A God-incident at chemotherapy

Here’s a “God-incident” that happened at my last chemotherapy session on June 21st. Here’s a bit of background; forgive me if it seems to ramble…

The previous weekend I had decided to clean out the bottom of my grandmother’s “pie safe” that I use for a bookcase, and as I went I took out all the Bible study and prayer notebooks I have been keeping since the 1970’s. It took a long time and I stacked them all together, flipping through several and re-reading the prayer requests in particular.

I have been re-studying the power of the Holy Spirit lately and have asked the Lord to re-fill me and keep me filled up, something I’d prayed from time to time over the years although not recently. I have just finished re-reading Nine O’Clock in the Morning and The Holy Spirit and You, by Dennis Bennett. They brought back many memories.

A month or so ago the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night with a mental image of First Pentecostal Baptist Church out on Paul Jones Road, where Tim and I were members for many years. It wasn’t listed in this year’s phone book so I wasn’t sure it still existed. After getting my Neulasta shot on June 1st, I drove out to see and found it still there, the pastor’s name and services times posted out front.

A couple of women who lived in the house behind the church turned out to be renters but they pointed me to the house next door where I spotted Winter Lee Matthews, an elderly gentleman I recognized from those days, watering plants in his yard next door. I drove over to talk to him.

We had a wonderful visit, caught up on what was going on in the little church and he gave me the phone number of Jack Coker, the present pastor who is now 77 years old. The next day I called Jack, explaining who I was and why I was calling. He lives in Olanta and commutes weekly to the church. We talked for a few minutes and I asked if he could come visit me at his convenience and he said he’d be glad to. He stopped by for an hour a couple of days later when he was in Florence for a doctor’s checkup.

We had a great conversation and before he left we prayed for each other, him praying for my complete healing and me praying for him to be completely filled with the power of the Holy Spirit from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. I told him I couldn’t yet be around large crowds but would like to attend one of their Sunday morning services if there wouldn’t be too many people there — he said usually there were less than 30 adults with few to no children, and I would be very welcome.

The next Sunday I was too fatigued to get out of bed, but the following Sunday I attended their morning service, including the last part of the Sunday School hour (taught by Jack’s son, the assistant pastor), which turned out to be about the baptism in the Holy Spirit from Acts Chapter 2. Coincidence? Probably not.

It was very different from the old days, and also very different from Trinity. A lady played the piano very well, Jack, his son and Winter Lee all played guitars, and several ladies sang to lead the worship — two hymns were sung from the hymnal. The offering was received and then four or five different people sang special solos one after the other.

Prayer requests were taken — including one for Wanda Fowler, a lady I remember from years ago who was very sick in the hospital. The entire church then prayed out loud at the same time. I had forgotten about that but it seemed very natural. I joined right in.

Jack preached a good sermon from Philippians 4:11: “I have learned, in whatever state I am, in this to be content.” He stressed that being content has to be learned, it certainly doesn’t come naturally when you have problems. It was a very appropriate word!

Jack then asked if I felt well enough to play the piano during final prayers and I did. I played “I Exalt Thee” while Jack and his son prayed for several people, and that ended the service.

I enjoyed the service, enjoyed meeting the people, but at this point I don’t feel any inclination to return. I do want to return to Trinity when I can, and I want to see a Trinity that is filled with God’s demonstrated power in every way that He wants to do that. I firmly believe he does want to do that and pray for that.

All that leads up to last weekend, when I started looking for my handwritten account from April 16, 1974 of the night I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was the only thing written in a little green notebook that turned up in the middle of all those other notebooks in the pie safe.

At that time in 1974 I was a member of Parkwood Presbyterian Church, the organist and adult Sunday School teacher and we had been studying accounts of the early church. I was disturbed and puzzled about the vast differences I saw in the lives of the early Christians and present-day Christians.

After reading my handwritten notes, I asked the Lord what to do next and how. I knew he wanted me to share that account with other people, something I have seldom done over these past 37 years. I started writing over the weekend, and the next morning the Lord woke me up at 3:30 and said “It’s time, post it on your blog.” I got up, did some final editing and by about 5:00 AM, it was posted. You can read it at http://estherspetition.wordpress.com. I hope you will.

This is only the first part of my adventures with the Holy Spirit, the events of that night. I will be working on the next part along and along, how the Lord led me to find out exactly what had happened to me, the various ways the Holy Spirit brought scripture verses and whole passages, books, biographies, and most importantly, people into my life in very short order who could help me understand and grow.

Soon after that time I changed churches, because there was absolutely no-one at Parkwood who understood. For some time I attended Christian Assembly (part of the Pentecostal Holiness denomination), became church organist there and also one of the adult Sunday School teachers. I was surrounded by people who not only knew what had happened, it had happened to them too.

Now for the God-incident on June 21st. While doing doctor’s visits and therapy early on I had felt like my life was on hold but the Lord had told me to get rid of that thinking, I was not on hold, my assignment was just being temporarily adjusted. He said to pray for all the people I see, pray in tongues, pray in English, but take notice of all the other people whether patients or staff and pray silently for them. Talk to anyone he prompted me to talk to, listen to the Holy Spirit and follow his lead as to what to say. And that’s what I have been doing.

On June 21st McLeod IV had no private rooms left so I was showed to a semi-private room with two recliners, TV, telephone, etc. Since lunch was already there (very early!) I went ahead and ate. Delicious lasagna. Preliminary IV stuff (port access, saline, anti-nausea meds, steroids, etc.) was done, and soon afterward the nurse started Taxotere. I turned on the TV and settled back when an older-looking patient (age 57 but looking 77) named Linda was brought in.

Seated in a wheelchair with her daughter Paulette looking after her, she seemed very thin and sickly. She said she was waiting for results of her blood work to see if she was okay to have her chemotherapy for recently diagnosed inoperable lung cancer. Another patient of Dr. Bajaj, she comes from Marion County for weekly exams, blood work and chemotherapy.

I knew instantly it was not a coincidence that we had been brought together in this room. As we chatted they told me a bit about themselves, and eventually it came out that the mother had been a Christian for only two weeks!

After some time I asked if I could pray for them and they both said yes. With no-one else in the room, I prayed a very simple prayer for them.

The nurse finally came in to report that due to a low platelet count Linda could not have chemotherapy that day, maybe next week, and they were free to go home. But they didn’t want to leave. They continued talking, telling me more about their individual personal situations and letting me share the love of God and Bible verses with them.

Paulette said she uses a computer for internet and email so I gave them my business card and asked them to get in touch with me any time.

About that time my IV pump beeped — Taxotere was finished. The nurse came in bringing another patient for chemotherapy. Linda and Paulette said goodbye and left, thanking me over and over for talking with them. Linda kept saying that even though she could not have chemotherapy that day, she knew she was supposed to be there, and also to be in that room with me. I agreed. I do agree!


1 Response to “A God-incident at chemotherapy”

  1. 1 Diane Brown
    June 28, 2011 at 11:32 am

    The steps of the righteous are ordered by the a Lord! He leads me in Right paths, for His name’s sake. What a place of rest- following the Shepherd!
    I love the word God gave you – content. It’s a picture of rest (sabbath). Green pastures, still waters, restored soul, goodness and mercy! What a special place to ABIDE!
    Resting with you!

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Bette’s Journal

Bette Cox 2010

Christ is the "Big C" in my life!

That was told to me by a good friend recently, and it's so very true.

Jesus says in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

I believe Jesus. I hope you do too.

I have one request of other believers reading this journal:

Agree with me that the invader will shrink, shrivel, die and disappear from my body, whatever method the Lord uses to accomplish that.

Thanks in advance.


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