RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This has been a learning year for me, primarily because of my 9 day visit to the fourth floor of the eitel hospital. Nine months ago I had half of my colon and a number of lymph nodes removed along with a cancerous growth. I affectionately call this my "tower experience."
What did I learn? I learned how precious--how alive is--the Body of Christ. I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and support. often times I would openly cry as I read your cards or heard of your concern.
Although my "tower experience" was not pleasant, it was certainly a blessing (Romans 5: 3-5). I learned rather dramatically that God has a place for me in heaven. When I was wrestling with the possibility of cancer cells spreading through my lymph system I had to look death in the fact. It was then as though God assured me, "So what, you are mine". The Holy Spirit gave me a peace about the future whatever it would hold. I believe that God has big plans for me. I'm going to out live my kids.
I also learned how important my immune system is. There is not much conclusive evidence on cancer, but from all that I have read I have come to believe that all of us have had cancer sometime in our life. An immune system which is "up to par" will naturally take care of any "junk", as my Grandma would have termed it. I have launched a three pronged attack in order to strength my body: Regular aerobic exercize, regular relaxation and prayer, and a disciplined diet. Consequently, I feel as strong as I ever have. My good health does not mean you should stop praying. In fact, pray specifically that my family and friends may be able to endure my "not so subtle" comments regarding diet.
Speaking of my family, we will be joining brother Timothy for Christmas in the Black Hills where he is interning in a Lutheran Church in Hermosa (perhaps I could say THE church in Hermosa). Steve and Tanya are coming from Bemidji, Mary from Decorah, Tom from Sioux Falls, and Pa and Ma from Mobridge.
I am in Minneapolis working with TENTMAKERS YOUTH MINISTRIES. I am each day seeing the importance of the work which I am about. Young lives are coming to know Jesus Christ in a personal way through this unique program.
In closing, let me encourage you this Christmas season to make a commitment. This year taught me the importance of building a relationship with Jesus Christ. If I want to strengthen a relationship with a friend, I need to spend time with him. The same applies with our greatest friend. There is no substitute for a daily quiet time to meditate on God's word and pray (Ephesians 6: 17-18 and II Timothy 3: 16-17). If you are not doing this, why don't you join with me in the discipline.
May God richly bless you this Christmas Season and in 1985.
Love, Pete Stadem