Journal Entry – May 14, 1999

I had the opportunity to be in Colorado the weekend after the Columbine High School massacre. I did a retreat about 2 hours from Denver. Those students were really freaked out by the shooting so all we really did was talk about the tragedy and the fact that God is STILL IN CONTROL! And that this should be a wake up call for them to begin to really reach out to the lost and the outcasts at their school. It was special weekend and God really ministered to those hurting & confused students.

I also had the opportunity to speak at First Baptist Church in Meadow, Texas the weekend after the Green Lawn Church of Christ, Lubbock, bus accident. One of the girls killed in that accident was a student at Meadow High School which is a 1-A school. They, also, were pretty freaked out by the loss of one of their own. I was able to share with them what God has taught me about His sovereignty and goodness through my Dad’s cancer and death. It, also, was a special time and God really ministered to those hurting students.

There is no doubt in my mind that God had me in both of those places because what they needed to hear was exactly what God has been teaching me throughout the most difficult time in my life. Once again God has proven to me that He knows exactly what He is doing even when what we are going through down here doesn’t always make sense.

God Bless Ya!!
Runks

Journal Entry – March 28, 1999

Let’s see. It has been way too long since my last entry. Tons of things have happened in the last two months. We are remodeling our house and Joanna and I are doing most of the work!! I’m not doing this again until I can afford to pay someone else to do it for me!! 

In the midst of all of this I have been attempting to write some new sermons in preparation for the upcoming summer. The last one I wrote was basically a testimony of what God has taught me throughout my Father’s cancer and death. It was very difficult to write but I deeply wanted to share what I have learned about the goodness of God in the midst of our hard times (see past entries). I have been able to share this message at several of my recent events and it has been awesome to see God take what I have been through and use it to minister to others who are going through difficult times. I have never experienced God so intimately as I have during the last few months. He continues to remind that no matter what we are facing down here, He is still in control and cares deeply about what we are going through.

God Bless Ya!!
Runks

Journal Entry – December 5, 1998

This has been a tough fall for me. My Dad’s cancer progressed horribly and on Saturday, November 21, 1998 he left this life and went on to be with Jesus. It was so difficult to watch someone that I loved so much suffer like that and it was almost a relief when he finally died. He has been gone for a week now and reality is beginning to set in. He’s really gone and he’s not coming back. I miss him so bad! 

In the beginning of this I was bitter and angry but over time I realized that I could stay that way and go absolutely crazy or let go and hang on to Jesus. When I finally did that, I began to grow spiritually in an incredible way. I began to experience Jesus in a way that I never had before. So many times I had griped to God that this was so UNFAIR. Then the Lord showed me John 16:33 where Jesus says, “In this world you will have hard times but hang on to me because I have overcome the world!” It was then that I realized that God never promised us that life would be fair but he did promise to be there when life wasn’t fair. And He was there every step of the way. I cannot imagine how anyone could handle something like this without having a friend like Jesus to help them through it. Jesus has helped my family through the most horrible experience that I can ever imagine anyone going through.

Romans 8:28 used to just be a verse that I quoted for people when they were going through a tough time but now it is a reality for me. God did not give my Dad cancer but He chose to use it to bring about so many amazing things. He has carried my family through this awful situation, my sister came to Christ, and I am finding that I can now relate to students who are hurting in a way that I never could before. I have seen countless students come to know Jesus simply because I was able to share with them how much hope Jesus has brought to me in the midst of a hopeless situation. 

If I could offer any advice to anyone going through a similiar situation, I would say this, “Dont’ run from Jesus, don’t get mad at him and push Him away but place all of your trust in Him and no matter how bad things get hang on to Him with everything you’ve got!” I know that sounds simple but if you trust Him, I promise you that Jesus will minister to you in a way that you could never imagine.

Everyday since Dad was diagnosed with cancer, he and Mom sang a little chorus that clearly states the attitude every Christian needs to have no matter what their circumstances might be. I will leave you with the words to that simple chorus.

This is the day that the Lord has Made
I will rejoice and be glad in it.

God Bless ya, 
Runks