BOEY WAS HEAVEN ON EARTH AND IS NOW IN HEAVEN WITH HER KING

On Dec 28th 2007, our beautiful radiant warrior princess went home to be with her King. Boey heard the words "well done my good and faithful servant" while he placed all the glorious heavenly crowns of life, righteousness, glory, rejoicing and incorruptible rewards on top of her beautiful head. Boey fought the good fight of faith until the very end and cancer NEVER took her radiant exuberant Christ loving spirit. Christ's love radiated through her and all she did. We pray that the extraordinary way she chose to live and believe will be an open invitation to living your life for Jesus and his Kingdom. 2 Timothy 4:7. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.

This web site celebrates Jenssa's brave battle, provides progress reports and invites prayers.

Victim or Warrior…You choose 

February 29th, 2016

What is in a word?

A whole lot.

Stupid, loser, quitter, weak, nothing.

Compentant, winner, fighter, strong, Warrior.

As you read those words can you connect with their meanings? Perhaps even identify with them. Emotions are attached to each of these words as there are emotions attached to how we identify these words with our own selves.

We have all been labeled with many titles by parents, coaches, bullies and even ourselves. How we think about ourselves makes a very big difference in how we approach our life and what we do and how we live. I wholeheartedly believe Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” is not only a truth but a key to living. What you think about yourself can determine your destiny.

I learned this most powerfully seeing how this principle worked with my daughter. When she was 6 years old she was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma; an aggressive malignant cancer. It was crushing, devastating and gut-wrenching. As I saw my beautiful little girl who loved all things girly and pink lose her lovely hair because of the side effects of treatment my heart sunk as I saw her begin to cry. We cried together and I shaved my head to show her support and love which seemed to make her feel better in her weakened state.

But then I saw something marvelous. Once she accepted that her hair was gone her mommy had a talk with her where she shared with her “You know Boey…your new style doesn’t look bad at all, as a matter of fact honey, YOU LOOK LIKE A WARRIOR.”

That was a pivotal time in my little girl’s life. I watched her eyes in that very moment as she considered and then adopted the title of warrior. It was very important because I noticed her transforming from victim to fighter. I observed how her thinking was changed by adopting this word, this title of “WARRIOR” even thought she was a cute little 6 year old girl.

When we were in the hospital and she was puking from the chemo she cried like any kid would but then she would proclaim, “I’m fighting as hard as I can.” Being a warrior gave her an identity of not just a target of cancer but rather someone who was exercising authority over it and not letting it dictate to her how to live. The title of warrior seemed to direct all sorts of thinking in her heart and so therefore, “so became she.”

This was a very unique thing to witness for me. I’m sure her mother and I encouraged her in this but she took it to another level in the most difficult circumstances any person of any age can face. She coined the phrase, “Be strong, Never Give Up, Believe and it can happen” to which she shared with other kids fighting cancer to encourage them. Because of her attitude we were able to face the things that were thrown at us with hope and experience a deep love and relationship that changed my attitude toward life. I saw this adoption of identity made a big difference.

This is why I have named this BLOG NeverGiveUpWarrior. Because of the example my daughter set. I want to live life with that identity, one of a warrior and the attitude of Not Giving Up.

Dictionary.com defines warrior as “a person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier.” It defines warfare as, “conflict, especially when vicious and unrelenting”

Sounds like life does it not? Life is full of conflict and it can indeed be vicious and most definitely is unrelenting.

When you approach the conflicts of life with the mindset not as a victim but rather a warrior you are recognizing the truth that life is a struggle and it can be hard but when you think of yourself as a warrior you do something about it. You engage in the struggle. You tell that cancer, “I am fighting and will not lay down.” You tell your debt or your weight or your grief, “I am going to fight you, I am not just going to lay down and allow you or the conflicts of life dictate to me what my life will be. I am going to fight.”

If you are reading these words you too can be a “warrior” Pick up the mantle. Face your conflicts with attitude. I saw my 6 year old little girl do it and it made all the difference in our lives. I am so thankful because it inspired and changed me forever.

I am a warrior and I will Never Give Up.

Want to join me?

My NO REACTION REWARD 

February 29th, 2016

Proverbs 29:22 “An angry man stirs up strife, And a hot–tempered man abounds in transgression.”

I am learning about processing rather than reacting. In my life I have found that I have caused my self, and my relationships trouble by reacting rather than choosing how to act. I am learning that when angry about anything it is best not to talk about it until I am less angry and I don’t need anything from the person I am angry with. This is the best way to process and walk together. I have also found that when I don’t use my anger to do the talking life, God, or the universe works together to help me out.

This concept was confirmed to me the other day when I was driving in to town with my oldest son. Morning traffic was heavy and so I pulled in to the 60 mph traffic quickly like I always do and I notice the guy who was behind me pulled right up on my bumper.

A little irritated I say out loud, “Ok Dude, it’s the only way to get on this road …back off”

This guy then proceeds to Nascar-style slingshot his pickup truck from behind me and then pass me at about 75 mph and cut me off. He is yelling at me the whole time.

This pulled the anger out of my heart and I said a few choice words that I will not type out for you here, but If you use your imagination I am sure you can hear me now.

The funny thing is how unexpected and how quick that rage was accessed in me. Now I could focus on this guy and how much of a Jack-wagon he was but I was fascinated with how quick someone like that could have complete control of my emotions.

I don’t like being out of control. I talked myself down with my son as my confessor next to me. If I was in a state of reaction I know exactly what I would have done. I know because I wanted to do it. I wanted to ride his bumper and honk my horn and yell. This is the kind of emotion that escalates and road rage is born.

Instead I laughed about the whole thing with my son. I made the choice to. I admitted how quickly I could get so angry but then I just let this guy go.

I let him be him, the jack­-wagon that he was.

Then something amazing happened.

Traffic started to bunch up on the highway as we neared downtown. I made a casual turn into the right lane and tried not to smirk as I passed him going about 30mph. I tried not to laugh as a position opened up one car ahead of him.

The big challenge came for me to not smile as I went to the intersection and made it through while he, the man who was in such a big hurry, was detained at the red light!

His face was priceless though.

I was pleased. I refrained from honking, yelling, and tailgating to deal with my emotions in the right way and I was given a gift.

I felt like I won at life.

I passed a test of sorts. I did not give in to my angry emotional reaction and I was rewarded with seeing the humbled face of the dude who did give in to his angry reaction to me.

It was satisfying.

I took it as a validation that I am on the right track. Not reacting but rather choosing my course in emotional situations has its rewards. I had much more fun and didn’t experience the flames of rage for as long which I very well could have carried through my day.

Remember this next time you want to get angry. Anger may be helpful to alert you that there is an issue to attend to but it is not the best representative to fix the situation. Better to choose your course more logically.

Who knows? Maybe the lane will open up next to you and you can watch your opponents face as you drive on with your life, with a smile on yours…

Storming Heaven 

February 29th, 2016

I have many families on my Facebook with children that have cancer. Several times per month there will be a post for prayer. There have been several times the request is to “Storm Heaven” for the needy child.

I know exactly what that means because I have been there. I believe I even used the same term. I would never disparage ANYONE who is asking for prayer; most particularly from a parent who has been informed that cancer has returned. The insanity of that moment is unparalleled. It is an intense place that calls for intense action. Nevertheless I would like to examine exactly what is being said because as I thought about it, I believe it is important to define what is going on.

To storm Heaven sounds to me like waging warfare, Storming the castle, or Storming the beaches of Normandy. This sounds legitimate. I am not an expert at prayer or spiritual warfare but this does have the ring of Luke 11:5-10. In this parable a man goes to his friend’s house in need of food and the friend basically says no but the man persists until he receives. It ends by saying, “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.” So in this principle the idea of persisting can be embodied in Storming Heaven.

But the part that made me uneasy was the idea of storming in the first place. Storming the castle or storming Normandy embroils trying to take ground from an enemy who does not desire to give it. Is that the correct picture we should have when praying? I do not believe so.

I am learning that God has always wanted to partner with man on this earth. One example is how he let Adam name all the animals. A more powerful example is how God has shared his ability to create a being that will live for eternity through childbirth. I believe prayer can often be our sharing God and his light with this world and another way we co-create with God.

I do believe Jesus words are true when he said, when you have seen me you have seen the Father. In simple truth: Jesus was a healer and he always healed all who came to him. I believe this reveals that it is within the will of God to heal. Does it always happen. No. Do we always know why? No .

Nevertheless to pray, in line with Gods will is part of cooperating with Gods plans for this world. “God let Your kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” I’m not going to tackle the why our prayers aren’t answered at times but I will speak to the fact that Prayer often changes us as we do it and I have found that it changed me in a profound way.

I did not get the answer to my prayer to heal my daughter Boey.

Actually that is not true, we got many instances of miracles that I would say were given to us as signs. In the end we did not get the answer to our cries. It was then that I actually spend a lot of time really “storming” Heaven.

The storming was not like troupes but rather like the great billowy clouds of Oregon that brings storms of rain and thunder.

I thundered at GOD. I yelled and I cried. The storms that I unleashed are unparalleled in the history of my heart. I literally stormed Heaven and I was brutally real for the first time in such a long time. I stripped away the veneer of “my confession” I set down my scripture verses and trying to believe and I was very very real with my Father and I stormed Heaven.

I would like to say that I heard a voice from Heaven and I was comforted. That was not what happened. However the given situation it felt appropriate and honoring to my daughter and be real. When I was truthful I was often able to relax the rage inside my guts. I would sleep like a baby.

Telling the truth and “storming Heaven” with our truthful tears and angers and guts is the greatest form of prayer I have ever prayed. And it is part of my history in my relationship with God. Rather than receive a lightning bolt of rebuke I often received signs of Gods love and understanding that I can share in future blogs or perhaps in my book.

I have found it secret key to my whole spiritual life. Hmm Being truthful…who would have thought.

Storming Heaven… I think I will tonight… But I don’t think it means what you think it does.

The Crucible Part 2 

February 15th, 2016

My last blog I spoke about a crucible. To summarize God uses the difficulties of life to stir up the defects in character so that he can help heal it. I mentioned that I was having a “Crucible” week and I must admit my dross that surfaced was yucky.

In the pressure-ful situation that was presented to me I choked. I said some hurtful words to my wife. Soon afterwards I knew I was wrong by principle but I suspect that somewhere internally I had given myself some sort of egotistical pass.

You know the type of self-authorization that has the rationale;

sure …I shouldn’t have said those little words

BUT SHE DID DO THIS AND SHE DID SAY THAT.

To be honest I was so focused on my own upset-ness and my own pressure that I had in effect warranted my own actions. That is until I met with my friend. My friend listened and validated my struggles but then he asked a simple question that humbly knocked my self-righteousness onto the ground. He asked me, “I wonder what it is in you that thought it was ok to say those things to the woman that you love, knowing that it would hurt her.” Proverb 27:6 came to mind “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses”

His pointed question hurt my pride but it was exactly what I needed; a revelation of the truth that was happening right then. I knew because I had been studying about how GOD uses stress and pressure to refine my heart. GOD was indeed appointing me to deal with some issues. Indeed what was in my heart that not only justified my unloving words toward my wife but blinded me to the conviction I needed to see the situation rightly?

I then thought about another verse that talks about the crucible; Proverbs 27:21 “Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.”

This is a very interesting verse to me and these days life presents it in interesting ways. Social media allow one to present the parts of life that we want other to see. I saw someone actually post on Facebook “I wish I actually had the life that I try so hard to portray on Facebook.” Sometimes it’s so unrealistic.

I’m not bashing Facebook. It has a very positive side. Celebrating the exciting and accomplishments in life with ease from a handheld device is fun and often fulfilling. It feels good to share the noble parts of life with people that care.

However if anything embodies the verse, “Man looks on the outward appearance but GOD looks upon the heart” Facebook would fit that bill. I have had many people build me up on what a “great”, “amazing”, “fantastic”, even “perfect” husband I am after many posts.

A lot of the time I bristle at these accolades. I mean the only person whose opinion truly matters on that subject would be my wife right? In this moment of my ugliness I could only pray that she remembered my good side. The“postable”me.

Of course there is a temptation for all of us to insulate ourselves from challenges and negative feelings. That’s what I was doing when I was justifying my own actions that were camouflaging the true issue of my heart. Believing the praise that I am really just a good guy, a great husband was the test here. The yuck of my heart had risen. A lesser friend may “multiply kisses” here and tell me that my true heart was fine but my counsel was to dig into my heart. To process why I chose the way I did. I am grateful I did.

What I saw there I did not like. Because I did not hide it, I was able to move from anger to guilt and restore relationship with my wife. It didn’t remove the sting of my words, which may only come with time and trust, but it showed me something about myself that as I look at it can bring valuable change and the intimacy and trust that we seek.

This is something that was tested by the praise that I received. I enjoy that praise. But when truth comes knocking it speaks a better word than praise and I heard it. I did not choose to comfort myself with the notion that all was ok and I was a good man. I chose to look at the whole truth and dig deep in the belief that becoming the man my Father wants lies in this path.

So as you read this blog don’t hesitate to say a good word because I do enjoy it. It does encourage me and build me up. But don’t be upset if I don’t believe every word all the time, I know it may be a test.

Dont Fear the Crucible 

February 7th, 2016

Crucible: “a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.”

Have you ever had a crucible day? I’m having one now. Actually it’s been a series of crucible days. A “crucible day” is where the pressures of life shove in, often overwhelming us and the heat exposes the emotions of the heart.

A Hallmark of the New Testament is not only God’s forgiveness but his promises that He will refine us.

Several places in scripture it is shown that the process God uses is similar to the goldsmith who refines gold. To do this the precious metal is put into a crucible and melted. Then the temperature is heated and the metal melts. As the temperature is increased and time goes by the impurities rise to the surface for the Goldsmith to remove.

God is an expert smith. He knows how to raise the temperature and he does it with prudent purpose. It is very important to keep our minds stayed on this fact because when the heat is turned up it feels very chaotic; the stress and often pain cause the deepest issues of the heart to be stirred and the impurities rise to the surface. It does not have the feeling of purpose.

Issues and feelings that seemed to be long gone surface in different ways. Feelings of failure and depression can set in. Emotionally it can seem like taking a big step backward in life.

I deal with that in a very deep way during these times of testing. But the one thing that encourages me is the knowledge that GOD is very much a part of my life and both allows the testing and accepts me in my failures. He is refining me. Knowing that although it feels like the ultimate in chaos it has intelligent purpose and God can use it makes a vast difference.

My marriage counselor is fond of Romans 5:3 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

To Glory in suffering sounds crazy. It would be crazy to glory in suffering and we groan often when he reminds us of this verse. But we groan with a smile because knowing that GOD is working behind the scenes in our hearts and in our life to allow the trials to change us is a key that can take miserable suffering into a different dimension. It does for me.

Sometimes it’s the only thing that encourages me. It keeps me Never Giving Up.

Another interesting fact about the refiner is that as he continues to heat the Gold it releases more and more of the impurities and as these are scraped away the less the surface distorts his reflection. The process is most complete when the refiner can see his reflection clearest in the crucible.

So, God….can you see yourself yet? Not quite? Drat… I guess I need to put my summer clothes on, its hot around here.