Friday, May 31, 2013

Fire season

 It's that time of year.  We have winds, very low humidity, and wildfires.  To the east is the Tres Lagunas Fire (above) north of Pecos in the Sangre de Cristos(above).  It grew from 500 acres to 1,000 acres over night last night.  To the west of us is the Thompson Fire in the Jemez Mountains (below).  It started today between Jemez Springs and the Caldera.  We have plumes on both sides of us.  Currently the smoke is south of us, but we'll see what happens over night.

We have a friend fighting the fire in the Pecos Wilderness, and know many firefighters in the Jemez.  Please pray for God's protection and safety on them.  And an end to this drought would be awfully nice!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Health Update

A friend recently told me that when I don't blog, she worries about the state of my health. And she is right- either I am struggling, or I am very busy.  And with the end of the school year upon us, I am really busy, but also struggling a bit with my health. So here is an update for all you dear worry-warts out there, and links are provided for you scientists among us.  A few specific prayer requests are below if you would be so kind as to carry them before the throne of grace...

I am slowly becoming accustomed to the second immune suppressant we added in March-- Cyclosporine-A.  I continue to wade into the waters of off-label use for this rare eye disease.  And the cyclosporine has been tough to adjust to, but learning I can take it with food at different times from my mycophenolate has helped some, and I hope to continue to adjust to it so we can get the full benefit possible from it.  This cocktail of cellcept/cyclosporine is the top-gun, best-remedy to push my birdshot chorioretinapathy into remission.

And remission is more important than ever.  Last week I developed an operable cataract in my right eye (it went from negligible to fully ripe in 8 weeks-- who knew that could happen?)  It has made my vision in that eye very clouded and I can't read regular print out of that eye.  We can only remove the cataract once the birdshot is in remission for 3-6 months.  And we haven't made it yet.  When I saw the specialist last week, she was encouraged that it appears from a visual exam that the active cells in the eyes are diminishing, so that is encouraging.  And she did an OCT which was fine. When I see her in June, we will repeat the FA, which will determine where we stand.

So, I am busy, and assaulted on the medical front, but working to keep my eyes focused where they need to be: on Christ.  Below are some specific prayer requests:
  • The additional problems with reading are making the grading of end-of-term exams and papers more of a challenge.  Please pray that I will be faithful and that God will be gracious, and that I can encourage my students and complete my work.
  • Pray thyat I could exercise and rest and find a happy place of health and improved stamina and sense of well-being.
  • Pray that the FA on June 21 will show the birdshot is in complete remission.
  • Pray that I would keep my eyes and heart focused on Christ and His good will for me in these things.
The following is fast becoming my favorite chapter in the bible.  The last three verses have been favorites for about 20 years, but the rest is so encouraging and real. May it encourage you today, Gentle Reader.

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—  always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
~2 Corinthians 4

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Mother's Day memory

21 years ago on Mother's Day, my family left after church to head for Houston.  Dave had stage 4 metastatic melanoma, had been given about 6 months to live, and was entering a clinical trial using experimental drugs at  M. D. Anderson.  We left not knowing if we would all come back home together or not.

But 21 years later, we know the marvels God accomplished: how He went before us, cared for us, raised up an army to care for and pray for us, cured Dave of an incurable cancer, grew my boys to manhood in the presence of their dad, and has allowed Dave to participate in two weddings and hold two grandchildren. He took us from baby Christians to believers who found their footing in Christ, who could praise Him for suffering, and who could stand when everything around them yelled, "Fall and get it over with!"   Having seen God do all of that, I cannot doubt that He has my good and His glory in mind in every trial I encounter.  Blessed be His name!

If you want to know more about this God, just ask.  I'd love to tell you!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy birthday, Mom!

My mom has always been available to me when I needed her-- whether I had fallen behind on a home economics project in middle school, or was having surgery.  Or even when I wanted to recreate my grandmother's apple butter (as in the photo above.) I don't say often enough how much I appreciate her constant love and support.  Thank you, Mom.  Happy birthday, and Happy Mother's Day!