I WON'T BACK DOWN

Friday, November 23, 2018

PSALM 43 (a musical setting)



Yesterday the hospital Chaplain visited Hubs in his room and read this Scripture with him and prayed with him; Hubs also asked prayer for me – he is always thinking of me, even  in this time of great pain & suffering to himself. At first when heard of the visit I was naturally concerned and asked the primary nurse why a Chaplain had visited my husband - my stomach was throwing fits yesterday so I stayed home in case it was catchy; turns out it wasn't. I was told that Chaplains routinely visit patients, and if the patient wishes, remains with them to comfort them as requested: that eased my mind because normally Chaplains visit patients that are very near death. And Hubs has been giving his medical team concerns not only with this horrific pancreatitis ordeal, but also with a rash of racing heart palpitations all week long – twice since I visited him throughout the week one of the CNAs came in to give him a dose of metoprolol to calm his heart down. Guesses are that the pain is causing these rash of palpitations, but it is concerning just the same.

When Hubs told me the Chaplain had read Psalm 43 to him, I was puzzled. “Why?” I kept asking myself each time I read it and reread it; it didn’t make any sense. I read it again tonight … and suddenly (!) it (((clicked))); it made perfect sense :-D And while it does not specifically deal with healing, it sums up EVERYTHING we have been dealing with since August 30th. While we logically KNOW that Elohei has NOT ‘cast us off’, it feels like it sometimes when we are at our lowest ebb physically & emotionally. But when we turn our eyes to Him and remember that He is our 'exceeding joy' especially in turbulent times, He ministers peace of mind and soothes our troubled souls with His light and His truth that upholds His children. And because of His great love towards us, we will not stumble and fall over the hurdles the enemy throws in our path hoping to trip us up:

PSALM 43

Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! For You are the God of my strength. Why do You cast me off? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him – the help of my countenance and my God. 

I like this beautiful musical rendition …

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

GINGERBREAD CAKE Recipe


Gingerbread Cake

With the graying Fall days …

Gray skies over Heron Pointe: looking river side
Looking river side towards Willow Grove road

… and the thick low-laying a.m./p.m. river fogs banks that settle over the area from where we live to R.A. Long High School by Lake Sacajawea where it surprisingly clears up while I drive back and forth to the hospital every day, I have had a hankering for gingerbread the last 2 weeks and finally broke down and made it this morning ;-)

This recipe is an old one and comes to me here in the PNW all the way from Louisville, Kentucky. And I am thankful :-D The house smells wonderful with that gingery/cinnamon/clovey scent and it tastes as good as it smells!

GINGERBREAD CAKE (Sweden)

1/2 cup Butter * 2 cups light Brown Sugar * 2 Eggs * 1 teaspoon Soda, dissolved in a small amount of warm water * ½ teaspoon ground Ginger * ½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon * ½ teaspoon ground Cloves * 2 cups sifted Flour * 1 cup Milk

Cream butter; add sugar, mixing well with electric beater. Beat eggs until light – add to sugar mixture. Add soda and spices; fold in flour, alternating with the milk: mix well.

Grease large tube pan and dust with flour. Pour in batter. Bake in 350-degree oven for 35 minutes. Let cake cool before removing from pan.

I always have gingerbread in the house – cookies or cakes – around this time of year, but lately it’s been a a bit hard to get into the upcoming holidays because my husband will not be here with me to celebrate them; but last night I happened to notice that my holiday cactuses have been putting out buds in my lengthy absences from home …

White Christmas Cactus; larger buds
Pink Christmas Cactus; smaller buds

… and that revived the holiday spirit within me enough to at least hang the wreaths on each door and change the welcome mats ;-) And that’s about all that will get done this year because I will, of course, be spending the holidays with my husband in his hospital room cheering him up – which cheers me up.

We are hoping he will be coming home soon, but only Elohei KNOWS what the future holds. Today’s concerns are sufficient for the day, I won’t borrow tomorrows’ troubles. Today I am going to enjoy the gingerbread cake I made!

And work some more on MOD Candy Cane Baby Swaddling Blanket I started last week:

MOD Candy Cane Swaddling Blanket – half completed

This blanket is a donation item, but I can’t l help thinking while working on it that I wish our grand-daughters would give us great-grandbabies … nothing would make me happier than to make up layette sets for my longed for great-grandbabies. I don’t think my husband and I will live long enough to see our grandson’s children (he’s only 4 yo this year), but our grand-daughters are all in their 20’s, ranging from early twenties to late twenties and it would be nice if they started reproducing while Hubs is still on this planet ;-)

Friday, November 16, 2018

KNIT DIAMOND PATTERN SWADDLING BLANKET


Finished blanket. 28” x 28” square

This pattern is an old one – I found the baby patterns book at a sale decades ago and made this particular baby blanket 27 years ago when our first granddaughter was born.

The original pattern calls for skeins of 1-oz Columbia-Minerva yarn called ‘Precious Nantuck’ but that yarn has since been discontinued, and my understanding is that it was a light weight sport weight yarn. The pattern is based on a multiple of 8 sts + 7 pattern. The original pattern using a sport weight yarn will measure about 27” x 31” when completed. But I make my blankets using Red Heart Worsted for a sturdier Fall/Winter weight baby blanket so my blankets are a bit plumper and sturdier though I do follow the original pattern.

I really like this pattern design and I think you will too. I makes up pretty quickly and this blanket I am working on will also be another donated item when it is completed.

KNIT DIAMOND PATTERN SWADDLING BLANKET

Materials Required: Columbia-Minerva PRECIOUS NANTUCK, 1 oz. pull skeins (or Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo worsted, 1 skein); one pair “Boye” size 6 knitting needles; one crochet hook size 1 (or size 8-H) if using worsted yarn); 2 stitch markers.

Gauge: 11 sts = 2 inches; 15 rows = 2 inches

PATTERN STITCH: Multiple of 8 sts + 7.
Row 1 (RS): K 7, *P 1, K 7; repeat from * across.

ROWS 2 and ALL EVEN ROWS: K the K sts and P the P sts as they face you.

ROW 3: *P 1, K 5, P 1, K 1; repeat from * across: end with P 1, K 5, P 1.

ROW 5: K 1, P 1, *K 3, P1; repeat from * across: end K 1.

ROW 7: K 2, P 1, K 1, P 1, *K 5, P 1, K 1, P 1; repeat from * across: end K 2.

ROW 9: K 3, *P 1, K 7; repeat from * across: end P 1, K 3.

ROW 11: Repeat Row 7.

ROW 13: Repeat Row 5.

ROW 15: Repeat Row 3.

ROW 16: Repeat Row 2.

Repeat these 16 rows for pattern.

BLANKET

Approximate Size: 27 x 31 inches using sport weight yarn; (28 x 28 if using worsted weight yarn)

Cast on 151 sts. K 4 rows. Next row K 4, place marker on needle, knit to last 4, place 2nd marker on needle and K 4.

ROW 1: K 4 garter sts for border, sl marker, work in pattern on the center 143 sts; sl marker, K to end. Keeping 4 garter sts on each side, continue to work in pattern on the sts between markers …

Patterned swaddling blanket being worked using worsted yarn

When piece measures about 30-1/2 inches (27-1/2 inches using worsted) from start, end with Row 2. K 6 rows. Bind off. On right side, crochet 1 row of sc around blanket, increasing at corners.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapter 24



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapter 24

Five days later, Ananias the high priest arrived, accompanied by some elders and a lawyer by the name of Tertullus, who made a complaint against Paul before Felix. When he was called on, Tertullus began his charge by saying, ‘Most excellent Felix, because of you we are enjoying real peace, and through your forethought wrongs have been righted in this nation. It is with joy and thankfulness that we accept these things in every way and in every place. And now, in order not to weary you with all this, I simply want to ask you to give us, out of kindness, a brief hearing. We have found this man to be a pest, an organizer of insurrections among all the Jews and the whole world – a ringleader in the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to desecrate the Temple, but we caught him and would have judged hi according to our Law. But Lysias, the colonel, stepped in with great force and took him out of our hands. And he ordered his accusers to be brought before you. By questioning him yourself you will be able to learn from him everything of which we accuse him.’ The Jews agreed to this statement, declaring that these accusations were true.

The governor then gave Paul a signal to make an answer, and he said, “I am rather happy to defend myself, knowing as I do that you have been a judge over this nation for a number of years. You can easily find out that it is not more than 12 days since I went to Jerusalem to worship. Also they did not find me in argument with anybody or stirring up the people in the Temple or synagogues, or the city. Nor can they prove any of the charges that they make against me.

But this I do admit, that I worship the God of our fathers, according to the new way they call heresy; but I believe everything that has been recorded in the Law and the prophets. In Elohei I have a hope for the very things that they themselves are looking for, namely – that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. And therefore I train myself to have a good conscience before Elohim and man.

After being away for a number of years, I returned to bring alms to my people and present offerings. They found me in the Temple, purified, not in a crowd, nor in rioting. But there are some Jews there from the province of Asia. They should have been here to complain if they had anything against me. Or let these men here give an account of what blame they found in me when I stood before the council. Yes, there was one thing they resented; for I cried out, ‘I am here to be tried concerning my hope for the resurrection of the dead.’”

Then Felix, who already had considerable knowledge of the Christian Way, postponed the case, saying, ‘When Lysias, the colonel comes down, I will finish the examination of your case. Then he gave orders to the captain to keep Paul in custody, but with some liberty, and not to keep his friends from seeing and helping him.

Some days later Felix came with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess (https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Drusilla). He sent for Paul and listened to him speak of faith in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach. And when he spoke about righteousness, self-control and the coming judgement, Felix became frightened and said, ‘Go now, and I will send for you when it will be convenient for me.’ He was hoping that Paul would give him money for his release. For that reason, too, he sent for him often and conversed with him. Then, after 2 years, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but Felix, wishing to gain favor with the Jews, left Paul in custody.

Roman Governor Felix
Drusilla the Jewess consort of Felix
Porcius Festus



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

TOMATO SOUP W/STAR ANISE


Pancreatitis is such an insidious thing. Chronic pancreatitis is a painful and unpredictable thing. Docs are stumped as to what brought on Hub’s condition, but stressors was the general consensus … and we have had lots of stressors since we moved here to Heron Pointe last Summer – 2 major pains in the ass, namely neighbor ron who instigated the August ridiculousness … and sour faced/attitude Park manager candy, who caused so much frustrated stress (and still does) that Hubs ended up in ER which led to 2 scary ICU visits, and subsequent lengthy hospital stays with continual flare-ups. Heron Point puts itself forward as a “very friendly place with very friendly people” … but that has not been our experience here; especially since candy became manager: I can’t wait to leave this hell hole. As soon as Hubs is on the mend, and our realtor finds another place to relocate, we are outta here.

Until then, spending so many days at the hospital is taking its toll in many ways – one of those ways being the family budget. I have been eating breakfast, lunch, (and sometimes dinner at the hospital café when I stay the night), but at $10 a meal, it adds up quickly … the cost is astronomical, and the food crappy! You would think that hospitals would serve healthy foods, but they don’t – it’s just overpriced fast food like any other place in town that serves fast foods guaranteed to land you in ER. I have had enough of ER!

So I have decided to make my own lunch and supper at home and pack it to the hospital; that makes sense economically as well as health-wise. Tomorrow I will be enjoying a tasty aromatic tomato soup (recipe below) made with the tomatoes I grew in my garden this year with a side shredded turkey/hard-boiled egg sandwich. Yummmm! Much, much better for my body than the fast food tasteless stuff served in the hospital café that is worse than ‘the golden arches’ ick I never could stomach. I need to stay healthy for Hubs so that when he comes home I can do what needs to be done for him and with him – can’t do that if my body is filled with junk foods that will harm it.

This practical recipe made with an exotic Chinese spice, the little hard star anise; and it is easy and delicious: perfect for a chilly Fall meal. Plus it packs … and freezes well too ;-)

TOMATO SOUP W/STAR ANISE ~6 servings

2 TBSP Vegetable Oil * 1 large Onion, chopped * 2 Celery stalks, chopped * 1 large Carrot, chopped * 3 pounds tomatoes, chopped (or 6 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, undrained) * 4 cups Beef Stock * 12 whole Star Anise * 2 fresh Parsley sprigs

Heat oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Add celery and carrot and cook until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally – about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, half of star anise and parsley; cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes to blend flavors.

Strain soup through a fine sieve into another saucepan, pressing solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Degrease soup, then bring to a simmer. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with remaining star anise and parsley.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapter 23



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapter 23

Paul looked straight at the council members and said, “Brethren, I have lived before Elohei with a good conscience until this day.” At this the high priest Ananias told those who were near to give a blow on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “Elohim Himself with smite you, whitewashed wall! You sit here to try me according to the law, but contrary to the Law, you order me to be struck.”

The bystanders objected, ‘Do you dare revile Elohei’s high priest?’

“Brethren,” answered Paul, “I was not at all aware that he was the high priest. I know that it has been written, ‘You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.’” Then Paul saw that a part of the council was made up of Sadducees, and another part of Pharisees, he cried out, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee of the Pharisee stock, and I am here to be tried concerning my hope of the resurrection of the dead.”

At these words an argument arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the council was divided. For the Sadducees hold that there is no resurrection and no angel or spirit, whereas the Pharisees confess faith in both. The meeting became very noisy. Some of the scribes belonging to the Pharisees argued, ‘We find nothing evil in this man. Maybe he has had an angel or a spirit speak to him. Why not? Let us not fight against Elohei.’ As the debate became very heated, the colonel, fearing that Paul might be torn to pieces by them, ordered his soldiers to take him by force from among them and bring him back to the barracks. On the following night Adonai came to his side and said, “Paul, be brave, for you will be MY witness in Rome, just as you have given a full account of Me in Jerusalem.”

When the day dawned, some of the Jews came together and formed a conspiracy, placing themselves under an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who took this oath. They came to the chief priests and elders and said, ‘We have taken a solemn oath not to taste any food till we shall have put Paul to death. We therefore ask you, together with the council, to get the colonel to bring him down to you tomorrow on the pretext that you want to examine his case more fully. And before he gets near to you we shall be waiting to kill him.’ It happened that a son of Paul’s sister learned about this ambush, so he came over to the barracks and told Paul. So Paul called one of the captains to him and said, “Take this young man to the colonel, for he has something to report to him.” Then he brought him to the colonel, saying, ‘Paul, the prisoner, called me over and requested me to bring this young man to you, for he has something to tell you.’ The colonel took him by the hand and, withdrawing to one side, said to him privately, ‘What is it that you have to tell me?’ So he said, “The Jews have agreed to make this request of you, that you bring Paul to the council tomorrow as though they were going to examine his case more accurately. Do not let them persuade you, for more than 40 men are lying in ambush for him, having taken an oath not to eat or drink till they have put him to death. And they are all set, waiting for your move.’ The colonel then dismissed the young man with the strict advice, ‘Do not tell anybody that you have given me this information.’

Then the colonel called two captains to him and said, ‘Make ready 200 foot soldiers, also 70 horsemen and 200 spearmen, to leave for Caesarea at 9:00 tonight. And provide mounts for Paul to ride and take him safely to Felix, the governor.’ He also wrote a letter as follows, ‘Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor, Felix – Greetings! This man had been seized by the Jews and was about to be put to death by them, when I came on them with my regiment. I rescued him because I had learned that he was a Roman. I wanted to know what charges they had against him, so I brought him before their council. I learned there that he was accused of matters pertaining to their Law, and that he had not been charged with anything that was punishable by death or even imprisonment. And when I was told that the Jews were about to carry out a plot against this man, I at once sent him to you and gave orders to his accusers to appear before you and make their charges against him.’

CLAUDIUS LYSIAS
ROMAN GOVERNOR FELIX

The soldiers therefore, according to orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. Then, on the day after, they sent the horsemen to go with him while they themselves returned to their quarters. When they came to Caesarea the letter was given to the governor, and Paul was also presented to him. When the governor had read the letter he asked what province he was from, and was told that he was from Cilicia. ‘I will give you a full hearing.’ He said, ‘when your accusers have come.’ And he gave orders that he be kept in custody in Herod’s palace.

HEROD’S PALACE – some ‘prison’, huh?
               
**ACTS 21 & 22: http://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-gospel-according-to-acts-chapters.html


Thursday, November 8, 2018

FALL COLORS SWADDLING BLANKET PATTERN


                                  
With Hubs being in and out of the hospital so much, and with us using the hospital Bridge Program to pay for all the hospitalization and doctor appointments, I felt that I should do something by way of a payback – money is out of the question; if we had a million dollars, we wouldn’t be using the hospital Bridge Program. While I was visiting Hubs one day, a nurse saw me reading a novel covered by one of the book covers I had crocheted for myself and asked if I had made it … I said, “Yes, I did – we were doing the PNW Bazaar circuit before our lives took a sharp turn south”. And she asked if I would be interested in using my talented skill to make dontable items for the hospitals beneficiary program for patients that need handmade things like hats and blankets. I said yes in quick reply. That IS something I CAN DO … and I already have several of those items in my bazaar bin cache already made and waiting for someplace to go ;-)

Last night I finished work on this baby blanket and just finished weaving in the ends a few minutes ago. A swaddling blanket is just a small baby blanket; lightweight, soft, and warm. Generally about a square in dimensions measuring 48”x48” sq. inches (blanket shown is quite a bit smaller). Cost varies between $15 and $50 for manufactured swaddling blankets that don’t look half as nice as something homemade: MPO. I have no idea yet what it will cost me in materials to make my blanket because though the yarn has never been used, it is not newly purchased and the receipt has long been shredded with the other paper refuse I shred and put in my garden beds.

I am posting the original pattern below, from my ‘Jack Frost’ vol. 47 pattern book, but I have made personalized changes to my swaddling blanket while using the original pattern … as I always do, whatever I make. I always like to put my own signature on everything I make ;-)

CARRIAGE COVER BLANKET (original pattern; Jack Frost design)

Materials: 1 pair #3 knitting needles, 14’ Length; Jack Frost Pompadour (or Paradise) yarn, six count 3-3/4 oz. skiens

Size: 28’ x 28”

With needles, cast on 164 sts. Knit 34 rows garter st. Then start pattern as follows:

ROW 1: K 23, *K 6, P 2, repeat from * 13 times; K 29.

ROW 2: K 23, P 118, K 23.

ROW 3: Repeat row 1.

ROW 4: K.

Above 4 rows form Pattern. Repeat them until piece above garter st rows measures 27 inches – finish by knitting 34 rows garter st for edging. BO

pattern in progress

A very simple pattern that looks very nice when completed :-D

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Financial Labyrinth



I was up at 4:30 a.m. this morning and at the hospital by 7:30 a.m., but didn’t get to spend much time with my luv because the day was ate up with appointments to discuss financial arrangements for everything the docs want to do that we simply cannot afford: it all sounds good and the docs feel good when they are telling it to us, but most of it is out of our reach unless we can tap financial resources to pay for all of it. I talked with the hospital social worker twice today – the first time she was not really understanding what we are dealing with and was kinda talking down to me like I was a spoiled simpleton telling me, “I deal with people every day/all day who really have nothing – zero – you have resources to draw from …”; I pretty much tuned her out at that point. It was clear she was ignorant of the grand scope and severity of the situation. But when I spoke with her the second time she was a little more compassionate and had been schooled by her co-worker as to what we are actually dealing with … and ended up in tears while going over “the plan” and sheaves of financial resources with me (pancreatitis is not something that goes away short of an honest-to-God miracle, and it eventually leads to death: it is a constant in-and-out of the hospital wasting disease that, unless Elohim favors Hubs, will rack up millions of dollars in medical care before he passes into glory). We don’t have millions of dollars. She was so repentant of her previous behavior, I actually felt sorry for her, and ended up soothing her!

Hubs has passed the critical stage this morning and the hospital staff inserted a feeding tube and moved him upstairs this afternoon before I left to come home. He will be kept a bit longer to get him started on a supplemental liquid diet in hopes of getting the pancreas well enough to get in there and drain those cysts  don’t know what else will happen, but that much I do know because it was stated to us this morning. They will also be keeping him to monitor how his body reacts to the tube feeding. Then when it is time to release him … again … I will be schooled in how to do the tube feeding at home for home care; it is not a forever thing, but probably for 6 to 8 weeks to calm his pancreas down enough to hopefully get the surgery he needs.

Then when I got home and collected the mail I whooped for joy when I read this letter that said: ((((APPROVED)))) This is a HUGE load off our shoulders …


Doing the happy dance :-D


Saturday, November 3, 2018

HAPPY TOGETHER




Living with the painful unpredictably of pancreatitis is hard. Real hard. It is a hard-to-predict, roller-coater-like condition that changes the entire life of not only the person suffering from it … but also if the family that is going through the condition and circumstances with their loved one.

I did not marry my husband knowing that he would 44 years down the road be struggling with this debilitating illness; Bob’s condition hit him suddenly in August after a stressful inflammatory encounter on our front porch with our Park manager that landed him in ER the following afternoon: there was absolutely no warning – no familial history, and no genetic marks to look for and be prepared for. Bob was originally diagnosed in August with gall bladder malfunction, and all the docs were going with that until his recent hospitalization, where the surgeon ruled out gall bladder complications completely, and said that diagnosis was totally wrong … no indication there was ever a need for gall bladder surgery; he didn’t understand why it was even suggested. Bob was also put on 2 heart medications he DID NOT NEED that were literally killing him … causing frightening blackouts and seizures that landed him in the hospital: all those have been put aside too after Wednesday’s ER visit (he was admitted to ER via ambulance when he started having severe chest pains IN the doctor’s office during his scheduled appointment – later told NOT a heart attack, but rather a ‘chest wall pain’ that mimics a heart attack; brought on by the acute pancreatitis. Before the ambulance arrived he was given 2 nitro pills BY the doctor herself as a precaution!). And people wonder why we are skeptical of doctors and their diagnosis’s!

When we were told Bob has acute and chronic pancreatitis, we, like everyone else assumed it is a disease related to acute alcoholism – and we were quick to let everyone know that THAT could not possibly be the reason Bob is suffering; he does not drink heavily … and has not since 1981. And yet, even among doctors, such as we have run across in ER, there is still a stigma attached to the diagnosis and that is the first question asked. It appears that Bob is suffering from {idiopathic pancreatitis}, which means that while he is FOR SURE SUFFERING this miserable condition, there is no apparent cause as to ((((WHY)))) he is suffering the horrific recurring flare-ups and misery associated with them after all systematic diagnostic evaluations have been administered and reviewed. He does have biliary sludge in this gallbladder … but NO stones – and the stones is what would normally be causing all the pain and inflammation he is suffering. Docs are scratching their heads and a recommendations to be admitted to OHSU (the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital) is on the table. We aren’t even arguing the suggestion – Bob needs help, we need answers, and if OHSU can and will pay for his consultation and following procedures … then we are going to go for it and I will learn to handle the frantic and dangerous city driving of Portland, Oregon, which I loathe and avoid at all costs. I WILL learn because we are going through this thing together. And ‘together’ means we will both be facing our scary situations and leaning into them to overcome them.

And we will not allow acute and chronic pancreatitis to destroy our life together, or rob us of our joy in each other. That can happen as frustrations – which is a stressor, and stressors are to be avoided – crops up on any given day. We cannot allow that if Bob is to get better and hopefully beat the devil at his own game.

Life is hard right now. But it WILL get better. There will BE good times in our life again once we get a firmer grip on this thing and learn how to roll with the changes – in diet, in behavior, in character, in public – in every nuance and situation that makes up the tapestry of our life.

We are going through this together, and THAT knowledge coupled with prayer and keeping faith in our Faith will help us get through this trying time.

Together.

Friday, November 2, 2018

CHANGES


The leaves on the fancy hybrid maple tree outside the livingroom window is changing into its pretty Fall colors before dropping them completely off …


… and it’s raining – has been steadily raining since Wednesday; Fall has arrived.

I like this time of year; some people don’t, but I do. I like the crispness in the air that pinks the cheeks, the cooler weather settling in; which means I can breathe easier, the beautiful leaf colors that pop – making the heavy gray days tolerable, and the scent of approaching Winter hovering on the breeze. The other day I even caught a quick scent of someone burning a wood stove – not in the Park I am sure, but nearby, and drifting on the air currents passing over us.

It’s been eventful here, but we are learning to lean into the onslaught and push forward. Hubs is still struggling with this illness, but this is our life now and we must learn how to roll with the punches and get back on our feet to defy the foul enemy which whispers fear into our hearts. This we can do with the help of the Ruach Ha’Kodesh, Who gently guides us, teaches us, and tells us that Elohei loves us: “be strong and of good courage, for you are His – and He will not fail you. Has His Word not said so, and has He not shown you in times past that He will deliver you out of the hand of the fowler?”

We have no one BUT Elohei on our side walking with us through this dark and scary time which seems always to lead to the edge of the valley of death. Right now, Hubs is suffering with pancreatic pain which is making life difficult to bear. We were told with last week’s hospitalization that there is no need for gall bladder surgery (((YAY!))), and 2 days ago we were told that his heart, kidneys, and liver are all where they need to be too ‘for a man’ his age (((YAY!)))all glory and honor goes to Yeshua for His healing grace, and to Elohim for His favor :-D Hub’s blood count is still very low making him severely anemic, and he is having trouble eating and keeping nourishment in his body due to the pancreas flare-ups, but we know that Elohei knows all about that and will take care of it like He has the rest if we rest in Him and do not allow fear to take root and spread its poisonous tentacles in our lives. Hubs continues to go to the scheduled appointments with various docs and physicians, but they really can’t help him – he goes mainly to say he went and to shut everyone up, but he knows that they cannot help him; only Elohei can help him. The doctors and physicians are only guessing at what they can do, but Elohei knows EXACTLY what needs to be done. People ask, “Then why doesn’t God heal him?” Who are we to ask such questions? And with such mockery? Perhaps it is for others that he is suffering so – one of his night nurses during last week’s hospitalization during a severe flare-up, was a young woman we knew as a baby and child who has since forsaken the Faith: Hubs and she talked many times about many things, including Faith … perhaps their coming together as they did was not mere happenstance – perhaps it was supernaturally arranged and perhaps she may start making changes in her life that will greatly benefit her. Who knows? Only Elohei KNOWS why any of us go through anything we go through. And we can only go through it with Him.

Changes.

They’re hard. Sometimes very hard …

But we don’t have to go through changes alone. This we KNOW, and that makes it all bearable ;-)

Since Hubs has been spending so much time in/out of ER and the hospital, a nurse noticed MOD paperback novel cover and asked if I made it; I said, “yes, and that we usually do the Bazaar circuit where I do a pretty brisk business selling my original designs, but this year that is out because Hubs is so sick.” I said too that if this is our life from now on (at least until Elohei heals him), Bazaars may be a thing of the past. Then she asked if I had ever considered donating items, and that the hospital has a program that accepts handmade items such as baby hats, chemo hats, baby blankets and chemo blankets. I readily agreed – this is one way I can repay some of the $$$$$’s the Bridge Program is forking out for our medical expenses. I called the foundation and signed on ;-)

This is the baby blanket I am currently working on:


When it is finished, I will drop it off with the lapghans I am digging out of my Bazaar Cache to donate.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapters 21 & 22



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapters 21 & 22

After we had parted from them we set sail and came straight down to Cos, and the next day we sailed on to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. There we found a ship that was crossing over to Phoenicia, so we got on board and set sail. We came in sight of Cyprus, but passed it on our left and sailed on to Syria, where we landed at Tyre, the place where the ship was to unload its cargo. While there, we looked up the disciples and stayed with them for 7 days. Through the Ruach, they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem. When we stayed out our time there, we left them and continued on our way. And all of them, including the wives and children, escorted us as far as outside the city limits. Then we all kneeled down on the beach and prayed.

Then, having said farewell, we went aboard the ship and they returned to their homes. At the end of the voyage from Tyre we arrived at Ptolemais. There we greeted the brethren and remained with them one day. The next day we (Paul and his companions) departed and came to Caesarea. We came to the home of Philip, the evangelist, who had been one of the seven deacons, and we stayed with him. He had 4 unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy.

While we were staying there a few days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. He came over to us and took Paul’s belt, with which he bound his own feet and hands and then said, “Thus says the Ruach Ha’Kodesh: ‘Just so will the Jews in Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and they will deliver him into the hands of the heathen’.” When we heard this, we and the people there begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. This was his reply, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but to die for the Name of Adonai Yeshua Ha’Maschiach.” Then since he would not be persuaded, we kept silent except to say, “The Will of Adani be done!”

After a few days we got our baggage ready and went to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples in Caesarea went with us and brought us to the house of Mnason, a man from Cyprus who was a disciple of long standing. We were to stay with him.

When we reached Jerusalem the brethren there gave us a joyful welcome. Paul went with us the next day to call on James, and all the elders were gathered there. After having greeted them, Paul gave a detailed account of what Elohei had done for the Gentiles through his work. On hearing this, they praised Adonai Yeshua. But they said to him, ‘You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have become Believers, yet they are all zealous supporters of the Law. They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to break away from the Law of Moshe, telling them not to circumcise their children and not to follow the old customs. What, then, is to be done? A crowd of them will surely gather about you when they hear that you have come. Therefore, this is what we suggest you do: We have 4 men with us who have taken a vow. Take these men with you, go through the purification ritual with them, and pay the expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to the reports that they have heard about you, but that, on the contrary you, yourself, are strictly keeping the Law. And as to the Gentile Believers, we wrote to them saying that on our judgment they need not observe any such thing, except that they must abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from unchastity.’

The next day, then, Paul took the men, purified himself with them and entered the temple, giving notice when they should complete the days of purification and when the offering for each of them was to be made.

As the 7 days were about ended, some Jews from the province of Asia saw pau lint he temple. They excited the whole crowd into an uproar and laid hands on him. They shouted, ‘Men of Israel! Help! This is the fellow who is everywhere attacking our people, our Law and this sanctuary. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and has made this holy place unclean.’ For they had seen him in the city previously in company with Trophimus, the Ephesian, and supposed that Paul had brought him with him into the temple. The whole city was then in an uproar, and the crowd surged back and forth.  They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, after which the doors were shut. While they were getting ready to kill him, word came to the colonel of the regiment that the people were rioting all over Jerusalem. He at once summoned his soldiers and captains; and charged down on them. At the sight of the colonel and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. The colonel then came and arrested Paul. Having given orders that he should be bound with 2 chains, he inquired as to who he was and what he had done. Some of the mob was shouting one thing, an others something else, and it was impossible to find out anything certain on account of the clamor, so he gave orders that Paul be brought to the barracks. The violence of the mob was so great that when they reached the steps Paul had to be carried by the soldiers. The rabble kept pressing on behind and shouting, ‘Do away with him!’

When he was being brought to the barracks, Paul said to the colonel, “May I be permitted to say something to you?” He answered, ‘So you know Greek? Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago incited a revolt and led 4000 rebels into the desert?’ “No,” said Paul, “I am a Jew, a citizen of Tarsus in Cilicia, not a bad city at all. And I beg you therefore to let me speak to the people.” The colonel gave him permission to speak. So Paul, standing there on the steps, made a gesture with his hands to the people. A great hush then ensued and he spoke to them in the Hebrew language.

CHAPTER 22

“Brethren and fathers,” he said, “listen to the defense that I am now going to make to you.” When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language they became still more quiet. And he continued: “I am, without a question, a Jew. Though I was born in tarsus of Cilicia, yet I was brought to this city. I was trained at the feet of Gamaliel (a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the early 1st century AD), given a thorough knowledge of our ancestral Law, and was as zealous for Elohei as you all are this day. I persecuted to death those who followed the new Way. I put both men and women in chains, imprisoning them. As to this fact, both the high priest and all the elders can bear me witness. Indeed, I received letters from them to the brethren in Damascus, and I set out for Damascus to seize the Believes there, to bring them back in chains to Jerusalem to be punished.”

“But as I was on my way and coming close to Damascus, about noon, all at once a great light from heaven shone about me. I then fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? I answered, ‘Who are you?’ He said to me, “I am Yeshua of Nazareth, Whom you are persecuting.” And those who were with me were alarmed. They saw the light but did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. ‘Adonai, what should I do?’ I asked. And Adonai said to me, “Rise up and go to Damascus. There you will be told all that you will be appointed to do.”

“Now since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, those who were with me led me by the hand until I came to Damascus. Ananias was there. He was a devout observer of the Law and was well spoken of by al the Jews who lived there. He came to me and said as he was standing near me, ‘Brother Saul, look up!’ And at that very moment I looked up and saw him. Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His Will, to see the Just One and to hear His voice. And you are to be His witness, telling all men what you have seen and heard. And now, why delay? Rise up and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the Name of Adonai.’”

“Then it came about that, after I had returned to Jerusalem, I fell into a trance while I was at prayer in the temple. And I saw Him saying to me, “Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.” ‘Adonai’, I said, ‘they themselves know that in every synagogue I used to imprison and flog those who believed in You. Also, that when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there and gave my approval while looking after the clothing of those who murdered him.’ And he said to me, “Go, for I will send you afar off to the Gentiles.”

They had listened to him until he spoke this word, at which they gave a mighty shout, ‘Away from the earth with such a one! He is not fit to live!’ They kept on yelling, tearing their clothing and throwing garments and dust into the air. Meanwhile, the colonel had ordered that Paul be brought into the barracks; also that he be examined and flogged to find out why they cried out against him. And as they tied him with thongs, Paul said to the captain who was in charge, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen, and who has not been condemned?”

When the captain heard this, he reported it to the colonel and said to him, ‘Look here! What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen.’ The colonel then came and asked Paul, ‘Are you a Roman citizen?’ Tell me.’ And Paul answered, “Yes.” The colonel then remarked, ‘I paid a large sum for this citizenship.’ And Paul said in reply, “But I was born a free citizen.” Then those who were about to examine him left him at once. Also the colonel himself was worried on discovering that Paul was a Roman citizen, especially since he had been bound. So the next day he took off the chains and commanded the chief priests and the whole council to meet, and then he brought Paul down and set him before them, for he wanted to know the truth as to why he was accused by the Jews.

               
**ACTS 20: http://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-gospel-according-to-acts-chapters-20.html