His way, not mine

“Today, will I surrender my fears, my future, my what ifs, my life to the God of the heavens? The sovereign one with whom there are no accidents. With whom truth gives way, shining its light on the very core of my fears. With whom His very Word, that which we can hold in our fingertips, and take into the inner places of our beings…..
brings hope, love, truth, comfort, encouragement, courage, forgiveness, healing, strength and endurance…and the ability to surrender to Him.”

Dear Father, please hold me very close in Your Arms

“Sometimes on the Rock I tremble
Weak of heart and faint of knee,
But the Steadfast Rock of Ages
Never trembles under me.”

“The will of God has taken me
where the grace of God can keep me,
where the arms of God can support me,
where the riches of God can supply my needs,
where the power of God can give me strength.
The will of God has taken me
where the Spirit of God can work through me,
where the wisdom of God can teach me,
where the arm of God can protect me,
where the hands of God can mold me.
The will of God has taken me
where the love of God can surround me,
where the mercies of God can sustain me,
where the peace of God can calm my fears,
where the authority of God can overrule for me.
The will of God has taken me
where the comfort of God can dry my tears,
where the Word of God can feed me,
where the miracles of God can be done for me,
where the omnipresence of God can find me.”

Is God bigger than the cancer in me and every single trial I will ever face?  Yes He is.  His plans and ways and will are absolutely perfect and, by God’s grace and help,  I am going to get my eyes off of my emotions and circumstances and rest in the fact that He is 100% trustworthy.   The truth of the Word will be my anchor in this storm.

Making this choice a  day at a time is too much right now.  I am going to try to work on the “moment by moment” plan instead.  When I slip and find my thoughts going in a wrong direction I must choose to think on the  Word and replace my thoughts with HIS TRUTH.

These are the verses that  I memorized in this past month and they have been a blessing for me to meditate on:

Psalm 18:1-6 (New International Version, ©2011)

 1 I love you, LORD, my strength.

 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
   my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
   my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.

 3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
   and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
   the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
   the snares of death confronted me. 6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
   I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
   my cry came before him, into his ears.

1 Cor 16:13, 14

13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

14 Let all that you do be done with love.

This is the one I am working on now:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (New King James Version)

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

This is my heart’s cry this morning:

Dear Father, please hold me close in Your Arms.  I want to snuggle up in your love and stay right there and never let go.  I am so weak and afraid.  I hardly know what to think or do.  The ship I was on was sinking, nearly submerged and so I jumped off.  I know most people would have rather died or done any manner of things than the Gerson Therapy I chose.  It was soooooooo hard, downright brutal at times but I needed to try it and I am still glad I did.  I had so hoped it would have worked and I gave it my very best despite how difficult it was.  It was a great disappointment to me that it was a tool that God did not choose to work but now it is time to move on to Plan B.  Truthfully I feel like I’m drowning since I got off the “sinking ship” but I don’t see any rescue in sight, just a pirate ship in the horizon carrying things I hate like a mastectomy, chemo, radiation, hormone blockers and other drugs, a slew toxic treatments. Are you leading me to that awful boat, Father and getting on board with me?  It seems so and I am so very scared. You have used those conventional treatments to help some other people, perhaps you will do the same for me or maybe You are leading me Home to Heaven.  YOU be my Lifeboat, Lord. I am going to cling to You for my safety. 

My soul, my soul wait thou only on God, for my expectation is found in Thee alone.  If the Lord wants the mastectomy and other measures to be effective in combatting the cancer, they will be effective. If not, then it looks like it’s Home Sweet Home for this child of His.   I can not extend my life here on earth one day beyond what God has ordained no matter what I do or do not do.  In December I thought I was healthy.  Life can change in one instant flat. It’s sure good to know just WHO is in charge!!!!!  My Great Physican is who I am going to put all my trust in, using the tools He chooses specifically for me, even if they seem horrible to me.

Please keep those prayers coming, everybody.  I sure need them as does my precious family.  Please pray most especially that I will bring Him honor and glory and praise through it all and that I will come forth like gold for Him.

Gratefully His,

God’s Beloved Paula

03/25 Paula Health Update

Hi folks,

First of all, we want to thank everyone so much who has been praying for us and/or helping us by:

  • juicing, produce washing, or coffee brewing
  • encouraging and training others to help with juicing
  • helping with laundry or cleaning
  • providing meals, cookies, bread, muffins, or distilled water

With 13 hourly juicings and a five-times-daily detoxifying process, as well as various supplements, the Gerson therapy has been quite difficult, almost overwhelming.  It’s been very encouraging to us, though, as different ones in the body have come alongside to help.

It was Paula’s original intent to implement the Gerson therapy for 8 weeks and then evaluate to see if it appeared to be effective in her situation.  She recently had some mid-point (4 week) lab work done and also an mid-point ultrasound this past Monday. 

We received the ultrasound report yesterday afternoon and, unfortunately, it was not good.  We were hoping to see some improvement, but it appears that the main tumor has grown and another significant tumor has now appeared in the same breast.

As a result, with great sadness and heaviness of heart, Paula has decided to abandon the Gerson therapy and proceed to Plan B (Breast removal) and possibly Plan C (Chemotherapy, radiation, and/or other drugs) as well.

As we start to move down this scary path that we had hoped not to take, we appreciate your continued prayers, help, and encouragement.

We plan to continue to use our Paula’s Partners community website to coordinate offers of meals and help (especially as Paula recovers from breast removal surgery and possibly deals with chemotherapy as well).

If you would like to join Paula’s Partners, you can visit www.JPOliver.com and click on Paula’s Partners (on the left-side menu).  We also plan to continue updating our Pilgrim’s Pathway blog.

Thanks again to everyone for your help and continued prayers!

John & Paula 🙂

P.S. If you would like to be notified when we add a new post here (to our Pilgrim’s Pathway blog), you can click Subscribe on the menu above (under the picture) and enter your email address to be automatically notified when we add a new post.

Paula’s Home!

Greetings!  I want to thank those of you who have joined Paula’s Partners, and a special thanks to those local folks who have signed up to help Paula with juicing, produce washing and/or coffee brewing!

We had expected Paula to return home from the Orange City Gerson Clinic (aka, her friend Esther’s home) this Wednesday, but Esther is expecting a grandbaby and a home birth is planned for the Orange City Birth Center (aka, her friend Esther’s home). 

It looks like the baby decided to head out a little early, so as much as they love Paula, you can only accommodate so many Gerson patients and home births at the same time, so Paula packed up and drove home this morning.

Paula appreciated the opportunity to spend time with Esther, working together on the Gerson therapy, and over the past week, several ladies also came and helped Paula and Esther (with juicing, produce washing, etc.), so a special thanks to Jean, Terry, Laurie, Joy, Kathy, Michelle, and Ruth.

Paula’s sister, Kathy, drove up from Ft. Pierce this afternoon to help Paula this evening and tomorrow.  Several folks from NTM have also signed up to help over the next couple weeks, and a couple ladies from our local church have graciously offered to help for 3 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. 

There are a still a lot of empty slots available on the Paula’s Partners calendar, though, so we’d appreciate prayer that more folks will come alongside to help us during this time.

Thanks too for your continued prayers.  Paula is now at day 25 of her 8 week trial of the Gerson therapy.  We’re hoping and praying that God will use it to strengthen and help her body fight the cancer effectively.

Thanks much, John & Paula  🙂

Paula’s Partners

Greetings! I mentioned in my last post that our friend, Deb, was helping us create a Paula’s Partners community (on the Lotsa Helping Hands website), with a calendar of volunteer opportunities (to help with juicing, produce washing, coffee brewing, providing an occasional meal, etc.).

Our Paula’s Partners site provides a mechanism where folks can sign up online to help with different tasks at different times on different days without having to call us to see when we need help, which slots are available, etc.  The calendar includes a number of volunteer opportunties: juicing opportunities throughout the day, once-daily opportunities to wash produce or brew coffee, and twice-weekly opportunities to help provide a dinner meal.

The website also includes two tabs listing Other Ways to Help (for folks who are close by) and Long Distance Helping (for folks who are not local to us), with lists of ways to help or encourage.

The Gerson protocol is quite rigorous and involves supplying freshly juiced organic fruits and vegetables to the patient on an hourly basis 13 times per day as well as a five-times-daily detoxifying process, and a number of supplements. The daily regime is quite time-consuming, almost overwhelming, so any help we receive from Paula’s Partners will be a blessing.

We invite you to join Paula’s Partners by visiting our website,  and clicking on Paula’s Partners (on the left menu); you then enter your email address to get started.

Paula spent two weeks in Seminole (near Tampa) with a friend, Esther, getting started on the Gerson therapy; she was home with us for four days last week, and is now at Esther’s home in Orange City. Paula plans to return on March 16 to continue the Gerson therapy here at home.

We would appreciate your continued prayers for:

  • Healing – that God would use this Gerson therapy. These first eight weeks are especially critical, as we wanting to see if the Gerson therapy will be effective in Paula’s situation.
  • Paula (and all of us) to rest, trust in, and walk with the Lord.
  • Strength & endurance, as the cancer & protocol are difficult.
  • Folks to come alongside and help us with juicing, etc.

By His Grace, John & Paula 🙂

P.S. If you would like to be notified when we add a new post here (to our Pilgrim’s Pathway blog), you can click Subscribe on the menu above (under the picture) and enter your email address to be automatically notified when we add a new post.

The Guest

We had an opportunity this week to get re-acquainted with a dear lady who stopped by to spend a few days with us.  She arrived on Monday, Feb. 28, after having spent nearly two weeks in a condo in Seminole, Florida, getting started (along with her friend, Esther) on the Gerson cancer therapy protocol.

The last four days have been pretty crazy, but it was good to have Paula back, albeit for just a few days.  It helped me gain a better understanding of just how busy the Gerson protocol is keeping Paula.

Paula’s sister, Kathy, who winters in Ft. Pierce (about 2 hours from us) drove up Monday and stayed overnight, helping us with juicing and other tasks.  On Thursday, our friend, Deb, from Oviedo, came by (with her two daughters, who also enjoy playing with our girls) and they all helped clean and juice veggies.  Then today, two of our fellow missionary friends (who live here at NTM headquarters, as we do) helped with cleaning and/or juicing the veggies.  We really appreciated all the help.

Today we spent the evening packing, and then loading Vinnie (our van – that’s short for Vincent “Vinnie” Van Gogh) with our GreenLife juicer, our K&K juice press, Paula’s suitcase, duffel bags, pots, pans, jars, supplements, various and sundry juicing and detoxifying paraphernalia, and what seemed like an interminable supply (but in reality is probably less than a week’s worth) of organic carrots, apples, assorted greens, and other produce.

Then our guest departed, heading up to Orange City to spend another couple weeks continuing on the Gerson therapy with Esther at her home; thanks, Dick & Esther, for hosting and helping Paula.  Well, at least Orange City is only about 30 minutes away, so we can drive up and visit her sometimes. 

We’re expecting Paula back on Wednesday, March 16, unless Esther’s grandbaby (who is due around March 17) comes early.  I believe that the plan is to have a home birth (at Dick & Esther’s home) and, as much as they love Paula, one home can only handle so many Gerson patients and babies at a time.

In the meantime, our friend, Deb, is setting up our new LotsaHelpingHands community, which we’re calling Paula’s Partners (it’s not quite ready yet, though – we’ll add a blog post when it is), with a volunteer calendar so that folks can sign up to help us with juicing, cleaning veggies, preparing coffee (we’re not coffee drinkers, but yes, we really do need help preparing coffee each day), or to bring an occasional meal.  We’re hoping to have Paula’s Partners up and running in time for Paula’s return on March 16.

Thanks for your love and prayers!  John & Paula  🙂