I’m (via Carolyn writing) trying to update everyone on my medical condition, how I feel physically or mentally, and the ongoing challenges. On January 4-5, 2022, we had an oncology consult which included a new MRI analysis of the treated area. A genetic test taken on the removed tumor showed that it was a “good” one and responds great to chemo. We are so thankful. The area of treatment looked a bit “angry” to the team, but was expected with this type of tumor after radiation.

God’s Game Plan” is to begin a higher dose of chemo (started 01/13), for 5 days, then 23 days off, to continue for next few months. Next recheck is Feb. 9th. What MRI shows at that time will determine direction of treatment – whether we go through a year of MRI/recheck every 2 months or if the plan needs to be adjusted. 

I pray for discernment and wisdom as to what I am able to do during the next 4-6 months. Although on a “sabbatical” from daily ministry, the CEF Board is keeping me apprised of the work, as well as taking on the daily/weekly responsibilities while I recover. My prayer is to heal/recover and seek God’s leading in ministry activities, as well as see His hand of blessing for CEF during this time. A word from the Lord we were given: “Watch and see what I can do”! He is able to do all things especially when we are at our weakest. Thanks again for everyone stepping up during my recovery, praying, and giving. All of this is such an encouragement to John and I.

Next update March 9-11th.

Priorities for Ministries 2022


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Principles & Strategics to help all N.C. schools flourish!!! (Durham Local Website – Overview)

Power & Light and other workshops are offered in a series of 1 hour sessions, each adaptable for all school-age groups, faculty, and other audiences. These workshops, conducted in school classrooms, will challenge students at a very strategic time in their development. See Outcomes, Workshops, Seminars, Assemblies, and strategies for schools below.

We provides principles & strategies to help all N.C. schools flourish. Special events, workshops, and seminars are scheduled when requested by a school.

Outcomes: Students, Faculty, and Schools accept the truth about their identity, value, and destiny as world-changers. Where everyone is valued and matters.

All workshops, seminars, and follow-up activities use discussion, object lessons, high-energy games, and relevant applications.

Assemblies: Amy Williams, Humble Tip, Bouncing Bulldogs, and the Strongest Redneck in the World are scheduled in 2022-2023 as assembly speakers in schools.

We have a New Partner

The Maxwell Team has agreed to partner with our character education  programs by providing a curriculum, called iLEAD, for weekly student-led  discussion groups within classrooms where we offer school assemblies and workshops. Students used this during our 2022 collaborative summer camps. Find our more about iLEAD.

Stay connected regarding orientation and training courses for facilitators, as well as, how to serve and support values-based character education workshops and special events at local schools. The 2022 schedule at local schools will resumed (via COVID, etc.)

PrayDurham seeks to cover the streets and strategic sectors of our city with prayer through a collaborative of churches, individuals, and intercessory prayer groups. This site is a venue for encouragement, motivation, and a challenge to the Church at Durham to fulfill the Law of Christ, to bless our city with Godly peace and mercy, to pray and serve with our city — not merely for our city. We follow the teaching of Jesus for engaging our city through Prayer Evangelism.

  1. Engaging – 7 sectors of our city with Prayer Evangelism is the 1st leap towards spiritual transformation of the marketplace, home, city, etc.
  2. Ministering – to those in need are encouraged to adopt their own residential street for regular prayer to see the Kingdom of God flourish in the homes of each resident and neighborhood.
  3. Affirming – our city officials, schools, and marketplace in Durham have intercessory for 20+ years. Durham Ministries in Prayer share a common vision and heart to pray for Durham. Meet on Tuesday at 9:30-10:30 am, Dayspring/New Path Durham / 9th St.
  4. Justice – Church and marketplace intercessors meet monthly at the Durham County Courthouse to pray for judges and the local judicial systems. Monthly ZOOM: TBA
  5. Marketplace & Schools – Praying within the Durham’s marketplace, including local schools and strategic locations believing God will repair, rebuild, reconcile, and heal.
  6. Pray Walking – Justice. Unity. Solidarity. Prayer Walking with Communities.

Pray with DURHAM: Join a Prayer GroupNational Day of Prayer: May 5, 2022

Footnote Disclaimer: During future blogs, as my speech and writing have been affected, taking cancer treatments. I’ll try for others to edit my drafts to provide clarity and understanding for my message. Thank you for your patience. Subscribe: johneblake.blog (button)

CEF Durham Gains a New Board Member and Exciting Vision for 2022

Welcome to Christina Snowden, our newest Board Member.  She has “gotten on board” with our other members in this exciting time for CEF Durham.  The Board will work towards providing decisions/direction in the focused areas noted as well as daily/monthly needs of CEF Durham. 

The 2022 vision for CEF Durham is not a new one, but with an enhancement on certain ministry areas. We’ve found that these focused areas produce greater Kingdom dividends in reaching and serving the children/families in Durham. These include the following: (1) Sports/Educational Camps; (2) Power & Light Values-Based Education; (3) Outreach/Community/Friendship-Building Events; (4) Weekly Good News Clubs; and (5) Pray Durham which covers streets/strategic sectors of Durham with prayer evangelism.

Meet the Durham Area Board Members

Ruth Poole, Jamison Berthold, Bill Allard, Christina Snowden, Jan Perry, Lou Brogden, Michael Harley, Paula Droege (Advisors: Dr. Johnson & Ms. Renthrop)

Your Year-End Giving Makes a Difference

Our Annual Fund covers all organizational costs and direct ministry expenses.  Besides fixed overhead expenses,  there are staffing costs and a number of activities that happen behind the scenes. Your gift enables us to move forward in the weekly outreach to children/parents as well as building capacity for carrying on not only for the moment but years to come. 

A big thanks to all supporters, and past giving.  We hope that if you haven’t given before that you will partner with us in a year-end December contribution plus prayerfully consider committing to becoming a monthly supporter which can help us through 2022 and beyond.  No gift is too small for God’s purpose. 

2021 Year-End Ministry Report and Community Events

As we close out 2021, see links above for a more detailed report of ministry activities. We ended the year strong with our Christmas Party. Events like the Christmas/New Year’s Party (during holidays and selected community events) are similar to activities/outreaches where many children are reached/ministered to throughout the year.


Footnote Disclaimer: During future blogs, as my speech and writing have been affected, taking cancer treatments. I’ll try for others to edit my drafts to provide clarity and understanding for my message. Thank you for your patience. Subscribe: johneblake.blog (button)

Wonderful Savior, thank you for incarnating on earth to save the world. Through your redemptive earthly life that began on Christmas Eve and finished on the cross, you have made it possible for me – and all of humanity – to connect with God for eternity. As 2 Corinthians 9:15 declares, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

I would still be lost in sin without my relationship with you. Thanks to you, I’m free – free to live with faith rather than fear. I’m grateful beyond words for all you’ve done to save my soul from death and give me eternal life, Jesus. Thank you for loving me, forgiving me, and guiding me.

Matthew 1:23: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).

John 1:14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Christmas Eve Prayer

Lord Jesus, Light of the world, John told the people to prepare for you when you were very near. As Christmas grows closer day by day, help us to be ready to welcome you now. Amen

Contributions to Child Evangelism Fellowship of North Carolina (Durham Area Chapter) are tax-deductible by the IRS as a 501c3 org.  Funds, Stock, and Sponsorship donations to CEF Durham towards funding Camps for City Kids are also included.  Give via USPS mail: CEF Durham PO Box 1288 Durham, NC 27702 / Give via website: gospeltokids.org

We are grateful and appreciative of all acts of love and provision from God’s people. As a result of your prayers, financial support, the many acts of kindness through John’s illness, and the ministries of CEF Durham, we continue to be strengthened and encouraged through this season. Medical bills have so far been paid, volunteers have stepped up for daily radiation runs for John, ministry activities are continuing through the diligence of our board members and volunteers, plus so many of God’s people have kept us in prayer – reaching out in such timely moments. Even with obstacles that we face, CEF continues to move forward in reaching God’s precious children. I’m thankful for this “2021 Thanksgiving Day Week” and from CEF Durham and see other updates from John Blake https://johneblake.blog I’m grateful for continued prayer and financial support to the ministries, board, and local churches for the communities, schools, and city kids in the local Durham Area Chapter of CEF.



CEF Durham Director and Board

I’m completing my 4th week of radiation and daily chemo. Though I’ve lost some hair, cannot speak clearly (surgery and radiation), and have low energy days, I’m doing well, PTL! Dec. 13th will be my last treatment at the Duke Cancer Center before the Christmas holidays. Then, I’ll have a dental and thumb procedure before a scheduled MRI diagnosis (re: tumor) in January 2022. We’re believing and trusting that the MRI will show all clear… SEE MORE

Community-based strategies for biblical transformation…

https://www.facebook.com/CEFDurhamArea

Considering the Cost of Biblical Leadership

The cost of Bibilical Leadership calls us, through God, to go deeper and wider with Him… are we willing to surrender our way to the Father? It means a willingness to have our Father intervene, even to the extent of having life plans messed up/crushed/remade with the Master’s Hand. This remolding process can make biblical leaders vulnerable, take what others would consider risks, and even face failure of being misunderstood, sometimes rejected. Understanding stewardship as a precept to biblical leadership includes practicing discipleship and trusting real ministry is lived on the Jericho Road.

I’ve presented various topics here under Ministry Development to CEF staff across the USA. Most of these topics and/or articles can also be found at the Stewardship series. Today, I’d like to present some principles and practices of biblical leadership.

Choosing to walk this road, although easy to change your mind before taking those first steps, the Jericho Road is a front-porch view into the life of the poor, brokenness, stagnation, and loneliness of others. It allows us to see and experience the Father’s Heart. Consider the following Bible passages in understanding the cost to biblical leadership:

  1. Commitment: Luke 9:23, 59, 62 Following Christ, not turning back, learn and discipling others
  2. Collaboration: Luke 10:1-23 Jesus taught/conveyed His plan for real ministry and indigenous leadership
  3. Compassion: Luke 10:30 Good Samaritan teaching on true sacrifice for the hurting and needy
  4. Crying out: Luke 18:35 Jesus healing the blind
  5. Transforming the marketplace: Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus had his heart saved and changed which transformed his city
  6. Faith: Hebrews 11:30 Trust is experienced by doing what God has said: bringing down walls of Jericho
  7. Prayer: Luke 10:5-6 Praying in the manifold presence of Christ with His blessing, peace, and the atmosphere of God’s Kingdom in cities, communities, and homes where you minister.

Practices of Biblical Leaders

  • Has a vision worth following

A leader needs a vision which lasts beyond today. There needs to be an element of faith and risk to motivate followers. The vision needs to take people somewhere they want to go, but aren’t sure how to get there. It needs to be a “bigger” reality than people are experiencing today. (Do I have to make that point for Jesus?)

  • Willing to lead the way

A leader who is easy to follow is willing to go first. They pave the way. (Jesus went first. He suffered first. He challenged the tired, worn out system first. Others could follow, because He led by example.)

  • Remains steadfast with integrity

A leader stays the course and keeps his or her character in tact. Followers know they can depend on the, resolve, strength and fortitude of the leader during the darkest hours. (Jesus remained sinless all the way to the Cross!)

  • Displays grace and patience

A leader extends grace and forgiveness when mistakes are made. They pace the team until the team is ready for greater challenges. They equip the team with the proper training and resources to complete assignments. (Jesus gave His disciples, and everyone He met, much grace.)

  • Challenges followers with high expectations

People want to follow someone who sets the bar for achievement high. There’s no intrinsic value in following easy-to-attain goals. (Jesus pushed the disciples beyond what they thought they could do. Recall Peter walking on water?)

  • Practices consistent humility as a servant

A leader should display humility and be a servant of others, especially those he or she is supposed to be leading. (Jesus washed the disciples feet.)

  • Places energy into others

A leader consistently invest in other people. They give real authority and responsibility as they encourage and develop other leaders. They even replace themselves in key positions. (Jesus sent the disciples out and He’s left His church in our hands.)

Principles of Servant Leadership

If you value people in the city, then you will make intentional decisions to build long-term empowering relationships.  Intentionally doing so will allow you to cross cultural barriers and build community by listening to others, investing stewardship of resources, while also enriching the life/testimony of the surrendered servant.  Knowing (awareness) of people within the city helps cultivate an appreciation of their diversity, which enriches and broadens their own visions, ideas, and ministries.  A servant leader will make deliberate decisions to ensure commitment to growth of indigenous resources as well as the foresight, through prayer, in the utilization of those resources.

Invest in people. Pour yourself into those that God sends your way by taking what He poured into you and reinvest it into others.  It may take fifteen years to develop indigenous urban leadership.  Empathy is absolutely necessary in healing and implementation of effective and sustainable ministry within a community. Trust built through this healing process can provide opportunity for mentoring/discipleship of city kids towards becoming world changers in their community and beyond.

Leaders who pray with their city: A Closing Prayer

Gracious Lord, the Lord that invites us to be honored enough to work alongside others through the help of Jesus Christ, the creative God who created all creatures on earth including the tall pine trees in our state. The creative God who created diversity among humankind on earth, where there are all kinds of shapes, sizes, ages, skin colors, and languages.

You sent Your Son to earth, to Galilee, a small marginalized town on the outskirts of a major city, this earth, where He saved us from our sins. Jesus, you were born into a human body among a marginalized and oppressed nation, and from there you started your ministry to those that were on the outskirts – the women, the nonreligious, the people that nobody considered to be important. There are so many which we reach and love called “city kids”, those we are allowed to minister through Child Evangelism Fellowship.

We call and depend on the power of Your resurrection, the entire world and mankind of the changed/unchanged. Thank God you have blessed us to live and be stewards to your creation, allowing us to realize Your Kingdom on earth. Fully realizing, we will be judged not by the amount of power, prestige, and bank accounts, but where we will be judged rightly on how we treat mankind (as children and poor) on this earth by our love.

Footnote Disclaimer: As a result of my brain surgery (Sep.17, 2021) my speech and writing have been affected. During future blogs, I’ll try for others to edit my drafts to provide clarity and understanding for my message. Thank you for your patience. Subscribe: johneblake.blog (button)

Edited in Prisma: Ocean Isle Beach 2021 johneblake

As when I pray, meditate, and journal, these attributes I remember about God:



“Watch and see what I can do…” Carolyn Blake’s “Word from the Lord for us during this season of life”


When I pray for you, as I also pray for others, I pray these specific promises from the Lord for me and you when I’ve entered in the manifold presence of Christ:

  • GOD cares about you and me
  • GOD does the “redo” in our lives
  • God helps me to remember
  • God guides me in what I should pray
  • God loves me so I can love, affirms, and value others
  • God provides total access into His Kingdom
  • God shows me how I’m becoming and His destiny
  • God will not remember my sin, loves and forgives me
  • God brings light into my dark places, secrets, brokenness
  • God covers me with His right hand with His righteousness
  • God lifts me up with His everlasting arms
  • God, there is no darkness in the presence of your Light

Footnote Disclaimer: As a result of my brain surgery (Sep.17, 2021) my speech and writing have been affected. During future blogs, I’ll try for others to edit my drafts to provide clarity and understand for my message. Thank you for your patience. Subscribe: johneblake.blog (button)

Updates: Nov. 20th per Treatments and Recovery Status

I’m completing my 4th week of radiation and daily chemo. Though I’ve lost some hair, cannot speak clearly (surgery and radiation), and have low energy days, I’m doing well, PTL! Dec. 13th will be my last treatment at the Duke Cancer Center before the Christmas holidays. Then, I’ll have a dental and thumb procedure before a scheduled MRI diagnosis (re: tumor) in January 2022. We’re believing and trusting that the MRI will show all clear. Once the MRI has been evaluated, my Oncology team will plan for our next steps.

We are grateful and appreciative of all acts of love and provision from God’s people. As a result of your prayers, financial support, and many acts of kindness through John’s illness, we continue to be strengthened and encouraged through this season in our lives. Medical bills have so far been paid, volunteers have stepped up for daily radiation runs for John, ministry activities are continuing through the diligence of our board members and volunteers, plus so many of God’s people have kept us in prayer – reaching out in such timely moments. Your prayers have sustained us, giving us a peace and calm throughout this journey, allowing us new insights into others that walk this path, as well as bringing joy to our daily lives. In the midst, we have welcomed a new baby granddaughter, “Birdie”, and again praise God for His undeniable gifts and blessings in our lives. A big thanks from both of us and God’s blessings to you all.

Since my past blog, Carolyn and I spent a week at Ocean Isle Beach. We had a wonderful time with our 3 grown children, spouses, 3 grand kids, and our fourth grandchild was born November 19th. It was a restful time of recovery after brain surgery, allowing us fun, ocean, surf, conversations, and many great meals around the pool.

Lots of Prayer and Support

Support from hundreds of friends, ministry partners, and Christians we didn’t even know, have strengthened, encouraged, and walked with us in the Peace and Light that only the Lord provides during such challenges. We feel your prayers and lift you, our partners, as well, many times at 3:00 AM as God wakes me. We continue to practice Prayer Evangelism for family, city, ministries, and our street/neighbors.

Medical Update

While we were away at the coast we spoke with Dr. Cook, my surgeon, where he reported that pathology revealed a gliomablastoma tumor, a nasty/fast-growing type, and will be treated aggressively with radiation and chemotherapy. While at the coast, I had some issues with edema in lower legs/ankles, which was evaluated at a local medical center in Shallotte. The ultrasound exam all came back negative for any blood clots. Though we lost one day at the beach, the remainder of week was spent resting and enjoying family, waves, walking, and keep my feet in the sands everyday.

Dates:

1.   Oct. 4th—Sutures were removed from my scalp with good results/healing.

2.   Oct. 6th—For 4-5 hours we met the Oncology team of doctors, nurses, care providers, that briefed us on the treatment plan as well as offered a couple of clinical trials at the Duke Cancer Center. 

3.   Oct. 8th—Our Radiation Team met with us and set my next scheduled visit for a “mask”-fitting, with a similar to an hockey guard, on Oct. 14th, to use during the strategic radiation sessions beginning the week of Oct. 18th.

Treatments:

The big challenge for my journey is that the gliomablastoma grade 4 tumor is a fast growing type, thus treatment must be aggressive. My initial phase of the treatment plan will last for each day, M-F for 6 weeks until December, which includes radiation, chemotherapy, labs, MRIs, and exams to determine its Game Plan is success.

God’s Game Plan:

1. Meetings, consultations, and enrollment in 3 clinical trials were held with the team

2. MRI to strategically pinpoint radiation locations

3. Radiation sessions M-F for 6 weeks

4. Chemo with an oral pill for 42 days along with/before  each radiation session

5. Weekly exams/consults with the team at Duke Cancer Center

6. MRI results of the treatment plan during the initial phase of the Game Plan

CEF Durham currently reported its Sep.-Oct. 2021 ministry update

1. All school-based Good News Clubs and Power & Light programs are hold temporarily due to COVID restrictions from area school systems

2. Select weekly adjusted clubs in neighbors and community events are driving our outreach ministries, including distribution of food and supplies to city kids and families

3. CEF has engaged in prayer initiatives locally and beyond: Pastors w/ministers, Judges/Courthouse, RDU Prays, Transformation NC, Ekklesia Excelerator #2 (international course unrolled until 2022, and 1000s others praying for John Blake/CEF

4. Prison ministry and discipleship has been restricted in the jail due to COVID

We have access to The Quiet Space at the Duke Cancer Center for prayer, meditation, and peace.

Faith Perspective and Medical Prognosis

Many times my faith and my medical prognosis are beautifully functioning together, sometimes when a path surprises or doubted, yet any path uses it brings be back to the place I needed: FAITH. One another way to say it, following a plain glass vs stain glass perspective of a lifestyle and for making decisions can become a stronghold within a one’s life or living the victorious life through God’s wisdom and freedom. I’ve found breakthrough with contemplation, medication, praying, and walking a labyrinth, using steps of faith at each day while treatments at my appoints at Duke.

I walk this type of a Labyrinth, while at Duke Cancer Center, often as I walk, pray, and contemplation my treatments that day.

A labyrinth is a path, which leads a circuitous route, to the center of an intricate design and back out again. Words of biblical hope, faith, and healing are circled within the labyrinth which focuses as you pray as you walk. A prayer labyrinth is used to facilitate prayer, meditation on words found, and is to seek spiritual transformation. This helps develop my own daily rhythm of experiencing the Manifold Presence of Christ. I incorporate both prayer, listening, keep believing realistic expectations from the Holy Spirit, as which also allows me to walk the labyrinth when I’m visited at the Duke Cancer Center (accessed on the ground floor). I listen to our doctors and the cancer tumor team and the Holy Spirit. I’m using everything that I’m learning from the plain glass and stain glass perspectives, ask for wisdom from above, know that my challenge before me, I’m on a journey, but I have the right treatments or game plan: God’s Game Plan.


Footnote Disclaimer: As a result of my brain surgery (Sep.17, 2021) my speech and writing have been affected. During future blogs, I’ll try for others to edit my drafts to provide clarity and understand for my message. Thank you for your patience. Subscribe: johneblake.blog (button)

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