Jim’s Update – January 23, 2011

Greetings again! Well, it seemed that I waited too long last time,  so I wanted to say hello again after last weeks “festivities” here in Houston. It was week 4 of my “treatments” here, so the docs keep looking to see how “beat up” I am from the radiation and chemo……so far God has spared me most of the issues that they “predicted”, and my blood levels are “normal range”.  I am so grateful for those blessings as I am fully aware it is a significant attack on my system to go after this invader. I must always remember that these are the “small” ways that God shows me He is there.

When sitting this week with the Oncologist and Radiologist…they felt compelled again to remind me how much “worse” it could/will be the next two weeks. They want to “prepare us”, and seem paralyzed to offer any encouragement, or tell you that you are “doing great” compared to many (would a little optimism hurt?). I realize that these last two weeks are indeed difficult, but I choose to focus on “rejecting” these predicted symptoms….pain and weakness and dizziness and nausea etc etc… and pray that God continues to spare me in his mercy and grace.  Just as an “aside” lesson, I was forced to see a different Radiologist for my weekly “see”…and was shocked and surprised when this lady doc said “whatever you are doing, you are doing Great!”. Then, this week, again, I saw the regular guy…who tried to return to his usual non-communicative, under-inspiring, statement of facts and statistics. Nancy raised her hand and said…”No thanks!… keep that stuff to yourself…we don’t want to hear it!”. She wins! He smiled, and we left. Same patient, same results, different doctors reporting. We all need to take a lesson…..words and expectations matter! I guess they must believe it is from the school of “under-promise and over deliver”, so they can “surprise” us when it is better than we were told….and not be “blamed” if it is bad. Where did the medical profession learn to always “expect, and predict the worst”? Bless them…they are so smart, and yet so stubborn in areas of the human spirit and God’s Kingdom Principles. We are, after all, spiritual beings with a body…not bodies with a spirit. I love and appreciate the treatment, and remain aware of the value…I also will keep my eyes on the Lord and less on the “facts”. These are tough weeks!

When we revisited the nutritional Doctor here last week to see what difference, if any, was made from my additional “potions” received from him to rebuild my system…he was quite thrilled!… and said the “numbers” had improved far more than he thought they would while under these treatments! Praise the Lord indeed!

I still am working hard (and praying) for protection from losing muscle and weight, and that my liver/immune etc will be protected (thanks as always for including that in yours on my behalf), and I will be able to ‘finish strong” in this last week of treatment when the effects of the treatment “build up/accumulate”, and are most impactful. I am continuing to “reject” that!!… and thank the Lord for His grace in seeing me through this phase of my healing. I thank you all again for your unending prayers and support..and belief. You give me strength, and daily remind me of what/who awaits me upon return.

On Wednesday, Nancy, Jules, Janet and Carla (Jules’ mom) went to a “live” Beth Moore Bible Study at the local church here….on the Book of James. They loved it!!…and Nancy will be back this week again. I think I may put on a skirt and sit in the back. (Don’t tell anyone). Then on Wednesday, Jules and the babies had to leave for Atlanta, and the days were spent saying goodbye and packing the car. As you can see in the pictures….there was a lot of “stuff” here. Brandon, one of our Fernando Foundation employees, flew out to drive the car back for Jules… and she flew with the kids. We sure miss them!! But we are so grateful they were able to be here for so long. With the Atlanta weekend seminar this weekend…they needed to return. And…we are leaving here in another week, so we will see them again at home. At times like these….any time with our precious family is cherished.

On Friday night, John Maxwell came into Houston on his way to one of his many engagements….and we had a wonderful “dinner” together at the Four Seasons. We laughed, and prayed together, and he was a wonderful encouragement! Nancy offered a few “lessons” on health that we have been learning, and we talked a bit about future dreams and plans. We both have such similar passions, lots of “history”, and we want to serve the Lord in new and bigger ways…together wherever possible. They are great friends, and have been strong and present during this time.  We actually were/are in the process of writing a book together….so only God knows what else He may have for us as we move ahead. I am sure that my perspective, and even “priorities”, are being challenged and raised to new places. Stay tuned.

John seemed encouraged when he saw me, as he felt I looked “better” than he expected. He has been following the blog/journey closely and commented about how amazed and inspired he was when reading the wonderful messages from all of you…keep them coming as they help and bless so many in so many ways. Seeing our family around the world pulling together and finding new faith and new convictions, and gaining strength and courage from each other is a wonderful thing. We are Family and you are precious!! One more thing…. after we met with John, he put out a prayer request for me, and photo of us, to his 178,000 Twitter followers!  What a wonderful thing to have such friends! God is good.

We watched “online” almost all of the Weekend Seminar in ATL over the past three days. Wow…again! Can you visualize the two of us “huddled” on the sofa in Houston, watching the computer, and trying to hear the streaming signal from Adam’s i-Phone? We were pretty “cute”….but certainly didn’t look much like “big shots” (sorry, forgot to take a photo).  It was our first expansion to support the new groups in this part of America, and sure is a help to Dave and Jules’ growing teams here, as well as sparing so many others the long trips to California that they have been required to do. It has been a huge success. Louie and Kathy Carrillo were the featured speakers so everyone can only imagine the impact. We have so very many special “treasures” in the N21 family and when I saw what Tony Henderson did in California, and Louie and Kathy in Atlanta for us in our absence….I was doubly blessed….. And each of the other Diamonds and leaders are rising up around the world to assure everyone that we are “not missed” while we are in our “time-out”. What a wonderful thing it was to be able to “be there” and “feel” the beauty of the business so clearly.

Dave and Jules have handled this last two weeks with lots of maturity and class, and we know it would have been difficult for them. Soon now they will be going to Hawaii for their first ever Diamond Club! There are no words to describe the weirdness of us not being there with them after a lifetime of dreaming about such a thing, and the past five years of watching them become the leaders they are. Amway is being hugely attentive to them, and seems truly aware of the uniqueness of their story and talents. They will surely have a wonderful time receiving their deserved reward/recognition…and I know that God Himself knew all along that this was “in His plan”, so we are resting (not easily though) in this reality. We are in exactly the place God wants us, and are allowing Him to work in our hearts (and my body) to prepare for the next “assignment”.

All in all….we are great, and we are blessed. We are fighting, and we are claiming, and we are continuing to read God’s Word and promises daily. If you don’t mind…a few of my favorites these days:

1 John 4:4 “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world”
Deuteronomy 31:7,8 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Psalm 103:2-4 “ Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases,; who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies”
Romans 8:11 “But if the spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His spirit that dwells in you”
2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”
Mark 11:23,24 “Whoever shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed and cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in your heart, but believe those things which you say shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he says”
Romans 8:2 “The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death”.

And remember….all these promises apply in all areas of our lives…not simply sickness and healing of our bodies. Our battlefield in all areas is the mind. That is where the enemy goes after us…our thoughts, our fears, our doubts. Lets all be sure we ask Him to search our hearts, and then give us His perfect will and purposes. If we listen (that’s a big one), and seek His wisdom, He will be faithful to His promises, and to His Word. We are to love Him with all of our heart, and mind, and soul, and strength….and love others, as we love ourselves. That is His great commandment, and what we should stand for together in all we do in our worldly pursuits. We shall be known by our “fruit”. The greatest is love. In servant leadership that we all must practice….the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. To our God be the glory.

I love you guys…thanks for being there.

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