Friday, September 6, 2013

Week of September 7 - 13

A Light Shines in the Darkness Daily Devotions ... Devotions for the week of September 7 - 13 can now be found on Facebook, at A Light Shines in the Darkness. The daily devotions will continue to be posted there due to technical problems with Blogspot. Thank you for following these words of hope and reassurance.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Light Shines in the Darkness Daily Devotions ...

Devotions for the week of August 31 - September 6 can now be found on Facebook, at A Light Shines in the Darkness. The daily devotions will continue to be posted there due to technical problems with Blogspot. Thank you for following these words of hope and reassurance.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week of August 17 - 23

This week's devotions can also be found on Facebook - "A Light Shines in the Darkness" August 17 The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8 In this life everything changes. Our relationships evolve. Our circumstances alter. Our happiness ebbs and flows. But in this world of constant transformation, there are certainties that are never dependent on conditions, feelings or time. Those certainties are the promises of God, which remain steady, unwavering and true no matter what. God is always faithful. God is always loving. God is always concerned about us. God is always reaching to connect with us even when we are not able to reach back. God’s offer of help and hope is forever fixed on our well-being and on our healing from disease, despair and disappointment. That never changes. Oh God, thank you for being so steadfast in a very uncertain world. I need your calm reassurance when everything around me seems overwhelming and unsettling. I am grateful you are here to see me through. Amen. August 18 Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1 God knows and understands our difficulties. God has not created us to live in disappointment and distress. But God reaches out to us in our anguish and fears to offer us respite and relief from the evils that confront us. God wants us – passionately and unconditionally – to know a better life than the one we so often experience. When we look to God and know that God only wants for us to possess a new life of joy and peace, we can begin to find the comfort and hope we seek. Loving God, your plan for us always includes our perfect well-being. I need to hold onto that promise today. Amen. August 19 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 There is so much to grieve when cancer invades our lives. Sometimes the losses are overwhelming – the loss of control, the loss of comfort, the loss of a sense of invincibility, the loss of a healthy future. This threat to our lives calls into question some of the most basic parts of our selves. But if we use this grief to examine just what is important to us, what really matters, it is amazing what kinds of strength and comfort we can find. When we confront the losses and can find ways to use them to reframe our thinking and priorities, we can experience healing in ways we never imagined before. I am looking today, O God, to find comfort in my vulnerabilities. Help me to turn my losses into strengths, my weaknesses into victories. Amen. August 20 You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:14 One of the very clear expectations in the scriptures is that we are to share our blessings with the world. When we are thankful, we are called to express it. When we have something good happen to us, we are to share it. When something wonderfully unexpected occurs, we are to tell about it. This is not about bragging or boasting. But it is about giving a witness to those around us that God is at work in us – enabling us to be strong, giving us what we need, guiding us to experience the wonder and goodness of this life. This is our life’s purpose: to shine a light whenever we can, to pierce the darkness wherever it is. I know I can be a light to those around me, because you have given me so much to share. O God, thank you for the opportunity to brighten the world through my daily witness and activities. Amen. August 21 Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar and all that fill it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Isaiah 42:10 Today, make a new start that brings you more hope than you had yesterday. Use this day to find a way to forgive where there is a grudge. Create a way to relax more. Find a way to laugh often. Love deeper than you have loved before. Do something that brings you intense joy. Complete a task you’ve long left undone. Resolve today to grow in some way. Confront a fear. Reprioritize where things are off-kilter. Begin a new chapter today and sing a new song of goodness and wonder with this day – this gift - you have been given. I look to you today to understand in a deeper way the wonder you have planned for me. Dear God, I pray this day for wisdom and discernment to guide me in new and more hopeful ways. Amen. August 22 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6 Humility. The lack of it is a constant human problem. We want to do things our own way. Yet our limited human way usually creates more trouble for us. But when we humble ourselves before God - respecting, looking to, waiting for, following God with an open mind and heart - we can find the solutions and guidance we need. When we approach God and loosen the grip on our preconceived notions we can experience greater help than we can ever imagine. I bow before you with humility today, O God, knowing that too often I prescribe the answers and don’t truly consult you. Today I want to listen. I pray to hear your voice. Amen. August 23 Pray in this way, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Matthew 6:9 When we go to God in prayer it is essential – always – to look to God as the one who can show us the way to authentic healing – that which uplifts us, changes us for the better and brings us the perfect peace and joy we need. In fact, when we look at the root for the word hallowed we see that it comes from the same place as holy and healing. Holy be God’s name. Healing be God’s name. Holiness and healing are essential to God’s nature. They cannot be separated. When we understand and accept that with our entire being, we begin to experience all the holiness and healing we need. The change in our lives will be miraculous. Holy God, healing God, you are the source of all I need. I seek to be touched by your holy ways today. I ask to be surrounded by your healing goodness in every way. Amen

Friday, August 9, 2013

Week of August 10 - 16

This Devotional can also be found on Facebook at A LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS August 10 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. Luke 1:68 Throughout the scriptures there is continually woven the assertion that God wants nothing more than to save us from evil, pain, disappointment, hopelessness, helplessness and division. The constant refrain of salvation is clear and strong. In our troubles and distress we must constantly remember this promise of relief and respite. In looking to God and God’s desire for us we can be reminded that we are loved and created for more than disease and strife. This understanding can give us confidence and strength. O God, because you love me, I am offered a hope beyond compare. I ask for your love to lift me and help carry me through days that cause me struggle and fear. Amen. August 11 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:7 Love. It is stronger than any other force in this universe. It sustains us. It under girds us. It motivates us. It empowers us. Look at the love that surrounds you, that flows out of you and that comes graciously to you and let it remind you of what is most important in your life. Allow that love to create in you a force that enables you to rise above the challenges and difficulties you face. Allow it to help you embrace the goodness that is around you every day. Dear God, you are love and you have created me out of love to share love and to be loved in this life. Thank you for this exceedingly generous gift. Amen. August 12 Indeed, you are my lamp, O Lord. The Lord lightens my darkness. II Samuel 22:29 This journey we are on is often lonely and dark. Most of the way we have no idea where we are headed and what it will mean for us. While the path is not clear when we attempt to go it on our own, we are promised that when we walk life’s journey with God we will have a light shining before us to show us the direction that is best for us. Especially on the cancer journey, we need the glow of a comforting, calming, caring light to illuminate our path. Without it we stumble and fall when we do not have to. Too many times I have faltered and slipped along life’s path. Dear God, help me to allow your guiding light to show me a better way. Amen. August 13 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 What is the kingdom of God? The scriptures give us countless descriptions of what is means. It is where peace of mind resides. It is where generosity of spirit reigns. It is where wholeness of body is real. The kingdom of God exists whenever and wherever we experience and realize the wonder and joy of God’s love, forgiveness, healing and purpose for us. How are you realizing the kingdom of God today? What are you doing to enable it to come alive in your life? This kingdom is meant for us all – right here and right now. O God, I need your kingdom to be alive in my life. Help me to see evidence of it today. Help me to create the conditions for it to be realized in me. Amen. August 14 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. I Samuel 2:8a As we often are reminded in the Bible, God pays special attention to those of us who are weak and impoverished. Whether it is through weakness of body or poverty of spirit, God comes to gift us with strength and abundant riches. It is these gifts that we must seek, especially when we are struggling and in distress. It’s too easy to give up hope and to give in to despair. But these reminders give us reason to keep persevering in spite of the immense challenges before us. They offer us help and saving grace just when we need them most. In spite of all that confronts me, I know that you are offering me another way, another answer to my dilemmas. Thank you for this tremendous gift, O God. Amen. August 15 For he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Luke 1:48a One very evident characteristic of God’s grace and love is that God is always drawn to those of us who are suffering, longing for relief, seeking peace and aching for hope and purpose. Especially in our distress, God is here beside us and around us, offering to give us the blessings of life we need. When we are as low as we think we can get, it is especially then that God is with us – lifting, redeeming and seeking to save us from evil and from even our selves. When, O Lord, I am desperate and low, I need to remember that you are right here with me. That reminder compels me to not give up hope. Amen. August 16 It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us … Isaiah 25:9a Sometimes it seems as if all we do is wait – for answers, for hope, for test results, for good news, for a return to better days. Waiting is incredibly frustrating and difficult much of the time. We are not always very good at it and resent that our timing is not everyone else’s. But it is God’s timing that really matters. It is God who knows just what we need and when we need it. When we have done all that we can possibly think to do to make what we need happen, we can do one more thing – look for God to act in our lives. Waiting for God’s perfect answers for us will save us from frustration and despair. Why is it so hard for me to trust that you will always reach out to strengthen and guide me, O God? I need to remember how you have always helped me before. I need to be confident that you will continue to help me today. Amen.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Week of August 3 - 9

August 3 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 What does it really mean to be meek? It means to be gentle, humble, patient and without resentment, especially when confronted with injury or when enduring pain. These qualities, we are told, can serve us well and will give us greater power and wealth in this life – spiritually, emotionally and of character – than we can ever imagine. The cancer journey certainly puts us to the test. When we face the test with a meek spirit we are actually gaining strength and renewing our energy for this life we have. Great God, remind me of the inherent power of true meekness. I know I need to appreciate its ability to give me an inheritance of power and might beyond compare. Amen. August 4 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Isaiah 49:16 Every human palm print is distinct and different. So is every cancer. None of us need the same care, the same treatment or the same response to our circumstances. Yet God knows every nuance of our needs, far beyond even our own understanding. God understands just what we require, just what will give us abundance and strength. We must trust in the fact that we are held in the palm of God’s hand and intimately known and cared for. Reassure me of your understanding, O God, that you know my deepest needs. Hold me closely and remind me that you will never let me out of your care and reach. Amen. August 5 Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11 This petition in the Lord’s Prayer reassures us that God offers us everything we need, every day. It is a confident expression of hope that God is looking out for us and is walking the path with us to take care of us in incredible and perfect ways. God knows intimately what we require and God knows just what is necessary every moment of our lives. This promise of daily care can nourish us with grace and goodness today. O God, help me to see and know the countless blessings you have for me today. Remind me that I am not alone, that I am cared for in more ways than I can ever conceive. Amen. August 6 He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. II Samuel 22:20 Each of us is loved and treasured by God, who wants nothing more than for us to know how much we are cherished. Knowing that we are so important can serve as an encouragement to us to keep hope alive on this journey. God does not wish for us to be devoured by discouragement and pain. God only wants for us to experience deliverance from the hopelessness and despair that too often invades our lives. When I am inclined to wallow in self-pity and feel as if I am abandoned, speak to me of your love, O God. I need its reminder to show me my valued place in your heart. Amen. August 7 For the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Luke 1:49 One especially essential action of each day of our lives is to recall and recount the blessings we have. How have we loved and been loved in return? Where have we found help and support when we needed it most? When has hope proven to be real? Who has cared for us beyond our expectations? When we take the time to reflect seriously and purposefully about the goodness around us, we will undoubtedly discover there are more blessings than we can begin to count. Take that time today. Make it a central part of your day. God, you are the source of all that uplifts and sustains me. You care for me more than I will ever fully know. My gratitude multiplies each time I consider what you have done. Amen. August 8 For you girded me with strength for the battle. II Samuel 22:40a The greatest and most enduring power we can rely upon is the strength that comes from God. It is eternal, unwavering and triumphant. When we take that power upon us we gain resources that we cannot summon on our own. No battle need overwhelm us with God’s power as our foundation and light. We must look beyond ourselves to God’s goodness and grace, taking them upon us as our armor and shield. Your everlasting power is what I need today to face the challenges before me. O God, help me to connect with your power in every way. Amen. August 9 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? Matthew 6:27 These words are profoundly true. Worrying about our circumstances and our future will bring us nothing but anxiety and futility. We must always remember the essence of the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr – which asks for the serenity to accept what we cannot change, the courage to change what we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Few proverbs are more vital to our peace and well-being. I ask your guidance in revealing the difference to me, dear God. I need serenity. I need courage. I need wisdom today. Amen.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Week of July 27 - August 2

July 27

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
     1 Peter 5:7

We are not equipped to carry all our burdens alone. We often try to and continually find we cannot do it. Nor should we. We have been created by a loving God who never stops reaching out to us to help, to strengthen, guide, comfort and carry us through. God does not want or expect us to do this alone. We must not forget our greatest source of hope and well-being – the One who offers solace and release without end.

Dear God, I will give all my cares to you. So often when I don’t know what to do, I know I need to give all my cares to you. Today I will remember that you are my support and supplier of every need. Amen. 

July 28

For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
     Isaiah 25:4

From days long ago, people recognized the guiding, comforting hand of God upon them. These words from Isaiah are a testament to that understanding. Many of Isaiah’s words were written in times of deep discouragement and distress. But in spite of those very difficult times people still recognized that God was with them and did care. As you confront the difficulties you may be facing with cancer today, remember these words from ancient times. They serve as age-old reminders of God’s continual care, especially in days of anguish and distress.

When I stop to think and recall those times when help, sustenance and support under gird my days, I am reminded that it is you, O God who provides those gracious gifts. Thank you for your love and grace. Amen. 

July 29

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is not darkness at all.
     1 John 1:5

Cancer can be a very dark disease. It brings with it a host of sinister and foreboding circumstances, worries and fears. But God can take the darkness and pierce it with light – warm, illuminating light to comfort, sustain and help us grow in healing and in hope. Don’t let the darkness descend and linger over you. Instead let the light of God surround you with intention and purpose so that you experience all the goodness you need today.

When I am inclined to let dark thoughts overtake me or doubts overwhelm me today, O God, shine your light on me to show me a better way. Amen. 

July 30

What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
     Psalm 8:4

God knows everything about us and everything we need. God’s mind surpasses our own in understanding what it takes to find authentic healing and peace. It’s amazing that we can turn to this God to discern what is best for us as we live this day. For God will reveal to us the path we need to follow when we look in God’s direction and are open to new and unconsidered ways.

Dear God, even when I am not mindful of you, you are perfectly mindful of me and of my needs. Help me to connect more closely to you today so I may understand anew your will for me. Amen.

July 31

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life.
     1 John 1:1

In spite of all the voices speaking discouragement and doubt to us today, there are many others that can speak words of hope and healing. Don’t allow the negative voices to drown out the soothing, encouraging words that can and do abound. Seek out positive people, positive stories and positive solutions today. You deserve to spend this day and every day hearing voices of grace and light. To listen to them equips you and strengthens you for every challenge that lies ahead.

When I consider all you have done for me and all you promise to do, dear God, I know I need not be discouraged about my days. For you have always walked with me, and I know you are today. Amen. 

August 1

Call now; is there anyone who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you turn?
     Job 5:1

Sometimes in our desperation to find answers for our problems and for life-threatening circumstances we look for answers in too many of the wrong places. That is a very common thing to do when we are frightened and overwhelmed. Our first step needs to be toward God, toward the One who can calm our fears, focus our thinking, assuage our desperation and provide clarity for the road ahead. Today stop the mad rush toward quick or scattered answers. Instead, stop and look to God to center your heart and mind just where they need to be.

Dear God, I need to look to you to gain the right focus for my journey. Help me to put my faith, my trust and my future into your perfect, guiding care. Amen. 

August 2

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
     Colossians 1:11-12

Strength for the journey. Patience for the challenges. Joy for the blessings. Each of these gifts we seek, find and accept makes us increasing heirs of God’s wonderful light of hope, healing and promise. When we, in spite or because of the intrusion of cancer into our lives, see these gifts as constantly coming to us from God, we gain a richness of grace and blessing that equips us abundantly our whole life long.

I need to realize that you have already equipped me with an inheritance that will sustain me today and eternally. I forget it too often. But today I want to remember – and live with hope because of it. Thank you, O God. Amen.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Week of July 20 -27

July 20

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
     1 Peter 4:10


While none of us is created exactly the same, each of us has been created with unique and invaluable gifts that mark each of us as someone worthy and special. Recognizing our gifts and using them to the best of our abilities is our reason for living and surviving in this world. No matter what our status, our circumstances or our situation, as long as we have life we have the ability to touch others, to make a positive difference and to create a lasting legacy for the ages. In understanding and using our gifts we give value and meaning to every day of our lives.

Dear God, help me to know the gifts you have given me and the gift I am to this world. Help me, too, to take these gifts and share them to a world that needs them today. Help me to accomplish the purpose you have created in me. Amen.


July 21

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”
     Isaiah 41:13


Like children straining for autonomy and independence, we quickly like to loosen our grip from the guiding hand of God. Yet like lost or frightened children, we also quickly seek to slip back into our parents’ grip for comfort and security. When we go through the insecurity and discomfort of cancer, the grip of God’s caring, loving hand can be the best thing we have. Remember to hold onto that hand – always open, always outstretched and always ready for us. We cannot face this challenge alone. We need God’s guidance to show us the healing way.

I know I cannot do this alone, O God. I know I need your help and direction. I know when I let my hand slip from yours, you will be beside me. Hold it out for me to grasp onto it – to you – again. Thank you. Amen.


July 22

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
     1 John 4:1


It’s never easy to know the truth when cancer confronts us – what is the truth about our treatment, our prognosis, our options and our future? There are so many questions that have no definitive answers. Getting an answer to one question only leads to many more questions to ask. The truth is very difficult to find. And this is where we must rely on the help of a loving God to equip our spirits with a passion for seeking the truth, a discernment to understand when we find it and a resolve to implement it for our well-being.

Dear God, when I consider all there is to know to experience healing in my life I realize my abilities come from you. I hope I will never fail to look to you every step along the way. Amen.

July 23

What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient?
     Job 6:11


When confronted with cancer we quickly want the disease to be gone, the threat to be over. We clamor for answers and a good, fast ending to this intrusion in our lives. But often the resolution isn’t quick and dealing with cancer becomes lifelong and chronic. We lose patience and become easily frustrated when resolution doesn’t come as we want or expect. But when we choose to accept and recognize the ongoing nature of our circumstances and choose to make the best of them, we turn a vital page toward a more healthy and positive attitude. That attitude will serve us well as we deal with this disease – turning it from one we fight against into one where we create an atmosphere of wellness instead.

Help me to move from a sense of desperate urgency into a place of strong resolve, understanding calm and inherent well-being, O God. For I need to change my attitude to regain my greatest strength. Amen.


July 24

But the word of the Lord endures forever. That word is the good news that was announced to you.
     1 Peter 1:25


From the beginning of recorded human understanding of God there has been the promise of good news amidst all that was bad in the world. And from the beginning there have always been those who could see through the darkness, past the discouragement and beyond the despair to glimpse a better day to come. While the world has stumbled from one disaster to another; there have always been people of God who have found compelling evidence of God’s action for healing, restoration, salvation and relief in spite of it all. These actions still are strong and evident today. May this day reveal them profoundly and clearly to you.

I desperately need good news today, O God. I need to know, to see and to feel the promises for hope that you offer. Open my soul to understanding this reality today. Amen.


July 25

And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.
     Isaiah 12:4


Gratitude. Thanksgiving. Appreciation.
All are vital and necessary attitudes to possess on a constant basis. The more we recognize and affirm what God has done, is doing and assures us will be done, the more we face life and our personal challenges with grace, joy and peace. Make it a specific goal each day to know how God supports and upholds you. It will make a tremendous difference in the way you approach everyone and everything that comes to you.

In gratitude I look to you. In thanksgiving I come to you. In appreciation I place my trust in you, my Hope and my Salvation. Amen.

July 26

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
     1 John 3:11


It is the loving relationships we foster that bring the richest meaning to our lives - relationships that bring us joy, relationships that sustain us through difficult times, relationships that enable us to reach out in service and grace. Relationships that draw us from our selves and compel us to selflessness are the richest and most blessed gifts in our lives. We have been created to nurture these kinds of relationship. The love they engender makes living worthwhile.

Loving God, you created us out of love for love. Remind me of the love I have been given to help me share abundantly in return. This love gives meaning and purpose to all my days. Amen.


July 27

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
     1 Peter 5:7


We are not equipped to carry all our burdens alone. We often try to and continually find we cannot do it. Nor should we. We have been created by a loving God who never stops reaching out to us to help, to strengthen, guide, comfort and carry us through. God does not want or expect us to do this alone. We must not forget our greatest source of hope and well-being – the One who offers solace and release without end.

Dear God, I will give all my cares to you. So often when I don’t know what to do, I know I need to give all my cares to you. Today I will remember that you are my support and supplier of every need. Amen.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week of July 13 - 19

July 13

We love because he first loved us.
     1 John 4:19

Love is what gives meaning to our lives. Its rich blessings and deep feelings are tremendous gifts that all of us need. We need love especially when cancer enters our lives. We need to know we’re important. We need to know others care. We need to know we are not left alone in our fear and distress. Love’s power to satisfy and sustain us is a very powerful key to our survival. Reflect today on the love you have been given and on the love you desire to share. Allow that love to motivate and strengthen you for today and each day that comes ahead. Love is a profound affirmation that life is worth fighting for.

When I take the time to reflect on and recall the love I have been given and the love I have shared, I am profoundly grateful, dear Lord. That love will motivate and inspire me today. Amen.

 July 14

What are human beings that you make so much of them, that you set your mind on them?
     Job 7:17

Job, like so many before and after him, wondered what our life is about. What is our purpose? Why are we here? How are we to live and believe? If we acknowledge that a higher power, a divine and eternal God created and gave meaning to us, then we must ask the same questions too. And in our asking and our seeking what begins to be revealed is the reason for our life and the significance of days. It is important, too, to ask what purpose cancer has for our lives. In the asking and in the seeking we can discover a way to give it relevance. In understanding that relevance we gain power over it and can use it to transform our lives to a greater purpose.

I want to understand why I am here and what I can do to make sense and meaning out of this cancer. Dear Lord, help me to know how to use this for transformation and for good. Amen.

July 15

For you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.
     1 Thessalonians 5:5

When the darkness that is cancer invades our lives, we are often tempted to allow it to overwhelm us. It is too easy to give in to despair, negativity and defeat. But we have a light, powered by God, which can burn brightly in the darkness around us. We do not have to allow the descending darkness to remain. Instead we can turn to the light of hope, positive attitudes and gratitude to dawn in our spirits and lives.

Dear God, you are the light that brightens the moments and days of my distress. When I am inclined to give into dark thoughts and emotions, help me to turn to your illumining flame in their place. Amen. 

July 16

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace – in peace because they trust in you.
     Isaiah 26:3

Our minds are often at war. We doubt. We do not trust. We are cynical. We are easily angered. We too quickly judge. We harbor perceptions that are actually far from truth. Yet through God our doubts can be resolved, our trust restored, our cynicism removed, our anger redirected, our judgments relieved and our faulty perceptions revealed with the truth. In that we can experience peace. When we rely on the One who is perfectly worthy of our trust, we can find tranquility and calm infinitely.

When I allow you to show me the truth and the way I can begin to enjoy a peaceful, serene life. I thank you for this gift, O God. Help me to accept it willingly today. Amen.

July 17

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.
     Isaiah 61:1

What good news will you share today? What story will you tell of the blessings you receive in life? What example will you set to show those around you that there is hope and wonder that abounds? What difference will you make in the life of your community, a difference that will make your community better and stronger? What healing gift will you give to someone – including yourself – this day? You are anointed. You are called. By having life today you are chosen to show the world that God is real and that God is good. By answering that call you proclaim a message of triumph that all of us need to hear.

I know my life has meaning and purpose, O God. I want to live out that purpose with this day you have given me. Amen. 

July 18

In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials.
     1 Peter 1:6

When we are mired in the throes of a cancer diagnosis and treatment, it seems as if we will never be away from it or out of its intensity again. But God promises us that bad times and concentrated difficulties do not have to last forever. When we are inclined – as we often are – to feel sorry for ourselves and believe as if nothing will ever improve, we need to remember God’s assurance that these disturbing times will one day fade away. One day our lives will find the respite, relief and refreshment they need.

Don’t let me wallow in self-pity or defeat, dear Lord. Remind me today that bad times won’t last. Remind me that better days really are ahead. Amen.

July 19

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander.
     1 Peter 2:1

There are more than enough burdens to carry when we deal with cancer. We don’t need the unnecessary weight of bitterness, anger, resentment and any other unresolved negative feelings pulling us down. The first thing we must work on is learning to release, let go and forgive. We must confront the influence that negativity holds on our lives and instead allow God to shoulder the weight for us.

One of the hardest choices to make is to let you handle the tough parts of my life. But today I will resolve to allow you to take care of my struggles and pain, O God. In that I know I will begin to find strength and peace. Amen.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Week of July 6 - 12

July 6

Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:4


Throughout the scriptures we are reminded that God’s timing, understanding and will are not ours. That is, God has a way of acting in our lives and in this world that is far greater, supremely better and infinitely more perfect than anything we can imagine or design. It is when we connect with those
ways – God’s timing, God’s understanding and God’s will – that we ultimately find the strength and ability we need to effectively face every challenge that comes before us.

I know that my own limited attempts at overcoming my difficulties and rising above my weaknesses are never going to save me. But I also know that when I place my trust in your ways, I can find answers and help I never knew existed. Thank you for supporting me in my weakness, O God. Amen.

July 7

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
     Isaiah 12:3


God’s love is like an oasis in a dry and parched desert. God’s active care for us overflows to refresh and satisfy us. God’s sustaining, cleansing help quenches our need for fulfillment and relief. Today is a day when we need to renew ourselves to drinking in God’s love, care and help in every possible way we can. There is no other force that is as infinite, eternal, lasting, perfect and strong as God’s concern for our well-being and salvation. Rely on that force today to give you everything you need.

I cannot do this alone, O God. I need a source of help that is far greater than I am to see me through. I know you are that force. So I come to you today for the guidance and support I need. Amen.


July 8

But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
     2 Thessalonians 3:3


What is the evil in my life? Is it the disease I am told I have? Is it unresolved anger and guilt? Is it self-absorption? Is it addiction to any number of things? Is it self-righteousness and judgment? Is it fear and lack of courage? Is it a weak character and deficiency of courage? Is it absence of faith? All of us struggle in one way or another with evil. It’s part of our human condition. But we have been given access to the divine condition so we may rise above our weakness and frailty. Today is the day to resolve to connect with the divine so we may find relief from the evil within.

When I begin to look beyond myself and my troubles and turn to you, I find strength to rise above it all and experience new hope in you, O God. Thank you for your unending gifts to help me. Amen.

July 9

The darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
     1 John 2:8b


The fact is God is already at work answering our prayers and meeting our needs even before we know them or ask. God is already showing us the way to healing, the way to hope and the way to relief before we can even begin to understand our circumstances. God’s light already shines upon us. God’s light already shines within us. God’s light already shines around us because God will never allow total darkness to overcome us. We need to look for that light, the many lights that God provides for this journey. They are always here to illuminate the way.

Don’t let the darkness overwhelm me, O God. I’m inclined to let it descend on me and I think it will always stay. I need to be reminded that your light is eternally lit so that I may see a better way. Thank you for reminding me today. Amen.


July 10

I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
     3 John 4


So much information. So many opinions. So much to understand. So many conflicting words of advice. We often don’t know what truth is and what is not. This journey we’ve been thrust upon causes us to question, doubt and fear. We need the truth more than ever right now. Don’t give up on finding it. Don’t be afraid to question, to research or to look in different places. Don’t despair that the answers aren’t obviously there. The truth does reveal itself. Sometimes we need to be open to unexpected voices to hear it and looking in unanticipated places to find it.

Reveal your will for me. Reveal you way for me. Reveal your truth for me, today, O God. Amen.


July 11

Let that day be darkness!! May God above not seek it, or light shine on it.
     Job 3:4


Like Job, there will be days we will want to curse; there will be times we will want to condemn. It’s human nature. When distress happens we call out to decry its entrance into our lives. But even though Job looked at God and wondered why, he ultimately never walked away from God and finally acknowledged that God walked with him through the doubt and despair. Job may have wavered. But he never gave up. He may have questioned. But in the end he knew God was caring for him in his desperation and need. In our distress, may we understand that too.
I certainly do doubt and I often complain, O God. Yet I know you are right here with me as I walk this path. In that I ultimately know comfort and strength. Amen.


July 12

Let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it.
     1 Peter 3:11


Resolving to seek a higher purpose is a vital key to finding a reason for living well this life we have been given. Recognizing that we were created to make a difference for good, to make the world better for our having been in it and to form peace out of trouble is a great motivator for engendering passion and meaning in this life. Such purpose can bring richness and joy to our lives. In understanding that purpose we make each day more wonderful and contribute to a healing environment more than we can imagine.

Help me to create a healing environment for each new day, dear God. Help me to define my purpose so I may live more richly and fully with this day you have given me and with each new day to come. Amen.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Week of June 15 - 21

June 15

They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
     Isaiah 2:4c

Learning to stop fighting the negative and learning to start creating the good is essential to the cancer journey. We gain little by always being in battle against something. We gain much more by being for positive things – integrity, authenticity, peace of spirit and of mind, wellness and joy. When we choose to approach cancer – and life – in this way, the difference in our attitude and outlook will be remarkably refreshing.

 When I approach life, O God, with an attitude that seeks to create goodness and wellness, I know I can be amazed at the results. Help me to do that beginning today. Amen.

June 16

But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
     James 1:6

Our worst enemy can be our doubting natures. We so often get tangled up in fears, what ifs and speculation about what bad things might happen that we miss too much of what is happening that is good. It’s a constant struggle to control our doubts. But we need to work hard at confronting them, understanding them, working to move in action beyond them and then setting them aside. We do not need them burdening us today.

 My faith at times is utterly slight, O God. I appeal to you to help me strengthen my trust and assurance in you. I need you to help me move beyond my fears. Amen.

June 17

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
     Isaiah 35:3

The sense of vulnerability and instability that pours over us when cancer enters our lives is fearfully strong. Our invincibility is threatened. Our mortality is painfully driven home to us. Isaiah’s words convey an understanding of human frailty. But they also convey an understanding of God’s power to help us overcome our weakness and of God’s compassion in wanting us to find strength and renewal continually.

 I’m feeling weak and feeble today, dear God. Many days are like that. Yet I pray for each hour to grow better. I pray to feel stronger and more vital in your care throughout this day. Amen.

June 18

Rejoice always.
     1 Thessalonians 5:16

It might seem ridiculous to rejoice all the time. Who can be pleased at everything that happens? Who can celebrate everything that takes place? Of course, not everything, every day will please or be acceptable to us. But … when we strive earnestly to seek out positive circumstances, people, situations, happenings and attitudes, it will amaze us how the negative we see will fall away and our outlook will change in refreshing ways.

 I will strive today to look for all that is positive around me. In that I know I will begin to experience the positive within me, which you have given me to know, dear God. Amen.

June 19

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!
     Isaiah 55:1a

These are words of promise and hope. When we are thirsty for help our needs will be quenched. When we feel poor and unsatisfied, we will have enough to meet our needs. These words remind us of God’s ability to provide us with an abundance to care for us each day. We need to connect to God’s power to experience the tremendous blessings and goodness offered to us infinitely.

 Praise be to you, O God, for the amazing gifts you offer to me every day. I pray for the will to focus on those gifts today and live in gratitude for all you do to reach out in care and concern to me. Amen.

June 20

Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content.
     Philippians 4:11

Throughout our life’s journey we are constantly challenged to seek God’s will and not our own. It’s a hard struggle at times. Our self-centeredness gets in the way. Yet when we know and trust that God truly does provide us with everything we need, we begin to possess contentment with those blessings. In fact, we begin to see the blessings are far more real and profound that we could ever believe.

 Not my will, but your will, O God. That is my simple prayer today. Amen.

June 21

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?
     Jeremiah 8:22

Our impatience gets the best of us. Our inability to see much beyond the present clouds our thinking. It is then when we grow quickly to believe there is neither relief nor hope. Humanity has struggled with this forever. When we look at our condition only through our eyes we only see suffering, disappointment and pain. But when we reframe our thinking to begin to see our situation through God’s eyes, then we grow to see relief and hope anew.

 While today may seem hopeless and bad to me, O God, help me to remember that you see life eternally and not just momentarily. Help me to begin seeing things your way this day. Amen.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Week of June 8 - 14

June 8

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling …
     Jude 24a

When the bottom is dropping out, we have a source of strength that can keep us from falling all the way. God is our safety net, a very present help in times of trouble. When we feel as if we cannot find our footing again, God catches us and carries us when we cannot walk the path on our own. When we find ourselves in a free fall, there are arms already reaching out for us to lift us from our distress.

 When I think about it, I do know that you have reached out to catch me before, dear God. I have been rescued in more ways than I can count. I am grateful for that and I pray for the help to remember those times more and more each day. Amen.  

June 9

I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest; but trouble comes.
     Job 3:26

Just as with the deeply troubled Job, there are days when nothing seems right. We cannot find relief. We cannot seem to hear good news. We cannot feel the hope we seek and need. There are days when we just need to acknowledge that; days when we neither feel God’s presence nor peace. It is when we confront with honesty the dis-ease we feel, then we can begin to find the release and renewal we need.

 When I confront my distress, dear God, I can begin to heal where I hurt the most. Give me the courage to be open to my difficult realities and to see clearly what I must do to know your help and relief. Amen. 

June 10

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.
     3 John 2

The intersection of our bodies and souls is very powerful. The health of one is related to the health of the other. When one is in distress the other manifests that distress. We need to care for both for both to be strong and well. Each of the parts of ourselves is interconnected in ways we do not fully understand. But we do know that we need to nurture those parts equally and faithfully for our health to be authentic and real.

 Dear God, let me not forget to care for my body and my soul today. You made them both dependent on the other. Help me not to neglect either today. Amen. 

June 11

With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?
     Psalm 118:6

When we feel all alone in our distress, knowing that no one else can truly understand, we can be reminded that God does understand. God is on our side – the side of release, the side of renewal, the side of restoration. When loneliness sets in and hope is hard to find, we need to remember the one who never leaves us, the one who only wants what is good for us in every way.

 When I am reminded of your constant presence in my life and of your never-failing love, my fears begin to melt away, O God. I need that reminder over and over. Help me to hear it, to hear your constant, soothing voice. Amen.  

June 12

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.
     2 Peter 3:8

The good days fly by too fast. The bad days linger far too long. Time is difficult to understand. Why do the wonderful moments seem so fleeting? Why do the horrible ones endure seemingly endlessly? The promise to us is that one day we will understand the turning of time, the meaning of our days. Until we fully do our comfort comes in knowing that God has ordered the time and knows the time we need to live out the purpose of our days. Even if we do not fully understand the times we experience, we can know that God does. That assurance can sustain us today.

 I cannot turn back time, O God, but I can trust that the time you give me is what I need to live fully for you. Help me to use this time well today. Amen. 

June 13

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.
     Isaiah 30:18a

When we feel as if we are somehow being punished with this disease we have, we need to hear these words of mercy about God. God is gracious. God is patient. God is understanding. God is good. The scriptures are full of these assurances of God’s loving, compassionate concern. Look to these words when you need to hear them the most.

 I forget about your constant care for me, O Lord. I forget it and then feel sorry for myself all too often. Today I will recall your graciousness and find a new attitude for this journey. Amen. 

June 14

May grace and peace be yours in abundance.
     1 Peter 1:2b

God created us for a life of abundance – an abundance of joy, an abundance of love, an abundance of hope, an abundance of peace. Where does your life lack those blessings of abundance today? What is causing you to be without those blessings today? What must you do to gain those blessings today? We must not throw away the opportunity to experience all the abundance God has in store for us. Choose – today – to reclaim this abundance in everything you do.

Too often I go through my days failing to live abundantly in you, dear God. Today, I ask for it to be different. Today, I ask for your guidance to live a better, more wonderful way. Amen.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Week of June 1 - 7

June 1

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
     2 Corinthians 4:7-9

What extraordinary words! What a powerful promise from God! We need not be shattered, anguished, forgotten or defeated by the cancer in our lives. We can think of all the negative possibilities we want. But because God is on our side we can be lifted and carried through all the trials that confront us. God will make us victorious in infinite, profound and eternal ways.

 I will focus on these promises today, O God. I will rest on your outstretched arm and hold onto your stabilizing hand. I will look to you to see me through. Amen. 

June 2

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
     2 Corinthians 11:30

Cancer makes us very vulnerable. It opens us to thoughts, feelings and emotions we may never have had before. It confronts us with mortality. It strips away our defenses and our strength. Cancer rudely threatens us in constant ways. But in our weakness, cancer is also an opportunity to grow, to reprioritize and to change the way we look at life. Cancer can defeat us or it can empower us. It is our choice.

 It often seems easier to choose defeat with this cancer I’m living with. Dear God, help me to choose triumph instead. Help me to use this time to discover who I have really been created to be. Amen. 

June 3

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
     Philippians 4:4

We have a choice between looking at all that is wrong and bad in our lives or between seeking what is right and good. Where will we put our focus? Of course, we must confront the things that are hurting us and find ways to correct them. But we must also, even more importantly, choose to be open to actively recognizing the countless blessings and benefits we are given every day. They are all around. Start counting them. See how your life takes on a brand new, refreshing perspective.

 Dear Lord, giver of all that is good. Help us to recognize the many gifts of joy, love, hope and peace in our lives. May we be transformed by them in untold ways. Amen.  

June 4

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds ….
     Philippians 4:7

Peace within is the crucial gift we need to face cancer and each of the challenges in our lives. Peace … in appreciating that we are loved. Peace … in knowing that we are never alone. Peace … in understanding that we are cared for. Peace in seeing tangible evidence of authentic healing grace in our lives. Allow God to work in your life to show you that peace today.

 Peace. Peace. Peace. Peace. God grant me peace … of mind, of heart, of spirit, of body this day. Amen. 

June 5

Pray without ceasing.
     1 Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer opens up the lines of communication to God, especially the listening lines. Like a little child who needs to take hold of her parent’s hand to keep from getting hurt and lost, we need to take hold of the prayer line to keep from being overwhelmed and from getting off course along life’s way. We must always allow our minds and hearts to be open to the guiding, healing, soothing voice of God. God is always holding out the way for us. We just need to listen to hear what it is.

 When I close myself to hearing your voice of calm and of direction, I struggle along the way. Remind me, Voice of Hope, to keep myself open to you to find your path for me. Amen.  

June 6

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, …
     Ephesians 4:31

Of all the actions faith calls us to take, the act of forgiving is arguably the most difficult. Yet, it’s even harder to keep carrying on our spirits and hearts the heavy weight of resentment, the burden of sustained bitterness and the debilitating load of unresolved anger and rage. Healing, in all its forms, must start with forgiveness – the lifting from our shoulders of the pain and disappointment we feel and giving them over to God.

 Dear God, I am weighed down with too many feelings that are negative and harsh. Help me to resolve them. Help me to allow them to be lifted. Help me to begin that healing today. Amen. 

June 7

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
     Philippians 4:6

Along the cancer journey, as in all of life itself, we too often live in a state of worry and anxiety. We take on the problems of the world and those in our own lives and don’t know how to solve them. But we have the promise that God will help us solve them, if only we turn to God to listen for the voice that will give us the discernment to face all the obstacles in our way. We can be grateful that we have this God to help us sort out the issues every day.

When I don’t know where to turn, remind me, O God, that you are the ultimate source for the answers we need. Thank you for this wonderful gift. Help us remember that your offer of help never goes away. Amen.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Week of May 25 - 31

May 25

My soul yearns for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
     Isaiah 26: 9a

Often times it’s in the stillness of the night when our fears and worries prey on us the most. When we lie in the dark, our minds begin to work overtime. It’s in the quietest of hours when we open to thoughts we would rather not have and possibilities we would prefer not to realize. It is in those hours when we need God the most. It is in those hours that we need to call out for God’s peaceful and tranquil voice to whisper reassurances in our ears. It is then when we need to hear the reassurances of a God whose voice can call us back into the dawn of a new light once again.

 God of tranquility, God of peace, whisper to us when the night overwhelms us. Whisper to us the words of hope and reassurance we need to hear. Amen.

May 26

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.
     Colossians 4:2

Prayer is connecting with God. Prayer is opening up our minds, hearts and spirits, listening for what God has in store for us. When we connect with and listen to God we will undoubtedly see that God has been acting in our lives in many more wonderful ways than we could ever have imagined. God is good. God wants only goodness for us. By taking the time on a regular basis, a constant basis, to connect to that goodness, we find the wonder in our lives.

 We need to be reminded about the goodness around us. Thank you for giving it to us, God. Thank you for helping us to see it today. Amen.

May 27

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
     Isaiah 40:4

There are many deep valleys on this journey called cancer. There are many steep mountains to climb. The path we walk is often not smooth. And the ground we trod is littered with obstacles all along the way. But the path doesn’t always have to be so difficult to traverse. These prophetic words promise us it can change. They promise us that when God is allowed to lead us on the journey we can begin to find ourselves guided every step of the way. It also means that God will carry us through when the trek is too hard for us to walk it on our own.

 We are up and we are down. We stumble and we fall. We seek, O God, an easier path to take. We ask that we can see you before us smoothing out the way. Amen.

May 28

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.
     James 5:13

When we feel lousy it’s very hard to be cheerful. When we are in pain it’s very hard to find much to praise. But when we are suffering a foundational action we can take is to pray. To get in close touch and intimate contact with the source of our lives, with the creator of all goodness, is to make a connection with a power greater than pain, greater than suffering, greater than fear and despair. It is in making that connection that we will begin to be lifted from our distress and will begin to find relief and hope and joy once again.

 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name over all the earth! We praise you this day because when we call to you, you answer us, bringing hope, joy and relief. Amen.

May 29

Each one helps the other, saying to one another, "Take courage!"
     Isaiah 41:6

When we are able to connect with others who have experienced the face of cancer too, we can find an understanding that is immediate and knowing. Such connections cut deeply beneath the surface and take us to places we desperately need to go. It is a rich blessing when we find those who know the path we are taking and can truly walk with us along the way. Be open to those who have been on the journey too, especially those who are traveling with peace, hope and grace. They are surely God’s messengers, offering us the courage we need to face the future unafraid.

 Open my eyes to your messengers in my midst, dear God. I know they are all around. I know they are sent my way to help show me the better way. Amen.

May 30

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.
     Ephesians 4:26

There is no doubt that there is much to be angry about when cancer invades our lives. We need to acknowledge it, vent it healthily and resolve the issues that give rise to anger within us. If we do not, and allow anger to consume us and fester within us, it will destroy us in many ways. Anger can be a blessing when it propels us to positive action. Anger can be a curse when it takes root in us and we do not let it go.

 When I do not resolve my angry feelings, I am not whole, O God. Instead I am weakened and divided. Grant me the grace to deal with my anger and find the peace and tranquility I need. Amen.

May 31

I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them.
     Isaiah 42:16

God is always in front of us to show us a new way when we do not know the way to go. God is always above us to pierce the darkness so that we may see what we need to see. God is always around us to help us walk with confidence when we find ourselves going in directions completely unknown and uncertain to us. God will always see us through whatever we encounter day by day. We have this everlasting and eternal assurance from ancient days to now.

Remind us that you do not forget us, O God. Remind us that you do not forget our fear and our pain. Remind us that you remember our needs and meet us where we are, to show us where we need to be. Amen.