Flynn and CherrieMy beautiful bride of almost 18 years went to be with Jesus last night (March 21st), entering into the joy of the Lord.  She served Him faithfully for 20 plus years. Regardless of cancer’s intrusion three and a half years ago, she simply continued running the race set before her with joy in her heart and Jesus as her sole and grand prize!

Cherrie honestly hungered and thirsted for righteousness, searching the Scriptures daily, desiring to know her Lord and Savior more and more.  One word that has always come to mind to describe her walk is integrity.  She understood the absolute necessity of a sincerely Christ-centered and upright life. She knew the very real need for God’s Word in the believer’s life and the Gospel to every nonbeliever she came across. When she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in July of 2010, the doctors would not tell us how long she had left.  Later we discovered that many with cancer that far advanced really don’t have more than several months.  Praise God we learned quickly that God is not a God of statistics.

Through chemo, radiation, and the prayers of the saints, the Lord allowed the cancer to shrink small enough for surgery in May of 2011.  Three weeks later we had our 15 year vow renewal, moved to a new house, and Cherrie got busy again, going back to work part time from home.  Everyone we knew surrounded us with so much encouragement and love. It was truly humbling! After getting through surgery, Cherrie told us she was surprised to overhear the nurses talking outside her curtained room about her whole lung being removed.  She was only supposed to have her left lower lobe taken out, but the surgeon found a small amount of cancer in the upper lung and chose to remove the entire thing.  She said she laid there with this new revelation, contemplating life with only one lung. Self pity began creeping in, but as she explained it, only for a moment.  The Lord opened her ears to those around her.  She could hear a man moaning in agony, a baby crying in pain, and families sobbing near by.  It was at that moment that God reminded her that there were many people hurting as much or worse. It was then that the Comforter began to produce in her a new desire, a ministry of comfort to those affected by the ravages of cancer.

When her son, Jake and I first talked with her after surgery, she smiled and told us she wanted to start a cancer group at church, focusing on Christ.  God is so amazing! The next two years were filled with Cherrie serving as the leader of Calvary Cares Cancer Support along with keeping up her blog, Comfort in Christ.  We were blessed to minister to many during that time, but God was not through yet.  Last summer Cherrie decided she wanted to make her blog into a devotional book so we embarked on yet another journey in the Lord.  We picked 50 of her posts and with the help of two friends and the support and prayers of many, her e book, Comfort in Christ Cancer Devotional  was finally sent in for publishing on January 31, 2013.  She was so excited to see the book go live in January! In January, Cherrie experienced a set back that landed her in the hospital for a week.  It was at this point with much prayer that we sought the Lord’s face, desiring to do His will.

With a new granddaughter in the midst and much desire to continue serving the Lord, she decided to stop chemo and simply continue resting in the Lord, running the race until He called her home. She always told me, “I never want to chase cancer’s tail.”  I can say, although at times cancer caused her to go places and do things outside of her control, she never allowed it to own her.  She simply used it as another tool in witnessing to the lost and encouraging the saints.  In the extra three and a half years she was given, praise God she did not go the route of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:25), but instead the way of Job, praising and testifying of the greatness of God in the midst of adversity.  She was blessed in that time to see her son get married, have a beautiful granddaughter, begin a Christ-centered cancer support group, write an encouraging blog, put together an e book, and be a godly witness to countless thousands.  Although we never asked for this valley, we both said we wouldn’t have traded it for a moment.  How ironic that for years, Cherrie sought the Lord, asking Him to open the door for her to have a focused ministry to pour her life into.  The answer came in the form of adversity, providing a mission field we would’ve never ever thought of on our own.  In the midst of experiencing the effects of the curse in a very deep way, God took that curse and turned it upside down to bless others.  How awesome is our God!

Last Saturday, we laid in bed and Cherrie for the first time told me she was ready to go home to be with Jesus.  She leaned on my shoulder and told me she just wanted to rest in what the Lord had done with joy in her heart.  She was ready.  She had fought the good fight and run the race, coming out victorious, not because of anything good in her, not because of her own strength, but because of the ultimate Victor- Jesus Christ who lives and abides forever!  She simply yielded to His will as a vessel to His glory and honor.  Cherrie was not perfect and she would have been the first to remind people of that.  She would probably “kill” me for writing so much about her.  She wanted to focus to be on Christ.  Her life was simply one that yielded to the Savior.  Jesus gets all the glory and I know she’s face to face with Him now singing His praises.

Even in the last week, although she really could not leave the house, our prayer was to be like the Apostle Paul.  Even though he was under house arrest by the Roman authorities, he shared the Word with all who would come to see him as well as the guards he was chained to.  We prayed the Lord would give us opportunity to share the truth with the hospice nurses and aids coming to our home.  Sure enough God honored our prayer.  We had the privilege of testifying of God’s goodness and He opened up an opportunity for me to talk a bit in depth with one particular male nurse, leaving him with Gospel tract and Lord willing, much to consider. Mid Monday, Cherrie was admitted to Peppi’s House here in Tucson, where she had excellent care and still we were able to share Jesus with all those who came.  Thursday night, a good friend came to visit us and God opened an amazing opportunity for us to share with Brenda, a 71 year old volunteer.  We talked for a half hour and she was so interested in hearing about Jesus.  Jesus’ life in Cherrie was again being proclaimed as I shared some of her testimony to Brenda.  It was a great night with many seeds planted and watered yet again. PicsArt_1395520014824Cherrie ran the race all the way to the end!

Last night (Friday, March 21) her son was able to come down again to be with her.  Jake and I sat with Cherrie praying and reading Scripture and literally upon finishing with 1 Peter 1:3-9 and with “It Is Well With My Soul” playing in the background on my phone, she breathed her last temporal breath. The timing could not have been more amazing and blessed!  She entered the joy of the Lord peacefully and pain free. God so undeservedly blessed me with an amazing woman who taught me many things throughout our 20 years of knowing one another, however the most important lesson I ever gleaned from her was that fear of the Lord is truly our strength and joy!

God is good!  Below is a collection of Scriptures and other writings that the Lord has impressed upon my heart over the last several days.  I hope they bless and comfort you! In Christ’s truth and love, ~Flynn

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“Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation [encouragement, refreshing].” 2 Corinthians 1:2-7

Poem by C. T. Studd Only One Life, ’Twill Soon Be Past “Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way; Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done; Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat; Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears; Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score; When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep; Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn; Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne; Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say,”Thy will be done”; And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”; Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. ” — extra stanza — Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be, If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.” ~C. T. Studd

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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.  Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withers, the flower fades: because the spirit of the Lord blows upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:1-8

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:1-8

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes. For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.  But he that had received one went and dug in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants comes, and reckons with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliver unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:13-21

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 11:1-10, 13-16, 23-27, 12:1-2

“I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell got hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple: I was brought low, and He helped me. Return unto Thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.  I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid: Thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:1-9, 15-17

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20-21

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