Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
"I've learned this important truth: God calls people through Saddleback, not to Saddleback. What that means is that God calls just the right person, at just the right time, to both serve our church and to learn from our church. Then he sends them out to other places as missionaries. We now have former Saddleback staff serving as missionaries in other churches and ministries all around the world. I call them our purpose driven agents!"
Read the full resignation story here.
As the medieval Christians predicted, once the chain was broken, and one link not honored, the whole vision collapsed. Either we acknowledge that God is in all things or we have lost the basis for seeing God in anything. When we could not honor God in the earth, waters, plants, and animals, we soon could not see or honor the divine image in ourselves or in other humans.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Question of the day:
How can I be God’s conduit?
[Notice that] all of the great liturgical prayers of the churches end with the same phrase: “through Christ our Lord, Amen.” We do not pray to Christ; we pray through Christ. Or even more precisely, Christ prays through us. We are always and forever the conduits, the instruments, the tuning forks, the receiver stations (Romans 8:22-27). We slowly learn the right frequencies that pick up the signal.
The core task of all good spirituality is to teach us to “cooperate” with what God already wants to do and has already begun to do (Romans 8:28). In fact, nothing good would even enter our minds unless in the previous moment God had not already “moved” within us. We are always and forever merely seconding the motion.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
1-5 copies - $10 per book (shipping & handling included)
5-10 copies - $8 per book (shipping & handling included)
11+ copies - $7 per book (shipping & handling included)
Make checks payable to: Kevin Mahaffy
Mail to: 58 Brooksite Dr. Smithtown, NY 11787
Thanks for your support!
With both of the girls learning to ride their bikes this summer, a couple of weeks ago I surprised Adriana and got us both bikes so we could ride together as a family. We've enjoyed rides around our neighborhood, to the park, on some trails behind our home, to get pizza and Italian Ice, and even an adventurous (and a bit scary) 5.5 mile ride to St. James (which we won't be doing again any time soon. Too many NY drivers flying by us. The girls did awesome and were such troopers, though! For now we'll just stick to less congested roads near the house.) We've really had a great time sharing this fun new hobby together and look forward to many more shared experiences on the bikes!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Some of the nation's best-respected are likely to reconsider much conventional wisdom today with the release of surprising findings from an analysis of educational records of more than 200,000 freshmen who started at public four-year colleges in 1999.
Read the full article with findings here.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I am so sorry I left you all with that sad note this morning and didnt' have a computer nearby to let you all know. But now you do! I am so elated it's not even funny!! Praise God for His faithfulness! He is so good! Just when I had felt like I was losing hope and couldn't wait anymore He blessed us with this. So i guess 9/9/09 WAS a good day after all. Someone told me that the number 9 means something like fruitful and a harvest. Well, there was definitely a lot of fruit that came out of this trying time that God has done. There is a song I sang in church awhile back called "You are Good" I think, by Point of Grace. Every verse has a different situation and how God is still good in it. Then there's the one verse that talks about the storm, "when the world has gone gray and the rains here to stay you are still good" And He is! That song just kept replaying in my head for days. He's taught me so much about His faithfulness and love throughout this whole ordeal. Even when things weren't going the way I thought they should, He was still good and I kept praising Him. Then this morning when I felt like I was at the end of my rope I sat down to read my devotional of the day and it was all about having patience and trusting in God. It talked about how we can't expect to have those things just instantly but He allows trials and situations for us to practice them. And I knew He was just talking to me telling me He would help me through this but He's teaching me something in the process.
So, I was just worshipping Him on my 45 minute drive there and prayed for strength as I walked into his room and what did I see before me??!! Tommy sitting up in bed with NO TUBE DOWN HIS THROAT!! I just stood there in awe for like 10 seconds frozen with my jaw at my ankles and said "is the tube gone?!!!!" I threw down my stuff and ran to the bedside and hugged and kissed him. I was beyond ecstatic! I stopped and we just prayed together thanking Jesus because I don't want to just come to Him when times are tough but to remember to thank Him when He answers our prayers. We just prayed and cried and hugged and were just sooo happy!!!
He can talk too! I heard some people can't talk for a couple of days and I thought his throat would hurt so bad but he is really not in a lot of pain and he talks just above a whisper so I have to lean in to make sure I hear all he has to say so he doesn't have to repeat himself but it's a million times better than pointing to letters on the clipboard! So not only is he talking, but they got him out of the bed today and sat him up in a chair. He got to "eat" today too. Liquids only like jello and soup and stuff. He finally got the ice chips he had been begging us for. He was entirely happy and grateful to have so much more than just a wet swab in his mouth to stop the dryness! And I was so happy to see it!! The doctors were saying how amazing he was doing for only being off the tube today and will maybe be out of ICU and itnto a regular room by tomorrow or Friday. A lot of the nurses who helped take care of him this past week kept popping in all day to see him and said how happy they were to see him up and better. It was so nice! Tommy was so overwhelmed at their sincerity and was thanking the ones he remembered for taking such good care of him. That's another thing, they all said he would remember nothing of this past week but he remembered alot! I kept asking him if he remembered stuff he said and we said to him and he actually did for most of it! I was talking all day to him about everything that went on and told him about all of you who have been reading and concerned and praying for him and commenting everyday with words of encouragement. He was just blown away by all the people who care about him and us and was pretty teary eyed most of the day. Overwhelmed by everything and how God's gotten him through it.
So this has been the best day by far!!! Barring the day he finally gets to come out of the hospital with me!! I cannot wait til we are back home with all of you, but at least now the worst is hopefully over and we can just be together waiting for him to fully recover to leave.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I am getting up at 4 a.m. and going to LaGuardia. I am flying out to San Diego to spend a couple of days with Tommy and Naomi. Pray that I will be able to be a support and a blessing to them. Also pray for safe, good travels.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
And he amazingly seems to not be in any real significant pain. We thought he'd have to be asleep whenever he had the tube down his throat because the thought of it is just so uncomfortable. But it seems to be just annoying not really painful. And his chest was cracked open in the surgery but that seems to just be healing and isn't anything he ever complains about. Whenever we ask him if he's in pain he says no. The only things he needs are mouth swabs because his mouth is very dry, obviously from the tube. He just wants a drink so bad! One of the nurses came in to ask us if we wanted anything to drink. We all declined but he raised his hand kidding cuz he knew he couldn't but really is dying for one. So i can't wait until he gets that out and can get some water and can swallow again! :->
So, things seem to finally be moving along! God is good and has been even when everything seemed to be going wrong. Well, I can't wait to come home and see you all again!!
Monday, September 7, 2009
We were so blessed this morning visiting a church out here that Pastor Todd hooked us up with. We are on their prayer list and the music and main pastor have visited and prayed with us and him a couple of times as well as some of the elders too. We loved the church! They have such a sweet spirit about them and we were very ministered to this morning and feel refreshed in the Lord! Praise God for the family of Christ! I also have a friends family that me and Tommy stayed with before the surgery. I will stay with them still. They have become like family to me so even after his family leaves I will not be alone out here while he's in the hospital. And ultimately God is with us and I love Him more than anything!! :-)
September 6 Part 2-
Today was a great day! As I said his oxygen was down to 50% and while we were there they were able to move his Peep down to 6!!! Praise God!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has been sustaining his oxygen too while they move him and things like that. He was a lot calmer today on the new sedation. It's so funny because they have him on this one sedation called versed I think. And the nurse told me that when she saw the amount of it he was on she couldn't believe that he still keeps waking up. She has never had a patient who woke up that much on that much versed. I think his will is so strong he just doesn't want to fall asleep. Especially when we, as his family are there, he keeps trying to communicate with us. He has been so much more awake lately, opening his eyes at the slightest sound. He's been able to point to a clipboard with letters on it to try to communicate. He usually just wants to have his mouth swabbed out because it's so dry or to be moved up and down. But once he knows we are there he can't just lay there he has to try and hang out with us even though we keep telling him he has to sleep. Sal was abel to tell him about Yankee updates and he looked interested. He also smiled once or twice. A nurse that was helping out told him she liked his hair and he smiled. I told her he does it on his own. He was so cute. Also, while the music we have always playing in the background was on, it looked like he was actually tapping to the beat. He was tapping his foot and drumming with his hands. I said "I think he's drumming to the song" It was really funny. So anyway, I was so happy and refreshed today from this morning at church and then all of the good news of the day. So I am just PRAYING that his levels stay down and do not creep back up!! The doctor came in and was so excited himself and said we could maybe try again tomorrow to take out the tube if it goes down even more, if not hopefully Tuesday. It would be wonderful if it happened tomorrow because then Heather and Sal will be able to spend time with him awake before they leave on Tuesday. So we will see! God knows! :-)
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Today he kept waking up alot. And was actually able to write to the nurses. This morning he tried to write but it only came out in a scribble but later on he was able to ask the nurse in writing "Where am I?" because they said patients of this surgery and are sedated like this get confused and forget what's going on even 5 minutes later. He had a new nurse, Kevin, tonight and he was very nice and explained a lot to us. He said for us to talk to him, he knows we are there and can answer yes or no questions by nodding his head or shaking it no. So we did a little. We were able to find out he was comfortable but wanted to sit up and that he wanted a cold cloth on his forhead. The end of the night after we prayed with him, and we said goodnight he grabbed my hand and was trying to tell me something. I felt so bad because he was getting frustrated and we couldn't understand what he was trying to say. He tried writing but couldn't get it out. Then, (mom you'll like this) I asked him if he remembered sign language and he shook his head yes and actually started signing letters. He only ended up spelling "lemon" which didn't make sense and Kevin said he's out of it and really doesn't know what he's trying to say. But I was still so proud of him that he could actually remember how to sign and he acknowledged that those were the letters he meant and was trying to say. That's not as easy as just remembering how to spell things. So that made me happy at least that his brain is really functioning. I felt bad though, he seemed like he wanted to tell me he wanted something so bad but Kevin said we should just go because he needs to sleep and won't even remeber this later on. So we left.
They will check his levels again tomorrow and it will just keep continuing like this for awhile. Once he is off the breathing tube he can wake up and start eating and talking. So i cannot wait for that!! But all in God's timing
Oh, i just wanted to clear something up. That picture of the clots is not actually "clots" it is the scar tissue that formed around the clots. The body tries to dissolve it and when it can't it just becomes a part of the pulmonary arteries and forms scar tissue around it. So that is still the size of the clots and what was blocking his breathing. Just incase some of you are nurses or anything and are wondering how those could be clots, they are not,they are scar tissue. And i thought it was a 15 inch ruler on the bottom, but it was 15 centimeters which is 6 inches. Still big.
So yesterday was hard because at one point he woke up so much more than he ever had. He was looking at me and trying to move and swallow and looked like he was trying to say something as if he was in pain and I didn't know what he wanted and wanted him to fall back asleep so he wouldn't be uncomfortable and I just burst into tears. I had been there day after day holding it back and I just could not take it anymore! The nurse came in and gave him more pain killers and I told her I thought he was in pain but as she asked him questions it came out that he just had to go to the bathroom. He didn't know he was hooked up and could just go. So, she told him he could and fixed the medication and soon he fell back asleep. She is sooo nice! I cried to her twice that day. All of the other nurses probably think I have no feelings cuz I've seemed okay and then I just wept to nurse Sarah. She probably thinks I'm a basket case. :-) but she was soooo kind and comforted me and got me tissues and kept reassuring me he wasn't in any pain and kept asking me if I was okay. :-) she said she would be back today which makes me so happy when we see the same nurse taking care of him (especially if we like them) :-> So that was the toughest day so far. But as always, God is good and prepared me for the day yesterday morning with a wonderful time of worship with just me and Him. He is faithful. So, they are going to try again today. Heather and I are trying to get there around 10am when they usually try so we can be there to hear right away what their plans are. The doctor thinks it still may not be until tomorrow but they will try anyway.
I will try to write later tonight and let you know what happens today. Thanks again!! :-)
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Update # 1 August 31
So, I slept over night at the hospital with him last night and got up with him around 5:30 am when the nurses came in to get him ready. I was allowed to stay with him in the pre-op room from 6-6:45am, then they took him away for anesthesia and all that stuff. The whole procedure probably actaully started around 8 and one of the doctors came out to tell us the blood clot removal portion was over around 2:15 and he was totally done around 4 ish. The surgery itself was only about 2 hours long, the rest of the time is spent cooling his body down to 16 degrees Celsius and then warming it back up to normal.
His parents and I got to go into the ICU around 4:30 to see him. He wasn't awake though. He's got a breathing tube down his throat and all kinds of IV's in him. So, as far as anyone can tell the surgery went well. The doctors got all of the blood clots out and there were ALOT of them. I am enclosing a picture of the clots for those of you who would like to see that sort of thing. The line on the bottom is a 15 inch ruler if you want to get an idea of how big they are. The biggest ones are probably about 6 inches or so. Two of them, you can see are the whole size of one of his pulmonary arteries or something and the doctor said it was a wonder he was even walking around and breathing. Not a wonder, we know God was breathing for him!
So, continue to pray because they said nothing ever goes wrong during the surgery, if something is going to happen it's within the couple of days after. Not that we are anticipating anything going wrong, I just say that to let you know we are not totally "out of the woods" yet just because the surgery is over. His oxygen levels are not totally where they want them to be so they have to keep checking on that. Also please pray for a grace and pain tolerance for him and that if God could lessen the pain to make that happen for him because he will have to be awake when they extract the tube from his throat and all other kinds of stuff they have to do. Also that his chest would heal up quickly and that he could just be in as little pain as possible. Also for us to have the grace to watch him go through this and to be able to deal with everything that happens.
So, I think that is it for now. It was a long day. I am going to sleep hopefully for awhile. I cannot wait for bed! We will be back at the hospital tomorrow and he may even be awake. They say the whole recovery process is different for everyone so we will have to see as time goes on. I will update as much as I am able to get to my computer and as time allows. Thank you again for your prayers and concerns. We know that God is awesome and that he is with Tommy and is healing him right now. He is the only thing that sustains us. I am also praying God visits him in a special way during all this time that he is "out" from the world. I know He is doing awesome things in our lives!
Well, goodnight! I will be back soon if there's more to say. :-)
We saw the doctors this morning and they were so happy with the way he has been progressing. They said his levels and everything are pretty much where they would expect them to be at this stage, so praise God! In fact, the one Southern doctor told me he was "tickled" at how he was improving. I thought that was so funny. He kept using that word. :-) I told him that everyone has been praying for him. He said "oh, me too!" That was nice. So I think yesterday he was relying 100% on oxygen and today it was down to 50%, which they were very happy about. There are a whole bunch more levels that I dont' understand the meaning of but if the doctors are happy about them, then so are we. :-) They think that tomorrow (Wednesday) they could possibly be able to wake him up and take out the breathing tube. That probably wouldn't be until afternoon and may not even be at all til the next day. They have to see how he progresses and then try to wake him and test him on his ability to be aware of things and see if they think he can start breathing on his own. Once that is out they said they can pretty much take him off all of the other tubes and things that are in him as well. So, if they do that I am just praying that it is not too painful and he can just relax. Because now he is sleeping and unaware, but once they take that out he will be awake and he will know what's going on and will realize the pain that he feels. So we are just really praying for peace and not so much pain.
Well, that is it for now. I will write more tomorrow if anything happens. I am going to go call his nurse now before i go to sleep and find out if there are any changes. Thanks again. Luv you guys!
Okay, now that that's cleared up, here is what's going on now. The doctor came in this morning and told us he was not ready today to take the breathing tube out. His levels need to be at a certain point and they are not yet. He said everytime they try to move him, his oxygen levels drop so that's not great. He did say that he is progressing every day and they are glad about that but it's just taking awhile for this next phase. His heart is pumping wonderfully and is very good, not strained anymore. He also said that everyday these levels of things can go up and down but not to be discouraged because that's just what happens. So, it won't be today to take it out, they will check tomorrow to see if he is ready and if not it could be as late as Friday or Saturday. They said not to worry though because even though it would be better to start breathing on his own it's not detrimental to keep it in there if he really still needs it, which he does.
The doctor explained so much to us and that's something you could pray for. Pray for smartness to overcome me. :-) I try sooo hard to listen and understand but I feel like they are the Charlie Brown teacher sometimes just saying "Wah wah wah". I try so hard to focus but it doesn't totally make sense. Even when I do think I understand I don't remember it later well enough to explain it to anybody. So pray for understanding in us and remembrance of important things. At least I know the doctors know what they are doing and there's nothing I can do anyway from knowing things, I just like to. And ultimately we know GOD knows everything and is in control, so that is the only thing that really comforts.
God has been so awesome through this whole thing. He has made Himself to so real to me. I've had wonderful drives to and back from the hospital with my worship music on. I feel like every song ministers to me. They sing of God's healing power, His love, His presence with us and praising Him even in the storm. I see Him in everything and am so grateful for Him. I feel like words can't even express it, but I just feel so at peace knowing that HE is the ultimate doctor taking care of Tommy and He is just so amazing!!! I can never feel alone with Him in my heart!
I am just praying that they can take out the breathing tube soon. Then he can start to wake up and move on with the healing process. I hate seeing him just laying there like that and only simply being able to move his feet or squeeze a hand. Today he started coughing which made me feel soo bad. His brow furrows and sounds like he's in pain. The nurse had to suction out his mouth and it was just not great. So, still just pray for a speedy and easy recovery. Now it is all just a waiting game.
Tommy's sister and brother, Heather and Sal will be here tonight, which we are very grateful for to have most of the family together (miss you Nicole!) :-) So, it would be nice if he could actually wake up during their stay here instead of us just watching him sleep. But the Lord knows what he needs so that's what matters.
I think that's all I know of today that I retained anyway. So I will stop babbling. I like having this to write on though. I feel like it helps me clear my mind and sort through everything that's happening. It's like a journal but 500 people are reading it. haha!! Love all of you!!