Nov 28, 2010

Update on My Mom's Health

If thou will diligently hearken
to the voice of the Lord thy
God, and will do that which
is right in His sight, and will
give ear to His commandments,
and keep all His statutes, I will
put none of these diseases upon
thee, which I have brought upon
the Equptians: for I am the Lord
that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26

My mom's red blood cell count and platelets have been real low. The doctors say she must be slowly bleeding somewhere but haven't figured out where for sure yet.

Two weeks ago I took her for an endoscopy, and it showed gastritis, which is inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This past week I took her for a colonoscopy, and although the Doctor could only see half of the colon due to mom's spine collapsing a few years ago (so she's scrunched up), it showed that she has Diverticular Disease - which means there's a pouch in her large intestine. The doctor will discuss further details of whether to do more testing at her appointment next week. He did sound pretty sure that the colon is where her loss of blood was coming from.

She's very weak right now, but God's been good to give her faith to go through and He's helped keep her spirits up.

I so appreciate everyone's prayers, we've had such peace as we've gone through this. Please continue to hold my mom (Virginia, 70 yrs. old) in your prayers.

Prayer: Father, I pray that You continue to bring healing, peace & strength to my mom. Give wisdom and direction to the doctors. Thank You that You are her Healer Lord Jesus, Amen.

Nov 27, 2010

How's That Waiting Thing Working Out for You?

Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 / Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7 / Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Don't you just enjoy a nice, long WAIT? Oh, if we could have simple faith in our heavenly Father, that He's going to take care of our needs and rescue us when we need it. So often, we either don't believe He's going to come through for us (and why, because deep down we know He ALWAYS does), or we don't think He's going to do it for us like He would someone else.

What God does IN US while we wait, is as important as WHAT WE ARE WAITING FOR. There's important growth that can only happen to us in these times when we suffer through long periods of waiting. God knows waiting is good for us. AS WE WAIT, He's at work in us ... molding us and shaping us ... maturing us.

The people of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years. It helped them to grow up. He took away their pride and proved that He would provide for them. God wanted them to reach the Promised Land, but He was more concerned that they arrive PREPARED than that they arrive SOON.

Remember how the Lord your God has led you in the desert for these forty years, taking away your pride and testing you, because He wanted to show what was in your heart. He took away your pride when He let you get hungry and then He fed you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had ever seen. This was to teach you that a person does not live by only eating bread, but by everything the Lord says. During these forty years, your clothes did not wear out, and your feet did not swell. Know in your heart that the Lord your God corrects you as a parent corrects a child. Deuteronomy 8:2-4

We need to learn to be PATIENT. Often we want God's resources, but we don't want His timing. We want His hand, but we don't want His calendar. We forget His work in us while we wait, which is as important as what we're waiting for. We must learn to trust that God knows what He's doing.

Maybe you're single and you feel a legitimate longing for intimacy. You're tired of being alone. Waiting is so hard and maybe there's a relationship at your fingertips that promises to take that loneliness away but you know that it's not honoring to God. You know in your heart this isn't the right person for you ... but you are tempted to think, I've been waiting long enough. I'm going to reach out for whatever satisfaction I can get in this life and worry about the consequences later. But when we're faced with times like this we must find the courage to WAIT on God and to be patient and trust His timing to say, Ok God, I will take You at Your Word. I will not get mixed up with a relationship that I know would dishonor You and bring damage to the souls of those involved. Even though I don't know what tomorrow holds and even though I sometimes feel like nobody in this world understands how painful it is to be alone, I will trust You. I will wait. (FYI - I'm not looking for anyone, this is an example.)

Maybe you've been ill for a long time, and you've almost exhausted yourself at the feet of Jesus, waiting for the illness, pain and suffering to lift. Know that God works all things together for good and He's not only going to manifest the healing that He's already provided for you, He's going to bring some other good things from that trial as well ... like the fact that people are encouraged when you go through instead of giving up, and giving you compassion to pray for others in similiar situations. (FYI - I am awaiting healing in several areas of my health.)

We may be tempted to take things into our own hands, but we must learn to trust our God, to say with the Psalmist, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in Your hands (Psalm 31:14,15). We must cling to Jesus' promise in Luke 18:7 where He said, God will always give what is right to His people who cry to Him night and day, and He will not be slow [according to His perfect timing] to answer them. When we experience seemingly endless times of waiting we need the patience of the man who prayed, God, I cannot grasp Your mind, but with my whole heart I trust Your love.

We need to be HUMBLE. To wait for someone is to realize that I'm not in control. I'm not calling the shots; the timing is not up to me. To grow in times of waiting on God we must remember that we are not in charge. We're the creature. He is the Creator. He is the Potter. We are the clay. This is the principle that Proverbs 3:34 refers to when it says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. It's right that we should wait on Him for when we trust God with this kind of quiet humility we are saying that we understand that He is able to take care of us in the waiting times. God's God and we're not. He sees the big picture and we can't.

We need to have an inextinguishable HOPE. Hope believes that things will get better eventually. It gives us the strength to endure until tomorrow again and again. Romans 5:3-5 says, Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. Hope is the fuel that keeps a person going in tough times. While waiting, we need to act on what we know, obeying God as though we can see the outcome. When we do this we become more confident in His instruction, more hope filled people.

Thomas Merton wrote, 'The more we seek God in daily prayer; the more we study His Word; the more we trust Him enough to follow His commands ... the more we see that He is worthy of our trust and then the more hopeful we can be - even in times of waiting.

We don't get to know God and then do His will. We get to know Him more deeply BY DOING His will. We enter into an active relationship with Him. And in this relationship we develop a faith that is ... sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1), a faith that is confident that He who began a good work [in our lives] will carry it on to completion no matter how long it takes (Philippians 1:6).

Wait ... patiently. For it's in the waiting that we gain our strength (Isaiah 40:31).

Prayer: Father, I pray that even though I may be having a tough time waiting on You, You will help me to find peace in Your timing and Your ways. Give me the hope and the strength that I need to continue, and to make right choices. Help me not to grow weary in well doing. In Jesus' name, amen.

Nov 26, 2010

Gotta Look Out

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. The heart is where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust. Proverbs 4:23-27

As I was spending time with the Lord in the Word the other morning, I remembered a time a few years back when my friend's son was little. I'll come as close as I can to remembering the story right.

He had a computer that he used a lot and my friend was concerned about the things he might be exposed to. One day, she came in, sat down at the computer, and typed one little suggestive word on the keyboard, just to see what might come up. She said that the thing went crazy, pulling up all kinds of websites, tons of pop ups and instant messaging some of the vilest things she had ever seen. She tried everything she could to get the things to close, but the more she tried to 'x' out the more popped up. She wondered how all this could come from one little word. It had grown so vast, she could no longer control it or get rid of it.

Panicked, she sat on the floor crying and called out for her husband. He ran in and asked what was wrong, and as she tried through the tears to explain what happened, he ran to the outlet and just pulled the plug on the computer.

She was frustrated and angry that the world could have that much influence over her son with just typing one word.

Though she pled the Blood of Jesus over her mind and cast down the thoughts and visuals when they came to mind, she just couldn't get some of the pictures off her mind. She imagined what it must be like for a young, vulnerable, inquistitive child.

The Lord instructed my friend to pray the Psalm below every day for a month after this situation happened.

Psalm 101

I will sing of Your love and justice: to You, O Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life - when will You come to me?
I will walk in my house with a blameless heart.
I will set before my eyes no vile thing.
The deeds of the faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.
Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence.
Whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.
My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me;
He whose walk is blameless will minister to me.
No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house;
No one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.
Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.

Guard your heart from compromise people. We need to be careful of the sin that we let creep in. The things that we think are no big deal or just this one time. The things that we watch on TV. The things that we listen to on the radio - the music with suggestive words. The tweets that we read and send. The billboards that we see. All the tings that we think are okay or seem so innocent. All that we put through our eye gates and ears affects our soul, in one way or another. One thing usually leads to another.

Be careful what you put before you.

Prayer: Father, I pray that you guard our eyes, hearts and spirits. Protect us and our families from things that we shouldn't see, divinely if You have to. Lead us not into temptation. Strengthen us according to Your Word, that we might not sin against you. May we not compromise. Help us to just say no. In Jesus' name, amen.

Nov 20, 2010

Please Keep My Mom in Your Prayers

Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

My mom's red blood cell count and platelets have been real low. The doctors say she must be slowly bleeding somewhere but haven't figured out where yet. The only thing they've suggested it might be is cancer.

I took her for an endoscopy this past Wednesday and all it showed was gastritis. I'm praying that it might have been her stomach bleeding and that the Lord healed it, thus not showing on the test. She's going back in for a colonoscopy next week. After that will be a bone marrow test. I so appreciate your prayers and please keep praying for healing and strength. FYI - she's 70 yrs old and her name is Virginia.

Prayer: Father, I pray that You continue to bring healing, peace & strength to my mom. Give wisdom and direction to the doctors. Thank You that You are our Healer, Lord Jesus.