Words of Encouragement & Comfort | YANA BLOG

This weekly blog is dedicated to the encouragement of all who have been affected by cancer or serious illness. We know first hand how difficult it can be to find hope in the middle of the trials and suffering these diseases bring. Each week we will loosely follow the themes advanced by Sarah Young, in her devotional, “Jesus Calling”. The blog will be written by YANA members and we invite you to get involved with us by responding below.

Our deepest desire is to accomplish what one of our beautiful YANA friends Cynthia once said about her life desire. “I uses to say that if I am healed I want to be humble about it. Now I want to bring glory to God.”  To this we say Amen! It is to this end we bring you the YANA blog.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”  Psalm 42:5

 

Thankful during the tough times

The July 5th Jesus Calling devotional speaks of things I need to remember. “Draw near to me with a thankful heart. Gratitude enables you to perceive Me more clearly and to rejoice in our Love-relationship.” I am blessed immensely but sometimes I like to come to God with only grumbling or requests. Please help me with this…..please help me with that. Not that God doesn’t want to hear everything; of course He does, but He also wants us to thank Him in all circumstances. Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” This also means thanking God for the difficult things in our lives. God is the only one who knows how everything is going to turn out. I think this act of thanking Him is also letting God know we trust Him. Trust is the essence of any healthy relationship.

Lord, thank you for every challenge, every happy day, every unpleasant day and above all thank you for giving your life for us. In Jesus name. Amen

Kindness

The Lord said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3. We all appreciate love and kindness from others. It can make a dull day brighter. As I reflect back on the time I was a cancer patient one thing that stands out was the overflowing amount of love and kindness others gave me. I really don’t think I could have made it through without it. From people sending me cards, making me homemade blankets, giving me scarfs and hats; to countless numbers of people praying for me, these things lifted me up. They helped me fight the fight! As I think of the YANA ministry, I think of kindness; God’s people helping lift up a cancer patient. This is our job, this is our gift, and this is God’s spirit helping others.

I’m blessed to be a part of this ministry and I thank God for His kindness.

Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

His Banner Over Me is Love

Hello YANA Family,

While I was being treated for cancer both times, I would turn to the Psalms and Songs of Solomon to remind me of how much God Loves and cherishes me. I drew on many of the lessons while fighting cancer, and now as I continue on with YANA.
Recently, driving along a very crowded Southern California freeway doing about 4 mph, I was struggling with stepping on ANTS. You may ask ants in your car…thankfully no. Allow me to explain. I’m not talking about the small insects that wreak havoc on picnics, rather the mental kind… Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTS). I confess I really struggle with this, especially when I was undergoing treatment for cancer. During my drives, I was dwelling on some particularly harsh spoken ANTS who were highly critical of me and YANA. Looking back, the latter hurt the most. Usually when I have a mental ANT I step on them and they go away. Not this day, the comments really cut deep and were hurtful. Every time a mental ANT would creep in, I would pray. As I did, a Minivan would drive up slowly with a bumper sticker “His Banner Over Me Is LOVE! “ I was immediately reminded of the scriptures from Songs of Solomon and was comforted with God’s peace. This continued for a period of 10 miles or so. Every time the mental ANTS would creep in, the minivan would creep up reminding me of who I belong to and His ever lasting Love and acceptance. I thought about all the fruit from YANA and how the volunteers are pouring in, making such a huge impact on lives of those suffering with cancer.

My prayer is as you struggle with all the uncertainty and pains just to make it through the day, step on the mental ANTS with this beautiful verse….

I Love you all, John

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” Song of Solomon 2:4

YANA Tribute Celebration

The YANA Tribute Celebration Service was a day of reflecting on all YANA has become and on all the people who have been touched through receiving care packages. For me it is summed up in two words: Hands and Hearts.

I was desperate and I needed a hand, lots of hands and prayers to lift me up when I was battling cancer. This is how I see the YANA ministry and all of you who help make blankets, scarfs, caps, cards. You’re helping give a hand to those who are battling cancer. It means so much. But the deeper beauty of this ministry is that it’s not just us who are helping, God is orchestrating it and bringing all of you to us. More hands and more hearts to love those battling cancer.

Isaiah 41:13 “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”

Cancer patients need love, a tremendous amount of hope and faith. All the volunteers who are contributing your gifts and talents you are creating a message from the heart with their hands. We are so thankful for this!

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 9-11

I want to thank each of you for your love, prayers and contributions to the YANA ministry. Your hands and hearts are being greatly used.

Cancer Survivor,
Christine Magnus Moore

YANA celebration: Picture of blanket cutting

Photography by: Cyndi Golden

YANA celebration: picture of girl

Photography by: Cyndi Golden

They will run and not grow weary …

Hello YANA Family,

One of our favorite scriptures here at YANA is Isaiah 40:31, “…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” I was reading a Care Package (CP) request last week and a flood of suppressed memories and emotions came back to me from my second cancer battle. She described how the chemo burns and how she can feel it when she touches the tubing that connects the catheter in her arm.

I remembered during one of my many hospital stays, a nurse was hooking me up to the machine that drips the chemo. Suddenly, the tubing came out of the bag and splattered all over me, the bed, and the room. The chemo liquid started streaming down the tubing. The nurse tried to stop the liquid from coming out, screaming for help as the chemo started burning.

A team came into the room with what looked like hazmat suits and were able to get the situation under control. When everything settled down I noticed that everywhere the chemo splattered it burned small holes or discolored the cloth it touched. They had to quarantine off the room and move me after being cleaned.

This moment stayed mentally tormenting to me for the remainder of that hospital stay. I will admit that day I wanted to give up and die.

So why tell this story to people whose spirits need to be uplifted, not reminded of the suffering and horrible effects of these drugs? I can say without hesitation that Isaiah 40:31 got me through this horrible experience. As I lay there all I could do was repeat this promise over and over until I started to understand it, trust in it and really believe with every part of my being. God saw me through that day and I am here to tell you he will do the same for you.

Our relentless prayer for all we touch battling cancer is that you place your hope in the LORD, that your strength be renewed and you soar on wings like eagles.

All of you who are healthy and reading this please reach out to a cancer patient today by sending a YANA care package. You can help them soar like eagles, by providing the faith, hope and love of God today.

I love you all so very much, John

Maybe….Bringing streams of living water to the dark places

Hello YANA Family,

Let me share this story of Erika, a loving daughter and college student who requested a care package (CP) for her mother, Lucy.  For the last 15 years, Lucy’s condition has required her to have 200 cancerous polyps removed every three months and she is currently undergoing experimental chemo.

I will spare you the details of what chemo and surgery have done to her body, but as I read the request I cried like a baby.  I admit this happens a lot as these stories come in.

I shared Lucy’s story with the YANA member who sent the package.  I wanted her family to know a little about the people they were blessing.  She told me it drove them to their knees.  This, I explained, is where YANA resides – in the deepest, darkest depths of human suffering and pain.  Our YANA family reaches into the middle of all this suffering to provide God’s faith, hope and love.  Because our family continues to grow we are now able to send CP’s to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

 If you feel compelled in your heart of hearts,  add a comment with a note of encouragement, scripture verse, poem, or reflection.  I will gather them all and send it to the family.

If you’ve never been through this, it is hard to imagine just how much impact a short message will have on someone suffering

My mind reflects on John 17:38, “Whoever believes in me, as the scriptures has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

I look forward to passing on the stream of living waters to Lucy and Erika from all of our YANA family.

I love you all so much, John

Precious in His sight

Hello YANA family! In today’s blog I want to share about a truly inspiring person. I had the privilege to meeting a young eight-year-old (“I am almost 9 Mr. John”) she is a cancer warrior who due to her age will remain nameless. I have permission to share her picture and here she is with Bill and me. You can see in the picture bracelets she made out beads. She was so excited to give them to us. She made them because she heard about how YANA gives care packages to patients and she just wanted to help too. Once she heard we were going to be at a 5K race she stayed up until midnight the night before making these beautiful bracelets. We are going to be including them in the care packages and I am happy to report to all of you, the first one with a bracelet went out this weekend.

YANA Precious OneWhat touched me most about this young girl was how pure of heart and purpose she was as she made these simple bracelets. Hearing her tell the story about the bracelets I felt like I was looking at the pure light of God’s love. I told a dear friend Gary and Cindy that I was so glad that I have lived to see that day and meet this young girl. God puts people in our path so we can learn more about Him and his nature. I am aspire as I continue on with YANA wherever God leads us, that I can have that same pure light and purpose. I want to reach more and more cancer patients with God’s Faith, Hope and Love. Thank you young beautiful girl, you have inspired me to new levels of Love for God and how important the work we are doing in His mighty power and grace.

I pray that more will join us in this great mission to reach those battling cancer. You may not think you have much to offer but I stand here today to tell you that indeed you do. Just like this precious little girl story about making bracelets will spread across a country to touching lives. Your can do the same by tying knots in a home made blanket, making a card, or making a chemo cap. We are open to anything that will show faith,hope and love to a patient. We reach people when they are in their deepest need. We can use you and the talents you have. Like the fishes and loaves a little boy gave to Jesus, He transformed it to feed five thousand. God is doing a mighty work and we need you.

> I Love you all,
> John

Strength in Stillness

“Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again.” This is a quote from Sarah Young, author of the Jesus Calling book.

This quote is so powerful to me and reminds me of how God’s thoughts are so different than are thoughts. When I was going through cancer treatment, there was so much time I had to be still. I was on disability, unable to work. Many of my hours were spent sleeping, lying on the couch with no energy, lying on the couch fighting the nausea monster, or feeling so weak I could barely get off the couch. I never thought of these time of stillness as my most powerful growth times with God. “Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of these very circumstances. Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Me.”

It’s amazing what can go on in a quiet mind and a quiet spirit. We invite God to do His work. Instead of thinking of worry, or what we are not able to do, He invites us to reap the benefits of stillness-His strength in us. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Wow! Made perfect? Yes, it says made perfect. God wants us to trust Him in the uncomfortable quiet times, in the sick times, in all times. God has many good gifts to give us if we just listen and trust. Isaiah 30:15 says, “…in quietness and trust is your strength.”

Thank you God for being with us always!

What challenges do you find sitting in stillness? In the difficulty how has God spoken to you?

Christine Magnus Moore

Life’s Messy Days: Where’s the Fruit?

The Fruit of the Spirit’s not a banana (nana). The Fruit of the Spirit’s not a banana (nana). If you want to be a banana, you might as well hear it. You can’t be a Fruit of the Spirit.” *

As I lay in bed, the song that I hoped to teach my preschoolers swirled through my head. “’Cause the Fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. ‘Cause the Fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

I wanted to add a new verse, “The fruit of the spirit is not ME (owie)!”

Just the day before, I had prayed with my husband to surrender a problem near to my heart. Together we prayed to trust his love and sovereign power to work together for good, no matter what. That afternoon I prayed again before starting a difficult conversation, then proceeded to move like a high-performance race car, revving up my anger from 0 to 60 in record speed. No love. No joy. No peace… Definitely no self-control. I had marched out of the room defeated, my prayer now, “Where are you Lord when I’m stuck in the messiness of life!”

I opened up my “Jesus Calling“ devotional for January 28 and read the opening words, “I am with you always.” It was God’s answer: I’m right here, right now. Preparing you for much greater challenges to come, and preparing you to walk through them in trust and strength.

What I view as failure God views as a training ground, inviting me to start fresh and be transformed by the renewing of my mind.

And so I’ll sing my children’s song today, even as I take another step towards putting behind childish ways and letting God prepare me to meet my future challenges filled with the fruits of the spirit.

Where are you today? Enjoying the fruits or wondering how to find God in your own messiness? Join in the discussion on this week’s blog post. – Noelle

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. “ Romans 12:2

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

* “Fruit of the Spirit” song lyrics by Paula Harrington

Prayers of Thanks

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

A simple prayer of “Help God.” How often do we do this? For me it’s often. When I was going through cancer my prayer was for healing. Now, I say prayers of help for others battling cancer and for my continued health. After a check-up or a scan I thank God for a good result, but I never thank Him after I say the prayer for whatever the answer will be. Only once I get the answer to my prayer do I thank Him.

The Jesus Calling devotional and the verse in Colossians make me see things differently. The author of Jesus Calling writes, “When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me. Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results.” What a different way to look at prayer. You mean I have to trust that God will give me the answer and thank Him for it sight unseen? Yes, that is what it means. Jesus wants us to walk by faith and not by sight.

Thank you God for the answers to my prayers!