July 31, 2008, Jonah and the Ninevites

I’ve been wrestling with my thoughts this afternoon, I’ve been convicted about the fact that I need to write as I feel the Spirit moving me to write. In the article below, “Doctor Results” I wrote about the frailty of life and how it can change in an instant. Before I changed it, I had written that we take the breath of life that God gives us every day and use it for our own gain and effort. Taking for granted the God of the Universe and wrinkling our noses up at taking 5 minutes with him.

I changed the last blog because I hadn’t prayed much about what I wrote the first time and I didn’t want to be condemning. As I began to pray, Jonah chapter 3 came to mind so I read it.
Jonah is told by God to go to Nineveh and proclaim to it “…the message I (God) give you.”

So, after Jonah has an encounter with a big fish that was not so pleasant, he is finally obedient to God and goes into Nineveh which is very large city. God was not pleased with Nineveh and Jonah tells them the message from God that they have 40 more days before they will be overturned (Jonah 3:4).

I thought to myself, what would I do if someone told me ...you have forty more days before a great tragedy will come to you. Would I believe them or brush it off?

It was interesting to me that the Ninevites didn’t ask, why? What have we done? They knew in their hearts exactly what the forty more days meant and turned immediately to repentance saying (Jonah 3:9) “Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” Wise people.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way shape or form taking the place of Jonah in this story, what it caused me to do was say to God, “Yes, I will be obedient to say what you’ve put on my heart to say and what are the places in my life where you’ve just about had it with me?” I would much rather turn and take care of the issue than have God do it for me!

God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love which is the reason he sent Jonah to Nineveh in the first place. Check it out for yourself (Ex 34:6-7, Numbers 14:18, Nehemiah 9:16-27, Psalms 86, Psalms 103:8, Psalms 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2, and Nahum 1:3)

But make no mistake, had Nineveh reacted differently I’m sure the outcome would have been much different than it was. (Jonah 3:10) God has a way of getting our attention.

July 31, 2008, Doctor Results

Well, the fluid didn't go away so the shunt will go in next Wednesday at 1:30 pm. This is the last ditch effort to try to control the fluid on her forehead under the skin.

We thank God that there was no infection with the last surgery and the incision didn't leak once!

This also means she will NOT be starting radiation like we had hoped. For some reason, God is saying no to radiation so we submit to him. He's closed that door so to speak.

The body is such a delicate balance, when one thing goes wrong other things go wrong. Medicines that help in one area wreak havoc in other areas. I'm realizing what a miracle it is that every day we get up, breathe air, move about accomplishing our daily goals never giving a thought to the fact that everything has to work together in our bodies to make our day happen.

We are such fragile beings but we think we are invincible. One day we're doing our thing the next everything changes. The word compares us to a breath, a mist and a flower that's here today and gone tomorrow. Life is precious and short and God controls it all. Thank God he does, what peace comes from that knowledge.

July 28, 2008, What's Next? Thursday

Thursday Danni goes back to the doctor to have her stitches taken out and then we'll find out what we'll do after that. I don't know if her neurosurgeon will release her for radiation or not.

She's currently doing pretty well, she has had some headaches and the fluid on the outside of her forehead is mostly gone, so that's a good thing. Thanks to all for your continued good thoughts and prayers for her.

July 25, 2008, Praises Along the Way-- Man,What a Mess!

I was reading in Acts 14:8-19 recently. Here Paul calls out to a crippled man in the crowd and the guy is healed immediately. The people think that their gods have come in human form and begin to worship Paul and Barnabas and their priest comes to present a sacrifice to them.

Paul and Barnabas want nothing to do with this; they were trying to glorify God. They try to convince the crowd but it says in vs. 18 they had difficulty trying to keep the crowds from sacrificing to them. This is truly a bad church service day!

Then some Jews come and completely turn the crowd and somehow this same crowd that was worshipping Paul and Barnabas only a few minutes ago, turn and stones Paul leaving him for dead outside the city.

What a mess! If I were Paul and Barnabas, I would be asking God, what happened?! They were doing good by healing the man and then all of sudden they were in way over their heads. It amazes me how the people put them on such a pedestal from seeing the miracle take place. How the people were tossed about like a wave on the sea by what their eyes saw and what their ears heard.

When I put my faith in man, I am constantly let down… but God is constant. He never will let me down.

It is so important to know the word! What are the laws of this Kingdom that we are members of through Jesus? It operates differently than the “kingdom” of this world. We cannot be swayed by things we hear and see; only the word of God and his Son and his Spirit are reliable truth. This is the constant that was the same from the beginning until now and ever more faithfully will be!

Hebrews 12:26-28 says, At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate that removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Place your faith, hope and confidence in the One who is eternal, who cannot be shaken and in his word that comes from his very mouth. Learn it, know it, meditate on it, and believe what it says for a time when that’s all you have to hold onto, when all hell breaks loose in your life. It’s the constant that will keep you grounded on the Rock with the waves crashing all around.

The following scriptures all refer to the word in differing ways and meanings, many of these are connected to belief in the word, what the word is, who it is, where it comes from and how we are to respond to the word.

For God to mention something once is a big thing, for him to speak over and over and over about a subject, well, we had better take notice of it! Matthew 4:4, Luke 8:21, Luke 11:28, John 1:1, 14, John 5:24, John 12:48, John 17:17, Romans 10:17, Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 2:15. These are just a few that jumped off the page at me.

Father, I put my faith in you and your Word alone. Thank you for your Word that you send to heal me. Thank you for Jesus who is the Word. Put such a hunger and thirsting in us that can only be satisfied by your word.

Bring revelation to your people from your word and help us to understand all the depths and wonders in it. Thank you that your word is living and sharp that you can cut directly to the heart issue of a matter with it to bring healing to the hurting soul.

Jesus, you are the Way and the Truth and the Life, in you I live and move and have my being! I rejoice in you and your powerful word! More Lord! More for your people! More for your Kingdom! AMEN! All glory to you, forevermore!

July 23, 2008 - Praises Along the Way--Just One More Thing

Recently we took a trip to Indy for the night, and Danni had a lot of swelling and discomfort but she enjoyed the trip. We, (Danni, Jessi, Atlee and me) walked around the children’s museum and then stayed in a water park hotel for the night. Jessi, Atlee and I had fun pushing Danni up the ramps and around the museum together in the wheel chair. What a team! We laughed and giggled as we all worked together.

At first it was hard for Danni to take the ride but by the end she was wheeling herself around the exhibits. We were grateful for the chair, what a great invention! We were glad to get to the hotel and eat and swim a bit. Danni rested in the room while we went down to see the water park. Even though Jessi and Atlee had been there before they had a great time splashing and swimming. Matt had been working in Indy that day and joined us when he was done. Overall, it was a great time of bonding for all of us.

I have lots of pictures, now I just have to figure out how to get them off of my phone! I’ll share a few when I do.

Currently, Danni is doing well, we got her a water pill for her swelling and that seems to be helping. Then last night we got a call that Matt’s dad was going to the emergency room. “Here we go again,” we thought. Last week we had Matt’s mom in the hospital for a broken hip and this week it’s his dad with gall stones. He had to be moved to Ft Wayne as there wasn’t anything they could do for him in Kendallville. He needed to see the specialist and was transported to Ft Wayne last night at midnight.

This morning I woke up to 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 swirling around in my heart…”We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

I feel as if God has us in the palm of his hand pressing down upon us with his other hand. There is intense pressure coming from every side, all around us but in all of this refining process we aren’t completely ground into dust. He’s changing us. Life with him is a process he starts with one element and brings pressure and fire into our lives changing us into another more valuable element to be used for his purposes and his glory.

Sometimes I sin, I’m not perfect! Following Jesus is a growing process just like learning to walk or ride a bike. It takes time and practice to walk in his steps, to learn his ways and be taught by him.

It’s a dance between you and him. He takes you into his arms and the music begins. He moves you gently around and around bringing great joy to your heart. Sometimes, when your learning to dance you step on your partner’s toes but Jesus is forgiving. “Forgiven, “he says to us when we fail.

The music of life has different movements in it sometimes slow and reflective, sometimes loud and crashing but through it all he never takes his hand from my waist. The faster we whirl the closer to himself he pulls me, holding me tight never letting go, not even when the dance of life is over. Never will he leave or forsake me, his word says so. Jesus, thank you for the dance of life and whatever music comes hold me tight and never let me go. Keep my feet from stumbling and let your glory shine through me. I love you, Lord Amen.

July 15, 2008, Praises Along the Way--Why Here? What Now?

Why here? What now? Ever wonder why you live where you live and what your purpose in life may be? I had my 20 year class reunion this last Saturday. What a trip! So many looked the same and some had to tell me who they were but it didn’t take long for us to talk to each other with ease. Just like riding a bike it came back, familiar friendships. Even when we’ve been apart for tens of years.

One of my friends had commented that she does this or that hobby but it seemed that there was emptiness there as she wondered, “What have I done with my life?” As she searched for meaning to her life, I too wonder, God, what’s the purpose? What have I done with my life?

I found a verse this week that was interesting to me. Paul speaks in Acts 17:26 & 27 to the intellects at Athens trying to convince them to serve and honor the “unknown god” only.

He says, “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:26 & 27)

I thought about what Paul was saying, God knows where we are, he put us there in hopes that we would reach for him (my paraphrase) AND he isn’t far from us. Wow, I am where I am because God put me here to reach out to him.

I once had a picture in my mind as I was praying. I was asking God for a person to receive Jesus as their savior… in the picture God waited , just inches from the person’s face…nose to nose…waiting to be invited in. Think about that for a minute. God so doesn’t want anyone to perish, to die without him that he waits patiently, close to our faces so close sometimes that we don’t even see him or know he’s there.

But what is it that causes us to think, what have I done with my life? Maybe it’s God calling to us, whispering in our faces, just reach out to me and you’ll find me and have eternal life. He’s as close as a breath. He gives us the breath we breathe (Gen 2:7) to reach out to him and have relationship with him.

What an awesome thought that the God of the Universe made me and gave me a place in time; put me in a specific region of his creation in hopes I would reach out to him and have a loving relationship with him. It’s too big to get my head around! But it’s true for me and for all he calls. To all who hear his voice and accept his gift of salvation.

God wants to have relationship with us and my thoughts were on him today. How sweet it is to be loved by him!

July 14, 2008, Just a Little Note...

Well, everything went good with the bandaging. With Danni's dad on one side and me on the other we got it accomplished. It took two of us because we had to keep it pretty tight. The incision looked good but as soon as the pressure was off the fluid gathered under the skin again.

Bummer. I talked with the doctor's nurse this afternoon and she said that we should keep pressure on it and change it every two days to see if this is spinal fluid or just normal surgery fluid. Only time will tell.

If she still has the fluid under the skin in two weeks, he'll have to do the shunt. I think he's trying to use that as a last resort. I think that he didn't want to do too much at one time this round.

Her spirit is doing well. She's had more energy since she came home from the hospital this last time. From here we wait and see what the fluid will do but the ultimate goal is still to get her to radiation and chemotherapy.

As a side note, Matt's mom came through her surgery just fine and she's recovering well. My back is also better today. Thanks for all the prayers where those needs were concerned.

July 12, 2008

What a week! Danni is her old joyful self today. Making jokes and laughing, eating ice cream. I on the other hand am fighting with my back again, this time I just stood up wrong and my hubby Matt is at the hospital with his family because his mom broke her hip yesterday morning and had to have surgery today.

They weren't sure how she would come out of it because she has lung and respiratory problems. I just got a call from Matt and she came out real well. Thank you Jesus.

Matt and I discussed last night how God "insulates" us from circumstances. Just knowing that he is in control of everything that happens gives us great peace in the midst of any situation.

Thank you Jesus, help us continue to trust in you in the midst of everything we're going through. Amen

July 10, 2008, Going Home

It was a quick trip! Danni comes home today! The doctor said that if she was just sitting here looking out of the window she could do that at home. Woo Hoo!

We have to leave the bandage on until the weekend and then I have to change it. That should be interesting but I think we can manage it. The stitches come out in 2 1/2 to 3 weeks and I have to tell him how it looks next week.

What a surprise! We'll go with it and see how we get along. More testimony to the healing prayers that you all have prayed. We are dearly loved children and he hears and responds to our prayers. Isn't that wonderful? We praise him in "good" and we praise him in "bad"! It's all just a matter of perspective for us kids it's all good because he works every thing for good to those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

July9, 2008, Praises Along the Way-- Encouragement

Danni is doing well today. It’s like she never even had surgery yesterday. She is somewhat weak but in good spirits. Thank you to all who are praying for her, I testify to you that your prayers are working!

In the comments so many say how they were encouraged and they are amazed at the faith of our family. But you don’t know how you encourage me, yesterday was a stressful day for me, the surgery took an hour longer than I had anticipated, we had tornadoes, my other daughter (15) was in a storm and called me in a panic. As I was stressed, I decided to go back and read the comments you all have put on the blog.

I flipped through a lot of them and gain encouragement in my circumstances, some of them brought me to tears. God is so good and he will bring to you exactly what you need when you need it! I testify to you today that there is no need to worry, no need to fear, we have an awesome, mighty God who knows what we need even when we don’t.

He sends angels to encamp around us (Ps 34) Woo Hoo! God is so good and he will bring to you exactly what you need when you need it! I testify to you today that there is no need to worry, no need to fear, we have an awesome, mighty God who knows what we need even when we don’t.

I will be honest with you as well, I did have a bag of M & M’s yesterday and that was also a help to me! What a good God who even provides a bag of M & M’s when you need it!
Much love to you all, Jesus believers! KNOW THIS…GOD IS IN CONTROL!!

July 8, 2008, She's Done...

2:30 pm

Despite Tornado watches and warnings, thunderstorms and rain, rain, rain Danni made it through her surgery just fine. Thanks again for all the prayers.

The doctor said that the tumor was growing out the hole in her head. He had to cut it back before putting the prosthesis in and sealing it up. He said it looked pretty dry and that he didn't think a shunt would be necessary. Let's hope!

The goal is still to get her to radiation and chemotherapy. She'll have a few days rest in the hospital and Lord willing home by the weekend.

July 8, 2008, Update

It's been 2 hours now and no word. I think it's a good thing though, hopefully, he's being thorough.

July 8, 2008, Here We Go!

Danni went into surgery with a joke and a smile and a surgical cap sliding down over her eyes. Mom had to fix that. They took her back around 11:15 am or so and said the surgery would take 2-2 1/2 hours.

She was relaxed and ready to go. Hopefully this will take care of the fluid issue and she won't have a bump on her head anymore. Thanks for all the prayers, we'll keep you updated as we go.

July 7, 2008, Surgery Date

Tomorrow Danni will have surgery if everything goes as planned. She has to be at the hospital at 9 am and the surgery will be at 11 am. They will put the plastic piece in and hopefully that will stop the drainage under her skin.

I don't anticipate that the surgery will take long.

She's not nervous or scared. I will keep the blog updated as always. Prayers appreciated. Many thanks and praise to God for the good things he is doing and has done!

July 2, 2008, Praises Along the Way-- Victory! Take the Land!

I sat out on the patio reading this afternoon about Caleb in Joshua 14: 6-14. As the breeze swirled around me, my thoughts were on the Lord and the strength that his Word gives me. I feel like I could conquer anything! Such encouragement I took from Caleb’s testimony! I can see why he’s included in the bible, I had thoughts like, “Man, people will be so encouraged by this guy!” I wonder if the early writers thought the same thing!

I love how he gives the men of Judah a talking to in the end of verse six through verse nine. “…You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kedesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.

So on that day Moses swore to me, “The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.”

I love how he speaks from his convictions and not from what his eyes saw like the rest of the guys (read Numbers 13:26-33). Did you notice that what they spoke of melted the hearts of the people with fear? What will I speak from? My faith? My fears? And how do my words affect those around me. I think about the drive home from the hospital the first night that we found out Danni had brain tumors.

I thank God for his spirit that rose up in me and spoke to Danni from the faith God had given me. I spoke to her repeating scripture after scripture. I don’t even remember which ones they were I just know that as they came to the top of my heart I relayed them to her.

How do you think my words might have affected Danni if I had spoken my fears at that moment? Thank you God for taking control of my mouth!

Just the fact that scriptures came up in me at that moment gives me confidence that God has a plan and a purpose! He hasn’t brought her this far in her life only for her to die. There may be some out there that think I’m in denial but my eyes are open I just choose not to live by fear. I choose faith that I may be pleasing to God and that only by grace.

I also love how Caleb says he served his God wholeheartedly! And guess what? He was rewarded! (See Joshua 14:13-15)

He goes on to say in Joshua 14:10-12, “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.
Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”

Woo Hoo!!! Man that gets my blood pumping! I just want to say, “Go, Caleb! With you and God there isn’t anything you can’t accomplish!” Listen to the faith this man had, the conviction, the strength and he was eighty-five years old! He was still ready to fight! Jesus make me like Caleb in my old age! He wasn’t afraid to face the Anakites, who were giants, in his life. He took them head-on and there wasn’t even a doubt in his mind that he wouldn’t be successful with God by his side!

I’ll end this with scripture that is dear to me and that is Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For, I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. YES AND AMEN!!! THAT’S MY GOD!!!


July 1, 2008, Here's the Deal...

Danni didn't have surgery to put the plastic piece in yet. The nurse was supposed to call on Monday but didn't until this morning. The doctor is recommending that we do NOT put in a shunt this round. He wants to see if he can get her head sealed up and then if she needs it later he'll put one in.

Danni was relieved by this turn of events because she was still very undecided about the shunt. Matt and I prayed with her about it and we all felt a peace about leaving it in God's hand to take care of and sure enough he did!

The surgery is tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of July 8th. There was another patient that was before her in line and the nurse wasn't sure what that person would decide. I took that to mean that she may get in earlier if that other person doesn't want their surgery at the scheduled time.

That's where we're living, thanks for all the prayers!