Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Christine Update

I've been posting the updates about my friend Christine on my blog since I asked for prayer so many months ago. People still stop me and ask how she is doing and mention these updates. So here is another one that requires prayer.

Christine Neall’s Brain Tumor Update #26

This is a quick e-mail to solicit your prayers in our behalf as we journey back again to the NIH for another MRI and checkup.  It has only been 3 months since we were last up here and they told us that an area of the tumor bed showed some subtle changes from previous MRI’s.  Because of the potential tumor growth they wanted us back sooner.  This MRI may reveal if there has indeed been some tumor progression.  We, of course, we hoping and praying that it is not and perhaps only gliosis or continued healing from the surgery.  We were scheduled to go back up last week but plane delays forced us to cancel the appointment after we had traveled to Little Rock and gone through security for the trip.  We trust that there was a purpose as “all things work together for good.”

Christine continues to nurse Ella and with very busy summer plans, we elected to wait till this MRI to consider our options.  God has guided us to this point and we continue to trust him for the future.  Please gray for his guidance.

Our summer was indeed very busy with work at OHA and around the house and garden, traveling to family reunions, and with planning and leading a trip to ASI with a choir and string ensemble from Ouachita Hills.  It proved to be a highlight of the summer with Kevin and Shelly Powell also coming on the trip and Christine and the children joining us the 2nd weekend in Orlando Florida.  We are very blessed that Christine continues to have no deficits other than the speech aphasia which can be more pronounced when very tired – an event which seemed to happened more frequently with our exhausting summer schedule.

We just celebrated Elliot’s 4th birthday in August.  On his birthday he essentially mastered the skill of coasting downhill on his bicycle without training wheels – accompanied by skinned elbows and bruised knees which cut short his endeavor.  However, when he received his scooter a few days later, his interest renewed and he mastered the skill this time on the scooter.  Ella continues to develop she approaches her 2nd birthday in December.  Although her vocabulary is limited she clearly communicates her wishes.

When we recently told someone about Christine’s brain tumor, he responded with great earnestness, “It’s in the mind!”  It made us chuckle because, quite literally, it is.  However, the importance of our thoughts should not be underestimated.  I have been studying habits lately and particularly habits of thought.  This morning I read these two encouraging quotes on the power of right thinking:

No one but yourself can control your thoughts. In the struggle to reach the highest standard, success or failure will depend much upon the character and the manner in which the thoughts are disciplined. If the thoughts are well girded, as God directs they shall be each day, they will be upon those subjects that will help us to greater devotion. If the thoughts are right, then as a result the words will be right; the actions will be of that character to bring gladness and comfort and rest to souls.-- 2MCP 655

As we are not our own, as we are bought with a price, it is the duty of everyone who professes to be a Christian to keep his thoughts under the control of reason and oblige himself to be cheerful and happy. However bitter may be the cause of his grief, he should cultivate a spirit of rest and quietude in God. The restfulness which is in Christ Jesus, the peace of Christ, how precious, how healing its influence, how soothing to the oppressed soul! However dark his prospects, let him cherish a spirit to hope for good. While nothing is gained by despondency, much is lost. While cheerfulness and a calm resignation and peace will make others happy and healthy, it will be of the greatest benefit to oneself. Sadness and talking of disagreeable things is encouraging the disagreeable scenes, bringing back upon oneself the disagreeable effect. God wants us to forget all these--not look down but up, up! 2MCP 662

Scripture has this powerful promise. 

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isaiah 26:3.

Thank you for your continued prayers for health and healing of this malignant brain tumor. 


Rob and Christine Neall

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