A personal account:

God made us to be worshippers. That was the purpose of God in bringing us into the world.’- A.W. Towzer

A decade is a long time, and lot of important things can happen in that period. For this married mother of five, the last ten years have held such things as: 49 children’s birthday parties, 9 wedding anniversaries, 3 first days of school and 3 kindergarten graduations, 2 8th grade graduations, numerous school plays, 3 all- state choir concerts, 4 mother-daughter birthday trips, band concerts, award ceremonies, baseball games, basketball games, cheerleading competitions, blossoming artists, 4 baptisms, 9 summers, 9 Christmases, 8 thanksgivings, driving lessons and driving tests, visits to college campuses, scholarship celebrations, 2 moves across state lines, building a house, selling two houses and buying a third, 9 new nieces and nephews, one sister in law, church planting, seeing my children growing into role models - leaders - and world changers, watching my husband graduate with a bachelors and then a masters in biblical studies, a return to the classroom as a teacher, reaching the age of close friendship with my children, being passed in height by my only son, the joy of being there to comfort my children through tough times and broken hearts, and 9 birthdays of my own.

‘The Christian life itself is a miracle, and every phase of it ought to bear the mark of the supernatural’- Vance Havner

The extensive list of blessings mentioned above have been a true gift to me. A gift that I do not look back on lightly or with a short memory. I am wholly aware that they might not have been. If I have learned anything in my 39 years, it is to say thank you for the gifts I have been given. For the last ten years, I have made a point to remember and appreciate the gift of life. For this tenth year, I feel that the thank You should be so much more. God spared my life. He was completely within His rights not to do so, but He did. Some have heard my story and are shocked at the gravity of the situation, but I have come to see the fact that God saw fit to use me and my family to draw attention to His name, His power, grace, and mercy as an honor and privilege.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice.3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.’ Psalm 34:1-3 NASB

October 26th, 2008, Sarah Michal Panter was born, measuring 20” and weighing 9 lbs. She was our youngest of five, beautiful, healthy babies. Her delivery was as smooth as could be, and we were home within 36 hours of her birth.

God does nothing in time which He did not design to do from eternity’.- William Joy

***The following are posts from a blog my aunt started on October 29th, 2008 in an effort to mainstream communication and lighten the load for my husband, Luke. These are not all the posts, just highlights of the numerous daily posts and comments attached throughout the ordeal.

Pray for Emily--First Post October 29th (24 hours after the incident.)

This leg of Emily's journey began Sunday when she gave birth to a precious baby girl, Sarah Michal, her 5th child. Emily is the wife of Luke Panter, the pastor of Bridgeview Baptist Church in Quinlan, TX. Emily is also the daughter of Mike & Janis Dietz who live in Albuquerque, NM.

Janis flew to be with Emily after Sarah was born. Late Tuesday afternoon, Janis had prepared dinner for the other 4 children while Emily went to her bedroom to feed Sarah. Janis went to see if Emily wanted something to eat and when she got to Emily's room, she found Emily unconscious in her bed. When Emily came to, she was in extreme pain and they called 911. When the ambulance came, the attendants worked on Emily for 30 minutes to stabilize her so they could get her to the hospital in Greenville. When she got there, they did exploratory surgery to find the source of her pain (thinking maybe her appendix had ruptured) and instead they discovered her body was full of blood. She had already been given 7 units of blood by this time. Greenville knew they couldn't handle her problem, so they airlifted her to Baylor Medical in Dallas.

Upon arrival at Baylor, Emily did code but was resuscitated and 4 surgeons (some of the best in the field) and 10 nurses worked as hard as they could to keep Emily alive. They discovered the right iliac artery had ruptured. They had to graft and repair the artery. The iliac arteries are at the lower end of the aorta where it branches off right and left to carry blood to the legs, but they are in the abdomen. Because she had "coded" they were concerned because her organs were without oxygen for that time. They weren't able to close Emily's wound because her blood wasn't clotting---so they packed the wound and left it open. During this time, they gave Emily blood---the equivalent of 3 times what a body needs.

Emily has been in a drug-induced coma and the doctors were expecting her to be in a coma for about a week because of all of the trauma to her body. But this morning, Janis, her mom, and Kim, her sister-in-law, went in to see her and Emily awakened and didn't understand what was going on and was frustrated because of being on a ventilator. Her blood has started coagulating, which is good...her temperature has risen, which is good...but she still has a small bleed--or seepage because her blood wasn't coagulating properly.

Emily is still in very critical need. Her children are all ok and being taken care of by Luke's mom. So...here are the things to pray for:

*Pray for peace for Emily

*Pray that the doctors will discover the location of this small bleed so they can repair it

*Pray that her blood will continue to coagulate

*Pray that all of her organs will work properly

*Pray that her temperature and blood pressure will be stable

*Pray that God will heal her completely

*Pray for the surgery Emily still faces to fix the small bleed and to close her wound

*Pray for Luke---for peace and comfort

*Pray for her children---they saw the trauma with their mom and the ambulance coming

*Pray for Luke's mom as she takes care of the children

*PRAISE GOD for how He had the best doctors available, for the timing of getting her to the hospital, for the air ambulance, for the available blood (and blood donors)!! We have so much to be thankful for.

We will be updating periodically---so keep checking back! Thank you for praying. We'd love for you to contact your prayer ministry and add Emily to your prayer list. She's still very critical.

8 “Remember this, and be assured;

Recall it to mind, you transgressors.

9 “Remember the former things long past,

For I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and there is no one like Me,

10 Declaring the end from the beginning,

And from ancient times things which have not been done,

Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,

And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;

11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,

The man of My purpose from a far country.

Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.

I have planned it, surely I will do it.

Isaiah 46:8-11 NASB

        One of the beauties of childbirth, is that as soon is the pain is over, you genuinely do forget it. I mean, you remember that it was bad, but you can’t actually remember the pain. October 28th was promising to be a sweet day of rest and bonding with my newest baby girl. My oldest two were off to school, My youngest two were at Bible study with friends, Luke was away at his classes and I had the whole day to myself to spend with Sarah. I slept as she slept, and thoroughly enjoyed feeding and cuddling with her as she ate. That afternoon, my mom was flying in to spend a week with me. This was a luxury I had not been afforded before. I was very excited. The best part was that everyone would be getting home at about the same time. It promised to be a fun afternoon. I was uncomfortable, but no more than I remembered being with prior post delivery healing.

Luke got home and I visited with him and my mom for a few minutes. Mom went into the living room to begin preparing dinner for the kids, and I asked Luke to run to walmart for a hot water bottle to help me with my discomfort. My windows were open to the nice October breeze and just as I saw Luke walk past my window toward the car I felt a massive rush of cold pain and I felt myself draining. I instantly knew something was majorly wrong. I tried to call out to Luke, but could not get any sound out. I attempted to call my doctor on my cell phone, but only managed to type in a few numbers before losing consciousness. I do not know how much time elapsed before my mom came into the room to see if I wanted anything to eat. She realized something was wrong and took Sarah from me as she tried to get me to respond. I could hear everything she was saying, but for some reason I could not summon the strength or breath to speak. All I managed to do was to say ‘doctor.’ She called 911 and proceeded to pray over me until the paramedics arrived.  

When they arrived, they moved my body into a better position so they could begin work on me. This caused intense pain that resulted in an uncontrollable scream from me. I could hear them, but I could see nothing. I could not breath and I was freezing cold. I complained to them that I could not see or breathe as they tried desperately and fruitlessly to find a vein to begin an I.V.

After several minutes of trying, they finally decided to break protocol and to begin transportation to the E.R. They continued to work on finding a vein the whole way to the the hospital, a 15-20 minute drive. I did eventually black out again before waking up in the E.R. under a heating blanket. I could finally see and breath again. Because I had just had Sarah two days earlier, and they had not yet filed away my records, they had blood ready and waiting for me upon my arrival. This made all the difference for me in my ability to see and hear. I became fully aware again for the next 20-30 minutes as they tried to ascertain what the source of the problem was. They were at a loss and only knew that I was losing blood from somewhere.  

They finally decided to perform exploratory surgery to find the problem. I was wheeled into the O.R. and as they moved me from the gurnie to the operating table the shooting, intolerable pain caused me to scream once again. I was put under and would not have a coherent memory again until 20 days later.

A Time for Everything

3 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—

2 A time to give birth and a time to die;

A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

3 A time to kill and a time to heal;

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance.

5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;

A time to be silent and a time to speak.

8 A time to love and a time to hate;

A time for war and a time for peace.

9 What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? 10 I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. 11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; 13 moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 (NASB)

‘A miracle is by definition beyond the ability of science to explain and must therefore be beyond the ability of science to disprove’- John Blanchard

‘A miracle is God doing what only God can do’- Ronald Dunn

October 30th

  1. Out of Surgery!

Jeff & Janis just called and said that Emily is out of surgery. The good news is that after cleaning her out, there was no seepage of blood. They said it was blood left over from the aneurysm of the aorta that ruptured and it was following the center of gravity and running to the surgical opening. They also hope to have her off of the ventilator by this afternoon.

Here are the prayer concerns:

*That her kidneys will come back to full function. It's normal for kidneys to be sluggish after all Emily has been through, but they're needing them to kick back in now. There's the possibility of dialysis if they don't kick back in on their own.

*Because Emily "coded," they're unsure if there's been any neurological damage. So pray that as Emily comes off of the sedation that she has full brain function. The doctor told them not to be overly excited that she recognized them earlier. She'll have to be assessed.

The family is cautiously optimistic. But we have a long ways to go!!

God has already answered our prayers about the blood seepage. Thank You, God!! Let's agree in asking Him for full kidney function and for full brain function.

Father,

We want our Emily back whole. Would You massage her kidneys and cause them to work properly? And would you just minister to her body, mind and spirit as she's waking up? Heal her, Father. Please heal her completely. Thank You for all You've done. Thank you for the forward motion in each step Emily is taking. We love you, Daddy! In Jesus' name, Amen.

          2.  Thursday Evening

They were not able to take Emily off of the ventilator today. The pulmonologist saw a little fluid in her lungs and wanted to leave the vent on to help her through the night. They will try to take it off tomorrow. There's still concern about her kidneys. Please pray that they start functioning on their own!

I'm trying to get a photo of Sarah so we can all see her! Kim says she looks nothing like the other kids as a baby. She weighed in at 9 lbs. and has little chubby rolls! I can't wait to see this precious bundle of sweetness!! Pictures, anyone???

Luke was surrounded by his extended family today. I heard there was even a buffet set up in the waiting room for everyone to eat. Isn't family awesome? I'm so thankful for Luke's family and how they're loving on him and supporting him through this hard time. We love you, Luke!!! Hang in there! We're sending our love your way.

I just have to share one little amazing thing that happened this morning. My cell phone rang...loudly. It was Janis giving me the information about Emily's upcoming surgery. Why is that amazing? My cell phone was set on "vibrate." If it had vibrated, I would never have known she called---I was in the bathroom getting dressed for the day. The next call that came in from my daughter.....vibrated! God is awesome! I think He wanted His people praying early.

        3.  First Response EMT's Story

Janis wanted to make sure we knew this story. Today, the EMT who was first on the scene at the house when Emily's aorta ruptured, came by. Barbara, Luke's mom, answered the door and the EMT said, "I just came by to see how Mrs. Panter is doing." Barbara told him that Emily had just come through her 2nd surgery successfully. He was dumbfounded! He said that he'd been doing this for 33 years and it was the worst case he'd ever seen. He came by expecting to find that the worst had happened. He said that he'd never seen someone in as bad a shock and as cold as Emily was. Then he told Barbara that it was a miracle that she'd had her baby just 2 days before at the Greenville hospital. Because she'd had her baby there, they were able to pull her records, know her blood type, and have the blood she needed ready and waiting! He left shaking his head. He was amazed that Emily was still alive and doing well.

Isn't God wonderful?

Psalm 64:9-10 (Amplified)

"And all men shall [reverently] fear and be in awe; and they will declare the work of God, for they will wisely consider and acknowledge that it is His doing. The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall be glad in the Lord and shall trust and take refuge in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory and offer praise."

     4. You Have Blessed Our Family

We're in awe of how far-reaching the prayer for Emily has spread.  You may notice that we have a "counter" at the bottom of the page to see how many people come by this blog.  As of 10:30 on Thursday evening, 1367 people have come by just today!  This counter also tells us where you are from and gives us a world map, marking the place where you live.  We don't know your names, of course, unless you leave a message.  But it's so encouraging to see the map filled up across the United States and into many foreign countries.  We'd love for you to leave a message, a prayer, or a scripture when you come by.  Or just leave your name and where you live, so that when Emily is well, she can be amazed at how many people dropped by to pray for her!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  You have no idea (unless you've walked in these shoes!) how encouraging that is.  We'd love for you to add Emily to your prayer group's list....and let us know that you have.  We are grateful for your agreement in prayer for Emily's healing.  Don't forget to pray for Luke, her husband, and for their 5 children.

Again....thank you.  You have blessed our family.

     5.  Dialysis Tonight

Janis called and told me that they would begin dialysis on Emily tonight at 6:30. It will probably last about 4 hours. Please be praying that it will take the stress off of Emily's body and give her kidneys the resolve to begin functioning on their own.

Emily's cousin, David, had the idea of setting up an online account to give to Luke & Emily to help meet their needs during this time. To your right you will see a "Donate" button. If you feel led to give to them, every dime will go directly to Luke & Emily to help with all their financial needs through this difficult experience. I thought it was a great idea and so proud of David for thinking of a way to help them. It's very easy to use---and I know it will ease that pressure Luke must feel.

If we have to wait, it's so nice waiting with you. I know Emily is going to be so blessed....so blown away by this outpouring of love on her behalf. In fact, it will just embarrass her! She's not used to being the center of attention. But God uses people like Emily to bring the most glory to Himself, doesn't He? Humble people. People willing to submit to Him and be in the background.

So thank you. Thank you for waiting with us and praying for Emily and her family. We're blessed.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just Talked to Luke...

I just talked to Luke and didn't find out much new news about Emily, but I heard Luke's heart.  First let me tell you that Luke said Emily is warmer to the touch today which is good news.  They're waiting on the lung and kidney doctors to come in and give a report on how the dialysis helped her body last night.  Their plan is to start feeding her nutrients via I.V. today which should also help her kidneys, but will probably cause more swelling.  Let's agree for God's order to come into Emily's body.

Luke said the kids were doing great!  Hannah was the one most impacted by the trauma of the first day.  But by the 3rd day, Luke came home and told her that 'mom is doing good.'  She said, "I know Dad, I was praying!"  She's going to be a little spiritual warrior!

Thank you to everyone who has made a donation.  You are awesome!!!  It's going to help Luke so much with all the expenses that are being incurred right now.  He told me that he was truly humbled that people cared and were willing to help out.

I told you earlier that we had set up a "stat counter" that tells how many people come by, where they're from, etc.  As I was looking at it today, the thing that overwhelmed me is that people all over the world are praying for Emily.  That's amazing in itself---the power of technology to reach all those people.  But the thought God put in my heart is this:  Emily is being covered in prayer 24 hours a day!  Because of the time difference, she's covered around the clock.  Is that not incredible?

Now about Luke....

Luke said one of the most meaningful conversations he had was with a seminary professor of his---and most of it came in the form of a prayer.  This professor (Luke is in Criswell Seminary for those who don't know) told Luke, "Usually when maturing Christians are faced with a crisis, we begin looking for purpose, for God's will---a means to an end.  What does it all mean?  But, Luke, when we can't understand God's wisdom, let us trust His heart."  This made a profound impact on Luke.  He said it was a simple truth that God cares.  God loves us.  His mind went to Emily---how did she make it out of the living room alive?  How did she make it to the hospital alive?  How did she make it from one hospital to the next alive?  How did she come out of the O.R. alive?  And this is what he said that spoke to my heart, "It is an amazing display of God's love."

Kendra Beene (Hannah’s teacher) said...

I agree that Hannah is a spiritual warrior! I'm Hannah's teacher, Kendra Beene, and I was surprised, but glad to see her in class yesterday. After I gave her a hug, she began to tell me about the events of Tues. night. We were both very close to tears so I starting talking about the cool helicopter ride that her mom got to take. That began her laughing, but her next words were that everybody was praying for her mom and I assured her that I, along with many at Boles and extended friends and church families were praying. Also, one of our spelling words was pray and the kids had to make sentences with their words. Many of them said they will pray for Hannah's mom. That is something for second graders.

I praise God for the healing that HE has done so far in Emily's life and look forward to "conferencing" with her when she is well. Thank you for this blog where we can keep updated. I wanted to call so bad, but didn't want to disturb anyone, to find out about Emily and how Hannah was. Please know that our prayers are with all of you and if there is EVER a need for rides to school or home or whatever, please call. It sounds like family and church family are really taking care of things, but when they get worn out, please call on your school family. We will help!

Love in Christ,

Kendra Beene

Boles Elementary

        I truly believe that waiting is one of the hardest things God asks us to do. It is the unknown of the experience. During the 20 days I was not fully conscious. I had horribly vivid dreams. It was as if I was being forced to watch a horrible movie. I wanted to walk out of it but couldn’t, so I distinctly remember thinking how I was going to tell Luke all about this horrible dream as soon as I woke up in the morning. There were pauses in this dream where I was aware of Luke coming to me and caressing my face. He was asking me if I knew who he was and who I was.  In my mind, I was answering him that of course I did, and why was he asking such silly questions, and why wouldn’t he listen to me tell him about my dreams. I just knew that if I could tell him my dreams I would finally wake up from it.  It was a long and horrible dream, but I was wholly unaware of the true amount of time that had lapsed.

My first clear memory was waking to the television by my bed. The news was on. I was confused because the news kept referring to ‘president elect Barack Obama.’ I wondered why they were not talking about John McCain anymore. The elections where only days away. My mom came into the room and I remember the look of relief on her face. She remarked about how alert I looked. I tried communicating with her to ask her where the baby was. I remembered going to the hospital and that I was headed to exploratory surgery. I was convinced that it had only been a few hours. I had convinced myself that Sarah had a twin they had missed, and I wanted to know where she was. My mom thought I had forgotten about Sarah. My ability to communicate was highly impaired by the trachea, and although I had paper to write on, I was so drugged I could not write legibly.  

Once I realized what had happened, and how much time had passed, I was terribly sad. I was grateful to be alive, but I had put my family through so much pain. My babies had not seen me in weeks. I truly struggled with this.

(Picture of Sarah, taken within hours of the aneurism.)

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways

And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB

1 The Lord is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

3 He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.-

Psalm 23 NASB

 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Add to the List

If your church, small group, prayer chain or friends are praying for Emily, would you add the church's name/your name and city to the list on the comments? We'd love for Emily to see how wide-spread the prayers have been for her!

And thank you for praying. We know God has heard and is answering.

  1. First Baptist Church---Borger, TX
  2. New Grace Church---Fleming Island, FL
  3. First United Methodist--Garland, TX
  4. Crosspoint Fellowship-Greenville
  5. FUMC Carrollton, TX
  6. Prayer Warriors in Beauregard & Vernon Parishes, Louisiana
  7. Bethlehem Mission, Nacogdoches, TX
  8. First Baptist Church -- Pampa, Tx
  9. New Hope Christian - Wylie, TX
  10. Paradise Hills Southern Baptist - San Diego, CA
  11. First Baptist Church---Dalhart, TX
  12. Bridgeview Baptist Church---quinlan, Tx.
  13. Milestone Church, Keller, TX.
  14. United Renovations, Carrollton, TX.
  15. The Joy SS class at FBC Henderson (Janis' old class) is praying today and every day. Pam Wilhite, Tami Boatwright, Betty Harrell, Becky Tanner, Kay Vernor. Pam says that her internet is not working, so she has not gotten emails. Please let us know if we need to give blood donations to replace what she needs.
  16. Monument Hill Bible Study Fellowship Group, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  17. The Gathering, Colorado Springs, CO
  18. First Baptist Church--Mabank, TX &
  19. Boe's Cafe - a local email service for people who grew up in and around Mabank or knows someone who did! They both have far reaching followers and have been in prayer since day one. Much Love to you all, Wayland & Sandra (Cousins)
  20. First Baptist Church-Dalhart, Texas
  21. Everyone on our prayer list was sent a prayer request and this blog address. That means you have people from all over the U.S. and it also went out to all the missionaries in Western Europe. So I don't know what churches exactly, but quite a few. I also know FBC Sweetwater, TX is praying.
  22. Dutch Conditt Prayer List
  23. Living Water Prayer List, Borger, TX
  24. Uncle Andy, Aunt Sherry, Jace, Adriane and Ben ---Richmond, VA
  25. Brookside Church - Omaha, NE
  26. Friends in China are praying.
  27. Bow Valley Baptist Church, Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
  28. Ninth and O Baptist Church,Louisville, KY
  29. Primera Iglesia Bautista-Taylor,TX
  30. Highland Baptist Church, Waco, TX
  31. The Gilberts in Corpus Christi, TX
  32. Misty & Anthony Watt; Kayla Watson; First Baptist Church---Idalou, TX
  33. Love and continued prayers to Luke, Emily, Hannah, Noah, Abigail, Lily and Sarah from your Community Bible Study friends.
  34. Harris' Chapel Baptist Church, Wake Forest, NC
  35. First Baptist Church - Rockwall, TX
  36. Fifth Avenue Baptist Church---Rome, GA
  37. Second Baptist Church - Levelland TX
  38. Emily is on the list at Bethel Church in Hiram, GA
  39. Knobbs Springs Baptist Church -- McDade, TX and FBC Greenville TX
  40. MOPS @ Shoreline Christian Center---Austin, TX & Fairlanes Baptist Church---Borger, TX
  41. Woodland Hills Baptist Church, Asheville, NC
  42. Chaparrel Hills Baptist, Amarillo, Texas
  43. Lineville Baptist Church---Lineville, AL
  44. Your family is being prayed for at Cornerstone Church--Mabank, TX. One of the amazing things is that after hearing the need for prayer for cousins in the Panter family from another cousin I sent out prayer request on my e-mail list. Then while at church services our Pastor's son Michael Cooper came to me and ask if Luke Panter's family was the one I was talking about. I said yes. He was like wow I was asked to go to the hospital to pray over this family. And hearing the name he was like I have heard this name before (from my e-mail). We both were amazed of how small of a world we do live in and how great God's hands are. Thanks for letting us be apart of witnessing the blessings and miracles of this family.
  45. First Baptist Church - Greenville TX
  46. Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Moreno Valley,CA
  47. Brazos Fellowship-College Station, TX
  48. Emily, I wanted you to know that my wife Kaye and I were praying for you. We live in London and work with Jason and Cheryl. We are asking the Lord for His mercy and grace in your healing. Andy & Kaye Martin
  49. Westminster Presbyterian - Greenville, TX....Tonya Goodman
  50. Carrollton Christian Academy teachers--Carrollton, TX
  51. First United Methodist, Quinlan ,TX
  52. First Chinese Baptist Church, Dallas, TX
  53. Church in Malaysia
  54. HI Luke and Emily-I happened to be in Commerce this weekend at FBC and Johnnie made an announcement about the blood drive for you to the church. He tried to explain what was going on and I told him I would do my best to get the word out for prayers to all our old BSM friends. Know that I am praying for a miracle and healing for your body. Laura Massey
  55. We are praying for you. Dave & Carolyn Sims
  56. The Trekkers Journey Group
  57. Freedom Fellowship Church, Canyon, Texas
  58. Querida Emily.Estas en nuestros pensamientos y oraciones.Rogamos a Dios te abrace con sus brazos amorosos,restaure cada uno de tus organos y te de largos dias al lado de tu preciosa familia.Te amamos y guardamos lindos recuerdos de los años vividos en Chile.Te abrazamos con cariño.Tios Emilio y Nirma Zapata.Misioneros chilenos en Nicholasville,Kentucky.
  59. Our family is thinking of yours and praying for any and all needs to be met. Lexington, KY
  60. Prayers are being said from our family to yours. New Hope Wylie, TX
  61. We are praying for you in Perryton, TX. Your name has been added to the prayer groups at First Baptist and Southside Baptist.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One Week Ago Today...

     Since I know we have so many new people reading Emily's blog, I thought I'd recap today on what happened one week ago today.

    To back up, Emily had a precious baby girl, Sarah Michal, 9 days ago. Two days later, while Emily was at home, she had an aneurysm of the aorta near her left leg rupture. They took her to the Greenville hospital, thinking maybe her appendix had ruptured. But when they did surgery, they realized it was more serious...so they airlifted her to Baylor Medical. Once she got to Baylor Medical, they determined what her problem was and did emergency surgery to repair the aorta. It's a miracle Emily is alive. There were so many things along the way that can only be explained by God. If this had happened while she was delivering Sarah, we probably would have lost them both. But...because she had delivered Sarah at the Greenville hospital, they were able to call ahead and have her blood type waiting on her. They had to replace her blood 7 times during that evening.

To date, Emily is in a drug-induced coma so that her body can rest and heal from the trauma it's been through. She is being weaned off of the respirator a little at a time. The main concern now is that her kidneys will start functioning properly. She's had to have dialysis a couple of times. She's still in critical condition. (Nothing changed during the night.) God has done so much for Emily, Luke and their family. Immediately, they were surrounded by family and friends. Luke's mom came and watched the 5 children the first few days and now Emily's mom is taking care of the children. (Don't forget to pray for her!! Those 5 children include a newborn.) Friends are pitching in and helping---taking kids to school and playgroups, bringing meals, helping financially, etc.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday Morning

Luke called me with an update on Emily this morning. Emily is in acute liver & kidney failure---NOT chronic liver & kidney failure. This is serious, but they are treating her with dialysis. This is the reason her liver was swollen, but the cat scan showed nothing else amiss.

Please join me in praying and fasting for Emily today.

Please do not call Luke or Janis (at the house). Luke may be in with Emily and Janis may be changing a diaper! We promise to update the blog as often as we have any new news!!

2 Thessalonians 1:12

"We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We're in a new place...

Janis told me when I talked to her just a minute ago that one of the nurses (or doctors, I can't remember---we were talking over a crying baby!) said that they're just amazed. They've really never seen very many patients in Emily's position before. Most never make it to the hospital after a ruptured aneurysm. So the fact that Emily is still alive is a miracle! I've said it before, but I have to keep reminding myself---it's a miracle that she's where she is. I have no update on her condition. Luke told me this morning it will be a slow process.

Please pray for Lily--she has a stomach bug. She was vomiting last night and has diarrhea today. It was a little crazy when I called just now. I know Janis would appreciate the prayer for stamina.

The response to meals and house cleaning has been amazing. All we can say is, "THANK YOU!" Luke & Emily have very special friends.

Proverbs 17:17

"A friend loves at all times..."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Today's News

   Luke told me that we're still just plugging along. Praise God there have been no big surprises today. He's waiting to hear from the kidney doctor, but the lung doctor told him they might do a tracheotomy on Emily. It's a possibility.

    Her heart rate is low which indicates she's heavily sedated. Her urine output is nothing to get excited about, Luke said. She is still jaundiced today.

   Luke said a nurse told them that the short-term vision for Emily is that there will be not-so-good reports. They expect things like this for someone who's been through this kind of trauma. So there won't be many victories in the short-term vision. She may get worse before she progresses. But....we're praying for total victory in the long-term. She encouraged them to think in the long-term.

   The kids are going to the country to be with Grandma & Grandpa this weekend. It just worked out to be what would work best. So...for those who had signed up for meals tonight and tomorrow night....they won't be needed. I hope to get an email out quickly to those people. But if you know them, you might call and let them know. Janis will be at the hospital with Emily this weekend. Family will be back at the house on Sunday night.

   Luke & I both hope that no one is offended over asking you not to call them right now. We're honestly trying to give you information as quickly as we can through this blog!   I know you only want them to know you love them and care about them---and they know---truly, they do.  They're just overwhelmed.  Luke said that he knows he couldn't make it without all of you. And he especially loves his church family.  Thank you for caring so deeply.  We're grateful for your outpouring of love.  And please know that I don't always convey Luke's heart like Luke would.  

  Please continue praying for Emily. Thank you so much!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Steady Friday

   I talked to Janis and she said the kids got off to the country with Grandma & Grandpa. Lily was feeling better. Abigail wasn't eating much when they got to Grandma's, so please pray she doesn't get the bug---or any of the other kids for that matter!

   Janis said they had talked to the kidney and liver doctor. He's continuing the slow steady dialysis over the weekend. He said water was being flushed in the blood, but there was fluid in her tissue that needs to be flushed, but it will just take time. She's still a little jaundiced, but Luke told Janis she looked much better. Janis hadn't seen her in a few days. In fact, Janis said the jaundice really didn't bother her----she's had babies more jaundiced than that!

   Emily was awake when they went in to see her and she looked at them. One nurse had told them the other day not to talk to Emily, but the others are encouraging them to talk. So they've decided to talk! The nurse told them that because Emily is on continuous dialysis, her medication is being flushed out of her system quicker. So they were waiting on new meds to come up for her. That's why she was awake.

   Janis was encouraged by Debbie Jenkins, her son's mother-in-law. Debbie said she woke up this morning praying for Emily. Debbie is a nurse and she called Emily's nurses and began asking them questions. Debbie was concerned that Emily's heart was involved since her liver isn't functioning correctly....she thought maybe the heart was damaged when Emily "coded" that first night. But they said her heart was perfect. So that's great news!

   Janis said that as she was putting Hannah & Noah to bed last night that Hannah began crying for her mother. She said it had been too long that her mom was gone. She was asking Janis if Emily would be home in 9 days. Janis was gently trying to explain to them how serious the situation was and explaining it could be more than 9 days. But Janis told Hannah that God had already done so many miracles and that lots of people were praying for her mother. Hannah said, "Oh! I know! My teacher told me that if I just touch this button on the computer that I can see all these people praying for my mommy. " And then she went on to tell Janis that she saw pictures of them and everything. Hannah's teacher, Kendra Beene, must be quite a teacher! How awesome that she would give Hannah the freedom to see this website at school to encourage our precious girl. So please pray for the kids. They don't understand all that is going on and the timeline it may take for mommy to come home.

   Please pray for Emily's lungs, kidneys & liver to function properly.

Pray for the jaundice to go away.

Pray for the swelling to go down.

Pray for encouragement for the family.

   Luke wanted me to tell anyone coming to the hospital to see them that if they're not in the waiting room to call 214-820-7067. They're staying in the room in the towers and they don't want to miss your visit if you come by.

   Again, we're so humbled by all you're doing for the Panters. Thank you to those who are giving towards all their expenses. We have no idea how large that need may become. And thank you for the meals, housecleaning---all that you are doing. But thank you the most for the prayers. We covet them!

Isaiah 66:13

"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you..."

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16 NASB

The prayers, visits, cards, and testimonies that I would steadily receive over the nexts several weeks, were truly balm to my soul. I was touched to see and hear the number of people who chose to bring me and my family to the Father in prayer. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity that flooded our home. I was spiritually encouraged to hear the ways God was using our situation to draw people closer to Himself. I was humbled by the whole situation. I had never experienced being such a mighty tool in God’s hands. Every effort and attempt I had wholeheartedly tried in my life up unto that moment, paled in comparison to the way God shined in me as I literally lay silent and helpless in a hospital bed!

I will never be able to adequately thank everyone who prayed, helped, and visited me and my family. But, I will also, never be able to adequately praise God for the honor of being used by Him!

The two greatest days in a person’s life are the day he was born and the day he finds out why he was born- Anon.

8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.- 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 NASB

16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 NASB

Saturday, November 8, 2008

WE'VE GOT PEE!!!

   Luke called and told me what to title this blog! He said that there's been improvement today. Emily's had 25-35 cc's urine output today compared to the 5-10 she's been having! That's a huge breakthrough! They said it may not be "great urine" at this point, but it's a good start. Luke asked the nurse if she'd ever seen it turn around and go back down after they'd started good output. She said she hadn't...but she also said she "wasn't God." Luke told her it was ok to give us encouragement---we'll take all we can get!!

   He also said her temperature was down. They don't think they've discovered the source of the infection, but this antibiotic probably will take care of whatever it was.

Janis had told Kim, who also called, that Emily also appeared less stressed than she had been. They've kept the MP3 player playing praise music last night and today and they can see a visible difference in Emily. Luke said she was still swollen on the lower half of her body, but the upper half seems to be going down. They also think her jaundice may be better.

   Luke said his Aunt Sherry came and took him and Janis to lunch at El Fenix. They had a great time with her and ate some great food. I think it's so helpful for the family to get a change of scenery occasionally! Thank you, Sherry---what a great idea!

Luke said his younger brother Seth has been helping out with the kids this weekend. He's never had the opportunity to be around the Panter kids much, so I think he's really enjoying it. He took Hannah & Noah to a high school football game last night--which they loved! I think he finished out his evening holding Baby Sarah. Then this morning, he brought over doughnuts for the kids and then took Hannah, Noah & Abigail to a movie this afternoon. It sounds like the kids have had a great time with Uncle Seth!! (And I'm sure Barbara & Sam have appreciated the extra set of hands!)

   As you can tell, we're encouraged with this piece of news about Emily. Luke said he'd call again after the 8:15 visiting time and let us know if there's any change.

   Thank you so much for praying. I know God is hearing...and answering.

Psalm 69:30

"I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

On Her Own

   Luke told me that Emily is on her own tonight--they've taken her off of dialysis so they can test her blood tomorrow morning. They can't get a true reading on a blood test if she is on dialysis. She still has good output even though she's not on dialysis. But the main test is with the blood. So...at 4:00 a.m., they will be drawing blood and testing it. This will tell them if there's any change in the kidney & liver function. The doctors should come in by 9 or 10 and maybe we'll know something by noon tomorrow. Luke doesn't expect them to dilly-dally on this because they're anxious to know the results themselves.

   They had to give Emily blood tonight. There's some test that tells them the oxygen level that the organs are getting and the score needs to be at 27. Emily's score was at 24. Luke said they acted like it wasn't a big deal. But they did give her blood.

   Emily is still running a temperature of 101 degrees. They've put a cooling blanket on her to try and bring the temperature down. Maybe the blood tests will also show them where the infection is.

   Emily's levels on the respirator have stayed the same....which is good! They haven't had to increase the amount of oxygen or pressure she's getting. Awesome!

Some of Luke & Emily's friends organized a BLOOD DRIVE today. It was incredible!! The blood drive was done in Emily's name and so many people showed up to give blood that they had to turn people away! That just makes me want to cry. What an incredible display of love and help. The family wants to thank those who organized it....and for those who went to give blood. We're humbled and blessed!

   Prayer Needs:

*Pray for good results on the blood test

*Pray that they'll find the source of the infection

*Pray for strength for all of Emily's organs

*Pray Emily will be able to come off of the respirator and avoid a tracheotomy

*Pray for peace for Emily

*Pray for Luke as he cares for Emily

*Pray for Janis as she cares for the children

*Pray for Luke's parents to regain energy quickly after a weekend with 5 active grandchildren

Isaiah 26:3

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Update from Luke

   I just talked to Luke and he was frustrated because they hadn't heard from the CT scan or the blood results and felt like he had no news to offer us.  But as he began talking, he'd really found out alot, but just didn't feel like he had essential information for us.

   They've brought in an infectious disease specialist to give close attention to Emily.  They're just not sure what her infection is.  Her fever has gone down from 101 to 100.4.  Luke said she really does feel cooler to the touch.  They have her on an antibiotic.

   Her urine output is still good---and she's not on dialysis today.  Luke said she had a 100 cc hour and a 70cc. hour.  So for that, we're thankful!  They think her kidneys are coming back, but they want more evidence before they'll commit themselves to that prognosis.

   Emily's stomach is still swollen.  But she did have a bowel movement and they were very excited over that!  (Luke laughed at what they were getting excited over!)  So they know that her bowels are not impacted and I guess that was a concern.

   She's still jaundiced.  And Luke said they are going to do a tracheotomy this week....they just don't know when.  The doctors are conferring with one another over that decision.

Bottom line....they told Luke that Emily is still very critical.  There are a lot of things wrong with  her and she's still fighting for her life.  These are small victories in a large battle.  So Emily still needs lots of prayer!  If you're like me, Emily is never far from your mind or your heart.  I thought I knew before, but now I really know what it is to pray without ceasing.  I'm sure you do, too.  Please continue lifting Emily up to her heavenly Father Who loves her more than we do.  We'll let you know as soon as we hear about the CT scan and the blood results.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trach Still a Go!

   I talked to Luke and he said the tracheotomy is still set to happen at 2:00 this afternoon. He asked us all to be praying that it goes extremely well.

   They've already done dialysis this morning and that went well, he said. They are going to begin weaning Emily off of the sedatives and that will probably be a shock to her system. Pray that she endures that well. We really want her to wake up, but dread the pain that will come with it. There are no lab results yet today, but Luke expects to hear a report on that later on. Let's cover Emily in prayer between now and when we get the report that the tracheotomy is successfully completed!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fluid off Emily's Lungs

   Luke called and said they'd taken 900 cc's of fluid off of Emily's lungs.  The doctor was shocked, I think!  They had no idea there was that much fluid on her lungs.  They are testing it for infection.  Please keep praying!

For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 NASB

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the [j]saints according to the will of God.28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:26-39 NASB

By definition, miracles must of course interrupt the usual course of nature; but if they are real they must, in the very act of doing so, assert all the more the unity and self-consistency of total reality at some deeper level. -C.S.Lewis  

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Steps

   Do you believe in miracles? We're seeing one right before our very eyes!! God is so good---awesome, incredible!! I just want to spend a minute giving Him praise. He has chosen life for Emily and is bringing her back from the brink of death. He is raising her up much like he did Jairus' daughter. Could we be any more grateful? I'm just in awe of our magnificent God!!

   I talked to Janis this morning and she said Emily is "back!" She is out from under sedation and is cognizant of everything going on around her. In fact, she has a white board and is writing messages to her mom--in full sentences! She remembers that she gave birth to Sarah---but now tells her mom she didn't know what she was thinking---but thought she was pregnant again? ha! She has good eye-hand coordination. She asked her mom where Mike & Jonathan (dad & brother) were. Janis told her they were home, but would be coming next week for Thanksgiving. Emily's eyes got huge!! Janis laughed and told her that yes, she'd been asleep for 3 weeks. She couldn't believe it! And then she wrote a message, "So...it was just an aneurysm?" Janis laughed and said, "Yes! It was JUST an aneurysm!!"

Emily still has a fever of 99* but Janis said they keep the room so hot that she thinks that is part of it. The lung doctor came in today and told Emily he's going to try to get her off of the trach this week. He'll at least wean her from the ventilator this week, but hopefully, the trach, too. He told her to start practicing breathing deeply. The vascular doctor is holding off on any tests to find why she has a low blood count---but has the order for it on standby.

Luke is with the kids today and was taking Lily to the doctor this morning. Pray for him, too. So many places to be and so many things to do ---it can be confusing. Pray that God leads him with His peace.

Prayer Requests:

*First, let's just PRAISE God for where He's brought Emily from and where He has her now!

*Pray that she is able to be weaned from the ventilator this week

*Pray that she can have the trach removed this week

*Pray that she makes leaps and bounds in recovery

*Pray the fever goes away

*Pray that they find why she has a low blood count--or that God just increases her blood count!

*Pray that she continues on this pathway of healing

*Pray that Luke knows exactly where he needs to be

*Pray that the Panter family will be reunited soon!

Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yesterday Was Our 2 Steps Forward Day...

   ...And today was our one step back day. Poor Emily! She's had a miserable day. She was nauseous all day. They're not sure if it's because her body hasn't been used to food, if it was too much too soon or even if it was withdrawal from all of the medicines she's been on. But she hasn't felt well all day. They gave her phenergan which should have put her to sleep, but it didn't. They finally gave her another medicine that is making her sleepy and calming her body down.

   Because of her nausea, she hasn't had any deep breathing going on today and, in fact, has had fast breathing. So that's probably one step back for getting off of the ventilator, too. She's also had a lot of coughing and they've had to suction her a few times. Of course, her body is "waking up" and she's experiencing more each day, so it's just been a tough day.

The swelling is going down on her legs. Janis said her feet are still swollen, but not as much.       Her stomach is still distended and hard. That could just be from her intestinal system "waking up." They've given her blood today because her count was low. One nurse said it could be just from her blood not having enough oxygen in it, so that may be why they're giving her blood. Or it could still be the effects of losing so much blood in the beginning.    They also gave her dialysis today just to clean her blood. The kidney doctor did come in and told Janis that her kidneys are progressing. We know this is going to be a process with some great days and some not-so-good days. Let's pray there are more great days than the other!!

   Let's just pray for God's grace as her body "wakes up!"

I Corinthians 16:23

"The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

6 liters

You do know what 6 liters of fluid look like, right?  Think about (2) 3 liter bottles of Coke.  That's how much fluid they removed from Emily's abdomen.  Can anyone say R-E-L-I-E-F?  Wow!  Luke called Janis who called me and said that when Emily came back from the procedure of removing this fluid, he asked the nurse if she knew how much fluid they removed from Emily's abdomen.  The nurse said that when the dr. took her downstairs, he was hoping for 1 liter!  But Emily piped into the conversation and told them the dr. had taken 6 liters of fluid!  Can you imagine?  She must already feel so much better.  Luke said she looked better!  

Thank You, Father, for helping Emily this way!

Thanksgiving

   This is the first time I have posted on this blog that Emily's aunt, Becky Dietz, has created. I am thankful for this blog. Many people have been able to be in contact with our family at the touch of a button or two. We appreciate the love and support that you have all lavished upon us. The encouragement that we have received is really hard to explain or put into words. Your prayers are felt everyday. Emily is doing so well and there is no doubt that it is because God has had his hand upon her the entire time...her entire life. But many times when we as Christians experience the the saving hand of God, we forget over time that we are where we are NOW because of what He has done. Remember king Asa in 2 Chronicles 16. God supplied his every need during the hard times of foreign invaders. But when a seemingly easy situation arose later during his reign, Asa relied on his own strength and finite hand. It is my deepest hope that everyone touched by God through this event in our lives remembers that when we see Emily talking and walking, sitting at the supper table, leading a Bible study, holding our children or just living life,that God is not only the one responsible for saving her and answering our prayers, but the one we need every hour. It is written about King Asa that at the end of his reign he became diseased in his feet. But even in his disease "he sought not the Lord, but the physicians". The Bible says that he slept with his fathers where they "buried him in his own sepulchres which he made for himself". Asa began trusting in God for his every need and saw his needs met. He saw armies wiped out by God on behalf of Israel. Asa had faith in God during his reign. But over time, Asa began to put his trust in the might and wisdom of men. Let us not forget what God has done and as my deacon always says "Let's be careful to always give God thanks for what He has done and give Him the glory in all things".

Luke Panter

Friday, November 21, 2008

I.C.U. Syndrome

   Janis called and asked us to be praying for Emily. She is experiencing I.C.U. Syndrome. Having had other family members in extensive I.C.U., I wondered if Emily might not experience it since she's been in there so long. I.C.U. Syndrome is caused by being in an enclosed room with constant light---where the patient loses orientation of day or night.    Because of that, they usually have sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety and irritability. It's often accompanied with hallucinations.

   Emily had a bad afternoon. (You can see the roller coaster ride the family is on---good news one minute, and not-so-good news the next!) Emily pulled her feeding tube out this afternoon. They finally talked her into putting it back in. Janis asked us to pray that Emily's intestines would start doing their job. Her stomach is full of bile and it causes the nausea and vomiting. Emily has no idea how far she's come. She's just frustrated with the way things are and wants things to change quickly. They also had her using the T-bar with her trach which blows air across the trach which makes Emily work harder to breathe on her own. It exhausted her.

   Prayer Requests:

*That the I.C.U. Syndrome stops

*For Emily's intestines to start working well

*That Emily works hard at getting off of the vent

*That God's peace would fill Emily's room and heart

Psalm 90:17

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Emily is Talking!

   Luke & Janis traded places last night.  So Luke is with the children and Janis is at the hospital with Emily.  Janis called just now with some great news---Emily is talking!  Of course, she still has the trach, but has a cap over it, so she can talk.  They have the T-bar over the trach which blows air across it which also makes Emily have to work harder to breathe more on her own.  But she's doing that well this morning.  Emily was also showing Janis the leg exercises the physical therapist had given her to do--and she was doing those well!

But PLEASE don't let up on your praying for Emily!!  It may be that when we get good news we go into celebration mode and quit praying.  You know the roller coaster ride this has been---so please pray that Emily has a wonderful day ALL DAY today!

Psalm 118:24

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Emotions

   Janis & I had a bad connection when we called just now. But I'll tell you what I did understand. They have now put Emily on soft foods! YEA!! So she had bacon and eggs this morning. She's still not able to eat much, so the doctor has ordered that she only be fed food intravenously at night---and soft foods during the day.

   There is a private room in I.C.U. and the person who has been in it is being moved to another floor. The respiratory doctor has fought for Emily to get the private room. So PLEASE pray that Emily gets that room tomorrow!! If she gets that room, she will be able to close the door and sleep and her kids will even be able to come in and see her.

   This is where our connection went fuzzy and I hope I have all of this right....They put the cap on the trach this morning and she had to work to breathe again. When the respiratory therapist came in to remove it, Emily begged them to leave it on. But the therapist told Emily she had to put her back on the vent. It was a process to wean her off of it and she couldn't keep the cap on. (She's also able to talk when she has the cap on.) Emily began crying. After talking with her, they discovered she was really discouraged. She was seeing people come and go out of the I.C.U.---people who hadn't been there as long as she has and she knew that when she'd been able to stay on the cap for 24 hours, she'd be ready to be off of the vent...and she'd be able to go to a regular room...and she'd be able to see her babies. Janis and the therapist both tried to help her understand. But then...Janis told her she was entitled to cry---she'd just had a baby, she'd just learned this week that she almost died, and she was working hard---she was entitled to cry!! So please pray for Emily. She's missing her children. And her children are missing her.

   On another note, Janis said that Luke's dad is in the hospital with kidney stones. So please pray for this family---they're just having a hard time!

*Just got word that Luke's dad was able to leave the hospital at 10 this morning.

Psalm 68:19

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOEL!

    Luke is with Emily today. Janis is staying away from her since she has a cold. The nurses have told her she could still come in with a mask, but Janis has opted to stay away to protect Emily from the cold. They also told her that Emily is somewhat protected by having a trach---it filters out those harmful germs.

You're going to love this story....

    Janis was with Emily last night about 6:00. Emily had the cap on her trach and was able to talk. They were still waiting on Luke to arrive. Janis realized it was November 25---her son's birthday! When she told Emily, "Oh my goodness! I need to call Joel and tell him 'happy birthday'," Emily broke out into song! And not just any song. She began singing a Christian "Happy Birthday" song in Spanish that she'd learned in Chile. She remembered every word. And Janis said the other wonderful thing about this is that it showed her that Emily's vocal cords have not been damaged. Janis then called Joel and let Emily sing the song again to her brother. Don't you think that's probably the best gift he got all day?

Praise the Lord!

And Happy Birthday, Joel!!

Good Day

    Luke called and you could hear the bubble of happiness in his voice. Emily is having a good day. He said the lung doctor came in and wants to leave the cap on her trach for 24 hours---IF Emily can tolerate it. So please pray for Emily to tolerate it. When she can leave the cap on for 24 hours, she can come off of the vent. And she can be moved to a regular room.

    So far, she's doing great. But Luke said she's been coughing. He doesn't know if it's a tickle in her throat or what. He went to get her some Halls cough drops and that helped. And then the nurses gave her a breathing treatment and that helped. Right now, she's taking a nap and that has relaxed her to where she's not coughing. Luke's just afraid the doctor might decide he needs to put her back on the vent because of her cough. But Emily told him that she was doing it last night while she was on the vent. These coughing fits also leave her hot--which invokes more coughing. So please pray the cough goes away. The doctor has ordered a chest x-ray to see if there is fluid buildup in her lungs or something.

    They still don't have the results on the ultrasound on her abdomen from yesterday. But the nurse had seen it and said she didn't see anything but fluid buildup. So they may want to drain that again.

    I asked Luke if the kids were going to get to come see Emily this week and he said he was definitely going to bring Sarah. He hopes to bring all of the kids at some point, but they're going to play it by ear. He said they had an exciting night last night, though. Because Emily had the cap on her trach, she was able to call all of the kids and talk to them--on speaker phone!! It was the first time they've gotten to hear their mom's voice in a month! He said it was a great time---emotional for Emily, of course---but a great time.

    Luke will be spending some of his Thanksgiving with his mom & dad--but he doesn't want to leave Emily alone. Emily's dad, Mike, is on his way and will get to Dallas tonight. Mike & Janis will be staying with Jeff & Kim. So I'm sure the family will be trading places all day so that Emily has a good Thanksgiving, too.

    Prayer Requests:

*Luke asked us to be praying about Emily's rehab. He's supposed to meet with a social worker today. A nurse has told him that they really want Emily to go to Baylor's rehab---but it's not paid by their coverage. His coverage wants him to take her to a nursing home for rehab. So this is a huge concern for Luke. Please pray that Luke & Emily have favor with this social worker.

*Pray that God opens doors that no man can close.

*Pray for every penny to be paid by the time this is all over!

*Pray that God provides the best for Emily.

*Pray for the cough to go away.

*Pray Emily tolerates the cap for the next 24 hours.

*Pray that the Panter/Dietz family have a great Thanksgiving---there's so much to be thankful for!

*Pray that God brings order into Emily's body.

Psalm 95:2

"Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget none of His benefits;

3 Who pardons all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases;

4 Who redeems your life from the pit,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

Psalm 103:1-4 NASB

Saturday, November 29, 2008

BIG DAY!

    What a big day for Emily! She got to move to a regular room this afternoon! She's now in room 1101 in the Roberts Building of Baylor Medical. Is that not awesome? I certainly had no idea it would be this quick. I'm sure for those surrounding her, it doesn't seem quick at all. But for someone just hearing news each day, it's a miracle.

    Emily also got to see her children today---all 5 of them! I'm sure it was a sweet time. Janis called to give me the update, so she wasn't there when it took place. So she didn't know the specifics of the visit. She was at home helping the women who came to decorate the Panter home for Christmas! She said it looks so special---the Christmas tree is up and the mantel is decorated. The kids will be so excited when they get home and see that    Christmas has come into their house.

    Hopefully, I'll get to talk to Luke tonight and hear more about the time Emily had with the kids. Thank you so much for praying. It's days like this that make us so aware of God hearing and answering prayer.

     We love that you have walked this with us. It's become your story of God's grace as much as ours.

I Corinthians 1:4

"I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus."

Monday, December 1, 2008

AMAZING!!!!

    I just talked to Janis this morning and she said Luke had gone to the hospital early. He got to talk to the lung doctor and the lung doctor took out the trach!!! He thinks that is what is making Emily cough so bad. So she's so advanced, they skipped a whole step in removing the trach! I then called Luke to get all the scoop and he said that they've totally removed the trach and have covered the hole with a bandage and the skin will grow together on its own. Wow!!

    Removing the trach has caused the coughing to stop. So apparently, that was the source of her problems. They've also put her on some pain medication because she was having muscle spasms. As a result of the pain medicine, she told Luke he needed to hurry---he was going to miss his meeting with President Bush! ha!

    Because of how well Emily was doing with her walking yesterday, Luke is hopeful that Emily may even be able to skip rehab!! It's possible that within the next 2 weeks, Emily could be home. That would be incredible. Let's pray for that to happen.

Here are a couple of things we'd like to have done when Emily gets home. We'd like to get a memory foam mattress topper for Emily's king-sized bed. It's a hand-me-down set of mattresses and we'd like to make it as comfortable as possible for her when she gets home.       Her homecoming may be sooner than we expected! I'm so excited! God is great, isn't He???

     Prayer Requests:

*Pray that the muscle spasms stop

*Pray that Emily gets stronger each day

*Pray Emily is able to skip rehab

*Pray that Emily is able to go home within the next 2 weeks!

*Pray all is ready for her homecoming!

     Father, we come in agreement for Emily's complete and quick healing. Thank you that her trach was removed!! Thank you for all that you've already done in her healing. We're in awe of you!! Please strengthen Emily's muscles and cause the spasms to stop. Father, would you cause her to bypass the rehab? Thank you for magnifying your name through Emily. We love you, Daddy! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Psalm 18:30

"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Band-Aid Tomorrow!

     I talked to Luke and he just got to the hospital to see Emily tonight. I asked him if the hole in Emily's throat had completely closed up now and he said that it hasn't. But the doctor told them that tomorrow, they'll just be applying a band-aid to it! So it's almost closed.

     Emily has walked a mile today---well, not literally. But almost. Luke said she's been up and down the halls getting her exercise. Very impressive!!

     She's still having trouble eating. Nothing tastes right to her---it's either too salty, too sweet or too sour. So she has no appetite. Now that's something I wish I had---no appetite!   But for Emily, we need her eating so she can bust out of that joint!

     I called Janis to discuss some details and she said that all that is keeping Emily from going home are the numbers on her liver and her appetite--and those 2 things are related. Her lung doctor told her today that she won't be going to rehab---she'll do her rehab at home. Amazing!

     Thank you to those of you who are responding with help for the Panters. I know Luke is going to be very grateful for the help--especially after Janis leaves Tuesday. Please agree with me in prayer for Emily.

     Father, would you bless Emily with a healthy appetite? Would you please make things taste right to her? Correct her taste buds and give her a hunger for food. Please bring order into her body---her liver and her appetite. Would you miraculously bring those liver numbers to where they need to be? You are so incredible and we're so grateful for all of the things you have done for Emily. Thank you for surrounding Luke & Emily with great friends who care so much about them. Bless them, God. Pour back into their lives. We love you so much! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Psalm 34:8

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday with the Kids

     Luke brought the kids up for Emily to see today. They had a great time. Emily held Sarah a good long time--until she began to get tired. It was the highlight of her day seeing all of her kids!

     Janis said she also walked around her hall 4 times---which is really good. The doctor came in and took the bandage off the area where her trach had been and then put 2 strips over it. I'm thinking she must have meant like a butterfly bandage--and then put a bandaid over that. Her neck was getting really sore from all of the adhesives from the bandaids.

     Emily has also had a headache for 3 days. She's thinking it's because her prescription from her glasses have changed. She said that after the birth of each of her children, her prescription changes.

     Her white blood cell count is up and the doctor put her on a new antibiotic to treat any infections.

     I could hear Emily in the background tell me that she's sleeping better. So that's good! I think Jeff had gone to "On the Border" and had gotten them some Mexican food. Emily said it wasn't as good as she remembered! ha! But she was eating--and Janis said she's eating better all the time.

     So it sounds like Emily has had a good Sunday afternoon. Janis will stay with Emily until tomorrow and then she'll go stay with Jeff until Tuesday morning. Jeff will then take Janis to the airport early Tuesday morning for her flight home.

     Pray that Emily is healed of her infection. Pray that her headache goes away. Pray that she regains her strength quickly. And pray for Janis--she's getting another sinus infection.

Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I talked to EMILY!!!

     Forgive me...I'm going to be emotional. I just talked to Emily for the first time over the phone. Tears are streaming down my face and all I can keep saying over and over is, "God, You're so good! You're so good!!"

     The doctors are all in agreement that Emily can go home this weekend!!!!! Well, actually, she's still waiting to hear from one doctor---but he's already been leaning that way, so we're hoping it's a go! They did a cat scan on her liver yesterday and there is definitely a hematoma or it could be a walled-off infection. So they're waiting on Dr. Spock, the infectious disease dr., to look at it and see whether he wants to prescribe an antibiotic for it. It will be totally up to him. Emily said they also told her they may just want her to come back for check-ups on it. The blood count from the liver is fine and there have been no cultures growing. So the liver doctor is on board for her going home. AWESOME!!

     She thinks there's been a mix-up or a lack of communication because there was an order written questioning where she'll go for therapy when she leaves. But all of the doctors have been o.k. with her going home and having physical therapy at home. So we'll just pray it's a misunderstanding somewhere!

     Emily still has a headache, but she said her glasses are not working now. The prescription is way off after having Sarah. She said she was also messed up for 9 hours yesterday from taking the iodine for the cat scan.

     Emily said she only has a little bandaid on her neck from her trach and only has one I.V. left. So everything is healing. She still only has a little appetite, but this afternoon her stomach actually grumbled, so she felt like that was a good sign!

     Thank you, God! We have so much to be thankful for. So much. But Emily & I had a good cry together over our first phone call to one another. She was grateful for me blogging and putting the prayer requests out there so people would know how to pray. And I'm grateful she's alive.

Colossians 4:2

" Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

GOING HOME!!!!!

     Emily has been released!! Luke is on his way to pick her up as I write this. We are so excited. But I know we need to be praying for their adjustment and needs as they get home. Please be praying!

1I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart;

I will tell of all Your wonders.

2 I will be glad and exult in You;

I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2 NASB

1 I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,

And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.

2 O Lord my God,I cried to You for help, and You healed me.

3 O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;

You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.

4 Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones,

And give thanks to His holy name.

5 For His anger is but for a moment,

His favor is for a lifetime;

Weeping may last for the night,

But a shout of joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:1-5 NASB

        Life would never be the same. Every birthday, every breath, every hug and tear was a gift. The doctors were quick to say and repeat that I should be dead. They were baffled by my recovery. When I went to my family practitioner a week after coming home, she sat down with a pad and paper poised to take note of all of the organs that had been removed--Not one. She asked for the list of medication they had me on--Tylenol. She was dumbfounded. December 23rd, I was scheduled for a follow-up MRI at a local lab. They took me back for the test, and instead of letting us go, they said that the lab technician wanted to speak to us. He came into the room with a concerned look on his face and said, “ I normally don’t talk to the patients and just send my report to the requesting doctor, but you are suffering from a massive abdominal hematoma.” “You need to go to the hospital right now!.” We explained the situation, and that what he was seeing was actually the remainder of blood that had not yet been absorbed into my body, but that I was on the mend. He was amazed!

5 Who satisfies your years with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

6 The Lord performs righteous deeds

And judgments for all who are oppressed.

7 He made known His ways to Moses,

His acts to the sons of Israel.

8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness.

9 He will not always strive with us,

Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His loving kindness toward those who fear Him.

12 As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,

So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

14 For He Himself knows our frame;

He is mindful that we are but dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,

And its place acknowledges it no longer.

17 But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,and His righteousness to children’s children,

18 To those who keep His covenant

And remember His precepts to do them.

19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,

And His sovereignty rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Mighty in strength, who perform His word,

Obeying the voice of His word!

21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,

You who serve Him, doing His will.

22 Bless the Lord, all you works of His,

In all places of His dominion;

Bless the Lord, O my soul! Psalm 103:5-22 NASB

        I did struggle with some things as I came home. I had been away 45 days. I did not know what any of Sarah’s cries meant. It hurt to hold her and I could barely walk or sit upright for long periods of time. I had no appetite, and as the strong drugs they had me on began to wear off completely, the pain (especially the ribs which had been broken) became severe. I struggled with fear when I experienced pain in my abdomen, and I truly feared being alone for a long time. God’s word became my food. It was my solace.

        

My first Sunday back at church, Luke preached from Romans 5. The words could not have been more true for me or my family.

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:1-6 NASB

Monday, December 15, 2008

Adjusting

    I talked to Luke & Emily just now and they said things are going well. Emily said she's' not feeling great this morning. Her stomach seems to stay upset. They've given her some medicine to try and keep it from getting upset, but it doesn't always work. And she's trying to eat more so that she has more strength and so that it eventually helps keep her stomach where it needs to be.

    The nerve endings on Emily's scar are very sensitive. She said the kids have done great with her being home, but it's hard to convince Lily not to climb into her lap! Emily said it really hurts to hold the kids---and Sarah needs constant attention---but she's unable to care for her. She can hold her a little at a time, but wears out pretty quickly.

    Luke said that Mary Whitty came over yesterday and was Supernanny! They appreciated her so much. She helped with the kids, cleaned house and even brought supper. They were very grateful for her help!!

    Please continue praying for Luke, Emily & the kids and their adjustment. Thank you to everyone who is signing up to help!! It's greatly appreciated.

Emily plans on reading the blog today and then Luke & I hope to teach her how to blog. So you may begin hearing from Emily!! (They have dial-up on their computer, so it's really slow and frustrating. That's the only reason she may not blog very often right now.)

Psalm 35:9

"Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hello World!

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.

Nahum 1:7

Dearest Family and Friends in Christ,

     How wonderful it is to be able to write to you. I apologize it has taken this long. I am trying to read the entire blog before I really express my heart to you, but I simply could not wait. We have dial-up so you know how that is, and there is just so much to read! (I am only to November 2nd.)

   You all have blessed me more than you can know and I want to thank you for all of your thoughts, kindness, generosity, and above all for your prayers. “…and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16b. I have felt your loving prayers and know that God has answered and shown Himself powerful and merciful, all for His glory. There were no circumstances or luck involved in this event, only the hand of our sovereign Father, lovingly answering the prayers of His people.

     Please do not stop your prayers for me yet, as I face a long recovery and am very limited in the activities I am able to do. Pray that I am able to meet my children’s needs, and praise God for my wonderful husband who, through God’s grace, has been a rock through this whole ordeal.    

I go for a follow-up cat-scan and visit with the infectious disease doctor, Dr. Spak, this Monday to see how effective the ONE antibiotic they have me on has been successful at killing the infection in the leftover liquid in my abdomen. Other than that it will just be a matter of regaining muscle tone, energy and an appetite.

     Even through all the pain and frustrations, this has been a surreal and wonderful experience. What a privilege to be a tool that unites so many in one accord, agreeing in prayer. What a joy to see just how big my God is and how nothing surprises Him or can stand in His way! He has protected me and my family and touched many lives in the process. Nothing He does is without purpose, even if it does not make sense to us.

     “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnish seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall My word go forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:8-11

I love you all and thank you again. I will write again very soon. ~Emily

P.S. I would like to thank Becky for all her hard work at keeping up this blog, It has been such a blessing, and will be a written account for my children when they are old enough to understand. Thank you, I love you.

     

God made us for Himself; that is the first and the last thing that can be said about human existence and whatever more we add is but commentary. -A.W. Towzer

        Coming home meant many things. It meant more time with my children and my husband. It meant more time to grow as a person. It also meant God had allowed me the opportunity to share my experience of God’s grace and mercy with others who need to hear about Him, and the hope he provides to anyone who is open to Him. Coming home, gave me a new perspective on life. It restructured my priorities.

12 So teach us to number our days,

That we may present to You a heart of wisdom. -Psalm 90:12 NASB

1 Do not boast about tomorrow,

For you do not know what a day may bring forth.-Psalm 27:1 NASB

        Growing up in the church and in a God-fearing home, I always loved God. I never questioned His existence, His goodness, or His involvement in my life. However, I had not made it a priority to get to know Him beyond what I experienced throughout daily living. I made a commitment to change that. God had taken the time and seen fit to communicate in detail to me through His word, and although I loved searching the Scriptures for answers to questions and concerns that I had; I had never taken the time to simply read His word just to get to know Him and see what He had to say to me from His own initiative.

The Christian story is precisely the story of one great miracle, the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space and time, what is uncreated, eternal, came into nature, into human nature, descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing nature up with Him. It is precisely one great miracle.If you take that away there is nothing specifically Christian left.- C.S.Lewis

        I chose a 90 day program. This would mean a lot of reading (not an easy thing to do with 5 little ones at home,) but it would also mean that I would still remember the beginning once I got to the end.  

        This experience was life-changing. It opened my eyes to things I had never seen or understood. In a way, it ruined all other devotional plans for me. God spoke so personally to me, and so specifically to me, that I found reading others interpretation to the word to be impersonal and limiting.

10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:10-17 NASB

7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;

The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;

The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.

10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;

Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;

In keeping them there is great reward.- Psalm 19:7-11 NASB

8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;

How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

9 O fear the Lord, you His saints;

For to those who fear Him there is no want.

10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;

But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

11 Come, you children, listen to me;

I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12 Who is the man who desires life

And loves length of days that he may see good?

13 Keep your tongue from evil

And your lips from speaking deceit.

14 Depart from evil and do good;

Seek peace and pursue it.-Psalm 34:8-14 NASB

5 Every word of God is tested;

He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

6 Do not add to His words

Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

7 Two things I asked of You,

Do not refuse me before I die:

8 Keep deception and lies far from me,

Give me neither poverty nor riches;

Feed me with the food that is my portion,

9 That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”

Or that I not be in want and steal,

And profane the name of my God.-Proverbs 30:5-9

Me and my mom, February 2009

My 30th birthday, March 13th, 2009

Sarah’s 1st birthday, October 26th, 2009

        Reading through the whole Bible, cover-to-cover, God gave me a few words to live by. These words have become a compass to me and an anchor. I truly believe God was telling me what He wanted from me in life. A few years later, one of my college friends posted a challenge on FaceBook. He wanted people to define their lives in 6 words. I think he meant a six word phrase, however I gave him my six words. A few weeks later I received this canvas in the mail.

 

        

In Scripture, I read that I was created. My existence is not chance, it is not accidental. As I read the following verses, I believe this to be true of all people. It changes the way I see my life, and it changes the value I see in the lives of others.

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

You understand my thought from afar.

3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down,

And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

4 Even before there is a word on my tongue,

Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

5 You have enclosed me behind and before,

And laid Your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.

9 If I take the wings of the dawn,

If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand will lead me,

And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,

And the light around me will be night,”

12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,

And the night is as bright as the day.

Darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts;

You wove me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;

And in Your book were all written

The days that were ordained for me,

    When as yet there was not one of them.-Psalm 1391-16 NASB

        Although I was created, I distinctly remember coming to the understanding that there was a God who made me, but I was not worthy of Him. I knew, even at the age of six, that I was not holy, and that He was. I understood the separation that this created for me. At six years old, God opened my eyes to this truth, AND He helped me understand the solution to my problem. He called me to a personal relationship with him through the saving work of His son Jesus on the cross.

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.-Ephesians 2:4-16 NASB

        One of the books of the Bible that I had never truly read prior to this 90 day challenge, was Leviticus.  I found the book boring, confusing, and - frankly - gross. But reading through the entire Bible in such a short period, man’s sin, My sin, was still very present on my mind as I got to Leviticus. I had just read of man’s constant, blatant, willful disobedience to a loving, merciful, patient and holy God. The hopelessness I felt while reading man’s frivolous, incomplete, and repetitive, sacrifice of innocent creatures broke my heart. Some may read it and see God as cruel. But the reality is that God created those creatures to live (Genesis 1:20-25). Man chose to sin (Genesis 3:1-14; Romans 3:23). Only innocent blood can cover sin (Hebrews 9:22). In God’s mercy, He chose to allow man to temporarily satisfy His holy wrath against sin by the shedding of innocent animals --because He loved man more. The act of sacrificing showed the gravity of my sin, the unspeakable cost. It also showed our desperate need for a better and final solution--a Messiah, who would willingly shed His own innocent blood for my unmerited forgiveness (Romans 7:7-8:39.) Through Jesus sacrifice I am forgiven and as such, restored to fellowship with my Creator.

1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save;

Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.

2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,

And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity;

Your lips have spoken falsehood,your tongue mutters wickedness.

4 No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly.

They trust in confusion and speak lies; they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.

10 We grope along the wall like blind men,we grope like those who have no eyes;

We stumble at midday as in the twilight, among those who are vigorous we are like dead men.

11 All of us growl like bears,and moan sadly like doves;

We hope for justice, but there is none,for salvation, but it is far from us.

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You,and our sins testify against us;

For our transgressions are with us,and we know our iniquities:

13 Transgressing and denying the Lord,and turning away from our God,

Speaking oppression and revolt,conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words.

14 Justice is turned back,and righteousness stands far away;

For truth has stumbled in the street,and uprightness cannot enter.

15 Yes, truth is lacking;and he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.

Now the Lord saw,and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.

16 And He saw that there was no man,and was astonished that there was no one to intercede;

Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,and His righteousness upheld Him.

17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,and a helmet of salvation on His head;

And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.

18 According to their deeds, so He will repay,wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the coastlands He will make recompense.

19 So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun,

For He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the Lord drives.

20 “A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord.

21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.” -Isaiah 59:1-4,10-21 NASB

We marvel, not that Christ performed miracles, but rather that He performed so few. He who could have stormed the citadels of men with mighty battalions of angels let men spit upon Him and crucify Him- Oswald Chambers

        The truths I have learned and come to hold unwaveringly, and the nearness of death, both changed my perspective on everything. When I measure thing against the enormity of the cross, I am often convicted to put aside pettiness and worldly things that rob me of my focus.

1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God;

And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

2 Day to day pours forth speech,

And night to night reveals knowledge.

3 There is no speech, nor are there words;

Their voice is not heard.

4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,

And their utterances to the end of the world.

In them He has placed a tent for the sun,

5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;

It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.

6 Its rising is from one end of the heavens,

And its circuit to the other end of them;

And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.

13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;

Let them not rule over me;

Then I will be blameless,

And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Be acceptable in Your sight,

O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.-Psalm 19:1-14 NASB

        When I look back at the path God has put me on, and as I look at the way He is leading me, I am honored to be sent. He has given me a calling and sent me to be His instrument wherever He puts me. The challenge is always to remember that the time my life brought Him the most glory was when I was helpless and unable to do anything for Him. It was when I was completely in His hands, to do with as He pleased. My challenge now is to daily choose to be in that same position.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty,

Without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

12 “For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, and it will be a memorial to the Lord, for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.” -Isaiah 55:7, 10-13 NASB

        God, in His goodness, called me to Himself, put me with Luke, and gave us a life devoted to ministry. He chose to give us five healthy children, and has called each of them into a relationship with Him. He has put me in a classroom with students who are growing into adults right before my eyes. He has given me coworkers, neighbors, and acquaintances He want me to pour into. I will remember. I will set up milestones in my mind and visit them often.

3 and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’” ...6 Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” -Joshua 4:3, 6-7 NASB

 

        I will remember, and I will be faithful to testify to the goodness of the Lord upon my life. I will do my very best to life and shine His light unashamed every breath He gives me.

19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”- Acts 4:19-20 NASB

18 This will be written for the generation to come,

That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.

19 For He looked down from His holy height;

From heaven the Lord gazed upon the earth,

20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner,

To set free those who were doomed to death,-Psalm 102:18-20 NABS

1 Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty,

Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name;

Worship the Lord in holy array.

3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;

The God of glory thunders,

The Lord is over many waters.

4 The voice of the Lord is powerful,

The voice of the Lord is majestic.

5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;

Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,

And Sirion like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the Lord hews out flames of fire.

8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;

The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve

And strips the forests bare;

And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sat as King at the flood;

Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.

11 The Lord will give strength to His people;

The Lord will bless His people with peace.-Psalm 29:1-11 NASB

        A decade is a substantial amount of time. A lot can happen in a decade, a lot can be missed. I praise God daily for each breath, and I will live life with full purpose and a grateful perspective. I hope the life I live is contagious and shines brightly toward the One who gives each day its meaning.

* The Scripture verses are from the New American Standard version of the Bible.

**The blog posts are from www.emilypanter.blogspot.com- started and maintained during the hospitalization by my Aunt Becky