Continued Battle

It has been a while since my last post. A lot has happened since then. I just had surgery and had an ostomy inserted. For info on this check out: https://www.ostomy.org/. Interesting site and great information. President Eisenhower had an ostomy. Never knew that.

The transition is a journey in itself. To put it bluntly, I am pooping through my side. At first, I could not look at the stoma. Since then I am getting more comfortable with it. It was a good diversion from the real battle. Cancer. I have been off of chemo for six weeks. I needed to be off of it for the surgery. Now I have follow ups with Dr.s etc to get back on track. I have some decisions on direction of treatments etc. For an update on my journey, check out https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/markdemateo.

How does a believer look at struggles like this? One thing I have found Cancer to do for me which is a blessing is to focus on eternal things. Everyone gets caught up in the day to day, week to week grind of life. Sometimes living for the weekend, vacations etc. This journey has helped me to keep a tighter focus on eternal things. Relationships are so important. Putting them off is not a good thing. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. I have learned and is still a struggle to keep short accounts with my relationships. People with life altering illnesses have the same struggles as everyone else.

I have been reading about Grace. “Since by grace God forgives, it makes no sense to hide, excuse, or shift the blame when you are faced with your sin” (New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp, July 27). Confession is a continued discipline that believers need to practice. Philippians 3:1-10 is a powerful passage on trust. Will my confidence be in the flesh of the Grace of God? Verses 7 to 10 are powerful.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. The New International Version. (2011). (Php 3:7–10). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Wherever you are in your journey, the above is a daily battle that every believer must confront and fight. The battle then is not just our obstacles in life. It is a daily submission to the Grace of God The obstacles point to our greater need, God’s grace.

My continued battle is against Cancer but my bigger battle is submission to the Grace that He provides through Christ. Pray for me that I may not trust in the flesh but to know Christ.

Let me know what you think. You are loved!!!

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Mark Demateo

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