Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Change of Plans

Dottie and I have been giving a lot of thought and researching much information and seeking a lot of counsel on the direction we should go post surgery. I take a lot of affirmation from Philippians 1:24-25, but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. (25) Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, As Paul indicates, God hasn’t revealed to me His sovereign plan and I don’t expect Him to. My life has always been in His hands to do with as He sees fit. Right now our choice is to pursue an anti-cancer, clinical nutrition route for a couple of reasons.

One, our surgeon’s skillful removal of the tumor, and secondly, the successful documentation of the anti-cancer nutritional protocol for my type of cancer confirmed by other reliable resources. I am grateful that Dottie got us on a nutritional course a long time ago. We have just raised it up several notches. So far I think I have been a cooperative patient.

Having been through medical challenges with others, I know that advice often comes from a multitude of directions. We believe we have pooled our advice carefully, looking for accurate confirmation that can stand the test of good science. If interested, the book by Dr. Servan-Shreiber, Anti Cancer; A New Way of Life, is a good introduction to the protocol. There is a lot of information to absorb and it can get overwhelming. We have worked hard not to panic. My calling is to be a pastor, not a physician, but I do believe my science and math training has prepared me to carefully assess the information that has come to us. God has providentially brought us some good people who are experts in their field. For this we are so grateful.
I don’t plan to become an anti-cancer, nutritional evangelist. If you ask, we may share a little. It’s your call. We recognize how much of an adjustment this is to much of what most of us have assumed was normal. I know how hard it is to change from what we believe is an adequate world-view in the area of personal lifestyle ... until you get cancer. It can be a wake-up call. We all have much to learn.

People have asked what they can do to help. A big help is for everyone to get involved with the leadership at Southwood in carrying out our mission: “Building a growing community that reaches out with grace to connect with our unchurched community.” Our theme is to “Let Gloucester County Know” that there exists a great community of people at Southwood who are ready to embrace them with the gospel of Jesus Christ and provide a healthy community for them to continue to discover the greatness of God.

For us persoanlly, we are working on organizing our daily nutritional plan. When we do, shopping (very selectively and specifically) and helping with meal preparation may be a huge help to Dottie. We will let you know. I love email. This gives me a great way to keep in contact. Keep it coming. I would relish personal time with people but my brain is still healing. My surgeon gave me at least 3-4 weeks after surgery to rest. Our clinical nutrionist echoes that advice. The elders have things covered through the end of November. That is probably longer that I would like but I know after briefly visiting at the end of last Sunday’s service, I am not ready to be back in the pulpit. Part of me is chomping at the bit but I couldn’t believe how nervous I was sitting in the narthex waiting for Rich to end the service. I haven’t felt that way in 21 years.

I am resing, reading, enjoying family, and continuing to study in Philippians. I love this letter from Paul to the congregation in Philippi. I will keep updating the posted online notes. It is the entire book so the file may get quite large. I also have a Google Notebook of resources on Philippians if anyone is interested. Periodically I will post also to my pastor blog what I have been reading. When mentally tired, I resort to listening to some great audio on my iPod. I’ll try to post this also on my pastor blog.

God is good. His stretching of our character is bounded by His sovereign grace. As a result we can be confident in what He has been doing. Love to all of you.

P.S. Here is the type of testimony that has been encouraging. It is someone with Hodgins disease who utilized a treatment plan by Dr. William Kelly

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