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Doing pretty well . . .

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I'm doing pretty well.  I just completed my 3rd full week of work, etc., with no ill effects.  It seems my ability to pull off long days (my "normal" Thursday begins at 5:30 AM and I usually don't get home until after 9 PM) is still in question.  Long days require that I take a nap or a long break where I can rest up.  I have forgotten a time or two to pace myself during the day.  On those days, I usually fall asleep in my recliner before going to bed.

Alas, I have a patient family, and they are helping me along.  I love having them by my side.

Advent here at the church has been very special.  We've taken a very hard look at Christmas as a church this year.  The shooting in Connecticut this past Friday were heavy on our hearts yesterday as we came to worship on the 3rd Sunday of Advent to light the candle of joy.  But light it we did, because as Dr. Cindy Ryan put it . . . "we had to."  If we didn't, we would have surrendered to the darkness, and the testimony of that would have been that evil had won. 

It didn't.  It hasn't.  It won't!  Not this Christmas.

I've been asked by many people what a I want for Christmas.  My honest answer has been, "it doesn't matter because I'm not going to get what I want for Christmas."

I want to be free of cancer.  That's all I want for Christmas. 

However, we won't know about receiving the "all-clear" until after the 1st week in April.

I still plan to participate and celebrate fully in Christmas this year.  My two daughters and their husbands have been negotiating an "all-family-in-attendance" Christmas gathering, and we may get to actually pull it off the evening of  Christmas Day.  It seems very important that we have a family time.  These days, with adult children and adult work schedules, getting together for the holidays is not always that easy.  I am grateful for my kids working hard to make this year's family meal something special.

I believe I've told my wife about 5,000 times that I love her these past 4 months.  I guess Liz and I are the age where "for better or worse" meant just that, "for better or worse."  I understand better now how the family of someone with cancer are just as affected by so many emotions and feelings.  The outreach of cancer is vast.  My wife has been to every appointment with me, to my treatment, waited on me when I was too tired to get out of bed or my recliner, always with a smile and an "I love you!"

I am so blessed.

I will be preaching on December 30th at the Downtown Campus.  I will be sharing some of my cancer journey during the message, as we focus on the "The Gift That Keeps On Giving!"  I'm looking forward to it.

Holiday activities are picking up around here at the church. So, this may be my last blog for a week or so.  Thank you all for your prayers, support and encouragement.  In all honesty, this exercise of reporting about my life has not been very easy.  But the effort has been therapeutic in several ways that I wasn't expecting. 

All good.

God's grace still amazes me . . .  ><>

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Would you life to share share about your favorite musical instrument?

What is your favorite guitar or other musical instrument?  Please let me know.  I'd like to interview you about your relationship with your favorite instrument.

I am interested in talking with, and getting to know, everyday people who make music.  That's the kind of person I am.  I'm an everyday kind of guy, and I love to sing and play guitar for everyday people. 

Although I have too many guitars, several ukes, a couple of old banjo's, a bunch of harmonicas and several Native American flutes, I am interested in stories about other instruments as well.  I have it in my mind that this blog will probably feature more stories about guitars and singer-songwriters.  However, I am open to stories about people and their love for other instruments.  So, if you play the accordion, piano, pennywhistle, drums . . . or can crack your knuckles in time to music . . . I want to hear your story.

All inquiries from interested, or from the curious as well, can be sent to revrickmang@gm…