Friday, March 9, 2018

Time Passes On

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it.  The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” Earl Nightingale

I suppose I could have changed this quote to something a bit more personal: I won’t fear the time that passes just because I have an incurable disease. The time will pass anyway; I might as well put that passing time to the best possible use.

Even though, praise God, I am doing so much better now (except for this blasted sinus infection!), there are still so many things I wish I could do.  There are even more things I want very badly to do, but because of Myasthenia Gravis, I am not able.  But you know what?  I’ll never give up.  I’ll never give in.  I feel like I might as well try to do something good with my time; it’s going to go by… whether quickly or slowly, it will pass.  So why sit and pout and be miserable?

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have my moments.  Ask my husband.  I have a pity party now and again, and I suppose I “boo-hoo” from time to time.  But I’d like to think that overall, my attitude is primarily positive.  You see, I have HOPE.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here. Yes, you read that right.  I would NOT be here on planet earth any longer if I didn’t believe there was more.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.’” John 11:25 NKJV

So if I die, how can I live?  Seems a bit oxymoronic, doesn’t it?  But friends, it is true. There is no truer truth in the entire world. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross so many years ago on a hill called Golgotha, when I die in my physical body, I will finally and truly be alive!  I will be pain-free, perfect, healthy, and never shed a tear again.  Oh, Glory!  Do you understand that?  Do you KNOW Jesus?

He has changed my life.  Living with a debilitating, chronic, neuro-muscular disease is not a lot of fun.  There are many times I’m not happy. But the JOY that lives in my heart! Oh, the joy!  Beloved of God (and that’s YOU, yes, you….anyone reading this!) I am able to have joy and peace in my very soul because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God gave up His one and only Son to die on a rugged cross so that I, so that you, might live forever with Him.  All we have to do is choose to say yes to His incredible offer of hope!

“They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:16-17 NKJV

Please read that again. God Himself will wipe every tear from your eyes.  That is heaven, my friends.  That is what we get to look forward to. Thank you, Jesus.

“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’
Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’”  Revelation 21:3-5

Hallelujah!  Again, God is saying He will wipe our tears! Do you know what that means to someone like me who lives with chronic pain? With many, many tears?

In the Old Testament, the tabernacle was the earthly house that God lived in.  In the book of Exodus, God gave Moses and the Israelites very specific instructions on how to build it. Because the Israelites were traveling through the wilderness, this large “house of God” was able to be moved from one place to another while the people traveled. But not just anyone could go into the house of God.  Specifically, the Holy of Holies, where God's presence literally dwelled, was only accessible to ONE man: the High Priest. 

So in Revelation 21:3 we read that the tabernacle of God (His home) is now with MEN! God Himself will dwell with us!  He will be with us. He will be our God. And He WILL wipe our tears.

I have had this disease called Myasthenia Gravis for over 20 years now.  I was 25 when I had my first symptom. It has taken a lot from me.


But one thing it can NEVER take from me is the hope I have.  Hope for a future, in heaven, with God…





Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Rescue by Jim Cymbala: A Book Review

Lawrence.  Timiney.  Rich.  Robin. Kaitlyn. Alex. Toni.

These are the seven people that you will meet in the book The Rescuer by Jim Cymbala.  I have not previously read anything by this author, but if this book is any example of his work, I might just find something else of his to read!

In, The Rescuer, Jim Cymbala tells us the first person stories of these seven individuals.  These are ordinary people with ordinary lives, who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances, whether at their own hand, or at the hand of another. They dealt with things like disease, addiction, alcoholism, the victim of rape and sexual abuse among others.

And all of these people have something else in common other than their troubles; they needed help, and they needed it now.  Desperate people, desperate for a Rescuer.

Robin is the granddaughter of Jewish emigres who now live in Brooklyn, NY.  Although her father was never really in her life, her grandfather raised her until her mother remarried.  While Robin was in high school she started experimenting with alcohol and drugs; that behavior continued in college, and then one day her parents called telling her that her grandmother had a heart attack and she needed to come home right away...  I don't want to say much else because I don't want to ruin the rest of her story.

Toni's story will break your heart.  But I promise you'll want to see how it turns out.  If you've ever struggled with heartbreak, addiction, sexual abuse, illness, this book will encourage you and inspire you to hang in there until Your Rescuer comes through for you.

You can purchase this book on amazon HERE
Or at by clicking HERE

I hope you check this book out.  It's really, really good, and it's a quick read.
I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

photo courtesy of the spruce
One of my favorite things about living in the country is that we get to watch so many birds.  Out the front living room window we have a bird feeder and another one in the dining room window right behind my chair.  In the winter we put suet out front, and in the summer we put out hummingbird feeders. A couple of years ago we even had Baltimore Orioles build a nest in one of our pear trees.

     When I lived in the city, about the only birds I saw were sparrows and blackbirds, and sometimes a robin.  Sparrows would always build a nest behind our basketball hoop on the garage; it was the "safest" place they could find.

    Out here...there's everything.  We also have blue jays, (stay away from their babies!  They will take your head off!) bluebirds, which I had never even SEEN before, sparrows, robins, and woodpeckers... and these giant things that LOOK like red-headed woodpeckers, but are really red-bellied woodpeckers.  They are about a foot tall and LOVE our cedar trees out front.  We have like 4 or 5 different kinds of woodpeckers.  They are really cool.  We also have nuthatches...they walk down the tree head first toward the feeder.  It's hilarious!

     I love the tiny chickadees.  They are so cute....and in the summer we have barn swallows, which I love, and yellow finches.

      But on the birdfeeder outside our dining room window, we have a Mafia ring.  One little sparrow, who isn't even the biggest of the sparrows let alone the other birds, is like the "Godfather".  (Or would that be God-feather?) Sorry, couldn't resist.  Seriously though....this little bird will sit up there and scare away anyone he doesn't want on the birdfeeder.  He has chased after other birds that didn't "listen", and makes a fuss when other birds land, even BIG birds...and scares them away.  It cracks me up.

     We have several pairs of cardinals this winter.  The bright red birds in contrast to the stark, naked branches and white snow is breathtaking.  But the males always get the attention because they are so bold.  The females however, at a distance, look drab and boring.  But when you see them up close, they are really beautiful.

     Some people in this life have the male Cardinal me.  We tend to hog the attention because we are bold and show up and say "HERE I AM!!!"  There are many however, like the female cardinal, that if you keep your eyes open, you see their real, genuine, heart-stopping beauty.  I'm sure we all know someone like that.

     My best friend Linda was like that.  She was truly beautiful on the outside as well as the inside, but she never drew attention to herself.  Whether she was just content to let me have the spotlight, or just didn’t want to compete for it, I don’t know.  Linda passed away just over nine years ago. And my heart is still broken.

     Anyway. The other day I was watching dozens of birds come and go, and even scratch on the ground like little chickens for the seeds that have fallen out of the feeders.  And I thought, “God is watching these little sparrows.  He takes care of them, He loves them...and I KNOW He laughs at the God-feather.”

     In Matthew 10:28-30 it says, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." (emphasis mine)

     We don't need to be afraid of the things in our lives that we can’t control.  I know I want to be like the little sparrow that kind of “controls” the order of things.  But I am not in control of this life.  God has control, and I’m very grateful for that.  It means that I don’t have to fear chronic illness.
     We don't have to be afraid of that mean boss who has it in for us. We don't have to worry about how we are going to pay our bills; we don’t even have to worry about death!  God loves us, and takes care of us.  If God takes such good care of a sparrow, which were sold 2 for a penny, how much more does He love and care for us? 

     Whether you believe in God or not, He believes in you. He loves you. He wants to take care of you.  Even more than the sparrows.

Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs called, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow:”

1.    Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
o    Refrain:
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
2.    “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
o    Refrain:
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
3.    Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
o    Refrain:
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children: A book review

If you know me, you know that my son is not quite an adult yet (although he *thinks* he is sometimes!), but I figured it's never too early (or too late) to start praying Scripture over your child.  I freak out a little (okay a lot) over thinking about Jacob as an adult, quite frankly.  So I thought I better get started now.

Jodie Berndt has a real winner here.  In a practical, personal way, the author gives us varied situations in which we might need specific prayer for our adult children. These categories cover their health and well-being, their future relationships, jobs, and more.  Ms. Berndt gives examples of praying Scripture, one of THE most powerful prayers anyone can pray over another. 

Because I have suffered from depression and anxiety, I can relate to praying for emotional and mental health both for myself and my family.  A HUGE part of dealing with mental illness is dealing with the stigma of it.  Sometimes it's very difficult to share with others the *real* reason we need prayer, whether it's for ourselves or others.  But in chapter 13, for example, one of the author's prayer principles says this:  "When you pray your child through a mental or emotional illness, don't let shame or fear keep you from enlisting trusted prayer partners to help carry your burden." pg 195, Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children.

Then you could specifically pray 2 Timothy 1:12 (paraphrased to fit your situation)..."When our family suffers, let us not be ashamed. Instead, let us be confident in your ability to guard whatever we entrust to you, including our child's emotional health." (pg. 205)

When I got sick, my mom immediately started praying.  She has a group of precious women she has been meeting with for nearly 30 years!! Whenever I needed prayer for *anything*, physical OR mental, I would call my mom and ask "her ladies" to pray.  Never, ever underestimate the power of praying God's word!

I would recommend this book for anyone with children in their teens or later.  Although as I said, it's never too early to start praying over your children.

You can purchase the book at by clicking here.
Disclaimer: I received this book at no cost in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


photo courtesy of Rock Church

18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NIV)

The New Living Translation of 1 Peter 1:18-19 uses the word “ransomed” instead of redeemed.  18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you…19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”

Ransom:  Cost.  Price.  Penalty. 
Payment.  Redemption.

Did you know that you were rescued by God before you were ever born? That He loved you so much He was willing to sacrifice His One and Only Son?  His Child.  For you! 

Think about that.  I mean really, really THINK about that….

When is the last time you felt worthy of dying for?  I’m not sure I’ve EVER felt that way.  When is the last time you thought that Someone, anyone, would be beaten and punished and murdered so YOU could have a better life?

Well, it happened.  In a feedbox in Bethlehem.  On the road to Gethsemane.  At a place called Golgotha. 

Jesus, the One and Only, the Son of the One, True God, came to earth and lived and died so that YOU could be rescued; so that I could be redeemed.

I know that I am guilty of talking “down” to myself.  “Oh, Kerri, that was so stupid!”  “I can’t believe how dumb I am.”  “I’m such a loser.”

Are you willing to admit to any of those sounding familiar?  Well, I say to you, and to myself:  STOP. Just stop.  Stop demoralizing the person that Jesus bled and died for!  
What an insult to the Lamb of God! 

If YOU paid a million dollars for something you thought was flawless, priceless, and worthy to be paid for, how would you feel if anyone came by and treated it like trash? Would YOU take that million dollar possession and slam it to the ground and break it? 

Of course you wouldn’t.

Then stop doing it to yourself.  We need to start realizing that we are not our own.  We were BOUGHT and paid for by the God of the Universe.  And He hears our every thought.  He knows how we feel about ourselves, and what we say to ourselves.

And He probably weeps. 

Let’s start valuing ourselves.  Let’s start appreciating each other! Jesus died for you.  He died for me.  He died for your worst enemy. 
Let’s not make it for nothing.

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

©1995 Kingsway's Thank you Music
Words and Music by Stuart Townend

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything 
No gifts, no powr's, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Being Thankful On Purpose

There are times in everyone's lives when you just plain have a bad day.  Even if things are going well, and you're feeling good... sometimes you still have a crappy attitude. (And when I say "you" I mean "me" too!)  So I'm challenging myself, and you, to be thankful on purpose. I have SO much to be thankful for, that sometimes I need to remind myself. 

1. I am thankful that God's mercies are new every morning. NO matter how badly I screw up, He will forgive, truly forget, and start every new day with a clean slate. That needs to be number one on EVERYONE'S thankful list.

2. I am thankful that we have a wood burner, and don't have to pay almost $4.00 a gallon for fuel oil to heat our house. I'm thankful we have woods all around us and don't have to pay for wood. I am thankful that Doug is able to get all the wood we need for winter without paying someone else to get it. Praise God!

3. I am thankful that my husband is a Christian man, has a good job, is hard working, faithful, trustworthy, loving, a wonderful provider and a great dad. (He's awfully cute too!)

4. I am thankful I have a beautiful, healthy, smart, loving, busy, crazy, amazing, gregarious, precocious, full-of-life son, when I thought I never could. Miracles happen, folks.  I'm living proof.

5. I am thankful for the friends that I have that I know I can count on for WHATever, WHENever. Thank you for letting me know that I can depend on you, call you in the middle of the night (only for an emergency, I promise!)…I love you and appreciate you more than you can know.

6. I am thankful I have a computer, and internet, because it allows me to keep in touch with everyone I love.

7. I am thankful for music. It moves me like nothing else can.

8. I am thankful that although I have health issues, I can see and hear. I can walk, and talk, maybe not perfectly, but I can.  I'm so, so, so thankful for the IonCleanse.  It has given me my life back.  Thank you, Lord!!

9. I am thankful that this life is not all we have. That when the time comes, I will be in the presence of God Almighty, and I long to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant." I will be whole again. There will be no more night. No more pain. No more tears. Hallelujah! I will be reunited with those gone before, and meet fellow Christian friends I have not had the privilege to meet in this lifetime.

10. I am thankful for YOU, yes you!  The one who is taking the time to read my words.  I am thankful you read this, and I want you to know you are loved.

May we all find something we are thankful for today. I'd love to hear what YOU'RE thankful for...leave a comment!

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:1-3

Friday, February 9, 2018

Today is Monumental!!

Why, you ask? Well, it's Martin Luther's birthday.  (No, not Martin Luther King, just Martin Luther. If you don't know who that is, ask a Calvinist. LOL) That's lovely, but that's not why this day means SO much. 

And, on this day in 1943, Japanese troops evacuated Guadalcanal, which ended the epic WWII battle on the Solomon Islands in the Pacific.  But that's not it either. 

On February 9, 1951, the St. Louis Browns signed pitcher Satchel Paige, aged 45.

But what is REALLY significant, in MY life, on THIS day??

It has been ONE YEAR since my last plasmapheresis treatment!!!!

Now if some of you don't know what plasmapheresis is, let me tell you.  (Warning, if you're squeamish, skip to the next paragraph!)  I used to have to go to the hospital two times, a day apart, every four weeks to have pheresis.  They would stick a large bore needle (like the size of a fork tine) into each arm.  Out of one needle they would draw out 150% of my blood volume, and run it through a machine (like a fancy centrifuge), spin out my plasma, add albumin synthesized from human plasma, and put my blood back into my body.  I have had this procedure done over ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED times in the last 17+ years.  Yes, 1,400!  If you're never had this, or dialysis, or anything like this, it's truly hard to imagine how hard this process is on your body.  And I had to have it that often just to *function*.
You can read more about plasmapheresis HERE.  (At the time of the post I could go *maybe* up to six weeks, but my function would decline.)

So how on earth have I managed to go an entire year, when normally I would have had at LEAST 26 of these treatments, you ask?  Let me tell you!!!  I was blessed, absolutely, 100% BLESSED to be part of a small, private, *INFORMAL* study by Debbie Norman with a machine called the IonCleanse by AMD.  (Click HERE to see the results of the study.)  Debbie asked ME to be part of this study.  The Lord led her to ask me, I just know it.  Well, I DO know, because I had the chance to meet her and ask her why!  Jacob said, "So we're going to meet the lady who gave you the keys to the lock to open the door to the rest of your life?"  Sigh.  I LOVE that boy. 

I thank God every single day for this machine that has transformed my life.  My miracle.  I cannot thank Debbie enough for listening to God's whispers when it came time to find participants for the study. God is GOOD.

So what is the IonCleanse by AMD you ask?  Well, it is an ionic footbath. Mmmm-hm.  That's what I said.  A foot bath.  You put your feet in a tub filled with good ol' tap water, put something called an array in the tub, connect it to the computer (machine) and plug it in. YES, we're talking water and electricity here.  That is why I can ONLY recommend the IonCleanse by AMD.  It has a 100% safety record, and it has been tested, and tested, and tested.  You can buy a knock off made in China for a LOT less money, but there is NO oversight, NO testing, NO safety record, and it's basically a glorified battery charger.

I. have. gotten. my. life. back.

Did you get that?? I got my life back! What dollar amount do you put on getting your life back??? I would have paid 10 times the amount!! I can drive to an appointment an hour away, with Jacob, go to the appointment, drive an hour home, and still be okay. For many of my 20 years with Myasthenia Gravis I could not drive at all.

I can walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes and not get out of breath.  I used to get out of breath going to the bathroom.

I can do laundry.  (Aren't you excited for me?!?)  I can vacuum.  The whole house. I can take off and put on sheets on my queen size bed.  BY MYSELF!!!! These may be trivial, monotonous chores for most folks, but if you couldn't do any of that for over 15 years???  Not even put one load of clothing in the washer?  You would understand what a big deal this is for me.

Last summer, for the *first* time since my son was born over 11 years ago, I looked at him and asked him where he wanted to go to do something just for fun.  I had NEVER been able to do that before in HIS entire life. My eyes tear up just writing this.  I've always wanted to be a mom...Always.  And I struggled raising him.  I struggled every. day. of. his. life.  

Until the IonCleanse.  HERE is the link where you can find out more information. I'll tell you right upfront it's expensive.  It's about $2000.  They have a 60 day, 100% money back guarantee if you're not absolutely enamored with this machine.  I noticed after about 6 weeks (well within the 60 day guarantee) how much better my depression was!  I had a teeny tiny hope that the IonCleanse would help with that, but I was resigned to having horrible depression my whole life. That's a whole separate post, and I WILL post more about this, but I don't want this to become a book. (Not right now anyway 😏 )

There is also a payment program that you can sign up for when you call IonCleanse by AMD.... It's kind of like rent-to-own. The people at AMD are amazingly helpful, and they all speak English!! AMD (A Major Difference) is an American company.  Just one MORE reason they are awesome! It's not like you call and get "Bob" from Pakistan to help you.  You may even talk to the President of the company!

Anyway.  I just wanted to share my amazing, happy news, that I have been able to go an entire year without the traumatic experience of getting all of my blood sucked out and put back in my body.  I am prayerfully hopeful that I will never need it again.

Thanks for reading and sharing in my joy. God is GOOD!