Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Healing Power of Words

There are many challenges we face that bring about the distressing emotion called anxiety. Anxiety can trouble us in a defuse way when it isn’t attached to a specific challenge, event or crisis. There is a medical term for this condition called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. If you suffer from this disorder here’s a link to provide additional information.

Then there is the anxiety attached to a stressful circumstance such as taking an exam, asking someone on a date, or having to speak in public. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is also a high anxiety-producing event.  Proverbs 12:25 states: 
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.

This is an amazing verse because it demonstrates the healing power of a good word spoken at the right time. The all important question here is how does one determine the definition of a good word. A good word isn't by definition a word we agree with, or a word that confirms our current thinking..

For example, an old friend of mine told me that his wife was in therapy at a time when she was having an affair. Her therapist’s good word was “You can have your cake and eat it too”- meaning stay married and enjoy your affair.  Since her therapist's words supported her decision to maintain the affair, from her perspective she received "a good word." (Her marriage ended in divorce)

We have a problem confronting our culture. As move further and further away from our Jeduo- Christian values, the definition of a good word is becoming whatever it is we want to hear. We may feel good momentarily if we receive a word that allows us to do whatever it is we want to do, however that’s not by definition a good word that will make our hearts glad.

If we want to hear good words that have the power to alleviate depression and make the heart glad we must go to the source of good words, which is the Bible. No matter your circumstances, the Bible has a good word for you.

Jesus speaks these healing words to an anxious heart:
John 14:26-28
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

The Bible has the healing power of a good words Paul writes:
Phil 4:6-7
 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

If you need a good word today with the power to alleviate your anxiety, search the scriptures, find a promise from the Bible that speaks to your circumstances. Write the verse down, memorize it, repeat it frequently, believe it, and keep it in your heart.

There's more. We all need friends who can speak good words to us. You know you have such a friend if they can agree with this verse:
Isa 50:4
The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary.

A friend who fits this description is more valuable than gold.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Experience with Prostate Cancer Transformed by a Bible Verse

 Ps 50:15
Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.

The first prayer that came from my lips after my Urologist told me he felt a suspicious lump on my prostate and I’d need a biopsy was a one-word prayer. I prayed: HELP.

I was amazed in many ways that prayer was answered. One of the first answers to my prayer was finding this YouTube video titled:
Help Is On The Way” What Michael W. Smith says before the song was as meaningful as the song itself. Check it out at:

I listened to this song multiple times a day.  Throughout each day I sing chorus “Help is on the way” dozens of times every day. Each time I’d sing this chorus my anxiety and fears were greatly diminished. Why be fearful when help was on the way.

The first wave of help came through praise songs and hymns. Two additional songs were also my favorites:
A. Laua Story- Blessings:
B. Newsboys: Blessed be the name of the Lord:

All three songs have me the courage to face my fears and accept the reality that I could find out that cancer was in my bones, but God was still good, and He wasn’t finished with me as long as I had a breath in me.

Other sources of support came from:
Books- I found about prostate cancer
Prayers from many people- some folks sent us copies of their prayers-which truly lifted our spirits
Promises in the Bible- This is first of many of many blogs which will identify Bible verses that transformed my experience with prostate cancer.
Old & New Friends- I’d been out of touch for decades with an old friend who was my best man at my wedding. Though Facebook we renewed our friendship. He was an amazing source of comfort, support and guidance.

 I met a man through one of the on-line support groups. We both lived in CA, but hundreds of miles away. It turns out he was having surgery at UCSF and so did I. Turned out his surgeon was my surgeon. We discovered that I was going in to UCSF for a post-surgery exam on the same day he was going for a pre-surgery exam. Turned out our appointments were less than 20 minutes apart from each other. My wife and I met him and his wife at UCSF. We spoke together as if we’d known one another for years. All of us were Christians. All four of us believed our meeting was a divine appointment. We stayed in touch for more than a year supporting and praying for each other.

The 5th  source of help came through two very helpful internet websites for prostate cancer patients. They were:
1.  mdjunction:
2. prostate cancer info link:

At both these sites I found men further along in the journey that could provide both much need information and emotional support. These two sites became my life-line for support. I am amazed that with God’s help there is now a third site which is a faith-based site which provides information and support as well as links to a pre and post surgery forum. The 3rd site is hosted by yours truly. Eventually, I was brought to the place where I was equipped to reach out and support others at this site:

These were just a few of the ways in which my help that was on the way arrived. I called upon God in my day of trouble, and found a faithful and promise keeping God. If you’re in need of help I encourage you to call upon the Lord and wait faithfully because help is on the way!

Friday, April 19, 2013

10 Ways To Allow Cancer to Destroy Your Life

1. Blame God for your cancer and abandon your faith, or use your cancer to justify the belief that a loving God who permits cancer cannot exist.
2. Live selfishly. Have an affair, dump your partner and/or the rest of your family in pursuit of your own pleasure.
3. Live fearfully. Spend hours obsessing about cancer in your waking hours, and loose sleep at night as you imagine the worst possible outcomes.
4. Tie the meaning of your life to your performance in the bedroom.
5. Loose your self esteem and manhood until you regain your erectile abilities
6. Become cranky and irritable. Flight a lot with your partner and children.
7. Hold grudges and loose friends- At some point or another most of your friends and family will disappoint you. Hold that against them for the rest of your life.
8. Give up all forms of physical affection- If you can’t perform in the bedroom the way you like, give up everything, holding hands, kissing, tender touch. All forms of pleasurable affection are to be  avoided like the plague.
9. Isolate yourself emotionally from your partner-make sure you keep your struggles to yourself so both you and your partner will struggle alone.
10. Live without hope- believe that prostate surgery ruined your life forever and you’d be better of dead.

At some point in our journey all of these thoughts can occur. However if we keep them as guideposts to our life and our behavior we have truly wasted our experiences with cancer. In direct contrast to these ways of thinking read the following article:
Faith can transform your experience with cancer.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Whether We Realize It Or Not, We All Need A Chance For an Undo

Countless times while writing something on my computer I make a mistake with the copying or pasting something to a document.   It’s so reassuring to have the “undo” button which makes the mistake go away and brings me back to where I was prior to the unwanted change. This week I was attempting to make a change on the Post Surgery Prostate Cancer Support Forum, which I host.  I thought I was deleting a duplicate board that I created. I had my mouse in the wrong place and ended up deleting the entire forum.
Countless dozens upon dozens of hours I spent creating topics and introducing each of those post surgery topics were lost. There no way to go back in time and recover them.  All that was left for me to do was to spend lots of  my time re-creating the entire forum.

Sometimes what seems to be a harmless decision can alter our lives and the lives of others forever.  When my father decided to step out side the bounds of marriage to have an affair he never imagined a day would come when he’d desert his family and move to another State. As a result of that decision he never saw his daughter or grand children ever again. In the last decades of his life, I only got to seem him twice.

A very dear friend who in her eighties was a grandmother figure to me. One day while taking a shower the phone rang. Rather than let her answering machine take the call, she decided to hurry out of the shower to answer her phone. In her rush to get to the phone she fell and fractured her hip. After a series of medical complications following surgery she died. How I wished there was an undo button that would have allowed her to reverse her decision and let her answering machine take the call.

One timers are folks who need an undo button. You can be friends with one timers for years without knowing they don’t have an undo button. When a harsh word, a misunderstanding, or a disagreement arises these long-term friends drop you like a hot potato.  They don’t give anyone a second chance.

I’m glad God is a God of second chances, third chances and more. Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son who asked for his father’s inheritance so he could leave home to party hearty. When his money ran out and his friends left, he took his chances and returned home. Even he knew that he didn’t deserve a second chance. When he saw his father he asked if he could return home as a servant.
His father would hear none of that. He clothed his son with a robe, sandals, and a ring. Then his father threw a wild celebrating his son’s return stating:
Luke 15:23-24
And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'

Though the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross all of humanity separated from God due to sin gets an undo. We can be reconciled to and with God. We can hear those beautiful words, my son (or daughter) was dead and is alive again. S/he was lost and is now found. There is no better news than that.

And beware! Beware of those people in your life without an undo button. They are like the prodigal’s older brother who was ticked when his brother received a second chance. He wouldn’t join the party. The Bible says in
Luke 15:28-32
 But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.  So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.  But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.'  And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.  It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.' "  

Like the older brother in Jesus' parable there are some people who won’t ever appreciate the chance to give or receive an undo. I think the happiest people, families and marriages all occur with people who possess the capacity to give others an undo.

I wish my forum had an undo button, but it didn't  The good news is that after many hours of dedicated work it’s back on-line. If you or someone you know is considering prostate surgery to treat prostate cancer please visit the  Pre-surgery Forum at:
Or the Post-surgery Forum at:

Rick Redner
Co-Author of:
I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours?

Monday, April 8, 2013

A book review of I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours

I Left My Prostate in San Francisco—Where’s Yours?
Authors:Rick Redner & Brenda Redner
West Bow Press
255 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-4497-7961-0

I left my Prostate in San Francisco—Where’s Yours? is by no means a ringing endorsement for robotic prostate surgery. However, it is a candid and courageous explanation of what patients—and couples—should expect in the months preceding and following this procedure. Through an autobiographical account of their experience with prostate cancer—from diagnosis, to pre-surgery preparation, to the surgery itself, to the recovery process—Rick and Brenda Redner touch upon nearly every aspect of the disease.

After reluctantly allowing his physician to perform a routine examination, Rick learned that there was a suspicious lump on his prostate. Then the biopsy confirmed Rick’s darkest fear: he had prostate cancer. This disease would disrupt—and irreversibly change—his life in ways that he could not imagine at that time. It would also profoundly alter his relationship with his wife, Brenda.

A cheerful heart is good medicine.” This proverb highlights the attitude that enabled Rick and Brenda to endure this difficult period in their lives. Their faith in God—and the support of the Christian church—helped them remain sane and optimistic during their darkest days. The couple’s reliance on the healing power of laughter, and, more importantly, their commitment to the Christian faith, comes across in every chapter of the book. Aided by humor—and the inspiration of the Scriptures—the authors offer readers (dealing with this disease) vital information relating to the emotional, spiritual, physical, sexual, and psychological effects of prostate cancer.
The majority of the book is written by Rick. He begins by describing his emotional reaction following the dreaded diagnosis. Next he discusses how the biopsy and bone scan affected him physically. Then he explains the reasons for choosing robotic prostate surgery. Finally, he describes the surgery, and the direct effects this procedure had on his urinary control and sexual ability. Yet throughout the book—in various chapters dealing with how to tell family and friends about the diagnosis, who to let into one’s circle of confidence (or on one’s team), and how he felt at every stage of the journey—he dispels popular myths regarding the nature of prostate cancer and surgery. This is invaluable information that one will not find online or in most books written on the subject.

In particular, Rick touches upon the taboo subject of sexuality, discussing specific ways the surgery affected his ability to perform ‘in bed.’ This is a chapter of utmost importance: here the author carefully chronicles the crippling emotions that accompanied his temporary impotence; and compares his experience with other post-surgery cases. He also provides fellow prostate patients dealing with this problem a list of possible solutions, ways to cope, and steps to take in order to regain one’s sexual abilities. Since erectile dysfunction dramatically changes the way couples achieve intimacy, this chapter is especially useful for those who are in a romantic relationship.

Rick writes in a friendly, succinct, journalistic style. This makes the book extremely easy to read. Similarly, Brenda’s prose is very clear. Rick’s humorous and precise account, coupled with Brenda’s spiritually insightful interpretation of this experience (in the concluding chapters), creates an organized and compelling chronicle. Despite the comprehensive nature of the book—as the couple covers a broad array of issues, studies, spiritual perspectives, financial considerations, and medical facts associated with the disease—the authors manage to present their testimony in a coherent and entertaining linear storyline.
Travelers would not want to venture into a dangerous foreign country without the appropriate maps and guidebooks (written by experts who have experienced and studied this region of the world). In the same way, couples dealing with prostate cancer do not want to go on this difficult journey without Rick and Brenda’s book. I Left My Prostate in San Francisco—Where’s Yours? is a work of great medical value told from the personal perspective of two people who fought the disease head-on (with intelligence and passion); and who, remarkably, came out of the experience as better people. This book is a must read for individuals, or couples, facing prostate cancer.

Christopher Ackerman
For Independent Professional Book Reviewers

Sunday, April 7, 2013

E-Book Give a Way

To celebrate the beginning of  our two Prostate Cancer Support Forums which are specifically for those considering open or da Vinci robotic surgery, I am encouraging people to join, by offering a free e-book of  I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours? to the first 4 people who join our Pre or  Post Surgery Prostate Cancer support forms and post about their concerns, or experiences.

The Pre Prostate Surgery Forum is found at:

The Post Prostate Surgery Forum is found at:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lessons Learned from Rejection

I wonder what episode(s) comes to your mind as I ask what are your first experiences with rejection? My memories start in Elementary School, when my “best friend” decided to dump me because he found a new “best friend” This happened so frequently I think of the game musical chairs when I think of the best friends of my youth. Nothing stayed the same for every long. The music plays as everyone circles the empty chairs. When the music stops everyone scrambles for a new seat. There was always one poor soul left standing when everyone else had a seat. There was moment of pain when everyone sitting stared at you as you left the game.  Sometimes in the world of best friend musical chairs, I was one who found a new seat, a new best friend, other times I was the one left standing alone, outside the group.

Fast-forward the clock to dating.  In this arena rejections were terribly painful. You take the risk to ask someone on a date and some women said no. Others who had trouble saying no, said yes, but never showed up. Och! It hurts. It causes you to withdraw and take less risks. Once you begin dating there is also the inevitable break ups, the ones initiated by you, and the ones initiated by the other person who you still like. Break ups always hurt.  I haven’t seen them, but now there are now apps you can download which that help you to break up.  I think I’d feel worse if someone used an app to break my heart. Maybe not, any form of rejections seriously hurts. We often make life time decisions based on our experiences with rejection. We can close off portions of heart, or choose not to trust or get involved with someone or some activity.

I’ve known may people who are what I refer to as “one shotters”. These are people who end relationships the very first time they feel crossed. It doesn’t matter that you’ve enjoyed decades of friendship. One misunderstanding and it’s over. You are thrown out like the trash, forever rejected.

I suspect whenever we face rejection we don’t simply feel the pain of the moment, I believe each new rejection brings on some familiar pain of past rejections, which is why rejection is so very painful

As a new author, I’m learning a lot about rejection. I foolishly thought that writing about a disease that affects 1 in 6 men, a disease that is diagnosed every 2.3 minutes, a disease that is the second leading cause of death for American men, would easily be a story the media would be interested in covering.  I thought our on-line website which is now visited by people around the world, and our book would make news. I was wrong. I couldn’t even get a response back from a number of reporters from my local newspaper the Modesto Bee.

Since we’ve written a faith-based book, I thought surely Christian Newspapers would be eager to print a story about our book and ministry. I’ve sent out many letters and press releases and have not heard from a single Christian Newspaper. This was an unpleasant and unexpected rejection.

The good news is, I no longer give up in the face of rejection. I’ve learned a very important lesson. That’s to move on, if one newspaper isn’t interested, keep searching, maybe I’ll find one that is. So with each rejection, I try to fine tune my approach, and try again. So in practical terms, what’s that look like? I say if the Modesto Bee isn’t interested, maybe the Sacramento Bee will be interested. If I receive a rejection there I’ll move on to another paper, perhaps the Fresno Bee. Before I run out of Bees I’ll turn to other newspapers as well.   Call me crazy, call me determined, but I’m not quitting in the face of rejection. I believe each of us need to look at the areas of our lives we’ve closed off or shut down as a result of being rejected.  We need to ask ourselves what we might do, what risks we’d take and what we’d accomplish if the fear of rejection was controlling and limiting our behavior.

God has a word for us about rejection and fear. Its found in: 1 John 4:17-18
  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Allow God’s love to end the torment. Allow God’s love to end the fear. Allow God’s love to heal the areas of your life that’s been closed off, allow God’s love to make you fearless in the face of rejection. After all we learn in Rom 8:31
 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

So in my moments of discouragement, in the times I’m tempted to give up, I remember that no rejection no matter how painful no matter how life altering change the rejection brings about, as a child of the King,  His plan and purpose in my life and yours cannot and will not ever be defeated by rejection unless we give our permission and allow rejection to defeat us. May that never be true for me, and for you.
Rick Redner

Co-Author of I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours?