It Is Well…

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11

Every time that there have been valleys in my life, I can think of a song that God used to carry me through those moments. Often it was a song that I had never heard before that specifically applied to the situation I was going through. During these times, I would play the song (or songs) over and over again, for days, weeks, or months. These songs have become life songs and I love listening to them and reflecting on how God has worked in my life over the years.

My all time favorite hymn is: It Is Well With My Soul. It was written by: Horatio G. Spafford while he was experiencing great tragedy. Like Job, he lost his property and his family. Back in 2010, I posted the history behind this great hymn and link to the song sung by 4Him. You can see that post if you click HERE. It is a good reminder that even when things go horribly wrong, we can look to Jesus to comfort us and carry us through the valley.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Keli sang a song at church that I had never heard before. The song was beautiful and powerful but then she sang my all time favorite lyrics… It is well, It is well, with my soul! and my heart leap for joy! I felt the Holy Spirit reassuring my spirit. I have been feeling that I have not really moving in my spirituality but still feeling content with my life. Right now, I am not in a valley. Nor am I on a mountain top. This song reminded me that Through It All… good or bad, mountain or valley, joy or sorrow, moving or not moving… It Is Well With My Soul… because I can trust in Jesus… Through It All!

It Is Well

By: Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

It is well it is well with my soul

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me.

*****

Disclaimer: By posting this video and song lyrics, I am not endorsing all of Bethel’s songs and/or all of the theology that Bethel teaches at their church.

Independent Uniter?

Some people grew up being inspired by sports, music, and/or movie stars. While I had my favorites in each of those categories, I could care less if I ever got to meet them. The person outside of my everyday reality that I looked up to was Dr. Ben Carson.

giftedhandsbookAt some point when I was in middle school, my mom gave me a copy of his book:

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
By Ben Carson, M.D., with Cecil Murphey / Zondervan

When I read it, I soaked up the stories in awe of a man with an amazing life story. After that I decided that I wanted to be a doctor. More specifically, a Neurosurgeon. My goals changed over the years from Neurosurgeon to Cardiologist to General Surgeon. Finally at some point in high school I set my course to be a Nurse. All the while, remembering Dr. Carson’s testimony of being able to do whatever it is I set my mind to do with my education.

I have always admired him because of his love for God. Throughout his book he shares many situations where he relied on God to get him through the day, or the night, or the week, etc. He is most most well-known as a pioneer in his field for separating twins joined at the back of the head. He gives God all the credit for success of that long procedure.

His story has become an inspiration to even more people since a “Gifted Hands” movie was made staring Cuba Gooding Jr. in 2009.

Recently, Dr. Carson caused a stir with the speech that he gave at the National Prayer Breakfast.

He also works to bring all people together on common ground instead of focusing on racial differences. 999150_10153067404745494_723939026_n

Due to the announcement of Dr. Carson’s retirement, people are now wondering if he will be pursuing a political career. Although many of his statements resonate with the conservative community, he associates himself the Independent Party. Personally, I would vote for him if he decides to go this direction.

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Photo found here.

About Boycotting…

I have spent a week praying about the topic that I am going to blog about today. In the past week, I have also asked several Christian friends their opinions on the subject. I found that most people agreed with me but there were a few who did not. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the opinion of friends who do not believe in the Bible, so I do not presume to know their opinion of the topic except for what I have seen expressed on facebook or in online comments on news articles.

If you have seen the news or have had any presence online in the last week or so, I am sure that you have heard of the conflict between the media and Chick Fil-A. In an interview, the company’s CEO stated that he supports traditional marriage which caused an uproar in the gay and liberal communities. Anyone who knows anything about Chick Fil-A would also know that the company was founded by a Christian man and has been run with Christian based values its entire existence. Despite pressure from communities, Chick Fil-A closes its doors on Sundays so that its employees have the option to go to church if they choose to do so.

(Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for the New Chick Fil-A song)

What surprises me (well actually it doesn’t really) is that when the company’s CEO was asked his opinion in the interview, and he stated it according to well-known Christian beliefs, the media acted shocked at his response.

Of course, the gay community immediately jumped to the conclusion that Chick Fil-A and its CEO and owners hates all gays. This is something that I do not understand. Why does disagreeing with homosexuality automatically equal hatred towards or afraid of homosexuals? I might disagree with someone on any topic (religion, how to raise kids, what movies or books we like, how we spend our money, etc) but that doesn’t mean I hate them or am afraid of them. In my opinion, only when someone’s actions show that they are hateful or afraid, should that argument be used (such as Westboro church has so frequently demonstrated). Anyway, due to their misguided opinion, a lot of the liberal community has declared a boycott on Chick Fil-A. For some reason, it seems as though gays only seem to have an intolerance toward Christians and Christian companies when Biblically based beliefs are expressed. I wonder if they realize that all Abrahamic religions (Christian, Judaism, Islam) as well as other world religions find homosexuality morally wrong.

Which brings me to the point of my post. Obviously most people tend to support companies either that support their values and/or that provide goods/services that we need or want. (For example, if I need a Christian book I more than likely will purchase it from a Christian book store instead of a large book store chain unless the Christian book store didn’t have the book I needed). But what reason(s) would make someone choose to boycott certain companies? When I asked this question of friends, I received several responses.

One friend says he has a loose boycott of all large corporations.  Whenever possible he shops local and pays slightly more for things but he does so knowing that 100% of the retail markup goes to local people; who then spend it locally. This doesn’t prevent him from shopping at larger corporations if commissions from his purchases will help a personal friend or if a local shop is closed and there is an immediate need for an item or service.

Another friend tries to avoid all companies that he knows are pro-gay.

Yet another friend has a whole list of companies that she boycotts based on the following three reasons “1) open hatred of Christians in general 2) Use of practices that are in direct opposition to God’s will, like using aborted stem cells for flavor enhancement and 3) support of agendas that hurt the morality of the country, abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity etc. “

Another friend points out that “in 1 Corinthians 8, Paul is telling believers that there is no harm in buying and eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. The issue he was addressing was one of whether eating that meat caused a brother to stumble, but the context of the verse is that in the first-century, pagan temples funded themselves in part by selling the meat that they sacrificed. A Christian, knowing that idols are nothing, could purchase and eat that meat without fear of incurring the wrath of said idol, but apparently, Paul had no problem with money passing into hands of pagan temples from Christian pockets.”

My husband said that according to the Bible, we should fast in private without announcing it to the world which would bring glory to ourselves instead of God. So he feels that if a Christian is going to boycott a company, they should do it quietly so as to not draw attention to themselves so that they do not seem “more holy than thou, preachy, a bully, or intolerant.”

So, what do I think? I think in most cases, when Christians and conservatives boycott non-Christians and liberals then we are all feeding into a vicious cycle. I think more often than not when this happens, both sides are being hypocritical. We Christians want non-Christians to be to tolerant of our religious beliefs. Gays want Christians to be tolerant of their sexual orientation. Yet when both sides boycott every company that may or may not disagree with our beliefs, both sides are in fact being intolerant. Our country was founded on freedom. In this country, I have the right to be a Christian. Someone else has the right to be gay. I also have the right to believe that homosexuality is morally wrong just as someone who is not a Christian has the right to not believe in my God or my Bible. All that being said, if someone (conservative or liberal) truly has a conviction to boycott a company or cause, I believe they should follow their convictions. But they should do it without spouting hate and judgement towards the company they are boycotting. There are companies/organizations that I do not support because they go against my beliefs. There are also plenty of companies that I still shop at or use their services even though they may have some history of disagreeing with my beliefs. We should stick to our convictions with humility and recognize that others have different convictions without being judgemental towards each other.

I love the following song which reminds us that sometimes we as Christians stand in the way of others knowing Jesus.

Jesus, Friend Of Sinners  By: Casting Crowns

Jesus, friend of sinners
We have strayed so far away
We cut down people in Your name
But the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners
The truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You
But they’re tripping over me

Always looking around but never looking up
I’m so double minded
A plank-eyed saint with dirty hands
And a heart divided

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world
At the end our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Break our hearts for what breaks Yours

Jesus, friend of sinners
The One whose writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away
And the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember
We are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy
Bring Your people to their knees

Nobody knows what we’re for
Only what we’re against
When we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs
Crossed over the lines
And loved like You did

You love every lost cause
You reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame
They’re the reason that You came
Lord, I was that lost cause
And I was the outcast
But You died for sinners just like me
A grateful leper at Your feet

‘Cause You are good
You are good
And Your love endures forever
*****

And just for fun, here is the New Chick Fil-A song by Tim Hawkins…

My Thoughts On The Colorado Tragedy

***UPDATE: I have added a link (below) to another article that tells of one survior’s story! God is so Good even in the midst of tragedy.***

I don’t have cable or satellite. And for once in my life I did not log on to my computer to check Facebook for a full 24 hours. After working all day on Saturday, I first heard that something bad had happened as I was listening to the K-Love radio station. They didn’t say what happened, just something along the lines of “join us in praying for the victims of the tragedy in Colorado.” When I returned home, I put my girls in bed and grabbed a snack. Then I sat down at the computer and googled “Colorado News” and immediately I knew what happened.

I found an article that showed photos of several of the victims along with a brief statement about each of them. My heart broke when I saw that a 6-year-old girl did not survive and that her mother was still in critical condition. Does the mother know that her daughter died? I don’t know. I can only imagine the pain that family is suffering. Also striking a cord in my heartstrings was the news of a military man who died… Not on the battle field or in the line of duty but as he was enjoying his free time (which for most military members is a luxury). The last count I saw was 12 dead and 58 injured…Ranking this as one of the most horrific shootings in the US.

Then there is the suspect. What was going through his mind? Obviously he has been making preparations for this for several weeks. By most accounts, until that night, he was an educated and upstanding citizen with no history of violence or crime. Why would he all of a sudden decide to throw his life away along with the lives of his victims?

I don’t know why the suspect did what he did. I don’t know why some people died and some people did not. I do know that God hears the cries of the hurting. Join me in praying for everyone involved with this tragedy.

*****

I came across the following article today which has an interesting perspective that most people would not initially think about:

The Dark Knight Rises Indeed

*****

I also read this article written Friday (20th) by a mom who was at the theater during the shooting:

So you STILL think God is a merciful God?!

The same mom also wrote the following blog post Saturday (21st) in response to all of the e-mails and comments she received from her first post:

A Response to the Overwhelming Number of Responses

*****

Here is an amazing story of one of the survivors! God is so Good!

A Miracle Inside the Aurora Shooting: One Victim’s Story

*****

I am also reminded of a song… The Reason For The World  by: Matthew West

Minot, North Dakota Needs Help

I am not from Minot. In fact, I was not too happy when the military stationed us here as you may remember from my post: “You Are God Alone”  The climate change from Okinawa, Japan to Minot, North Dakota was a major shock. I still can’t believe that we got our First Snow!… in October! And since coming here many of my family and friends have heard me say that I am still waiting for God to show me why he brought us here. To be honest, I am still not sure why he did and I may never know. But, I know that he sees the bigger picture and I know there is a reason.

We have been living here for almost a year now and God has blessed us. We have found a great church, Minot First Church of the Nazarene, where I sing on the worship team and teach the 2 & 3 year old Sunday School class. We have met some great friends who will always be close to our hearts. We have found a great school, Montessori of Minot, for Kendal. I have found a great job at Joan’s Hallmark in the mall. I am still running my home businesses, Heart Treasures Boutique and Juice Plus. We like the people and the town but hate the cold weather during the long winter.

Over the last few weeks, many of you have probably heard in the news about the historic flooding that has devastated Minot, North Dakota. I have not blogged about it yet because so many people were already doing so. Now it seems like there is not much news coverage. I don’t think that people (who don’t live here) fully understand what is happening here.

It started with our heavy winter snow fall and heavy spring rains which caused flooding of farming fields and roads.

Photos I took on May 1st. [Photo 1: Snowfall on May 1, 2011] [Photo 2: Flooding of Highway 83 north of town & south of MAFB]

 

The precipitation also caused already full dams in Canada & North Dakota to get way too much water. The dams scheduled water releases in order to control the water. Several homes were evacuated due to the first set of water releases. Many of those homes were damaged beyond repair but a lot of the evacuees were able to return home. Unfortunately, original water projections were inaccurate so more dam releases were scheduled to let out a whole lot more. This caused mandatory evacuations for approximately 11,000+ people. The people of the town rushed to get their belongings out of their homes. The town built dikes that originally would have worked but would not be high enough for the new water projections. People worked around the town in an effort to stop the river as much as possible. Although the town worked hard, it wasn’t enough.

Photos I found on other local sites: [Before & After of the street near the library heading towards the lowest point in the town.]

 

Photos from NASA: [Photo 1: May 16, 2011 “Before”]  [Photo 2: June 25, 2011 “After”]

 

The 2011 Minot flood statistics have far surpassed the previously recorded flood records for this town. This flood brought in double the water that came in the famous flood of 1969. The town and surrounding areas, including Minot Air Force Base, was placed on a boil & conservation order for water. Meaning we have to boil the water before using it to eat or drink and we have to limit our use of water to necessity. No washing vehicles, watering lawns, or filling kiddie pools. Many places have had the boil order lifted but we are still to conserve water as much as possible.

Photos I found KX News Facebook Fan Page: [Boat tour on June 26, 2011]

 

Now that the flood waters have started to recede, some evacuees have been able to go home to see the damages. Armed with masks, boots, and gloves here is what they are coming home to:

Photos I found KX News Facebook Fan Page: [Homes destroyed by water and mold/mildew.]

 **********

So, how can YOU help Minot?

Here are a few ways you can lend a helping hand:

Photos I found KX News Facebook Fan Page:

Vote for Oak Park in the America’s Favorite Park Contest sponsored by Coca-Cola! Help rebuild our largest park which has been destroyed by flood waters. Oak Park is now in 2nd Place!!! (We were in 14th place yesterday afternoon!) Type in area code 58701. Vote as many times as you would like to vote between now & September 6th. If we get to 1st place we will win $100,000!

Send Box Tops & Soup Labels to help rebuild Minot schools! We have LOST 6 schools to the flood here in Minot, North Dakota! This is an incredibly simple way that anyone can contribute from all over the country and all it costs is postage! Send them to:

Erin Edgerly
15 Vista Dr.
Minot, ND  58703

[Photo: One of the schools under water. You can see that the town tried to save it but the barrier they built was not high enough.]

Donate to the Minot Red Cross! As of July 2, 2011, the Red Cross had provided (total for North Dakota with majority for Minot area):  2,868 overnight shelter stays, 17,329 meals and 70,063 snacks, Emotional support to 1,089 people and health services to 852 people, Deployed more than 385 volunteers locally and from across the country to support the operation. [Photo: Red Cross trucks in Minot.]

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Fortunately, the people of Minot, ND have rallied together and have supported each other through this crisis. The majority of evacuees have been staying with friends or family around the area. Even in the devastation glimmers of hope peek through on occasion such as the following flag which was torn from a flagpole and ended up on this tree instead of on the ground:

Or these words remaining on the wall of a destroyed home: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to Dance in the rain.”

Blessings (with photos of Minot, ND)

by: Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

CD877337: Blessings CD Blessings CD

By Laura Story / INO Records

lgsquare

Prayer Requests (12) (URGENT)

The Bible says: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20

If God moves when 2 or 3 agree in prayer, I can only imagine what he can do when 500 or more agree! There are between 500-1,000+ people who visit my blog each month. A lot of them are regular visitors (daily or weekly).

I plan to post prayer requests and updates weekly on Sundays or Mondays. This blog is public; I will not include personal information such as birthdays, last names, etc. If you have a prayer request, update, and/or praise report that you would like added to the weekly post, please e-mail me by Saturdays via facebook or at: hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

If you would like to include a picture of the person we are praying for, please include it in your e-mail. I will put a “Heart Treasures” stamp on the picture before posting it.

Feel free to forward a link to this page to people who will join us in prayer.

*****

~~~NEW REQUESTS~~~

I don’t usually post that certain prayer requests are “urgent” because all requests are important in God’s eyes. That being said, following two, Travis & Emry, really need urgent prayer.


Travis: The following is the e-mail that I received from Travis’ sister Jennifer: “He went back for surgery at about 9:30 yesterday morning and it didn’t go so well.. The anesthesia team tried for 45 mins to an hour to intubate him to no avail. His airway had gotten so small that they could not intubate him at all. The doctors told us that he would need to stay over night because they were afraid to send him home. They were afraid that he would swell and it would cut off his airway. After several hours of deliberating they decided to do a another tracheotomy. He had one when he was smaller and we thought he would never need one again. We were able to see him about 1:30 – 2:00pm for a few minutes. The took him back into surgery to do the tracheotomy about 2:00 – 2:15pm. They called us from the operating room and told us that the trach went well and that they were going to proceed with the dental surgery. He came out of surgery about 5:15- 5:30pm.The Dentist had to remove 13 teeth that were not salvageable. Travis now has 5 teeth left. Because of the tracheotomy the doctors are keeping him asleep and on a ventilator until at least Monday. Today the nurses are putting a tube down his nose to feed him with. He woke up once today. My mom was there and told him that he was ok and he needed to go back to sleep for a couple days. After that he was out. I will keep you updated as I know anything new. Thank you so much! We definitely need the power of prayer!”

Previous Requests: Travis was born prematurely and was considered “A Failure to Thrive” with an enlarged liver, a small displaced stomach, and lung disease. He was also diagnosed with Pierre Robin Sequence, which is a birth condition involving a very small or set back lower jaw and cleft palate. The small lower jaw causes the tongue to be displaced back toward the throat, where it can fall back and obstruct the airway. As a result of this condition, Travis had a tracheotomy shortly after birth. The trach was removed at age 5, but the stoma remains open because of the small air way. He has undergone 5 mandibular distractions to lengthen his lower jaw and help open his airway. To this day he still tends to stop breathing when he sleeps and is in need of another mandibular distraction because of this. Pierre Robin and “bad teeth” seem to go hand in hand. Travis has very little enamel on his teeth. It has been a struggle for him to actually keep any of his teeth. No matter how hard we try he seems to continue to get infections and loose teeth. He is scheduled for dental surgery this month. The doctors have to make sure that he is infection free before he is able to go in for the mandibular distraction. The insurance will cover some of the cost for these surgeries, but the part that we will have to pay is pretty high. Travis was also born with a hearing loss. He has been in deaf/hard of hearing classrooms or has had an interpreter most of his school life. He has dreams of being able to hear and now that dream can become a reality! There is a surgery that can make hearing possible for Travis! It is called BAHA (or Bone Anchored Hearing Aid). Travis will never be able to hear without the help of a hearing aid / hearing system, but this will let him hear sound that he has never been able to hear before. The only problem is the insurance company will not cover any of this surgery and it is VERY expensive. Please pray that his family can raise the funds needed for his 3 upcoming surgeries. Also pray that the doctors will have the wisdom they need while performing the surgeries and he will recover quickly from them.

 

Emry: was born pre-mature less than 2 weeks ago. She weighed 1 lb 3 ozs and was 11 and 3/4 inches small at birth!! She is still in the hospital getting around the clock medical care. She has frequent bradycardia episodes but has been coming out of them quickly on her own. She is on oxygen and is tube fed. Her mother has been able to hold her “kangaroo care.”  Please pray that this miracle continues to grow & thrive! Pray for the doctor’s wisdom in caring for her and pray for peace for he parents & family as they go through this trying time. You can stay updated on Emry’s progress by going to her family’s blog: http://walkerfam05.blogspot.com/

 



~~~UPDATED REQUESTS~~~

Heather: is in the hospital for the birth of her baby! Pray that there is no complications and everything goes smoothly! (I’ll post another update when I hear that the baby has been born)

Previous Requests: After flying to Hawaii, for a specialist appointment, she has returned home to Okinawa, Japan and will be able to deliver there. She is now taking a pill in the morning, and a insulin shot before dinner and a insulin shot before bed. For the most part, sugars are regulated but are just a little too high so they are trying to figure out how much insulin is needed. Baby girl is getting bigger daily and more active! Also, the Fetal Eco determined that the baby has Pulmonary stenosis (narrowing in the artery in the heart). Please pray for both Heather and the baby as well as the rest of her family who will be affected by her traveling. Also, pray for the doctor’s wisdom in caring for them.

Japan: I have helped organize 2 fundraising events. Please pray that they go well!

  • The first is an Online SCENTSY party where all profits will go to Japan Relief. If you are interested in participating, go to the following link and click on the “Red Cross Japan Relief” Party to place your order: https://lisahuebsch.scentsy.us/Home
  • The second is an Online Auction hosted by Minot Artists & Crafters CARE on Facebook. We will be auctioning Gift & Easter Baskets starting on Monday-April 4th (noon) through Thursday-April 7th (noon). The auction will be in the photo album section of our fan page. All profits will go to the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund. “Like” our page to get any of our wall updates in your newsfeed. Auction is open to US & US Military (with overseas US address). All rules/instructions will be posted in the photo album when the auction opens.

Previous Request: We lived in Okinawa, Japan from 2006-2010. Both our girls were born there and it became our home away from home. We are thankful that Okinawa was not harmed but Our hearts are breaking for the Japanese people that we have come to love. As we watch the devastating footage of Japan’s tragedy we still feel like we are watching home being destroyed. Please pray for the people of Japan who have lost loved ones and have to recover from this.


~~~CONTINUED REQUESTS~~~

Sam: We are singing praises to God that Sam has stopped running a temperature every night, though she still gets one occasionally. The doctors are still uncertain of the cause of these fevers (as high as 105.1), though they will be doing a DMSA renal scan this Wednesday (the 2nd) to see if her kidneys are the culprit. When she was inpatient, her ultrasound, abdominal CT scan and her galium scan all pointed towards her kidneys, but her urine cultures and analysis all came back normal. Her stored iron level is still dangerously low and is actually decreasing rather than getting better, though she is receiving 400% of the daily recommended amount of iron each day. There is a question of whether she has celiac disease which could be contributing to her low iron level. The other main concern at this point is the regression in her gross motor skills. While walking, her legs (especially her left) give out, causing her to fall. She has fallen down our steps twice due to this issue. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors (she now sees six specialists along with the pediatrician), her therapists (she has occupational, physical and speech therapists, along with an early childhood interventionist), and  her parents to know what is best for her. Please pray for Sam’s complete healing!

Previous Requests: Has a new possible diagnosis is Primary CNS Vasculitis, or basically swelling of the blood vessels in her brain. Diagnosis procedures include CT San/MRI (doesn’t always show up), angiogram (catheter goes up starting in leg) or brain biopsy. Treatment consists of immuno-suppressants (form of chemotherapy). Sam’s MRI/MRA came back negative, so now they need to decide their next step… they may try a more natural diet and supplement type lifestyle. This 2 year old’s final diagnosis after being in the hospital for several days was meningoencephalitis (infection that affects the nervous system causing inflammation of the brain & meninges). She regressed about 6 months and has to relearn how to stand and walk. Had a lumbar puncture to check for white blood cells, to help determine if they need to look further into the vasculitis. She also had a bone marrow aspiration to check for leukemia since she is still extremely anemic & running fevers. Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom and for Sam’s complete healing!

Shannon: (Sam’s Mommy): is almost 30 weeks along in her pregnancy. She went to L & D and found out that her placenta is 30% abrupted. Please pray it does not get any worse and that the baby will stay in for as long as possible. She is now home and not having any complications right now. She has been advised to be on modified bed rest. She will be monitored weekly but if it gets worse she will have to get an emergency c-section. Please pray that she will have no further complications and that the doctors will have the wisdom to do what is best for both her and the baby.

Brad: (Sam’s Daddy): After being poked in the eye a few weeks ago, his eye is still healing and his vision may be permanently damaged in that eye. On top of that, he has lost feeling in his left leg and toes again (he has a bulging disk between L5 and S1 that he has been getting steroid shots for) and they are talking the possibility of surgery, though we first need to make sure his disc has not ruptured. Please pray for complete healing!


Greysen: has had some seizures that were not controlled by his medicine. So they have been working on medicine adjustments.

Previous Requests: This 4 year old boy was diagnosed with epilepsy this past spring and was sent to AI Dupont to determine the exact type of epilepsy he had. During a scheduled MRI, an Oncologist found a “mass” in the back left portion of his brain and that it would require surgery. A few days later, his parents met with the neurosurgeon and received better news. He was fairly confident that the tumor was benign, and therefore surgery could be put off for a while. The tumor will be monitored for any sign of change or growth. The tumor is in a place that it can be removed, however, to remove the entire tumor, he most likely will lose coordination and fine motor skills on his left side. This can be regained through physical therapy. For this reason, Greysen’s parents hope that they can wait until he is a bit older before having to do surgery. They returned to AI Dupont last Friday for another MRI scan so that the surgeons can re-evaluate the brain tumor. They saw no significant change in the tumor so the current plan is to wait and re-evaluate in 6 months. Please pray for Greysen’s healing and the doctors wisdom as they monitor and treat his condition.

Lesley: (Greysen’s Mommy): she is grieving the loss of her grandmother. Please pray for comfort for her and her family.

Carol: the stress test came back normal! Praise God!

Previous Request: Had chest pain and was told that it may have been a heart attack. She had her initial appointment with a cardiologist. Please pray for her complete healing and wisdom for the doctors who will need to determine a course of treatment for her.

Cher: Was recently diagnosed with Myastenia Gravis (a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body). Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom in creating a treatment plan. Also, pray that the housing they need would become available when they go for treatment. They have their name on a list for Nazarene Well House. On their already strained budget it would be a Godsend. Pray God will work out all the details!

Jenn: is pregnant with her second baby. She has jaw pain which is probably indicating that she will need her wisdom teeth pulled. The dentist determined that because of how the teeth are positioned, he will have to put her under to do the extractions. Unfortunately, because she is pregnant, they cannot do the surgery until her baby is born. This means waiting until June or later with the pain. Please pray for her healing and comfort.

Shane: My husband recently saw a new doctor about his Plantar Fasciitis. He now wears special shoes when he sleeps at night and has started physical therapy.

Previous Requests: My husband has a few career decisions to make in the next few months. He also has Plantar Fasciitis (irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot) which could effect which direction he chooses. The choice he makes will effect where we live, how much we get paid, and how often he will be deployed. Please pray for wisdom and direction for our family.

Alysa (ME): I have 2 home businesses, Heart Treasures BoutiqueJuice Plus+, in order to bring in extra money for our family but I have not made many contacts for either one. It’s expensive to move back to the states! Please pray that God will bring the right people in my path so that we can earn the extra money that we need.

What Is Green And Has Three Leaves?

REPOST FROM MARCH 17, 2010:

A Shamrock!

Why three leaves instead of the “lucky” four leaf clover? Clovers can have three, four, or more leaves. “Shamrock” is used only to describe the three leaf clover (although people often don’t realize that).

I think that it is  fun and exciting to celebrate holidays but, as a mother, I have been forced to consider how I feel about some holidays and traditions. I have read about the main holidays that we celebrate in the US. My husband and I have discussed them and compared traditions with our personal experiences and Christianity.

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the holidays that has a Christian origin. I don’t claim to be all knowledgeable when it comes to history. But from what I have read; St. Patrick was actually from Britain. Before he was named “Patrick;” he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to work as a slave. He eventually escaped captivity and returned to Britain. Later he joined a church and studied to become a priest (and taking the name Patrick). Eventually, he returned to Ireland; feeling called by God to convert the Irish from paganism to Christianity. He was successful in his task. It is said that most of Ireland was converted before his death. There is a legend that Patrick used the shamrock in order to describe the Trinity to the people of Ireland. Below is a cute Veggie Tales version of the St. Patrick’s Day story:

Veggie Tales–St. Patrick’s Day

Although Saint Patrick’s Day has become secularized; I think that it is important to teach my children where it came from (for me this applies to all holidays and traditions). Now I do that in the form of Veggie Tales; later it may be another way. At the same time; I need to understand that it is okay to have and follow traditions but, it is not okay if those traditions become the focus of what is important. Jesus reminded the Pharisees that they follow traditions to the letter but that did not make their hearts clean and pure.

Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. Luke 11:39-41 [To read theses verses in context; click here]

So, remembering that, I go back to enjoying the holiday!

For more information about holidays and Christian traditions; I recommend:

Holidays & Holy Days by: Susan E. Richardson