Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Snowy Conclusion to November

A white blanket of snow welcomed me this morning.

Disco Elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, November 29, 2008

One Word Answers

My daughter sent me this quiz. You can only answer with one-word answers. Copy and paste this and try it yourself!

Yourself: exhausted
Your partner: husband
Your hair: curly
Your Mother: dedicated
Your Father: dedicated
Your Favorite Item: books
Your dream last night: none
Your Favorite Drink: Tea
Your Dream Car: Jaguar
Your Dream Home: Beachside
The Room You Are In: Great
Your Ex: none
Your fear: snakes
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? alive
Who you hung out with last night: husband
What You’re Not: healthy
Muffins: tasty
One of Your Wish List Items: health
Time: priceless
The Last Thing You Did: typed
What You Are Wearing: pajamas
Your favorite weather: cool
Your Favorite Book: Bible
Last thing you ate: Salad
Your Life: stressful
Your mood: serious
Your Best Friends: precious
What are you thinking about right now: pain
Your car: MKZ (do initials count as a word?)
What are you doing at the moment: resting
Your summer: hot
Relationship status: married
What is on your tv: news
What is the weather like: chilly
When is the last time you laughed: Thanksgiving

Black Friday

I made the mistake of venturing out yesterday, on Black Friday. For those unfamiliar with the term Black Friday, it is the Friday following Thanksgiving in America. The day is commercialized and focused on enticing holiday shoppers to come out in droves.

I stood, astonished, in the center of a mall. As news of economic concerns and alarm about credit availability, foreclosures, and the stock market fill every newscast and newspaper, the crowds seemed oblivious to these concerns. Shopping bags were bulging. Credit cards were swiped. An economic downturn was not obvious yesterday.

We are just a spoiled, materialistic society. For moments yesterday, I thought of those in our country and around the world who are in search of their next morsel of food or a roof to provide shelter from harsh weather. Little to them, does having the most stylish handbag or piece of jewelry, matter.

My own heart longs for a simpler life. Too much house only results in more time required to clean and organize it. Too many personal treasures rob us of money, add debt to credit cards, and take up space in our minds and lives.

I was reminded of this Scripture:

Matthew 6:19-20:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

A History of Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620. Their destination? The New World. Although filled with uncertainty and peril, it offered both civil and religious liberty.

For over two months, the 102 passengers braved the harsh elements of a vast storm-tossed sea. Finally, with firm purpose and a reliance on Divine Providence, the cry of "Land!" was heard.

Arriving in Massachusetts in late November, the Pilgrims sought a suitable landing place. On December 11, just before disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the "Mayflower Compact" - America's first document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government.

After a prayer service, the Pilgrims began building hasty shelters. However, unprepared for the starvation and sickness of a harsh New England winter, nearly half died before spring. Yet, persevering in prayer, and assisted by helpful Indians, they reaped a bountiful harvest the following summer.

The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast, starting on December 13, 1621, to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends. While this was not the first Thanksgiving in America (thanksgiving services were held in Virginia as early as 1607), it was America's first Thanksgiving Festival.

Pilgrim Edward Winslow described the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving in these words:

"Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling [bird hunting] so that we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as... served the company almost a week... Many of the Indians [came] amongst us and... their greatest King, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought... And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet BY THE GOODNESS OF GOD WE ARE... FAR FROM WANT."

In 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, America celebrated its first Day of Thanksgiving to God under its new constitution. That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks, "unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities." Yet, despite these early national proclamations, official Thanksgiving observances usually occurred only at the State level.

Much of the credit for the adoption of a later ANNUAL national Thanksgiving Day may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey's Lady's Book. For thirty years, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting President after President until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving.

Over the next seventy-five years, Presidents followed Lincoln's precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day. Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving each year, we hope they will retain the original gratefulness to God displayed by the Pilgrims and many other founding fathers , and remember that it is to those early and courageous Pilgrims that they owe not only the traditional Thanksgiving holiday but also the concepts of self-government, the "hard-work" ethic, self-reliant communities, and devout religious faith.

--Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Table

The table is set and awaits the arrival of the people most loved and dearest to my heart. Each place setting represents a life that I love with all my heart. I rejoice that we can join together around this table to celebrate another Thanksgiving. Many of our family members have struggled or are struggling with serious health conditions. Each year that we can return to our Thanksgiving, my heart rejoices at the goodness of God to sustain us despite serious health conditions.

A Thanksgiving Prayer for 2008

Psalm 100
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures for ever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Dear Lord,

We prepare to gather with loved ones to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. We praise You and thank You for all that you have done for each of us this past year. We are grateful beyond measure for You and Your presence in our lives. We come before You and enter your “gates with thanksgiving, and Your courts with praise!”

My heart is directed to remember those less fortunate than us. Most of us will be blessed with family, food, fellowship, and fun as we celebrate Thanksgiving. However, there are many who will suffer with sadness this holiday season as they celebrate their first holidays without a loved one who has passed away. Comfort these families, Father. There are others who are struggling financially as the world’s economies are shaken to the core. Remind each of us to place our faith and trust in You, our Provider. Provide food for the hungry, work for the jobless, health for the hopeless, and comfort for those crying.

Tonight, I come before You and seek Your will and your blessing on each of individuals and families who are facing difficult situations. You are a very big God and we are trusting in You!
Thank You, Father, for those who are away from their families to defend our country and our freedoms on this Thanksgiving. These solider and their families are making such sacrifices for our country. Protect each life. Provide for the needs of families left behind. Somehow allow these families to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving.

We love You, thank You, and praise You, Precious Father. In Jesus’ Name I pray. AMEN.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I am grateful for a President who is not ashamed to acknowledge the Almighty God.

"Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather together and express gratitude for all that we have been given, the freedoms we enjoy, and the loved ones who enrich our lives. We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God. "

– – President Bush, Thanksgiving Proclamation 2008

Sweet Potato Casserole

For almost everyone who tastes my sweet potato casserole, they love it and ask for their recipe (with the exception of our son-in-law). Just in time for your Thanksgiving cooking, here is that recipe:

3 cups sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup coconut
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Cream sweet potatoes. Soften 1/3 cup butter and add sugar and remaining ingredients (excluding topping ingredients). Place in greased 9 X 13 baking dish.

Make topping: Melt butter. Add remaining topping ingredients. Crumble over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Dancing with the Angels

The song DANCING WITH THE ANGELS is a favorite of mine. It is a great reminder for when we lose a loved one, if they are secure in their relationship with Christ, they will be dancing with the angels in Heaven.

Here is the You Tube link to the song:

memories surround me
but sadness has found me
i'd do anything for more time
never before has someone meant more
and i can't get you out of my mind
there is so much that i don't understand
but i know

you're dancing with the angels
walking in new life
you're dancing with the angels
heaven fills your eyes
now that you're dancing with the angels

you had love for your family
love for all people
love for the Father, and Son
your heart will be heard
in your unspoken words
through generations to come
there is so much that i don't understand
but i know

you're dancing with the angels
walking in new life
your're dancing with the angels
heaven fills your eyes
now that your're dancing with the angels

we're only here for such a short time
so i'm gonna stand up shout out
and sing hallelujah
one day i'll see you again

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Birthday Reflections

Today I turn 45 years old. This is a milestone that doctors never believed that I would reach. In 1996 when I first became ill, our daughters were 12, 12, and 11. I recall stepping out of our car and the three of them were waiting with my Mom to learn what my bone marrow biopsy report revealed. As if it were yesterday, I can see their faces as I told them, as they met me at our car, that I had leukemia. I can also recall the days following that announcement where we all cried and prayed a lot. I had been given a prognosis of living 3-5 years and I knew that wouldn’t enable me to raise our girls and attend their high school graduations.

The first year after my diagnosis of leukemia was filled with confusion, turmoil, concern, and much prayer. With each slight bump in my white count, I would panic. Each enlarging lymph node seemed to be carrying my death notice. Little by little, I learned to trust God more and depend less and less upon medical science. We traveled to New York and Columbus and Washington, DC hoping to find a cure or a key to a longer life for me. It became apparent as I educated myself about the disease and my file cabinets filled with scientific journal articles, that there was NO cure for this type of leukemia.

Having been a strong-willed and minded person all of my life, that somehow spurred me on and made me resilient and determined that I would trust God even more with my life. That He would be my Healer and my Sustained became my life mantra. Slowly, the fear and panic associated with each doctor’s visit or bone marrow biopsy, subsided. I realized that God was (and is) my only Hope for surviving with this disease.

As the years passed, drug reactions threatened my life on several occasions and my immune system was quickly annihilated by chemotherapy and the disease process. Time in the Intensive Care unit increased. Yet, through Christ’s strength and encouragement, I continued to survive life-threatening infections and complications. I will never forget the night I was in Intensive Care, very ill with pneumonia, and I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal one verse to me that I could embrace. It was around midnight and I opened my Bible to Proverbs 9:11: “For by Me, your days will be multiplied and years added unto your life.”

That Scripture changed my life and my way of thinking about a terminal illness. It instilled in my heart and my mind that no disease, treatment, or infection has the authority to take my life, one day before God ordains. He is multiplying my days and adding years to my life – not medical science, not treatments, and not doctors. God has remained faithful to this verse that was revealed to me in that Intensive Care Unit.

I am the proud mother of three daughters and a grandson. I have attended high school graduations, college graduations, weddings, and the birth of a grandson. I am forever grateful to my Lord and Savior for allowing my life to continue to see this, my 45th Birthday. My husband and I have celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. I only desire the simple things of life – a life rich and replete with family, good friends, and memory building.

Although my body is so broken and so full of pain and suffering, I am still able to walk, talk, think, and speak. Life is good and today I celebrate the wonderful years that I have been blessed with to enjoy and savor. Happy Birthday to Me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lil Man is "A Goo" Boy!

I noticed that I had not posted an entry about Lil Man for sometime. It appears that the Blog has less content being added now that my daily Baby Bootcamp continues. Lil Man is a joy and a blessing. He smiles and melts my heart. His new favorite word is something like, "A goo". I looked in Greek and Latin dictionaries to see if he was throwing a new foreign word at his Grammy, but could not locate this entry. I believe it is best translated, "I love my Grammy. She is "A goo" Grammy!" Works for me ......

Today, I told Lil Man about what a lover of Christmas his Grammy is! Everyone knows that I decorate trees in nearly every room of our home and begin planning for the holidays weeks before the special day. Today, I put on Lil Man's Christmas sunglasses and read him a book about Santa. He said it was "A Goo" book! I took inventory of his closet today and he already has 7 Christmas outfits at Grammy's. We will be doing alot of dress-up. One of my favorite outfits is an elf costume for a 3 month old! It even has built in curled-up-on-the-toe elf shoes. He is about two feet tall -- the perfect height for an elf.

I love the snow and always walk in the first snowfall. We had our first snowfall, albeit a light one, on Monday. As I saw the first snowflakes floating across the morning skies, I told Lil Man that it was time to get bundled up so that he could take his first snow walk with his Grammy. He was oblivious to the cold and the snow, as I told him how much his Grammy adores fresh snowfalls. He thought it was, "A goo" walk!

Tomorrow, he will accompany me to the doctor for the first time. He promised me today that he will be "A goo" boy at the appointment! I will take him at his word since it is my birthday and I know Lil Man will do his best to make it "A goo" day for Grammy.

A Mixed Report

The eight weeks on the protocol I followed from the University of Washington researcher are now over. The results are mixed.

Initially when I began this protocol, I had a few weeks where my lymph nodes enlarged quite alot, however, they have reduced to a bit smaller than when I began this protocol. Since one of these drugs is considered to be an immunomodulating drug, we were always curious if it caused a mild case of tumor flare, as many using Revlimid (drug being recommended for me to use by my Ohio State oncologist) experience.

I did not notice any change in my very enlarged spleen. This had been my main hope that the spleen would shrink as it causes me such pain and discomfort. My spleen is misplacing many of my internal organs in the abdominal cavity. It prevents me from eating an entire meal and I have now lost over 50 pounds.

At the beginning of this trial, my white count was 92,700 (normal being around 5000). Yesterday it was 49,500. So that is almost a 50% reduction in the WBC, although it remains quite elevated. The WBC did drop as low as 37,000 but then I had an infection and had IV steroids with IVIG, so those events increased the WBC as they always do.

I normally always have 99% lymphocytes and 1% neutrophils. My differential yesterday was 90% lymphocytes (normal being 13-43%), 7% neutrophils, 1% monocytes, and 2% eosinophils. It has been sometime since I have had monocytes and eosinophils even show up on my differential. The cancerous cell line is the lymphocytes, thus the very high percentage of lymphocytes.

My hemoglobin was 8.0 (normal 12-16) when I began this treatment. Today it was 10.6.

The main count that I am concerned about is my platelets. They were 114,000 when I began this protocol and they were 68,000 (normal is 130,000 to 400,000) yesterday.

I heard from the University of Washington researcher this evening and he believes maybe I should try another 8 weeks of this protocol. Please keep us in your prayers as I make the next decisions as how I should best proceed.

A Prayer for Today: November 19, 2008

Heavenly Father,

We come before You on bended knee. It is humbling to be in Your presence. To be able to approach the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord with our prayers and petitions is such an honor and privilege. I don’t know where we would be without You, Father. We praise You with our whole hearts.

Father, forgive us for the sins we commit and when we become wayward children. Our flesh lures us to thoughts and deeds that are not pleasing to You. Strengthen our spirits so that we are able to rise against sinful thoughts and deeds. Help us not to be led into temptation but deliver us from evil.

We long to be more like You, Precious Father. Let us be lovers of mankind and of our enemies. Give us your compassion for those less fortunate than us. Equip us to be ministers of the Gospel, wherever our feet might take us. Remind us that even in the chemotherapy room, we can be a light and a witness for You and Your Word. Let us be bold and forthright with sharing Your Message with a lost world.

We are a people in need, Lord. My mind cannot even remember all of these requests, but I know that you know each need. James 5:15 instructs us: “And the prayer of faith will save the sick…” I pray for all those battling cancer.

We are forever grateful for Your listening ear and Your concern for each of us. Father, we love You and praise Your Holy Name. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

He's Walking Her Home

This is a beautiful song. I cry everytime I hear it played.

A Pre-Birthday Celebration

Tonight our daughters hosted a birthday celebration for me. We had to celebrate a bit early since one of our daughters will be working out of town on my actual birthday. All of us went to a Japanese Steak House. The chef worked his wonders of tossing vegetables into our mouths, igniting large fires on the grills, and entertaining us during the meal. Lil Man's already-big-brown eyes grew even bigger when the fires ignited. It is always nice to gather around a table and share a meal as a family.

I was asked today what I felt this year with regard to my birthday. One word came to my mind and that is gratitude. I know with every day that I am given, that I have been blessed. I am past due on my anticipated "expiration" date by several years. I've lived for quite sometime at Stage IV leukemia and there doesn't appear to be many remaining treatment options for me. I am blessed and I am grateful for today and for tomorrow.

If, today, you allow thoughts of negativity, jealousy, gossip, worry, concern, or anxiety to steal one moment of your day, I would suggest that you stop and reflect on how you would be living today if you knew that your time was limited. I would venture to say that you would live very differently. Life is too short for petty problems. Take it from someone who knows!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Snow falls.

I am lured outside to walk in the peacefulness calm of the winter white. The quiet is deafening as my feet sweep through the drifts blowing across my path.

The nighttime sky is punctuated with snowflakes, each unique in shape and size. The boughs of the trees are iced with a frosting fluff of snow dust.

I pause to look at the street lights magnifying the falling flakes.

My heart is lured to the edge of the woods. The front yards of squirrels, deer, and turkeys are powdered with precipitation. Creatures creep into seclusion.

My eyelashes flutter as the snow freezes on their tips. My cheeks creep with cold as my toes tingle with the chill.

Each snowfall, unique and enticing. My mind and body are lured outward to experience the sensory sensations of a winter snowfall.

Boot Camp Continues

No one ever could have told me how a toothless smile from a two month old would melt my heart. Lil Man is growing and smiling and talking to those who love him. Today I picked him up after I went to the doctor. He was allowed to go to his Mommy's office for an hour or so this morning until I could finish at the doctor. When he was put into my car, he gave me the biggest smile. He was proudly wearing his tiny John Deere tennis shoes that I had purchased for him with his "big boy" blue jeans.

We rock and walk. I show him the creations of God that are outside of our windows. We look at the sky, the trees, the squirrels, and everything with God's fingerprint upon it. We rock and pray. I pray for him to grow healthy and strong into a young man with a place for God reserved in his heart. We rock and sing. I offer praises to God for the joy that my children and grandchild have given to my life.

The Game Called Life

Dying is a lonely, cruel game.
That nobody wants to play with you
It leaves your body broken, your heart hurting.
Further and further away drift those who should care.
No one understanding the pain tearing ragged rips
Through one’s flesh and bones.
Dying is a lonely, cruel game.

Eternal living is a joyful game
That many yearn to play with you.
Heaven reveals your body healed, your heart rejoicing.
Little does it matter if people drift away
Because the Savior understands it all completely.
He never abandons or hurts.
Eternal living is a joyful game.

Cardboard Testimonies

I wept tonight as I watched the video in this link. Please take a few moments to view this amazing, silent testimony to the goodness of God. Sometimes the most difficult life experiences witness more to others than the most eloquent sermon ever preached. Silently walking in the confidence of Christ, even when death is knocking at the door, speaks volumes. These lives, broken and hurting, reveal the power, grace, goodness, and faithfulness of our Lord. All because of a piece of cardboard.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Prayer for Today: November 12, 2008

Precious Lord,

I am grateful that You live in our lives and in our hearts. In this season of thanksgiving, we lift our hearts full of gratefulness to You. You are precious to us and we rejoice that we can call you Father. Thank You for the sacrifice that you made for each of us on Calvary’s cross. Thank You for never leaving nor forsaking us. There is none like You, Lord.

I thank You for all that You do for each of us, Lord. Thank You for bringing strength to those who are weak and discouraged. Thank You for your daily provisions of food, shelter and clothing. May we never take such things for granted but never let us be too focused on the trappings of this world. Thank You for allowing us to live in a free country.

With that spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving, may we be reminded daily of Your goodness and mercy, Lord. Strengthen our spirits so that we will not become too focused on the struggles of this life – for they are only temporary concerns and problems. We continue on, as pilgrims, with this journey called life. We know that this world is not our permanent home and for that I rejoice. A promised land awaits each of us who has accepted you as Lord and Savior. May our eyes and hearts remain focused on You.

In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Military

It's the Military, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.
It's the Military, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
It's the Military, not the politicians, who ensures our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It's the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

Author Unknown

Thank You, Veterans

I am thankful, today and everyday, to live in the land of the free. I can worship as I choose without fear of persecution. I can dress as I please and speak as I please. Doors are open for people of all races, economical background, and sex to obtain an education. I am free to vote for whom I please and to display signs for those I support.

I realize today and everyday that my freedoms are the direct result of the men and women who have fought on behalf of my country. I am grateful for the sacrifices that military families, even today, are making so that their loved one can work to defend and protect our nation.From the low-tech battles of the World Wars to the high-tech battles of the Iraqi War, soldiers have remained unchanged. They are husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters called to defend and protect our freedoms and the USA.

Thank you, veterans.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Piece of History

While exploring this weekend, we discovered this monument. It marked the location and establishment of the first church in this county in 1822. Additional research revealed the following information about that congregation which was formed nearly 200 years ago.

In 1822 Charles Beaty, a young missionary from the Board of Domestic Missions gathered together the few Presbyterian families living along Little Raccoon Creek between the mouth of that stream and the present site of Waveland. Prominent in the gathering were James Buchanan and Thomas Gilkerson. After preaching for some weeks Mr. Beaty organized a society known as the Shiloh Presbyterian Church, which in 1824 built a hewed log house near Little Raccoon Creek, about four miles northeast of Rockville. Evidently this was the first church house in Parke County, but its exact location cannot be identified. The elders of this church were Amos P. Balch, William McMillin, Jonathan Garrison, James Buchanan, and Henry Anderson. Several visiting ministers conducted services here prior to 1828, when Reverend Samuel H. McNutt became state supply and so continued until 1832. Present elders include H. B. Butler, John W. Adams, and Frank Fisher .

Friday, November 7, 2008

One Life to Love

The words to this song by 33 Miles are poignant. Read them carefully and follow the You Tube link to listen to it performed. How many people on their death bed, question what they would have done differently in their lives? I live under a threat of death that is more pressing than what most people face. Everyday, I am living and thinking, "What if today is the last day?" Everyone should live like this -- pondering perspectives on what is truly important in their lives.

Take a moment to listen:

He never thought he cared so much about the minute hand,
Until he started praying for a second chance,
If he could only do it all again,
He'd trade the long nights that he spent behind his desk,
For all he missed,

He tells his wife,
I wish that this moment in this room, was not me dying,
But just spending a little time with you

You only get just one time around,
You only get one shot at this,
One chance, To find out,
The one thing that you don't wanna miss,
One day when its all said and done
I hope you see that it was enough,
This one ride,
One try,
One life,
To love.

She never thought she cared so much about those little hands,
That held on tight the day she left,
Til she was scared to death,
Sitting all alone on a hotel bed,
The end of the road,
The sun has set on her big plans,
To feel young again,
She picks up the phone,
Dials the number,
Hears that little voice,
That's haunted every single mile,
Since she made that choice,

You only get just one time around,
You only get one shot at this,
One chance,
To find out,
The one thing that you don't wanna miss,
One day when its all said and done
I hope you see that it was enough,
This one ride,
One try,
One life,
To love.

Cooking School

My daughter, her mother-in-law, my Mom, my Aunt Erma and I attended a Taste of Home Cooking School last night. We had a great evening of laughter and fellowship together. We enjoyed dinner before attending. The only downside of the evening was as we arrived, Lil Man's Mom called me and they had hit a deer on their way home. Her car's front end will have to be replaced (again). She and Lil Man were rear ended about 2 weeks before he was born. The Lord has certainly kept His hand of protection upon them.

This is a photograph of the Cooking School stage:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Autumn Covered Bridge Photographs

Please Pray for This Family

A co-worker of our daughter lost her 28 year old son last night. A blood clot caused cardiac arrest in this beloved son while his mother was out of state. I cannot begin to understand the pain and heartache that this mother and father are enduring. Tonight, I ask that my Blog readers will uplift this family in prayer. The song, "Because He Lives" came to mind today for this family. Because He lives, we CAN face tomorrow - no matter the heartache, death, pain, or suffering that this life brings to our families.

Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives,
All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!
~ William and Gloria Gaither ~

A Prayer for Today: November 5, 2008


You are our rock and our salvation. I am forever grateful that You remain solidified, unchanging, and stalwart in our world of turmoil and upheaval. When everything shakes around us, the economy, the government, and relationships around the world, we can count on You alone to be consistent.

Remind us today and everyday, Father, that as Your children, we must keep our hearts pure and repentant before You. We must seek You and when we seek You, we will find You. We must be purposeful in our study of Your Holy Word. And as we do these things, we will become light to the sinful world around us. You will reveal Your plans and purpose to us. We will be confident that our prayers will be God-led and inspired as we pray for world, our country, and our families.

When we stray far from You and Your Word, we cannot be confident that we are praying as You would lead us to pray. The media, co-workers, unbelievers and doubters can influence us if we are not cautious. The enemy goes around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour us. Lord. Protect and preserve our bodies, minds, and spirits from learning toward the ways of this world. Your ways are higher than our ways. We may not understand all that is going on in our world and in our lives, but I am confident that You are all-knowing.

In the midst of turmoil in our world, let us not forget the great needs within the leukemia family. So many of us are hurting and struggling with our broken bodies. Father, we need a touch from You. Bring divine wisdom and understanding to the researchers and doctors seeking a leukemia cure. I rejoice that just today the human genome was unlocked for a leukemia patient. Our bodies are no mystery to You, our Creator. Eradicate infections from so many of our bodies. Pneumonia, pseudomonas, and other infections, be gone in the Name of Jesus! Help those of us who battle daily pain. I know you are able to touch this pain and restore our lives and bodies. We believe, Father, that we can turn to You in our times of need. Lord, I also ask that addictions of all types be replaced with a hunger for You instead of drugs or alcohol. Uplift and encourage all of our children and grandchildren as they, too, must wrestle with this the sadness and heartache of leukemia.

We can never, ever repay You for all that You have done on our behalf. Thank You for bearing our sins on Calvary. Thank You, for the promises of Your Word and the hope You give us to face tomorrow.

In Jesus’ Name I pray. AMEN.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Missionary Prayer Requests

Prayer Requests from Jessie, missionary to Costa Rica. Please pray in agreement that Jessie's needs will be met.

Donors and finances
Thank God for His continued
provision and blessing
on families who are
willing to financially support
ministry around the

Guidance for the Future
Wisdom to train leaders

Spring Camp Prep
We are so excited to take
kids out of their comfort
zones and to explore
Christ with them!

Young Life
Service Project
April 4-11, in El Salvador

WyldLife Camp
April 24th-26th

When You are Hurting

When your heart is breaking and the troubles of the world seem overwhelming, turn to God's Word for help and encouragement.

When you are in sorrow ..... "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14: 27

When you are worried ..... "Therefore, I say to you, 'do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his statue?'"

When God seems far away ..... "O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thoughts afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it." Psalm 139: 1-6

When you are in danger ...... ""No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands, they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." Psalm 91: 10-13

When you are lonely or fearful .... "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

When you want peace and rest in your life ..... "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

When you feel down and out ..... "Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? ..... Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:35-37

A Poem from Costa Rican Missionary

My friend, Jessie, a missionary to Costa Rica, sent this poem to our church.

Traveling on My Knees

Last night I took a journey
To a land across the seas.
I didn't go by ship or plane -
I traveled on my knees.

I saw so many people there
In bondage to their sin
And Jesus told me, "I should go,
That there were souls to win."

But I said, "Jesus I can't go
To lands across the state."
He answered quickly
"Yes, you can-
By traveling on your knees."

He said, "You pray,
I'll meet the need.
You call, and I will hear
It's up to you to be concerned
For lost souls far and near."

And so I did, knelt in prayer
Gave up some hours of ease,
And with my Savior by my side
I traveled on my knees.

As I prayed, I saw souls saved
And twisted persons healed.
I saw God's workers' strength renewed
While laboring on the field.

I said, "Yes, Lord, I'll take the job,
Your heart I want to please.
I'll heed your call and swiftly go
By traveling on my knees."

Please keep Jessie and her work in Costa Rica in your prayers. In an earlier post, I listed her address where financial support may be mailed.

Vote Today!

Our family had our annual Bonfire and Costume Party this past weekend. This photo is my husband and I wearing our costumes. It might serve as a reminder of who to vote for when you head to the polls!

Woman's Best Friend

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named 'Lucky. ' Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing. Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all o f Lucky's other favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease fact , she was just sure it was fatal. She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her ...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him. The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable. Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.

When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love.

Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure.

Remember.... live every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget.... the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards They are the ones that care for us.

If you see someone without a smile today give them one of yours!
Live simply. Love seriously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer. Amen
In memory of anyone you know that has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it.

Author Unknown

Advice for Daily Living from the Book of Colossians

Walk worthy of the Lord fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work.

Increase in the knowledge of God.

Let no one deceive you with persuasive words.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit.

Seek those things which are Above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.

Set your mind on things Above, not on things on the earth.

Put to death: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness.

Put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

Do not lie to one another.

Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another.

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Children, obey your parents in all things for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Request for Prayer: November 4, 2008

The temperature continues. I am not feeling well at all -- a combination of the after-effects of yesterday's treatment and today's sinus pain/headache. At 2:15, I have to go to the ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat specialist). He will have to puncture through the bone of my sinus cavity and irrigate my sinuses to obtain samples for cultures. I cannot be sedated as an outpatient due to the drug reactions I have had in the past. This is not a pleasant procedure. I have had Pseudomonas in my sinuses in the past (very dangerous infection) so I am praying it will not be a repeat of that.

I will update the blog when we have results from the blood, urine, and sinus cultures.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote Tomorrow

"If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for the selfish or local purposes." -- Daniel Webster

“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty.” -- Noah Webster

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." -- Thomas Paine

"Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants." -- William Penn
From the 19th Century

“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” -- Abraham Lincoln

“The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.” -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” -- John F. Kennedy

"In a world that might say one vote doesn't matter..., it does matter because each person is of infinite worth and value to God... Your vote is a declaration of importance as a person and a citizen." -- Billy Graham

"We have a duty to our country to participate in the political process. See, if you believe in freedom, you have a duty to exercise your right to vote to begin with. I'm [here] to encourage people to do their duty, to go to the polls. I want all people, no matter what their political party is or whether they even like a political party, to exercise their obligation to vote." -- George W. Bush

“Our first civic duty is to vote. If you don’t vote, you are abandoning the biblical obligation to be a responsible citizen.” -- Chuck Colson

Quotes from The Presidential Prayer Team

Reflections from the Chemo Room

Today, I received my first treatment in the new infusion center. As I have mentioned, for nearly ten years, I have sat in the exact same chair to receive all of my treatments. I have laughed and cried; hurt and healed; cared and celebrated all from the comfort of that blue recliner. It was difficult today to take a new step on this journey into a new location.

Two different conversation areas with infusion chairs and pumps were in the new center. As I sat with 5 other ill people, we began conversing. I always marvel at God's goodness. Out of this group, 4 of the 5 were Christians. Although most of us were very ill -- I have leukemia, one patient had ovarian cancer; one lady had throat cancer, and another had just received a liver transplant. Yet, we had an uplifiting, encouraging conversation this morning. We shared with each other what the Lord had done for us. One lady knew of a Chinese missionary and told us of her adventures. Another lady was home schooling her granddaughter and I was able to encourage her (since I home schooled our three daughters).

I marveled at the beauty in that room. Although all of our bodies were broken, we were trusting that the Lord would strengthen and sustain us. We had a Christian nurse caring for us. God is so good in the way he orchestrated today's events. He knew, more than anyone, how I was struggling with this new transition and how sad I was to have not been able to watch Lil Man. Since I was the first to arrive in this seating area, God placed these people around me - a Heavenly security blanket -- to wrap me in encouragement and love for today.

Even more amazing was to watch the transformation of the one woman in the group who was not a believer. She was very angry when she arrived. Since the nurse hadn't brought her back for her treatment precisely at 8:30, she got up and left the building. The nurses had to go reclaim her. She had cancer in her throat and was unable to talk without a mechanical device she had to press and then speak in a rough, difficult to understand voice. From her clothes and conversation, she appeared very poor and hurting. Anger filled most of her early morning conversation. She would swear at the nurses. However, as she sat and absorbed our conversations about Scripture, missionaries, Bible studies, etc., her demeanor softened. As the room emptied, she spent most of the late afternoon talking to me. I tried to encourage her and she laughed and lightened. I know she had a divine appointment today -- not only an appointment to receive her chemotherapy, but also to soak in the love and the Word of her Heavenly Creator, Whom we discussed and praised. To God be the glory .....

Request for Prayer: November 3, 2008

It took almost 9 hours today, however, I completed my IgG IV treatment without complications or reactions. I feel poorly from it tonight -- upset stomach, headache, light sensitivity, and I am very tired. My temperature was elevated this morning, so the doctors began one antibiotic while we await blood cultures and urine cultures' reports to return. Please pray that this will not be a serious infection. I also need prayers for strength as I am very weak. I appreciate all of you.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Request for Prayer: November 1, 2008

Please pray for me as I will be having my next 8-hour IV treatment at the oncologist's office on Monday. Not only will I dread the treatment as usual since it makes me feel poorly and it can have several side effects, but also this month's treatments will begin at the doctor's new location. I am a creature of habit and I have sat in the same chair for nearly ten years when receiving chemo and other treatments. This new adjustment will be difficult for me. Lastly, as I sit having this treatment, I will have to sacrifice my day with Lil Man. That makes me saddest of all. Thank you for your prayers.