Silence of the Lamb

The Sound of Silence

monkey-hand-over-mouthI couldn’t talk for three hours. My wife forbade me. And I always do what she says.

Habakkuk, Paul, YHWH and Jesus all think it’s good to be silent.  Do you?

Read my post reflecting on silence on Biblical’s blog: The Sound of Silence.

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Thanks

Thank you danceA year ago, we were bailing out our basement every 2 hours, all through the night because Super Storm Sandy took away our electricity, so our sump pump didn’t work.  It was literally like the Sorcerers Apprentice (click here).

A year ago, I had voice problems, stomach reflux, sleeplessness and panic attacks (click here).

A year ago, I was canceling speaking engagements and travel plans because of health problems.

This year I’ve got good health, “unlimited power” and the ability to speak and travel.

I have a lot to be thankful for, particularly as I compare my life today to that of November 2012.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, but it always gets over-shadowed by Halloween and Christmas.  It’s good for my soul to reflect on what I’m grateful for.  I really do have a lot.

I’m going to try to focus on things I’m thankful for this month as a warm-up to Nov. 28.

I’m thankful for all the saints (it’s “All Saints Day) who prayed for me during my health crisis of Fall 2012.  Thank you.

I’m most thankful to my God who sustained me, healed me, comforted me and restored me.

Thanks.

I’m also thankful for all the people who voted in my David/Bathsheba poll, but if you didn’t, it’s not too late (after clicking here, only two more clicks).  Last time I checked there were 77 votes, hoping to get over 100.

Click here to see the full “thank you dance“.

Dave’s speaking again

Back in October I canceled 5 speaking engagements due to my health problems (damaged vocal chords, serious reflux, sleeplessness, panic attacks, weight loss–25 pounds).  Since those cancelations, I haven’t agreed to any outside teaching engagements (I have continued to teach at my Seminary, and at my church).

Memorial Baptist ChurchBut this Sunday, that changes.  I’m going to preach at Memorial Baptist Church in Columbia, Missouri.

God has been slowly healing me.  Praise God and thank you to all my friends who have been consistently praying for me.

My vocal cords are almost 100%, and the reflux is under control.  I still have to take four monster pills every day–I call them über-Tums–but only rarely do I need to take real Tums.  And the best news of all: I’ve begun to eat dessert again (only small pieces so far–OK, small for me is normal size for most people).

God has been teaching me profound spiritual lessons along the way (see my past few blog posts for details).

I am your shepherd
Suffering Training
The Most Overused Psalm
What do I have to be thankful for?  A Lightbulb

If you’re looking for someone to speak on the Old Testament, particularly God Behaving Badly, let me know (dlamb@biblical.edu).  The calendar for 2013 is currently wide-open.

Thank you Jesus, for healing me, and the lessons you’ve been teaching me. 

What do I have to be thankful for? A Lightbulb

What do I have to be thankful for?  These past few months have been the worst period of my life.  A time of despair and gloom.  Thanksgiving?  No thanks.

I went to the ENT in August having a hoarse voice, but otherwise feeling great.  He put me on three medications that made me feel bad, and gave me reflux.  He thought I had reflux already, even though my only symptom was my voice problem.  Maybe he’s right.  All I know was that before those medicines I felt great and after those meds, I’ve felt miserable

I tried going on and off meds.  I tried switching meds.  I changed my diet.  Low fat.  No ice cream.  No cookies (Shannon’s an amazing baker).  Stopped eating anything after 7:00.  Propped up our bed.  Got a wedge-shaped pillow.  Loosened my belt and untucked my shirt.  Nothing helped. 

I had headaches.  Reflux in my throat.  Cramps in my stomach.  I’ve lost 20 pounds.  I’ve slept badly, waking up anxious.

I have seen 2 ENT’s, 2 GI’s, a speech therapist, a nutritionist.  I visited a medical professional 2-3 times a week.  I had a colonoscopy, and endoscopy and a mole removed twice (just to be safe).

Since I didn’t have enough crisis in my life, Superstorm Sandy came.  We lost power for 4 days.  During this time, I was supposed to have the stitches removed on my mole-removal wound.  But the doctor’s office, like everyone else, had no power, so my stitch removal was delayed.  During the delay, the wound got irritated, so I was put on an antibiotic.  The antibiotic made my reflux worse.

And yet, despite my misery, there are still things to be thankful for.

Friends.  Friends have listened.  They have prayed for me and with me, spontaneously laying hands on me in classrooms and shopping mails.  During our period of powerlessness, friends shared showers, meals, and even a generator.  When I told author Frank Viola about my struggles, he sent me a chapter from  his book, Revive Us Again, how God brings light out of dark times.  Friends have sustained me.

Family.  All the things I said about Friends, ditto with family.  Prayer.  Sympathy.  Support.  But my family has blessed me particularly with humor.  My soul needs to laugh.

God’s word.  The psalms have been my constant friend.  Giving words to my thoughts, fears, hopes and prayers.

God.  I’ve never been closer to God.  Desperation has driven me to God.

Hope.  God is healing me, slowly.  My voice is better.  The headaches have diminished.  Sleep isn’t great, but it’s improving.

God recently gave me a light bulb.  I was in my office reading and praying through Psalm 107 when my friend Tony stopped by to give me lightbulb that I needed for my lamp.  I asked for the bulb a couple of weeks ago, but it was a unique bulb, so it took awhile to find.  After Tony left, I looked down in my journal and read what I prayed right before Tony arrived:

Bring me out of darkness and gloom (see Psalm 107:10).

Perhaps it was just coincidence, but I don’t think so.  I prayed for God to enlighten me and he sent a lightbulb through a friend.  That lightbulb was a sign that God listens and wants to illuminate my life and heal me.

I’m thankful for lightbulbs.

What are you thankful for?