Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Encouraging Scriptures for those who suffer

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Prov. 3:5-6

My surgery was postponed due to trach complication! The only way to have the surgery is to take out the trach, put in a shiley trach during the surgery, and then the next day, have the t-tube put back in! It sounds incredibly risky but I'm trusting the Lord, not my understanding.

I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

All I know is that I love the Lord with all my heart and I am forever grateful for His mercy saving my life and showing me His Truth through the sacrifice of his son Jesus. His Spirit has pressed upon me to share my story, that God has been gracious and merciful. Regardless of anything in my life, God has been faithful. On the day I broke my neck, I seriously called out to God and trusted him with my life. Nothing else mattered. Since then I've learned to depend on him and hear his voice through his word.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1-

"And our hope of you [is] stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so [shall ye be] also of the consolation."

"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

"Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver [us];

"Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift [bestowed] upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf." 2 cor. 1:7-11

Many people have prayed for me and continue to pray for me. I'm not crazy about the surgeon working on my t-tube. But I have the Great Physician on my side and he's going to make things happen! I cannot be plucked from his hand! (John 10:27-30)

"Blessed [is] he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; [and] he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness." Ps. 41:1-3

The Lord answered my prayer with this Psalm as I prayed about anxiety over my pain, over the surgery decision. In the interim, I fight off urinary infections and it's extremely painful. It's not sensational pain, but a searing nerve pain that's difficult to tame. Sometimes all I can do is pray and eat God's words, cling to his promise that this suffering is nothing in comparison to the Glory that will be revealed in the last time (Romans 8:18). I imagine those who are in prison for sharing the Gospel in many other countries where it is "illegal." People are tortured, maimed and killed. When my pain is at it's height, I shake. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20) I also pray for Joni Eareckson Tada, who suffers from excruciating pain. Her testimony has been a blessing to me in my journey, particularly her latest battle with pain and her drive to work for the Lord! Listen as she reads in "A Place of Healing."

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, [He is] my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, [and] from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day; [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday..." Ps.91:1-6

This Psalm has been very strengthening and encouraging as I go through many physical trials in and out of the hospital. I have a CD called no storm too Great! that prays focusing on this Psalm. I highly recommend it for people who need calming meditation on God's Word!

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." (Eph. 6:18-20)

Thank you for your prayers. Continue to pray for this upcoming surgery that should be in early-mid March. Pray that all goes smoothly with my tracheostomy and my bladder surgery and I recover well. I want to be strong and back in my chair!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Word of the Lord stands forever

Everything is falling into place according to the scriptures. For us in Christ, it doesn't happen fast enough, but it is happening. In light of what's happening in Egypt is just another testament to God's fulfillment to His Word in Isaiah 19

It is clear that Egypt has been unhappy with their leadership because of his alliance with the U.S. and Israel. They are very vocal with English media about it. They are also vocal of what they want to do once they are free: Destroy Israel. Since the very beginning of Satan's fall from heaven, his goal has been to take as many of God's creations with him to Hell as possible, especially, God's chosen people Israel. The messiah was prophesied in Bethlehem, King Herod had all males killed born the same time as Jesus was (Matthew 2:16) Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of a prominent Hamas leader in Ramalah, said it well when he said,

"Generation after generation dreams the same dream: drive out the Israelis, kill the Israelis, destroy Israel. We cannot see beyond our borders because we are blinded by our pain and hatred." Later he says, "When will we begin fighting with our brains instead of our bombs? With reason instead of retaliation? Even a two-year-old child can destroy. Only men and women of wisdom, vision and courage can build a nation."

Read his whole Blog entry "What do we want" here.

Islamists here in America are not much different. Just listen to their speech. The groups Revolution Muslim and Islamic Thinkers Society are home grown and ready to commit their lives to JIHAD. And yet, our country is still so delusional that Islam is a religion of peace that it even courts it as our first line of defense! I was shocked to see that the same man spouting hatred in Times Square was recently standing in my room, in a guise to reconcile my brother and I, but really there just to proselytize Islam. So "peaceful" for a second there, but I quickly unraveled his sheep's clothing and told him to leave.

Satan comes to kill, rob and destroy. He is a liar and the father of it! "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)

Satan knows his time is almost up. That's why persecution is high. We know in Indonesia, the Ahmadiyaans are being persecuted. The Christians are also being persecuted hardcore here and need prayer. It won't be long now. Hold fast to what is good brothers and sisters! Be encouraged! 1 Peter 1:6-7 Heck, keep reading that chapter, it is a wealth of encouragement!

Fouad Massri finishes this best in the latest newsletter of crescent project:

"So, how should we pray?

We should pray that God will make the church strong, that those who are believers in Christ multiply, that they will shine for Christ in these problems, and that many Muslims will see that Christ gives true freedom. "


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another step of faith

After being in and out of the hospital for over a week, I was given ample opportunity to trust God with my health. It hasn't been easy! I'm still suffering from much pain and bowel complications. At one point, I was sure I was going to die! I quickly put on the No storm too Great! CD and prayed for peace. I even committed my spirit to the Lord, expecting to wake in his arms. But I was still agitated. However, I had a very calm and reassuring EMT worker named Charlie with an angelic face. I was taken care of quickly and admitted to the hospital. I was glad to hear psalm 91 at the hospital. I was stabilized and treated well and thankful to have my parents with me. Even still, my heart feels overwhelmed with gratitude, with the presence of God's Holiness and righteousness besides my frailty.

A woman in her seventies came into the room with pulmonary fibrosis. She had low oxygen saturation and had to be put on a bi-pap mask. It is very hard to tolerate as it forces air into the lungs to push out any fluids. I asked her husband if she wanted to listen to the Psalms as it helped me. He said he would ask her another time as it was getting late. He went home and it was time for the aides to clean her and get her situated. She was quiet for a long time and no one came. Finally, an aide answered her bell and the woman asked to be washed. The aide snapped at her and said she had to wait. Now when you are sick and suffering, the last thing you need is someone speaking to you nastily. The act of bathing in itself is very ministerial. It's an opportunity to give compassion and comfort a person needs to adjust to the hospital. Shortly after, the nurse came in and I told him what happened. He said that was unacceptable and he would take care of it. A few minutes later, a manager came and apologized to the woman, assuring her she would get care and it was their job to provide the best care in a timely manner. When she left, I vocally praised God, lifted my hand and prayed with her! She lifted her hand as well and vocalized her troubles to the Lord. After the aide cleaned her (trying to justify her behavior all the while) I had my aide give the woman my ipod to listen to No Storm too Great!-Psalm 91. Soon after, she slept soundly.

Everyone asks me how I got paralyzed. After a while, it becomes annoying, even invasive. People take a piece of you every time, meanwhile they give nothing back. they meet you for 2 minutes, see you in your condition and just want to satisfy their curiosity, never sharing anything about themselves, a single traumatizing experience or how they are broken in some way. So I decided to stop telling people. I would say, "I really don't want to talk about it," or simply, "none of your business." But God nudged at me that my accident is a testament to his reality that can be used for his glory. I complied not knowing who would be ordained to hear my message. A quirky nurse took a while to ask and I quickly cut to the chase. "I was a do gooder installing solar panels and fell from the roof. the best thing was that I found Jesus and not only did he save my life but he gave me eternal life. I now live for his glory." She didn't even blink. "Yes and he will judge the living and the dead..." she said dryly. "Do you believe in Jesus?' I asked. "No." She she said. "I'm Jewish." "Well, have you read the Jewish scriptures?" I asked. This was the person God ordained me to witness to. I was happy I was obedient to my Lord! I grabbed my Bible. My quad hands had some trouble flipping to my first verse but Nurse Feigenbaum was genuinely interested. "I have to get to another patient but I'll be back, I'm interested if you couldn't tell by now!" she did come back and I had her read Proverbs 30:4 aloud. She said everything except 'son.' Then I had her read Isaiah 53 in it's entirety. "Interesting" she said. "Is Isaiah in the Old Testament?" Was I really hearing this? I assured her so and then pointed her to Micah 5:2, where a ruler in Israel would rise up from Bethlehem who has been from eternity. I also spoke of Isaiah 9:6 where a child would be born of a virgin and the titles given to him were divine names: father of eternity, mighty God. I was hoping she wouldn't hate me afterwards because I really grew to love this nurse! She had a fabulous sense of humor and the best curly red hair. She was compassionate, caring and never lost her cool, despite how busy it got. Luckily, things between us stayed good. She seemed happy to meet my father. I continue to pray that the Lord do a work in her heart.

I was in and out of the ER after I was discharged from severe pain and the shakes. It could only be relieved from IV fluids and initially I thought it was still from the infection being treated. But every time they found nothing wrong, not even an infection. Finally, I had one of my nurses do an enema on me just in case that was the source of the pain. Indeed it made me feel just better enough to sleep without the shakes! I haven't felt that much pain in a while. But little by little, I cleared out my system and have been well enough to be in my chair. I thank God for His faithfulness to comfort me through my parents and the body of Christ. I feel Blessed to minister to others as well.

I had a difficult moment with my case worker because I tried staying in the Hospital long enough for her to get there and advocate for me. Due to a snow storm that didn't happen, but she stressed my out over the phone with things I no longer had control over. The hospital saw fit that I could go and just when they're giving me the discharge papers, she calls and says "well are you sure? The treatment takes a while to work--" In comes my flesh and I am no longer calm! Thank God I have an advocate (1 John 1:9)

Now I am enjoying good food and getting out as much as I can before my surgery on the 16th. Please keep me in prayer that all goes smoothly.