Green Pastures

This morning I woke thinking about the twenty third Psalm, and that part about “walking through the valley of the shadow of death.” Last week I asked you to pray for my nephew Rich, and I’m happy to say that he’s passed safely through the ‘valley’ as far as the bypass surgery goes. While it was tricky for awhile, he’s still with us and improving daily.  Another one I mentioned, the son of dear friends from Japan, is today home in the arms of Jesus, after a safe and peaceful journey.

A few months ago, in the very beginning of Tony’s cancer journey, we walked into a large shopping mall that we usually steer clear of, and Tony, new to the scene, responded to a charming lady who stepped away from her kiosk and asked in sugared tones,” May I help you sir?”  I was frantically clawing at his sleeve to rescue him from this swaying siren, as she led him back to her lair.

He was mumbling something about finding the telephone store when she handed him a card that said he’d “won”.

You, my more worldly-wise readers, know exactly what he’d won:  a trip to the time share abattoir, a certain valley of it’s own.   Before we knew it, we had an appointment for the next day.  By then we knew what we were up against, so we went in on high caution, and after being treated like royalty and being promised the moon, they began outlining the 59 easy payments (which would actually morph into the rest of our lives). At that point, Tony (bless his heart!) ‘mentioned’ that he had cancer, and wasn’t sure what the future held. While he didn’t exactly intend it as a clever ploy, it did have the desired effect as the hard sell folks dropped their clenches and ushered us quickly to the door.

…but not before we collected the thing that we had in fact won: a week’s all expense paid stay in one of their several resorts. We knew no one had time for an actual trip, so we selected the ‘resort’ just 20 minutes from our house. We got here and were soon joined by our son, wife and 3 kids.

It was a weekend to remember.  We hope they’ll remember it too.

Crammed into a small two bed, one bath unit, and we soon hit the great outdoors, swimming in the pool, paddling in the lake, and generally enjoying every other form of entertainment involving clubs, ducks, turtles, balls and bats.  We built a dam in the cool waters of the creek that I’m sure can be seen from outer space, and got so much sun that I’m still radiating.

Besides the full on fun, we had “wonder walks” around the paths early and late, and even squeezed in a 10-minute ‘Woods family worship’ like we used to do back on the mission field when you had to make your own time and place. Tony played the guitar and shared a few words from the Word that the grandboys could understand about worry. Come to think of it, I think bits of that message were intended for the adults in the group!

Now the kids are gone, back to their own “real world” and we’re listening to the quiet, even as we gear up for a visit later this week from daughter Nicki, after which we’ll drive back home to catch up with our own realities.

God continues to just bless our socks off.

If you’re on Facebook, then you may have heard the best gift we got this week, and that is the news that Tony’s prostate cancer seems to be at bay, and perhaps even receding. We’re still planning for the 39-day radiation therapy, set to begin in March. We did remind the doctor that we’re Christians and fully expect God to heal, and maybe even by using the doctor’s skills! He did assure us that he would get a good look before firing up the machine, and would be totally prepared to abort the mission if there’s noting left to shoot! Thanks again for your prayers.

Another exciting thing is that our much anticipated Weaving Sunlight book is finally available on Amazon!

However I must urge you to wait a few days before going online, as I think we’re going to negotiate a cheaper price soon. Apparently, some kind of glitch has resulted in a higher retail price than we were expecting, like Australia$ 37.95. Keep checking, and when you see it cheaper, grab a copy, okay? I really think it can be a blessing for people who want to see how God works in our lives to create a beautiful tapestry that only becomes clear in hindsight.

Here’s praying that your own artwork is coming together nicely this week!

Love ya,

Marsha

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