January 04, 2008

A Tearful Goodbye

Friday morning. This week has been SO fun with the photography contest going on. The response has been great indeed. Many of the votes can be seen in the comments section, but most have been emailed directly to me. As soon as this contest ends I will start my Wedding Favorites, so be watching for that on the 14th of January.

Jack has only 2 more Hyperbaric treatments left. I feel like celebrating. Once he has his next MRI on February 27th then the doctors will decide if he needs to start up again or if they are happy with where he is at. The end of HBO could not come at a better time as Jack has had his fill of it. We unfortunately are keeping Jack on steroids daily, I am going to try and call his radiologist today to touch base about what there plan will be to get him off of them. His body just could not tolerate the final tapering step. I think he will prescribe a different steroid at a higher dose, but one that is easier to taper from. Jack is on the strongest steroid there is, so it is much more difficult to make that last leap to be off of them. But the benefits of him not being on such a high dose is quite apparent. He has more energy, has for the most part lost his appetite, and the smaller dosage has kicked in a lack of patience and a temper that is typical with the steroids use. But as compared to the withdrawn Jack that didn't want to engage in any conversation that we have had for the last 5 months, this new Jack is a breath of fresh air. Atleast he is communicating, even though it is generally discontent. This too shall pass.

I just finished the study on Paul, To Live Is Christ, by Beth Moore. Our last ladies class is Sunday night to finish up the last video and discussion. I have done so many studies by Beth Moore, and each time I feel like I know the person we are studying like they are not just a flat name in the bible any more, but a friend with dimension. I remember saying goodbye to Moses, John, David and all were hard, but none like Paul. I am even crying again as I type this. I finished the study in the hospital waiting room this morning while I was waiting for Jack. I normally sit in a corner away from the television so I can stay focused on my study or my work on the computer without too much distraction. Today I was in my regular seat and the waiting room was full, with tears so thick I had to continually wipe them away, and as I read Paul's final letter to Timothy, knowing that he was in chains, cold, on the hard floor of a prison cell when he wrote it made me love Paul even more. I am so grateful to the Lord that He chose a man of strength and resolve to "live as Christ" as an example to me. There is no other name in the Bible but Jesus alone that has caused my heart to be resolved to follow Christ no matter the consequences. I had to remind myself that Paul's inspired words live on, but the study has changed me more than any other study and it was hard to turn the last page.

Although I am not ready to close this study, I am looking forward to our next study on The Psalms by Beth Moore. Starting February 10th at 5:30pm on Sunday nights at Southern Hills Church of Christ. This is a new study that was just released and it is only a 7 week study, so if you have never done a intensive Bible study and the Lord is calling you closer this might just be the time to start. If you are like me it only took one study to realize what I was missing by only studying alone, and not having the accountability with homework and discussion time, and you will be craving another. I am grateful for the fellowship that comes with the Ladies Bible Study, but most of all I love the deep, deep, study in God's word, in a way I don't think that I could do on my own as efficiently.

One of the "things' I asked for at Christmas was a book called "Fox's Book of Martyr's" I have been reading that along with the study on Paul and have been blessed to read about those who have gone on before us. I had just seen "Elizabeth, The Golden Years" in theatres not too long ago and this book's introduction speaks to how as the Prodestant Queen she put an end to much of the torture and killings that were being inflicted on Christians and actually had one of the original printings of this book chained to each church pulpit and in every official building for people to read. To read a book that was in it's first publication in the 1500's is a first for me, and brings about a new appreciation for the man who spent his life recording the names of men and women who had been martyred for Christ so they would never be forgotten. And not only never be forgotten but to give others a resolve to fight for Christ no matter the circumstances.