Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"It is well with my soul"

Joel's funeral service was very touching. We estimated about 400 people attended. It started with Brian Chatham and Aaron Latham our dear friends that we home church with sharing scripture and reading the obituary. We sang several congregational hymns that have been a great blessing to our family during this time. "Like a river glorious" and "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name." My Dad then shared some words followed by my Dad's Dad (Pop). We also showed a slideshow and video done by John-Clay Burnett. My Mom and I both agreed that the slideshow was the hardest part of the funeral. We are so glad that we have so many pictures that we can look back at and remember little Joel. Wayne Fagala did the message and after that Caleb, Daniel, Elijah and I played the song "It is well with my soul" Elijah on trumpet, Daniel piano, and Caleb and I on violin. The service was concluded with the doxology "Praise God from whom all Blessings Flow."

We then proceeded to a little country cemetery about 1/4 a mile from our house where we layed his body to rest. It is a comfort to be so close to the cemetery, that we can walk to his grave.

Thank you to everyone for the beautiful flowers that were sent. Does anyone know who sent the bunch that had a cowboy hat attached? It was so sweet.

I would also like to thank two nurses who were such a blessing to our family when Joel was in the hospital. First Kathy who did everything she could to arrange things for us when we were trying to get Joel home, and just really blessed us by her sweet spirit and willingness to help out however she could. And then Dara, who was Joel's nurse on several occations. Besides being an excellent nurse she really took an interest in Joel and in the rest of the family. She was also willing to help in any way she could even offering to help with home nursing. Thank you Dara, we would love to keep in touch with you. If you could send us a regular email to that way we will have your email address.

And then thanks to everybody for the encouraging words, and for lifting up our family in prayer during this difficult time. May God bless each one of you.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Joel's Last Day

After Joel moved his foot on Monday night, he remained stable through the night. I slept until 4:00 AM and at that point his temperature was 37.2, his heartbeat was 130, and his blood pressure was 76/31. His blood oxygen level was 91%.
Tuesday was Hosanna’s birthday and Cindy had already planned to have her birthday party at the hospital so that Joel could be there.
Around 7:00 AM, Joel’s oxygen level dropped significantly and without warning. He did not seem to have much moisture that needed to be suctioned out of his tube. After working with him he seemed to come up on his counts.
Around 9:30 AM we re-inserted his port in preparation for him to go home. Shortly after that his counts dropped again, including his heartbeat, and it began to concern me. I called Cindy to encourage her to come to the hospital as soon as possible. By noon the ventilator was not giving Joel enough oxygen, so we began to manually ‘bag’ him to raise his levels.
We were encouraging him to wait on his mom and she arrived around 1:00 PM with some of the children. My mother was here and she brought the rest of the children around 2:00 PM.
Joel was still struggling and we went ahead and had Hosanna’s birthday party with Joel around 2:30 PM. We also decided to try to take Joel home in the ambulance so that he could be at home on his little farm. The hospital tried to arrange the trip home and told us that the ambulance could be there around 6:00 PM.
Joel continued to struggle and he would not do well on the ventilator. We continued to ‘bag’ him and turned up his oxygen level. He came back on his counts, but after 3:00 PM they began to gradually fall.
By the next hour his heart rate was in the 90’s and falling. We so desired and sought to trust the Lord to raise him up. It was an excruciating time for our family and the dear friends that were there. At 4:30 PM, after a long and arduous struggle, Joel breathed his last and his little heart stopped beating. He departed from this life, safe in the arms of Jesus.
Cindy held the precious body of her little child for some time and arrangements were made to have Joel’s little body taken to the funeral home in Guthrie. We all then left the hospital where we had fought so long, prayed so hard, and shed so many tears for our precious Joel.
These last few days have been difficult. Joel was so dear to our family. Our hearts are broken. Two days ago I turned to Psalm 147 and read these words:

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

Please pray that it may be so.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

From Bethany, Joel's oldest sister, to her father...

I just wanted to write a tribute to my dear Father, who fought and journeyed right alongside our precious Joel. He was there constantly by his side only leaving on a few short occasions. He read the scriptures to him, prayed over him and served him in every way he could.
The nurses found in him a willing learner, quickly mastering each lesson to be able to more efficiently serve and take care of his precious son.
I know from the times I stayed up at the hospital how emotionally taxing it was, the constant tension of watching his heart rate, keeping tabs on his blood pressure and doing as he called it his “hourly check” where he kept track of all Joel’s vital signs and temperature.
He fought for Joel all the way into the courtroom, at the same time encouraging us that we must love and pray for our enemies.
All the way up until that very last day when the ventilator could no longer keep his heart rate up my Dad was by his side manually bagging air into Joel’s lungs. We were all around his bed, I was holding his little hand and Mr. Burnett was praying as his heart rate dropped to zero. We were all witnesses to the fact that when Joel truly died no machine in the world could keep him alive.
Thank you also Dad for diligently teaching us the Sovereignty of God. That nothing happens outside of his plan. That “every joy or trial cometh from above, traced upon our dial by the Son of Love.”
Thank you Dad for your dedication to our precious Joel, and to your whole family.

I love you, your daughter Bethany

Friday, January 26, 2007

'A tribute from a big soldier, to Joel the little soldier..'.

Our Precious Joel has influenced people all around the world. This e-mail came from Charles Armstrong, MAJ 1CD G5 planner in the US Army in Iraq. It was written to his pastor in Kansas after receiving an e-mail from him about Joel. Joel's aunt Tami and her family are members of the congregation in Kansas. It is one of the many examples that we have received from so many of you. We wanted to share this with you as a tribute to Joel, the little soldier:

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Pastor John,
I have been meaning to send you a note to let you know what is going on with me. I will do so hopefully within the next week, but wanted to share some thoughts that have come into my mind based on this email.
First, this email has caused me more "pain" than I can possibly state.
I do not know why, but this email has caused me to become more emotional than anything else has since deploying. I know that I tend to bottle up my emotions very tightly while deployed as a coping mechanism for what I see and hear over here. This is not to suggest that it is not personal for me, nor that I am in any way a machine that is cold and remorseless.
That is not even close to the truth. There is a lot to cry about over here...missing our families, loss of soldiers, wounded soldiers, and just pure frustration. But we all tend to keep this bottled up tight or else we would not be able to develop the plans and give the orders required to succeed over here.
That is why I am perplexed by my reaction to this message about Joel.
Hearing or writing his name brings tears immediately to my eyes. Many of my "office-mates" have asked me about this since I first read the message. I have shared it with everyone. I also took your message to one of our Chaplains, who is also a soldier, to see if he could put it out to the larger Congregation of Christians that are over here. I am sure that there are and have been volumes of prayers for little Joel from over here in the past couple of hours. I am distraught that I am unable to do more, which in my mind is because I am not in the states, although in my heart I know that it is something different. Maybe the fact that Dannielle is 3 years old as well is causing me distress as well. Every time I pray, I thank God for the blessings that he has bestowed on me and my family. I guess that this episode is showing just how blessed we all are and how much we take for granted. Maybe I am ashamed for not more clearly and completely thanking God for all that he has blessed me with. I am not sure, but I am sure that eventually I will figure it out. So, if nothing else, Joel is teaching me a hard lesson in humility and faith when he should be out playing with his family and friends.
I have also realized recently that our nation is under attack from within by the secular-progressive or secular-humanists who want to rewrite our history and redefine the foundation of Christianity upon which our nation was established. I am convinced that the media is at least culpable in this onslaught against values, morals, and ethics.
Our legal system is also being overrun with these immoral forces who are chipping away at what has and continues to make the US great. No law should ever allow a woman to be murdered by her husband, even if she is legally dead, Terry Schiavo. And no one should be allowed to not give Joel every little thing that he needs. The laws of man are one thing, but the Laws of God are another. I would not want this to happen to my daughter and no medical people, regardless of the law, should be able to pronounce something until it is over. We do not understand the mind, means, and ways of our Lord and it is not for us to decide. What I know with all of my heart is that "kicking" this little boy to "the curb" is wrong. There is no justification, there is no law that makes this OK.
I apologize for making this a bit of a vent. As I stated before, my prayers are with Joel and his family, as well as with Tammi and her family and all of those who are Christian.
I will write a better message soon, I promise.
Take Care and God Bless,

Used by permission of Major Armstrong

Thursday, January 25, 2007

'Cast thy burden on the Lord'

Cast thy burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain thee. We are seeking to cast our burden on the Lord. It seems at times it is too much for us to bear to be without little Joel. We cannot bear this on our own, but we know that the Lord can bear it for us and sustain us. We will be, Lord willing, at the church from 12:30 to 1:30 tomorrow to visit with those who come from out of town. We are very thankful for the kindness and prayers of so many that we know, and those that we have never met. The Lord is truly good, and it is a blessing to be amongst His people.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We are weak, but He is strong.

We will be having visitation at the Smith Funeral home in Guthrie, OK on Thursday, January 25 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. We have had some inquire about gifts. There is a fund set up in Joel's memory at Western Hills Church, 401 SW 44th, Oklahoma City, OK 73109. Once again, we are very grateful for all of the kind words that have been sent to us since Joel went to be with the Lord yesterday.

We would also like to thank the nurses at the hospital who continued to care for Joel throughout this ordeal. It was not an easy situation for them, and yet they continued to care for our little blessing right to the end.

Joel will be buried at a little country cemetery just a short walk from where we live out in the country. Please pray for us as we go through these days, we need the Lord to bear us up. We would like to share Joel's last day with you all very soon. We are weak, but He is strong.

'Blessed are they that dwell in thy house..."

We have scheduled Joel's funeral for Friday at 2:00 PM. We are planning to have the funeral, Lord willing, at Western Hills Church in Oklahoma City. The church is located at 401 SW 44th in Oklahoma City. The funeral home is Smith Funeral home in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Psalm 84 was a blessing this morning, even though the pain is almost unbearable:

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee, Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Our Precious Joel with the Lord Jesus...

The Lord chose to take Joel to be with Him in glory around 4:30 PM this afternoon. We are at home and we will try to share more of our last day with Joel some time later. Please know that we so much appreciate all of you who have supported us through this trial. Joel had such an impact on so many people. It was a priviledge as his father to spend these days and nights with him as he fought a good fight for life. His life is such a blessing to us, pray for our family as we go through these days....

Keep Praying

Joel's heart rate kept dropping while he was on the vent, so now my Dad is manually resperating him. His heart rate is hanging around 80 to 90 and his oxygen is staying at around 100. We are in the process of trying to take him home. The ambulance is scheduled to arrive around 6:00 p.m. Please pray that the Lord will sustain him during the move.

URGENT Pray for Joel

Joel's oxygen level has been dropping and now his heart rate is dropping. Please CRY OUT, even as David the psalmist did, for God to hear, answer and rescue Joel from this trial. CRY OUT right now for Terry, Cindy and the family as they make urgent decisions and seek do all they can to trust God to sustain Joel's life during this critical time. Pray for them to have wisdom beyond themselves meet Joel's needs. Pray that their minds would be stayed upon Jehovah the giver and sustainer of life.

Posted by Johnny Burnett for the family
This morning I read Psalm 23. David said in verse 4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” We have been walking through the valley for some time now, and we have found that the shepherd is faithful to his word.

Joel’s facial swelling seems to be much better this morning. His heart beat is 128 and his oxygen saturation is 93. His last blood pressure was 74/31. He is not taking his nutrition, but he did have several bowel movements yesterday. He had not had any bowel movements for some time before yesterday.

We are very grateful for all of the encouragement that we have received from all over the world. We have not been able to return all of the e-mails and etc. at this time, but please know that we are grateful for the kind words, prayers and offers to help. Hopefully, when things settle down, we can communicate with more of you personally.

Joel continues to endure this difficult trial. He is in the Lord’s hands, and we are seeking to cast all of our cares upon Him, for we know that He cares for us. Our desire and prayer is for the Lord to raise Joel up from this bed of affliction. We are trusting Him to do just that. May the Lord of heaven and earth be glorified in Joel’s life.

We need prayer for Joel’s oxygen level. It has dropped slightly before I could get this posted.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Joel Moves His Foot!

Tonight I am sitting here watching Joel move his foot. You are not misreading this; Joel is moving his right foot without stimulation. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! He has been moving this foot for about ten minutes or so. His foot is lying on top of a blanket elevated, and the toes are moving as I write this. I had two nurses come in to see it for themselves.

Please continue in earnest prayer to the one who can raise up little Joel. His skin color is rather dark, and his urine out put has slowed down. We need the Father to do what only He can do and sustain Joel’s life. We also tried to restart his nutrition, but he did not take it at all. Pray for wisdom and guidance as we seek to care for Joel

We are making preparations to leave the hospital on Wednesday, Lord willing, sometime before noon. As of this writing we do not have any formal nursing care to help when we get home. Please pray for the Lord’s provision in that area. The Lord has sustained Joel for 18 days now, and for that we are grateful. The road has been difficult at times, but we know that ‘all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose’. We can rest on that bedrock truth, that God is sovereign in all things. May He raise up Joel in His time…..

"The Lord Sustained Me"

Yesterday we received an e-mail that quoted Psalm 3. One verse in particular really stood out. It was verse 5 that says, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.” The Lord has sustained Joel another night. Around 1:30 PM yesterday his urine output increased dramatically and continued into the evening. His swelling has reduced significantly, and we are grateful to the Lord for that blessing. This morning his heart rate is 135, his oxygen level is 94 and his last blood pressure was 88/37.

The home ventilator seems to be working. We are not sure when we will be able to go home, but we are hearing that it may be soon. We have so much to prepare for, it seems overwhelming to us. However, we believe that it will be better for Joel if we can get him home and then try to do what we can to help him. We know that He is in the Lord’s hands. As a token of His work, the Lord caused Joel’s urine output to increase when it looked like he could take no more swelling. We pray that the Lord will continue His work in Joel’s life.

We confess that we need strength today to meet the challenges that we face. We trust that the Lord will show himself strong in Joel’s life and bring healing to his body. We desire that Joel will be a testimony to the Lord Jehovah’s mighty power. Psalm 83 ends with this verse, and it is the desire of our heart:

“That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"Light in the darkness"

Joel is struggling this morning. The swelling in his body has seemed to increase and he is not taking his nutrition as well as he was yesterday. His heart rate is 145 and his oxygen level is 92. He also has more fluid that has to be suctioned out more often than several days ago. He has not had a bowel movement in several days. And yet we still wait upon the Lord.

Psalm 112:4 says this, “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” Right now we seem to be in the darkness, with Joel declining in several areas. It is sometimes hard to walk through this darkness. God’s word says here that light will arise in the darkness unto the upright. We know that we are not upright in ourselves, but only through the blood of Jesus and his cleansing. We look for that light to arise today. We are also sure that the Lord is gracious, and that he is full of compassion and that he is righteous. We stand on these truths of God’s word.

I remember the words of Betsey Ten Boom to her sister Corrie years ago in a dark situation in their lives. She said to Corrie, “There is no pit so deep, that He is not deeper still.” We know that He is able to sustain us even in the midst of this deep and dark trial.

We need your prayers for strength, for wisdom, and for Joel’s healing by the touch of the master’s hand, or even simply by his word. '

Saturday, January 20, 2007

"Save, Lord..."

Joel is now trying out the home ventilator. He went on the new vent yesterday around 5:00 PM. If all goes well, we may be able to go home early next week. He still has considerable swelling in his body, his heart rate is 136, his blood pressure is 78/35 and his oxygen saturation is 98 %. His urine output seems to be improved. He is taking his nutrition well, but he had a couple of episodes yesterday where his heart rate dropped and we had to suction his respirator tube quickly.

We are still trying to find some home nursing care to help once we take Joel home. The fact that he is going home with a tube is a concern, but the hospital would not do a tracheotomy, so we really have no choice. Please pray that the Lord will keep his tube right where it needs to be. Pray that the Lord will provide all that we need to care for him at home and that the Lord will raise Him up according to His will.

Psalm 20 was a real blessing this morning. Here is the Psalm:

The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble: the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah. Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfill all thy counsel. We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfill all thy petitions. Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.

There are times that we get weary, but the Lord renews our strength. Please hold us up to the throne, and pray for the Mighty God of Jacob to do wondrous things in Joel’s life.

We have experienced some difficulty getting connected to the internet to update the blog and check e-mails. Thanks again for all of your prayers and support.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Joel took a trip today from one side of the hospital to a new building where they are moving the PICU here at Children’s Hospital. It was a busy morning getting everything ready to go. We are in our new room and he is doing well.. His heart rate is 125; his oxygen level is 95%, which is the best it has been for some time. His last blood pressure was 77/36, and his urine output seems to have increased over the last few hours.

We are expecting to start training on a home ventilator very soon. As soon as we can get Joel comfortable on the home ventilator, we should be able to take him home. We currently do not have a nursing service, or a nurse to help when we get home. That is a concern, but the Lord has sustained us thus far, and He can provide what we need after we get home. Any one who thinks they might could help meet that need, please e-mail us with the information.

This morning I read Joel some verses out of the book of Luke. In one of the passages, Jesus asked the question relating to the Sabbath. He asked if we should save life, or destroy it on the Sabbath. Obviously, the answer was that we should save life, not destroy it. That is the principle that we are trying to uphold here. We are trying to save Joel’s life, and not destroy it. We also trust the LORD to heal Joel according to his will. We know that one word from Him and it shall be done.

There are so many things to pray for Joel. His swelling is still a concern. Also pray for his blood pressure, and that he will adapt to the home ventilator quickly. Thanks again for all of your support.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Walk by Faith"

Joel’s blood pressure rose slightly in the night. The last check it was 76/31. His heart rate is currently 125 and his oxygen saturation is 88. One concern for prayer this morning is his fluid retention. The Lord has sustained him for over two weeks now, and we trust that the mighty God of Jacob will show himself strong in Joel’s life. All that the Lord Jesus needs to do is speak the word, and it shall be done.

During this trial, someone quoted the scripture, “we walk by faith and not by sight”. That is our desire, to walk by faith, and not by sight. The doctors here feel that there is no hope for Joel. They walk by sight, and all they see is a little boy with no hope. We seek to walk by faith, and we see the God of heaven who states “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” We know that God, who created Joel’s life, can sustain it and raise him up to walk again.

Psalm 138:7-8: Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Psalm 18: 1-6: I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Under the Shadow of Thy Wings"

We need your prayers for Joel tonight. His blood pressure has dropped today and is a real concern for prayer. His hemoglobin is acceptable at 9.6, and his heart rate is 127. We would also ask that you pray about his fluid retention. He is experiencing some swelling around his eyes and also the rest of his body. We know that the LORD can handle all of these things and we are casting our cares upon Him. Thanks to so many of you that are standing with us in prayer and faith.

Here are a few verses that were meaningful to me today. Psalm 17: 7-9: “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, from the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.”

There are small steps that are being taken towards us leaving the hospital. May the Lord work out all the details in His time. He has sustained Joel two weeks since he had the seizures around midnight on January 4. I am so grateful for my little boy, and for his life that is precious to me, and to the Lord.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

O Thou Son of David, have mercy...

Terry has gone home to be with the other children and to hopefully get a good rest in his own bed. In the twelve day stay he has only been home once. I am so grateful for his committment to the Lord, his family and his precious son, Joel. Terry is laying down his life for him through his energy and his constant prayer. This type of strength only comes from the Lord .Mere words cannot begin to expess our deep gratefulness to so many, may the Lord recompense the reward!!

Joel has been stable through out the day except for about an hour after one suctioning in which his heart rate jumped up to 143 and his blood pressure was 112\76. We had to tell him to stop being rowdy. The Lord once again allowed all to level out. Both of his eyes are very puffy. Pray that the Lord would reduce the swelling and protect them.

Please pray that all will work out to get Joel home soon. That the Lord would go before us !

This afternoon I read to Joel the book of Phillipians and now we are reading the book of Luke. I told Joel to listen carefully to the many miracles that Jesus did when he walked on this earth."O Thou Son of David, have mercy upon our little Joel."

During all the hospital stays and different procedures Joel would go through, he would always say "I'm all done?".This afternoon I heard Hosanna and Jeremiah discussing what Joel might say when Joel wakes up. They said he might say"I'm all done?". The other day I asked his twin brother Josiah what Joel was doing at the hospital and he said ,"he's sleeping". May the Lord give grace to these tender hearts.

The Lord has been giving such powerful scriptures to our hearts. Ones that have been very encouraging to me have been in the book of Luke. The story of the widow, Jesus raising Jarius's daughter, the sparrows and the number of hairs on our head and the power of importune prayer.

Terry has taught our family that God is sovereign, that he rules in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of man,that God works all things after the counsel of his will, that what ere befalls us is by his appointment, for our good, and for his glory.We know God is in control of every detail of our circumstances, that nothing is happening outside of his will, so yes there is great comfort in these bedrock truths, and he will give grace to all that he has for us. We must stay upon Jehovah!

I must say that there are certainly moments of intense heartache, like this morning when Josiah wants to wear a cowboy shirt that Joel has worn so much because it was easy to put on, going into our boys room and seeing Joel's bed and his stuffed monkey, arranging his special gifts on his shelf by his bed, and one of the hardest today was giving Josiah discipline. He and Joel have such different personalities. Joel would want you to hold and snuggle with him and Josiah tends to want to be alone, I was wanting to hold Josiah and recieve from him the comfort of feeling what it would be like to hold Joel again and Josiah really didn't want to so that sent me into a flood of tears. O Lord give us you comfort as these precious memories are continually before us.

We are so blessed by all the encouraging words through e-mail. Thank you for your support and prayer. May the Lord hear our desire and grant them according to his will. If you would like to view a clip of the Channel 4 news here in OKC, you can go to and do a search for Joel's story. They did a great job and we are thankful.May the Lord grant sweet rest and peace to us all this evening. I thank my God upon the rememberence of you!!

"Triumph in His Praise"

Our little precious Joel continues to cling to life. The Lord has sustained him now for 12 days since he had the seizure around midnight on January 4. This morning his blood pressure is 72/37 and his heart rate is 114. His blood oxygen level is 88. He has taken his nutrition a little better during the night. His temperature was a little high during the night, but it has started to come down this morning.

This morning Psalm 46 was a blessing. It starts off saying, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters therof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. God is in the midst thereof, she shall not be moved, God shall help her and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved, he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge, Selah. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, he cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge, Selah,"

Another verse that really stood out to me is from Psalm 106. The last two verses of that Psalm say this, "Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord."

Today, by God's grace, we want to "triumph in Thy praise". Our victory is in the praise of the Lord, and not in our own strength. Joel is in the Lord's hands, we are at His mercy to sustain his life and to raise him up. We cast our cares upon Him, for we know that He careth for us.

Yesterday we received an e-mail that had a verse that describes where we are right now as we walk this extremely trying valley. Here is the verse:

Sometimes on the Rock I tremble,
Faint of heart and weak of knee.
But the Steadfast Rock of Ages
Never trembles under me.
~ Author Unknown

We have sometimes trembled on the Rock as we have journeyed with Joel, but praise be, the Rock of Ages has not trembled under us. The Rock of Ages is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. He is the one who 'came to save sinners, of whom I am chief'. He is the one who shed His precious blood on the cross to deliver us from sin. He is the one who died, the 'just for the unjust that he might bring us to God'. He is the One who says in his word, 'Come unto me all ye who labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest'.

He is the Savior, the only Savior, sent by the Father to seek and to save that which is lost. He is the messenger of the covenant, the daysman, who has the power to take us by one hand, and the Lord God by the other and reconcile us to himself. He is the Rock, very God of very God, the one on which we stand, although, we confess, we sometimes tremble.

He is also the one who spoke the word, and the sick were healed, and the dead were raised. Oh Lord, we pray, speak the word again today and raise up little Joel according to your will.

We should hear today on what the next step is with Joel and the hospital. Please pray that the Lord will make a way for us to take Joel home and care for him as the blessing from the Lord that he is.

Again, many thanks to all of you that are lifting us up in prayer.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Psalm 105: 1-7, says "O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him: talk ye of all His wondrous works. Glory ye in His holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD, and His strength: seek His face evermore. Remember His marvellous works that He hath done; His wonders and the judgments of His mouth; O ye seed of Abraham, his servant, ye children of Jacob, His chosen. He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. "

This morning Joel's heart rate is 105 and his pressure is good on the ventilator. His blood pressure is better at 79/43, and it was even higher in the night. His oxygen level is 86, and that is a matter of prayer. The other concern for prayer this morning is that he is not digesting his nutrition very well. Once again, we have seen the Lord meet needs, and he can take care of these. We know that the Lord is able, and that there is nothing too hard for him. We are trusting the mighty Jehovah, the Lord Jesus, to raise up Joel.

Before I was able to get this posted Joel's blood pressure dropped to 60/30. Keep praying....

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Please pray tonight for Joel's blood pressure. It has dropped to 67/32. The Lord has sustained Joel this long, and we trust that He will sustain him through this as well. Thanks to all of you that have sent us your kind words, thoughts and prayers.

One of the mother's that has a child up here in the PICU gave us a note today with this scripture. It comes from the book of Joel, chapter 2, verse 21:

'Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice; for the LORD will do great things.'

"In God's Hands"

Many thanks to all who were able to pray for Joel last night. This morning Joel's vital signs are much improved from where they were last night when the doctor thought he might have pnuemonia. His heart rate is 106, his last blood pressure was 88/43 and his oxygen level is 90. His oxygen level has been around 92, so it is slightly down.

When the doctor came in this morning, I think that he was a little suprised that Joel had recovered like he has from last night. This is a great victory, and thanks to the Lord for this!

We are working on some details that would allow us to get home. Please pray that all parties involved will be cooperative and work out this solution.

We know that Joel is in God's hands, and we are trusting Him to demonstrate His mighty power in Joel's life. Psalm 139: 13-18 says, "For thou hast possessed my reins; thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee."

This providence in our lives has impacted our family. Cindy related a touching story from yesterday when she went home. As she went into the boys room she looked over in Joel's bed and there was a baby doll laid in the bed with cords and wires all set up around it. It appears that Josiah, Joel's twin, and Hosanna (4) had set all this up while they were playing at home. When Cindy asked them what was wrong with the baby, they said that it had cancer. We would appreciate your prayers for Joel's brothers and sisters as they deal with Joel's condition.

"This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it" -From the Psalms

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Urgent for Joel

We need your prayers for Joel tonight. The resistance pressure on the regulator has risen and there is alot of fluid in Joel's lungs. The doctor thinks that it is possbly pneumonia. We know that the Lord can heal this as well. His oxygen level is 85. Please pray that the pressure will fall and that the oxygen will rise. God is on His throne....

Our precious Joel continues to cling to life. This morning his heart rate is 97, his blood pressure is 79/36, but we do not know his hemoglobin as of this morning. We do have a new doctor, but we are still hoping to find a way to take Joel out of this hospital. He has taken his first night of feedings well.

Psalm 13, written down so long ago in God’s precious word, is so close to the cry of our hearts this morning:

‘How long wilt thou forget me O Lord? For ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’

The reality of our situation is that these physicians do not see Joel as a person who is living. This makes it extremely difficult to care for him here. The nurses are continuing to provide care, and we really appreciate that fact. Please pray for us to endure this situation with Godly patience and love even when it is difficult.

Through some research I have found some material that really speaks to where we are. I do not have the documentation for this quote, but it came off of a discussion on a medical web site. It states some truth relevant to our situation. We know that Joel is alive. The issue for some is his ‘quality of life’. As with any of man’s words, this is not considered infallible, but I think he has many good insights.

I am quoting, “What bothers me about most discussions of brain death is that the arguments many people use are based upon what they ‘feel’ is right, upon what medical science can observe about the brain, or upon appeals to ‘quality of life’ or to the necessity of using those organs to help others who need them. These arguments all beg the question: what is death? This can only be answered by a right philosophy, not by science. Science can only portray the physical evidence; it is doctors and ethicists who have made the determination of death based upon that evidence. The medical evidence says nothing except that there is no apparent functioning in the brain; this upon its own does not say whether or not it is death of the person. This is a definition based upon a person's judgment of these facts. Medical ethicists, who admittedly have a vested interest in this, due to the possibility of harvesting organs, have taken over the job of defining death and life. This is not something that should be taken lightly.
“To those who argue based upon the fact that they ‘feel’ it is right: one's subjective feelings about something, even though his/her conviction may be very strong, is never a valid basis for truth, unless it is backed up by something objectively right. If there is any question at all, one's feelings may not suffice to provide direction. Especially in matters of life and death, this should NOT be any kind of green light to go ahead.
“To those who argue that the benefits of organ harvesting are enough to justify brain death as death of the person: One may not use a relativistic argument that assumes that one person's life is more important than another. Just because you know that a person, because of his medical condition, has little or no chance of living a normal life, and may even die soon, does not make that person's life any less valuable. That person deserves to be nurtured and cared for, until the very end, and the end may not be hastened by well-meaning attempts to help others. Otherwise, human beings play God and decide that this or that person is expendable, because of X,Y, & Z. Where does that end? ….. Life (ALL life) is precious and sacred, and it must be cherished and respected at every stage, from conception until natural death; otherwise, NO human's life is sacred. The same arguments that are used to justify this situation, as well as many more such current issues in medical ethics, can be used either for or against anyone, according to whoever is making the rules.
“What strikes me is that many people, in saying that brain death is ‘real’ death, often contradict themselves by stating that it is cruel to keep someone here on earth indefinitely. The person is either here or not; if dead, the life support machines are not prolonging anything. One thing I hear often when people say brain death is real death, is that the person's soul is no longer there, just the body. While I agree that humans have a spiritual soul, the body and soul are not separate. We are ‘embodied souls’; the body and soul are intrinsically united. How can the body continue to breathe, the heart beat, and blood flow to the organs, keeping them healthy, if the person is not alive? Machines cannot do all this work: they can pump air into the person and can stimulate the heart to beat, but they cannot cause the exchange of oxygen to happen at the tissue level. Eventually, when the person does die, no machine in the world can keep this process going. Does this not tell us that there is something more to death than mere ‘brain death’?
“I realize that there are still many more questions, and that this does not sufficiently cover all the grounds. But, my point was to at least emphasize that it is CRITICAL what methods we use to justify such an argument. Our culture is so used to using faulty logic to arrive at the conclusions that we do. Only a solid foundation in morality and good philosophical reasoning, based upon objective truth, will suffice to even discuss this question.” - Unknown Author

If I can find the reference for this quote I will add it later. The one most powerful sentence to me is this, “Life (ALL life) is precious and sacred, and it must be cherished and respected at every stage, from conception until natural death; otherwise, NO human's life is sacred.” God is the creator, He is the giver of life. We look to Him to help us in this struggle. May God grant a mighty work in Joel’s life to show, for the glory of the living God, that He is still the God of Elijah, and he can still answer with fire from Heaven and show that He is God. We trust that God is going to raise Joel up as a testimony of His mighty power. Please join us in that prayer.

Friday, January 12, 2007

"Bless he Lord, oh my soul"

Tonight we are with Joel on an icy and snowy Oklahoma evening. The Lord has kept Cindy and the children safe as they traveled back and forth. Joel's heart rate is strong at 97, and his blood pressure is good at 93/51. He is getting some nutrients for the first time since Wednesday afternoon and he is tolerating them well. His hemolgolobin level was over 10 this morning, which is a tremendous blessing.

We have seen some response to stimulus, he has had two bowel movments, and his hemoglobin count has gone back up. These things have been disregarded by the medical community, but we are happy for them nevertheless.

We respect the training of the doctors that we have had, we just believe that they are not infallible and that they are not God. We also know that their is a God in Israel for whom nothing is too difficult. Please know that we seek to bless those that oppose us according to Matthew 5:44 & 45. Please pray for all the doctors that they will be blessed with eyes to behold the heavenly Father, and with hands to do good.

We have contacted many other hospitals and have not had success. There is a possiblility that we may be able to take Joel home on the ventilator unless the Lord raises him up before that time. We are trusting that the Lord will fulfill his word in Joel's life. Please pray with us to stand strong for the Lord Jesus and for the sanctity of life.

Psalm 103: 1-3 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.'

Please pray that God will continue to sustain Joel and to raise him up. Also, pray for the family to have strength as we stand with Joel.

'Peace in the midst of the storm...'

The Lord is continuing to sustain Joel. His heartbeat is 98, his blood pressure is 96/50 and his hemoglobin was 9.5 at the last check. It is interesting to note that very seldom has his hemoglobin increased over the last two months, and yet it has done so this morning. Please pray that the Lord will nourish him and that He will show Himself strong in Joel's life.

Please pray for Cindy and the children to be protected. There is a storm system approaching Oklahoma that is expected to produce an ice storm over the next few days. We know that the Lord is in control of all these things, and we are looking to Him to get us through. We also need patience and grace as we walk through this very difficult trial. We sometimes get worn in the struggle, but the Lord has sustained us in the midst of the storm.

Psalm 103 was a blessing this morning. Here are some verses of note:

Verse 19-28 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old thou laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Joel's Psalm

Joel continues to cling to life. His heart rate this morning is 99, his blood pressure is 107/74, and his temperature is good. His hemoglobin level is 9.9. We are trusting that the Lord will maintain his hemoglobin level.

This morning the Lord directed me to a Psalm and I am considering it Joel's Psalm. This is amazing:

Psalm 41:

Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
I said, Lord be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
Mine enemies speak evil of me, when shall he die and his name perish?
And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.
All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him; and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heal against me.
But thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
By this I know that thou favorest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face forever.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting: Amen, and Amen.

As I have meditated and researched it has become clear to me that this is a struggle for the sanctity of life. Is life a sacred gift from God, or is it not? We believe that it is. Two days ago I met a young man around 6 or 7 years old in the PICU visiting. He was in a special chair that appeared to be designed with a repirator. His name was Isaiah. I stopped and spoke with him and told him about the names of some of my boys. We have been blessed with Caleb, Daniel, Elijah, Micah, Andrew, Joshua, Jeremiah, Josiah and of course, Joel. Isaiah would fit right in.

We spoke for a moment and parted. Later I pondered, would he be next? Would someone some day make the judgement that he was not fit to live because he needs a repirator?

In one of the documents that I read the medical community has discussed what they call a 'higher brain death standard' where the legal definition of death could be expanded and applied to more people and their lives could be taken as well. Where will this end?

I thank the Lord for my son Joel. I know from the communications that we have received that he has touched so many lives. We are trusting God, by his mercy, to raise him up for His glory. Please continue to hold us up in prayer. There are times when our faith gets weak, and we need you to lift up our arms in the battle.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

We have returned from the courthouse and there have been some developments that will allow us to stay here for the time being.

Joel is doing really good. His heartbeat is 123 and his blood pressure is 93/47. His hemoglobin level is staying above 10 right now which is a real blessing. Thank you for your prayers

Let God be Magnified

Psalm 130: 1-2 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice, let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

Joel is hanging on to life. His heart rate is 92 this morning, and his blood pressure is 97/64. His hemoglobin is 9.9 as of the last check.

Our hearts are seeking to trust in the Lord, and crying out that he might be raised up for God's glory. We have submitted another hospital to the doctor as a possibility for transfer. We have also been told that we are on a waiting list for a facility in Bethany, OK, but they do not guarantee that he will be accepted.

In the mean time, we have been told that we are to be at the Oklahoma County courthouse today at 2:00 PM because the doctor has taken legal action against us. "edited line.............." Please pray for us that we will walk in holiness, humility, and the strength of the Lord as we seek to protect Joel.

Life is precious, and Joel continues to influence so many people. We thank you all so much for your prayers and support.

Psalm 70: Make haste, O God, to deliver me ; make haste to help me, O Lord. Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and put to confusion that desire my hurt. Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee, rejoice and be glad in thee; and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified. But I am poor and needy, make haste unto me, O God; thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

"There is a God in Israel"

Praise God, the Lord has allowed Joel to defy the medical death sentence for four days now.

Psalm 9:13-14: "Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation."

Joel's heart beat is still strong, around 116, and his blood pressure is holding with the top number right at 80. One great prayer request is that his blood pressure will stay strong while we wait on deliverance. His hemoglobin is holding at around 10.5, hallelujah!

We have requested two further tests, in writing, to the hospital due to the fact that they will not treat him as a person. We are asking for an EEG and for a test for his ADH. I did some research this morning and found that this hormone can demonstrate brain activity. I am asking for this for the sake of the medical communtity to give them a reason to treat him as a person. I know that God is able to raise Him up regardless, and our prayer is that the Lord will do this for His glory, and that one day Joel will be able to speak to these doctors, and say as David did to Goliath, I am here 'that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel'.

Monday, January 8, 2007

We are on a roller coaster....

We just met with the new doctor and she has greatly disappointed us. She has informed us that she will continue care, but that she will not 'add care'. She has said that she will not even perform a blood transfusion or treat an infection.

Please contiue to pray that God will open up the 'Red Sea' and let his little Joel out of Egypt and that we can find somewhere to take Joel where they will seek to meet his needs.

A New Doctor

Today Joel has a new doctor. After a very trying weekend, the Lord has given us another day and a fresh hope. We were told this morning that we would be getting a different attending physician. We have met with her and we feel that she will take care of Joel.

We also met with a committee representing the President and CEO of the hospital and we were able to express our concerns about what has happened over the last few days. The committee was very receptive and they are now discussing the meeting with the CEO and should be back with us this morning.

With a heavy heart this morning I opened up the word. Here are some of the scriptures that I read:

Isaiah 38:16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live.

Isaiah 38:19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.

Psalm 118:6-8 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

Joel's blood pressure is 77/42 and his heart rate is 111 BPM. He is still unresponsive, but his color is good and he does not seem to have alot of swelling. He looks as if he is in a peaceful sleep. His skin is still soft to touch and it is a wonderful thing to hold his little hand.

We are trusting the Lord, by His mercy, to raise Joel up according to His will. It would be such a tremendous testimony for God to raise up this little blessing. The medical world says that it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Please continue to pray, we are so thankful for all of your support.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

"Arise, O Lord"

I am sitting beside my beloved Joel as the nurse rubs lotion on his little body. His heart is beating at the rate of 114 BPM's. His blood pressure is 123/77 and his respiratory rate is 14.

Our little Joel hangs onto life. He is on a respirator and on IV fluids. Medical science has pronounced Joel "brain dead". Medical science is not God. We believe that his heart beating and his blood flowing means that he yet lives.

The OU Medical Center has asked that we find another place to go and has given us until the end of the day on Monday to do so. The Baptist Medical Center in OKC rejected Joel this morning. We are searching for some physician and some hospital that will allow little Joel to live.

We believe that life is precious, no matter if it is a deformed child in the womb that the medical world recommends should be aborted, or a little three year old boy who lays in a hospital bed clinging to life, even though the medical doctor has declared him "dead". We believe that the Lord Jehovah, the Lord Jesus, that healed the sick, and raised Lazrus from the dead still lives and can do mighty works.

Please pray that we will find some physician in this country who will have the heart to give Joel a chance and care for his little body.

If you would like to express your concern about Joel's condition, the OU Medical Center's number is 405-271-5437.

The President and CEO of the hospital is Gerald J. Maier, and I am scheduled , Lord willing, to meet with him on Monday morning.

Please pray that the Lord Jehovah, the Father of Mercies, will preserve Joel through the difficult valley that he is experiencing right now.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

God can do the Impossible

Praise the Lord for letting us have our Joel for another night. Yesterday morning he was responding to some stimulus, but when the doctors came in my Dad did the same things that we did earlier and there was no response. He had a test done to determine the blood flow to the brain and there was none. Basically the doctors have pronouced him brain dead.

They wanted to remove the fluids, but once my Dad found out he opposed that. The doctor said that legally since he is brain dead they had to remove the fluids and that we would have to find someone else to take care of him. At that point we had a lawyer come and after a talk with him and the doctors they have decided to let him stay at least until Monday night. After that we will have to try to find another hospital to take care of him.

We believe that until his little heart stops beating he is still alive. The doctors can do nothing else but God can. We are praying that his will will be done.

Our hearts are devestated but we are trusting in God's plan. As I was holding him yesterday, looking at his sweet face I realize how precious he is to us. Please pray for my dad to have wisdom for the many decisions he has to make.

Posted by his sister Bethany

Friday, January 5, 2007

Beg God's Mercy for Joel

Praise the Lord, Joel has responded to stimulus this morning for the first time since his seizure. Please pray that he will continue to improve and that this will be just the beginning of the healing touch of Jesus.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Our Darkest Hour

We are in our darkest hour. Last night just after midnight, Joel had a seizure/stroke that has left him in a coma. He is not responding right now and he is breathing through a ventilator. He is in ICU.

With man the situation looks impossible. However, we know that God's Word states that with Him, all thing are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Please pray that Joel will begin to respond and that the Lord will restore his brain and raise him up from this valley of the shadow of death for His glory.

Urgent Prayer Needed for Joel

Pray for God's will to be accomplished in Joel's life. Joel went to the hospital Wednesday for his second round of chemo treatment. During the night Joel's condition declined rapidly (1:00 am seizures and then 3:00 am coma). A CAT scan has revealed bleeding in his brain. He is in ICU. The doctors are continuing to run tests. The next 24 hours are critical.The doctors have said there is nothing else they can do. Please pray that God will give peace and wisdom to the Morris family as they make decisions.

A song that has come to mind while praying for them:

Have faith in God, He is on His throne,
Have faith in God, He watches o'er His own,
He cannot fail, He must prevail,
Have faith in God, Have faith in God.

John Burnett updating for the Morris Family

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

"Thou art my hiding place"

Once again we made the trip to the clinic for Joel's blood counts. This time the counts were good. His platlets have come up, his white cells were good, and his hemoglobin was still hanging in there. All this means that they have set us up to check into the hospital (OU Medical Children's) tomorrow at 11:00 AM. We are making preparations for a stay of 2 or 3 days for this round of chemotherapy.

Joel is feeling so good, that he even came up to tell me, "Josiah is running". He has not felt that good in some time. We are grateful for the good days when he is eating and has a strong spirit. This will be a test of his endurance as he goes through chemo for the second time.

We read Psalm 32 tonight and meditated for a few minutes on verse 7. The verse reads, "Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah." May the Lord in his mercy bring this truth powerfully into our lives in this time of trouble. Here are some things that we would ask you to pray for:

*Joel's tumors to shrink

*His body and inner organs to be protected

*His appetite to stay strong

*That he will have no side effects from the chemo

*That the children at home with grandparents will be protected and calm

*That Joel will be protected during his next blood transfusion (possibly Thurs or Fri morn)

Thanks again to all of you that continue to support us in so many ways.....