Kellie, Isabella, Isaiah, and Pastor Chris

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Isabella Eleanor & Isaiah Calvin

We are happy to announce the birth of Isabella Eleanor Guffey (4lbs 9 oz – 17in) and Isaiah Calvin Guffey (6lbs 7oz – 19in).  They were born at 7:59 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., respectively, on Monday morning.  Kellie had a very difficult delivery, but is doing great.  This morning she was on her feet for the first time and now seems to be coming back to her usual self. 
Isaiah is very healthy and doing well.  He has blonde hair and blue eyes at this time.  He had only a few breathing problems after delivery, but after about 30 minutes was stable and breathing on his own.  He has reacted very well to all of the tests, except being cranky afterwards.
Isabella is a miracle, no doubt.  We were told that we would not get to see her after the delivery.  The doctors has predicted that she would probably go home with the Lord within a few minutes of delivery.  If she didn’t, they believed she would be rushed to NICU, where they hoped they could give everyone the opportunity to bond on Tuesday.  However, she shocked everyone when she came out.  She was stable, breathing on her own, good blood sugar counts, good blood pressure, seemingly perfectly healthy.  So instead of having to wait to meet her, Isaiah, Isabella, and myself were waiting to see Kellie in recovery. 
With all of that said, we have kept this information close to us because we knew there were still some obstacles ahead.  Yesterday, the staff was unable to get Isabella to eat and maintain a healthy body temperature.  Around 10:00 p.m. the decision was made to go ahead and take her to NICU.  They have done several tests today, including mri’s and ultrasounds of her brain.  The results have been good and bad.  The piece of her brain that was thought to be missing during the pregnancy is not missing!  This is obviously great news that everyone was excited to hear.  However, it is much smaller than it is supposed to be, which probably will affect her motor skills (one doctor said, “she will be clumsy for the rest of her life”).  While I am sure this was bad news to him, for us, we can deal with clumsy.  The water and subsequent pressure that was seen on her brain is still present.  This has led for the staff to bring in a brain surgeon, who specializes in children.  We have several options in front of us, with some difficult decisions to make.  At this time, we would covet your prayers as we consider what the best option is.  With that said, for an unexplained reason, she has already begun to “self-decompress” which is a great thing, so long as she does not go too far.  Right now the greatest threat facing her is her inability to eat.  She has the skills to swallow and from what we can tell, her organs seem to be operating perfectly.  However, we do not know why she is not eating.  It could be that because of her size, she is spending all of her energy trying to stay warm and just doesn’t have the energy to eat – this would be the best solution.  The other option is that while the brain was compressed with fluid, it is possible that the pressure damaged the part of the brain which tells the body when and how to eat.  If this is the case, the outlook would not be good.  So the only thing we can do at this time is simply wait and see how she responds after being put into an incubator and given a feeding tube for a few days.  Hopefully with some new found strength and energy, she will be able to regulate her temperature and eat properly.  The final problem is that her brain stem and spinal chord have been arranged crooked because of the pressure on the brain.  Again, only time will answer questions about her mobility and so forth, but at the present she is passing all of the reaction tests that they did not expect her to be passing.  All in all, we have not learned anything we did not know before we came in for delivery.  The only bits of information that are new are that she is surprising everyone with her responses and ability to continue to fight for life.  We were told today that Kellie and Isaiah will probably be discharged on Wednesday or Thursday.  However, we will probably be spending the next 10-14 days with Isabella here at the hospital.  Right now, we are working on hotel arrangements and my work schedule.
Kellie and I are doing great!  We are excited about these blessings from God!  If something were to happen to Isabella, God has blessed us so much by giving us the last two days.  There has been a song stuck in my head for the past few days, the words of the second stanza and chorus summarize our thoughts.  “Worthy of reverence, worthy of fear, worthy of love and devotion, worthy of bowing and bending of knees, worthy of all this and added to these – You are worthy, Father, Creator; You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer; You are worthy, worthy and wonderful, worthy of worship and praise.” 
Many are asking about coming and visiting.  We would love to see all of you.  With that said, in the interest of baby Isabella, it would be best to keep visits to a minimum.  Now that she is in the NICU, we are the only ones allowed to sit with her.  However, we are here with Isaiah and if you want to visit the only thing we ask is that you please call and set up a time with us.  That which we need most at this time is your prayers.  Pray continually that Isabella would gain strength and begin to eat.  This would be a sign that the problem is not a brain problem and would get the doctors closer to the right treatment quickly.  I am sorry that I had to miss this Sunday, know that we missed being in your presence greatly.  I will be back in the office, with a schedule worked out as soon as possible.  Thank you for your continual support.
Held By Grace,
Pastor Chris, Kellie, Isabella, and Isaiah Guffey

Daily Word June 14, 2011 - Psalm 107:1-3

1     "Oh give thanks to the Lordfor he is good,
      for his steadfast love endures forever!
2      Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
      whom he has redeemed from trouble
3      and gathered in from the lands,
      from the east and from the west,
      from the north and from the south."

           To often we get caught up in the day-to-day and just find ourselves going through the motions. When this happens everything seems to blend together and we lose sight of what God has done for us. Take time to be thankful for what the Lord has given you today. Give thanks to Him because He is good! Let us show the world what the Lord has done for us.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Daily Word June 13, 2011 - John 4:39

Experience, Express, Encourage

John 4:39 - Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me all that I ever did."

Many know the story of the woman at the well. This woman came to the well at noon, the hottest part of the day, and she also came alone. Women would usually came in the cooler parts of the day to draw water from the well. This would suggest that the woman was ashamed of something and didn't want contact with any of the other women. However, to her surprise she met Jesus that day. The woman at the well experienced grace and came in contact with Christ. Jesus offered her the gift of living water that day, a gift from God which only He could give. He began to explain and teach the woman her need for such water. After this Jesus revealed to this woman all that she had done, her sin. So moved by what Jesus had to say, the woman left her water jar and rushed back to the town to tell everyone what had happened. She left her present need of water so that she could tell others about what had happened. The woman at the well experienced Christ then went back to the people she knew and expressed to them what had happened when she met Jesus. Then she encouraged them to come experience it for themselves. 

As believers we all have found ourselves in times where we were ashamed of something we did. Maybe it is now or maybe it was a long time ago. Regardless, as Christians we know that we have found forgiveness and grace in Jesus Christ. Many of us have experienced it for ourselves, but when is the last time we went out of the way to share with someone what God has done in our life? When is the last time we invited someone to experience it for themselves? The woman at the well left what she was doing and rushed back to tell others what happened and encouraged them to come meet Jesus. If you have experienced Jesus work in your life then express it and encourage others to experience Him too. Let your testimony lead others to Christ just as this woman's did.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Daily Word June 9, 2011 - "Psalm 40"

Psalm 40:1-2 "Restored"
"I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure."
Ever done something wrong?  Offended the coworker or dissappointed the boss?  Let your spouse or your children down?  You know the feeling, right?  That feeling of utter grief and dismay.  You feel like everything you do will be wrong.  The more you try to fix the problem, the worse the problem becomes.  But then comes that moment when the offended begins takes notice of you.  They sit down and discuss what happened.  They talk about forgiveness and how to make the problem better.  Here the psalmist finds himself.  He has wandered with his sin and grief for long enough.  He has made the problem worse with every futile attempt.  But suddenly the Lord hears him.  Listen to God's restoration: "He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock..."  No more quicksand, no more continually sinking deeper into the destruction, but a new day.  A day of restoration and security.  Only God can do this.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Daily Word June 7, 2011 - Psalm 39:1

Psalm 39:1
"I said, 'I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence."
We all know the power of the tongue.  When words are spoken, they are out there.  They can never be taken back or changed, regardless of how pure a desire of the heart to withdraw them, they are gone.  The first verses of this psalm are all about guarding the tongue.  I like how the psalmist says in verse 2, "I was mute and silent..."  Today, "God guard my tongue.  Do not allow me to say what I should not, teach me to hold my tongue and stay silent as I should."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Daily Word June 2, 2011 - Psalm 38

Psalm 38:18
"I confess my iniquity, I am sorry for my sin."
Here is a psalm rittled with pain.  As you read all of psalm 38, what we find is a man overcome by suffering.  What is the cause of his suffering?  Two things.  First, is the discipline of the Lord.  Apparently, he has sinned against God and God is exercising his paternal duties.  He is disciplining his child, making him new.  But discipline never seems pleasant in its time, says the Hebrew writer, and the psalmist is ready for it to come to completion.  Second, he has tumult in his heart over the grief of his sin.  Sin not only effects our relationship with God, it causes turmoil inside our souls if we are a believer. 
For these reasons, this is not a sad psalm.  I am sure the psalmist was sad when he wrote it.  But in proper season, as he reflected upon these words, there was probably some happiness.  Why?  Because discipline showed him that God loved him and grief over sin showed him that he was a child of God.  We should be thankful when we are convicted of sin, it bears witness to the fact that we have the Holy Spirit of God living within us, who will not let us rest in our disobedience.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Daily Word June 1, 2011 - Psalm 36:7-9

Psalm 36:7-9
"How precious is your steadfast love, O God!  The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.  They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.  For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light."
The psalmist here describes the "fulness" of the child of God.  He is not contentious, always looking for more, or never satisfied.  He is not "getting by", but rather he says of him that he is "feasting" on the abundance of God's house.  I wonder - "Are you feasting?"  Feasting is not just eating enough to get by, but rather having more than you could possibly want.  But this is not the "health and wealth" message you may hear on tv.  Instead, vs. 9 is the key.  The reason that they are feasting is because "with you is the fountain of life..."  Who is the fountain of life?  Jesus Christ.
Feasting in the riches of God are found in the delight of Jesus Christ.  When the heart has found its source of satisfaction in Christ, it is steadfastly anchored at the table of God's blessing.