Monday, June 30, 2008

Update on Chris - Prayer Needed

Hello all-

We happen to be in Minnesota right now for Grandpa Miller's 90th Birthday celebration. We flew in this morning and Chris picked us up from the airport after his usual every few day doctor's appointment checking out the kidney.

We were set to drive over to Brainerd to join the rest of the family tonight when Chris got a call about his labs today. There has been a sudden decrease in kidney function, enough that they are very concerned about the health of the kidney.

They are going to bring him in for some extended testing, which includes more labs, ultrasounds, other imaging, etc. Right now, its scheduled for Wednesday morning (the soonest they could schedule him) but they are hoping to squeeze him in tomorrow.

Please pray for Chris and the kidney right now. Pray that God would do a miraculous healing and restore the kidney to full health.

We'll send an update as soon as we have one.

Thanks all.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Using our Past...

Summer Faith Challenge (Day 37 of 42)

“The things I hate most [about my life] are the things God uses most every day in ministry.”

This is a rough quote from Beth Moore that I jotted down during Bible study last night. She was talking about wrestling at times with her own past, and the many things it contains that she is ashamed of. She mentioned her abusive childhood coupled with her own sinful choices that took her into a life in the pit. She then talked about how she has prayed that God will reminder her of those experiences when she is ministering to people. This allows her to connect with them in a way that at times others can. She said that we often will show the amount of grace that we understand God to have shown us. This means that those who understand and are humbled by the lavish amount of grace God has shown them are more likely to extend grace to others.

I know as a counselor, I face this reality daily. I see so much of myself in others, especially when they are hurting. Much of my compassion comes from the grace I feel on my own life, and I realize that just like Beth, God tends to use parts of my life I regret the most to help me minister to others who are broken and hurting.

When we are contemplating our life of faith — where do we stand with our own past and the grace we show others? Have we accepted our past (no matter how stained it is) and are we readily and openly available to show grace towards others (no matter how stained their past or present is)?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Update on Chris - June 23

So David talked to Chris this weekend, and so far there have been no other affects that they can tell from him missing the one pill. They kidney is working well and he is down to one doctor's appointment per week. He said he is doing well.

Thanks for all of your continued prayers! We'll be going to Minnesota a week from today to see all of David's siblings as well as his Mom & her sister's family. We'll be celebrating Grandpa Miller's 90th birthday up in Brainerd.

Chris has some friends who are putting on a benefit dinner on Sunday to help Chris and Katie raise some money for health expenses related to the donation. We'd love to be there, but we couldn't get plane tickets until Monday, so we'll miss the dinner.

I'll try to take some pics to post of David, Chris, and all the Chinns while up there, and will post them sometime in the next few weeks!

I'm Alive...

Summer Faith Challenge (Day 36 of 42)

Yesterday morning I got up and decided to do my bible study for the day before I went to church. Beth Moore suggested in the study we're doing that we all spend some time “on our face” (literally) before we do our study each day. She talks about how our posture can really affect our heart and our communication with God — and how being face down on the ground can really humble us into the right spirit. I’ve found this to be true, and have enjoyed the practice of literally reminding myself of my position before God. I’ve made it a practice to have some personal worship time while on the ground, and yesterday, while I was face down, one song kept popping in my head. The only problem was that I couldn’t remember all the words or the tune… It was one of those moments where you know that you know the song, but you cannot get other tunes out of your head. So all I could sing was “I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive.” I tried looking in an nlcf songbook that was nearby, but nothing could jog my memory.

Frustrated, I got up and did my study. An hour later, I stood in church and Isaac started playing during the first worship set, and I heard it. He began to play the song! “You alone are Father, and You alone are Good… You alone are Savior, and You alone are God.” That was it!!! I started tearing up I was so moved, because I felt like God was saying, “I know you heart — here is your song.” I had such a worshipful moment while singing…and it was definitely a boost to my faith. And I felt more alive in my faith while singing than I have in a while…it was like God literally breathed life into me.

What a reminder of the fact that all we have to do is try in our faith, and God will not only meet us there

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Update on Chris

We get a lot of questions about how Chris is doing, and David received an update from him just today. He did have the drains removed last week after all of the excess fluid his body was building up was gone. That was a huge blessing, as he had expected to have them in until possibly July.

The bad news is that yesterday he noticed he wasn't going to the bathroom like he should be. He had consumed over 100 ounces but had only gone twice, and normally he typically goes 5 or 6 times. He also realized he missed one of the anti-rejection pills (he takes two a day in addition to about 30 other pills daily). He'll call in this morning to see what if any consequences there are from missing the pills and hopefully will find out some info from the work-up they did yesterday in relation to the urination issue.

Let's hope that the issue is not any indication of problems with the kidney working. Pray for a good report! We'll post an update when we have one.

Friday, June 13, 2008

How do we see God?

Summer Faith Challenge (Day 26 of 42)

Eugene Peterson writes:

“We are not presented with a functional god who will help us out of jams or an entertainment god who will lighten our tedious hours. We are presented with the God of exodus and Easter, the God of Sinai and Calvary. If we want to understand God, we must do it on his terms. If we want to see God the way he really is, we must look to the place of authority–to Scripture and to Jesus Christ.

And do we really want it any other way? I don’t think so. We would very soon become contemptuous of a god whom we could figure out like a puzzle or learn to use like a tool. No, if God is worth our attention at all, he must be a God we can look up to–a God we must look up to…The moment we look up to God (and not over at him, or down at him) we are in the posture of servitude.”*

Wow. This was all I needed to read today to challenge my faith. Am I in the position of servitude? Do I have the posture of looking up at God in this way?

Psalm 123 is a good prayer for me to cling to…

*Eugene H. Peterson. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, p. 63.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Giving and Living...

Summer Faith Challenge (Day 25 of 42)

I like reading other women’s blogs. Many of them I don’t know personally, but I feel like I do know them in the Lord. They share their lives and faith, and I learn so much from them.

I was reading one today in which a woman posted this as part of a blog post:
“That’s the bottom line…give to God generously, above and beyond what you are called to give, and do it with joy. Live your life directed toward His voice, knowing that one day, He may ask you to give it all away. It may be as insignificant as a silly purse (nothing personal, Coco), or as meaningful as someone you love. None of it is ours, not one bit.”

I couldn’t have said this better myself. Part of living out our faith is to give to God generously, above and beyond, AND to do so with joy. I desire to live my life directed toward His voice. And I want to be ready to give all that he calls me to do.

What do I have right now that I can give? Time? Money? Possessions? Friendship? I want to be seeking God daily to be in touch with what he might have me sacrifice for him and his kingdom…

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Summer Faith Challenge (Day 24 of 42)

Okay… so after another missed day, all I can do is share that this summer faith thing is challenging. It doesn’t seem too hard to have to post a blog daily, but yet I’m only batting .500 on day 4. That might be a hall of fame batting average, but I’m not sure the same rules apply to blogging.

One thought that has been on my mind since yesterday was the idea of hunger and satisfaction.

A quick story: After attending a baseball game in Salem on Friday, I found myself and the 4 others with me craving a Krispy Kreme donut. We frantically drove to get there before close, and we bought a dozen in addition to being given a free one each. Our tummies were satisfied and we didn’t think much of it until later, when Jeanette (one of the 4) discovered Friday had been Free Donut Day at all Krispy Kreme shops. We got a good laugh out of that one, and joked that must have been why some of us were craving one.

Fast forward to Monday night’s Bible study, and one of the ladies shared that she hadn’t realized how thirsty she was for fellowship until she had attended the first Bible study. It was being there, satisfied, that left her realizing how thirsty she had been.

What is it that each of us is thirsty for this day? This summer? The next year? Sometimes we might miss something we need, because we don’t realize we need it until its right in front of us. Other times we just want something and don’t realize that we can have it without having to do a lot to get it. My point is this: either way, by being active in our faith, giving things a try, and putting ourselves out there, we are more likely to find satisfaction in God than if we just stay complacent.

Two different examples. Same result. Satisfaction. What a wonderful feeling.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Summer Faith Challenge

This week, I've been "assigned" to blog on daily as part of our church's 6-week Summer Faith Challenge. I've decided that I'll copy what I post there to my personal blog as well...

Summer Faith Challenge (day 22 of 42)

So I’m already off to a “rough” start with my faith challenge. Yesterday was my first assigned day to blog, and I forgot. Oops. But that’s the great thing about something like a faith challenge. It’s designed to last over a long haul, and along the way there will always be slip-ups.

This week I’ve been reading in the Psalms as a start to the women’s bible study on the psalms of ascents. We’re memorizing one, Psalm 121. In this psalm, there’s a verse that stands out to me today.

Psalm 121:3 (HCSB) states: “He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.”

There will be times when the faith path gets slick, and its easy for us to slip up. But God is there to protect us and to help us keep our footing. That is such an encouragement to me.

But what happens when we slip up anyway?

Jude 1:24 states: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—”

We may lose our footing, but our Lord is there to keep us from getting really banged up, so that we can finish the race before us “without fault and with great joy.”

Keep running hard on this challenge…

Monday, June 2, 2008

Update & Transition...

David and Chris both continue to heal. David's been back at work 2 weeks and although he is very tired, his energy level slowly improves each day. He still cannot do any strenuous activities and when he tries (like cutting the grass while I'm out), he does experience quite a bit of discomfort. But that is supposedly normal, and he's trying to stay patient.

Chris will have the drains on for 6-8 weeks to help his body manage the fluid retention caused by one of the anti-rejection medications. But the kidney is still working well. Praise God! Keep praying that it continues to "fit in" well in his body.

To this point, I've mostly used this blog for updates about the surgery. But since the guys are improving, I'm going to begin transitioning this blog to something more...

From now on, it will include family updates, happenings, prayer requests, pictures, and thoughts on what I'm learning. The best way to sift through what's here is to use the LABEL bar on the right side of the screen. Each post has a label (like a keyword), and you can click on the label you are interested in and the posts for that label will appear.

Make sense? I hope so. I look forward to sharing more of our lives and thoughts with you all...