January 2010

Compiled monthly by Phyllis King, Head Injury Survivor

Volume 21, Number 1


The following is from a book of devotions by Linda Lamb, Head Injury Survivor of Brookville, Pennsylvania.

What I Did with Today

"Teach us to number our days aright,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

I often think of a saying I once read which is "What I do with today, I do with my life." Each day is a gift from GOD. For most of us, many necessities and habits and daily activities make up much of our lives. Sleep, eating, work, cleaning, washing, caring for needs. Much of our life is made up of daily routine. Hopefully, each day also includes fellowship with our Heavenly Father, Bible reading, and a life lived to please our LORD JESUS CHRIST in the "ordinary" part of our lives.

If we strive with GOD's help to be kind to others today, to show mercy, to please our LORD in the course of the day, we did that with our "life" today. For truly life is made up of each "today." If we lost our temper, were irritable and discourteous, that is sadly what we did with our "life" today.

However long we may live on this earth, our time here is short compared to eternity. Let us remember that as we live our "todays." What we do with today, we do with our life.

Dear LORD, help us honor You with each "today" You give to us.

May our lives, lips, and hearts bring You Praise.

Thank You. In JESUS' name, amen


Choosing the Way of Truth

Part 2

by Martha Hutcheson

Augusta, Georgia

Head Injury Survivor

How do you know which way is the pathway of truth? You read, study, memorize, meditate and obey God's Word (Truth). He will show you the path of truth.
Psalm 16:11 "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (KJV).

The path of life is the path of truth: God's Truth! The more that you are obedient to the commands that you understand from God's Word, the more God will teach you of His Word and show you the path that you are to walk with Him, step by step. God will shine more light and understanding on His Word as you obey what He has already taught you to do.

Here are some suggestions to help you with your Bible reading and studying: (1) Before you read and study God's Word, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what He would have you to (a) learn about Him and (b) how He wants you to live. (2) Pray as you read each phrase or sentence, asking the Holy Spirit to help you to understand what He is teaching you. (3) Write down (a) what you are learning as well as (b) what God is telling you to start doing as well as what God is telling you to stop doing. (4) Ask God for His help (a) to have the desire or purpose in your heart to obey, as well as (b) the strength to obey His will.
Philippians 2:13
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." As you pray asking God for His help, He will give you the (a) purpose (mindset) to do His will as well as (b) the strength to do His will. You, then, need to accept, by faith, His purpose and strength to do His will.
Philippians 4:13
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians. In both verses, Paul accepted by faith that he could do all that Christ wanted him to do because Christ would give Paul the strength to obey.

I pray that this lesson is an encouragement to you and that you understand that we can choose to walk in the way of Truth because we have (1) God's Word/Truth to teach us and to show us the way of Truth, (2) God's help to have the purpose/will to obey, and we have (3) God's strength to help us to obey. Aren't you glad that we do not have to do this alone? God gives us what we need to know Him personally as well as to obey Him so that He will be glorified in our hearts and lives. He teaches us through His Word, which is Truth.

Psalm 119:30 "I have chosen the way of truth; thine ordinances have I laid before me."

This article first appeared on the website www.edifys.net .



As we turned the corner and began a new year, I claimed Joshua 22:5 as my theme verse for the year. I wrote this verse at the beginning of my fresh prayer journal for 2001 followed by some thoughts.

Joshua 22:5 "But take diligent heed . . . to love the L
ORD
your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him and

Usually at the beginning of a new year I feel a bit of dread in my heart, not knowing what the new year holds. With Dan's illness, our days are more uncertain than ever, but I feel no measure of dread. I know that my Father knows, and I will trust Him moment-by-moment, day-by-day.

Jill Vanderhoof

Wife of Head Injury Survivor

To purchase this 52-page book, send $4.50 to

Don & Jill Vanderhoof

1 Cross Court

Greenville, SC 29607


Don't befriend my old friend!

My best friend from the past, a very great and worldly guy, is someone that I pray none of you will ever know as well as I once knew him. As my very best friend! Although he's a very great guy, he's fun, very exciting and a blast to hang out with. But everything that sounds so good in your mind when he says to do it just turns out so bad! I often think of my old best friend. And I praise Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior that He's been my Best Friend since the wreck. And not my old best friend. Because Jesus' ways are truly better in the long run. But they seem so much harder to do from the world's way of thinking. But they're so easy when you seek God daily. And try to do His Will and not the world's will every day you come to.In case you haven't thought of who my old best friend is from my past yet, he was Satan!

For the first few years after the wreck, I felt ashamed to say that Satan was my best friend. I didn't want anyone to think bad things about me. I wasn't a Satan worshiper at all. I've been a Christian from when I was a child. But I fell far from Jesus and began doing everything that Satan said was fun! And after well over 15 Bible-Reading Praying years, I can say it very confidently now that Satan WAS my best friend. And that Jesus Christ is NOW my Best Friend! Every beer I drank, every shot I took, every drug I did, every girl I got, everything I did in the world, Satan led me to do it all.

Jesus was there with me in all of it, just watching, trying to guide me in His Ways. Instead of me constantly going farther from Him! And he was my best friend. But when I began reading Jesus' Word, The Bible every day, Jesus the Christ became my Best Friend. And all that Satan was to me and in me and through me began to die.

Over the past few years, I've allowed Satan to work his mangy, sinful claws back into my life far too much. And so I sin against our God way to much too. But after every sin, I always confess it to Him and He forgives me just as 1 John 1:9 says that He will!

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9,
NIV
).

So if you do things you know don't please Jesus, if you do things you know don't bring glory to His Name and bring Him higher and higher, if you don't have Jesus the Christ as your Best Friend, ask Him to become your Best Friend right now. And He sure will! You'll see your life being Brighter even on the darkest, rainiest days! Whatever you feel you're going through, will have a Bright Light Shining like crazy at the end of the trail you're on right now!

The wreck and Brain Surgery, I now see, was God calling me back to Him! Satan sure does still tempt me daily. And even more now than ever! And he tries to pull me as far away from Jesus the Christ as he possibly can. But since I am now a Practicing Christian, Jesus is always with me! And He'll never leave me or forsake me! He says that in Deuteronomy 31:6, 31:8, Joshua 1:5, 1 Kings 8:57 and in Hebrews 13:5! When God speaks in His Word, listen to Him. When He repeats something, learn from it! And when He says it over and over, you know it's something to learn, to practice, and to live by daily!

Praise God for His Word and for all the promises He has in there for all of us, His Chosen Ones!

Thanks Phyllis for this magazine that encourages all of us who are brain injured to seek God and to do His Will instead of the evil one who caused all of our wrecks, all of our brain surgeries, and all the trouble that we all go through down here 24/7! But a verse in the Bible that I've really come to really love just recently is Romans 8:28. Which says it all so plainly: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

I feel I've always loved God. Even back during the Partying Payne days that lasted far too long. But I now have a purpose that I know God has called me into His Light to be His man down here! And I've asked God many times since the wreck in 1991, "Why wasn't I always in a relationship with You? Why did You let me go so far away from You Lord Jesus? Why was I such a worldly man, doing all the worldly things down here God? WHY?" To which God always says to me, "Christopher, you wouldn't be the man of Christ that you are today had you not gone so far away from Me! Just simply praise Me with all you are, with all you ever will be, and seek Me 24/7 for the rest of your life to see what I will bring about in you Christopher!"


Thanks to You, my Lord Jesus, for everything You allowed me to do before You called me back to You my Lord and my God and my Savior Jesus Christ!

SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, JESUS CHRIST'S DEATH, RESURRECTION, AND LIFE IN ME!
Christopher George PayneThe now Saved Prayer Warrior Payne!
Not the dead partying Payne!


From Barb Castlow, Leesburg, Florida, Head Injury Survivor


Living with Traumatic Brain Injury
This is highly informative. If you can, watch it, and encourage friends and family to see it, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgtHvBF4t-E


Spiritual House-Cleaning

by Sandra Stone Lehmann

Phoenix, Arizona

Head Injury Survivor

Spring and fall housecleaning were a big deal when I was growing up; and, since we are currently experiencing the fall season, it is a good time to clean, clear clutter, and donate to those less fortunate. While cleaning and re-arranging furniture, for a better flow throughout the house, I was reminded of the Parable of the Lost Coin, referenced in Luke 15:8-10. At the first reading, one might be tempted to dismiss this story as not so significant. It takes on greater meaning when we understand the importance of the coin to the woman's financial well-being. Each of those silver coins was worth a day's wages!

I really like the Amplified Text's rendering of that passage, especially verse eight. ". . . what woman, having ten (silver) drachmas (each one equal to a day's wages) if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and look carefully and diligently until she finds it?" This describes my approach to really cleaning house. (Sweeping and moving furniture, washing curtains, cleaning blinds, cleaning upholstery, removing cobwebs, and scrubbing dirty spots from the walls.) I'm as a woman gone mad with a broom and dustpan, but the results are so satisfying!

Hold on, I am shifting gears to ask this question. What is keeping us from coming clean regarding our spiritual houses? I am certain that the answers are as diverse as the readership. I would like to present six reasons that serve as barriers to receiving all that Christ has for us in this arena. Go with me, please, to St. Mark, Chapter One, and we will examine, together, verses forty through forty-five. In this story, Jesus tells about a leper who came to him for healing.

I submit to you that the first reason is being too worried about what others will think. We often do not see the unclean things in our lives as spiritual leprosy. In Jesus' day, being a leper meant being sentenced to life as an outcast from society, totally! We ask ourselves: "What will my friends think of me if I admit I have need of a savior? When we reach our point of desperation, we no longer care what others think--we accept the fact that Jesus is the only answer to our sin problems, and we come to him.

Secondly, we are not willing to position ourselves to receive the cleansing that we so desperately need! Notice the leper--he came to Jesus on his knees begging! We often say something like: "Who me? Reduce myself to the stature of humility? Get serious, Sandy, that is not in my personality!" This man's self-esteem had taken a low blow--he was willing to do anything to receive attention from Jesus, the One he had heard was performing miracles everywhere He went. The question is: What are we willing to do?

Notice next that he questions Jesus' willingness to help him. He had such a rejection complex that he questioned that which he already knew. Is that where some of us are right now? Are we thinking: "He cannot help me," or something similar? If so, please understand that Jesus was moved with much compassion, so much so that He reached out and touched this man! How significant was that? It was very significant; because, it was forbidden under Jewish law for anyone to touch a leper. Everywhere a leper went he had to cry out, "unclean, unclean." How relieved the leper must have been when Jesus responded with: "I am willing; be made clean !"

Let me address the fourth barrier--we question whether or not God really can work a miracle in our lives. This, dear reader, is to ask in disbelief! In other words, we want God to do something, all the while wondering if he really will do it. He is willing to walk with us through this valley of living with a Traumatic Brain Injury, and He desires for us to live with the expectancy that we are receiving something good every day!

The fifth barrier is erected when we refuse to admit we have sin in our life. In 1 John 1: 8,9, it states: "If we say we have no sin (refusing to admit we are sinners), we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth (which the Gospel presents) is not in us (does not dwell in our hearts)." It goes on to say: "If we (freely) admit that we have sinned, and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to his own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins (dismiss our lawlessness and (continuously) cleanse us from all unrighteousness (everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action)." I ask: Who would not desire this?

The answer to that question lies in the cause of the sixth barrier. We have a propensity to want a cure without a commitment. We want to walk in disobedience to what God's Word plainly instructs. Jesus told the leper to not tell anyone what had happened, but to follow the Law of Moses and show himself to the priest to confirm that he was now clean. He couldn't have made it clearer; but, what did the man do? He walked away and blabbed it everywhere, which caused great distress for Jesus. You may be thinking: "So what, the man received his healing, didn't he?" Yes, yes he did, but the point is this-instead of showing gratitude and humility, through obedience, he by-passed Jewish Law and became boisterous and disobedient. When we walk in our own way, doing things the way we want, we miss out on God's finest for our lives. Sometimes we do not stay in His presence long enough to effect lasting change.

We need to clean our spiritual houses. We desperately need to clear out the clutter, get rid of the unsightly, and allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse our temple from top to bottom from the inside out. He is willing--that's what He came down for!! When the house is clean, we are ready for the Master's use, and we are at peace with God and those around us.


Phyllis,
I send you a thank you for your written words and sharing of MTS letters. They help me have a healthier coping system than I would without them. I thank the Lord for giving you the gift of positive gab.

Bad situations need encouragement that there's a way around. Don't close the door. Our Lord is there with/for us.

I've enclosed a poem I'd like to share in MTS.

Love,

Janet I. BrowningDenison, Texas

Head Injury Survivor

 

Others Ends Don't Mean Mine

Injury wasn't over
When wreck was compete.
I was then to learn
Most others tag me deplete.

I still love myself,

Try to avoid conceit.
More mountains I will cross,

Not being overcome by defeat.


Prayer Requests 

For Steve Sauder
Dear Ones,
We pray that you all will have a blessed new year, knowing God more fully, loving Him more deeply, and having greater victory over every temptation and struggle in your life. Thank you for your continued prayers.

We may have finally figured out the various unexplainable spells that Steven has been having (that couldn't be explained by MRIs, brain scan, etc.). He is definitely having extreme fluctuations in his blood pressure, escalating way up and then dropping way back down, which the doctor says can be part of Parkinsonium Syndrome.

The Lord has stopped me lately on part of Colossians 4:6: "Let your speech at all times be gracious, seasoned with salt??." He's teaching me that my speech constantly needs to be "full of grace." And my words must "taste well" rather than leaving a bitter taste after they leave my mouth. Salt also preserves. (Before the days of freezers and canning and preserving chemicals, salt was used to keep food edible.) Likewise, my words must be "keepers," "preserving well"--not something stinky that the vultures (Satan and his co-workers) can come and pick at afterward and use.

Lots of love in Him,
Steven and
Vicki SauderSarasota, Florida
For Marty


I hope and pray that everyone had a very Merry Christmas and is in store for a safe, Blessed New Year! I continue to keep everyone in my prayers and also on my fasting days. God Bless you all!

I had an afternoon appointment for Marty on Friday, December 18. This is a recertification to make sure that Marty can still have attendant care. I also wanted to share and this is bitter sweet for me. I never really understood that statement until now. Marty is finally going to be on Medicare. Can you believe it? It has been two and a half years since Marty had his brain aneurysm. Marty is still holding on and trying. I just cannot believe that you have to be incapacitated like this for years before our government lets you get what you deserve after all the years of paying taxes. I know--enough on that subject. Thanks God we have HIM to look forward to in our future.

Anyway, once I was there, my Aunt Cookie got the "Passy Muir" and placed it on Marty's tracheotomy, and then she got him to say "Hi." She asked him if he wanted the trach out, and he said YES. And then he was really trying to say some other words, but he was getting frustrated with that. She asked him if he was tired and wanted to stop, and he said NO. Then he tried some more, and she told him it was time to take a break. With all that Marty has been through! And here he was doing his best to speak. It wore him out, and he went to sleep soon afterwards.

PLEASE pray that the doctors will get it together with the oral surgeon. Thank you!

Reading, Pennsylvania

Sister of Head Injury Survivor


From Phyllis

I have received $115 toward the approximately $155 cost of printing and mailing. My special thanks to

Barb, Aimee, and Marilete                  

We all appreciate any contribution you make as our Lord leads and provides!


We Would Like to Hear from Y U!

  More Than Survivors is a monthly Christian support letter for the brain injury community.  The MTS family of subscribers extends across the United States, Canada, England, and South Africa.
 
Share with the MTS  family

• What God is doing in your life since brain injury

• Prayer requests

• Requests for pen pals, including a little about yourself and about what you are looking for in a pen pal
 

Include your address, e-mail address, and/or telephone number if you wish to let readers contact you.  Everything will be edited, just to make sure it is clear and understandable.

Send
your notes, letters, articles, artwork, and poetry to     

More Than Survivors
6903 Cherry Meadow Dr.
Austin, TX 78745-5333
(U.S.A.)        or   
   e-mail:  phyllis.king@yahoo.com

We would like to hear from you, whatever your connection with brain injury.

Rights to all works printed in More Than Survivors are retained by their authors except when noted.  When a work is reprinted, MTS requests a citation as publisher, with date or volume/number.


Neither I nor those who help me put MTS together necessarily agree with all the opinions shared in it.  If you read something that doesn’t ring true to you, pray about it, see what God says about it in the Bible, and seek out the opinions of others who are qualified on the subject.