E-pistle April 7

A Thanksgiving Day Run

This edition of the E-pistle arrives early as I am on my way to California for a few days of family time and then my annual trek to the West Coast Presbyterian Pastors Conference. I'm looking forward to both halves of the trip. And, yes, this is the conference where we have to come up with one word, just one word, to describe the year since eight days after Easter a year ago. No decision yet.

Yesterday afternoon around five I set out on a warm weather run through the streets of Langhorne. It was a thanksgiving day run. Today, April 7, marks seven years since I received a cancer diagnosis that shook my world and changed my life. And so as I ran along, I gave thanks to God for seven years as a cancer survivor. Specifically, I thanked God for:

  • Becky and our three wonderful children whose love and hope never faltered.
  • Gifted surgeons, Christian men, who were used by God to bring healing.
  • Six months of recovery and chemotherapy which were not easy, but taught me much.
  • The congregation at Park Presbyterian Church and our pastoral care associate, Dr. Joe Hill, who kept that Ebenezer stone before them as they worshiped and prayed during the six weeks when I was out of the pulpit.
  • The men and women and children of Igreja Presbiteriana no Jardim America in Favela da Ventosa who prayed and fasted on behalf of my healing.
  • Friends and colleagues all over the country (including those at the West Coast Presbyterian Pastors Conference) who offered words of encouragement and support.

And I thanked God for the privilege of being healthy and strong enough to run through the streets of Langhorne.

Not every one who receives a cancer diagnosis ends up being a cancer survivor. By God's grace and for God's purposes, I am. And I am thankful.

So, Dr. Joe Franzi, next time you ask and I say, "fine," just know I really mean it!

I won't see you Sunday, but I love you all and will see you on the 18th.