Hope is alive

Yesterday I read this one Christians’ scripture and thoughts about Covid-19:

Deuteronomy 28:58-60 NAS

“If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the Lord your God, then the Lord will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. And He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you.” 

His comment:  “Folks, we do not need to brag how we are going to get through this. We need to get on our knees, repent of our sins as a nation, and ask God to heal our land.”

Pretty harsh. I know I posted earlier this week my own scripture quote that God will use this for His good, and I found myself defending a more hopeful outlook such as:

Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I do cling to a God of Hope who sent His son to die for us for the forgiveness of sins.  And I know there is a time to be humble and call on our God and come before Him with honor and reverence.  We worship a mighty God.  Let His name be exalted.  And then call on Him with your prayers and supplications.

So I don’t think my fellow Christian is wrong.  And it’s not necessary to argue or debate.   The God of the Old Testament does seem vengeful.  Our Good Father wants us to trust and obey.  But that isn’t the end of the story.  There is a time and place for everything.  And our God is merciful and we can have Hope because of Him.

John 16:33 New International Version (NIV)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Romans 5:3-5 New International Version (NIV)

Not only so, but we  also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Amen and Thank you Jesus

A Blessed Conversation

A few weeks ago I was part of a blessed conversation and I don’t want to forget it or take it for granted. Several months ago I started attending a local group in Cartersville called Bartow Diversity. This group has been meeting for over 10 years, working for a positive future for the community.

Recently the group has been learning about the Toni Morrison Society and involvement in Cartersville due to it being the hometown of her father, George Wofford. Toni Morrison was a Nobel Prize Winner for her novel Beloved, about post civil war freed slaves trying to start over. The book was later made into a movie starring Oprah Winfrey.

While Morrison [was} “not a southerner, the South, and even Georgia, are all over her books. While we may not exactly claim the Nobel Laureate of Literature as a Georgia writer, Morrison has significant Georgia roots and so, too, do many of her characters.”*

George Wofford did not have beautiful memories of his life in Georgia, and certainly didn’t want to raise his children there. And yet the Southern roots of her parents, and their stories, certainly made an impact.

Racism, oppression, prejudicial treatment, and even public lynchings in the early 1900’s affected one generation into another, and still leaves a bitter taste, if not lasting challenges for reconciliation.

So our last meeting in February, 2020, was a planned small group discussion centered around the lasting impact of slavery and current experiences about racial diversity and reconciliation. “How do our nation’s history and your own experience impact your feelings/views and participation in racial diversity and reconciliation?

After opening business, we split into small groups of three or four people. My group of three included a young adult black male, an almost empty nester white woman, and a white grandmother. That right there was a blessing to have the perspectives of different generations.  Opening comments began in gratefulness to just sit and listen and share with one another.  Conversations can build trust so that truthfulness can be told in love and less animosity.

Shortly afterwards, the young gentleman had to leave just as an adult black woman arrived to take his spot.  All three of us quickly bonded and shared stories from our own ancestry and memories. Our discussion moved from civil war, to women’s rights, to the civil rights movement. We each shared different viewpoints of attending school before integration, shortly after integration, and clearly after integration.

Before too long, we ran out of time. We could have talked a lot longer. Being born in the South during the Civil Rights movement, I discovered that there were many issues and events that were never discussed due to denial or shame.   My generation is older than Black History Month, and my History classes never got to twentieth century history past World War II.I merged into integrated environments in my high school and college years, but find that I need to make an effort to participate in integrated groups if I want to learn and grow in diversity.

If I want to move past an “us and them” viewpoint, it is up to me to put myself out there, listen to other voices, expand my limited perception of one sidedness, and call on my God who made and loves all people to open my eyes to His will.

Three southern women seeking to live in love and unity according to God’s plan. It begins with a conversation.   It is never too late.

Back to My Roots

It was a chilly, rainy day, last October, but I was so looking forward to the craft show. There would be artisans and crafters along with local music performers and food.   The Chiaha Harvest Fair is an annual arts festival at Ridge Ferry Park in Rome, Georgia, United States. It takes place on the banks of the Oostanaula River with profits going towards supporting art education in the Rome and Floyd County area.

I was drawn to this event for several reasons.  I enjoy looking at and supporting local artists.  Being able to support art education is a definite bonus.  I’m always up for trying local foods!   And a new band I had discovered would be performing.

Even the rain, mostly annoying sprinkling, couldn’t keep me away.

There was another bonus in that the event was at Ridge Ferry Park, which used to be a part of the Chieftain estate, property of John Ridge, Chief of the Cherokee Indians.  My 4th great grandfather and family lived in that house after the Trail of Tears. I am named after my 3rd great grandmother, Susan Verdery, who grew up in that house. The family managed several hundred acres for farming. The land of Ridge Ferry park was part of the Chieftain House property that the Verdery family farmed.

In her later years, Susan published a short story of fiction that contained some factual details about her family as they lived at Chieftains. In the story Susan gives nod to her love and appreciation for literature, along with expressing her faith and belief in God’s love for all people, including the Indians banished from their home and the slaves who served the family and helped them prosper. Though she grew up in a time of disharmony and oppression among people, it is her understanding of a gracious God who wants unity and love, that guides her story and her heart.  I can picture little Susan walking around the gardens, skipping down the rows of crops.

If Susan could speak about living in peace, having compassion for others, appreciating our differences, yet committed to harmony in a time where that message may not be well received or appreciated, then I could certainly tell her story, and try to revive and live her message in my life.  She has left a legacy for me that I feel called and compelled to continue.

The band that I was following is Kindred Fire, a young talented guitar duo combining their talents and eclectic music tastes into “Swamp-stomping roots music.”*  Listening to them perform is refreshing and energizing.    As I set in Ridge Ferry park, listening to Kindred Fire perform on the stage, I felt connected to my roots.  The space of that outdoor concert stage may very well be the place where Susan walked.

Just as I was listening to the music, enjoying this mystical reconnection in time, I heard the words “back to my roots”. For real. Kindred Fire was performing a song written by band member Haley Smith.  She sings about returning to a time when she first believed…a time when she saw the light.

Though the rain continued, my heart and soul will forever be blessed in remembering that day of connection…with roots, with great music, local artists, and with a world where everything is connected and God continues to inspire and renew a calling to live in peace and kindness.

 

A rewarding experience

Recently on my day off, I ran errands in my town.   I went to the library, grabbed some lunch and then went to Thursday Bible Study at Unity Worship Church. Cartersville.   I had been introduced to the pastor online via a new connection from the “Be the Bridge” book release.   Pastor Sebastian Holley, PhD, is the lead pastor and founder of the church that meets in a storefront.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but blessed to be among a welcoming community who love the Lord and are committed to grow in their faith.

The Bible study was lesson 12 from a study written by Dr. Holley called “Faith Identity:  Living your truth by connecting to The Truth”.    I wasn’t sure if I could jump in right in the middle, but I rediscovered that God meets us where we are.  All I can say is, if the rest of the book is as intense as Chapter 12, brace yourself!

The lesson is titled “Repentance Rewarded” and through this teaching, I see a new perspective to living in hopefulness and joy in walking with the Lord, even when facing hard things.

“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 3:1-2

At one time I might have interpreted this scripture to mean “get right with God or you will burn in hell!”   That is one way to take in this reading.    Another way, is to take joy in knowing a reward is coming.  Celebrate our God of forgiveness and live in the hope that comes from trusting in Him.

In this attempt to summarize what I learned and examine scripture, I am also combining my study of works from Emmanuel Swedenborg, a scientist in the 1700’s who wrote about his religious experiences and beliefs.    I learned about Swedenborg from an obituary on my 3rd great grandfather that stated that he and his wife, Susan  “became students of Emmanuel Swedenburg’s writing and enjoyed the wonderful spiritual and intellectual uplift which such study gives to a seeker after true religion.”

In his work True Christianity (§528), Emmanuel Swedenborg lists four steps to active repentance: examine yourself, recognize and admit your sins, pray to the Lord, and begin a new life.

I guess I thought repentance was a one-time thing.   Something we did when we came to acknowledge and believe in God.  However, I also understood that we need to confess our sins regularly.   Confession is only one part of the complete repentance process, and it involves more than just using words.

Swedenborg has much to say about repentance.   “Our evils live in our will; that is the source of all the evil things we do physically. Therefore if we do not search out evils in our thoughts and our will, we will be unable to repent, because afterward we will have the same thoughts and intentions as we had before; and intending evils is the same as doing them. This therefore is what self-examination entails.” (New Jerusalem §164)

In our worldly ways, we might try to avoid this process.   It is painful and brings on shame and guilt, and sometimes even self-loathing. Shake it off. God doesn’t want condemnation, He wants our trust and obedience.

Better yet, Dr. Holley tell us “when repentance is fueled by principles of right relationship, it grants power.”   Hallelujah!

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14 

Forgiveness and healing!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9 

Forgiveness and purification!

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.  Proverbs 28:13 

 Mercy!

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.  Acts 3:19 

Times of refreshing!

There is power in repentance!   You can take that to the bank!   No sitting around hoping that it worked!   If God said it, believe it.    Celebrate!    Go, and sin no more!

Dr. Holley offers this advice about repentance: “Reshape your focus. Be available for correction as an opportunity for growth.”

Thank you Lord for loving us so much that you offer forgiveness and renewal.    Help us to accept your gracious offer and walk joyfully in your promises.

 

Names and meanings and being innocently prudent

I recently researched the meaning of my name.  It was for a class I am taking about discovering our purpose and life calling.

Susan
Susan is derived from the Greek word meaning lotus flowerAnd according to Hebrew roots, it is derived from the words meaning “to be joyful”. In Persian, Susan is the name given to lily flower.
 
 As the flowers most often associated with funerals, lilies symbolize that the soul of the departed has received restored innocence after death.
 
The Lotus flower is regarded in many different cultures, especially in eastern religions, as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. Its characteristics are a perfect analogy for the human condition:
 
even when its roots are in the dirtiest waters, the Lotus produces the most beautiful flower
This is some powerful information to digest.   I was named after my 3rd great grandmother.
Susan has given me a lot to ponder about living during and after slavery in America.   She wrote a short story that includes a belief in empathy and love for all people.  An obituary of her husband reported that they both were followers of Emmanuel Swedenborg, a scientist in the 1700″s who experienced a spiritual awakening and wrote volumes about his experiences and beliefs.  Last week, the Swedenborg Foundation streamed a programs called “8 meditations on innocence“.
Susan – restored innocence – Genealogy Swedenborg -meditations on innocence.
The word prudent means preparing for the future.  My life call is to prepare for my future in heaven where there will be restored innocence.  When we have innocence we have empathy and love for all people.
My life call has me exploring empathy and love for all people.  It is a journey of being imperfectly prudent.
Your servant us listening.  Speak Lord to my soul.

 

A whole new understanding

There are some things in life that make no sense.  That saying that “Everything happens for a reason” seems like a cruel joke.  And even the promise that God can use all things for His good doesn’t seem true or clear in this lifetime.

Growing up we knew that my Dad lost a younger sister.    Dad was 6 years old when his 4 year old sister ran out into the street and was killed by a car.   She was chasing a ball.    We had a beautiful portrait of her.  My oldest sister was named after her.   We did not discuss details.   I don’t know if my Dad was with her when it happened.    It was a sad loss.   My grandparents were devastated.  By the time Dad was an adult, his parents were divorced.  Both struggled with alcoholism.    My grandfather suffered with depression and was treated with Electric Shock Therapy.   By the time I came around, he lived in a nursing home and it was said he was “senile”.   Sometimes he seemed content and cheerful, but mostly quiet and sullen.

Recently I renewed my genealogy research, which included access to online historical newspapers.   I came across a story I had never heard before.

In 1920, when my grandfather was 17 years old, he was the driver in an automobile accident where he swerved to miss a car that pulled in front of him.  He slammed on breaks and skidded nearly 90 feet, into a group of children preparing to cross the street.   One seven year old girl died from her injuries.    My great grandfather was quoted “The accident was entirely unavoidable.  He faced the possibility of collision with another automobile and made every attempt to avoid an accident when the car skidded and injured the children.”

There were 5 other teenagers in the car.    They all testified that they felt safe and he was not driving excessively.  An eye witness stated that is appeared the young driver became frightened when he saw the car in front of him, and swerved to avoid an accident.

Ultimately, he received a lesser sentence than he could have because he was treated as a juvenile.

Grandpa would later go to college and dental school and become a well-respected dentist in Northern Alabama where he would meet his wife and start a family.

I cannot imagine how he could not feel the death of his daughter was somehow payback for the earlier accident.    How could he not?    Did my grandfather wrestle with God or did he just crumble under the weight of grief?   The grace is that his remaining children would grow up to be successful professionals, loving and empathetic, and respectful of their parents, understanding the weight of grief from losing a child.

Why must someone overcome tragedy to become a successful contributor to society, only to have more tragedy and devastation heaped upon you?    Where are you God?

Recently a prominent, beloved Christian performer experienced the death of his 21 year-old son, on the cusp of his own career success.    Within hours after the report, he issued a statement, remembering the joy and gifts of his son.    He closed with these words:

“My wife and I would want the world to know this…
We don’t follow God because we have some sort of under-the-table deal with Him, like, we’ll follow you if you bless us. We follow God because we love Him. It’s our honor.  He is the God of the hills and the valleys.  And He is beautiful above all things.” — 
Toby Mac

What a testimony.  What courage.

I pray that when Grandpa passed at age 78, after a hard, long, tumultuous life, that he was welcomed by the children gone too soon, and into the arms of His Savior, offering comfort, rest and a peace that passes all understanding.

Deep tangled roots

Recently, while doing some genealogy research, I discovered a connection between my dad’s family and my mom’s family long before they were even born.

I discovered a newspaper article describing the wedding of my great-uncle on my dad’s side.  I did not realize that his bride’s family was from the same small town as my mom.  The bride’s family was friends with my mom’s mother’s family.  We called my grandmother (Mom’s mom) Gran.  Gran played the violin at the wedding in 1930.  She was 11 years old.

The bride and groom would become the parents of her first son in law.  The sister of the groom was a bridesmaid, and she would become the mother of her 2nd son in law.

I imagine such connections may not be so rare, especially in rural south Alabama, but I am just amazed by this story.

I never knew or thought about how my Mom’s sister met Uncle Dave, first cousin of my Dad.  I just knew that he came to visit my Aunt one weekend, leaving the military boarding school he attended, and he was bringing his cousin, my dad with him who needed a date.  My mom was 18 months younger than her sister.  Mom was 14 (but they told Dad she was nearly 16), because he was 18.  After that my parents exchanged letters and my mom and her sister would attend social events at the military school.

I understood about two sisters marrying two cousins.  My aunt and uncle’s children are my first and second cousins (but not thru blood relations!).   But since my aunt took the last name of her husband, and my Dad’s mom took the last name of her husband, I always associated her married family as part of my mom’s family.

You never know how paths will cross.   Sometimes you just don’t realize all the connections that had to take place for lasting connections to happen.   And yet none of this is surprising to God.

Growing up we always had Thanksgiving at Gran’s house.   The day after Thanksgiving we would travel an hour and a half south to visit my great Uncle and Aunt.   I’m sure my Dad’s mom (we called her Mama Jane) was around some, but she passed away when I was in 3rd grade, way before I could fully understand these family connections.

New International Version
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5

Baby Steps

One of the beginning issues to understand when being intentional about addressing hate is that there is a difference between “God and I love all people” and “there is a history and pattern of hate, intolerance and discrimination that must not be condoned or allowed to continue.  I recently came across this helpful quote:  

When we are not able to see the world through other peoples eyes or are unable able to find common ground with them, that is when it becomes easy to start hurting them. A lack of empathy in the world is what scares me. It seems that there is a tremendous lack of empathy in the world right now.” – Preston Fassel

It is multiple layers of hate and evil that invades individuals and groups of people that lead to long term and systemic injustice.

It will take more than goodwill and “God says so” to be an agent of change.

The next thing to understand is that Rome was not built in a day.   You cannot fix this overnight.  It is a marathon.   It is important to see it through.   You may become tired, weary, beat down, or apathetic.    But do the work.   Stay the course.

God, help me to stay the course in this long journey.  Be my guide in the highs and lows.  Transform me as I learn and grow to be more like you.  Let anything that is not of you fall away and wither.  Lord, in your mercy……

No Coincidences

BTB_fbcover_forbridgebuilders_iwillbe2 handsThe fact that I am still surprised by what I think of as “coincidences” says a lot of about my limited progress in my faith journey. But regardless of my lack of depth, I think I am moving forward in my faith journey, even if at a snail’s pace.People more advanced in their faith will testify that there are no “coincidences”. Some people call them “godincidences”. But simply, I think that all things and connected, and God sometimes has to hammer in His messages for us because we are too occupied or overwhelmed to take action.
I have not been very attentive with my old online journal (called LiveJournal or LJ) in years. I read my friends feed regularly, and rarely post but seem active with some crossposting from other social media. Today, I just thought about looking at my livejournal page and maybe think about an update. I couldn’t remember the exact url for my livejournal, so I went to livejournal.com and did a search for spiritgirl.This entry showed up at the top of my search. The title is Spiritgirl touches on Civil Rights and talks about my thoughts from 2003. I’m not sure why that entry came up first because it’s old and doesn’t have comments.It just seemed ironic because I just wrote a faith story connecting some genealogy research involving racial reconciliation and faith connection. I will share that story below. But there’s more. This morning I was listening to a podcast where Latasha Morrison was interviewed and discussed her Build the Bridge ministry about racial reconciliation and I was inspired to share this information with a co-worker: Latasha Morrison is in ATLANTA and maybe not too far from us (Perimeter mall area is her mailing address!). She leads an organization called Be the Bridge about racial reconciliation. The podcast episode is really helpful. So I started looking online and her book will release next week and she is speaking in downtown Atlanta:

Be the Bridge: Ten Things Every Racial Bridge Builder Should Know
Author Discussion and Community Dialogue
7:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 15, 2019

So faith story about racial reconciliation, discover old journal entry about race relations all on a day where earlier I had listened to a podcast about racial reconciliation ministry and then….there’s more! On the search page for Spiritgirl in LiveJournal, I am caught by an entry that says: “A public note to Spiritgirl”. What was that? It did not look or seem familiar. That link took me to a page referring to another LJ user named spiritgirl316. This is a person totally unrelated to me except we have similar usernames. I clicked on the link to her journal page and THIS is her last entry from 2008 was at the top. I kid you not. It is an entry about race relations. I’m just sitting with this. This is NOT cute little “Huh, that’s interesting coincidences.” Do you think someone wants my attention about this matter?

Lord, let it not be said I withheld anything from you.

Now, my faith story. I wrote this earlier this week and I shared it with people so they KNOW this was written before today. And the podcast was put online today so it wasn’t available earlier. The LJ post are both old, but my google history will show I have not visited these pages recently before today. Lord, help me.

So here is my faith story:

I am named after my 3rd great grandmother, Susan Verdery Prather, a teacher, wife, mother, storyteller and Christ follower.

She was born into privilege in 1840 and grew up with slaves. Part of her childhood she lived in a plantation house that was formerly owned by the Cherokee Indian Chief (before being sent away via Trail of Tears).
She wrote a short story in 1919 that was loosely based in truth on her family, and also told about God’s love for all people (including the Cherokee Indians and people of color). The story includes God speaking in dynamic ways along with Scripture, poetry and hymns to demonstrate the message. Her story ends with excerpts of “He Giveth His Beloved Sleep,” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning which I believe is inspired by Psalm 127.
In an obituary of her husband, a respected civil war veteran, it says of him and his wife: “both became students of Emmanuel Sweedenbourg’s writing and enjoyed the wonderful spiritual and intellectual uplift which such study gives to a seeker after true religion.”I believe his wife, Susan, wrote this obituary.
Sweedenbourg was a scientist, but in 1741, at 53, he entered into a spiritual phase in which he began to experience dreams and visions. In my limited study of Swedenborg I found this statement that he believed: “Christ is the embodiment of
God’s love for the whole human race.”
A recent personality study about me said: Susan comes across serious and hardworking and she tries to use logical principles to make sense of the ideas that constantly arise in her mind.
Understanding this about myself, I think this genealogy discovery is exactly God’s way of speaking to me, inspiring me, and calling me to move forward in my spiritual journey, and to further study a life calling of intentional living expressing God’s love for all people.

LENTEN LESSONS

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.   This is the ultimate lesson I have experienced this Lenten season.

It started out with me deciding to pursue fasting on Wednesdays.   This was a huge deal.    I don’t skip meals.   But fasting for my relationship with Christ is about letting go of my need to control, and relying on my dependence on God.    This purpose has stuck with me since Pastor Kelly Brumbeloe led staff chapel in a message about fasting where she explained the purpose of fasting is “to increase our awareness and reliance on God.”

So this Lenten season it seemed like a good idea to try.  Plus I had been reading about the health benefits of intermittent fasting so it became a bonus two for one deal.

On Ash Wednesday, I was able to stay busy and fasting went fine.   I went to bed early to take my mind off my routine of nightly dinner and mindless tv watching.    On non-fast days, I had been following a 16:8 schedule (eating in an 8 hour window), usually 12-8pm.    But Thursday morning I felt entitled to eat breakfast.    The remaining weeks were easier.  I derailed one week when I battled a stomach bug.   Even though I didn’t focus too much on my reliance on God, I did feel His power and presence at work.   I knew it was only due to God working in me that gave me determination, stamina, and focus.

Throughout Lent I was practicing to sing in the choir for Good Friday and Easter Sunday services.    The heavy music of highlighting Jesus’ suffering and death was somehow a comfort to me.   I totally connected with “sorrow and love flow mingled down” from the hymn “When I survey the Wondrous cross”.    Extreme sadness is felt along with extreme passion and conviction.

During Holy week, I felt a personal attack of betrayal in my family.   Strong personalities, young adults, wanting what we want came crashing down in a crushing blow.   The pain in my heart felt unbearable at times.    Staff Chapel during Holy Week was a personal journey through the stations of the cross.    It was a time to take your mind off your own pity party, and focus on the one who experienced the ultimate suffering.   Part of the stations of the cross experience is recognizing our own pain, and giving it over to God.

The prayer at station 12 highlighted my exact need and pain:    “Be present with us when others betray us or forsake us that we may find ourselves in your eyes and not theirs”. 

Praying this prayer turned my feelings for revenge and anger, into a change in direction.   Suddenly it was just me, looking at Jesus for my sense of self.  In Christ I find my identity.   In Christ, I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.   In Christ, I can sow love even among those who betray me.

Easter is the celebration of all things being made new.    This Easter I felt that renewal in my heart and soul, and I take joy that God will continue to work in me.

I have many stories I have had the privilege of hearing and watching about things being made new.   As we speak, my prayer partner is recovering from a 12+ hour surgery to once again repair an open wound in her intestines.    This has been a battle for several years, and often difficult and painful.   But this time the prognosis is quite good, and each step forward is a victory.

My dear, dear friend who has been my concert buddy and confidante for almost 30 years has been battling lymphoma since December.   She has endured chemotherapy with some intense but mostly mild side effects.    And it’s working.  Her latest scans showed shrinkage.

A beloved Pastor was hospitalized in crisis with heart failure and was put on the heart transplant list.   He and his family waited days and weeks, hoping for new life.   They were aware and humbled that for him to get a new heart, someone else had to die and donate their heart.    This is week number 2 with a new heart and they do not take this opportunity for granted.

A father of one of my kids’ former basketball team has stage IV liver cancer.   He has been battling it well with a positive response from chemotherapy.   But he is not yet cured.    Later this summer he will have the opportunity for a cure by one of his children donating up to 70% of their own liver.    The liver can regenerate.   And donation from a family member has the best prospects.    The son is a young adult and healthy and he can regenerate a full liver with just 30% left.    The father can have his cancerous liver removed, and grow a full healthy liver from his sons’ donation.

God is so good.    He continues to work with me and show me that He makes all things new….even me.