“but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits (take action).” (Daniel 11:32b)
When unexpected things happen, and they will, breathe. Breath deep. For me, deep breathing helps to clear my mind, and then to reflect on who God is, before taking action. It’s a way of pausing and praising before proceeding. That’s right, PPP.
As you already know from reading blog #32, we returned from Augusta Wednesday with good news. Well, that 'good' news lasted until around midnight. This is when the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) started leaking again right after Len had a violent episode of coughing. I spent most of the next day coordinating medical services, care, appointments, etc...with Len's doctors. Finally, a CAT scan was ordered. Praise God the results showed no evidence of hydrocephalus--excessive water on the brain! Now for the leakage—the minor procedure necessary was coordinated between Len's doctor in Augusta and his PCM at Moody AFB.
Prayerfully, this is the last hiccup/bump we will encounter on this path to healing. If not, we’ll continue to take deep breaths so that we are certain to pause and praise before proceeding.
You too can experience peace and joy by remembering and practicing these three p’s!
“The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” (Psalm 145:17)
“These things I (Jesus) have spoken unto you, that in me (Jesus) ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I (Jesus) have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
The verses above are ministering to my heart this morning.
Somehow Len’s incision got infected. It manifested last week at which time he was prescribed antibiotics. Then matters worsened. Subsequently, a clear liquid drainage was visible. No fever was ever evident. He did not feel bad—in fact he felt great and had stopped taking any pain medicine!
I have been blessed to communicate directly with Len’s local PCM (primary care manager) and via phone with his neurologist. Both were pleased with the progress of his healing. That is until his neurologist did further investigation and determined that the discharge was not all from an infection, but some was possibly from the glue used to help seal the original stitches. (Because this glue was used internally, I had no knowledge of it.) Then the doctor's main concern became the clear fluid that started draining, mostly when Len coughed. Turns out this substance was spinal fluid. The medical term is cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). As a result, additional stitches were required to close the small area to prevent further draining. (I watched as Len got two stitches without the using any numbing medicine. While watching, I prayed and cringed!) Currently, additional concerns requires special testings to determine the next action needed.
This is where you can help. Please pray for us as we endure this hiccup/bump. Without a doubt, we know that God knew about this complication BEFORE it was made known to us. This alone provides assurance in our hearts that God knows what He is doing. Our trust is in Him. Where He leads, we will follow.
Lastly, Len’s vision is still impaired. His doctor still says it will take months to determine what needs to be done. Therefore, would you please continue praying for his vision? Thank you.
In an effort to reach those who may not have time to read this long post, I have posted an audio version. Enjoy!
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:9)
Until Christ returns, Satan will continue deceiving people. The truth is, he enjoys doing this. In doing so, he uses all sorts of tricks and gadgets to frustrate God’s Kingdom here on earth. He especially enjoys using believers and will do whatsoever he can to entice us to doubt God’s love towards us. When Satan is successful at this task, many other negative things began to happen. His success is like poison. It spreads. And it destroys people, countries, nations. That is, if we allow him to do so.
Satan’s overall goal is to stop the spread of the Gospel. Therefore, one of the things he (Satan) hates to see is God’s people uniting and studying His word. To me, the greatest evidence of God’s power is seen in men fervently seeking then obeying the Lord. The evidence is carried forth when men function in their God-given role as the priests in their homes. After exercising this authority in their own home, then they can stand firm in God’s Word when they go out in the world. This is how Satan’s power is reduced. Let me put this real blunt, Satan hates Godly men because he knows he can’t wreak havoc in places where God’s Spirit dominates!
As I was reflecting on the above statement—about Satan hating Godly men—I could not help but to think how upset Satan must’ve been towards my husband when we started our family devotional studies in about 2006. This was a difficult process. The toughest part was getting our youngest teen-age son involved in the study. But we stuck with it and was successful. We even got to the point where this time of strengthening was enjoyable. Then-came-the-brain-tumor interrupting nearly everything we fought so hard to obtain. After surgery, we were determined to recapture what we once had, we earnestly fought to get things back to the pre-surgery state. Well, it never happened b-e-c-a-u-s-e, things got better! (Too much to share here, but trust me, it did!)
Here we are 10 years later and were having the time of our lives maturing in Christ and once again strengthening others. Then, we found out the remnant of the tumor that could not be totally removed in 2007 had now grown even larger than when it was first discovered. Naturally, surgery was needed again. This time, surgery has left Len with vision problems so severe that he can no longer read with ease. His doctor has stated that Len’s vision can take many months to be corrected and that seeing an ophthalmologist right now is pointless.
I wholeheartedly believe Satan has had a role in this brain tumor journey. More so, for the problems Len is experiencing with his vision. First, he tried to squash our family devotional time. Now, he is trying to keep my husband from studying God’s word, leading his family, and then teaching the younger men. Think about this, when a man can’t read the Bible, (or for those who refuses to read,) he can’t learn more about God. This is where Satan wants man—empty! Satan also doesn’t want a man to share his testimony of past mistakes because this strengthens the brethren. Remember Satan’s goal? He wants to steal, kill and destroy anything or anyone who is willing to stand for Christ. I would be careless if I do not mention the fact that Satan does not want me to be the helpmate God commands (Genesis 2:18). Satan prefers that I do not help my husband through this illness so that positional, he is fully functioning in his position of authority. Satan desires that I simply take charge and do what needs to be done!
Well, because we recognize Satan’s desires and his actions, we are not going there! And, we are not about to quit. I want to share with you how we are persevering. The end result is, even in this sickness, God is still glorified!
Want to help? Here’s how!
“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (Psalm 16:8-9)
For Jesus’ resurrection, Father, thank You. For so many other blessings, LORD, we thank YOU!
The song, “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart” reminds me of our response to God’s grace and mercy! Listen.
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)
Grace. More grace.
Today was Len’s first time shaving himself since his surgery. Although it took him 30 minutes to complete what was normally a 10 minute task, he hasn’t stopped celebrating this recent accomplishment!
Totally exhausted from the endeavor, he asked me, “How does it look?”
Check out the photos of this ‘first’ shave!
Psalm 100 has always been one of my favorite passages of scripture.
“1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100)
Today was a special day for us. It was the first time we attended worship service at our church since Len’s surgery. It felt so good being back in God’s House! Even before arriving, Psalm 100 saturated my thoughts, especially verse 5: “For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” No matter what happens, God is ALWAYS good.
Prayerfully, Len’s health will continue to improve so that we can gradually increase our activities at home, church and in the community. Until then, we’ll just keep doing what we can and thank God for what He allows; for the Lord is good!
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
The Red Lion Amaryllis in the photos above is in my flower garden. It has survived many storms. In fact, it survived the treacherous storm last night. I think it is more beautiful after each storm.
This flower caused me to examine my appearance before, during, and after experiencing a storm in my life. Below are some questions I pondered.
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
There’s just something about being amongst God’s people in God’s House. So when Len expressed his desire to attend a deacon’s meeting at 8:30 on Saturday morning, I said, “Sure, I’ll take you.” I realized that Len’s attendance at the meeting wasn’t really about being involved in the business of the church. It was about his desire to be amongst the brethren—to fellowship. And, he enjoyed this time of fellowship. It was like a vitamin B-12 shot for him!
We have not physically attended a Sunday worship service since Len’s surgery. We’ve used live streaming to watch the services, which is good. But I have a problem. I am not disciplined enough to sit still and watch the service. I find myself engaged in other tasks and not really focusing on God. So live streaming just does not aid in ushering in God’s presence because my mind is really somewhere else.
But being in God’s House is a different story! When there, I know that I am in an atmosphere which helps to usher in and bring about an awareness of God’s presence. Being there--in God's House--draws me into the worship service. Being there, incites my senses and encourages me to be a participant in the worship service so that I am not watching and doing other things. When I'm there, physically and mentally, God has my attention. Watching just doesn’t reach this level of worship for me. At least, not right now.
We are missing assembling and worshipping with our church family! We hope to see you soon!