Less face it, there is fear when we face a new challenge. And my experience is not without fear.


I have Multiple Myeloma. 7 years ago, it exploded on my life. 17 years ago I had been diagnosed with Monoclonal Gammopathy, it’s precursor. So I have been living with this in one way or another for a long time and have learned several things:

Statistics are scary.

You know it’s not good when you are searching Google and come up with obituaries. I no longer search, but Roger sometimes does and filters them to me. I have always known this was not a good kind of cancer to have, if there can a be “good” kind of cancer to have. It is considered “incurable” which means you can beat it back, but never get rid of it. It always comes back.

I have a choice. I can give into the fear or lean into the Lord. I can fight emotionally or rest spiritually. I can focus on statistics, the truth of this world, or focus on faith in the truth of eternity.

Statistics reflect unique opportunities.

Somehow I have been “blessed” with MM. Statistically, it hits African-Americans males the most, then Caucasian males, then African-American females, and then Caucasian females – the lowest group.

So I do view this as a unique blessing. God chose me despite statistics. I feel it is a part of His plan in my life and in the lives of those around me. And who would want to emotionally or spiritually fight a blessing?

Statistics reveal grace.

Even with less energy and more pain, I am humbled and amazed by what God does in and through me. The lives I have touched, the ministry processes I have help put into place, the experiences I have had with children and grandchildren — I could go on and on! God’s grace runs through me like yarn in a knitted blanket, covering us over and over and lasting beyond me. How can I fight grace?

Statistics can be scary, but they do reveal opportunity and grace.

I’d love to hear from you, either a comment or question. And I wonder, what statistics scare you? How do you handle it?


So Am I Still “Doing Better?”

SAMSUNGYou may be wondering after our recent news how I am doing? (see latest post under Prayer Letters)

I’m not sure what to judge it against, but I think I am doing well. This was not unexpected. Every time I went to my oncologist, I knew this might be the day. Last Wednesday, it was. Afterwards, Roger and I looked at each other  and repeated back what the oncologist had said. We hugged.

The battle has begun. 

It’s a battle physically, emotionally and spiritually.

  • It’s a time to hold on to what you know is true.
  • It’s a time to not give into fears.
  • It’s a time to give to others.
  • It’s a time to focus on what will last – here and eternity.
  • It’s a time to rest, physically and spiritually, and let God take over in our minds and hearts.

I won’t say I haven’t shed tears. This is hard. But with my personality, I get more into facing the challenge than into the feelings, especially my own.

I have tremendous hope, not in living, but in my Lord.

Wherever I am, He is there. He will never leave me or forsake me.

I am sad for those who love me, and my “hope” is in the fact that God has allowed these circumstances not only into my life, but into their lives. They are part of his opportunity-giving for them to grow and deal with things they might not normally deal with. God has been so gracious to give me these 6 years, and I lean into His grace right now.

God’s grace will cover them as well.

All in all, when I look at the list above, this time is not that different what should be true of all of my life. It’s transferring values into a new set of circumstances. It’s “spiritual breathing” on a whole different level.

Thank you for journeying with me through this. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. God is still the god of heaven and earth, and today, in this moment, I choose to rest in Him.

2013 February Prayer Update

We have some news to share that is difficult. Yesterday was Maggie’s oncology appointment and it did not go as we had hoped. We knew that with her kind of cancer (multiple myeloma), there would come the day a doctor would say that it was back to the point that it needs treatment, and yesterday was the day. However, with the broken leg/possible surgery, he wants to wait until we see the orthopedic doctor next week. Chemo would interfere with the healing process, so if she needs surgery, we need to do it ASAP and then begin chemo.

We don’t need to push panic buttons, but we do now have dates for the future and know certain things are coming sooner rather than later. There is a new drug that can slow the progression. He also talked about another bone marrow transplant. In other words, there are options.

But we know that all the options are held in the Lord’s hands. We are so thankful for you and how you have prayed for us. It was 2006 when we walked this road before, and God has granted us so many days and years beyond what we had dared to hope. He can do it again. 

Please pray for us that we will be wise and seek the Lord each step. Pray also that we will be patient, and continue to praise Him for every day He gives us.  Know that we both love you —

Roger and Maggie



Why Am I Doing Better?



Some people have been asking me why I am doing better about my leg, and it made me give it some thought. I think we would all like to figure hard things like this out, almost as if we could create a magic button we could push in our own lives, or in my case, when my life becomes hard again.

But there is no magic button.

The best I can do is propose a rough formula that I can see as I look back.

  • Time – Time inand of itself does not heal all things, but time helps us see ways to get through. Instead of flailing for instant relief, time gives our brain space to think through options and eventually make choices that lead us in a direction. And time, if we let it, results in rest.
  • Open Heart – When we quite fighting our circumstances, our heart opens up to what is left in our lives. It might not be what we want it to be. But there are still possibilities for good. When I quit fighting the process I hate, I can choose to embrace the idea that some good might come of the pain.
  • Belief – This ingredient starts small, becoming bigger over time. As my heart opens a crack, I want to believe that someone, somewhere, is in control and has my best interest (or the interest of the universe) in mind. I do believe in a personal God, who loves me deeply. Sometimes I feel far from that love, or don’t understand it, but as I look at nature and the fine detail of a hummingbird’s wing or the petals of a flower, I realize I don’t have to understand it. I just have to believe.
  • Gratitude – As I begin to come out of the fog of a closed heart and unbelief, I begin to see the world differently. Things could be so much worse than what they are. I have a wonderful family and friends who share my pain. And physically, my pain could be so much worse than what it is. It’s just my leg, and not my whole body.
  • Peace – Peace is the place I want to end up. Jesus said he would give me his peace. Not peace like the world’s, but something far beyond any earthly answers for pain. Peace that not only gives rest, but motivates us to get up off of our (?!?) and go about the mission he has given us to glorify Him.

I’m not good at Algebra and someone out there might want to help me, but maybe this could be:

T (OH + B + G) = P

 Time multiplies the combination of an Open Heart, Belief and Gratitude which together equals a Peace that surpasses all understanding. I think that is where I’m living these days. When any ingredient levels go down, my peace goes down.  But when they are high, I can face

I’d love to hear from others…what would your formula be?

My personal paradise…

SAM_0727 copyWe’re back in Blue Ridge, Georgia, one of my favorite places.

It’s an unusually warm day. Often it’s cold and snowy, like this picture taken just days ago.

But today it is so mild, I’m able to sit on the porch. The sun is setting, but the clouds obscure any sunset. The only sounds I hear are the wind chimes tinkling out their individual tunes as the breeze moves gently. It reminds me of how unique each person is as the Holy Spirit runs through each life. I hope we sound just as beautiful to God.

It is my own personal paradise. I know some people like Key West and some like mountains of Alaska, but for me, this is my own personal paradise.

We started coming here 12 years ago for family vacation. Roger found the town and was captivated by the area. Renting a cabin seemed like a good way to connect with nature since his wife (me) was no longer willing to freeze in a sleeping bag, on hard ground, in the middle of noisy campgrounds, washing dishes in cold water — you get the idea.

Our family has grown to love the area, and even though life has gotten hard at times, it’s been a place to get away, have some fun, re-connect with kids and watch grandkids grow. It’s also been a place where we have had devotions, sharing our hearts about God and celebrating our growth.

Two years ago, my mother died. Dad had died years before and she had been left alone. We always stopped to see her in Atlanta on our way to Blue Ridge. We felt it would honor her to buy a cabin for family vacations with our inheritance. It would also keep us connected to relatives here. Little did we know that just minutes from our cabin is where my great, great grandfather’s life started, born in a little white farmhouse in the hills. Mother’s spirit of love and generosity permeates the cabin.

But most of all, the peace of God is at the cabin. I have met with him on the porch and he has poured through me words I have needed to hear. I have laughed and cried with friends on this porch. I have made new friends, seeing them grow in their faith in amazing ways. His creativity has flowed through me in poems and crafts that both surprised and delighted me. Even when I fell and broke my leg here, his peace filled me.

That’s why I dare to call this “a piece of paradise.” I know my true paradise is heaven. I know God is with me wherever I go, even into the depths of hell.

But right now, in the midst of this gentle breeze, he is with me in Blue Ridge, Georgia. It is a glimpse, a tiny piece, of what the fullness will be like in my true, eternal paradise.

Where is your personal paradise? Is there a place the Lord meets you in special ways? I’d love to hear about it…

God…We Need to Talk…



I think I’m tired of asking “Why?”

It’s been 3 months since the fall. It’s not been easy for either of us, I’m sure. It wasn’t easy for me with all my questions. And I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant for you, God, in listening to me complain.

But you never left me. Never forsook me. You were always there.

You amaze me. While I’m being so “human,” you remain so “god.” I’m railing against my mortality while you rest in your sovereignty.  I’m searching every corner desperate to find answers while you listen in your wisdom.

You know that I cannot fully have the “mind of Christ.”

But I can lean into you, and that is what I have been doing, when I’m not ranting. And when I do, amazing things happen. I’m quiet, listening, even in the stillness, until peace overcomes me. I experience rest, not in the “knowing” but in the “being.”

And I gain perspective. If I had landed just inches from where I did land, I would have broken my neck. What would my life look like then? How much worse than a broken leg?

You have been so good to me in that I am not in a lot of pain. Inconvenienced, yes, but not much pain.  Maybe that’s some of my issue – if I were in more pain, I wouldn’t want to do the things I want to do — not that I’m asking for more pain!

I look around the world at people who are suffering so much more than I am. Many are depressed and hopeless. But they don’t have a relationship with you, so how could I expect them to have hope? Some don’t have support systems like I have, or money to seek medical help. I start to see the many ways I am blessed.

I don’t understand why this happened, but it did. I don’t understand why it wasn’t healed, but it wasn’t. I think I’m done pushing against it.

Lord, if you want me to never walk again, I submit to your will.

There, I said it. Now I need to live with it through my every day actions. If you decide to heal, it’s an extra special blessing from you. But if you decide not to heal, I receive that as a gift from you also.

In the meantime, I want to get on with the business of glorifying you. I still have my smile, my witness to others. May I shine today and every day until I see you in glory. Thank you for forgiving my lack of faith, my questioning. Embrace me with your pleasure. Cover me with your righteousness, making me white as snow.

God…We Need to Talk…

Why in a moment did you change my life?

IMG_0278We were at our cabin in the mountains, having a great time finishing the basement, installing a ceiling. I say that because I LOVE remodeling (just ask my husband who does not!). We were making great progress in learning new skills. It was challenging, but we were attacking the challenge and succeeding.

Then, in a nano-second, everything changed. The board slipped out of the groove and I went flying. I never felt my foot hit the ground, but I did feel my hip crash and braced my head, hoping I would not go unconscious. The wind was knocked out of me and I fought for breath. 1 inch different and my head would have hit the wall, leaving me with a broken neck.

Did you turn around? Was there someone else in the world who needed you more than me in that moment? Why was my life interrupted?

Why do I think you don’t have the right to interrupt my life? Why do I think everything should be glowing and happy and I should be successful?

And why do I think that because I am a relatively “good” person, this should not happen to me?

There are more questions right now than there are answers. I remember when I miscarried our fifth child. I was devastated with the loss, asking “why?” for seven years. I never heard an answer on that question, but I remember the moment when you filled me with your peace and the assurance. I never asked “why” again.

Maybe this will be the same. Right now, I can’t think of any really good answer you can give me about this. The pain, the daily disruption of the simplest human task, the total dependence on others, disrupting their lives — it’s hard to imagine this is “good.” But I know you give good things to your children. How do I reconcile this?

I remember when church leaders asked you, “Who sinned?” when you healed the blind man. They wanted someone to blame the blindness on. They wanted to know the “why” so they could look past your power, who you are, and their need of you. But there was no one to blame – only a moment of time, a nano-second.

Why? At a certain time, in a certain place, all questions will be answered.

God…We Need to Talk…

UnknownI believed in a miracle, and it didn’t happen.

I don’t believe for miracles often. The whole time I fought the cancer, I never asked for a miracle.

But this time felt different. I envisioned you healing the lame, the touch of your hand on my shoulder beckoning me forward. Your hand in mine as I stood and felt the rush of faith through my leg, testing it until I knew it was strong enough for weight. I envisioned the face of the doctor, amazed at the healing, telling me I could walk.

But it didn’t happen.

I am disappointed – so very disappointed. But I can’t say I am disappointed in you, God, as you have provided so amazingly in the past. I can’t believe you have stopped loving or caring for me. I just don’t know what to do with this feeling of disappointment.

Were there people that you didn’t heal when you walked this earth? Was there a lame man you walked past without a word? How did they feel when their buddy, the lame guy, comes running past swinging his crutches, yelling the name “Jesus?” He may have wanted to believe, maybe did believe, but weren’t on the right road, in the right place, when you walked by.

Did they still believe? Were they leaning on their crutches at the foot of your cross?

If they were, I’m sure they are walking now, enjoying sweet fellowship with you. I know on this earth we have trials created by the sin of death. Our bodies, whole and in part, are in death, waiting to be resurrected. It was a miracle that dead bodies rose out of graves after your crucifixion. But not all dead bodies of all history walked again. That’s why it is a miracle.

I guess a miracle was not in your plan for my life, at least not for today.

I’m rambling. This may be more raw than you wanted to hear, but you know my thoughts and heard them before they came out of my mouth. I know you will break through – you always do. But these feelings are real, for now.

I will walk again, either here or heaven. I need to keep listening for your voice, calling my name.

2013 January – New Year Update

January 27, 2013

Opportunity – that is what the New Year rings in! Campus Crusade for Christ never stands still, so we wanted to let you know about a couple of opportunities:

  • SuperBowl Breakfast Webcast is February 2 & 3 – check out the details at Athletes in Action hosts the breakfast and Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys is the winner of the Bart Starr Award. CCC is making it available at their headquarters, so if you are in the Orlando area and want to come, let us know. We understand that it makes a great church event.
  • Jesus Film app for a smartphone, pad or computer – search for “Jesus Film Media” in your Apple App Store or Android Google Play Store. You can access the Jesus Film in over 100 languages!

For us in our individual ministries, there are new opportunities:

  • Our website – – Maggie’s started blogging again! Several friends have asked if she has been writing through her pain. We switched to WordPress so let us know if you have any difficulty viewing it or commenting.
  • CrossRoads: Trinidad – In March I’ll see this training in action. It’s similar to another ministry I am supervising which works with teachers. I’m meeting with the leaders February 4-5 to talk through how the two ministries can work together for synergy.
  • Measuring Vision – Maggie has been working to globally measure our vision statement, “Build movements so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.” She is on a steep learning curve as she interviews major companies like Gallup and Barna, thinking through implications of culture.

And personally, we would like for you to pray for a miracle. Maggie’s leg has not been healing and they have mentioned surgery. Pray that when she goes in January 29th, the doctor would be surprised at the amount of healing that has taken place and say she can walk again. Visually, we keep thinking of how Jesus healed the lame – Maggie needs that kind of miracle!

We trust you will face 2013 with a “seize the opportunities” mentality. I know we would not be able to seize these if it were not for your prayers and support —

Roger and Maggie

P.S. – Pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria as the war goes on. They have shown enormous courage and have continued ministry despite risk to their lives. In spite of everything, two people have applied for staff!