March 3 Treatment Update, BACK HOME LAST FRIDAY
Dear praying friends and family,
Thanks for praying for me. Don't stop.
I was admitted to the hospital suddenly on Sunday, February 6, due to some high fevers and bacterial infections that could not be treated at the clinic or at home. I am still extremely weak, but have no pain. Doris and Clara spent a great deal of time with me at the hospital—plus a beautiful parade of godly people who came by to visit and pray for me (some from great distance). Did you know that the LORD off the Universe is not limited by low cure rates?
Very suddenly, on Thursday, February 24, Dr. Geoffrey Herzog studied "my numbers" and checked me out and announced that I should go home the next day (my twentieth day in the hospital). Fantastic! I am still going to the cancer clinic every morning at 8am, but it is so wonderful to be at home. Wow! My medications are still altered two or three times a week, and my blood pressure seems to stabilized, The Graft vs. Host Disease is showing itself most clearly in dry skin that is, thankfully, not itchy, but is shedding and pealing like a common reptile. Doris and I have to cover my entire body with steroid cream twice a day—no fun, but very helpful. My hands are on their third layer of skin in three weeks.
SUNDAY MORNINGS AT THE HOSPITAL
Around 10am on Sunday mornings, a small group of gospel singers walks the halls of the sixth floor of the University of Louisville hospital. If you open the door, they will come in and sing and pray for you. Try this link, What a great blessing it was to this sick man!
PET SCAN THIS WEEK
I will have another PET scan this week, Friday at 9am, to see what the status of the lymphoma is. This is a matter of great prayer, obviously. The hospital stay was aimed at both the bacterial infections and the recurrence of the lymphoma, so we are praying that they will see a reduction in the evidence of cancer.
USE YOUR ADJECTIVES CAREFULLY
Dr. Geoffrey Herzig, perhaps the more serious of the two brother doctors, came into my room for his daily rounds. He usually talks to me for about ten minutes before he pulls out the stethoscope and flashlight to examine me. I asked him boldly, "Am I critical?" He replied, "No, you are polite, and you ask good questions." Well, although there is active lymphoma in my body right now and other things that need serious attention, I am not in "critical condition."
JESUS SAID: STUDY THE BIRDS (Matt. 6)
I have been watching live video cams of barn owls, hummingbirds, and bald eagles. Here they are and they are amazing:
www.ustream.tv/hummingbirdnestcam (Phoebe, the mother hummingbird, sitting on two eggs)
www.ustream.tv/channel/owlceanside (click on wildlife video, wait, click on Mel & Sidney)
www.basic.ncsu.edu/eaglecam (bald eagles on Jordan Lake in NC)
FINALLY, A GOOD PSALM FOR A SICK MAN: PSALM 16
Psalm 16 (A miktam of David)
1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Resting in Him; He is my Portion forever.
Keep praying. God is at work.
WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK (www.wqotw.org)
I am sure that there are dear ones in your family or church who suffer painful disease, disability, or other difficult infirmities. Sadly, even many long-time followers of Jesus have questions as to why God has allowed their suffering when we know he has the power to heal. Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is from Marva Dawn's important book, BEING WELL WHEN WE'RE ILL: WHOLENESS AND HOPE IN SPITE OF INFIRMITY.
In July of 2007 when my doctor first told us that I had cancer, within about ninety seconds my mind went to this account of Jesus and the man who was blind from birth. Read on.
SO THAT GOD'S WORKS MIGHT BE REVEALED IN HIM
As [Jesus] walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His
disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his
parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:1-2)
If you have chronic illness or a disability of any sort, you have probably had people ask you questions like this one that the disciples asked Jesus. For some perverse reason, outsiders want to blame us for our maladies. It is horrible theology—that our diseases and handicaps are direct punishment for our sin or someone else's.
I am forever grateful that Jesus firmly rejected this erroneous theory when he answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed in him" (John 9:3). The proper question is not "Who is to blame?" but "What good might God reveal through this affliction?"—and the answer to that question might not even be known in this life. It is a mystery that we will only fully understand at the end of time.
But in the meanwhile, we can be well intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually because we trust the words of Jesus that through whatever illnesses or impairments we might suffer "God's works" will be revealed in us. God's work might be to take us home to be with Himself, but what better work could we imagine? Or the LORD's work might be to reveal his sustaining grace throughout our afflictions. No doubt God has some surprises in store for us as to how the Trinity might act in partnership with us to accomplish divine purposes. The endless possibilities enable us to be well in trust and hope.
—Marva Dawn, BEING WELL WHEN WE'RE ILL: WHOLENESS AND HOPE IN SPITE OF INFIRMITY. Minneapolis: Augsburg Books, 2008, p. 67. ISBN 978-0-8066-8038-5. Highly recommended.
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Ministries
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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