Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday, December 13th -

A long time ago, 12 spies were sent on a very important mission from God to do recognizance work in a foreign land. They were supposed to scout the region and its inhabitants to decide whether or not they and their people could move in and settle; to make a life for themselves. Upon completing their mission, 10 of the 12 reported that there was no way that they could survive in this foreign land. The odds were stacked way too high against them. According to these ten, the land was tempting, the opportunities were inticing, but the inhabitants of the land were too big and powerful. These foreigners appeared shifty and seemingly could not be trusted. There was no way that these ten spies could reccommend that their own people could move in, establish themselves, and survive. The fear of the unknown paralyzed the ten spies with a debilitating mistrust that they passed on to their superiors who had initially sent them on the mission.

But what of the other two spies? What was their report? They had witnessed the same things that the other ten had seen. Their hearts had been gripped with the same fears that had gripped the hearts of the other ten.

However, where their other ten comrades viewed the glass as half empty, they saw the glass as half full. The other ten believed that their mission had yielded lemons; these two took the lemons and made lemonnade. The skepticism of the ten was challenged by the optimism of the two.

These two spies believed that God was on their side. These two spies believed that with God, anything was possible. These two spies had faith. They had faith in God. They had faith that God would see them and their people through seemingly impossible odds. They had the kind of faith that moves mountains. Eventually, the testimony of the two outweighed the testimony of the ten.

God used Joshua and Caleb to encourage the Israelites to persevere. God is using Tom and Margaret in a similar fashion. They have blindly moved into a foreign land where all odds have been stacked against them. They have moved away from a comfortable place where they knew that they were loved and cared for. They have moved to a place that is unfamiliar. They have moved because God told them to. This move required faith. It required a faith that was as strong as the faith of Joshua and Caleb. With reservations, they made the leap to Tennessee, but just like with the Israelites in the Old Testament, God has provided!

Margaret, for the time being, is cancer free. Blood work and CAT scans have confirmed this. Her new and highly respected oncologist has told her that she does not need to come back in to see him until March. No one really knows what this means exactly, but that is okay. Is it really gone, or is it just hiding? Is she cured or merely in remission? Who knows? All we know for sure is that God is good, and that she and Tom have the faith of Joshua and Caleb. May the rest of us grasp the same type of faith in our own lives so that God might work similarily with us. Giants are indeed frightening, but the will of God is suffecient!



Dear Pastor Margaret and Tom,

You might not remember us, but you had a real impact on my life after we took the Membership Class with you last year. We put a page in your Memory Book, so maybe you can find our picture there, and you might recall knowing us.

I was so glad to read today's blog that the doctor says you are free of cancer. That is wonderful news, and an answer to many prayers.

We know you must miss all your friends at FOPC, and believe me, they all miss you, especially me.

I just wanted to thank you for all that you meant to me, and the encouragement I felt through your messages and kind words. It was suggested by several that I join with the Paraclete group. After much prayer I've decided to do that. It seems a little late in life (I just turned 75) to start something this new, but I trust that I'll be able to learn to do this properly, and help many others.

I hope you and Tom will be very happy near your family and friends. Everyone you touch with fall in love with you just as I have. You give out God's love just by being you.

Rejoicing in Him,

Alberta and Guy Smith

Chris Patterson said...

Cancer free -- Praise God!

I agree with Alberta, it's the answer to many prayers.

By the way, who exactly, in this family, is the preacher? Margaret or Tommy? Are you sensing a new calling? You are gifted. Pair your talent with words and Marty's talent in music (based on what I heard at the last FOPC Women's Retreat). What a combo.

I now come to this site not only for the latest news on my dear friends but to be encouraged in general. It's the best use of blog technology I've ever seen. Thank you so much for keeping all of us in the loop. It is truly appreciated!

Chris Patterson

BethBarber said...

I have been praying for both of you. I was estatic to hear that you are cancer free this is god.

Susie Johnson said...

Thanks be to God. Merry Christmas Margaret and Tom!
Blessings to you both in the new year.