divine appointments

I admit, the news of my condition almost got the best of me this past weekend.  Such incredibly bad news left me winded and seeing no way out.  I was instantly depressed because it felt like the peace that was in my heart was torn from it.  Yesterday, I felt like I was the walking dead and at church I found myself avoiding eye contact and interaction.  Still God was doing something to save me from these dark feelings.

As we were walking to church Sarah and I began to run into several people.  First, across the street from our apartment we ran into a man who rides the bus with his daughter every morning with Sarah.  The interaction was a quick greeting and we moved on.  A block later, someone yelled “hey Sarah!” as a well-dressed man came out of his apartment greeting us.  He was a Christian that Sarah had met at a coffee shop while she was reading her bible a while back.  After greeting him we moved on and I thought, ok who is next 😉

We walked onto Market Street and immediately recognized the guy talking to himself on the corner.  Sarah called out “Cory?”  He looked up happy to see us and asked us to remind him where we had met.  Last week as we had left the radiology clinic after my MRI Cory was passing out pamphlets for psychic readings.  Normally, I would ignore people doing this but something compelled me to turn to him and plainly ask him if he knew Jesus.  Cory told us he used to be really close to Jesus but had fallen into a life of drugs.  So I asked him if he wanted to come to church with us and he said maybe.  I gave him the address and we went our way.

So imagine our surprise that he is here on the street corner while we are heading to church.  Cory had gotten drunk/high on heroine the night before and apparently went on a shopping spree as he had all brand new clothes on.  He told us he was having hard times and was looking for a rehab program.  I asked for his number so we could stay in touch and we asked him if we could pray for him.  So we prayed.  Cory did not come to church with us this time but maybe next time.  During all of these appointments God was taking my mind off of my own troubles and giving me ways to love others through simply greeting them on the street or praying for them.

When I arrived at church Dave Lomas, one of my pastors, had decided to be an usher with the other greeters and I almost snuck past thinking I could avoid the emotional roller-coaster but Dave caught me and pulled me and Sarah aside and just embraced me.  It is strange how an embrace can affect a person, but all at one I knew I was loved and God was making it know that I have a church family that is taking care of me and Sarah.

Since getting the news of stage IIIB lung cancer and the 13 week process of treatment I have been praying constantly for peace which feels so far away.  My body has been reacting physically from the stress, felt in tight jaws, knotted up shoulders, and trouble sleeping.   I also need to shift my diet again to gain weight in preparation for treatment.  Juicing is not getting me enough calories and now I am at my post Massah weight (141lb).

Aaron helped me strategize some  nutritional plans and we went to the Asian grocery store on got the best deal ever on produce and then Aaron cooked a fantastic four dish meal, if you want the recipe you can ask him and I am sure he can post it later.

All of the events of yesterday really helped pull me back into battle mode and now I am ready to face this head on.  I am still praying for peace from God and I would love it if you would comment what scriptures have helped you or that the Lord is putting on your heart that I should hear.

Thank You

Be Blessed

Sean Trank

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About Sean Trank

My name is Sean Trank. I aspire to help those who want to succeed. I am a promoter of many things and I love making good ideas known. I also have a unique sense of humor that has been honed and shaped from having a Jewish Christian background...or maybe it is because my childhood house had lead-based paint. Ok so please explore this website .

27 responses »

  1. yarnyenta says:

    yesterday’s worship, almost every song had something to do with breath, lungs, vapor. My psalm for the year is Psalm 39 (read it). Also to do with our length of days, being a vapor.
    I wound up just sobbing thru worship, praying for you and Sarah. Which is hard to hide being that pastor’s wife…every one watches.
    So Samuel stood up and said “Some of you may have noticed my wife has a burden on her heart…” He shared about what was going on and asked people to pray and lead them in prayer for you.
    I have also asked for people to fast and pray for you guys. We hope you are feeling his peace.

    During the sermon about the shepherd, and how shepherd had an inner pocket in their cloaks, where they place small lambs when the terrain is difficult, or sick ones who need to be held close.
    Praying you feel surrounded and cared for, carried across this difficulty and held close.

    Nehemiah 1:4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

  2. yarnyenta says:

    yesterday’s worship, almost every song had something to do with breath, lungs, vapor. My psalm for the year is Psalm 39 (read it). Also to do with our length of days, being a vapor.
    I wound up just sobbing thru worship, praying for you and Sarah. Which is hard to hide being that pastor’s wife…every one watches.
    So Samuel stood up and said “Some of you may have noticed my wife has a burden on her heart…” He shared about what was going on and asked people to pray and lead them in prayer for you.
    I have also asked for people to fast and pray for you guys. We hope you are feeling his peace.

    During the sermon about the shepherd, and how shepherd had an inner pocket in their cloaks, where they place small lambs when the terrain is difficult, or sick ones who need to be held close.
    Praying you feel surrounded and cared for, carried across this difficulty and held close.

    Nehemiah 1:4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

  3. Eric Fehr says:

    God never sends us into battle without the best equipment possible. I’ll be praying for you as you head into this fight, but I think God has shown you that He isn’t sending you alone. Be blessed knowing that you have an army of prayer warriors at your back. Love you brother.

  4. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. (Psalm 94:19)

  5. Arielle says:

    We love you, Sean+! Psalm 147 is on my mind for you guys today. It begins, “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant and praise is becoming. The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.”

  6. I’m praying for you! God has you in His hands no matter what happens!

  7. Mara F. says:

    Hi Sean. C.S. Lewis has so much good stuff on pain and suffering.
    “Affliction is often that thing which prepares an ordinary person for some sort of an extraordinary destiny.”
    Praying for you!
    -Mara

  8. Julia Pascoe says:

    Sean I’m so thankful you took the time to share this. Today at the London branch we prayed and fasted for you and Sarah. As we sought The Lord, scriptures such as Isaiah 54:17’no weapon formed against you shall prosper’, Luke 8:5-8 the centurion’s servant healed. Psalm 27. Romans 8:28 all things work together for good to those who love God.

    There were more, but these are what I clearly remember. We continue to stand with you brother. We are trusting God to fight this battle for you. We prayed especially that He’d show you signs and wonders, that you’ll know His strong power and presence.

    Julia

  9. jena Bodeker says:

    Sean, I am Chelle’s cousin, Jena. I am a dietitian and have some infor for you if needed/wanted. I don’t know what is available to you in San Francisco…
    Please let me know, I also have a dietitian friend who works with cancer patients and I got to pick her brain today.
    I am sure that God has a plan for you! Just as the comment above mine says “Affliction is often that thing which prepares an ordinary person for some sort of an extrodinary destiny.” C.S. lewis
    Love to you and Sarah!

  10. rutharosen says:

    To answer the question about what Scriptures, man, there are so many but two in particular come to mind when I am struggling to “take thoughts captive.” Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” And Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

    First verse helps me tell my mind/imagination to shut up and reboot. Second verse is still growing in meaning for me. I don’t see this verse as “la la la la la . . . I’m not going to let myself think about this” because we do have to think about things that are yucky. But more and more I find a difference between thinking about things and dwelling on them. I’d encourage you keep that difference in mind, let you understanding of the difference deepen as you think about and deal with harsh realities but dwell or meditate on “whatsoever things.” Also I find it helpful to flesh out things that I can kind of remind myself are true, noble, just, etc.

    As far as words of encouragement, you are an exceptional person and we have an exceptional God! love and prayers . . .

    As always, thanks for your post Sean.

  11. Judy Allen says:

    Sean when I was faced with breast cancer I was continually reminded of Matthew 6:27. Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? I found myself wondering if the reverse was true…Who of you by worrying can really wreck the next hour of your life and maybe chances of recovery due to all the stress hormones! I determined to laugh more than I cried and to smile more than I frowned. Sometimes I really wanted to scream but i decided to laugh! Really loud! When we scream we scream loudly why not put as much into our laughter! I know you may not be able to get the deep breaths to do that right now but give a chuckle and another and try hard to remember that worry will not help so do the opposite as much as you can! How my heart goes out to you! And my prayers to the One that created those lungs!.

  12. Darlene says:

    I have been following your story on FB – we became friends through Jews for Jesus. I wanted to share some encouragement because your story has touched my heart.
    1) Research Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen’s mom’s (Dodie Osteen) testimonies about their battle with cancer. They spoke only the healing word of God during their battle, and both had serious diagnosis. They are both now cancer free.
    2) Think and speak biblically – take every thought captive and look at the circumstances only according to God’s word – this is not denial. It takes discipline and the power of the Holy Spirit. (Charles Stanley) God has not given us a spirit of fear but one of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)
    3) Phil 4:4-8 calls us to rejoice – praising the Lord opens our heart to the Lord and defeats the enemy – and to present your requests to God and for that, the Lord gives you peace – also focus only on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. When you hear or speak a negative thought or word, turn it back around to Phil 4:8
    4) Speak the word of God out loud over your situation – Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to. . . overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 1 John 4:4 He who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. Ephesians 1:19-22 and Ephesians 3:18-21 would be great ones to memorize and speak out loud since they both reveal God’s power and promises and the depth of His love for us and the power of that love. We should be armed in our minds and with our words to defeat the enemy in all ways (physically, emotionally, spiritually).
    I am part of a few different prayer teams, and we will continue to cover you in prayer through this journey. I wanted to comment on the story you shared a while back about the guy who had abused his family and seemed unaffected by the magnitude of the situation. I have heard similar stories from those in prison. We don’t understand why these things happens, but we do know we worship a God who is able to redeem and restore even the most impossible situations. You speaking truth in to the life of that man opens the door for the Lord to make the impossible possible. May you be blessed in the name of Jesus for your willingness to speak truth in to the lives of those you touch, and may you also be blessed and healed as you speak that truth into your own life.

  13. Mildred McKenzie says:

    2nd Co. 1:3-Blessed be God, even the Father of out Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

  14. Glenn Harris says:

    Sean, I went through cancer surgery and chemotherapy at age 26, but I didn’t have half your wisdom or wit. I was definitely not anything like Job for patience. I appreciate your honesty, including your previous post – gut wrenching as it was. The Scripture passage that has come to my mind often lately is Deuteronomy 33:27a

    “The Eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

    With love in Messiah,
    Glenn

  15. Dan Sichel says:

    Instead of offering some pearl of wisdom I’m just going to say, this is horrible and I while I have NO idea what you are going through, you have my sympathy and prayers. Go with G-d.

  16. Jon Logan says:

    What came to mind was Isaiah 41:10

    “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

    Praying for you and Sarah.

  17. Rachel Logan says:

    Psalm 121 is one I’ve had to cling tightly. “I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from The Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” He’s our helper, our maker and our protector. We love you guys.

  18. Shannon Evans says:

    Hello Sean,

    My name is Shannon Evans and Alicia Murphy is my daughter.
    I will be praying for you and your family.
    Isaiah 26.3 You will keep him in perfect peace,Whose mind is stayed on You,Because he trusts in You. Praying that you rest in the LORD. Isaiah 53.5 He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. Praying for a miracle healing.

  19. Alison Barnett says:

    Hi Sean

    it’s alison barnett here from the london branch (barry, my husband and I trained with Aaron and Rachelle in New York) – we prayed for you yesterday lunchtime – I had Matthew 16:19 for you – and we bound your cancer as it is bound in heaven

    hope that is an encouragement – we will be praying daily for you

  20. Morgan Gable says:

    Hey Sean, I’m friends with Aaron and Rachelle. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year while pregnant and had surgery during the second trimester. It was a scary time, but I never felt closer to God than I did then. To see so many people coming together in prayer on my behalf was humbling and beautiful. Another friend of mine was diagnosed with multiple myeloma the day after his 28th birthday. Your story reminded me of his in that regard. He and his wife post at their blog, but here is the intro post: http://mmfordummies.blogspot.com/2008/08/we-dont-know-what-crap-were-doing.html?m=1.

    Joshua 1:9 was a mainstay during my treatment process. Simple but powerful. Praying with you guys!

  21. martha says:

    Ps. 139:16
    …And in Thy book they were all written, The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there were none of them.

    Sean, may you find comfort in the knowledge that nothing can shorten (or lengthen) your time on this earth that God Himself has appointed. He holds the numbers of our days in His good hand, and will make sure you have the time to fulfill His purposes no matter what happens; nothing can stand in His way.

    May His Spirit continue to strengthen and support you and Sarah.
    I identified with that hug from Dave Lomas on Sunday, but mine has to be cyber-sent over the miles.
    Love,
    Martha

  22. Tamara says:

    I want to share a worship song that helped me when my dad was in the hospital and there was high uncertainty and fear. I hope it also encourages you to wait upon the Lord and that waiting is an active trusting and hoping in the midst of the pain. I pray that God gives you boldness and confidence and peace as you fight this battle. I felt this song was fitting for you and what you have shared in your blog. I respect your faith, Chameleon, and I’m praying for you daily.

  23. Rich says:

    Sean and Sarah, I’m glad to know that God has sent things your way already to encourage you and even take your mind somewhat off of what is happening. Remember, it’s always OK with God to let him know how you feel. That’s what the Book of Psalms is all about. It’s all in there, joy, sadness, hopelessness, hopefulness, anger, loneliness, community. Pray your feelings through the Psalms. And Sean, you were always joking about making a video on how to gird up your loins, well the time has come for that in real life. With you both, Rich

  24. Paige Saunders says:

    Sean, I heard a sermon on James several weeks ago that really helped me as I was in a hard place with my Mom. It was on dealing with suffering in your life, with others and through Christ. There were seven points–number one: suffering can be good if we realize it is a process to develop us (James 1:2-4). Two: suffering can be good if we realize God provides us with wisdom to deal with it. (James 1:5). God gives wisdom generously and he gives us an inward perspective. Three: suffering can be good if we look beyond ourselves to care for the suffering of others (James 1:26-27). Fourth, we need to make sure we don’t cause others to suffer because of our words (James 3:2-6). Fifth, we need to make sure we don’t cause our own suffering by being selfish and greedy (James 4:1–4). Sometimes we suffer because we don’t get our dream – but God has a higher calling. Six: suffering can be good if it teaches us to pin our hope and joy to eternity with Christ. Seven: suffering can be good if it drives us to prayer (James 5:13–14). In summary, the goal of God in allowing suffering in our lives is to completely transform us.

    I hope this is of benefit and comfort to you. I grieve with you in this hard place and I’m praying for your complete healing and that you’ll feel God’s presence and peace as you walk through this.

    Your sister in Jesus,
    Paige

  25. Isaiah 41:10
    Do not fear , for I am with you;
    Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
    Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

    I am Jennifer’s friend and my name is Anna
    It is my privilege to pray for you Sean and Sarah during this trial and I am grateful that God says That HE IS YOUR GOD and HE WILL strengthen you and SURELY HE will help you and I love that HE WILL uphold you both with HIS righteous right hand.
    Thank you for sharing how GOD is helping you and I am grateful to HIM for you both.
    Numbers 6:23-25
    .

  26. Sean, one of my favorite hymns is “Breathe on Me, Breath of God” and it seems appropriate now:
    Breathe on me, breath of God – Fill me with life anew,
    That I may love what Thous dost love, And do what Thou wouldst do.
    Breathe on me, breath of God – Until my heart is pure,
    Until with Thee I will one will, To do and to endure.
    Breathe on me, breath of God – Till I am wholly Thine,
    Until this earthly part of me Glows with Thy fire divine.
    Breathe on me, breath of God – So shall I never die,
    But live with Thee the perfect life Of Thine eternity.

    Your courage in writing of what is occurring is probably helping many others to reach out to people around them in their own time of trial. May God richly bless you and your family during your challenge.

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