July 26, 2013

John VanWoerden Passed Away

John VanWoerden, a spiritual friend and brother of mine, died on July 24th, in Chilliwack, British Columbia. There are an amazing number of similarities in our lives that I want to share with you.

* We are both 59 years old
* We were both given a medical death sentence 2 and a half years ago
* We were both married in the same year
* We have loving children and grandchildren
* We both served as elders in our churches and had to step down due to illness
* We both have a heart for missions
* We both have a beautiful, loving, supportive wive
* We both have a wonderful, loving, supportive family and church community
* We are both saved by the grace of God through faith
* We both have a blog for the same reasons (John's blog is http://lookingtochristalone.blogspot.ca/ )

There are of course some differences in our situations:

* John had cancer, and I have ALS
* John had a lot of pain on his journey, and I do not
* John could walk and talk to the end, and I cannot
* We live on opposite sides of our beautiful country, Canada (5,000 Km)
* John has completed his journey, and I am still here (for now)

There could be many more similarities and differences, but this is enough to give you the idea why we were drawn together.

We express our deepest sympathies to Henrietta, children and grandchildren from our family.


July 17, 2013

The Shadow

My sister-in-law was reading a book and wanted to share an excerpt from it with us. I want to share it now with you.

     Donald Grey Barnhouse, on the way home from the funeral of his first wife, was trying to think of some way of comforting his children. Just then a huge moving van passed by their car and its shadow swept over them. Instantly, Barnouse asked, "Children, would you rather be run over by a truck or by its shadow?" The children replied, "Of course we'd prefer the shadow!"
To which Barnhouse replied, "Two thousand years ago the truck of death ran over the Lord Jesus... now only the shadow of death can run over us!"

Yea, though I walk through the
                                                          valley of the shadow of death,
                                                                    I will fear no evil:
                                                                 For thou art with me.
                                                                    (Psalm 23:4 KJV)

   Death is the chariot our heavenly Father sends to bring us to Himself.

July 11, 2013

Condition Update

I think it is time to give my blog readers an update on my physical condition. At no time has the disease remained static, although it has slowed down in the last year. At present, I am paralysed from the neck to my toes. I cannot move my arms or legs without help. If my hand slips off my leg, then it stays there, until Lena moves it back. I am drooling and have a tissue tucked into my shirt to absorb it. I sweat a lot from my arms and forehead and need regular wipedowns with a towel, especially in the hot summer weather.

I can still swallow pureed food, but it takes a lot of time and patience from my care givers, mainly being Lena. I can still turn my head using neck muscles, but my head tends to lean to my right. This allows me to control the cursor on my computer, and be able to write this blog post. The control is slowly getting weaker, and I have good days and bad days for being able to write.

My body has the tendency to curl up into a tight fetal position and to stay that way in a cramp. That is why I need daily range of motion or stretching exercises. I also take several medications to prevent muscle cramps. This is a part of my daily struggle with this dreadful disease.

The Lord has been good to me throughout this journey, hour by hour, and day by day. I often think of the well known hymn: I Need Thee Every Hour. I have never felt abandoned by God, despite the feelings of being trapped in my body, like a cage. My Father hears my cries for help, and leads me through it with His rod and staff (Psalm 23).


July 2, 2013

Canada Day

July 1st is a national holiday known as Canada Day. Founded in 1867, makes us a relatively young 146 years. Not unlike a patchwork quilt, Canadians are a multicultural composition of people from all over the globe. This gives Canada a unique flavour of mutual acceptance and unusual cooperation. The only original Canadians are known as Indians, or more properly, the First Nations.

Canada is known as a peaceful and peace keeping nation. The Canadian economy is the envy of the G8 (the eight wealthiest nations of the world). Canada is rich in natural resources such as: fresh water, oil, minerals, lumber, pulp and paper, etc.

Is Canada a perfect country? Far from it. Just think of the most recent municipal, provincial and federal scandals that have dominated recent news reports. Canada is also the only civilized country with no abortion laws. We have strayed far from our Christian heritage.

Yet I am proud to be a Canadian, and I am thankful for my country. The little known verse 4 of our national anthem says it all for me:

Ruler Supreme,
Who heareth humble prayer,
keep our dominion in Thy loving care.
Help us to find oh God in Thee
a lasting rich reward.
As looking for a better day,
we ever stand on guard.
God keep our land,
glorious and free.
O Canada we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada we stand on guard for thee.