PJ

PJ

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Coffee with PJ

Now that Thanksgiving Day is over, it's time to pour yourself a cup of hot coffee for breakfast. Skip everything else. You probably ate enough calories yesterday to get you through the rest of the month. And if you are planning on going out shopping today (or just getting back), please be wary of getting caught up in the pervasive consumerism of our day!

1. In case you might fear that you are drinking too much coffee, relax and read about the 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee, So Drink Up (not that I need any encouragement to do so!).

2.  "Christianity is much more than getting your doctrine right. But it is not less."  These are the opening words of Kevin DeYoung's recent post, "Doctrine Matters: Eternal Life Depends Upon It."  In a day and age when so many in the church find doctrine dry and boring, these thoughts of DeYoung are definitely worth the few minutes it will take you to read them.

3. Finally, an update on my wife Sharon. According to her surgeon, the surgery of last Thursday to repair her broken femur went well. After getting her pain under control and going through a couple of therapy sessions, Sharon was discharged on Sunday evening. As I climbed out of bed Monday morning, I prayed to God, asking him to help the day to go smoothly. There were several things to work out concerning her care. The first and most important was to get her prescription for lovenox filled. This medication (which is taken by injection) is designed to prevent blood clots from forming. Sharon's surgeon wanted her on this medication given what he had to do in the surgery and given Sharon's inactivity. The problem with this medication is that even with insurance, it would have cost us over $1000. So the doctor prescribed a less expensive alternative. This alternative would have required Sharon to inject herself 3x each day (vs. just once a day with the lovenox). But it was MUCH less expensive. However, as the nurse called to numerous pharmacies, not one carried the drug! Hmmm. So we committed it to prayer. If we had to bite the bullet ... we would do so. But God had something else in mind. It began when a case worker walked into Sharon's hospital room with a coupon. It was a Walmart coupon which would allow us to purchase 25 doses of lovenox for $157 (which sounds like a lot when standing alone ... but sounds like "a litttle" when compared to $1000!). The caseworker had called Walmart to verify the validity of the coupon . . . and they informed her that they would indeed honor it! And since this was five doses less than the doctor ordered, the case worker told us that the hospital would provide five FREE doses at the hospital's convenience pharmacy. SO ... on my mind on Monday morning was the nagging question, would all go smoothly at both the hospital's pharmacy and Walmart? As it turns out, I never made it beyond LGH's pharmacy. When I stepped up to the counter to get the lovenox, the pharmacy tech told me there were 25 doses in the bag. "But I thought I was getting only 5?" I responded. She informed me the script was for 25. So I asked (with a bit of fear in my voice), "How much does this cost?" Her answer almost made me jump for joy, "Ten dollars" was her response. I paid the price, grabbed the bag, and thanked God as I walked out to my car. Wow! We went from over a thousand dollars to $157 to $10! We are so thankful for God's provision in this!

As you think of my wife, please pray for her. This will be a long journey (which has already stretched for nearly three months). And the final outcome as to her leg and knee are yet to be determined.

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving Day, two quotes concerning gratitude which grip my heart every time I read them:

 From Nancy DeMoss – Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy

“Gratitude is not merely a second-tier virtue in the Christian life – it is vital. And it is transformational. I truly believe a grateful spirit, rooted in the soil of God’s goodness and grace, will radically impact how you view and respond to everything in your life.”

From Ellen Vaughn - Radical Gratitude: Discovering Joy through Everyday Thankfulness

“Cultivating a grateful heart is not just an add-on nicety, a civil tip of the hat to God as we steamroll through our day. A posture of purposeful, perpetual thanks to God is absolutely central to Christian character. It gives glory to Him. It is the key defense against Satan’s temptations to despair, distrust, dysfunction. It protects us from sin and self. It is the hallmark of heaven. It does not exist in hell.” 


Thanks for stopping by . . . 
pj

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Coffee with PJ

Thanks for joining me for a cup of coffee and some random thoughts ...

1. I am now in my 27th year of pastoring Grace Church at Willow Valley. Across the years I have seen people come and go, preached well over a thousand times, sung innumerable songs in worship, prayed I don't know how many prayers. I have lost track of the weddings officiated and the funerals conducted. But one thing I have not last track of is the greatness and goodness of my God. To say that our God is an awesome God doesn't seem quite enough. But I can't think of anything better to say about him. He is awesome in holiness, love, mercy, grace, faithfulness, truth, justice, and on and on it goes. I am so thankful that over 26 years ago he led me to Grace Church. From the first Sunday here I began to fall in love with the church family. It surely looks different today then back then, but my love for the church has only grown. SO ... if you are a part of the family at Grace ... know this: God in Christ loves you ... and so do I!

2. My wife has been on a journey which began last December. An MRI revealed that what little meniscus remained in her right knee was shredded The orthopedic surgeon, wanting to avoid a knee replacement given Sharon's "younger" age, suggested a process of injecting a substance into her knee which would lubricate the joint and relieve the pain ... supposedly. "Fifty-fifty" were his words for a successful outcome. So in January -February she underwent the injections (three of them, one week apart). Within two months it was apparent that she fell in the "50%" of unsuccess. So began the process of second opinion and ultimately surgery for a total knee replacement (which took place on September 4th). From the get go, Sharon faced more difficulties than most. Somehow, she fell between the cracks when she moved from in-home physical therapy (pt) and outpatient. So she lost a week there. Then she had a negative reaction to the pain meds she was on ... and lost a few pt sessions there. Across the weeks, scar tissue built up to the point she could only bend her new knee so far. The orthopedist recommended "manipulation under anesthesia" (see previous post for explanation). The condition Sharon was suffering, known as a "stiff knee" is experienced by a very small % of TKR patients. As the orthopedic discussed this option, he mentioned the risks, such as the risk that comes with the use of anesthesia, which is true for all surgeries. He then mentioned that there was a very small risk that during the procedure, a bone in her leg could break. He downplayed this as a very remote risk, especially given that my wife did not fall into any of the "high risk" categories for the procedure. Sharon and I shrugged any risk off ... having experienced surgeries and procedures in which doctors have to mention the risks (and then you, the patient, have to sign of on). No big deal.

No big deal? Perhaps for the 99+% of manipulation patients. But it became a very big deal for my wife. From the time she stood up after the manipulation, she found it quite difficult (and at times impossible) to put weight on her right leg (I had to use a wheelchair to transport her into the pt department for her first pt session after the manipulation).  For 7 days, she endured the pain as she had to go to pt for five of the first six days. We finally made an appointment with the orthopedist. After briefly meeting with him, Sharon was taken for an x-ray. Once back in the room, we waited for the doctor. When he walked in, his whole demeanor had changed. "We now know why you cannot put weight on your leg. Your leg is broken." At that point, my heart broke for my wife. She had endured so much ... and now its back to the OR. And what this means for her ongoing rehab for her new knee? The surgery went well. The surgeon was able to repair the break. She is now in a knee immobilizer. This will be her constant companion for the next two weeks. For at least the next six weeks she will not be allowed to put any weight on her leg. Total healing time for her leg to totally heal will be about six months. What this all means for the rehab of her new knee I do not know.

Yesterday morning I pulled my copy of the book of Psalms out of my office bag. Randomly opening it, I found myself reading Psalm 67:1, "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us."  "Yes, Lord," I prayed .. "please do so today. Upon Sharon, upon me, upon the surgeon .... " Then I went on to read the next verse: "that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations." As I read those words, I thought of what happened after the doctor informed us of my wife's broken leg. She looked at him and said (as he was visibly upset), "I don't want you to blame yourself for this. We realize things happen for a purpose. Our God will take care of us." I sat in amazement as I heard my wife give glory to God and voicing her trust in him.

Certainly one of the reasons that we are on this difficult journey is that we might be able to give glory to him and point others to him. This is not to say that our faith does not sometimes falter. And it is at those times we cry the prayer of the father of the demon possessed son, "Lord I believe, help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).

Thanks for your ongoing prayers for my wife and ..../

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's Coffee with PJ

Fridays keep rolling around at a pace that does not relent! We are now within two weeks of Thanksgiving Day! Wow! SO .... take some time to slow down and pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee while joining me for a few random thoughts.

1. I am really getting sick of going to doctors! I think in the past year and a half, I have been to more doctor offices than my entire life (well ... given my age, probably not ... but it sure seems to be true!). I have had a torn distal biceps tendon repaired (this took five months from the time of the initial injury until the surgery ... in part due to my family physician trying to figure out what was behind my persistent arm pain). Then there was the follow up to the surgery and some complications, all of which led to the determination that I need another surgery due to another problem with my arm/wrist. In the midst of this, I endured a kidney stone episode last fall which led to a surgical procedure in January (and I  have another follow up with the urologist today that is related to all of this). In addition, I have had a couple of other minor health issues that my family physician is treating. Add to all of this the numerous visits I have gone to with my wife for her bad knee and now her new knee (do you see why I said I am really getting sick of going to doctors?). Of course, that statement is a bit ironic, yes? I am sick of going to doctors ... but it is due to "sickness" that I have to go in the first place! In all of this, I have encouraged myself calling to my mind the reality that this suffering is merely a season of life that I am passing through. And even if I had to battle illness and injury the rest of my earthly life ... I know with great confidence that there is a better me in my future. And part of this better me is a new, resurrected body! The apostle Paul talks about the resurrection that awaits us in 1 Corinthians 15. If you have not read this chapter lately, I highly recommend that you do. You will, I am sure, be greatly encouraged! Oh ... and by the way ... on Sunday, I will be preaching on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 in which Paul talks about our future resurrection. I invite you to join us at either 9:00 or 10:30. We would love to have you join us!

2. Here are some brief but insightful words from the pen of one of my favorite theologian/author: "Christ walks, as it were, out of the pages of the Bible into our lives" (J.I. Packer). This is so very true! Jesus Christ ... his person and his work ... is at the very heart of the Bible's story line. But before he can walk into our lives ... we must get into the Word! So ... how much time do you spend in the Bible each week? Your answer to this question will go along way in determining how much Christ is in your life!

3. What kind of shape is your marriage in? If you want some help diagnosing the condition of your marriage, Kevin DeYoung (my favorite  younger author) offers up Ten Diagnostic Questions for Your Marriage.  If you are willing to invest the time ... I believe your marriage will be stronger after discussing these questions with your spouse!

4. Speaking of spouses ... thanks for praying for my wife. Last Friday I mentioned she was undergoing a Manipulation Under Anesthesia of  her right knee (see last week's post for a link which explains this). The manipulation was a success. In spite of great pain, she has now gone from a being stuck at a 95 degree bend to 107 degrees as of yesterday's therapy session! So although hurting right now in body ... she is encouraged in heart! Please pray she will continue to progress (the therapist would like to see her get to at least 115 degrees if not 120 degrees!). Pray also that she will be able to straighten her leg. She is currently at 10 degrees. Thanks!

5. Oh ... and I did notice that today is Friday the 13th. Since I am not superstitious in the least (I would rather live my life under the reality of the providential care of a sovereign God. One who loved me enough to send his one and only Son to die in my place, facing God's wrath so I would never have to). So that's all I am going to say about today's date (but for what it's worth, check out what wikipedia has to say about it).

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Coffee with PJ

Sorry I missed our coffee time last week. Was enjoying a week of "staycation" with my wife. I also needed to catch up on some chores around the house. So ... I caught up on those and also caught up on some much needed rest! All in all ... a great week! Now it's back to the grind ... so grind your coffee beans (or whatever method you use to brew your coffee) ... and join me for a few random thoughts.

1. Yesterday, one of my staff members here at church, invited me to attend Lancaster Bible College's chapel to hear Jared Wilson speak. I had read and appreciated a number of things Jared had written. So I was looking forward to hearing him speak. I was not disappointed. The biggest takeaway for me from what he taught was this statement: "If you find the gospel boring, the problem in not with the gospel. It's with you!" He then went on to list a number of incredible blessings that are ours because of the gospel (and our response to it ... "repenting and believing" - Mark 1:14-15). As he went down his list, I find myself nodding in agreement. When we truly understand what the gospel offers us, there is simply no way we can find it boring. Think about it! The gospel redeems us from our sin, provides for us a relationship with the God who made us, promises us an eternal home of unimaginable blessing, brands us with a new identity in Christ .... and on and on and on it goes! All freely given to us who in NO WAY deserve any of it! Wow! There is no "boring" in the gospel! Thanks, Jared, for this wonderful reminder of the glory that is ours because of what Jesus Christ was willing to do for us!

Logan Feeling Some Steeler Love!
2. This past Sunday morning at 1:04 Eastern Standard Time, our newest grandchild entered our world. Logan Ryan Smith is our 7th grandchild! Since my wife was invited by our daughter-in-law to
be present for the birth, we made our way to Women's and Babies Hospital around 10:30 Saturday night. Our daughter-in-law tends to have "quick" deliveries, and my wife was determined she was not going to miss the birth of her grandson! We had been praying for a safe arrival of a healthy baby. God graciously answered our prayers! Children are indeed a gift from God (Psalm 127:3)!

3. Finally, an update on my wife and her recovery from her total knee replacement back on September 4th. I mentioned back on October 16th, that my wife was possibly suffering from Knee stiffness after her TKR (also known as arthrofibrosis or "stiff knee syndrome"). So next Tuesday (time TBD) her surgeon will perform MUA on her knee (Manipulation Under Anesthesia). This is being done to break up the scar tissue that has formed since the surgery. This scarring is preventing her knee from bending. The MUA will be followed by five days of aggressive physical therapy. Your prayers for my wife would be very much appreciated! Thanks!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj


Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Coffee with PJ

Now that Thanksgiving Day is over, it's time to pour yourself a cup of hot coffee for breakfast. Skip everything else. You probably ate enough calories yesterday to get you through the rest of the month. And if you are planning on going out shopping today (or just getting back), please be wary of getting caught up in the pervasive consumerism of our day!

1. In case you might fear that you are drinking too much coffee, relax and read about the 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee, So Drink Up (not that I need any encouragement to do so!).

2.  "Christianity is much more than getting your doctrine right. But it is not less."  These are the opening words of Kevin DeYoung's recent post, "Doctrine Matters: Eternal Life Depends Upon It."  In a day and age when so many in the church find doctrine dry and boring, these thoughts of DeYoung are definitely worth the few minutes it will take you to read them.

3. Finally, an update on my wife Sharon. According to her surgeon, the surgery of last Thursday to repair her broken femur went well. After getting her pain under control and going through a couple of therapy sessions, Sharon was discharged on Sunday evening. As I climbed out of bed Monday morning, I prayed to God, asking him to help the day to go smoothly. There were several things to work out concerning her care. The first and most important was to get her prescription for lovenox filled. This medication (which is taken by injection) is designed to prevent blood clots from forming. Sharon's surgeon wanted her on this medication given what he had to do in the surgery and given Sharon's inactivity. The problem with this medication is that even with insurance, it would have cost us over $1000. So the doctor prescribed a less expensive alternative. This alternative would have required Sharon to inject herself 3x each day (vs. just once a day with the lovenox). But it was MUCH less expensive. However, as the nurse called to numerous pharmacies, not one carried the drug! Hmmm. So we committed it to prayer. If we had to bite the bullet ... we would do so. But God had something else in mind. It began when a case worker walked into Sharon's hospital room with a coupon. It was a Walmart coupon which would allow us to purchase 25 doses of lovenox for $157 (which sounds like a lot when standing alone ... but sounds like "a litttle" when compared to $1000!). The caseworker had called Walmart to verify the validity of the coupon . . . and they informed her that they would indeed honor it! And since this was five doses less than the doctor ordered, the case worker told us that the hospital would provide five FREE doses at the hospital's convenience pharmacy. SO ... on my mind on Monday morning was the nagging question, would all go smoothly at both the hospital's pharmacy and Walmart? As it turns out, I never made it beyond LGH's pharmacy. When I stepped up to the counter to get the lovenox, the pharmacy tech told me there were 25 doses in the bag. "But I thought I was getting only 5?" I responded. She informed me the script was for 25. So I asked (with a bit of fear in my voice), "How much does this cost?" Her answer almost made me jump for joy, "Ten dollars" was her response. I paid the price, grabbed the bag, and thanked God as I walked out to my car. Wow! We went from over a thousand dollars to $157 to $10! We are so thankful for God's provision in this!

As you think of my wife, please pray for her. This will be a long journey (which has already stretched for nearly three months). And the final outcome as to her leg and knee are yet to be determined.

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving Day, two quotes concerning gratitude which grip my heart every time I read them:

 From Nancy DeMoss – Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy

“Gratitude is not merely a second-tier virtue in the Christian life – it is vital. And it is transformational. I truly believe a grateful spirit, rooted in the soil of God’s goodness and grace, will radically impact how you view and respond to everything in your life.”

From Ellen Vaughn - Radical Gratitude: Discovering Joy through Everyday Thankfulness

“Cultivating a grateful heart is not just an add-on nicety, a civil tip of the hat to God as we steamroll through our day. A posture of purposeful, perpetual thanks to God is absolutely central to Christian character. It gives glory to Him. It is the key defense against Satan’s temptations to despair, distrust, dysfunction. It protects us from sin and self. It is the hallmark of heaven. It does not exist in hell.” 


Thanks for stopping by . . . 
pj

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Coffee with PJ

Thanks for joining me for a cup of coffee and some random thoughts ...

1. I am now in my 27th year of pastoring Grace Church at Willow Valley. Across the years I have seen people come and go, preached well over a thousand times, sung innumerable songs in worship, prayed I don't know how many prayers. I have lost track of the weddings officiated and the funerals conducted. But one thing I have not last track of is the greatness and goodness of my God. To say that our God is an awesome God doesn't seem quite enough. But I can't think of anything better to say about him. He is awesome in holiness, love, mercy, grace, faithfulness, truth, justice, and on and on it goes. I am so thankful that over 26 years ago he led me to Grace Church. From the first Sunday here I began to fall in love with the church family. It surely looks different today then back then, but my love for the church has only grown. SO ... if you are a part of the family at Grace ... know this: God in Christ loves you ... and so do I!

2. My wife has been on a journey which began last December. An MRI revealed that what little meniscus remained in her right knee was shredded The orthopedic surgeon, wanting to avoid a knee replacement given Sharon's "younger" age, suggested a process of injecting a substance into her knee which would lubricate the joint and relieve the pain ... supposedly. "Fifty-fifty" were his words for a successful outcome. So in January -February she underwent the injections (three of them, one week apart). Within two months it was apparent that she fell in the "50%" of unsuccess. So began the process of second opinion and ultimately surgery for a total knee replacement (which took place on September 4th). From the get go, Sharon faced more difficulties than most. Somehow, she fell between the cracks when she moved from in-home physical therapy (pt) and outpatient. So she lost a week there. Then she had a negative reaction to the pain meds she was on ... and lost a few pt sessions there. Across the weeks, scar tissue built up to the point she could only bend her new knee so far. The orthopedist recommended "manipulation under anesthesia" (see previous post for explanation). The condition Sharon was suffering, known as a "stiff knee" is experienced by a very small % of TKR patients. As the orthopedic discussed this option, he mentioned the risks, such as the risk that comes with the use of anesthesia, which is true for all surgeries. He then mentioned that there was a very small risk that during the procedure, a bone in her leg could break. He downplayed this as a very remote risk, especially given that my wife did not fall into any of the "high risk" categories for the procedure. Sharon and I shrugged any risk off ... having experienced surgeries and procedures in which doctors have to mention the risks (and then you, the patient, have to sign of on). No big deal.

No big deal? Perhaps for the 99+% of manipulation patients. But it became a very big deal for my wife. From the time she stood up after the manipulation, she found it quite difficult (and at times impossible) to put weight on her right leg (I had to use a wheelchair to transport her into the pt department for her first pt session after the manipulation).  For 7 days, she endured the pain as she had to go to pt for five of the first six days. We finally made an appointment with the orthopedist. After briefly meeting with him, Sharon was taken for an x-ray. Once back in the room, we waited for the doctor. When he walked in, his whole demeanor had changed. "We now know why you cannot put weight on your leg. Your leg is broken." At that point, my heart broke for my wife. She had endured so much ... and now its back to the OR. And what this means for her ongoing rehab for her new knee? The surgery went well. The surgeon was able to repair the break. She is now in a knee immobilizer. This will be her constant companion for the next two weeks. For at least the next six weeks she will not be allowed to put any weight on her leg. Total healing time for her leg to totally heal will be about six months. What this all means for the rehab of her new knee I do not know.

Yesterday morning I pulled my copy of the book of Psalms out of my office bag. Randomly opening it, I found myself reading Psalm 67:1, "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us."  "Yes, Lord," I prayed .. "please do so today. Upon Sharon, upon me, upon the surgeon .... " Then I went on to read the next verse: "that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations." As I read those words, I thought of what happened after the doctor informed us of my wife's broken leg. She looked at him and said (as he was visibly upset), "I don't want you to blame yourself for this. We realize things happen for a purpose. Our God will take care of us." I sat in amazement as I heard my wife give glory to God and voicing her trust in him.

Certainly one of the reasons that we are on this difficult journey is that we might be able to give glory to him and point others to him. This is not to say that our faith does not sometimes falter. And it is at those times we cry the prayer of the father of the demon possessed son, "Lord I believe, help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).

Thanks for your ongoing prayers for my wife and ..../

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's Coffee with PJ

Fridays keep rolling around at a pace that does not relent! We are now within two weeks of Thanksgiving Day! Wow! SO .... take some time to slow down and pour yourself a cup of your favorite coffee while joining me for a few random thoughts.

1. I am really getting sick of going to doctors! I think in the past year and a half, I have been to more doctor offices than my entire life (well ... given my age, probably not ... but it sure seems to be true!). I have had a torn distal biceps tendon repaired (this took five months from the time of the initial injury until the surgery ... in part due to my family physician trying to figure out what was behind my persistent arm pain). Then there was the follow up to the surgery and some complications, all of which led to the determination that I need another surgery due to another problem with my arm/wrist. In the midst of this, I endured a kidney stone episode last fall which led to a surgical procedure in January (and I  have another follow up with the urologist today that is related to all of this). In addition, I have had a couple of other minor health issues that my family physician is treating. Add to all of this the numerous visits I have gone to with my wife for her bad knee and now her new knee (do you see why I said I am really getting sick of going to doctors?). Of course, that statement is a bit ironic, yes? I am sick of going to doctors ... but it is due to "sickness" that I have to go in the first place! In all of this, I have encouraged myself calling to my mind the reality that this suffering is merely a season of life that I am passing through. And even if I had to battle illness and injury the rest of my earthly life ... I know with great confidence that there is a better me in my future. And part of this better me is a new, resurrected body! The apostle Paul talks about the resurrection that awaits us in 1 Corinthians 15. If you have not read this chapter lately, I highly recommend that you do. You will, I am sure, be greatly encouraged! Oh ... and by the way ... on Sunday, I will be preaching on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 in which Paul talks about our future resurrection. I invite you to join us at either 9:00 or 10:30. We would love to have you join us!

2. Here are some brief but insightful words from the pen of one of my favorite theologian/author: "Christ walks, as it were, out of the pages of the Bible into our lives" (J.I. Packer). This is so very true! Jesus Christ ... his person and his work ... is at the very heart of the Bible's story line. But before he can walk into our lives ... we must get into the Word! So ... how much time do you spend in the Bible each week? Your answer to this question will go along way in determining how much Christ is in your life!

3. What kind of shape is your marriage in? If you want some help diagnosing the condition of your marriage, Kevin DeYoung (my favorite  younger author) offers up Ten Diagnostic Questions for Your Marriage.  If you are willing to invest the time ... I believe your marriage will be stronger after discussing these questions with your spouse!

4. Speaking of spouses ... thanks for praying for my wife. Last Friday I mentioned she was undergoing a Manipulation Under Anesthesia of  her right knee (see last week's post for a link which explains this). The manipulation was a success. In spite of great pain, she has now gone from a being stuck at a 95 degree bend to 107 degrees as of yesterday's therapy session! So although hurting right now in body ... she is encouraged in heart! Please pray she will continue to progress (the therapist would like to see her get to at least 115 degrees if not 120 degrees!). Pray also that she will be able to straighten her leg. She is currently at 10 degrees. Thanks!

5. Oh ... and I did notice that today is Friday the 13th. Since I am not superstitious in the least (I would rather live my life under the reality of the providential care of a sovereign God. One who loved me enough to send his one and only Son to die in my place, facing God's wrath so I would never have to). So that's all I am going to say about today's date (but for what it's worth, check out what wikipedia has to say about it).

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Coffee with PJ

Sorry I missed our coffee time last week. Was enjoying a week of "staycation" with my wife. I also needed to catch up on some chores around the house. So ... I caught up on those and also caught up on some much needed rest! All in all ... a great week! Now it's back to the grind ... so grind your coffee beans (or whatever method you use to brew your coffee) ... and join me for a few random thoughts.

1. Yesterday, one of my staff members here at church, invited me to attend Lancaster Bible College's chapel to hear Jared Wilson speak. I had read and appreciated a number of things Jared had written. So I was looking forward to hearing him speak. I was not disappointed. The biggest takeaway for me from what he taught was this statement: "If you find the gospel boring, the problem in not with the gospel. It's with you!" He then went on to list a number of incredible blessings that are ours because of the gospel (and our response to it ... "repenting and believing" - Mark 1:14-15). As he went down his list, I find myself nodding in agreement. When we truly understand what the gospel offers us, there is simply no way we can find it boring. Think about it! The gospel redeems us from our sin, provides for us a relationship with the God who made us, promises us an eternal home of unimaginable blessing, brands us with a new identity in Christ .... and on and on and on it goes! All freely given to us who in NO WAY deserve any of it! Wow! There is no "boring" in the gospel! Thanks, Jared, for this wonderful reminder of the glory that is ours because of what Jesus Christ was willing to do for us!

Logan Feeling Some Steeler Love!
2. This past Sunday morning at 1:04 Eastern Standard Time, our newest grandchild entered our world. Logan Ryan Smith is our 7th grandchild! Since my wife was invited by our daughter-in-law to
be present for the birth, we made our way to Women's and Babies Hospital around 10:30 Saturday night. Our daughter-in-law tends to have "quick" deliveries, and my wife was determined she was not going to miss the birth of her grandson! We had been praying for a safe arrival of a healthy baby. God graciously answered our prayers! Children are indeed a gift from God (Psalm 127:3)!

3. Finally, an update on my wife and her recovery from her total knee replacement back on September 4th. I mentioned back on October 16th, that my wife was possibly suffering from Knee stiffness after her TKR (also known as arthrofibrosis or "stiff knee syndrome"). So next Tuesday (time TBD) her surgeon will perform MUA on her knee (Manipulation Under Anesthesia). This is being done to break up the scar tissue that has formed since the surgery. This scarring is preventing her knee from bending. The MUA will be followed by five days of aggressive physical therapy. Your prayers for my wife would be very much appreciated! Thanks!

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj


Are You Preparing for Eternity?

Our journey on earth is but a breath ... a heart beat when compared to the expanse of Eternity. We all must remember that how we live live in the here and now will impact our experience in the then and there.

Thoughts on how biblical truth impacts all of life.