"A Journey Shared - Part 1. Introduction"
The real story started in January 2017 when the reality of the situation set in.
Some members of my family expressed a concern about the way I was talking and eating, and enquired if I was in any pain.
An instruction to make a doctor's appointment was issued!
After numerous tests, scans, biopsies and all the battery of medical procedures undertaken these circumstances I was diagnosed with a malignant carcinoma on my tongue.
This was surgically removed in March 2017 and some muscle 'harvested' from my left forearm used as a replacement.
A seven week recovery process was followed by a 6 week course of radiation.
The first check up in August 2017 indicated that all seemed to be well.
December check up, however, lead to another operation to remove another growth in my neck.
Further tests and scans have lead to yet another round of chemotherapy and radiation to another growth (February March 2018) which were completed last week.
I have lost quite a bit of weight compared with the pre medical, Wine imbibing, Food Lover that once was me! Around 35 kgs in 14 months!!
The Physical experience has been of small consequence in comparison with the Spiritual one, however. And it is this that I wish to share as opposed to the medical experiences.
Considering myself a Christian seems to have lulled me into sense of false security in that department, and Screwtape (CS Lewis - The Screwtape Letters) and his minions must have been delighted with their handiwork - until, that is, I encountered the writings of AW Tozer that exposed me to just how far off that Christian track I was/am!!
...."for if I am not living in that name I cannot pray properly in that name.
If I am not living in that nature I cannot pray properly in that nature.
We cannot live after one nature (the world and the flesh) and worship after His (Jesus).
When His nature and ours begin to harmonize under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the power of His name begins to be felt". (AW Tozer)
I was living a lie - what I shall call a "Christmas Christian'. A pretty useless thing!
"The Holy Spirit came to carry the evidence of Christianity from the books of Apologetics into the human heart, and that is exactly what He does". (AW Tozer)
And then the really hard hitting facts when it came to where I was:
"Self love, self confidence, self righteousness, self admiration and self pity are under the interdiction of God Almighty and He cannot send his mighty Spirit to posses the heart where these things are". (AW Tozer)
"A sensible man will remember that the eyes may be confused in two ways - by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he will recognize the same thing happens to the soul".
To conclude my first Blog I would like to say thank you to so very many of you for some of the most extraordinary kindness, consideration, support, generosity and compassion that any person could experience.
You all know who you are!
And, quite simply, nothing I put into words can do my gratitude any justice.
More to come soon.
(DISCLAIMER: I have no formal Theology training so I am happy to be constructively advised by those more qualified than I am.
In a sense I am sharing a personal experience as it applies to my life.
In adopting a Christian Worldview I do not take issue or judge anyone who holds divergent views and therefore cannot make any claim to knowing what God's (as in the Triune God in Christianity) arrangement is with those who follow any other worldview or choose to reconstruct the narratives of the Scriptures of the Holy Bible to suit themselves.
I will also make liberal use of quotes from other writers - they are capable of saying things much better than I am.)