Day 21 of 47 for Lent Plan

God, I have been enjoying the bible reading plan You have been walking me through. I’m sorry to be so late getting them on, but with Your help we’ll get them on little by little.
No rush. Just convalescing with You, and following Your lead in sharing with others.
YouVersion (a bible app You have blessed me with)
is doing a plan called Lent: Remembering the Life of Jesus.

** This one is a long read. I mean VERY long read! God lead me down a long journey of healing to remember to be thankful for.**

Day 21 of 47 for Lent Plan – “Healing: Ten Men With Leprosy”
Reading: Luke 13:10-17 KJV

Further Study

  • How did Bartimaeus, the blind man, address Jesus when he heard he was there?
    – Jesus, Son of David
  • When this man was healed, what was his immediate response?
    – He followed Jesus and glorified him.
  • Luke 19:43 tells us that when people saw him healed, they also praised God. Have you ever praised God for His work in someone else’s life? Share about that time?
    – You bring to mind when Dad had to have a lung surgery to peel off a layer of his lung to help his collapsed lung. They had warned us of the possibility of death because to do the surgery was like beating up on the lung which leaves a 50/50 chance of survival. Dad was horrified. He didn’t freak out or carry on or anything. Dad wasn’t like that. Many friends and strangers stated to him that he reminded them of John Wayne. But the fear was in his eye.
    I couldn’t blame him. For months he had so much unexpected and unknown things happened to him. When he had fallen off a room that him and his crew were working on, he broke a rib, a couple actually. He went to the ER, but the x-rays missed them. During the month he began to cough and hurt a lot. As the cough got so much worse, his lung doctor took some imaging and found some broken ribs that were piercing his lungs, causing fluid to build up. They drained his lungs, but within two weeks they filled again. They went in to do a surgery to repair the holes, but when he woke up he had a tube coming out of his chest. A pretty good size tube.And he had to be careful.
    When they sent him home, it concerned him (scared him) to have a tube hanging out of his chest. They assured him they were sending home nurses who were skilled in this particular area. When the nurses came, they would be freaked out and said they have never seen that, especially in a home patient. They were shocked the hospital would send someone home like that. They one nurse accidentally knocked it out. She told him he would be okay till he saw the doctor.
    We were praising You when Charlie’s wife told Dad he needed to go immediately go to the hospital because we were grateful to have an ICU nurse in the family. Being a trauma nurse she was so concerned for Dad that she insisted to take a look at him. We were so glad You had her do that because the ER told him that the tube falling out caused one of his lungs to collapse and was trying to collapse the other one. They repaired everything and promised not to send him home until it was out AND healed. 
    He was so low on blood when he came back in, even though he did not bleed in a bad way when the tube fell out. Tabatha was right about the loss of blood alone could cause him to go to sleep and not wake up because she knew that Dad staying so sleepy and unable to stop shivering was a sign of blood loss, and that he didn’t have much left, that where he was already at could cause a heart attack. When he went to the ER they immediately gave him 2 pints, then 2 pints right behind it, then 2 the next morning.
    We were praising You for Tabatha again and again, and thanking You for being with Dad, and that our family letting the doctors know how the nurses were convinced then not to send any more of their patients home like that. They were astonished that the pulmonary nurses did not know what to do, and that Dad had to give everyone of them the instructions the hospital gave him, and yet still managed to knock it out, and didn’t have the sense to know that a hole in someone’s chest was NOT “okay,” nor that a chest with an open and bleeding wound was cause to go to the ER.
    While Dad was back in the hospital, his lungs would not heal as quickly as they hoped, and became worse to breathe. They found his lung had collapsed again. When he first came in they had done a technique to allow it to straighten itself, which also took the pressure off the other lung. They now knew it was not going to heal without surgery. They told him they would have to peel back the damaged layer, and remove that layer. They had told him and all of us we would have to be prepared that he may not come out of it, and say our goodbyes just in case. My Dad asked for his pastor. and time to talk with him and pray first. Pastor Stewart came and talked with Dad alone.
    We (the family) were so surprised he came, and what an impact he had made on my Dad. Pastor Stewart had always been buddies with my Dad. Even when Dad couldn’t join the church over smoking, he had been so nonjudgmental and loving. Pastor Stewart wanted him to join, but he told my Dad the things a member couldn’t do. When Dad heard the no smoking, he calmly and politely apologized because he knew he wouldn’t quit smoking. Pastor Stewart joked with him that there had been many people lie to him or try long enough to get membership and keep smoking secretly. My Dad told him he wasn’t like that. He was not going to lie to God, his pastor, or himself.
    My Dad asked if that meant he couldn’t attend anymore, not be able to tithe anymore. He told Dad of course not. It just meant that he couldn’t be in the choir or be a deacon, as Pastor had hoped Dad eventually would be. My Dad joke well good, he wouldn’t have to make excuses as to why he would rather not. They were always laughing and cutting up. But Dad was faithful to attend and tithe. He gave money wherever he could, or they had a need. His favorite was giving for several kids to have Christmas and groceries for the holidays. He loved going shopping for them, and got us to go with him. It was a great thing for Anthoni to be a part of. He loved his granddad.
    (Many times I have praised You, Lord, for the relationships You gave Anthoni in my Dad and his Uncle Charlie (my brother). And even though Charlie and Dad both are gone now, Pastor Stewart moved away years ago to be near his family because of his own declining health, Tabatha remarried and has a little girl, and Anthoni himself is grown and living his own life in You, I pray I never stop praising You!)
    Dad loved the fellowship of his church too. They were so good to him. His funeral was at the church and was so much more than I ever expected because I didn’t grow up with men who went to church.  Women didn’t always, but I literally thought my Dad hated You because I thought all men hated God.
    Pastor Stewart was his buddy, so it was why he came and talked with Dad. Whatever he said made my Dad renewed in courage and in strength. He had prayed with my Dad about his salvation. When Dad asked him if he would sit with Mom during the surgery and look out for his family if anything happened, Pastor Stewart was more than glad to. And he did. He sat with Mom during the 3 hour surgery while Dad had sent each one of us kids on different errands regarding bills to relieve him of the stress from worrying about different things getting cut off. Dad had insisted we do these errands for him ASAP.
    When I returned Pastor Stewart was beaming, and he and Mom seemed to be celebrating. He said the doctor had come out after only an hour and a half like he was in a daze. He told Pastor and Mom that he had never seen anything like it, that he couldn’t explain it but that when they went it they didn’t have to beat up on his lungs at all. That it was like someone had carefully peeled that layer off and gently rolled it up to the side and left it for them to just easily remove. The doctor kept saying, “I can’t explain it” while so dazed. Pastor had just smiled while looking at Mom and said, “I can, and I know who it was.” He told the doctor what and who he meant. The doctor had told him that if he had not see it for himself, that he wouldn’t believe such stuff, but that he just couldn’t argue with him.
    We praised You for that healing, that testimony, the influence it had on the doctor, for Pastor and Dad’s friendship, for so many things for so long. Dad was so affected by that surgery. He quit smoking for several months until eventually his nerves started to raise his heart rate, BP, and cause him anxiety. Dad had never experienced anxiety before and hated it (don’t we all), so he started smoking again. Not the same amount, but he did smoke. You still changed how much! He would live another 2 years before Cellulitis, Diabetes, Double Pneumonia, and his long time Double Emphysema put him back in the hospital.
    It was a fatal morphine shot from the hospital against our family’s wish, and despite my Dad saying no he didn’t need it that took my Dad’s life. It was devastating, cruel, heartless, and illegal. But it was done. My Dad’s fight was over. No more pain. No more hospital. No more anxiety. No more urge to smoke. No more anything but the sweet hand of Jesus welcoming him home.
    There aren’t enough praises to thank You for all that You did for my Dad! For all You did for my son through my Dad! And that he did for us as his family when he was raising us. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a man who loved his family, who worked hard day and night, from 4 or 5 in the morning to however late in the night he had to work, no matter what job he had to take, and all the stress of raising a family. And he loved You, Lord. I am so grateful to know that, so grateful my son knows, and so grateful to know he is with You.
    I know this is long, but it’s not near long enough. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for leading me down this memory lane today. With all the depression, anxiety, and negative things I cannot get away from sometimes, it was mice to go on this journey with You. I am so grateful for daily devotions. Thank You for praises that are only possible because You helped us through the bad, the scary, the life and death. Thank You again for Dad, Pastor Stewart, Tabatha, Charlie, and everyone who played a part in that time. I miss each one of them and am grateful for the memories! I am grateful You chose my Dad! Thank You for allowing me to be a Daddy’s girl. I’m Yours too!!

Reflect

  • Worship: Write down one attribute of God and worship Him for who He is.
    – Nonjudgmental (the way humans are). There is a difference between righteous judging and prejudice or discrimination, shunning.
  • Prayer: Pray for yourself – your needs, desires, concerns, and dreams.
  • Remembrance: Think of a time when you saw God do a mighty work in someone’s life or your own. Write about that experience.
    – What a mighty work I saw You do in my Dad’s life… physically and spiritually. I grew up thinking he hated You. I never heard him talk about You, except to tell us not to use Your name in vain. When we watched Little House on the Prairie, the dad didn’t go to church for a long time., and when he did the other men didn’t always. The dad on The Walton’s didn’t go to church except one episode that dealt with his right not to go. I grew up hearing the men on TV and in life saying, “Women! They always want to talk about God!”
    I’m so grateful You made that different for Anthoni, and brought Godly men into our lives. But it wouldn’t be until we lost a dear cousin from our life that I would learn my Dad didn’t hate You. It brought back memories for my Dad of a terrible tragedy he had witnessed in a church. A man had walked into church, shot the preacher, his wife (the shooter’s wife), and then himself because of an affair. Dad didn’t go to church after that. When we were giving my grieving my cousin, this came out. Mom already knew, but I didn’t until Mom said something.
    I later went to my Dad to tell him how I could understand why he hated You, but that You loved him. Dad was so surprised. He told me, “I don’t hate God. Why would you think that?” I told him what Mom said. He said it had nothing to do with it. I told him, “But You never talked about God while I was growing up, and at times would make comments about Mom always wanting to talk about God.” He said he just did that to aggravate Mom. He was so disturbed by my thinking this, that he started going to all of Anthoni’s school plays and events, and then eventually church. By Your grace Anthoni grew up with his Granddad, Granny, Uncles, Aunts, and family friends (and me his mom) going to church. Yet it was Anthoni You used to get us ALL into church… regularly, faithfully, happily! We went to all his school functions too.

    That’s where Dad met Pastor Stewart. They were buddies right off. Dad would tell anyone, “That’s my buddy.” It was the incident in the hospital that brought You two so close, and brought him peace, and a much needed strength for a man carrying the weight of his family on his shoulders. It wouldn’t be until after his death that I learned his older brother Nay was a preacher and raised him. My Dad grew up in the church! Raised by a preacher! We had a preacher in the family! Me and Anthoni were shocked! Delightfully surprised! We would discover there was more than one! :O But Nay (his brother) ‘s story amazed us too.
    Their dad had married two different women. He had 15 kids with the first wife (Nay’s mom) and then left her to marry Nellie (Dad’s mom) and had 14 kids with her. Of the 29 kids, many did not get along. The children from the first marriage resented the kids from the second marriage because Butler (their dad) had left them for their mom. Butler died when my dad was just 5 years old, Helen was 7, and Lucille was 11. Their older brother Nay was 30 something years older, married, and was a pastor of a church he began in Taylorsville… Calvary Baptist Church. Nay took his siblings in and raised them. Shortly after, the girls went to live with others because they didn’t want to live under the rules of a preacher. Dad stayed until he went into the Navy.
    While in the Navy as a cook on a ship, that ship was held prisoner by Cuba during the famous Cuban Missile Crisis when President Kennedy said those famous words about letting the ships go or we (America) would blow them (Cuba) off the map. They were released (Praise You, God). The world cheered, but my Dad always resented Kennedy for “playing with his life.” The military gave everyone who had been in those ships the choice to be given an honorable discharge early or special assignment, both with special money… something the military does for their members who have survived being POW (Prisoners of War). My Dad chose to leave, and lived in bitterness.
    Then he came to the mountains and married Mom. They 4 kids within their first 4 years of marriage. That’s even after lying to Mom’s dad to get married. They said Mom was pregnant. They got married September of ’65, and had Sandra October of ’66. Charlie was the last one born in April of ’70, 2 months before my first birthday. Dad focused on trying to provide for his family, sometimes choosing methods that weren’t legal. He never did anything violent, but he did write bad checks. The judge told him while it was good intentions, and that the lawyer was right that they were never written over $50 and all to grocery stores, except a couple written at Christmas for $100 for 4 kids and his wife, but that he had to learn that wasn’t the way to do it, that he was taking from someone else’s family.
    We would go visit him at different prisons. That was the first time I ever saw fear in my Dad’s eyes, even though he tried to hide it for us. I cried all the time at night, praying for You to keep him safe and bring him home. I felt so bad that he had went to prison over feeding us. I can remember when he used to give us Pepto Bismal for our stomachs because he had nothing to give us, or maybe just one can of beans for us 4 kids. It felt like eternity, and like he would never come out. I cried and cried every night, like I use to do in foster care. And then 4 months later You surprised me. I remember crying and crying because I thought he would never come home. I was surprised and so grateful.
    I hope I’m right to remember I thanked You, but I had not learned to rightly praise You yet. Thank You, God! More than I can put into words, but I want to try! I cry every time I think about it, even now. PRAISE YOU, GOD! My Dad was so scared! I was so scared for him! 😦 THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
    I watched You work as he went through so many hardships through the years. He wasn’t perfect, but he worked so hard to provide for us, and make us feel warm and safe. Many times I would wait for him as he was put oil in the tank, or fixing the car, or doing something outside. He would see me and tell me to go on inside. I would tell him that it was cold, and that it wasn’t fair to go inside while he was out in the cold. He would tell me that it was his job to make sure we were warm and fed, that if I really wanted to make him feel better to go on inside.
    Whenever we drove on long trips down to Hickory and Statesville where his family lived and on the way back, I would be the only one to stay awake while he was driving. Somehow I always felt the need to stay awake to keep things safe, even to look after my Dad. He would blink and wink at me with his eyes in the mirror.
    When Anthoni came along, I watched You do such a wonder in him, in my whole family, and in everyone who knew Anthoni. Dad and Mom both became new people. It was like they a had a chance to do it all over again with someone who loved them unconditionally. You used Dad to teach Anthoni guy stuff, men things, and was a mentor/hero to Anthoni, and to many of his own laborers that worked for him and his roofing company.
    It seems so strange for all of these adults to be gone that seemed to rule the world, and yet it seems so peaceful, and good, for everyone on both sides. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about them with this Coronavirus, or terrorism, or anything else.
  • Self-Examination: When You see God’s work in your life or someone else’s, do You praise Him for it?
    – I try to praise You for everything I can with every breath I have.

A Kind Act

  • Send 5 positive text messages to 5 different people you know.
    – Anthoni, Nay, Amanda, Brett, Keitha, Dave. Yes one extra! 🙂

 

Happy 74th Birthday, Pappy!

Happy Birthday to my Pappy! He’s 74 today, but having his 14th birthday with Jesus.
He has my mom and baby brother with him, as well as many other family & friends.
My birthday present to him is remembering what a good man he was.

navydad

He served in the Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He was on one of the ships held hostage/in the crossfire
of Cuba and America’s famous standoff.
He was up every single day by 5am until he had lung surgery in 2003.

young dad

He worked hard, took care of his wife and family,
including those he took in as family,
and did whatever it took to make sure they were OK.
He was a very active and loving granddad to Anthoni.

grandparents

He gave his all to his family,
and towards his latter years to His heavenly father.
His pastor was his buddy.

310985_284043214943883_1883253_n

Thank you, Dad, for all that you did for us (your family)!
Thank you for being a man my son could look up to and count on.
Thank you for your unconditional love.
It helped me to see a very valuable side of our Father in heaven…
how much He loves us, His patience, His mercy, His grace,
and leaving His wisdom for us to grow in.

ts

Thank you, Father God, for giving me the dad I had!
For giving Anthoni the granddad he had!
And for all the love and sweat you helped my daddy with
in providing for and caring for his family!
I sure do miss him. So much it hurts. I miss mom and Charlie too!
But I know you are taking care of them, and that I will see them again… SOON! ❤

Happy Birthday, Pappy! I love and Miss you!! ❤