Friday, February 3, 2012

Made Whole

What a beautiful day to stay inside. The sun is bright, skies are blue and it's COLD out there! A bit later Mom and I will go to Evelyn's for a little lunch but for now we're snug in our house.

Such good news came across the blogs from Linda. Regina had posted prayer request for Tenlee over Facebook. An unsaved lady who was asking 'prayers' for Tenlee said that "God spoke to her" (I certainly suppose it was the Lord simply pricking her heart) that Tenlee was not the only one who needed healing. She must have been being prepared by the Lord ahead of time, and she asked the Lord to be her Savior, to heal her from her own sin problem.

We hear these wonderful snippets of testimonials often and all we can say is, the Lord works in people so individually. He knows how to lead people to Himself and He knows the outcome of decisions that are made and one day we will meet some of the very ones we have prayed for and rejoiced over. What a glorious God we serve!

This morning I read about the ten lepers who came to Jesus. They were told to go to the priests and show themselves. The Bible says that as they went they were cleansed. Only one of them, a Samaritan, when he saw that he was healed, turned back and with a loud voice glorified God. Jesus said, "Were not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole." (Luke 17:17-19).

I always have wondered about the nine other lepers who were "cleansed". We know one thing for sure, the Samaritan was "made whole"! One prayer of mine is that I will glorify God at all times, that the Lord will make me single-minded and "whole", as a believer in this world.

While I have been reading and going about my duties here, this has been Sturm and Ruger's post most of the morning - on squirrel watch. Ruger has gone out a few times, heading up to the field above but the crust is quite slick and he doesn't get far. It's funny to watch him slide back down to the hedgerow! I am afraid when we go up to Mom's we may lose him down over the hill, where he'll have to make his way along the edge of the woods to the road, I suppose. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Lord, Increase our Faith"

Reading from the gospel of Luke today I was impressed with the apostles' answer as Jesus taught them concerning forgiveness toward a brother. Jesus said, "If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; if he repent, forgive him, and if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying 'I repent', thou shalt forgive him." (Luke 17:3,4).  The apostles replied, "Lord, increase our faith". My faith has never been tried to this degree, as perhaps the apostles' had not. My response is the same though, "Lord increase my faith."

This living book can never be exhausted and what a blessing to be privileged to have the Holy Spirit teach us from it! Some of the teachings/examples that Jesus give seem like something we might never encounter. At one time in our lives we have, most likely, all had to rebuked someone for a sin committed against us, and yes the beautiful healing and binding up of wounds that result from these times are so special and unforgettable. These are the things that the Lord uses to bring us and others closer to Him and to one another as a church, whether local or universal. The forgiveness is real and tangible; the sin put behind us and life goes on; but I have never had to encounter it more than once in a day! say nothing of seven times! To this possibility, we could only say, Lord increase our faith.

The account that follows in Luke 17 concerning the servant and his lord is so matter-of-fact. The servant is not asked to take his ease after being out in the field, but is expected to serve his lord, and after the lord is served, then the servant can set down at meat. Nor is the servant thanked for doing that which was expected of him, but was only to realize that he had simply done what was his duty to do. That's my responsibility; not to question my Master but to serve him in all the menial tasks he leads me to; serve Him and realize that, even after I have done all that was expected of me, I have only done that which was my duty to do. Thankfully, those who are blood-bought people, have a relationship to the Lord much closer than the unprofitable servant was to his lord. We are God's children; His beloved. Every hair of our head is numbered, He desires close and sweet fellowship with us every moment, but this parable displays the attitude that we should have toward God and the Lord Jesus as our Master. Again, I can only say, "Lord, increase my faith". Please increase my faith to DO what your Word says that I am to do. Increase my faith to LOVE you with all my heart, soul and strength so that I can say with truth, "I am the clay and Thou the Potter." ...for we are all the work of God's hand.

A Short Letter of Thanks from Regina

Just wanted to post this letter that I got from Linda's blog:
Update on Tenlee, and letter of thanks.

You know, lots of times we hear people say, "I'll pray for you."  and you never really know if they did or not.  That was not the case with Tenlee.  We saw many miracles such as friends taking care of kiddos, bringing food, and sharing the burden when we needed to cry or laugh.   I knew you guys were praying and I thought I would share a few of the miracles that came about because you care.  

1.  The was amazing!  One of the doctors drew a diagram of the surgery on Tenlee's door.  Even after looking at it every time I went through the door, I still can't wrap my brain around all the work that went into forming those chambers and making them work together the way they were supposed to.  AND, Dr. Harrell did such a good job sewing her heart that it didn't leak at all.  I don't have any idea how many or how small those stitches are, but when the other doctor drew the diagram, it had over 50 stitches just in one little area.  

2.  A nurse named Gail...she went to work immediately after the "problem" occurred.  Kisa was able to visit with her and tell her that she probably saved Tenlee's life and that she would always be grateful.

3.  Tenlee's went from being damaged from the CPR to the point of needing to have surgery done again to working right!  Tenlee's kidneys, liver, and heart all started working without the aid of medicine.  Her lungs are getting better by the minute.  Don't you love seeing miracles?!

4.  The power of touch...Tenlee's blood pressure dropped lower than it should have been.  The nurses were about to give her platelets when John, Tenlee's dad, reached over and touched her head.  As he rubbed her head, her blood pressure rose right up to where it should be.  No platelets needed!

5.  And you...what an awesome miracle to behold, the number of people that stopped each day to lift Tenlee in prayer!  We will never know who you are and can never thank you enough.  I know that many of you forwarded our emails and text messages to others so please do that again.  We want you all to know that you will forever hold a special place in our hearts and in Tenlee's new heart!  We love you all,

Jack & Regina Tonn (Pawpaw & Nonna)
Kisa & John Luther (Mom & Dad)
McKenzie & Braydon (sister & brother)
and so many more! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Refreshed by Sweet Company

When you live in a very little house only so many people can fit at a time. We often move our fellowships to places with a larger area, like Mom's, where people don't have to feel so cramped. Last night we were so blessed to have our friends from over the hill come and have dinner with us. Having folks in often refreshes the "giver" more than the visitor, I think. We thank the Lord that they crowded in and all had an enjoyable time. Add to our small space two dogs (at least one is little) and it makes it that much more cozy!

Syd did a pulled pork and I made bacon hamburgers, so they had the option of a burger, pulled pork sandwich or tacos with all the fixin's.  I made salsa too - which is usually Syd's department, but I was home and got it started then he told me the measurements on "secret ingredients" that he uses and he said that it was better than his! he was just being nice. We finished off with rice crispy treats made without rice crispies. We used honey-nut cheerios and a little almond butter melted in with the butter. They have a lot of body and are mmm!

I love this picture of Ruger's new friend, Gary. They look great together, don't they?
 Ruger's normally very camera-shy, but I guess Gary set him at ease; it didn't hurt that Liz was holding a cookie up for him to focus on!
 A lull in the tug-of-war 
Looks like they finally gave out; for a while. Sturm was in on all the action, but he moves around so much it's hard to get a shot of him
 There was a lot of  guy talk going on over in this corner. When it was time for everybody to leave, we ladies stood with our coats on; Gary donned his boots and coat and we waited near the door, and waited, and waited while Sean and Syd carried on their conversation in the kitchen -nearer the cookies (o;
Here's a beautiful mother and daughter shot! Liz and Barb

After we all walked out to their car and waved them down the road, Syd and I thanked the Lord for a really nice time of  sharing with neighbors and very dear church family member.

A New Post from Linda's Blog- Tenlee

Here's the most recent update that I have. Praise the Lord!

A Good Day!

Hello Sweet ladies,

Is this the most precious pic?????? 

I heard from Regina. "Little Tenlee is off the the ECMO machine! Singing praises. She is still on the ventilator but that is the next step! Love you!" Regina

Praising the Lord for His goodness. What a precious gift they have received. A journey they will never forget. Thank you ladies for your kindness that you have shown to this precious family. You didn't even know them and you became such a huge part of their life! You are so so wonderful!

Please continue to ask the Lord to help that her lungs would get back to normal and she could also get off the ventilator!!!!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hot off the Blog - about Tenlee

I just got this off Linda's blog:
"The nurses are getting Tenlee ready to do a trial run coming off the the ecmo machine.......the heart machine. the heart machine. They will stop and start it over and over to strengthen her heart. They are looking at having her completely off within 24 hours she has been a wiggle worm. She's moving both arms and legs and her head. Dr. said sedate her some more so she will stop moving so much. I'll send a note after trial run starts.  She will remain on ventilator until lungs get stronger". from Grandma Regina

Tenlee and her precious Momma, Kisa.
This is an earlier picture right before the heart operation. 

This must be so hard on them all to watch their precious little one. So please continue to keep her tucked in you heart and before the King of Kings!He is hearing us and is faithful, even if it doesn't look like what we want it to look like! The family so appreciates that you are all standing in the gap on behalf of their family.

Colors and Patterns

As you can see, I've been experimenting with colors and patterns again.

This reminds me of BIG NEWS! We are finally going to finish the bedroom! I bought the drapes over the weekend. $6.00 for each window (we have four) plus 5.99 for each rod! I was so happy to get these. They're a brown taffeta with grommets for the rod to go through. They will hang from ceiling to floor. I sprung for the rods that were $2.00 more, each. They have a nice acorn on each end and they were the slightly larger size so that they won't be too skinny for those oversized grommets. I have taken "before" pictures and will be a while before I'm ready to do "after" shots. Syd has been taping and mudding. We knew that, once we moved all our stuff in, it would be a IS! but very exciting.

Have a good night, all.

The Heart of the Matter

Is faith being set aside? I ask the Lord this at times when I see myself failing to see how a certain situation will work out, or when I know in my own heart that the Lord has the ability to answer prayer above and beyond what I ask or think, yet allow my faith to be quenched by a fellow believer who may express "doubt that it will work out that way". The shoe has been on the other foot plenty of times and I am ashamed to say that I have been a faith-squasher a-plenty, but it is when your own faith is squashed that I suppose we notice it the most. What a sad state of affairs this brings to the individual believer as well as to the church, when we do not believe God enough to know that He has all power to deliver us from any situation or to work in another's heart to bring them into the ways of the Lord.

Lord, in these days of falling away and uncertainty, increase our faith and the faith of our loved ones, the faith of the church throughout this world. Having no children of our own, being an uncle and aunt have meant much to Syd and I. Our nieces and nephews are precious and yes, we "worry" about and pray for their inner man and futures continually. To some it may be hard to understand how another's children could mean that much, as their own keep them extremely occupied; though I know that some parents, even those with many children, stay very involved with the children of their siblings. One of the biggest prayers we have for our "extended children" is that their faith will be strong. When faith is strong we have no doubt that God is going to work out His best for us and others in any given situation. We believe things that seem impossible. This faith doesn't depend upon how others feel, or even upon how we feel, it is dependent upon the promises of God. Allowing the Lord to instill this faith within assures us of lives that will be of spiritual "good success".

As christians, we know that we are here for a purpose and it is for a very important work. It is the work of loving the Lord our God with ALL that we have and loving our neighbor as ourself. Another purpose that we are upon this earth for is to show true faith that God will do what He says He will! Ultimately it is for the purpose of bringing glory to our great Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God who teaches us from God's Word. We have our immediate family to think about, pray for, encourage, spend time with, do things for.  Then we have our extended family, namely our local church, and the universal church. These we seek opportunity to fellowship with, pray for, share words of encouragement and comfort, as the Lord leads. There is yet another group of people who God has commanded us to live and move amongst; these are our neighbors. When Jesus was asked, "who is my neighbor?", He responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37. The answer is obvious; our neighbor is anyone whom God lays upon our path. We are told to "love thy neighbor as thyself."

For the past many weeks the Lord has brought the matter of love to me over and over. It has been woven throughout Scripture that I have read in my personal Bible time; through messages that I have heard in church; through encouraging words of fellow believers. Often the Lord seems to "bring us up to a certain matter" so that we will not be a "forgetful hearer, but a DOER of the work." I remember our pastor in South Carolina telling us, "how long do you study a particular matter that God has laid upon your heart?...until you're DOING it". In this teaching in James 1, James uses the words, "continueth therein". A person who continues in something is someone who is doing it regularly.

God knows how to get to "the heart of the matter" and He knows how to guide the matter of the heart. I have always loved the phrase, "where the rubber meets the road". It has come to my attention that this is exactly the way my mind works. It took me over 40 years for the Lord to teach me this. When a particular situation arises my mind seldom seeks for or bothers with the "issues" that go along with it. These can usually be thrown out immediately, as they almost never have any bearing with the heart of the matter. "What really motivates, to create the situation?" that's the question that I ask myself. Since the Lord has made me this way, I know that He can temper this with seeking to empathize with others and to "weep with those that weep". For over a month I have been reading through the gospels. Jesus got right to the matter of the heart in His dealings with individuals and yet, more than anyone else, He can empathize with us in our trials and tribulations. This is the God whom we serve! This is the One who is teaching us how "to live is Christ" - to live as Christ. "Christ in you, the hope of glory."(Col. 1:27).

A very precious thought...He never misunderstands our heart. We will judge according to appearance, though we are told not to. We will misunderstand people's motives, having no idea what they truly are, but quickly judge them with misguided judgement. Oh Lord, please teach us to depend upon you to teach us how to deal with people. Our Lord never makes an inaccurate judgment and He will never forget the things that we have done in His name. What a wonderful God we serve!

Beautiful jewels clung to our trees for days after the ice storm. As the sun shone through they displayed the glory of the Lord in His ways in nature!

My prayer for you and for me is that we will take God at His word and that we will love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind. I pray that He will teach us how to love others as He loves them. "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." Let Him be our focus. Surely the more we focus on Him the more like Him we will be.