Jeremy…husband of Catherine, father of Ben, Simeon, Tom, Joshua & Lydia. Up until the end of April 2015, he was pastor/vicar of a group of churches on the edge of Exeter in Devon, UK. In early October 2014, aged 48, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer, a stage four malignant melanoma presenting as a tumour on his lungs. The usual life expectancy is 8-12 months. Then, in late December 2014, 23 year old Ben suffered a seizure. After prolonged medical care for what was most likely to have been a viral infection affecting his brain, Ben died in April 2015. Jeremy has up until recently seemed to have responded well to pioneering immunotherapy treatments that can extend life, but from September 2016 is now facing the fresh development of brain tumours and potentially now just months to live. On January 27th 2017 Jeremy took his last breath and went to be his Lord and Saviour. The family share their thoughts, feelings and reflections as they taJeremy…husband of Catherine, father of Ben, Simeon, Tom, Joshua & Lydia. Up until the end of April 2015, he was pastor/vicar of a group of churches on the edge of Exeter in Devon, UK. In early October 2014, aged 48, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer, a stage four malignant melanoma presenting as a tumour on his lungs. The usual life expectancy is 8-12 months. Then, in late December 2014, 23 year old Ben suffered a seizure. After prolonged medical care for what was most likely to have been a viral infection affecting his brain, Ben died in April 2015. Jeremy has up until recently seemed to have responded well to pioneering immunotherapy treatments that can extend life, but from September 2016 is now facing the fresh development of brain tumours and potentially now just months to live. On January 27th 2017 Jeremy took his last breath and went to be with his Lord and Saviour. The family share their thoughts, feelings and reflections as they take this painful and unexpected journey.

On the Eve of Christmas

Christmas PicccieFor those in a time zone ahead….Happy Christmas. For those not quite there, it won’t be long – hang on!
One way to spend Christmas Eve is in hospital where I’ve unexpectedly been most of the day, having had a slightly uncomfortable 24hrs centred around my right rear chest area, causing some discomfort in breathing. The X-ray today has indicated the tumour on my lung is just as present as ever. The doctor is concerned that my current discomfort may be caused by resultant clots so has given me some injections to take home – once a day, to be self-injected into my stomach. Fun. I can’t say that one was on my bucket list. He has now also ordered a fresh CT scan for Boxing Day morning to check the actual state of play.

On a more positive note, our son Ben & wife Dabi arrived safely home from Brazil late last week accompanied by Dabi’s father travelling with them for peace of mind and assistance on the journey. The trip involved a two-night stop in Ethiopia, which, if Ben had been well, would have been a worthwhile place to see, but when you’re unwell is not an ideal place to be. Landing eventually at Heathrow, Ben had to be placed in a wheelchair once off the plane. We’re now waiting for a hospital referral to yield an appointment for him so he can undergo a fresh diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment.

Thanks for all your support and the many hundreds of messages of support through the blog over these last two months. As we celebrate Christmas, it often has the habit of reminding me (strangely you might think) of judgement. It’s not one of those popular concepts, but when you think of the tragic shooting of 132 children in Pakistan last week, when you think of the recent ISIS beheadings of children and parents in Iraq, when you think of a tonne of other appalling atrocities, I’m certain we all long for a day of reckoning when those who’ve committed such things will be held to account and made to pay for their crimes. The thing that warms my heart is that there will be such a day, one to which scripture regularly refers – the day when Christ returns and when all that’s wrong will be exposed and justice will be done. But it’s a day which will put the spotlight on all of us – all my wrong, my attitudes and wrong acts, both the things I’ve done and failed to do, on how I’ve worshipped so regularly at the shrine of my own desires and not God’s. I stand guilty. And that’s why Christmas – and then the cross – is so truly beautiful and wonderful, because the One who saves us from judgement – the Saviour – was born. Immanuel, God with us. God who took the rap for me by hanging then in my stead on the cross. God, in Christ, who delivers me from that judgement, through my simple repentance and faith in the saviour to a new life, into eternal life…as the old carol goes, “Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth”. And the choice remains mine and ours. I can take the dangerous Sinatra ‘I Did It My Way’ approach, or I can receive Christ and receive life, knowing that with Him, wonderfully, the best is yet to come.
‘Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God’ John 1

It makes for a very joyful and peaceful Christmas. And God’s joy and peace are realities I’ve known by the bucket load in these last two months for which I’m so grateful.

Happy Christmas everyone!

PS I’ve just injected myself and survived. New things to try at Christmas.

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Comments on: "On the Eve of Christmas" (14)

  1. Yvonne Howarth said:

    Jeremy, prayers are covering you from all over the world and especially tonight and tomorrow. I pray for you all and especially yourself and Ben for health and strength, a day without pain, a day to make special memories and worship our Heavenly Father. Thanks for all your wonderful blogs and messages. Have a wonderful day together.
    Much love Yvonne. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lesley Curd said:

    Dear Jeremy, Catherine and wonderful family, thank you for the encouragement, hope, love and reality of Jesus in all you share Jeremy. Praying you will be given a particular gift of comfortableness to enjoy being with all the family over Christmas. Congratulations on the injection! I remember how incredibly nervous I was as a nurse giving my first one to a patient, but to give your first one to yourself, well, I have total respect. Lesley

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruth Prince said:

    My prayers are indeed with you Jeremy and all your family. God Bless you and give you all a peaceful,painless,happy,blessed Christmas. With my love Ruth

    Liked by 1 person

  4. May you have joy peace and love overflowing this Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bob & Laura Arnold said:

    Dear family It is such a long time since you arrived at St.Mary,s Catherine with her many bumps. how we enjoyed your increasing family and ,of course,your ministry.Now we are following these amazing blogs stunned by attitudes and all the wonderful stuff that God sends at our worst experiences .Having lost a son ourselves we feel so for your parents.We do not know what to pray but rely on the HS for help St Mary,s lifts you to our loving Heavenly Father .blessings from Bob and Laura Arnold

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gail, southside Rockbeare Hill Devon said:

    Jeremy,just wanting to join with the many others who are thinking of you, right now focussing on ease of breath, and praying for the sweet comfort of God’s loving grace to carry you through any storm.
    Very glad the injection has brought relief
    May a sense of comfort and replenishment return, nourished by the reassuring news of Ben and the deep lived connection to the Christian message,expressed so strongly in St John’s Gospel.I hope you have a profound day of joy and peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. May God bless you and your family at this special time of the year. Jeremy may you continually know God’s uplifting love.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rachel Waddilove said:

    Dear Jeremy, our thoughts and our prayers are with you at this time and in the days to come…thank you for all your blogs and your powerful testimony to our loving Heavenly Father. We pray that you will be well enough to enjoy time with the family over this Christmas time.Lots of love to you all and we are so pleased to hear that Ben and Dabi are safely home.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. May your Christmas be full of rejoicing in the Christ child and the preciousness of life.
    x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Peter & Liz Wareham said:

    Wishing you & your family a blessed Christmas. With love & best wishes from Peter & Liz

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sandra Parker said:

    Hoping and praying that you all enjoy a family Christmas today.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Valerie Bloom said:

    We hope you and your family have a good day. We are thinking of you all.
    Love and best wishes. Valerie and Jeremy Bloom.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Georgie Boggis said:

    Wishing you and your family a Happy Peaceful Christmas. May God continue to hold you all in his loving arms. Your strength is an inspiration to us all. God Bless x 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Our prayers and thoughts with you all at this very worrying time

    Liked by 1 person

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