Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hallelujah! I made my last trip to the infusion center with my final Herceptin drip at the end of August. While I will have regular check-ups for the next few years, my only ongoing treatment now is the hormone therapy that will continue with a daily pill for the next four to five years. Praise God, side effects from that have been minimal.

At the end of July I started venturing out in public hatless for the first time in nine months. I’m still waiting for real bangs, but my short hair has started to show some curl and body! And my fingernails have recovered faster than I imagined possible.

Meanwhile, Dave and I are enjoying our newly remodeled house and also getting ready for a long-planned, long-delayed scuba-diving trip. Yes, God is good!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

God has been so good during my journey through breast cancer. The major treatments have all finished now, and I’m feeling great!

Chemotherapy ended in early January. What a blessing to get that poison out of my system. Daily radiation started the end of that month and continued six and a half weeks with virtually no ill effects. I have a few more Herceptin infusions till September. Now I’ve just started hormone therapy, which is the easiest to administer—a little white pill I will take daily for the next five years. I’m trusting the Lord for His enabling to tolerate that easily too.

Chemo thrashed my fingernails and toenails, which all lifted off their nail beds, and destroyed my hair. But everything is now growing back—slowly! I’ll be modeling my hat collection for quite some time yet.

Meanwhile, our home remodeling project is nearing completion. The new room will give us more space to host gatherings of friends and family. We’re especially looking forward to having a real kitchen after seven months of washing dishes in the bathtub.

Best of all, I have started picking up some writing projects again. A book I’ve been helping edit for a pastor should be out this year, as well as a newly revised edition of a six-year-old book. A true “as told to” story will appear in a Christmas compilation book. And a couple of short manuscripts are being considered for other book compilations. In the past year God has certainly given me some new stories to tell—for His glory!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 has certainly taken some unexpected turns. Yet as I look back on it, I can see countless ways the Lord has been in control, taking care of things I didn’t even know at the time posed potential problems. In all things I give Him thanks. Truly He is good, all the time!

The first couple of cycles of chemotherapy went remarkably well, with only a few side effects. My white and red blood cell counts have dropped, and I lost most of my hair in October. Still, I will be forever grateful to God for sparing me all nausea—what a miracle! In November, with a depressed immune system, I caught a cold that lingered for a couple of weeks. Since then various small but annoying side effects have accumulated as the chemo seems to take longer to clear my system. But the end is in sight! January 6th marks the last infusions of the two chemo drugs. After that I get only the “targeted therapy” drug Herceptin, which has minimal side effects, every three weeks till September. Radiation should start around the end of January.

In the meantime, our building permits came through and our home remodeling project started October 22. Sounds crazy, but why not get two stressful things over with at the same time? Work should continue till April or May. I am really looking forward to settling into some kind of normal routine next year. It won’t be the “old normal,” but I trust God to “work all things together for good” (Romans 8:28) so that He is glorified in everything.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our home remodeling project hasn’t started yet (still awaiting city permits after several delays), but the Lord knew other things would be going on this summer. On July 30, I learned I have breast cancer. It was Stage 1, with no involvement of lymph nodes or other tissue. A successful lumpectomy on August 12 removed the small tumor with clear margins all around. However, I scored high for HER-2 protein overexpression, meaning the cancer is an aggressive type. So the doctors want to treat it aggressively to reduce risk of recurrence.

I started chemotherapy last Tuesday and will have five more rounds every 21 days until early January. Praise God: So far I have had no identifiable side effects from the chemo or related drugs! This is an awesome miracle and answer to the prayers of many friends and family members around the world.

Daily radiation for probably six weeks will follow chemotherapy early next year, and a “targeted therapy” drug to combat the HER-2 will continue with an infusion every three weeks till next September. If I continue to tolerate the treatments well, I hope to keep up as much as possible of my schedule and responsibilities over the next year. Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What a busy winter! Not writing much (at least not professionally), but learning the ins and outs of the federal and state social services programs as I helped a friend navigate a hospital stay, then move from his apartment to an assisted living facility. I now know far more than I care to about Medi-Cal, Medicare, Social Security, SSI, and other government programs. Maybe all that will come in handy within my own family some day.

In December Dave and I and some friends incorporated a new non-profit organization. After crafting the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, my writing efforts in recent weeks have focused on the extensive documentation required with the application for federal tax-exempt status. We also hope to get a fledgling website off the ground before long.

In addition, the two of us are planning a house remodeling project to start this summer. An architect has drawn preliminary plans that are being examined by a structural engineer. We’ll extend our kitchen by enclosing the breezeway, and construct a new family room where the front porch is now. We hope to set up a make-shift kitchen in a back bedroom—all electric, no stove—and will have to wash dishes in the bathtub for many months. Yikes!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving! What a wonderful opportunity to remember why we should be expressing our gratitude to God every day for His countless blessings. I pray your heart will continually overflow with appreciation for the love and grace He offers to us so freely.

Our prayer network’s international conference last June went very well. Someone even said it was the best organized conference he had ever attended! I believe we accomplished our goal of motivating and mobilizing greater involvement in and support of the work on behalf of the small, needy nation God has put on our hearts. I stay busy with the network writing the prayer updates that go out every four to six weeks and coordinating other projects. Soon I will begin a second edition of the prayer guide my husband and I helped put together in 2003. Almost all the books from the first print run are gone, and so much has changed in this country during the past four years that the information needs updating. Pray for clarity and wisdom as I research and write the new edition.

Last month Dave and I enjoyed a week of diving at Roatán island, off the coast of Honduras (the Caribbean side of this Central American country). Dave had some vacation time to use before the end of the year, and spotted a great package deal in one of our scuba magazines. The reefs and walls teemed with all kinds of coral and colorful sponges—as healthy and beautiful as any we have ever seen. Although the number and variety of fish and marine life could not compare to the Indian Ocean, we saw some things we had never before encountered in the wild, including sea horses! Definitely the highlight of the trip.

Monday, March 12, 2007

For the past several months I have been on a God-directed sabbatical from accepting major new writing assignments in order to focus on other priorities. I am still helping a couple of friends with their book projects. But the bulk of my time is going toward organizing a small international conference in June for a prayer network my husband and I serve. This network exists in support of efforts to see the good news of God’s love reach one of the least evangelized nations on earth. We expect people from at least eight countries to attend, and hope our time together will encourage further involvement in the work.

My family added its newest member last month when my oldest niece delivered her first baby, a beautiful, healthy girl. We regret only that she and her husband live across the country from us! Her parents (my brother and sister-in-law) and younger sister have already flown back to Pennsylvania for a visit, and my mother eagerly awaits a trip in May to see her first great-grandchild. Dave and I will have to wait till the new family comes to California for a vacation this summer.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

After additional editing and work by others, it seems both of my most recent projects are coming out at about the same time. Lloyd Turner’s book, Highways of Holiness, has a professional cover design, a foreword by Ed Silvoso, and a growing audience awaiting its expected release by Transformational Publications within the next month. Lloyd has been distributing proof copies and receiving enthusiastic response to this timely word from the Lord’s heart. If you care about your community, get a copy and see how prayer can transform cities and regions! Lloyd is now preparing a study guide to accompany the book and increase its usefulness to individuals and groups praying for revival in their areas. I’ll help him put the final touches on that by early fall.

Dr. Clifford E. Daugherty’s book, Quest for Excellence, is also being released within the next month or so from Tate Publishing. My editing and ghostwriting work on that book has been supplemented by valuable sections highlighting Cliff’s principles for excellence in any endeavor. This very practical handbook contains not only the thrilling story of Cliff’s faith journey during the development of Valley Christian Schools but also the transferable concepts that will endable readers to believe God for His best and highest will in any situation, even the most challenging. Don’t miss it!

Dave and I took a trip to the Seychelles in April, where we enjoyed fabulous scuba diving and celebrated my birthday. From there we traveled to South Africa to meet some friends at a conference focused on prayer for a country much in need of a breakthrough of God’s love and truth. We heard some very encouraging reports about what the Lord has been doing in people’s hearts. Afterward, we spent a few days stalking wild animals on a photo safari at a game park. Dave got some amazing shots of elephants, giraffes, hippos, and much more. We saw lions and rhinos too, but they didn’t want to pose for the camera.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

The second half of 2005 seemed to fly by. Dave and I took a four-week international trip last summer to housesit for friends who were back in the United States. Their apartment is right across the street from the beach, and their balcony overlooks a lovely turquoise lagoon. Such a life! We took our scuba gear and made a total of 23 dives while we were gone. But the best part was reconnecting with people we had met on earlier trips. God has taken our friendships to the next level, and our hearts are full of love and gratitude.

In October I was contacted by Lloyd Turner, who contributed a story to Signs and Wonders in America Today. He asked if I would look over a book manuscript he had completed for Transformational Publications. I gladly agreed, expecting perhaps a two- or three-week job. How the project has grown since then! The task went from simple copyediting to full editing and proofing, then formatting and page layout of the entire document to prepare it for the printer. Now I am putting final touches on the index!

Despite the extra work involved, I am excited to be part of this project, because Lloyd’s book has a timely message for those praying for God to visit His people with a fresh outpouring of His Spirit. The book, entitled Highways of Holiness: Preparing the Way for the Lord, should be out by spring.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Wow! It’s been a long time since I updated this site! Dr. Clifford Daugherty’s book about the amazing growth and transformation of Valley Christian Schools is finished, edited, proofread, and ready for the publisher. The story is even more inspiring to me now that the scope of everything God did can be seen from beginning to end. I believe this book will transform lives, not only for the school and marketplace professionals who comprise its natural constituency, but also for anyone desiring to grow in faith and expectation that God wants to do extraordinary things, for His glory.

Cliff has decided to self-publish to get the story out as soon as possible. He has a large constituency, so the first printing should sell out quickly. Look for The Quest for Excellence coming soon!

Monday, November 8, 2004

My work drafting Dr. Clifford Daugherty’s book about the miraculous transformation of Valley Christian Schools is now about half done. The early chapters came together quickly, but the middle chapters have required much more research and information gathering. I am also spending time rewriting scenes as Cliff and his team send additional details and clarification in answer to my many questions that arise during the initial drafts. Please pray we can finish this work in a timely way despite the busyness of the coming holiday season.

An exciting distraction this fall has involved a real estate investment. My family is going together to help my sister purchase a home in La Crescenta. We are thrilled about this opportunity for her to live closer to the rest of us and in a good school district, where her son will start kindergarten next fall. Escrow is scheduled to close December 6. Praise God for His wonderful provision.

Next week Billy Graham comes to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for what could be his last major outreach. (He turned 86 yesterday!) Dave and I will be singing in the mass choir, and we are praying many of our neighbors will want to come hear Billy speak November 18-21. Ask the Lord to prepare His Church for an abundant harvest of souls.

May you be blessed this Thanksgiving and Christmas with a deeper experience of the love of God and its transforming power that spills over to bless many others.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Apologies for taking so long to update this site. The new book I’m putting together for Dr. Clifford Daugherty about God’s amazing transformation of Valley Christian Schools is coming along well. We completed the proposal, with a detailed chapter-by-chapter outline, early this year and submitted it to Regal Books in April. As my current publisher, Regal invited me to submit the proposal without requiring sample chapters. Their publication line is tightly competitive, however, and they eventually told us they would not have room in their catalog this year for this kind of autobiographical story. After some deliberation about whether to self-publish or approach another royalty publisher, we have decided to postpone that decision and move ahead with the draft manuscript. I have been writing from my notes as well as Cliff’s original manuscript recounting all the miraculous events that took place to bring this school network from the brink of closure to the highest standard of excellence. We believe this book will give encouragement and practical wisdom to readers seeking to believe God for His best despite apparently insurmountable obstacles.

In late April and early May Dave and I enjoyed a wonderful trip to Italy with his family. His mother turned 80 on May 9th (Mother’s Day this year), and her three children, including Dave’s older brother and younger sister, arranged for us all to celebrate on this special family vacation. What a treat to experience the breathtaking wealth of art and history in Italy. We feel as though we sampled just a small taste of it all.

In May we upgraded our scuba certifications, completing the Rescue Diver course. This increased skill level should help our confidence and competence in dealing with potential diving emergencies. We’re hoping to do some diving this fall during a brief getaway up the Central Coast of California.

We remain involved in outreach, both across the globe and literally across the street. This summer we are hosting an Alpha Course for our neighbors on Sunday evenings. Everyone is enjoying our meals together, and we have had some interesting discussions following Nicky Gumbel’s video talks. The Alpha Course, designed for new believers and seekers, is a great program for churches or small groups wanting to reach out to the community in a friendly, low-key way. Check it out at alphausa.org, or alphacourse.org (international site).

Thursday, January 22, 2004

I am currently finishing work on the book proposal for my new project with Dr. Clifford Daugherty, the superintendent of a Christian school network in San Jose, California. We’re working together to tell his story of Valley Christian School’s miraculous rise from near closing to renowned model of excellence. The book will emphasize how to have faith to believe God for what seems impossible, and thus live in expectation of seeing His supernatural involvement in our lives regularly. Ed Silvoso, founder of Harvest Evangelism and a member of the school’s board of directors, will write a foreword and an epilog. My new publisher, Regal Books, has invited me to submit the proposal when it is ready, so please pray for a favorable response.

Dave and I attended an international conference last fall where we presented the prayer guides we put together to help mobilize intercession for the small, needy nation God has placed on our hearts. The 135-page guide contains about 70 photos, most of them color, and seven color maps. Please pray for its global distribution, mostly by word of mouth. We believe the Lord wants to stir many more believers with compassion for this country’s people, who live almost completely isolated from the good news of God’s love through Jesus.

We enjoyed spending Christmas with Dave’s family in Austin, Texas, where his brother moved this year. Then we returned to Pasadena just in time to view the famous Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day. We had grandstand seats, won as a door prize at the annual meeting of our neighborhood association, right at the beginning of the parade where the television cameras cluster at Colorado and Orange Grove Boulevards. Seeing and hearing the bands brought back memories of marching in the Rose Parade as a junior in high school, when I played piccolo for the Glendale all-city band. That goes back a few years!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Last month I received surprising and exciting news. Servant Publications, publishers of Signs and Wonders in America Today, has liquidated the company. They sold their VINE imprint (under which Signs was published) to Regal Books, a division of Gospel Light Publications. GL/Regal is a much bigger company with more resources, and they are a good match for the Vine titles. They will take charge of all current stocks of books, continue all obligations to Servant/Vine authors, and market our books with new Regal ISBNs (restickered on the back cover). Bookstores that place orders under the old Servant ISBN will be redirected to Regal, so all orders should go through seamlessly. I’m told the new ISBN is 08307-34910.

What’s interesting is that Signs and Wonders is apparently close to selling out its first printing, based on information my Servant editor gave me. If Regal decides to reprint it, and I have confidence they will, it will be released as a Regal book. They could decide to change the cover or inside design, or just put their own publishing information on it and use everything else as it is. I will update this site when these decisions become known.

I am delighted about this new relationship, even though I feel like I’m getting into Regal through the back door. The president, Bill Greig III, and I went to Sunday School together ages ago at Glendale Presbyterian Church, so we know each other personally as well as professionally. The Regal staff is top notch. Please pray for them as they adjust to the additional responsibilities they have taken on.

Monday, September 8, 2003

God sure answers prayer! I had two terrific signings at this summer’s CBA convention in Orlando. Servant Publications had provided four cases of Signs and Wonders in America Today for both their own signing and a signing at the CLASS booth the next day. I had also brought some copies of Stories from the Front Lines for the CLASS signing. Between the two events, I gave away every copy we had brought, including 230 copies of the new book! The line at the Servant booth almost never dwindled the whole hour. At the CLASS booth people were waiting for me before my hour began. The line continued without a break until I ran out of books about 40 minutes later and started signing copies of the cover promo sheet. And this on the last day of the convention, when many attenders had already left. One of the assistants at the CLASS booth said, “This is unusual!”

Praise the Lord for such interest. Evidently many people have a real hunger for true stories about God working in miraculous ways in our society and world today. One woman said the endorsements had made the difference for her. She told me, “I don’t know you, frankly, but when I saw the names on the back cover [C. Peter Wagner, Alice Smith, Charles Kraft, Chuck Pierce] I said to myself, ‘This must be a great book! I want this book!’” Hallelujah! Now it’s time to pray many of the bookstore owners and buyers who received one or both books will actually read and order copies for their stores.

On Labor Day Dave and I went scuba diving at Santa Barbara Island. The purple hydrocoral was stunning. Along with the usual assortment of orange garibaldis, kelpfish, and sheepheads, we saw lobsters, sea hares, a bat ray, and much more. What fun, too, when the sea lions came out to play with us from their rookery on the lee side of the island. And on the boat ride back to Ventura we encountered a school of dolphins—dozens leaping and swimming in our wake. What a marvelous Creation and Creator we have.

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Signs and Wonders in America Today finally hit bookstores in May. I’ve been getting a lot of nice comments from readers, especially people whose stories appear in the book. They are thrilled to see their own story in print and blessed to read the others! These inspirational accounts of God at work in amazing ways come from all over the United States. Maybe one of them took place near you.

Some featured story source people who have their own ministries have placed large orders so they can offer Signs and Wonders from their web sites or at speaking engagements. Servant Publications can give some attractive discounts for bulk orders. Please contact me if you would like to purchase 25 or more copies, and I will direct you to the right person.

If you have enjoyed this book (or Stories from the Front Lines, for that matter), I encourage you to add your review to the others at on-line stores such as Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and ChristianBook.com. It takes only a few minutes to post an on-line review, and other potential readers will find it very helpful. Thanks in advance!

This Saturday I fly to Orlando for the annual CBA Convention. CBA (formerly Christian Booksellers Association) hosts the world’s biggest trade show of Christian books, music, and merchandise. I have two signings: On Wednesday, July 16, Servant Publications hosts me in their booth to autograph Signs and Wonders. The next morning, I will sign both this new book and Stories from the Front Lines at the CLASS booth hosted by Christian Leaders, Authors, and Speakers Services. Please pray for a good reception and lots of interest.

Dave comes with me for the first part of the week, and we plan to spend at least one day having fun at an Orlando attraction like Epcot Center. We are looking forward to a break: We just finished the first draft of a booklet for an organization focused on prayer and outreach to a particular needy nation. Others are checking the draft during the coming weeks, and Dave will be putting together some maps. We’re asking the Lord to use this guide as a strategic prayer tool for people interested in seeing the love of God touch this country.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

On April 11, I received my first “author’s copy” of Signs and Wonders in America Today. It looks good! In 196 pages the design folks at Servant Publications have laid out these 29 true stories of how God is performing miracles for His glory right here in the United States. My original index had to be trimmed because I used a font size way too small to print legibly. By starting the index on the back side of the last page of text, the designers gave themselves five pages for the index, and it is quite readable. All the important index entries were retained, so I am satisfied. Thanks again for your prayers for this project.

The official release date is this Saturday, April 26, with shipments due to bookstores by early May. Servant has been taking pre-publication orders for several weeks. Please ask for it at your local bookstore, and request that they stock it.

You may want to order several copies to give to key people who can promote this book. Even if you are not a retailer, if you order at least $100 of product (e.g. 10 copies of Signs and Wonders at $10.99 each), Servant will give you a 20% discount. Please contact them toll-free at 1-800-458-8505 to place an order. Or you may click the link to the right to access Amazon.com’s site. If you like what you read, consider posting a review on Amazon!

I will be attending the CBA convention in Orlando in July, promoting both this new book and Stories from the Front Lines. I’ll be available for interviews, and hope to have many occasions to let people know about these encouraging, faith-building books.

Meanwhile, I have a couple of new projects ahead of me. My husband, Dave, and I recently returned from an overseas trip to a country that has been on our hearts for several years. We have been asked to write a prayer journey guide for this small nation, which is completely closed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We hope the guide will encourage readers to pray effectively for the love of God to break through to the precious people of this country. The project will be a labor of love for us.

Next Wednesday I will be flying to San Jose, California, as a guest of Valley Christian Schools. God has worked through this school network in extraordinary miracles of marketplace and community transformation, using the strategies of prayer evangelism. The principal has a manuscript documenting what God has done, and we will discuss the possibility of turning this amazing story into a book. I have told them I am not available to help until after the prayer journey guide is finished, and they are willing to wait. Please pray for wisdom as I consider taking on this project.

Sunday, February 2, 2003

The page proofs for Signs and Wonders in America Today arrived last weekend. The layout folks at Servant Publications did a great job of accommodating the entire oversize manuscript in just under 200 pages, while retaining good margins and easy-reading font design. They deserve thanks for all this hard work!

I have finished the final proofing and am now compiling the index. Only four pages in the last signature are available for the index, so including every entry I would like to reference could present a challenge. I always feel the usefulness of a book increases substantially with a good index that includes concepts and themes, not just proper names. Please pray for wisdom and accuracy as I complete this project.

By Tuesday the corrected proofs and index will fly back to Michigan via overnight mail so my editor receives them by Wednesday. When the production team finishes the final changes and additions, including the cover design, everything will go to the printer. Then we should be on target for a projected April 26 release date. Ask for it at your local bookstore!

By the way, five stories out of Stories From the Front Lines were selected to appear in a book compilation called 100 Amazing Answers to Prayer by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Fleming H. Revell, 2003). This book has just been released. The Petersens greatly shortened each story, rewriting to fit their format, but kept the exciting details of how our mighty God responded to prayer, meeting urgent needs and bringing people to faith in Jesus Christ. Perhaps these vignettes will whet readers’ appetites to get Stories from the Front Lines and read the full-length versions of these and the 35 other power evangelism stories from around the world.

 

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