Teach Them; Do you have children?

Do you have children?

Written by Hope on 03/11/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Disciples, Life Change
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

Do you have children? If so, you might know that the Bible instructs us to "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). Taking a new Christian on a path of discipleship can be compared to teaching or training a child. Jesus said, "Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it" (Mark 10:14-15).

Faith Like a Child
Jesus taught, "unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18:3). He said, "anyone who welcomes a little child like this on My behalf is welcoming Me" (Matthew 18:5); your service to a new believer is an act of service to the Lord! But we must be careful to teach only what is in God’s Word. Jesus warned that it would be better to die than to "cause one of these little ones who trusts in Me to fall into sin" (Matthew 18:6).

Gift from the Lord
God loves and highly values every person. His Word tells us that "children are a gift from the Lord" (Psalm 127:3). Your disciple, believing in God with faith like a child's, is also a valuable person to the Lord. Like a child, they can turn to you to gain knowledge of the Lord. If you teach your disciple the ways of the Lord while he or she is "young" in faith, they may be more likely to follow the Lord all their life. Be encouraged: "Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, 'You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings'" (John 8:31).

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
"Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you!”

Scripture: Matthew 28:19-20

One of the most exciting ways we hope your faith is strengthened when learning from the Prayer, Care and Share Jesus guide (PCS) is by becoming more confident when sharing Jesus with others.

When you do lead someone to Christ, you might even feel led to share what you’ve learned in the PCS guide. It can be a great discipleship tool!

In Matthew 28: 19-20, Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey (not just know) all of Jesus' commandments.

When you walk someone through accepting Jesus in their life, it’s a great idea to start the discipleship process right away – "teaching the new believer to obey everything Jesus commanded." You can also get them connected to a church or community of faith. You might not be able or feel led to be the one to disciple the new believer. But, you can help them find a way to get discipled by connecting with someone or a Christian community or church. When I have led people to Christ whom I won’t see again, such as taxi drivers or flight attendants, I have prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to orchestrate their follow-up.

You can teach them about things that Jesus teaches in the Bible like baptism, reading the Bible, prayer, involvement in a community of believers (such as a church or house church); taking communion (remembering Christ in the way he commanded us); and sanctification ("go and sin no more." John 8:11). These are not all of Jesus' teachings, but they are a good start for your new believer.

This week, start praying about your role in someone’s life as a discipleship mentor. Ask for guidance, wisdom and compassion.

Pray this week:

That your children and disciples will remain faithful to the Lord all their life.

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What is False Teaching?

False teaching comes in many forms, but these teachings always deny the identity of God.

Written by Joy on 28/09/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Lies, Truth
“This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer and Creator: ‘I am the Lord, who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth? I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools.’” Isaiah 44:24-25

False teaching comes in many forms, but these teachings always deny the identity of God. This is how false teaching denies God’s identity:

Denial of Creator God
False teachings often deny Genesis 1:1, which says “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” 2 Peter 3:3-8 even reminds us that in the last days people will purposely “forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed.” Denying God created the heavens and the earth is a false teaching.

Denial of God’s Standards
False teachings change God’s standards. God only requires faith to receive eternal life. But some false teachers say you can save yourself by doing good works. In John 14:6, Jesus tells us “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Your good works can’t get you to God. You can only be saved through faith in Jesus. Psalm 5:4 says “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness…” Many times, false teaching will also attempt to make sin seem ok. But God hates sin. False teaching disagrees with what God defines as sin, and leads people into a lifestyle that is not pleasing to God.

Denying that Jesus is the Only Way to God
False teachings may say there are many ways to God. Or, that you don’t need God because there is no sin, or judgement, to be saved from. Acts 4:12 says “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under Heaven by which we must be saved.” That means Jesus is the only way to God, but false teachings do not agree with this truth.

Denial of a Loving God
God is not hateful. The truth is…. “God is Love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” (1 John 4:8-9). God’s message is clear: He is God, our Creator and He saves us because He loves us so much.

Pray this week:

To know God for who He really is.

The world denies God's standards, and God's Word, and even denies that Jesus is the only Way to salvation… Do you know people who do this? How do you handle that? Talk to a Christian to find out.

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Easter Mysteries to Reconsider The Mystery that Saves Us From Ourselves

The Mystery that Saves Us From Ourselves

Written by Susan on 27/03/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Cross, Crucifixion, Easter, Jesus, Resurrection, Salvation
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

I Thessalonians 5:9-10
Easter, an important holiday for Christians, is upon us again. Each year we have the chance to reconsider what it means. Will we ever truly grasp the meaning of Easter? Jesus came to the world to die for us. Why did He have to do that?

Why We Need Saving:
In Romans 3:10 an Old Testament quote from Psalm 14:1-4 is given to remind us that “no one is righteous, no not one.” Since Jesus is the only person who ever lived a sinless life, He is the only one who is able to perfectly follow God’s will. The rest of us all fall short. Fall short of what? God’s holiness is the standard, so we can do nothing but fall short. But God has not left us alone and without help!

How We Are ‘Saved’:
“But … always give thanks to God … because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). So, always remember that this plan is God’s idea and His way to express His love for us. “For God has NOT destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10) Even though it is so difficult to understand, God wants to have an everlasting relationship with us, and He has done the work for this to happen! We must receive His great offer to live our life for Him, how can we possibly refuse?

What Replaces Our Brokenness?
Even though we are broken, God provides a way for us to heal, grow and enter into a relationship with Him. Glory to God! This is the meaning of Easter! “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). There is so much more that God does for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Read the entire chapter of Romans 8 for more ideas. But, for now, just imagine that you can live without any thoughts that criticize you or make you disapprove of yourself. Now that is a resurrection thought!

Pray this week:

Dear Lord, Help me to see how much You want me to live in Your presence. Help me to see Easter in my life. Show me how to live beyond my brokenness. Praise to You for all that You have done to reach me, the sinless way You love me, and the undeserved way You accept me. I am humbled, when I learn about your works. Amen.

What does Easter mean to you?

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He Begged God To Bring Back His Dying Fiancé And Now He’s Living Each Day Like A Gift

Chris Blue's fiancé was battling bone marrow cancer and almost died on the operating table. He knew God had put her in his life for a reason and he asked her to marry him. And now he is taking a big risk and trying to live his dream. And his emotional version of 'The Track Of My Tears' wowed the judges and us. God bless this young couple!

https://youtu.be/_3Fpm_6Go_g

 

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Game over: Are we ready to die?

Game over: Are we ready to die?
Game over: Are we ready to die?We are all going to die someday. 

This is a fact and one of the few things we can be sure as humans. 

Nevertheless, death is never present in our lives; we carry on doing things as it would never happen to us.

We use to be speechless when, for example, we see somebody who has been diagnosed a terminal illness. 

We have the feeling nothing we can say or do will make things better.

To this point, I am in the need to share something it happened to me.

 

In November 2003 I was diagnosed to have cancer in my right parotid gland.

This is a quite rare place to have cancer, and very dangerous too, due to its proximity and a shortcut to our brain and other vital parts of our body.

Along 4 months I did not find a doctor who was willing to operate me, adducing lack of experience and not willing to take the risk of not succeeding or provoking me bad side effects due to the operation.

Finally, I got to know a doctor who, for a huge sum of money and previously signing a letter on which I would not claim him in case side effects or lack of success, he agreed to do it. I got some chemotherapy sessions after that, and to date, I can say the thing is over.

During these 4 months, and until I got the great new that there were no more signs of cancer in my body, I faced death daily.

When some “expert people” speak about showing empathy to those who have a terminal illness, or to learn about negative things in our life, well, sometimes I can’t resist having a sardonic smile in my inner thoughts, thinking:

If you knew what is the feeling to wake up in the morning, giving thanks you did.
If you knew the pain of the doubt about not knowing if you are waking up again.
If you knew for sure many things you wanted to do, are never going to happen.
If you knew that death is not as frightening as not being alive.
If you knew that having a painful death is scarier than the death itself.
If you knew I am not interested in your empathy or compassion.
If you knew how painful self-regrets can be for things you did and you didn’t.
If you knew how it feels to see your loved ones suffering hopelessly for you.
If you knew how it’s like to see that even if you are still alive, you are already dead for the rest.
But I know the answers to all of above. And I am sorry, these I cannot share with anyone, unless he/she has had the same experience.

Then, I agree entirely with the words of Pascal Derrien

"It does not matter how you want to print your life drawings, it does not matter how you dress up your existence kit and it is not that I particularly like it, but have you ever thought that it is very possible that you and I may probably be nothing more than just CRAB MEAT? (see more here)

I am thankful to have learned this life’s lesson, and survive to take advantage of it.

This is why sometimes I write the things I do.

And I am sad to see that many people will spend (or waste) their lives to finally face death and make themselves the above-mentioned questions.

Do we really need to face death to give value to life?

Humans, crazy we are.

David Navarro López David Navarro López
Social Media Manager • Tecfil, S.L.

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Demons In The Flesh

Scott Davis in Christianity, Spiritual, Lifestyle

Demons In The Flesh
This article was originally written for my site…The Christian Corner…If you want to read more good Christian articles please go to http://www.thechristiancorner.net/blog

Hi, welcome to The Christian Corner.  I have written a few articles on this site about demons, I've written an article entitled Are There demons on Earth?  Which the answer to that question was a resounding YESSSSSS.  But there are other demons on earth rather than just the demon spirits that were cast out of heaven with their master satan, the other demons I'm referring to are, the demons in the flesh….Man… Did I shock you with what I just said, that men are demons in the flesh?  I hope by the end of this article, you will see why men are indeed demons and the importance of why we must get saved, meaning to accept Jesus the Christ as our Lord and Savior.Let me start at the beginning, we all know satan and his angels were cast out of heaven for rebelling against God.

(Revelation 12:7-12 King James Version 

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.)

From the scripture I posted above we saw satan and his angels were cast out of Heaven to the earth…Now I will post the scripture explaining, why….

(Isaiah 14:12-15 King James Version 

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.)

We can see satan was cast out of heaven because he wanted to rule heaven, and that one day, he will be cast into hell.  There are some that believe satan will be the king of hell, but he will not, hell was created for satan as punishment for his rebellion.

(Isaiah 14:9-11 King James Version 

9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?

11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.)

This scripture shows the punishment that awaits satan in hell when he gets there, this scripture precedes the scripture I posted earlier from the book of Isaiah.  I posted this to prove a point which I will make later in this article.  (Pay particular attention to the mention of worms covering satan.)

Now we all know that man himself was cast out of paradise for rebelling against God….

Genesis 3:1-7 King James Version 

3 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.)

Now we can see from this part of the scripture that satan tempted Eve to eat from the forbidden tree by making her think by eating from it would make both her and Adam like God, which was the reason why he (satan) rebelled against God.  

(Genesis 3:22-24 King James Version 

22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.)

Here we see Adam and Eve being cast out of paradise, which caused all of the men and women being born thereafter being born into spiritual death and sin.

So both satan and his angels and men and women were cast out of their respective paradises for rebelling against God.

Now I want to share with you a shocking piece of gospel….

(Genesis 6:5-6 King James Version 

5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.)

Now some pastors will try to candy coat this piece of scripture, I mean those that will speak on it in the first place, but there is no way this scripture can be candy coated,   This is actually God saying we are so evil He was sorry He created us.  This is interesting because I don't know of any scripture in which God said he was sorry for creating satan.. .Can it be that man is more evil than satan? 

Just consider the things we do to each other, we rape, steal, torture and abuse one another and some do it with little or no remorse.  In fact we torture and hurt each other more than satan could ever do to us.  Now don't take what I'm saying out of context, I'm just trying to show you the evil things we do to one another.

Look at how many people died in all the wars of man and still continue to die due to war, which most wars most would agree are caused due to mans lust for power and greed.  Look at how we hate someone we don't know just because they have a different skin color, or for some other foolish reason, the sad thing about the secular man (The demons in the flesh) is the self hate, yes self hate because when you hate someone because they're different from you in some way or another, those people are still human, so when you hate them you're hating yourself.

So again, we know that satan and his angels are fallen beings but again, so are we …Now let's examine another piece of scripture….

(Matthew 22:30
For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.)

The saved Christian, when we die and are resurrected we become somewhat as the angels of God in heaven, but when the unsaved die who or what do they become like?  

(Matthew 25:41 King James Version 

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.)

As we can see hell was created for the devil and his angels.  If the secular, unbelievers are not demons why would God allow them to go to hell when their physical life here is over?  God spoke the whole universe into existence, He could have easily created a different place for the spirits of unbelievers to go. 

(Isaiah 14:9-11 King James Version

9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?

11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.)

(Mark 9:47-48 King James Version 

47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.)

I posted two scriptures here, the one I posted earlier from Isaiah in which it states satan will be cast into hell with worms covering him and tormenting him,  when his time here is done.

And a scripture from Mark in which the unbeliever will experience the same fate as satan in hell.  Is all the scripture I posted here today mere coincidence?  Or are all the unsaved people in this world demons in the flesh, only to become like the original fallen demon spirits when they die?

I certainly think so, and I know the unbeliever reading this will feel all I've written here is mere conjecture, with some of them believing this is all nothing but junk.  I however, only have one thing to say to those people…Get saved, do it now before it's to late…You may be a demon now,  but you can change that, by turning your life over to Jesus the Christ.

I remember many years ago when I was out on the town, a young man walking up to me out of the blue saying how he wanted to be a demon, I was stunned, I didn't know what to say…he then simply walked away.  Why would anyone want to be a demon? is all I could think at the time,  but now I know, that poor deluded individual was already a demon, as we all are until we get saved.

If you are an unsaved individual and no longer want to be a demon in the flesh, just say something like this and mean it with all of your heart…

Father God, I Know I'm a sinner, and I Know that Jesus the Christ is Your Son, I Know He died on the cross for me and was resurrected on the third day, I give my life, my body and my soul to my Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ and I ask my Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ into my life, I confess and turn all of my sins over to my Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ and ask forgiveness of all my sins and repent of those sins, so that I may be saved.  In Jesus the Christ name I pray, Amen.

You have just taken the first step towards salvation,  the next step,  you must then get baptized by water……

(Mark 16:16
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.)

Go out and tell all your friends and family that you've accepted the Good Lord Jesus the Christ as your Lord and Savior…

(Mark 8:38
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.)

Then you must find a good Bible teaching church to join, and believe me, it's hard to find a good church these days, however there are still a few good churches out here that's preaching the true gospel, don't just attend a church because you like the pastor or you feel comfortable there, you must find one, that again is, preaching and teaching the true word of God.

But how are you supposed to know if a church is teaching the true word of God?   By reading and studying the Bible, get to know it like you know the back of your hand, and most important of all, you must live your life by Gods word, the Bible.

It's not easy being a Christian in this fallen world, but it can be done, and do it you must because….

(Matthew 24:13
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.)

Have a blessed week and always remember if you are in a place where you are, Loved, Honored and Respected, could be a job, a friendship, a marriage, whatever it may be, stay there, do not be tempted away, for this is a gift from, God.

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It’s Your Life, Choose Your Doctor Wisely- Bad Choices Could Be Fatal

Lisa 🐝 Gallagher in Lifestyle, beBee in English, Healthcare
Brand Ambassador • beBee
It's Your Life, Choose Your Doctor Wisely- Bad Choices Could Be Fatal

I have been procrastinating or better yet, debating with myself about posting this article I'm about to write. I've been nudged by many to write and it's hard because it's such a personal topic. It's also a topic I hope sheds light- my goal is not attention seeking, it's my hope others may benefit from this article. 

Before we had Google

My husband (boyfriend at the time) was 18 years old and was always bruising easily, dislocating joints, had Chronic pain and bled easily too. He was also developing cysts on his elbows quite frequently.  I decided to use the Merck Manual and do some research. I was all too aware that he seemed to lack elasticity in his skin and that was why he was able to stretch his skin beyond the normal limits. After reading for a few weeks, I was convinced he had a disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I told him to ask the Dr. to take a skin biopsy and send it off to a lab in order to rule this out. He thought I was nuts but he did bring it to the Dr's attention and one month later the diagnosis was confirmed- it was EDS.  EDS is a connective tissue disorder and patients don't produce enough collagen. There are many types of EDS, his is the most common form, The Hypermobility type which is what he has. 

And so our journey began with the Health Care System

Aside from the fact that he developed Bacterial Meningitis, Guillain Barre Syndrome, Basilar Migraines, Asthma, and Sarcoidosis, all before the age of 25, he rarely missed a day from work since the age of 14 when he began working 35 hours per week in order to pay for his Catholic Education.  My husband's work ethic is not only mind boggling to me but admirable. I believe he chose to focus on work instead of focusing on his ailments.  

When my husband was 39 years old he had GERD so bad he would wake up choking (literally) at night because he was aspirating. After tests were performed they concluded his Esophagus was flaccid. The valve which should close completely wasn't and it was stretched because of his underlying connective tissue disorder. He had surgery to tighten the Esophagus.

Our experience with the Physician who did the initial surgery was not very impressive- they sent him home with a temperature of 101, even though I begged them to keep him. He was admitted to our local hospital later that evening after he was discharged from a large teaching hospital. 

But it wasn't quite over

A year later he was in such extreme pain he went to the Emergency Department and was admitted. They later found during an emergency surgery that had to be performed that he had a large hiatal hernia and it 'appeared' the Esophagus was never re-attached properly, it had pulled away so his stomach was floating per se. He was a very ill man but his WILL was stronger than the sequence of events he endured.  He recovered and continued to work even while hospitalized. The second Physician who performed the Emergency surgery kept in contact with me as well as my husband. You need to be an informed caregiver in order to provide the proper level of care, which may include getting in touch with the Doctor if your loved one's condition changes. A good Physician will not only tell you what to watch for, they will also let you know they are available if you need to get in touch with them.  He was a good physician.

At age 41 my husband was feeling well with the exception of knee pain which Dr's told him it's just an unfortunate side effect from the EDS and they prescribed high dose steroids. The steroids seemed to be helping so he planned a remote trip to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada to do a canoe trip with my son, his brother and my son's friend. While he was in deep into Bush Country he ruptured both patellar tendons in a period of two days. He had surgery, kept working from the hospital and from home until he returned full time. It was determined that my husband probably had micro-tears in his patellar tendons prior to the steroids. Steroids can make tendons more brittle and they believe that's why he was an accident just waiting to happen. EDS happened to be the other factor which caused his tendons to develop micro-tears; they were stretching just like a rubber band being stretched beyond its limits. By the time my husband has this surgery I was determined to over- see his care 100% because I felt others had failed him in the past. He had a cocky Physician who didn't seem to respect women very much but I didn't allow that to stop me from voicing my concerns and speaking up for him when he was too weak to speak up for himself.  This physician did not try to stay in touch, thank goodness we had excellent nurses who were more than happy to keep me updated, along with, Physical and Occupational Therapists. 

The Final Staw

In 2009 my husband's asthma appeared to be getting much worse. He went to his PCP who eventually sent him to a Pulmonologist and it was determined that his sarcoidosis was probably symptomatic and causing his Asthma to flare up. For two years they treated his illness as Acute Asthma with no success.  In 2011 my husband's heart rate was also running fairly steady at 100 beats per minute so  they scheduled him for a cardiac cath.  After he had the Cardiac Cath done he had complications with his breathing and they admitted him to the Cardiac Floor at Hamot hospital. His breathing was not getting better and they did a CAT Scan which showed findings they were concerned about. After the scan was read they referred him to a surgeon while he was still an in-patient at Hamot Hospital. The Surgeon performed a lung biopsy. They had to collapse the lung in order to get to the section of the lung they wanted to biopsy. This procedure was called a VATS procedure. My husband was an in-patient for eight days and they discharged him the day they removed the chest tube. Yes, you must have a chest tube inserted during/after a VATS because the lung needs help to re-expand. He had an extremely large hematoma from the armpit to his groin and it covered half of his back and stomach. The Dr. said it was probably due to his EDS. All I can say is that the hematoma was very gross to look at and seriously scared me. They even 'joked' with him that they never had a patient develop a hematoma like that with a VATS and he looked like he had been thrown to the pavement from a motorcycle accident. Yet, they sent him home unhealed!  For the record- he continued to run his business from bed (remotely). He was only out of commission from work for the first 3-4 days.  Amazing guy!

Sequence of events after the VATS and why it's important to do your homework to be a good Patient Advocate

He was discharged and ended up in the local ER 4 days later because his breathing became worse along with increased pain. 
Our local ER sent him by ambulance back to Hamot Hospital and they admitted him for 24 hours stating his symptoms were normal under the circumstances.
He was brought back home the next day and that evening he developed a fever of 101, I called the Surgeon on call with the group that did his surgery at Hamot Medical Center and was told to give him Tylenol. I was also told if the fever was not gone in the morning, to call back?!!
Our local hospital's protocol was to send the patient back to the 'offending' hospital who performed the surgery.
We were adamant that he was not to be sent back there, so they admitted him for 5 days and gave him 3 IV antibiotics. When he came home his breathing was better and the fever was gone. His hematoma was beginning to heal too. 
At some point, his Pulmonologist called with the results of the biopsy stating it was Sarcoidosis, even though we were told years ago it went into complete remission. 
Before we received the results I didn't trust this hospital or the Dr's we were dealing with there so I did a lot of research and made an appointment for a second opinion. 
I was able to get him into to see the Medical Director of Pulmonology at the Simmon's lung Center at UPMC
We were told to bring the pathology report along with the slides. After the Dr. examined my husband and went over his history he asked if he could take the slides to a Conference because he was fairly certain it wasn't Sarcoidosis, yet another illness. 
After the slides were seen by UPMC's top Pathologist and Doctors at a Pathology Conference they determined it was not Sarcoid but an illness called Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis which was caused by a medication he was on.
My husband already had some scarring because the illness was mis-diagnosed for over two years. His breathing became a bit better after the drug was removed.
He was also referred to another Pulmonologist within the group for another opinion because he was struggling to breathe as time progressed over the next year or so. 
They determined he had some damage, his EDS may be a factor and he needed to be put on an anti-rejection drug to lessen his symptoms and stop the scarring from progressing. It's been six months and I'm happy to say he's breathing much better, along with having his quality of life returned to him. 
The Caveat

Once he became a patient at the Simmons Lung Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center the Doctors treated him as a human being, not just a number. Both Pulmonologists have called our home to check in on him, they've kept in contact via email and his second Pulmonologist even gave us his personal email address along with his cell phone number. How often do Doctors do this anymore? I don't think it's very frequent but I can say it adds not one but ten extra layers of reassurance when you know the Doctors care this much! One of his Pulmonologists even kept in touch via email from China after my husband was put on the *first* anti-rejection drug, unfortunately, he had a bad reaction and that is why the Dr. kept in touch. So far he's been tolerating the second anti-rejection drug well with much better lung function.  

Never stop fighting for your loved one if you suspect something is wrong or has been misdiagnosed. remember, Doctors are humans with flaws so do your homework. Go to sites that give real patient ratings on the Doctors you are seeing. Yes, please use google to research drugs, and diagnoses so you can be an informed patient or patient advocate. Education is vital today- we need to be our loved one's second set of  ears and eyes. Finally, never lose hope. There are good Doctors out there that truly care about their patients. It's just a matter of finding the right Doctor or Doctors. 

I can happily report that my husband is still working and running his own business 60 plus hours per week. He thrives on work and with the type of business he's in, he also thrives on keeping up with the latest technology. His love for his family has also been a major factor in his drive to get better and keep providing for us. I can't tell you how much I not only admire his strong will but love and respect him too. 

http://www.upmc.com/Services/pulmonology/interstitial-lung-disease/Pages/default.aspx

The Doctor in the photo happens to be Dr. Kevin Gibson, my husband's primary Pulmonologist

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The Power of a Friend

Paul was accompanied and guided by the Holy Spirit. But was that his only support? No! He traveled and worked with different partners and friends throughout his ministry.

Written by Hope on 27/10/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Apostle Paul, Church And Community
The Lord now chose 72 other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places He planned to visit. Luke 10:1

"I also tell you this: if two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, My Father in heaven will do it for you." Matthew 18:19

Next to Jesus, the Apostle Paul is the most prominent character in the New Testament. His story is told in the book of Acts, and his instructional letters (epistles) to his spiritual children make up about half the New Testament books. Being an educated Jewish man and a Roman citizen, Paul had many privileges, including freedom to travel. This enabled him to spread the Gospel across the Roman Empire, preaching and teaching to establish new churches everywhere.

Did He Do It Alone?
Of course, Paul was accompanied and guided by the Holy Spirit. But was that his only support? No! He traveled and worked with different partners and friends throughout his ministry.

First, one day while Christian prophets and teachers in Antioch "were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.' So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way" (Acts 13:2-3). As a team, Paul and Barnabas effectively shared the Gospel and established several churches.

As Paul began his second missionary journey, his team included Timothy, a young disciple whose mother was a Jewish Believer. "They went from town to town, instructing the Believers to follow the decisions made by the Apostles and elders in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day" (Acts 16:4-5).

Silas was yet another ministry companion, and suffered imprisonment with Paul. Through this trial, the Lord used Paul and Silas to lead others, including the jailer, to salvation. And when Paul and Silas rejoined their team, "they met with the Believers and encouraged them once more" (Acts 16:40).

Are You Alone?
Saint Paul was one of the most gifted evangelists ever. Time after time, God provided him with "faithful helpers who served with [him] in the Lord’s work" (Colossians 4:7). If the Lord allowed Paul to rely on partners, you can be sure it can be good for you! Ask the Lord to send someone to join you in the ministry He has for you.

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
“Support From a Friend”

Scripture: Luke 10:1

Have you ever heard the saying “two heads are better than one”? Whether you’re discipling, sharing the gospel or praying, doing those things with a friend who is also a believer can often be powerful when God is using you. Even the 72 disciples in Luke 10 were sent out in pairs to share the gospel. But remember, even when you’re not doing these things with a friend, you’re never alone because the Holy Spirit is with you (Acts 2).

There is power in agreement and accountability. We encourage you to meet or talk regularly with another follower of Jesus who prays, cares for, and shares Jesus with others. This support could take the form of helping each other in discipling a new believer, or praying together for others.

Jesus even explains in the Bible the power of agreement in Matthew 18:19, where He says that if two people agree on something and ask for it, it will be done for them by His Father in heaven.

You can even tell your friend about the Prayer Care and Share Jesus guide, and how it has helped you live out and share your faith based on teachings in the Bible. Teaching someone about it might even be helpful to you!

Pray this week:

That God will enable and empower you to boldly do His work.

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Control When we attempt to take control of our lives, we become our own God, telling Him he’s not good enough.

When we attempt to take control of our lives, we become our own God, telling Him he’s not good enough.

Written by GodLife on 17/02/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Control, God, Sovereignty
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own expectations. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Do you want control?
Many people want to have everything under control, or at least believe they do. It feels predictable; it feels safe. At least we hope those feelings will result from having control of our lives. And though we should know better, it is our human nature to crave control.

Are you in control of any part of your life right now? Maybe you are enjoying a successful career. Or maybe you have a long list of qualities you’re looking for in a potential life partner, or even in close friends. Do you have control over your children’s success? Your daily schedule? Sometimes I even want to control the traffic lights and the cars around me. Ironically, that usually only happens when I’m in a hurry!

Think for a minute about the things that you control. Does that really satisfy you? How much stress do you bring on yourself by trying to achieve that control? When I try to control my life, I’m filled with worry and anxiety. The weight of the world is on my shoulders, like a huge burden.

God’s Character
God cares for us so much. And he doesn’t want us to feel burdened, stressed or worried. In fact, in the Bible, Jesus commands us not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34). Isn’t it amazing that God loves us so much that he doesn’t want us to worry about anything? Not only that, when we worry, we are disobeying God. Anxiety distances us from God and keeps us from focusing on pure obedience to Him.

When we think we are in control…
When we attempt to take control of our lives, relying on our own wisdom and our own power instead of seeking God’s guidance, we are doomed to failure. We become our own God, telling Him he’s not good enough.

Let Go and Let God
Surrender. Cast your cares upon Him (1 Peter 5). Jesus died on the cross to release you from the power and penalty of sin. Then he rose again to show His mastery over everything, even the grave. When you let God have control of your life, He will guide your decisions and give you wisdom. Any hardships you endure will make your faith stronger, if you trust Him to work through them. Since God knows your past, and holds the future in His hands, why wouldn’t you want to give Him control? He will never lead you in the wrong direction. So, what does it look like to surrender control of your life to God? Trust Him. Rely on Him. Glorify Him and acknowledge Him in everything you do and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Consult the Lord in prayer before every decision, large or small. Begin every day with Him, asking Jesus to be your Lord as well as Savior. Just a suggestion: Spend a few quiet minutes with God. Ask Him to examine your heart, and reveal to you the ways you have tried to be your own god. Write down everything God shows you. Confess each thing, surrendering control back to Him. Then, destroy the list. You can shred it, burn it, or even bury it (or all three!). But DON’T hang on to it, because those things are now in God’s hands.

Pray this week:

That God will show you the ways you have been trying to control your life.

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This Study Reveals The 5 Biggest Regrets People Have Before They Die

 

John-Paul Iwuoha
FollowJohn-Paul Iwuoha
Author, Business Strategist & Champion for Entrepreneurship in Africa
Do you have any regrets?

Most people do.

But it appears our regrets gain a lot of weight as we approach the end of our lives.

For many years, Bronnie Ware – an Australian nurse and counselor – worked in palliative care; taking care of terminally ill people, most of whom had less than 12 weeks to live.

Her patients were typically old people with very serious illnesses, waiting to die.

And a lot of her work involved providing counseling and relief from the physical and mental stresses that come naturally when a human being comes face to face with their mortality.

Death is not a comfortable subject for most people. We prefer to not think or talk about it.

But the sad truth is, all of us will die someday.

Knowing you are going to die in a few weeks is a very bitter pill to swallow. And Bronnie noticed as her patients experienced a range of emotions that usually started with denial, and then fear, anger, remorse, more denial, and eventually, acceptance.

As part of therapy, Bronnie would ask about any regrets they had about their lives, and anything they would do differently if life gave them a second chance.

Of all the responses she got from her patients, she noticed there were 5 regrets that stood out. These were the most common regrets her patients wished they hadn’t made as they coursed through life.

But the regrets of the dying can be sound and invaluable advice for the living.

And that’s why it’s a really good thing you’re reading this article.

One of the key revelations from Bronnie’s study is that we often take our lives for granted because we are healthy.

Health affords us boundless freedom very few realise, until we no longer have it.

But while her dying patients were helpless in the face of their regrets, you and I still have time to do something about our regrets, before it’s too late.

Let’s now look at each of the 5 most common regrets Bronnie observed:

1)    I wish I pursued my dreams and aspirations, and not the life others expected of me

According to Bronnie, this was by far the most common regret of all.

When people realise their life is coming to an end, it becomes easier to look back and see all those dreams they had but didn’t have the courage to pursue.

In many cases, their failure to pursue those dreams were often due to fitting into the expectations of others – usually family, friends and society.

One of her dying patients, Grace, made Bronnie promise that she would pursue all her dreams and live her life to its fullest potential without ever considering what others would say.

According to Bronnie, Grace was in a long but unhappy marriage. And after her husband was put in a nursing home, she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. And Grace’s biggest regret was that she never was able to pursue all the dreams she put on hold.

I think the biggest lesson from this regret is, if you know what really makes you happy, do it!

It appears that our unfulfilled dreams and aspirations have a way of silently stalking us, and eventually haunt our memories in our dying days.

And if you’re afraid of what people will say about your choices, remember that their voices will not matter to you in your dying days.

2)   I wish I didn’t work so hard

This one makes me feel guilty.

According to Bronnie, this regret came from every male patient she nursed. And a few female patients too.

As breadwinners, their lives were taken over by work, making a living, and pursuing a career. While this role was important, these patients regretted that they allowed work to take over their lives causing them to spend less time with their loved ones.

Their regrets were usually about missing out on the lives of their children and the companionship of their spouse.

When asked what they would do differently if given a second chance, the response was quite surprising.

Most of them believed that by simplifying our lifestyle and making better choices, we may not need all that money we’re chasing. That way, we can create more space in our lives for happiness and spend more time with the people who mean the most to us.

3)   I wish I had the courage to express my feelings and speak my mind

This one just made me so much bolder. 🙂

According to Bronnie, many of her dying patients believed they suppressed their true feelings and didn’t speak their mind when they should have, because they wanted to keep peace with others.

Most of them chose not to confront difficult situations and people, even when it offended them. By suppressing their anger, they built up a lot of bitterness and resentment which ultimately affected their health.

Worse still, harbouring bitterness can cripple you emotionally and stand in the way of fulfilling your true potential.

To avoid this type of regret later in life, it’s important to understand that honesty and confrontation are a necessary part of healthy relationships.

There is a common misconception that confrontation is bad for relationships and can only create division.

Not all the time.

In reality, when confrontation is kind, honest and constructive, it helps to deepen mutual respect and understanding and can take the relationship to a healthier level.

By speaking our minds, we express our true feelings and reduce the risks of building up unhealthy stores of bitterness that ultimately hurt us.

4)   I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

This one is a regret many of us struggle with.

Bronnie found that her patients missed their old friends and regretted they didn’t give those friendships the investment of time and effort they deserved.

Everyone misses their friends when they’re dying.

It appears that when health and youth have faded, and death is looming, people realise that some friendships hold more value than all their wealth and achievements.

According to Bronnie, it all comes down to love and relationships in the end. Nothing else mattered to her patients in the last few weeks of their lives but love and relationships.

We live in a busy world these days. And the pressures and demands of work, city life and trying to raise a family can take its toll on some golden relationships.

Knowing this now, what would you do differently?

5)   I wish I had let myself be happier

This is a very humbling one, really.

Many of her patients didn’t realise until the end of their lives that happiness is a choice.

They wished they had known that happiness isn’t something to be chased and acquired through wealth, social acceptance and the trappings of life.

In their deathbeds, these patients realized they could have chosen to be happy, regardless of their circumstances in life – rich or poor.

To me, this regret is the most touching.

Throughout our active lives, we often focus too much on acquiring the things we would like to have – wealth, status, power and achievement. We often (wrongly) believe that these things hold the keys to our happiness.

When asked what they could have done differently, here’s the key message those dying folks shared: Learn to relax and appreciate the good things in your life. That’s the only way to find real happiness.

Happiness is a choice.

Is it possible to live a life without regrets?

This is the big question I’ve been asking myself.

As no human being is perfect, and I doubt there’s anything like a “perfect life”, I expect all of us would have some regret(s) in our dying days.

But I think the key is to have as few regrets as possible.

And the best way to die with very few regrets is to live life as if we would die today.

After all, almost nobody knows exactly when they’ll die.

By living our lives as if the end is nigh, we would realise that we really don’t have all the time in the world. As a result, we would procrastinate less, and pursue our truest desires, dreams and aspirations.

Also, to live a life of few regrets, we have to focus on and accommodate ONLY those things and people that make us happy. Because if we try to conform to the expectations of others and hide our true feelings, the regrets could haunt us later in life.

If you’re reading this article and you’re alive and healthy, you still have a choice.

Remember, you only live once!

Don't forget to share this article with people you care about. You may just save someone a ton of regrets.

I wish you an amazing life.

Best,

John-Paul

PS: Inspired by the regrets of the dying people she cared for, Bronnie Ware went on to become a writer and songwriter. The experience totally transformed her life and she is daring everyday to live up to her truest potential. She authored a full-length memoir about this experience titled ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing’.

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