Chutes and Ladders

I walked into Bowen’s room this morning and immediately noticed that something about him looked different. At first I couldn’t put my finger on it, but whatever it was made me smile. It didn’t take me long to realize that the reason I had a smile on my face was because I could see more of Bowen’s face. The nurses had removed his nasal cannula (the tube under his nose) and now he’s breathing completely on his own. They’re waiting for a lung x-ray to show whether he’ll be able to keep his cannula off, so we’re hoping for a good report. They’re also still keeping a close eye on his infection, and discovered that the wound where his drainage tube had been removed is not healing properly. It’s possible that it’s the source of his infection. The doctors are meeting tomorrow to decide whether he’ll have to undergo surgery to take care of the infected area. That would result in reintubation (ventilator) and other things that would feel like major steps backwards. It could also keep us in the hospital for another month.

Sarah said that our time in the hospital feels like the children’s board game Chutes and Ladders.  We keep praying that God will give us a ladder, and that He won’t let us land on another slide. Even though our emotions can cause us to feel this way, we know that our life is no game, and that nothing is left to chance or coincidence. What we perceive to be a slide, might really be a ladder; and what we perceive to be a ladder, could really be a slide. The only way to “win”, is the way of trust. The Bible verse that comes to mind is Romans 8:28, a very familiar verse amongst Christians. Paul says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This verse is a great source of comfort, but when is the last time you read the rest of this passage? As you read, it just keeps getting better and better. All throughout Romans chapter 8, Paul makes it clear that if we are Christians,  we are actually chosen to share in the sufferings of Christ. The great news is that we not only chosen to share in His sufferings, but are also chosen to share in His glory. I pasted Romans 8 at the bottom of this post. I encourage you to read it and think about exactly what Paul is saying in it’s full context and how it applies to your life.

No Cannula!

Paislyn

A few days ago I shared the story of how I met baby Paislyn and her family in moderate care. I asked Jake and Aubrey for an update this morning because some of you have been asking. They told me she’s going in for surgery first thing tomorrow morning. Please keep Paislyn in your prayers.

MacQueens

Sarah and I went to MacQueens Apple Orchard in Holland, Ohio with my parents and the girls this afternoon. We wish Bowen could’ve been with us, but it was nice to spend quality time with our family. Going to MacQueens Apple Butter Festival is a family tradition. Every year we pick apples, and then get our fill of cider and apple fritters. My friend and band-mate, Chris, told me about a cool iPhone app called Hipstamatic. I figured today would be a good day to try it out. Here’s some photos I took with my new app.

Romans 8

Life in the Spirit

8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [1] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you [2]free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, [3] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Heirs with Christ

12 So then, brothers, [4] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [5]of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Future Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because [6] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, [7]for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be [8] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. [9] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.