Unlocking YOU Retreat
God gave me a unique opportunity to go on a retreat with a wonderful mix of other cancer survivors and Christian “celebrities”. Author Bob Goff, author and cancer survivor Lynn Eib, musician and cancer survivor Tim Timmons, and magician Taylor Hughes were compelling, yet down-to-earth in the messages of encouragement that they delivered with a liberal dose of humor. But more lifechanging than their presentations were meeting with everyday real people who are dealing with challenges presented by cancer much greater than I had to deal with. If I ever doubted (and I never did) the need to encourage people with this devastating diagnosis, this retreat reaffirmed that people need to be introduced to God’s love in these most challenging times.
Every good retreat has some type of presentation that has entertainment; Taylor Hughes’ illusions of magic were mind-blowing. Isn’t it amazing how we, especially when we’re stressed, can fall for life’s illusions? Illusions like “If you don’t have cancer, there’s nothing you struggle with.”… or “God’s not paying attention; that’s why I got cancer.”… or “I can do this myself; I don’t need God’s help.” We all deal with these illusions in some form or other. But the people I met and the stories we shared during the retreat taught me to look for the illusions that are common in my everyday thoughts. Taylor’s talks as well as his book, “Road to Wonder”, talk about looking at life with new wonder and the wonders we see if we only but look through the eyes of a child. What new wonders do you see in each day?
I spent a week this summer hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Morning after morning I saw the power in beauty that I won’t even describe here because my words are so trivial to the experience. But as I watched the shadows move down the mountain slopes during a morning hike, my mind was filled with the song “This Is the Day” – not the version from 40 years ago, but musician Tim Timmons’ version. You may ask, is his version better? I would answer resoundingly, YES! The reason I feel his version is better is because Tim has fought incurable cancer for the last 21 years and has still found the strength to keep composing new ways to praise God. Tim could have given into cancer years ago, but he keeps fighting because God’s not done with him yet. YOU are here because God isn’t done with you yet either.
Lynn Eib is the author whose books I give away in our encouragement bags. She is a survivor of 20+ years of colon cancer. The temptation after surviving cancer is to take the attitude of “Well, that’s done.” Lynn has taught me that cancer, active or not, is a lifelong condition that requires an attitude of “I’m going to learn and educate.” To truly to deal with cancer on a personal level, but also to help others dealing with this new condition, it takes a lifetime of learning about its effects and sharing this learning as a support to others. How can you be a support to others?
Bob Goff is one of those Christian celebrity names like John Ortberg. Like most Christian celebrities, he’s tremendously effective at what he does because he gets out of the way and lets God show him what and how to do it. The retreat was hosted at Bob’s retreat center, The Oaks. It was a remarkable experience not only for the people I met, but for the atmosphere in which I met them. When I first got cancer, I wondered if it would curtail my abilities to go places and meet other people. By God’s grace it has not. Where can you see God leading you and what people does He want you to meet?
“I was just gifted this beautiful selection of gifts by my sister. It touched me deeply and the gifts are lovely! I will definitely keep this in mind when others are in need of support. Thank you!”
UPDATES FOR DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS
Colorado: In the last newsletter we mentioned that we had recently begun distributing the bags through another cancer center in the Denver metro area. Our encouragement bags are now in three of those cancer center locations.
APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF BAGS DISTRIBUTED TO DATE: 1,173
If you know of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer and you would like to send a bag, go to our website to place an order.
Contact Us Be Still and Know Inc. P.O. Box 563 Bennett, CO 80102 616-826-1906 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bestillandknowinc.org