Excerpt: The Pursuit of God, The Human Thirst for the Divine, A.W. Tozer

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, The Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wondered so long. In Jesus' name. Amen
Excerpt: The Pursuit of God, The Human Thirst for the Divine, A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Still Praying for that Miracle

The miracle that will set Tim free of the cancer invading his entire body.  The doctors have always said that the melanoma under his skin will not kill him.  But when it reaches the major organs like the kidneys, lungs, or brain, then it becomes a whole new ball game.  We are playing that ball game.

The MRI that was done yesterday before the gamma knife procedure could be done revealed 3 new tumors.  The brain surgery that removed the walnut sized tumor was followed by an MRI.  That MRI showed no signs of melanoma, so that was the new base line MRI.  In 3 weeks, 3 new tumors had invaded Tim's brain.

The first gamma knife procedure he had last year took a matter of a few minutes.  So, when we were told it would take an hour and 40 minutes or so for this one, I immediately thought there must be more there than what they were expecting, which was confirmed with the revelation of the 3 new tumors.  One tumor was around the edge of the last surgery area.  Another was on the opposite side of his brain (left side) and one other one that I don't remember where it was.  Since they were radiating the surgery site, they also radiated the 3 new tumors.

Tim is scheduled for another MRI on July 12th.  I am already wondering how many more tumors there will develop in that 6 week period.

Tim told the church tonight after the services about this new development.  He said, "Your pastor is a man dying of brain cancer."  He did not resign, but it will not be too far in the future, probably, before he does.  However, the Lord could still perform a miracle and heal Tim totally of the cancer that plagues his body.  I know He is able to do exceedingly above what we ask of Him.

The post-op appointment we had for next week with the neurosurgeon had been cancelled.  I asked him why it was cancelled.  He said since he had seen Tim yesterday, he didn't need to see him again.  I told him we were wanting to discuss getting a referral from him to the eye center so Tim's double vision could be worked on.  This afternoon the appointment was reinstated.  Thank You, Lord.

I'm disappointed with this neurosurgeon.  We never saw him once before the brain surgery.  We had lots of question to ask.  I never saw him once after surgery, either.  So my questions went unanswered.  But, I have to give him the benefit of a doubt.

Tim has said he is going to refuse any more brain surgeries or gamma knife procedures.  His oncologist told us about a chemo pill for brain cancers.  He told the doctor he would take it.  Tim tonight said he is not going to mess with it.

I know our days are all numbered.  But I think the Lord gave us medicine and doctors for times such as this.  Yes, He can overrule the treatments working.  But, he can also cure without using the doctors and medicines.  That is the miracle that I am still praying for.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Gamma Knife

Today has been a lazy day for us.  After all of the activity with the kids and grandkids this weekend, we were ready to rest.  We slept in until 9.  Kim got her shower and began making a big pot of cream of broccoli soup.  Boy, is it good!

I also did some laundry today.  But, other than that, Tim took a good nap this afternoon while, between loads of laundry, Kim and I played Lexulous (Scrabble on-line).  We cat napped a little, too.

Tomorrow is the gamma knife procedure for Tim at the hospital.  We have to be there at 6:45 a.m.  It will take all day.  This is preventative radiation to keep the active melanoma from coming back.  But, ultimately, that is all in God's control.  I am praying that it does not irritate his motor center more to cause him more trouble in balance, sight and motor control.  Kim is planning to go and spend the day there with me, bless her heart!

It's almost time to retire so we can get up extra early.  I need to pack a bag for Tim's meds and take the iPad and laptops so we will have something to do during the down times of waiting.

Thank you for your continued prayer support!  We love you all, even those of you that we do not know personally.  Brothers and Sisters in Christ, that makes us family!

Family Times

We are so thankful for our family!  God blessed us with wonderful children and grandchildren and in-law-children!!!  Thank You, Lord!

On Thursday, Tim and I went to our local thrift shops.  But, it was a waste of time because he really could not see well enough to enjoy it.  But at least we got out and did something different.  We also spent a little bit of time outside watching the birds.  Also, my sister arrived around 8:00 in the evening, having driven all the way from Palm Bay, Florida that day.

On Friday, Tim had his regular oncology visit, which includes blood work, cath care and talking with the doctor.  He may be starting a chemo pill for brain cancers in the future.

Also on Friday, our son, Michael and family arrived around 5:30.  They had stopped along the way to pick up our daughter, Elisabeth's oldest daughter, Hannah, so she could stay with her cousin, Kara, at the hotel.  We all went to Chili's for supper.  They headed to the hotel for the night around 9:15.

Also on Friday, our daughter, Jessica and family arrived around 10:00.  After the kids were in bed, we stayed up talking til about 11:30.

On Saturday, we hung out at the house until around 1:30 and then headed to our daughter, Elisabeth and family's house for a cook out.  It was delicious!! Then we sat around outside under a shade tree, while the kids played in the pool.  It was a beautiful afternoon, especially under the shade tree!  We had a family meeting to discuss the different prospects of what mine and Tim's future could look like.....if he heals enough after the brain surgery to return to the pastorate.......if he can't return to the pastorate and has to retire......etc.  If Tim has to retire, we really need to stay in North Carolina because of Medicaid and his doctors all being here.  We don't know the future, but we know Who knows and holds the future.  We are in Good hands, no matter what our future holds.  God has taken care of us all of these years and He will continue to do so no matter what He has in store for us in the future.  But, it was so wonderful to talk everything over with our adult children and to know that they are there for us in whatever capacity we may need them.

On Sunday, the meal was at our house after church.  Jessica fixed taco meat with all the trimmings.  It was delicious!!  I actually had 2 bowls of taco salad!  WOW!  Of course, we had to get the group photo, too, before we left the church.  We missed our oldest grandson, Michael, being there.  He is now a working teenager!  We also missed our youngest son, Nathanael and his daughter, Adalina.  Nathanael told me he might be able to come for a visit sometime in June.  That will be nice!

Here are the pictures from the weekend:

Thursday, May 25th.




Female Cowbird
Friday, May 26th.
Jessica, Michael and Tim

My sister, Kim.

My lovely daughter-in-law, Jessica.
Saturday, May 27th.
Abby and Thad

Ryan doing a flip on the trampoline.




Brad, the master chef!

Terry changed the oil on our car.

Waiting for food!

Pool time

It was a beautiful day.....especially under the shade tree!

Sally dog.

Hannah in deep thought.

Relaxing under the shade tree.

My wonderful husband!

My sister, Kim and I.

Araya pushing a doll baby.

Sunday, May 28th.
The group photo after church.

And to think this beautiful family began with two people who have loved one another now for 46 years.  Thank You, Lord, for bringing this man into my life!!
The family have gone their separate ways, but the memories will last a life time!  Thank You, Lord, for Your blessings on me!  On us!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I Am Weak, But Thou Art Strong

Just a Closer Walk With Thee

I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.

2 Corinthians 13:4 "For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you."

Tim is getting stronger every day!  And, it is only by God's grace that he is!  Thank You, Lord!  

He still needs plenty of rest!  We went to church tonight and he read the missionary letter, made a few announcements, read the prayer list and prayed (his voice is stronger, too).  That was a lot of standing.  By the time the service was over, he was wiped out.  It took him all of 2 seconds after getting in the house to crash into his recliner.

Friday is his regular oncology appointment.  Next Tuesday is the day for the gamma knife radiation treatment.  That will be all day and will totally wipe him out.....me, too!  And then on the 9th of June is the first doctor visit after the brain surgery.  Keep praying that the double vision goes away!  The sooner it does, the better he will get along!

Doesn't he look great?!  Thank You, Lord!
Tim is feeling well enough that he wants to try and venture out to our thrift stores tomorrow!  WOW!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

I Was Glad.....

Psalm 122:1 "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."

Yes, today Tim and I went to Sunday school and the morning worship service!  It was REALLY, really good to be with God's people once again!  We have really missed being there!  We are looking forward to the passing of this season of our lives.  But, God has been faithful!

Our daughter came down from Carroll, OH to spend the weekend with us and help get us back on our feet somewhat!  It really was a blessing to have her here!  Thank you, Terry, for sharing your precious wife with us in our time of need!  I love you for that!

Tim met with the men after the morning service and requested 3 months recupe time.  They told him to take as long as he needed.  They have his back!  Praise God for these faithful men and women!  We have the greatest church on earth!  Thank You, Lord!

I sent a message to the doctor to hopefully get us a referral to the eye center ASAP so we can begin to get some work on Tim's double vision going.  That will help tremendously!

On Friday the nurse removed the stitches in Tim's head.  We don't see the doctor until June 9th.  Tim mentioned to her about feeling depressed and she said it really could more than likely be surgery fatigue more than depression.  But, tomorrow morning we have appointments to see our Primary Care Physician to discuss depression.  Our other daughter is going to drive up and go with us to that appointment.  Baby steps to improving our situation.  Lord, help us!

Eventually Tim will be having preventative radiation treatment on the spot where the tumor was removed in his brain.  It was not just a bleed, or scar tissue.  It was active melanoma that was removed, the size of a walnut.  Our Father knows!

All your anxieties

Is there a heart o’er bound by sorrow?
Is there a life weighed down by care?
Come to the cross, each burden bearing;
All your anxiety—leave it there.

All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there,
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus!

No other friend so swift to help you,
No other friend so quick to hear,
No other place to leave your burden,
No other one to hear your prayer.

Come then at once; delay no longer!
Heed His entreaty kind and sweet,
You need not fear a disappointment;
You shall find peace at the mercy seat.

Help me, Father, to leave my burdens at Your mercy seat!  Thank You for our time of refreshing in Your house today!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Day by Day

Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best--
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Ev'ry day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

Baptist Hymnal, 1991

I was reminded of this song in an email I received today from a precious lady I have known since the early 80's.  I love how the Lord speaks to us in those unexpected ways.  I've been so sick since Tim came home from the hospital, yet the Lord Himself has been near.  Sometimes I don't see it when I've got my attention set on myself instead of Him!  Thank You, Father, for the reminder of Your true love!  It is a love that I will never understand and brings me to tears when I think how unworthy I am of it!

Well, last night at church Tim took his place on the platform.  I was not feeling great, but I wanted to show him my support, so I went.  I thought he did a wonderful job considering all of the hindrances he had to deal with.  He sat in a chair for the entire service.  But, the anticipation and the preparation for it was too much for him.  He should have waited a couple of more weeks for his strength to come back more.  And, the eyesight is a real problem.  I don't know how that double vision will ever, if ever, be rectified!  It totally messes with his balance and is a big distraction in his thought processes.  He could not wait to get back to the house so he could crash.  I hated it for him.  I don't know how long it will take for him to be back to himself, if ever.  We are waiting on the Lord.  He definitely is not going to try teaching again any time too soon!  Lord, please heal your servant!  And, Lord, thank You for the men in our church who are willing to stand in Tim's stead while he heals!  Bless them in a special way, our Father!  I pray in the name of our Savior!

Tim was glad to be on the platform, but he was very apprehensive, too.

One of those faithful men who has Tim's back!  We are so thankful for their love and support, especially through this trial.

Friday, May 12, 2017

When it Rains

I woke up on Thursday with a horrendous headache and chest congestion and coughing.  YUCK!  And, as I feared, Tim woke up with it today.  He hasn't been coughing too much, but he's got it!  I sent a note to his doctor to see if he would need an antibiotic just to be safe after having had major surgery.  I sent it too late in the day and did not hear back from him, so I hope he does alright with it this weekend.  When it rains, it pours sometimes!

The physical therapist came to the house today to evaluate Tim on what physical therapy he might need.  The result:  he didn't feel Tim needed PT and that he should just keep doing what he is doing to build his strength back up.  Yesterday he walked around the house several times.  And, using a rolling walker, walked to the church and back a couple of times.  Thank You, Lord!

He took a shower today using a shower seat.  He washed his head to get some of the crusted blood out of his hair.  He shaved, etc. and felt like a new man!

He had his mind set to preach on Sunday, but I talked him out of it.  I told him there was no rush to get back in the pulpit because Calvin and Bobby are covering for him and doing a great job!  He said he would trust me to let him know when he was ready.  So, I will be praying for wisdom.  I told him maybe he could work on his Wednesday lesson and use a chair to sit in while he taught instead of standing for the whole 40 minutes.  We will see how the preparation goes.  He may still not be ready.  He is having problems navigating the buttons on his iPad, which is what he uses for his lessons and sermons.  He said he could just print out his notes and flip through them like he used to do.

His main problem is the double vision.  It affects his balance and working his technical items.  He can button his shirt, even though it is usually not button correctly.  He has not tried buttoning his pants yet.  He has been wearing lounge pants because it is easier at this point.

When he prays, he prays for God to heal him, and that always brings him to tears.  After he finished praying today he said, I hope I don't always do that.  I told him crying was not a sign of weakness.  I guess that is hard for a man to realize.  I think it shows his heart and that he is really afraid that he won't be able to preach any more.  Just like one of the first questions he asked after surgery, "Am I still a pastor?"

Lord, please give Tim peace to accept what You have for him in the future.  Peace that passes all understanding!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Our Amazing Blessings

Brain surgery on Monday.  Home on Wednesday!  Tim's sister said, "It takes longer than that when you are having a baby!"  Amazing!

Brain surgery and no pain!  Amazing!

Headache so bad it caused nothing but nausea.  Now, not a sign of a headache.  Amazing!

Just a few of the Amazing Blessings from God!  How can we not be grateful?!  When I think of how sick Tim was just a week ago, it is NOT hard to praise and give thanks to the Lord!  Not to mention that we are commanded to give thanks......."In everything give thanks:  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18  If I only expect good from God and complain about the bad, that says a lot about my "love" for Him.....sorely lacking!  We are to love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19) and gave himself for us (Titus 2:14), not love him because we think he is a magic jenny to give us our wishes all the time.

I could dwell on the negative aspects of Tim's health.  But, I am choosing to be positive and trust in the Lord with all my heart, and believe that He is going to perform a miracle of healing Tim's body.  I don't want to lean unto my own understanding, but in all my ways acknowledge Him so He can direct my paths!  I definitely need His direction in the trials!  Especially if the healing is not meant to be complete healing.  If not, I'll just keep trusting my Lord!

I just keep trusting my Lord as I walk along!
I just keep trusting my Lord and He gives a song!
Though the storm clouds darken the sky o'er the heavenly trail!
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will never fail!
He's a faithful friend, such a faithful friend.
I can count on Him to the very end.
Though the storm clouds darken the sky o'er the heavenly trail!
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will never fail!

Waiting on the wheelchair to make our exit, Matey!  ARGGGH
Continue to pray for complete healing!
Some of the people from our church came over after services to see their pastor.  Thank You, Lord, for these special people who we love dearly!  It was very strange looking over at the cars parked in the parking lot for the services and not be there with them!  This, too, shall pass!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

In Sickness and in Health

I was so tired last night that I forgot to include an explanation for yesterday's title, "Did You Sign up for This?"

Tim was asking many questions yesterday after his surgery.  And one of them was the question above, which he asked of me.  Without hesitation I answered, "YES!  I signed up for ALL of this!"  And, I mean it!  I'm in it for the looooong haul!  All the way to, "till death do us part!"  I take those vows very seriously!  And I know that Tim does, too, and always has.  We took those vows before God and man!  Our faithfulness in marriage is a testimony, just like our faithfulness to the Lord is a testimony!

One of my favorite oldies songs when Tim and I were teenagers was by The Turtles, So Happy Together.  Some of the lyrics I love are:

I can't see me lovin' nobody but you (Tim) for all my life!
When you're with me, baby, the skies will be blue for all my life!
Me and you, and you and me, no matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be.
The only one for me is you, and you for me.  So happy together!

I still feel this way!  However, God is the One Who controlled the tossing of the dice!  I know that for sure!  I broke up with Tim for a little while, not for anything he did, only because I was going through a stupid teen phase, I guess!  But, the Lord got us back together, thankfully!  Tim showed his patience with me even back then!

I'm so glad for this verse, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."  Jeremiah 29:11  That "expected end" is God's predestined plan for me!  Thank You, Lord!

And, speaking of thanking the Lord........................

Look at what this man was doing today!  He walked, with assistance, to the bathroom, not once but several times!
The Lord has answered so many prayers for Tim.  And I feel certain that He is going to keep answering our prayers for Tim's health.  My stomach was a mess the day before Tim went into surgery.  However, I felt at peace the day of his surgery.  I give God the credit for that peace!  Does that mean that God revealed to me that Tim is going to completely recover from all of the problems that the tumor was causing him?  No.  I didn't and still don't have any idea about that.  I have to wait and, patiently and by faith, see just like you do.  But, I have no worry about it.  I am at peace with whatever might become of Tim's health condition.  But, I don't believe that the Lord is finished with him!

But whatever happens, I absolutely AM in this marriage for the long haul!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Did You Sign Up for This?

I am so glad this day is over!  And I am so thankful for every prayer the Lord answered today and those that still await being answered as Tim's brain heals.  Our God is an AWESOME God!  He has answered our prayers (including yours) in amazing ways!  We are so blessed!

Surgery was to begin at 8:45, however it actually didn't get started until around 11:00, I believe. The surgery lasted about 2 1/2 hours and by 5:00 he was in the neurological ICU.  Everyone of us who were here holding vigil during the surgery were allowed to visit him in the ICU.  He knew all of us and knew our relationship to him.  He knew his address.  Then, he spotted the nurse standing off to the side behind us and he said, "And, who is this little person?" as he pointed to her.  We all, including the nurse, thought that was funny, especially in his slightly slurred speech.  He was very chatty and felt it was very necessary to explain everything he was feeling or thought about his surgery and what had happened today.  He talked about every random thing that crossed his mind.  He kept repeating that if they would just give him something to drink he could talk more because he was very dry and thirsty.

He was sure that the surgery had robbed him of every being himself again.  He asked if he was still a pastor (I think he must have been thinking about having to give up pastoring because of this).  He said they took away a big part of his brain.  We explained to him that they did not take any of his brain away, only a tumor.  He asked us if we were satisfied (with the outcome of the surgery).  We reassured him that we were completely satisfied!  I wish I had thought to record this painful (to us) conversation.  Painful in that he acted as if this surgery was going to change him and how we felt about him.

He still has the double vision right now.  I sure hope that disappears as the swelling lessens.

God is so good!
God is so good!
God is so good, He's so good to me!

He answers prayer!
He answers prayer!
He answers prayer, He's so good to me!

Thanking you ALL, once again, for being such prayer warriors on our behalf!

He was talking to someone about something as they walked him over to get the surgery.

Four of the Five "vigil"antes.  Brad didn't want to be included in this photo.  Brad took the day off to come and sit vigil with us.  What a guy!

Boy, do I love this guy!

Headed to the surgical area.

Getting ready.

I'm thankful for all of the electronics we had to keep everyone up to date on everything today!

First meal.....blueberry yogurt.

I was really surprise they did not shave his head entirely on the right side.

The girls and I went to supper at Chili's.  Then Liz went home and Jessica and I headed back to the hospital.
   I'm exhausted!  Going to bed!
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