Friday, October 30, 2009

27 Years Ago Today

Today my husband and I celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. Little did we know when we recited our wedding vows how much the "for richer, for poorer; for better, for worse; and in sickness and health" would apply to our life together. The years have not always been paved with an uncomplicated life, yet we have come through and remain married in a world of marriages disposed of by divorces. Happy Anniversary to my husband of 27 years!

Here's a throw-back to the 80's ..... one of our wedding photographs.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Prayer for Today: October 29, 2009

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for yet another day with breath in our lungs and beating hearts. Everyday please remind us never to take life for granted. We rejoice at the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He always comforts us when we have concerns; He always encourages our hearts when they are down-trodden; and He always directs our paths if we listen and are obedient.

Forgive us for stubbornness and when we fail You, Lord. Prompt our hearts to be quick to forgive and quick to repent when our mouths or lives are disobedient. Forgive us for beseeching You to answer our prayers with sin in our hearts. Purify our hearts, minds, mouths, and lives so that we will be able to approach Your throne with boldness. Mark 1:15 simply instructs us: “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” God’s Word is not meant to be complicated. If we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and repent as we make mistakes and sin, He is just to forgive.

Bless our families. We ask for super-natural protection from You, Lord, to defend us against the H1N1 flu. Continue to uphold families undergoing immense struggles. Walk closely with us. Bring healing, peace, provision, strength, and help to each one praying this prayer. Wrap Your loving arms around us, Father. May each person sense Your love and presence in his or her life.

May each of us carve out time for You in our daily schedules. Help us not to over-commit and rob ourselves of the blessings of time in Your Word and prayer. Your Word does not return avoid, however, we must open that Good Book, read Your God-breathed Words and obey.

I rejoice that You are my Savior. In Jesus’ Name I pray. AMEN.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Our Forefathers Must Be Grieving

I consider the disarray that consumes our country and I know our forefathers would be grieving. Do you realize that almost every one of the 55 signers and writers of our Constitution were affiliated with some Christian denomination? Compare that to the rampant influx of atheists and God-hating politicians and leaders who are on a mission to remove God from America. What fools! God is omnipresent and mortal men and women cannot completely evict God from our country. They can make God-less decisions that will result in His wrath focused on America, yet He will still be on His throne.

Consider this 1892 ruling by the United States Supreme Court:

"Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."

Compare these God-inspired words to recent, God-less rulings in the US Supreme Court and policies considered in the Capitol: pro-abortion, the starvation of Terri Schiavo, anti-school prayer, anti-home schooling, and other ludicrous acts by legislators and Justices.

Patrick Henry orated:

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here.”

How far our Great Nation has fallen from these core beliefs and values! In an interview after Hurricane Katrina, Anne Graham (daughter of Billy Graham) reflected:

“I believe God is deeply saddened by this (Katrina), just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

Humbling isn’t it? To consider the sacrifices our founding fathers made and the sacrifices of life that soldiers have made in defense of our country, I am saddened by the disarray of our country and angry at the God ignorers this country has become. May our leaders be convicted in spirit to do what is right in God’s eyes for the sake of our Nation. May God not remove Himself further from the aid of the United States as poor political decisions are implanted in all branches of our nation’s government.

Under the Harvest Moon

by Carl Sandburg

Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

Do You Desire God's Protection?

Living in this dangerous world filled with threats of terrorism, crime and pandemic diseases, we must strive to obtain all of the protection from God that we can muster. We cannot defend ourselves against such ominous threats. And God does not want us to fear.

Tucked away in the book of Ezra 8, I uncovered this passage last night: “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.” When I read Scriptures like this, it reminds me of how important it is to feed my spirit on His Word (READ THE BIBLE!), be obedient and pray.

These words remind us that God’s protection and presence belong to all of us IF we seek Him. Psalm 91 is a favorite passage of Scripture about protection and deliverance. It also reminds us that all forms of protection belong to us IF we “abide in Him". Let’s review the definition of abide. What does it mean for us to abide in God? Abide’s meaning is “to live or reside in a place". We must be residing in prayer, study of the Bible, and welcoming the Holy Spirit into our lives IF we desire that type of protection. The definition states that abide means “to live”. We must live our lives immersed in the things of God. It does not state that abide means “just to visit once in awhile”. When we draw near to Him, He draws nearer and nearer to us.

The second portion of the Ezra passage cautions us that IF we forsake (to withdraw companionship, protection, or support from somebody, namely God) Him, “His power and wrath are against us”. Ouch. That is a warning that must not be ignored.

Once again, we discover how vital our decisions are to our lives. This is crucial for each individual to grasp. We must choose to serve our God, whole-heartedly, if we are to reap His multitude of rewards, protection and blessings.

The Dangers of Strife

Strife is defined in the dictionary as “bitter conflict or rivalry; bitter and sometimes violent conflict, struggle, or rivalry”. What the definition does not explain to us is the extreme negative impact that strife has on our relationship with God. Strife does not come from God. It is a destructive tool that the enemy uses to ignite hatred, unforgiveness, and conflict in families and churches alike.

It is vital for us as Christians to be able to quickly identify strife at work. Secondly, when conflict emerges, we must recognize that it is the enemy at work in a person’s life. Our responses should not be to rally to battle against the offender. In the heat of strife-filled relationships, we must pause, take a deep breath, recognize the enemy at work, maintain peace and control and wage the war in the spiritual realm with prayer.

Most arguments are about over-inflated topics. The Devil is the master of deception and he can cause our imaginations to run wild about a situation to the point of a hatred exchange of verbal hatred. 2 Timothy 2:23 instructs: “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife." This is one of the first God-breathed instructions for eliminating strife. We must avoid confrontation in the first place. All too often a foolish instigator ignites strife. We must learn self-control so that we learn to manage our tongues.

James 1:26 teaches: “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.” Did you read that – USELESS – our belief system in God, our desires to see answered prayers – if we don’t learn to bridle our tongue, our pathway with God is blocked. I never want to think that my actions block my prayers. Yes, God always hears our prayers, yet in the presence of strife, unforgiveness and unbridled tongues, our answers may be delayed.

As a very young Christian many years ago, someone hurt me with very cutting words. Everything within me wanted to despise this person and never forgive her. Yet, I had a tiny baby girl who was struggling for her life and I knew I wanted no part of my prayers not being answered. So, only with help from God, I called and forgave that person. Immediate peace and freedom flooded my spirit. And we all know peace and freedom are valuable commodities in this world.

A visual description of strife is presented in Proverbs 17:14. It states: “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.” Envision a dam with a tiny leak trickling through its walls. Repairs can quickly and easily be made IF the leak is stopped immediately. If the leak is ignored, the water leak erodes and a much larger hole of damage emerges. This Scripture compares such a leak to strife. If we quickly recognize the signs that a quarrel is about to explode, we MUST stop it before it starts.

I cannot imagine how angry the Devil becomes when his attempts to rip apart families or churches are thwarted. And nothing makes me any happier than to really tick off the Devil. Strife is like poison to relationship. May we vow today to go on a mission to lead lives of peace and not strife. Daily pray against strife. We must read what God’s Word says about strife and even write out the Scriptures. When we fully have revelation knowledge of how damaging strife is in our relationships, we will beg to change. May we destroy the poison of strife and lead lives rich in peace beginning today.

Romans 1 contains these words of wisdom about what happens when we don’t retain God’s instruction for our lives: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” What a list of what God will allow our lives to become filled with when we choose to ignore Him. Among this list of very foul attributes, you will note that strife is mixed in with murder. God takes strife seriously. May each of us strive for strife-free lives.

Back in the Chair

This morning, I returned to my infusion chair at the cancer center following a brief 4-week hiatus. I must admit after spending so many days here since June, that my body preferred to stay home, burrowed in my blankets. I am receiving IVIG today (all day treatment that supports my immune function).

I am a bit concerned as I was very confused when I awoke. My pills are always sorted out in one of those pill containers. Pills are sorted by day and meal. For the life of me, I could not determine which pills to take. I stood there looking at the pills, as forlorn and puzzled as if I was solving a trigonometry problem.

Finally, I thought I had the mystery unraveled and took my pills. Awhile later, I looked and I had taken Tuesday's lunch pills. Duh. There is a true phenomenon known as Chemo-Brain. I might be a victim of that! At least I arrived this morning with clothes on and didn't forget my laptop. The brain hasn't totally misfired.

Tomorrow I return to the Infectious Disease doctor in Indianapolis who is helping us to treat and diagnose these fungal and bacterial infections. I did not obey his order a couple of weeks ago to switch my antifungal. I did not have any peace in my spirit, so I assumed it was not in God's plan fir me. He wanted me to try Voriconzaole. It has many risks, hallucinations being one of them. I just couldn't picture myself watching Lil Man while hallucinating. Also, there are serious cardiac concerns with that medication. I hope he will not fire me as a patient for insubordination.

On November 9th, I return to see an ENT specialist in Indianapolis with the same hope of resolving these fungal infections since have been present since January. I am very blessed that they have not spread as that is the life-threatening risk these type of infections pose.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Anniversary

Luke 18:27
But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

Although my husband and I will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary later this month, I celebrated another anniversary today. One year ago today, I began my duties as Lil Man's Nanny. I reflect on the amazing strength and stamina God has given to me to equip me to fulfill these duties for my grandson.

When he was born, I was on oxygen 24/7. I have battled through infections too numerous to count in the past year. I underwent 11 weeks of chemotherapy this summer. Every month I received IVIG infusions. Many days I received IV antibiotics or antifungals and then left and picked up my precious Lil Man. I truly marvel at how I have managed to accomplish this task and to reach this one year celebration of being his Nanny.

Truly, if you cannot witness God's hand in all of this, you must be spiritually blind. His handiwork is all over this achievement. During this year of demanding days of picking up our grandson, caring for him for 8 hours and returning him to his Mommy's office, I have been told that I am "end stage leukemia". I have spent days in Intensive Care. Yet, God lifts me out of the bed each day. He awakens my eyes to yet another sunrise. He helps me to tolerate my pain as I tote around a 28 pound baby boy. God keeps my mind clear and my will to live strong as I strive to care for him as long as he and his parents need me.

May God continue to breathe life into my lungs so that Lil Man's Nanny will remain on duty for many more anniversaries to come.

A Prayer for Today: October 22, 2009

Gracious Father,

“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!” (Psalm 48:1). We will rejoice in good times and bad times. This praise is to be lifted from our hearts to praise God for Who He is and not for what God has done for us. Answers to prayers may take longer than we hope, yet we can be assured that His timing is perfect. Thank You, Father, for Your love and concern for each of us.

May we “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17) for the many needs each of us possesses. We are battling a foe that is vile and determined to “kill, steal and destroy” from God's children. Yet, we remain highly optimistic that God has far greater plans for His children. Amos 5:6 instructs us: “Seek Me and live.” Let this be a reminder to each of us, that He is calling each of us to seek diligently after Him, in the pursuit of life – whether it be life on earth or life in eternity.

I hesitate to apply names to our needs as I cannot recall everyone and every family in need of a dire touch from Your Hand, Lord. Heal bodies. Provide for those in need. Repair broken families. Defeat addictions.

Psalm 68:20 reads: “…to God the Lord belongs escapes from death.” I have experiences so many of these escapes from death and I ask that as the enemy attempts to snatch our lives, that You, O God will continue to allow us to escape death until we have fulfilled the time on earth that has been assigned to us.

We love You and worship You, precious Father.
In Jesus’ Name I pray. AMEN.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prayer Requests & Updates

Thank you for your prayers for our daughter, Stephanie. She received good reports at her cardiologist on Monday. God continues to have His hand upon her and her precious heart and lungs. She does not have pulmonary hypertension and some other valve concerns were not as concerning at this appointment. Thank you, Lord.

Today has been a challenge, needless to say. My doctor called me today to tell me that yesterday's CT Scan of my sinuses has worsened since the last CT Scan in September. This worsening is despite IV Micafungin, Amphotericin and Posaconazole antifungals, and two antibiotics. We are so perplexed and concerned. She mentioned concerns of a return of Pseudomonas - a very dangerous bacterial infection that almost killed me once before in 2007.

This evening, Kevin and I headed to the hospital so two more antibiotics could be added safely with medical personnel nearby in the event of reactions. We added oral Biaxin and Tobramycin inserted into the sinus cavities. Currently, I have two different medications requiring twice daily insertion directly into the sinuses. It is an uncomfortable procedure to do once a day. I do not look forward to doing this four times a day.

Thank you for praying.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prayer Requests & Updates

Please pray for our daughter Stephanie tomorrow. As I posted earlier, she will consult with her adult congenital heart specialist. He is performing an echo on her with the latest equipment and technology. He has told her that he will perform this test and interpret the results himself, versus having a technician perform these tasks. Her appointment is at 2 PM (Eastern) and I ask that you pray for peace for Steph and her family, wisdom for the doctor, and encouraging reports. Again, we are grateful for your prayers.

I continue to have fevers and battle the fungal infections. I will have a CT Scan on Tuesday of this week. Next week, I will have my all day IVIG treatment on Monday and will return to Indianapolis to see my Infectious Disease Specialist on Tuesday. Prayers are welcome!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Prayer for Today: October 15, 2009

Dear Lord,

We worship You, alone, Lord. Our hearts overflow with gratefulness for all that You do for us, but more importantly for Who You are to us. You are Savior, Deliverer, Healer, Redeemer, Provider, Comforter and so much more to those of us who know You as Lord and Savior. Thank You for the sacrifice that was made on Calvary on our behalf so that we might call You our Savior.

Forgive our doubting, pouting, complaining mouths and hearts, Lord. Life is difficult, so very difficult while we are here on earth. Yet, as Your children, saved by the blood of Jesus, we are guaranteed life eternal in Heaven, free from difficulties and heartache. Thank You for always forgiving us when we come to You and repent of our wayward deeds and words. This life will be nothing but a fleeting vapor when compared to the eternal longevity of Heaven for us. Let us not waste time focusing too much on the trials or the celebrations of this world.

In Jesus’ Name, I pray for complete turn arounds in the life events and health challenges of so many people. Touch each one stricken with cancer and heal their bodies. Eradicate the H1N1 flu from our communities and protect each of us from this dreaded virus. Provide for those who have lost jobs or other sources of income during this time of economic upheaval. Comfort those who are hurting, suffering and doubting. Encourage each of our lives to turn to You and to trust You with every detail of our lives.

In Jesus’ Precious Name I pray, AMEN.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Major Praise Report: October 14, 2009

I offer God all the praise tonight - my LDH level was normal, so the possibility of Richter's Transformation has greatly decreased for me.

Secondly, I just received an e-mail from my family physician - I have a NORMAL WBC (White Blood Count) of 8600. I am in awe of His greatness. I don't know that I have ever had a normal WBC in over 13 years! (You might recall that my WBC was nearly 170,000 when I began treatment in June.)

I saw my family doctor today - several more lymph nodes have enlarged. Since the LDH and WBC are normal, she is more inclined to believe the nodes are from the fungal infection.

We are in the process of juggling medications. She and I both have great concern over the recommendation to switch to the antifungal Voriconazole. It can cause some serious side effects, including cardiac side effects. And when combined with Cipro (which I take daily), the cardiac risks become moderate. She has recommended that we hold on the switch from Posaconazole to Voriconazole until the weekend. We reintroduced the Amphotericin tonight and will give it a few days to see if the temperature resolves and if the sinus/lung infections improve. If not, the Voriconazole will be added and Cipro subtracted. Then I will have to be desensitized to another antibiotic to replace the Cipro. Please pray that the infection and temperature will improve before the weekend. I have another fungal infection on my skin and began medication for that.

I am humbled at His mercy and His goodness that He extends to His children.

Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for this "end stage" leukemia patient - perhaps God still has other plans for me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An Update & Request for Prayer: October 13, 2009

I just returned from my appointment with my Infectious Disease specialist in Indianapolis. He believes I still have an active fungal infection. My temperature was 99.5 when I was checked today (my normal temperature is around 97.5). I told him that Sunday evening I began with some greenish sinus drainage and that has continued through today. I have a minor, dry cough and continued fatigue and pain.

I had discontinued the Amphotericin intranasal washes on Friday after 3 weeks. He recommended that I resume that for an additional two weeks. He also wants to swap out Posaconazole for Voriconazole (V-FEND). This is another very expensive medication that requires special insurance authorization.

I ran a drug interaction check on this with my other drugs. I know there are some warnings with Voriconazole and they are numerous (cardiac and hematological - serious concerns). Also, it said that combining Cipro with Voriconazole increases these cardiac risks. And Voriconazole increases the level of steroids (which I take daily).

If we decide to move forward with Voriconazole, we will have to set outside of the ER and take the first dose as they do not want me in the hospital for desensitization or to observe for allergic reactions, yet I need to be nearby medical assistance. I am looking at the two fungal sensitivities that I have received thus far - Voriconazole is the number one choice on one of the sensitivities. However, on the other sensitivity report, Voriconazole is the worst choice but Posaconazole (that I am taking) has activity against the infection. Perhaps flipping a coin to select the drug would be a good plan.

He also recommended another sinus CT after 1 week of Voriconazole. Then a return visit with him in 2 weeks. I believe he is quite concerned and I was upset knowing despite our best efforts - oral, IV and intranasal antifungals - that I remain with an infection and temperature. He felt all of the enlarged nodes that have emerged and I told him that tomorrow we are checking an LDH level to exclude Richter's transformation - he said an ongoing fungal infection could be contributing to the enlarging lymph nodes and spleen.

I ordered and received an herbal antifungal formula that I am going to try. I figure it cannot hurt anything. Please pray for my doctors to have clear guidance regarding the medication choices. I have fought fungal infections since late February. Thank you for your continued prayers!

Monday, October 12, 2009


by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if the were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the all.

Prayer Requests: October 11, 2009

I ask for prayer for our oldest daughter. She is our twin who was born with a congenital heart defect. She is seeing one of the best congenital heart experts on Monday. A test earlier this summer showed increased pressure in her pulmonary vessel - the concern being that the hole in her heart could be causing increased pulmonary *lung) pressures. Sometimes this is indicative of pulmonary hypertension - a very serious disorder. She is only 25 years old.

Please agree with our family that nothing more serious than the existing hole in her heart (that she has tolerated quite well since birth with the exception of one period of heart failure)will be revealed on Monday. I would love to live to see the day when her heart is healed completely.

She is a cardiac nurse and helps others with heart problems as her life mission. She is a fighter and has been since she was born as a tiny, three pound baby. This is evidenced by the e-mail she sent me today. She and her husband have been in Aspen, Colorado this week on vacation. She sent me a picture of her on one of the mountains with this note:

"Don't tell me I have a bad heart...I'll just hike from 10,000 ft to 14,000 ft on the top of Aspen Mountain in 40 degrees to prove everyone wrong! " :) That's my quote and I'm stickin' to it!

Love, Stephie

PS-I got as close to the edge as I could in this pic. I wanted to stand on that little rock behind me but it was a bit wobbly and almost 3 miles up would have been a long fall. :) Hehe!

I tend to believe that at those elevations, a heart and lung with much of a strain on them could not be hiking and doing so well. I have prayed for this heart for over a quarter of a century and I will not cease now.

Also, my 86 year old grandma is in the hospital with pneumonia and some cardiac concerns. She is my only living grandparent. Please pray for her quick, complete recovery.

We are trusting God.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Our oldest daughter and her husband are vacationing in Aspen, Colorado. Thiese are some of their photographs of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. I will post others as I receive them.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An Update and Request for Prayer: October 10, 2009

We are still awaiting identification of the two fungal cultures. Bacteria cultures will yield answers much more quickly than the ones for fungus. I continue on two antifungal medications. I will see my Infectious Disease specialist on Tuesday, so he might have new plans or observations.

My lymph nodes and spleen continue to enlarge. This is a bit concerning to me for a couple of reasons. First, this means that my partial remission is no longer any form of remission. Enduring eleven weeks of treatment and already having enlargement of the lymph nodes and spleen is quite discouraging. However, having them enlarge due to the leukemia is probably the best of two options. The other concern is that when a sudden enlargement of lymph nodes occur that a Richter's transformation could be occurring. Please pray that this is not the case for me. This is a serious, rare possibility with the leukemia that I have. Survival after a Richter's transformation can range from 6 to 12 months. I will have a test done on Wednesday that can be an indicator if Richter's is the cause of the lymph node and spleen enlargement.

I continue to have pain, fatigue, and periodic fevers and sweats. My lab work is not too bad, for me. My total White Blood Count was actually 12,000 this week (normal is 5000-10000) and my WBC was over 160,000 when I began treatment. My platelets and hemoglobin remain low, but stable for me.

The CDC flu map has revealed widespread flu outbreak for most of the US. Normally, when I self-quarantine, it is late December or early January before the flu reaches this level. The H1N1 flu is definitely a concern for people with compromised immune systems, so my self-quarantine is already underway. I pray that this widespread level of flu will quickly pass as I cannot imagine months and months of not leaving home.

I remind everyone to keep your hands clean, avoid crowds, take supplements such as Vitamin D-3 (if your physician approves) that is being shown to help prevent H1N1, take you flu vaccines, and at the first sign of the main flu symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat) to be tested to see if you have H1N1 as quickly as possible so that Tamiflu will work for you.

Emory University has a handy online tool for helping to self-diagnose H1N1. Go to:

Stay well!

13 Months Old

Yesterday, Lil Man turned thirteen months year. His Mommy commented that he had reached his "teenage months". I thought that was cute. He is growing and learning by leaps and bounds. He keeps this Grammy on her toes - on the go nearly non-stop.

My Dad calls him "F-1". F-1, I know, you are curious about this nickname. On the Fujita scale, tornadoes are ranked as to how much damage they have generated. Lil Man, an F-1, is on the lower end of the scale but can certainly demolish a home in a matter of minutes. My utensil drawer has new fascination for him and is frequently emptied (minus any sharp or dangerous utensils). Book shelves can be evacuated of all books within a matter of moments.

I have never witnessed a 13 month old as strong as Lil Man. He has been walking since he was 9 months old, so he is almost at a run nowadays. And he loves to move pieces of furniture. I am not kidding about this. He can push chairs, ottomans, and small tables all around our home. My husband calls him Sam Sappington, mover extraordinaire.

Some of Lil Man's new tricks:
-Says BRRRR when he has cold food or beverages
-Holds his nose when something smells bad
-Shows his "belly button" when you ask him where it is at
-Says Dog-Dog for his dog Allie
-Says Ba (for bottle)
-Claps (alot) when he sees the gallon of milk
-Dances circles around the Dancing with the Stars' dancers
-Kisses (and sneaks in a little bite with his kisses once in awhile)

He continues to bring much life and joy into my life. When I rock him to sleep, I always ask him if he has any idea of how much his life has strengthened and encouraged my will to fight and to live. He will never know how much .....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Prayer for Today: October 8, 2009

Heavenly Father,

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your Name, be joyful in You” (Psalm 5:11).

We continue to rejoice in You, Father. We know You are the Giver of joy, our Defender, and the One we can trust. For that we rejoice. We are grateful for the prayers and petitions that You hear and answer on our behalf. We praise You for the answers because we know that You will answer in ways that are most beneficial to us. And although we may not always understand or agree that Your ways are better or higher than our ways, we can rest assured that they most certainly are.

When we cry out to You and a prayer is not answered specifically as we felt should have been the best response, forgive us, Lord. Remind us constantly that You know so much better than we do about what we need in our lives. Forgive us for our impatience as we await the answers to our prayers. And forgive us when we simply fail to ask You to meet our needs. Your Word tells us, “We have not, because we ask not.”

Father, I ask that You reign supreme in all aspects of our great country’s government. From the oval office to the county seats of government, allow Godly men and women to oversee the important decisions that dictate life in America. Remove those from office who make decisions contrary to Your Word and Your plan for this great nation. Work in the midst of people who operate and govern completely separated from You and Your mandates. Guard our freedoms in this nation – the freedom to worship as we please; the freedom to bear arms; the freedom to speak as we choose; and the freedom to secure the medical care that we (and our physicians) feel is in our best interests.

Our needs are numerous, but nothing is too difficult for You, Lord. We are waiting. We are trusting. We are looking to You, Father. “(Our) helps comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).

In Jesus’ Name I pray. AMEN.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Maintenance Woes

Do you ever pause to consider how much of our lives are spent maintaining? Cars need routine maintenance. Manicures, pedicures, hair highlights - all need maintaining. The grass requires cutting, weeds need whacking, and flowers need transplanting. Computers need backed up. Nearly everything we spend money and time on requires maintenance.

It is not only time and money that all of these items requiring maintenance robs us of, but it robs us of vital time for prayer and study of God's Word. Maintaining all of the things of this world can slyly rob us of the time that is mandated for us to maintain our spiritual health and well-being.

Mark 4:19 instructs us, "The cares and anxieties of the world, and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless."(Mark 4:19)

These words powerfully illustrate how all of the trappings of this world sneak into our lives, many of them innocently, and then began to "choke and suffocate the Word" out of our lives. These words are powerfully illustrative. We must reflect on what we maintained today, how we spent our time, where our thoughts and efforts were directed -- and then we must ask ourselves, "Was time carved out on our schedules to read some of God's Word? Was time set aside to talk intimately in prayer with our Heavenly Father? Did we take time to think of someone other than ourselves?

If we answer, "No", to any of these questions, we need to begin evaluating and dissecting our daily agendas. By taking small steps in obedience, we will witness our lives becoming more fruitful in the things of God. May we never allow the distractions, pleasures, delights, glamour, riches, or passions of this world remove our focus from God and His Word.

The Words I Would Say

I heard this song for the first time early this morning. It made me reflect on how many words remain unspoken. For whatever reason - pride, inability to express heartfelt emotions, relational struggles, or simply time restraints, words often remain unspoken. I post this today as it expresses many words that I would say everyday to my children and grandchild if I had the opportunity. And when I depart from this earth, I pray that each of them will read and reread these words I would say to them if given the opportunity, as well as all of the other words I have written on this blog. With the companionship of my words, may those I love most be comforted and encouraged with each passing day.

The Words I Would Say
Song by Sidewalk Prophets

Three in the morning,
And I'm still awake,
So I picked up a pen and a page,
And I started writing,
Just what I'd say,
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

Last time we spoke,
You said you were hurting,
And I felt your pain in my heart,
I want to tell you,
That I keep on praying,
Love will find you where you are,
I know cause I've already been there,
So please hear these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

From one simple life to another,
I will say,
Come find peace in the Father,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,

Thank God for each day,
His love will find a way,
These are the words I would say

Link to the video:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Everyday Missionary

Will you allow past fear or doubt, circumstances or cares, to rip your aspirations from the reserves of your heart, to be a minister of the Gospel? Will you allow limitations, whether physical, financial, or relational to douse the flame of desire to serve Him? Will you enable the enemy to be victorious in his quest to stifle the spread of the Gospel? If your spirit is crying out, “NO” then an Everyday Missionary might be reading this Blog entry.

The Bible is replete with examples of men and women, no different than you or I, who were called and equipped to spread the Gospel. We discover the quiet faith of Mary and the outrageously bold approach of Peter and Paul. We discover in our readings the timid failures of Jonah and the mighty successes of Moses. Jehoshaphat’s service in the midst of fear and turmoil inspire those reading of his reliance upon a Mighty God. Little David’s faith-filled attack on a daunting giant served as a message to the Philistines that the Living God was definitely in control at that battle.

Flesh and blood. Bones and brains. These notable Biblical examples of humans engaged in the work of the Father are no different than the work that we can achieve for God’s Kingdom. Each of us was created by Heavenly Hands. Each of us was placed on this earth with a Heavenly mandate and plan for our lives. The difference being that Paul, David, Mary, and unnamed contemporary servants through the ages were led and directed by God. They sought Him and His ways – not their own ways. They sought obedience and deliverance in their own lives. They were well aware of their own personal weaknesses, yet believed in God enough to trust Him to make up for their own shortcomings.

Am I talking to anyone here? Has the enemy captivated your mind and told you over and over that you are not smart enough, good enough, influential enough, or Godly enough to do God’s Work? If we had the opportunity to talk to notable people from the Bible or missionaries working around the globe, I envision that each one would tell us that in and of themselves, they are nothing. The words, skills, teachings, and abilities that equip and enable them to share the Gospel are from God alone. Everyday Missionaries are no different – by asking, God will deposit the Holy Spirit in our lives and as He deposits His power, words, and abilities in each of our lives, we are equipped to serve.

Inward inspections of our own lives might reveal an Everyday Missionary who has served valiantly for the cause of the cross or a weak-kneed but Spirit-filled believer in need of prompting. If we need prompting to move forward to spread the Gospel – we need to trust God. We need to ask God for boldness and empowerment through the Holy Spirit to deliver the message of salvation to a stranger or our nearest and dearest relative.

Reading such faith-packed accounts of ordinary human beings who were touched and moved by the extraordinary hand of God allows us to imagine ourselves in their shoes. If just for a moment, we are transported to places and times throughout history where God called and man responded. Obedience overcomes doubts. Shaking knees are strengthened by His presence. Men and women of the Bible, as well as those who have walked more recently on our earth, serve as mentors to each of us. Their shortcomings and successes both illustrate the mighty works God can perform through a simple life. The call comes and the answer is given. “Will you follow me?” Moses, concerned about his faltering speech, remained obedient and God’s Hand touched Moses’ mouth and His words flowed forth.

Is your heart thumping with anticipation? Is the Spirit-generated truth that each of us can be an Everyday Missionary being birthed and taking root in our hearts? We realize that throughout time, missionaries have not been superior beings. They have been simple, ordinary people like you and me who have yielded to the power, protection, provision, and anointing of Almighty God. They have been able to leave all (Abraham) for the cause of Christ. They have traveled far and ministered close to home. Their lives and ministries have even changed hearts within the confines of their own homes. They have served and saved lives while on the mountaintop times of their lives and when they were broken to pieces in the valleys of life’s journeys. No matter their lots in life, men and women throughout time have answered the Call. They have witnessed. Their lives became intertwined with the lives of those crossing their path, living under their roofs, or walking beside them on a dusty trail or urban street. Everyday missionaries just need to be obedient, willing, courageous, and listeners to His Word and to His Spirit.

The call has been given. Examples have been placed before us. God’s Word and daily lives record the amazing accomplishments an average man, woman, or child’s life can make. Power-packed careers, lives, and opportunities exist. By today’s measuring rod of excellence, rarely does ministering the Gospel to the lost catapult us to the top of any “Top” lists of power, success, wealth, or status. Yet, on God’s to-do list for the saved and sanctified believer, ministering to a lost and hurting world is not only necessary but also mandatory. Reflect upon these words of the Great Commission and begin the life of an Everyday Missionary!

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (Matthew 28:19-20).

A Prayer for Today: October 1, 2009

Precious Father,

We are such blessed children. Amid great needs and tragedies, we must remind ourselves daily of the goodness and mercy you extend to each of us who call you Abba Father. You have blessed us beyond what our minds can comprehend. When we look at the world around us, we are grateful for the shelter, food, electricity, clothing, and freedoms that we have. We praise You for your presence in our lives.

We ask for your mercy and forgiveness of the sins that we commit, Lord. We want our lives to be reflections of You. Pour out Your Holy Spirit on each of us in a mighty wave. Apart from Your Spirit, we cannot enlighten and encourage those who are without a Savior. On the outside, many of our lives appear very broken indeed. However, even in these states of physical or emotional brokenness, the Holy Spirit dwelling within us can empower us to continue to be your witnesses. Forgive us for faltering and allowing earthly cares and concerns to shift our life’s focus onto ourselves and off of the lost souls who share our life journeys with each of us.

For those in our midst who do not yet know You as their Savior, I pray that they will read or hear a Word or testimony that breathes new life into their spirits. I pray for those who are facing tremendous life battles. Whisper peace and comfort into each hurting soul's spirit. May our families be touched with God’s power, strength, provision, healing and deliverance. Work speedily, O, Lord, we pray.

We love You, Lord. We would be nothing without You in our lives. We are grateful that You reached down and touched our lives –rescuing us from ourselves and insuring for us, through the gift of salvation, that we will live eternally in Heaven when these bodies take their final breaths. Nothing else matters.

In Jesus’ Precious Name, I pray and praise. AMEN.

Praise You in This Storm

One of my favorite songs is Casting Crown's "Praise You in This Storm". On days when this leukemia battle rages and batters my body and soul, I read or sing these lyrics. Satan would like nothing better than for me to become discouraged and quit. He would delight in the fact if I allowed the reports and emotions of this world to trump the Word of God.

Although my life circumstances continue to "rain" down on me, I must continue to praise Him, to trust Him, and to believe. Some days, all that I can do is "to praise Him in this storm". And often times when this storm becomes most violent, I offer those praises through my tears. The lyrics in this song that remind me that God holds every tear I have cried in His hands, brings me great comfort.

I pray that the next time you are struggling with a problem, that you listen to this song. God will not forsake us. He never leaves a prayer unanswered but He will often answer a prayer in a way we did not expect or that we do not understand. Our help comes from the Lord - turn to Him, trust Him, and praise Him through every storm that batters your life.

Praise You In This Storm
Lyrics by Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
That 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 Your 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 lift 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

To listen to this song: