Tag Archives: Related Writings

Prayer Request from March 5, 2006

On March 5, 2006, I sent the following prayer request:

From: Star Ferdinand
Sent: Sunday, March 05, 2006 10:25 PM
Subject: RE: Prayer Requests

Let’s also pray that God will help researchers to discover a cure for every form of cancer this year (yes, this is a Kingdom prayer–something so big it can’t happen unless God does it).


God has not said yes to this prayer, yet. If you haven’t been praying for a cure for cancer, please join me in this Kingdom prayer and let’s ask God to help us eradicate cancer.

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Posted by on January 14, 2007 in Cancer, Related Writings


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Look to Jesus

“Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’ . . . Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. -Matthew 6:31, 34 (WEB)

“Don’t be anxious.” That is what Jesus said, but how do we do that when the “annual” raise we anticipated does not come, or we work in the midst of chaos or constant change, or the doctor delivers bad news, or __________? You fill in the blank. Everything seems to be out of control, and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do to improve the situation. Everywhere we turn, we see more of the same. Yet Jesus said, “Don’t be anxious.” How can we not be anxious?

Maybe the better question to ask is “how do we live the abundant life Jesus said he came to give us, while we live in a world of sin and chaos.”

Perhaps the apostle Paul can help us. He certainly had a rough time, a life filled with beatings, imprisonments, shipwrecks, and even a stoning. He told the Philippians he had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself (Phil. 4:11). He also told them to “rejoice always.” How could he expect them to actually do that?

Paul answers that question in Philippians 4:8, as he tells the Philippians to think on whatever things are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, or virtuous, of good report, or are praiseworthy.

He goes on to say in verses 12-13:

I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:12-13 (WEB)

Paul’s focus is not on himself, but on Christ and what he can do through Paul.

We, however, have a tendency to allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by the circumstances of life, and then we take our eyes off Jesus. Thus, we make ourselves vulnerable to the attacks of Satan, who loves to discourage us and watch us wallow in self-pity.

How do we prevent discouragement and remain strong?

·       We feed our minds positive, wholesome, God-honoring thoughts, as Paul directs in Philippians 4:8. We read the Bible regularly, get involved with a local Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church family, and carefully filter what goes into our minds.

·       We surround ourselves with Christ-following friends. When the days are bleakest, it is these friends who will challenge us to get our eyes back on Jesus, remind us of God’s promises, and provide godly counsel.

·       We pray regularly throughout the day. As Paul put it, we “continue steadfastly in prayer.” We feel compelled to pray. This is our Father we are talking to. He understands what we are going through. He knows how to help us. He wants to help us. We feel we must talk to him. As we do so, he brings to our recollection those Scriptures we’ve been reading, and we feel strengthened and encouraged by his presence and his faithfulness.

The day is coming when there will be no more tears, no more suffering, no more trials. In the meantime, God calls us to be people of faith.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.

-Proverbs 3:5 (WEB)

We must remember the call of Jesus to follow him. He is the one who makes it possible for each of us to actually do Proverbs 3:5. We do not do this through our own strength, but through his. We must run to the arms of Jesus and let him give us rest, peace, and the strength to carry on. As chaotic storms run through our lives, we truly can have the peace that Christ offers, if we just look to him.

O God, help us to lay aside the sin that entangles us—the bitterness, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, laziness, uncooperativeness, selfishness, self-pity, and all the other sins that put us on the throne instead of Jesus Christ, the rightful King. Father, our old nature was crucified with Christ, but we seem to keep dragging it out of the grave and putting it back on. Help us to deliver the final, fatal blow as we boldly run to the goal you set before us.

We get anxious, God, when life does not go the way we planned. Father, right now we lift our eyes to the Cross and remember the trials that Jesus went through. Help us to follow his example and to put everything in your hands. Help us to hold onto the promises you gave us. We don’t understand all that has been happening, Lord, but we trust in you. Let your Kingdom come, Lord, and reign over us now as you will for all eternity. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Closing Thought
As we press on toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14), we can almost hear Jesus calling, “Come on, my child. Keep running. I’m right here with you. You can do it. Look at Me! Look at Me!” ‘

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
-Psalms 121:1-2 (WEB)

Copyright © 2006-2007, Star Ferdinand. All Rights Reserved.

Author’s Note: 4/26/07 – This was written for a writing challenge before I received my cancer diagnosis.  Having tested this article during the last few months, as I underwent surgery and radiation therapy, I stand by everything I said.


Posted by on January 1, 2007 in Cancer, Related Writings


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My Favorite Thing

But we don’t want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you don’t grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we tell you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 WEB)

When Russell called me to let me know his mother had died, he told me that during the previous two days, family members had visited her at the hospital. They talked, laughed, and cried. As the moment of death approached, they sang many of the old hymns that she had loved.

As I hung up the phone, I recalled Sharon telling me months earlier about her cousins wailing in despair after the death of their grandfather.

What a difference in their reactions. Why? Months later, the reason was beautifully illustrated by the words of a child.

I heard Bethany’s description of a conversation with her daughter, Samantha, who told her that it would be terrible to live to “infinity” and never die. When Bethany asked why, Samantha replied, “Well, for one thing, you would get really, really old, and that would be no fun at all. And you would get really small and ugly, and then all your friends and family would die, and you’d be all alone and really lonely. And you’d never get to have fun and go live with God in heaven.” When her mother asked if she thought it would be a lot of fun to live with God, Samantha replied, “Yes, I think it will be my favorite thing to live with God in heaven.”1

It is this understanding of death, expressed by a 7-year-old child, that enables Christians, like Russell’s family, to sing songs of joy as a loved one dies, to praise and thank God for His goodness and grace as He takes their loved one home, and to rejoice in a celebration of the person’s life and testimony for God, rather than sinking into a pit of despair at the prospect of never seeing the person again. It is this understanding of death that enables Christians to say with the Apostle Paul, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21, WEB).

How can dying be gain? When dying means you get to spend eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ in a place free of tears, sorrows, sin, trials, and temptations, it is surely gain! None of the material things we have on this earth will last, but we will receive an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that will not fade away (1 Peter 1:4). Spending eternity worshipping Jesus in a heaven that is so magnificent Paul could not describe it—that is gain!

If you should be present right before I die, make sure I hear these words from the old spiritual “Give Me Jesus”:

When I come to die, oh, and when I come to die,
And when I come to die, give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus, give me Jesus.
You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.

When you hear of my death, do not mourn. Instead, rejoice, knowing that, like Samantha, it will be my favorite thing to live with God in heaven.

O God , I do look forward to that day when Jesus will say to me, “Enter into the joy of your Master.” I want to bask in the presence of Your glory. I want to worship Your Son in spirit and truth, free from all the trappings and distractions of this world. I want to live with You for all eternity! Until that day comes, help me to so live my live that it will point others to Jesus. Let me tell them of the peace and joy You offer through Jesus Christ. In His name I pray. Amen.

Closing Thought
What about you? Will it be your favorite thing to live with God in heaven?

Copyright © 2006, Star Ferdinand. All Rights Reserved.
1Used by permission.

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Posted by on December 9, 2006 in Cancer, Related Writings


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