Let Down Your Nets

Let Down Your Nets! | ChristLife | Catholic Ministry for Evangelization

I’ve come across some trying days the last few months. Days that I wish would never come and I know there will be trying days ahead of me. I was reading through the book of Luke the other day and read in chapter 5 the story of Jesus when he calls his first disciples.

He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. Luke 5:3

So here’s Simon, who just came in after a long night of fishing that produced nothing as we will soon find out. He’s tired, he’s probably hungry and most likely discouraged. But here is Jesus and he steps into his boat.

Isn’t that like Jesus. He inserts himself right where we need him, right when we need him whether we realize it or not. I’m sure Simon was aware of who Jesus was, but wasn’t aware that he was the Messiah yet.

I’ve been aware of Jesus my whole life. There have been times when I’ve drawn close and times when I’ve distanced myself from him. But time and time again, Jesus comes and inserts himself into my life in ways that I’m unprepared for and in ways that I really don’t want to happen.

A few months ago, hours after hearing the words that I have cancer, Jesus inserted himself in a big way. He didn’t just climb into my boat, he climbed in, shoved me to the side and said “I’m in control now.”

I didn’t want this, but I had no choice….Jesus was driving the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:4-5

Jesus finishes speaking and then turns to Simon, because he already knows what is troubling Simon. He knows the hardships that he has been through the night before and he knows that he’s ready to give up.

But Jesus was having none of it. Jesus knew what Simon needed to do. He needed to go out in deeper waters and put down his net.

Simon to his credit, did what Jesus asked of him, even though it didn’t make much sense.

So as I was laying in the hospital, waiting to get to my room, I was pretty mad. I didn’t want to go through this and I let God know that I was mad. I felt him speak to me in a still voice, that “This will be used for my glory.” And at that moment I felt a peace about me and as I was reading this passage from Luke, I imagine myself resigning myself to go to deeper waters and put down my nets.

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. Luke 5:6-7

Simon, by following what Jesus had asked of him, was blessed beyond belief. Blessed beyond any logical comprehension he may have had. Jesus didn’t just bless them, he gave them an over-abundance of blessings.

Over the last couple months, God asked me to head to deeper waters and let down my nets. I’ve done my best, not always easy, but I’ve tried hard to follow and do so without question. It’s been through my writings here, through my discussions with people that I work with and meet in my day to day life. It’s even been in my own family.

But like Simon, it is through no effort of my own. I’m just letting down my nets just as Jesus instructed Simon to and he’s providing the catch, he’s providing the blessings. And I’ve stated many times, that if through my illness, through my trials even one person comes closer to God, then it was all worth it.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Luke5:8

When Simon saw the blessings that Jesus had led them to. He fell to the feet of Jesus.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” Luke 5:10

Jesus told Simon and the others, that they would now be fishers of men. Jesus was going to use Simon and the others for his Glory and to bring more people to God.

God is using me, he has called me out to be his hands and feet. The sickness gives me a story, something I can relate to others. Something that others can look at me and see how I’m dealing with it and following Jesus.

Simon didn’t question Jesus when he said to go to deeper waters and let the nets down. I don’t intend to question it either.

I’m in the deep waters now, and the deep water can be dark and scary. But I’m here now. I’m letting down my nets and God is blessing me and others through my story.

God comes through again

Your Response To God -

If you read my last post, Dealing with Fatigue, you’ll remember the extreme fatigue that hit me about a few days after my treatment. When I wrote that post, I was still pretty fatigued, not quite as bad as it had been, but still in the middle of it.

I wrote that post, posted it online and shared it across my social media accounts. I closed my laptop and settled back to watch some TV. However, within minutes, at most maybe 15 minutes afterwards, I suddenly felt a heavy weight lift from me and the fatigue was gone. And it hasn’t returned.

God is good and he came through again. In that post I talked about putting our faith in God and he will provide us peace and rest. And he did just that. By the time of that post, the fatigue had me mentally exhausted as well as physically. I was feeling the weight of the illness and all that was to come with that. But through writing that post and researching some of the scripture I used in it, I remembered that God is above it all. God is in control of it. I just needed to learn to give it to Him.

I want to be sure my journey is filled with joy and happiness, not depression and dread. My God will fill me with that joy and happiness. He will fill me with the energy that I need and provide the rest that I require. I just have to put my faith in him.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

Christ lives in me. I live my life, my journey, by faith in Jesus Christ. He gave himself for me, so I give myself to Him.

I have lots of these type of praise stories that have happened just since my diagnosis. I plan on sharing more of those, as they bring out that joy and happiness that Christ living in me fills me with.

Praise God for his son. Praise God for his peace and rest. Praise God for the privilege of serving Him in my journey.

Dealing with Fatigue

I’m now a week and half past my first full chemo treatment and praise God I’ve had very few side effects. I realize that I’ve got many more treatments to go and those side effects may come later, but for now I’m enjoying the relative ease that treatment is currently going.

The only real symptom I’ve had and from what I’ve read is present in 80 to 100% of cancer patients in fatigue. Even before my first treatment I was always tired and thought that was the fatigue I was experiencing. Well this past weekend I discovered that there is a definite difference between being tired and fatigue.

Fatigue, especially associated with cancer and it’s treatment, suddenly became real to me. Saturday morning, my exhaustion reached a new level. I was pretty non-functional and I really didn’t care at that point either. I ended up taking a nap for about 3 hours Saturday afternoon, but upon waking felt no better, I slept well Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning feeling just as fatigued as the day before. It has slowly gotten better over the last few days, but it’s still there.

But God has an answer and can heal fatigue. As I’ve been reading and studying more about it, my fatigue while still there has been bearable and I’ve been able to endure it and function through the grace of God.

Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest.

Matthew 11:28-29

I’ve been carrying a heavy load the last few months, but God has given me rest.

You, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.

Isaiah 26:3

Because I’m staying firm in my faith and my new purpose that God has given me, I’ve found that peace which really helps through those physically trying times.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

When I physically need rest, I know that the Lord is with me, healing me and keeping me safe. He never leaves us and promises to always be with us.

I can assume that I will have more side effects. I assume that my fatigue may not got away and may get worse. But my faith is unwavering. My joy that Christ has chosen me for this mission keeps me going through the tough times. Yes I wish God would take this cup from me. But His will is good and I intend to trust him.

An Unexpected Blessing

The other day, I was talking with someone at work who was reading through a book that was focused on the story of the prodigal son. As we talked and I thought about the story, I began to think of the older brother of the son that went wayward.

The older brother became angry when their father through a feast when the younger son came back. He told his father, “I’ve been here all these years and never left, but you never through me a party.”

I began to think of my own situation. When I was diagnosed with this cancer, I went through a phase of why me? I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I’ve done everything I was supposed to, but here I am still going through this while I see perfectly healthy people drink and smoke and do all kinds of things. I’ll be honest, it ticked me off.

But I realized that God is using my situation for his good. And while it may sound strange saying this, this diagnosis has actually been a blessing for me. It has changed me fundamentally. It has strengthened my faith. It has given me purpose. It has opened my eyes to where God is working and how he wants me to join him in his work.

God didn’t give me cancer, but he is using it to glorify his name. We read in Luke 22 when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsamane where he prays;

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Luke 22: 39

Like me, Jesus didn’t want to go through with God’s plan. But he realized that God’s plan is good and that this was his calling.

I don’t want to deal with this disease. But I know that God is using this situation to glorify his name.

This diagnosis has been an unexpected blessing and I intend to see it through fully trusting in God and letting him lead me through this. I see God working already. I see lives being changed (mine included). I pray everyday that my testimony will be used by him to help someone else. I have been blessed beyond belief and this is just part of it, part of who I am, part of my testimony.

God use me and my situation to glorify your name and further your kingdom.

I am Free

Many Newsboys songs in the past have spoke to me and today the song I Am Free hit me in a way that it never has before.

Since my cancer diagnosis, I’ve felt an overwhelming peace and in fact a new mission in life. This song epitomizes how I’m feeling and gives me great joy when listening to it. Let’s look at some of the lyrics.

Through you the blind will see
Through you the mute will sing
Through you the dead will rise
Through you all hearts will praise
Through you the darkness flees
Through you my heart screams
I am free, yes, I am free

The blind will see, the mute will sing, the dead will rise, darkness flees and my heart screams I am free. Jesus heals and drives away all sorrow and darkness. I am free of the worlds fears, of the fears of my own diagnosis. I am free in Christ and my hearts screams from the rooftop of what He has done for me even just over the last few weeks.

I am free to run (I am free to run)
I am free to dance (I am free to dance)
I am free to live for you (I am free to live for you)
I am free (I am free)
Yes, I am free (I am free)

I am free to run, dance and live for Jesus. Believe it or not, the diagnosis has given me a new freedom in life. While I’m tied to the hospital and to the treatments I’m getting, I free to live for Him in so many ways, in so many situations. The diagnosis has given me a freedom to share with all of you here. The diagnosis has given me a freedom to meet new people and witness to them in so many ways.

Through you the kingdom comes
Through you the battle’s won
Through you I’m not afraid
Through you the price is paid
Through you there’s victory
Because of you my soul sings
I am free, yes, I am free

Through this diagnosis, His kingdom has come so close to me. I know the battle is already won and I live without fear. Jesus paid the ultimate price already and is victorious. I am free to live for Him because I know he’s already won.

Who the Son sets free
Is free indeed

Jesus has set me free through this diagnosis. He is using this for His good. Without going through this, I don’t think I would be experiencing what God had in store for me in this time of my life. It is a journey and Jesus has set me free.

Right now I’m rejoicing, because I’m free indeed!

The People God Puts in Your Path


It was an interesting day today. I started my first bit of chemo today and I was obviously a bit nervous. Interestingly enough I happened to sit down across from another gentleman that was also there for chemo and he noticed my shirt which is one from my local high school. We got to talking as he had graduated from there also.

He knew one of my sisters and after a bit more small talk, we ventured into the realm of “What are you in here for?” As it turns out, his cancer is almost identical to mine, the only real difference is his was discovered 2 years ago where mine was just a few weeks ago. However, after two years of treatment, he is almost cancer free. He has a bit more chemo and another surgery or two and given that the recent scans are still what they are, he’ll be free of cancer!! Praise Jesus!

I needed that encouragement today as I started down my own long journey. I struggled this morning and last night with thoughts of how long this journey would take, how well the treatment would go and all the unknowns. While everyone’s treatment is different, hearing his story gave me more hope that I can follow a similar path. That our God is faithful and is in the process of healing him and is in the process of healing me.

God chose this moment to remind me of this. He put this man in my path to show that God is in control and can do the seemingly impossible. God used him to encourage me, he used him to give me hope.

Tonight I walk more confident than ever that I will beat this, that the disease has no power over me. That God is in control. Praise Jesus!

Wandering down the road

The Road Less Traveled: A Short Story | by Jonny Parker, MBA | Medium

So where does this lead me? Where is the road that I’m traveling take me? I’m not sure. This road I’m traveling, I’ve never been down before. I’ve seen other people travel it, but I’ve only watched from the sidelines. Never walked the road myself. But here I am, walking down the road I never thought I’d travel.

But I’m not alone on this road. People come and go. I meet people that soon leave and another will come later. Some are on the journey for just a short time and I imagine others will be here for the long haul. Some I may know, others could be complete strangers and we will just cross paths for a short time.

As I was thinking about this journey, I recalled Luke 24:13-33

That same day two of Jesus’ disciples were going to the village of Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. AS they were talking and thinking about what had happened, Jesus came near and started walking beside them. But they did not know who he was.

Luke 24:13-16

I know that as I walk this journey, Jesus will be walking it with me. Sometimes I may know and see him clearly along side me. Other times I imagine I will not recognize him. But I know that He is with me always.

Even though the disciples did not yet recognize him, he explained everything written about him in the Scriptures. Even though I may not recognize him walking with me always, he is always working for my good and for the Father’s will. I know that despite my inability to always recognize where Jesus is working and walking alongside me, he is there.

Let God Take Control

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Let God take control. Those words are often easier said than done. I wish I could sit here and tell you that I’m perfectly in tune with what God is doing and that I’m just sitting back letting him handle everything. I wish I could sit here and tell you there is no fear. But I can’t.

What I can do, is pray that I live each day to it’s fullest. That I can let go of the worry and stress and fear. That I can fully trust Him in all things. I know I’ll have days that are better than others. I know that some days I’ll be able to give him control over all most things, but there will be day that I won’t.

But in reality, I don’t have control over anything. I can’t control what is happening inside my body. I can’t control how well the treatment may or may not work. The doctors, while they have a plan of action, can’t tell me for sure that these treatments will work. All I can do is follow what the doctors say and pray that the doctors are doing there best to give me the best treatment they can.

But guess who is complete control. That’s right, God is in control, whether I “give” him control of anything or not. The God that created the universe, knows my name and is control of my healing. If I’m healed, he will use that for his glory as we can praise him for his miraculous healing. If healing doesn’t come, then He can use that for his glory as he gives me the strength to fight and to endure.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. -Hebrews 11:1

So “giving” my troubles to God is really acknowledging that he already has control. I’m not giving Him anything. That realization though does bring me comfort and peace. It allows me to be open to the opportunities he is placing in front of me through all this. It allows me to be attentive to the needs of others and how I can possibly help them through their own time of difficulties.

So in the months and years ahead of me as I fight this battle. I pray that I always remember that God is already in control and I just need to let him be God.

It’s Who’s in the Fire with you that matters

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - Bible Story Verses and ...

Been going through a lot of tests, consultations, and prep for the treatment that is upcoming for me. Through all those meetings, my strive to live with No Fear is put to the test. Fear comes in waves, which then turns into depression, which then thankfully returns to resolve and fearlessness.

But what (or should I say who) gives us this ability to live without fear and when fear comes we can follow right back to that place of no fear?

Well I think we all know where this is going. The answer of course is our Lord Jesus!! With him beside me, I can be assured that he has a plan and that his plan cannot be denied.

Most of us know the story of  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that everyone bow down and worship his gods.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to do so;

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” -Daniel 3:16-18

They were confident that God would save them, but even if He didn’t, they refused to serve any other gods.

King Nebuchadnezzar was furious and ordered that the three be thrown in a blazing furnace. So in they went, but then very quickly the King jumps up in surprise;

Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” -Daniel 3:24-25

The King saw four men walking around in the furnace. Who was the extra person? This is Jesus walking in the fire with them. When the King orders them out, the three come out completely unharmed.

When Jesus walks in the fire with us, we can come out unharmed. Jesus is with me during all my tests, prep and consultations. He was with me last week when I had my surgery. While I still have to walk through flames, Jesus is there with me, carrying my burden and protecting me.

What a great feeling knowing that when I’m feeling all alone as I go through these struggles, I’m really not. Jesus is there with me!!

Praise Jesus for that!

Even in the Darkest of Hours

God's Darkest Hours | God, Joseph of arimathea, Spiritual ...

So today was one that I won’t soon forget. Today they confirmed my worse fears of cancer (yes the cat’s out of the bag now….sorry if this is the first you’ve heard about as I just couldn’t tell everyone yet). I begin the journey now to treatment. I’m a man of action, so give me a plan and lets take action on it. But needless to say, it’s not been the best day.

But as I stated in my last post, I’m striving to live life without fear. God has a plan for me and I need to be obedient to it. In future posts, I plan on sharing some of the ways that God has already moved in the last week or so. There have been so many people that I’ve crossed paths with that I’ve been able to give praise to God in what should have been my darkest hour.

God promises us that he will never leave us, that we can never be separated from his love:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39

Jesus provides that light that I can grasp onto and cling to and move towards no matter. This is something we can be assured of as no darkness can overtake the light of Christ, not even our darkest hours.

Jesus…said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

And when we hold on to Christ, that light transfers to us. We have a light in us that can be a beacon to others. But CS Lewis said it best once;

Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him. -C.S. Lewis

Our light doesn’t lead people to ourselves, bu through us others can see Christ. Those are some of the stories I want to be sharing in future posts. Where I was able to shine that light and others saw Christ because of my darkest hour.

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