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Ken’s Story

I was hospitalized on July 22, 2013 following several days of illness and having my temperature spike to 103. I was eventually diagnosed with West Nile Virus. This inflamed a previous undiagnosed condition called Myasthenia Gravis a rare autoimmune disorder. This lead to a life threatening crisis that included meningitis and encephalitis. The result was several weeks on life support that included tube feedings and a tracheotomy to sustain my breathing. A tumor was found in my thymus gland that required surgery. In the mean time I developed pneumonia in my left lung. Surgery on September 26th included removing the tumor, my thymus and the lower lobe of my left lung. I spent 8 weeks at Northern Colorado Rehab Hospital and finally returned to our Fort Collins home on December 10th after close to five months of hospitalization. This blog chronicles my journey from initial hospitalization to the present status of my recovery.

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The Beatitudes of Revelation

Yesterday when I was leaving Northern Colorado Rehab hospital once of the occupational therapists asked me if I had any "big plans" for the weekend. I pause and then said, "No!" It seems over the years Debbie and I have enjoyed more laid back weekends and have never been in the habit of making plans or feeling the need to do so for the weekend. It usually has been so nice to not  have to work that just "being more laid back" was fine. Of course there is always work to be done around the house.

Today I did make it to the fitness center for an exercise time today. Nothing spectacular, but trying to be as consistent as possible while I try to manage my energy levels.

After church this evening our friend Charlie Simineo took us out for our birthdays. Debbie's birthday is coming up this next Saturday, mine was on November 12. We enjoyed the meal and our fellowship at the Red Lobster here in Fort Collins.

I mentioned speaking at to the Loveland Rotary Club this past Tuesday. While a few days late, I am posting a picture from that event.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY.... "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near." Revelation 1:3

The "Sermon on the Mount" in Matthew chapter five begins with the "beatitudes" - a series of statements that pronounce  a blessing on those who heed them. The Book of Revelation contains seven (interesting, with the significance of that number in the book) pronouncements of blessings.

The first one in Chapter 1 is related simply to those who read, hear and keep what is written. In my younger years I recall viewing Revelation as a book for prophecy students and those trying to figure out the precise meaning and timeline of judgements and various images as described by John. But the book has a message an encouragement and warnings for those in any time period.

 “… Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”           Revelation 14:12

It would seem odd that a blessing would rest upon those who die. But it is specifically those who "die in the Lord." Death for those who follow Christ is not only a rest in this life, but a reward for eternity. Paul wrote to the Philippians about his own life and said, "....to die is gain..."   (Phil. 1:21)  And what we see further in this verse is that these people have an impact on others. Their life in earth may end, but the impact of their life on earth will continue.

“…Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” Revelation 16:15

This blessing is pronounced upon those who are vigilant in looking for the return of the Lord. This blessing reminds me of the parable of the "ten virgins." Five were wise and prepared for the coming of the bridegroom, five were foolish and slumbered and slept and missed the arrival of the bridegroom. When Jesus told of His return a key word is the word, "watch."  "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." (Matthew 25:14)

 “…Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Revelation 19:9

This is the celebration in heaven that is often pictured in song and in messages about the future prepared for God's people. This meal represents celebration and culmination. It speaks of privilege and honor and reward.

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection!...they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.  Revelation 20:6

The first resurrection is for all followers of Christ who have died and are raised to life when He returns. This is what Paul foresaw when he wrote to the Thessalonians. "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel and dead in Christ will rise first..." (1 Thessalonians 4:17) The resurrection of Christ is what gives hope to a future resurrection for all who place their faith in Him. This verse shares about that hope becoming a reality and the exalted position of those who are raise to reign with Christ.

“…Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”  Revelation 22:7

Revelation begins and ends with this pronouncement of blessing on those who keep the words of the prophecy. These are not instructions to be obeyed, as much as warnings to be heeded, and a future that is to be remembered.

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates”.  Revelation 22:14

As the grandeur of the new heavens and new earth is described the call to those who follow Christ is to be ready and to be eager. To be ready through the life we live and the trust and faith we profess and to be eager in joining with the chorus of the multitudes that say, "come...!" "even so come quickly Lord Jesus..."

As we read about the return of the Lord, the coming judgments, we can take heart in the blessings that are bestowed upon those who hear and obey the words of the Lord and are working and looking for His return.