Archive for April, 2009
Once we have given our lives to Jesus, and are born of the Spirit, that means walking with Him wherever He leads. Never doubting, never worrying. Anyone who says Christians are “wimps” doesn’t know what they are talking about. How could they know…they have never done it. It takes great courage to walk each moment with Jesus. On my good days, I am free of doubt and worry because I truly believe that everything is going to be okay. It’s just that we are walking through the Dark Valley now, and I let myself forget that Jesus is with me.
I appealed to Chief of Plastic Surgery to make a small incision in the opening to Dan’s cavity just enough so we can pack it easily rather than open up the cavity, clean it, and insert a drain. To do all that will delay healing for weeks. P-T Scans, etc., and treatment of the sarcomas in his lungs cannot be done until the cavity is healed. Friday Dan meets with the plastic surgeon. Jesus healed all who asked when He was on earth. We keep asking. I still get the answer, “Wait.”
Dan, having lost over 10 pounds of fluid, is now thin again. His right shoulder and hip hurt almost constantly. His Feldenkreis therapist said today that this will improve with time as he continues the Feldenkreis work. He walked 1.5 blocks in the sunshine again today. His appetite is excellent. He takes 2 or 3 naps a day. His mind is clear.
Me – Sinus infection is controlling my life. I’m improving in that I can move better when I walk, but I sleep a lot during the day. If I stay up too long, I break out in a sweat. However, when I am awake, I have time to think, pray. I’m learning more about obedience, submission to Christ, trust in His promises. — Anne and Dan
When the road is rough, full of potholes, maybe it’s a good idea to look for the lessons we need to learn from this. God loves us so much that He keeps giving us opportunities to learn the lessons we need to learn. As I look at the past 3 days, on the one hand, they look like wasted time, but on the other hand, they are a way to learn some important lessons.
The one I see today is how hard it must be for Dan to be ill for almost 17 months, feeling useless, hurting, knowing every second that he has vicious sarcomas in his body that are going untreated. God heals naturally – such as when we cut our finger…it heals quickly. God heals through medical treatment. And, He still heals because we ask. Jesus healed everyone who asked Him when He was on earth. If He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, then He can heal those who ask.
We celebrate that Dan’s body continues to get rid of the extra fluid caused by wrong medications. He aches all over today…not sure why. He got out in the cool breeze and walked 1 1/2 blocks in the sunshine. And, what did I do? I spent most of the day in bed, sleeping, resting, letting Dan fix my breakfast. Our daughter in law had made chicken vegetable soup which I gratefully ate for lunch. Tonight, I felt up to eating dinner with the family. The sinus congestion is still a problem, but it may be improving. I wish Dr. Kati was here! She prescribes Black Stevia Capsules to build up my immune system. When I need modern, up to date medicines, she prescribes that also.
I’ve been told that sinus infections are often the result of unshed tears. I can think of several things that I don’t allow myself to cry about very often. Please, ask God to heal both Dan and me, and pray that we allow ourselves to have our feelings, do our grieving, accept the things we cannot change, and get on with living in peace and joy. — Anne and Dan
When it seems that one day is almost the same as all the others, you will be surprised by the unexpected. You never know what may be just around the corner. The lovely walk I took in the sunny but cool weather last Thursday just before sunset was a bit too cool. Now that Dan’s body is making big steps in overcoming the sulfa based Lasix and Aldactone, and Neurontin, I lost my voice for almost two days. Fortunately, it moved up into my sinuses so that I have a sinus infection. Because of my young age of 74, the RN who comes daily was afraid I had pneumonia. But my lungs are clear. The Dr. wants to wait and see if rest and irrigating with saline solution, etc., will help me get well.
In concluding the encouraging message from Sherrie, here’s the last part of what she had to say about being strong when you are weak. “Every time something bad happens in my life, I have learned to say, “I have a blessing coming soon, because Satan is bearing down on me fiercely, angry at my blessing coming soon, and torments me right now. Thank you Jesus for sending my blessing! Please send my blessing very soon.” That is what I consider being strong when you are weak. I hope Sherrie does not mind me saying this – in the 30 years we have known her, Satan has sent many hard things her way in his efforts to tear her away from Jesus. But Sherrie and her husband cling to Jesus. He has brought them through every storm, and they are people we often turn to for wise counsel. May we all find the path that helps us be intentional followers of Jesus so that we can let Him help us be strong when we are weak. — Anne and Dan
Romania has a rich history and many interesting buildings that existed before Columbus ever thought about America! : > )
Dan wanted to get out and do something nice. Even though his heart rate and blood pressure are back to norma, his feet are still swelling. Leaving here at 12:30, we took our family to lunch. went to get our own library cards, checked out a few books, went by the drug store to buy a glasses frame repair kit, and found a barber for Dan’s 1st professional hair cut since surgery. (I’m afraid his cute curly hair is going straight!) After that, we came back “home,” and “crashed” for the rest of the day.
Our son has great finger dexterity, so tonight I prepared Dan’s cavity for packing. Then our son took over. He was surprised at how small the opening to the cavity is. He had the packing finished 3 times faster than I can do it. He put the tape on quickly …nothing like the “interesting” crooked and wrinkled tape design I create. Dan and I both have coughs; I’m on the verge of losing my voice. But, with God’s help, we will take care of Dan. We will hang in there, do what we can, and look to God to do the rest. We don’t have to give up just because we are worn out.
“When something weak hits our lives, then rejoice, because Jesus is about to show up and do the strong and right thing within us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then, instead of bragging about what we ourselves did, we can brag on what the Lord does in us, for us, with us, and through us. Bragging on what God does through Jesus in our lives is exactly the type of praise and glory that God wants to receive from believers. God wants credit for the good He does with us even when we are weak . . . because at our moment of weakness, Jesus living in us shows up strong and does the ‘impossible’ on our behalf.”
“Peter concludes, ‘If you truly desire to do right, who will hurt you? …even if yo do suffer because you are doing right, you should be happy. Don’t be upset. Don’t be afraid like they are afraid. Make a special holy place in your hearts for Christ, the Lord . . . Then those who say evil things about your good life in Christ will be ashamed of the things they said. If God wants you to suffer, then suffering for doing right is better than suffering for doing wrong. Christ died for your sins . . . He was a good man dying for bad men. Why? To bring you back to God (1 Peter 3:13-18-SEB).’ Peter teaches believers our good is consistently rewarded by God, because Christ does everything good in us, with us, for us, and through us by the power coming from the Holy Spirit. Glory to God because He does great things on behalf of believers in Jesus! Praise His name! Exalt His mighty power, not our power.” — Anne and Dan
We’ve been waiting since Feb. 13, for the cavity in Dan’s groin to heal. That’s when Dan had surgery #4 to rid his body of sarcomas. Everything except helping Dan survive has more or less been put “on hold.” Oh, there’s the daily wash, bandage changes, vital signs closely monitored, medical reports written in my notebook, many phone calls and appointments with doctors, trips to Emergency, massaging Dan’s painful swollen legs and feet.
We are blessed by our friends giving $4,000 to buy walkers, canes and wheel chairs for children and elderly in Romania, by attractive, nutritious, delicious meals our daughter in law prepares each evening, by her famous cookies and zucchini dessert bread, by attending church each time Dan is able where we receive thought provoking, life changing messages along with praise music and prayers that feed our soul, by walking occasionally on the beach, and by at least 80 glorious sunsets and hundreds of beautiful flowers.
But, it’s the waiting, the pain, the isolation that Satan uses to get us down. This gives new meaning to Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:34 – 36, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me….'”
Considering what Sherrie has said about being strong when weak…”If you suffer pain unfairly, but take it because your conscience is controlled by God, then that will be to your credit . . . if you servants do right, yet you endure suffering, then God will bless you. This is why you were called: Christ suffered for you! Christ left you an example. He wants you to follow in His steps . . . While He was suffering, He wasn’t trying to get even. Jesus gave Himself over to God who judges fairly. In his body, he carried our sins on the wooden cross. He wants us to quit sinning and live right. His wounds were used to heal us (1 Peter 2).”
“When people hurt us because we do right, then Peter teaches us to rejoice because Holy Spirit power and glory from God is about to show up in us and on our behalf to do things we cannot do by our own human power, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised because of the fierce struggle you’re in, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be glad that you are sharing in the sufferings of Christ. Then when His glory is revealed, you will be very happy. If someone insults you . . . you should be very happy, because the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God is resting upon you . . . if you must suffer as a Christian, you shouldn’t be ashamed. Use this name to give glory to God . . . the people who are suffering by God’s will must commit their souls to a faithful Creator by doing good things (1 Peter 4:12-19).” This we believe. — Anne and Dan
We made it through yet another day. Each day is much the same what with the RN coming once a day to clean and pack Dan’s cavity, and me doing the same about 12 hours later. The RN wants a Wound Care Specialist to give a 2nd opinion on how to help the cavity heal, but the Specialist has no opening until the 30th. Dan’s team of doctors at UCSF may make a decision before that if the Plastic Surgeon has his way.
The excess water in Dan’s body is rapidly going away. He walked about 20′ further today than he has before – from the house to the corner, and up the steep street for half a block. Dan thought he did not need to spend much time with his ankles higher than his knees. Tonight, both feet are swollen as well as the right leg. He said, “I’ll do better tomorrow.”
Let’s see, what did I do today to “take care” of myself? I drove 15 minutes north to the dentist in Pacifica to have my teeth cleaned. Let’s try again…I stopped at Starbucks on the way home. I bought chicken sausage to put in our Dutch lunch – mashed potatoes with applesauce and sauerkraut topped with sausage! I also walked down the hill to the Post Office taking a longer route so I could see and smell the flowers. : > )
Continuing what Sherrie’s message – “The apostle Peter teaches ‘how’ the Lord Jesus does the impossible through believers. By the power of the Holy Spirit upon us, believers are led into right living (John 14:26,27). When believers are weak, then Jesus shows up within us and makes us strong by doing whatever we cannot do by our own human efforts.”
“Peter teaches, “When you obeyed the truth, you made your souls pure. This led you to loving your brothers and sister. That love must be sincere. Love one another intensely from your hearts. You have been born again. The seed [message] that caused this will never die. It is God’s message that lives and lasts . . . the Lord’s message remains forever (1 Peter 1:22,23-SEB).” “You should live good lives among the people of the world. They might say evil things against you, as if you were doing wrong. But when they see your good deeds, they will give glory to God on the Day when He returns to take care of us . . . by doing good, you will silence foolish, ignorant men. This is what God wants . . .” (to be continued) — Anne and Dan
Today was calmer with no appointments in the City. Dan is definitely feeling better as the swelling continues to go down. He helped me “straighten up” our room. We’re slowly making the room “our room.” His cough is not as tight as it was, but it is not gone. Before the medications made him ill, he was beginning to take medium size steps. Now he walks with very small steps. The best indicators of his health are that his appetite is excellent, and he only took 3 naps today.
The “heat wave” is over. The high today was about 73 F / 23 C. The sun shone all day until about 5 p.m. when clouds covered the sun, and fog covered the ocean. It gets cold enough at night that we need a thick comforter on the bed. In our Romanian home of Sfantu Gheorghe, it was 17 C / 62 F today. Nights there are just above freezing. What does it look like in Sfantu now? Here are two photos that Adolf sent today.
When I gaze upon the beauty of nature in these photos, I feel the deep love that we have for so many in Sfantu Gheorghe. I also feel the power of God, the One who created love and beauty. Speaking of the power of God, Sherrie also says, “When we are humanly weak, that is the time when God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit show up strong within us. In this way, we KNOW the One who did the ‘impossible’ in us, with us, and through us. We KNOW our human effort didn’t do it because we KNOW we are weak.”
“But we KNOW the One in Whom we have believed showed up and did something magnificent in us, for us, and with us. His Grace does the things we cannot do by ourselves. Therefore, Paul states, ‘With one glory after another [glory], we are being changed to look more like Him.’ (2 Corinthians 3:18-SEB). And, ‘If anyone wants to be proud [brag], let him be proud of [or, brag on] the Lord [Jeremiah 9:24].’ Who is approved? It is not the one who pats himself on the back. It’s the one whom the Lord pats on the back (2 Corinthians 10:17,18-SEB)!” (to be continued) — Anne and Dan