, peace, and unfailing faithfulness. I know this not only because God promises it, but because I have experienced it. At times I wonder how it is possible to cope with all that must be faced, but God is faithful and His grace is proving to be sufficient each day, each hour. I'm reminded of words from an old hymn, "Where could I go but to the Lord?"

After returning from our trip to Taiwan, Malcom's health began to decline very quickly. Severe pain and other symptoms had to be addressed, so he was hospitalized on Monday and underwent several tests. The results reveal that the cancer has spread to the liver and is progressing quickly. While in the hospital this week, they have managed to find ways to control the pain without over sedating him. Hopefully tomorrow (Thursday) he will go home and we will have Hospice help for whatever remaining days the Lord allows. All of our children are here and we are all enjoying quality time together. With the symptoms being treated, Malcom is much more comfortable than before and as always his sense of humor is still in tact!

I know the days ahead will be trying, but the Lord's steadfast love is before my eyes and I have no fear because I walk in His faithfulness.

posted at 12:37 PM  

Friday, June 02, 2006
Journey Companions
"But Ruth said, Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God." Ruth 1:16

We arrived safely back to our US home last Tuesday evening. The trip was a little rough since Malcom began running a fever halfway through the longest flight (13 hours). I spent hours on edge putting cold compresses on his face and neck to keep his temperature down. The flight attendants were worried that he might be contagious to other passengers, so it was good we had a letter from the doctor stating that he sometimes runs what they call "tumor fever." It is the body's natural reaction to the growing cancer.

Wednesday Malcom had a doctor's appointment followed by chemotherapy. The cancer is continuing to advance. It was quite shocking to hear that the CEA (tumor marker) is now up to 438, the highest it has ever been. However, it has been one month since the appendectomy, so the doctor was able to start him on Avastin again. We will see in a few weeks if it is effective against the cancer. Tomorrow (Friday, June 2) he will again have a thoracentesis on his right lung.

It's been close to one year since we were forced on this journey. Like Ruth following Naomi, there have been family and friends who have chosen to be our companions. You have been there to encourage, pray, rejoice or weep. Thank you for being a source of strength. We need you now more than ever.

posted at 12:12 AM