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Overcoming Daily, My Story of Surviving Cancer

042516   1236PM  Book Cover OD SB Seascape Stairs

The three chapters in this e-book are taken from the memoir Overcome: A Story of Intervention, Rescue, and Redemption, which we hope to publish later in 2016.

My wife, Debbie, and I wrote Overcome to describe the experiences of multiple cancer diagnoses and treatments, as well as the drastic changes they created in our lives. While most of these changes were painful trials, one of the best was how cancer brought us to the realization we needed a Lord and Savior. In the midst of our struggles, we found joy, hope, comfort, and guidance in Jesus’ teachings as we carefully studied the Bible. We found new relationships among the members of our church who taught us how to follow Jesus in these modern times. They became some of our closest friends. They advised and helped us during many difficult struggles and decisions.

Debbie and I knew for certain that without God as our Father and leader, we never could have gotten to the stages I’ve written about here. I hope Overcoming Daily, My Story of Surviving Cancer will help many readers—whether patients, family members, or caretakers—in their battle with cancer.

Reviews on Amazon are welcome.

Thank you for your support,

Glen D. Kirkpatrick, Jr.
San Diego, CA
imakesure.books@gmail.com

https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Daily-Story-Surviving-Cancer-ebook/dp/B01EVFDPZ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469208458&sr=8-1&keywords=overcoming+daily+my+story+of+surviving+cancer#navbar

Equal Concern

My wife Debbie Kirkpatrick and I returned home yesterday from our 10 day vacation, which included a seven day Alaskan cruise. The last few days I’ve had that run down feeling. Today I’m depleted of energy and feeling generally unwell.

A few moments ago I talked on the phone with a brother whose a 1 Corinthians 12:26 kinda friend. He text me today with an offer to talk, so I gave him a call. As we have over the years both suffered, and rejoiced with each other, our conversation was a great encouragement to me.

Isn’t it true to thrive in Christ we all need one, or more friend’s like that. May I suggest if you have such friend(s) you thank them this week. If you don’t, may I suggest you ask God for such a friend. Then go out and be a V26 kind of friend. 

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

1 Corinthians 12:21-26

‘3 Time, 25 Year Survivor’: http://www.whatnext.com/blog

Greetings:
 
The American Cancer Society’s on-line cancer forum ‘WhatNext’ asked me to submit a story.The story which they titled ‘3 Time, 25 Year Survivor’ can be found at:
http://www.whatnext.com/blogPlease share WhatNext web address &/or story link to whomever you believe would benefit.May The Lord be Glorified

 
Regards, Glen

The God of All Comfort

FATHER

patér: (pat-ayr’)                       

Definition: father, (Heavenly) Father, ancestor, elder, senior.

COMFORT

parégoria (par-ay-gor-ee’-ah) 

Definition: solace, consolation, comfort

TROUBLE or TRIBULATION

thlipsis (thlip’-sis)                        

Definition: persecution, affliction, distress, tribulation.

   (Strong’s Concordance)

Praise to the God of All Comfort

 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of Godin Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Pcompassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”

We do not want you to be uninformed,brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

  2 Corinthians 1:1-11   (NIV) 

Want to change the troubled world today? Step out and share the Comfort you have received from God with those in any Trouble.

 

You Might Die Trying

 ‘To change the world, It starts with one step However small,
First step is hardest of all. Once you get to your gate, You will walk in tall
You said you never did, Cause you might die trying

Cause you might die trying, Cause you

If you close your eyes, Cause the house is on fire
And think you couldn’t move, Until the fire dies
The things you never did, Cause you might die trying

Cause you might die trying. We’ll be as good as dead
Cause you might die trying. Cause you might die trying

If you give you begin to live. If you give you begin to live
You begin. You get the world

If you give, you begin to live. You get the world, you get the world
If you give, you being to live. But you might die trying

Oh, you might die trying. You might die trying
The things you never did, Cause you might die trying

You’ll be as good as dead You never did?’

   —You Might Die Trying, DMB

 

Announcing: Overcomers Ministry facebook group

Greetings:

Announcing the Facebook group entitled:

Overcomers Ministry: Physical & Mental Health Challenges/Chronic Illness.

Feel free to view, join, and or refer others to the Overcomers Ministry fb group.

Regards,

Glen & Debbie, San Diego, CA

Treasure in Jars of Clay

 Treasure in Jars of Clay

 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake,so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

 Paul refers to the knowledge of God which we have in Christ as “treasure” ( v7).

What is Paul referring to when he writes: “jars of clay” (v4)?

How does it make you feel, or what does it make you think of knowing it was God’s plan to place this treasure inside of you, a jar of clay?

This irony of the treasure of a relationship with God inside our earthy bodies opens an important window into the character of God, and how God has worked throughout human history.

 Paul phrases this truth in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are no—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Now let’s put all of this in the context of 2 Corinthians.

 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again.”

 2 Corinthians 1: 8-10

Why is it important to you that you keep others in your life informed of your health challenges? (v8)

Why might it be good for others to be aware of what you face daily due to physical or mental health challenges and chronic illness? (v8)

How is God glorified when you share your daily burdens with other Christians, family members and close friends? (v8)

Paul writes about how God allowed him to be brought almost to the point of death in order that he might learn a deeper level of God reliance (v8-9).

Was there a specific time, or a series of events in your life, that you can point to where you’re deeper reliance of God began?   Briefly describe or write out that time/series of events.

In chapter 4, Paul writes about “jars of clay”–an obvious reference to our flesh or humanity. Which the Bible describes as weak, frail and sinful—the perfect place for God to demonstrate his power!

 “always being given over to death for Jesus sake. (4:11).

 As far as self-denial goes, what do you find hardest for you on a daily basis?

1. Providing hope, vision or encouragement to others?

2. Prayer & Bible study toward a better understanding of God’s view          of suffering:

      a. General suffering: the kinds anyone could have?

      b. Suffering (persecution) for being a Christian?

3.  Overcoming daily, even while learning to lay down your life for others?

With a right heart toward discipleship, or following Jesus, as in the case of Paul, we will experience how self-denial, or laying our lives down for others (John 13:34-35) brings life to a dying world!

 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

 2 Corinthians 4:13-15

 It’s said Paul had Psalm 116:10 in mind when he wrote 2 Corinthians 4:13.

Recommended reading:

Psalm 116 to help focus on praising of God for his deliverance during our most trying of times.

(This post/lesson inspired by ‘Power In Weakness’, 1996 by DPI)

Press on toward the goal

 
Pacific Ocean
 
 
Andy: ‘You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? 
 
Red: No. 
 
Andy: They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.’
 
                  — Shawshank Redemption
 
 
The intimate dialogue above takes place between fellow prison inmates & friends, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) and Red (Morgan Freeman). 
 
Andy shares with Red how after his release from prison he dreams of living in Zihutanejo, Mexico, a Pacific Coastal town. He said he would open up a little hotel, right on the beach. Fix up an old boat, and take guests out charter fishing.
 
‘That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.’
 
 _______________________________________________
 
Is there really a place in the world where one could live with no memory of their past?
 On same days the sentiment of starting your life over may seem very attractive to you and I. 
 
Forgetting painful memories of life sounds very good. And yet, I know for me I would want to always remember the good memories in my life.
 
 
Imagine, if you will, the deep and painful memories the Apostle Paul might have about the kind of man he was before he met the Lord Jesus. (Acts 9:1-19) 
 
For you may remember, before Saul’s conversion, he was the man who approved of the killing of Stephen (Acts 7).
 
In his letter to the Philippians we see the now Apostle Paul’s heart for knowing Jesus. And his concern for forgetting what is behind and the concern to press on toward the goal of heaven: 
 
7 ” But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,becoming like him in his death,11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
 
Philippians 3:7-14
           
Of course we knew there’s no place in the world we could live with no memory of our past.
 
However, we can learn by walking with God how to live like Paul:
 
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
                                    Philippians 3:14
 
 
 

Save Your Life

Save:

To rescue from harm, danger, or loss. To preserve a person or thing from harm or loss. To prevent the waste or loss of; conserve.

Life: The interval of time between birth and death.

                      From The Free Dictionary by Farlex

Each and every day I’m tempted to preserve or save my life.

To save for myself the precious few hours of life I have each day between when I awake in the morning and the early afternoon. When due to Chronic Fatigue, I have to lay down and sleep the afternoon away.  

Yet each morning the Lord reminds me it’s all about living life to the full. No matter how many hours any one of us get each day. Or how many years of life any of us receive.

Life to the Full

‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10
 
 
After all, me seeking to save, or preserve my life, is a losing proposition.
 
Lose Your Life

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

                                                                Luke: 9:23-26

 
 And I remember the times each week when I feel most fully alive. It’s those times when I’ve spent my waking hours, my very life, on others.
 
No Greater Love

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

                                       John 15:9-14

The Apostle Paul: Outlier for the Lord

IMAG0089

out-li-er

: something (as a geological feature) that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body
: a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of the sample
                                                         Merriam – Webster Dictionary
 
  
This week I was speaking with someone, and well—she called me a name.
 
Over the last 15 months I’ve shared with someone in some detail, both the personal rewards & challenges of living, as a 25 year Cancer Survivor, who now lives daily with chronic illnesses including: Heart & Lung disease; Chronic Fatigue; Chronic Kidney Disease.  Generalized Anxiety Disorder has come to visit me as well.
 
I had just been expressing to her that it feels to me like an open wound being re-injured whenever over the last 2 years I’ve received the all to frequent news of a new diagnosis, or the worsening of an existing condition. 
 
She said: ‘You’re an Outlier’. The rules (of life) don’t apply to you. You have survived or lived beyond expectations. Perhaps a more helpful way to think, Glen the next time youre told of a new or worsening condition is to remember… you’re an Outlier.
 
I thought to myself quickly…… Outlier. Hmmmm. I like the sound of that. Ya!
 
Then aloud I said: Like next time a Doctor gives me a new diagnosis or tells me an existing condition has worsened I’ll say:
 
I’m not surprised. You see (with a huge grin) I’m an Outlier!
 
With the meeting over, and as you might imagine, I kept thinking over & over… You’re an Outlier. I’m an Outlier. Yeah, I’m an Outlier. I walked to my car & sent the following text to a best friend of mine: I was just told I was an Outlier. This because I’ve survived beyond expectations. His reply: Yes. Have you read the book?
 
I drove directly to the book srtore and bought ‘Outliers, The Story of Success’, by Malcolm Gladwell. Which I’ve been reading this week.
 
 
This morning as I thought about the word Outlier, the life of the Apostle Paul came to my mind. 
 
Now there’s a definite Outlier for the Lord.
 
I then found myself reading 2 Corinthians 11:21b – 28
 
Wow! Well, I’ll get out-of-the-way and allow God’s Word to speak:
 
“21b What anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city,in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?:
 
 
Regards,
 
Glen Kirkpatrick,
San Diego, CA
 
 
 

The Lord who Rescues

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.”

                                                                              Psalm 107:2

In 1987, Debbie & I had been married only 6 years and our son Russell was four, when we were shocked to learn I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After 50 radiation therapy sessions the cancer went into remission. Debbie & I were overjoyed with the life-giving news. In early 1988, I returned to duty as a Manhattan Beach, CA Police officer as Debbie continued as Manager with the Animal House pet shop in Torrance. Debbie & I and Russell received a second chance at being family.

Yet the restlessness which began in me at diagnosis of cancer continued after the news of remission. Debbie & I decided we would get a fresh start at life by moving. In December 1988, Debbie & I and Russell moved to Poway, CA, and into an historic ranch home on 4 wide-open acres of beautiful land. Debbie, 3 months pregnant with Trevor, immediately secured employment at a local animal hospital. Three months later I continued my Police service with the City of Escondido, CA. On May 24th, 1989 Debbie & I and our son Russell were thrilled at the birth of our 2nd son Trevor. And within one month Debbie & I received devastating news the cancer was back. I began Chemotherapy, treatment I had falsely understood was given only to allow cancer patients to live a few extra months, and I therefore grew depressed.

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”
Isaiah 42:3

Meanwhile, the Lord was working powerfully to show Himself to Debbie & I even though we weren’t acknowledging His presence in our lives. Seeing Debbie was under the great stress of caring for her ill husband and two young children all while working full-time, a Disciple who was a co-worker of Debbie’s began reaching out to her. This as Debbie was having those ‘I feel like running away’ thoughts. Thus Debbie prayed to God: ‘please take this heavy burden from me‘, and I’ll follow you for the rest of my life. The next day at work she told her co-worker she was coming with her to Bible Talk and church. Debbie immediately began to attend Bible Talk and Sunday services, bringing with her our sons Russell & Trevor. Concerned about leaving me home alone in my depression, Debbie soon began bringing me along too. During this time members of the Bible Talk continued to unconditionally love and serve our family.

In December 1989, I was deemed to be in remission. The news of remission was bittersweet. For many months of cognitive therapy and taking anti-depressants hadn’t been successful in lifting my dark depression. Simultaneously Debbie continued to study the Bible and she was Baptized, March 10th, 1990. Debbie now armed with the Holy Spirit sought out the counsel of her Brothers & Sisters in Christ. They agreed with my Physician’s recommendation that ECT (Electro-convulsive-therapy) was the only option left to lift my life-threatening depression. Thus I underwent ECT. Within weeks I had what Debbie & I call ‘an awakening’; the depression was gone. I soon began to study the Bible. Then on June 28th, 1990 I was Baptized into Christ. Debbie & I were overjoyed to be united in Christ.

Looking back Debbie & I see clearly how God demonstrated His unfailing love by relocating our young family to San Diego County, guiding us through our experiences with cancer and providing a group of Disciples of Christ ready and willing to share with us not only their lives, but the gospel as well.

Debbie and I are grateful for the many times the Lord has rescued us and how he saved of our souls.

“He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

                                                                          Psalm 18:19

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