But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their children's children . . . Psalm 103:17

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Seth's health and our first step to PNG!

Seth's pulmonology appointment on Monday was excellent! His doctor was very pleased at Seth's progress (it's been three months since his last visit, I think), including his having weathered two colds without any problem and successfully discontinued all oral medications. He appears to no longer needs his "rescue" inhaler as his lungs don't seem to close up and need to be re-opened. In April, if Seth is continuing to thrive, the pulmonologist will take him off his anti-inflammatory inhaler. That will be the last! We PRAY that Seth truly no longer needs/will need these medications and that he can thrive in Papua New Guinea as well as he has here the past few months. His lungs will continue to grow in the coming months, and we continue to pray he makes it through the winter without any problems. 

In addition, Seth has gained five ounces in the past few days! He hasn't been tube fed at all for a week-and-a-half, so that makes his weight gain extra exciting! He eats SO well, often better than the other kids. He also drinks really well, something I cannot take for granted, especially since I met a lady whose son is two years old and still can't drink even though he eats food. She was giving him a drink through his tube in the waiting room at the pulmonologist - and he had been born past 30 weeks gestationally, plus he was a single baby! We are so awed and humbled by what the Lord has chosen to do in our situation, through absolutely no merit or action of our own. As the pulmonologist said, for us to have had quintuplets prior to 28 weeks gestational age (i.e. 3 months early) and for not one to have any lasting health issues or require medication (besides Seth's remaining inhaler and Nexium), it's just astonishing, humanly speaking. I know other quints have been as healthy or much healthier than ours, but they were born later than ours. I was hoping and praying to carry our babies a lot longer, and God's answer to that request was "no." He had other plans for us and our kids; hard plans, but GOOD plans. He saved Seth's life, but He would have been good even if He had said "no" to that request. Goodness is His very character. God was good during Gavin's battle with leukemia as a kid, during my miscarriage and ectopic rupture, during my years of infertility, during every other trial and grief that has filtered through His fingers into our lives, and He WILL be good for the rest of our lives and for all eternity.  All the glory for the blessings He has showered on us is His alone, including the blessings that at the time were a "severe mercy," (e.g. the peace that passes understanding that I felt when we were driving to the hospital in late October, thinking we would be saying goodbye to Seth that day). We can never say thank you enough to those of you who have prayed for us, especially for Seth! 

To those of you who don't know the God of the Universe as your Father, the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and your Lord, and the Holy Spirit as your Comforter, Counselor and Seal of salvation: I can't not tell you that God's goodness demands a response. Non-responsiveness is equivalent to a "no" answer. We are studying Matthew 13 in Bible Study Fellowship right now, and I have been struck more than ever by the decision Jesus requires.  He does't mince words when he gives this warning, not once but twice in that chapter (which means it's REALLY important!): Accept Him as Savior and Lord and become part of the Kingdom of Heaven and live forever. Or ignore/reject Him,  refuse to allow Jesus Christ to be the Lord/Ruler of our lives, deny that we need a Savior (or insist that we can somehow save ourselves or find an alternate way to God, or just choose a false god), and be cast away into outer darkness, a fiery furnace where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Horrible, terrible, awful, horrendous thought, the idea of eternal torment! But God's warning and His loving promise are both crystal-clear: All of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23), and the penalty for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 6:23) He loves us so much He sent His Son to deliver us from our sin. It's the only way we can approach the infinitely perfect and holy God, and each of us has to make the decision: believe Him and be saved, reject or ignore Him and be destroyed. Those who know the truth can't keep silent if we love those around us who are lost and heading for hell. It would be like running away from a wildfire but not warning loved ones living in its path! Please accept this "letter" as proof of the love I have for those of you precious people who follow our blog! I feel like we've been on an amazing journey together, and I'd love for that journey to continue - I think it's fixin' to get even more interesting when we head back overseas! ;) 

As for my authority regarding the truth about Heaven and Hell, of course it's the Bible, the most accurate and singularly reliable Book of all time. It's truly miraculous, if you look at the number of the most reliable ancient manuscripts of books of the Bible and how they agree with one another! Read Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell if you are interested or need more proof. [By the way, the "new revelations" of certain religions or sects proclaim a Jesus who is only "a" son of God, and their bibles or holy books are not the true Word of God but a "new translation."] This is why Gavin and I are passionate about the work of Bible translation in Papua New Guinea and around the world. The True Word brings LIFE everlasting! We can hardly wait to rejoin our colleagues in PNG and contribute in some small way to God's Kingdom advancing there.

A blurry but kind of fun photo of us at the passport office in Grand Prairie. My brave parents helped corral kids until they could be "sighted," photographed, and all the paperwork could be completed and signed. The kids ended up in the lobby during the wait, running around, playing on the janitor's cart any chance they got (fleeting, at best), and trying to escape out the door. It was chaotic! 

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

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