Today my parents are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary by having a vow renewal after church. Their actual anniversary was May 1st, and I was touched when my Dad said that he wanted to say his Wedding Vows again with Mom. God talks to us about marriage several times throughout the Bible, including Genesis 2:22-24:
22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[a] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
I’ve seen a lot of life in my 46 years, faced my share of both struggles and triumphs, but the one constant in my life has been my parents. Throughout the years, I’ve been the cause of some grief in their lives — of course, not as much as my sister 😉 — but some. Throughout it all, though, Mom and Dad were always there for us, and for themselves, and Robin and I are better as a result of it.
Prayer Requests and Praises.
- First up today is a comment from my sister Robin. Here is what she wrote: Mike, this came from Pastor Travis Moger. He does a blog called Salty Bread on Word Press. It is a great blog and always gives me food for thought. This post seemed appropriate. I am going to try to attach the link but here is the text from Pastor Moger. “The week after Easter I spent three days on retreat at the Holy Cross Abbey near Berryville, Virginia. It was my first retreat in many years, but not my last I hope, and my first time at a monastery apart from visiting as a tourist. My goals were modest: catch up on sleep and spend time praying, reading, and relaxing. I accomplished these goals and learned a few valuable lessons I’d like to share with you.
One thing I learned is that I eat too fast. At our communal meals, eaten in silence, I was usually the first one done, even though I took bigger portions than most. I need to eat less, chew more. The same goes for prayer. Monks pray slowly and deliberately as if chewing on every syllable. I need to slow down and take time when I pray.
Not only do I need to pray more slowly, I need to pray more frequently. Monks pray seven times a day, following the example of the Psalmist: “Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments” (Ps. 119:164). These aren’t short God-bless-us-all prayers but prayer services lasting from twenty-five minutes to over an hour. They even rise every night at 3:30 a.m. and shuffle on groggy feet to the chapel where they pray and read Scripture aloud, their voices still raspy with sleep. Some days I am so busy that I only pray three times – breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
I also learned that monks stay busy too. In addition to their set times of prayer and worship in the chapel throughout the day and night, they are required to perform manual labor. This requirement goes back to the sixth-century Rule of Saint Benedict, which prescribes daily periods of prayer, work, and rest to help maintain a healthy balance. The monks at Holy Cross Abbey run a bakery and sell their products in the monastery gift shop, and they also stay busy maintaining the grounds and running the monastery. It’s a good reminder that I need to balance work, rest, and prayer, allowing sufficient time for a healthy dose of each.
A final lesson comes in the form of a wonderful mixed metaphor from the previously mentioned Rule of St. Benedict: “Listen with the ear of your heart.” This is a good lesson for all of us. If we listen with the ear of our heart, we may be surprised by what we hear. “
- My friend Joyce has a prayer request for us. Here is what she wrote:Friends and family we need prayers for 4 year Makayla Lassiter. She needs our prayers as well as her family. Lord I ask you to lay your loving hands upon her and heal her. Lord I believe and will keep on believing that prayer helps. I have been anointed with oil and prayed for Makayla at church. I know it is Gods will not my will. Come on prayer warriors my family needs you right now.Please pray for Makayla’s healing, and for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon her and all of her family. Thank you everyone!
- Here is an update from my friend Joyce:This is from Makayla’s Mom: Well Makayla update is great prayers do work. Dropping meds and lowering ventilator and basically she had fluid messing with her heart rhythm so she gets fluid out she’s great.This is from me: Thank you all for helping me pray for good news. Family need lots of prayers. Someone broke into their home Saturday night and stole several things. Pray that they get the person or persons that are doing all the break ins in Woodland. Be safe family and friends who live there. I pray that Makayla will continue to improve. We know that none of us can make it without our Lord and Savior. Thank you.
- Update from my friend Amanda on her husband Daniel’s cancer:It’s been a while but things have been moving fast so we were waiting until we had a bigger picture to send out the update. This is going to be a long, technical one!
The CT results show the tumor is resectable but they would need to take 80% of his liver if they did the surgery today. That would not leave enough healthy liver behind if they took the margins they want to take. Fun fact – you can survive with 20% of your liver without significantly increased risk of liver failure! So, we started chemotherapy yesterday to shrink the tumor and prevent, hopefully, more from showing up. We will have 4 cycles of chemo with each cycle being 2 weeks long. The tumor was KRAS positive so we had to drop one of the chemo agents from the regimen. As for the regimen, Daniel gets 2 agents in the office and then brings the third home in a portable chemo pump that he wears for 48 hours then we go back to the office to have it removed. That way he is getting the agents continuously for 3 days.
In addition to the chemo, we will be having a bypass embolization of the portal veins – all 4 branches of the right and at least 1 of the left sometime in the next week or so. I’m oversimplifying this explanation. This will shut off the blood supply to the tumor and hopefully increase blood supply to the healthy liver. The hope is the tumor will stop growing at the very least and shrink as cells are killed off due to no blood at the best. In addition, we hope the increased blood supply to the healthy liver will grow as well. If everything works the way it is supposed to, between the shrinking of the tumor and the growing of the healthy liver, we will have more than enough liver left after they take the tumor plus a good margin.
We will reimage in 8 weeks to see if everything has worked the way we wanted. If it has, the liver resection will be scheduled. If it hasn’t, then we’ll figure out where to go next. So far, he’s had a little nausea that we are trying to regulate and we will probably end up going into the office for more fluid until we can get that fixed so he can eat and drink appropriately. Other than that, it is going well for now. They said a lot of the side effects kick in at the second cycle so we’ll see.
So, prayer requests for this round is that the tumor shrinks and healthy liver grow as we need them too, that Daniel do well with the chemotherapy so he can keep his nutrition and hydration up and that Daniel, Cate and I have the stamina, patience and perspective to get through this hard part of the road. Thanks so much for all the prayers, calls, cards, thoughts, emails, PMs, etc! Everyone’s love and support really helps keep us focused on the ultimate goal – to kick this in the butt!! We’ll be praying for each and everyone of you too!
- Please pray for my wife Cindy’s co-worker Glenn and Joyce. Joyce has been diagnosed with a tumor, and needs to have surgery next week. Please pray for healing for Joyce, as well as for God’s Peace, Strength, Comfort, and Love to descend upon them and all of their family. It is a scary time when you are sick, so please pray also for God to take their fears away, and to remind them of how great God is in case they need the reminder.
Thank you all very much for praying each week for all of our prayer requests and praises. It means a great deal to me. Now, let’s close by praying the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our Daily Bread,
And forgive us our Trespasses,
as we forgive those who Trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.