Posts Tagged ‘family’

What an amazing day this was!

Learning To Fly

Welcome to our life party ūüôā

Thank you to everyone who came out and celebrated with us ‚Äď make sure to watch the videos, who knows.. you may see yourself

To others who want the full experience, hopefully this will help you get a feel for what our celebration was all about. I want to encourage you to watch every video in the order they are posted‚Ķ they build on each other to show our life and our journey through the great, through the trails‚Ķ Thank you for taking the time to share in our day even from your personal computer ‚̧

Those who don’t have the time to walk through this day with us, you can just view the pictures as you scroll down.

Life Party Getting Ready Set up, worship practice and getting ready for The Life Party to begin

Everyone Watching The Amazed Video (which is below) ‚Äď Sam and I‚Ķ

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This is our first Newsletter since the closing of The Lewis House.  Below is a link to the PDF version with live links for donations and contacts.

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Change is a part of the Christian walk.  Some change is sudden and some change comes slowly.  Last Friday our whole world changed but our hearts did not.  As The Lewis House website is no more I wanted to post this here.  The Lewis House is gone, a sudden death, and our lives have been turned upside down since this was recorded but our heart of ministry continues unchanged, building the Kingdom of God one relationship at a time…

 

 

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Detour Ahead!¬† How I have dreaded that sign. Fortunately with today’s smartphone and GPS technology it does not carry the same fear factor that it did when I was younger.¬† In fact today with a little bit of effort we are able to avoid detours altogether and if we do get stuck in one with a few simple screen touches we no longer have to rely on the often sparsely placed detour signs and can map out our new path to our destination.¬† However we have not managed a technology that will predict and map out alternative routes to our goals when we hit those life detours that take us away from path of life that we have planned.

1de·tour

noun¬†\ňądńď-ňĆtuŐár¬†also¬†di-ňątuŐár\

: the act of going or traveling to a place along a way that is different from the usual or planned way

: a road, highway, etc., that you travel on when the usual way of traveling cannot be used

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detour

I have been struggling with this topic for some time now.¬† I originally thought I would be talk about heavenly detours.¬† How God diverts our path for his purpose and we just have to kind of ride along.¬† That is certainly how I felt about this latest chapter in my life.¬† As I looked at the scene pictured about today (Wednesday October 2, 2013), I realized how different my life was just 9 months ago.¬† January 2nd Nisa Faith had just joined our family after a 10 year Odyssey of losses, tears and suffering.¬† Allana was feeling a little ill but we were certain a quick trip to the OB, some antibiotics and we would be good to go.¬† Ready to run that path that seemed to be so obviously stretched out ahead of us, a Spring and Summer of ministry at The Lewis House, working with Compelled, CityLight and our other partners to spread the Love of God.¬† What a difference 3 days can make.¬† 3 short days and I would be on perhaps the greatest detour of my life, or would I.¬† God has been really battering me on this subject, because I truly have felt like this was exactly that, a detour.¬† When in reality it is right on course but instead of my course, or Allana’s course or TLH’s course, it IS GOD’s course.¬† When we view these events in our lives as detours, we detract from God’s omniscient role as master planner of everything.¬† I want to step lightly here because I am not writing doctrine on God’s sovereignty nor am I suggesting that God gave this horrible disorder to Allana, or anyone else.¬† I think that perhaps my concept of our situation whether thought out or not was of God looking down and saying, ” Oh shoot!¬† Allana has Leukemia, well I guess I can use that for My Glory ’til we can get things back on course.”¬† There we go, just a heavenly detour and I am so tempted to detour here into writing the very doctrinal statement that I said was not my intent.¬† Thank God for the delete button.¬† However what I have found is that God does not take detours.¬† Allana and I are not on some end around that will eventually get us back on the path that God has for us.¬† We are on the path that he has carefully laid out for us.

Jeremiah 1:4-5

4 Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

No detours for God’s consecrated, God’s appointed, God’s anointed. ¬†There is a point in every Born Again Believer’s life that he or she makes a choice to change direction. ¬†However this is not a detour because not only the route changes, the destination changes. ¬†The Believer is no longer on a pathway to eternal separation from God, to hell, but has turned to a path leading to the mind of Christ. ¬†There is an intentional, continual seeking of God’s presence. ¬†It harks more the etymological root of the word than our current usage.

French¬†d√©tour,¬†from Old French¬†destor,¬†from¬†destorner¬†to divert, from¬†des-¬†de- +¬†torner¬†to turn ‚ÄĒ

First Known Use: 1738
To turn from, this is the very heart of repentance and salvation. ¬†There is one major difference when we submit ourselves to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ there is not just a temporary course change. ¬†There is a change of destination, and I don’t just mean heaven. ¬†Every man has in his mind a course and destination. ¬†What the destination will be is determined by our core values. ¬†Some pursue riches. ¬†Some pursue power. ¬†Some pursue pure evil. ¬†Some pursue the greatest good. ¬†Honestly some pursue nothing at all, seeking to have no destination at all but simply seeing life as riding out each circumstance to the best of their ability only to find that this is in itself pursuing a course to a destination. ¬†When one comes into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ all of ¬†that changes. ¬†“And we know that in all things God works for the good¬†of those who love him,¬†who¬†have been called¬†according to his purpose.” ¬†Romans 8:28 ¬†Suddenly we are on a new course. ¬†It is not one of our own creation but one that God set into motion before the world was created. ¬†This is the confusion. ¬†We conceive of where God has us headed and when things don’t turn out we see it as a detour. ¬†This brings frustration just the same way that an unexpected detour on the road unsettles us. ¬†However when we give God the glory he is do, this evaporates. ¬†“In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.” Psalms 16:9 ¬†It is the assumption that God has it all under control that allows to continually apply His word to our situation. “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” ¬† Psalm 119:59. ¬†It is in this place that God affirms us even in the midst of the storm.

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Continued record of selected entries from Allana’s CaringBridge Guestbook.¬† I have redacted most names though you can go to CaringBridge and see them.¬† I have started to add a few notes to some.¬† If you want to see the GuestBook entries in their entirety go to¬† Allana’s Page

Dear Allena .I have been reading about you in Believers.I have been praying for you and your family and will continue to do so .

Jesus is the same today as He was when He walked the earth in the flesh ,and He still perfoms miracles .I pray Jesus will give you and your family ,courage and strenght as you go through this ordeal .May He comfort you ,as He puts His arms around you .He loves you dearly ,you are His child .He will never leave you nor forsake you .

Much love to you and your family .

Entries like these are especially precious.  Believers is a FB group based in Massachusetts.  Brothers and Sisters all over who have never met us but learned about Allana through FB groups, churches, friends or who knows where have been praying!

Good morning. It is a wet raining one here today. I will take it and enjoy as I do every day.

I hope you feel my love for you in your presence. Please, keep fighting like a girl and kick that illness out the door. I am proud of you and your strength and determination.

Love you cuz. xoxo

My name is                     and I attended bible study with                      through a mutual friend several years ago.
I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1987 while 32 weeks pregnant. ¬†I delivered 4 weeks later to a 6# 14 oz baby girl…completely healthy. ¬†I started radiation immediately, this was April 1987. ¬†In Feb 1988, it came back with a vengeance. ¬†Started chemo. ¬†Finished in Oct 1988 and have been in remission since.
I said all of that to say, I understand….
I would like to offer ANY help you may need to stay peaceful and in this fight. ¬†I have my own cleaning company and would be happy to go to your home periodically free of charge. ¬†I also love to cook and adhere to the “cook once eat twice” philosophy so I have some foods ready to eat now in the freezer. ¬†They are not gourmet or anything but I would like your permission to drop them at your home.
Please know that this offer is from God….He wants me to do it. ¬†Even as I am typing now I know He is in control of ALL!
I am praying for strength and healing for you Allana. ¬†I also pray for you to have hope and stay positive. ¬†Sometimes it will be all you can do but NEVER let the devil defeat you by feeling hopeless…if God is for us then who can stop us?
Heal quickly sister and please feel free to connect with me on facebook at                 or by calling                 .
God bless u and your family.

Was thinking of all these prayers going up to the Throne on your family’s behalf…and then got stopped thinking about our amazing Lord, who is the Great High Priest, constantly interceding on our behalf. Peace and grace. Thank you for always keeping it real and letting us walk along side you in this fight.

Blessings today! Strength for the big and little things that make up the hospital routine.  xoxo

Greta F

I left Greta’s name there because she is an amazing member of¬† The Bridge Metrowest Church where my brother Paul is pastor.¬† She created the CaringBridge site for us and in spite of my brain deadness!

Sam and Allana,

I am choosing life for Allana as I know you are also. I am praying for complete healing and a good report from the drs. I am praying for strength for each moment, God, our Father does know what He is doing, even when it seems so heart wrenching to us. I love you all. Allana and Sam, choose joy, choose life. I¬† love Allana’s ¬†beautiful smile.

My husband, Darren and I, went to Houghton with Sam’s sister, Lisa and I just wanted to write a quick note to let you know that we are praying for you here in Landenberg, PA.¬† You must feel like you¬† are getting a crash course in something you never wanted to know about and we are praying for God’s grace,mercy and healing for all of your family!

Love you my friend, you are very important to me. Your fight is Gods fight keep strong and remember > Jesus looked at them and said, ‚ÄúWith man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.‚ÄĚ -Matthew 19:26

Lord, please give Allana your grace, strength and mercy to be able to endure this pain. I pray that these procedures will go smoothly. Most of all I ask for your complete healing. In Jesus name. Amen.

This wonderful lady has an amazing story of her own and has just adopted our family in prayer!

Hi, we are missionaries in Africa, we pray for you.

For all the ills that technology seems to bring it also has united the people of God in ways never before imagined.

Our family of 7 is praying for your family of 7. When you don’t have the strength for one more minute, we will pray that God continues to supply it, one minute at a time.

Families praying for families!  Amen

Allana I read your post on Laura’s FB page. I’m a friend of hers from Childhood at Bethesda Church. I was diagnoised with AML Aug 18 2009. I was told I had TEN days to live.. I flew from our home in Hawaii to Seattle to Fred Hutchinson. They pioneered the Stem cell Transplant over 30 yrs ago. I went thru treatment and received a Stem Cell transplant Dec 21,2009. I blogged daily on carepages. Go to carepages.com
Search

Like you I have a 18,15,9 yrs old children
Married 23 yrs
Was fine then bam out if the blue!!
Here’s the deal
“GOD WANTS YOU WELL”
700 club aired my miraculous healing look it up on YouTube just type in my name

This is I’m not gonna lie not easy but its doable. You got lots of reasons to live.
Keep that attitude. Keep declaring Gods healing promises over your body.
If you private message me I want to mail you a booklet of Every healing promise in the Bible. I declared that daily thru all 22 blood transfusion
All 9 bone marrow biopsies
All the chemo
I’m healed Whole living and well.
God bless you.
I’ll send you my cell if you like with questions you may have just message me. You have my email on your guest book I also gave it to¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† .
Be In Health
In Christ Name

Love the many testimonies we have heard of cancer, leukemia and other physical issues.
I’ve been thinking about you all night tonight, praying and thinking, praying and crying. Calling out to God to heal you to have you continue to do HIS work that you do so well. I pray for His will to be done. I pray that His will is to heal you, strengthen you to continue to run the Lewis House. You all have done amazing things with the kids there and all others¬†important¬†things your family does for the schools and the community. I don’t believe God is done with you yet. You still have so much life and love to give. You are such a giver ¬†An amazing woman of God. I love you more than you will ever know Allana…nothing will ever lessen the love i have for my very dear friend that i’ve had for many many years,

As I do every morning. . . woke up praying for you all. . . actually woke up through the night praying for you.  As this chemo flows we are praying that the presence and power of the Holy Spirit flows in continuous and increasing measure. Praying that you will find a safe and peaceful refuge in His arms.  I ran across this old Scott Wesley Brown song yesterday. . .

“If He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders, I know my Sister (Brother, Nieces, Nephews) ¬†that He will carry you. . . ”

 You are loved! You are loved! You are loved! You are LOVED!!!
Dear, sweet Allana, you have been on my heart and in my prayers as you fight this fight against leukemia. ¬†I thank God that your fight is not alone but that you have an army of spiritual warriors that have gone into battle with you and for you! ¬†I pray for God’s peace and strength for you and your family during this difficult time. ¬†Much love to you my friend!!
Praying for you!! ¬† I am so sorry you have to walk this!! ¬†Wish this bitter cup could be removed from your lips… Allow yourself to feel the full spectrum of emotions as you walk this out! ¬†CANCER AND ITS TREATMENT SUCKS!! ¬† JESUS in the garden prayed 3 times for the bitter cup to be removed… He was afraid and not looking forward to the next part of His journey.. The opposite of faith is not fear its unbelief….I know you have great faith and love Him, but please allow yourself to be human and feel all the emotions …. I pray He surrounds you with safe people that allow you to have your garden moments… Love, Like and respect you…! ¬†Kerri
Kerri is a nurse, member of¬† Compelled Church and has been a tremendous blessing to Allana (and her husband ain’t such a bad guy either)

Allana and Sam,

We are lifting you and the kids up each moment of the day. There isn’t an hour that goes by that you are not fervently held up in prayer. We pray for strength, rest, peace, Christian nurses and doctors to bring healing and aid, courage and health. May God cradle you all in His arms today and give you rest. May your battle widen His kingdom as those whose lives you are touching physically and virtually experience your faith and grow their own. We love you.
This was a prayer that was answered!  We were so blessed to have so much of the medical staff not only treating us with the science of men but praying for us too!

Allana you don’t know me. I heard about you through a friend, Rae, on FB. What an amazing story you have and you are reaching out to so many people. I pray for you every day, and love the way you let The Lord lead and guide you. I love your testimony and I know God is going to bless you……..He already has. Be brave and lean on His everlasting arms!

Coppell, Texas
A Christian friend

Thank you Jesus for providing Your nurse to pray over that first bag, so overwhelmed by Your goodness in all of this.

Hey Little Girl, your babies at home have worked like champs at cleaning this morning and I got the floors cleaned – thank you mr hoover. We love you but of course you know that. Fight the good fight! Your kids and I and your brother are all cheering you on. YOU CAN DO IT! With God’s strength and love – of course.

Love you bunches,
Mom
Susan B

Grammy Sue has been such a blessing to us! 
The “ugly cry” ensued when I read that your precious nurse prayed over your first bag of chemo…God bless that woman! I continue to pray without ceasing Allana! God is good all the time!
Kathy has her own prayer need going on.  Her husband is currently hospitalized with blood clots.  Pray with us that these clots will resolve with no damage to his body!

Allana and Sam,

Praying for you guys continually..You are on my heart and mind constantly. Praying for comfort,peace,hope, and that you feel God’s constant presence. You guys are such and inspiration to me and many others. We love you so much:)
We sang “We still believe on Sunday” ¬†Every time we sing that song I remember that awesome worship retreat we went on together:) I also remember calling you Allana Banana..Thank you for not hitting me for doing that..:)) I am believing with you guys..
Yep Allana is pronounced like banana (just in case you have been saying it wrong…though I am pretty sure God can figure it out if you have ūüôā
Psalm 20:1-9May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings. Selah
May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

I love this Psalm.¬† We sang it at a Happy T Ranch summer camp back in …well nevermind but we sang the last few verses as a worship song.

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I thought that I would post some of the encouraging comments from Allana’s Caringbridge site.¬† I obviously could not post them all (the web page has had almost 13,000 hits!).¬† We are thankful to every person who has expressed support in so many different ways!

The Beginning

Allana, I believe God has something very, very special planned for you, he must have because look at all the tests he has and continues to place in your path and the path of your family.You are an inspiration to all of us, your strength and faith are amazing. I can only hope that one day I will have half the strength and faith you have.Since you have came into my life and I have watched and read your posts, notes etc. I can honestly say I have more faith in God than ever before.
Your sweet Nisa Faith is such a beautiful little girl, what a joy she must bring into you and Sam’s life. If God can make such a precious gift possible, surely he can help you beat this fight against leukemia.Keep up the fight girl, you can do anything with His help.
You and your family are in my prayers daily and in my thoughts often. Love to you and yours.

 

Sam, Allana, Emily, Robert, Sami, Chayla, Nisa,
We love you all and praying constantly for each of you.
I woke up this morning and literally the very first words that came to mind were:
¬†“Let faith arise! Let faith arise! Open my eyes! Open my eyes! Be still there is a healer. His love is deeper than the sea. His mercy is unfailing. His arms a fortress for the weak.” (Chris Tomlin)
I’m singing and praying this over you today.
What a beautiful and God glorifying entry. My husband heard the word, Leukemia 13 years ago after our first son was born. We know all too well the horrible haze of cancer but have also experienced tremendous grace in the midst of it. In this haze and fog, you will emerge fully aware and completely overwhelmed by the capable hands of God that have been carrying you thru. We will be lifting your family before the mercy seat of God and claim healing in Jesus’ name. God bless you and always hold on to the One who is holding you.
A few years ago, G and I were searching through the Bible looking for a verse to share on a school friend’s caringbridge site. Like you, he had been diagnosed with leukemia. We stumbled on this verse in Psalms from the Message Bible. Since then this verse has found its way to several more caringbridge sites as we have seen friends walk these unexpected journeys in life. And I cannot think of a better word for you today!

God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks. Psalm 36:5-6

You know, I said stumbled upon this verse and yet I know with God, there is no such thing as stumbling. What an amazing God that in all that he is, nothing slips through the cracks. Today his love for you  lights up the sky like the brightest meteor and he holds you tenderly in the palm of his hand.

We love you and are praying for you!

You all are in my prayers as you walk through trying to wrap your heads around the reality of this.

I am praying for wisdom for your treatment team, and supernatural strength for the fight.

I have a friend that has survived AML; she is now going on 11-12 years ago this year that she received her life-saving bone marrow transplant.   She, too had a young baby at the time of her diagnosis.  It was touch and go for her for many months.

Keep immersing yourselves in Scripture, and allow your brother and ssisters in the Lord to hold up your weary hands in the battle.

To actually see the word, “dying” makes this so startlingly clear of the harsh reality of the situation for Allana and her family. It makes my heart physically ache. I am praying so hard! Stay as strong as God will help you to be. Stay positive….and I can see you guys are so strong in your faith and I can tell you guys are seeing the silver lining, even in this. Love you, Allana. I want so badly to be there to hold your hand, to hug your family…but I’m going to continue to pray with all my might, because where I.cannot do, I’ll always pray.

 

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This is¬† a study that I first wrote before Nisa’s birth and before the present trial that God has placed in our path.¬† More than ever the depth of God’s love for His people as illustrated by Hosea’s call and response to that call inspires my heart and lets me rest in the knowledge of His Grace.

“When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry ; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD.”¬† So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.”¬† Hosea 1:2-3

Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.”¬† Hosea 3:1

Hosea is first and foremost a love story.  It is a live action representation of the redemptive love story called The Bible.  When I first read this amazing story I glossed over these two passages.  I did not really conceive of what God was asking of Hosea.

It is in chapter three that the reality of Hosea’s call becomes clear. Suddenly all of the technical sniping about the legal ramifications and the arguments over interpretation seem shallow.¬† Hosea was called by God to create in life a wonderful picture of His love for us, the love that culminated on a cross outside of Jerusalem and was fulfilled by an empty tomb!¬† It is a love that is sacrificial, one that accepts rejection and seeks redemption.¬† It is love that forgives offense and pursues atonement but it is a love that recognizes the requirements of holiness and demands a response.¬† It is a love that understands that in the absence of that response destruction comes.

“Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.¬† You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, You have eaten the fruit of lies.¬† Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors”¬† Hosea 10:12-13

In this case I like the NIV’s translation of CHECED (rendered kindness by the NAS), “unfailing love”.¬† I think this considers well the overall theme of Hosea.

“Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love…”

This foreshadows Jesus’ response to the Pharisees in Matthew 22 when asked what the greatest commandment was.¬† “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind soul…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.¬† On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”


The formula is simple: Righteous living = Love.  God called Hosea to graphically demonstrate this love, the love of Righteousness.  He also calls us to love the un-lovable and shows us that this can be done without sacrificing righteousness.  Hosea never accepted and/or condoned her sin but he went and loved her, went and redeemed her where she was at.  In just the same way Christ came to our sorry estate and loved us, redeemed us.  Now he waits for our response.  Just as Hosea required a response from Gomer,

Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days.¬† You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.”¬† Hosea 3:3

Here the story of Hosea ends and the application to Israel begins.

“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them.¬† For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteousness will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them.”¬† Hosea 14:9

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