Friday, June 20, 2008

What God took, and what God gave.

Yesterday was the bone marrow harvest surgery. If you read my previous post, then you know that this circumstance was God's will for me. To make things clear, I was not on a mission to help anyone, but God surely was, and he chose me and called me to do his work. If you have ever thought you heard the voice of God, then surely you know that there is NOTHING else you can do. It was because of a certainty in this being God's will that I was without shaky nerves or concern. I was at peace through the whole thing, and it went really really good. My doctor was the man who did the very first marrow harvest 28 years ago in Seattle. The nursing staff and residents were awesome, and the doc said it was one of the best of its kind in a while. They got a ton of marrow and my recovery has been on target with what was expected.

I did find out that the recipient is a nine year old boy. Don't know where he lives, or what his exact illness is, but I do know that he would have recieved the marrow this morning. My hope and prayer is that this will be part of something that will save his life but also part of a new thing God would do in his life that he may trust Jesus.

A very cool thing is something new that God is teaching me. I posted a while back about God's faithfullness to my family, specifically in keeping us financially afloat. In hindsight, what God did was take something away from me to give me something greater. God emptied my wallet, showed me that I need him, and blessed my socks off in return, not just monetarily, but this began a new work in my heart. In a similar fashion, God took my marrow away, and gave me something back, something greater. I have come to realize that what God has given me is a new heart. I have heard people say things before about what God was doing in their heart, but I think a big part of me had a boulder in front of it. In Ezekiel 11:19, it says: "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." I believe that this is the exact work God has been doing in my life. He has given me a one-track heart. I am the typical man who does not cry, does not feel, does not express. But as God is removing my boulder heart, new things are happening with my new heart. I am beginning to see the background story. The background story is what is happening behind the circumstances of life. Yesterday my circumstances are that I was in surgery to have something removed. If my sight was limited, I would be ignorant to the work God was desiring to do in my heart. I have learned that it is important to see BEYOND circumstances.

Remember the story of the Israelites after God freed them from slavery in Egypt? They were soon to be in the promised land, but instead the wandered in the desert for fourty years. They did all kinds of stupid things, but the reason God withheld the promised land is because he wanted his people to learn certain things. In Deuteronomy 8, it says that God gave his people hunger. Think about that, he made them hungry. Why? He wanted to test what was in their hearts, and he wanted to do a work in their lives. So after he made them hungry, he gave them manna from heaven. Likewise, after God took money from me, after God took flesh from me, he gave me something that I needed, and WITH it, came a new understanding, it was what God was up to in the background. The message beyond this new heart is this: I matter to Jesus. Now that may not be a big statement to some people, but based on my story, it is the redemptive call of Christ. To know God and to learn from him is incredible, I wish for others to know God as I am beginning to do.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I got the call

I registered for the bone marrow donation program that one time when my friend Karl invited me to go. This was probably two years ago, and Karl later died from the cancer, rejecting the marrow he got.

Three weeks ago I got a phone call and email saying that I am a potential match for someone! So we had to setup a time to get my blood drawn, which we did, and I was told that if I was a match, I would be contacted, this was about a week ago. I was praying this morning that God would have his will be done with it. Guess what happened just over an hour later?

You guessed it, they called to say that after testing my blood, I am the match they wanted! I am sold on doing this, I do feel specifically that God has chosen me for it. The surgery should not be a big deal, it should be a two day recovery with mild tenderness afterward. Be praying for June 19, which is the day it is scheduled.

To make matters even wilder, I discovered that my friend Karl died on memorial day weekend last year. So this calling happened on the one year anniversary of his death. I think it is cool how things come full circle, and how God moves in our lives.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The GREATEST thing I have learned in my ENTIRE LIFE.

The GREATEST thing I have ever learned both in seeking God and in normal everyday life comes in three short words: I need God.

Now don't let such a simple statement go without some consideration, after all, it truely is the greatest thing I have ever learned (seriously). I like to pat myself on the back for accomplishing certain things, getting to a certain level at my job, at doing my best to be a good person, my best to be a good Husband, my best to be a good Father, my best to be a good follower of God. However... .. I am still a screw up, and I have no actual control over my life. Surely I can type this statement, I CAN control that, but there is more that is OUTSIDE of my control. Whether it be sickness, job loss, a cheating spouce, or whatever. The point is that I have found that I am unable to do life on my own, on my own power, with only my own resources. Now being a man, this statement is seemingly weak, but in it, I have found strength. I need God for forgiveness, I need God for a good future, and I need God for a meaningful present. God sending Jesus Christ is the answer to all my dilemmas. Could it be that God waits for you and I to simply acknowledge that we need to experience life WITH him? I don't need God to make my life comfortable, but I sure need him for everything else. It seems to me that such an acknowledgment of need is the foundation of life in faith. My future, in all aspects, is in the hands of God, and I need him to make it. Just thought I would share. Can you do life on your own? Do you need him?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

God's faithfulness to my family, part 3

God makes a lot of promises in his word, and I think I may still be on the beginning of that journey of understanding him, learning to trust him, and so on. One way that God has CLEARLY showed his goodness is taking care of our roof and stomach needs. Like I stated before, finances was the biggest area we needed God, and it was also the target of our prayers to God. So naturally, God has taught us a good deal about himself though this avenue.

The story ended last time where I received a raise at work as my wife's unemployment ran dry. Things were well and we were highly anticipating the birth of our daughter. Now, we were still a bit worried about paying for the whole thing, and then we found out that Reece was in a breech position (she was upside down). A doctor will not deliver a breech baby unless the Mom has birthed other children naturally without complication. That was not the case with us. Reece never moved from that position, and the doctor informed us that if she never moved, a cessarian birth would be necessary (a very expensive surgery that is NOT covered by our health insurance if it is pre-scheduled). So now we are looking at a pre-scheduled surgery that both very expensive and not covered unless it was spur of the moment emergency. We had no choice but to just hand the situation over to God and ask for him to make a way for us. Our concern shifted from fear to trust, and we could focus on what mattered, the health of our baby! To make a long story short, the insurance deemed the procedure medically necessary and covered it! The amount we were able to save up while we both worked was the same amount that we had to pay out of pocket for these medical bills. I am having a really hard time at this point thinking that this is all coincidence. Obviously the baby was born and healthy as can be, and we are extremely blessed to be the parents of such a cool little kid. Keep reading, it still gets better.

Things worked out well for a while. But guess what? Once again we found ourselves short on the supply of cash. Let me say this to be clear: we were NOT overspending on clothes or entertainment or food or the like, we were paying bills that are a part of necessary every day life, such as utilities, mortgage, car, phone, food, new baby needs, etc. Sure, we may have rented a movie or two, but fun money was low dollar, and infrequent. Anyways, here came ANOTHER time that we had to trust God, so we did. Any guesses what happened next? Yup, another income source plopped into our laps. Our friends have a neighbor who needed childcare a few days per month. Lets just say that the amount we needed to cover everything JUST happened to be what she would get paid to watch this other little girl. Thing continued this way for quite some time until the Dad lost his job. Marlena was unpaid for about six weeks, which creates a significant shortage in monthly income. Again we trust God to come through for us. Just as the fridge was looking barren and we were eating cereal for breakfast again, we were gifted by Marlena's parents with a check. They had give some money to their other child for something and felt that they should also give a similar amount to us (I personally disagreed with this thinking, but they were insistant on giving it, so I would not turn down a meaningful gift). That money filled the gas tank, filled the fridge, and brought us through to the following month where I got five paychecks and everything fit. Now she is watching this girl again, and as of today, all is very well.

Here is the point: for something like this to happen OVER and OVER and OVER is NOT coincidence. This IS the work of God, and I write this as a reminder to myself that I can trust him in this part of my life, but if I can trust him here, I can trust him with ANYTHING. But the other reason I write this is so that those of you who know us can also be confident in how God works. I say this to myself as I say it to you: Realize your need of God, confess that you can't do it on your own, ask him to be your good Father who takes care of his children, don't be unwise, follow his commandments, then believe he will come through for you. HE WILL. I don't know what part four will be, but I know the end of the story, I have a feeling it will involve the word "again" a few times :)

Friday, June 01, 2007

I have been distant

kinda. Well, if we are friends, then we should have communicated in alternate fashions by now. but if you want to see some stupid internet video debates, you are welcome to view em:

I can't promise anything about them being enjoyable though.

Sunday, February 11, 2007