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Nov 2009

Blessed to be a blessing…

Thank you so much for praying for Matt and Betty this week.  Below is a excerpt from Matt’s most recent update.  Please read and thank God with us.  Pay special attention to the words in bold…

Thank you ALL for such powerful prayers! Yesterday was a blessing beyond words. For the first time, we have a comprehensive game plan for Betty’s cancer. MD Anderson really knows sarcomas! The surgeon says he can and will do the operation, but first he wants to be sure what we are dealing with and see if it can be shrunk–so as to get better margins and also minimize the likelihood of later “surprise” tumors that require further surgeries. Then he gets us in to see his oncologist colleague (in like 50 minutes!). The oncologist, who knows LMS tumors like I know my own bad habits :-), says he wants their pathology dept to study and validate the tissues removed from Betty in two  prior operations and one biopsy. So we fax the request and release forms to Bon Secours and they agree to mail them to the pathologist here fedex express. Then we have long visit with strong believer nurse who is fellow gradute of Baylor, and we really connected! She gave us all the information on chemo and how her boss and our surgeon would work together to try to be sure the chemo is actually helping shrink the tumor–and if not, to move quickly into the surgery. Will do Pet Scan Friday to see if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Special concern about the liver. Had a great sleep last night and are up this morning at local Barnes and Noble catching up on emails and praising God for His provision. The choice we have made is to remain here, rent a guest apartment very close to the Cancer Center, and avoid having to do chemo at Bon Secours or elsewhere in what might be a disjointed approach. Unfortunately this means we will not be home for perhaps as much as three months…. Have already connected here locally and trying to be a blessing to others.… All for now. Again, thank you! Matt (and Betty too!) THANK YOU LORD. Isaiah 41:10.

I was moved with gratefulness to read Matt’s words about God’s gracious provision for them on so many levels.  But I was floored when I read the words “trying to be a blessing to others”.  I had spent an hour with the Bristols the night before they left for Houston.  My heart was so heavy.  All I could think of was the life threatening tumor and the prospect of Matt losing his wife and us losing a dear friend. As we talked and prayed, I cried out to God to heal Betty, weighed down with the alternative.

You know who they prayed for? Me.  Who else?  Robert, Ray, the Community Group they lead, the emerging leaders in their group, the health and vitality of Redemption Hill and that they could show God’s grace to the nurses and doctors through how they respond to cancer.

In that moment, I saw in 3D that the greatest blessing possible is not anything that God does for us, but God himself!  And having God, being at peace with God, knowing the love of God in Christ Jesus, is so rich, so fulfilling, and such a blessing that even the very real threat of death is consumed by it!  And God makes his blessing so real that Matt and Betty can stare at death in face and instead of being concerned for themselves, they pray for their pastors and the nurses and doctors.  The gospel is the power of God!

May we taste today the power and blessing of God and be a blessing to others.



Jerry & Karen Titus

November 4 2009 Reply

Matt and Betty,

Rest assured that you and your family continue in our thoughts and prayers. It is obvious that you ARE tasting God’s power and blessing in your lives. Please allow us to be of assistance to you as needed – just say the word!

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