What An Interesting Month!

Towards the end of September we went to visit Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL because I couldn’t find a neurologist locally who had any experience with dura fistulas like I had had back in 2009. Dura Fistulas are extremely rare-form in the womb apparently and slowly, in my case anyway, manifest themselves. I’ve already written about the surgeries and the after effects headaches. It’s the year I first started blogging. I remember being so angry with the Lord to let another thing go wrong with me!  Wow and I had no idea of the future did I? It’s a good thing I got past that anger. Anyway, the reason we went was that the soft “squishy spots have  reappeared on my head and I had the headaches again. This all started after the stroke in July. I have literally had a constant headache since July 11. The good news is that they didn’t see a dura fistula in the angiogram that was finally performed. I don’t have all the results yet, but have been gone long enough that if things were an emergency, I think they would have called me. The bad news is no one has any answers either. I could have a repeat of the tiny pseudo tumor underneath my scalp, but I don’t think they are big enough to show up for someone to want to operate on them. And I really, really don’t want any more surgery of any kind this year if I don’t absolutely have to have it. So What Do I Do Now?  What I have always done in the past. I turn to Jesus. He is the only one that knows all things and has all the answers. What I do know is that this keeps me totally dependent upon Him.

One of the things you do when you go to Mayo is wait a lot. So I was prepared with new books. I have always loved to read. These days not as much time to take advantage of it. And God has changed my reading habits. I used to read any and all things especially the mysteries. I grew up on Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins and Cherry Ames. I think that is what makes me a  good recruiter. Being a detective, looking for the needle in the haystack… Still, there are many today that are so graphic, God stops me from reading them before I am 2 or 3 chapters in. So I was thrilled to find a new Christian mystery writer! Her name is Dee Henderson. And honestly, I have never read a book including non fiction that so clearly answers questions, coming at faith from so many different points. Points of deep loss, deep abuse or abandonment, lack of human love. God is and has always been there. Through every moment of a murder, an abuse, a lack a of love, a lie,  He is there.  So I highly recommend  Dee Henderson. I don’t ever think you will be disappointed in anything she has written.

The other thing I have been involved in is a Bible study of the book of Daniel. For those that don’t know of Daniel, he and his 3 friends were part of the inhabitants of Jerusalem that were captured by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He was the greatest ruler  of the Neo- Babylonian period and one of the most competent monarchs of ancient times. Daniel and his three friends were part of the nobility that were taken to become a part of Babylon and go into the king’s service. Daniel 1:8 Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.  What of course happened is that Daniel and his friends were healthier than any of the other youths who were eating as the Babylonians. What I learned from that lesson what Godliness is never accidental. Neither is victory coincidental. Both stem from up-front, daily resolve-as in time with the Lord! Consistency! The life blood of integrity is becoming the same person no matter where we are-no matter who’s around. When we become people of integrity, everything we are on the inside is obvious on the outside.  That was week 1!

Week 2 was about the dream King Neb had. Get this, he wanted his sorcerers and magicians to tell him what his dream was and then interpret it for him! Talk about difficult!! And if they couldn’t do it, he was going to start chopping them all into little pieces. But because Daniel prayed and asked God what the dream was and what the interpretation was, all the executions were stayed. Remember please that this young man was probably about 18 years old when he did this. But he knew his God. This is the dream and the interpretation. I am including this for those skeptics who don’t believe that God’s Word is true.  Daniel 2: 27-45 Daniel replied, ” No wise man, enchanter, magician,  or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these: As your were lying there O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.  You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue–an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statute was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, and its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out but not by human hands. It struck the statute on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken into pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.  This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.  After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron–for iron breaks and smashes everything–and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands– a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

The God of Heaven knows all things. These are the kingdoms being spoken of: Head of Gold-Kingdom of Babylon, Chest and Arms of Silver-Medes and the Persians, Belly and Thighs of Bronze-Greeks(Alexander the Great), Legs of Iron-The Roman Empire, The Feet–the kingdom to come -perhaps even now forming among the European and Roma countries?

Of course Daniel’s words of prophecy were true because every kingdom announced came one after the other. That is how you know a true prophet, you know. He is never wrong.

I think that is enough for today even though we are already up to Daniel 6 this last week. What I can tell you is that I don’t want to be absorbed into the Babylon that is our world. That is the one lesson from the Lord that has been constant with me every week. I’ll do my best not to wait another month to post! I’ll be way too far behind.

Goodnight and God bless,

Cindy

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MY ARM UPDATE

I have progressed to being able to type  for short periods. I don’t have to use all caps, can use punctuation, paragraphs and the sort so I thought I might finally be ready for an update.

I had the MRI of my shoulder that I had said I would have after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it showed that I had fractured my shoulder-and 4 weeks later not healed and that I had 3 tears in different places including the rotator cuff! When I saw my doctor, he was surprised about the fracture as I was, not so much about the rotator cuff tear but the others absolutely! He said “No wonder you hurt!” And I said, ” Did you think I was faking?” He of course did not, but thought that I was in an inordinate amount of pain for what he had thought I was dealing with! Actually I think the fact that I manage with the pain that I deal with at all is a miracle and be able to work too. So now that the shoulder is so very complicated, he has decided to pass me up/down to “more qualified” surgeon doctors in his practice! I guess I should be thankful as my daughters thought. I really liked him though, and now at the end of the year, I have to start all over with a new doctor. He knew I wasn’t happy about it, but advised me that anybody would insist on the fracture healing before operating.

So on to my next challenge! I had to have GYN (female) surgery on the 19th. This is NOT SOMETHING I AM GOING TO DISCUSS HERE! Surprise! I know that I have been really open about my foibles and life and all, but except to say that if I had not had this surgery, that sometime in the near future, my life could have been at serious risk. That being said, it also was terribly painful! The doc said, oh, it will be like you had a baby. Ok that wasn’t so bad except that’s when I found out I was allergic to iodine. They used to put it in a spray on solution for episiotomy incisions. THAT was much worse than having the baby! So I thought, it couldn’t be that bad! WRONG!! This is 62 like having a baby! God did not make us to have babies at 62 except as He has reminded me Sarah at 100 had Issac -in the desert and with no drugs! So I guess i need to quit complaining except that I don’t seem to be healing well here either.

Why have I shared such information now with all of you? Because I know you pray for me. So I am asking for all of your prayers… it has made such a difference in my life before… I need to heal. I know I have the immunity issue, but I wouldn’t have thought that would impede healing, maybe it is, I don’t know. The Lord has not told me He will not heal me, he has just offered comfort in other ways. My dear husband is doing his best to feed me nutritious things that will promote my healing… but like I said, the shoulder fracture was still “very fractured” at 6 weeks, so I only know to go to the Lord in prayer. 

I remind Him of all of scriptures on healing like the familiar Isaiah 53:5  …and by His wounds we are healed… This is important for all of us though James 5:16 …pray for each other that you may be healed… and 1st Peter  2:24 …by his wounds you have been healed.  But I do think the key is praying for one another. So while I am praying for ya’ll, please be praying for me!

Goodnight and God bless!

Why Study the WORD?

Sometimes I am asked why in the world I believe that the Bible is the Holy Word of God. Why in the world I study it. Before I tell you of my personal experience with it, let me give you the facts of it. The Bible was written by 40 different authors, most of whom didn’t know one another, over the course of 1500 years. It was written in 3 different languages, but with one continuous story through out those 66 “books”, written by men, but inspired by God. This Holy Book is prophetically accurate. There are over 300 prophecies alone about Jesus Christ. Many of which were fulfilled on the day of his birth. The odds of just 8 of those prophecies being fulfilled would be 1 to the 17th power!! That is astronomical!! The Bible is God’s love letter to us. It is present; it can be known; He reveals Himself on the pages. You want to know what God is like? Then just look at Jesus. He said, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. If you have heard me, you have heard the Father.” What about science and the Bible? If you read the news or listen to the news, you know that science is constantly changing. However the Bible is not. These days, there are more elements, less planets, but God’s Word never changes. Ephesians 1:4 says  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  That goes right along side of Genesis 1:26, 27 Then God said, ” Let us make man in Our image, in Our likeness”…So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. The Bible tells me I was not randomly created. I was deliberately, divinely designed, as all people are! We are not descended from monkeys! And to this day scrolls are still being discovered that are hundreds, sometimes thousands of years old, but every word, every jot and tittle is the same as our Holy Bible today. God Protects His Word throughout the Ages. Coming to study the Word of God myself was not an automatic thing on my part. I did study for my Bible classes at church or for those I taught, but to study because I just wanted to know for myself wasn’t the reason. My mother was always after me to read the Word and I would tell her I liked to study it, but I needed the “down time of fiction” too. But in 1993 as I was going through the last bit of reconstruction surgery from my breast cancer, I had an asthma attack under anesthesia and woke up with a tube in my throat in a hospital room instead of in the clinic where I had been. During this time, I had a ‘dream’. I was standing before God and he asked me how I had spent my life. Not well I had answered. And then he had asked me if I knew any of the people gathered around the throne. I didn’t know a lot of them, but some I did, because I had read my Bible stories as a child. I was ashamed and I asked for a 2nd chance. That I would study and read His Word, that I would make Him proud of me His daughter-because that’s what I became when I was born into His family when I accepted His Son as my Savior when I was 20 years old. So that is when I began my own personal Bible study. I have completed many different kinds and they are all great studies. Precept Studies-Kay Arthur, Beth MooreQuarterly Women’s Studies at Church, but for me, the best fit has been Bible Study Fellowship International. I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you have any interest in a Bible study that will teach you how to study, this is a good one. You can go as deep as you want or not, depending on the time you have available. So now you know why I study because I promised but also because I asked that the Lord would put a hunger for His Word in me and He has indeed! He answers all of my questions, gives me directions in everything I do. I have only to ask. This year as I said before, we are studying the gospel of Matthew. He wrote this specifically to the Jewish nation. He wrote to prove that Jesus Christ was just exactly who he said he was. Matthew was originally called Levi, the tax collector. All tax collectors had a form of shorthand! I didn’t know that, did you? That means that what Matthew wrote was pretty much word for word what Jesus said! Jesus quoted over 60 times from the Old Testament and so Matthew as the first gospel is a good bridge into the New Testament if you are reading it for the first time. Matthew had come to know that Jesus was the answer to all of his questions. He presents Jesus as an invitation to come to Him to find the answers to your questions. I know that God shaped a vacuum in every person that can’t be filled by anything that we pursue, but only by the Holy Spirit that comes inside with our acceptance of His Son. So I invite you to open up Matthew the first chapter. Read that genealogy! No one can now come and say “I am the Christ the Son of David and here is my lineage”. Do you know why? All of the records that proved that Jesus was exactly who he said he was, were destroyed when the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. That is essential as are so many other specific prophesies. There are so many books out there that speak to this. One of the best is Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands a Verdict”. Another prophecy is that Jesus would be born of a virgin. A lot of people don’t think that is so very important. But it is! If he is not truly the Son of God, then all I believe is for naught. There is a great book “The Chemistry of the Blood by Dr DeHahn that is fascinating and you will never doubt again after you read it.  I think that is enough for tonight.  Please keep praying for my back. I hope to be able to have an MRI this week.

What A Lovely Weekend!

I feel so privileged to have family that loves one another! This weekend my husband and I spent with my sister and her husband who recently moved to Charleston and with our move in February, to Atlanta, now we are just 5 hours apart! The Lord blessed us with great weather and so we were able to go out in their boat and explore the coastline, the river, and some of the canals. We saw the lot where they are going to build her dream house after years of building and designing so many others’ dream homes.  Of course, my sister out did  herself with dinner last night. I even had to  bring home the recipe for the salad; it was so great!.

I  ostensibly went over to work with her to help her with marketing her business only to find out God had already been working on her behalf and teaching her Himself! How much better is that? And the stories she was telling me? Well, suffice it to say, her stories just as miraculous, wonderful, and quirky as mine are because we serve an awesome God!!

Last Tuesday night,  I started my Bible Study Fellowship class. It was a new group, in a new location because of our anticipated move  next spring. To me, it was like coming home in so many ways. Not  that the first group I attended was not a lovely group of ladies, it was. But this group simply reminds me in so many ways, of my friends at home-it’s just comforting. And the material is all new! New features and in depth scriptures! I really like it. It is like it is all brand new to me–like I have never studied it before. 

The other  very nice news from last week is that another sister–the one in Florida, is coming up to go to the Women of Faith conference here in October. that is so special to me! It seems like we have been going forever. I know at least for 10 years and now even with the move, it is nice to know that we won’t be stopping that tradition either!

So now to prayer requests: my back has gotten seriously bad for me. Turning or changing positions in bed or in a chair has gotten to being a very difficult proposition. I am having to use more medication than I like to use even though I know I have it for this very thing! I do have a last block planned for Tuesday. If it doesn’t hold, the doctor says I am most probably going to need surgery as I have been dealing with this problem for over a year and have had multiple blocks, which make me the perfect candidate for the procedure. They call it band-aid surgery these days-out patient procedure, but between this and another female issue, I may be spending a little more time than I would like or have planned with doctors. I would love it if the Lord would just make it all just go away. Please pray to that end.

Goodnight! God bless.

Just A Quick Note

For those of you who have been following me for some time now, you might remember that one of my many trials has been with rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, there was a time in 2011 and early 2012 when I was off of the Remicade medicine because of a systemic infection I had and I was in so much pain, I was just almost asking the Lord to take me home.  I guess if I was a suicidal person which I am most certainly not, that would have been an option for me.  It was a 24/7 grinding pain. I was always aware of it even in what sleep I got. Again, you might remember my writing of a woman praying for me outside of my BSF (Bible Study Fellowship International) and God taking that grinding pain away. I felt so fortunate when the immunologist allowed me to go back on Remicade when he put me on the gamma globulin for the immunity disorder. Then there was the big, bad C Difficele  infection in my colon that I got last April  2012 and we tried and tried to cure it. Do you remember how that cure started? I was sitting in an urgent care waiting on test results, hoping I didn’t have sepsis again. while I was waiting God said to me, ” Cindy, if you don’t stop taking the Remicade,  you will never get rid of the C Diff.  And of course I began to argue with Him!! You would have thought that I would have learned by then! I was so upset that He would even ask me after I had suffered so much the last time I was off of it. This time He said, you won’t hurt anymore. I can still remember the amazement I felt. One, why had I had to hurt so badly the other time? How was I going to trust Him with this now? So I told Him just that. And that it wasn’t just me to be convinced, but also my husband and my doctors. He laughed or chuckled at me and said ok if I remember correctly without going back to that post. Two minutes later my phone buzzed and a scripture came scrolling across the face of it. Numbers 29:19 This scripture still blows me away and one of my dear loved ones and fellow blogger used this scripture just this week. 

God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?

I looked at that scripture and I just started laughing! I said back to Him, “You are really serious about this aren’t you?” He was. Of course my husband was concerned when I told him what I wanted to do and some of my doctors thought I was crazy-but not the believers of course, they and I knew better than to disobey the Lord. And of course my C Diff was cured.  Looks like it is still cured or if it raised it’s ugly head for a couple of weeks, the medicine I was given this time, worked. But the reason for this quick little post is to give you are an update on my RA.

When we first moved to Atlanta, one of my first new doctors was a rheumatologist. When he first examined me, I had been off of Remicade about 4 months. I told him my story. His response was that he would take all the help he could get (wherever it came from). Still he said for someone who had had the disease as long as I had and has bad as I had, once he examined me and then looked at the xrays, he could believe that I was in such great shape. He smiled when I said I wasn’t surprised. So yesterday I saw him again. This time he is even more surprised. he says ” I am in remission”. That remission is the only way he can explain my continued lack of joint pain like I used to have and the flexiblity that I exhibited during the exam. (even with my lower back-which he says is a disc problem, not RA) Even the nodules that you used to could feel on my heels or different places including my hands are better. That isn’t remission, that an amazing God!!

So besides what seems to be the turning around of my life in terms of my business which will make such a great impact on our finances, I believe that God is truly healing me. Maybe one disease at a time and maybe with a little help, but I am planning for a future now, a bright future for as long as the Lord taries…which frankly I don’t think is so very far in the future if you have studied even a little bit of Prophecy. I certainly hope to speak to this with the next post.

In the meantime, for Big Brother who I understand reads everything that is posted, please feel free to email me your questions as I am sure there are many. I serve an awesome and mighty, miraculous God. The God who made this planet, this universe and all that is out there beyond us. I love and worship my God and my Savior Jesus Christ.  I want that to be perfectly clear and if I have not made it clear every time I have posted before, I will now. As the Apostle Paul, I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my Lord.

BURNED NERVES!

 

Well, I had so hoped that my life in the fast health lane and quit for a while and I do still have high hopes for it, but today, I suffered through the burning of the nerves in the facets (joints) in the vertebrae in my lower back. I had 4 nerve blocks previously, but nothing lasted very long. Having had to endure all kinds of pain in my life, I still say that nerve pain is the worst. So when I finally saw Spinal Pain Specialists associated with my hospital and introduced to me by my daughter when she was getting her own block for a herniated disc issue-totally different from mine, I was amazed by the exam  and their conclusions. And really so far the treatment has been borne out by where the last 2 blocks that they did were placed.  I just would like to change positions –in bed, in and out of a chair,  and regain  my ability to stand or walk for a while. The doctor says I will get all of this back! and Without Surgery! Today I just had some Twilight sleep, they call it. What I hadn’t expected was hurting when I woke up! I didn’t with the others,  but to burn nerves, bigger needles are used and go through muscle and  so the “side effects”. But if it works…WOW!

Prayer requests oh so many and I don’t exactly know how to write them so that they are anonymous-prayer for a dear one that all that needs to be remembered and done-in other words keep all the balls in the air at all times, so that absolutely nothing falls. for another dear friend, continued healing, someone’s dad diagnosed with cancer, for all the planned Bible Studies that will start up when school starts back, including my beloved BSF. For us to find a church home where God wants us, for my daughters-one a new job and the other a solution to her “back” problem. And for our nation, I am with Billy Graham, America can come back to God! All we need is for God’s people to pray!

G’night and God Bless!

Cindy

 

There Are Hardly Words…Yet Someone Has to Speak…

I just finished watching the Mike Huckabee show on Fox. I didn’t even hear of the holocaust for that was what it was for those children, those teachers until late yesterday afternoon. This time I have deliberately not watched the television or read much about it, because truthfully it was more than I could process myself.  Not that Meningitis is as serious a thing as what has happened in this small town in CT, but what I have found meningitis to do to me as person is more surprising. I don’t remember this same reaction 2 years ago. It was also viral meningitis-but different virus they say. And no I can’t help it-it has to do with the immunity issue. Obviously I will no longer be able to take any immuno suppressant drugs for my RA, in fact nothing but pain pills for the moment. The doctor is afraid he might kill me with the next infection that doesn’t respond to antibiotics. Of course, I try to tell him that question, time and day are quite up to the Lord, only He knows how many days of life I have written in that Book. And mostly I have to admit that my pain is still not unbearable like it used to be. I’ve asked the Lord to heal me completely my goodness look at how well I did w/out the pain, I can only imagine what I might be like again if I were whole. To that end, I am putting it out there, that I have prayed with a man who has the gift of healing from God the Holy Spirit. I know this Spirit well, He has resided in me over 40 years and so Spirit recognizes Spirit. I think certainly the Lord expects us to test that and know what we are dealing with. I know that my encapsulated shoulder is no longer encapsulated. Before I couldn’t use the arm hardly at all. Now, it is normal. I believe that I was healed so well from the pulmonary embolism this summer because of prayer and very specific prayer for healing. My doctors said there is no sign or evidence of scarring from the embolism like they would have expected. I say Hallelujah! So with a meningitis diagnosis and a hospital ya’ll all know where I have been. I had prayed all day Saturday as it was coming on me, not for it to be so bad-but I know what His expectation is when I go. I told Him I hurt so bad, how was I going to be able to speak with anyone? that’s when He reminded me from Matthew 10:19-20 do not worry about what to say or how to say it; when the times comes you will be given what you should say.  For it will not be just you speaking, But the Spirit of your heavenly Father speaking through you.

It truly was that way. I was checked into my room about 5 am. The nurse was very nice and as she went through my history, she kept exclaiming over it and she kept telling me how positive I was about it all. I just said It’s God that makes the difference. But that was all I said. She finished asking finally and turned and began walking out of the room. When God wants you to do something, it doesn’t matter how you feel. You just have to do it. I said to her, “wait, just a minute I’ve got a question for you! So she turned back around to hear my question which was-If you meet God tonight what will  you tell him when He asks you why He should let you into His heaven? She said oh I am going to tell Him I have always wanted to be a part of all that love and goodness and that’s why. I said  You’d be a little too late. you see, you have to decide to be for Jesus or against Jesus when you are alive on earth. I gave her many scriptures I have given here before, but in my words, Jesus is speaking and saying Hey there!! I am knocking on your Door of your  Heart and if anyone hears Me and Opens the Door, I will come in to Him and I will stay with Him forever, as in never leave you, you can’t make me go either, I will love you forever and ever and ever. Aren’t those exciting words? I love knowing that Very God is living inside of me-not because I deserve it or that it’s even clean enough in there for Him. However I will tell you He has been working diligently to clean me up-areas and closets full that I didn’t know I had. But He knew and so they have to go. Well that’s a whole ‘nother topic too-so just to finish the story. I asked the nurse if she understood now how to become a part of God’s family. Oh yes, she did; I expected us to talk again that night so that I could make sure she had prayed and was sure of her commitment. But when I asked for her I was told, “she’s a floater, you won’t see her again.”  Oh that hand on my shoulder again! This time showing me it was a good thing that I had reached out when I did-no second chance there!!