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"I have been young, and now am old..." Psalm 37:25

Truer words have never been written! At least, that is how I am feeling right now. I just learned that the pain I have been feeling in my right wrist and hand since I returned from Africa two months ago is not a simple cyst that will go away in a few weeks. The doctor I saw on Monday pointed to my X-ray and said, "It's not fun getting older, is it? You have a lot of arthritis in that hand. But I think the pain is coming from the tendon that runs down your arm and wrist. We'll need an MRI to see the full story."

In other words, I have tendonitis in the hand I use the most and need to type! (I am wearing a temporary brace to stabilize my thumb.)

Sometimes I wonder just how many things can go wrong with this old body of mine! But this morning I read Psalm 37...one of my absolutely favorite Psalms! I love the fact that David, the writer of the Psalms and a man of action, was so honest about where he was in life when he wrote this psalm. He was old and he was feeling every one of his arthritic bones and creaking joints! He may even have had tendentious from all the writing he did when he wasn't slaying giants and fighting battles. But, he finishes his sentence with these words. "...but I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."

As I wait to have the MRI that will reveal the full extent of the damage to my hand, I am grateful for this wonderful reminder that my God is faithful and still in control.

I am not supposed to type a lot right now, so I may be quiet for a while. But during the next few weeks I would appreciate your prayers. God bless you as you face your giants!
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The most unexpected thing about life is how fragile it is. No matter how old we get or how many times we see people we love suddenly graduate to heaven, death is not something we think about when we are just going about the daily business of our lives.

Bob and I had the joy of going to our favorite place, Kauai, to simply relax after my busy travel schedule over the previous three months. Bob was not feeling particularly well, but we both dismissed it as a bug that would quickly flee once he got in that healing Kauai sun.

But the "yucky" feelings didn't go away. He decided that he must be passing a stone, so I dropped him off at an Urgent Care in Lihue, close to the airport while I went to pick up our good friends Don and Linda Klein, who were going to spend the second week of our vacation with us. After they gathered their luggage I called Bob to see if he had seen the doctor or was still waiting. He answered the phone in a thin, strained voice and said, "I have to go to the hospital. They think I need to have an operation!"

Just like that, everything changed. The Kleins rented a car and went on to the condo while I went to see what was happening. By the time I got to the hospital, Bob was in a hospital gown and they were getting him ready to have a CAT scan. When the results came back, the doctor said, "We have to operate immediately. There is a large abscess in his stomach that is about to burst. If we don't get it out, he could die."

Bob and I just looked at one another with faces that spoke our shock and disbelief. Surely his condition couldn't be that bad. He had just seen his doctor for his annual physical and nothing significant was found. How could that doctor miss such a horrible condition? Finding it hard to believe that the problem was that bad, we both begged to wait 7 days until we got back to the mainland and our own doctors. But the answer was definitive. "If we don't do it now, he probably won't make it home."

That settled it! Bob was having life-saving surgery instead of having fish and chips with Don and Linda at JJ's as we had planned.

The procedure took about an hour and by the time Bob came out, he was already feeling better! As the doctor described it, the surgeon who removed his appendix 8 years ago left a "stub" that had slowly filled with poisonous bacteria. It grew bigger and bigger over time like balloon and was about to burst. If it had, Bob's body would have immediately been full of septis and what was a simple procedure would have become a fight for his life.

We praise God for the amazing way He orchestrated the timing of this experience. If Don and Linda had not been joining us on that day and if the Urgent Care had not been close to the airport and if the line to get into the Urgent Care had not been short, (Bob has little patience for lines) Bob would have just toughed it out and tried his best to enjoy our second week.

We praise God for the wonderful doctors and nurses at Wilcox Hospital on Kauai. If you ever have to see a doctor while you are there, feel confident that you will find great care there. Bob has joked that if he ever has to go to the hospital again, he's going to buy a ticket for Kauai!

Bob and I also want to thank all those who prayed and sent words of encouragement during this time. We know your prayers made a difference. And every day we are grateful for your love and God's faithfulness.

But we will never forget that life is a gift and heaven is only a breath away! Thank you, Jesus!
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