Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thirty-five months and counting...

Kdyz stojite na vrcholu hory…
Once you get to the mountain top…

Mili pratele, 
Dear friends, 

v jedne z minulych zprav jsem pouzil ilustraci toho jak se moje udoli bolesti, tezkych zapasu o zivot, chemoterapii a tisicu prasku promenilo v nadherny vyhled jako bych stal na te nejvyssi hore a Buh mi dovolil videt cele Jeho kralovstvi. Byla to chvile kdy jsem si nemohl na nic hrat, nemel jsem cim se pred Bohem chlubit a nemohl jsem si ho nicim ziskat. Byl jsem srazen na kolena, ja jsem nemohl nic a presto jsem diky vire v Jezise mel vsechno co pro zivot potrebuji. 

In one of my previous posts, I used the illustration that the deepest, most painful experiences of the treatment were also moments when experiencing God was something so deep that it felt like reaching the mountain top with a beautiful view all around. I couldn’t perform, I couldn’t deliver, I had nothing to offer. I was defeated, but glad that I know that my faith in Jesus’ sacrifice satisfied what God’s righteousness required. 

Vite co vas ceka, kdyz stojite na vrcholu hory? Jedina cesta vede dolu. Moje remise trva uz 35 mesicu a uzivam si s vdecnosti naplno kazdy den co mi byl pridan. Stejne jako v Himalajich, ne kazdy kdo vystoupa na vrchol dojde dolu do bezpeci. Nadale prochazime zmenami, ktere ovlivnuji nas kazdodenni zivot, a to do te miry, ze nemam ten luxus ze by novy den byl stejny jako ten predchozi.

You know what happens when you reach the mountaintop? The only way left is down. 
I have been in remission for 35 months, and with thankfulness, I enjoy each extra day. Just like in the Himalayas, not all who reach the top of Everest return home safely. Our transition and life changes continue to challenge my daily routines, not having the luxury of having the same day twice. 

Jeden z tech prijemnych zazitku posledni doby bylo prokousavani se knihou od pastora Timothy Kellera s prostym nazvem Modlitba. Nejen ze  me drzela nad vodou, ale bylo to narocne cteni pri kterem jsem chtel co nejvice prijmout za sve nektere z tech pribehu, ktere zazili realni lide v realnem case sve doby. At uz to byli velikani krestanske viry v historii nebo “obycejni” lide soucasnosti. Osvedcene navody a osobni zkusenosti prispivali k tomu, abych touzil po jedinem - jeste vice prohloubit svuj vztah s zivym Bohem. Chci prozit zivot s Nim, a pro Nej. Vim, ze to co jsem v te knize chtel najit byl navrat na vrchol hory, odkud se znova rozhlednu. Ale to jsou momenty, ktere jsou velice vzacne. To v knize nejde predat. Ted je cas prozit “normalni” zbytek zivota.

On the uplifting side, I have enjoyed reading a book on Prayer by Timothy Keller. I took several months to go thru it, trying to absorb the wealth that the book contains regarding personal experiences, recommendations from historical giants of faith, offering guidance and exercises all pointing us to have a better communication with God. I desire to experience Him in a way that ALL I do is about Him and for Him. In a way, I was hoping to go back to the mountaintops. But those were rare moments. Now let's hope that its time to live thru the ordinary. 

Na jedne strane obrovska touha poznat Bozi lasku vic, na druhe strane me doslova szira otazka “Proc ja?” Byl jsem usetren zavaznosti teto otazky na zacatku me nemoci, a o to vic je neprijemne, jak me doslova pronasleduje ted. Behem poslednich let zemrelo par lidi, ktere jsem znal. Nektere vic, nektere min. Proc to oni nedali a ja ziju? Mam to v hlave, brzdi me to, mam obavy a zaroven se ucim vdecnosti. Buh si me jeste nevzal k sobe domu, tak proc me tu chce mit? 
Longing to experience God more deeply had its shadow in a question of “WHY ME?” This question was not something that came at the beginning of my disease, but it is disturbing my peace now. Over the few last years, I have become aware of the number of people who didn’t make it. Some of them were more distant; some were close. It stops me; it slows me down, it makes me thankful but fearful as well. Knowing that God didn’t call me home yet, makes me wonder what does He have in mind that I could be part of.

Nejsem typ co sedi a ceka. Jsem rad, kdyz jsem ja i veci okolo me v pohybu. Rad se chopim prilezitosti a jednam. Jednou z takovych prilezitosti, kde se ted veci opravdu hybou je projekt rekonstrukce stareho domku z 30. let. Cely proces jak jsme se o nem dozvedeli, porizeni, vyrizeni hypoteky, stavebni ohlasky atd. vnimame pri ohlednuti se zpet  jako  zazrak vedeny Bozi rukou. 
Naturally, I don’t sit and wait. I like to move. I like to seize opportunities. One of them is our project of renovating a house built in 1930  in a quiet corner of Prague that will be our next home. The whole process of finding it, purchasing it, mortgage negotiations, building permits, each step of the way there was something extraordinary that we look back at and shake our heads in disbelieve that it all happened. Our version is simple - God provided. 

V kvetnu se nam podarilo prodat nas byt a od te doby si pripadame ze kempujeme na ruznych mistech. Nejdrive jsme pres leto bydleli v garsonce ve vezaku, ktery mel 21 pater. Uzili jsme si to jako “dobrodruzstvi” v malem byte, za ktery jsme byli moc vdecni. A kdyz nastal cas uvolnit byt lidem, kteri uz meli byt zarezervovany po nas, otevrela se moznost prestehovat se do bytu kamarada, ktery se prestehoval do jineho mesta. S vdecnosti to bereme, ze nas Buh doslova vedl z bytu do bytu. Byt s tremi  pokoji byl po nekolika mesicich v garsonce uplne novy zazitek. Ted muzeme hrat znovu na schovavanou!!!! A taky musime po sobe zhasinat svetla. V garsonce bylo jedno svetlo - budto zapnuto nebo vypnuto. Ted jsme v byte, kde je tolik vypinacu ze se musime znovu naucit po sobe zhasinat. Co tim chci rict - ze i pres tu divocinu baleni a stehovani z mista na misto, kazdy den mame kde spat, mame pitnou vodu, mame teplou vodu na sprchovani a nadbytek jidla. A co byl nejvetsi zazitek z letnich prazdnin? Dovolena s rodinou Jane v USA! Tolik Bozich daru a to jsou jeste vanoce pred nami! Nic jsme neudelali proto, abychom meli takovyhle zivot v prebytku!! Diky, nas nebesky Otce!

We sold our old apartment back in May, and have been “camping” since then. First over the summer we were in a small studio apartment in a local sky scrapper. It was a great place for the summer, and we see it as one of those stories where we can only say one thing -  God provided. Right as there were scheduled tenants to move in, another friend offered us to stay at his place that he was going to leave empty because of moving elsewhere. One funny experience that we learned as we moved from studio to 3 bedroom apartment is that we had to re-learn switch off lights. In a one-room flat, there was one light. It was clear that it's either on or off. It took us a couple of days to get used to so many switches and so many rooms.  We could play hide and seek again! Bottom line - every day since May, we have had a place to sleep, drinking water, warm water to shower and plenty of food. Highlight of the summer - vacation with Jane’s family in the US!! These are all God’s blessings. There is not much that we did to deserve this kind of life. We are not lacking; we have enough, and for that we are thankful to our heavenly Father!!!!

Co se tyka samotne rekonstrukce domu, byl to pro me uplne neznamy svet kde lide mluvili jinou reci. Puvodni plan byl velice prosty a jednoduchy - nechat puvodni domek, zbourat puvodni pristavbu, postavit novou a o neco vetsi. Realita se od puvodniho planu ponekud lisi. 
Z puvodniho domku zbyly ctyri steny a k tomu jsme postavili novou pristavbu. Ted zacinaji dokoncuji prace a verime, ze se uz brzo budeme stehovat. (Neptejte se prosim kdy, terminu uz bylo nekolik, ze uz se neodvazuju nic odhadovat) 
As far as the construction goes, it is a whole new world (and language) that I have discovered. From a simple plan of building a small addition to an existing house, it became a project of building a small addition AND demolishing everything else except for four walls of the old house. We are entering the last phase of completing it and hope to move sometime soon. (Don’t ask about estimated time to move in, because we changed it so many times that I dare to pick another deadline. )

Aniz bychom to tak planovali, zda se ze kazdy rok remise s sebou prinasi nejakou velkou zmenu. Minuly rok jsme po 12 letech spolu s Jane odesli z Young Lifu, letos jsme prodali byt, ktery pro Jane, Sofii i Miu byl jejich prvnim domovem v Praze. Co nam zustalo? Nas sbor, nase cirkevni spolecenstvi. V zari pastori naseho sboru Faith Community Church oznamili novy plan na pristi skolni rok, ve kterem se cast sboru oddeli a pujde na nove misto nekde v Praze  zalozit novy sbor. Dali jsme si dost casu na premysleni a modlitby a vcera jsme se oficialne prihlasili do teamu lidi, kteri budou novy sbor zakladat. Plan je takovy, ze by tato nova skupina lidi se mohla zacit schazet uz na podzim 2017. 
With each year in remission, there is a new phase of a major life transition for our family. Last year  Jane and I  stepped down from a full-time ministry after 12 years, this year we sold and moved out from our apartment that was the first home for Jane, Sofia, and Mia in Prague. What’s left? Our church!  This fall the pastors of Faith Community Church officially introduced a plan of starting a new church plant in a different part of Prague. After a long process of considering and praying where God would lead us as a family, we committed to being part of the launch team yesterday. The plan as of right now is to have some sort of gathering in a new location by Fall 2017.  

Nejvice nas na celem planu nadchla vidina moznosti byt soucasti skupiny krestanu, kteri jsou budto Cesi zijici v mezinarodnim prostredi (firmy nebo treba manzelstvi (jako ja)) a/nebo cizinci zijici dlouhodobe v Praze (jako Jane). Oba s Jane se radujeme ze v tomto novem sboru bude dan vetsi prostor ceskemu jazyku a ceske kulture a tudiz i bude spolecne setkani vic otevreno pro ceske lidi. Ale zaroven to bude mit i “prichut” mezinarodniho prostredi kde si najdou sve i lide ze smisenych manzelstvich a rodin, studenti mezinarodnich skol, lide, kterym se libi prostredi globalnich trhu a svobody pracovat kdekoliv po svete.. A to jsou presne lide, se kterymi prirozene travime nas volny cas.
We are especially intrigued by the possibility to be part of a group of believers, who are either Czechs with some kind of international exposure or family  (like me)  and expats, who consider Prague their long term home (like Jane). For Jane and I, this future church represents a format where Czech language and cultural influence will dominate the “feel” of the church and thus make it more accessible to Czech speakers with less demand on their English. But at the same time acknowledging the multiculturalism in marriages, freedom to move and work anywhere in the world, options of international schooling, business involvement in global markets, etc. We don’t know many more details, but the vision of an international yet Czech church fits right with the group of people with whom we spend time.

Nove povolani, novy domov, novy sbor. To jsou velke ty velke veci. Ty obycejne, normalni, vsedni veci kazdodenniho zivota ted bezi celkem hladce. Asi pred mesicem jsem upravili nas rodinny kalendar a zvolnili jsme tempo rodinneho behu. Holky by nejradeji bezely z krouzku na krouzek - ve skole jich letos nabizeji celkem 23- a tak to nebylo jednoduche vybrat jen par aktivit. Vsechny jsou urcite dobre a prospesne, ale  neda se to stihnout. Mia bere prvni tridu velmi zodpovedne, bavi ji ucit se cist, psat a pocitat (vzorna po mamince) Sofia je ve 3. tride a uz objevuje kde se da co osulit nebo odflaknout aby bylo vic casu na sport (po tatinkovi, samozrejme) Rozvrh Jane se ve skole kde uci uz taky zabehl, ted k tomu jeste pribyly hodiny, kdy se sama vzdelava v ramci Mgr. studia.
New careers, new home, new church. Those are the big things. The ordinary life has a good rhythm at the moment. About a month ago we made some changes in our calendars to keep a good margin for life. The girls want to try everything possible that is accessible and believe me- to pick one or two after school activity out of 23 options is not an easy choice for 6 and 8-year-olds. All of them are great options, but we can’t run from activity to activity.  Mia is a very responsible 1st grader, who enjoys the process of learning new letters and math (taking after her mother). Sofia is becoming the “experienced” 3rd-grade student that is discovering what shortcuts she can take,  to have more time to play.(yes, she is taking after me). Jane is slowly settling into her new schedule of teaching English at the local middle school and studying for her Masters. 

Uzivame si cas, ktery mame dohromady jako rodina  a tak nejak “rosteme” spolu.
Minuly tyden nas holky ukecaly abychom sli s nima na horolezeckou stenu, aby nam mohli ukazat, co se vsechno za tech par tydnu treninku naucili. A my jsme se nestacili divit nejen jak dobre lezou, ale taky ze me Sofia jistila kdyz jsem si ja zkusil neco vylizt!!! (Pro ty co si spocitali rozdil vahy atd. male ujisteni, Sofie me jistila prichycena k podlaze)
Our family life is growing in all kinds of ways. Last week the girls begged us to go (indoor) climbing with them so they can show us what they learned in barely two months since they started regular trainings with a coach.   We couldn’t be more than happy to see the progress they made. Sofia even can belay me! (For those who question the weight ratio, yes, she was anchored to the floor of the gym. I am not going to risk my life in a gym after all I have been thru !:-)

Mame spoustu zazitku a zkusenosti, za ktere jsme vdecni. Tricet pet mesicu v remisi!!! Jsme vdecni, ze jste nadale soucasti naseho zivota a stale jste s nami v kontaktu. Jeste vic nez duveruji Sofii kdyz me jisti na lane, duveruji Bohu, ktery me ma rad a stara se o me. Jsem si vedom toho, ze si nic z toho co pisu, nemuzu narokovat. Je to Bozi milost, ze mam takovy zivot jaky mam - ted, v listopadu 2016.

Lots of things to be thankful. Thirty-five months in remission!! We are also thankful for you, our friends and family who are part of our lives and keep in touch with us!! As much as I trust that Sofia can belay me on the climbing wall, it is much bigger trust that I have in God, who loves me and keeps me. From all the things above, I don’t deserve any of it, but by God’s grace, it is my life in November 2016.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

another new normal

Mili pratele,
Dear friends, 

dneska slavim 29. mesic v remisi a mam i oficialne potvrzeno, ze jsem skoncil dvoulety cyklus udrzovacich chemoterapii. S vdecnosti za pridane dny chvalim Boha doslova denne.
Today marks 29 months in my remission and it's official that I have finished the two year cycle of maintenance chemotherapies! Praising God and being grateful for added days continues to be part of my daily life!  

Jeste mi to uplne nedochazi - jsem hotovej, uz to mam za sebou, uz nebudou chemoterapie, uz nebudu muset brat prasky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jenom davat krev, kostni dren a chodit na kontroly!!!!!!!!
It has not yet fully sunk in  - I am done with the maintenance chemotherapy.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No more pills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Just blood tests, sternal punctures and check ups.!!!!!!!! 

Mozna uz muzeme rict, ze se neco v nasich zivotech meni. Ta myslenka “ Co kdyz..” je v hlave porad, ale verim, ze pribyvajici mesice remise ten hlas ztisi natolik, ze me nebude odvadet od tech novych veci. A nebo naopak zustane, aby me ochranil pred nebezpecnym pokusem vratit se zpatky do tempa zivota,  kde jsem byl pred nemoci. Moje zivotni tempo se musi zvolnit, ne nabrat obratek.
Our life is slowly making a turn. There is the ever present question of 'What if..??' that holds me back, but I do hope that with each month in remission, the voice of the question will be less distracting. Or maybe it is the reminder that is to protect me from hurting myself by going back to “what I was used to before.” My pace of life needs to maintain rather slower speed, not going faster.

Nevim odkud se vzala ta naivni predstava, ze se moje telo “samo” vrati do me puvodni fyzicke kondice. To je opravdu naivni! Nejen ze se tam nevratila, ale jeste navic jsem zestarl skoro o 5 let! Tak to je treba ted pro me nove. jak se dostat do kondice aniz bych delal stejne chyby jako driv? Nesnasim stretching, ktery je mi doporucovan ze vsech stran kdyz prijde na cviceni - je to jak kdyz je to sprosty slovo. Jsem hodne casto unaveny a prirozene se tak kontroluje co muzu a na co uz nemam. Nekdy to mozna vyzniva, ze jsem vybiravy do ceho budu investovat a do ceho ne, ale s tim co mam za sebou je muj vyssi cil se uzdravit, dolecit se co to pujde. A netrpi jen telo, moje pamet si se mnou taky zahrava..
Somehow naively I believed that my physical shape will return to where it was before.
it was really naive. It has not returned there and what is not helping that I am almost 5 years older.. So that is something that is new. How do I best build up my physical shape without making the mistakes I did before? (stretching is a swear word for me, I don’t know that there is something that I dislike more when comes to physical activities). My body gets tired easily which limits the amount of “busyness” semi-naturally. So at times I may sound picky to what I say yes or no to, because I need time to recover. And not just my body, my memory seems to be very selective..

V poslednich mesicich jsem mel nekolik prilezitosti stat pred ruznymi skupinami a sdilet s nimi cim jsem si prosel. Jeden z citatu, ktery me v posledni dobe oslovil zni takto: 
Being relevant is now valued much more highly than being rooted.” Volny preklad by znel asi takto - Mit co rict, zaujmout (publikum) je ted ocenovano daleko vice, nez stat na pevnych zakladech, (nez mit pevne koreny).  Ja myslim, ze to odpovida dnesnimu svetu. Okusil jsem hloubku tohoto vyroku na sobe, kdyz jsem se zucastnil jedne konference pro mladez, nejdrive jako posluchac a pak jako ten, kdo mel mluvit. Kdyz jsem se zaposlouchal do slov a svedectvi jednoho starsiho pastora (takova ta poctiva stara skola), byl jsem unesen pribehem o tom, jak si ho Buh pouziva v zivote lidi okolo nej. Mluvil jsem necely den po nem a vice nez petkrat jsem se odkazoval na to, co tento Bozi muz rekl nebo prozil. On byl pevne zakorenen, on stal na pevnych zakladech. On nepotreboval nekoho zaujmout, on si mohl dovolit mluvit o svych korenech. Na druhou stranu, kdyz jsem se pripravoval na to co reknu ja, moje touha byla o tom abych byl relevantni, abych mel co rict, abych zaujmul publikum.  Nakonec ale odchazim s otazkou, zda je mozne mit co rict aniz bych mel pevne koreny?
In the last few months I had the privilege of being invited to different places in and outside of Prague with different audiences about my experience of the past 4 years. 
One interesting quote I read goes like this: “Being relevant is valued higher than being rooted.'  I think it fits today’s world. I have experienced that two weeks ago, when I heard an older speaker share with the young people God’s story of his life and had to speak in the next 24 hours after him. He was from the old school, he was rooted. In my preparations I found myself trying to be relevant. In my talk I had referred to his talk and his wisdom more than half dozen of times, he was so good. So it made me wonder, can you be relevant without being rooted?
Pripominka toho jak Buh promenil me udoli smrti na vyhled do hloubky Jeho kralovstvi z vrcholu te nejvyssi hory mi pomaha jak na tele, tak na dusi. To, co bych si chtel stale nest s sebou i v te nove realite je prave ten vhled do Jeho kralovstvi, to srovnani mezi zivotem ted a tady a tim co bude na vecnosti, ten zazity dotyk Bozi lasky,
It is good for my head and my soul to be constantly reminded how the valley of death turned into a mountain top with a deeper view into God’s kingdom. It is with this memory of the view, the vivid experience of how this life compares with eternity and the personal touch of God’s love, that I am planning to enter the “new” phase of my life. 

Budeme se stehovat!!! - tak to je dalsi novinka. Doslova Bozim darem skrze pomoc profesionalu a rodiny se nam podarilo najit stary domek se zahradkou v tichem koutu Prahy. Jeho umisteni nas prinuti pravidelne chodit pesky na zastavku MHD. Bude to cas jit spolu a povidat a nebo jit sam a premyslet. Uz se nemuzeme dockat!!!  Rekonstrukce by mela byt hotova do konce srpna a tak vlastne zacneme novy skolni rok na novem miste. 
One huge difference is that our family is going to move. It is another gift of God (thru professional help and family) that we were able to purchase an old house with a back yard in a very quit corner of the city. The location will push us to do more walking in order to reach the public transportation, but we see that as a great part of our daily commute that will slow us down naturally. We will have to take into account the time to walk to catch the tram and as we walk we can talk or just process things.. The reconstruction of the house should be finished in August and we will start a new school year at a new address. 

Co se tyka meho pravidelneho programu, tak krome casu se Sofii a Miou, rekonstrukci domu, prodejem bytu jsem si jeste pridal male sousto a pomaham se ciderem. Dostal jsem duveru majitelu a snazim se pomoci s agendou, ktera byla tak trochu opomijena. Moje predstava byla zapojit se 1-2 dny v tydnu, tak uvidime jak to pujde. Jsem znova na zacatku, ten ne-pokoj, tempo businessu, porad nekdo na telefonu, odmitani veci  urgentnich, abych se mohl venovat tomu dulezitemu.. Jako manzel , jako tata, jako vedouci Young Lifu jako cokoliv co jsem delal tak jsem chtel byt u vseho co melo sebemensi vliv na nas zivot. Minuly tyden jsme s Jane stravili krasny vecer s nasimi prateli a naucil jsem se novou frazi - “Not my cirkus, not my monkey.” V cestine mi to vyzniva lip naopak “Nemuze to byt moje opice, kdyz to neni muj cirkus.” Krasne a jednoduse receno, a navic mi to pomaha vytribit mezi tim o co se mam zajimat a co muzu nechat plavat.

I try to make myself occupied with more than just being a stay at home dad for Sofia and Mia (love spending time with them!!!), renovating the house, selling our apartment. I am also spending more time at the cider business. The owners would love for me to be part of the company’s life in a bigger capacity so i am trying to make myself available for one or two days a week. The buzz of the business, the constant phone calls to be attended, the urgent issues that steal the focus off of the important - i am starting from square one. As a husband and a father, or as Young Life leader, and with all the other hats I was wearing I always wanted to be involved in as many things that were relevant to our lives. Last week Jane and I met with some of our friends for dinner and i learned a new phrase that i have to share with you - Not my circus, not my monkey. I love it! I applied it a few times and it truly helps me to be selective of which things to be concerned about. 

Ve vire jsme vykrocili do noveho zacatku. Jdeme zivotem a nevime co presne nas ceka. Spolehame se na Boha ve vire, ze jde pred nami a ze i nadale se o nas bude starat. Videli jsme, co se muze stat kdyz mu duverujeme - jenom nekdo kdo ma takovou pozici a moc nas muze prekvapit a ohromit. Kdyz se podivam na porusenost sveta okolo me, cokoliv co jenom trochu dava smysl, co dava nadeji, neco co do nas vdechuje zivot a vdecnost - to vse beru jako ochutnavku jake to bude na vecnosti v Jeho pritomnosti. A tak jak moc se tesim na ten “normalni” zivot, tak jeste vice me naplnuje touha delat veci, ktere budou mit presah do vecnosti s Nim. 
 So in faith a new beginning has slowly started.. We continue on the journey through life and still don’t know for sure where all of this leads. But we trust God that he goes before us and we depend on Him as our Provider. We have seen miracles that only someone of His position and power can surprise us with. In our daily brokeness, anything that resembles something somewhat hopeful, put together for a purpose, something that makes us alive and thankful - we take it as His way of showing us how eternity will be with Him. As much as I am excited about “normal” life, i am really passionate to make things count for eternity with Him.

Dekujeme za Vasi podporu, lasku a modlitby za celou nasi rodinu. Vase pritomnost v nasich zivotech je pozehnanim a to at bydlite ve stejnem dome nebo na druhe strane sveta. Jste soucasti me cesty k uzdraveni a za to Vam nescetnekrat dekuji. 
Thank you for your continuous support, love and prayers on our behalf. We are blessed by your presence in our lives whether you live in the same building or on the other side of the world. You are part of the healing process and we can’t thank you enough for that.  

V Kristu, 
In Christ,


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Undivided heart :: 27 months

Mili pratele,
Dear friends,

diky Bozi milosti se jiz 27. mesic neobjevuji v me krvi stopy leukemie!!!! I presto jsem na posledni kontrolu u lekare sel jako studenti chodi na obavanou zkousku - s velkou nervozitou.

 by God’s grace I have entered 27th month of remission!!!!!!!!! It was with a great nervousness that I entered the doctor’s office to hear my latest results. 

Behem uplynulych ctyrech let bylo moje zivotni misto jasne. Jsem pacient, ktery zapasi s leukemii, ma chemoterapie, pak se mu nemoc vrati a uzdraveni se oddaluje.. Bude-li muj zivot zachovan, mel bych se naucit jak je lidske telo stvoreno, jak funguje  a co potrebuje k uzdraveni. Poznal jsem, ze uzdraveni se neda urychlit. Nejde to osidit ani jit zkratkou. Ucim se z vlastnich chyb - byl jsem naivni, kdyz jsem si myslel ze muzu pravidelnou denni hodinovou prochazku nahradit 6ti hodinovym vyslapem o vikendu.. 
Over the past four years my status in life was simply a leukemia patient. Either in chemotherapy, in relapse, or in remission.  If I am granted life, my part was to learn how my body was created, how it functions, what it needs to be healed. I learned that there are no shortcuts when comes to recovery. Among other things I have learned the difference of walking every day for 1 hour and a 6 hours long hike on Saturday to replace the daily exercise. I don’t think I will make that mistake again.

Uz jsem psal o tom, jak jsem okusil nejen uzdraveni tela, ale i uzdraveni duse - uzdraveni do meho zivota s Bohem. Psal jsem, jak Buh promenil ty nejhlubsi udoli na vrcholky hor, ze kterych byl neuveritelny pohled do reality Boziho kralovstvi.
As I have written in some of the previous posts, it was clear to me from the beginning that this would not just be about my body, but also about my soul - my spiritual life. I have written how God taught me that in retrospective the deepest valleys are actually the high peaks, where the view into God’s Kingdom is much more magnificent than from anywhere else I experienced so far.

Dnes bych rad napsal o zmene, kterou jsem vypozoroval v mem chovani. Zhruba od vanoc, kdy jsem prekrocil (pro doktory) dulezity meznik dvou let v remisi, neco zacalo byt jinak. A to i presto, ze nemam dokonceny cyklus udrzovacich chemoterapii. Muj zivot byl najednou naplnen vice moznostmi co muzu a kam muzu, a ty silne zazitky s Bohem najednou byly vytlaceny a neopakovaly se tak casto. Na jednu stranu mi chybi ta hloubka vztahu s Bohem na kterou jsem si behem nemoci zvykl, zvlaste ve chvilich kdy nebylo co bych mohl delat jineho nez lezet a koukat do stropu. Na druhou stranu se raduju, ze se mi pomalu navraci sila a muzu se poustet do veci, ktere jeste pred rokem nebyly myslitelne.
Today, I want to write about a change that I noticed. Since I have crossed the 2 year remission mark over last Christmas, something shifted in my mind. The shift happened despite the unfinished cycle of maintenance-chemos. Another chemo round, hopefully the last one is around the corner. Since Christmas, my life became busier and the deep moments with God became rare. On one hand I miss the depth of the relationship with God when I couldn’t do anything else, because I was sick  or just so tired that laying in bed and staring at the ceiling was all what I can do. At the same time, it is with great joy that I am experiencing a slow recovery, gaining strength and adding things to my life that a year ago I was not able to do. 

Behem tydne mam na starosti 4 -5 veci, kterymi travim cas. Ty hluboka udoli, resp. vyhled z  vrcholu hor se vicemene stavaji vzpominkou, asi tak jako to prozivaji horolezci, kteri prezili vystup i sestup treba z Everestu. Je to ve vzpomince, zbyly jen sramy na tele. Co by se muselo stat, abych nezapomnel nejen co me Buh naucil behem nemoci ale taky tu blizkost Jeho pritomnosti v mem zivote, kterou jsem mohl okusit? Jak muzu mit hluboky vztah s Nim a  zaroven si  pridavat vic veci do kazdodenniho zivota? In my daily life, there are 4 - 5 things that are my responsibilities and now give me something to do. More and more I remember the deep valleys in the way I imagine rock climbers remembering the time they survived their climbing of Mt. Everest. The standing on the peak is only in memory now, and the physical scars are the daily reminders. What must happen that I don’t lose track of what God taught me during the sickness and keep on adding things to my life?

Asi by to nebyl Buh, kdyby i pro takovou situaci nemel “chytre” reseni! Musim se tomu doslova smat, protoze Jeho reseni jak mi pripominat co mame za sebou a  zaroven me ucit jak se tesit na to co je prede mnou, je opravdu proste. Za posledni dobu prisly dalsi emaily a smsky s zadosti, jestli bych s tou ci onou skupinou lidi nemluvil o svem zapasu s leukemii a jak to ovlivnilo muj vztah s Bohem. Je to asi nejjednodussi zpusob, jak muzu projevit vdecnost tomu, kdo mi dal zivot, kdo dovolil, aby me nemoc prepadla nepripraveneho, kdo me provedl kouty sveho kralovstvi, ktere nejsou lehce pristupne a kdo mi dal sanci vratit se do zivota s jinymi cily nez jake jsem mel predtim!
 It brings smile to my face that God has once again came up with a “clever” solution to allow me process regularly what happened in the past and how it fits with where i am heading next. I have to smile every time there is an email or message with invitation to speak to a small or big group about my experience with God during the fight with leukemia. What a great way to remind me of Him who gave me life in the first place, who allowed for the disturbance to storm into my life, who gave me a great tour of the less visited chambers of His Kingdom and who gave me opportunity to return to life with a different vision. 

Vykon, zaneprazdnenost a obdiv okoli uz nejsou me priority. Nic z toho,  co me ted zamestnava jsem si nezaslouzil. Nemuzu nez souhlasit s tvrzenim meho kamarada, ktere si dal na svuj facebook - “Nemám nic co bych nedostal...takže se nemám čím chlubit” . Behem tech poslednich mesicu jsem mel pocit, ze me srdce je takove neklidne.  Ze ja jsem neklidny. Ze jsem nervozni. A pak jsem cetl tyto verse v Zalmu 86.(Bible 21)
Productivity, busyness and/or approval of others are no longer priorities. None of the current busyness is what I asked for. A friend of mine posted recently how he felt about life -  “I have been given everything”. I couldn’t agree more. 
For the last two months i couldn’t identify why my heart was so restless. Recently I found the answer in this  Psalm:

11Svou cestu, Hospodine, ukaž mi,
abych se držel tvé věrnosti.
Mé srdce ať se soustředí,
abych tvé jméno ctil!
12Chválím tě, Pane Bože, celým srdcem svým,
tvé jméno chci slavit navěky!
13Vždyť ty mě miluješ láskou největší,
zachránil jsi mě z hloubky záhrobí!

Psalm 86:11-13
Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,  
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; 
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, 
from the realm of the dead.

Jestli je neco pro me velkym pokusenim, pak je to spolehat se na vlastni sily a schopnost veci rychle vyresit. Cim vic se citim zdravejsi, tim vic bych toho chtel stihnout. V mem srdci se znovu probouzi vasen pro soutezeni s tim, co je “normalni” a co se povazuje za “prospesne”. Bohuzel, ne vsechno co povazujeme za normalni a prospesne je opravdu normalni a prospesne. Ucim se nove rovnici. Cim jsem zdravejsi a silnejsi, tim klesa moje vdecnost vuci druhym a narusta moje ocekavani co by druzi meli delat. Najednou jsem zjistil, ze to bylo podobne i s mym zdravim. Uz nechci byt nemocny. Chtel jsem mit narok na to byt zdravy, proto ta vetsi  nervozita pri posledni navsteve doktora. Jako bych zapomnel, ze moje zdravi neni moje. Nemuzu si ho narokovat. 

It is my great temptation to depend on my strength and ability to take care of things.  The more I feel healthy the more I want to add things to my life.  And in my heart I start to compete with what is considered “healthy” and “normal”. And not all things considered healthy and normal are healthy and normal. When I feel healthy and strong, my level of appreciation of others decreases and my demands of others increases. I walked into the doctors office nervous, because I wanted to demand a clear bill of health, even though I have no right for such a claim.

Jsem vdecny Bohu za Jeho trpelive pripominani toho kdo je On a kdo chce abych byl ja.Jsem na ceste k uzdraveni, ale jeste jsem nedosel do cile. Jestlize uz ted zapomenu na to co jsem se naucil, pak to zustane jen tezkym obdobim v mem zivote. Nechci prijit o to, co je pro me cenne. Stejne jako  se horolezci chlubi fotkami z vrcholu hor, tak ja bych chtel svedcit o Bohu, ktery me “miluje laskou nejvetsi” a  vyrval me z moci smrti. Doslova. 
I am very thankful that God continues to remind me who is He and who He wants me to be. I am on a journey to recovery, but not finished (yet).  If I forget the lessons I learned, it was all hard, but good for nothing. I don’t want to lose what is so precious. Just like the climbers show pictures of standing on the peaks, I hope my life and my talks will glorify the God who delivered me from the depths and from the realm of the dead. Literally.

Mohl bych Vas pozadat o modlitby, abych se uprostred vsech tech rozptyleni vice celym srdcem soustredil na Boha? 
May I ask you to pray with me for “an undivided heart”? 

Dekuji Vam, mili pratele za vsechny ty zpusoby, kterymi me a nasi rodinu podporujete. A diky za Vase primluvne modlitby. 
Thank you my friends for the love you express to me and my family. And for the prayers on our behalf. 


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Reflection of 2015

Žít, to je pro mne Kristus, zemřít je pro mne zisk. (Apostol Pavel v listu Filipským 1:21)
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.  (Apostle Paul, Phil 1:21)
Pouze ten, kdo opravdu zná Krista, mohl napsat něco takového. V minulém roce čtyři lidé, pro které jsme vyprošovali na modlitbách uzdravení z rakoviny zakusili co to znamená zemřít a získat život v Boží přítomnosti.
Only someone who really knows Christ can say something like that. This year, four people for whom we prayed in their struggle with cancer got to experience the gain of entering the presence of the Living God..
Niina Ch., Daniel H., John C., Jeff S. zanechali stejný odkaz. Jejich rodiny truchlí, možná jsou i naštvaní na Boha, že nevyslyšel naše modlitby a neuzdravil nějak zázračně jejich nemocná těla. Namísto uzdravení jejich těla už nemohly přijímat dalších chemikálie. Už to bylo nad jejich fyzické síly. Nikdo z nich ale neztratil naději, že si pro ně nepřijde smrt, ale Bůh se kterým se setkají “tváří v tvář.”
Niina Ch., Daniel H., John C., Jeff S. – they all left with the same legacy. Their families are mourning, maybe even upset that God didn’t hear they prayers and didn’t miraculously healed their bodies. Instead, their bodies couldn’t take any more treatments and gave up physically. None of them gave up on hoping, that it won’t be death that is going to get them, but that it will be God whom they will meet face to face. 
Tito lidé jsou pro mě hrdinové. Jejich odchod na věčnost je velkou součástí mého roku 2015. Oni už mají svůj “zisk”, ja jsem tady a pro mě žít je Kristus. Jejich svěřený úkol skončil, můj ještě ne. Neopovažuji se srovnávat jejich životy s mým, mě přijde že každý z nich měl vcelku zásadní poslání a povolání sloužit druhým. Ještě jsem nepřišel na to, proč byl můj život ušetřen a jejich ne. Možná to ani nikdy vědět nebudu a tak chci být a dělat to o čem jsem přesvědčen, že dělat mám. Přecházím z role pracovníka ve službě na plný úvazek do pozice člověka, který se učí vyčkávat tím že se modlí a aktivně hledá příležitostí jak být užitečný a po ruce, kdykoliv a kdekoliv je to potřeba. 
These heroes and their passing are a big part of my 2015. They gained, I got to live out to be like Christ. Their share in the kingdom business here on earth is done, and mine is for some reason still on. I don’t consider myself worthy of any comparison with the four, as I think that each one of them had a higher calling to minister to others. At this point, I can’t say that I see why my life was spared, and theirs was not. I might not ever know the answer, so I continue to be and do what I know.  I continue the process of moving from a full-time ministry role to someone who is learning how to “wait” well,  by praying and seeking opportunities to minister as much as I am available and capable. 
 Mám dva malé nohsledy, kterým je 7 a 6 let, kteří, ač je to k neuvěření dělají to co dělám, ne to, co jim říkám. Neulehčují mi tím můj pokus o rodičovství – umí číst mezi řádky, umějí dokonale napodobit můj ton hlasu v různých situacích, gestikulují stejně jako já a všechno tohle vychází napovrch v ten nejnevhodnější okamžik. Například když babička s děda přijedou na návštěvu, nebo když u nich Sofia a Mia přespávají sami bez nás rodičů. Naštěstí je to větsinou velká legrace  ☺ !
 I do have two immediate followers, who are now 7 and almost 6, and believe it or not, they do as I do not as I say.  They don’t make it easy; it is scary how kids can read in between lines, copy a tone of voice, have the same gestures they see me do and later copy them at the most impropriety time. Maybe when the grandparents come to visit or when Sofia and Mia sleep over at their place without mom and dad? ☺
Přijeli rodiče Jane, měli jsme české vánoce se slavnostní večeří, americké vánoce v pyžamech a výbornou snídaní, rodina se sešla a pohromadě byli všichni prarodiče a i pra babička,  jezdili jsme na kole a ten samý den i na bruslích na zimním stadiónu, hráli jsme nové hry jako Ticket to ride a Ottrio co dostaly holky na vánoce,  s Jane jsme si udělali krásnou vyjíždku na tandemu, viděli jsme se s mojí ségrou Janou a její rodinou  a ještě stihli začít plánovat kdy se znovu uvidíme s bráchou Jane a jeho rodinou  -nakonec jsme oslavili pulnoční přípitek v 9 hodin večer, jak je novoroční tradice našich kamarádů, aby se všichni mohli dostatečně vyspat - co víc si můžu přát? Moje srdce je naplněno vděčnosti za vztahy v našich rodinách. Povedlo se nám být spolu a dohromady si to užít. Nově jsme poznali co to je přestat pracovat, vystoupit ze zaběhnuté všednosti , mít přestávku od různých zodpovědností, omezit elektronické věci na minimum a co se nestihlo tak se nestihlo. (Asi jako tenhle blog, který jsem chtěl mít napsaný už 24.12.) 
After the arrival of Jane’s parents,  Czech Christmas dinner and gift opening on Dec 24, American Christmas gift opening in pajamas and delicious breakfast, having both sets of grandparents and a great-grandmother all in one place at the same time, biking in the morning and skating at a local ice ring on the same day, playing games like Ticket to Ride or Ottrio for countless hours,  going for a tandem bike ride with Jane, celebrating midnite of a new year at a friends house at 9pm so we can go to bed early, seeing my sister and her family, making plans to visit with Jane’s brother and his family – my heart is full. I am not running low or on empty relationally. We have managed to be together.  We have been able to enjoy each other’s company. It was a great experience of how to shut off all work, the everydayness, all duties, keeping time on anything electronic to a minimum, what was unfinished stayed that way until now. (Very much like this update that I was hoping sent out by the time of the 2 year anniversary of my remission on Dec. 24th)
 Při tom všem ale nemůžu zapomenout na ty čtyři rodiny, jejichž život je ovlivněn odchodem někoho milovaného. Jaké to je mít vánoce bez táty? Bez manžela? Bez manželky? Nemůžu jim tu bolest odebrat, ale nesu jí s nima. Dotýká se mě, jak život bolí pro to jaký je. 
 I can’t help but be reminded of the 4 families, whose lives were changed by the passing of their loved one. How is it to have a Christmas without a dad? A husband? A wife? I can’t bear the pain for them, but I do bear the pain with them. It hurts me that that is how life must be. 
Před vánocemí jsme měli vánoční bohoslužbu s koledami, resp. s chválami, které oslavovali Boží příchod na Zemi. Možná to bylo poprvé, kdy jsem zažil hloubku některých textů těch písní až mi to doslova bralo dech. Vánoční poselství je prosté, ale komplikuje život. Bůh přišel mezi nás, aby nás postavil do uplne nove pozice našeho vztahu s ním.  Odpuštění za provinění, že ho nebereme vážně, otáčíme se k němu zády a děláme si co chceme,  Odpuštění místo spravedlivého trestu. Novou naději pro život po naší smrti. Moji přátelé, kteří vloni odešli, uzavřeli pouze první kapitolu svého života. Nepřišla si pro ně smrt, ale Bůh. On splnil svůj adventní slib, oni byli pozváni aby na vlastní kůži zakusili co to je být v Boží přítomnosti. Dává mi to smysl, že žit, to je pro mě Kristus, a zemřít je zisk. 
Before Christmas, we had in our church a Lessons and Carrols service.  It might very well be the first time, which the text of the old time hymns and songs jumped at me for the depth in which someone has expressed the miracle of Christmas. It is a simple message that complicates lives. God has come to be among us to give us a new status in standing with Himself.  Forgiveness for turning our back to Him and a new chance to take him seriously. A new hope for eternity. From that perspective, my friends who died just closed the first chapter of their lives.  Death didn’t get them, God did. He fulfilled his promise of His first coming. He invited them to personally experience eternity in His presence.  It makes sense to me now, to live is Christ, to die is gain.
Dovolte Bohu ať Vás v novém roce zasáhne svou láskou, ať máte co nabídnout těm nejbližším okolo Vás.
Allow God to touch you deeply in 2016 so you can share more of His love with those around you.