Archive for the ‘ Daddy Update ’ Category

It is strange to me.  I didn’t feel different after Joel’s primary oncologist came in to deliver the news.  Perhaps I never fully hoped that the battle would be over today.  Perhaps I knew that if we had discovered that Joel was healed through an MRI today it would have seemed anti-climatic in my cinematic day dreams.

.

IMAGINED SCENE #1 INT DAY.

.

baby boy is hungry because hospital radiation is running 2 hours behind on promised MRI.  Father walks back and forth endlessly in the halls so baby doesn’t freak out.

.
Baby is not symptomatic of anything cancer related.  Baby is just really really hungry.

.
CHIEF DR

Well,  i’m not sure how to say this, but the lesion that was resident in Joel’s brain has disappeared.  Looks like the chemo did more than we expected.

.

DAD

So… there’s no cancer.

.

CHIEF DR

Well we still have to wait for the LP results tomorrow.

.

DAD

So… there’s no cancer.  Isn’t that a bit “unusual”?

.

CHIEF DR

Yes, I would say it’s unusual. So let’s wait for the results tomorrow and come up with a plan from there.

.

DAD

Um… Well… Ok, I guess I’ll go give Joel a bottle.

Of course, I also imagine a more epic scenario would go as follows:

IMAGINED SCENE #2 INT CHURCH NIGHT.

.

The congregation is gathered in faith filled expectation of what God will do.  Joel’s Father has invited all the local news stations and the modern prophets of Baal to gather to witness the event.  It is standing room only.

.
Father holds Joel and welcomes the prophets of Baal to heal his son.  The prophets wail and dance and cut them selves, but no healing comes.

.
FATHER

Maybe your God can’t hear you!  Yell louder, he may be in the bathroom!

.

BAAL PROPHETS

WAAAAAIIIIILLLLLL

.

Baby is not healed.  Father proceeds to welcome all sick people to sneeze on baby.

.

FATHER

Jesus heal this baby!

.

Lightening falls from heaven and strikes baby, as the smoke clears, Father pulls tumor from Joel’s nose.

.
FATHER

I declare this baby cancer free!!!

.

All local news stations carry the event live and thousands are saved.

.

SCENE.

Oh to have faith like Elijah, the lone prophet who could make a spectacle of the power of God by calling down fire from heaven.  Oh if I only had faith like Elijah, then, well then my son would be healed and the world would believe in Jesus.

.

But, then I read on and find out that right after Elijah calls this fire from heaven, Jezebel threatens his life, and he runs in fear!

.

As I meditate on the scriptures I recall this behavior through the old and new testament time and time again.  God is faithful to perform signs and wonders;  His people forget about it;  His people turn away from him;  God has mercy, helps them, and doesn’t destroy them.  rinse, repeat.

.

I have the sense that faith and rest and standing on ground that is solid when your whole world is sinking is not something we conjure through sheer will, it is calm in the storm, because Jesus said “we’re going to the other side of the lake”

.

Faith comes through hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And, I think that it comes specifically through REMEMBERING what God said and remembering what God has already done and choosing to look at those things that God has said and done and not the current circumstance.

.

Phillipians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

.

Our first night in the hospital two weeks ago, I had finally got Joel to sit in his crib. This, after Joel had been tormented for 5 hours with dehydration, thirst, and constant vomiting.  I was at the end of my rope and so discouraged, feeling like this experience was the beginning of the end, that perhaps this wasn’t just dehydration I was facing but the symptoms of his growing cancer.  Joel had managed to calm down enough for me to place him in his crib, but he was still very upset.   I laid there in the dark desperately praying for his peace when one of the scripture lullabies I play in the hospital started to play.  “Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.”

.

Suddenly I knew what to do, I started to thank God for his faithfulness, and recounted the things that God had done recently for our family and for Joel, and almost immediately Joel calmed down and fell asleep.  In fact he woke up a few hours later crying for a bottle, drank it, did not throw up, and then fell back asleep.  He did this again at 4am and then 8am and by morning his physical signs of dehydration had disappeared.

.

God has been and continues to work small signs and wonders for us every day.  Amy’s gall stone attacks subsiding during prayer, Joel’s tolerance of chemo, his weight gain in the middle of treatment, his lack of nausea, God’s provision financially for us this year, health insurance, our marriage is stronger, our kids are sweet to each other, the body of Christ is standing in prayer united on behalf of our son, God has gathered a cloud of witnesses to see what He will do.

.

I have decided to stop trying to come up with a screen play for how I hope it turns out.  Instead, I am going to try and not be anxious, ask God to heal my son, and thank Him for all he has done.

.

Jesus, please calm this storm.

.

-Ryan

whatishell

whatisheaven


Pastor Blake, asked me to give a testimony of the most recent events with Joel and what we’ve been learning. It starts at about the 15 minute mark. You can drag the progress bar to the 15 minute mark to skip over the beginning of the service if you’d like. Sorry for the advertisements (free service)

Today has been a day of hope. But, before I tell you about our day, I want to tell you about what the mirror reflects when I stand in the light of hope.
.
I feel like the following excerpt from a recent email I sent would best illustrate what I’ve been feeling this week as I’ve been seeking the Lord.
.

… What I hope to see, and it’s something that I’m starting to see in my own life, is the body of Christ awakened and set apart for kingdom work.
.
My reasoning is this. I’ve often told people that I’m almost more fearful of God actually healing Joel than Joel dying.
.
What a ridiculous thing to say right? Well consider this. If Joel had been healed during treatment people would praise God but ultimately credit science and chemo and radiation.
.
If Joel dies then folks will rightly say that God is good and in control and will give us the grace to get through it.
.
But we’re at the end of science now. There is nothing man can do for Joel but try to give him a peaceful exit from this life to the next.
.
What if God hears our prayers has mercy on us and gives Joel life, heals his cancer and fixes his eyes! Then what? Our body and the thousands that pray for Joel have a testimony that is beyond anecdotal. It is something we witness with our own eyes.
.
In the face of that miracle are we prepared to give testimony of the hope that we have in Christ? Are we in a place of His presence that we will be able to hear His voice and know how to minister to those around us. Will we be walking in the gifts so that those we tell can receive the power of the Holy Spirit and healing through us?
.
When given such a sign of the power of the living God, could you or I carry the weight of its Glory? I want to be able to say yes, emphatically, and then “more Lord!”

.
Today after returning from the hospital, where Joel received chemo in his spinal fluid, and I received training on handling the IV chemo that we will be administering at home for the next three weeks, we received the following voicemail from our team of nurses and physicians.
.
Clear hear to listen to Voicemail from Joel’s Nurse
.
So what was my first reaction? To Praise God for answering the way we asked Him to? Nope. I Called our Nurse Practitioner to get the real story. And what I received was “reasoning.” See, Joel’s LP results were CLEAR OF CANCER CELLS this time. Joel HAS NOT received treatment since the results from the first LP 10 days earlier sent us into end-of-life planning and our doctor recommending we sign a “Do not resuscitate” order.
.
The reasoning? The sample from the spine is small in volume and it’s possible to get a clear result even if there are still cancer cells in the spinal fluid.
.
“But isn’t this just a little bit unusual?” I ask.
.
“Yes, it is unusual, but not unheard of.”
.
“How unheard of? every month? every year?”
.
“I’d say every year”
.
So there you have it. It’s unusual. And I find it funny that my first reaction in my head is “It might be God, but they do have a reason”. And then I thought of the Israelites being led out of Egypt. And God performing miracle after miracle, setting up memorials so that His people would remember those things He did for them. He did these things so that His people would know that He is the “Lord their God.”
.
And yet, they still forgot. “Pharoah is going to kill us!” He parts the Seas. “We’ll die of thirst!” He turns bitter water sweet. “We’ll starve, at least in Egypt we had meat and bread.” He provides mana from heaven in the morning and quail during the day. “Moses has left us, build an alter and idols to the gods that led us out of Egypt.” Praise God that He didn’t just destroy them all then and there. Praise God that we have a “better covenant” in Christ.
.
Church, are you ready for a miracle?
.

“24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.
There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, 26 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.” – Exodus 15

.

“11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins[c] of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. ” – Colossians 2

.
Lord make a spectacle of Cancer. That is my prayer.

Please pardon the advertisements, this is a free service, so they require ads popup.

Also the first half of the service has weak audio before I discovered my error and fixed it, I’ll get it right next time!

Hey All, Joel hasn’t had a fever since this morning and he’s been mostly happy, laughing and playing this afternoon.  He’s been a little cranky but is also very sleepy and went to bed early tonight.  Please pray his counts recover soon so we don’t have to stay here in the hospital long.

-Ryan

The boy was up until after 2…

Joel Late Night Antics 1 from Ryan Green on Vimeo.

Joel has decided that sleeping is for babies and, as newly appointed big boy, has decided to stay up late.  This is Joel, in his crib, in the hospital, in the dark.  Guess I shouldn’t leave him “toys”