"People often argue that this doctrine of
divine election and choice leaves no place for evangelism, for preaching
the gospel, for urging people to repent and to believe, and for the use
of arguments and persuasions in doing so. But there is no contradiction
here any more than there is in saying that since it is God that gives
us the crops of corn in the autumn, therefore the farmer need not plough
and harrow and sow; the answer to which is that God has ordained both.
God has chosen to call out His people by means of evangelism and the
preaching of the Word. He ordains the means as well as the end."
It has been a busy month for my Dad with twice-a-week blood draws, once-a-week Rituxan infusions, and almost once-a-week blood transfusions. Of course, while he is there he has found opportunities to share the gospel. Two sweet friends came up with this great illustration. One thought that Dad's description of his treatments reminded her of Paul preaching the Gospel in chains, and the other drew it so nicely:
Thank you Gayle and Sylvia!
-My dad received his last infusion of Rituxan last week. So far it hasn't helped, but we are told it can continue to work for up to 4 weeks past the time of the last infusion, so there is still a little hope that we will his hemoglobin start to climb. -He is still needing blood transfusions about every 7-10 days. -His ANCA (the marker for Churg-Strauss related vasculitis) is still as high as it was when he was diagnosed over 2 months ago. This leaves him at high risk of organ failure. -He has now been diagnosed with pre-diabetes from the high doses of steroids he has been taking. He is slowly cutting down on the steroids. Please pray that his blood sugar returns to normal as the steroid levels decrease. A few people have asked about a bone marrow transplant. That is not an option right now because of the vasculitis and because the red blood cells that are being produced by his bone marrow aren't surviving to maturity. Unless the Churg-Strauss Syndrome is brought into remission so that his body stops attacking the baby red blood cells, a bone marrow transplant won't help. His rheumatologist has been checking with doctors all over the world, including those at Mayo, and there are no documented cases of Churg-Strauss causing these bone marrow issues. So at this point there is nothing to go on. No protocol to follow, nothing that has been known to work in cases like his. There are no cases like his. The good news is that is heart, lungs, and kidneys are functioning better, and for that we are very thankful. So for now he will continue will regular blood tests and transfusions.
Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything,but in everything by prayer and supplicationwith thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Thank you, friends, for your continued prayer for my dad.
O Let Your Soul now be Filled with Gladness Words by Peter Aschan
O let your soul now be filled with gladness, Your heart redeemed, rejoice indeed! O may the thought banish all your sadness, That in His blood you have been freed, That God's unfailing love is yours, That you the only Son were given, That by His death He has opened heaven, That you are ransomed as you are.
If you seem empty of any feeling, Rejoice, you are His ransomed bride! If those you cherish seem not to love you, And dark assails from every side; Still yours the promise, come what may, In loss and triumph, in laughter, crying; In want and riches, in living dying,
That you are purchased as you are. It is a good, every good transcending, That Christ has died for you and me! It is a gladness that has no ending There in God's wondrous love to see! Praise be to Him the spotless Lamb, Who through the desert my soul is leading To that fair city of joy exceeding, For which He bought me as I am!
Salvation is . . . the greatest blessing that God can bestow; deliverance from the greatest misery; exaltation to the greatest happiness; the greatest change in man's state and character which can possibly be effected; the greatest display of the love, wisdom, grace, and power of God!
Salvation is the very blessing that you need. The blessing which you must receive--or be eternally undone!
Salvation is a blessing for the PRESENT, for it is deliverance . . . from the guilt of sin--which makes you miserable; from the power of sin--which makes you unholy; and from the love of sin--which proves you to be God's enemy.
Salvation is a blessing for the FUTURE: it secures to you safety and happiness in time--and glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life when time shall be no more!
Salvation is a blessing which comprehends every other blessing. If the man is saved--then all good things are his. If the man is lost--then nothing good is his. To be saved, is . . . for the soul to be restored to a right relationship to God; to be put in possession of unsearchable wealth; to be raised to the highest honor; and to be entitled to eternal glory! No word is as sweet as salvation--as no word is as dreadful as its opposite, damnation! Reader, there is no intermediatestate between these two extremes.
(James Smith, "The Voice of Mercy in the House of Affliction!" 1855)
King of my life, I crown Thee now, Thine shall the glory be; Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow, Lead me to Calvary. Lest I forget Gethsemane, Lest I forget Thine agony; Lest I forget Thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary. Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid, Tenderly mourned and wept; Angels in robes of light arrayed Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept. Lest I forget Gethsemane, Lest I forget Thine agony; Lest I forget Thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary. Let me like Mary, through the gloom, Come with a gift to Thee; Show to me now the empty tomb, Lead me to Calvary. Lest I forget Gethsemane, Lest I forget Thine agony; Lest I forget Thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary. May I be willing, Lord, to bear Daily my cross for Thee; Even Thy cup of grief to share, Thou hast borne all for me. Lest I forget Gethsemane, Lest I forget Thine agony; Lest I forget Thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary. Words: Jennie Evelyn Hussey (b. Feb. 8, 1874; d. Sept. 5:1958) Music: William James Kirkpatrick (b. Feb. 27, 1838; Sept. 20, 1921)
I’ve been singing the following song all morning, and it is exactly how I feel right now. Today, as I celebrate another birthday, I can’t help but remember that I almost died on this day nine years ago. And it makes me so grateful that the Lord saw fit to grant me more days on earth to “love and follow Him.” My heart is filled with thankfulness to the One Who gave me life; the One Who gave His life for me.
My heart is filled with thankfulness To Him who bore my pain; Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace And gave me life again; Who crushed my curse of sinfulness And clothed me in His light And wrote His law of righteousness With pow'r upon my heart. My heart is filled with thankfulness To Him who walks beside; Who floods my weaknesses with strength And causes fears to fly; Whose ev'ry promise is enough For ev'ry step I take, Sustaining me with arms of love And crowning me with grace. My heart is filled with thankfulness To him who reigns above, Whose wisdom is my perfect peace, Whose ev'ry thought is love. For ev'ry day I have on earth Is given by the King; So I will give my life, my all, To love and follow him.
(From the top: On the steps at Daystar 1977, with the Teen 1997, my wedding 2007, and September 2012)
Our birthdays are two days apart, and I’m so thankful to be able to celebrate with him again this year. Would you please pray that his bone marrow would begin producing red blood cells so that we can continue to celebrate our birthdays together in years to come.
Thank you, Lord, for the 38 years I’ve had with my wonderful father.
It is no sign of humility, no mark of saintliness, to go into the presence of God doubting whether God is forgiving you. That is unbelief, lack of faith. That is failure to understand the truth. So, my friend, never again try to give the impression that you are such a sensitive Christian that you do not like to be certain that your sins are forgiven. It is our business to know that our sins are forgiven! We derogate from the grace and the glory of God and the wonder of this gospel is we are uncertain about it; ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest of all.’ Not in my merit, not in my righteousness, not in terms of my understanding, but by the blood of Jesus. He has opened the way. And, therefore, we go knowing that God has said in this new covenant, ‘I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people’ (Heb. 8:10).
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Great Doctrines of the Bible – Volume 1. Page 355
"Why believe the devil instead of believing God?
Rise up and realize the truth about yourself - that all the past has
gone, and you are one with Christ, and all your sins have been blotted
out once and for ever. O let us remember that it is sin to doubt God's
Word. It is sin to allow the past, which God has dealt with, to rob us
of our joy and our usefulness in the present and in the future."
-Source: Spiritual Depression - Its Causes and its Cures, 1965, p. 76. Emphasis mine. *Image Source
(Email/RSS readers view on YouTube) Thomas A. Dorsey / J.R. Baxter Jr. Arrangement By Nicol Smith, Todd Smith, Allan Hall
Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, help me stand I am tired I am weak I am worn Through the storm, Through the night Lead me on to the light Take my hand, precious lord Lead me home
When my way grows drear' Precious Lord, linger near When my life is almost gone Hear my cry, hear my call Hold my hand, lest i fall Take my hand, precious Lord Lead me home Take my hand, precious Lord Lead me home
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Chorus: 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
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
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
Update on my dad:
He saw his pulmonologist and hematologist yesterday. The good news is that
his lungs, heart, and kidneys are showing improvement. That bad news is
that his hemoglobin dropped again. Please pray that his bone marrow
would respond to the steroids and produce more red blood cells.
Look around the world, and see how failure is written on all of people's
schemes. Count up the partings, separations, disappointments, and
bereavements which have happened under your own knowledge. Think what a
privilege it is that there is One at least who never fails, and in whom
no one was ever disappointed! Never, never was there so unfailing a
friend as Jesus Christ!
*I've had this song in my mind and on my hear the last few days, and it's been such a blessing and comfort. When I sat down to write this Thankful Thursday post I felt that it speaks my heart better than my own words could.
-It has affected his lungs, heart, kidneys, and bone marrow.
-He has fluid in his lungs and on his heart (congestive
-His bone marrow is not producing any red blood cells.
-If he is not making red blood cells after 30 days they will
do another, more extensive, lung biopsy.
-We don’t know if the damage is permanent.
-He is home now and being treated as an outpatient with
blood tests on Mondays and Thursday and infusions (if needed) on Tuesdays and
-All of this is being treated by high doses of Prednisone.
If that doesn’t work they will try another immune-suppressive drug.
That is all we know right now. Please pray that he would respond to the treatment and begin producing red blood cells and, above all, that God will be glorified through all of this.
A Song of Ascents.
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.
1Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; 3 Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; 5 Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.