Sunday, April 5, 2009

Simply put...

I have rehearsed what I wanted to write to you over and over in my head several times and now that I sit here before the computer I stumble with the words.

Today will be the last posting on the blog until the time comes for Rusty to meet our Heavenly Father face to face. If it is the Lord's will to heal him...beleive me we won't need the blog to announce that as we will be lifting the roof top with glorious praise!

Sadly the cancer is moving much faster than we had hoped. As a family we will be spending precious time with him here at home.

Rusty knows that he is loved by each and everyone of you. What an absolute blessing you are to us. If you wish to post a comment to Rusty we will glady read all of them to him.

We love you all,
Robyn, Ashley, Cody and Luke


Cherie Joy said...

Dear Bishop Family,

You are all in my prayers. I pray that the Lord will continue to be your portion every moment.

Seeking Him with you,
Cherie Alf

Lamentations 3:22-24 "Because of the LORD's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.'"

Anonymous said...

I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin
There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Anonymous said...

Our prayers and thoughts have been with you a very long time! I thank God for His unfailing grace and His unbelievable mercy. Our God is Love. Love never fails.

With mounds of love and precious prayers.

James Adams

Anonymous said...

Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty theres nothing our God cannot do!

Yep that is a verse from a childrens songs that for some reason is in my head as I think about you and your family Russ.

We continue to pray for you all. We pray for a miracle and ask God the great Physician to intervene and provide physical healing on one hand....however I'm very thankful for how your "light" has shown to all including myself with God's grace and comfort during this time.

God Bless all of you.

Anonymous said...

I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will life my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

steve at portico said...

Russ and family,

i am beginning to understand strength, true strength, in a new and profound way.

we continue to wrestle on your behalf. we love you.

steve, wendy, and family

Anonymous said...

Having heard your story, I’d like to express my sympathy and my sincere concern for what you are going through. What can I possibly do for you? Since there isn’t anything I can do for you, I am going to ask the Lord to help you – that he would take care of what is going on. I don’t believe there is any other way for me to help you, so I will say a short prayer for you.
So, I pray like this: Thank you, Lord Jesus. You are the King over all the kings of earth. Lord, I say thank you very much that you became a real human being on earth, and you saved us. And You Yourself took us into the kingdom of the Lord – the kingdom of God. I say thank you very much for all of this. Lord, I am very concerned for one of our servants and fellow workers – Russ. He is very sick. Therefore, Lord, though I myself am not a good man and though I am a sinner, I love this brother of mine who is sick. Lord, help him according to Your strength. Lord Jesus, it is not according to my own goodness – absolutely not. But, according to your own goodness, Lord, You Yourself can cause something to happen to help him become whole again. Lord, You Yourself can cause something to happen so that he can be alright. Lord Jesus, I feel that I myself cannot make anything happen and so I am asking you, the Lord. Only You have the ability to help him and to strengthen him. Therefore, Lord, I put him into your hands. Jesus, You alone are the source of our life. You alone are our Savior and our King. For that reason, Lord, I think of the big things you have done and think that you are able to make this happen according to how I ask. So, I put this short prayer request underneath the name of the Triune God – The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that is how my prayer finishes. I pray like that. Amen.

Mibu Tribe, Papua New Guinea

Kathy said...

You have been constantly in our prayers this last couple of years. I want you to know that the opportunity I had to work with you at Bethany was a tremendous blessing. You have the most wonderful gift of being able to combine a heart full of the love of Christ with an industrius and practical mind. It is a rare talent. There are many funny and happy memories I will carry with me always and if anyone should wonder if I could ever forget you, my answer is a quote from one of my favorite people: "No and heck no!"
May God's blessings be upon you. I will eagerly look forward to seeing you again someday.

Kathy Huizingh

Melissa Jill :) said...


You have been a true example of one who finishes well. Though it doesn't seem right to anyone that we should be talking about a finish line for you--one who is so full of life, humor and strength. When it was a very real possibility that my dad would not be with us for long, I prayed with an understanding that although it seemed too soon for me, and too difficult to bear, Jesus may want my dad with him for some greater purpose. And I couldn't blame Him for wanting him near--he's a pretty great guy. Again, I pray the same. If God wants you now; we mourn for our loss but are thankful that our loss is Christ's gain. Also, we look forward in hope to be reunited with you and our Savior very soon. Thanks for leading the way friend! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face many times, for walking with my family through one of our darkest hours and for your friendship to my dad. You are dear and leave a legacy of love!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Bishop Family,

We were just talking about you guys and the good memories of your time with us here in PNG. We can't imagine the pain you're going through but are thankful our dear Lord is there to love you and comfort your hurting hearts. We're praying for you these difficult days that God will be "your refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Love you guys and Praying,
Gary, Annie and Hannah

Anonymous said...

Hebrews 6:10 "For God is not so unjust as to forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have ministered to the saints and continue to minister to them."

Russ, we are sure you will hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!" when you enter glory. You were such a blessing to us and to many others, here in Papua New Guinea, shining for Jesus. (As were Robyn and Cody.) We will miss you immensely, but as you leave your dear family behind to head to the glories of heaven and your face to face meeting with our wonderful Savior, we will uplift Robyn, Cody and Ashley in prayer, knowing God will not forsake them but will take good care of them until you all meet again some sweet day! Your life is an inspiration, Russ - thanks for living it sacrificially for Jesus. Your legacy will live on in the life of your godly son, your loving wife, your dear daughter, son-in-law and precious grandchildren! May your last days/weeks/months together be filled with sweet talks and precious times. We pray you each will find comfort in the Lord and one another as you weather this storm and long for His return to be today! I am looking to the clouds, too, listening intently for the trumpet blast - praying that He will come quickly!!!

Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

We thank the Lord for this verse and pray it will be a reality for you - all of you! We love you so much and ache for you, too!

Hugs and prayers,
Hollie, for Brent, Andrew, Blake, Amber and Victoria Brielle Dodd

Lori said...

Robyn, you did good my sweet friend, you did good. i love you and russ so much. and all our memories are the best, most brilliant i can imagine! here for you always....

Jennifer Larkin said...

Dear Bishop Family,

You have all been in my thoughts and prayers so frequently. I was so touched by Cody's post the other day. What an amazing young man... :)

I have been so thankful that God has placed Russ in my life. It's been an honor. He has done so much to encourage me.

I will continue to be praying for a miracle...

With love, Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Hebrews 12:1&2 come to mind as I think of you, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..."

May the Lord carry you in His loving arms as each of you run this difficult leg of the race.

Love you and praying for you,

Anonymous said...

My words are so inadequate. Robyn, Cody, Ashley...hold on to those hands that will so soon be held by our Savior. Savor this transition. I prase the Lord for you all and your ministry to others through this. Russ, peaceful passing, brother, until we meet again. I love you, Bishops. Love, Robin Lindberg

Danika said...

I love you very much Uncle Rusty! Praying every day for all of you.

Anonymous said...

To Rusty, Yes....always praying for a miracle....but if this is to be my last post to you and that is His will....then I would like to express to you this.....having lost the love of my life in June which at times just seems days ago...know that Robyn will get thru this and God will be with her and comfort her through ways only He can accomplish. He will also surround her with family, friends and strangers such as myself who are just a phone call away. Know....she will be prayed for daily and that you have left her with such wonderful precious gifts...pieces of you....

To Robyn, I send you hugs and pray for your strength....please know I am here...No matter the day or hour.
God gave us both wonderful spouses....and I am sure you will agree....if it were only for a year or a day we were blessed with their love....our tears are filled with precious memories....

To the greatest accomplishments contributed to this world from Rusty and Robyn,,,, Cody and Ashley... very few children are blessed with parents such as yours. I know you are as proud of them as they are you... When my children lost their Dad...the best way they have found to cope....was to live each day....knowing they are making him proud...growing as Christians and becoming the adults he would want them to be....if you keep that in your heart...and will ease any heartache if that day comes.

In prayers are continually with you...praying for miracles....and quality time....and also for the peace in which only He knows how to give...


Anonymous said...

Hey Russ and Family...

Just wanted to drop a note to let you know that I am thinking of you all today. I know you don't know me very well, but, my heart is heavy for you all today and Your guy, Russ, is quite a guy.

We have soooo appreciated his presence and diligence in his short journey with us here at Cornerstone. He's been absolutely instrumental in these next step pieces for us to move forward and God could not have brought him to our team at a more perfect time. We are indebted to the way he's served out team and community.

I, personally, have been so encouraged by the way Russ has walked this cancerous road with such faith, integrity, diligence and unending hope! He's exuded that in every opportunity and it is so clear that Russ walks with God. What a privilege to serve alongside of you Russ!

My heart breaks for you all as you grieve for your husband, dad, father and friend and my prayer is that the Hope of the World would sweep you up in His love. There are certainly no words that can take the lump out of your throats and the pain from your hearts, but, I'm so sure of our God and the way He comes through in the midst of heaviness.

If there is ANYTHING I can do for you all please let me know and tell Russ that Brian Wurzell says THANK YOU for all that he's done to move the Kingdom forward here at Cornerstone.

Much Love,
Brian Wurzell

brian @

William Bailey said...

Dear Bishop Family,
First and foremost, you are all in my prayers. I don't have the right words to say. But we serve a God who knows everything. I thank Russ for his kind comments to me in Staff meetings.

May God hold you all so tightly..

Neil said...

Russ, as you know, Paul said in Phil 1:21 "to live is Christ and to die is gain". You win either way, we are all the less if He decides to take you now. Thank you for your friendship over these years.

The Foremans said...

OK Russ, Thank you for teaching me how to hang on tightly to the golf cart at State Golf Championships last year. I now know how to see all of our players tee 9 different the same time! I also know the short cuts through the desert for the next time we go to State! Thank you for teaching me what I needed to know to help the golf team (hydrate, wear sunscreen and bring all your own equipment). I appreciate your patience with me and all your instruction and kind words for Carter. Russ, I appreciate the way you love, cherish and adore Robyn. She is a beautiful women and your love has helped shape her into the friend she is to me. Because of our bond in the Lord, I will be here for her always. Thank you for loving your son and teaching him about the Lord and how to have feet for his faith. He has been such a great example for the younger golfers in his work ethic, his morals and his leadership. He will take care of Robyn for you. She is in good hands. He is an amazing legacy for you and I am so thankful I have gotten to know him a little on the golf course. Please know that because of your love for the Lord and your obedience to Him, your family will be loved and well cared for as we wait to join you in all God's glory. Peace brother. In His grip. "Coach" Foreman

Anonymous said...

Dear Bishop Family,

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
Mark 8:34-35

Russ has fought the good fight and his eternal reward is near. He has lived his life each day with an eternal perspective and for the day when God welcomes him into His very presence.

What a privilege to it has been to know Russ, and watch your entire family live out an abiding faith in the face of adversity.

We love you all and look forward the day when we will all join Russ and the Father together.

Praying for God's peace and comfort in the days ahead,

Don, for the Carpenter Family

Tristan said...

Dear Bishop Family,

You all are such a tremendous example of strength. We continue to pray for you all--for precious time together, for pain management (both physical and emotional), and for a peace that only He can give.

Much Love,
The Ruddle Family

Anonymous said...

Dear Russ, it is a wonderful blessing to know you and your family. We miss our days at Bethany when we could count on you greeting us with a warm smile and hand shake.

I wanted to encourage you with a thought about your family. Your daughter Ashley has been such a wonderful role model to our girls. Girls very rarely grow into Godly woman without having a great father. It is obvious that Ashley has a great earthly father and well as heavenly Father. I know you are a humble man so you don't take pride in much but you should feel pride in the kids you have raised. Well done good and faithful servant.

We love you Russ.

Robyn, please let us know if there is anything we can do for your family.

Mark on behalf of
Yvonne, Emily, Kailey, Jake and Josh

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lord for your extravagant love for us. Thank you for your peace you give us, that can't be explained.

We feel it is a complete honor to have been touched by you, Russ. What a man of God you are. Thank you for your words of encouragement and understanding expressed to my mom during her struggle with cancer. She loved reading your blog entries or having us read them to her. She appreciated the bond you both shared.

We are praying for you all. Love, Heather and Dave Hofman

julieswanson said...

Russ and family-we want you to know that our hearts are very heavy reading your blog. Your family has impacted our lives, each in a unique way. We are grateful for the time that God caused our paths to cross and experiences we walked through together. Thank you for your kindness, giving hearts, and generosity. Your marriage/family has been an example of true love and sacrifice. Know that God has used you to work and encourage us.
With love and thankfulness,
Scott and Julie Swanson

matt ihms said...

Bishop Family,

I feel so blessed to know your family. It is an amazing encouragement for myself to see all of you handle this situation.

2 Corinthians 4:17 - "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory".

Anonymous said...

Russ.... I don't quite know what to say.... just that we love you - I will always have such fond and fun memories of our days at the fire department as well as our visits after you moved. We had many good talks and lots of laughs. The strength and courage you have shown is inspiring. When that time comes,I know you will be an awesome angel (and the funniest :))although I am praying that that time is far in the future. Know that you did such a great job with your kids. Remember when we talked about when I first met Ashley... Even though she was just a kid, I carried on a conversation with her as I would with an adult - she was amazing. And when Cody came to California and was able to attend Lindsey's graduation party... wow! What a great guy! Just like his Dad! Wonderful sense of humor. They are fantastic kids Russ & Robyn - you guys did good :)
Robyn, Ashley and Cody - you are all in our thoughts and prayers.
With love,
Cindi, Jim and Lindsey Nelson

Anonymous said...

Just think about that, Here is a man who knows he has less than 7 days left to live his earthly life.

I mean, no more Christmases, no more birthdays, no more kisses, no more hugs.

To know that at this time next week, he will not be alive.

Imagine the fear, desperation, grief, anxiety he must be feeling.....

Then imagine the thought of knowing he will meet Jesus in less than 7 days. Imagine the joy in his heart that he is saved. Imagine...

Christmas with Christ, a renewed birthday in heaven, kisses from God, hugs from Jesus.

To know that this time next week, he will be alive, renewed with Christ!

Imagine the joy!

Imagine, no more desperation. No more grief!

Imagine his excitement.

While we cry here on Earth, Angles in Heaven rejoice!

God is amazing, Grace is unfathomable....
Jarrod Posner, AAB

tfialho said...

Dear Rusty,Robyn,Ashley and Cody,

Please know that you are all in our prayers. Rusty, I have read some pretty amazing notes from these comments. What a beautiful family you and Robyn have. I pray that God will touch each of your hearts with peace. Embrace these precious moments.
Teresa(Harvey)Fialho and family

Rick and Penny said...

Russ, Robyn, Cody, Ashley and Luke,

First of all thanks for sharing your blessings and trials. Although our paths have not been as frequent as we would have liked recently, spending time with you at Jame’s and Kim’s wedding, seeing you at church and in the office, communicating via your blog, Facebook etc. and general phone calls made to the office have allowed us to participate indirectly in your lives and that has been so edifying…thanks for serving this way!

Things do not happen by accident and knowing that our God is Sovereign and in control is about as comforting as you can get and for that we are thankful. We all have trials and challenges and certainly some are more burdensome than others. Russ your situation is certainly difficult and your faith has been evident before and during this trial and we thank you for being the light and the salt and for blessing us with your blog and your visible faith.

We continue to pray for an earthly miracle for you in this trial Russ. We have faith that our God is the great physician and knowing that God is in control is the greatest strength one can have during these trials.

Take care, know that we are blessed to know you and are thankful for each moment here on this earth and rejoice in the grand plan our God has laid out for us with His Grace! Thanks for being an example of how to worship during trials

Rick and Penny

Anonymous said...

Dear Bishops,

We are praying for your family and we continue to go to God with the Hope of our Savior. Russ - I was thinking today about how much Robyn loves you. She gets this sweet grin on her face and a special twinkle in her eye when she talks about you. She and I have talked about that love several times and it touches me every time. You are loved and cared about very much. Your whole family is...
Rosemary (for the Boswells)

Anonymous said...

Dave only just met you, and before he knew of your struggles with cancer, he would talk about this "great guy" he'd met through Cornerstone. He knew you could be one of those rare and special friends. Unfortunatley for us, God needs you more right now. We were devastated when we found out.

I have to say, that Dave and I have followed your blog, and tried to learn more about your story. Your's is a most inspirational one with so many people who love you and your family.

Although we'll never get the chance to know you better, through this blog we feel as though we have learned a lot about the kind of person you are. Thank you so much for sharing and letting these strangers have a little glimpse.

Please know that you truly touched our hearts. Your faith and grace as you've struggled down this road is amazing, and we feel that the brief moment in time that Dave spent with you, was a most beautiful gift. Please know that we've prayed for you and your family, and we'll miss you.
Hopefully this is a friendship that can be continued in Heaven someday. We truly believe that people are placed in a person's path at just the right time, and without sounding selfish...I think you were placed in Dave's. We thank God for such a beautiful example of courage and grace! God Bless you and your family. You've been such a gift!

Dave & Lisa Moran

Lou Steslicki said...

Hello Russ,

I have been following the story of your courageous journey for several months, reading comments and stories from people whose lives you have touched. I am very fortunate to have you as a friend and am honored to have worked with you as a firefighter.

I didn’t think it would be so difficult for me to write this, it’s almost unbearable. Last weekend I dug through some boxes and found a few pictures of us on a backpacking trip to the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho; you, me, little Russ, and Ron. In the picture, we are all standing on a log in the forest on the first day of our trip with our huge backpacks on our backs. I told my wife the story of how we spent one day climbing the tallest peak in the Sawtooths and how we glissaded a couple thousand feet down a glacier. The lakes were deep blue and the water was cold. We dared each other to see who could stay in the longest.

I have a picture of us as firefighters, our fire engine and ladder truck crew at station #1. I had that picture on my office wall at work but I brought it home a few months ago. I wanted the picture, and memories to be with me at home, where they are safe and I’ll always know where to find them. That was the best crew I ever worked with, we had a lot of fun and we all loved our jobs.

I am comforted knowing that you and your family have great faith in God. You have obviously touched many lives and made a great difference. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers and I am certain the Lord is eagerly waiting for you.

You are a good man Russ; I will always be your friend.

Lou Steslicki

Marty said...

I never knew Russ in person, but have been moved through the stories and comments i have read on this blog. I could tell from those who loved in that Russ was indeed a great person. I heard today that Russ went to be with the Lord. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bishop family.