Lung Leavin’ Day

plateImagine you are beginning a new life… A new life with the love of your life, a new life with your new-born baby girl.  Your dreams are stretched out before. Then, in one moment, life as you know it comes crashing down around you.  The dreams you have been dreaming now go by the wayside because you now have to fight for each single day.
This, my friends, is what happened for Cameron and  Heather Von St. James.
Just three months and half months after the birth of her first child, Lily Rose, Heather was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma.  Heather was just 36 years old when faced with the news that she had only 15 short months to live.
I’m sure many of you have heard of Mesothelioma but do you know exactly what it is?  Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen.  Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. There is no known cure for mesothelioma, but treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy have helped to improve the typical mesothelioma prognosis.  Pleural mesothelioma affects the lung’s protective lining in the chest cavity represents about three-quarters of all mesothelioma incidence. (Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma)
There are two ways to handle this news… this devastating news…give up or fight.  Which would you do?
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 ESV.
Heather knew that God had plans for her life and she wanted all that He wanted for her and her future.  Heather chose to fight for her dreams, to fight for her future, to fight for the chance to watch her daughter Lily Rose, grow,  with Cameron right beside her.
Their determination and refusal to compromise on doctors or treatments led them to Boston where Heather received radical surgery to remove her left lung by the esteemed mesothelioma surgeon, David Sugarbaker along with subsequent chemotherapy.
That was seven years ago, and Heather continues to thrive.  Heather proudly claims the title of mesothelioma cancer survivor.  She gratefully and passionately embraces each day of the new life she has been given by being a wife to Cameron, and mother to Lily Rose.
Heather and Cameron are also passionate about bringing awareness of mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos exposure to others.  Spreading their message of hope and inspiration to all those affected by mesothelioma.  Heather shares her own personal holiday, LungLeavin’Day, the day that Heather had surgery to remove her left lung.  LungLeavin’ Day started out as a personal celebration in the beginning of February between Heather and her husband Cameron to recognize each year Heather remained cancer-free, but has now turned into a celebration of life and overcoming fears with many family members, friends and cancer survivors.
LungLeavin’ Day is not just for cancer survivors though, it is a day for anyone who desires to take control of their lives and throw their fears to the fire.  Each year, Heather and Cameron gather around a fire in their backyard with their  friends and family.  They all write their biggest fears on a plate and smash them into the fire.  They celebrate for those who are no longer with them, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, they celebrate life! 
“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
On the 7th year, Heather and Cameron decided it was time to give back to the community.  They begin using LungLeavin’ Day as fundraiser for the 3 organizations that have made such a difference in their lives.  All of the money raised is split 3-ways for the 3 organizations that have made such a difference in their lives.  The  International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.
This year, Heather and Cameron have created a really cool interactive page where you can actually smash a virtual plate and throw your fear to the fire!  http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/lungleavinday.
As well as webcasting the event live on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HeatherVonStJames.
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Reverence – Understanding

understandingGod is more amazing, more awesome ~ really, these words do not do justice to who and what God is!  He is MORE than anything or anyone past, present and future!

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 ESV

When I first received this word, reverence, I will admit I was scared.  What if I don’t know how to do this big word?  What if I disappointed God? What if I don’t “fear” Him the way He wants me to?

As you know, I was not raised in a church.  I never attended a church that showed a fear of God.  Most of the churches, I’ve attended (until recently) were all about a loving God, all sugar and sweet. How could I fear a God that was so devoted and loving to us?

So I’ve been unsure on this word, reverence.  Reverence isn’t like last years word, faith.  Faith wasn’t easy but it came from trusting God and what He says. Faith came by obeying Him, in the good and the bad.

I thought that reverence meant I had to be in fear of God.  That I had to now start worshiping Him in fear, rather than in love and awe.  How could I do that? I love Him so deeply, I believe His promises, I know His Word is true!

As I’ve been meditating on the word reverence I’ve come to understand that reverence is a fear that is an awe of our incredible God.

Reverence is an understanding that He made us, little ole us, in His great image.

Reverence is an understanding that God loves us deeper, wider than our tiny minds could ever imagine.

Reverence is an understanding that He has created all for Himself.

Reverence is understanding God is bigger, bigger than the universe, He, Himself created.

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3 ESV

Reverence is understanding what He wants from us, is love, praise, worship and obedience.

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 ESV

As His chosen children, we have been saved by His grace from  consequences of our sin.  I know, before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I had plenty of sin. Since Jesus died for our sins we now have an obligation to Him ~ to give to Him all our honor, all our praise and everything we have ~ to give Him all the glory that is rightfully His.

       “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27 ESV

The only way we can give Him what’s rightfully His is with reverence, by surrendering all to Him!  Reverence is really the only thing that we can offer Him. He doesn’t need money, He doesn’t need gold… He needs nothing because He has everything.  So the only thing we can offer Him is ourselves… it’s what He wants.  God doesn’t just want some parts of our lives, He wants us to submit all of it to Him without holding any part back. Reverence is learning to give everything you have to Him, to do everything He asks of you in obedience, to follow His word no matter what the consequences may be.

“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5 ESV

Reverence is a deeper love for God, a deeper longing.  Reverence is wanting to please God in all that you do… not just the big things but the little things too.  

“I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8

Reverence is understanding  everything you have comes from Him and wanting to praise and thank Him more and more as you realize just how much He has blessed you with.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 ESV

 Reverence is wanting to worship deeper, to have yourself surrounded by His Word, His Ways.  

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28 ESV

Reverence is wanting to understand more and more about who He is.  

Reverence is wanting to obey Him completely.  

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15 ESV

Reverencee is putting yourself, your wants aside and allowing Him to lead you down the path He has for you.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-39

 

 

 

Reverence… Fear

Show me your waysI will be completely honest, when God gave me the word “reverence” I actually had to look up its meaning.  Shake your head at me, I know, I did too.

I thought I had reverence for the Lord. I have awe, I have respect and I have great love.

Obviously, I don’t have enough reverence or God wouldn’t have put it in my heart.

Reverence is to fear the Lord.  

I don’t have a great fear.  I’ve been forgetting God’s righteous anger.  I have been forgetting His punishments.  I have not been fearing God in a way that I should.  I’ve been thinking a lot about this.  I’ve seen the blessings God bestows more than I’ve seen His wrath, so the goodness stays in my mind more so. Yet, God has, in recent months led me in a new direction… I’m seeing His wrath, His anger.  Yet, I was not equating that with me.

Reverence is an awareness that you are in presence of a holy, just, and almighty God.

I have a confession to make…sometimes I forget just who God is.  Do you?  I forget who I’m speaking to… treating the Almighty as a friend rather than who He is… the Most Holy, the Creator of all things.  I forget to look around me, to stand in awe of everything He has made, He has allowed… everything is His.

I haven’t shown reverence for God because, in some ways, I’m still trying to control my own life.  I still am selfish and want things my way.  How can I have  reverence for God, when I’m trying to control everything?  I can’t!  So reverence has a decision to make with it, a serious decision, who am I going to live for…all the way… no half-ways … God or me?

As a Christian, God has called me (all Christians) to learn reverence for Him.  Learning reverence for God Him requires a relationship with Him, to come to know His Greatness, His Holiness, His Ways.  God wants to teach us reverence for Him, so we learn to seek Him deeper and to remain in His presence everyday, every moment.

Reverence for God is the deep desire to live within His righteous standards, not the standards I set for myself.  My standards have no bearing anymore, it must be all His will, not mine.

Reverence for God is to honor Him in all that I do.  Not just the big things but the little things as too.  Everything I do must bring glory for Him.  From witnessing for Him to cleaning the toilet… everything is done in honor of God.

My heart cries out as David’s did: 

“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth; unit my heart to fear thy name.”  Psalm 86:11 ESV

 

2014 Word Is… REVERENCE

I wanted my word for 2014 to be “believe” for 2014.  I really did!  There were so many pretty images to use, I could picture my Facebook timeline having “believe”, it would look so pretty and inviting.

No, God had another word for me “REVERENCE”.

Rev·er·ence   n. 1. A feeling of profound awe and respect and often love; veneration. 2. An act showing respect, especially a bow or curtsy. 3. The state of being revered. 4. Reverence Used as a form of address for certain members of the Christian clergy: Your Reverence.

More Words Related to Reverence: Verb: Admire, Adore, Apotheosized, Appreciate, Be In Awe Of, Cherish, Defer to, Deify, Enjoy, Esteem, Exalt, Hold In Awe, Honor, Look Up To, Love, Magnify, Pay Homage, Prize, Put on Pedestal, Regard, Respect, Think Highly of, Treasure, Value, Venerate, Worship. Noun: Account, Adoration, Affection, Applause, appreciation, Approbation, Approval, Deference, Delight, Esteem, Estimation, Favor, Fondness, Glorification, Homage, Honor, Idolatry, Idolization, Liking, Love, Marveling, Obeisance, Pleasure, Praise, Prizing, Recognition, Regard, Valuing, Veneration, Wonder, Wonderment, Worship.  Noun ~ Intense Love: Admiration, Amore, Ardor, Attachment, Crush, Devotion, Esteem, Estimation, Exaltation, Glorification, Hankering, Honor, Idolization, Infatuation, Pash, Passion, Puppy Love, Shine, Yen.  Adore ~ verb to Love Intensely: Admire, Be Crazy About, Be Gone On, Be Mad For, Be Nuts About, Be Serious About, Be Smitten With, Be Stuck On, Be Sweet On, Be Wild About, Cherish, Delight In, Dig, Dote On, Esteem, Exalt, Fall For, Flip Over, Glorify, Go For, Honor, Idolize, Prize, Revere, Treasure. (from http://thesaurus.com/browse/reverence)

There are 100 Bible Verses on Reverence.  The verse that kept coming up over and over was: “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28.

So, as you know, I obey… this, my friends, is my word for 2014!

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