AVM Survivors Network

"Out there"

Hey all,

I know not all of you are religious and feel free to skip over this, it’s not my goal to turn this into a religious debate. There are other places for that. But I did want to share a couple of things with you.

I believe some of you know, my dad was a minister in the Christian Reformed Denomination from the age of 24 up until 2 weeks before he died of complications from chemo on March 23, 2018 2 weeks shy of his 81st birthday… In the Reformed “school of thought” all worship services should end with the Benediction. That, as our current pastor says, is a gift from God, through the preacher to you.

My prayer this morning is that no matter our feelings towards God, the benediction will go with us (or come with us). I give you two benedictions this morning:

My Dad’s favorite way to pronounce the benediction:

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You - Out there
May the Lord Smile on You and be Gracious to You - Out there
May the Lord Show his Favor to You and Give You Peace - Out there

Go forth in the knowledge that God the Father Loves You - out there
Jesus Christ has redeemed you out there
and the Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you out there.

And now I offer you the AVM version of the benediction:

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You as you battle this “thing” - in here.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you so that even when the clouds overshadow you, even when the storms are raging, you know you are safe - in here.
May the Lord put many people on your path and give you the wisdom to see who needs your help and who can help you - starting right here on this website.

May Jesus Christ be a constant presence and support for you in times of trouble and times of doubt.

As you go into this coming week, go with confidence knowing that God has a plan for your life.

And may you remain faithful and continue to seek out his plan in spite of the trials and struggles you have, in spite of the limitations you deal with, in spite of the unknown and the fear of the unknown.

May I
May you
May everyone around us
see that we are more than this acronym that messes this physical body up
see that we are all probably messed up way more than you can actually see
see that we don’t have to look very far to find someone who has it worse than we do
see that no matter what our limitations, and no matter what our beliefs, we are here for a purpose.

May God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be with you “in here” and “out there” no matter what it brings.



You are a good man TJ

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May we all pray for each other. Thank you for your post,I really needed to hear that.Thank you.

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Thanks so much for that, TJ.

TJ: Thank you for the wonderful and heart-felt Benediction. I plan to use it and I will place it along side the “Letter from my Brain”. The “Letter” is the best piece of AVM advice that I have ever read and it has kept me moving forward for 5+ years now. I would encourage all “newbie’s” to read the letter if it is still available. I am going to include your Benediction into my prayers. Thank you for sharing and may God continue to bless all of us.

Sharon D…

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That is very high praise and I take it very gratefully and humbly.

My Dad spent the last 57 years of his life as a pastor. One of the few weaknesses he had as a pastor was he always looked at himself as a pastor from a small town and so no one should listen to him outside of the small town - in reality, many people scattered all over the world benefited from his work. As part of his retirement job (you know, the one you do for a few years after your real job) he went to Singapore to lead a conference. He couldn’t believe that they wanted him to do it.

Through that, I’ve learned that we all, whether 100% healthy or not, whether in a big city or a small town we can make a difference in the world.


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The Letter From Your Brain is here:

And like most things of repeated value can be found in the AVM101 category from the home page.