Monday, May 19, 2008

Cry Out to Jesus

Matt 15:21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

25 The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

26 He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

27 "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

28 Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Yesterday, in church, JZ spoke on this passage. I have heard, or read, this passage so many times and have not paid that much attention to it, but I guess it hits me a little closer to home now. His title was Great Faith, because this woman truly had great faith.
When we come to the end of ourselves and the only thing we have left to do is to cry out to Jesus, this is when we act on our faith. We should remember that we are always at the end of ourselves and there is only one way out all the time, we just want to try to "handle it" ourselves.
This woman wanted her daughter healed and it didn't matter that Jesus didn't pay attention to her constant crying out, at first, she was going to get Jesus' attention because He was the only One who could heal her daughter. She was in the throne room of God, and He could heal her daughter. She knew she was "out of her league", but she didn't care about external things, because she also knew nothing, or no one, had the power to heal her daughter, except Jesus, and she was willing to do whatever she needed to do to have her daughter healed.

The points that John brought up were.
1. Great Faith Acts.
2. Great Faith is based on Repentance.
3. Great Faith always demonstrates a proper Understanding of God.
4. Great Faith never gives up.
5. Great Faith is always based on Humility.

How's your faith?
Are you trying to do "it" on your own?
Remember, God is not too busy to handle your issue. God wants us to give our burdens to Him before we come to the end of ourselves. He wants to take our burdens and cares right from the start.

"Cry Out to Jesus", Third Day.

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
And love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They've lost all of their faith in love
And they've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering


When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers with being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

There are so many people in the world with serious hurt, and the only source of true comfort is Jesus. We need to live our lives in such a way that they can see we have pain as well, but they need to see that the way we "deal with it" is by falling on our knees and crying out to Jesus.

Thanks JZ for the reminder.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Whole Story

Welcome to How good is God?, a blog about God's goodness to our family during and after our son's cardiac event. If you're a first time visitor, or want to refresh yourself, here's a table of contents to get you started with the story.

  1. How it All Began

  2. Night One

  3. Resurrection Morning

  4. Resurrection Day Part 2

  5. Resurrection Day Part 3

  6. Day Two in the Books

  7. 48 Hours

  8. Quick Update

  9. Where Does Our Help Come From?

  10. I Know You

  11. MRI

  12. Little Blue Fish

  13. The Power of the Cross

  14. Fathers and Sons

  15. Three Days Ago

  16. ICD Surgery Scheduled

  17. Bathroom Repair

  18. New Room

  19. Heart Stuff

  20. Big Bang

  21. Surgery Day

  22. Ninja Mom

  23. He's Out

  24. Day Five and ICD in Place

  25. Love Your Children Well

  26. Prayer Map

  27. Map and More

  28. Take Out

  29. Your Steadfast Love Endures Forever

  30. School, Home, and Report

  31. Hope in God

  32. Cards, Cards, and More Cards

  33. Your Relationship with Your Dad

  34. Blessing of "Didn't"

  35. Wanna Trade?

  36. Christ in You

  37. Laughter is Good Medicine

  38. God is Not Busy

  39. Weak and Needy DNA

  40. Don't Be Ashamed, Proclaim

  41. Good Day Sunshine

  42. Too Much "Good," Not Enough Heaven

  43. Wonderful, Merciful Savior

  44. From the Father of Light, the Giver of Life

  45. How's Your Connectivity?

  46. Say Something

  47. Who Can Understand the Work of God?

  48. Red Bricks

  49. One AMAZING Month

  50. How Lucky Can a Star Really Be?

  51. The Other Woman in My Life

  52. Forgiveness and Healing

  53. Trust and Obey

  54. Long Distance Surprise

  55. ETPing

  56. You Have a Decision to Make That Will Change Your Life

  57. Where Do YOU Live?

  58. God the Amazing Orchestra Director

  59. How Deep is the Love of Christ?

  60. I Actually Have Three Kids

  61. Happy Mother's Day

  62. Seated with Him in Heavenly Places

Monday, May 12, 2008

Seated with Him in Heavenly Places

Eph. 2:4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

What an amazing passage.

v4. Why would God have great love for us? Why would He have mercy on us?

v5. God not only created us to be in His image, but then He made us alive, again, while we were dead in our sins, to show us His grace.

v6. God the Father raised us up with His Son Christ, and then seated us WITH HIM, in the Heavenly realms. Think about that for a minute or two.

v7. He did this so that in the coming ages He could show off His great grace that He has expressed to us through Christ.

v8-9. We have been saved by grace, so that we can never boast about our salvation, which should in turn humble us as we reflect that God has chosen us, and not all men, in order to lavish His good gifts on us. "Why should He love me so?"

v10. All this He has done for us, so that we could be His hands and feet while we are here on earth doing the work He has prepared for us to do.

What a calling. What a privilege. Oh that we would take our calling serious and maximize our time, and effort, to be all that He would have us, and has called us, to be.

Way Beyond the Blue
Steven Curtis Chapman

Way beyond the blue, the Father is calling;
Let Him take you to a life beyond compare.

The passion fades and your sense of adventure
Sits collecting dust on a shelf;
The new gets old and hearts get cold.

Where's the flame that burned with excitement?
Where's the hope you once knew so well?
It's lost at sea with all your dreams.
There you stand caught between an endless sky above and earth below;
Look above and beyond what you can see to find a view of all that this life can be.

Way beyond the blue where the Father is calling,
Let Him take you to a life beyond compare;
His love is wider than the sky above you,
And He has plans for you that go way beyond the blue.

Like the wind carries an eagle,
Let His hand carry you now,
And show you scenes of His mighty strength.
As you rise high above all the riches that this world could give,
You will find the depth of His love,
And His grace that is lifting you up to live.

God has raised us up with Christ
And seated us with Him in heavenly places,
So that He can show the riches of His grace
To the coming ages.

Eph. 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Proverbs 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

My parents now live north of Spokane, so they are closer to us than they have been in many years. When Grant had his event, they came over on Sunday to be with us and encourage us.

Moms are special. I love both of my parents and they both have a share in who I am today, whether that's good or bad.

I know that for SOOO many years my mom prayed for my salvation, even when I was being a punk to her, she loved me. She taught us how to can food, work hard even when you don't like the work you are doing, to be responsible at an early age doing chores around the house and all the while she was a great friend to many other women in our local church.

Proverbs 31 is about the woman who maximizes the time and abilities God has given her, for His glory. I think my mom has done that. I love you mom, thanks for your unconditional love for me.

I have much to be thankful for the "other mom" in my life, Teresa.

She has been through a lot this year and every year she has been married to me, which is 25 in a few months.

She has also been industrious, but in different ways than my mom. She really likes to weed and be out in the dirt working those plants, whether around our home, the church or someone else's home, she loves to be working outside. She is also a great cook, she loves to entertain and make people feel welcome in our home, she is an encourager to so many around her. I could not do what I do if she didn't do what she does. Thanks for all you have done for our family over the years.

We have much to be thankful for, with our moms, and we need to make sure they know we love them all year. We need to rise up and call them "Blessed" and honor them.

Thanks to all the moms who have sacrificed so much to be faithful wives to their husbands, and faithful, loving moms to their children.

Happy Mother's Day.

Click here to read the next part, "Seated with Him in Heavenly Places"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I Actually Have Three Kids

Proverbs 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son grief to his mother.

Proverbs 15:20 A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish man despises his mother.

A friend of mine told me today that he thought I had 3 kids, and he only has read about 2 on the blog. Garrett, I'm sorry for taking so long to high light you here. I love you and am proud to be your dad. You're awesome.

Since you haven't heard too much about Garrett in the blog, and I will try to rectify that right now.

Here is Garrett in a nut shell.

Disciplined (more than any other high school guy I know), athletic, loves righteousness, funny, a good friend, smart, quick witted and a very kind heart.

Garrett loves to check off the box. If you give him a list of things to do, he will virtually never miss. He works so hard to not miss his quiet time reading his Bible. He's a machine doing exercises and taking out the garbage, he is on it.

Garrett loves basketball, and it's too bad he is related to me, because that means he won't be 6'6". He can jump and he is VERY white:) He shoots on the sport court very frequently and he loves to watch and analyze BB on TV. He was the goalie for the GA soccer team last year, and I think he is looking forward to that again this year. He has had an issue with in-grown toe nails, so this is a better place for him, and he is good at it. Grant is helping Garrett to be a better golfer and he will him there.

Garrett is like his mom, in that he really, really likes to talk. We have grown accustom to it, but if you ever watch a movie with him it is annoying when he says all the lines before the actors do. We have to tell him to be quiet a lot during movies. Teresa is the same way, except she is asking questions that there is no possible way anyone could know, unless they have seen the movie previously.

Garrett is a good friend. He always wants to do what's right and he has some good friends that help keep him accountable. He is really a sweet guy.

On March 22nd, when I arrived at the hospital, Garrett was there and he was really shaken up. He was so concerned for his Grant. He would have been a mess if Grant didn't make it. Parents want their kids to be friends with each other and this is really happening with our kids. It awesome. He had a hard time going into the shower in their bathroom after the event, because he could still "see" Grant lying there not breathing. He is working his way through it. Thanks for your prayers for him.

I don't normally go to plays, especially high school plays. Last weekend GA high school performed "Arsenic and Old Lace". As I walked into the play I really had no idea what it was about, except it must have something to do with poison.

First of all, the kids did an amazing job. I was totally blown away. The set was nice, the make up was over the top and the kids knocked their parts out of the park.
Garrett was Teddy Roosevelt, who, in the play is a crazy guy. I knew that Garrett had been working really hard on his lines and had been a the school practicing, like the other kids, some pretty serious hours. This is a picture of Garrett/Teddy from he first scene. I didn't even know it was him.

He is a funny man naturally and I accused the drama teacher of type casting. He did an amazing job. All the kids did.

I will try to post more about all three kids, so you can all have the privilege of "knowing" them. They are all keepers:)

I love you Garrett,

Click here to read the next part, "Happy Mother's Day"

How Deep is the Love of Christ?

Eph. 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church, which is us, and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Anytime you have the opportunity to play golf, with the possibility of moving up to the next level, it's a good day. When you have that kind of a day, and are able to skip class, it's even better. Though, that doesn't mean that you don't have to do well on your next class assignments.

Grant had one of those great days yesterday.

Teresa and I left home in the heavy mist and 46 degrees. Is it really May? I actually took my snow coat so I could put the hood on and not get so wet. T. and I had a nice visit, catching up on what's going on with the kids. There's been a lot happening around us. I like it that way. We talked about Grant's 18th BD this coming Saturday and what we're going to do, about the fire station visit and about how we miss seeing Kimmy everyday. The kids are doing well. I think we are all becoming closer friends. This is the time that parents wait, long and pray for. Friends with your kids. SWEET.

Anyway, we drove up to Burlington and then over HWY 20 and as soon as we got on the island the weather turned sunny and stayed that way the entire time we were there. It was a little windy, not too bad. Sun has been a little scarce around here since, oh, maybe September.

Some of the drive time was spent talking to a couple of guys from the Everett Herald, one a photographer and the other a sports writer.

The photographer, Michael O'Leary, met us at the course. It took us a little while to find Grant on the course, but we caught up to him. Michael walked with us for 6-8 holes and we visited as he took pictures of Grant golfing. I don't think it bothered Grant too much, but he did take a lot of pictures. Grant is a pretty calm "celebrity".
Michael left and Grant continued his round. Shaking our heads in amazement we walked and watched him make his way around the course, 6-1/2 weeks ago he was dead and here he is playing golf for a spot in the state golf tournament. God is Good.

The course is nice, a little hilly and right on the naval base. Planes are taking off and landing, so it can be pretty loud. I'm a guy and I like noisy airplanes. You can just hear the power. Tim, "The Toolman", Taylor would have enjoyed this day:)

As we made the turn at 10 I could see Grant was getting tired. He's not used to playing 18 holes and when it's a little hilly that just increases the fatigue. He didn't play as well as he would have liked, but that's golf and most of the time we don't. That's what keeps us coming back. He didn't qualify for state this year, but he was playing golf, instead of being in the classroom.

After the match we went out to dinner with the team and met the sports reporter, John Boyle. We had a nice talk and he asked us a lot of questions about Grant's event. I'm not sure when the story will run in the paper, but before it does I will post the time, so those who want to read it are able.

Overall, what a great day. God is good to let us spend the day out in the sunshine, watching the "miracle boy/man" play the game he really enjoys and be together.

We have much to be thankful for, and God is the giver of all the good gifts we have. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow". It seems as if the fountain it overflowing onto us.

This song is obviously from the Ephesians text and it is a reminder of the love of Christ to us and the cost of that love.

How Deep is the Love of Christ,
Wes King

Incomparable kindness to less than the least
To the broken, the battered, and weak
To all who are hungry there comes a call
To be filled with the fullness of God
It's beyond all you can see
Farther than you'd believe
It's a mystery
My prayer for you is that you would know

How wide, and how long, and how high, how deep is the love
How deep is the love of Christ

The width of two arms outstretched on a tree
The length of the road to Calvary
The height of the crown on a cruel cross
The depth of the pain is the cost
All for you, all for me
All for love did He bleed
All to set us free
My prayer for you is that you would know

How wide, and how long, and how high, how deep is the love
How deep is the love of Christ

Thanks for your prayers and friendship,

Click here to read the next part, "I Actually Have Three Kids"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

God the Amazing Orchestra Director

Thank you to all the EMS personnel in the US. Thanks for your hard work, for missing out on the "fun" that others are having while you are studying or working to learn what drug works to start hearts, how the defibrillator works, how to perform effective CPR and for just being there when we call.

Grant and I went to the fire station tonight. They were having their monthly meeting and I asked if we could come and encourage them with Grant's "aliveness".

The people in the EMS world often only get to hear about the people who don't make it, or who have a long road to recovery and I wanted to thank them for their work on our behalf. I got more than I bargained for.

The Chief started the meeting by telling the side of the story that I didn't know. God had arranged for Teresa to be home, in the kitchen, for me not to have taken off and a host of other things that made the event what it was. The part I didn't know was that it wasn't that long ago that this particular station would not have had any staff there on the weekends and it would have taken 15-20 minutes for an aid unit to arrive at our house. I think it took about 6 minutes. The reason it only took 6 minutes is because the call came into the stations that a 17 year old male was in cardiac arrest and almost the entire department was at the station because it was the ANNUAL pancake breakfast morning. All the staff was there and ready to go, the trucks ready for the first sign of an emergency, ready to perform at the highest level.

I told the staff that Teresa had said to me on that Saturday morning that when the guys were working on Grant they were a great team. No one was idle and everyone had a job to do and was doing it. It is so nice to see a team that is running like a well oiled machine, especially when they are saving your son's life. The chief said that while he was watching his team work on Grant he was thinking that he had seen these kind of situations and more than likely Grant was not going to make it. He just was not responding the way that he should have been. God is Good:) What a sweet addition to an already sweet story.

Just thought you would appreciate the new twist.

Click here to read the next part, "How Deep is the Love of Christ?"

Where Do YOU Live?

Phil.2:18 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

I was just catching up on the Mark's blog and was reminded that it is so easy for me to get sucked back into the world of the banal, the world of what is right in front of my nose and needs an answer right away, the world of what is really not that important.

I guess after having been through some deeper water than I am accustomed to, I am looking at life differently. I still really enjoy what I do, but after reading what they are battling for, life itself, I'm irritated that I get sucked back into the things of this world so quickly.

I really do want to be a stranger and an alien, but the cosmos has a strong pull on my heart. The time "away" with Grant's event was so sweet. Being able to just read and sit in his room and visit with all of you, either in person or electronically, was a tremendous blessing and encouragement to me. It's hard to believe that something happening like this in our lives could be looked back on with such affection. I truly think this will be one of the best times in our lives.

Grant is 18 this Saturday. I am so thankful to have him here. We get to enjoy another BD with him. He has no idea of what he wants to do, he's so easy going. He had a golf practice round, for districts, on Monday and played pretty well. Districts are on Wed. He still is tired, but he's been doing lots of things and going lots of places. It really is amazing. God is Good.

Click here to read the next part, "God the Amazing Orchestra Director"