The Favor of God

It has been 3 months since my husband’s prostatectomy and the extended stay in the hospital. He scheduled a post-op appointment with the surgeon one week ago for a blood test to check his current PSA level. His doctor had the results within 15 minutes and reported an unusually high number. We have been claiming he is healed from prostate cancer since January when first diagnosed and stand in agreement that this was a false reading.

A new bone scan was ordered by the doctor and the authorization arrived 5 days later. When Derrick contacted the Northridge Diagnostic Center to schedule the bone scan, he was told the facility was booked until the end of July! That date was totally unacceptable to us and I began to pray fervently for God to help us. The following morning I called the Center to inquire if there was another location that could administer the scan. I was given the number to a facility in Thousand Oaks and called immediately.

I explained our situation to their office manager and waited patiently for a desirable response. She believed there was a cancellation for the end of that week and placed me on hold to confirm. I booked the appointment for Friday morning and praised God for favor. He definitely was listening to my prayers and shows up every step of this journey. With God on our side, we know that we will overcome this obstacle and praise Him in Jesus’ name. Thank you to everyone for the healing prayers and love!

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Embracing Life

One uplifting encounter occurred recently after my regular Sunday morning yoga class. My friend Noelle and I were discussing natural remedies and foods for cancer prevention. We shared the healing properties of turmeric, lemons, and apricot kernels among others. I noticed that a young woman was listening intently to our conversation. She approached us and posed the question, “So both of you know someone close to you with cancer?” Then she burst into tears and revealed that her friend was just diagnosed with some type of cancer and she didn’t know how to deal with the news. I embraced her as she sobbed in my arms.

After gaining her composure, I told her about my husband’s recent prostatectomy due to cancer and was able to offer her some sound advice about showing support to her friend. I knew that God had placed us in her path that morning to encourage her to pray for her friend, Miriam. The following week I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Miriam had scheduled an appointment with another doctor to receive a second opinion. This new doctor had given her an excellent prognosis for treatment of the cancer which was a huge relief to everyone.  It stirred my heart to be more thankful for my health and embrace this life that God has blessed me with!

 

SURVIVING AND THRIVING

 

 

My husband, Derrick has earned quite a reputation over the past 20 years for motivating and challenging the riders in his spin classes. This past January, we received the shocking news that he had an aggressive type of prostate cancer. The best option for treatment was a prostatectomy so we moved forward with the scheduling of this robotic surgery. We remained optimistic in the weeks leading up to the surgery and had complete faith that he would overcome this hurdle. We were also fortunate to have 2 friends who coached him and prayed with him from the beginning; as they are both survivors of prostate cancer.

After his doctor gave him a favorable prognosis, Derrick returned home to start his recovery. However, he was readmitted into the hospital a few days later due to an unusual tear in the surgical area. After 2 more exhausting weeks in the hospital, it was determined that a second surgery was necessary. There was a continuous outpouring of love and support from friends, family and co-workers offering prayers for his healing. Our dear Pastor Samuel and his wife Priya visited us in the hospital one afternoon and anointed him with oil and healing prayers. My faith has definitely been challenged and strengthened throughout this season. We are eternally thankful to all of you for the vigilant prayers on his behalf and are believing that the cancer has been removed and no radiation will be needed! Hallelujah!

 

 

Beautiful Gate

Last weekend I asked God to lead me into a new ministry. On Sunday evening, Derrick and I visited our friend Rose’s church in Silverlake called Beautiful Gate. When Rose visited me in the hospital after hip surgery in December, she described her new place of worship with such love and exuberance. I told her we would definitely check out a Sunday evening service in the near future.

I loved the message given by the pastor, Samuel Theophylus and his wife Priya’s testimony was so touching. She talked about her first encounter with Jesus and how it changed her life forever. They are a lovely couple who moved here from Hyderabad, India over seven years ago. As Samuel spoke about the culture in India and his upbringing, it brought to mind the story of Abraham. Genesis 12:1: Now the Lord said to Abraham, Go for yourself away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. How inspiring it is to meet true disciples of God who are willing to leave their country and completely trust in God to lead them to a new land!

I desire to spread the Word of Jesus more often and one day declare that I am also a true disciple of Christ. This life is flying by so fast and I want to grab every opportunity that comes my way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hipper Christmas!

I woke up this Christmas morning praising God for my incredible life! I was able to shower and get dressed completely on my own for the first time since hip replacement surgery on the 15th of December. I’ve cried out to Him every day and night to help me get through the pain because the procedure has taken a toll on my emotions as well as my physical self.

I’ve had many entertaining moments along this road to recovery as well. Two days after returning home from the hospital, I had an allergic reaction from my blood thinner pills and tiny bumps appeared down my entire back. My stepson was keeping me company and had the bright idea to rub some alcohol on them to stop the itching. As he rubbed the cotton soaked liquid on my back, I yelled out that it was hurting even more. He then proceeded to blow on my back to calm down the burning sensation just as his dad walked in the door. I started laughing at the entire scenario and they joined in. Finding humor in the midst of a storm will definitely lift up your spirits!

Listening to my customized iHeart radio station compiled of Christian praise songs also got me through this season; especially during the nights in the hospital when I needed a nurse to assist me with every small task. I played my uplifting music almost 24 hours a day to drown out any thoughts of self-pity for my temporary condition and to share my love for Jesus with all of the staff.

I had to spend one extra night in the hospital due to a serious drop in my blood pressure. It occurred when the Occupational Therapist escorted me to this tiny shower room. There was little air in the confined area and I could simply not breathe. They rushed me back to my room and gave me oxygen and proceeded to order an EKG. I was then wheeled down to Cardiology for an ultrasound. At first I was disappointed when told I would be staying an additional night for observation. But when my sister, Lyn asked me if I was upset over the news, I told her it was in God’s hands.

To my surprise, I actually enjoyed that final night thanks to a nurse named Mercy. When she arrived for the nightshift, she came to my room to introduce herself. I responded by saying that her name was beautiful and it made me think of God’s mercy. She smiled and told me her father in Nigeria had given her that name. We had heartfelt conversations throughout the next twelve hours and I knew that I had stayed if only to meet her and share our faith.

Jesus was born on Christmas morning and made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Let’s focus on all of our priceless gifts from God this season and be a blessing to each other! Hallelujah!

 

 

 

 

The True Gifts of Christmas

IMG-20151205-WA0006.jpgThroughout my entire life I have anticipated the holiday season with a focus on gift giving, decorating cookies, and celebrating Jesus’ birthday. I hold onto fond memories of my sisters and I waking up at the crack of dawn and running down the stairs to discover what gifts Santa left under the tree. Later that morning, we would eat the anise cookies pressed into  shapes of gingerbread men, candy canes, and wreaths that our sweet Grandma Ruby helped us to bake on Christmas Eve.

I have a completely different perspective on Christmas this year. In a world filled with chaos and uncertain times; my thoughts and prayers  turn to friends who are battling life-threatening diseases, and for those who are broken-hearted over the loss of a loved one. This life is a fragile and precious gift that can be taken away in an instant. All the more reason to be grateful to our omnipotent Father who pours out his love on us daily in every imaginable way.

The true gifts of Christmas are the Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. And the good news is that we don’t need to wait until Christmas morning to receive them. Have a blessed and beautiful celebration!

 

 

War Room Is #1 In Our Marriage

I invited my husband to see the faith-based indie film, War Room last week. This drama demonstrating the power of prayer fought its way to the number two spot at the box office after receiving negative reviews from movie critics. I chose to listen to a few close friends who loved the film and highly recommended that Derrick and I see it.

War Room definitely impacted us as well as the trailers we viewed of several Christian films being released this year. Actually, we had a couple “God” encounters that evening as well. In the theater lobby, we met a woman, Stacy who has a ministry for married couples in her home. She was accompanied by an entourage of teenage girls, including her own daughter. They actually sat right next to us during the film and responded favorably to its message. We engaged in a spirit-filled conversation and before we parted, the woman spoke “unity” into our marriage.

We then drove to a quaint italian restaurant in our neighborhood for dinner. As we sat on the outdoor patio, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman who sat down at an adjacent table. To our amazement, he mentioned that he owns a bike shop called “Go Green” in the Burbank area. Being an avid cyclist and spin instructor, Derrick lit up when he revealed this tasty tidbit! They talked about frequented bike routes, trails, and everything under the sun related to biking. Of course, I praised the film and suggested he watch it and then spread the word as well.

It was an anointed evening for the both of us! We have agreed to pray together more often after being woken to the realization that it will greatly impact our marriage and create a stronger relationship with God and each other. Now that the film has climbed to the #1 spot, I pray this will become the new direction for our nation.