Thursday, August 27, 2009

ALS Clinic Vist at Hershey

Well this has been a long day at Hershey. The past couple weeks, we have both noticed changes. We thought we were ready for today knowing the changes since we were in Hershey the end of April, little did we really know. First stop was breathing test and I guess this was the biggest disappointment. Six months ago it was 58%. I knew I was getting worse but didn't realize I was that bad. As the day went by it seemed like things went downhill from there. Because my breathing declined to 58%, I will be using a bi-pap at night to help with my breathing. I should experience more energy during the day.

Next came the swallowing and speech evaluation. Not much better news there either. Due to the high risk of aspiration from choking while eating, I will gradually be using thickeners in my drinks and have my food processed to a smooth consistency. Because my breathing function is so low they suggested having a feeding tube put in sometime in the near future. The surgery is too risky when your breathing gets below 50%.

Due to the lengthly process involved in getting some kind of speaking and communication device I will be having a speech evaluation done in near future to see what device is most compatible for me to use.

As you can imagine, our day was a bit overwhelming. Having ALS, I knew these things were going to happen at some point but just wasn't quite ready to deal with this all at once.

I am still believing God will provide me with the strength and courage to go through this journey and find purpose in my life as I face each challenge that will come.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This past weekend we went to Virginia to spend some time with friends. We are blessed to have friends like Beck and Aaron. We had a great time spending most of our time on the farm where they were making salsa and tomato sauce with all the tomatoes from their garden. I couldn't help in any way because I'm in a wheelchair and my arm, leg, and speaking function are very limited these days. I just hung out and watched them doing their thing enjoying the view of the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance. I had to think how awesome God is and his beautiful handiwork. One night we ate hot dogs and watermelon at the campsite and watched the sun go down as we visited. A nice peaceful easy feeling. I posted some pictures of our weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, August 7, 2009

By Bill Izard

Complaining is unbecoming of the true Christian and yet we are proficient at it. The cure is found in these verses. In Christ we are never hopeless or forsaken. Every trial has meaning. Meditate on this cure in order to change both your language and your heart.

1. God commands me never to complain."Do all things without complaining and disputing" (Philippians 2:14, NAS).

2. God commands me to give thanks in every circumstance."In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

3. God commands me to rejoice always, and especially in times of trial. "Rejoice in the Lord always" (Philippians 4:4); "Rejoice always" (1 Thessalonians 5:16); "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials" (James 1:2).

4. I always deserve much worse than what I am suffering now—in fact, I deserve hell. "Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins?" (Lamentations 3:39)
"Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:2-3).

5. In light of the eternal happiness and glory that I will experience in Heaven, this present trial is extremely brief and insignificant, even if it were to last a lifetime."The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18); "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:19).

6. My suffering is far less than that which Christ suffered, and He did not complain."Who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Peter 2:23).

7. To complain is to say God is not just."Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25)

8. Faith and prayer exclude complaining. "I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4).

9. This difficulty is being used by God for my good and it is foolish for me to complain against it."And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

10. Those more faithful than I have suffered far worse than I, and did so without complaint. "…and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. All these, having gained approval through their faith…" (Hebrews 11:35-39)

11. Complaining denies that God's grace is entirely sufficient."My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

12. The greatest suffering, the worst trial or difficulty, can never rob me of that which is of greatest value to me and my greatest joy, namely the love of Christ."Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, 'For Your sake we are killed all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35-39).