Living Life

Jesus, Me, and the Kitchen Table

Four Years Ago…

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Words cannot express how I feel towards all of you who have sent notes, messages, flowers, etc this week. This could have been a difficult week if not for so many sweet, thoughtful friends who remember us at this time each year.  I always go back to work on Monday after the start of the new year. There hasn’t been a year go by since that day four years ago that I don’t remember how I dreaded going back to work, when most of the years past I was ready. When I get off work now, I recall how I had to rush home and get Chloe to Mt. Vernon for dance…and the rest of that evening…  I remember how our family was separated between Dallas and Tyler, some with me and some with Emmarie. And how sweet Chloe was already in heaven! How so many friends and people who didn’t even really know  us prayed – and prayed hard!

In some ways it’s really not hard to believe it’s been 4 years ago today. Four years since we held our precious Emmarie and Chloe, since we tucked them in at night, or I washed their hair, hugged them, said bedtime prayers, sat and rocked them while Richard sang to them, read the Bible with them, explored science concepts and learned about famous people in history, read and write together in our homeschool, rushed home from work to bounce them out of the door to dance class or church, and so many other things. Not to mention the last time I walked, dressed myself, or accessed certain parts of our house, and worked on my doctorate degree. I know many of you will react with the “sad” face. But that’s not the point of this post. I am not sad. Yes we miss them so much, and yes – I wish I could walk – right now – wish that I didn’t have to go through all the stuff I have to do daily just for health and well-being as a person with SCI, wish that we could have a “normal” life again.

But guess what? It’s just like I said from day one. God is good and faithful!  He has not let us down even though we’ve had other struggles in addition to these! Through our story, I am told that many lives have been changed – and I sincerely hope that is true. I hope that each of you cherish your kids and your family. That you don’t take for granted the basic things in this life like being able to sit yourself up just because you have an intact spinal cord.  You can reach the cups in your cabinet, get into your pantry, take a quick shower or a bubble bath.

More than anything else in this world — Emmarie and Chloe, Richard and I want you to know Jesus Christ. We want you to have a relationship with the living God! We want you to live for Him, to make Him the Lord over your life, and to know the love, mercy, joy, and peace that ONLY comes through Him. No matter the storms that come, you can have joy in the midst of adversity.

My goal in life is to make Him known to others. Whether it is through my job as I work with teachers, parents, students, and others, or through blogs and videos, Facebook posts, and through direct ministry opportunities, I want people to know Jesus. I want my life to count for Him, to impact eternity!

So back to my original point… yes I tend to go on tangents. Thank all of you SO much for the encouragement and love you shower us with not only at this time of the year, but throughout the year.

Today means we are one day closer to being with Jesus and with our girls. Today is one day closer to walking again – and I still believe in miracles and healing, so I am “standing” on faith to see this happen on earth.  After all, part of the Lord’s prayer is, “Let Your kingdom come, let Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven”!  Amen!

 

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Get Ready

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Not that it really matters, but the last few days I’ve been asking a few friends who they think will the Election. Every single one of them said, “Hillary.”  These are people who are either Trump supporters, or do not support either one.

One of my friends said, “a vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary anyway” meaning that this person thinks Trump is really a democrat and has the same beliefs as Hillary. Who knows!

But here is what we do know… Conservative Christian rights will suffer under a Clinton administration.  The following article was posted here by Michael L. Brown, who I wholeheartedly support, and share his views, which are Biblical views. Please read…

Make no mistake about it. If you are a conservative Christian and Hillary Clinton becomes our next president, she will declare war on certain aspects of your faith. Your religious liberties will be targeted, and your biblical beliefs will be branded disturbing, if not downright dangerous.

Do not be deceived.

She has made herself perfectly clear on this in the recent past, and we deny this is to our own peril.

Writing for the left-leaning Washington Post, Marc Thiessen, former chief speechwriter for George W. Bush, declared that “Hillary Clinton is a threat to religious liberty.”

He began his October 13 column with these two sobering paragraphs:

“In a speech not long before she launched her 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans. Speaking to the 2015 Women in the World Summit, Clinton declared that ‘deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.’

“Religious beliefs have to be changed? This is perhaps the most radical statement against religious liberty ever uttered by someone seeking the presidency. It is also deeply revealing. Clinton believes that, as president, it is her job not to respect the views of religious conservatives but to force them to change their beliefs and bend to her radical agenda favoring taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.”

Theissen is not overstating the case, and in light of one recent court case and one pending bill, both in California  and both with potential to go to the Supreme Court, the real dangers of a Hillary Clinton presidency can hardly be exaggerated.

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that pro-life pregnancy centers are required to promote abortion, meaning, that if a pregnant woman comes to them not knowing what to do about her pregnancy, along with counseling her about adoption or keeping her own baby, they must also refer her to a local abortion clinic.

Yes, under the California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act, this is the law, the Ninth Circuit upheld it.

What an absolute outrage, and what an infringement on religious liberties, since these pro-life centers, which are invariably run by conservative Christians, are being forced to violate their sacredly held beliefs.

Hillary Clinton supports legislation like this, and she would absolutely appoint Supreme Court justices who would support this as well.

She has made this abundantly, unequivocally clear for many years, without wavering, and she is the most favored Planned Parenthood candidate in history.

As I wrote previously, if you vote for Hillary Clinton, you will have the blood of the unborn on your hands.

And note also the extreme hypocrisy of this ruling, since abortion clinics are not required to refer their clients to local pro-life pregnancy centers. They are not even required to show the mother an ultrasound of her baby, since that would allegedly infringe on her rights.

God forbid that you remind her that she has a baby in her womb.

In an email announcing the Ninth Court’s ruling, Matt Bowman, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel, said, “It’s bad enough if the government tells you what you can’t say, but a law that tells you what you must say—under threat of severe punishment—is even more unjust and dangerous.”

The ADF is considering appealing the ruling, which, as stated, could ultimately make it to the Supreme Court, but with Hillary as president, you know how the court will rule.

Do you want to facilitate this by helping to elect her to the highest office in the land? Do you want to be one of the people who helped empower her to be president?

This brings me to a major bill in California, SB 1146 which “would officially label private Christian colleges with Christian values, morality, and even dorm policies which conflict with the LGBT agenda as ‘discriminatory,’ and make the colleges liable to state (and federal) lawsuits as well as vicious attacks by activists. . . . The goal is to make Christian colleges surrender their belief systems and force the LGBT agenda onto every facet of education. California is the first state in the US to attempt this outrageous action. If it passes there, it will surely spread to other states.”

This is the exact kind of legislation that Hillary Clinton would promote and celebrate, fully backed by her handpicked Supreme Court justices.

This would also be harmony with her oft-quoted phrase that “gay rights are human rights,” and therefore any group or denomination or nation that opposes the goals of LGBT activism is guilty of opposing human rights.

And let’s not forget the pressure Hillary Clinton put on African nations in her 2011 speech in which she made clear that nations across the continent would need to change their policies regarding homosexuality.

Not surprisingly, there was a major backlash to her speech, with John Nagenda, a senior adviser to Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni, stating, “Homosexuality here is taboo, it’s something anathema to Africans, and I can say that this idea of Clinton’s, of Obama’s, is something that will be seen as abhorrent in every country on the continent that I can think of.”

Can you imagine the kind of pressure Hillary Clinton would put on American Christians who remain opposed to same-sex “marriage” and LGBT activism in our children’s schools? After all, if she took it upon herself to tell sovereign African nations what to do, what would she seek to impose on her own country as president?

And I haven’t even mentioned the open disdain expressed towards conservative Christians in her campaign’s recently released emails.

So I’ll say it again: Do not be deceived. We already know how a Hillary Clinton administration would view people like you and me.

I do understand that many of you cannot find it in yourself to vote for Donald Trump, but whatever you do, do not vote for Hillary Clinton, and please encourage your conservative Christian friends not to vote for her either. To do so is to hand her the tape to gag your mouths and the rope to fasten your hands.

You have been forewarned.

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So do we stay home if we are not going to vote for Trump? I’ve had friends say that if you don’t vote for Trump, it’s a vote for Hillary. Have we ever had a more confusing election? I’m just glad I’m in the Kingdom of God, and no matter who is President, jesus is King! But still, we need to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, turn from our wicked ways, and ask Him to heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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A Letter to James Patrick Riley

James Patrick Riley recently wrote an article comparing pastor Max Lucado and Donald Trump and making various accusations to anyone who does not support Donald Trump. I do not know either of these men personally, so cannot attest to either of their lifestyles. I am vaguely familiar with Max Lucado’s ministry, having read some books and have watched several children’s videos.  When I say “lifestyles” I refer to how closely they live according to the Scriptures and their relationship with Jesus.

What I do know is that the letter contains wrong definition of what it is to be a Christian and gross misuse of Scripture. So I will not defend or seek to vilify either person. My aim in this letter is to defend my faith and to correct some false comparisons and accusations.

  1.  After sharing that Max Lucado chose to speak out about Trump calling a lady a “bimbo” but ignoring Barack Obama’s pro-abortion stance, he then shared an example of Trump supporting the pro-life movement and how he has “embraced the politics of life.” Then the question Mr. Riley asks, is, Who is the real Christian here? The one who acts like it, or the one who puts on a polite show of neutrality?”

Just having moral behavior doesn’t make someone a Christian. There are plenty of unsaved people who are “good” people. True, as followers of Jesus our actions should be Christian in nature. However, a Christian is one who has asked Jesus Christ into their heart and made Jesus the Lord of their life. When that happens, then the right actions will follow. But just making the right choices doesn’t make anyone a Christian.

  1. “ I’ve been around church people all of my life.  Even at Stanford, where humanism was the prevailing denomination, I can tell you the religious spirit — whether it is lamenting “gambling” or shaming someone who didn’t recycle his bottle of Pepsi — brings out the worst side of human nature, and it brings ignorance into high relief.”   

Mr. Riley there is difference between a religious spirit, holiness, and legalism. A religious spirit is in operation is when someone is just going through the motions of going to church but without a relationship with Jesus. And it is true that many “church people” do have a religious spirit. It has nothing to do with “lamenting gambling” or other sins.

Preaching against sin does not “bring out the worst side of human nature or bring ignorance into high relief.” I was part of the Brownsville Revival in the late 1990’s. Evangelist Steve Hill preached against sin, and pleaded with tears in his eyes for people to get right with God. Night after night I’d watch as thousands ran to the altars and found forgiveness and salvation. I saw drug addicts instantly delivered of their addictions, putting their drug paraphernalia in the trash at the altar, and years later are still following Jesus. When people get right with God and get the sin out, they are more free than ever before!

And living a life of holiness is not legalism. Legalism is man-made rules of religion. Whereas followers of Jesus live according to the Bible, which is God’s law, meant to protect us, because God knows what’s best for us.

  1. Foul mouthed?  I’m guessing you haven’t read scripture with any real scrutiny, because when God gets angry, He doesn’t hold back.  His prophets call harlots harlots.  His Son called religious hypocrites, “white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones.” “Vipers.”  ”Sons of the Devil.”

Hold up a sec! There is a BIG difference between vulgarity and how Jesus addressed the Pharisees. Nowhere in the Bible do you see the use of profanity. It is not a sin to get angry. And even in His holy anger, Jesus did not use profanity. And to accuse Jesus of being “foul-mouthed” would mean that He had sinned because the Bible says “allow no filthy communication to come out of your mouth”. So if He had been “foul-mouthed”, His sacrifice on the cross would have been meaningless! So no sir, Jesus was holy, as the Father was holy. And IS holy! Furthermore, in that day, if someone was a harlot, everyone knew it, It was their title. Even today saying that someone is a prostitute is not a curse word. It is not vulgar.

  1. “But even if you value a polite tongue, and that’s your virtue, don’t begin comparing that virtue to being courageous in the face of Islamic jihad.  I will take a foul mouth defender of life over a church-sitting coward any day.”

All I want to say here is while there may be many church goers who may not have the faith to stand up to Islamic terrorists should it come down to a decision of converting to Islam or confessing Jesus, there are hundreds of true Christians over seas who have paid the ultimate price, their lives, as they were given the choice to convert or die. This has been true whether it was Islamic terrorists or back during the times of persecution when Christians who wouldn’t deny Jesus were fed to the wild beasts in a coliseum.

  1. “And I would ask you to look to your Bibles again. God uses some pretty gritty characters to work His glorious and sovereign will. Jacob was a trickster who lied to his father. Abraham had wives and concubines.  Samson kept a harlot.  Solomon had hundreds of concubines.  Peter betrayed Christ.  Saul of Tarsus, was a murderous wretch. You actually know all about that, but when you see a flawed man, in the flesh, you act just like a stoning torch mob, and you won’t even admit it.”
  • Jacob was a trickster. The Bible doesn’t approve of what he did. Just because he did it doesn’t make it right. As a result he had to “wrestle with God” and he came out with a limp!
  • Abraham had wives and concubines, true. But as the popular objection goes, “that’s Old Testament.” It was lawful back then to live this way.
  • Solomon’s concubines led him away from God and that led ultimately to splitting the Kingdom!
  • Peter betrayed Christ, but then he repented, and he did not ever do it again!
  • Yes, before he was saved, Saul did persecute and kill Christians. But after his radical conversion to Jesus, he became one of the most powerful Apostles, and ultimately was beheaded under Nero, for the sake of the Gospel. We don’t hold people’s past sins over their heads after they have repented.
  • I will say here, that when I see a “flawed man” my instinct is not to stone him to death, but rather to pray for his salvation!
  1. “But you and Max Lucado don’t like his (Trump’s) style.

      Your priorities are all mixed up, just like the people who killed Christ.”

There is NO comparison between Jesus Christ, spotless Lamb of God, and Donald Trump. It matters not whether you like him or not. He is not God. And saying that if you don’t support Trump, you are as bad as the ones who killed Christ is putting them on the same level. We are in an age where politicians are literally worshipped.

If Donald Trump was the most righteous man who ever lived, he could not turn this nation around. The only hope for our nation is for America to once again turn to God and repent of our sins, especially for the millions of babies we have sacrificed on the altars of convenience. Say nothing of our pride, how we’ve snubbed God in the face by taking His definition of marriage and changing it to meet our preferences, then using the sign of His covenant to never destroy the earth by flood again (the rainbow), and using it as the banner for the LGBT movement. By the way, I’m not a “hater.” I’m a lover of God, and His ways are best.

I don’t know if Trump is a Christian or not. But if he is not, then I pray for his salvation. And if elected, he will need the favor of God on him to help turn this ship around.

I urge you, Mr. Riley, to get out your Bible and read it cover to cover so that you may rightly divide the Word of God should you refer to it. And, may you repent for your blasphemy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Come to the mercy of God though Jesus. It is not too late, but time is running out. May you find forgiveness and salvation.

Original article HERE

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Judge Not?

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I hope in this post I can clarify some things about judging others, true love, and condemnation vs. conviction. Everything I’m going to say, I say with a caring spirit and love, with a desire to steer us in the right direction and in keeping with Scripture.
Common statements:
1. We aren’t supposed to judge others or “don’t judge me.”
In Matthew 7:1-3 The Bible says, ” “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
What it is talking about here is hypocritical judgement. So many times people quote  the Bible without reading and understanding the verses around it.  Context is extremely important when applying the Word of God.  So when people say “Don’t judge or you’ll be judged”, it is taken out of context.   Don’t tell someone about the sin in their life when you are living in the same sin. Here are some examples: You get onto someone for buying a beer when you’ve got a 6-pack at home in the fridge! You accuse someone of talking about you or someone else when you frequently gossip about others yourself.
It’s not talking about telling someone that they have a problem if it is done out of a heart of love and compassion and a desire to see them set free. Sometimes even with our best intentions, people get offended when you, even lovingly, point out things that can lead them down a  terrible path. But consider this:
As Christians, we are supposed to use the Word of God (the Bible) as the standard by which we compare our own lives to and know when to correct our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
2 Timothy 3:16 says , “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
2.  “We are supposed to love them and not judge them.”
I’ve already covered the “don’t judge” thing. But let’s talk about true love.
If you see your child is about to touch a hot burner on the stove or run out in front of a car, what do you do? Do you let them do it? Of course not! We would do whatever it takes to stop them from hurting themselves, wouldn’t we? If you see your neighbor’s house is on fire, would you not try to alert them? Is it not the same with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and especially the lost?   We are so concerned that we will offend someone. And yes, they may get offended even if you mention something in a loving way. But our responsibility is to warn them!
True love does not let someone harm themselves and jeopardize their place in eternity!’
3.  “We are supposed to let the Holy Spirit convict of sin.” 
It is true that the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to convict of sin. However, if we look at the New Testament we see lots of examples of where Paul expressly called out sin – and that was in the church! One example where Paul warned them is in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
As far as judging others,we are sometimes supposed to judge. If a person in the church is doing wrong, we are to tell them about it and if they don’t repent then bring them before the elders, and if they still don’t repent, then they are kicked out of the church.
1 Cor. 5 gives a case where there was sexual immorality in the Church. Paul tells them to put that person outside the church! Then he goes onto say that people who are greedy, drunkards, or swindlers, that we are not supposed to even eat with them! We are not supposed to tolerate sin in the church.  We are supposed to deal with it.
Paul says that God will judge those outside the church. But we can possibly prevent them from being judged to hell, if they are told and heed the message.
OK, so putting this in perspective…. Does this mean that when we see someone buying a lottery ticket, for example, that we run up to her and tell her she is going to hell if she buys it?  I don’t think so. And I for one, don’t have the guts to do that anyway!
But if it was a person that we know is a believer, I think that we should talk to them about it next time we are together – as long as we are not being hypocritical!
But here is another another example. A girl is living a herd life of being in drugs, etc.
You know her. What if you were to tell her that Jesus loves her and has a better plan for her life than the one she is living, and that He’s waiting for her to come to Him. What if it takes 2 years of reaching out to her? This actually happened to a woman I know and she is a successful minister today!
4. “I’m not perfect.”  
Who is? I’m not perfect either.  I occasionally sin – we al do! But the difference is this. Let’s ay you hit your thumb while hammering a nail into the wall and accidentally say a bad word.  You immediately ask the Lord for forgiveness. We are not going to get it right all the time. That is totally different than just having a dirty mouth and using profanity all the time. The later is more of a lifestyle kind of sin.
One last point is conviction vs condemnation.
Conviction is from God and it’s point is to bring us back to God after we have sinned.
Condemnation makes us turn from God because we feel like there is no hope, it’s too late for me. So when we do talk to others about things in their lives, we don’t stop there! We always should point that person to Jesus, because there is HOPE in Jesus!
We want to love that person by telling them the truth and doing so in a spirit of love and concern.
And warning is not judging!
Love does not let a person go down a path that leads to destruction.
We can either love a person into the Kingdom of God or we can ignore problems and “love’ them right into destruction.
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Deeper…

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“I have kicked up the dust and the dirt on the narrow road
I have had to let go of some hurt to hold on to hope
I’ve watched the sunset before the promise came
I have waded through waters wide and walked through the flame
And I can say

Every valley made me lift my eyes up
Every burden only made me stronger
Every sorrow only made Your joy go
Deeper and deeper, deeper, and deeper

I will run like I’m out to win, and finish the race
For every battle that’s sure to come I will be brave
I’ve got my heart set on every word You say
And no matter what lies ahead You’ll make a way
And I will say

Every valley made me lift my eyes up
Every burden only made me stronger
Every sorrow only made Your joy go
Deeper and deeper, deeper, and deeper

Every mountain is making me a climber
Every giant is calling out a fighter
Every heartache only makes Your love go
Deeper and deeper, deeper, and deeper

Thrown down but not defeated
I’m worn out but not giving up
I’ve hit ground but even at rock bottom
I’m just getting started, yea, I’m just getting started”

When I first heard this song it resonated within me. I think it may very well become my life song. As you read the lyrics, I pray that you will be blessed, strengthened and encouraged to know that through Jesus Christ, we can not only sing these words, but live them. No matter what you’ve been through, no matter how long the road may seem – there is HOPE and VICTORY!

The song is “Deeper” by Meredith Andrews

You can listen/watch here on YouTube.
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Life is Different Now

It’s been over 3 years since the accident that caused me to be paralyzed. At first, I was so accepting of it all… I think the reason I could accept it so easily is that I KNEW I was going to be healed. And I still have faith for this. But I admit, some days it is easier than others. Some may think it was the phase of denial in adjusting to a disability. Maybe that was part of it, too. But when you go from being able to walk one minute to not being able to, there is no denying it! When you start to get up out of the bed only to realize you are stuck, reality has just hit you upside the head!

Life is different now…  And each person with paralysis has their own unique experience, I’m sure. And it’s true that I still have some adjusting to do. The way I experience life in every avenue is different now. Here are some examples:

Going to the store: I have to carry my own shopping bag so I can put my items in it while I’m shopping. It probably looks like I’m shoplifting! I can only get as many items as will fit into the bag. I love stores like Brookshire’s that have the rolling carts with a long handle on them. And they don’t put them in the front where everyone will get them.

Getting Gas: I can pump my own gas, but it’s kinda tough. My biggest fear in doing this is that someone will (again) run over my ramp. I’ve learned to put it up AS SOON as I get out of the van! If I was not in a power chair there is no way I could do the gas thing independently. And even though gas stations have a “handicapped” procedure like honk your horn and someone will come out to you, it doesn’t work. The attendants are busy and they did not come out the one time I tried it.

Work: I work in a 5 story building. My office used to be on the 4th floor with the other consultants. My employer accommodated me with a large office on the 1st floor all to myself. It is awesome! Enough room for my wheelchair and my things. One of our custodians raised my desk to a good height for me. My work day is flexible. All of this is so appreciated. But I’m not allowed off the 1st floor unless I get permission. That way they can make sure there are enough people around to carry me out in case of a fire. I really appreciate the concern for my safety, but at the same time this is very isolating. I seldom get to see any of my coworkers. Sometimes a new hire is made and I don’t even know who they are until the staff meeting. And then I don’t see them enough to remember who they are when I do see them. There are a couple of them who are both thin and blonde that I can’t tell apart. I miss being able to be with the others. But it is what it is until it’s not. Travel is also a problem. I can’t go out of region to meetings. I don’t have anyone to help me with medical routines while I’m gone and I can’t afford to pay someone the extra it would cost. This is also very isolating because in my field we are a close-knit group. And I know so many people and miss seeing them.

Sleep: I sleep on one side or the other all night. My husband turns me every 2-3 hours all night long. This is necessary to prevent pressure sores. My arms get sore sometimes and keeps me awake. I try not to turn more often because I don’t want to wake him up before it’s time to turn the next time.

Daily life: We had to start having a care-giver come to help me in the mornings and night. So now, no matter what we hve to get up at the same time unless I call to get a later time on the weekends. But we like her a lot. She has been very helpful and I’ve gotten to know her over these pst few months. I don’t get to go anywhere at nigth unless I can be home by 7 or 8:30 every night. 7 some nights, 8:30 the others. It is very limiting. There are lots of ministry activities we can’t attend and other events, too.

Health: Some days are better than others, but the days when I feel anywhere as good as I did before paralysis are few and far between. I never know how I will feel until I wake up and get going. Sometimes I feel “fine” and other times I am either sleepy and can’t stay awake or I am in severe pain. UTIs are a constant threat and I usually end up taking about one antibiotic a month.

So all this sounds pretty dismal, right? But here’s the silver lining you’ve been hoping for!

Spiritually: Things have never been better! I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I used to be! Praise God! I am so much stronger because of all that has happened to me. The Lord IS near to me and I thank Him for that, because I could not make it if He wasn’t. That is no lie.

Friends: I have found out who my true friends are. They are the ones who come to see me or call and check on me, who help when they can. They are the ones who pray for us and hold us up. It is definitely true that you find out who your real firends are when something goes wrong.

So I have not given up on my healing. I know that what my God said is His Word is true. I know He will do what He said He will do. He is not a man that He should lie. So it is a matter of His timing and prevailing in prayer. Prayer is the key. God wants us His children to pray. That is how He partners with us to get things done on this earth! So if you want to help, then please PRAY without ceasing with us.

So life is diffeent now for the good as well as the challenges we face.

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Climbing – My Attempt At Slam Poetry

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Climbing

Goals in mind… It’s one step at a time… striving…it’s gonna pay off…can see the top… almost there…

Then out of nowhere… the world comes crashing down… readjust… new goals… different ones though…

Old ones out of reach… You see others climbing, even shining… remembering what that was like…

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My Summer

  This has certainly been a different summer. I did have a wonderful 40th birthday with friends and family, which are the best gifts! But gift cards to my favorite places were just the icing on the cake! 

However, right after my birthday my health kind of took a dive. I always have to work hard against urinary tract infections. But this time I got one that made me really sick. I had finally gotten to where I could not keep anything down except Popsicles. Even water made me throw up! My doctor admitted me to the hospital and started IV antibiotics– vancomycin which is really powerful. I was in in there for 3 days. 

 picture of dawn in hospital july 2015 
Just as I was starting to get my strength back a month later, it returned. So we tried doing outpatient antibiotics. I even had a PICC line. I was having to go to the hospital every 12 hours for infusions of vancomycin. But I started getting really tired, exhausted from getting up early to be at the hospital only to go home and return later the same evening. So I was admitted and stayed a night and one day. 

 picture of Dawn sitting in the hospital riom connected to the IV  during outpatient antibiotic regimen, August 2015 
I may be the only one this makes sense to, but I think the Lord sends me on medical mission trips. Here’s why.  On the way to get my PICC put in I had to turn around and take another route to the hospital because of a bad accident at the next intersection. Upon getting to the ER, which is where I had to check in for each treatment, I learned the details of the wreck. A mom and her son had been killed. Her 2 daughters were being flown to a larger hospital. Another woman who was driving them was also flown to a larger hospital. If you know my story you can tell how close to home this was for me. So all weekend even though I was busy going back and forth for my infusions, I was praying for them– a lot! That was Saturday. 

Then Sunday morning.as I was waiting to get checked in a young woman and her husband approached the desk. With tears and a very nervous-sounding voice She said, “Excuse me, but it’s an emergency!” We looked and her water had broken. So I reached out for her hand and she held on to me. I told her everything was going to be alright. But she cried all the more and told me and the guy behind the desk that she was six weeks early. But I told her that my first baby was born 5 weeks early and she ended up being fine. I  told her I knew how hard it was but the best thing she could do for her unborn son was to relax and stay calm.  While the  ER attendant was calling Labor and Deluvery I asked if I could pray for her. She was a little reluctant but agreed. So we had a quick prayer and she thanked me. And then they took her to L&D. 

Because of being paralyzed, nurses and nurse aides ask me how I became paralyzed. And this opens up the doors for me to share my testimony and how Jesus has been SO faithful to us! 

So even though I may not understand His ways, I know God lets me speak to people to draw them to Him. 

It’s been a month since the August hospital stay. Hopefully I’m done with the bad infections. School has started and I don’t have time to be sick! I love my job and look forward to the upcoming trainings and events I’ve planned for this year for our teachers and students. 

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Obey At All Costs

1Samuel 15 is a very sobering story. I wanted to cry with Samuel when God rejected Saul as king over Israel. Verse 22 says to obey is better than sacrifice. And 23 says that rebellion is the same as witchcraft. OUCH! I think He’s pretty serious about wanting His children to obey Him! Saul sinned when God told him to go destroy the Amalekites because he spared the king and kept the best of everything. Saul feared the people who wanted those things more than He feared God… OUCH! And saying “sorry” didn’t get him off the hook. I love how Samuel stood up for God and had Saul bring him the King of the Amallekites. And Samuel literally hacked the king of The Amalekites in pieces!! Yuck! But he did it because God had said to utterly destroy those people and all they had. Just in case you think that God was mean– no the Amalekites had waited to ambush Israel earlier. So Samuel finished what Saul didn’t do. Samuel never went to see Saul again until he (Samuel) died but he grieved over Saul the rest of his days. So Saul’s disobedience resulted in him and his line losing the kingdom of Israel forever, the loss of God’s favor on his life, and the loss of his friend Samuel. 

So what is the message to us here today? It’s simple. OBEY God at all costs .Disobedience will cost far more!

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A Short Poem

Life Lessons

In pain we learn to identify with the hurting;
In loss we learn to see through the eyes of those who are searching;.

In lack we learn to be humble. 

In all of this let us help one another.  

Life’s so busy! 

But wait…

Do you see that one? Reach out with compassion.

 All of these are our life lessons. 

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