I just got home from my church staff meeting. I’ve served this church as a worship director for 10 years now. As a staff, we’ve been through a lot together. Today’s meeting was a time of sharing, planning, encouragement, laughter, and some tears. I feel blessed and invigorated. Arriving home afterwards, I sat down with some lunch and answered emails. I came across a “caringbridge” notification for a dear friend that’s been fighting mantle cell lymphoma cancer for 5 years. His wife has faithfully shared their journey since day one, and it’s such an amazing story! (She really should gather up all the journal entries and publish a book!) I felt compelled to share today’s entry because it serves as a reminder to me (and all who serve in any music ministry) of how God can use us. The Gospel message we’ve been entrusted to deliver can always be counted on to bring Hope when and wherever it’s needed most. I’m humbled and grateful that I get to do what I do and that I serve alongside so many wonderful people at my church. Ministers of music – where ever you are across this world – be encouraged that your faithfulness in music ministry matters!
Written by my friend, Rollie Brandt.
The campaign for The American Cancer Society lately is to focus on celebrating “more birthdays!” It’s a great thought isn’t it? Since we started down this cancer journey in June of 2008, (when daughter Heidi set up this CaringBridge Site), we HAVE celebrated more birthdays! I can’t resist calling out tomorrow! … the 5th BIRTHDAY Phil’s been blessed with since this all began! FIVE more birthdays! Right now Phil’s in remission, yet life isn’t what he’d like it to be. The drugs have taken a toll, especially Prednisone. We hold on to HOPE however, that over the next several months as it’s very slowly tapered, Phil can return to more of his “old self” and gain back strength. It’s really difficult for any of us to really understand what he feels like. Once in a while he’s encouraged by a conversation with someone who HAS been on the dreaded Prednisone who really “gets it.” One friend at work told me it’s kind of like having MS, the way your muscles feel… So he just keeps putting one foot in front of the other, like he has for 5 years.
I’m just happy Phil’s here to celebrate ANOTHER birthday tomorrow!
This has been a real learning experiences along the way to say the least, facing many fears while being helped and loved by so many people; growing in so many ways, including our Faith in God. I take a lot of comfort from spiritually inspiring songs I listen to regularly. Take some time to click on the links for these 2 songs…
The song Long Way Home by Steven Curtis Chapman reminds us “even on the best days, He says to remember we’re not home yet, so don’t get too comfortable ’cause really all we are is just pilgrims passing through.”
From the song Blessings – “what if your blessings come through rain drops, what if your healing comes through tears, what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near. What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.”