Tag: gift

Best Christmas Presents!

Christmas Gift What was your favorite Christmas present to receive this year? A fun floating, spinning ball you can throw and it returns to you? An amazing Lego set? A pair of gloves that keeps your hands warm in subzero weather, protects from fire and allows you to use your cell phone? 

These are some of the gifts we gave. But this year I received two of the the best gifts I could’ve ever imagined!

Every year I have to requalify to be on the kidney transplant list. I passed with flying colors, but was told that although I’ve been on the list for three years already, due to the number of people being added every day. And the fact that my blood type is the universal donor, which is also the narrowest recipient pool, my anticipated, wait for a kidney had been extended to 6-8 years. Average lifespan on dialysis is five years.

LivingDonation_FIWith that sober wake up, call, I made difficult, challenging, and humbling decision to seek what I was told was my best alternative: a Living Organ Donor.

An amazing friend who has a wide outreach sent my notice to over 3000 people. In addition to friends, and my own church family, I was humbled by so many  responses. And I had dozens of people, some who I had never met offering to donate one of their kidneys.

Donor EricIt’s a long process of testing and many were disqualified early on. But after several months, turns out that a good friend and my coauthor Eric qualified to be a living donor. And December 7, he donated his kidney in a surgical procedure that set off a chain of eight surgeries across the country, including four kidney patient recipients and three other donors. That was the first gift.

He and I have different blood types, so I was not an immediate recipient in that chain. But because he donated in my name I have been added to the National Kidney Registry for Living Donors which I’ve been told shortens my expected wait time to only 6 to 12 months!

This is life-changing for me!

I don’t know when it will happen, and I have no idea how, but I believe God has completely orchestrated events that are far beyond my imagination or understanding to meet my needs. To provide the kidney function that my body needs to go on.

heaven-g74c596b0e_640Just two days before Eric’s surgery in what could only be considered a “Divine Appointment” (cue angels singing!)  Eric “happened to see” a friend at Panera bread who introduced him to a young woman who “happened to be” a prayer warrior. She was intrigued by the 40 Day Prayer Guides Eric and I had written, and in seeking more information, she “stumbled upon“ a podcast interview that Eric and I did telling about our books and kidney donation journey.

Blessing CoverOur books encourage and equip people to pray intentionally and consistently for 40 days on a specific topic; like praying a Blessing, or for Your Grandchild, or Your Pastor. And she envisioned a group of people praying for us, for Eric’s surgery, and for my eventual transplant, for the next 40 days!

Before Eric’s surgery she had enlisted people who signed up for a day in the 40 days to pray for us… an incredible blessing and wonderful and unexpected Christmas gift number two!

Before the 40 days of prayer were over there were groups of people lifting up Eric and I in NC, PA and CO including city-wide worship services and ministry organizations. And the final weekend Jericho 500, a Christian Missions organization, joined in with prayers around the world coming from the U.S., Europe, Israel, New Zealand and South Africa!

You may or may not be able to donate a kidney, or even know of someone who needs an organ transplant. If you have that opportunity, I want to encourage you to investigate it. It is a life-changing, life-saving gift. 

pray-2558490_640hands-2168901_640But Anyone can give the gift of prayer!

It is an immeasurable way to touch someone’s life. With guaranteed Heavenly results.

For more information about Living Donation, go to UNOS.org or DonateLife.net

To learn more about our 40 Day Prayer Guide books visit our page on Amazon

Unity is a gift

Unity is a gift, and it comes from God. 

We are in dire need of unity today…in our marriages and families, our communities, our churches and our nation. In scripture we learn how God blessed His people with unity.

Hezekiah sought God’s guidance and blessing.  And God blessed: “Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what was ordered… following the Word of the Lord.” 

Paul also wrote about the unity of believers: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

So I believe unity needs to start with us, believers, asking for and being willing to seek it in our relationships – first, with each other.

Heavenly Father, I ask for unity in our church.   As we make decisions about our future, our finances, our lives of serving and ministering together, give us agreement in these areas.  Help us see our circumstances from Your perspective.  And regardless of what the world would say, give us Your wisdom.  Remind us to put our faith not in numbers or schedules or the plans of men, but in You.   

In our church, many plans can be prayerfully considered, but only Your plan counts.  And only You can bring it to pass.  Father, honor the desire of our church to bring Your kingdom into our community.  Show us how to most effectively do that.

Help us make all who come feel welcome and make a place for them to learn and grow and use their God given gifts and talents in our fellowship.

Lord God, I ask for unity of Your believers.  So many things divide us.  Even as one body, we are many people with many opinions.  We are overcome with the world.  We fight each other over things that are disputable until the world sees an inconsistent, arguing, critical body that they want to avoid at all costs; instead of being drawn into Your love and Your care for them. 

You give us endurance and encouragement in Your Word.  Let us draw on Your Word’s truth to live our lives. 

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  Father, bring us this hope.  Bring it into our relationships, our families, our church, our nation.  

Remind us to make time to read the Scriptures so we might receive this encouragement.  Let us learn so we will have the endurance we need.  Give us patience and humility so we can be used by You.  

Heart of hands

And as we live and work and serve together, we can be a model for others. It will take work. And we need God’s help. Through Him we can have the encouragement, the endurance, and hope for our future.