This blog was created to keep all of our family and friends informed of what is going on in our lives as our dear husband, father and Opa battles ALS. May God receive the full glory as we walk on this path He has chosen for our family. "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
The Lord has given us a wonderful time together as a family this past Christmas holiday. We could celebrate with our children and 11 grandchildren on several occasions. But best of all, we could hear again the wonderful story of a Saviour Who came to take our place as the God - man. He offers us forgiveness for our sins of the past, present, and the future in a new life with Him. Hallelujah! Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Peace on earth, good will toward men. Thank you Jesus.
Our entire family on Christmas Day 2012
Lucas smiling up at his Opa
It is a tradition in our church on New Years Eve to read the list of names of those members who have passed away in the last year. I fully expected my name to be on the list for 2012, but not my mother-in-law. The Lord had different plans, and His way is perfect. We all need to use the time and talents given to us to bring honour and glory to His holy name. That is our challenge for the year 2013.
My wife and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Blessed New Year 2013.
Walk more closely with God, get nearer to Christ and seek to exchange hope for assurance. Seek to feel the witness of the Spirit more closely and distinctly every year. Lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets you. Press towards the mark more earnestly. Fight a better fight, and war a better warfare every year you live. Pray more, read more, mortify self more, love the brethren more. Oh that you may endeavor so to grow in grace every year, that your last things may be far more than your first, and the end of your Christian course far better than the beginning!
At this special time of year, families and friends will gather together to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Immanuel - 'God with us'. What amazing news - God sent His 'only begotten Son' to become man, and to die for sinners so that we could be saved. Who would come up with such a marvellous plan, but God Himself. Lena and I extend our sincere wishes for a blessed Christmas to all the followers of our blog, and to the team of people that help us in many ways every day - PSW's who spend an hour every morning, getting me out of bed, washed and dressed, seven days a week; the PSW's who watch over me 7 hours every night; the volunteers who do range of motion physio on me daily; the ladies from our church who bring us home cooked meals and baked goods for so many months already; to the many from our church and school community who pray for us so faithfully. Thank you! Your love and care for us is truly amazing, and it humbles us. You are laying up treasures in heaven. To God be the glory.
In the 1800's a Belgian priest arrived in a Hawaiian village that had been quarantined as a leper colony. He lived with the lepers, learned their language, organized schools, bandaged their wounds, and ate with them. The village was transformed. Yet for years the priest was different from his people in one important way. They had leprosy, and he didn’t. Then one day he stood and began a sermon with two words: “We lepers . . .”
He had contracted leprosy, and from that moment on, people in the village saw him in a new light. He had become one of them. He would not only share their life but also die as they would die.
On Christmas we celebrate the day God came to our village in the person of Christ. He became one of us.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for humbling Yourself, for taking on our sin-diseased condition, and for dying our death. With Seeking Him, I’m Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Last night, when I went to bed, I asked my wife to wake me up if she got a phone call or text telling us that her mother had died. We were expecting it to happen in the next 24 hours or so. Lena was a little hesitant, not wanting to wake me if I had just finally fallen asleep, but she agreed.
Thirty minutes later, Lena quietly came into the bedroom to tell me that her mother had just died. I was still awake, and was praying for her mother at the time. We hugged, and I soon fell asleep.
The next morning, the PSW (personal support worker) who watches over me through the night, told Lena that after she left, he noticed that I had fallen asleep with a big smile on my face. He was surprised that I could be so happy after just hearing that my mother-in-law had just died.
Lena asked me to tell her why I was smiling. I told her that just before she walked in to tell me the news, that I was praying / dreaming that I saw two angels carrying her mother up Jacob's ladder, and that mom said that she was not afraid of the height, being so far above the ground. At the top of the ladder, there was a golden road leading to the gates of heaven, and mom walked that road with great joy. It ended there, because Lena had just entered the room at that moment.
I don't believe in extra biblical revelation, but this prayer/dream was a comfort to me, and I thought that I would share it with you.
There may be true servants of God in places where we should not expect to find them. The Lord Jesus has many ‘hidden ones’ like these wise men. Their history on earth may be as little known as that of Melchizedek, Jethro and Job. But their names are in the book of life, and they will be found with Christ in the day of His appearing. It is well to remember this. We must not look round the earth and say hastily, ‘all is barren.’
The grace of God is not tied to places and families. The Holy Spirit can lead souls to Christ without the help of many outward means. Men may be born in dark places of the earth, like these wise men, and yet like them be made ‘wise unto salvation.’ There are some traveling to heaven at this moment, of whom the church and the world know nothing. They flourish in secret places like the lily among thorns, and ‘waste their sweetness on the desert air.’ But Christ loves them, and they love Christ. ~ J.C. Ryle
People often tell jokes about the 'dreaded' mother-in-law who interferes, doles out plenty of unwanted advice, and generally makes your life miserable. I don't know what your experience has been, but mine has proven to be quite the opposite. My mother-in-law and I have always had a great relationship from day one, and I cannot think of one incident in the last 37 years where we had a conflict. She has a wonderful sense of humour, is quite witty, has a perceptive judge of character, and has many wise Dutch sayings suited for the situation at hand. I have learned numerous valuable life lessons from her humble, godly example. She is a good illustration of a 'rare jewel of Christian contentment'. The service of the Lord was always her number one priority.
Last week this dear woman suffered a massive stroke, and is now lying unresponsive, but still breathing, in a hospital. She often told me that even though I was dying of ALS, she could die before me, since she was 87 years old. She may be right.
Her last words to me last week were "I love you ". She was not raised to say this, in fact, she said she never heard her parents ever say 'I love you' to her. She never doubted that she was loved, it was just never verbalized, but was demonstrated by actions. That was a different generation, and difficult for us to imagine. Perhaps it is being over used today, especially by the music and movie industry, causing a loss of some of its meaning and sincerity.
Yet, in the last few years, we learned to say it to each other before leaving after a visit. They were the only words she could understand from me, since my speech is quite garbled, even at the best of times. She also wrote it in the birthday cards to her great-grandchildren, enclosing a $5 bill with it.