Saturday, February 07, 2009

Sunday Church Service

Sunday church service tomorrow, February 8th, at our church has been changed to be about Andrew and all that has happened the past few days. If you go to our church's website, at 8:30am Central Time or 10:30am Central Time, you can listen to the entire service streamed live. The link to the live services only comes during that period of time, though, so you won't find the link if you look ahead of time.

Hope you can listen.



  1. My thoughts and prayers will be with you tomorrow! My sister in law, Karie Merritt shared your story with us on her blog the other day. I am so sorry for your loss. May Gods Glory be shown through Andrew's life! I have felt loss before. Not in your way but all I know from what I learned through that was how Sovereign God is and how all he does for us is Good. It doesn't make much sense but standing back and looking at it now, I see his Goodness. May God give you the daily grace that you need! He always does!
    I know the church you go to. It is a good one and I know you will receive the "food" you need from there!

  2. Grace,
    Do you think they'll be able to put the memorial service up as well? Because that would be really great, i would like to "tune in"

  3. Dear Grace,
    You don't know me, but my daughter pointed me to your blog. Cancer is a very familiar household word in my family. Three of us have it. I wanted to thank you for sharing about God's gracious gifts to you of love, faith, and hope - all so very evident in your life. We are very familiar with the suffering marked by cancer, and are so thankful to you for reminding us that Jesus's suffering went before ours. We didn't choose this, but Jesus submitted to suffering voluntarily to give us what we do not deserve. I am praying for you, Grace, during those times of great grief that will seem overwhelming, but I know that you will experience the same comfort God has already given you.

  4. It was a very refreshing sermon in these sad times. Thankfully, I was able to listen to it earlier this evening. I hope anyone who has been checking this website gets to do the same. To be honest, I'm still saddened. But I know that the Lord wants us to rejoice in the life Andrew had here on earth, and now in Heaven. God bless you and your family, Grace.

  5. Hi Grace,
    I'm Georgia's mom. Andrew might seem to have lost the battle with cancer but he is victorious in Jesus. Both my parents and a sister all succomb to the pain of cancer and the grieving in our hearts come back everytime we hear of close friends and family in the Lord like you who are also affected by the result of a sinful world. George and I were listening to this song tonight and it just conforted us on how in the midst of trials "God is good all the time" - by Don Moen
    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise
    In this heart of Mine;
    God is good all the time
    Through the darknes night
    His light will shine
    God is good, God is good
    all the time.
    If you're walking through the valley
    And there are shadows all around
    Do not fear, He will guide you
    He will keep you safe and sound
    He has promised to never leave you
    Nor forsake you, and His word is true. God is good all the time
    We were sinners so unworthy
    Still for us He chose to die
    Filled us with His Holy spirit
    Now we can stand and testify
    That His love everlasting
    And his mercies they will never end. God is good all the time
    Though I may not understand
    All the plans You have for me
    My life is in Your hands
    And thorough the eyes of faith
    I can clearly see.
    (repeat chorus)
    We will continue to pray for you, AJ, Gracie and Andrew's family.
    Blessings - George & Sonjeh Drainer

  6. Grace,

    I almost didn't post... It's just so hard to know what to say that would be helpful. Words seem altogether inadequate at such times.

    You and Andrew both have exemplified living a life of transparent faith in our Redeemer, to my wife, Trudy, and I.

    And Andrew has exhibited a faith desirous to follow in and through his being taken from this earth into his eternal home, now secure and in complete sinless joy with the One who stood by him through it all. You too were a precious wife to him. His imperfect faith has become perfect sight in now seeing Jesus face to face.

    The greatest encouragement you will have in your grief is in knowing our same intimate Lord, Jesus, will comfort you in your sorrow. He will never leave or forsake you or your children, and He through His word and in prayer will be your greatest source of grieving with hope.

    A very comforting and encouraging little book that I would commend to you is "Sickness and Death in the Christian Family" by Peter Jeffery.

    It was greatly used of God in my recovery time from brain cancer to actually draw me into seeing that the worst thing that could happen to the Christian in this life - death - is at the same time the very best thing.

    I was drawn to a greater anticipation, and to forward to dying through this book. It's been one of the most encouraging books I've read to not waste our sicknesses. This along with Nathan Busenitz' book on Hope, and Jerry Bridges book, "Trusting God, Even when life Hurts" have been a great source of help.

    Sickness and Death has a chapter that emphasizes that because of sin, it takes death to bring us home. Andrew died very nobly and the death of his godly one *is* precious in our Lord's sight.

    If you desire to read this, or any of the others I've mentioned, and in any way have difficulty finding them, please let me know, and I'll do all I can to get one in your hands.

    God is with you, Grace, and He will continue to be through every step you take in the days ahead.

    All our love to you,

    John & Trudy Feyereisen

  7. From:

    After the unimaginably difficult death of her two little children, Elizabeth was distraught--"Empty hands, empty hands, a worn-out exhausted body, and unutterable longings to flee from a world that has had for me so many sharp experiences. God help me, my baby, my baby!"

    What held her back at the edge of utter despair? Sharon James records that "She could only repeat over and over to herself something that one of her friends had said when calling on that last dreadful day. 'God never makes a mistake.' Somehow she clung on to that truth.”

    Have you experienced tragedy in your life? The same God to whom Elizabeth clung remains faithful to this day. He has never made a mistake. And He never will.

    Debbie Demi knows this to be true. Like Elizabeth, she lost a little one this past year, shortly after she was born. In the following paragraphs, Debbie allows us to listen in as she contemplates God’s character in the midst of overwhelming sorrow.

    Family_of_10_cropped_2_2 Thoughts from Mom,

    My dear sweet Destiny died 2 days ago. It’s amazing how much you could love someone who did so little so much. I marveled in anything that she could do. We were excited every time she went “poopoo” on her own or turned her eyes to look at something. Her body was perfect. I marveled at her little toes and fingers and beautiful hair. She was mine, especially designed by God for me for a time such as this, and I loved her.

    Destiny was a lot of work. She required medicine to make each part of her work – a medicine to sleep, a medicine not to seize, a medicine to move her bowels, a medicine to help keep food in her stomach… I cried many nights since she was born – saddened by what her future held and fearful of when her last day would come. The doctors and hospital visits were getting exhausting. I felt like I was in the 3rd watch (as it says in the Bible). I was weary – yet at the same time, I was confident that the Lord would not give me more than I could handle.

    I would have never chosen this trial or any trial for that matter. The pain of losing a child is at times unbearable. Yet, by God’s grace, I was able to press into God and try to see what purpose He had in bringing Destiny into my life – because I have no doubt that God doesn’t allow anything without a specific purpose. He had everything calculated down to the minutest detail including the perfect number of her days to accomplish the purpose that He had in mind for us. He knew the exact amount of pain and emotional energy that I could handle to keep me pressing into Him – that it wouldn’t be too much that I would grow weary or bitter. I always knew and still continue to rest on the fact that He is good all of the time and not only is He good – but all things that He allows into our lives are for our good. We can’t always see how a circumstance like this could be good – yet our confidence is not in how we feel or how we see things – but in who God is.

    We often think that all pain is bad and that it’s our goal to avoid it at all costs. It all hurts right now in an emotional way as a surgery to remove a large cancerous tumor would hurt physically. If we didn’t know what we were being saved from, the surgery would feel like trouble upon trouble… the incision, the bills, the recovery process… Yet, what a benefit the surgery would be: it would keep one from death; it would remove future pain; it would allow one to live life to the fullest. What’s going on in our lives at this time could be God’s way of doing surgery on our souls – we just can’t see what the pain is sparing us from or preparing us to do or how it will be used for the future. It’s all a matter of faith in a God who is faithful. A God who doesn’t allow pain for the sake of pain – but has a plan even for the pain that seems unnecessary. We just can’t see the work that He is inevitably doing beneath the surface. He’s allowing circumstances that if we could see the outcome of His plan – we would say, “Cut deeper.” May we not miss what He intends!

    Destiny’s name means, “for which you were meant to do.” She accomplished what her loving Creator meant her to do on earth. Now we have the hope that she will spend eternity with Him in glory where we will be with her one day.

    (Due to the significant nature of this topic, this will be the final post for the weekend. Please read chapter six prior to next week’s book club installment. May God’s comfort and love be with you all!)

  8. Grace,
    Your Joint Heirs family was tuned in to the service Sunday and praying fervently for you and the little ones. What an amazing message of God's mercy and untouchable holiness! I pray that Andrew's testimony will continue to impact lives for Christ not only amongst unbelievers but also amongst those of us, believers, who saw for the first time what it means to fight the good fight and hold firm to the end! I cannot tell you the impact of seeing a man my age go through such trials and emerge so victorious through Christ! You and Andrew have always been more mature in the faith than me, ever since I met the two of you. And to see where you are now, Grace, the refinement God has laid upon you through sufferings and to think that Andrew is now perfected in glory... and to know that the same Spirit which worked in your lives is in me as well... what a conviction is laid on me to devote my time and energy to things which are eternal!
    I will continue to pray for you in the difficult days, months and years ahead. But know that God is using you in a mighty way to show forth His power and sustaining grace. Your and Andrew's story will be told many, many times and it will encourage many, many people. Love, Erica Wainwright