Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Do any of you believers need a reminder today that the God we love, serve and worship is Healer? Great Physician? Awesome in power and mighty to save? A keeper of every promise He has ever made? A God who, according to Scripture, sent His Son to the cross for our sins and our sicknesses? A God who honors unwavering faith in what we can not see, hear, or feel? A God who made His will for healing be known by having His son spend 3 years on earth healing everyone who ever came to him? A God who is never glorified by disease, but Who is always glorified by the healing of His followers?

I can give that you today.

My lung tumor has SHRUNK from 3.5 cm to 2.5 cm.
My cancerous lymph node next to the tumor: GONE.
My metastatic acetabulum tumor (right hip) shows total sclerosis and NO tracer cancer uptake. COMPLETELY HEALED.
NO new metastases anywhere in this body.

All praise and glory to God. My chemotherapy regime does not cure incurable stage 4 cancer. The most it can do is retard progression. This is the work of a holy God who heals. Nothing less.

Thank you all for all your prayers. From here on, folks, it's only praise. You do not need to pray for my healing. You just keep praising God for what He has done and will continue to do.

This morning, after 2 hours of sleep (steroids again), I woke at 5-something and sat up to take a drink. I looked above my headboard on the wall. There in the darkness was an "I" lit on the wall by moonlight streaming in at some angle from the edge of the shades. It whispered to my soul, "Mary, I am the great I AM. I am not I WAS. I am the I AM. I am here." I touched my hand to the sliver of gold and thanked Him for His presence and His goodness to me.

My faithful blog readers, if any of you have never felt the desire or need to follow this Jesus of ours, I pray you might choose to do so. Not only is He is ONLY way to eternal life, (I am the way, the truth, the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. John 14:6), but His benefits in this lifetime are absolutely life-changing. All that He promises.......wisdom, love, peace, gentleness, self-control, strength for the day, the provision of all that we need, healing, forgiveness of our many sins, and so much more......He readily keeps for all that have come to him in faith and made Him their Lord and Savior. What we have when we commit our lives to Him, in good times and in struggle and pain, is so much more than we can ever have without Him.

He is a God I can praise in the storm. He is a God I can praise in moments of joy. For He is trustworthy and faithful to all He says in His word, and that is all I need to know.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Had my PET scan yesterday. Probably will  be told results next Tuesday when I go to chemo!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


 Dying is just not an option, I’ve decided. I can’t do it.

Now all of you who know me know that I have faith in divine healing and believe God is healing me because His Word is full of healing promises. However, even if I didn’t believe in healing, I just can’t die. I mean, seriously, from a purely practical point of view, I am needed on this earth.

My sister-in-law Margie would have no idea what to do with her Goodwill pile of clothes once a year because I would not be around to take them (and wear them, only to hear her say 5 years later, “Man, that is cute. Why did I give that away?”)

My parents need me to print off their mailing labels and Christmas letter and to fix their computer woes over the phone and keep them supplied with cell phone minutes.

My niece Rachel needs to know that she has an aunt in this world who totally understands anxiety issues and who is there when the devil gets into her head and starts throwing down lies. She knows I know.

My friend Susan, my soul-sister since before we were both married, would have a huge hole in her heart for the rest of her life. My friend Jill would have no idea what to do on Friday mornings without me to walk-and-catch-up with. My friend Lee needs me to blueberry pick with her and giggle with her. (Once, when we were leading singing in a nursing home in front of the residents, we looked at each other and broke into convulsive red-faced giggling that could not be stopped for an entire song. I think we almost wet our pants. My son rolled his eyes and called us immature.)

My school needs me. I am the sub who cares about kids leaving our system being able to speak the King’s English, and not sounding, like, um, a totally, like, uneducated, ah, ninny. When faced with a “Mrs. Ekstrom, can me and her go to the library?” my response is always, “I will answer your question when you ask it with proper grammar. Try it again.” Yep, the school needs me.

My niece Anna needs her goofy twin.

My brother Chris needs me to call him a rat fink every now and then, just to keep him humble, remind him of his childhood, and as payback for cutting all the hair off my beautiful bride doll.

My friends Julie, Mary Ruth, Penny and Lee need me as prayer partners. Groups of two are fine, but circles of three are even better.

My niece Betsy still wants to learn how to make her Great-Grama Della’s sour cream dill soup, and I am the only one in the family that has it down.

And man, do my husband and son both need me. Dick is a great cook, but left to himself, I’m afraid he would survive on spaghetti and baked chicken. He would not be able to discern which of the 4 remotes does what when it comes to loading CD’s and DVD’s. No more movies. His car would be dirty all the time because I wouldn’t be around to clean the interior. He does a poor job of researching condos to rent or motels to book. Without me, Lord only knows where my hubbie could end up staying.

He needs me to set his electronic watch when it goes awry, and he would read a fourth of the books he currently does because I am not here to give him book recommendations. If I died, nobody would rag on him to clean out old files, and he would still have the instruction booklet from some microwave that we dumped 15 years ago in his manila folder. He would spend entirely too much money on food and clothing, because the super sale/super coupon/thrift store queen would not be alive.

And Sam. If I died, who would call him the 15th of every month to remind him to change his contact lenses because he always forgets? He needs my e-mail missives, even if he thinks he doesn’t. He needs me to wear purple horns and cheer loudly for the Vikes when we’re watching the game.

I have not finished my motherly duty of teaching him how to fold a clean T-shirt so that it actually looks washed and unwrinkled (do guys EVER get this or is it a manual dexterity issue?). Who would make him his favorite meals and desserts? He needs me for the back scratches and head rubs that only his mom can give him. He needs me to point out grammatical errors that broadcasters make and say, “I better never hear you make THAT statement on the air…”

And his hair. Well, the young man would become a curly-mopped hippie with hair down to his waist if I died. I am his barber. Always have been. Always will be. He refuses to let anyone else touch his thick head of waves. (This quite delights me because even if he makes it big at ESPN in NYC, he will still fly home every 6 weeks for a haircut.) Without his barber, my son’s good looks would tank. That alone should keep me glued to life, don’t you think?

Most importantly, God needs me. He needs me to teach others about divine healing, about the power of His name, about the power of His Word, and about the will of God in the whole matter of healing.

Nope, can’t do dying. That’s all there is to it. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011


***** I'm quite sure my husband and I have some masochistic blood in us. After swearing off renovations after the wood floor laying this summer, which came after swearing off renovations in the house after the bathroom and basement projects of last year, we have started up yet another project. WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES??? Now I know our 45 year old house is desperate for updates, but oh, reno is a killer. 
          In my defense, I was just going to do a simple downstairs bathroom reno; remove old ugly wallpaper and re-paint and have Dick install a new little cheap vanity. Simple. Inexpensive. But then I start, and that's where all the problems lie (just like what happened with the other 3 projects last year......BIG problems are found under the surface that need fixing first). The wall under the ugly wallpaper is a wreck. Electrical sockets masking-taped in place, tons of huge nail holes, no mud and tape between dry wall sheets, hunks of dry wall missing....you get the picture. And yes, you know what happens now. 
          NOW we have to hire a dry wall person to come in and do the walls. Then we notice the makeshift ceiling, old white paneling. We decide we can't fix the walls, and not dry wall the ceiling too. So we need same person to do ceiling. Then we see that the old ugly chrome fixtures and towel bars will not work and we buy new brushed nickel ones, and we decide that the cheap simple vanities look cheap and simple and we opt to pay twice what we budgeted to get one that looks halfway decent. So now our bathroom is completely torn up and the wall guy can't come for 3 weeks, and I say to myself, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, MARY??? CAN'T YOU LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE?"  
          Apparently not.

*****If you have not tried Google Chrome for your browser, you should. It trumps Internet Explorer on every level. Easy to download, and fantastic to use.

*****Started back at work at the nursing home on Friday morning, and am starting subbing again on Monday. New insurance year, with new deductibles. The extra income sure helps. It'll be so nice to see all my teacher friends!

*****I finally bought a half gallon of Walmart brand of orange juice. Always thought I needed Tropicana or Minute Maid to have that REAL orange juice taste. Not so. Less pulp than we like, but hey, when you can save 80 cents per jug, pulp isn't that important. I bet I can save $50 per year in orange juice alone!!

*****I am heading up to Fargo this week to see my folks. They still enjoy having their kiddos alone to themselves, even at our ages. I get that.

*****My favorite quote about faith this week: Faith always talks about the thing prayed for as though it were already received, even before it is seen, heard or felt!!!
        AMEN TO THAT!! Have a great week!

Monday, September 5, 2011


I studied the book of Acts late this summer, and I have to tell you, of everything in Scripture about divine healing, that book may be one of the headlights on the healing highway.

For those of you who need a refresher on Acts, it was written by Luke and chronicles the story of how the Christian church began and grew. While Peter and Paul are fairly prominent, many disciples (original twelve and more) are featured. Perhaps the most profound characteristic of the early church was their spiritual power. The believers fasted and prayed and believed. Their faith released the miracle-working power of God through the Holy Spirit.

Acts is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things and about the power Jesus bestowed on them which allowed the disciples to do what Jesus did. As the 16th chapter of Mark tells us, miraculous signs followed those who simply believed in the power of the name of Jesus Christ.

His name.

Filled with miracle-working power.

His mother cherished it. His followers embraced it. And those who needed a miracle simply believed on it.


It is the 3rd chapter of Acts that sets the stage for the rest of Luke’s commentary. It is the well-known and well-loved account of Peter and John meeting a crippled man on their way to pray at the temple. The crippled beggar asks them for money. Peter says to him, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth, walk.” The man is instantly healed, jumps to his feet and begins to walk. He leaves the temple jumping and praising God. Observers were amazed.

People rush the two disciples and Peter says, “Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” (3:12) ….. and he continues, “By FAITH IN THE NAME OF JESUS, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is JESUS’ NAME and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.” (3:16)

How was he healed? By the POWER of the NAME of Jesus Christ, and faith IN that name. Could it really be that simple? Ask the crippled beggar, unable to walk since birth.

Peter and John are jailed for stirring up the crowd and brought before the high priest and his family the next day. They ask the two, “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Peter says it again. “It is by the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” (4:10)

The higher-ups confer and decide they need to stop “this thing” from spreading among the people. They decide to tell the pair they can no longer speak to anyone IN THIS NAME. They met with John and Peter and “commanded them not to speak or teach AT ALL in the NAME OF JESUS.” (3:18)

The mere mention of this name inciting this much fear in the members of the Sanhedrin is astonishing. They don’t tell them not to preach or perform miracles. They tell the disciples not to do it IN JESUS’ NAME!! They knew its power would and could rock their tidy little Roman world. They were terrified.

We know the dynamic duo does not heed the orders of the high priests. They continue to perform miraculous signs in the name of the Lord. Acts 4:16 tells us that crowds gathered and brought their sick and those tormented by demons and ALL of them were healed.

In the 5th chapter, the apostles are once again jailed for their civil disobedience, but the Lord opens the jail doors in the night and they leave. Brought before the Sanhedrin once again, they are chastised, “We gave you strict orders not to teach IN THIS NAME.” And some verses later, the unflappable disciples are flogged for their actions and once again ordered not to speak in the NAME OF JESUS.

Desperate words of warning from confounded Jewish intellectuals falling on the ears of men unafraid to use the power and authority given them by Jesus to heal the sick and convert non-believers.

If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, as it says in Hebrews 13:8, then His name is also the same. His name continues to hold power. Power to forgive, Power to cure. Power to make whole. Power to heal.

On this cancer journey, I am standing boldly on the powerful name of my Jesus for the same healing that He gave the crippled beggar. God’s Word does not lie. What He says, He means. There I will stay, with unwavering faith IN THE NAME which is above all names.

JESUS. At its mere whisper, I believe tumors can disappear.