Today

Today is not a rehearsal for anything. Today is your life.

It’s who you are and who you’re following and what matters most and where you’re headed…today.

The person you will be is the person you are becoming today.
So don’t waste it.

The challenge you face today is your chance to conquer as Jesus did.
So don’t miss it.

The fear you feel today is your chance to be strong in the Lord.
So grab it!

The tempest all around is driving you out of the storm and onto your knees.
Don’t fight it.

Today matters more than you know. You don’t even know if you’ll have tomorrow.
So stop the excuses. No more delays.

It’s not about others. It’s about you. Today.

Today is the day to love the people closest to you and forgive the people furthest from you.

Today is the day to embrace the humanity all around—as Jesus would, if He were in your shoes. Because He is, in your shoes.

He asks you to put yesterday behind, because it can’t change today.

He asks you to forget about tomorrow, because it only cares for itself, not today.

Today is all that matters—this is your life, your chance to live like Jesus.

It’s happening right now. Today.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Quoted in the Catholic Encyclopedia

Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings

Commentator and broadcaster Tony Snow announced that he had colon cancer in 2005. Following surgery and chemo-therapy, Snow joined the Bush administration in April 2006 as press secretary. Unfortunately, on March 23, 2007 Snow, 51, a husband and father of three, announced that the cancer had recurred, with tumors found in his abdomen—leading to surgery in April, followed by more chemotherapy. Snow went back to work in the White House Briefing Room on May 30, 2007. CT asked Snow what spiritual lessons he has been learning through the ordeal one year prior to his death July 12, 2008.

Being a colon cancer survivor and a Christ follower, I wanted to share these thoughts. Even though I did not write them, I have lived them these past 2 years. I was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer on November 15th 2006. Surgery was performed on December 4th 2006 to remove a cantaloupe sized tumor that was metastasized. December 7, 2006 the pathology report showed no cancer in my system. I have
lived with this unexpected blessing for the past 2 years.

Blessings arrive in unexpected packages—in my case, cancer.

Those of us with potentially fatal diseases—and there are millions in America today—find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God’s will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence What It All Means, Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to answer the why questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can’t someone else get sick? We can’t answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.

I don’t know why I have cancer, and I don’t much care. It is what it is—a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.

But despite this—because of it—God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don’t know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.

Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and friends. You fidget and get nowhere.

To regain footing, remember that we were born not into death, but into life—and that the journey continues after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction that stirs even within many nonbelieving hearts—an intuition that the gift of life, once given, cannot be taken away. Those who have been stricken enjoy the special privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and faith to live—fully, richly, exuberantly—no matter how their days may be numbered.

Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension—and yet don’t. By his love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.
‘You Have Been Called’

Picture yourself in a hospital bed. The fog of anesthesia has begun to wear away. A doctor stands at your feet; a loved one holds your hand at the side. “It’s cancer,” the healer announces.

The natural reaction is to turn to God and ask him to serve as a cosmic Santa. “Dear God, make it all go away. Make everything simpler.” But another voice whispers: “You have been called.” Your quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you love, closer to the issues that matter—and has dragged into insignificance the banal concerns that occupy our “normal time.”

There’s another kind of response, although usually short-lived—an inexplicable shudder of excitement, as if a clarifying moment of calamity has swept away everything trivial and tinny, and placed before us the challenge of important questions.

The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing though the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes (Spain), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.

There’s nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue—for it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do.

Finally, we can let love change everything. When Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion, he grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried for Jerusalem before entering the holy city. From the Cross, he took on the cumulative burden of human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness on our behalf.

We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us—that we acquire purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God’s love for others. Sickness gets us partway there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two people’s worries and fears.
Learning How to Live

Most of us have watched friends as they drifted toward God’s arms not with resignation, but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated Christ by transmitting the power and authority of love.

I sat by my best friend’s bedside a few years ago as a wasting cancer took him away. He kept at his table a worn Bible and a 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. A shattering grief disabled his family, many of his old friends, and at least one priest. Here was a humble and very good guy, someone who apologized when he winced with pain because he thought it made his guest uncomfortable. He retained his equanimity and good humor literally until his last conscious moment. “I’m going to try to beat [this cancer],” he told me several months before he died. “But if I don’t, I’ll see you on the other side.”

His gift was to remind everyone around him that even though God doesn’t promise us tomorrow, he does promise us eternity—filled with life and love we cannot comprehend—and that one can in the throes of sickness point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.

Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don’t matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it.

It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up—to speak of us!

This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.

What is man that Thou art mindful of him? We don’t know much, but we know this: No matter where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how bleak or frightening our prospects, each and every one of us, each and every day, lies in the same safe and impregnable place—in the hollow of God’s hand.

Copyright © 2007 Christianity Today.

— Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™.

P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

Posted by email from sawagner30’s posterous

Anniversary of Sorts

A year ago today my doctor called to inform me that the mass he found was Stage IV Colon Cancer. Wow the time has passed so quickly. I’m doing well. I’m healthy and I’m very blessed. I just wanted to say thank you to for your prayers and your support during this last year. You have been such a blessing to me and my family. This journey has been such a blessing to us. We’ve been able to encounter so many individuals that got to hear of God’s miraculous love, grace & mercy.

I am very fortunate this evening to be able to spend time with my family. Josh & Dusty, Austin & Cyndi and Lori & I will be attending a concert. Steven Curtis Chapman is in Asheville tonight. It’s very appropriate that it is the Miracle of the Moment tour. We are definitely celebrating the moments that we have. The kids are looking forward to seeing a concert with me especially with an artist that I had the privilege of working with during my time at EMI. They just wish I could still get backstage passes. It should be a great time together.

I hope this finds you all well. I pray that you all have a blessed Thanksgiving. Give thanks for He is good.

— Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™.

Here’s the lyrics to the song

Steven Curtis Chapman – Miracle Of The Moment

From the album This Moment

It’s time for letting go

All of our if only’s

‘Cause we don’t have a time machine

And even if we did

Would we really want to use it?

Would we really want to go change everything?

‘Cause we are who and where and what we are for now

And this is the only moment we can do anything about

Chorus:

So breathe it in and breathe it out

Listen to your heartbeat

There’s a wonder in the here and now

It’s right there in front of you

And I don’t want you to miss

The miracle of the moment

There’s only one who knows

What’s really out there waiting

In all the moments yet to be

And all we need to know

Is He’s out there waiting

To Him the future’s history

And He has given us a treasure called right now

And this is the only moment we can do anything about

And if it brings you tears

Then taste them as they fall

And let them soften your heart

And if it brings you laughter

Then throw your head back

And let it go, let it go

You gotta let it go

Listen to your heartbeat

Good News

I went to see my oncologist yesterday. Everything looked great. My levels are doing well. It was actually good to see him smile as he was giving me the results. I go back the week before Christmas for another visit.

We also helped Josh move into his new apartment yesterday. He is very excited abut this new chapter is his life. Yes, it’s only 4 weeks until his wedding. I think the reality is setting for all of us.

I cannot thank you enough for all your support and prayers.

If you have the opportunity don’t forget about my friend Cliff Phillips. He’s training hard to the NYC marathon. We’re still raising support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. If you can donate it would be greatly appreciated.

You can do that here. https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=158934&supid=162486079

If you have already done so…THANKS. If you can’t donate that’s OK as well. Pass this link along to someone who might be able to.

Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™

It’s been a while…

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on where we are in our journey. June 26th was my last chemo treatment. Everything went well with the last couple of treatments. Now we are on to the finishing touches. I’ve had in the last 2 weeks a colonoscopy and a CT scan. Everything looks good according to the doctors. August 6 I will have surgery to reverse my ileostomy. I’ll be spending a couple of days in the hospital. Then in September I begin my 3 month appointments with my oncologist for maintenance. My blood work has been good and my markers look great (according to my oncologist). Now we’re on to the next chapter in our journey.

I just want to thank all of you for your continued prayers and encouragement. Please don’t stop. This has been an incredible journey. I’m looking forward to what God has in store for us next.

If you have the opportunity don’t forget about my friend Cliff Phillips. He’s training hard to the NYC marathon. We’re still raising support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. If you can donate it would be greatly appreciated. You can do that here. https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=158934&supid=162486079 If you have already done so…THANKS. If you can’t donate that OK as well. Pass it along to someone who might be able to.

Thanks again

— Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™.

4 more to go…

Sorry for the delay in my communications. After yesterdays treatment we are left with 4 more to go. The doctors are very encouraged with my progress. My blood counts are staying stable and they are thankful for the weight gain I’ve been experiencing. Not really sure I am. I didn’t think I was the vain type but after losing 100 pounds gaining 20 back has been a shock. Once the treatments are complete I will be able to get consistent with a diet and exercise program.

Yesterday was a hard treatment for me. Not so much physically but mentally. I went into it just wanting everything to be done. I was tired of the routine. Shortly after my treatment started Lori & I had the entire nursing staff talking with us. It was just what I needed to get me focus back on the task at hand. God uses so many things and people to get our attention.

Things have been crazy around here since I last talked to all of you. Austin spent his spring break in Gulfport, MS with the youth choir and band. The choir spent the day painting and constructing homes that were damaged by Katrina. The band (Austin played drums) spent the day setting up the stage and rigging which took about 5 hours and then after the performance it was about 3 hours to tear down. It was long and hard but when he got home all he could talk about was going on the road. Wanting to share with anyone who would listen, the message of Christ. This was the groups second trip down there. They capped the trip off by singing the National Anthem at the Atlanta Braves game. We are so proud of him and of all the kids and leaders who went.

Lori & I decided to go to Atlanta and make a weekend of it. We had a blast. We were able to get together with Cliff Phillips and his family. It was great to see them. Cliff is busy in training for the NYC marathon in November. Lori’s parents came up to see Austin at the game. We had a great time with them as well.

Then there’s Josh. As of yesterday he is finished with his college career. He is graduating May 12th with his BS in Music Technology. He is also graduating Magna Cum Laude (3.87 GPA), and with distinction as a University Scholar for completing the Honors College. We are so proud of him. So if anyone is looking for a great new audio engineer / studio musician let me know. On top of all that there are still wedding plans to be made for the October 20th event. This is going to be a fun weekend.

As you can tell these last few weeks have been really focused on being with the family. We’ve all been trying to move forward and get to a “normal” living. You know I’m not really sure what “normal” is. Through this event we will never be the same as we once were. We can’t…. Life means so much more.

There is so much left for me to do. For us to do. God has been stirring all of us to make use of every moment, every conversation, every talent, every laugh, every tear, every “good night”, every “good morning”, every “Thank You”, every “I love you”. They mean so much more.

I’m not guaranteed tomorrow, all I have is now. That’s all any of us have. So I’m using whatever time I have left to try and make this disease matter. To use the incredible gift of life that I’ve been given to glorify my creator. To try and make this new life count for the Kingdom.

I hope this update finds you all well. I can’t thank you enough for all your prayers and support during this time. If you have any prayer requests please let us know as we will be sure to stand with you in prayer. Until next time.

–Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™