Posts Tagged With: Family

THAT H.O.G. MOMENT


And call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you will honor me.
(Psalm 50:15)

Have you ever heard of a “Hog” moment? I hadn’t until several months ago when it was explained to me that “H.O.G.” stands for Hand of God. “Oh, right”, I thought. “That makes perfect sense.” It is the moment/moments in one’s life when the light bulb comes on and the handiwork of God in a life situation, is clearly seen. I think it is something all Christians can relate to. In truth, nothing happens by chance in this life. Our God controls the lives of Christians and non-Christians alike.

The problem is that we sometimes become so focused on the divine that we fail to recognize His presence in the form of physical help. I would like to relay a story about this exact type of situation to you. It is a story you may have already heard from a pastor or Christian friend, but maybe some have not. It is an old Christian fable very similar to the type of stories Jesus told during His ministry. The man in this story was so focused on expecting a miracle from God, that he didn’t recognize the hand of God in the help that was being offered and he lost his life because of it. It goes as follows:

God Will Save Me
A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.
A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, “Grab my hand and I will pull you up!” But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.
When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”

Can any of you relate to this? This story is rather extreme, but I believe there are times in each of our lives when God uses physical means to rescue us from difficult situations and we miss the help He is offering because we are only focused on the divine. We expect “all” from God or “nothing”. We fail to see His helping hand right before us because we are expecting Divine Intervention rather than trusting in His Divine Providence, and sometimes he allows the situation to require of us a little effort and common sense of our own.

Robert 2

Before illness

I have experienced this in my own life recently. My son who is 40 years old, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in April of 2016. At the time we were informed of the treatments offered. The first step was to remove the tumor as best they could. Following surgery he would undergo radiation for 6 weeks along with chemotherapy. That was Phase One. He would then get a 1-month break after which Phase Two would begin. Phase Two includes a maintenance dose of Chemotherapy for 1 year, and a treatment they call “Optune”.

Robert before surgery

Before Surgery

The Chemo is the easy part, or it seemed so at the time. Optune is a different story. It involves time, help from a caregiver, and finances. The following link is an explanation of Optune:

Robert after surgery

After Surgery

Optune

Basically Optune uses electricity to interrupt the growth of cancer cells in the brain. The patient must shave his/her head completely and wear a “cap”. The cap contains electrodes that direct electrical charges to the section/sections of the brain where the cancer is located and must be activated 18 hours per day in order to be effective. It is an optional treatment, but it is proven to be effective. It has improved the statistical survival rate of 2 years, by 50%. It is not a cure, but it offers hope and may buy time for patients until a cure can be found. The cost of Optune per patient is $21,000 per month, but financial assistance is offered and according to the above link, no patient is ever denied the treatment.

After bandage removal

After bandage removal

So what does this all have to do with a H.O.G. moment?

With Optune

With Optune

Well, overall the treatment sounds very overwhelming and difficult. When it was offered to my son right after his surgery, we both agreed fully that he should try it. When it was almost time to start it though, we dragged our feet a little. It sounded difficult to do, and the commitment of time, and care sounded huge. And would it even work? My question posed to the Oncologist was this; if this was you or one of your family members, would you recommend it? Without hesitation she answered; I would do it, hands down! That pretty much made the decision for us.

We had been praying for a miracle from God. We were hoping that God with His almighty power would heal Roberts brain of the cancer, and certainly He could, if it were His will to do so. But finally the light bulb switched on in my brain and I realized that maybe Optune is the “car”, the “canoe” the “motorboat” or the “helicopter” that God is sending to save Robert’s life. This could be the miracle we have been praying for and we almost missed it because our human minds were expecting/hoping for divine intervention. We almost turned away from the help offered because it was going to take a little effort on our part. God gives good gifts. His never ending grace is free and Jesus did the work, but He doesn’t always allow earthly gifts to just fall into our lap. God gives us choices and sometimes those choices require prayerfully considering the means He is setting before us.

Robert is now undergoing the Optune treatment along with Chemotherapy. He is doing well with it. He has not had any adverse reactions and it is not as difficult to use as it sounds. The “cap” stays on for three days. (I had pictured having to remove and replace it every 18 hours.) He carries a battery pack over his shoulder which he is getting used to. He can turn it off after 18 hours or leave it on continually. After 3 days I peel it off his head and he is able to wash his head and be without it for up to 6 hours. He then shaves his head and the “cap is replaced by a new one. He will never have hair again, but the “cap” generates heat so it will keep his head warm in the winter. And how important is hair in light of living or dying? I would encourage anyone in a similar situation to give Optune a try. Only time will tell if it is working for Robert, but in the meantime we are living life as normal as possible.

Miniature golf

Life as Normal

 

Optune is not a cure, but it is a treatment that will hopefully extend his life. We thank God for medical technology. We will accept whatever the future holds knowing that we have a powerful and almighty God who loves us and will never leave us to face these difficult times alone. For Robert it is a win win situation. If he lives he gets to stay here with us. If the Lord calls him home, he will be forever with God in the mansions prepared for him by Jesus.

Kevin Toree Caitlyn 2016

Three of his special people

In the end, I am beginning to see that Optune, rather than Chemo is the easy part. Chemotherapy is exhausting for the patient. Of the two, I think I would rather have to deal with Optune the rest of my life than Chemo.

The apostle Paul encourages us; Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Heavenly Father,
Remind us each day of your presence in our lives and help us to remember that nothing happens by chance. There are many situations in life which are completely out of our control. At these times, remind us that you ARE in control and that you always have a plan, in which all the pieces of the puzzle will fit together perfectly for the good of your children.
In Jesus name we pray,
Amen

To God be all glory!

by Christine

 

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Categories: Eternity, Faith, Family, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“God is Pro-Life”


"Life"

“Life”

Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!

For the director of music. Of David. A Psalm.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…my frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139: 13-16)

16 weeks gestation

16 weeks gestation

Today, Sunday, January 18, 2015 is “Sanctity of Life” Sunday. God is the author of life. It is a precious gift from Him. He creates life and only he decides when life should end. See now that I myself [God] am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. ( Deuteronomy 32:39)

On “life” Sunday on year ago my Pastor offered a thought provoking comment when he stated in his sermon; It is legal to kill an unborn child, but it is against the law to remove or destroy the egg or eggs in the nest of an American Bald Eagle. Anyone caught doing so would be arrested and put into prison. There is something wrong with that picture. What is this nation we live in coming to when we value the life of an animal/bird over and above that of our children who are created in the image of God? It is very sad.

Do you know the story of Cain and Abel from Scripture? If you haven’t had opportunity to hear or read the story, open your Bible to Genesis chapter 4 to read it in it’s entirety. In short however, Cain murdered his brother Abel and after he did so, God came to him and asked him; Where is your brother Abel? Cain denied murdering Abel by answering; I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper? But God said to him; Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. (Genesis 4: 9, 10)

Children are gifts from God. When we destroy that little life in the womb we are committing murder. We are taking His precious gift and throwing it in the garbage. The blood of these many children is crying out to God from the ground just like the blood of Abel so many years ago!

Someday those who promote murder of the unborn will have to answer to God for all the lives they have destroyed. Our God is all powerful, present everywhere, and has

What have you done?

What have you done?

all knowledge. There is nothing we can hide from Him. He is aware of each little child that has been destroyed through abortion and discarded as garbage, and on the day these people face judgment, he will ask them; where are those millions of precious children you destroyed? Listen, their blood cries out to me from the ground. Unless those involved repent and turn from their ways they will be punished.

As Christians it is our duty to do all we can to support life. Young women who are facing a crisis pregnancy have been brain washed by our society into thinking that getting rid of their unborn child is not a big deal. We need to inform them – tell them that even though it isn’t against the laws of our government, it is against God’s law. It is morally wrong and it is a sin – a sin that will haunt them the rest of their lives.

12 weeks Gestation

12 weeks Gestation

I would like to share with my readers some facts which were printed in our church bulletin by Christian Life Resources, a pro-life organization affiliated with our church body.

  • The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision made abortion legal in all 50 states. This year (2015) marks the  42nd anniversary of this court decision.

  • At 5 weeks gestation the heart, about the size of a poppy seed, is the first organ to function. It begins beating about 21 days after fertilization. At this age also, the first signs of brain development are evident and the foundation for every organ system is already established and beginning to develop. (First Nine Months, Focus on the Family)

  • An estimated 55 million abortions have taken place in the U.S. since 1973. (This is a 2014 statistic)

  • Three U.S. states (Washington, Oregon and Vermont) currently allow physician-assisted suicide. In 2009 the Montana Supreme Court issued a ruling which left the legality of assisted suicide in question.

  • A majority of Americans now consider themselves pro-life and overwhelmingly support restrictions on abortion.

  • The Netherlands practices legalized physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. It also adopted protocols which allow euthanasia for infants with disabilities.

  • In the U.S. a number of studies have examined the abortion rate of unborn babies with Down Syndrome. Three studies estimated the termination rates at 95%, 98%, and 87% respectively.

    10, 15, 20, & 30 Weeks

    10, 15, 20, & 30 Weeks

If you would like more information about Christian Life Resources, or would like to learn how you can make a difference for “life”, you will find a link to their site listed on my Blogroll. They also support life for the elderly and those with terminal illnesses.

The Little Children and Jesus

Jesus Loves Children

Jesus Loves Children

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. And he took the children up in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10: 13-16)

Categories: Abortion/Life, Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“TIME”


One Day at a Time

Bound by time

Bound by time

What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not. those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

In these verses from 1 Corinthians Paul is telling us simply that this life as we know it will pass away. Our life here on earth will be obsolete. There will be no marriage in heaven. We will all be members of one family – the family of God. There will be no mourning or sadness. The happiness we experience here will not compare to the happiness we will experience in heaven. Our material possessions will no longer be important. We will leave them behind and never look back. In other words, don’t get too attached to this life because it is only temporary.

Time is a gift from God. “Time” began the first day of Creation and it will end when Jesus comes again to judge the world and take his believers home to heaven.

As I age I find myself worrying about time. I sometimes wish I could make it stand still. I dread what might be in my future as I remember what my mother and others who have gone before me went through as they aged. So instead of enjoying each day as it comes I allow a shadow to hang over my heart. I don’t want to ever be unable to take care of myself. I don’t want to be bent over with arthritis. I don’t want my mind to become confused or my heart to be weak.

Jesus answer to my quandary is this: You of little faith, why [do] you doubt? (Matthew 14:31) Or he would remind me lovingly as he reminded the people of his day; Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25, 27, 34)

My prayer for myself is that God would give me a faith that trusts completely in His almighty wisdom and know that he has it all planned out perfectly for me and for each of us. Worrying about what may be in my future won’t change it and it is a waste of his precious gift of time.

Paradise

Paradise

Do you worry about the passing of time? In heaven there will be no “time”. We will be in eternity with God. We won’t have to worry about getting old or sick. We will live with God and all fellow believers in perfect worry-free happiness. I hope to see you there. In the meantime I pray that God will help all who love him to live each day in joyful hope – looking forward to the day when we will step over the threshold of this life on earth into our glorious home in heaven.

In His holy name. Gloria Dei! Amen.

By Christine

Categories: Eternity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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