My dear friends,

Today I finally want to write again.

I am really thankful that you don’t insist on me answering all your emails, letters and guest book comments. I still don’t have lots of times during the day when I have the strength to do something which requires being really concentrated. And right now there are times when going outside getting fresh air is more important for my physical condition. That’s why I want to ask you once more for your understanding that many of you write but do not get a personal response.  Please take this letter as a response!

I had a great time at home over Christmas and the chemo afterwards went well. In the next weeks it will be important that we make the right decisions about what’s next. But whatever the doctors or we decide- at the end it is in God’s hand!

You might wonder sometimes about the many happy and/ or crazy pictures you see on our website. Indeed we have often lots of happiness here. That´s a big gift and I see it as an answer to your prayers.

Lately there are days when I am not looking as happy. But then my dad doesn’t have this desire to take pictures of me, which is no surprise.  Who of you wants to see a Puschel that is in torment by pain and nausea???  Nevertheless I am happy and thankful for every day that God gives. Indeed all of you that pray for me should believe that God hears your prayers. Our heavenly father is always with me, even when I get chemo and am physically worn out.

Now I would just like to share some thoughts about my favorite bible verse from the OT. My dad has written them down during one of our conversations..

It’s the word from Isaiah 41, 10:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Do not fear- that’s an assignment from God; it is much more a command than a simple statement or commitment. It is what God wants from us. It is if you want to call it such, a command. Because if you fear, you make the everlasting God smaller. That’s why you shouldn’t fear. I am thinking about situations that I experience, that we all experience. How often are fear, terror and dismay the first and mostly understandable reactions?

But despite all our fears we can, yes, we should trust in God, and shouldn’t be afraid.

But this is not just an easy thing to ignore the circumstances that cause me to be afraid. This is not some simple catch phrase,”Do not fear”.  No the reason we can obey the command “Do not fear” lays in God and his presence.

For I am with you- it doesn’t depend on the situation, how bad it is…

It depends on HIM! “God is there, he is incomprehensibly near”, goes a song.

That God is with me is not just a belief it is an observable fact.  His presence doesn’t even depend upon our acceptance of it.  We can ignore it or wipe it away, but we can also see it as a gift.
God is with me. If I don’t want him, he’ll let me put him to the side. He doesn’t force himself on us. But if I want, I can have the biggest potential that exists- the everlasting big creating God.

I also think of Peter, who stands before Jesus on the water, wants to go to him but gets afraid of the waves. “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him: he saved him out of all his troubles.” (Psalm 34,6)

It’s about my outlook on life. If I only see the problems they’ll overcome me. But sometimes it is good to see these things from a different point of view. When I stand on a mountain the little things on the street look totally different than they actually are down on the street… But I am not always on top of the mountain. And when I am in the crowd of the streets down there? And can’t see the horizon? Then the fact “For I am with you” is a treasure. HE, who has the general view is with me in the throng of live. And HE knows what comes after the next turn.

Do not be dismayed- when I go with God like that I can stand strong before men and can look confidently into the future. And then it doesn’t matter how the future seems to be in that moment, because HE holds it in his hand. Always I stand in front of God and the world. I stand here in HIS assignment, in HIS mission. HE wants that I stand here. Because HE put me here. HE wants that I stand here as his child that gives evidence of HIS greatness: Look what a great father I have. He is happy when I stay firm. God wants that I also bear and keep standing during difficult situations. It is the same thing as in the New Testament, that means in Greek, patience. (hypomoné= “patience” -literally translated- that’s what my dad told me… -“stay underneath”, that means not just to run away from a situation, but to stay under his assignment).

That’s the situation that I am in right now: I have to be patient right now, have to “stay underneath”, not to give away but to trust in HIM. And it is just great that you help me with all your prayers. It is great if we as a community stay together and strengthen each other. When we point ourselves to the One that then says: Because I am your God.

If here would be written: I am God, than we might have to have fear before God. But this way He is my God, and that’s why He is with me. He even wants to be my father who only wants the best for his child. To make that possible I have to be his child and have to want to be that too.

I will strengthen you- that can be physical strength, but is especially refers to the relationship to him and our trust in him. He wants to strengthen my faith and trust in him. And that’s what makes me strong in my life in this world. I strengthen you when your knees are week. I give you hold when the ground under your feet wavers.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

And help you- that is not a vague thing that I can hope for. But it is a solid commitment of the God that observed all the things before.  Here is the hand of which He then speaks already to be seen.

Then there is written also:

With my victorious hand I protect you- victorious is the hand of the righteous. The hand of God is also always the hand of righteousness and faithfulness and love that holds me. It is the hand of God that holds everything and that is victorious, the only victorious. It’s the hand of the Everlasting, the One that has all opportunities. What is serious and life threatening becomes less scary even when it is such a difficult cancer sickness because I am in His hand. And if HE wants HE will heal me. And if HE doesn’t want to I’ll be with him in eternity.

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand- it is the strong hand, it is the right hand. It is the hand of the righteousness of God. But it is also the hand of love, that in Jesus satisfied the righteousness. The most important thing is that we don’t let go of that hand. Not because I am afraid to lose the connection, but because I want to show Him, I don’t want to let go.

He holds always strongly- it depends not on my strength but on His. He holds me but I have to want it. That’s why my YES! That’s why my prayer! That’s why my hand that I hold out towards Him.

I think at the end about Salvador, a little boy from “La Casa de mi Padre” who by reflex rejected other kids’ hands when he needed one to hold for walking. The hand of a grown up he did take, but even then he looked for the “right” one.

We shall look for the right hand. And from that Isaiah verse I think that this can only be God’s hand of righteousness. Then which besides that could give me any hold that carries over storms and holds?

That’s my only strength in these months. And you help me so much that again and again this strength gets visible and affects my life, my body and my spirit (and then also sometimes shows in the pictures…). Therefore, I thank God. And therefore I give thanks to all of you.

I wish you and all of us a blessed year of 2008 filled with Him!

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10th of January 2008

Puschel-2001

These word of the Bible I had on my birthday (am 27. Mai 1983!):

Psalms 16,8: I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Phil 1,19: For I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.

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