Prayer & Praise

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54 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    Tomorrow, Jan. 7, my 4 month old grandson will have his 2nd (of a series of 3) heart surgeries. Please pray for Bennet and that this surgery will enable his heart to sustain his little body.
    Please pray for his mama and daddy. This is so very difficult for them.
    Thank you my friends.

  2. Sarah says:

    Nonnie…praying. I just can’t imagine how tough that is on his mom and dad…he looks so healthy in the pics. Praying for mercy for mom and dad, for peace for you and your husband. Praying as well for little Bennet, for God to sustain his little body and give him the strength he needs for this procedure. Praying for swift hands of the drs and wisdom for them, and praying that this surgery will bring strength and health to Bennet’s body.

    Keep us posted, please!

  3. jlo says:

    Nonnie, Praying.

  4. Em says:

    praying with – God keep

  5. jlo says:

    praying for the Gospel givers this evening.

  6. Also praying for the Gospel receivers to take heed to what the Gospel givers say and do.

  7. Sarah says:

    Praying this morning for Nonnie’s grandson….awaiting a good report.

    Praying this morning for those who face January with less hope than they would like.

    Praying that God meets you this morning in surprising ways. Maybe simply that He meets you, and that is surprising. Praying that in the midst of difficulty and of frustration and even of fear, the reality of another day brings with it the strength to face this day. Praying that God greets you this morning with His promises and that they do not seem like fairy tales or imagination…but that they somehow become firm footing for you. I don’t know ho, in some of the situations I know friends face…but I pray that God proves himself to be true in the midst of that situation. I pray that He provides not only hope, but fulfillment of that hope.

    In the midst of health issues, financial issues, emotional issues, family issues…I pray that our God becomes Father in surprising ways. That He is able to bring aid to you through His Word, through His People, through whatever means works.

    Praying for those who face January with great hope, with “clean slates” and with desires to see visions fulfilled. I pray that God spurs your creativity in great ways. That He proves Himself to be the Creator God even today…not some vague reality of the past, but today He creates in and through you great things. Praying that the testimony of your imagination and your energy and your hope brings strength to those who are weak today. Praying that we learn how to strengthen each other and not be discouraged by others’ successes….they do not diminish us, but they lift us.

    Praying for each in the wide variety of situations this morning. Amazed again that God knows intimately each of our needs and each of our hopes. Amazed again that the freedom God has for us, as prayed above, is beyond what we could imagine or ask for….and yet it is precisely what we are made to embrace. Praying….praying that God moves in our midst and we are able to rejoice.

  8. Em says:

    Sarah, amen – so dependent on God’s grace and so grateful for affirmations of it and for posts such as #7 that are reflections of God’s heart

    praying with for little tiny hero baby Bennet – God keep – waiting for a healing miracle

  9. Nonnie says:

    Bennet’s surgery will not be until late afternoon Calif. time. I am sure I will be awake off and on all night on this side of the pond, checking for a text from our son or daughter in law. When I know anything, I shall let you all know. Thank you for praying.

    A verse that is comforting me to day is “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jer. 31:3

  10. Nonnie says:

    Bennet was just taken into surgery.

  11. Nonnie says:

    Bennet is out of surgery. Trusting all is well. Let the healing begin.

  12. jlo says:

    I do some of my best praying while house cleaning…. Bennet is prayed for and my house is sparkling. 😉

  13. Scott says:

    My 57 year old brother died at 3:47 this morning. Really wasn’t unexpected, his health has been deteriorating for several years now. He had a major stroke followed by another major stroke. I said goodbye to him Saturday evening as I knew he didn’t have long to live.

    As his next of kin and POA, I signed a DNR order on Saturday evening, he had the second stroke on Sunday. It was difficult, however, I know I did the right thing in spite of some major resistance by a niece.

    He lived a very hard life as a mainline heroin addict for three decades. It was a blessing that my mother took him back into her home about 8 years ago after he successfully completed a methadone program.

    They moved up here to Oregon 6 years ago. After my mother died last year, his health began to really deteriorate. His liver, kidneys and heart were all in really bad shape. His veins hardened as a result and it became almost impossible to keep his BP below 200/160.

    I was on the road when he died, however, my beautiful wife was there by his side before he died praying over him, speaking words of comfort and reading the word of God to him, especially words of Christ’s assurance of grace, mercy and eternal redemption. I’m grateful for that. Several of the family members met with the Christian Chaplin who served communion and anointed him oil and prayer.

    He struggled much with guilt over the things he had done and the life he lived. It was necessary for me to offer the simplicity and assurance of the gospel to him regarding the message of God’s love, unmerited favor and forgiveness because of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross.

    I’m so thankful that he died in a safe, clean and comfortable environment surrounded by medical staff who went out of their way to minister to his physical needs and to treat him with dignity and family members who loved him. I mean he could of died alone as a bum on skid row in Los Angeles, where he used to live at one time, yet God was gracious to him and provided reconciliation and a sense of family in the latter years of his life.

  14. Scott says:

    Forgot to add that I am the last one among my siblings left. My 3 sisters are gone and now my brother. Mom & Dad are both gone too.

  15. jlo says:

    Scott, sorry for your loss. You and yours will be in my prayers.

  16. Scott says:

    Thank you, jlo.

  17. Em says:

    Scott, how blessed your family is to have you and your wife showing God’s grace to them … praying here too

  18. So sorry Scott. Call me sometime if you want to talk.

  19. Scott says:

    Thank you. I’m at peace. Have to handle things tomorrow with regards to his remains, etc. He had no estate, no children, very few possessions and definitely no money. Therefore, my wife and I will have to provide for that.

  20. Steve Wright says:

    Scott, I’m sorry for your loss, but also so thankful your brother’s end on this earth was as you described. I’ll pray for you tomorrow morning as to the work you and your wife have ahead of you, and that God will comfort you and your family, as well as bless your efforts to see things through.

  21. Scott,
    So very sorry for your losses, especially this most recent one.
    There is never an adequate way to prepare for such things.
    May you find strength in family and friends, and comfort in solitude, in God’s abiding presence.

  22. Nonnie says:

    Just catching up here and so very sorry to read of Scott’s loss. I’m thankful your brother died in the grace of God and knowing he was loved by his family and well cared for. Our God is a God of redemption and He works His beauty out in so many ways. God bless you, Scott.

  23. Alex says:

    Terrible Scott. Sorry to hear that. Don’t wish that on anyone. Unfortunately, we’ll all get our turn (unless the rapture crowd is right and many of us our outta here soon).

  24. Alex says:

    Some prayers: Best friend’s daughter has severe curvature of the spine. She has surgery this summer and my buddy who is a career Marine who has faced death so many times is vulnerable. I feel terrible for him and his wife and their daughters as I can sense the uncertainty. Life is so very fragile sometimes. There is a risk in this sort of procedure as it deals with the spinal column. God, please give comfort to this family and if it is your well, may she survive the surgery and heal.

    Another prayer: Continuing to pray for some Atheist/Agnostic friends. They have a lot of legit beefs with “the church” and Christianity. Many more legit beefs than is comfortable. Regardless, God, do something, please, in them and in me.

    Ongoing prayer: Help me be a good loving father to my Children and a good husband to my wife and keep them safe and if it’s your will, allow them to live a long and healthy life. Please have mercy on our family.

    Praise: Opening a third store. FFL license is processed, store is stocked and ready. Just one more hoop to jump through and we’ll be open for biz. Thankful to God for allowing me to make a living for my family and giving me the abilities to do so.

  25. Sarah says:

    I was off most of yesterday and just now catching up.

    Scott…adding my sorrow with the others in hearing of the loss of your brother. Yet….also thankful that his life ended in a place of dignity and peace rather than the turmoil of his addiction. Praying for you and your wife, for continuing peace and comfort and for the grace needed in walking through this broken world.

    Alex…praying for your friend’s daughter and the whole family, for grace for this little one and strength and success in the surgery. Praying as well for your other requests…that God will use you in the lives of your friends and your family…and even through the store that people will see the reality of God in your life.

  26. jlo says:

    Alex, praying.

  27. DMW says:

    Enough is enough
    I went through the anguish of putting my wife in a board and care.. It turned out she was thr only paralyzed person there, the rest, mostly male, we demented. I left my defenseless wife in that urine stanched hole for a few days her doctor decided he would not prescribe hercppaim pills which Che has been on for 12 years and would put her in a nursing home, I tried to tell him that no one would take her, that was 2 pm, by 1 am the hospital informed us that there was no place that will take my wife of course the boarding house which only had her for three days kept all 3,200 dollars, then in complete desperation, I stillvhavecbriken rib and a wide range of injuries from the car accidents as in, so I hired from a caregiver agency which cost a lot and they were worse than worthless, training is three times as hard as just doing it, and today was informed by our bank that I am short 15,000 dollars I thought I had and just as the girls from the agency were starting to catch on I had to let them al go, in the mean time my regular girl quit, so I am bow totally alone, and please don’t tell me I’m no alone until some feet and hands come into my house and help. I put this in fb, someone who read it got something out of it that wasn’t there so I have the police show up to church on our “well being” I just want to know who it was that was so concerned so as to call the police could not get in their car and come see me themselves… Now my wife just wet the bed and so I’ll be cleaning her and her bedding until about 2 am… But what the hell I’m not alone the police could be here any time bow… That cop was compassionate and showed real concern, and that is the closes I have had to fellowship this month.. He just expressed how bad he felt and said he wished he could do something foe me. For some strange reason I took him more serious than the Christians who said the same thing anyhow I am really at the end of the line, just ran out of rope and the next droop will be all the way to the bottom..

  28. catherine says:

    Lord, have mercy…

  29. Scott says:

    John, I’m really sorry the way this is turning out for you. I don’t know what to other than to pray for you and to offer my phone number to you again if you’d like someone to talk to. Michael has it.

    I don’t have the financial means to help in any significant way, or else I would. We live 1,200 miles away and can’t even manage a visit. I’m sorry.

  30. DMW says:

    Scott I believe you and everyone who like me here (not everyone likes me) would lay down your lives for me. But the magnitude of the problem is bigger than all who love me could fix if they had a mind to. I am looking into assisted living for Debbie where she would have a studio apartment with 24/7 care available to her. If I can find a place, so far the only place I can find is in Orange County. I intend to buy a truck with a camper and find someplace close enough for me to go daily .. You know the kind of trailer park that most who attend CCCM would br afraid to go ini. But those are my kind of people. The poor and downcast is where my heart has always been anyhow. Then I might ask for a little financial help from my friends so I can keep Debbie safe and in a place that smells nice instead of the stench of the place I just got her out of.

  31. nomans says:

    Praying the needs of my beloved blog family…
    Lord have mercy.

  32. Scott says:

    DMW, that sounds like a plan. May the Lord give you favor and wisdom.

  33. Em says:

    i know that our Lord sees Pastor John and Debbie, i wonder how He sees the rest of us in this situation … praying …
    the missionary and his wife who considered buying my house last month told me that he had a word from the Lord for me, “don’t be concerned if your house doesn’t sell as Jesus is just about to return” … 😐
    as my late husband told another Christian in another house selling situation years ago when she had a word from the Lord that we were to sell her our house, no money down and carry a contract for the balance – my husband said that he’d wait until he got the same word …
    i think the missionary meant well … and i am asking myself (prayerfully) am i as impotent to help the Duncans as i think i am … God help us all – oh, how i wish that missionary’s “word” was accurate as tribulations are closing in on so many now

  34. Em says:

    feel the need to clarify something in #33 – “the rest of us” was the whole of the Christian community, not the PhxP folk …
    one thing i know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that i will never ever encouraging anyone to affiliate with a denomination, let alone serve there that treats their aging servants so abominably – no matter what circumstances have occurred that didn’t fit their model …
    God help the Church to run from ambitious, self-serving, self righteous Christians-so-called … there must be hundreds of thousands who call themselves CC in Southern California and they can’t take love offerings – put a dollar in the bucket for the Duncans? 😥 that say that “there are other needy people that we help” – right now, i say, so what! take a hard look at who you are passing by right now …

    God, You know – i vent

  35. Scott says:

    Em, I think that as DMW indicated in his #30 remark, the bigger issue is beyond just the financial element at this point.

    Although that is part of it, I agree with him when he wrote, “…the magnitude of the problem is bigger than all who love me could fix if they had a mind to…”.

    That is the way the Lord operates in our lives so often, even in the midst of the deepest trials we traverse.

    Oftentimes the Lord provides no lifeline…until.

    I believe that the Lord will provide all that is needed as he moves forward in the plan and mindset he has described.

  36. Em says:

    believing with you, then Scott – Lord let it be so

  37. Isn’t there anything the fine folk of Calvary Chapel Lake Elsinore and its current pastor can do for their former pastor, or Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, Chuck Smith Sr, The Affiliated Senior Pastors…

  38. Em says:

    G, for the record, i seem to recall that the Lake Elsinore church has helped, but have wondered for some time now about the rest of the folk … hopefully Scott is correct, praying with that he is

  39. Alex says:

    G said, “Isn’t there anything the fine folk of Calvary Chapel Lake Elsinore and its current pastor can do for their former pastor, or Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, Chuck Smith Sr, The Affiliated Senior Pastors…”

    I’ll say I very much agree with your sentiment here and moderate the rest of what I’d like to say.

  40. Michael says:

    Without violating confidences or dignity I will assure you all that CC Lake Elsinore (and especially its pastor) have done all they can for a long, long time.

  41. Em says:

    before dropping the supposings … i do remember anecdotes often mentioned here by Pastor John of his old church giving much time and resources to aid him … that said, the organization’s power base did know and has been completely incompetent and ham-handed, at best, in their help … at least, it looks that way here as i’ve watched this man’s challenges unfold
    i pray that it convicts and instructs us all

  42. Em says:

    #41 let me state that more clearly … the greater CC organization hasn’t done right by the Duncans IMHO – i did not mean to say that i thought his local church’s organization has fallen short

  43. DMW says:

    I know what people have done and I am greatful and I have just hit what used to be called a total breakdown. I just can’t take anymore. I just got notice from the state that they have revoked my right to drive because I lost consciousness during an auto accident. So as of tonight I can no longer drive. I have no idea what to od, I am in the middle of so many problems from dealing with insurance for the auto crash to having gone through the emotions of putting my wife away, to have them send her back and now the person who used to help has another job, so I am alone with a woman who has gone insane and no one will take her, no one is here to help me with her, she keep wetting the bed, I am not sleeping hardly at all. and It is simply more than a man can do. I am not a great man of faith, I am not a great man, I am not even a good man, I am just human and what is expected of me right not is inhuman it is beyond – and yes CCLE has been faithful in sending their checks every month without fail, without which I would not have made this long.

    and I believe I have overstayed my welcome just about everywhere . I have nothing but trouble to talk about and everyone has heard enough

  44. jlo says:

    DMW, praying.

  45. DMW says:

    One last thing make no critical accusations at CCCM .. They made me no commitments to any of the and therefore regarding these types of things they have never broken any promise. And realize the size of the cost of total care for Debbie including doctors and prescriptions is around $250,000 a year. That is why the government is suppose to have a safety net. And again I will in time get that get that help for her. The problem is that it will kill me to get us there. No pun intended, it will kill me

  46. Em says:

    DMW, i understand better now (praying) but to clarify my frustrated posts above for you and others who have read my comments on your years of increasing problems … let me be clear that i see CC’s organization as representative of many (how many? i’m only guessing) church organizations within the Christian communities of Faith that are without the ability (training or resources) to come to the aid of a brother (or sister) being inundated by what life (the world of today) is throwing at them – whether it is a momentary setback or in making use of the secular system and its resources (which is incredibly obtuse and full of gotchas)

    … we seem to leave folks out there to fend for themselves – i can think of a couple reasons why we fall short, but i only wanted to make clear that what troubles me about what i see in DMW’s situation is not – IMV – an isolated example – it is not only CC churches that are inadequate in this area

  47. DMW says:

    Em I do not in any way defend CCCM I only want it clear that chuck and the board at CCCM Never have made so much as a jest urge of support toward small CCs. I know of widows left with nothing when her husband was killed serving. And ther was not to my knowledge even one penny given to help her through not just the loss of her husband, but the loss of all things including all her friends and Christian family. While the church barely took a week to grieve the loss, then it eas back to business as usual, except ther was a widow indeed that was put out …

    I didn’t say the lack of concern for other CCs was a good thing, I only said not to place any blame from my circumstances at their door. They made no commotment and they will one day realize that comittment works both ways. In other words you get what you give and they give nothing in these situations. One day in heaven I believe that our generosity or lack thereof will be one of the things we all, not just churches, not just Pastor’s, but all of us. That guy that we judged unworthy of help because he stands at the edge of Home Depot and they render him unworthy of eating that day… What irony… HOME DEPOT a please where homeless are judged as worth or un worthy to be given any support… HOME we should know I what that means, but DEPOT MEANS a storehouse. I think perhaps in a way Jesus spoke of Home depot

    Luke 12:17-24
    And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops? ’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? ’
    21 “ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
    Do Not Worry
    22 Then He said to His disciples, “ Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?

    I would rather give to a hundred so called unworthy poor and be ripped off than to drive by onr truly needy poor man and give him nothing. My barns my not be full, but perhaps I have a little tucked away in another kingdom, a kingdom run by One who will look at that one act of kindnrs and reward it greatly and then look at all the ones who decided it was their job to judge who were the worthy and unworthy poor and find the ones who thought they were the great judges are now judged and found among the unworthy poor, for they had full houses here, bur are poor

    So the next time you walk on by and judge some junkie unworthy that Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? ’
    21 “ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God

  48. Scott says:

    DMW, can your wife have a catheter placed?

    That would save you much hardship and discomfort for your wife.

    I believe Medicare or Medicaid will cover that.

  49. Em says:

    praying that more common sense help such as Scott’s #48 come soon to the Duncans

    perhaps, Scott’s post just illustrated the sort of advocacy (paraclete?) that we don’t make a duty to provide in our church communities – this complicated and impersonal world system has snuck up on us and IMO we need to address it … in simpler times, everyone would gather and raise a new barn – in today’s world, the crisises call for specialized help, do they not? crisises still come – the solutions are more complicated and definitely pressing down on God’s people today

    (and asking God and everyone here for forgiveness for venting on a prayer thread)

  50. Scott says:

    Em, folks are generally uncomfortable dealing with these things. I have unfortunately had two opportunities in my life recently to see up close the process of death and how traumatizing, ugly and complicated it can be.

    Making provisions and sound directives before we pass this way is crucial so as to mitigate the inevitable angst and consternation that will arise if we don’t.

  51. Scott says:

    On that note, please everyone reading this, do not put off any longer getting a will done. You can go on any number of websites and for 100 dollars plus prepare a legal will which includes advanced directives and granting power of attorney to one of your loved ones.

    Doesn’t matter if you don’t have much or not, I have discovered that it was irresponsible for my mom and brother to not of at least provided written advanced directives.

  52. Em says:

    Scott, this is what i see lacking in the church fellowships today – a resource, an ombudsman, if you will – our world is way too complicated to navigate for the average person when they are in dire straights of any kind … the churches apply all kinds of care in making sure that their corporate ‘i’s are dotted and ‘t’s crossed and then they leave the body in their care to just go it on their own – when things blow up for someone, a church today should – IMHO – have effective, not token, ability to either provide or direct one to the appropriate resources available – the average pastor is not qualified and doesn’t have the time either

  53. Scott says:

    “our world is way too complicated to navigate for the average person when they are in dire straights of any kind …”

    Which is exactly why we should take care of these things before we get into that position. As you implied, I don’t know that I have ever heard a Pastor in a church I have ever attended expound upon the importance of dealing with these things beforehand.

    Not saying they didn’t, I just can’t recall.

    I’ve had a lot of time to think about these things, the moral and financial implications of neglect on my part in the event I don’t prepare accordingly.

    These are few things I have been thinking about:

    1. Is it right for me to demand that I want to be kept alive under any and all circumstances and means if I haven’t provided the means for that to happen?

    2. Is it societies responsibility to take care of me? Mine only? My family? My Church?
    What if I am depending on one of those provisions and it doesn’t come through?

    3. What if I insist that I don’t want to be in a nursing home in the event I am incapacitated? Who is going to take care of me? What happens if that person is no longer able to do that, for whatever reason?

    4. What if am still alive on a breathing machine, but the doctors have indicated my chances of recovery are 0%. Who makes the decision to pull the plug? What if half the family agrees with the doctors and the other half believe it’s immoral and against God’s law to remove the mechanical support?

    5. If it is deemed that I should be placed in hospice care to die, am I going to receive water? Sustenance? Pain medication?

    6. How will my remains be disposed of? Average cremation cost is $1,300.00. Average embalming, casket, plot & burial is $7,000 to $10,000 Who is going to pay for it?

    7. Should I demand that my remains be sent 2,000 miles away and buried next to my father if I haven’t provided for that beforehand?

    I could go on and on. Needless to say, because of what I have recently gone through, I have been forced to face these realities head on.

  54. Em says:

    Scott, one thing that helps immeasurably is a course designed to address these issues – my husband and i were able to attend a series titled “Caring for Your Aging Parent” – the instructors included attorneys, healthcare workers, nursing home owners, physical therapist … – i have the coursework filed away here somewhere – it was invaluable to us when we took over my mother’s care and business affairs … it ran the gamut from the Living Will to handling incontinence (very sobering) … i remember a dear woman sitting next to me, who had welcomed her aging uncle into her home and she whispered to me – ashamed and with tears – that he was ruining her furniture

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