Sunday, April 23, 2017

Reading Through the Book of Job #3 (Chapters 15-25)

JobToday we move on to the second and third rounds of the wisdom dialog between Job and  his 3 friends in the Book of Job accompanied by the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 6: Job, by August H. Konkel. The discussion hits a dead end because neither Job, nor the three friends, really understand God or what He is doing, although all four are confident that they do. I am posting quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (NT is Mon-Wed-Fri) and we can discuss comments and questions about the passage there. As usual, quotes from the commentary are in blue below…

Eliphaz begins the 2nd round of speeches with a stinging rebuke of Job for his blasphemy against traditional wisdom. He thought that Job was arrogant to think that he had information that the ancient wise men did not have. Sadly, though much of what Eliphaz said was true, it was misapplied to Job and thus was hurtful and wrong.

The problem with Eliphaz was his failure to understand the limitations of his knowledge. He thought this truth concerning the wicked could account for all the pain in the world. Job 15, 113

Truth is the most powerful of weapons, and in this case Eliphaz meant it to hurt. The pain of truth may be the means to healing, which is what Eliphaz intended. Truth, however, is like a sharp knife. Used correctly it is the surgeon’s scalpel; used incorrectly it is a mutilating instrument causing pain or death. The speech of Eliphaz was a surgery that could only injure the patient further. Eliphaz missed the mark. Job had not been in defiance of God by trusting in his own wealth. The opposite was true; his faith was in God alone, and he had used every possible means to express it. Job had to make clear to Eliphaz that though he was right, he was ever so wrong. Job 15, 114

Job responds that he does not know why God is attacking him, but it is not what Eliphaz is saying. In fact, Eliphaz is making it worse. Job has relied on God in the past and, even though he has no hope that God will help him now, he does think God will justify him in the end.

At this point, Job expressed his lament to God (16:6–17). Though the friends must hear it if they were to learn wisdom, Job had to address God, for God was the source of the problem, and he should provide the solution. One of the most important therapies for all sufferers is the freedom to unreservedly express their complaint to God. Job 16, 116

Job hoped that righteousness would prevail, but he did not have any hope for his present life. His time was short, his spirit broken, his life snuffed out—all that remained was the grave, and in the meantime he must endure the mockers and leave his life to God. Job 17, 120

In his second speech, Bildad refuses to consider that his black and white view of righteousness, sin and retribution may be inadequate. He provides a very eloquent view of the fate of the wicked, not even considering that this may not apply to Job.

Bildad outdid himself in providing a description fitting to Job. Here was a man whose vast properties had been stolen and consumed by fire and whose progeny was extinct. In a world of black and white, there was no need to state the obvious. Job was still alive; he knew his situation and he knew what he must do. Job 18, 124

Job cannot believe that Bildad is pursuing this with him. He again describes the physical and emotional pain he is going through and asks the three friends to show some mercy and warns them that they are in danger of God's judgment for persecuting the righteous. Job is confident that God will show up in the end as his redeemer and vindicate him.

His suffering was not a heroic sacrifice that would achieve some noble end; he did not choose it, and he was not seeking personal affirmation. He was not even seeking sympathy; no one else could understand his situation in any case. All Job was seeking was some of the normal human interaction that should be accorded one still present on this earth. Job 19, 128

Those who persecute the righteous are the enemies of God. Throughout the Psalter, the assurance of receiving mercy is given on the basis that those pursuing the righteous will face divine judgment (e.g., Ps 7:1–6). In Job, there is a double irony on this motif. God had become the enemy in pursuing innocent Job. In their attempt to defend God, the friends had attacked an innocent and righteous man. In so doing, they had made themselves enemies of God and would face his wrath. Job 19, 133

Zophar responds to Job's plea for mercy by adding the accusation that he is  one of the "arrogant rich" whose greed steals food from the mouth of the poor. He adds that the greed of the rich leads to its own punishment as God's wrath lets the full natural consequences of an indulgent, oppressive lifestyle work its way out. Most of what Zophar says is true here, but, again, it does not apply in Job's situation.

In modern Western society, the term “consumer” has a positive sound. Humans by nature must be consumers; consumption is the basis of a good economy and a life that is satisfying for all. There is, however, a very sinister side to consumption. The problem is insatiable desire; those who have the power to pursue physical satisfactions rob others of basic human necessities. This is wickedness, and Zophar depicts it as the chief characteristic of evil persons who bring the judgment of God upon themselves. Job 20, 137

Job counters that any observer would see that the wicked are not always punished and, in fact, the wicked rich live splendid, secure lives which end with a luxurious funeral. the argument that their children are punished is not valid because that does not affect the wicked person who is dead and gone. Job's real problem is with God, who allows the wicked to prosper while the righteous, like Job, receive calamity.

Job would have nothing to do with the rationalizations of the wicked. The wicked are wrong in their thinking, though apparently it does them no harm. Ironically, Job’s integrity was not doing him any good. Thus, Job had a problem with God (21:4), for there was a contradiction and the consequences of it were appalling. Job 21, 140–141

Eliphaz argues that, since Job is suffering, he must be a terrible sinner, and lists several sins of which the reader knows Job is innocent. He is sure that though judgment is delayed, the evil always get what they deserve in this life. This is why Job suffers. Thus, all Job needs to do is repent.

Eliphaz argued, there is a reason for suffering; and it must be self-evident to all that one does not suffer because of excessive righteousness. These words were meant to taunt Job. One axiom of traditional wisdom is that righteousness results in blessing; Job could benefit himself. Though the wicked might be temporarily wealthy, it was unthinkable that the righteous could be temporarily poor. The reasoning of Eliphaz cannot countenance anything of what had transpired in the heavenly places. His certainty blinded him entirely to his error. Job 22, 146

Job responds with two poems about the hiddenness and silence of God. First, Job wants an opportunity to justify himself before God, but God is not responding and cannot be found. Job knows that God will verify his integrity and character before the world but where is He and why is He not showing up to vindicate him? The second poem laments God's silence in the face of evil and the grating oppression that the poor and needy receive in this world. Where is God to make this right?

Job expressed his confidence that his present trials would be for the good because of the integrity of his life. He would be the wise man who receives benefit with God, as Eliphaz had urged, but the benefit will not come in the way Eliphaz had imagined. The benefit would come through his trials, not through some feigned repentance. Job knew the life he had lived, and he was confident that whatever way God was dealing with him, in the end he would emerge as pure gold...the character of Job was his real gold, which is precious to God. Job has not lived his life in pretense, with only the external appearance of righteousness. Job has made his treasure the words God had spoken. Job knew he was upright, and that has its reward. Job 23, 153

Not only is God so hidden that Job cannot bring his case before him, God seems to be oblivious to all the other evil that goes on in the world. Job reasoned that his case was not unique. The world is full of miserable and weak people, suffering at the hands of the wicked who carry on unpunished. Job knew that the times of judgment are not hidden from God. Since this is so, why is it that those who know God never live to see a day of reckoning? Job 24, 156.

The dialog is now at an impasse. The friends refuse to believe that Job is righteous and Job refuses to believe that their traditional wisdom applies to his situation. Bildad finishes the speeches of the friends by reiterating the point that God's rule over creation is always positive for the righteous and negative for the wicked. The fact that everyone dies does not change this.

Bildad had made his point. If even the immortal moon and stars in the purity of the heavens are sometimes disrupted, how much more will it happen to mortal humans? Everyone born of woman will become food for the maggot; they can hardly expect their life to proceed without suffering. This must not become an indictment against divine justice. Job 25, 162

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Momentous Occasion (Well at Least For Me)

20170420_180207 (1024x768)Last night Joyce and I went out for dinner, with my parents, to our friends Mike and Becky Cote's house..It was a momentous occasion for me because it's the first time that I've ever been out of the house to a to a place that was not a family home, hospital or a doctor’s office since December 17th 2016. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of crown cut lamb and salad. We also got to meet 20170420_171114 (1024x768)Al and Linda Bridges, missionaries with BEE in Europe and the Middle East. We had a great far-reaching conversation about mission and church strategy. It was a great evening for me, despite that fact that my legs did swell up a bit and I got pretty tired. Maybe I overdid it a bit, but I need to get out more. It was nice to have a conversation with different people and to get out into a different environment. It also was a great relief from the “laying around all day boredom.” That is Becky on the left with the crown cut lamb. The picture on the right is me hard at work in bed making blog posts and reading on the internet.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Reading Through the Book of Job #2 (Chapters 3-14)

JobToday we look at the first round of the wisdom dialog between Job and  his 3 friends in the Book of Job accompanied by the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 6: Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs, by August H. Konkel and Tremper Longman. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar present a good lesson in how NOT to comfort the afflicted. Much of what they say is true, but misapplied. They misrepresent God and bring more pain to the sufferer. I am posting quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (NT is Mon-Wed-Fri) and we can discuss comments and questions about the passage there. As usual, quotes from the commentary are in blue below…

Job begins the dialog section (3-25) with a speech that curses the day of his birth and wishes for death to come. Job feels that God has abandoned him and life is no longer worth living. He is beginning to doubt God's goodness.

Though Job did not curse God, he felt that he no longer had any place in God’s creation or purposes. Job did not deny the goodness of God’s creation, but he did deny that all of God’s creation is good. He used the language of creation to challenge the goodness of his own existence, which is to implicitly challenge the goodness of God. As happens so often in human passion, his grief made him presumptuous about his relationship with God. His losses led him to assume God was not present with him and therefore that his own presence within creation was not good. Job 3.1-10, 47

The story of Job is a story of resolute faith, however much Job might have been compelled to challenge the Almighty. He did not contemplate suicide. Such an act would have been a failure of faith, a taking into his own hands a life that was not his to take, for it was a gift. Job came to feel that the gift was cruel, but that did not grant him the power to deny that gift. Job 3.20-26, 50

Eliphaz responds with his "comfort" for Job in 4-5. Eliphaz, at first, politely and sympathetically urges Job to take the advice gave others. Take the adversity as discipline for sin, confess it, and learn from it. He rejects Job's assertion that he is suffering righteously and implies that Job has an ungodly source for this idea. Eliphaz simply sees that good is always rewarded and evil punished and, in error, applies this to Job's situation.

The central point of Eliphaz’s lecture is that one reaps what one sows. All analogies, like this one—“you reap what you sow”—are very useful in their power to make a point, but that which is their strength also makes them dangerous. An analogy is not applicable in all respects...The words of Eliphaz did not soothe the wounded Job; rather, they were salt on his wounds. In this way, the author of Job succeeded in exposing this “doctrine” and its oversimplified analogies. Job 4, 52–53

Eliphaz was not saying that trouble is the inevitable result of birth. Eliphaz’s argument is that the fool is the cause of his own downfall; he is not the victim of being born into an unfriendly world. Job 5, 58

Job responds to Eliphaz (6-7) with a defense of his righteousness and a lament that God is making his life miserable, even though he is righteous. He feels that his friends have turned against him and that God is pursuing him to punish, rather than forgive his sin. He wishes that both would just leave him alone. To Job life is "futile and unfulfilled."

This irony of life is heightened through a reflection on the psalms in 7:10; “never to be seen again” is more literally “his place will know him no more” and shares exactly the same words as Psalm 103:16b. In the psalm (103) the brevity of human life is compared to the grass, which disappears when the wind blows over it. The psalm assures us that the merciful God remembers the brevity of our life. He understands that we are dust, and his loyalty to us will never end. For Job, the brevity of life is not a way to be reminded of God’s constant providence; his impending death is simply a reminder that his hopes for success are gone forever—that his life was like the passing wind. Job 7.1-10, 68–69

Bildad drew on ancient wisdom to refute Job. He thought it was simple. The righteous are rewarded and evil punished. Thus, Job and his children were wicked and needed to repent. We know from the prologue that this is not true. Ancient wisdom did not apply in this case and Bildad, by his own criteria, becomes a false accuser and subject to punishment.

Simple retribution is not adequate to describe the complexities of life. Bildad not only assured Job that he would yet have joy but also that his enemies would be destroyed. In this Bildad was again incriminating himself. In the lament psalms, enemies are most often those who judge one to be guilty because some misfortune has overcome them. Bildad has adopted the very role of such an accusing enemy, who will be disgraced. Job 8, 75

Job agrees with Bildad that God is just, but that no human can be just before God and God cannot be held accountable for how He treats his creation. He continues to assert his innocence as a righteous sufferer. He sees God as mowing down the innocent as well as the guilt in natural disasters. If this is the way God treats vulnerable humans, Job thinks it is better not be born.

Though God is not the agent of such suffering, his failure to intervene means righteous and wicked alike are consumed. For righteous Job, this indifferent attitude of God could only be taken as a mockery, and it was none other than God who must be held accountable for having this attitude. In Job’s mind, this was the undeniable truth that emerged from the fact that a man of integrity was left in such hopeless despair. Job 9.1-24, 79

From Job’s perspective, the design of God appears to be to destroy life and reputation; even the innocent cannot have a modicum of self-respect but instead are filled with shame and contempt. Should Job seek a bit of self-worth, God would hunt him like a lion. Thus, his wonders were seen in his destructive judgment (cf. 9:5–10). Any effort on Job’s part to clear his name could only mean more suffering. Job 10, 85

Zophar rebukes Job for thinking that he knows more than he does about God and that somehow God can be held accountable to him. Zophar sees the situation very simply. Job has sinned  and needs to confess. He should not be "hollow-headed," learn and acknowledge sin and everything would be okay. The problem is that Zophar should have taken his own advice. He did not understand Job's situation.

Zophar is at times representative of each of us. Confident of the truth we know and oblivious to what we do not know, we respond with biting criticism to those we perceive as being in the wrong. When we are suffering, it is easy to ignore such individuals or even despise them, but this may be to our own peril. We need to be sure we have fully appreciated the truth they do represent. Job 11, 87–88

In his 2nd longest speech in the book Job addresses the 3 friends (12.1-13.19) and then God (13.20-14). He sarcastically rebukes his friends for their inadequate wisdom. Traditional wisdom is not enough to understand the ways of God. The friends are building their argument on lies, which is a very dangerous thing to do before God. Job asks God to let up on him a little, to apply mercy to him  instead of searching out every sin. He recognizes his lack of perfection, but wonders why God is not giving him any grace.

The problem was the inadequate wisdom of these friends who thought that simple, immediate retribution is somehow the sum total of justice, that it is the very foundation of the divine order, and therefore the basis for all application of wisdom. With their rhetoric they made Job into a proverbial example of self-righteousness under judgment. These friends rewarded calamity with derision; they kicked their friend while he was down. Job could only lament this supreme injustice. Job 12, 95

Wisdom can be wise only in so far as it knows its limits. When wisdom pontificates on what it cannot understand, it mocks the innocent. Job 12, 97

God would not seal up sins for purposes of retaliation. The friends might have smeared (tapal) Job with lies (13:4), but God would cover over (tapal) Job’s sin so it would not victimize him (14:17). Job 14, 107

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I can do all things?

20170328_101648 (768x1024)When we were back on Guam, my son Mike and I preached and discussed a series of sermons on the most misunderstood verses of scripture. We were pretty much in agreement that the most misunderstood verse in scripture is Philippians 4:13. As with most misunderstood versus, it's often divorced from its context, especially verse 12. I call it “the Tim Tebow verse” (I don’t know whether Tim Tebow actually interprets at this way. He just had it written on his face while he was playing NFL football.) This is not an “I Believe I Can Fly” verse that says I can do anything I want and God will give me the strength to do it. In context, the verse means that I can handle anything, that God allows to come my way, with the strength of Christ, applied by the Spirit. When Paul wrote this verse he was incarcerated by the Romans. He was guarded by Roman soldiers and may have even been chained to them or chained to a table. (That's something I can relate to a little bit as I feel a bit chained to a nephrostomy bag.) Basically what Paul is saying is that he can handle the good things in life and the bad things in life, because God promises that the Holy Spirit will provide Christ’s strength to accomplish what God wants to do in my life through these situations. It may not look like “health, wealth, and success” but it will accomplish God’s plan to produce His image in us.

What I've been thinking about lately is how God applies strength in these situations. I'm definitely going through one of the most difficult times of my life over the last 4-5 months, and I have seen God apply his strength to me in a lot of different ways. One of the primary ways that God has applied strength to me is through his people that are surrounding me and praying for me all over the world..I don't know how many times I've received a perfect email, text, or a card that meant so much to me and picked me up just at the right time.I often find my devotional times “jump off the page” and speak exactly to what I'm facing. The word of God has taken on a very precious meaning to me and been a tremendous encouragement.Sometimes it's a feeling that's hard to define. God's presence surrounds me in a way that I just know that he's going to get me through it. I know that seems very subjective, but sometimes that's the way life is. I pray for healing every day and I know people everywhere have been praying for me for the same thing. God continues to tell me to wait and be patient, but I'm confident that he has a good plan for this whole situation. And, hey, that confidence itself comes from God and is part of the fulfillment of this promise of strength in all situations.

Just a little update on my situation: I'm in the second day after my third round of chemotherapy. Again, thank God, the side effects have been pretty minimal. I got a few hot flashes and one sleepless night, but overall I'm feeling pretty good for somebody in chemotherapy. Joyce and I met with a lymphedema massage therapist yesterday. We learned a lot about how to mitigate edema symptoms and I'm hoping to get an edema massage soon. Hopefully, that will help bring the swelling down.We are scheduled to get a PET scan around May 12th to see how things are going reducing the swelling in the lymph nodes and killing off the T cell lymphoma cancer. We appreciate your prayers. We know God is working in our lives. Thank you and we will keep you updated as we continue to move through this adventure

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Affirming the Apostle's Creed by J. I. Packer #6

packerIn this post we finish up J. I. Packer's short book, Affirming the Apostle's Creed.  Here Packer discusses our forgiveness, the resurrection of the body and eternal life.I am posting from my reading in New Testament theologies and devotionals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

The next item in the creed is "forgiveness of sins." This means that God takes people back into relationship with Himself and was willing to pay the high price of the cross to make it happen. Not only are sins removed, but the new relationship places the believer into a vital role within God's kingdom plan. It is assured because God accomplishes it through the work of the Trinity.

Forgiveness is pardon in a personal setting. It is taking back into friendship those who went against you, hurt you, and put themselves in the wrong with you. It is compassionate (showing unmerited kindness to the wrongdoer), creative (renewing the spoiled relationship), and, inevitably, costly. God’s forgiveness is the supreme instance of this, for it is God in love restoring fellowship at the cost of the cross. 130–131

Justification is forgiveness plus; it signifies not only a washing out of the past but also acceptance and the gift of a righteous man’s status for the future. Also, justification is final, being a decision on which God will never go back, and so it is the basis of assurance, whereas present forgiveness does not necessarily argue more than temporary forbearance. So justification—public acquittal and reinstatement before God’s judgment-seat—is actually the richer concept. 132

Why faith only? Because Christ’s righteousness only is the basis of pardon and peace, and Christ and his gifts are received only by faith’s embrace. Faith means not only believing God’s truth but trusting Christ, taking what he offers, and then triumphing in the knowledge of what is now yours. 133

The next assertion of the creed deals with the believer's great hope, "the Resurrection of the Body." The Christian hope of resurrection is not the disembodied life of a spirit, but of a new improved, faultless resurrection body living on a fully restored new earth. The assurance of this hope is the bodily resurrection of Jesus. We will be like Him.

In raising believers, God completes their redemption by the gift not of their old bodies somehow patched up, but of new bodies fit for new men. Through regeneration and sanctification God has already renewed us inwardly; now we receive bodies to match. 138–139

Ask God to show you how Jesus’ life, body and soul, was the only fully human life that has ever been lived, and keep looking at Jesus as you meet him in the Gospels until you can see it. Then the prospect of being like him—that and no less—will seem to you the noblest and most magnificent destiny possible, and by embracing it you will become a true disciple. 141–142

The final statement of the creed is about "the Life Everlasting." In our new resurrection bodies we will enjoy the reunited heaven and earth for all eternity. We will enjoy the good things of life fully in the way God intended, beginning with a relationship with God that is unencumbered by sin, death, selfishness etc. Whatever we can think about what it will be like; it will be even better.

Being with Jesus is the essence of heaven; it is what the life everlasting is all about...What will we do in heaven? Not lounge around, but worship, work, think and communicate, enjoying activity, beauty, people, and God. First and foremost, however, we shall see and love Jesus, our Savior, Master, and Friend. 146

As I get older, I find that I appreciate God and people and good and lovely and noble things more and more intensely; so it is pure delight to think that this enjoyment will continue and increase in some form (what form, God knows, and I am content to wait and see) literally forever. 147–148

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Reading Through the Book of Job #1 (1-2)

Today we begin the Book of Job accompanied by the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 6: Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs, by August H. Konkel. Job took on special meaning for me this time, considering my current situation. There are no easy answers to the problems of suffering and evil in this world. I am posting quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (NT is Mon-Wed-Fri) and we can discuss comments and questions about the passage there. As usual, quotes from the commentary are in blue below…

The book of Job is one of the most difficult in the Bible to understand. Generally, biblical wisdom states that when one acts wisely one will be rewarded with blessing. Job and Ecclesiastes provide the alternate view that there may be reasons that does not always work out. God is incomprehensible. That is, no human being can fully understand God or His plan for creation. We certainly cannot fully understand why He acts in our lives in specific circumstances. Faith recognizes the basic goodness of God's character and acts and speaks in submission to Him no matter what present circumstances bring.

The book of Job does not resolve the rational question of the problem of the innocent suffering. The story of Job suggests that, in human experience, the cause of individual suffering may remain forever a mystery. Readers are privy to the reason for Job’s anguish, but Job himself will never learn of the challenge in the courts of heaven that so drastically changed his life. The quest for wisdom does not lead us to explain the order of the universe but to live within it under the sovereign control of God. A large portion of the dialog is an attempt to explain the order of the world in terms of justice and retribution; but in the end this effort is condemned by God...Job is a solemn reminder that our attempts to defend the order of God may not be honoring to him at all. 4

The primary theme of the book of Job to be the problem of suffering—or, stated more comprehensively, it is about the mystery of evil. In the book of Job the problem of evil is presented in terms of justice, which is to say that if something is considered to be unjust, it is regarded as evil. Justice and goodness are the products of God’s sovereign rule; they are manifest in his provision for his people. 17

An understanding of God’s justice is not possible for humans, but they are assured of the ultimate triumph of that justice. 23

The prologue sets the stage by assuring us that Job's suffering is not because of sin. He is a righteous man of great integrity. At first, he responds to the situation rightly, by continuing to worship God as good. We are happy to see that his friends show up to comfort him…until they open their mouths.

The prologue presents Job as a paragon of virtue who survives the test of integrity; Job worshiped God in spite of the testing that deprived him entirely of God’s blessing. However, this is not all there is to Job. The virtuous Job provides the perspective from which we can observe the contradictions of human character and faith and evaluate what it means to have integrity of both reason and faith in times of trial. 30

The Accuser serves to remind naive readers that they cannot trust their own judgment of themselves. The use of the word “bless” causes the more perceptive to reflect on their own motives and how their words and actions may be perceived by God (cf. 1:5). 34

The only question for Job was the proper human response to divine providence—in whatever form it is experienced. Job’s answer was that the only possible human response is submissive faith, trust that God knows what he is doing. His response affirms the sovereign providence of God. Job 2.7-10, 42

At such times, it is important to be a friend, most importantly by simply being present. The custom followed by the friends in being silent is prudent; we must not presume we have something to tell people in such circumstances. It is best to let the sufferer speak first, for the comforter has much to learn from the afflicted. When the afflicted does speak, a response must be judicious and not presume too much knowledge, particularly in efforts to defend God or provide explanations. Job 2.11-13, 44

“Pink Cheeks” Medical Update

WIN_20170417_14_38_54_ProAs I posted earlier on my Facebook page, I was able to continue with my third chemotherapy session today, despite the fact that my red blood count was below the lower limit. My count did go up from 8.6 to 8.8, but was still below the lower limit of nine. When I met with the doctor, he was pleased that the color had returned to my face. So I think it was my pink cheeks that led him to approve going ahead with the chemotherapy session.  It was encouraging to hear him say that I was looking healthier and that it looked at him as if swelling was going down. This would also indicate that the swollen lymph nodes were shrinking. Of course, we won't find that out for sure until we go down to Stanford for a PET scan on May 12th. Thank you to everyone who prayed. The prayer was answered, not exactly as I had hoped, but it was still answered. We stayed on schedule and we are moving forward through chemotherapy. (I took the picture today so you can see my position while writing this post.)