Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Lord, our fire in the hearth--His promises, our coat

photo courtesy of this site

I had to share the following devotional that I read this morning. The Lord is so sweet to not leave Matt, our family and me alone in this. What a tender Father to warm my heart this morning with a precious flame:

Morning + Evening by C.H. Spurgeon--December 1, Morning:

"Thou hast made summer and winter."
--Psalm 74:17

My soul begin this wintry month with thy God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind thee that He keeps His covenant with day and night, and tend to assure thee that He will also keep that glorious covenant which He has made with thee in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world, will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with His own well-beloved Son.

Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it be upon thee just now it will be very painful to thee: but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation: He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy: He casteth forth His ice like morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all, He is the great Winter King, and rules in the realms of frost, and therefore thou canst not murmur. Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills, are of the Lord's sending, and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill noxious insects, and put a bound to raging diseases; they break up the clods, and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction!

How we prize the fire just now! how pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw nigh to Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and go forth to labours which befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.

85 comments:

Steve Bezner said...

Good word. It's always important to remember that whatever happens, it has ultimately been allowed by a good and loving Lord.

rikki tai said...

He has promised, I will never leave you, I will never forsake you, I am your helper, so do not be afriad.
Prayers are with you all.
Love you friend.

Michelle Truax said...

We hold dear that which the Lord has given you... the moldable, impressionable hearts and minds of so many...not just your own, but HIS own. You have become part of our families and we uphold you.

We know that God has yet still GREATER PLANS for Matt and this family. There are not many to be found who will stand in the fire and still praise His Great and Mighty Awesome name. Precious are those who are chosen to carry the torch. Carry on my friends, carry on. So many of us are including you in our quiet times of prayer and meditation each morning.

You are loved immensely.
((((Hugs))))
Michelle & David Truax

Vicki Courtney said...

"Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and go forth to labours which befit the season."

Beautiful. I'm praying that the entire Chandler family will stay tightly bundled in His cloak of peace that surpasses all understanding. The cold, chilling bite of unexpected adversity melts away in the hearth of His promises. Winter is only for a season - spring is not far behind.

Monte Lawlis said...

"He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock that shadows a dry, thirsty land; He hideth my life in the depths of His love, and covers me there with His hand"- Fanny Crosby. Betty and I are praying that Matt, you and your little ones will sense, in the deepest of ways, that you are hidden in "the cleft of the rock" and "in depths of His love" and covered there by the Father's mighty, sovereign hand of steadfast love from all that may assail. In the darkest hour or the brightest of days the Lord has a song waiting to be written - waiting to be sung.

Fun With Five said...

We are praying for your family.

shawnadee said...

Lauren,
We haven't met. I am Jim and Margie's daughter. My family and I are praying for you. This post is beautiful. I haven't ever read that book. I have also never thought about winter of the soul and what praise and devotion should look like there. What a profound thought. I am challenged today to deepen my faith by the example of your devotion to our Father. You are prayed for today.
Shawna

Crystal Malek said...

Thanks for posting this. I have this devotional, and it sits in a dark closet. My soul has certainly been going through a winter of sorts. I'm going to go and grab that book. Thank you.

Thomas Moore said...

What a blessing this devotional is during this time, just as Matt and your family are a blessing to us all. We know that there is God's purpose behind everything, and my family and friends are praying for your strength and resolve. We love you very much and thank you for strengthening our faith through your fortitude. May the Lord bless and keep you. He is in control.

Scott Ball said...

my wife and i are praying for you, matt, and your family today.

A Growing Family said...

Lauren I am so glad you are being surrounded by family, friends and most importantly the peace that only comes from God. I am praying for you, Matt and the kids. Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Oh to walk w/ Him so closely that He is our very breath. Praying continually for you, Matt and your precious family as well as the Body you both serve. Praying you will feel His perfect presence as you are talking w/ the physician remembering He is the Great Physician who gifted this doctor w/ the necessary knowledge. Colos.1:3-14

Liz said...

Beatiful. God is sovereign, yes in winter and in summer. Continued prayers!

BarshD said...

Amazing devotional. God's timing is awesome! Praying for all of you!

Rachel Cox said...

Prayers are being lifted up for you and Matt from Arkansas.

Regina said...

God sealed His covenant with Abraham when the darkness had fallen with a smoking firepot and a blazing torch.

Exodus 13:21-22 "By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people."

He will not leave His place in front of His people. Emmanuel - God with us.

Sarah said...

Lauren, I don't know you but I read your blog and it is such an encouragement. I go to The Austin Stone Community Church and we're all big fans of y'alls, of course! I wanted to drop in and say that we're praying for y'all (of course)...but I also wanted to say that when I try to think about what kind of position you are in, it makes me appreciate so much more your role as not only a pastor's wife but also a wife IN GENERAL and a mother AND a wife to a husband who has serious health stuff going on...as if one of the three things wasn't hard enough on its own! You are so graceful and faithful and everything that Matt says from the pulpit about you is coming true under this stress...I can't imagine HIS shoes right now, but I also can't imagine yours. I'm praying specifically for you that God would relieve you of the mental burden of worrying about the details of things and running away with what if's. You don't seem to be struggling with it but I know that satan loves it so I'm praying anyway. I know this was a long post and I wish I could have emailed it to you instead of writing it publicly, but who knows, maybe someone will read this who's going through something similar and be encouraged by how God is truly surrounding you with His big big big arms.

I also want to give encouragement from a story I saw happen right before my eyes (not that this is what's going on with Matt, but I just want to tell you one of those God is Amazing stories!)--I knew a girl who's little brother was diagnosed with a serious brain tumor at the base of his skull and when they went back to get him ready for surgery, the tumor was gone. God does stuff like that!!!

Another story: I had a friend just this last week who went in to have the same kind of tumor removed from the base of her skull, and by the wonderful, Great Physician Hands of God, she is at home (less than a week later) and praising God for a successful surgery.

(again, maybe that's not what's happening with Matt but I just felt compelled to tell you how great God is--I know you know that!)

I know there's a fuzzy line between what God's capable of doing and what He WILL do, but if faith is the assurance of things hoped for and what we hope for is Christ and His promises, then it WILL turn out for good because we love Him and are called according to His plans.

Thank you for your perseverance and grace and wisdom--your blog is a blessing to me and all your other readers and I know that you are a blessing to your family. Can't wait to hear good news of what God will do with this situation in y'alls life.

-love sarah from Austin

rikki tai said...

Beautifully said.
He has promised:
I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. I am your helper, so do not be afraid.

Prayers are with you all.

Traci said...

Consummation

Fire!
Burning desire.
Seek God, my soul,
my goal, by fire.
Fire that burns out
dross,
consumes my ugliness
as loss,
and purifies
your beauty.

(c)1975 Dodds

apesdina said...

What a sweet reminder. Praying for you and Matt and the kiddos now. Be encouraged that the body is coming together. Every conversation I've had in the past few days with friends who attend has been different...sweeter...more honest. I know you know that, but sometimes I think it's good to really hear it. It's refining us as a body already. Praying.

April Medina

Lindsey said...

Lauren I am so thankful the Lord sent this devotional to you today, I bet it was well welcomed! Myself and everyone I know is praying for Matt, you, your family, and the doctors today. But it is so comforting to know that no matter what end may come of this, the Lord is with you and your family, and us as a church body. Love you all, more than you know.

Anonymous said...

I will read and reread this Lauren...
love to you in Jesus
tristie

Leah said...

Beautiful devotional. Matt and your family are in my prayers daily. I do not know you or attend the Village but I live in Abilene and my husband is the associate pastor at the Mission with Chad (Chad knows Matt). I've been on a huge journey to sink deeper into God's love and somehow I found Matt's Luke series. It renewed my heart and gave me a sense of longing to know more. I only 5 sermons left and then I plan to start Ephesians. I am blessed by your family's ministry.

Hannah said...

Lauren, I am a covenant member of The Village and have actually read your blog for sometime now. Just wanted to let you know that you are being prayed for in this time! I am encouraged by your posts, old and new. Thank you for being an example in grace, faith, and hope!

christina said...

God brought me to The Village 5 years ago. How the Lord used that place to transform my heart and life! Since that time I've moved to Eastern Europe to share that love and grace I found with others. Many people there have grown to love my pastor as well. We are joining everyone else in upholding you and your family before His throne. Much love!!

Pinkie Winkie said...

Praying for continued peace and strength. And healing! Thank you for your example of godly suffering and hoping in Him.

Jaime said...

I can sense your love of Him in this. He loves you, too sister. Hold fast to Him. We are praying.

Psalm112 said...

Hey there! I honestly don't know how I originally stumbled upon your blog, maybe through Angie I., the Carruth's, etc. I don't know. Anyway, I received an e-mail from my church today that our children's pastor's cousin had a seizure & a brain mass was found...I sent an e-mail to the pastor and asked if there was a way we could speak with y'all. So, Pastor T might be asking you if we can talk. Then, I just checked back in the blog reader today b/c my seizures have been at a peak the last week or so and found your most recent posts.

Long story short, my husband is a cancer survivor. This is the blog we kept during his journey: http://psalm112-survivor.blogspot.com/
I was then diagnosed with epilepsy. This is the blog that we are currently keeping:
http://welcometothefoxhole.blogspot.com

Point of all this is to say, we would love an opportunity to speak with y'all, love on y'all, pray with y'all, and save you a few steps in this process since we have already walked similar roads. Matt's cousin should have our contact info. Please feel free to reach out to us or let him know how we can reach out to you!
Many blessings and may God be the ultimate Hero of this story!!!

because of HIM,

Meredith

SnatchedFromTheFire said...

Thank you for sharing this. I cannot express to you the testimony that your family is to so many as the Spirit enables you to suffer well under this trial - even to us way over here on the west coast of Canada in Vancouver, BC.
I've become convinced through my own life that sometimes God sends suffering to mould and shape us, and other times, He sends us suffering to mould and shape others (and i guess oftentimes He does it for both purposes too). Be encouraged that as you submit your lives and fears to Him, you become God's instrument of teaching and shaping to many. I pray daily for Matt's healing. He is truly blessed to have a strong, Godly woman such as yourself by his side in this and in all things.
God's peace -
W.

Fish with Trish said...

I just found out yesterday at the vet that my young dog has only 2-4 weeks to live. The weird thing is she doesn't even seem sick. But we have noticed a change in her breathing for the last week. And I knew something was wrong...then we found the lumps...

It was totally out of left field. My heart is broken but God is good. My husband and I don't have any kids...so the dog has become like a really special part of the family. Your post has ministered to my soul.

I don't attend your church but my husband is a pastor at Sovereign Joy Community Church in Keller, TX (not too far from you guys) and word travels fast. We found out about Matt the day it happened...

One of your members joined our evangelism team that goes out on Thanksgiving night and witnesses to all the folks who are in line for the Black Friday discounts...anyway this gentleman told us about Matt. Our hearts were moved and we gathered and prayed for Matt right then and there. It was a shock.

Life is so hard, isn't it. I've come to realize more and more that this place is not my true home - I can't wait to see the Lord and be in heaven where there is no more pain and suffering...

I've been extremely comforted by this portion from Jonathan Edwards:

"Labour to obtain such a disposition of mind that you may choose heaven for your inheritance and home; and may earnestly long for it, and be willing to change this world, and all its enjoyments, for heaven.
Labor to have your heart taken up so much about heaven, and heavenly
enjoyments, as that you may rejoice when God calls you to leave your best
earthly friends and comforts for heaven, there to enjoy God and Christ."
The Christian Pilgrim, Jonathan Edwards, Sept 1733

And this verse:

Job 12:10..."In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."

Don't ever forget that you are the precious daughter of the most high King. He will never leave you nor forsake you or leave you as an orphan.

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." John 14:27

My friend, Jaylene, sent me this verse today:

My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:5-8

God bless you dear sister!

Soon we will all be with the Lord.

Trish

Anna said...

Prayers for the whole Chandler family from Bombay, where my husband Amit & I listen in via podcasts, and I can't tell you how many times his messages keep me sane and on track over the years!! Lauren, as a wife you are an inspiration. I would be in pieces. But let God be glorified through you, every minute of strength and peace He is giving you is a testament to His grace and mercy for His children, hope for all of us who face hardships and crises. Love, Anna

Rachel said...

My hopes and prayers for you, Matt, your children and your church:

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

Sherry Ware said...

Lauren and Matt,

John and I have been following your twitter posts. You are in our prayers. Here's a quote that I thought might comfort you:

“Your afflictions may only prove that you are more immediately under the Father's hand. There is no time that the patient is such an object of tender interest to the surgeon, as when he is bleeding beneath his knife. So you may be sure if you are suffering from the hand of a reconciled God, that His eye is all the more bent on you.” Robert Murray McCheyne

We Love You!
twitter.com/SherryWare
sherryware@verizon.net

Lindsay said...

Thank you for sharing... as i was praying for you all this morning this verse came to mind. Prov. 18:10 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe." Like the new song by Phil Wickham "Safe" goes... "you will be safe in His arms"... with great love and affection,
Lindsay S

kklop said...

A friend and I were discussing how we wish there was a way we could send you the song "Jesus Draw me Ever Nearer" by Keith and Kristyn Getty. Jesus has used this song to comfort and reassure me of His purpose, how He is in all things, for His glory.

-
Karley, praying for your family from Illinois

Maggie said...

This is unspeakably beautiful and filled me with tears. Your willingness to walk with Him into this winter draws me to His warmth. Praise His name for showing us Himself more deeply in pain. Fasting and praying for you today.

Katie K said...

How beautiful, thanks so much for sharing it. I needed that this morning. I am a long-time fan of Matt's and used to listen to him preach at Grace back in Abilene. Found you guys through Facebook, and will definitely be praying for God's blessing on Matt and his doctors!

Terry said...

Lauren, I just read that last night and immediately thought of you, your children, and Pastor Matt. What a beautiful devotional. God bless!

kklop said...

A friend and I were discussing how we wish there was a way we could send you the song "Jesus Draw me Ever Nearer" by Keith and Kristyn Getty. Jesus has used this song to comfort and reassure me of His purpose, how He is in all things, for His glory.

-
Karley, praying for your family from Illinois

Anonymous said...

Lauren - you have very much been in my prayers this past week. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Know that we will continue to pray for you, Matt and the kids throughout this trial. I hope you know that you are very loved. May God continue to be the strength of your heart. -Jeannette

Mary Beth said...

We will be praying for your family through this time.

Ann Hastings said...

This post is such a blessing to me today, thank you for sharing that! Your family is in my prayers and will continue to be.

Julie Keefe said...

Please know that we are standing in the gap for you. Loving you from Florida,
The Keefes

Amy said...

Thanks for posting this! This is my first time to visit your blog; our family is praying for you - my little kindergartener just finished praying for "Pastor Matt." Our faith is being strengthened as we watch the grace and peace with which God is equipping you!

Aleks "OLA" Stewart said...

Lauren, I do not know you but my heart is moved by watching from a distance as you approach the fire of the Lord's comfort in the midst of a winter that is surely piercing. It seems trite to say that my heart is moved but I guess I am trying to articulate that you are encouraging me and many others to draw near that same fire-and appreciate and seek its warmth, to be steadfast and trust in Him.

Matthew Paul Turner said...

Lauren,

My prayers are with you and Matt during this time. May God's grace and hope fill you up and sustain you in the coming weeks.

God bless you.

mpt

Matt Patto said...

Praying for you guys all the way from Australia. Thanks for your post.

cindy metcalf said...

How beautiful.
Praise be to God.
I am thinking of you all day long and wrapping you with prayer.

Helen said...

This is excellent. What a gift Spurgeon is to the body of Christ. I am praying for you today and tomorrow especially (my husband saw on your church's website that the surgery is tomorrow). May the peace that truly does pass all understanding be yours in Christ Jesus. May you all rest in His sovereign care for your family.
Your sister in Christ,
helen

Austin and Jessica Grimes said...

Hi Lauren

My name is Jessica Grimes. I am a covenant member of the Village. I am also a medical social worker at BUMC -- in the neuro/trauma ICU at big Baylor downtown.

If you and your family need anything while at Baylor, please feel free to call me directly at 214-820-8619 or you can page me at 972-601-0110. I can assist with connecting you to resources ect while at the hospital. Everything from parking vouchers, food vouchers, assistance with a hotel stay at BUMC ect .... and if cant locate what you need, I can for sure find out who can.

Praying for you

- Jessica Grimes

jeanette said...

Thank you Lauren for this posting.... I am a podcast listener in Austin, TX and I heard the news yesterday, and just want you to know that you and your family are being covered in prayer during this time.

Trent, Lindsey & Theo said...

Thought of your family today when I read this verse:

When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Psalm 94:18-19

We are praying!

Lindsey said...

...we are praying non-stop in Tennessee!!

reflectionofgrace said...

what a blessing it is to read your thoughts as you go through this difficult time! you are an encouragement even in the midst of trials to keep eyes focused on the only one who maintains control & never wavers. praying for your sweet family!

Helen said...

Praying today..
Psalm 94:18-19 When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

May the love of the Lord and His consolation be yours in a way never felt before.
Helen

linde said...

Jeff and I are praying for your family today. -jeff and linde giddens

stacie said...

Dear Lauren and family,

My family and I attend Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I have since been blessed through Matt's sermons as well...wanted you to know that you guys are heavy on my heart and we (along with our community group and family) are in prayer with you all.

Also, I smiled as I saw some of the names on your blog list that I recognized... a couple photographers and Brandi, whom I met at a photography workshop. Such a "small" world- such a big "family".

In prayer and love, Stacie Wilkins

Gayle said...

So happy for you, so happy for us, so thankful to our Lord. May you all receive rest in His arms!

Helen said...

My husband woke me up before he came to bed last night and told me that he had checked the church website and your Matt was out of surgery and responding well. Praise the Lord!! I know we may never meet here on earth but I am committed in the weeks and months ahead to pray for you and your husband. I am praying for a quick and total recovery, for good news on the biopsy, for no more seizures and mostly for Christ to be exalted and glorified in this situation--as I know He is already!! We are miles apart but if there is ever anything we can do, we as a family would love to serve you. Much grace to you today as you love and care for your man. Helen

The Grahams said...

A beautiful encouragement and reminder of His continual care.I am in prayer for your family and so Thankful for the comfort our Lord has given you all.
"For as we share abundantly in Christs sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too! 2 Cor.1:5"

lauren w said...

this devotional is my heart. thanks for posting. love for you!

Kacy said...

Our prayers have been lifted for you and your family. Please know our friends in Honduras are praying also. We love you.

Anonymous said...

the Gettys have only recently (I think) posted Kristyn's recital of her own poem on their site; it seems a timely complement to Spurgeon's 'wintry' devotion. Perhaps you've already heard it but if not I hope it will bless you similarly - http://www.gettymusic.com/watchesofthenight.aspx

continued grace and peace to you all in Jesus.

Jenny Ratzlaff said...

I am praying fervently for your family this week, all the way from Fresno, California. We were introduced to the Village Church through friends and have benefitted greatly from Matt's teaching online. Thank you for your faithful service to our Lord, who is full of Grace and Mercy. . .

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder that God is the Winter King and that even the winter serves His purpose. While my head knows that this is true, my heart seldom believes that the many winters He has given me are good. But reading your words in this time of struggle reminds me that He is, and encourages me to expand my picture of who He is. While "unsafe", He is very much worthy of my trust.

Krista said...

Bless the Lord for His comfort to you. We are just learning of all of this today and I am encouraged by how the Lord has ministered to you to personally. The light of Christ is shining so brightly--- your deep trust is beautiful. It's an honor to call your family brothers and sisters in Christ. You are in our prayers.

JT said...

Lauren,

Your friends at Crossway Books have been praying for you, Matt, and your family. May God be with each of you.

in Christ,
Justin Taylor

Helen said...

Dear Lauren,
I am following your updates on Twitter like so many others. I know every story is different and I remember the first time my husband had his surgery, that suddenly it seemed like everybody had a brother/uncle/cousin/sister once removed, etc. with a brain surgery story to share. Not always helpful and I don't want to be one of those people to you. But, there is much about what I've heard that brings up so much emotion in my husband and I that we can't help but carry you both constantly on our hearts. We've been praying specifically for things as the Lord brings them to mind. After my husbands' last surgery, he was unable to move his left leg or arm (he too has a right frontal lobe tumor) and I remember each day how he improved leaps and bounds. After a week in physical therapy, he came home just a little weak and uncoordinated..but how hard it can be to watch as things that were once simple, now take effort. I also wanted to thank you for the amazing testimony you have been to so many (us included) during this past week. I had my older three children to Matt's words before surgery and it was yet another oppertunity to say, 'See kids, look how God is magnified through suffering, look how BIG our God is!" Thank you for that. I think it brought them comfort to see someone else walking this hard road. May peace and joy be yours today in abundance. May the love of the Father be so evident to you and may He continue to be glorified through this. Take Care!! Helen

pipnmike said...

Dear Chandler family
I am a 20yr Aussie who is so encouraged by ur family my now husband and I saw Matt when he came to speak in Sydney. His ability to unpack the gospel is a true gift! What really stuck out to me though was when he described u all with so much love and then said how he loves Jesus above all this. My husband and I heard of Matts operation the day before it happened we were on our honeymoon but our minister had put a note up to pray for u all! I am so touched and encouraged as I read ur blog Lauren. My husband sometimes says to me "ur on that blog again!! " ,And I say to him "yes I am so encouraged by this transparent chrisitan family we need more families like this as role models of Christs love in this world".
Thank you so much for your blogs and ur families devotion to Christ I will keep on reading and praying!
Your sister in Christ
Pip

Helen said...

Friend,
Matt and I continue to pray for you and your Matt. The Lord continually brings you to mind and we are happy to pray for you, our brother and sister in Christ. This quote by Calvin was sent me yesterday and I wanted to pass it along to you. I pray it strengthens your faith on this day.

“There is no truth which is more generally received among men than that God is true; but there are a few who frankly give him credit for this when they are in adversity. It is, therefore, highly necessary for us to cut off the occasion of our distrust; and whenever any doubt respecting the faithfulness of God’s promises steal in upon us, we ought immediately to lift up against it this shield, that the words of the Lord are pure.”
We continue to ask great things of our Great God on your behalf.
Love,
Helen

Matt said...

praying for you both consistently...

ml

jennyduffyphoto said...

Hi I love the "sweeten the soul" part. I will be fervently praying for Matt's recovery and for strength and energy for you. God's Love!

Helen said...

We continue to pray for your family. Praying you would be aware of the Father's love for each of you and that this love will be your joy and comfort.
Grace to you today, as you care for your children and husband.
love,
Helen

Helen said...

Lauren,
I'm carrying you on my heart today..praying for you...like so, so many are. Just wanted you to know that the body of Christ is lifting you all up. Prayed for peace and a calm confidence in God's plan for your family. With love from Maryland,
Helen Lowe

Helen said...

Lauren,
No words...just tears. Wish our family could order yours pizza or do something practical to serve you all. I pray for you many times a day and will continue to lift you all up. Grace upon grace be yours.
Helen

Anonymous said...

"I am your creator. You were in my care even before you were born." Isaiah 44:2

In these days of raw and ragged emotion, may you find the tenderness of His sheltering wing that surrounds and enfolds you.

Helen said...

Lauren,
I'm praying as I type this that this won't be an annoying and insensitive thing to do right now. I just saw on Twitter that your husband was meeting with some Dr.'s today and this came to mind. I'm sure you are getting an overload of information right now and I don't want to add one more thing, but I thought this was a good find for us and thought I'd pass it along. There is a Dr. named Jeanne M. Wallace with Nutritional Solutions that we are finding helpful. She works primarily with diet and supplements but is well respected among the medical community and works along side more conventional forms of medicine as well (chemo/radiation). I like her becuase she has worked with over 900 brain tumor patients (that's all she does) and she seems to have a well balanced approach and has seen some good results in her patients. Her number is 435-563-0053. And if you are interested you can google Nutritional Solutions for more info. Again, please throw this out if it's not helpful. Just came to mind and wanted to share. Matt and I prayed for your husband and family last night on our date night. Praying for wisdom and strength today. As your days, so shall your strength be!! love, Helen

Anonymous said...

i pray your heart will be comforted once again by the words of this entry. and that His presence would continue to be all-surrounding. God is not finished in this... nowhere near! hold fast to His faithfulness and know that He cares so much about your every thought, concern, question. you, your husband, and your community have already reached the world with hope and genuine patience in affliction. He is exalted in your life and in your family. praying for all of the above to continue and for His healing to draw near.

katelyn said...

Was all of that written by Spurgeon, or some by you? Either way, it is exquisite, and beautiful in truth.

I know you don't know who I am, but I heard about your story through the world wide web; twitter. Just know that some people in Scottsdale, Arizona are praying for you. I can see that you are Warriors and Doctors, both Soldier and Nurse to the body of Christ where you are... and even where you aren't.

I pray you find joy in the smallest of things right now, Dei Gratia, Katelyn

Helen said...

Like countless others, I'm praying for you today. I so hope you feel the Father's love for you through the prayers of others. May your day be marked with peace and confidence in our Lord's perfect plans. Wish I could bring you over some bean soup or something tonight..but I'm sure others are caring for you all in so many practical ways. Grace to you Chandlers!
Helen

christina said...

My friend's dad is in the last stages of brain cancer, and her mom said to pass this along to you as she wished she'd had it at the beginning of his diagnosis.

www.virtualtrials.com is the main webpage, but the 48 pg free PDF file is downloaded here: http://www.virtualtrials.com/faq/

You are always in my thoughts and prayers!

Helen said...

Hi Lauren,
I just saw the update on your chruch's website. Looks like we're both married to one in a million guys. My Matt also has an oligodendroglioma. His is a high grade II..thus we have had no chemo or radiation to date. I'm sure you are hearing from so many people but I've yet to know anyone walking through something simiar to what we are walking through.
We continue to all pray for you as a family. Our kids have learned so much about who God is, what the church is all about, compassioin and mercy toward others that at times it's overwhelming. Some days I hate brain tumors and others I feel like we've been given a blessing to share with others. Anyway, enough about me...really I just wanted to communicate that we, though miles away, are with you in this and commited to praying for you, your husband and sweet children. Praying that this Christmas season will be full of grace, laughter, rest and peace.
Helen

Rachael Starke said...

Lauren,

I've prayed for your family and Matt's ministry ever since I, like so many thousands of others, was blessed to my soul by Matt's "Jesus Wants the Rose" sermon. I have three children, almost the same age as yours. When Matt's treament starts, I will be praying for you every day at 5 p.m. (Pacific, but I figure God's got the time difference convered.;)). That's usually the time when my kids start to melt down, and my attitude goes south. Unless your kids are those super-perfect pastor's kids I hear about, I'm guessing they might do the same from time to time. So know that time of day is covered. God bless you and keep you and give you His peace.

Mindy Fulmer said...

You don’t know me, but I heard about your story through Jessica English, she teaches at the same school I do in Little Elm. I wanted to share my husband’s story (or the shortened version) with you as we literally know what you guys are going through right now. My husband, Chance was in your husband's shoes almost 3 1/2 years ago. Chance is 31 and was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme stage 4 brain tumor (the worst of the worst) on Sep. 11, 2006. He had a seizure out of the blue and that is what started the whole thing. Dr. David Barnett was able to remove the entire tumor from his left frontal lobe, but not before he gave us the devastatingly grim statistics/pathology report…my then 27 year old husband was told he had 12-14 months to live. That was the worst day of my life. After radiation with Dr. Scott Cheek, and continuous chemo (Temodar which he is still on to this day for maintenance therapy) with Dr. Karen Fink, I am so happy to say that Chance has no sign of any tumor and is going on 3 1/2 years! Praise and glory be to God! If you saw or talked to him you would have no idea that he has brain cancer, none! I’ve read somewhere and see that Matt and my husband have the exact same doctors, and I must say that he is in wonderful hands. They are all 3 fabulous physicians, but especially Dr. Fink. She is amazing and her staff is super sweet. We know them quite well now and love them. The main reason I am writing you this is to tell you that there is hope and you are not alone. When we first started this journey we felt so hopeless. I want you to know there are many survivors of brain cancer and your husband will be one of them. We will be praying for you guys. God bless you and your family and may you all have a Merry Christmas.

~Mindy Fulmer
McKinney, TX

Helen said...

Lauren,
You are on my heart this morning. Praying for grace as you guys begin next week. Matt and I are praying for you all daily..thank you for the example you are to us and so many others. You have encouraged us to continue on- boldy proclaiming the mercy and goodness of God even when life is hard. He is magnified in a particular way through the suffering of His saints and our family is one of many who has been spurred on in our faith.
I pray,on this sweet Lord's day, that you are freshly built up and that joy and peace would be yours to overflowing because of Christ.
Love,
Helen