Enter Title Here

I’m heading over to church for our weekly Wednesday night prayer meeting in about 20 minutes.

That’s what I do now: the next thing on the list.

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I am currently working as a lunch aide for a local charter school.  Previously (from September 2016 to April 2017) I was working 20 hours a week as an aide for a local state representative which became more than I could handle mentally and physically.  Now I get about 10 to 12 hours a week helping the lunch server wherever help is needed.  It’s just enough for me to manage mentally and physically and it also allows me to continue earning SSA credits in order to meet the credit qualification necessary to file for disability.  Twenty credits down, with 3 more to earn in 2018…

I tried to manage my pain medication with the recommended incorporation of ibuprofen in August/ September and ended up aggravating my previously radiated innards.  That was F.U.N.!  (Please note the sarcasm.)  The issue was resolved after about a week and a half of very bland food.

I have been dealing with new back pain and chronic headache/ lower head-neck pressure for the last couple of months.  If I don’t manage it proactively, it has the potential to feel like someone stuck a screwdriver into my eye-socket and ear.  I have completed a brain MRI that shows no metastatic lesions and the continued presence of mild Chiari malformation.  Tomorrow I will enjoy the radioactive qualities of a bone scan.  They say to let the technician know if you’re claustrophobic.  Great.  (Please note the sarcasm, again.)  The brain MRI was tons of fun…  (And again.) I need a cookie or two or twenty for being such a good girl.  Oatmeal raisin, please! (No sarcasm here.  Just cookies, please!)

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I do the next thing.  I get up.  I walk my dogs.  I start the girls on their school for the day.  I go to work. I come home and get the ‘house stuff’ done.  I rest for the rest of the day.  I forget to return your phone calls.  I forget to reply to text.  I take medicine to force me into a comatose state in order not to feel the discomfort of my spine and head.  And in all of this, I continue to learn the lessons of humility.

I spend many moments of each day humming bits and pieces of the hymns that my GREAT I AM brings to my heart.  I am reminded moment by moment to give thanks for His loving-kindness (“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” – Lam. 3:22-23).  I learn not to lean on my own understanding or the understanding of anyone else because He is the only one who knows me, inside and out.

Here are my latest ‘bits and pieces’ of hymns from His heart to my heart to your heart:

Day by Day
– Carolina Sandell Berg
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He Will Hold Me Fast
– Ada R. Habershon
He will hold me fast,
  He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so,
    He will hold me fast.

It Is Well
– Horatio Spafford
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
  When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say,
  ‘It is well, it is well with my soul!’

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Do the next thing that you can do no matter what others may say.
Do the next thing for Him because you can.
Do the next thing with all the bits and pieces that only He can give to your heart.

Do the next thing.

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Out Of Touch With Reality

Yes, I am.

I am out of touch with reality.
With your reality, that is…
My reality is on a tremendous learning curve right now.
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Christmas of 2016 was interesting because when you’ve been told 5 1/2 months earlier that you have a cancer that will never go away, a cancer that will end your life, you tend to look at things differently.

Things like, will I have the opportunity to celebrate another Christmas with my blessed little family?

Life goes on for you and everyone else, but your version of ‘life goes on‘ looks a lot different than someone else’s ‘life goes on‘.

I am learning how to suffer graciously.  I am learning how to answer comments and inquiries graciously.  I am learning how to act graciously in environments that have no idea what cancer and its treatments do to a person on an internal level.  And I am learning, at this moment, to be honest, with you, regardless of how much I love all things smiley… or how much I am out of touch with your reality.

Being out of touch with ‘reality‘ is the hard part though because I’m barely treading water in my own reality right now…

Work.
School.
Football Fan and the G’s.
(That’s what I call my girls, Camo Kid and Princess Pink, as a unit!).

This is what my energy level and physical capabilities can manage right now.  Friends?  Family?  Most days, they seem like just a memory.  There’s a handful that make the effort to inquire no matter if I get back to them or not.  The rest, well, I’m learning not to dwell on what I cannot accomplish.  It doesn’t mean I don’t care.  I just… can’t.

And that is exactly where I’m suppose to be…

I can’t.

It’s a very lonely place to be.  I can’t be who you want me to be.  I’m empty.  My blessed little family doesn’t even get the best part of me anymore; they just get the tired wife and mom.  Even now, I am avoiding going to bed…  Most nights of sleep have to be accompanied with sleep medicine in order to combat the pain and/or the insomnia.  Since November, I have been having hand/wrist/arm issues in addition to all my other cancer-related issues.  It could be anything and it could be nothing.  I just know that at nights, when I lie down, it’s not conducive to good sleep and that, with the ever present spinal issues, makes for long nights and slow mornings.  And long nights of non-regenerative sleep make for even longer days… and several ‘longer days’ make for ‘I really can’t’.

Have I been honest enough?

Here, let me be just a little bit more honest then:
Can’t is okay.  
In fact, it’s perfect.

I think I might’ve just put the oxy in the moron
Nothing better than a perfect can’t!
~~~~~~~~~~
It’s when you’ve reach can’t that you are ready to learn… and if what you believe determines what you choose, then folks, that’s where the process of learning to empty yourself of you and fill yourself with Him begins.

Welcome to my reality!

It is the perfect place to be…

FOMO

I’m currently living in Cliche Land.

It really does feel like such a drag and it doesn’t help that it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I do think by now we’re all “aware” of breast cancer but do you know how much of that “awareness” money goes to actual research in comparison to the personal bank accounts of those who promote “awareness”?  The percentage is a single digit number.

Okay, okay, I’ll get off my hobbyhorse painted soap box…

It’s been a little over 3 months since I learned that I have terminal cancer.  In that time, I have had radiation, healed from radiation, had surgery, healed from surgery, started homeschool, gone back to work part-time, and played the wait-and-see game with medications and the healing process.  It has been extremely hard to see the forest for the trees because I’m pretty sure that somebody switched out those trees for varying sizes of the proverbial 2 x 4 from the lumber yard and took me out to the woodshed and tanned my hide which is currently stretched from my head to my tippy-toes.

All those proverbial 2×4’s have names and they are tattooed across my forehead (and my heart) as well as my stretched out hide.  Their names are Football Fan, Camo Kid, Princess Pink, hopes, dreams, wants, desires, and they are all encased in the fabric of FOMO.

Do you know what FOMO is?

It ranks right up there with YOLO (You Only Live Once) and LOL (Laugh Out Loud) and TTYL (TalkTo You Later).

FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out:

On anniversaries…

On birthdays…

On graduations…

On weddings…

On grandchildren…

On the moments of first…

On the sound of laughter…

On the warmth of hugs…

On the beauty of love…

On growing old with the loves of my life, my blessed little family… 

What do you do when all that you’ve ever hoped and dreamed for, when all that you’ve ever wanted and desired is seemingly reduced to nothingness in a matter of moments?

You re-examine what you know, what you believe, what you are, who you are.
You determine what matters most.  

Remember when I mentioned in a previous post about “the just shall live by faith“?  What you believe in… is your faith. Don’t let anyone tell you that they don’t believe in anything.  They’re lying to you and they’re lying to themselves because every person believes in something and that is where their faith rest, that is where their strength and guidance comes from to do each and every day.

Remember “Belief determines choice.”? 

My faith feels like it’s been sacked by the biggest and ugliest linebacker whose name is FOMO.  I am continuing to learn that faith is so much more than the ability to move mountains. Faith is the mystery of Christ in the small things.  Everybody wants to be somebody.  We want to leave our mark on the world, create a legacy that last a lifetime, be bigger than themselves, but it is the mustard seed that we are asked to examine.  It is the ‘jot and tittle‘ (Mt 5:18) that we are reminded has never changed.  It is the sparrow that has fallen and each hair on our head that He knows…

And so, as He has been teaching me about true faith, He has been using these phrases “Your will cannot lead me where your grace cannot keep me” and “Bow the knee;
Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.”

~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~

Lord, as I seek your guidance for the day,
I find my thoughts unyielding: confusion clouds my way,
But, then when I bow to you, the challenges you guide me through,
Your promises are ever new: I claim them for today.

Each new day’s design is guided by your hand,
And graciously revealed as I seek your Master plan.
Keep my footsteps faithful when from you I go.
Return me to the joy that your blessings can bestow.

Your will cannot lead me where your grace cannot keep me.
Your hand will protect me: I rest in your care.
Your eyes will watch over me: Your love will forgive me.
And when I am faltering, I still will find you there.

Your eyes will watch over me,
Your love will forgive me,
And when I am faltering,
Lord, I will find you there.

~ Grace by Carolyn Hamlin ~

~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~

There are moments on our journey following the Lord
Where God illumines ev’ry step we take.
There are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us,
As we try to understand each move He makes.
When the path grows dim and our questions have no answers, turn to Him.

Bow the knee;
Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee;
Lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of the King, bow the knee.

There are days when clouds surround us, and the rain begins to fall,
The cold and lonely winds won’t cease to blow.
And there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel;
We are tempted to believe God does not know.
When the storms arise, don’t forget we live by faith and not by sight.

Bow the knee;
Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee;
Lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of the King, bow the knee.

~ Bow The Knee by Chris Machen & Mike Harland ~

The Mentality of Reality

I’m aware that I’m here, but where is HERE exactly? 

Because right now, it is as dark as dark can be and it is consuming me with a panic that I have never known before…

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Ever been inside one of those tourist coal mines?  You know the one: where they take you in about a mile and a half or so and then turn off ALL the lights. And then, all the little kids panic (and a few adults too) clinging to whomever with a fervency that surpasses Charlton Heston’s famous quote, “So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands!’

Currently, that’s what my reality contains: infrequent panic attacks that start with a place as dark as the coal miner’s tunnel. I’m there and I know my eyes are open, but it is so dark, so black, that I can’t even see my hand in front of my face. And that is when the fear begins to consume me…

Where am I?  
The first time this happened, the tears were rolling down the sides of my face as I tried to take myself through the mental steps of reality.

Have I died?

I’m breathing…
That means there’s air!

My heart is clenched…
That means I’m still alive!

What do I last remember…
Ah-Ha!  That means there’s a definite location!
(GPS tracker may be an option for next time???)

GASP!
What in the world just happened?!

~~~~~~~~~~

It’s been almost 9 weeks (60 days to be exact) since my metastatic breast cancer diagnosis and I’m still confronting my new reality, day by day, moment by moment. Every day, I remind myself that “the just shall LIVE by faith” and every day I am reminded that His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness has taken me to the evening.

It’s in the middle of the day and in the dead of night (uh, no pun intend) that I have to remind myself… not to be afraid.

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My faith, my God, has been ministering His promises to my overwhelmed heart, soul, mind, and body through music. And I find that just a tad bit humorous since I have no musical abilities, except for the fact that I know how to turn on the radio and push play on the CD player…  

It was with a particular phrase that He began to whisper His healing balm to my heart over and over again: “when you walk through the fire, you’ll not be consumed. You are Mine, you are precious in My sight.” I’m terrible with names and lyrics to songs and so I went to Football Fan and asked him to help me locate the music and words for this tune that had become my anchor for my sanity and my reality.

Here, for your encouragement:

Be not afraid for I have redeemed you.
Be not afraid, I have called you by name.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you pass through the floods, they will not sweep o’er you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be consumed.
You are Mine, you are precious in My sight.

My love for you is everlasting,
My love for you shall have no end.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you pass through the floods, they will not sweep o’er you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be consumed.
You are Mine, you are precious in My sight.

~ Be Not Afraid by Craig Courtney ~

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I don’t know what particular coal miner’s tunnel you’re stuck in.  I don’t even know who turned out the lights on you…  I don’t know where your HERE is, BUT there is one thing I do know: He knows it ALL and He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Can you imagine being still in the midst of panic and fear?
FIGHT OR FLIGHT, BABY!
FIGHT OR FLIGHT!

That is our natural inclination…

And yet, He says, “Be still…

Don’t let the mentality of your reality consume you!  Be still and know that you are His and are so completely and absolutely precious in His sight.  His love for you is everlasting. That means it has no end, no matter how long or how dark the tunnel…

Keep smiling!

Whelmed, Over and Over Again

It has been 29 days since we learned that my previously achieved NED status (No Evidence of Disease) has been permanently revoked.  In these last 29 days, there have been more moments of tears, more phone calls, more visits, more conversations than we are able to process or comprehend.

We are overwhelmed, more like discombobulated really, hence the ‘Whelmed, Over and Over Again’ blog title… and yet, there’s a phrase that continues to float throughout my thoughts and my heart.

“I’m overwhelmed by His mercy and His all sufficient grace.”

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Let me start with Day 1: We walked into the doctor’s office on July 5th for a follow-up appointment to a MRI on my spine that I had received on July 1st. That scan was a follow-up to a CT scan on my spine that I had received on June 22nd. As I had previously noted a while back in a different blog post, I have been dealing with some spine issues. I became aware of the discomfort back in December and the issue was addressed to the plastic surgeon at an appointment shortly thereafter. Because I was walking around as a half chest-endowed woman, it was figured that my lopsidedness was the culprit. After my second mastectomy in March, I could tell an immediate difference in most of my spinal issues, but I needed to give my body time to heal from the surgery.  As time passed, the remaining spinal issue never resolved itself and at my 6 month post-cancer check-up on June 20th, I addressed the spinal issue to my oncologist.  You have read the progression of those events…

As the doctor spoke with us, Football Fan was in a state of shock and I sat there with tears pooling in my eyes as I stared at the doctor.  Although I can’t remember his exact words, this is what I do remember: incurable; 5 years. The rest of the day is a blurry mess with the exception of the desire not to go home and talk with Camo Kid and Princess Pink and the need to go to the eye glass repair shop because a pair of glasses flew across the room at the speed of light when the undesired talk occurred.

In the last 29 days, 15 of those days have been spent in consultations, radiation prep, and radiation. I have shared the news with family, friends, and possibly, even a few strangers. I have cried. I have prayed. I have comforted. I have been comforted. I have researched and read more information about fighting incurable cancer than I can mentally processed.

And yes, I did call the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
It’s not an option: I don’t qualify.

Reality still has not set in.  I still wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what is going on with my body. I still sit at the dinner table or on the couch doing everyday ordinary things until I look into the faces of my blessed little family and realize that there will be a day that I am not doing those everyday ordinary things with them, that I will not hear their laugh or see their smile. And that is a devastating thought because we all know how much I love smiley faces!

Everything has changed.
Tears come at the strangest times… Heartbreaking conversations with my blessed little family about the future are happening NOW instead of LATER.

Nothing has changed.
I knew before all of this that I would die one day.  Even now, I still don’t know the when… The oncologist informed us that he has taken patients to the 5 year mark, but he hasn’t been able to take anyone to the 10 year mark… yet.  He gently tried to remind us that new medical developments are happening all the time.  Please know that I do not have an expiration date stamped on my foot. I am not giving up, cancer is cancer and has been around for a long time, but how I proceed from these moments is determined by what I believe because what I believe determines what I choose.

“… the just shall live by faith …” (Hebrews 10:38)

This is what I believe. And yet, the words mean so much more now because of 1 word: live.  My faith is found in Christ and so I choose to LIVE, by that faith, each day, each moment that He allows me whether it may be one day, one year, five years, or 50 years.

Remember that phrase I mentioned earlier?

“I’m overwhelmed by His mercy and His all sufficient grace.”

Enjoy the rest of what I am learning in being whelmed, over and over again by:

Overwhelmed by His mercy, amazed by His grace;
I am cleansed from all sin, every sign every trace.
Jesus left Heaven’s portals Himself to abase;
I’m overwhelmed by His mercy and His all sufficient grace.

I will rest in His keeping each night and each day,
For I know that He’s leading each step of the way.
Tho’ the valleys of sadness at times I must face,
Still He comforts all heartaches with His all sufficient grace.

O what love God bestows upon all who believe:
He will free you from guilt when His Son you receive,
He has promised to keep you, prepare you a place,
If you’ll take of His mercy and His all sufficient grace.

God’s everlasting mercy, oh what tender relief,
When burdened with sorrow and laden with grief;
When I think that on Calvary Christ died in my place
I’m overwhelmed by His mercy and His all sufficient grace.

~ His All-Sufficient Grace by H.A. Taylor~

 

 

Why

There is no answer to the ‘Why?’ of my cancer journey.  

Well, there is, but it would not satisfy the centuries’ old question of ‘Why did this happen to me?’ and it definitely would not satisfy your expectations of your own ‘Why did this happen to me?’.

~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~

There are 3 lessons that I have learned though and each lesson is dependent on the previous lesson:

Draw near to God.
You cannot get through any trial or tribulation by yourself.  You have to find hope somewhere.  Many look to the wisdom and courage of others’ struggles.  Many look to themselves.  But ultimately, each and every one of us will fail simply because there is no perfect foundation on this earth that is unmovable, unshakable, enduring, and strong enough to withstand any and all things.  The hope that you want to find is what will become your anchor.  It will become what you believe in.  It will become your faith.  Without that faith, you will not survive and if your faith is founded on that which is imperfect, then how will it survive?

How will you survive?

My faith must be anchored in the only thing that is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present, and unchangeable and that anchor MUST be my Creator.  As I endured some of the darkest days of my life, I had to draw closer, nearer to the One who understood perfectly, the One who is perfect, the One who created me.  There were moments in the wee hours of the night, as I wept silently, pleading for comfort, for assurance, for strength, that He gathered me in His mercy and grace and loved me with His perfect, everlasting love.  And as I continued to draw closer to Him, He taught me the next lesson:

He is my ALL.
This is the hardest lesson to learn for I am continuing to learn it.  Football Fan was my 24/7 caregiver.  Next to him, Camo Kid and Princess Pink were my 24/7 caregivers.  You cannot imagine what that means until you have been someone’s 24/7 caregiver.  I have had people pray for me, provide meals for me, and a multitude of other beneficial and meaningful ways of ministering to me during my journey, but ultimately, it was my blessed little family who were there at the highest and lowest points of my illness.  Nobody else was there 24/7.  We have been blessed to be ministered to by complete strangers and we have been devastated to lose the relationships of those we counted very dear to us during this journey.

And yet, even with the 24/7 care and compassion of my blessed little family, they could not be my ALL.  My Creator urged me to draw closer to Him so that He could show me that no matter what, I am never alone, that I would never be alone.  In those darkest days, as I became a recluse because of my illness, as I watched and heard of the activities of my family, my friends, of strangers and as I longed to be part of the world, He never left me.  He became my ALL: my confidant, my confessor, my comfort, my joy, my peace, my God.  My relationship with Him changed from Him being The God of All Things to being My God of Everything.  His grace became sufficient so that I could bear the tremendous loss of so much because His grace IS sufficient.  And as I learned that He is and must always be my ALL, He taught me the final lesson:

Point you to Him.
What is it that you are seeking?  What is it that you are hoping for?  Don’t look to the wisdom and courage of others.  Don’t look to yourselves.  Look to Him.  It doesn’t even matter if you believe in Him or not.  It doesn’t matter if you understand Him or not.  Just look to Him…

You see, He loves you.

He has loved you forever.  

We all want to be loved.  We are all looking for love.  And He is waiting, patiently for you to look to Him: to understand what true love is and what true love feels like.  You turn your face to the Sun on a bright beautiful day and you feel the warmth of its rays.  Turn your face to the God who created you and feel the perfect love that can only come from Him.  You can only want to draw closer to that perfect love and it is only then that you will begin to understand that He is your ALL…

And then you will point others to Him.

And they will want to draw closer to Him…

And learn that He is their ALL.

And tell others…

Why.

 

An -ist Will -ize About -ism(s)

Belief determines choice…

and we all know that “choice” is the battle-ground for EVERYTHING these days.

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Everyone believes that they have the right to choose, but not everyone believes that you have the right to choose.  And that subject of rights and where they come from is a discussion for another day…

Back to the word “belief/believe:”

In school, my youngest, Princess Pink has been learning about the ancient civilizations of the world.  Right now we are finishing up a very basic overview of Egyptian history.  One of the points our text covered was that the Egyptians believed in polytheism, which is the belief in more than one god.

They had a god for everything including frogs!

Can you imagine living “Belief determines choice” back then?  What happens when all your gods don’t agree with each other?  In all honesty, we’re living in a world today where what people believe is in complete contradiction with what they believe and they refuse to acknowledge it.

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Let’s start with the simple definition of the word god, according to Merriam-Webster:
1) God: the perfect and all-powerful spirit or being that is worshipped especially by Christians, Jews, and Muslims as the one who created and rules the universe.
2) a spirit or being that has great power, strength, knowledge, etc., and that can affect nature and the lives of people: one of various spirits or beings worshipped in some religions.
3) a person and especially a man who is greatly loved or admired.

And now the simple definition of the word belief, according to Merriam-Webster:
1) a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true
2) a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable
3) a feeling of trust in the worth or ability of someone

Here we have the simple definition of the word choice, according to Merriam-Webster:
1) the act of choosing: the act of picking or deciding between two or more possibilities
2) the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities: the opportunity or power to make a decision
3) a range of things that can be chosen

And lastly, the simple definition of the word tenet, according to Merriam-Webster:
1) a belief or idea that is very important to a group

Fairly open-ended, huh?

And so you begin the process of choosing… based on what you believe from the moment you come into this world until the moment you leave this world.

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Here are a couple of links to give you a bit of a head start on what people believe:
The Ism Book by Peter Saint-Andre
The Phrontistery website by Stephen Chrisomalis

An -ism is “a belief, attitude, style, etc., that is referred to by a word that ends in the suffix -ism.”  An -ist is “a person who does a specified action or activity.”  And to -ize is “to cause to become or become like something specified.

An -ist will -ize about -ism.

Because I am constantly saying “What you believe determines what you choose” on this blog, especially in light of my journey through cancer, I am going to share some of my personal beliefs in part as an effort to diverge from all that consumes me right now which is Transitioning Through Transition, but also because what I believe is important to me.  Take it as you so desire…  I welcome conversation and enjoy observing and participating in the process of mental gymnastics!

What’s your -ism?

Why?

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

~1 Peter 3:15~

Belief Determines Choice

We live in uncertain times.  

At every turn, we are challenged to rethink what we believe.

What is true?  What is false?  

What is fact?  What is opinion?

As I spent the last year trying to survive chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, I was challenged over and over again to find a reason to continue to live.  There were days that weren’t just hard, they were very dark.  The platitudes of imperfect people were not an inducement to continue…  I found that my hope needed to be firmly anchored in something, someone, that defied ALL odds, ALL uncertainty.  What I believed in for my hope determined what I chose every moment of every day.

Hope comes from what you believe.  

What you believe is your faith.  

Your faith is “formally” called your religion.  

Religion is a VERY volatile topic to discuss these days…

~~~~~~~~~~

I was reading an article today.  It is a must-read excellent article, by the way.  She nailed it!  The individual interviewed stated that “ ‘If you believe in Muhammad and Allah, you’re a Muslim,’ she continued. ‘If you follow Muhammad as your ultimate role model, you’re a Muslim.’

And I thought to myself, this is true.  I believe in Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.  I am a Christian.  I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, as my ultimate role model.  I am a Christian.  As a believer of Christ, I understand that Romans 10 says,

Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.  For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.  

For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.  But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down), or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).’  But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.  For the Scripture says,

Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for ‘Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’  

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?  How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’  

However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

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Christ’s teachings are the complete opposite to the teachings of Muhammad.  Christ’s character is completely opposite to the character of Muhammad.  The ultimate truth is that everything about Christ is completely contrary to any other figurehead of any other belief system in the entire universe.

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My hope comes from my belief in Christ.  

My belief in Christ, as found in the Bible, is my faith.  

My faith is “formally” called the religion of Christianity. 

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 What you believe determines what you choose.

What do you believe?

Why?