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COVID Tips

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We have learned a few things along the way in our journey, some from others and some the hard way through personal experience.

If our journey and learnings can be of any benefit to anyone else, we want to share it…

As a first and the biggest COVID tip, fear is our mortal enemy in this journey…in every way. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND, so if fear is my companion, I know it does not come from our Father. I know intimately the battle of faith over fear, especially in regards to the virus and ones we love, and it’s a battle worth fighting. Use your weapons of warfare–the Word of God, remembering His faithfulness in the past, thankfulness, praise, and vulnerability with others who will fight with you in the body of Christ.

Our King and Father rules with peace, even in the worst of circumstances, and I can tell you from my personal experience over the last couple months, that walking with Him in supernatural peace is a FAR CRY from walking with fear as a companion. We are children who are loved by the King. If He is for us, nothing or no one can be against us.

On to other practical COVID tips…

Daniel and I followed a protocol of vitamins and diet from our trusted doctor from the very first day. This regimen is designed to strengthen our immune system to fight, some of which we were already doing before as a part of healthy living:

  • Vitamin C 3x daily
  • Zinc 2 X daily (be careful with this one, as I became INCREDIBLY nauseous, throwing up, etc. I thought it was COVID, but it actually was toxic amounts of zinc for my body)
  • Vitamin D 1x daily (this is another one to be careful with, as too much can also be toxic, but it really helps the immune system. 15 minutes in the sun is also good natural vitamin D)
  • No sugar, processed foods or breads
  • Much fruit, vegetables, “clean” protein and healthy grains. Not much red meat. No alcohol.

If you have symptoms add:

  • Doxycyclene antibiotic
  • Ivermectin on day 1, 3 and 7. Check with doctor for proper doses according to weight, and also verify the best ways of application based on liquid or pills. (I know this drug is controversial but some docs in Zim, USA, and SA are using it effectively as it helps control infection rate)

Though we followed this protocol and believe wise protocols helped in the process, we absolutely know God did a miracle in Daniel’s body, as there is no other human explanation.

The oximeter is a very good and necessary tool to have. It monitors the heart rate and oxygen level, which gives indication if the infection is moving to the lungs. The oximeter is pictured as the “feature” picture in this post. Check with your doctor as to the recommendation for a baseline oxygen level, but our doctor gave 92 or above as an acceptable range.

Daniel’s oxygen levels didn’t look absolutely horrible on the oximeter, but I could tell that he was deteriorating daily with his fever, his weakness and his shallow breathing. The important thing is that if the infection starts going to the lungs, DO NOT WAIT until it is dire to go to the hospital. Go to the hospital before things get to a desperate place.

Here is an “At Home” COVID guide given by my doctor, which was helpful with practical tips on eating, vitamins, breathing, etc as well as what to look for when deciding to go to the hospital.

Daniel came home from the ICU and I had instruction for his medicines, but not any other instructions on what to look out for. The first night home, I checked his oxygen and his heart rate, and his heart rate was extremely low. It scared me. In checking with our doctor, i found out that due to the steroids in the hospital, Daniel’s potassium levels were VERY low, which can affect the heart. We immediately started eating foods high in potassium to get his heart rate in more normal range–lots of bananas, avocados, potatoes, and other high potassium foods, his heart rate was more normal in range after 1-2 days of high potassium foods.

No one has the same journey. Neither Daniel nor I lost our taste or smell or had a sore throat, but we had weird symptoms–joints (me, the hips, and him, the elbow) that hurt for 2 days, keeping us up at night and then disappearing. I threw up and was very nauseous, and thought it was COVID, but it was actually a toxic level of zinc in my system. As soon as I stopped taking the zinc, the nausea disappeared within a few hours.

We share our experience, not as normal, but as just one experience, knowing that other people have very different stories. We hope that our journey might be informational and helpful to you if you walk it yourself or with someone else.

Warfare and Orphans…

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We were cleaning out storerooms in the US, and I came across a box of books. Dressed to Kill was a gift given to me at least 10 years ago.  I put it on a shelf, and never read it.  However, having just come through an incredible season of spiritual warfare in South Africa, my desire to learn was significant.  WOW!!!  I cannot recommend this book enough. It is biblical, practical and very insightful with pictured illustrations of the Roman armor that Paul saw everyday while writing Ephesians 6 about the armor of God. An incredible tool!  Here’s a brief description…

“Rick Renner’s book Dressed To Kill is considered by many to be a true classic on the subject of scriptural warfare. The original version, which sold more than 400,000 copies, is a curriculum staple in Bible schools worldwide. Now, in this new, beautifully bound hardback volume you will find: * 512 pages of reedited text * 16 pages of full-color illustrations (exclusively available in the print version. Not available in eBook). * Questions at the end of each chapter to guide you into deeper study In Dressed To Kill, Rick explains with exacting detail the purpose and function of each piece of Roman armor. In the process, he describes the significance of our spiritual armor not only to withstand the onslaughts of the enemy and but also to overturn the tendencies of the carnal mind. Furthermore, Rick delivers a clear, scriptural presentation on the biblical definition of spiritual warfare – what it is and what it is not. He stresses, “Your unbroken, ongoing fellowship with God is your absolute guarantee that you are constantly and habitually dressed in the whole armor of God.” When you walk with God in deliberate, continual fellowship, He will enrobe you with Himself. Armed with the knowledge of who you are in Him, you will be dressed and dangerous to the works of darkness, unflinching in the face of conflict, and fully equipped to take the offensive and gain mastery over any opposition from your spiritual foe.”
 
I have a shelf of “favorites”–books that have impacted my life that I want to reread from time to time.  The Autobiography of George Muller is one of those. His faith and perseverance demonstrated over YEARS while working with orphans as well as other kingdom endeavors is truly mind-blowing.  I was inspired all over again to trust my Father, to walk by faith, and to believe and ask Him for BIG things.  Another highly recommended read.  Here’s a brief description…

“What can be accomplished in an ordinary man who trusts in an extraordinary God? George Müller discovered the endless possibilities!
These excerpts from his diary allow Müller to tell his own story. Join him on his journey from a life of sin and rebellion to his glorious conversion. Share his struggles and triumphs as he establishes orphan homes to care for thousands of English children, depending on God’s response to his prayer of faith to supply all things. You will learn how to:

  • Pray in faith and receive answers
  • Seek God for direction
  • Find the ultimate purpose for your life
  • Rest in God’s loving care 

George Müller’s unwavering, childlike dependence upon his heavenly Father will inspire you to confidently trust the God of the impossible in every area of your life.”
 

 

Negotiations…at home…at work…

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If you are like me, you might think that this book has very little to do with you, but…we might want to think again! 

My husband (who is in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions) has been reading this book and talking about it for months, and after watching his enthusiasm, I finally decided to pick it up.

I’ve only just started the book, but I’m already hooked.

Starting with real stories of an incredible FBI hostage negotiator, the book unpacks how to truly understand people in order to enter into effective negotiations (or discussions about things that need mutual agreement)–at home or at work. 

Worth a read 😀…

Blessing to Share?

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During my time at Master Works Foundation while visiting leaders all over the world, I quickly learned that leadership is lonely and tough.  It’s a high and challenging calling, especially the way Jesus asks us to do it.

Because the life of a leader always determines the life of a ministry/organization, the emotional, spiritual and relational health of any leader is vital.  To cultivate personal vibrancy as a leader takes time and intentionality.

The heart of En Gedi Blessing is to facilitate the use of beautiful private vacation homes for leaders to create, explore, refresh and dream–building into healthy leaders who in turn can lead healthy organizations.  

Do you have a vacation home that you would be willing to make available for 2 weeks a year to bless ministry leaders?  If so, please contact Laurie!

Nike and Rethinking Sexuality

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I always enjoy passing along resources that have inspired or impacted me. These two books are recent reads, and they did both!  

Shoe Dog is an AMAZING business tale–the true story of Phil Knight and his business journey with Nike.  A hard core and determined entrepreneur, Phil Knight shares the joys, sorrows, challenges, failures of starting Nike as well as poignant end of life reflections in a down-to-earth and inspirational way.   

Rethinking Sexuality by Juli Slattery is a book about sexual discipleship in the church.  One of the BEST books I have ever seen or encountered on the subject.  Full of truth and full of grace–a rare combination around the explosive topics facing us today in regards to sexuality.  Whether you are a parent, a discipler, a person needing healing, a learner, or a curious person, this book is SOLID and such a breath of fresh air!  I highly recommend it.

READ MORE HERE:  Shoe Dog
READ MORE HERE:  Rethinking Sexuality

Russians and Intimate Relationships…

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What in the world Russians have to do with intimate relationships?  Well, not much, except that they have them!  😀

I enjoy passing along resources that have inspired or impacted me.  These two books are recent reads, and they did both!

Red Notice is a book of business intrigue, unbelievable corruption and amazing perseverance, and not only that, it reads like a first class novel, but it’s all TRUE!  Higly recommend it!

Scary Close challenges treasured paradigms of relationships and self-protection.  His style may be a stretch for some at first, but it is well worth persevering!  Don’s vulnerability inspires others to take a closer look at the things that may hinder the type of relationship(s) we so desire.  If you are a couple, you might want to consider reading it together as it is worth discussing.

PrayerMate–Incredible Tool

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I always love to pass on things that have been transformational for me, and this is one of them!

I have never been a “prayer list” person, as it just feels a bit like a straight jacket, but this prayer app has been such a GIFT….

A friend of mine told me about this app, and at first I was a bit skeptical…well, maybe ALOT skeptical.  I am not a techie type person, especially when it comes to spiritual activities. So, it took me awhile to actually try it out.  However, when I finally did, I was immediately intrigued.

The initial setup was the hardest part, but as I got into it I loved the options.  I could create categories and tell the app how many items I wanted to pray for each time as well as how many items I wanted per prayer time in each category (I chose 15 per time with anything form 1 to 4 items per category, but you can set it up for any number that suits you).

Just to give you an example, my categories are:

Biblical prayers, My walk with God, My family, My friends, my Church, Unbelievers, World Mission and My Work

Under each category individual requests can be entered.  The World Mission section allows me to import the prayer requests from certain missions’ organizations if I want to.  The App also allows me to import or pick from scriptural prayers that I would like to pray for specific things.

I can take notes on each individual prayer item, which I often do–dates with specific things the Lord gave while praying.  It has been such a blessing to go back and read some of those.  I can also “archive” requests that have been answered and that I am no longer praying for.  That allows me to review answers to prayer from time to time.

Though I don’t pray with this method every day, I do so often and I love thinking and praying for people and things that I care about in such an intentional way.

If you want to hear the history of the development of this app or the testimony of someone else who has used it, click on these links.

This has been SUCH a blessing to me, and I hope it will be the same for some of you as well!!

Fred Smith’s Blog: In the Bosom of Fools

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I rarely make comments on political matters, as my brother Eric can heartily attest too (and he would also add it is “for good reason.”  🙂  However, Fred Smith, the president of the Gathering, wrote a blog that I believe is worth making note of in this season, both in the US and in South Africa.

This blog is not partisan but more a commentary on our engagement with political and other matters.

It is called The Bosom of Fools.

Fred’s blogs are thought-provoking, interesting and stretching–worth a read.  If you would like to sign up to receive them every Thursday, you can do so here, toward the bottom of the page.

For more of Fred Smith’s blogs:  read more

The Death of Heroes…Elizabeth Elliot

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Elizabeth Elliot…I never met her, but she deeply impacted my life and slowly became one of my heroes.

I started reading her books while in the Philippines  on a Teen Missions trip in high school–Passion and Purity was my first read.  I then moved on to In the Shadow of the Almighty and These Strange Ashes, among others, in college and throughout my 20’s.  These books marked me.

I have a shelf of books that are worth rereading no matter what season of life I am in… books that have touched me deeply once, and most likely will do so again with a re-reading.  Several books on that shelf are written by Elizabeth Elliot.

She went home to be with Jesus last week.  Her passionate pursuit of Jesus and her unwavering faith were and still will be a source of life, nourishment and encouragement in my own journey.  She walked His mysteries of  suffering, grief, work that went up in flames for seemingly no purpose and unfulfilled longings and desires, and yet she stood firm…in faith, in hope and in love of Christ.

She’s a hero of faith for me.  Heroes are rare, and I celebrate her life, as I know our Father does too.  She finished well…fighting the fight and keeping the faith.

Elizabeth Elliot is human, just like the rest of us, so, though I didn’t get to see them firsthand, I’m sure there were areas of failure and weakness in her.  We all have them.  Even with those, she showed me parts of Jesus and His character as she journeyed.

I desire, in and through my own weaknesses, to reflect the same Jesus that lived and breathed in Elizabeth Elliot!

Faith…from the classroom to the field

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Faith…BELIEVING God for who He is, what He says, and what He does.

A new favorite faith song:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YJ4vddbJJo

I have been in “school” learning about faith recently, and this class has been a tough graduate level course. Having known and walked with Jesus since I was 5 years old, I thought my “faith” education was pretty well-rounded, but I was moved from the classroom to “the field” in this last season. Here are some of my lessons–some new insights along with some known truths that have been under “divine review,” as I like to call it.

Faith…

  • Is grown in the darkness of no “sight.” “…Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.” Isaiah 50:10 “We live by faith, not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7
  • Waits…ALOT and often for a LONG time. Hebrews 11 has many accounts of waiting. Not a favorite for me.
  • Is in some way foundational to my healing and the answering of my requests. “Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.” Matthew 9:22
  • Is proved genuine through suffering. “These [suffering of grief in trials] have come so that your faith…may be proved genuine…” I Peter 1:7
  • Is a mystery. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Heb. 11:1
  • Is not legitimized by the “outcome” but by the process of faith itself. “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised….”
  • Is NOT the same as reason and often isn’t “reasonable”: “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed…without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead…and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God…” Rom. 4:18-21
  • Is a HUGE weapon in times of battle–a shield. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16
  • Is VERY pleasing to God. In fact, “without faith, it’s impossible to please God.” “…But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” Heb. 11:6 and Heb. 10:38
  • Is ultimately in the person of Jesus Christ and for His glory. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23, I Peter 1:7

His love and commitment to teaching me is amazing and persistent. I’m thankful for my Father’s “hands-on” classroom, even though it’s often “pain that brings gain.”