What Have I Learned?

Don’t panic! I am O.K. Nothing has changed.  I am recovering nicely and am sending out a mid-week devotion because I am developing a backlog of pieces that may never get read. So, for at least a couple of weeks, I will be sending out a mid-week piece.

I am not a guy who collects much.  When I was little I tried collecting stamps and coins.  Because I have a small interest/attention span, the collecting phase in my life lasted less than a month.  The only things that I now collect are quotes.  I love great quotes for they represent the wisdom of the ages.  I have collected nearly four thousand quotes.  I have cataloged and cross referenced all of my quotes.

My favorite quotes are those that I have labeled “Key Questions”.  I love great questions because they often drive us deeper into truth.  When I have counseled people going through a rough time, I tell them that one of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves is, “What can I learn from this?”  The other night I was watching television and burst out laughing as I asked myself, “John, what can you learn from your brain tumor and stroke”?

I could never list everything as that would turn into a book, not a devotion. Here are just some of the things that I have learned during my spiritual adventure called battling cancer;

  • Radiation is quick and easy (except for that little part about burning your hair out and feeling a bit tired).
  • Chemotherapy makes you feel really tired and queasy.
  • Physical and Occupational therapies are work.
  • Keep your Hospital visits short.
  • Keep your sermons even shorter.
  • Faith, family and friends make one rich, no matter what else is going on in life.
  • When you are going through a tough time, a card or a note means more than you can ever imagine.
  • When you go through the valley of the shadow of death, you learn who your real friends are.
  • My wife amazes me (She always has).
  • When you hit your hospital call light, the nursing assistant comes in, turns out the light and say’s, “I’ll be right back”. It will be awhile. It may be quite awhile. Or longer.
  • Pureed foods taste exactly like you think they would.
  • Thickened liquids taste exactly like you think they would…but a bit waxier.
  • When you haven’t been able to eat for six months, mashed potatoes and gravy taste wonderful!
  • When you are in the leader’s chair,you don’t sleep much.
  • When you are no longer in the leader’s chair, you miss it.
  • You can’t get stronger sitting in a chair” (My favorite learning During Physical Therapy).
  • Life isn’t always fair.
  • Life doesn’t always make sense.
  • When you have a brain tumor, people remember you as being better than you were.
  • God is real.
  • God is good all the time.
  • God is always with you.  You are never alone.
  • God loves you just as you are and can use you just as you are, so be grateful.
  • No matter what circumstances you are in, you can practice gratitude every day.
  • Jesus loves you and died that you might live – so live for him today.
  • Because of Jesus, we never really die.

Thanks be to God!

Blessings to you,

Pastor John Hogenson


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