Half Way Through

As many of you know, I have esophageal cancer. So far I have had two treatments of chemo and 8 of radiation. Three more chemos and 18 radiations to go. So fa«r I have been handling it well, with very little sickness and no hair loss! I appreciate you continuing prayers for me and my family a«s we trust in  God`s gracious love. For know that in Him  all things dwell and that I am safe in the palm of His hand. I take hold of Isaiah 41:10  Fear not for I am with you , be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  These are words that I can rely on because I know that they are from God Himself.

 

 

 

 

 

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Going For a Joy Ride

I now at home recovering from my surgery, and I am beginning to feel a little stronger every day. Although things didn’t go quite as expected, I am confident because I know that I am  in the Lord’s hands.

I would like to tell you about the two days before my surgery.

On Sunday after Church my wife and I decided to go for a “Joy” ride. Since my wife’s name is Joy, that is what that is what we call any unexpected excursions that we go on. So after lunch we headed to Niagara Falls to see the tulips. But when we arrived, it was so busy, we didn’t stay. But we didn’t quite do what my father once did when he took my brother-in-law and his two daughters to see the Falls. When he couldn’t find a parking space, he turned around and went back home without even seeing the Falls.

Instead we went to NIagara-on-the-Lake and had a wonderful time walking around the old town.

The next day we went for another “Joy” ride. MY wife, who wanted to deep my mind from being too occupied on my surgery the next day, suggested that we go see friends in Guelph. But since they did not know we were coming, they were not home.

So instead we decided to go to Anna Mae’s Restaurant and Bakery in MIllbank, Ontario. This is a Mennonite run restaurant that is known for its generous serving sizes and its reasonable prices. They are especially known for their broasted chicken, which is something that is definitely worth writing home about. The “best” deal includes a starter course, the main entry, which includes three pieces of chicken, choice of vegetable and potato, and then pie for dessert. Then you have about 15 different kinds of pie to choose from, all made with Mennonite love. The biggest  difficulty is deciding which one to have, since they are all so good. WE took home with us what we could not eat and also some goodies from their bake shop. It was well worth the drive to MIllbank.

But that wasn’t the only good thing about the day. Jo y and I had some quality time together and enjoyed a drive through a beautiful part of Ontario. It reminded us that the earth is the Lord’s creation and that  we should rejoice in it.

But it also brought to mind that the Lord is with us at all times. It gave us some time to reflect on a verse given to us by a dear friend from Isaiah 11:10″: “Fear not, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I  will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (English Standard Version) This verse gave us two things to focus on. Before my surgery it was “fear not for I am with you” and after my surgery it was  “I will strengthen you and I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” This verse reminded us that The Lord is with us no matter where we may find ourselves, and in whatever situation we may be in.

All of this tells me that I am completely in God’s hands and that I can trust HIm for my future . This is something we can all do if we surrender our lives to HIm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Still Waiting

You may remember from my last post that I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  The plan is that docs will go in and remove my esophagus  and then reattach wha tis left to my stomach. But I am in a holding pattern regarding regarding when this surgery  will take place. Apparently the surgeon wants me to gain some weight  so I can be stronger for the surgery itself.   It sure is hard being patient! After spending over two months in the hospital, I just want to get this over with! I lost close to 30 pounds while in the hospital.

But God is teaching me something in all of this. He is teaching me to rely on Him as my source of strength to carry on even in the midst of crisis. Everything  is  in His hands anad His will is being worked out in my life. I don’t know what His plans for me are, but I must trust Him that His way is the best way, even though the results may not be what I expected. This operation that I will be having is serious surgery and I must be prepared for anything that may happen.

And so I wait, trusting in God’s perfect timing.

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It’d Been a While

It has been a while since I have written anything on my blog, but it hasn’t been out of choice. You see, I have spent the last two months in the hospital. At this point I am thankful for our Canadian Medical because there have been no out of pocket medical expenses.

Back in January I was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, which thankfully they caught early and am now scheduled for surgery sometime in the near future.

That is all for now and since I am out on day pass from the hospital, I want to spend as much of my time with my family as possible. Your prayers are appreciated and will write again when I am able. My faith is what’s keeping  my strong.   Charles Quail

 

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Living As Christmas People

It looks as though it is over for another year. The hustle and the bustle, the hub and the bub and everything else that we associate with the Christmas season. When I was an active pastor, both Christmas and Easter were both my favourite and least favourite times of the year. This was because of all the extra “stuff” that went along with the preparations for both seasons. Because of the busyness of the season, we may find ourselves breathing a sigh of relief that it is over for another year. Now the only thing that you have to contend with is what to do with the leftover turkey (gobble, gobble).

We may be glad that Christmas only comes once a year, but does that mean that we shouldn’t try to keep Christmas in our heart every day of the year?

How about living as Christmas people all the year long? We could do this by keeping the hope of the new born Saviour alive in our hearts by living the truth that His life proclaimed. Being Christmas people also means that we must live as Easter people, for the cradle of Bethlehem stands in the shadow of the Cross, and shadow of the Cross lies over the empty tomb.

Our hope lies in the resurrection of Jesus and in the new life that He gives to all who receive Him as Lord and Saviour. This is what it means to live as Christmas people. We need to be more like old Ebeneezer Scrooge who knew how to keep Christmas in his heart all the year long.

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Happy Christmas

I would like to wish to all who read this a very Happy Christmas and  a blessed New Year.  Charles+

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Seek First The Kingdom of God

Matthew 6:33 tells us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” But what does it mean to seek the Kingdom of God? Indeed what does it mean to seek first the Kingdom of God? I believe that it is all about complete and absolute surrender to God and His will for our lives.

But we like to think that we have some kind of control over our lives, don’t we? We like to think that we are “the master of our fate/The captain of our souls” (Invictus, William Ernest Henley, 1849-1903). I believe that we like to think that we have something to say about how we lives because we feel that it somehow completes us. It is what makes us individuals.

Yet the Scriptures tell us time and again that we are made complete in Jesus. When He comes into our lives, He fills us with His love, gives us His mercy and shows us His grace. Through the work of the Holy Spirit we are made into new people, with a new purpose to serve God.

Seeking first the Kingdom of God is giving our all to the Master. When we do so, He will bless us with His presence in our lives. Ànd all these things will be added unto you. This God`s blessing to us as His people.

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So This is Christmas

The opening words to John Lennon’s “So This is Christmas” go something like this “So this is Christmas/And what have you done/Another year over/And a new one begun.” The song goes on to describe the hope for peace on earth. But this old world seems so far from having any hope for “peace on earth.” With what is going on in the world, things seem to be so desperate and out of control. In times such as this, is there any hope at all?

Christmas tells us a different story. It tells us of the birth of a Child, One born into desperate poverty and yet was a King. He is the One Who came to bring peace on earth. Yet if this is so, why are things so messed up? It is because of sin in the world for we are fallen creatures. It is because of our disobedience that we are so far from God.

But Christ came to set things right through His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection from the dead. He now reigns as our Intercessor before the Father in heaven. We can now look forward to the day when there will be true peace on earth through the reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We can look to that day with confident hope and expectation.

 

 

 

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Our Helper in Times of Need

Why is it that the things we feel are necessary in life can also be a pain in the neck? Like most people, I own a car, and the trouble with cars is they age and when they age, things start to go wrong with them. If one does what I sometimes tend to do, I ignore it as long as possible. The problem with doing that is ignoring a problem only leads to more problems.

Today, at my wife’s insistence, we (my wife) took the car in for servicing because the car was making unhealthy sounds. This is servicing that needed to be done, and as a result of my delaying repairs, we are looking at some major repairs, and a hefty bill to boot.

The same is true in life.  An issue will come up in our lives that should be dealt with, but we ignore it and the longer we ignore the problem, the bigger it becomes. This will often lead us to a mash up in which we are inexorably stuck. What would have been easily dealt with has now become an almost impossible mess.

But here’s the thing. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the problem could have been dealt with by turning everything over to Him. Jesus is our Advocate, our Helper and our Friend. Through the Holy Spirit He stands ready, willing and able to help us in our time of need.

We don’t have to face our trials alone. All we need to do is trust in the Lord and believe that loves us. He showed us His love by taking on our sin and dying in our place so that we would be cleansed and made new creatures in Christ.

We are coming into the Advent season, the time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Saviour. But it is important for us to remember that the cradle of Bethlehem lies in the shadow of the Cross. Without Good Friday and Easter Christmas means nothing. The celebration of Christmas is fulfilled in joy of Easter morning.

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Where Does The Time Go?

Where does the time go? I can’t believe that it has almost been a month since I have entered anything on my blog. While I have been faithfully writing my newspaper column, the blog seems to been shoved to the side. During all this time I was thinking that it has only been a few days so I will get to it tomorrow. But you know something? Tomorrow becomes the next day, which becomes the day after that, and on it goes until a month or more has gone by and here’s me still thinking I’ll get to it tomorrow. But we all know that tomorrow never comes, don’t we? It’s always a day away, and tomorrow becomes today, and on it goes.

Yet the Scriptures tell us to look to the day when Christ will return. But does that mean that we are to spend our time peeking down the hall to see if He’s coming?  No, what we are supposed to be doing is working in the harvest field, “bringing in the sheaves”, so to speak.   We are to be doing Kingdom work for the Master through being His witnesses in the world today.

Yet I often find myself to be complacent. I put off doing things, such as writing in my blog, and other  such things thinking that there is always tomorrow. But we know that tomorrow becomes the next day and on it goes.

So what is one to do? Seek God’s help. Go to Scripture. Pray. Ask God to give you a sense of urgency about the work that needs to be done. Seek a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit in your life. Then always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within you. Then rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus is Lord of all, is the Master  and Creator of time,  and that you are in His care. Glory be to God Almighty, Who was, is, and is to come.

 

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