Sunday, February 19, 2012

Back with a bang!!

11:40 p.m. February 18th: Today's project was to give God the praise and the glory for a wonderful recovery from my illness yesterday!

Because of His grace, I was healed of a full-day malady, able to host a "Muffins and Makeovers" party this morning here at home; enjoy our youngest son Steven's visit from Fresno (and help him with marketing ideas for his dietary program); and attend our Kriss and his wife's baby shower in Long Beach, with many family members and friends. Hubby Steve was home and well cared for, even taken out to Carl's Jr. for his favorite hamburger and fries.

No one enjoys a trial, but as my morning devotional from Spurgeon said, "real growth in grace is often the result of sanctified trials."

2:39 p.m. February 19th: Today's project was to give my youngest son and bodybuilder Steven a hug before he left for home, and to reflect on the conversations we had about his Crohn's disease--and my own persistent digestive maladies--late into last evening.

On Christmas Eve, Steven became violently, wretchedly ill, like I was on Friday, except for lasting two full days and hitting like a ton of bricks every 6 weeks. After working with his professional dieticians, who formulate diets for the bodybuilding pros, they advised him that he has Crohn's disease. I describe as being "at the far, far end of bad for stomach ailments." If you go from lactose intolerance (son Kriss) to celiac disease (allergy to wheat, me) to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, which I thought I had and almost caused me to miss Steven's Baccalaureate in 2006, but for downing a full large bottle of Pepto Bismol) to colitis, then you get to Crohn's, which can be fatal, whose inflammation and resulting scar tissue can even necessitate the removal of the small intestine.

All of these except for Crohn's are conditions, and not related to colon cancer, as far as I know, a killer which we all should get screened for, starting at age 50.

What Steven is doing is dealing with Crohn's in the right way--with dietary discipline. We are both amazed that some just opt for removal of their small intestine rather than change their eating habits! He was already eating very clean, with no junk, no preservatives, eating organic, fresh food only. All he had to eliminate were artificial sweeteners, oatmeal, broccoli and sweet potatoes (because of the fiber) and red meat because it takes the body longer to process than chicken, fish or turkey. Amazing! God has been truly in this way of eating for Steven, and has blessed his bodybuilding career and training of others as well.  In fact, he'll be the featured speaker at a church conference for women's health in Fresno next month. As much as I miss him, the Lord is using him there to heal others, whether spiritually at the People's Church by using his gift of healing, or guiding people to good health as a fitness trainer. His goal is to be a chiropractor, a natural healing method I've utilized for years.

All the glory goes to the Lord, Yahweh Rapha, as declared in Exodus 15:25b-26, when God promised the Israelites, at the sweetened waters of Marah, that if they fully obeyed Him, He would not bring on them the diseases He brought on Egpyt:

There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you."

With Spirit-led ministry to high school youth and evangelism to the lost, you'd think Steven would be tempted to say, "Why me, God?" But he wasn't raised like that. When I am tempted to ask the same question about our trial with Alzheimer's, I quickly correct myself to say, "Why not me, Lord?" I was reading to Steven last night out of Charles Spurgeon's Morning & Evening devotional for February 18th,

Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set the jewels of His children's graces, to make them shine the better...Depend upon it, God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence....God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and and using them to forced marches and hard service.He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. Well Christian, may this not account for the troubles through which thou art passing?

Indeed it may, to God be the glory!


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