Friday, March 29, 2019

Jayden is Home!

"Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD."
Psalm 113:1

(To read previous posts about Jayden, click these links:
Please Pray for 12-year old Jayden Cooper
Praise Update on Jayden Cooper)

Here is the latest update from Jayden's Aunt Priscilla:

"Jayden got to come home yesterday evening!! He is no longer on the low calorie diet and has no restrictions. He is on some meds, but after being on them for a short time he will go off of most of them and just have to do infusions through the IV every two months. We are just so amazed at what God has done for him and what he is going to continue to do for him. This is a picture that was taken of him once he got discharged from the hospital and in the car to go home."

You were faithful to pray and intercede for this dear child, now please join his family in praising God together for the miracle of answered prayer!

"The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry."
Psalm 34:15

In a world that can far too often feel so cold and uncaring, what a comfort it is to know that God's eyes are upon us, and His ears are open and ready to hear our cries!  I am SO thankful we serve a living God who is deeply concerned with everything that touches our lives.  Sometimes, He allows things to happen to get our attention and to compel us to search for a closer walk with Him.

"That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being." 
Acts 17:27,28 

Aren't you glad God chose to take on flesh and come down to this sin-darkened world to become one of us?  Otherwise, He could never have fully known how we feel.

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Hebrews 4:15

He is a good, good Father.

May He bless each one of you and meet your every need!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Praise Update on Jayden Cooper

"Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation."  
Psalm 111:1 

(To read the original prayer request about Jayden, click HERE.)

Jayden has continued to suffer from vomiting and has lost seven pounds in a very short time.
In order for the doctors to accurately diagnose his condition, it was necessary for him to drink a liquid before they did further testing.
The poor, little guy couldn't hold it down, so everything had to be put on hold.
He was given anti-nausea meds through an IV, and thank the Lord, he was finally able to have the test and be given a diagnosis.

Jayden has Crohn's disease.
The area where the large and small intestines meet is really swollen and has ulcers.
The wonderful part is that it can be controlled with medication and alteration of diet.
They also did a biopsy, and the results will be back in ten days, but, so far, the diagnosis is Crohn's.
While this is not the best news the family could have received, it is certainly not the worst news, either!

And, there is more great news!

Here is the latest report I received from his Aunt Priscilla late last night:

"They took the tube out today, and they started him out on a nutrition drink.  He wasn't able to keep that down, but later they gave him a cheeseburger and fries, and he was able to eat that, and he kept it down. God is truly working a miracle on him and allowing him to eat, and so far, not having any trouble (as of a day or two ago, he couldn’t even do that). Still looking to the Lord to give him a special touch and that he wont have to be in the hospital much longer and be back home soon. I know there have been many, many prayers going up for him, and there are not enough words that can express how truly grateful we are for all the prayers and everything everyone has done and been doing to help see him through all this."

Praise God, Jayden is now able to eat solid food and keep it down!!!!
This is such a huge improvement!
To God be all the glory!

Many praises are going up to our dear, kind, loving Heavenly Father for all He is doing for Jayden!
The family would deeply appreciate your continued prayers that the biopsy results will be negative and Jayden will continue to improve and soon be back home with his family.

God is SO good!

God is so faithful to hear and answer the prayers of His trusting children.
Sometimes, the road ahead looks so dark and hopeless, but He is always there holding our hand, leading us through the black uncertainties in our path.
He didn't promise we would always understand the things we face or that everything that touches our lives would be good, but He did promise that the good, bad, and everything in between would work together for our good.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28

I don't know what you may be going through today, but whatever it is, I want to remind you that you are not alone.  You have a Heavenly Father who stands by your side and will never forsake you.  He loves you with more love than you can comprehend, and regardless what you face, He will be there.
I want you to know that as I type these words, I am praying for YOU.
May God bless you, supply your every need, and solve every problem in your life, in Jesus' name.
I love and appreciate each one of you dear readers and faithful prayer warriors!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Please Pray for 12-Year Old Jayden Cooper

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Psalm 46:1

I come to you with an urgent plea for prayer this morning, my friends.
12-Year Old Jayden Cooper is in the hospital, very sick.  After suffering with severe abdominal pain and some vomiting over the past few weeks, the vomiting became worse, and he was hospitalized for testing.  

  He has lost weight, his heart rate is elevated, he is anemic, and he is suffering from severe malnutrition.  

The doctors are still not exactly sure about what is going on, but some possible diagnoses are inflammatory bowel disease and/or Crohn's colitis.

His family asks that you please pray for Jayden.  Please pass this prayer request along to every prayer warrior you know, and share with your social media and prayer groups, if you will.

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
James 5:16

Your prayers are deeply appreciated!

If you have special prayer needs, always feel free to reach out to us by clicking on the "Cheryl" button in the right side bar "About" section, then clicking "Email" on the next screen.
God bless each one of you and meet any needs you have today.
I am praying for all who will read this post!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Rest In Peace, Little Max Brown ~ PLEASE Pray for this Dear Family!!!

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."
Matthew 5:4

There have been a lot of heart wrenching posts here at Homespun Devotions over the past seven years and five months, but this post is one of the saddest I have ever written.

Many of you long-time and loyal readers will remember that on August 4, 2014, I published THIS POST, asking for prayer for a dear family who was involved in a horrible car accident. Steven and Shyla Brown and their four children, MaKeya (age 6), Quinton (age 5), Max (age 2), and Navaya ("Raya" - age 1) were all in the vehicle when it crashed.

Left to Right: Quinton (5), Nevaya - "Raya" (1), Shyla (24), Steven (23), Max (2), MaKeya (6)
(These are their ages at the time of the accident.)

Little Quinton lost his life, and Max and MaKeya were left paralyzed from serious injuries they sustained in the accident. Thankfully, Raya was not injured. Life has been a struggle, with many ups and downs, but God has brought them through so many hard places as a result of your and others' faithful prayers. 

Fast forward to yesterday, 3/9/2019, when Shyla wrote the words below.

"I never imagined having to write another post like this.  I am in this nightmare that I just can't seem to wake up from.  At 5:30 am, Max started making noises over the baby monitor. Steven ran in there as he always done. Shortly after, I heard the one thing no mother wants or should ever have to hear; he is not breathing. For 30 mins we done CPR, but we were too late.  Quinton came and took his brother by the hand and led him through the golden gates.  My baby boy always wanted to jump out of his wheelchair and chase his sister but he is now up there chasing his brother.  He no longer needs that wheel chair.

The day is going to come that I am going to have to say see you later, and I am not sure I can go through this again.  I just don’t understand how this can all be happening again.  Life is too short. Grab your babies, and give them the biggest hug you have ever given them.  Spend a little extra time tucking them in tonight because you never know what tomorrow brings.

Max Rian Brown, Mommy loves you so much.  Always remember that!!!!"

Rest in peace, Max

Max was seven years old.  It is so hard to believe that he is gone.  I cannot wrap my mind around the pain this dear family is going through.  I still remember standing by little Max's hospital bedside, pleading with God to heal him and give him more time with his family.  God was faithful.  He answered those prayers and spared Max for another four years and seven months.  I know each and every moment of those years, Steven and Shyla cherished and were deeply grateful for more time with this precious boy, all while mourning the loss of his brother Quinton and also devoting their lives to caring for him and his sisters, Makeya and Raya.

There were many, many updates posted here that document their journey. I am sharing the links below, in case you would like to read and follow along.

Max and Quinton, enjoying happy times together before the accident

Both precious little boys are now reunited forever, two brothers resting together eternally in the arms of Jesus.

I asked Shyla to share an update on MaKeya's condition, in her own words.

"MaKeya is doing awesome!! She is one tough little girl. She is now 11 years old. She is supposed to go next month to get a bladder augmentation done and a mitrofanoff put in all in the same day. She is excited about getting the mitrofanoff. She can't wait to be able to cath herself. She is growing up way too fast. She is even more excited that she goes to the hospital on April fools day. She is already planning tricks to play on the nurses. She is a big trickster. She is always playing tricks on someone. She learns something new every day. Right now, she is one of my rocks. I have been trying to hold myself together in front of the girls, but sometimes I am unable, and she will wrap her arms around me and wipe my tears. She keeps trying to get me to eat something. It is like she is being mommy to me right now. I know she is hurting inside as well though because she asked my mother-in-law why this keeps happening. My youngest, Raya, she is now 6. She doesn't quite understand exactly what is going on but she has been grumpy a lot today and I think it is because she feels and knows something is missing. These two girls are going to be my rock."

MaKeya, age 11                                      Raya, age 6

Dear readers, PLEASE, please pray for God to strengthen and help Steven, Shyla, MaKeya, Raya, and all who mourn Max's passing. The pain in their hearts is unfathomable. Dear Lord, please, please have mercy and send comfort to their hurting, broken hearts, in Jesus' name.

UPDATE ON 3/11/2019

Some of you have asked if there is a way you can reach out to the Brown Family by sending a card or financial donation.  If you feel led to do so, please send any correspondence to:

Steven and Shyla Brown
PO box 762 
Garrison, KY 41141

Thank you so much for your kindness to them!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Comfort of Light & Memories of Mom

"Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart."
Psalm 97:11

I love Country Sampler magazine and have been a subscriber for years.  When it comes in the mail, I like to set it aside until I have time to sit down, uninterrupted, so I can really absorb and take it all in.  As I perused through the pages of a particular issue, I came across a picture of a living room where the sun was gleaming in through the window just right, casting its light over the sofa and floor.  The picture just drew me in.  I sat there and looked at it for a long time.  Long-buried feelings rose to the surface, and even though I had never seen that picture before or been in the room that was portrayed in the photo, the effect it had on me was profound and unexpected.  For some unexplained reason, the way the light was shining through the window immediately made me think of Mom and caused me to feel an overwhelming sense of missing her.

It may sound strange, but there is something about afternoon or evening light streaming through a window onto furniture in an inside room that always reminds me of her.  The feeling I get when I see that is hard to put into words.  I feel comfort.  I feel transported back to when I was a little girl growing up.  I feel safe and loved and sheltered and prayed for.  I'm not exactly sure what particular long-ago memories are resurrected or which moment of my life first brought those feelings, but something about that scene just takes me back to a very happy, peace-saturated time, and I could literally stare at it for hours.

Though I could not find the exact Country Sampler picture online, I found the photo of light streaming through a window shown below, and it makes me think of the little apartment Mom lived in when she passed away.  Her kitchen table was right in front of the window, and she and I spent many an hour sitting at a table similar to this one playing Scrabble, doing jigsaw puzzles, eating meals, laughing, and talking.  Seeing this picture makes me long to sit down and visit with her in a room like this just one more time.

Photo by Alexander Harding 
(I tried to make contact to ask permission to share this photo and was unable to, so please know that no copyright infringement is intended, nor will I receive any monetary benefit from sharing the photo here.)

If this really was Mom's kitchen table, I would walk in, and she would give me a sweet, gentle hug.  She would immediately ask me if I was hungry, we would sit and make plans, and I would feel a sense of the sincerely purest welcome I have ever felt anywhere, other than in our own home.  Mom was just like that.  You knew if she had anything, you were welcome to it.  Dad was the same way.  He would give you the shirt right off his back, if you needed it, without thinking twice or batting an eye.  I've seen them both give until they had nothing left to give without ever noticing they were even giving.  I'm sure most people feel this way, but to me, there will never in a million years be anyone in the world like my Mom and Dad.

Childhood in our home was far from perfect.  We had many obstacles.  We moved (at last count) 47 times, mostly without good reason, in my opinion.  It made me extremely insecure, but in spite of all, I would not change a thing because through it all, Mom and Dad were there, and I felt unconditionally loved.  As long as we were together, seated around a table such as the one in the photo above, I knew that everything would be okay.  

I think the reason I am so drawn into a photo of light streaming through a window is because, somewhere in the back of the recesses of my mind, it simply reminds me of home.  It transports me back to when Mom and Dad were here, such a huge part of my daily life.  And as I think of them and long for them and wish for more time on this earth with them, another thought quickly follows my pondering and reminds me of a song written by the late, great Dottie Rambo, one of the greatest Christian songwriters of our time.  I hope you can take time to listen to the words.

Though I will never be able to walk into Mom's kitchen or feel that precious, unique sense of earthly welcome again, there is an eternal home called Heaven where Mom and Dad are waiting.  When I get there, by the grace of God, we will spend the endless ages in the comfort of the Light of the World.  There will be no more good-byes or separations and rainy days are non-existent because our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God is the everlasting Light.  The light of His presence will stream eternally, and there will be no more sadness or brokenness or tears.  Can you imagine a place like that? 

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful."  Revelation 21:4-5

"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."  Revelation 22:5

This world is getting darker all the time.  While we are each living "in the meantime," waiting for the completion of our journey home, Jesus calls on us to be keepers of His light here on earth.  "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  Matthew 5:14-16

If ever there were a time that the world needs to see our good works manifesting the light of Jesus' love, it is now.  If you see a gloomy place, let His light within you burst forth to stream comfort, encouragement, and cheer into that darkened corner.  A genuine smile can light up a whole room.  A kind word can turn someone's day completely around.  "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Proverbs 25:11 Empathy can build a bridge between two conflicting opinions.  Meanness can be quenched with kindness.  Gentle, quietly-spoken words can defuse tension.  "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."  Proverbs 15:1

Be faithful and true to the calling of making a positive difference in your world, just like Jesus did.  "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him."  Acts 10:38

Keep going about doing good.  Bring healing to every hurting soul you possibly can.  Speak life and peace and faith to the depressed, oppressed, wounded, and hopeless.  Keep pressing on and fighting the good fight of faith, and remember this - harvest day will come.  

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  Galatians 6:9

One day, we will be home, and we will receive our reward.  Jesus will be there, waiting for all of His blood-washed children.  He will welcome us in with open arms and show us the mansion He has been preparing for us all this time.  At last, He will speak the words we have been waiting to hear all our lives, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant:  enter thou into the joy of thy lord."  Matthew 25:21

God bless each on of you dear readers!  I am praying for every one of you right now and trusting God to be near you, supply your every need, fill your life and soul with the fullness of His presence, and inspire you to go out and live your life like Jesus lived His!

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."  Missionary, C.T. Studd