Archive for January, 2009

Living in Paradise

If this is not Heaven here on the Pacific Coast, then it must surely be Paradise.  We are blessed with sunny days, cool nights, and loving people.  What about Dan?  The mass is growing, moving down lower to the groin area.  He rests most of the time.  He needs mild pain medication 3 or 4 times a day.   Dan has had many challenging days, but he is filled with hope by what he is learning from Dr. Carl Simonton’s CDs and books.  Sunday, Scott will drive us down the Pacific Coast in a minivan (so Dan can lie down) for 5 hours to a simple retreat center near Santa Barbara, California, in the beautiful mountains, to learn from Dr. Simonton himself.

BUT today, Dan had a long conversation with Adolf about the equipment our Christian friends have made possible.  Adolf found a company that makes wheel chairs for children and adults!!!  What joy!

I made many phone calls and sent faxes 3 times today to get the Texas hospital to send CDs of Dan’s C-T Scans to the Sarcoma specialist here. It was a hectic day — the nurse came to bathe Dan; another  changed his bandage (which has come loose at the top but I can fix it); and a notary public came to witness us sign some papers.  Even so, Dan had time to sit outside in the sunshine, and I had 30 minutes to lie down and rest 2 times.  Michelle prepared another delicious dinner.  (The children clean up after dinner.)  We are made to feel so welcome and cared for here.

 Jesus has prepared a beautiful place here on earth for us, and an even better one when we go Home to live with Him.  Can you imagine…living in a home prepared for you by God and Jesus, His Son?  Jesus said, “Come unto me, all you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 28:11  He also said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms….I am  going there to prepare a place for you….that you may be where I am!” John 14: 1-3. Praise God! — Anne and Dan

Heaven and Earth Praise God, the Creator

Heaven and Earth Praise God, the Creator

Anne writes the blog

Anne writes the blog

January 17, 2009 at 5:34 am 1 comment

Helps to Take a Break

Awakening as a pink glow flowed across the sky above the Pacific, we open the Roman shades to drink in the beauty unfolding below us this morning. Praise God, Dan felt better today!  Having corrected the tape on his bandage last night, the bandage held!  After we dressed for the day, Dan felt strong enough to sit and help fix his cottage cheese blended with flax seed oil, with fruit, oats, and freshly ground flax seeds added. 

Dan was blessed by the Skype Small Group Bible study in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania, today.   Another joyful report – $4,000 has been raised for the Covasna County Red Cross for the needy children and elderly!  More good news…a benevolent organization may possibly send a 40′ container of free medical equipment to the Red Cross!  

After class, Dan took a nap…and I took a walk down to the Post Office…and on to the coffee shop where I sat on the veranda, gazed at a sailboat on the Pacific while I sipped my coffee, read a chapter in a book Shelby recommended. After 15 minutes, I hiked back up the mountain to fix Dan’s lunch.  Even though we did not get outside again, that “break” helped me make it through the day.  

The mass continues to enlarge…fluid? Sarcoma? Both?  The drainage from Dan’s thigh now is slightly greenish.  The good news is that Dan no longer suffers with his leg swelling big as a tree trunk.  We are fatigued, but full of hope…and trust that all will be okay.  Keep that ever in your mind – for intentional followers of Jesus, everything will be okay.  He will help you deal with whatever the Dark Side throws at you.  Romans 8:37-39 tells us, “…we are more than conquerors through Jesus who loved us….neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons….nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  — Anne and Dan

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 16, 2009 at 8:26 am 1 comment

Jacob Wrestled with God

In Genesis 32:22-29, we read about Jacob, a clever man who worked things to his advantage, deceived people, stole his brother’s birthright.  But God never gave up on Jacob.  The night before he was to meet his brother and ask his forgiveness, Jacob wrestled all night with God.  He touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it. […]

Continue Reading January 15, 2009 at 8:05 am 1 comment

Springtime in the Winter of Our Lives

 

Montara Sunset

God's Sunset Fills Our Hearts

As evening stole upon me, I said, “Goodnight,” to God’s sun, turned away  from the peaceful  waves washing up on the shore and  began the 20 minute trek back “home.”  At the same time, Dan was slowly climbing up the 15 steps that lead to the front door of our “home.” Dan enjoyed reclining in the sunshine with a view of garden and Pacific.  We’re thankful that sunny, cool days are forecast all week, Spring in the winter of our lives! We’re also thankful that I can take an hour maybe twice a week to rest on the beach.

Dan cannot stand up straight anymore without pain, but he can walk slowly without a cane and still climb stairs.  He had a good appetite today eating as much  as he used to when he was well.  We are doing our best to get some weight back on him using healthy foods.  

The wound is not draining much causing the wound to rapidly swell…at least we are hoping it is lymph fluid causing the swelling.  We now have an appointment for Jan. 27 with Dr. Tierrey Jahan, Sarcoma Specialist at University of California San Francisco.  Maybe he knows of something new that will help Dan.  We won’t have a report about the C-T Scan until we meet with him.  

“If there be anything of good report, think on these things.”  Sherrie reminded me of, “As you can see we admire those who have patience.  Remember how patient Job was?  And do you remember how the Lord was tender [affectionate, sympathetic, and compassionate] and merciful to him (James 5:11-SEB)?”  “Through your faith, God’s power protects you for salvation, which is ready to be revealed at the end of time . . . after your faith is tested through fire, it will last.  When Jesus Christ is revealed, your faith will be praise, glory, and honor for him (1 Peter 1:5,7-SEB).”  This we believe…and that’s what gives us hope even in our darkest Winter days. — Anne and Dan

January 14, 2009 at 8:55 am 1 comment

You Have Two Choices

The day started off badly with gale force winds.  We were sure a bad storm was on the way…the storm was already in our minds, in our lives.  The stormy weather never did come.  The winds died down; the sun shone brilliantly all day.  Dan and I ate lunch while sitting in the sunshine in the garden!

The storm in our minds calmed when we read what Edd e-mailed us this morning.  Please, read all of this, and then pray asking God’s help so you can make the best choices. — Anne and Dan

You Have Two Choices

Jerry is the manager of a restaurant. He is always in a good mood.

When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply:

‘If I were any better, I would be twins!’

Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs,

so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant

Why?

Because 
Jerry was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling him how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him

‘I don’t get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time.. How do you do it?’

Jerry replied, ‘Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood.

I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the20positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life.’

‘But it’s not always that easy,’  I protested.

‘Yes it is,’ Jerry said.

‘Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk every situation is a choice.

You choose how you react to situations..

You choose how people will affect your mood. 
You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood.. 
It’s your choice how you live your life..’

Several years later,

I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business.

He left the back door of his restaurant open

 And then in the morning, he was robbed by three armed men.

While Jerry trying to open the safe box,

his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. 
The robbers panicked and shot him.

Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body..

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, 
‘If I were any better, I’d be twins. Want to see my scars?’

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through 
his mind as the robbery took place.

‘The first thing that went through my mind was that I should 
have locked the back door,’ Jerry replied.

‘Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or could choose to die. I chose to live.’

‘Weren’t you scared’ I asked?

Jerry continued, ‘The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine..

But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expression on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared.

In their eyes, I read ‘He’s a dead man..

I knew I needed to take action.’ 
‘What did you do?’ I asked.

‘Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me,’ said Jerry. 
‘She asked if I was allergic to anything.’

‘Yes,’ to bullets, I replied.

Over their laughter, I told them: ‘I am choosing to live. 
Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.’

‘Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.

I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it.

 

The only thing that is truly yours – that no one can control or take from you 
is your attitude,

so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier. 

You have two choices.

January 13, 2009 at 8:31 am 2 comments

Every Day Has Blessings

The bandage was hanging by one piece of tape this morning when Dan awoke.  Is the tape we bought on line not really Hyperfix?  Or is it a different quality than provided to doctors?  Or is it simply that the mass, is getting too difficult to place tape on it so it will hold?  No one had called to say a nurse was coming today.  One phone call to Central Headquarters, and 3 phone calls later, a very gifted male nurse arrived.  His bandage stayed taped all day except for the entire right side of the bandage.  That’s better than it being held on by one strip of tape.  It took me about an 1/2 hour to repair it while Dan tried to tell me how he thought it ought to be. He wanted to make the work easier on me.  “Just put a piece of tape on it, and let that be enough.”  Man, that sounds simple.  

All of this is very stressful for both of us. Dan was so tired that he slept a lot today  When I had a minute, I looked out the windows at the beautiful blue Pacific.  I’m grateful Dan cooperated in eating the food Michelle and I prepared for him.  He keeps losing weight – he doesn’t feel like eating some days.  The male nurse, Christopher, talked to him about the importance of eating, drinking water.

Late this afternoon, Jorge and Julie, friends of Scott and Michelle, and now also friends of ours came to visit.  They btought a lovely bouquet of white flowers for Michelle to comfort her in the loss of her father.  When Jorge found out that I like sports cars, he took me for a ride in Julie’s new all electric Tessla sports convertible.  When we were ready to head back “home,”  Jorge asked, “Would you like to drive?”  I didn’t have to think a second…I immediately replied, “Yes!”  Man, what a sweet ride!  (Quite a bit easier to drive than the old blue van in Sfantu Gheorghe!) 

Dr. Thierry Jahan,specialist at University of California San Francisco, has already sent us the phone number of his personal assistant.  We are to work with her to get Dan worked into his schedule.  God worked fast on that connection. Fpr a day that began and ended with bandage repair needs, we still had a good day.  God says, “Wait. Be patient. Wait.”  So…we are waiting. — Anne and Dan

January 12, 2009 at 8:50 am 1 comment

There Is Balm in Gilead

There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.  There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul,” are words from a song inspired by Jeremiah 8:22.  Tonight, I am hearing in my mind Bob Hunter singing this solo when we were in ACU, and again, hearing Tommy Carter sing it with the ACU A Capella Reunion Chorus on our 2008 CD.  

God keeps Dan and me sane by bathing us in the balm of His love.  Dan has had very few hours pain free lately.  However, Dan was able to walk  better today because the bandage was positioned better.

We just received word a few minutes ago that one of our Christian friends, Shan-Yee,  has connected us with one of the top specialist in sarcoma cancer who practices at The UCSF Mount Zion Cancer Center in San Francisco!  It’s good to be here.  We pray we can get in to see him soon.

Tonight, I close with this message from Sherrie, “Choose determined joy in the power of His Mighty Strength, because Nehemiah teaches Christians the power that defeats our Enemy [Satan] is joy, instead of worried sadness.  Nehemiah says, ‘… do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10-RSV).’  How do we have this supernatural joy?  The apostle John explains, ‘For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith (1 John 5:4).’ ” 

She goes on to say, “Jesus teaches Christians how we can have supernatural joy with peace because He is in control of everything that happens in our lives.  And, Jesus has already defeated Satan’s hurt.  Jesus says, “I have said this to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”  Joy defeats grief.  Joy defeats sadness.  Joy defeats Satan.  We have joy in the fact that God loves believers all the time, Jesus saves us everyday, and our home is in heaven forever with God and Christ.  “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).” — Anne and Dan

January 11, 2009 at 7:52 am Leave a comment

Waiting for Report

We must wait until Jan. 15 to get the report about Dan’s C-T Scan when we see the Oncologist.  The Family Dr. is not trained to read  C-T Scans.  We did not make clear that we need to know exactly how much is fluid, and how much is mass.  Monday, I will call Dan’s oncologist in Texas to ask if he will compare this week’s Scan with December’s.  

We keep praying for healing, but our first desire is that God’s will be done whatever that may be.  Dan is weak and has daily pain from the bandage coming loose or being too tight – those things cause the tape to pull and create pain. This evening, he had to take a Vicodin to ease the pain.

At bedtime, he asked me to check the bandage that the talented RN had put on at 1:30 p.m. today.  She is quite good, but has to learn how to use this new tape.  Much to our dismay, the only tape holding  was at the top, and partly at the lower edge of the bandage.  It took me 1/2 hour to repair the bandage.  Dan gets so tired from having to lie still while I fumble with the tape.  I know how it must be attached, but I have poor eye-hand coordination.  I am left handed, but right eyed!  That makes it very challenging to get tape on Dan’s skin correctly.

Pray for peace for us, healing & freedom from pain for Dan.   Also, please, add to your prayer list, Samuel Obeng, our dear, dear brother in Kumasi, Ghana (West Africa). He is truly a man without guile.  He may need major surgery  – waiting for specialist’s report. He also has terrible back pain.  He is in his 60’s and is the “Dad,” and  “Grandfather” of many Christians in Ghana.

The good news is that Dan does not need morphine for the pain,  his appetite was good today, and the sunshine made the entire landscape glow.  I hope we always have eyes to see God’s glory in His amazing creation here on the coast of northern California.  As the full moon rose above Montara Mountain on my right, beautiful rose, pink, and purple wide ribbons of clouds spread above the greyish blue Pacific  on my left.  God, the Great Artist, blesses us daily no matter what Satan throws at us.  Praise God!  —  Anne and Dan

January 10, 2009 at 8:30 am 1 comment

A Positive Development?

An interesting thing is happening with whatever  is blocking the closing of the wound. The wound Dr., after first saying it was a hematoma, said that it probably was the sarcoma.   Well, today, as the nurse was carefully cleaning it with saline solution wound cleaner, it began to come loose.  Startled, she said, “I don’t know what to do with it.” Dan and I both said, “Don’t touch it!” Her supervisor, the Head Nurse, comes tomorrow.  She will know what to do.

We can’t imagine it is the sarcoma. When we have the C-T Scan report , we’ll know how much of the bulge is sarcoma and how much is fluid. Dan did not feel well most of today, but was up for awhile, even washed the juicer, rested again.  We are happy that he is able to eat his meals with us.  This has been  challenging because Dan was doing rather well before we left Texas.

Now he is resting with eyes shut as I watch darkness settle on the giant Monterey Cypresses reaching up to the heavens outlined with the rich shades of red, orange, pink escorting the sun to the other side of the globe.  God is God and we are His servants.  The cross we have been given to bear is rough and heavy, yet we have all that we need and more.  

Tonight the Lord again gave me  Jeremiah 35:14 – 39:18. The message I heard again and again is that those who do not follow God’s Word will be removed from God.  And, as God said to Jeremiah, “I will rescue you on that day….I will save you….you will escape with your life because you trust in me.”  Jeremiah 39:18.  To trust Him, you must know Him. To truly know Him, you must be a student of His Word.  If you are a faithful student of His Word, you will come to love Him deeply and follow Him.  — Anne and Dan

January 9, 2009 at 7:17 am 2 comments

The Hours Fly By

Today, Jan. 7, ’09, we slept until 8:30 -(we have a very good bed).  I could hardly wait to get dressed and open the window curtains.  What I saw was so beautiful that tears of joy sprang up in my eyes…from our new bedroom, on our right, we see the tip of Montara Mountain descending into the sea.  From that point Westward, we can see at least a mile wide section of the Pacific Ocean.  What a glorious experience!  Several times today, Dan said, “It is so beautiful here!”

We had a “normal” day – Dan was tired, took 2 Vicodin pain pills last night, and one this morning…and slept most of the day.  When the nurse came to change his bandage, she showed me that the mass was not as big as it was 2 days ago, and that the redness was not as bright red.   We are so thankful!   Also, we are thankful that the amount for the Red Cross has increased to $3,750!  Thank you, American Christian friends who can help with this effort!!!

This afternoon Dan had a C-T Scan.  I will write in the blog what the Dr. tells us about the scan.  I believe it will be good news.  What we need to pray for right now is that the infection in his right pelvis and leg will heal, that the cancer will go away soon, and that the wound will heal completely.  It’d be okay if you pray for good health and peace for all who dwell in this house.  Michelle and her brother, Steve, are so sad about losing their father.  Fortunately, Michelle has several large photo albums full of happy pictures with many fine photos of her dad and the family.

I paused for a moment, and listened.  I heard these words of an old favorite Irish praise song of mine, “Prepare ye, prepare ye the way of the Lord.” The hours fly by –  our day today is over before we knew it.  One day, our day on earth will be over before we know it because the hours fly by.  Dan and I choose to prepare the way of the Lord so that those who sincerely desire to find Him will come to know Him, love Him, serve Him. It is a blessed life.  —  Anne and Dan

January 8, 2009 at 8:04 am 1 comment

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