Fry On Friday: “Another Day, Another Cruise” November 3, 2017

Pleasant Hill Church friends:  Although I will continue to write “Fry on Friday,”  after November 17th I will no longer send it to you.  If you wish to continue to read my writings after that date, you may find them at https://fryonfriday.wordpress.com/

 

             They celebrated their first wedding anniversary early last week, so technically, they are no longer newlyweds.  At age 79, he didn’t feel up to dinner and dancing, so they had a quiet evening at home.  Nothing memorable.

             What they did remember of the week was the visit to his doctor on Thursday.  “The tests show your tumor is growing at an alarming rate,” she reported, following with lots of medical terminology.   Short version, which is all they remembered:  “Stage four.  You have two to three months left.”

            They wept like newlyweds.  “I’m going to fight this,” he declared, though they’d been told that chemo would be useless.  It seemed he had only two choices:  fight or give up.  “I’m not ready to go without a fight.  I don’t care about chemo’s side effects, I can’t go without a fight.”

            “Let’s ask a different question,” I suggested.  “What are you fighting for?  What is ‘a good day’ for you?  However many days you have, what makes any of them a good day?” 

            He looked at a photo on the side table.  A middle-aged woman with hazel eyes and a Mona Lisa smile.  “Time with my daughter,” he announced.  “It feels like at last we’re just getting to know each other.   I want more of that.”

            “And a cruise.”  He fixed his eyes on his bride.  “I want us to share another cruise together. Whatever happens next, I want to feel well enough to do that one more time.”  “Let’s fight for those things, then,” we all agreed.

            Two days later he was rushed to the E.R., his body filled with pain and his lungs with fluid.  “We may have two to three weeks, not months,” she thought as she held him close. 

            A round of radiation to ease the pain, more blood work and CAT scans, some meds to reduce the fluids.   And then…laughter. The laughter of Sara from Abraham’s tent, of Elizabeth feeling her little Baptist-to-be kick in her womb, of Thomas as he fell at the feet of the scarred and risen Jesus.  Tear-filled, room-filling, raucous laughter.

            “You are not Stage Four,” pronounced the oncologist.  “Stage Two at worst.  A round of this and a treatment or two of that and I’ll see you again in six months.”  By the time I arrived, their cheeks were sore and throats raw from laughing.  The next day, they drove home to book a ship sailing out of Miami.

            They were only given the same thing we are given every sunrise:  a new day.  And the chance to ask the question, What would make this a good day?

           “This is the day the LORD has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  (Psalm 118:24)


Dr. Dave Fry is the senior and founding pastor of Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Duluth, Georgia, which was started in 1985. He will retire from PHPC and full-time ministry on Sunday Nov. 12. Send comments to “Fry on Friday” at dave@pleasanthillpc.org.    

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Coffee With College Students, 11/26 and 12/18

Mark your calendars and talk this up with your PHPC peers. We’ve recently had some families visit in worship who have college students in the area. This is a great opportunity to connect them to y’all and vice versa, to have some fellowship and also chat about how your faith and beliefs intersect with daily life as a college student and young adult.

Join A Fellowship Table Team, Today!

 

Join a wonderful group of volunteers to host at the Fellowship Table. We have 6 teams, so you serve once every 6 weeks. A great way to meet people and share God’s love through fruit, pastry, conversation….and coffee.
Arrive at 9:15am with your favorite fruit or pastry to add to the table. Keep the coffee flowing, and enjoy the opportunity to meet and greet fellow members and visitors until the 11am service is about to start. As simple as that!
Contact Janice Breckenridgejrbreckenridge@earthlink.net or 770-447-1673.

Red Cross Blood Drive: 11/19


Life.s a Gift. Give more of it. Donate blood by signing up for the next Red Cross Blood Drive on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 8 am to 1 pm in Fellowship Hall. To schedule your life saving donation, please visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: PHPC. Or send an email to blooddrive@pikesonline.net. One pint of blood can impact up to three lives!

JOY (Just Older Youth, 55 +) 11/15: Chair Yoga


Join us at 10:30 for coffee and conversation and then a program at 11 am.

Dana Rogers, Yoga Instructor and member of PHPC, shares a gentle approach to yoga that emphasizes the importance of breath, posture and balance in our daily lives.

With poses and exercises designed to be practiced while sitting in a chair or using the chair for balance, Dana will introduce us to the benefits of yoga in a form accessible to everyone. Following the program, stay for lunch. The cost is $7. RSVP by contacting Janice Breckenridge at seniorministry@pleasanthillpc.org or 770-447-1673.

Third Thursday Theology, 11/16


Third Thursday Theology meets on November 16th, continuing our study of “Called by God, Serving by Faith,” Small Fellowship Hall, 10-11:30 am. We are taking a deeper look at Hebrews 11 , and the heroes of faith.

Come and join us as we examine the challenges they faced as they responded to God’s call, how their response to those challenges defined their relationship with God…and how they can serve as an example to us as we try to lead our lives in faith.

2017 Stewardship: Invest Your Love; Invest Your Life

 

Church is more than just a habit, and way more than something for Sundays. This church is about your faith, which touches you to the core. At church we deepen the sense of God’s touch, follow faithful practices that shape character, forge friendships that run deep as family, and we make the world better. That’s what we’ve done since Pleasant Hill’s beginning, and that’s what this church will do in the years ahead. 

Now your faith and your church require your fidelity. This has turned out to be one of God’s great gifts to us–the opportunity to put faith into practice. One of the most meaningful ways–certainly the most tangible way–to express the faith you value is through your financial giving. Especially during times of transition. Your giving makes everything that happens here, including our refugee ministry, continue to happen.

I’m encouraging you to determine to contribute financially this coming year, and to express your intention by making a pledge. Take this opportunity seriously. Turn in your pledge during worship this Sunday or any upcoming Sunday. Or email it to office@pleasanthillpc.org. Relish what God’s Spirit does in your life to honor your devotion. And feel a satisfying sense of partnership in all the wonderful things that are about to happen through Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church.

–Dr. Dave Fry