Saturday, August 27, 2011

Looking for God's Provisions

Ephesians 1:17
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Two months ago, at the end of June, I came once again to the book of Job in the “Read the Bible Through” plan.  Too many times, Job is a book that I am not nearly as excited to read as I am other books of the Bible.  Because of this, I specifically remember praying and asking God to help me understand and see His work and not merely just read to be reading.

I am using The Message translation this year.  A feature that I have appreciated is that Eugene Peterson has a one page summary that is provided before each book.  To my surprise, that day, the book of Job had FOUR pages of information!  Talk about an instant answer to my request to understand Job better!!!  A few more times during those weeks, I reread the summary for clarification and specific things to look for.  Am I a Bible scholar on the book of Job now?  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  As a matter of fact, I may have even more questions than before, but there were definitely some things I learned.  

Those four pages of summary were there whether I accepted them as God’s gift or not.  Because I did, I read the book of Job with a different attitude and mindset this time.  I continue to be amazed not only at God’s provision for Job, but also His provision for me.  I am certain that God cared for, loved, and provided for Job.  And He does the same for me, too.  When I ask, look for, acknowledge, and accept God’s provisions, it makes a difference in my attitude, focus, desires, gratefulness, service, and how I relate to Him and others.  Oh to have open eyes, ears, and heart so that I don’t miss out on the blessing of even one of His provisions for me.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Prayer request:  We are at a point where God is opening doors for an additional, promising MS treatment, here in Houston.  Please pray as we continue to pursue His plan in this.

I John 5:14-15
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Legacy of Faith

Several years ago, in the "Spring Awards Recognition Program” for E-2, Brad’s Corps outfit at Texas A&M University, a reference was made to how a question had been answered by one of his Corps Buddies in an interview.  When asked who he would most like to have dinner with, the 20 year old responded, “My great-grandson.”  He further elaborated that he wanted to see how his legacy had been passed down through the generations.  What thought provoking words from a young man.

That response reminded me of one of my favorite songs, “Find Us Faithful”, authored by Jon Mohr and sung by Steve Green, as well as other vocalists.  The chorus of the song states:

“Find Us Faithful”
“Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful”

Every day, we each have the opportunity to define our legacy by the choices we make:  in the words we say, the thoughts we think, our actions and reactions in response to what is going on around us, by who and what we devote our time to, and most importantly by whom we choose to serve as our Lord and Savior.  May the legacy we choose to pass on be one of God’s faithfulness to us and in response, our faith, trust, and obedience to Him.

Psalm 78:1-7
1 O my people, hear my teaching;
   listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in parables,
   I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
3 what we have heard and known,
   what our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children;
   we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
   his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
   and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers
   to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
   even the children yet to be born,
   and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God
   and would not forget his deeds
   but would keep his commands.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Health Update August 2011

I went to see the neurologist, my MS doctor, this week for the first time since I had the stem cell procedure in October.  When he walked in the room he commented that I really looked good.  After talking, he began tests to assess my progress.  He kept shaking his head and saying, “This isn’t normal.  You’re going backwards.”  Larry asked him to clarify and he said that my body was responding like it did a few years ago.  He was amazed at the difference.  After more testing, watching me walk, and more questions, he commented, “You are really doing well and I had nothing to do with it.  I know you prayed about it.  All I can say is Praise the Lord.”    Although I definitely still have weaknesses, progress is being made.  He concluded by saying he was really glad that I had the stem cell treatment and that it was really making a difference.  As we were leaving, he gave Larry and me a big hug and said he was thrilled with the results.  At one point, during the appointment, the doctor left to get copies of information I had brought for him to see.  Apparently, he told the nurses and office people because they came to see me and congratulate me as we were leaving. 

Ephesians 3:20-21
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Change of Plans

Thirty years ago this month, in the heat of summer, our air conditioner decided it had fulfilled its duties in providing cool air for our home.  With me being 7 months pregnant and Larry leaving on the Senior High Mission Trip, we needed to have it fixed quickly.  Fortunately, two men in our neighborhood repaired air conditioners as a side business and offered to help.

While Larry was on the mission trip, Scott and I were planning to fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to visit with my sister and her husband.  Due to the expense of the air conditioner, we decided that it was best to change plans and stay close to home.  Larry drove to Louisiana with the high school kids.  After church on Sunday morning, Scott and I went to Pasadena to stay with my parents for the week.  Since another sister, her husband, and son lived in town, Scott and I were still in for a fun week, even though our original plans had to be changed.

On Monday morning, I went into labor unexpectedly.  I called Larry to let him know that Mom and Robin were going to take me to my doctor.  We took Scott to the babysitter where his cousin, Adam, was playing for the day.    Robin drove and Mom wrote down important information I needed her to know for registration, in case that was needed.  After seeing the doctor, he had a nurse take me straight to Delivery at the hospital.  Very soon, another change of plans was in the works.  After Brad was born, they found a second baby.  Extra people came to help out as Chad made his entrance.  The nurse went out to tell the news to Robin and she ran to tell Mom, who was in the process of registering me.  The registrar quickly handed her another set of papers to complete.

When they called Larry to tell him the news, he began to change plans so he could fly home.  Because of an air strike, he wasn’t able to get there until that evening.  Soon after their birth that morning, the doctor had representatives from Texas Children’s Hospital come to assess the boys.  At first, they planned to take Brad with them and leave Chad at Memorial City.  After further testing, the doctor felt like they would both thrive at Memorial City and he would have the people from Texas Children’s check on them each day.  What a blessing that we had the option and didn’t have to divide our time between two hospitals.  Larry and Scott came to the hospital that night to welcome the two tiny additions to our family.



Scott proudly wearing his "BIG Brother of Brad & Chad" shirt.

                                      Brad and Chad at 3 1/2 weeks

It didn’t take long to be overwhelmingly grateful for changes in plans.  Since Chad stayed in the hospital, in NICU, 4 weeks and Brad stayed in NICU for 5 weeks, we were close to home instead of being out of town/state for the birth and hospital stay.  Because of excellent medical care, both boys were able to stay together at Memorial City.  And airlines even cooperated so a dad could make it home to see the two newest members of his family.

There was also another change of plans that day.  Rex and Joanne Warrick were scheduled to go on vacation.  They delayed their plans so they could paint the nursery, so it would be ready for the boys when they came home.  Larry had planned to do that after the mission trip, but sometimes surprises change original plans.

Larry with Chad at 4 weeks on the day he came home.

                                    Larry with Brad at 5 weeks on the day he came home.

And the only plans I don’t want to ever change are the ones that God has for me.

On August 10th, we will celebrate Brad and Chad’s 30th birthday.  I love you guys, am proud of the men you have become, and am so grateful that you were part of God’s plan for our family and His Kingdom.

Philippians 1:3-6
I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Jeremiah 23:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”