Shepherd

Prayers for the Week: Who is Your Shepherd?

Shepherd
image ©Grace Lutheran Church

Who is your Shepherd?

14“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

John 10:14-18 (NIV)

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s Prayers for the Week post! For all of the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day! Today I thought we would take a look at the role of our fathers as our shepherd, and compare them with our heavenly shepherd, Jesus.

Of course, if you have put your faith and belief in Jesus, then you know that He is the Good Shepherd, and that He is looking after us each and every day. But let me tell you about my dad, Joe, and show you how he was the shepherd for me and my sister and our family.

As I’ve gotten older, I have realized more each year that my Dad did not get the credit that he deserved, at least not from me. Dad, I’m very sorry about that. What I saw as a kid was life through the lens of what my classmates had, and how I didn’t always have those things, and I blamed you for that, Dad. I’m sorry. What I’ve learned over the years, though, is about all of the incredible things that I did and still do have. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

  1. We had a roof over our heads, and 3 square meals each and every day.
  2. We had presents under the tree at Christmas, and birthday presents as well.
  3. We had a Dad that didn’t like to discipline us, but would when we deserved it.
  4. We had a Dad that demanded respect for him and Mom, but he also earned that respect.
  5. We have a Dad that loves us, and isn’t afraid to cry and doesn’t think he’s less of a man when he does.

As you will see, we had a bit of a scare with my dad — the diagnosis of Lung Cancer — but the tests came back really good, and the treatment is going to be not nearly as big of a concern as we initially thought it would.

To all of the fathers out there, and to all of the children of those Dads — learn from me, and remember to take time to appreciate your Dad and tell him you love him, and learn from him — good or bad, there are things you can learn from your Dad.

Prayer Requests and Praises

  • As I said, we were praying for my Dad and a diagnosis of lung cancer. Here’s the latest update: “Dad’s report: “Joe says no metastases, surgery, just a small chunk, in about two weeks, followed possibly by chemotherapy.” Thanks everyone for the prayers for my Dad!”
  • Jodi has some prayer requests. Here’s the first: “Please pray for my father-in-law, Gerald. If you recall, he had a severe head injury 2 years ago, and then he had a mild stroke about 2 months ago. He had memory testing done today, and he feels he didn’t do very well. On top of his having had a stroke, his sister passed from Alzheimer’s, and that runs in the family, so we’d really like to avoid that!”
  • Here is her second prayer request: “Please also pray for my brother-in-law’s father, Ted. His cancer has spread, and they have stopped treatment. Although he is currently doing alright, despite his condition, he is beginning hospice care. They are a very close family, and this will be a very difficult time for all of them. Thanks!”
  • And lastly, her third request: “Sorry to make a list, but lots of requests! My 13YO has returned to competitive baseball. The thing is, it is BIG business here in Florida, and we’re having difficulty determining where to place him. While he would get top-notch instruction from mostly former MLB players pretty much anywhere, what we’re running into is organizations that lack basic moral values. As I said, sadly, it is big business here, and kids and their families are too often treated as dollar signs, where winning is done at all costs, even at the devaluation of children’s self-worth. So-called “teaching” tactics include humiliation and neglect. We’ve really seen some ugly in the past few months. We know there’s good out there; we just need guidance where to find it. Thanks, again!”
  • Amanda has a prayer request for a friend of hers: “I’m asking for prayers for a friend. She has been losing muscle function since November and going to many different specialists for a diagnosis. They finally found something that points to ALS but could also be Lyme disease. They are awaiting the results for Lyme disease. Please pray that this Lyme disease or something easier than ALS. She has a 12 yo daughter.”
  • Lori has a prayer request: “Please add Jennifer to your prayers. She is the daughter and step-daughter of friends’ of mine. She was in renal failure, had emergency surgery on Saturday, now developed staph infection, and going back into surgery shortly to completely remove her kidneys.”
  • Carol has a prayer request: “My best friend – Brenda – was just told last night that her body is covered with Cancer. Of course I want prayer for healing – but more important I ask for SALVATION for this amazing woman.”
  • Lynn has a prayer request: “Prayer request for my dad. He had blood work done and it come back that he is diabetic and possibly has prostate cancer. He has an appointment this week and next week for further testing on cancer.”
  • Cheri has a prayer request that she asked me to post for her. Here’s what she texted me: “I am constantly blessed by your prayer group request and comments. And I strongly believe in the power of prayer. I have a need. I am awaiting a decision in a legal process I’ve been involved in for the past 31 months. This decision affects my retirement and thus our future financial planning. Could you please pray about this? Thank you! Have a blessed day! 🙏” Please be praying for God’s Will to be done in this legal matter, and for Cheri and her family to have Peace throughout this time, and for this to benefit her as well as to bring Glory to God. Thanks everyone!

Thank you for praying with us for all of these many prayer requests! Now, please join us in praying the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Father's Day

Prayers for the Week – Father’s Day

Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads out there!

Hello everyone, and welcome to our weekly Prayers for the Week post.  Today is Father’s Day in the United States, and I’m taking a moment to wish all of the fathers out there a wonderful Father’s Day!  Any man can make a child, but it takes a truly committed man to be a father.  Dad, I love you, and thank you for showing me the example of how to raise my children like you raised Robin and I!

By that same token, our Heavenly Father cares just as much for each one of us as our human father does.  Remember the words found in the book of Matthew, the 18th chapter, verses 12-14:

12“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Just like the sheep, God does not want any of His Children to wander off — He wants them all accounted for, taken care of, and kept safe from the evils that this world represents.  Most of all, He wants us to be loving towards others, and reverent towards God, and His Son Jesus, who died for us as the payment for our sins.  He wants us to love Him, and to tell everyone about Him.

On this Father’s Day, take the time to talk to your Dad, to wish him a wonderful day, and if he has already made it to Heaven, talk to him anyway.  He hears you, and loves to know when you are thinking of him.  Now, please take a moment and lift up our prayer requests and praises — we have a lot of them, so thank you for reading through all of them!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • We had a comment left on a past prayer post by Junya — I’m leaving it here so that we can all pray for it. Here is what they wrote:I’m a long haul driver sick of being attacked through pornographic images every where, it is wearing me down physically and spiritually, it is affecting my prayer life and thus my ability as a spiritual leader and protecter of my family. This one is not the ordinary daily temptations but all out brazzen attacks that are also manifesting themselves in physically impossible acts such as beams leaning on the truck lifting up and hitting me . I’m calling for any prayer warriors on this one.Please pray for them, for God’s mighty hand to take care of these problems in their life, that they would be able to resist the temptations from pornography, and that they would find the strength within to withstand the physical and spiritual attacks on them. Thank you everyone!
  • We have received a prayer request from one of our readers, Kelley, who needs prayers for her son Brandon. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:Please lift up prayers for my 9 yr old son, Brandon. We just recently found out he has 2 congenital heart defects.And here is my reply to Kelley. Please pray for these things for her and Brandon and all of their family during this time of need:Kelley, I’m sorry for your son’s heart conditions, but rest assured that we willpray for God’s Healing touch to come upon him, as well as Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon all of you in your time of need. I’m going to transfer this to the blog so that we can see it and pray for Brandon throughout the week. Please feel free to let me know how he is doing or if there is anything else we can do!
  • We have been praying for little Rebecca, the five year old girl who was fighting brain cancer. You may remember reading about her in our Palm Sunday prayer post. Well, I am saddened to report to you that my friend Amy let me know that Rebecca passed away on her 6th birthday. Here is what I wrote back to Amy, and I urge you to continue your prayers along this line please.Oh Amy I am sorry for all your loss. It feels as if our children are being taken earlier and earlier in life these days. I will continue to pray for all of you – for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and most of all, His Love to come down on all of you in this most difficult time. Take comfort in knowing that Rebecca is in Heaven, that she knows no suffering and pain any more, and that she is smiling down on you, keeping tabs on you. I’ll post a comment for the family, thank you for sharing with me.
  • My friend Michelle is in need of some prayers. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:Need prayers please. I’m still in the hospital. Dr. Was just in. News is not good. Sitting here crying. Could use some prayers and positive thoughts…….Please pray with me:

    Heavenly Father, we do not know what is wrong with Michelle — but we know that You do, and that you are with her even as we speak. Please have Your Peace descend upon Michelle so that she may know the Comfort that you can provide. Please give her Your Strength to endure the medical issues that she is facing, and please remind her of Your Love for her. If it is Your Will, Lord, please heal her of the issues that are attacking her, so that she may know the Glory of God even more. It is in the name of Your Son Jesus that we pray. Amen.

  • My friend Sherry needs our prayers. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:ENT says virus has damaged my inner ear. Series of steroid shots in my ear starting tomorrow to try and salvage hearing, but no guarantees. I am quite worried so I could use all the prayers you could send me.Please pray for her healing, for her doctor’s skill, for the medicine to do what it needs to do, and for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon Sherry during it all. Thanks!
    • Sherry has given us an update, here is what she wrote:Hearing has improved and second shot done-it’s progress!!! Thanks so much for all the prayers and support-it means the world to me!Please keep praying, thanks for all your prayers so far, it’s making a difference! Keep it up!
  • Please pray for my friend Norman. Norman just went through hip replacement surgery. Here is what was written on Facebook:I want to share with you that I’ve just talked with Norman’s surgeon, and his total hip replacement went well. He said that Norman is in recovery now and should be in his room in a few hours.Please pray for a strong recovery for Norman, that he would be well soon, and that he is up and about again very soon. Thanks!
  • Please pray for my friend Brooke, who’s son has been ill. He had to have an unexpected procedure today, and while we don’t know the details, we do know that he is doing better. Here is what Brooke wrote on Facebook:We are home. I can’t go into details but he is doing well. Your prayers have been answered and are greatly appreciated. Keep ‘em coming, esp. for deep sleep tonight (for us all!) and pain management over the next few days.Please pray for their comfort, healing, strength, and for God’s Peace to descend upon their family. Thank you very much!
  • Great news regarding my cousin Barb and her husband Tim! You may remember that Tim has been fighting cancer. Here is the latest update on his condition:I apologize for the lack of updates, but I finally have great news to share! Tim is Cancer Free! After 8 sessions of chemo, which were pretty rough on him, he is feeling better now, and could not be happier to have gotten this news today! We have an appointment to have the chemo port removed next week! Now, we just have to get rid of the **** drain tube! Yes, he still has the drain tube (since October!). Hopefully, it will be out soon! Thank you all for your support and prayers during the most difficult year of our lives!Please praise God for Tim and Barb and for His healing of Tim’s cancer! Also, please keep them in your prayers that there wouldn’t be any setbacks, and also please pray for everyone else that has cancer. Thanks!
  • Please continue to pray for Dee, her Father-in-law Jim, and her cat.  All three are suffering from medical issues and need all the prayers they can get.
  • Please lift up Praise to God for Glenn and his wife Joyce — you may remember that Joyce was home from the hospital, and she is doing really well now, so keep the prayers and praises going for them please!
  • Please pray for my cousin Michelle and her daughter Julia.  Here is what Michelle wrote on Facebook:
    I debated on writing this but I am desperate for prayers for my littlest one. Yesterday the Dr said he thinks Julia might have a bone infection. We are waiting on insurance to approve the MRI (if no resolution by tomorrow we will just pay it and deal with insurance later) if it is an infection then the next step is to figure out what bacteria it is and match antibiotics. Unfortunately I didn’t have a clue what a bone infection meant so I didn’t ask very many questions yesterday. Now, thanks to the internet, I know pretty much what’s in store for Julia and this is why I’m asking for prayers. I’m sorry I didn’t call you all to ask but for some reason my voice cracks and my face starts getting wet when I try to talk about this. I will keep everyone updated. Thank you!

    • The good news is that the MRI was approved, and will be performed on Tuesday.  Here is what I wrote to Michelle:
      Michelle, we’ll certainly be praying for you and Julia! I write a prayer post each Sunday on my blog, if you want I’ll add this request to it, but you tell me. In any event, never hesitate to ask us for prayers, that is the best thing we can do for you. I’ll be praying for healing, for good results from the tests, and for Peace, Comfort, and Strength to deal with the unknown for you all!
  • Continued prayers for my friend Amanda and her husband Daniel, who is going through cancer treatments.  Here is the latest word from Amanda:
    It’s been a while but we have kind of been just hanging out with no movement in one direction or the other. And that has been frustrating. Round 3 of chemo was harder in that Daniel is very fatigued and for some reason, we kind of feel like we aren’t doing anything to move forward in treatment. Now we know that’s not true but mentally that’s the feeling. But we did get through round 3 which was delayed by 2 days due to dehydration and low white blood cell counts. So now our chemo regimen starts on Wednesday and ends on Friday.The oncologist is doing everything we can to keep round 4 from being delayed. Round 4 is the final round before we reimage to see if we are making any progress. They pulled another CEA and it was slightly elevated which means nothing (it’s not uncommon but it’s not common during chemo), there is another tumor or the current tumor isn’t reacting to treatment. So round 4 is the round that starts things moving again. After round 4 starts (hopefully this Wednesday 6/18), we will schedule another scan – CT or PET, we aren’t sure yet – within 2-3 weeks. 2 weeks from the last dose of chemo is July 4th so they are trying to decide if they move us up a few days or wait until after the holiday. Then IF the image shows we have enough healthy liver to resect, the surgery will be scheduled no more than 4 weeks after the final dose of chemo. If we don’t have enough healthy liver, we will need to regroup and see how to proceed.Daniel also had an MRI of the brain last week due to complaints of dizziness and vision issues. Those could be side effects of the chemo or it could be something else going on. Hopefully, we will find out the results on Monday. We have another appointment for fluids and neupogen on Monday along with a general check in. Then Wednesday we go in to see if we can start chemo.

    So specific prayers we need for now are that the tumor is reacting to the treatment and shrinking while the embolization is working and the healthy liver is growing; the cancer has not spread and the MRI results are negative and the issues are truly just side effects; round 4 of chemo starts as planned on Wednesday; Daniel’s overall health (mind, body and spirit) remain well enough to keep fighting; and the reimaging shows there is enough healthy liver to move forward with the resection. I’d also like to put in a prayer request for our daughter, Cate, that she continues to handle things as well as she has been, that she finds ways to talk about her concerns when she needs to and that we can find time to move the focus to her for a while. Thank you all for your prayers and support! And for the hats! I haven’t gotten Thank Yous out yet but it is on the to do list! We have hit a hard spot in the road which we knew we would and knowing you are there to help us through is making it much easier to let go and let God! Prayers and blessings to all of you!

  • Please give Praise to God for my niece Stephanie, who made it through her surgery with flying colors and is now home recovering.  Hopefully this will take care of all of her issues she has been having, so please pray for complete healing for her, for no more side affects from the medications, for lots of rest for her and her husband Shane, and for Peace, Comfort, and Strength to see them through the next weeks and months!  Thank you everyone!

My Brothers and Sisters, I thank each and every one of you for your commitment to praying for those that need our prayers.  It is an honor to lift these up to the Lord for all of those suffering, and I thank you all for being the strong prayer warriors that you are!  Please be safe this week, and as always, let’s close our week by praying the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our Daily Bread,
And forgive us our Trespasses,
as we forgive those who Trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.

Wordless Wednesday – Disney Dads

IMG_6897

Hi everybody, welcome back!  Today I’m doing the Wordless Wednesday post!

Well, as you know, Father’s Day is coming up so I’m doing a post on my Dad! But don’t email him. I want it to be a surprise for when he next sees the blog! I hope he likes it. He was very generous to let me be his ace reporter. He spoils me! You can’t beat that! Anyway that picture up there at the beginning of the post is my daddy. The picture  was taken on the ferry from the Transportation and Ticketing Center to the Magic Kingdom on the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney.

What did I tell ya? Absolutely, positively, no doubt about it, he spoils me rotten — most of the time! Now I know what you’re thinking — how could giving your daughter two things be considered spoiling her rotten? Allow me to tell you the number of things my parents have given me so far. Yes, I have counted. 576,319,426,821,348,756,893,527,349  99/100 [the 99/100 being the Disneyland trip we are about to take.]:D So yes,  he does spoil me rotten.

Thanks for joining me on the Wordless Wednesday blog hop today!  To see the rest of the entries, click on the button below, and thanks!

Focused on the Magic

Sophie: From Beautiful Baby to Birthday Girl

Sophie at one day old

The day that Sophie was born was one of the happiest in my life.  Such a small bundle, scarcely four pounds, just 17 1/2″ long, and born seven weeks early.  Cindy and I left the hospital after being in for five days, but the hardest thing we ever did was to have to leave our baby behind — Sophie didn’t come home until she was two weeks old.  Even as a premie, Sophie was a strong willed little girl.  She pushed off her breathing apparatus constantly her first night, until the doctor finally said, let’s see how she does without it.  She’s never needed oxygen since.

Over the years, as our love of traveling to Disney World has increased, one thing we have loved to do is take Sophie to Disney for her birthday.  So for our last trip, we decided that we would have one more surprise for Sophie and Anna Jane.  We decided, with Sophie turning 10 years old on Father’s Day, that it was time for Sophie and Anna Jane to experience the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

On the day of our appointment, which was Sophie’s birthday, we were running a few minutes late, so it was decided that I would take the girls ahead since we didn’t have bags to get checked, and we made for the Castle to make our appointment.  It was then that I told Sophie and Anna Jane where we were going, and I’ll never forget Sophie’s reaction.  She said to me, “Daddy, thank you so much for my birthday surprise.  I’ll never forget it.”  She went on to tell me that at least twice more throughout the day.  So, our girl went from an itty bitty little thing, to our Disney Diva princess, as you can see below.  Thank you all for sharing in my little girl’s birthday!

 

My Princess at the beginning
In the process of changing
Adding the Diva hair!
With Alison, her Fairy Sylist
Almost perfected!
Finishing Touches!
My Disney Diva Princess

So, in the space of an hour, my beautiful princess was transformed into a Disney Diva Princess!  While the price isn’t cheap, the benefit was something that will last a lifetime.  We won’t do this every year, certainly, but it was worth every penny, and we will do it again for special occasions.