Update

Three weeks after posting Dream of two horses, my elderly father was admitted to the hospital with kidney failure. He returned home a week later to continue healing from the lingering effects of toxins that accumulated in his body and brain. His speech, memory, taste and appetite were all affected, together with significant loss of strength and balance.

Once home, Dad slept all but a few hours a day, leaving his bedroom only to use the bathroom. Uncertain what to do, especially since he was adamant about not going back to the hospital, the Holy Spirit instructed me saying “when your Dad falls twice in a day, it’s time to readmit him”. Days later, Dad fell twice in 12 hours and the county 9-1-1 responders transported him to the hospital.

The months since have been tiring and stressful, from dealings with the hospital, health care providers, nursing homes, social services, Medicare, Medicaid, insurance, attorneys and the like. By far the most stressful element, has been in helping Dad to make an honest assessment of his health and care needs and to accept his placement in a skilled nursing facility.

At about the same time Dad fell ill, my wife developed a condition for which she’s having surgery next week. Not to be outdone, my cat Tigger developed a hyperthyroid condition that causes seizures and needs treatment. Then there’s me, still recovering from a heart attack last April and dealing with fatigue from the medications I take to heal my heart, along with making arrangements for shoulder replacement surgery in December.

“When it rains, it pours” is certainly true during this season and I would otherwise be overwhelmed except for the Holy Spirit who spoke words of encouragement to me when all this started last June.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Indeed, I can. Thank you, Jesus!

KO’d

I’m not a fan of writings that for the most part seem assembled from the quotations of scholars, historians, and theologians, weaving them together like some great tapestry of spiritual enlightenment. To me, such writing seems oddly disconnected from the soul of the author which leaves me cold. I’d so much rather read a personal testimony from the author’s own life experience. What was your condition, how did the Son intervene, how were you healed or blessed, and what did you learn? That’s what I want to know, for no derivative of commentary ever touched my heart like the open, honest, and vulnerable testimony of a brother or sister in the Son.

knockoutAnd yet, it is a daily devotional-commentary I receive by email that has had me on the receiving end of the Lord’s chastisement several times these last 2 weeks. Whoever is in charge of publishing excerpts from an author who died in 1971, has obviously been spying on me and selecting them with intent to hit me squarely between the eyes.

It first happened while I was lying on a gurney in the emergency room 2 weeks ago, strapped to an EKG monitor, and with an IV in each arm, I spoke frankly to Karen about the possibility of my death. She refused to hear it of course, admonishing me to speak faith but still I wanted her to know that I loved her and she was free to return to her family in Illinois, leaving the care of my elderly father who lives with us, to my siblings. And I apologized to her because our wish has been for a Notebook ending to our lives together. Again, Karen spoke words of encouragement, even while I lamented the Back to Eden garden I’d started in faith but now could not finish because of the heart attack. Continue reading