Tag Archives: Blessings

Breaking You — Music Mondays

Over the last year and a half or so I have fallen in love with the music of singer/songwriter Audrey Assad. I own both of her albums and listen to them often. Yet the other night I was struck in a new way by one of her songs that I was very familiar with. The song is called Breaking You and it is from her second album, Heart.

What struck me about it is that it is the perfect song for those who are living with RAD. I honestly don’t know how I’ve never made the connection before, but it resonates with me in a new way because of how closely it portrays the pain, emotional stress, and realities of those who live with invisible autoimmune diseases. For those of you who don’t know what that’s like, I hope you are able to empathize as you listen to the song. For those of you who do know, I hope you find comfort in this song. Audrey concludes the song beautifully. That our hope lies not in our health or in our situation, but rather in Christ alone. That one of the great promises for those who suffer is that Christ also suffered for us and knows what we are going through. But most importantly, that because He suffered He has provided a way for us to spend eternity with Him with no suffering!

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 ESV)

You’ve been let down, it’s true
Your pain is so easy to see
You’re haunted by your history
And it feels like you’ve got no escape

Your life left you high and dry
You used to be sure of yourself
But then your whole world went to hell
And tomorrow looks just like today

So you lie on your bed and you 
Won’t let the morning come in
And you hide in your room, 
Feeling that fear and it’s killing you
Don’t you know that it’s killing me too?
‘Cause your heartbreak is breaking you

I miss the light in your eyes
The home that I’d found in your arms
Right now you don’t know who you are
But I won’t give up on you

But you lie on your bed and you 
Won’t let the morning come in
And you hide in your room, 
Feeling that fear and it’s killing you
Don’t you know that it’s killing me too?
‘Cause your heartbreak is breaking you

And you’ve lost your fire
And your flame’s gone out and you’re down on your knees
‘Cause your life is not what you thought it would be

Lift up your head
Help is on the way
And it won’t pass you by
You just got to reach out a hand
And lift up your eyes
Love is on the way
And it won’t pass you by
You just got to reach out your hands
And lift up your head
Because love is on His way
He won’t pass you by
You just got to reach out your hands 

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Filed under Blessings, God, Music, RAD, Rheum

Just James – Weeks 1 & 2

Last year my friend Liz did something truly incredible. She committed the entire book of Colossians to memory. Seriously. An entire book of the Bible that she was able to quote from memory. And not just learning a few verses, quoting them, and then forgetting them as she moved on to the next verses. No, she is able to say the whole book from beginning to end.

Upon her success I had two striking thoughts concerning her accomplishment. First, I was overjoyed that she was able to memorize it all. Overjoyed because I know what spiritual rewards will be harvested by her in her own life in the days and years to come because of this accomplishment. Secondly, I was brought face to face with the lack of commitment I have given to Scripture memory in my own spiritual life.  As a child and teenager I was often required to memorize lots of Scripture, but as an adult it has been many years since I have tackled Scripture memory. Fortunately, this is something that can be fixed simply by dedicating myself to it.

Now at this point some of you may be wondering why in the world you would agree to such a thing. Well, I could point out all of the reasons, but I’m a slow typist and others have stated the reasons better than I can. Desiring God has an excellent article on the importance of memorizing Scripture here. Ann Voskamp lists the benefits that she received through her memorization last year in this post.

So here we are. This post is the introduction to what I hope will be a weekly series for this year. Liz and I have decided to memorize the book of James together and we would welcome anyone else to join in with us. Liz put together a schedule for the year that has us learning two to three verses a week. If you would like to participate, simply leave a comment below that you’re on board and I can email you a copy of the schedule for the year. At the end of every chapter, we will have a week dedicated to review of that chapter. I plan to write a short post at the beginning of every week to outline the verses we are memorizing for the upcoming week and to write a little bit about what the verses mean.

Unfortunately, I’m about a week late with this post as we started memorizing James last week. However, you should be be able to catch up without any problems. Last week we memorized James 1:1-3 and this week we are adding verses 4 and 5. We are using the ESV version, but you may use whatever version you would prefer. I hope that others will join in with us as we commit to memorize the book of James together.

Here are the first five verses.

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Greetings.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

(James 1:1-5 ESV)

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Filed under God, James, Scripture Memory, Theology

Happy Anniversary! Plus Two Contests!

It was one year ago this October that Kim and I sat in the rheumatologist’s office as he told us that Kim had severe rheumatoid arthritis (RAD). In almost every way the whirlwind we have been on this last year makes it seem like we have been dealing with this for much longer. Maybe it is partially because Kim has suffered with fibromylagia since 2007 that creates the impression that it has been longer than it actually is. Or maybe it’s simply the myriad of juggling new diagnoses, diseases, and medications that give the feeling that we have been dealing with this for years.

Looking back it is hard to remember all of the doctor’s appointments Kim has been to in the last year. The changes in her medications — adding a new one, taking away another, or increasing and decreasing dosages — seemed to come weekly. Many symptoms came and stayed. Some came and left and haven’t come back. Others come and go without warning and, seemingly, without a reason. Honestly, it would be nice if her RAD would drop us a note a few days prior to a weekend of fatigue hitting her, but so far we haven’t gotten any memos.

Here are a just a few things we have learned in the last year.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is not just an old person’s disease.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than just joints. It is a systemic disease that attacks the whole body.
  • That means it can also attack your organs including your heart and your lungs.
  • Prior to Kim’s diagnosis we thought the term “rheumatoid arthritis” simply meant a more severe form of osteoarthritis. It doesn’t.
  • So far, almost every doctor that Kim has been in contact with through work and personal appointments is tragically uninformed about the realities of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • We cannot imagine trying to deal with this past year without prayer and the support of our friends and family.
  • Kim’s diagnosis has caused the depth of many of our friendships to increase dramatically.
  • We have made many new “friends” through the Rheum community on Twitter. Though we may never meet any of them, many have become very dear friends.
  • We cannot imagine trying to deal with this past year without the online Rheum community. Nowhere else can we ask a question and get educated information literally within minutes!
  • Nothing means more to us than to hear someone sincerely tell us they are praying for our family. Nothing.
  • In the last year, Kim and I have had some very emotional, tear-filled talks about what the future might hold. They have been some of the sweetest moments of conversation in our marriage.
  • We still believe that God is in control of every moment of our lives and that He gave the gift of RAD to Kim and our family.
  • We believe ultimately that Kim’s RAD will glorify God and that it is for our good.
  • There are many days our flesh struggles to be thankful, but God’s faithfulness strengthens us.
  • We would love to get rid of the “A” word in rheumatoid arthritis. Our preference would be to call it Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (RAD).
  • Contest number 1!!! You can help raise awareness and win some great prizes while doing so! The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is having a video contest! If you can’t enter yourself, would you spread the word through Facebook and/or Twitter?!?!

As I close I would like to put out a teaser about contest number 2. Early next week I will be posting the details for our very own giveaway/contest on the blog! I am very excited about what we have planned and look forward to sharing it with you!

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Filed under God, RAD