Unfortunately, he was not feeling well enough to go to church today although we had hoped to take that step together as a family. There is a strong desire in each of us to be with our church, especially now. Not being with them is like being told you can not see your family. Chris prayed right up until 15 minutes before the service started and just did not have peace about CJ going because we meet in a public middle school and as you know, we have to be extremely careful about CJ's exposure to viruses and germs. Alibrandi, our 12 year old daughter has been attending throughout this ordeal and I felt I needed to be there with her and also had a strong desire for corporate worship. I thought I was prepared, but when I walked in without Chris and CJ and heard the worship team leading worship and my saw my friends singing praises to my God I fell apart. It was extremely difficult to be there without them. My spirit rejoiced while my heart was crushed. It was truly bitter sweet! I was struggling with being there and having left CJ at home until God used my friend Wendy to speak directly to my heart. Here is the note she passed me...
"As I was praying for you this morning I thought of a mother bird
and how it flies off to find food for its family.
Even though it is so difficult to come this morning
without much of your family,
you are seeking food and nourishment for your family
that you can share with them when you return home.
And I pray God has met you this morning and filled you
so you can continue to share what you have been given with your family."
I can not tell you how that ministered to me and allowed me to release the feelings ripping at my heart and focus on worship and what God had for me this morning. Then I was able to be 'fed' and I felt the strength come back to my very bones as my pastor preached the word faithfully and with fervor. Thank you Wendy for sharing what God pressed on your heart for me. What is even more like God is that He then used Wendy to feed my entire family lunch and dinner today as she delivered food to our home this afternoon. Coincidence? I think not! By the way, everyone should have a Wendy! If you do not have a Wendy, I am very sorry for you. Feel free to come to my church and I will gladly share my Wendy with you.
Once that word of encouragement helped me get past the torn feelings God opened my ears to the message and opened my eyes to a more serious disease than cancer that is killing many. He kept pressing on me that cancer awareness was important and searching for cures was important but that there was a much more serious disease that people are unaware of. The sad thing is that there is a cure readily available to this disease. It is simple, yet profound. Simple in its availability to all yet so profound that even angels longed to look into this cure. I am talking about the disease of sin. The book of Romans tells us that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". That declares our disease. I don't think any of us would argue with that. We know we sin, it is ingrained in us. We may have inherited this disease initially but we also actively participate in it as well. We know God is Holy and just. That too is ingrained in us. It only makes sense that God's holiness and man's sinfulness can not reconcile without some type of covering or He would not be holy. Romans goes on to tell us that "the wages of sin is death." Somehow we know this too. We know there must be a penalty or God would not be just. We can not enter the presence of a holy and just God covered in our sins. We try to convince ourselves otherwise from time to time with the, 'I'm a good guy' theory but who are we kidding? We are comparing that to a Holy God. God says, "..there is not one good, not even one!" Thankfully, God loves us so much that he wanted to reconcile us to Himself and this is the profound part....." God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." I know you are expecting this but I can not leave it out because it truly says it all....."God so loved us that He gave His only son, (Jesus Christ) so that whoever believes in Him will not perish (pay the penalty of our own sins) but have eternal life. (His undeserved, merciful gift). So there is the cure! A readily available cure for a very serious disease. Take it. I beg you to take it. I implore you to take it. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved!" "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved"............I know many of you already are and you are now calling on the name of the Lord on behalf of my son. Please continue. Press on. Do not let the enemy distract you.
On that note of awareness, we are also seeking to bring awareness to what cancer is doing to families like ours and help raise money to help those families and fund research.......
Our family would like to invite you to walk with us in honor of CJ at 'Light the Night'. It will be held on October 11th from 6p to 9p at Memorial Miramar Hospital at Miramar Parkway and 172 Avenue. (Just a few block west of I75 and Miramar Parkway)
See information below that I copied from the web site. I also added the web site address for you to get further information.
You can click on register, join team, and then under team name put CJ's Friends. The team captain is Penny Arbulu. Once you join you can email to your friends and family to gain support if you like. They would like each registrant to raise a minimum of $25.oo and that will get you a balloon to carry at the walk as well as a meal ticket. You can come without raising the funds and walk but you won't have a balloon to carry. You can also register at the walk although it may take a little longer if there are lines.
Here is the link..... http://www.lightthenight.org and some information.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk is an annual event to raise funds for cures. It’s the nation’s night to pay tribute and bring hope to thousands of patients and their families. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk is a two-mile twilight walk that features participants carrying illuminated balloons to celebrate and commemorate lives touched by cancer. Cancer supporters carry red balloons, while cancer survivors and patients carry white balloons. For the second year in a row, supporters can carry a gold balloon which represents someone who has lost their life to cancer. Together, they "light the night" and truly brighten the future for millions touched by cancer.
Anyone can take part—children, adults and seniors are all welcome. This is a casual Walk with no fitness requirements. Not only will you be helping find cures.,
Please bring help and hope to thousands of people battling cancer.
If you think you can come will you please post a quick comment so I can know to look to for you. CJ and the family hope to see you there! For all of you who live far away please use that time to pray for CJ.
CJ reading the blog comments....