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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Keep on Keepin On

What a gorgeous setting, pastoral, and a preview of what we may inherit as we endure.

What is wrong here, nothing at all, except maybe the corral/fencing.

I was thinking how as time passes how much some things change, and others stay the same. In going to a new congregation it is interesting, challenging, intimidating for some, and like coming home for others.
I was talking to 1 brother who recently started the process of relocating to a new cong., and he was looking forward to it, but also it has some unknown factors. Most of that is due to our imperfections, others imperfections, and being in a different, situation, where you are not sure of how you fit in. But in Jehovah's Org. really all we have to do is keep doing the Lord's work, follow directions we receive and allow time & things to develop naturally, and not force things, too soon, or before they happen when the right time arrives.
That applies also in the ministry with our calls. Heb. 6:12 makes that point, of how demonstrating the quality of patience is so important & how we can do it. "in order that you may not become sluggish, but become imitators of those who thru faith & patience inherit the promises." As we talk to people in the ministry it is so important to have patience with them. If we allow thoughts of we need to rush them to studying, before they are ready we force them into a decision before their heart has made it. Why do we do that occasionally, maybe because on the surface we desire them to get in before it is too late, right?
But what may it really show? Our lack of faith in Jehovah & his son in their ability to deliver any who are "sighing and groaning over the detestable things" going on. The angels part of directing us too sheep-like individuals, when the time is right, to say the right thing to theses ones. believing that holy spirit is involved in this work. That is where faith comes in, does it not? We talked about that in FS the other day. It reminded me of a FS talk that a brother in Dolores stressed. having patience, shows the degree of faith we have in Jehovahs ability to deliver. That same faith will not allow us to become "sluggish" in our activity, but all we have to do is keep on keeping on isn't it? Sure we follow the direction and instruction from "slave" as to the offer, feature what the current suggestions are, etc.  But we don't have to act fearful of not having the time to reach all who will respond.
An example of that is our record in the ministry. 1 of my "spiritual dads" who helped shape my life is up there in years. And I have the privilege of working with him in our new congregation. I marvel at his stamina, and desire to "keep on keepin on." he has served Jehovah over 80 years, and has had much responsibility over the years. He has slowed down physically but not spiritually. When the temp this week was hitting a 100, he was out,
and doing the ministry still, he uses a cane now, and we make sure he gets the doors that are level, as much as possible. But what an example of faith, patience he has shown and is still showing.
When I was a young teenager, in his cong. Many a time he or 1 of the other bro.s on the "Committee" as we called it back then, would tap me on the shoulder and ask if I would follow him to the "the room".
In this case it was the bas't of the Kh. where you went to get counsel, and privately. And there they would be, 3 spiritual men who were interested in my welfare, and heard, saw, or observed some fault, or a danger that they would see that was in front of me, and counsel me on how to avoid it, how not to repeat it, and what the consequences would be if I didn't. I never regretted any of those many occasions of counsel, sometimes strong, but always in love, because I knew they were trying to help me. They were doing the job assigned to them from the FDS, to warn me before I took a false step, or after I took a wrong step, admonition on how not to repeat it.
So in being reunited with him is a great joy and source of encouragement, and an example to follow.

here is Ted at door, doing what he can, just like us, except he's been doing it longer. This is a funny pic, because I didn't think the sprinkler was shooting water everywhere, thought it was just hitting part  of the area. Ted didn't complain, and the sister with him when they came back to car, squeezed the hose so Ted didn't get soaked.


Here is Ted heading back to car. Now he isn't perfect, I know, but in my eyes he will always be the man who most influenced my life, and kept me on the road to fulltime service, where I enjoyed Bethel, pioneering, met my wife, and went to serve where the need was great. He wasn't alone in helping me, I needed a lot of help. But he was always there, and his wife & family that made room for me, at a crossroads, that helped guide me
to a destination that I couldn't see, but hoped for.

We had a nice time in service. Then the next day we had a good time too, here are some of the pics we saw.
 Right out of the 60's, were these slogans.
I just heard from the brother & sister who took over Miguel's study, that they are going to their 1st DC in Sept!!!!!!!!!!! Ecstatic would be too mild my feelings. Several friends in spanish cong, and our friends in Eng Dolores have offered to assist them, is this a great org or what?
Never ignore Jehovah's ability to deliver us from any situation we find ourselves in, or in his desire & ability to direct affairs so as to find & deliver those in our ministry we come across. Its not us, it is Jehovah, Jesus, and the angels, FDS, directing us in his work. We can have joy, as we just "keep on Keepin On".

Love to all,
Tom & Elaine

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Our Mexican Adventure-concludes.

Well this isn't the next post on Blog I envisioned a few weeks ago. As some know I had a heart issue that sent me to hospital for 3 days in Dolores, then on to a cardiologist in Queretero, the next week. Had several EKGs, and checkup that showed an arrthymia, was causing heart to beat about 120- 40 beats a minute.
Was put on medication, helped control it, and allowed me to function, albeit at a reduced pace.
The HLC heart Dr was good, just a translation issue. I sent the EKG and report to my cardiologist in St. Louis. He agreed with medication, Mexican Dr had me on. Then we arranged to come back for an echo cardiogram in St. Louis. This Dr here had done my angioplasty with stent in 06.
The bottom line was with this condition it recurs a good % of time and we were over 2 hrs from cardiologist, and he told me I needed to go home for echo test. So we headed back to St. Louis with skeleton of bare necessities, depending on what test showed & our feeling at that time.
We decided to bring with us as much as we could fit in car, and that we might be gone up to 3 months.
Elaine packed up house, with Rosario, to prepare as if we would not be back. I hoped that we might be able to return. was very hard to give up our "dream", that only began 8 months ago, and was in planning for 2 years. But agreed to leave if that was going to be best course over long run. But held out hope that Dr would say it was just a little blurp on the radar screen. I had changed my diet to a healthy one, and lost 20 lbs. Medication helped keep BP/ heart rate 135/84/84. Normally heart rate is mid 60's.
  Stopped here for a late lunch, I think in Oklahoma on way back. So had the echo test, and have scheduled for tomorrow a cardio-conversion procedure, they electro shock heart to try to get into right rhythm. Dr said he felt like because we came back soon after the arrythmia started, there was a high rate of success. But when we got back to almost sea-level. I felt it much easier to breathe. Before I was panting at the simplest of tasks, due to altitude. So from the Cardio Dr here, and the easier breathing here. it looks like we have had decision made to stay here.  I'm glad that Elaine gave me her input, and her perspective, on what position she would be in if something happened to me, while we were in Dolores. She knows how much I wanted to stay, and see thru our original plan, but also knew what could happen if we had a repeat of the previous situation. When I was in Hospital in Dolores, there was no cardiologist, there was an experienced internist. He gave me some medicine that was the correct protocol, but didn't bring my heart rate down much, The hospital was run like a prison, they wouldn't allow Elaine to bring in food for me. They said there food was fine. Here I was a heart patient and they fed me, a small salad, 2 fired tortillas, beans and rice! Not exactly a heart healthy fare. When I questioned them, they said they have very good food!. They were insulted that I suggested there food was the best diet for me. So I asked 1 Dr. who spoke some english, if I could bring in laptop, so I could commuicate with DR. So thy relented for that, before they would not allow Elaine to bring in even water to me much less some fruit & veggies. So I had an aircard I plugged into laptop, and started googling the medical condition I had, and recommended treatment. I read from Mayo clinic website that using a beta blocker was suggested to bring heart rate down. So I got the younger Dr to help me communicate with the Dr in charge, and after some hurt feelings he agreed to give me a beta blocker in IV I had in. That broght heart rate into 90s. Then I showed him using a translation app, that the dosage could be upped to 10-15 mgs. He asked how old this information was? I showed him it was the lastest from Mayo Clinic. and he agreed then to up dosage. That brought the rate down into 70s by sunday and he released me. Had come in on friday. Had much support from our Cobe, Bro. Feid, and a Bible study the 1st night as we checked in to ER. But itt was almost ironically funny, here I'm in the ER, they get us a room, and even made special consideration for Elaine to stay there, but they never put me on a monitor the whole night. To keep heart monitored!  After awhile, Elaine & I looked at each other, and just tried to sleep. We couldn't believe the lack of training, or ability to hook me up to heart monitor. Thats when my wife began to see, that staying may not be an option. When the next morning came the internist Dr directed them to hook up the heart monitor.
So as it turns out, my sons condo opened up, his renter for last 5 years gave him notice she was leaving by July 1. It is a 2 br. 1 1/2 bath ground floor condo. We had stored at our kids places a lot of our old furniture, tables, so we had  much that we needed to at least move into condo for awhile. We didn't know for how long, and still don't but it gave us our own place to live, while going thru tests and the time it will take for Dr to do followup at 30 and 90 days. We are in my best friends congregation, Pacific, MO. close to our kids. They all pitched in to move us in, I supervised for the most part.
Here is the place we are as of now.

Elaine & I & Austin having our dinner.

                                                     My new office.


                                                          The kitchen

new dining room, going to miss our hand-made tables from Luis, and chairs.

                           Elaine's desk, her mother Evelyn's       that Janine "loaned' to us.

Living room, with chairs from Stacey & Jared.
So we will try to make adjustment to the new circumstances, and for now have to end "Planks Mexican Adventure". I must say we are glad we did make the move to Mexico, and to find warm friends, and 1 of the most spiritual group of people to be around, at meetings and field service, has been the best of experiences. The level of spirituality in Dolores will be missed more than I can say. We have not experienced that level of spirituality since being at Bethel on a scale that Dolores Hidalgo has. The comments & preparation for meetings was outstanding. Every morning we had a brother who would conduct the mtg for FS with well thought out comments and encouragement.
The sisters comments and talks & demos were superb. As I said it was like being back at Bethel.
But we look forward to the next chapter of our life, and while we will never forget our experience in Dolores Hidalgo, we will try to bring with us an encouraging spirit to our new congregation, and join them in preaching the good news.
Tom & Elaine.