Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hail King Jesus- Still the only Hope of the World!!

It's hard to believe that another year has gone by. As I reflect on this past year and where I was a year ago and where me and my family are now, I can clearly see the Hand of God in the lives of the ones I love and in my life also.

We wait and wait for an answer to our prayers, yet sometimes they seem to never come. But although our hope wains in and out, it is still there, because we know in the depths of our soul that it is only Jesus that can make our dreams come true. He is our only hope. But,why do we doubt Him? Why do we question anything He promises us in His Word? He tells us clearly in scripture that the reason we do not receive is because we do not ask. Matthew 21:22 is quite clear, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." John 14:14 also tell us "If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it."

Probably because we feel so unworthy of His favor and love. But it shouldn't be that way, because we belong to Him and we are His children, highly favored and worthy of His love. Once we repent of our sins and turn our lives over to Him, we are children on the most High King and worthy of everything He opens His arms up to bless us with. Ask and you will receive. The Bible is so clear about that.

I believe that every little bit of hope that exists in the world today is there because of God's amazing love. We get our strength from Him and Him alone. When our country was stuck on 9/11 and we lost 3,000 of our fellow citizens, where did we turn? It certainly wasn't to Mohammad or Buddha, it was to the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Creator of the Universe.


The only true God who sacrificed His only Son to die for us, in our place,so we could live forever with Him. Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of God, slain to take away the wretched sin of the world. Sin so repulsive that God can not bare to look upon it. So Jesus was sent into the world, to stand in the gap between man and God. He bore our sins on that Cross when He was crucified, He was the lamb of God, slain for the sins of mankind.

2,000+ years later, the story is still told about the only sinless man to ever walk the earth. Fully man, yet fully God, He remained with us only a short 33 years before He was brutally crucified by the Roman Empire for doing exactly NOTHING. He committed no sin against anyone, yet He took our sins on His back. He was humiliated, spit upon, laughed at and yet He said not a word. He clearly was the lamb of God, slain for all of us.


And therein lies our only true hope in this life. People in your life will come and go. Little by little, you will lose the ones you love most in the world. I've begun to see this as I get older and have now lost my own parents and some older dear friends. It's amazing how our rose colored glasses get clearer and clearer the longer we reside on this earth. Things that were so important to us in our youth have fallen away. We view life differently, at least I do. I treasure everyone in my life more than ever. I learned 15 years ago when with one trip to the doctor, that your life can change in an instant. Everything you thought was so important really doesn't amount to much of anything at all. The one thing that truly does matter is your relationship with God. You either belong to Him, or you are still walking through this life in darkness. Turn your life over to Him today, you'll never be sorry.

This life we live here on this earth in temporary. We are only passing through. Our real hope is our eternal home with Jesus! Jesus is truly still our only hope! Hail King Jesus - His birth was prophesied many many years ago by the prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah 7:14 we read: 

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."


Come oh Come Emmanuel! We eagerly await your birth!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! May God be with you during this holiday season and in the coming year.

My verses for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Lord Jesus,

We eagerly await your divine birth! Our only hope exists in you and your life, death and Resurrection! We joyfully say, Come oh Come Emmanuel!

In Jesus name,
Amen and Amen



Monday, November 18, 2013

Giving thanks in everything~

These last few weeks I've had a tremendous amount to be thankful for. My fourth CCSVI angioplasty, at Rush University in Chicago, on 11/1 was an unqualified success. It was a hurried trip and exhausting trip, but the relief from having my 50% and 65%  jugular veins opened back up was almost immediate. The burning ear tips and crushing head pain that had been plaguing me the past 8 months was no where to be found. A CCSVI miracle? Yes, for me, venous angioplasty has truly been a God-send- and God-Thing as I like to call them. Nothing has helped some of my most debilitating multiple sclerosis symptoms like this very simple venoplasty procedure has. Thank you Jesus for CCSVI and Dr. Paulo Zamboni's discovery of it! Thank you that I am feeling better than I have in months! Thank you for renewed health and energy! I know this healing has come by Your Hand and I am forever thankful!!

But there are other things in my life that seem to be falling into place after many tearful and sleepless nights. Sometimes, you pray and pray for something, and you think the Lord isn't listening. But He is, and He will answer, when He's good and ready, AND in the way He wants to!

I was talking with a dear friend of mine this morning, discussing how you never know how the Lord is going to move. Often, it's exactly the opposite of what you may have planned, and it's always better than anything you could have imagined, because it's part of His perfect plan for that person's life. Not one of us knows the perfect plan that the Lord has laid out for each of us, but there is one and He will complete His work in that person's life, regardless of anything we might do to try and do to have our own way with that loved one.

Our job is to support them, love them, encourage them, try to teach them right from wrong and instill a love of the Lord in their lives. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. To me that verse says, BACK OFF, I know what I'm doing. I have a plan! They are just on loan to you, they belong to ME!

It's strange how we try and try so hard to keep a hold on what's going on with members of our own family, and when things get out of our control, we feel distressed and worry, like we are in charge of any of it anyway?  One thing I've learned over the past 15 years of living with MS is this - We are in charge of NOTHING. The Almighty is still on His Throne, and He is in charge of it all. Big sigh of relief don't you think?

So, why do we go kicking and screaming not wanting to let go of what we feel is our control over a situation? I guess it's our human condition, our sinful nature, that wants to try and act like we know what we are doing at all times. Forgive us Father, for we have sinned. We know that you are the one in charge of everything in this world and you know every detail, every thought, every action before we even do think or do them. You know every hair on our head, you know every single thing about each and every one of us. What Power and Majesty our King has!

Of course, there are other things I'm still praying about, situations that are unresolved that I am asking the Lord to give me the strength to endure the waiting until His perfect answer comes. And it will come, In His perfect Timing! We must trust and believe that He has our back, because He always does!



As Thanksgiving time approaches quickly, I pray that we will always remember to give thanks in all circumstances, good and bad. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us "Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Pray without ceasing and always give thanks for everything you have because it all comes from the Hand of God Almighty.

We are nothing without Him.

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Heavenly Father,

I do give you thanks for the miraculous things that are happening in my life right now. I know that they come by Your Hand and have nothing to do with me! Thank you for my renewed health, thank you for my family, thank you for our home. Thank you Lord for answered prayers. Thank you Lord that you will give me the strength I need to wait on the unanswered prayers. Let me totally turn it over to you, knowing that Your Will will be done in the lives of those I love.



















I pray,
Amen and Amen

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trusting & believing for great things in Jesus Name~

As I opened my blog today to write a post for the first time in about 6 weeks, my verse on the opening page screamed at me from Matthew 21:21 "Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done." Another few verses came to mind immediately from Mark 11:24-25 " Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” and 1 Peter 1:7: These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

Yes Lord, I have faith, Yes Lord, I have faith, Yes Lord, I have faith. I keep saying that to myself over and over again as the days lead up to my next healing approach quickly.

I try to believe those words with everything in me. Do you believe those words with all your heart and soul? Having faith like that is what we all aspire to have as Christians, but is it really attainable? Do I believe enough to actually move a mountain? That one I'm not so sure about, and I consider myself a true believer in what the Lord can do. I have seen it in my own life and in the lives of others. So, why does just that little bit of doubt slip into our minds? Because we're human and we don't believe that we can actually move a mountain just because the Bible says we can. Come on Lord, really, I can't move a mountain, can I? That tiny little sliver of doubt can be what keeps us from achieving great things for the Kingdom of God. If He says it, He means it. It's the truth and unfortunately, it's our little pinch of unbelief that keeps us from achieving unbelievably great things for Him.

Many verses in the Bible talk about our faith and lack of it. If we only believe, we can do do great things. If we only Believe, we can indeed move mountains and if we only believe, what we asked for in prayer will be ours. The next verse about our faith becoming genuine is also one of my favorite ones in the Bible. I do want my faith to prove to be a witness to Jesus and His Glory. Isn't that what we all want? But do I actually think I'm worthy of that? We often can have so little faith in ourselves, when the Lord has all the faith in the world. It's us and our lack of faith, not His. .


As I approach my 4th CCSVI procedure on Friday in Chicago, I do so knowing full well that the Lord will use this procedure and the capable hands of Dr. Arslan to heal my body and brain. This particular surgery has been a long time coming because the initial testing did not prove that I had blockages in my jugular veins, yet I still had quite a bit of intense pain. After talking with my doctor in Chicago, Dr.Arslan, I felt the Lord leading me to pursue a different treatment which hadn't been done in this area before which I suspected would reveal the extent of my problems.  Not surprisingly, God opened the doors for all the right people to enter my life and make this available for me. That is no surprise at all for me because I have seen Him do that in my life several times before. As I've said before, I believe there are no co-incidences, only God-incidences. With the help of Dr. Mark Haacke at Wayne State University and one interested and very empathetic MRI tech & wonderful Christian brother Paul Saunders of Park Place Imaging in Tampa, FL. I was able to have the extensive Haacke Protocol MRV and Blood flow analysis which revealed where my true problem was.


                                                       Me and Dr. Arslan at the ISNVD in Feb. 2012

                                          Dr. Haacke (second from left and some of my other hero's)
                                          Dr's Simka, Robert Zivadinov, Mike Dake and of course, Dr. Paulo Zamboni
                                                 

                                         Paul Saunders, my MRI tech, Me, Pastor Brent and another helper!

It took 6 months to get all this done, and it took patience and persistence on everyone's part. But I knew that Jesus wouldn't let me down, and He certainly didn't. The wheels were in motion and everything came through just as I knew it would. When you turn it over to Him and seek His guidance, He will prove himself every time without fail, but you must trust and you must believe with all your heart and you must wait on His perfect timing. He is always on time, He is never late. It's always us that wants it right NOW!

I do want this successful procedure to bring Him Glory and that is what I am claiming in His Mighty Name! I am thanking everyone involved in this process for me, from start to finish. Onward we go to Chicago! Thank you Lord Jesus for this opportunity to prove Your love and faithfulness to many <3 font="">

My verses for today are above in red

My prayer for today:

Heavenly Father,

I come to you today, thanking you for opening the doors of heaven for me to make a way to bring an end to this pain I am in. Thank you for the cooperation of so many in helping me. I pray that you will guide Dr. Arslan and his team during my surgery. Be right in that room with us Father, from start to finish. I want to give you all the Praise and Glory for any and all healing that I receive from this procedure, in Your Mighty name I pray,



















Amen and Amen

Monday, September 23, 2013

Listening for God's Still Small Voice~

When you have a disease like MS, you necessarily live your life in day tight compartments. Each day you wake up you really don't know what to expect. It can be a good day with little pain or it can be a bad day and literally it's hard to even get up.

Living within those parameters, it becomes hard to make definite plans for just about anything. The simplest plans can seem monumental to say the least and unfortunately, many plans get foiled at the last minute. Many of my friends and family can attest to this syndrome "Sorry, it's just not a good day today." The days of "Sure, I'm down for that adventure today" are pretty much over the longer you have this disease. In the early days, it' not as hard, but as the disease advances, the reality of living with MS begins to set in. Everyone with MS knows exactly what I'm talking about.  And regardless of capabilities to carry them out, we all like to make plans for our life.

But here's the thing: What about what God wants you to do? What about His plans? Does He have a say in your plans? Don't forget, He is the master planner and has been planning your life since the foundation of time. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Next time you start to make new plans about how you are going to spend your time, stop and think about what He might like. He will surely bless you if you turn away from the world, and turn to Him instead. 1 John 3:21-23 tells us "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us."

I've been very busy these past 6 months ministering to other women with MS and chronic illnesses via a private group I set up on Facebook. I post a devotional each day, pray for certain needs, post songs, inspirational messages and generally keep watch on the needs of the group. I feel the Lord has called me to do this, and am happy to be able to serve Him in this small manner each day. This is the small way that I have responded to the Lord's call. We all have gifts and we can all use them if we want to.
1 Peter 4:10 tells us "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."

Do you listen to His still small voice? What small thing can you do to help grow God's Kingdom here on earth? There are a thousand different unique ways we can all help Jesus during our time here. Spend some alone time with Him and listen for His still small voice. It will be there, but you have to spend time with Him.



This morning, one of the ladies in our prayer group, posted that she is going out of her comfort zone and will be attending a big time Ministry Event nearby her this coming weekend. She knows exactly what she is facing, but she is forging forward, in Jesus name. Undoubtedly she is nervous as can be, but she has made a decision and she's moving forward. She is doing this because she feels God is telling her to help reach out to her teenage niece that is headed down the wrong path. Thankfully she has a dear friend that is willing to help her (undoubtedly her angel.)

I just want to say, Bravo to her! You can do it! You go girl ~~ I know God will order the day for all of you and clear any obstacles that you may face. When you do something like this that you feel the Lord is calling you to do, I believe heaven is smiling down and the Lord himself will pave the way for you.

Having MS and dealing with the fall out for the past 15 years, I realize what a big deal this is for her to do this. I know her niece will most likely not realize the sacrifice she is making, or it may take her years to look back and acknowledge what her sweet Aunt did for her. But she is doing it, not for herself, to help someone else who is suffering and needs the Lord.

Do you feel God's pull to reach out of your comfort zone for Him? Do you need to take the first step and trust the God will provide a way for you to accomplish that thing that He put on your heart? Every little thing works together to grow God's Kingdom. We are His hands and feet on this earth. If not you, then who? If not now, then when?


My verse for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Lord Jesus,

Help us not to turn our back when you call us.Help us to step out of our comfort zones, and do what we need to do to serve You and Your Kingdom. We don't know what it may be, but Lord I pray that you will reveal it to each of us. Help us to be your Hands and Feet here on earth while we are here.
Thank you for your servants that are willing to do your work on this earth.

In Jesus Name,
Amen and Amen

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Jesus wants a relationship, not our religion~~

This morning as I logged onto Facebook to begin posting my daily devotional to my "Masters Servants" ladies prayer group, I noticed that one of my dear Facebook friends, Sandra, had posted a picture on the page about her relationship with God being about her relationship with Jesus, not a religion. I've posted many similar things myself over the years on Facebook, Twitter and Google. Bravo, I thought to myself and liked the comment myself with an Amen. Thanks for the reminder, dear Sandra.

As I sat thinking about that, I realized how many of my secular, non-Christian friends just don't get it. Religion is something man made, a relationship with Jesus, is of God. When you begin to add rules about how and what will get you into Heaven, you've crossed the line into religion. 

You have to go to church so many days a week, you have to attend certain classes, you have to work you way into Heaven by performing different works on earth. You can't eat certain food on certain days, or drink caffeine or dance? So many rules, pick the religion and they can most likely name their rules to you. If having to follow all the rules were the case, would God's Grace be totally sufficient for any of us? What is the point of His Mercy and Grace if we have to work our way into Heaven by following a set of rules laid out before us.

Not that all of the rules are bad. It's wonderful to attend biblical classes and to grow in the Lord's word, but neither God nor Jesus require you to do that to be accepted into Heaven. You must do one thing  Romans 10:9 tells us "If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Once we are saved, we are saved, and there is nothing WE can do to improve upon that. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us " For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."



God's amazing Grace saved us, there is nothing we can ever do to improve upon that. Notice how the verse in Ephesians says that our Salvation is a gift from God, not by our works, so that that we can never boast about it. God doesn't want any of us boasting about how we made it a little bit better by what we did. It has nothing to do with us, it has everything to do with Him.



That is why religion always falls short of God's Glory. Religion is all about legalistic rules. Our Lord God has ONE Rule, and that is you must confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead. He makes it incredibly easy for all of us, doesn't He? 

When I think about all the different people all over the world who have accepted Jesus Christ from a sermon on TV, or a missionary that had a revival in their country or met them in a field in their country. Our loving God made it so easy for us to be accepted by Him into His glorious Kingdom. Stop and really think about that. Many people will never attend a church service in their lives, yet they are still children of the Living God the minute they accept Jesus as their Savior. That is all God, and that is All God's Grace.

So now, I ask you~~ Are you following the rules of man or the rules of God? Who are you bowing to? Are you listening to the "rules" of your religion, or abiding by God's only rule? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Take a hard look at your "religion" and see if anywhere in the Bible it says anything about having to complete anything before you can gain entrance into Eternity. I sure couldn't find it. If you can, please point it out to me, I'd love to look that up and I will stand corrected.

As I said before, it's very meaningful and often traditional to be baptized, confirmed in your faith, and attend classes, Sunday school and church sermons to better understand the Lord's word, but no where that I've found in the Bible does it say that is a necessity for a Holy and Righteous God to accept you. There is but one thing you need to do "Confess your sins, Believe that Jesus is Lord and God raised Him from the dead." Period. End of discussion.

That is how the lowliest sinner can be accepted on the Cross next to His Savior by confessing with his mouth that Jesus is Lord. Many souls have been saved in the last minutes of their lives by confessing their sins and turning to God. That's what His Mercy and Grace are all about. It's never about works, it's always about God's Mercy and Grace. Praise His Holy Name~




My verses for today are above in red.

My Prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father:

Thank you Lord for making it so incredibly easy for all of us to spend Eternity with You. Thank you for accepting us into your Kingdom with no rules just our confession and our belief that Jesus died for us and is sitting at Your Right Hand. You are amazing and we are so Thankful for everything you continue to do for us each day we live on this earth. Thank you Father for Your Grace and Mercy. We are so unworthy.

In Jesus Name,
Amen


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Hope You Dance ♫♫

Sometimes, something will come up in your life that triggers a sweet memory. I think we all have those moments, don't we?

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a song on Facebook that brought memories flooding back of a dear friend that we lost about 7 years ago, Eunice Carter. 

Eunice was one of those people that I think God puts into our lives for a particular season. We became close with her shortly after I was diagnosed with MS, and after her beloved husband of 60 years (Ray) passed on and we only had her a few short years, but those years with her were wonderful. It was neat to have a doctor to be able to talk about MS things, and a strong Christian doctor to boot. We prayed together about alot of things and she was a source of strength and comfort for me in many ways. She was also very close with my husband Steve and was a big comfort to him during a very trying time in his life.

Eunice was quite a character. Raised on a farm in Ohio, she put herself through medical school (which was quite something back in those days) and had her medical practice in her home until she retired. She was one of the few doctors that wrote the actual questions on the AMA entry board exams! WOW, now that's a doctor! Compassionate, and caring with a quirky sense of humor. That was our Eunice. She loved to come over here for dinner on Sundays and taught my husband how to make a martini just the way she liked them with dirty ice! Yes, she did take a drink every now and then, mainly martini's and said proudly, she would have never lived as long as she did without it. She never abused it and I actually never saw her take more than one martini at a time, but boy did she enjoy those martini's! One of the pleasures of life she would say. 

She went with me to some MS seminars because she was always interested in keeping up with the latest medical information. She was quite a wiz on her computer, especially for her age, and there wasn't much that scared her. She got two doggies after her Ray died, Bella and Tiger and you would see her walking those dogs on long walks. I can still see her zooming around town with those two dogs in here Prius, one of the first Hybrids on the market. She always wanted the latest and greatest! They were a big part of her life in those later years. Her doggies, and her church family are what mattered most to Eunice. Her kids, two sons, both lived out of town and she didn't seem them often, so her church family was the one that she clung to.

      A gathering of the old "Vamo Church" gang at our house, Christmas 2005, Eunice is in the front in red.

Anyway, back to my story. Eunice had given me a copy of the book and CD I hope you dance by Lee Ann Womack. I remember receiving it shortly after I had a flareup and was feeling down. Eunice always had a way of cheering me up. That book and song were so light and wonderful and uplifting I did feel like dancing again, and in those days I even could. The gift was a welcome relief from the drama of another round of steroids~

Hearing those words of that song this morning were even more meaningful because at this stage in my life, my legs really aren't working much at all, and dancing definitely isn't on my plates these days. I got a little teary eyes thinking about Eunice giving me that. BUT, and this is a big BUT, the Promise of Dancing Again is always there for me because I know that when I get to heaven, I WILL be dancing again. I am so looking forward to that day!!!

Hope is what we all hang on to. Hope to see loved ones again in heaven, hope to be able to dance again, hope for a pain free day, hope for a restored relationship with a loved one we've grown apart from, hope to be healed from a sickness. That book and CD "I hope you dance" lifted me up when I was down. and gave me hope. Hope is something we all desperately need. The Bible has many verses about hope, because the Bible is literally a book of hope. One of my very favorite verses is from Romans 15:13" May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."


What is your biggest hope? What brightens your day? What makes you dance? My biggest source of hope is my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Knowing Him on a personal level has given me hope for the here and now and hope for the future: my future on this earth, and my future in eternity with the Lord. And what a glorious hope to look forward to! Thank you Lord!

My verse today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father:

Thank you for giving us the feeling of hope. It is such a wonderful gift that we hang onto many days. Thank you for something to look forward to: the anticipation of a new event, a restored relationship, a pain free day. 
Thank you for my friend Eunice and what she meant to our family. I am looking forward to seeing Eunice again in Heaven one day. That is another hope I have and I am thankful. Please Lord, give your hope to those who need it most.

In Your Mighty name I pray,
Amen

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Melancholy Past or Glorious Future? You choose!

When you live with chronic, debilitating and degenerative disease like MS, there are often times when you find yourself looking back on your former life before you got sick, or as one of my MS friends calls it, "your able bodied life."

It's very easy to have something trigger a memory of times gone by, times that were easier for you, times when your body seemed to work normally like it was before you got sick. I guess that is also the plight of getting older, but at a much slower pace. Your body ages, you slow down and can't keep the pace that you used to when you were younger. But you expect that, it's part of the aging process.

Well, when you have MS, take that slower pace up to warp speed and try being cut off at the knees when you are in the prime of your life. Just when everything seems to rolling along nicely for you. Everything's great and then....you can go from feeling just fine one day to not being able to walk, or talk, or be numb over every inch of your body the next morning. Right in the middle of a career, raising a family and enjoying life to the fullest. WHOA~ What the heck is going on here now?? Stop the merry go round, I want to get off while I still feel good.

That's the reality of living with this nasty disease. It attacks silently and it is ruthless with it's victims, that's for sure. Getting back to being melancholy, I think we all have those kind of moments, don't we? Sick or not? Looking back on your life and grieving what could have been? But, for people with MS, sometimes it's the simplest things we grieve, like being able to take a walk around the block, climbing a flight of stairs or going for a bike ride or run. Things that the average person takes for granted each day, and doesn't pay any mind to on a normal basis. Those simple tasks are longed for by someone afflicted with MS. Some of us can still do some of them, but it's never as easy as it looks. Everything is a BIG deal when you have MS, trust me when I say this, I know.

                                 Some folks affected by MS, can still walk with these type of walking aids.

I have a lady in my Facebook prayer group that posted how much she missed being able to run. That she has gone by the track where she used to run and was grieving those times. I surely can relate to that. I wasn't a runner, but I used to love to go for long fast paced walks with friends around the neighborhood, catching up on everyone's life, what's going on with the kids, school, etc.

One of the things that happens when you get sick is you lose many of your former friends. It's sad, but it's just a reality. Many people can't deal with people around someone who is sick all the time. It's hard for them to understand when you have to cancel because you just can't handle it: you're too tired, your legs don't work, you're in tremendous pain. Being ill with a chronic disease can get very lonely at times.

You may see your old friends every now and then, but in reality, they don't and can't understand what your new life is, and it's easier for them to deal with what they are used to. As the saying goes, "You don't really get MS until you "GET" MS. Sad but so very true. I don't begrudge any of my friends or even family members. They are caught up in living life, and can't understand someone who isn't doing things at the same pace they do. That used to be me, by the way, and it was probably you too, if you have MS and are reading this.

That's why the internet is so wonderful for those of us who are home bound by necessity. You can reach out to anyone on the other side of the world who may be going through exactly what you're going through. The invention of Facebook and other social media sites are straight from God as far as I'm concerned. I have met a whole new group of ladies and men from around the world who are going through the same exact thing as me. They "get it."  We talk, we email, we facebook, we skype, we have made a new life for ourselves out of the ashes of our old life. That's a God-Thing is what I think.

Memories come and go, and it's easy to find yourself caught up in the "pity party" of why did this happen to me Lord?---- if you aren't careful. It's a slippery slope. Everybody has challenges in life. Every single one of us. Feeling Melancholy at times is normal for any of us I think, but dwelling in the past isn't good. It prevents you from living your best right now and your best in the future. If you try to hold onto the past with memories, clinging to the way things used to be, you can easily prevent yourself from grabbing onto the great things God has in store for you right now and in the years to come. What's the old saying " You have to let go of something old before you can grab onto something new?

                            Not always easy to do, but very important when you live with chronic illness.

That's kind of the way it is with MS. If you cling onto the old memories of what your life used to look like, you an so easily get caught up in living in the past, and totally miss the new and exciting future that God has planned for you. MS changes who you are, there's no doubt in my mind about that. It certainly changed me. It made me closer to the Lord. It took me a long time to accept that I had MS and it wasn't going away. I had to kind of re-define myself and looked to my Creator for His help in doing that. All the things that I thought were so important before I got sick I realized pretty quickly that they didn't amount to much. But the Lord has been able to use me in my new life and for that I am very grateful.

I've always thought that one of the reason I got MS was that I could be a much more effective witness for Jesus sick than I ever was healthy. I guess I'll have to ask him about that when I meet Him at the pearly gates. Until then, I'm thankful for the life I have. I'm thankful for my supportive husband, who is my best friend, my confidant, my lover and my caregiver all rolled into one. The Lord has surely used him in all this too. Thank you Jesus for this life you have given me. Help me to use it to Your Glory each day. To suffer for you is an honor and privilege. Thank you for Your amazing Mercy and Grace which greet me anew each day to help and guide me. Help me to live up to Your Word when you say:  "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps: 1 Peter 2:21. Give me the strength to follow in your footsteps each and every day.

                                                          Your Grace and Mercy are new every morning ~

My verse for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:
Dear Heavenly Father:

I don't know why I got sick, but you do. Help me to accept the life I have right now and use it to Your Glory always. Help me to reach out to others who are suffering and show them the way home to you.


















I pray,
Amen

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Waiting Game~

Well, here I am again. I'm in the waiting mode, AGAIN. Having a disease like MS teaches you a lot about waiting and patience, that's for sure. So, what am I waiting on this time? Well, I'm waiting on a new comprehensive MRV test of my neck and jugular veins to determine any new venous stenosis that may have built up in my body. WHAT you say, speak English. Ok, I'll try.Here goes~~

Back in August of 2011, I had a new procedure to help symptoms of my MS-- (for I also found out at that time, that I had Chronic CerebroSpinal Venous Insufficiency, along with my MS)



When I had a venous angioplasty to open up my clogged jugular veins (they were clogged up 80% on both sides) and then, all of the sudden, low and behold..... many of my most debilitating MS symptoms were drastically improved! Symptoms such as the overwhelming fatigue that ruled my life, head crushing headaches that severely crippled me, cognitive function that left me sounding like an idiot many days, balance issues, cold hands and feet and other things were suddenly cleared up. Praise the Lord!!!! Thank you Jesus!

WHAT you say? A Cure for MS??
\

 No, it's not a cure, but it sure does help.

What is the connection? There definitely is one and there are a devoted group of doctors around the world trying to put the pieces of this huge puzzle together. MS, a vascular disease, not an autoimmune like we've been told for years? Yes, it appears to be so, it's just a matter of getting the naysayers on board and proving the science, but we're getting there little by little.

So, now what am I waiting for? Well, I'm happily waiting for something known as the "Haacke Protocol" MRV procedure to come down here in the Tampa area. I'm going to be the first local guinea pig for the Haacke Protocol. Designed by brilliant physicist Dr. Mark Haacke at Wayne State University, the "Haacke Protocol" is the cadillac of MRV testing prior to the CCSVI procedure and I want it. I want to know exactly everything that's going on in that head of mine and I'm willing to wait until I can get what I want. I want a complete roadmap of my head! God has opened the doors and the process has begun; the players are in place, it's just a matter of waiting on the Lord for His perfect timing, which it always is.

So, in the meantime, I have to admit, I'm suffering these days. My walking is really bad, my bone crushing head pain has returned and my burning ears, which I lived with for years before I ever heard of anything called CCSVI, have returned with a vengeance. I fell  last week. oh brother :(
which bruised my ego more than my body, but it's still a reminder of what the disease has done to me and continues to do. I can feel myself slipping away just like I was before I had the first CCSVI procedure in 2010. Help me, Lord and I know He will! He is a God of Promises and He doesn't ever disappoint His children, of which I am thankfully one.


The funny thing about MS, is you slowly go downhill before you even know it. You slowly slip away and before you are even aware, you're in a really bad place, emotionally and physically. Thank you Lord that I'm not there emotionally, but, I am there physically, and I need to turn this around and fast!

I'm ready to turn my health back around in the other direction! I'm ready to move forward and not backwards! I'm ready to claim my healing in the name of Jesus, my Savior! "Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.  Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men." Psalm 107:19-21

I am waiting on God's perfect timing to put His plan together for me, right now. He laid out my life plan before the foundation of the earth, and He knows exactly how this is all going to come together. I am just trusting in His perfect Will for my life, knowing that everything will be exactly as the Lord wants it to be. Thank you Jesus, my Savior! 


My verse for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Heavenly Father, 

I come to you today, pleading for relief from my MS symptoms. Please Lord, open the doors for this procedure quickly so I can get the relief I need. Help me to have patience while I'm waiting, which isn't easy, but I know it's all part of your perfect plan. Give me the strength to endure the hardship I face because of this, for I know through my suffering I become closer to You.

I pray,
Amen and Amen



Saturday, May 25, 2013

"The Right Choice" of a lifetime

Tomorrow I celebrate 35 years of wedded bliss with my terrific husband, Steve. As I watched him dance around the pool deck this afternoon to the tunes of the Beach Boys and Crosby Still and Nash, I smiled. I swam around the pool as he cleaned the pool filter, cleaned the grill and tables, all the while singing and dancing to the songs he loves. Goofing off like he loves to do. That's one of the reasons I fell in love with him to begin with. He always had a great sense of humor and still does. His sense of humor and his passion. That's what I love about him. He throws himself totally into something, he's not a half way guy about anything.

                                                       Here we are on our wedding day on May 26, 1978

                                    Me, Eric (Biff) and Steve in 1985, shortly after we moved into our first home.

                                                    Steve with Biff and Jordy at our friend's pool in 1992.

Boy, I thought, as I kicked my legs in the cool pool, am I ever blessed that the Lord put this unbelievable man in my life all those years ago. He has been so much more than a husband. He's without a doubt the best friend I've ever had. He's been a faithful devoted husband, an awesome father and with me through the thick and thins of living with a pretty devastating disease called multiple sclerosis.

It hasn't always been easy for me or him, but if there is a more true blue man on the planet, I sure don't know his name. As my disease has progressed and I have become more and more less mobile and able to do less things around the house, he has totally picked up the ball and run with it.

                                              Steve and the kids at my folks in Englewood, October 1996

                                           Visiting San Francisco in 1997, 4 months before I was dx with MS
                                                                                        


                                                            2006 Thanksgiving in TN with the family

I am amazed at all the things he does around here. He cooks, (and might I say he is an awesome cook, much more above average than I ever dreamed) he cleans, he does the laundry, he cuts the grass and trims the yard up, he does the dishes, changes the beds - literally, he does everything to keep our home running, while still working and keeping a roof over our head. As he likes to say " I do it all" - and it really is true, he does do it all!!! What an incredible guy this is, and he belongs to me! Thank you Lord Jesus, I am so thankful.

Not only does he do so much for us, he also puts up with me, which isn't always easy I'm sure. I can be "a load" as he sometimes tells me, and I know he's right, but most of the time he's amazingly even keeled while doing the balancing act that he does.

I knew when I married him that he was a great guy with a great sense of humor and strong moral values, but let's face it, when you get married and are starting out you really don't know much about each other. You learn as you go through life, about the person you married and took those vows with before God.  Well, my guy was dead serious when he took his vows, and he has been faithful to every single one of them. Genesis 2:24 says "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."  We definitely have become one flesh, just as the Lord wanted us to be. We are truly blessed.

When you get married, your spouse either rises or falls to the occasions that life throws your way. Well, I'm here to tell you and shout it to the world, that my guy has risen way above any expectation I ever had of what a good husband should be.

                                                                      At our home in NC with Buck! 
                                                 
                                                     Our growing family at Biff and Jessi's wedding in 2011.

Let me say in closing, Steve, I love you. I am so happy and will be forever thankful that you picked me to be your wife. Thank you for always standing by me through the many ups and downs of this short life we live on earth. It hasn't always been easy, but it sure has been worth it.

I'm so happy that you accepted Jesus all those years ago because I know we will get to spend eternity together. I couldn't imagine spending it with anybody else because you are my love of this life and my eternity. Thank you Lord. And when we get to heaven, I'll be able to dance right along side you cause I'll have a brand new body! Boy, isn't that something to look forward to - for both of us!!!

Thank the Lord that I made the "Right Choice, " all those years ago, and honey I can't wait to see how much fun the next 35 years are gonna be. Onward we go!!!

All my love, forever dear~~
Nicki

My verse today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Thank you Lord Jesus for leading my awesome husband to me all those years ago. I know I met him because he was part of the plan for my life, a plan you laid out before the foundation of the earth. Thank you that he has been a good and faithful husband and father and stayed true to his vows, even on days it must have been hard. Thank you for my family and the blessings that you have given me these last 35 years because I know they come by your Mighty Hand.


















I pray,
Amen and Amen

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finding my voice again for Jesus~

When you are going through a rough time in life, sometimes it's hard to articulate what's happening, couldn't you agree? There's a verse for that! "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." Romans 8:26-27

I love to write about the Lord and the amazing things He has done in my life through this blog. But lately, I haven't felt well at all, intense head pain has taken my life over on many days, and it's hard to get any thoughts together long enough to sit down and think them out for myself, let alone share them with others and seem to make any sense of it all. I'm still not sure all of this will make perfect sense because the MS cog fog is back, but here we go any way. 

My new prayer group on Facebook has taken much of my time,and just keeping that going by selecting music, pictures, verses and prayers has been a struggle, but I am determined to do it even through the pain and the Lord has helped me with that. He seems to allow me just a window of time each day to achieve that before the pain sets back in.

I have been amazed at how well this wonderful and growing group of Christian lady prayer warriors is melding together to help each other and new members in the name of Jesus Christ. I can see the Lord's Hand in this growing ministry everyday and am totally encouraged by the way the Lord is using me and the other prayerful ladies to reach out to others in need, in His Mighty name. I guess I never realized that the prayer needs in the chronically ill community were so great, but I am thanking God that He opened my eyes up to start filling this incredible need in His name.



I Praise Him because the Lord has used His Holy Spirit through me to minister to these ladies, in spite of my pain. In the last few weeks, I have also witnessed how He has orchestrated making the "Haacke protocol" MRV available to me and then hopefully to others in this area. 

When my radiologist at UDI in Tampa, who diagnosed me in 1997, wasn't interested in pursing a more comprehensive CCSVI diagnostic test, (even though Dr. Haacke spoke with him through email) I was very disappointed and discouraged, but continued to pray about it. 

Then, Dr. Haacke came through with another email recommending a wonderful new, totally enthused radiologist in this area that is going to work with me to get this done. We spoke for almost an hour the other day on the phone, and he totally gets MS/CCSVI and the connection and is excited about digging in to make this available to others. I also found out yesterday that he is a Christian! Now, tell me, that isn't a God Thing! Thank you Lord Jesus for your faithfulness~~ Everything is falling into place.



                                                             

Working with my new tech, and with Dr. Haacke and his group coordinating from their end in Detroit, we can get my comprehensive scan done, then make this amazing technology available to all those others suffering with MS/CCSVI in the Tampa Bay area. This will be a huge bonus for everyone seeking this new scan and I am thanking the Lord that He has opened the doors of Heaven to make this happen. 

Just when you think you haven't got anything to say, God will open your heart and give you the strength to speak His Words to encourage others. Thank you Lord Jesus!

My verse for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Thank you Lord that you are always with me, even during the tough times when I don't feel good. Thank you that you make always make a way and open the doors of Heaven for those who love you. I do thank you for this growing prayer group of ladies. Thank you for their hearts of gold, and for the way they are reaching out to others in Your precious name. Thank you for giving me the strength today to sit down and write in my blog, which I just haven't felt like for so long. I pray that you will continue to order this process with the Haacke MRV protocol so that I can get my results and others may also begin to heal so they can serve you.


I pray,
Amen and Amen