Archivo para 30 mayo 2015


Surrender vs. Consecration

When I woke up the next day I was tired and uncomfortable and realized that I had not prepared myself for the residual pain and aftereffects of the surgery. (An immediate adjustment was made on that front.) There was a catheter in my back administering a continual epidural. The nine inch incision snaking down the center of my abdomen, held together with staples, looked like a twisty zipper! Top it all off with a stretchy corset around my mid-section for support closed by velcro.
There were several visitors that day, which was a good thing. On Sunday I threw up quite a few times and felt pretty crummy.

Most Christians are sincere in their desire “to do the right thing” and please God, but do not know where to start. The worldwide Pentecostal outpouring at the turn of he 20th century awakened a heightened sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit. People began to hear God’s direction in a stronger, more evident and vibrant way. The finger of the Spirit touched and pointed out areas of life inconsistent with God’s character. When the power of God dealt so mightily with a person, it was pretty easy to shed some of the unclean garments of the past. This produced a new holiness, a higher standard. And people took notice!

Today, as we take the Person of the Holy Spirit for granted, this standard of holiness has become a mere set of rules to follow: don’t touch, don’t look, don’t do. Obeying the Ten Commandments is a good place to start, but there is so much more to following God. As a young Christian I felt conviction about some albums in my house, so I broke them. This was not a case of being told I should not have/listen to XYZ music because it was ungodly. I chose to respond to a tugging in my heart.

When a person fights the inner conviction, God’s dealing becomes stronger until we choose to “give up” or harden our hearts. Today’s standards of proper behavior are so low that some people are convinced wrong is right. Others get caught up in the enjoyment of yielding (surrender) to the flesh. We can go up to the altar crying, singing, lifting our hands “in surrender” which makes us feel good. “I’m doing what’s right”, when in reality continue to fulfill own goals/desires. God does not want you to fight with Him to give up the flesh. He wants a consecrated, set apart life.
Jesus challenged Saul/Paul, Why do you continue to kick against the pricks? Like the Psalmist, say I desire to do your will. As David planned his battles, he sought the Lord at EVERY turn: What do I do?
Psalm 32:9 Be not like the horse, or like the mule, that have no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle.


Healing is hard work

I’ll spare you details of my pre-op cleansing day, except to say I was on a clear, liquid diet!
We arrived early for our 8 a.m. check-in time, followed closely on our heels in the same day surgery center by PB. He and Carl cackled together till Elise and Alex came in with my mom to greet me before being wheeled away to pre-op.
There was nothing relaxing about the ward where patients are held before their operations. The rolling hospital beds were so close together you felt like you could reach over and touch each other. It was more like a holding tank with stalls for animals waiting to be branded or cows anticipating being milked. A man approached me who seemed familiar, but I could not be sure as I had neither my glasses nor contact lenses. Moreover, he wore a surgical cap. It was Dr. Mac, a resident who had seen me at my worst while doing a rotation in Family Medicine during my January hospital admission. He would be assisting the anesthesiologist! I knew that was part of the divine plan.
Afterward Dr. S informed everyone in the surgical waiting room that the only visible sign of the cancer was in fact not cancer, but the watery cyst it produced on my left ovary. We’ll receive complete results from all that was removed, but a preliminary biopsy on a frozen specimen of the growth came back negative.
Why now? It was disconcerting not to have heard an “All clear” consequential to the ct scan done one month before. The report by itself was outstanding, but not the one I expected to hear: the fibroid tissue had disappeared, the left ovary shrunk from 13 cm to 10 cm. So I had contented myself with another of the seven dips in the Jordan.
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
Why not then? I had not worried lying on a table in January waiting to be biopsied with a ct scan before me full of dark images that I knew did not belong there. Remember Dr. Mac? He had seen it, too.
What did God want to show him? I can come up with all sorts of maybees, but, the fact of the matter is God will be glorified in a manner of His own choosing?
Will some say that God has not been involved?
Some will say healing comes from the Lord!


Inferior Vena Cava Filter

IVC Filter
Prior to surgery set for Friday, May 22, I needed to have an IVC filter inserted to prevent any clots from breaking loose and traveling to the lungs. This is a lunar rover- or squid-shaped titanium object placed into the inferior cava vein by a catheter (located between the kidneys-the Michelin Man-looking thing in diagram).
We expected this procedure to take place immediately prior to the operation, but received a surprise call that it would take place on the Wedneday before at 7:30 a.m.! Not an overly popular time, since check in time was at 5:30 a.m. What made it more palatable was returning home around lunchtime.
Numbers 6:23, 24 The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious.
What comes to mind when you imagine your Lord being gracious unto YOU? Do you think about being treated better than you deserve? About God overlooking your shortcomings or even treating you as an equal? Loving you just as you are?
The great majority undertand so little about being gracious themselves. We may have heard of a gracious host, or a gracious lady without the least idea how to go about doing it. I can tell even leaders have no clue by how many exclamations of “Really?” we say or hear everyday. Do the words noble, honor, dignity rouse any images in your mind?
Have you ever read that loves covers a multitude of sins?
The Bible also frequently mentions unseemly behavior. I Corinthians 13 tells us love does not behave unseemly (act out), insists not on its own way. In Romans 12, Paul urges us to prefer our brother, put him and his needs before our own.
A little hard to do? It’s time to raise the bar to God’s standard.


Pillar of Salt

My consultation with Dr. S last week answered some of my questions about the upcoming surgery and follow-up treatment. Post-surgery chemotherapy should start five to six weeks afterwards. I was not anticipating that this would still include carboplatin, but combining it with taxol would produce optimum results. And, yes, I will need to be admitted for the (now truly) overnight desensitized chemo.
Continuing with an anticoagulant is required for the clotting (DVT) in my leg, however, detrimental to stopping bleeding from an incision. This made it necessary to stop taking the regular pill used to thin my blood five days before the operation and give myself daily injections that would not build up and remain in my system.

Remember Lot’s wife. Luke 17:32
What can we learn or avoid?
Let’s take a look at her life. Even though her name was not mentioned when Lot left Ur and accompanied his Uncle Abraham, we can assume Mrs. Lot was with her husband for much of this story (Gen. 11:31; 12:4). Lot followed Abraham into Canaan, and escaped the famine for a time with uncle and auntie in Egypt. So he (and his wife) witnessed Abram and Sarai’s lapse of faith in God when dealing with Pharaoh. In Gen. 13:1, we see them all leaving Egypt for the Negev (of what would become Israel). Lot settles near Sodom (Gen. 13:12) after Abram builds an altar to the Lord (vs. 4 of that chapter). He gets rescued by his uncle after being abducted (14:12, 16).
Why am I reminding you all this? Because Lot and his family, which includes his wife, have a history with the God of Abraham. They’ve experienced great and mighty things. How did they respond? Lot’s daughters were betrothed to two ungodly men of the city (Gen. 19:8, 14), and not without their parents’ consent. They let Sodom enter their hearts. The angels literally had to drag them away and warned them not to look back lest they be consumed, but Lot’s Wife was already consumed, with the carnality and corruption of their environment (Gen. 19:17, 26).
Why should we remember Lot’s wife? You tell me!


like PINK

You look like pink.
I look pink? Pink what?
No, like Pink. Your hair, you look like Pink, only shorter.
Ohhh, yeah. Or a military brush cut!
Some of it had started growing back. Because the top layer stayed for quite a while, it wasn’t so noticeable how much had been lost; not until it, too, fell out.
A website said after 2-3 weeks, it would look like fuzz, at one month start growing, and after two months reach about one inch.
Kinda’ like my hair:
For the earth brings fruit forth of itself: first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. Mark 4:28
What does this earth bring forth? The fruit of the Word in our lives. Jesus said the man who cast seed in the ground (vs. 26) … did not know how ( vs. 27).
When we sow the Word of God in our hearts the “natural” course of spiritual events that follows is to grow and produce fruit in our lives. This does not occur unless we study the Bible to get it planted! We can reap a bigger harvest by blocking impediments to this growth found earlier in Mark 4 in the Parable of the Sower and Jesus’ explanation.

I’m not sure where the statistic comes from, but Brother Andrew and Al Janssen state that “in 80 to 90 percent of cases ‘receiving Christ’ makes little or no difference in the way a person lives life” in their book The Exodus Mandate: Moses Reveals How You Can Accomplish the Impossible. How sad! Becoming a new creature in Christ (II Cor. 5:17) and not allowing that inner newness to show up on the outside. When we reach the end of our road, or stand before the Lord, having to confess we still looked and acted like that old man. It is up to us to make sure to be a vibrant flowing stream instead of a stagnant cistern.
Romans 13:14 instructs us to make no provision for our flesh to fulfill its lusts. This means to not allow circumstances that make it easy for us to stumble into unChristlike behavior. We must arm ourselves with the weapons God has provided us. When we clothe ourselves with Christ by putting on robes of rightousness, we act like Him. How many of us dress up for the prom or a wedding and then slosh around in sewer water or play rumble fumble in a muddy football field? No, we feel different and conduct ourselves accordingly.
Start to seek God’s righteous and to build His kingdom before anything else (Mt. 6:33). We all know that scripture, but do we do it? I know periodically the Spirit of God reminds me and shows me that I am not.


Got Character?

A character or have character!

Add to your faith…
□ virtue
□ knowledge
□ temperance (self-control)
□ patience
□ godliness
□ brotherly kindness
□ love

II Peter 1:5-7
Check off whichever box applies to you!

After we have believed comes so much more; faith is just the first step, a point of departure. As a new Christian, I realized a strong sense of Christ as my refuge. By the time I reached 25, I could see the extent that God’s Word had changed my outlook-a worldview formed and shaped by that Word versus the philosophy inculcated throughout my education and upbringing. As Paul said, there is a time to put off childish things (1 Cor. 13:11).

Peter tells to be done with wickedness, insincerity, grudges, slander, and evil-speaking of every kind in I Peter 2:1. (What Christians??!!!) In the next verse, he says that the remedy for this is the milk of the Word! In I Cor. 3:1-3, Paul contrasts the state of the spiritual man in the verses prior to the carnality of the believers to whom he is writing.

If we really want “to make the Father smile,” it’s time to reflect His character. After Paul exhorts us to imitate God, he lists a whole slew of things in Eph. 5:3-5 to avoid. If you want to get a really disgusting picture, read it in the Amplified Bible. Beyond rejoicing in our relationship with a God who delights and rejoices in and dances over His kids, we need to discipline ourselves and (like a boxer) bring our flesh into subjection to the training of the Gospel ( I Cor. 9:27).

..let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us, and run the race that is set before us with patience (Heb.12:1b).
No milk from this pulpit!


Instruction vs. Chastisement

Correction-none of us likes it, even when it means being instructed and not chastened!
“I need to talk to you about something.” A conversation beginning with these words produces an uneasy lump in the pit of our stomach. Doesn’t it?
Proverbs 29:17 tells us to correct (yacar) our children and receive rest, and they will delight our hearts.
Yacar means chastise, correct, instruct.
I think we need a change of attitude! How can we become more like God if we do not know what He is like and listen to Him? Jeremiah 9:24 says the Lord practices and delights in loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness. How about us? Do we really want to delight God’s heart? The other day I spoke on the telephone to a Christian who is active in working for God that showed some real attitude. Does that describe you? I was so shocked!
One of the books I am reading is The Beauty of Self Control by J.R. Miller (1840-1912). He tells about a writer discreetly observing 2,000 believers and reporting that 52% of them exhibited attitude.
When we say, “I delight to do Your will (Ps. 40:8), this also includes “Your law is written in my heart!”

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