I don’t usually make a big deal about New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve never participated in the Word of the Year blogging trend.  New Year’s Day seems like a good time to start a goal with a twelve month cycle, such as reading through the Bible in a year.  However, most resolutions seem to me to be more applicable as daily life-style choices.

This New Year’s Day, however, I find myself very much contemplating lifestyle choices and what changes may be on the horizon.  It’s a matter of timing, really.  During the last two weeks of 2015 I received a cancer diagnosis and underwent two surgeries.  So, I am naturally starting 2016 with a certain level of new resolve.

In 2016…and every year thereafter, I choose life!

It’s not a new resolution…actually it’s been a daily choice for most of my life.  But current circumstances make it a fresher, newer, stronger resolution.

I’ve lived most my life with an awareness of both the brevity and fragility of this life.  Life is full of unknowns and unexpected turns.  We have much less control than we tend to assume.

The cancer diagnosis doesn’t change the unknowns, but it does put them front and center for me, right now.  My prognosis is very good.  I have every reason to expect a long, full active life after completion of treatment.  At the same time, there are numerous unknowns.

Right now, the right side of my lip sags, my right shoulder sags, and my right arm is weak.  No, it’s not a stroke…just post-surgery status.  Most likely, some or all of these symptoms will improve or disappear with time.  But there are no guarantees.  I’ve adopted an attitude of hopeful acceptance…I hope it improves, but see no reason to enjoy life any less if it doesn’t.

I still have radiation treatment coming up.  I don’t yet know exactly how that will play out…how often, how intense, how long, or how uncomfortable…nor what long-term effects may linger.  My intent is to make prayerful informed decisions then leave it in God’s hands.

I also don’t yet know what lifestyle changes may be required.  Advice from family and friends include everything from never drink another glass of wine to never eat another dessert…everything from slow down and taking things easier to throw myself into continual positively energetic activities.

Overall, I think I’ve lived a fairly healthy lifestyle thus far, and can’t see anything to point to as a source of cancer.  Post-diagnosis certainly merits more careful assessment.  I’m certainly willing to make whatever changes are likely to result in improved health.  I am not willing to live in unnecessary fear.

I choose life!

For me, choosing life means choosing Christ.  Jesus said,

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 11:25-26)

Yes, Lord, I believe!  I believe you are life.  I believe choosing you is choosing life.  I believe choosing life means choosing you.

I choose life! I choose Christ! Click To Tweet

I choose faith over fear.

I choose hope over despair.

I choose joy over sorrow.

I choose thankfulness over complaints.

I choose righteousness over sin.

I choose love over selfishness.

I choose forgiveness over bitterness.

I choose health over toxicity.

I choose life over death.

I choose godliness.

I reject Adam’s covenant with sin and death from which Christ has redeemed me.  I embrace the new covenant with God which Christ has enacted on my behalf.

I choose life!


Your thoughts?

14 thoughts on “Life!

  1. You have been a LIGHT to so many people, Joe, by sharing your story and your wisdom and helping those of us coming out of the fog. Whatever days God grants you on this earth, you will be a blessing. I pray for complete healing for you and for God’s special anointing and provision as you weather this storm. Spring, God’s artistic masterpiece with its promise of new LIFE, is just around the corner!

  2. Joe, you’re an inspiration, and a steadfast, stalwart hero of Faith, Hope, and Love.

    And as Paul said, “All you need is Love!”

    No, wait. The other Paul…”love is the greatest of these.” But our Liverpudlian Paul wasn’t far amiss.

    The love that you show, Joe, through your writings…love of Christ and love for your family, and for your readers…truly you are a heavy-metal ambassador for the Gospel.

    You have been in my thoughts and prayers daily.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 99 – It Gets ScaryMy Profile

  3. I join Debby in her prayer.
    Joe, Thank you for being transparent and sharing your life. Grateful that you are surrounded by family and friends who are praying and joining you In Choosing Life.
    “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26)

  4. Beautiful choices, Joe! I choose life alongside you. Christ died and rose again so we could make this choice and let’s keep moving forward with it. Glad you have those 2 surgeries behind you now and I will continue praying for your recovery and complete healing. Blessings to you in this new year!
    Lisa notes recently posted…On the blog – December 2015My Profile

    • Yes, very glad the surgeries are behind me! Also glad the recuperation is going well with daily progress.

      Thank you, so much, Lisa!

      Have a blessed year, my friend!
      joe recently posted…HealingMy Profile

  5. I love your post–really encouraging. I hope it is OK for me to add one thing to what you have shared. “I choose life–I choose Christ–because He “first” chose me!!” I was not looking for Him when He found me, but now I look for Him every single day!

  6. Joe, so sorry to hear about your diagnosis…but I love your attitude and your word for the year. Keep choosing life, friend! Praying for smooth treatments and quick and complete healing for you!

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