My Health at this Moment, Tues. March 5

Pastor Bryan Lowe
Bryan Lowe

I really don’t know what I should say now. Yesterday, March 3, I woke up and made the frightening discovery that the entire left side of my face was paralyzed. Eye-mouth-lips-tongue. But being a true coffee drinker, I found I could only drink my morning joe with a straw, otherwise it just dribbled down my chin. And I couldn’t close my left eye.

I drove my son to his classes, and then decided on a whim that it might be wise to have my doc look at it. I was immediately escorted up to the hospital’s ER. The concern was is that I had a stroke; or in the midst of one. But the real diagnosis though is Bell’s Palsy.

Since I physically couldn’t close my left eye I experienced the horrible experience of not being able to blink. I must of made a ghastly sight with an eye that didn’t close, staring out like a cyclops. That was the worse of it. Even though the pain was minimal, the eye was affected the worst, and since I couldn’t close it on its own was very irritated. It would only close by physical pulling down the eyelid.

I suppose the worst part of it was going in for an MRI. Because of my past brain tumor that has become the biggest issue here. I could tell the tech was aware of something. And that they discovered something. The radiologist deferred any diagnosis until the past MRI from Anchorage could be consulted.

So now I sit here writing with just one working eye, and a prayer. I don’t want surgery again. And yet, at the same time, I want them to carve this thing out. I’m 52 years old, married with two great kids. In ministry that I love doing. But I am fully in God’s hands.

The Bell’s Palsy if that is all its is, has a healing rate of 3-6 months. And that’s fine– if it is just that. But if it is another brain tumor, than my symptoms will only spread. I will know on  Friday, later this week. I will let you know.

If wish to help me, please take my name before the Father. Having this awareness, I can follow Him much more gracefully. We can be excited (and hopeful) for a healing, but I’ve learned it takes just as much faith to follow Him through things like this.  Oh, BTW, if you run into me on the wooly streets of Homer Alaska, I’ll let you buy me a Vanilla latte. But I will need a straw, lol.

&

“I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain.”

 John Henry Newman

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Kyrie eleison.

ybic, Bryan

Bell’s Palsy Basics– http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001777/

Comparing Our Differences

“Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 19:14, NLT

“I served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame.”

Job 29:15, NLT

Our disabilities can give us a rough time of it. Being mentally ill– whether with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, autism spectrum, etc can create many challenges. In some sense, those of us with physical or mental issues are all in the same boat. Many of us are physically, mentally, or developmentally disabled.

Or are we? I suspect that there are a million permutations (or more) of disability. One is in a wheelchair and suffers from migraines and depression. Another has severe anxiety. Others have little or no self-control and is becoming a drunkard, and yet another is just a child but diagnosed as autistic.

The fact of  labeling people often diminishes them into categories. A young child with Downs Syndrome is often labeled, and they seldom have the opportunities that ‘normal’ children receive. This is usually an unconscious reaction to their handicap.

In Nazi Germany, those with a mental or physical illness were rounded up and sterilized or euthanized (murdered) to achieve an ‘Aryan superiority.’ Systematically, untold thousands of disabled people were executed. We call this “eugenics” and it still is alive and well in the 21st century. It is rampant in a world that embraces “social darwinism” as its ideology.

We must remember these things. We also need to understand that we shouldn’t compare people with people. And we dare not pass judgement on anyone who is different. Disabled people should not wear labels, especially when ‘normal’ people slap it on us. A person’s perceived value should never, ever be part of a Christian believer’s agenda.

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ybic, Bryan

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Making a Trade

“How poor was Jacob’s motion, and how strange 

His offer! How unequal was th’ exchange!

A mess of porridge for an inheritance?

Why could not hungry Esau strive t’ enhance

His price a little? So much underfoot?

Well might he give him bread and drink to boot:

An easy price! The case is even our own;

For toys we often sell our Heaven, our Crown.”

Francis Quarles, (May 1592 – September 1644)

Reading this dusty old poem isn’t really my favorite thing to do. Contrary to public opinion, I don’t walk around the house quoting Shakespeare or even Milton. (Just so you know, right now I’m listening to baseball on the radio and thinking about a hotdog, with onion and mustard.)

But this brief poem (the best kind!) really resonated in me. I sensed the Holy Spirit focus me on the words, and deliver to me something special. I would like to think that this is going to happen to you as well. But that is not a certainty.

Quarles’ poem sketches out the story in Genesis 25, of Jacob and Esau. For many years I have been moderately perplexed by Esau’s actions and Jacob’s conniving. Esau seems stupid, and Jacob manipulates him.

“Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?”

 “But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob.”

“Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.”

Genesis 25:32-34, NLT

The issue seems to be that I am very much like Esau. And I also seem to have the manipulative style of Jacob. I can trade off my “inheritance” as quick as anyone alive. Depending upon my mercurial moods, I will trade my supernatural peace and hope for swill. And I can do this without a second thought.

Quarles poem ends with this,

“An easy price! The case is even our own;

For toys we often sell our Heaven, our Crown.”

Toys, trinkets, trifles. I trade away the things are most precious for “swill.” But I am hoping that my heart will change, and I will stop trading off what is eternal.

ybic, Bryan

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