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Oct 27, 2009


Edited to add: Andrew is gaining weight. He told me last night that he got one of his toes on the left foot to wiggle. A wiggling toe is cause for rejoicing around here! Now to get that left arm, hand and fingers moving again!
"Therefore I have set my face like a flint..."
This scripture has been echoing through my spirit for weeks. The scripture is found in Isaiah 50. It is a picture of Christ's flintlike stedfastness of his devotion.
Here is the context:
"For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed."
For many weeks, the Lord has strengthened me during the most horrific moments with these words, "Daughter, set your face like flint."
Up until now I have not shared this with anyone but all week it has been on my mind to share it with you here. Maybe you are going through something in which you feel like giving up or giving in. Let's face it, there are some things we go through in life that are VERY DIFFICULT and it is tempting to give in to the despair that threatens to overwhelm you. It is tempting because you think that you might find relief in the giving up. But then the Lord speaks to you down deep inside and He tells you to hang on and set your face like flint. There will be no disgrace to the one who trusts in her God, whose heart rests in Him.
So many times lately, as I have gone about the normalcy of life back at home, I have cried out to God in my private moments. The cry always begins this way, "Father, Abba, Daddy...Daddy, Daddy..."
This daughter of the Most High God has the privilege of calling Him, "Daddy." And in that relationship, I can set my face like a flint and lean into him as He wraps His loving arms around me and does not shrink away at my falling tears. In Him I will never be ashamed.
Update: Andrew is doing well. We are consulting some of the finest minds concerning his nutritional needs. I am learning how to shop and prepare foods differently. It is a challenge but one I can embrace. We are determined to do all we can to support Andrew in all ways. And God remains Andrew's healer. Today was a good day! We have laughed and we have loved one another. We are together in our home. We have beautiful neighbors who are generous to offer support in a variety of ways. We have friends who will stop by and pray with us when I call on them. We have family who remain in stedfast prayer and support of us. We have long distance friends who are a continual source of support and prayer. AND WE HAVE SISTER BLOGGERS WHO HAVE BEEN SO ENCOURAGING TO CONTINUE TO PRAY, LEAVE ENCOURAGING COMMENTS, EMAIL AND SEND CARDS AND GIFTS.
We are blessed.
I promise to post recent pictures soon!

Oct 22, 2009

Good to Be Home

It is good to be home. I wish life were normal ~ normal as in what life was before the diagnosis of cancer. We continue to seek the best for Andrew in all things. We pray about everything, believing that God is answering our prayers for wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.

We need to put weight on Andrew and that is our priority at this time. But, we are being very careful about the kind of nutrition he is getting. Sugar is not a good thing when cancer is present. We are going organic where possible and I got my juicer out of the back of the pantry.

The hospital experience was exhausting to all of us and especially to Andrew. I was growing increasingly concerned for his mental state. Just thinking about that brings tears to myself and him, also. So we are putting it behind us.

Our plan is to get him in optimum health and boost his immune system. Then we will go from there.
Thank you to so many of you who have sent cards, gifts and even checks to help with our expenses. I am slow in getting back to you but I know you understand. My mother, who has been staying in our home since the beginning of September, is going to return to her home in MS this weekend. She needs to get back into her nest. I will miss her dearly because she has been such a prayer partner and a warrior in intercession. But she needs to rest now.

We continue to confess the Word of God over our family on a daily basis and many times a day. We treasure your intercession and your beautiful words of encouragement and faith in God's Word.

Prayer concerns: Andrew is still dealing with nausea, although much less vomiting (Thank the Lord.)
He is adjusting to the shunt and is upright more each day. When he is up for very
long at a time, he gets a headache.
We are praying that his brain makes new pathways so he has use of his left arm/hand/fingers and better use of his left leg/foot/toes. When he has regained some weight, energy and strength, we will pursue aggressive physical therapy. For now, we do "range of motion" here at home.

With God ALL things are POSSIBLE!!!

Oct 18, 2009

Going Home

Friday the doctors decided that the high powered antibiotic (rocephin) was causing the side effects. I believe it has also been the source of stomach upset. Andrew had been on zofran round the clock for nausea but still had nausea.
Since being off the antibiotic, his white cell count went back to the normal range. And he has not had a fever since Thursday afternoon.
We brought him to our hotel room on a day pass and plan to be discharged in the morning. I hope and pray it doesn't take long. Since being out of the hospital he has eaten more. If he feels queasy, we stop and pray. So far so good. He has had slight headaches and one throbbing headache. We pray.
We have to get Andrew home and build up his body, help him regain his weight and build his immune system.
Please continue to pray that he gets a normal appetite back and regains weight and strength. We are depending on the power of God and not the wisdom of man.
I'll continue to update.

Celeste Welch sent a wonderful, faith filled couple our way. They offered to come to the hospital room and pray. We felt the power of God in the room.
The next day, Beverly Dru and her husband surprised us with a visit. They also came in like sunshine and interceded our Andrew's behalf! Each couple came just when we needed the Body of Christ.
Saturday morning I called my new friend (the wife of the couple sent by Celeste) and she drove over to pray with me in the hospital chapel. What a powerful time of prayer.
My parents drove up from Clearwater on Saturday and spent the evening with us and part of the Sunday in the hotel room with us. While my husband tended to Andrew in the hospital, I got some rest knowing my parents were right there with me. This morning my mom and dad and I interceded in prayer for quite a while before I went back to the hospital room.
On a day pass, we brought Andrew back to the room with us. Unfortunately they will not "allow" us to let him stay overnight in the hotel and take him back in the morning for discharge.
Thank you all for praying so fervently that we could go home. Please pray that our drive back tomorrow is uneventful. Just joyous.

Oct 14, 2009

In Need

We want to go home. We need prayer.

Oct 12, 2009

Monday Morning Update

Andrew is in surgery now to have a shunt put in. Because he still has the infection and even had a fever as they took him into the OR, he will not get a port today. Too risky. They will put in a feeding tube in his stomach. He has gotten very skinny and needs to be fattened up.

We continue to stand on God's Word and that alone, as we pray against the curse of cancer and all of its effects. God is always faithful and true to His Word which is a reflection of His character. To know God, read about Jesus. He said that if you have seen Him, you have seen the Father. Jesus only did and said what He saw the Father do. Jesus spent many hours on this earth in prayer to His Father. Jesus was a bondservant to His Father and went about doing the Master's business.

That is my desire ~ to be a bondservant, knowing and doing the will of the Father. Always on a mission to be about the Father's business.

Yesterday a woman I did not know previously talked to our pastor after church and then asked us if she could come pray for Andrew. She felt led to do this upon the pastor's Sunday morning request for prayer for Andrew.
She made a 5 hour round trip drive to come to the hospital room and pray for our son. She said she had thought about coming on Monday (today) but that God told her she should come yesterday. So she obeyed, not knowing that surgery was scheduled for 8:00 this morning.

The prayer on our hearts and lips this morning is from Psalm 19:21: "Many are the plans in a man's heart but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

I have not forgotten to pray for so many of you who are facing difficult situations either in your health or your mind. I continue to call out your name before Lord, coming against, fear, sickness and disease.

Oct 7, 2009

A letter to Andrew

Dear Andrew,
On a pillow on the floor I lay face down this morning. I cried out to God to bring relief to you. I asked our Father for words to pray. Groaning in the Spirit I know He heard me. I reminded Him that we ARE walking by faith and not by sight. I asked, "What else can we do?" "How else should we pray?"

And it was then my ancient friend Rizpah, again, came to mind. Rizpah, who beat off the birds by day and the beasts by night. So I forcefully commanded the "birds" and the "beasts" to leave your bedside in the Name of Jesus, that matchless Name, under which every other thing that has a name has to bow.

I reminded our Father and I reminded myself that you are in covenant relationship with Almighty God. I told infection, nauseau, headache, pressure behind your eyes, the spirit of depression and all traces of cancer that their "game" is over. I told all of these unholy things to go to hell where they belong.

If an evil person entered our home, it would be unwelcome and I would scream and pick up the nearest object as a weapon. I would beat if off and away from you, your sister and brother. I would fight, scream, kick and bite the intruder. I would protect you with my own body and I would cry out to God to intervene.

Son, cancer is unwelcome. It is not our friend and it is evil. Cancer is cells gone ballistic. Even the oncologist agreed that cancer can be considered an intruder.

So there is no confusion, son, let me remind you that God is not the author of sin, sickness or disease. He is the healer. Remember the story of Joseph? I reminded you that Joseph's brothers had an evil plot to take his life. But God had a different plan for Joseph. God turned the tables on the evil plan and brought Joseph through every hard place and in the end, Joseph was a shining example of the intentions of God for each of his children. Joseph was a dreamer and God had a plan for the dreamer. And God has a plan for you, dear son.

Often over the past few years, I have heard you talking quietly and when I ask about it, you tell me that you are talking to yourself and that you do that a lot.
So don't stop talking to yourself. Remind yourself of God's goodness. Tell yourself that God IS your healer and that His plans for you are for hope and a future. Stir up the gift of God within you, evangelist. And then talk to others about loving, praising and living for God.

Son, you have much fruit yet to bear and I trust God to fulfill His plans in your life. You must trust Him, too.

Finally, sweet son, if you see my lips moving but don't hear words, you will know I am reminding myself that we WILL see the goodness of God in the land of the LIVING.

Rest well. You had a rough night and I will fight for you while you sleep.
I love you more than you could ever know.

Specific ways to pray today:
Pray for a stop to nausea and vomiting. This started again last night even though he is on zofran around the clock.
Pray for a stop to headaches and pressure behind the eyes.
Pray that the excess fluid in his brain begins to be absorbed into his body.
Pray that Andrew has real joy and happiness today. He is lonely for home.
Pray for no more roommates. This makes everything so much worse!!!
Pray that my husband, Dan, and I stay strong and encouraged so we can help one another and also keep Andrew in good spirits.

I have been so touched by your comments and emails. You really have no idea how much I rely on you. The days drag and the nights are noisy. But God is here. And so often you are His "hands" extended this way.

Oct 6, 2009

Andrew ~ Today

Edited to add: There will not be surgery today. No shunt today. No port today. Lab reports show bacteria so that will have to be dealt with first. No flu either. But I knew that.

WAITING ~ Andrew was scheduled for an 8:00 surgery this morning for a shunt and a port. The shunt goes in the head to drain excess fluid and the port was to be put in for the chemo drugs.
But last night he ran a high fever so fluid was collected and now we are waiting on the lab report on his blood sample. The nurse also had an order to swab for flu. So we wait and Andrew is thirsty and he is hungry. But we wait. Mostly we wait on what God will do.

ANOTHER DELAY ~ Last night and this morning I began to pray Proverbs 19:21: "Many are the plans of a man's heart but it is the purpose of the Lord that prevails."
We have to believe that when we pray in faith asking God for His will to be accomplished according to His Word, then we receive His will. So even though we want to avoid the shunt for lots of reasons, we have placed this day in God's hands. The doctor who was planning to put the port in came in early this morning to tell us it was too risky with the threat of infection. So we know the port is out for now. This will further delay chemo and radiation. For those of you who have been with us since the begining of the diagnosis, you know we have had many delays in cancer treatment.

PLANS ~ We don't know if each delay has been of God but we have to believe He IS ordering our steps. Again, "Many are the plans of a man's heart but it is the purpose of God that prevails."
FAITH ~ Anything you receive of God you receive by faith. Salvation, healing, wisdom, all things that pertain to life and godliness ~ all are received by faith. Then you keep walking by faith and not by sight. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Faith is substance. Substance is matter. Matter exists. We speak those things that are not as though they are ~ evidence of things unseen.

Go forth today receiving by faith what you pray according to His will. We have His Word so we have His Will available. All you have to do is read His Word to know His will. His will is for us to have abundant LIFE. His will is to save. His will is to heal.
No doubts. No wavering. Stable dependance on Him...on His Word. Confident in our Creator.

Oct 3, 2009

Rizpah and the ROCK

Have you "met" Rizpah? Many years ago I heard about a woman named Rizpah. This mother literally guarded her sons night and day for months, beating off the predators that would desecrate the bodies of her boys. Rizpah was a concubine of King Saul and she bore him two sons. Seven sons, two of which were Rizpahs, were hanged to pay a debt to the Gibeonites. Their deaths were to make atonement between the Gibeonites and the house of Israel because of what the Lord called "Saul and his bloodthirsty house..." (2 Samuel 21:1-14).

Rizpah's story is recorded in just a few verses. These few verses are a summary of what I'm certain for Rizpah seemed a lifetime lived out in nightmarish conditions.
Rizpah's name literally means "hot rock." As her sons hung dead above her, she spread out a sackcloth for herself on a rock "from the beginning of harvest until the late rains poured on them from heaven." Rizpah guarded the bodies of her boys, keeping the birds off by day and the beasts off by night.
Can you feel her pain...both physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally? Can you put yourself in her place...loving her sons even in death. Death could not sever the relationship between mother and child.
Rizpah went to great extremes to protect the bodies of her boys. To have the bodies ravaged by birds or wild animals was considered to be the worst possible insult and desecration of the dead.
And so, Rizpah denied herself the comfort of her home, to care for the corpses of her boys.
In what way will we deny ourselves in order to guard the bodies, spirits and souls of our children? I know that many times we deny ourselves sleep when our children are sick in the night. We deny ourselves things we need when our children are in need or in "want." We deny ourselves many times for the sake of our children.

But what we also need to deny is FEAR that threatens our FAITH. We must deny the lies of the enemy that question the authority and goodness of God. We must deny evil influence and ungodly access to the minds and hearts and bodies of our children.

We know the threats that exist in this modern world. Like Rizpah, we must make a place on a rock ~ the ROCK which is Christ Jesus. We must stretch ourselves further than we ever thought possible. We must stretch our faith and increase it through the Word of God. We must fight off the birds by day and the beasts by night.

Now almost 2 weeks in the hospital, my husband and I (and visiting friends and family) pray over our son as he lies in a bed with a tube draining spinal fluid from his brain. He battles headaches and dizziness and pressure behind his eyes. I tell him he is stronger than he has ever been and when he is on the other side of this, he will have a great testimony to share. He will have a great praise to lift up. He will tell others who may walk this same road, "I know how you feel" and it will be true.

We beat off the birds of depression and sadness from Andrew's mind. We beat off the buzzards that bring negative thoughts to rest on him. We beat off the beasts of infection and cancer. We bloody their noses and we kick out their teeth. We mark off a barrier that the birds and the beasts cannot cross. We have drawn a line. And we remain on the ROCK.