James Edward Murrell was born March 12, 1975. He
was born with a rare heart condition called
transposition of the
great vessels. He also had two holes in his heart. The doctors
performed open heart surgery on him when he was 6 months old and
only weighed 9 lbs. His parents were told that his chances of
survival were only 10%. Well, he survived. Dr. Pacifico later told
us that he operated on 8 patients that day and Jim was the only one
who made it through. Dr. Pacifico was the only one with the nerve to
do this surgery on such a little baby. Jim has always beaten the
odds. The doctors then told his parents that he would not make it to
adulthood. Well, Jim thrived and grew and became like most little
boys. He had to restrict his physical activity but other than that
he was free to go and do.
Through the years, Jim accompanied by his parents
would have checkups. All seemed great. He was doing wonderful. One
of the original doctors from the surgery even called on his 18th
birthday to see if he was still alive. Of course, he was and he was
Well, then he met me shortly thereafter on May
15, 1994. He was 19 years old. He looked health and was working a
full-time job. We fell in love quickly. It was meant to be. He only
told me about his heart after I had already fallen for him. I
thought nothing of it. Jim looked great and he did anything he
wanted to. He was working for Legacy Cabinets.
Fast forward several years to 2006. Jim was the
new full-time preacher for the Philadelphia church of Christ in
Philadelphia, MS. By now we had Julianna who was four years old. She
is a daddy’s girl in every since of the word. We also had a
wonderful surprise, James Cameron who was almost 6 months old. In
October, we were cleaning up the yard and preparing for a cook out.
We were going to have the Tingles over (elder from church). Jim
started looking funny. He became white as a ghost. I saw him but
thought he would tell me if anything was going on. Then I saw him
grab his neck. I asked him what was going on. He said that his heart
was stopping. I immediately started to cry. We rushed to the local
hospital and soon to UAB. He was right. He kept flat lining. He was
so calm. He would be sitting there talking and then the machine
would sound off that his heart wasn’t beating anymore. He would look
over at it and then his heart would kick real hard and start beating
again. He went through several tests and eventually we were sent
home. The doctors stated that they wasn’t anything they could really
do it was really just PVCs.
From then on, I started noticing little things
which eventually became normal and then scary. He would turn grey,
he would tire out easy, he would be dizzy, he had to take a lot of
extra breaths…etc. I tried to get him to go to the doctor but he
dismissed it time and time again. Then in Feb 2009 he told me that
he wanted to go to the doctor. We had an appointment made in March
with his doctor.
The following is email updates that I sent to our
family and friends to let them know what was happening.
For those of you I have not spoken with, Jim will
have a heart catch on April 29,2009 to correct two places in his
heart that have narrowed due to scar tissue. We request your prayers
because the doctor has stated that there are a lot of risks
involved. If you have any questions, please email them to me. We
have had numerous calls and would prefer emails at this time if
Just wanted to let you all know that Jim has
gotten worse over the past few days. I called his doctor and they
moved his catch to April 15th, this coming Wednesday. It will be at
UAB in Birmingham AL. He will have three different teams working on
him. His fatigue has increased dramatically, retaining fluid,
difficulty in breathing. It has been extremely hard seeing him like
this. Please lift him and our family up in prayer not only on the
15th but every day. I have been trying to do everything and I am not
physically able to do my duties and his. I am having to let some
things go. We appreciate all those who have emailed and called. Your
support and encouragement will never be forgotten. In
Just wanted to update everyone to this point in time. We are still
in Alabama but we are staying with Jim’s parents. When we arrived
Tuesday afternoon in Birmingham we were soon reunited with Randall
and Cammie Evans and Kelly Coldwater. We shared a wonderful supper
together and then read scriptures and prayed. We are so grateful for
your words Randall they will stick with us forever. We arose
Wednesday morning with little sleep due to time spent in prayer. He
was supposed to have his surgery early that morning but a 2 year old
arrived after us. Jim gladly told the doctors that we would wait. We
were overwhelmed by all the family and friends that came to show
their love and support. Thank you for all those who were there. It
was a mini MSOP reunion. He went into surgery at 1 pm. We were
updated about two hours in that there were 3 blockages due to scar
tissue from his surgery in 1975. At 4:30 pm the nurse told us
that he was going to recovery. She told me that I could go and see
him. So I went accompanied by his parents and mine. I was not
allowed to go back and the doctor called me on the phone. The doctor
stated that they were not able to do the entire procedures that they
had planned due to his heart being substantially weaker than they
had thought. They tried to balloon the blockages but could not stint
them due to the areas being curved. There was also an increased risk
if the stints were put into place. The doctor kept acting strange
and I just asked him “Is he in heart failure?” He said “Yes.” He
stated that the only thing they could do for him was to give him
medicine to make it easier for his heart to work. He is not a good
candidate for a pacemaker, ICD, heart transplant….. The only thing
they have to offer is medication therapy. To say the least I was
devastated. Jim just turned 34 years old a month ago. Everyone was
shocked and tried to be strong for his return to the room at 630 pm.
Jim was joking and having a good time when he got back and the
doctor soon came around to tell him and all of us the news again.
Then we meet the Advance
Heart Failure team. They will be keeping
track of us from now on. He could hardly breath because he was in so
much pain. He would hardly eat or talk because it hurt. Thursday was
a long day because we kept being reminded about what all they could
not do for us. I wanted to scream I KNOW, I KNOW. The nurse was out
to lunch all day it seemed because he didn’t get his pain medicine
and didn’t even get breakfast or lunch. Of course, I got him food
from the food court. Everyone went home by Thursday because we were
supposed to go since they couldn’t help us anymore. Jim felt so bad
that they did a chest x-ray and an EKG. Both came back good and we
spent the night at the hospital. Friday he woke up feeling pretty
good but not for long. His heart went into a dangerous V teach rhythm
and he started coughing more frequently. They did an ECHO and
found fluid around his heart but not a substantial amount. They let
us go around 12 pm and we went to his parents’ home. Within a few
hours he was running a fever of 102.5 and coughing more. I called
the doctor and he thought he might be getting pneumonia. He told us
to go to the ER on Saturday if it wasn’t any better. Well it wasn’t
better so I took him to a clinic that was open and he has
bronchitis. He is extremely fatigued and just feels terrible. It
makes me regret taking him to the doctor and the hospital and all. I
know that whatever happens it will be alright. All he wants to do is
preach. We got him a padded bar stool with a back so he can rest
while he is preaching. We plan to go to church in Munford tomorrow
morning and make it home to Philadelphia, MS by tomorrow afternoon.
We are very anxious to see the brethren there and to be home. We ask
for your continued prayers and support. Each of us knows that we are
not promised tomorrow or the rest of today for that matter. May God
continue to use Jim and our family to further his kingdom. We know
that we can do everything our hearts desire for God because of His
love and strength and because of you and your support and
friendship. We love you all and thank you for all that you have done
and for your prayers that mean SO MUCH.
Sorry that we haven't called. We have been awaiting some news. We
received a phone call last Thursday that he needed an ICD. He keeps
going in v-tach which can cause sudden death. They told us that they
would schedule that as soon as possible. We received a phone call
this afternoon, they said the earliest time they had was June 23rd.
This will be at UAB. This will be very risky due to the wires having
to go through the narrow places in his heart. The doctors do not
want to do this but due to the v-tach they don't have much choice.
We are on the cancellation list. If any one cancels they will let us
know. He will have at least a 3 to 4 day hospital stay and a 2 week
recovery period. This is if they can do everything through the
cats. If not they will have to open him up which will bring
about additional risks and a longer recovery. He has had 3 really
good days this week. He doesn't have much energy so he has been
tiring really easy. He wants to go and do but gets exhausted once we
try to go somewhere and do something.
Thank you all for your prayers and concern. We
could not get through it all without friends like you. If anyone
gets a chance we have a wall of cards started. It has taken over two
walls in our bedroom. He loves to get cards. Our address is 1322
Golf Course Road Philadelphia, MS 39350----Take care—Jenn
As of right now, we will just have to wait. I
pray that he will make it to the date and all will go well. I am
confident that the surgery will take place when he needs it. God is
in charge and I am trying to hurry Him up. I am praying that I will
trust Him and His will. Each day I have to let go and let God be in
charge. Love you all----Jenn
I am soooooo sorry that I didn't let you know
what was going on. Our lives have been so busy this month. Jim had a
gospel meeting in Tuscumbia, AL the 7th through the 12th. It had
been planned for 3 years and he hated to cancel it. He got really
really bad that week. He was probably doing too much. By the end of
that week his resting heart rate was 95 to 100 bpm. Whenever he got
up his heart rate would go up to 120 to 140 bpm. We came home to
Philly for 2 1/2 days. He didn't even go to church Sunday because he
would get out of breath and feel like he was going to pass out. I
stayed on the phone all weekend and on Monday morning with his
doctors. We had a nurse at the house and then they said Monday
around lunch time to come on to Bham. So we went. He had surgery on
the 16th and had an ICD implanted. It is helping him a lot.
Everything was very successful with the surgery but he developed a
high fever and we had to stay until Saturday. We got home late
Saturday and then our VBS started on Sunday the 22nd. This was the
first VBS for our congregation in many many years. I taught the 1 to
3 year olds and Jim lead the singing. We got home every night
exhausted and we didn't get home until 9:30 to 10 pm. I am taking
care of Jim the best I can and trying to keep the little ones out of
the house so he can rest. He is getting stronger but still has his
bad days. I am sooooo sorry that I have not emailed in while. I miss
you all and wish we all lived closer to one another. The Lord knows
I need some good friends. The closest family we have is 4 hours
away. We also don't know where we are going to be from one day to
another. We are staying in Birmingham a lot these days. I love you
all. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Being a Christian,
a wife, a mother, a caregiver, a preacher's wife, a person of
chronic illness and so on is trying to get the best of me. The devil
doesn't know how hard headed I am. I plan to fight him to the end.
Keep the faith and love you all-----Jennifer Murrell
I have been praying and thinking about this decision for the past
several weeks. I will not be able to teach my classes this fall
(ACC1223 and ECO 2123). My husband, Jim Murrell, who is 34 years old
is in Advanced Heart Failure. He has three blockages due to scar
tissue from the corrective heart surgery he had in 1975 when he was
6 months old. We have been frequent quests at UAB hospital in
Birmingham, AL. This is where his first heart surgery took place and
they know his heart. He has transposition of the great vessels and
his hearts main function comes out of the right ventricle side. His
heart has become extremely weak, he has been going into v-tach
often, and recently he had an ICD implanted. The doctors don't give
us much to go on. He is one of the first ones to make it to
adulthood. He was never supposed to live past 18 years old. He only
has a few good hours a day. We have two children Julianna 7 and
Cameron 3. We ask for your prayers that the Lord will bless him with
many good days. He is the preacher at the Philadelphia church of
Christ. We count it a huge success when he is able to preach.
I hope that you all understand my decision. Thank you for the
opportunity to teach at EC. I think I made a difference at least in
some of my students. Lord willing, I will be able to return soon.
Thank you and please remember us in your daily prayers.
Well, it has been a week since our last doctor's visit and we are
just now updating everyone. We were extremely tired being in
Birmingham all day and on the road. We have been getting Julianna
ready for the second grade.
The advanced heart failure group stated that they were going to try
and adjust his medicine because he has been having some bad side
effects from the meds. The medicine that he is on is the best for
his heart and they do not want to take him off of it. He has no
energy most of the time and struggles to sleep at night. He falls
asleep fast but it is hard for him to stay asleep. He has become
more absent minded. He doesn't know what he is saying some times in
mid conversation. He has increased in his grey spells and has become
more irritable at times. I know the irritability is due to not
feeling as good as he wants to. The doctor told him to get on
disability but he can't as long as he is preaching. At times he
struggles to preach but is doing the best he can to support his
family. The ICD doctor stated that he was doing okay. He could
not tell us that Jim was doing good or bad. Jim is just maintaining.
The ICD is helping his heart do its job 23% of the time. This means
that 23% of the time his heart is not functioning the way that it
should. It could be a lot worse but it could be a lot better. You
don't want the ICD to have to do too much because the battery will
wear out sooner.
We all have good days and bad. At times I cry and at times I am able
to laugh. I know he has good days and other days could be better. It
fluctuates so that you don't really know what to expect from one day
to another. I have gotten some really good books to read in addition
to the Bible. These encourage me and give me more scripture to take
hold of. I have also started working out at the local gym. I try to
go 3 times a week. With each flare up I feel myself getting weaker
and weaker. I have actually gained 3 lbs this week. I feel stronger
than I have in a long time. Please continue to keep us in your
prayers. Julianna broke down the other day because she noticed how
her dad has changed. I know she gets frustrated and she doesn't
understand. I just cried with her and told her we have to be
thankful for the time that we have had. Every day we try to make it
the best we can. We love you all and thank you for what you do.
Please continue to pray. ----Jenn
The doctor's appointment @ 12:30 Thursday lasted
until after 5p.m. They adjusted his ICD and upon hearing his
concerns and problems over the past few days, they sent him for
blood work, chest x-ray, and echo. When they did the echo, they saw
one of his narrow places was narrower. Then they saw how weak his
heart was. They said the muscle is becoming hard because it has been
overworked for so long. So when the heart squeezes in to push blood
out it is not doing a good job. Now when the heart is supposed to be
relaxing to take in blood, it is not doing it because it has lost a
lot of its elasticity and has become rigid. The doctor stated that
he would have to stay on his current medications because the
benefits outweigh the side effects. The doctor also talked to us
about making some hard choices sooner rather than later concerning
surgery. At this time they believe that out of three options that
Jim could only survive one. That would be heart transplant. The
risks are numerous and the doctor stated that you have to take a
"boat load" of medicine. He is not on the list as of right now and
only time will tell when this will take place. The doctor thinks Jim
can make it a little while longer but also reminded us that he
cannot predict what will happen. The risk of something sudden
happening has decreased thanks to the ICD but there still is a
possibility of that.
Sorry that I am just now getting back to you. It has been a weird
week. A lot of mountains and valleys, if you know what I mean.
Jim is having a severe migraine right now and me and Camo are trying
to be really quite. We were outside playing but it started to storm.
Julianna will be 8 in December. I can't believe it. I am taking her
to see a movie this afternoon after school. We are going to have
girl’s night out just the two of us. We are planning on seeing a
movie. I hope Jim feels good enough to keep Camo while we're out.
We are living in Philadelphia, MS. We have been here for over 3
years. We work with the Philadelphia church of Christ. Visit our
have to check out the Halloween pics of me and Jim.
I honestly don't know what to tell you about helping us. I do
petition your constant prayers and a promise from you that if
anything happens you will come to see me. I know we haven't spent
much time together but I look at your picture everyday and I am
thankful for how you and Trey touched our lives. A day seldom goes
by that we don't talk about you all.
Keep emailing me and that will keep me smiling. I love to read your
emails. Keep sending the pics. I love you girl. Take care and May
God richly bless your beautiful family. -----Jenn
Jim celebrated an important milestone today. 34 years ago today is
when he had his heart surgery (1975). Imagine how the Murrells must
have felt when that saw their 9 lb, 6 month old leave for
surgery with only a 10% survival rate. God has been so good. We are
truly thankful for all that He has done for us and allowed us to do.
Jim's fatigue has increased especially since this past Saturday. I
keep trying to get him to rest more but he has 3 bible studies going
and he has been visiting a lot of our sick people.
Julianna got to go on the football field this Friday night. She got
to see the football players come through the sign and cheer with the
band and cheerleaders. She was chosen as a Terrific Tornado because
of meeting her Accelerated Reading goal and she has surpassed her
Accelerated Math goal. She was also chosen because of her model
Cameron is doing good in his speech classes. He has been working
hard. I think it is already making a difference. He may get into
another class to help some more. We are waiting to hear about that.
He is getting so big. I had to buy him size 6/7 in shirts and size 5
in pants yesterday. He still loves to play with the match box cars
and Thomas the Train.
Hope all is well with you all. I think about you every day. I wish I
had more time in the day to call people. I have to take care of the
children so much to give Jim time to rest; I hate to be on the phone
when I am with them (especially because they have a habit of
screaming while I am talking on the phone).
I love you all so much and thanks for your continued support and
Well, we did not receive good news at the
doctor's office. They believe his heart is hardening even more. This
is the cause for the onset of more symptoms and why his fatigue has
increased. They want to do another cath. This will help them to see
how much of the heart has stiffened. That way that can make a game
plan. The next step will be transplant. We don't have insurance
anymore. Our COBRA time has ended and we cannot be approved for
insurance anymore (too many pre-existing conditions). The only thing
we could get was called risk-pool insurance and we can't afford to
pay the premiums nor the out-of-pocket costs. We have applied for
financial assistance at UAB. They will let us know within a week if
we will receive help. The doctors are waiting on that to schedule
the cath. We pray that all will go through because it will be
devastating to be denied and not get Jim the help he needs.
Jim and I went to the doctor yesterday, Oct. 29, 2009. We saw the
advanced heart failure group and the ICD doctors. Jim's fatigue has
increased significantly since the end of September. This has been
concerning us and we called the doctors about this. They could not
do anything for us, so we waited until it was time for our
appointment. Both the AHF group and the ICD doc believe that his
heart is hardening (stiffening) more. When this happens blood is not
able to come into the heart adequately. The heart is supposed to
relax and pull blood in. If it is stiff or hard it lacks the ability
to do that. The doctors stated that they need to do another cath.
They would have scheduled it but our insurance expired last month.
We can't get anyone to offer us insurance because of our
pre-existing conditions. We have applied for financial assistance
through UAB and hope to hear from them in about a week. Once we
receive word from them (that we will get help) they will schedule
the cath. This will allow them to determine what exactly has changed
since April. This will allow them to make a game plan. Once your
heart becomes stiff or hard there is nothing they can do but
transplant. We spoke with a social worker for the first time
yesterday. She was very nice. The doctors have told Jim to get
disability. The doctors believe he won't have a problem being
approved, but Jim said he is going to keep on working/preaching as
long as he can.
Among other news, Cameron our 3 year old son was diagnosed with a
mild form of autism last Friday. He has been having some
difficulties for some time. We have been working with his doctor and
special services since May 2009. He will start special education
this coming Monday. He is very slow and doesn't understand much. He
has been taking speech for about 5 weeks and has done great so far.
Special services believes they can intervene early and help him to
have a more "normal" life.
We ask for all of your prayers daily. We ask you to never cease to
lift us up before the throne of God. We are still faithful to the
Lord. Through all of what we have been going through, God has never
left us, nor forsaken us, he pours his blessings upon us daily. God
is soooo good. We often has time that we feel like we can complain
or say why me. But we say why not me. God is working on our whole
family. We are becoming stronger with each passing day. We know that
with God all things are possible and He is our rock and shelter from
the storms of this life. May God help us all to do what he has asked
us to do. We love you all and thank you for your continued support
As of November 8, 2009 Jim resigned from his full-time position at
Philadelphia church of Christ. Due to his increased symptoms he can
no longer fulfill his requirements. Jim plans to continue to help
the congregation when he is able to and when they ask for his
assistance. The elders have graciously decided to allow us to live
in the preacher’s house until further arrangements can be made. We
ask that you continue to pray for the work at Philadelphia, her
elders, members and for our family. We pray that God will allow this
place to grow in faith.
Just wanted to update everyone. We hope everyone is doing great this
new year. We pray that God blesses each one of you richly. May you
all have great health and happiness and a new found love for Him and
We will be traveling to Birmingham, AL on Jan 21. Jim will have a
catch done on Jan 22. The doctors have asked us to report to
admissions between 6:30 and 7:00 am. We don' t know when the
actually procedures will take place. Since the end of September
Jim's symptoms have increased significantly. The doctors will try to
see what has changed since his last cath. The doctors suspect that
he has a new obstruction or the scar tissue has become worse,
coupled with the evidence that his heart is hardening.
We have been approved for help from the UAB Health System. This has
been a tremendous relief. We ask for your diligent prayers for our
entire family. Please lift Jim up especially on the 22nd. We can't
thank each one of you enough for your continued support, prayers,
cards, phone calls and help with the children. We now have over 100
cards on two walls in our bedroom. This is a daily reminder of the
support and love you have given to us during our trials.
Thank you all and please keep in touch. ---Jennifer Murrell
January 23, 2010 we are currently at Jim’s parent’s house. We went
Thursday to Birmingham, AL to get ready for the heart catch on
Friday. We were met in Birmingham by our good friends Gage & Kelly
Coldwater (and children) and Kay & Michael Hillman. (Gage and Kelly
are friends from MSOP and Kay is a former co-worker and good friend
of mine from Philadelphia). You gotta love friends who are willing
to drive 10 and 4 hours one way just to be there and support you. We
were also visited by Tim Hayes (MSOP grad and preacher friend), Jeff
Clark (the preacher at Jim’s home congregation), Jim’s parents, my
mother and twin sister.
Jim's catch went off without a hitch. He was in surgery for about 2
1/2 hours and the doctors were not surprised by what they saw. They
were going to look again at the possibility of ballooning or
stinting. They made the decision early on that this was not
feasible. His narrow places were about the same and little was found
in those areas that could be blamed for this increased symptoms.
They did find that his heart muscle was significantly weaker. Most
of the meds he is on was hoped to improve strength and function,
this has not happened. Although this was to be expected they were
not happy with these findings. The way they put it is "his heart
does not even function well enough when he is as rest." They are
amazed that he is able to do all that he does. The way we see it is
that they only see the man and not the motivation (God). With His
strength and blessing Jim lives on. We are going on Monday to see
heart failure/ transplant group again. Since this is the only
option we have left they will help give advice on our next move.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers and thanks for all of
We went to our follow up appointment today with
heart failure/Transplant group. We expected to walk in
and get their review of the catch that was done
We assumed they would say "well as you know Jim’s heart is much
weaker, so we really need to begin to think about a transplant
sometime in the future." That is not what happened at all. The
doctor looked very concerned and said we needed to be considered
immediately for a transplant. (We began the process within the hour)
He said Jim’s
heart function was not good at all. The only detail we
understood was that the average male heart pumps blood, at rest,
approximately 5 liters of blood per min. Jim’s only pumps 1.4 liters
per min. He said this number alone requires that Jim be considered
for the transplant list immediately. He went on to tell Jim not to
exercise at all. As the doctor put it “You are not to lift anything,
do anything, and if you have to walk you must walk gently.” Jim is
not one to follow restrictions like these but he has no choice.
Jim even ate a salad for supper last night.
We were reminded again that transplants carry
huge risks. There is a limited life expectancy, even after the
transplant. In addition to this we will have to make
arrangements to be within two hours of Birmingham when we are put on
the list. Post transplant, Jim will require 24/7 care for 6-8 weeks. At
this point you must live within 15 minutes of UAB. So we have a lot
to think about. We love Philly and the work God has allowed us to
do. The elders have truly blessed us and they are leading the
congregation in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. We pray that
something will allow us to stay and work with this great
congregation for many, many years.
must remember “God will provide” and “All things will work together
for good” (Genesis 22:8; Romans 8:28)
We will return to Birmingham in four weeks for
the remainder of the testing. Please pray for our upcoming decisions
and that Jim may have the best quality of life possible.
I Just wanted to update everyone. Jim
has been sleeping more and more. His fatigue has increased even
more. I thought he might get a little stronger as the days passed
since his cath. I know when you are put to sleep for any kind of
procedure it takes you a day or two to get over it. It has been a
week today since they told us his heart is extremely weak. I feel
like I am in a daze. I know that things are happening and going on
but I feel like I am in slow motion trying to take it all in.
Since our social evaluation for
transplant, Jim has been busy with calling Senators, Congressmen,
Governor’s wife (Mrs. Barbour), Head of Social Security, Head of
Medicare, anybody that might help us expedite the process to get
Medicare. This will allow Jim to get the transplant he so
We have received numerous phone calls,
emails, and cards of encouragement. This means a great deal to the
both of us. I cannot imagine anyone facing what we have through the
years and not having the Lord and his church on their side. We are
so grateful for all that have reached out to us. Many may shy away
because frankly they don’t know what to say or do. To you
PRAY….Going before God Almighty at your desk at work, in your car,
or while you are in your easy chair is a wonderful thing to do.
Whenever you are going through tough times, the little things are
what really mean the most. Of course, who can categorize when you
need all the help you can get at times. (By the way, prayer is not a
little thing, it is HUGE)
The children have had a good week.
They have been extremely tired. Julianna has been talking to a
wonderful lady named Leann Rush (counselor at school). She has been
through a lot herself. This is helping Julianna deal with the fears
and anxieties that she has. She often questions me about what
happens to you when you die or will daddy get better. This morning
she asked about death on the way to school. She said “Did Jesus
really die and when we die what will happen?” I went through the
scriptures in the car on the way to school about how Jesus did die
for us and how through Him we have victory over death. I told her
when you die, it is a lot like going to sleep, If you have been
obedient to God and faithful you will be in paradise, if not you
will be in torment. I told her that I don’t cry sometimes because I
know that no matter what happens to daddy that he will be okay. He
has been obedient to God and he strives everyday to be faithful to
God in every way. I told her that if I remain faithful, I will see
him again. I will get to live in eternity with him. That comforts me
and frees me from a lot of my fears. It was so powerful when she
looked at me and said okay. She had the look like, your right mom,
no matter what daddy will be taken care of and we will see him
Thank you all for your prayers and
encouragement. You have made our burdens lighter. TO GOD BE THE
GLORY-----OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD----GOD WILL PROVIDE---------Jenn
We made it through another Lord’s Day.
Jim didn’t feel good at all. I let him sleep as long as possible. He
got up and was wiped out after getting a shower and getting dressed.
He had to rest in the recliner, until we were ready to go out the
Jim was able to preach. He did a great
job considering all that his body is going through while he is
preaching. By the time, he was done his hands were ice cold. I can
see how he tries to preach as fast as possible. I think he does this
so he can tell what he knows about the text before he forgets
(medication has been causing problems like confusion and
forgetfulness) and so he can finish. When he is done he tries to sit
down as soon as possible.
Everyone said wonderful prayers, gave
us lots of hugs and stated that they were making phone calls and
contacts to help us.
The children were restless to say it
nicely in services today. I gave them a wonderful surprise when we
got home. I told them that they could take a nap immediately
following lunch. To my surprise they did just that. Jim uploaded
sermon and then he rested until time to return to church.
Tonight he tried to talk about Phil
4:13. He was so tired and didn’t feel good. I think you could see
him struggling to get through it all. I am proud of him for his
efforts. I am so glad to be married to a man who even in the face of
death and feeling terrible says…I will continue to preach and teach.
I know that he will do just that. He admires his Uncle Don Murrell
who preached and taught even though he was fighting cancer.
I pray that God will give us a good
week. One of our members, Stanley Kirk stated that I hope things
work out that he will get a heart soon. My reply was “I KNOW THE
LORD WILL MAKE A WAY!” I know that He has been there for us in good
times and bad (if you know us, you know that we have been through a
lot in our short life). We will continue to sing this song and one
more that rings in our ears “I’ll never forsake my Lord.”
Jim probably felt as bad yesterday (Wednesday) as he has ever
felt. He had good spirits and pressed on. As you can assume he did
teach his class as usual. He teaches the teenagers in a small
classroom setting. We went to Jackson today to see a lawyer about
all of our financial and insurance issues. We received a lot of
information that looked very promising. We owe it all to our new
friend Donna Taylor. She is a member of the Clinton church of Christ
and truly embodies the epitome of a Christian servant. She is perhaps
one of the kindest and most caring people we have ever met. Jim did
very well today I am sure he was running on adrenaline but he made
the trip just fine. During the meeting and supper, I would touch
Jim's leg or try to hold his hand. His legs were so cold and his
hands as well. It concerned me that he was feeling that way. I know
that his heart is so weak. I pray that we will have more time. We
have been truly blessed. We see more than ever as we sang everyday at
MSOP: "I know the Lord will MAKE a way for me." As the prayer says
we were all taught as children "God is great God is good."
This week has gone pretty well. Jim was able to preach Sunday.
He did a wonderful job Sunday morning with a sermon titled "I've
Fallen And I Can Get Up." We were also blessed to have five
restorations that morning. We love each of the members here and as
all Christians should be we are overjoyed when one comes home who
has been astray. (Matthew 18:12-14)
We received news on Monday that the transplant doctors at UMC
will be able to see Jim on Thursday (2/11). Getting the referral
needed for this has been a long and stressful process but we thank
God it has finally come. We are looking forward to meeting their
transplant team. Thanks for all you do and keep us in your prayers.
Over the past few days things have been
stressful. Not knowing what to expect at a new facility, leaving
UAB, Jim sleeping more and more, and I have had two flare ups in one
week. We went to UMC in Jackson, MS yesterday. We had to get up
early (4:45 am) to be able to leave by 5:45 am. Jim’s mother came to
be with the children and get them off to school. We talked to
Julianna several times about being a good girl and getting up and
getting dressed like she needs to. Cameron always follows her lead.
Julianna pinky promised that she would be great but of course,
things didn’t go good. She immediately got up and cried for her
daddy and then she wanted her mommy. After some persuasion over the
phone and some Sunkist from Maw Maw, things got a lot better.
(Julianna is extremely worried and concerned for her daddy—please
pray for her to be able to relax) The children made it to school
just fine. We on the other hand, only got turned around one time but
made it to UMC only 2 minutes late.
Everyone was so nice from the lady who met us at
the door to the doctor himself. It is a much smaller place and
everyone is a lot more personable. They took all the regular vital
signs and then put us in a room. We met the transplant
coordinator/personal nurse of Dr. Moore. She was so nice and took
her time asking questions, talking about the medication he is on,
talking about his history, and allowing us to ask questions. Then we
waited for about 5 minutes and Dr. Moore came in. He was very
friendly and very professional. He asked several questions and
examined Jim thoroughly. Then he allowed us to ask as many questions
as we wanted. We found out a lot of information. We were there for
almost 3 hours.
Many people assume that once a doctor says you
need a transplant you automatically get on a list. Before you get on
the list you have to go through a battery of tests. Everything has
to be in good shape for you to be able to be considered for a
transplant. Jim will have to get an eye exam, dentist check-up, to
another cath and endurance check on a bicycle and everything in
between. Some tests we will do at home, others can be done locally
at our regular physician’s office, and then we will have 3 days of
testing done at UMC. If these tests have good results we will then
have the go ahead to get on the list. It takes a while for them to
be able to schedule the tests, so Brunette (transplant
coordinator/nurse) said the earliest they could schedule us was for
the 4th week in March.
Dr. Moore stated that he has done several
successful transplants on patients who have transposition of the
great vessels. He stated that there are a lot more risks but it can
be done. He also stated that Jim needs to try to walk for 5 minutes
a day to keep his other muscles working and strong. The greatest
danger that he faces is that half of transposition patients die
suddenly (Jim has an ICD that can help prevent this) and the other
half decline rapidly where they sleep more and more. Fatigue will be
the worst thing to endure. Jim’s heart is so weak that it is not
getting his blood to the other body parts it needs to, to refresh
him. Jim’s fatigue will continue to get worse. Each day he is able
to get out of bed and do anything will be counted as a success.
I will be honest to say that I have struggled
over the past few days. I have let my doubts and worries consume me.
I pray every day to God to let me be free from fear. Help me to be
strong, that I may bring glory to God when we are enduring this
trial in our lives. I do believe the devil is seeking every
opportunity whether big or small to creep into my life and say….You
know life is to hard….you can’t handle this….it is not worth
trying….be mad at everyone….blame yourself…go hide under the
covers….you can’t love God, look at what he is doing to your
husband….no one cares! Well, first of all I say get behind me
Satan…do you know that we have been through hard times before and we
can get through anything with God….I will never stop trying because
Christ never gave up…..love others that what I choose…..There is
nothing I have done, I can only continue to be faithful to God and
pray for help….I am not going to hide because others have shared
their hard times, their struggles and because of them we are
better….I will never stop loving God, he wants what is best for me
and my family….people do care (have you seen the cards, have you
seen the hugs, the tears, the financial gifts)
Thanks to so many that have sent us cards. We now
have over 165 cards that are covering our bedroom walls. It is so
encouraging to wake up and go to bed with a visual reminder of how
many people really do care. Thanks to all those who have given to us
financially. It has been such a humbling process. We pray that God
Almighty will bless you richly for helping us when we need it the
most. We could not survive without our brothers and sisters in
Christ. We love you and we are sooooo thankful. Blest be the tie
that binds. In all things we praise you God and we give thanks.
Well, we had a wonderful surprise on Friday. We
got snow in Philadelphia, MS. What a beautiful sight it was. The
children got to run and play. Jim came outside and helped make a
snowman. I threw snowball after snowball. It was like we were a
normal family. Jim had to take a break after only a few minutes and
I was reminded once again of how weak he is. I ran and played with
the children and even our neighbor, Rick, had fun throwing
snowballs. Jim just sat there and watched us run around. I know that
he wishes with all his might that he could do that. He has always
been a hands on dad. He changed diapers, played in the floor, bathed
the children, read a story and everything in between. For the rest
of the day he felt terrible. He got to looking so bad one time that
I knew we were going to be headed to the hospital soon.
Saturday, the snow melted and our regular routine
kicked in. Jim went to the church building for an hour or so. He
wanted to print some meeting flyers and look over his sermon. I know
it means a lot to him when he feels like getting out and he is able
to do some things in the church office. He still felt really bad.
When he returned home, he frightened me. He was so weak and so grey.
I know I looked scared. Julianna even looked at Jim and said “Daddy,
you don’t look so good.” We put in a Hallmark movie and rested for a
while. Jim rested for the rest of the day.
Sunday, Jim felt worse. He was grey and very pale
and ice cold all at the same time. I
don’t know how he made it to church. I was begging him to take it
easy. He decided to preach anyway. He struggled the whole time. I
could see him trying to make sense of what he was saying. I think
over all he did a great job. Several people made comments that they
could see him struggling and they could tell he felt terrible. At
the end of the sermon, he stood by the second pew and then he sat
down kind of suddenly. I was in the back with Cameron because he
always has to go to the bathroom when Jim preaches. I wanted to run
up there and check on him but I thought people might get scared.
We made it home and he rested until time to go
that night. He told me that he would only speak about 5 to 10
minutes. If you know Jim, you know that he is long winded even with
his failing health. Well, he finished about 25 minutes later. He
made it through. I don’t know how he does it but I know that he
encourages me every day. His spirit tells his body what he will do.
I thank God that I am married to such a man. I pray that God will
allow Jim to receive a new heart that he may continue to preach with
the same enthusiasm and commitment that he has. He helps me in my
Thank you all for your continued prayers,
support, and those of you that have called. It has been good to hear
from some many. We love you all for your encouragement and promise
to you all that we will ever strive to set the proper example as we
continue to ride through this storm. We know this will pass and the
sun will shine upon us once more. I GIVE GLORY TO YOUR NAME OH
LORD….GLORY TO YOUR NAME>>>>>THERE IS VICTORY IN JESUS>>>>THIS
BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD.
Monday was a good day. The children were
out of school and I had to teach. I tried to find someone to
help with the children but nothing worked out. I prayed and
prayed all the way to school that the children would be on their
best behavior until I returned home. Tuesday and Wednesday Jim
felt terrible. I talked to the Transplant coordinator which
stated that Jim’s vitamin D was low. She called in 50,000 IU of
Vitamin D to take. He will have to take this for six weeks and
then take a different dose everyday and have his level retested
in May. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were good days. He walked
for a few minutes each day. The weather was warmer and it didn’t
rain. He sat outside and studied and just enjoyed being outside
for a change. We went to Bonita Lakes Saturday. The children
feed the ducks and then we watched them play on the playground
for over an hour. It was so nice to be able to get out and for
Jim to have a little strength to do things. The children sure
did enjoy playing. It was a wonderful day. The stress seemed to
vanish away. Sunday, we awoke with Jim feeling bad. He tried to
preach but he struggled the whole time. He stated that he could
see spots and he was so cold even before he sat down for Bible
class. We came home and he slept for a while. We had pew packers
and the children did great. Jim was not able to preach, so the
congregation watched a video about having Faith for Life. It was
really good. I think we all can apply the material presented and
make changes. I wasn’t feeling good at all, all day. Cameron
woke up early in the morning very sick and I had chills all
through the night. I was unable to go to school. I had to take
Cameron to the doctor. Jim is not able to do that because of the
risks of picking up something that could set him back. Cameron
ended up having an ear infection, upper respiratory infection
and a virus. Dr. Massingill stated that I had that as well and
to be careful that Jim doesn’t get it. It is contagious and you
will run fever for 2 to 4 days. The cards and encouragement keep
coming in. I am so thankful for all of it. It brightens Jim’s
day. He loves to get a card each day. For a while he has
received at least one a day if not more. We now have over 180
cards. Thank you all for your support, love, and most of all for
your prayers. I am soooo tired and achy. So I will get the
children ready for bed and Lord willing me and Cameron will feel
better tomorrow. “We are
troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
perplexed, but not in despair”
(2 Cor. 4:8)
Well, to say the least these past few weeks have been
terribly busy. I have failed to keep everyone up-to-date due
to illness. Cameron was sick for an entire week with
pneumonia. He ran a high fever the last full week of
February until it broke on Thursday. He was still recovering
when we were trying to get our Gospel Meeting under way. On
February 26, Julianna and I knocked on over 50 doors and
with the other members of Philadelphia we knock a combined
426 doors to invite our neighbors and friends to the Gospel
Meeting with Tim Hayes from Lincoln, AL.We had the elders and their wives and Tim and Flora
Hayes and Alan all over for supper that same day. We were
extremely excited to have done so much that Saturday but we
were worn out when the night was over. Tim did an
outstanding job. He has so much enthusiasm and love for
God’s Word. He makes you just want to jump up immediately
and work harder than you have in the past for the Lord. It
was so encouraging to spend time with Tim and Flora. They
are wonderful examples and excellent Bible students. We pray
that they will have many years doing the Lord’s work and
that they will always have to support they need to grow and
After going to the gospel meeting all week and cooking for
that every night, then add in doctor’s appointments (which
we had have 6 in the last two weeks) I am sooo tired. Jim
has endured these past few weeks and has done rather well.
His blood pressure has increased significantly from time to
time. His chest pain has increased. He has days where he
rests for hours and then he has days where he can take one
nap and just sit around and do pretty good. Thursday and
Friday (4th and 5th) were hard days
because he had over done it during the meeting. He tried to
show the Hayes around Philadelphia a little on Monday and
Wednesday. He just did too much. He was so tired.
Saturday, our neighbor Chuck Burk, helped us clean up our
back yard. We have two large sycamore trees and their leaves
are very big. Our yard was a disaster. Thanks to Chuck, it
looks brand new. God has truly blessed us with wonderful
neighbors. The Duncans, Burks and Rick have been so good to
us. Words cannot describe how truly blessed we are for the
way they have reached out to help us.
We have surpassed the 200 card mark. It is wonderful to see
all those cards come in and to be encouraged every single
day. It is truly remarkable. We have also been blessed
financially by so many who are giving to the benevolence
fund and those who send gifts to us personally. Times have
been tight but through so many and their generosity our cups
I do want to thank God Almighty for blessing Philadelphia
with a wonderful eldership. They have never ceased to
encourage, praise, love, care for and pray for us. We pray
for Bert Tingle and Sid Williams daily. I thank you both for
allowing my husband to fill the pulpit when he is able to.
He is alive today because of his desire to preach and you
allow him to do that even when his health fails him. I know
that God will bless you for allowing him to continue to do
what he loves. I pray that God will allow time for Jim to
get a new heart and that he will have many more years to
preach the truth. I know that Jim has something to look
forward to and I have the eldership to thank for that.
I also want to thank the congregation for the way they have
feed us through these difficult times. When you’re a mother
and you are trying to keep up with two kids, you need all
the help you can get. I thank you for the meals. It allows
me to have a night off and that means a lot. I pray that God
will bless us all to get closer to one another and that we
will always strive to do what the Lord would have us to do.
We will be going to UMC soon for the transplant workup. It
begins on the 22nd of March. We will try to keep
everyone informed. Please pray that all will be success.
I waited patiently for Jehovah; And he inclined unto me, and
heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry
clay; And he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our
God: Many shall see it, and fear, And shall trust in Jehovah.
Blessed is the man that maketh Jehovah his trust, And respecteth
not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O Jehovah my God, are the wonderful works which thou hast
done, And thy thoughts which are to us-ward; They cannot be set
in order unto thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They
are more than can be numbered.
Since the last email…we have been to
Alabama. We went to see our parents. Jim celebrated his 35th
Birthday. Cameron celebrated his 4th birthday. He had two
cakes, ice cream and lots of goodies. We visited the local
museum, Cheaha State Park and the bowling rink. It was
spring break…we couldn’t do a lot because Jim gets so tired
and we have been exhausted from being sick and going to
various doctor appointments.
When we returned home we caught up the
laundry and rested up for the transplant evaluation /
workup. Initially it was supposed to last 3 days. When we
got there Monday…we went from one test to another. He
started with various pulmonary tests. He did a bike test. He
gave lots of blood. We then met with the transplant
committee (one member at a time). We met the financial
counselor, social worker, dietician, cardiac rehab and
It was information overload to say the
least. The financial counselor informed us that having
Medicaid will allow the transplant to be paid for but it
will only pay for two name brand drugs. If he has
Medicare…we will be responsible for 20% of the operation,
hospital stay, etc. We should have better drug coverage
under Medicare. Jim has Medicaid now but he may lose it come
June. He will receive his first disability check then and
could possible pass the threshold limit for Medicaid.
The social worker had to have lot of
information about how we felt about the transplant….if we
have caregivers available…if we have someone to help us with
our children…some of the answers were yes and some were
maybe and some were no. She shared a personal story about
her sister-in-law that has had a lung transplant, heart
transplant and kidney transplant. She has surpassed all the
Next we met the dietician…she told us what to
eat…what to watch out for…asked about what all we normally eat.
I learned a lot and got a new cook book. Basically…no salt…no
sweets…watch your portions….don’t eat anything that comes in a
box or that is processed. Hmmm….that will be hard.
The cardiac rehab guy (Russ) was awesome. He
loves his job and you could tell it. He talked to Jim about how
he needs to do what he can to keep his body as strong as
possible so he can recover better. He also stated that after the
surgery…Jim would be walking around the hospital floor within a
few hours…within a week he would be on a treadmill. It was
wonderful to think about that for a few moments. I pictured how
it would be to see Jim jog down the street and wave to me. I
just wanted to make it happen right then.
Finally, we met one of the transplant
surgeons (Dr. Creswell). He talked about every detail you would
want to know and some you would rather not know about the
surgery. He talked about how they harvest organs and the tests
they run on those organs. He seemed to be very nice and excited
about his part in changing lives. We asked lots of questions and
felt pretty good about the meeting.
The transplant coordinator then informed us
that we were done. She stated that Jim might have to do another
cath but she would let us know when she talked with Dr. Moore.
We got home around 7:30 or 8 p.m. and wanted to go to sleep
immediately. Mrs. Murrell was kind enough to make the trip again
and take the children to school and pick them up. Words cannot
express our thanks for all that she does for us. We know that
she gets really tired and that she is going through a lot. This
is her son…her baby boy…she started this journey with him…and
together we will help Jim through this.
We were told that Jim would go before the
transplant committee on Thursday March 25. The committee would
decide if he would be able to be placed on the list. Wednesday,
the transplant coordinator called and stated that the bike test
results had not come back. She was trying to get them. So when
Thursday passed and we didn’t receive a phone call…we just
thought they didn’t get the test results. Friday, I worked on
the bulletin boards at the church building and Jim worked on
making meeting CDs. I tried to stay busy and did a pretty good
job. Then Linda Cook (one of our members) called and asked if we
had heard anything. I thought…No….I need to call….so I did.
I called the Heart Failure and Transplant
group and talked with our transplant coordinator. She stated
that I would need to talk with Tammy (her supervisor/head
transplant coordinator). I knew that wasn’t good. Tammy stated
that he passed his bike test but it wasn’t as good as they
liked. For someone, Jim’s age he should have done a lot better
(I thinking…hello…he is in heart failure)…then she said that Dr.
Moore wants to do another echo…then she stated that Jim’s
Medicaid is only “preliminary” (this means that he will only
have it until June). Then I asked her…is he going to be on the
list…she stated that they would help him handle his heart
failure to the best of their ability (that is Spanish for…no…he
is not on the list). Once again…we are hit with the financial
part. You know that commercial….Eating out at Old Mexico
$30.11….Having a lifetime with the love of your life…PRICELESS!
(I wish I could snap my fingers and make it happen)
To be honest….after my conversation with
Tammy….I cried…I felt like I could seriously hurt someone….but
even more than that I continue to realize that we are not the
only ones. There are so many out there that are in need of help
and cannot get it.
I KNOW THE LORD WILL MAKE A WAY….we
appreciate so much all those who continue to pray for us and to
those who have helped us financially with our medical expenses.
We pray that God will richly bless you. Jim will preach and
teach whenever he is able and he will do it until his eyes close
in death. We are so thankful to have our Heavenly Father on our
side…He has not forsaken us…We are becoming stronger…we pray
that we will always do what the Lord would have us to do…We will
be faithful no matter how hard it gets. Jesus was faithful and
kept the course…Our burdens are so few in comparison to what the
Lord went through. We love you all….Jenn-------- "Unto thee, O
Lord, do I lift up my soul.
Silence is the best way to describe our
visit to the doctor on March 31. The entire staff acted like
they didn’t know what to say. They asked us how we were
since they told us he was not on the list and we simply
replied, “We’re good.” We went over his medicines and issues
that he has been having. Then a student doctor came in. He
checked out Jim thoroughly but I was wondering where Dr.
Moore was. Finally, I just ask and it seemed as though he
was going to try and avoid us if possible. He came in later
and discussed the test results. I asked him several pointed
questions about patients with transposition and the results,
transposition and not having a transplant, and transplant
and signs to watch for. Basically, there is nothing more
they can do for Jim except to use medications to ease his
symptoms. They wanted an echo so we went and the lady took a
long time and got some good pictures. I could see how hard
his heart was trying to work, I could see the scar tissue
has grown, I could even see some stiffing. Dr. Johnson at
UAB would walk us through his echoes so I could tell what
was going on to some degree. After that, the transplant
coordinator told us to come back in 3 MONTHS. Wow, three
months….I just thought you really are just going to let him
progressively get worse. It is a sad and hard fact that I
have to face every day. The insurance and financial aspect
of the transplant was mentioned at least 3 times. If
something changes, I am to notify them immediately. It is
true that money can move mountains in some cases. They don’t
know that God has already moved that mountain and we are
just waiting to see the wonderful things he has planned for
We got to talk to a lot of friends from
MSOP. They heard an update at the lectureships and called
us. It was good to hear from them. We got a visit from the
Coldwater's. It was good to see their beautiful family. Once
they arrived, I felt like I was in Memphis again. It is so
nice to be around people who no matter how long it has been
since you saw them you can just fall into a comfortable
pattern with them all over again. Kelly has been a
tremendous help to me. She listens and listens and then
listens some more. I thank God for her Christian example,
support and unconditional love.
Jim’s fatigue has become worse. He
struggled through trying to preach Sunday. He has to rest
more and more with each passing day. He gets up to do
something and the next thing you know he is sitting down to
rest. When we go to town or church, he has to sit or lean on
something. He tries so hard to cover up how bad he feels. He
knows I can see right through it but most people think that
he is maintaining pretty good. If they could be a fly on the
wall at our house they would truly see how he is.
I am so thankful for all the
encouragement that we continue to get. Jim now has over 225
cards. It is great to go in there and read them over and
over. It definitely picks you up. I want to thank Dr.
McCarty who because of our situation waved his fee to clean
and take care of Julianna’s teeth. I felt like crying…I just
bowed my head and thanked the Lord for being so good to us.
Thanks to all for what you do for us. May God richly bless
you as you serve Him.
And the peace of God,
which passeth all understanding, shall keep your
hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:7
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of
them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee;
he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deuteronomy 31:6
God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good
to me! He answers prayer, He answers prayer, He answers
prayer, He’s so good to me!
It has been two weeks since our last
doctor’s appointment and Jim’s fatigue has only gotten
worse. I called the nurse earlier this week and told her
what was going on. She called back and asked for blood
pressure readings, heart rates, body weight and all that
has been consistent. She called back and asked Jim to
take a Chemistry test. He stated that he didn’t pass
Physical Science in school, why would he want to take a
Chemistry test. (HaHa). He went to the doctor and got
his blood work done. We have not gotten any results.
He got really weak throughout the day
yesterday. We went fishing. He has become more
interested in fishing here lately. The place we go is so
quiet and relaxing. I know he does a lot of good
thinking out there. He pulled in a huge one and got
three more. I caught 10 myself but only 6 were big
enough to eat. We had a good time just the two of us. He
had to rest more than he ever has yesterday. It seems as
though he is continually getting weaker. I constantly
see him leaning on walls or sitting down more, he has
changed. It worries me. I know he pushes himself so
much. He tries so hard to be “normal.”
Last week, we had a wonderful
surprise, Randall and Cammie Evans came to visit.
Randall and Jim talked like two old ladies. It was hard
to get them apart from one another. I know when you get
preachers together they have a lot to talk about but
these two impressed me. Cammie out did herself. She
cooked, cleaned and listened. She froze some meals for
us. What a HUGE help. She cooked and cooked and then
when you went to the kitchen it was spotless. What an
amazing friend. Marshall and Arielle, their children,
were great friends to our children. They played for
hours and hours. Cameron still asks everyday if his
friends are coming over. I try to explain that they live
in Kentucky. Arielle and Marshall brought a special gift
to Jim. They brought money from their piggy banks. This
is to help with the cost of a heart transplant. Together
it totaled a little over $7.00. What a statement. It
touched Jim deeply. I know why Jesus asked us to be like
little children. It truly moved us.
We continue to have numerous cards,
phone calls, emails, visits and donations made. Words
cannot describe how truly blessed we feel. We continue
to press on and know that God is making a way for us. I
thank God for MSOP who made me understand that song we
always sang. I have learned so much through this
process, I pray to God that we will continue to praise
Him and give Him all the glory He deserves. I am humbled
when I study the Bible and see how so many have had
victory when they stay faithful to Him. It is our
fervent desire to ever serve the Lord and be faithful to
all His commands. Thank you to all who continue to lift
our names up before the Eternal Creator and Almighty
Father. Only He can sustain us. Thank you God!
"Cast thy burden upon
the LORD, and he shall sustain
thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
Last week was a really hard week.
Jim felt really bad all week. He slept a lot more.
He slept nearly all day Tuesday and Wednesday. He
has a cough that he cannot get rid of. He coughs so
hard at times that he will turn grey and lose his
breath. I had a flare up on Tuesday. It took me a
couple of days to feel like myself again. We called
Jim’s doctors and they adjusted his medicine. Then I
called back when he didn’t get any better. That was
on a Friday and they called me back on a Tuesday.
Then they didn’t even act like they were supposed to
call me back when they told me they would.
Frustrating…but I am trying to be long-suffering.
Jim did great on Sunday. He got fired
up…it’s an inside story. It was good to see him deliver
a sermon so good. He really put everything he had in it.
I wish he could preach like that all the time but I know
that he doesn’t have much strength at all..
This week started off better. His
fatigue continues to increase. He will try to do a
little and then he has to rest. He takes a lot of naps
and has to sit or lean on something almost all the time
now. I finished my next to last week at school. I am so
excited about this semester coming to an end. I love my
students but we all need a break. Then when everything
seems to be going good our freezer died, the car battery
died, Glynn Cook who cuts our grass broke his lawnmower
in our yard and then I hit the basketball goal when I
was taking the children to school. Most of this happened
in a matter of a few hours. You just have to be thankful
that it didn’t hang around long.
We know that many have been asking
questions about our financial situation and the
insurance dilemma. We got the final word Wednesday
afternoon that we will lose Jim’s insurance in June and
he will not be able to get on Medicare until April/May
2012. In order for him to be put on the transplant list
we would have to raise a little over $700,000 and then
be able to prove that we could pay for the medications
until Medicare kicked in (about $3000 a month). We have
been against so many walls that we know things will work
out some way. Brethren continue to be generous and
donate funds to help us.
We have resolved ourselves to the
fact that a transplant may not ever be in our future. We
have decided to make the best of the time we have left.
We will travel this summer to see family and friends if
he is able. I want to do everything I can to help him
enjoy his life. I don’t want to hold him back. It is
hard for me because I don’t want him to push himself. If
I were in his shoes, I would probably say…Fill up the
gas tank…let’s see some new places like Alaska,
plans to preach in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and
Florida this summer. I pray that he will be able to do
that. The only thing he looks forward to and receives
pleasure from is preaching the truth. He continues to be
a diligent student of the Bible and longs to help
himself and others understand the Word more perfectly. I
admire him for not giving up. His body says stop but his
spirit continues on.
Jim continues to get cards, phone
calls and emails. These encourage both of us so much. We
are truly thankful. You have been so faithful to pray
for us. May God bless you all that diligently serve Him.
May your efforts return to you in a multitude of
I wanted to let everyone know that we got our official
letter from Medicaid stating that Jim will not have
insurance after May 31, 2010. That means he will have to
wait until Feb/March of 2012 to get Medicare. It is sad
to think that the doctors said you need a transplant
because you have less than 12 months to live but due to
insurance (or ability to pay) you will not be eligible
to get on the transplant list until 2012. It is a very
sobering thought. We ask for your continued prayers as
we go through this time. We know that God has great
plans for Jim. We pray that he will have the best
quality of life possible as he only seeks to preach and
teach the truth.
He continues to have bad days but every once in a while
he will feel pretty good. We cannot thank you all enough
for your continued support. We love you all.
We Shall See the King Someday
Though the way we
journey may be often drear,
We shall see the King some day;
On that blessed morning clouds will disappear;
We shall see the King some day.
After pain and
anguish, after toil and care,
We shall see the King some day;
Through the endless ages joy and blessing share,
We shall see the King some day.
After foes are
conquered, after battles won,
We shall see the King some day;
After strife is over, after set of sun,
We shall see the King some day.
There with all the
loved ones who have gone before,
We shall see the King some day;
Sorrow past forever, on that peaceful shore,
We shall see the King some day.
We shall see the King
When the clouds have rolled away;
Gathered ’round the throne,
When He shall call His own,
We shall see the King some day.
It has been over two months since our last update
and we have been quite busy. We apologize for not
keeping everyone abreast of what has been happening.
We know that this will be a lengthy update but we
would like to share what has been going on.
The children got out of school on May 21st
and the next week we were off to Washington, D.C.
Yes, Washington! Against the recommendations of
Jim’s doctors we went to fulfill one of his dreams.
Much thanks has to go to the Munford church of
Christ in Munford, AL. This is the congregation
where Jim grew up. They raised money for us to be
able to go on the trip. The doctors didn’t want him
flying…so I drove. We made it to Chattanooga, TN the
first day. We visited the Tennessee Aquarium, had a
horse drawn carriage ride around downtown and ate at
Sticky Fingers restaurant. We slept late and then
tried to make it as close to Virginia as possible.
Along the way we stopped at Sweetwater Dairy Farm.
It is a family owned farm with a beautiful setting
in Philadelphia, Tennessee. We sampled cheese, got a
tour and enjoyed ice cream on the front porch. It
was an absolutely beautiful place. We arrived in
Bristol, TN just on the border of TN and VA late. We
slept late then made it to Harrisonburg, VA. We then
got to see our friends from school (MSOP) Bob and
Tammy Horn. It was so good to see them and their
beautiful children. We ate supper with them and
spent time catching up with them. Sunday morning we
attended the Central church of Christ where Bob
works. (Boy, do I mean he works….I am amazed by how
much he studies and does for the brethren
there...let’s not forget the preacher’s wife…Tammy,
you never cease to amaze me…both of you go above and
beyond the call). The brethren at this congregation
were so friendly. It was a beautiful building and
grounds…they really take care of what God has
blessed them with. The bible class was wonderful,
everyone participated. Jim spoke during the worship
service. Then we enjoyed a home cooked meal by
Tammy. The children got to play and be silly
together, while we caught up with Bob and Tammy. We
had song service in the evening. It was beautiful. I
heard songs I have never heard but fell in love with
them. Then we went to eat and were surprised by the
members there with an anniversary cake. It was our
13th anniversary on Monday. They sang to
us…what a wonderful group of brethren.
Monday morning we headed for Arlington, VA…it was
Memorial Day. What an humbling experience. I
couldn’t understand or grasp how many had paid the
price for our freedom until my eyes beheld the
numerous head stones. With tears in my eyes, I
looked at Julianna and told her everyone one of
these men and women have fought for our freedom…she
stood there amazed. I then thought of what the
memorial might look like if we tried to put in stone
what Christ sacrificed for us. Despite the numerous
lives that have been given and are still being
sacrificed…one must agree that Christ gave the
ultimate sacrifice and gave us the offer of eternal
freedom. I will never forget the numerous markers
and memorials at Arlington…I have always been very
patriotic but after seeing that…it touches the very
core of my being. I will never be the same.
The rest of the week we took trains, buses and taxis
to various monuments…we did walk quiet a bit.(Jim
refused to get a scooter or wheelchair…even though
he needed it) We
saw the Lincoln, Washington, FDR, Korean, Vietnam
and WWII memorials. We visited Union Station (one of
the very few places to find something to eat),
Capitol building, Smithsonian Museum of Natural
History, National Archives Museum…and various
others. It was all so breath taking. The beauty of
it cannot be adequately described. In many places we
could take pictures…so we hope our memories will
hold those precious images.
We met with one of our congressman Gregg Harper while at
the capitol building. We had a private tour and went
many places that the regular tour doesn’t go. Everywhere
you went we had to be checked (metal detectors) of
course Jim can’t go through those because of his ICD…so
he got patted down each time we went into a building. He
loves getting special attention like that though.
We started making our way back home on Thursday morning,
exhausted we longed to be back in Mississippi. We
stopped at the Natural Bridge and Wax Museum in VA. It
was such a neat place. The wax people looked so real…it
was kind of spooky. It told a lot of Bible stories, we
were really impressed with that. The Natural Bridge
itself was remarkable. Again, words cannot adequately
describe it but what a sight to behold. We rested in
Bristol VA and then headed for home. We became too
tired…stopped ate supper with my sister’s family and
then headed for Jim’s parents home. We surprised them
and got a good night’s rest. We then made it home to
We had friends taking care of Max (our dog). Max must
have become very lonely. He dug a hole to China…chewed
up a bag of dirt….ate the cord to Jim’s air compressor.
You couldn’t be mad at him…I would have been worried
about my family too. We got inside to see that our main
bathroom had water in the floor. A pipe had leaked.
Needless to say…we had a lot to clean up and fix up upon
arrival but it was great to be home.
Shortly after that we headed to Cadiz, KY for a speaking
engagement. We got to spend time with our good friends
Randall and Cammie Evans. Their children got to have fun
with ours. We stayed at the Lake Barkley State Resort.
What a beautiful and comfortable place to stay. Everyone
at the congregation was so nice and they had a
fellowship meal that was out of this world. The food was
delicious and could have fed 500 men. By Tuesday, we
were in Clarkesville, TN for Jim to speak at the
Needmore congregation in the Indian Mound community. It
was so great seeing everyone there again. We had worked
with them while we attended MSOP. They have one of the
best congregations and most faithful brethren we know.
We then got to be home and rest a little bit before our
VBS. We had a very successful week. Jim (Jungle Jim) led
the children songs with the help of T.J. Rushing
(Traveling T.J.) and Steve Dansby (Safari Steve). He
taught the teenagers and I taught the nursery class. It
was so much fun. We compared notes at night and couldn’t
wait to do it again. Cameron still wants to go to church
every night. He sings the booster song. Julianna won the
VBS booster award for the girls. She brought 8 people
with her to VBS. She knocked doors and called friends.
We are so very proud of her.
We went back to the doctor (UMC in
Jackson) on Friday, July 2nd. Jim opened up
about having more chest pains. His fatigue continues to
get worse. He might be awake 4 hours one day and others
he might be awake 6 hours. The heat is really bothering
him. He has to watch me and the children playing outside
from the living room window. He wishes he could run and
go but he is not able to. I try my hardest to keep the
children busy and away from him while he is resting…it
is challenging but we manage most days. I have been
playing baseball, kickball, hide and seek, red
light…green light….you name it to help him rest. Once I
hit the bed, I am gone.
We still receive cards nearly
everyday…we have received more donations for medical
expenses…we are so thankful for the continued support
and help. As many of you know, Jim no longer has
Medicaid. He received his first disability check in
June. He was over the threshold by 80 dollars. This
means no insurance for him until May 2012. No heart
transplant…he doesn’t even get on the list to start
waiting for a heart until May 2012. From now until then
we are cash paying customers.
This is why it
was so important for us to go to D.C. We made wonderful
memories and got to make a dream come true for Jim. Each
day seems to pass by faster than the one before. My time
feels like it is slipping away. I wish I could stop time
and treasure him more. I have found myself angry and
sad. I wish that he could be better and wish that
doctors could do something more to relieve his symptoms
and problems. I pray every day to love and cherish him
the way I should. I pray not to let little things bother
me. I remember a time when he used to leave his dirty
clothes right beside the basket when we first got
married. I would fuss at him and pick at him. Now I am
glad I still have dirty clothes to pick up.
Please keep us in your prayers. Jim is here with me and
his children because of your prayers. He is still able
to preach the whole counsel of God because of your
petitions. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. May
God bless each one of you and may we strive to ever do
I want to leave you with the words to a beautiful song I
shall never forget. An older gentleman led it at Central
church of Christ in Harrisonburg, VA. “Will the Angels
Come for Me?” Lazarus was carried by the angels into
Abraham’s bosom—Luke 16:22
"When my work on earth is ended, Will the angels come
Will they bear me on their pinions over the dark and
When life’s sun is slowly sinking, And the soul will
soon be free,
Will the gates of heaven open, And the angels come for
Will the angels bear me upward to that home so bright
to be with Christ my Savior, and the ransomed gathered
Will the angels come for me, When I cross the stormy
Will they take me home to God, When the long rough way
"Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through
our Lord Jesus Christ
At the end of July we visited the good folks at the
Emerald Beach church of Christ in Panama City Beach,
Florida. Jim held a Sunday through Wednesday meeting for
them. I believe he did a great job considering how bad
he felt. He had to sleep most of the day to be able to
preach each night. We took one of our teenagers from
church, Meagan Ingram. She was such a tremendous
blessing. She helped me with the children and allowed me
to not over do it. I am eternally grateful for her. She
is an outstanding young Christian and I pray that she
will do great things for the church.
School started at the beginning of August. Cameron is in
preschool and Julianna is in 3rd grade. It
has been an adjustment seeing them both go to school.
Cameron is doing great. Julianna amazes us continually.
We are so blessed to have a good school system that
praises our children and holds teachers accountable.
They encourage prayer and most of them talk about how
good God is. I am teaching one class at East Mississippi
Community College. My other class did not have enough
students. I have had extra time to visit members, cook
and work at the church building.
Jim has been feeling poorly for the past few weeks. He
seemed to be doing better when the doctors changed his
medications but his fatigue has gotten a lot worse. He
has days where he only feels like he can do something
for an hour. His blood pressure has been increasing, he
has become more winded, and he has been feeling like he
is going to pass out a lot lately. He continues to
preach the best he can. There have been times where he
has had to sit down because he doesn’t feel well and
other times where the men of the congregation have had
to fill in because he couldn’t even get started. He
pushes himself too much. I get angry sometimes wishing
he could save himself. I know he wakes up each morning
saying “What can I do today for the church?” He started
Exhort Mail…he can do this comfortably from bed. He
makes lots of cds and dvds for others to spread God’s
word. He studies diligently to help himself and others
to better understand the truths in the Bible. He is a
constant encouragement to me.
We have received numerous financial gifts. We can not
begin to thank each one of you enough. We are so honored
and so humbled that you have decided to help Jim in his
time of need. In order to pay cash for a heart
transplant we were told that you had to have $775,000.
As of today we have close to $50,000. We know that God
will make a way. Each one of you that have prayed for
us, sent cards, made donations….each one of you are so
precious to us. We have had numerous individuals that
have given $25 each. It all adds up. We even had a
congregation donate $10,000. What can you say to
brethren that have helped so much? Words are inadequate.
We thank God Almighty for you. Please continue to pray
for our entire family. The children are so young and we
pray that we can make an eternal impact on them
together. Your cards have covered three walls…we will be
starting a new wall soon. They cover the bedroom walls
like wallpaper. It is our wallpaper of encouragement.
You are with us each day. May God help us to serve Him
each day as we ought. Jim’s song of encouragement,
“Light the Fire!”
stand to praise You,
But I fall to my knees.
My spirit is hungry,
But my flesh is so weak.
Light the fire (echo)
In my soul,
(in my weary soul)
Fan the flame, (echo)
Make me whole.
(make my spirit whole)
Lord, You know (echo)
Where I've been,
(where I've been)
So light the fire in my heart again.
I feel Your arms around me,
As the power of Your healing begins.
You breathe new life right through me,
Like a mighty rushing wind.
So light the fire in my heart again,
light the fire in my heart again,
light the fire in my heart again.
Ye are the light of the world. A
city set on a hill cannot be hid.
The past three weeks have been
trying to say the least. The weekend of Labor Day,
Jim preached at Meridian church of Christ in
Meridian, Mississippi for the Sunday morning
service. They were having a lectureship on the
parables of Jesus. It was so good to be with the
brethren there and meet those who have sent cards
and pray for us. After services we drove to Alabama
to visit our parents. I had been hurting with what I
thought was a kidney infection. The pain got worse
and I ended up in the ER in Anniston, Alabama early
Monday morning (Labor Day). The doctor admitted me
and I had surgery on Tuesday. I had a large kidney
stone that would not pass. We were able to come home
on Wednesday. I was unable to teach my bible class
because I was still in pain but got to be in the
adult bible class for a change. It took me several
days to get over the surgery but I rested and tried
to take it easy. I appreciate so much the Murrells
being able to take care of the children while I was
in the hospital. I deeply appreciate my parents,
Scott and Rheta Cobb, being there with me in the
hospital. They allowed Jim to have breaks and to
take care of himself. He had help and that meant the
world to me. He didn’t feel good but because our
parents were helping it made things so much easier.
We went door knocking on the 11th
for our fall gospel meeting with Brooks Boyd. With a
just a few members we knocked over 200 doors. We met
many people and handed out dvds, cds and tracts. One
lady from the community that we knocked her door
obeyed the gospel this past Wednesday night. We had
another sister added who has been visiting with us
for some time. Brooks and Laura Boyd came in
Saturday night and left the following Thursday
morning. Brooks did an outstanding job. It was so
good to spend time with them both and to be uplifted
and challenged each day. Laura is so funny and a
true friend. I look forward to having a lasting
friendship with both of them for many years.
Jim has been feeling bad and
continues to decline. He is so tired all the time. He
has been having shortness of breath and his blood
pressure continues to increase. After church on
Wednesday night, Jim began to get dizzy, have shortness
of breath, his blood pressure was higher than normal,
and his speech started slurring. I tried to call the
doctor’s office, then I called the hospital…then he
began to get worse…I hung up and called 911. The EMTs
and other personnel came and carried Jim to the ER.
Tests were run and blood was taken…scans…EKG…you name
it. We went to Jackson on Friday and had more blood
work…echos…ICD checked…exams. Jim had a “MINI”
stroke. They put him on aspirin and adjusted his
medicine. He has slept and slept and slept. He doesn’t
remember anything that happened. He has been out of it.
I am so thankful to God Almighty that it was a mild
stroke and that I still have my Jim. He was unable to
preach on Sunday the 19th due to feeling so
poorly. Some were amazed that he was at church. He will
be at church every single time the church meets even if
he has to be rolled in there. He will always put the
Lord FIRST. I
know for a while now he doesn’t feel like going anywhere
but he will not forsake the church. He
wants to be
there and that means he will be there.
Please remember our children in a
special way (Julianna 8 and Cameron 4). Julianna took it
extremely hard when Jim had his stroke. It scared her to
see him leave in an ambulance. We are so thankful for
Linda Cook who rushed to our house and took great care
of our children while we were gone. She sang to them and
made them feel loved at a very difficult time.
We continue to receive numerous
cards, financial gifts and we know that prayers are
being lifted up on our behalf. When we went to Jackson
it cost us over $2000 to have services provided. This is
for UMC only…I don’t know what the ambulance ride or
Neshoba ER will cost. Without brethren throughout the
world helping us we could not give Jim the help he
needs. We are eternally grateful to you for that. We ask
for your continued prayers. We ask that through each day
we will strive to put God first (Matthew 6:33)…take one
day at a time (Matthew 6:34)…seek to build up the church
(1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Each step I take my
Saviour goes before me,
And with His loving hand He leads the way,
And with each breath I whisper "I adore Thee;"
Oh, what joy to walk with Him each day.
At times I feel my faith begin to waver,
When up ahead I see a chasm wide.
It's then I turn and look up to my Saviour,
I am strong when He is by my side.
I trust in God, no matter come what may,
For life eternal in His hand,
He holds the key that opens up the way,
That will lead me to the promised land.
I take I know that He will guide me;
To higher ground He ever leads me on.
Until some day the last step will be taken.
Each step I take just leads me closer home.
Due to Jim’s increased fatigue, recent mild stroke
and continued decline we have made the difficult
decision to move to Alabama. We will be closer to
both of our parents and numerous fellow Christians
with whom we grew up with. There is so much we still
want to do and desire to do with and for the local
congregation here in Philadelphia. We have seen so
many grow in leaps and bounds. We pray that the next
preacher and his family will do a great work here.
We pray that they will seek to build up the church
and to continue to challenge the brethren here. We
ask for your prayers as we make this transition, not
only for our family but for the church here. We pray
that we will be able to do much good in Alabama and
the congregation here will continue to grow in
Jim plans on preaching when he can. He wants to fill
in and help congregations that are without a
preacher from time to time. He has big plans…I just
hope his body will allow him to preach for many,
many more years. We will be moving to the Munford
area, Lord willing. We will be on a tight budget and
pray that we will have the means to allow Jim to
rest and do the work he desires. The children will
have to move to a different school (half way through
the school year) as we plan to be moved completely
by December. Cameron is excited about being closer
to grandparents. Julianna is having a difficult
time. She loves her school and has been so praised
and honored…it will be hard on her for some time. I
will be leaving EMCC and hopefully the Lord willing
open doors for me to earn some income but still
allow me to be able to care for Jim and spend time
We still receive numerous cards and financial gifts.
We are extremely humbled by the outpouring of love
and help from brethren throughout the world.
Brethren from Oregon to Florida, from Malaysia to
Macon, MS…it is overwhelming. We are truly blessed
and we will never be able to thank each one of you
Please continue to prayer for us. We will keep
everyone updated concerning our new address and work
when things fall into place. Pray that we will have
a successful move that is easy on Jim. We thank each
one of you and pray that we will bring glory to God
Almighty each day.
My heavenly home is bright and fair I feel like
No pain nor death can enter there I feel like traveling
Yes I feel like traveling on I feel like traveling on
My heavenly home is bright and fair I feel like
Its glittering towers the sun outshines I feel like
That heavenly mansion shall be mine I feel like
Yes I feel like traveling on I feel like traveling on
My heavenly home is bright and fair I feel like
The Lord has been so good to me I feel like traveling on
Until that blessed home I see I feel like traveling on
Yes I feel like traveling on I feel like traveling on
My heavenly home is bright and fair I feel like
that overcometh shall inherit these things; and I will
be his God, and he shall be my son." (Revelation
It seems as though time is passing by faster than ever.
In the past few weeks we have found a house in Munford,
AL and closed on it. It is a small home with two
bedrooms and one bath. The children will have to share a
room. We will be living on Social Security Disability so
we will have an extremely tight budget. I often think
people assume that we are leaving to have an easier life
and to have a lot of nicer things. We have been taken
care of here in Philadelphia. We have the nicest and
biggest home we have ever had. We have lived the high
life here in a way. We have been able to go out to eat
from time to time. We have been able to buy things we
needed. We didn’t have a house note or utilities. We
will have a house note, utilities and the rest of our
bills on a much smaller income when we move to Alabama.
You might say…then why move? When you see your husband
struggle to have the energy to do things and when his
hands are ice cold because his circulation is so bad,
when he sleeps more than he is awake…what would you do?
Since his mild stroke in September, our thoughts have
only been to be in a place where the children and I can
have family close by. We know our family can’t do
everything but they can help the children to get out
from time to time. They can support, encourage and love
them the way most grandparents do.
We are diligently praying for the members here and the
elders, that a great, sound gospel preacher will come
their way. We ask for your prayers as men try out that
the best one will be chosen and that it will help
strengthen the congregation here. We pray that the
church here will grow in faith, knowledge and in number.
We pray that they all will set the proper examples and
help lead others to Christ. We desire the best for them.
Our new address will be 2890 McElderry Road Munford, AL
36268. We will be moved by December the 17th.
Jim's last Sunday to preach here will be December 12th.
We pray that you all will continue to encourage Jim as
his health declines. We can’t thank each one of you
enough for your constant prayers on our behalf, the
fellowship and financial gifts that have helped us to
get him medical care. Jim is still without insurance and
we ask you to pray that there will be a way that he will
get some assistance soon.
Please also pray that Jim will be able to preach. He
desires to do nothing more than to proclaim the good
news. We ask that brethren don’t shy away from using him
when they need someone. He wants to preach until his
eyes close in death. I pray that brethren will allow him
to do that when they have the opportunity.
God bless each one of you. Please don’t forget about us.
We love you all.
Blest Be The Tie That Binds
Blest be the tie that binds, Our hearts in Christian
The fellowship of kindred minds, Is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne, We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, Our comforts and
We share each other’s woes, Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows, The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part, It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart, And hope to meet
This glorious hope revives, Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives, And longs to see the
From sorrow, toil and pain, And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign, Through all
We have been extremely busy with the move…I am sorry
that I am just now updating everyone. The move went
well. We had a couple of people helped us in
Philadelphia load the moving van and clean the house(kind
of disheartening but thanks to those who healped).
We had a few help us unpack. It seemed like the flu
hit the community of Munford pretty hard around the
time of our move. Some were unable to help us due to
that. We had a week to get ready for Christmas. It
was a great one. The children had a wonderful time
and it snowed on Christmas day. The first time it
snowed on Christmas day in over 100 years. It made
it real special. We have had many concerts…Julianna
got a Paperjamz guitar and Cameron got a drum set.
We have had numerous brethren over in our home. Many
have had us in their home. Many have shared meals
with and visited with us. Not a week has gone by
that we have not spent time with a brother or sister
in Christ in our home. It is such a blessing.
Julianna started school on January the 5th.
It went well. She was so nervous. Her stomach was
upset. The next day, I had to go to the school
because she felt sick…it was nerves. Since then she
has had her days but overall she is doing great. She
is so far ahead of everyone that the teacher is
using her to help in the classroom. In one month she
has racked up over 50 AR points. Cameron is not
going to school every day. They do not have a
preschool but he is taking speech twice a week. They
reevaluated him and said that he is so smart. They
think he is going to do great in school. He has come
a long way since his evaluation in 2009.
Jim has preached several times. He has spoke at the
nursing home and assisted living home in Talladega,
AL. He has been visiting with Cliff Goodwin. He will
speak tomorrow at the Senior Community Center in
Munford, AL. Jim will be speaking on a lectureship
at the Ironaton church of Christ on February 6th,
Lord willing. This weekend he will be speaking at a
congregation in Georgia. He is trying to do as much
as he can.We have placed membership with the Ironaton
church of Christ. This is where Cliff Goodwin and
Chris Clevenger work with the congregation. They
have a very active congregation that practices
church discipline and has real Bible classes. Brad
Collins, one of the elders, teaches the best Bible
class we have ever heard on Sunday morning. The
enthusiasm and love for God and His Word is truly
seen throughout the congregation and the work they
Many of you already know that Jim suffered another
mini stroke on January 20th. He was
admitted to RMC in Anniston, AL. He urged the
doctors to let him got Friday evening so he could
make it to the area wide singing in Munford. He had
been looking forward to this for some time. He did
make it but felt terrible. He has been sleeping and
We went to UAB yesterday the 24th to see
the Advanced Heart Failure group and to see his ICD
doctor. The appointment was very sad. The mini
strokes that he has experienced were thought to be a
product of him going into Atrial fibrillation. His
ICD could be set to correct this. Instead, we
learned that according to his ICD history, it is not
Atrial fibrillation. The doctors then talked to us
about what was happening. His atrial baffle is so
weak and his heart overall is doing so poorly that
his heart is actually throwing clots. The blood is
getting pooled up in his heart because of the scar
tissue, the weak muscle and the hardening tissue
that the heart is throwing clots that are going to
his brain. This is very scary news. There is no
procedure that can correct this except for heart
transplant. He was put on more blood thinning
medicine because what he is on is not good enough.
The medicine has major side effects and he has to
get blood work every couple of days now. The doctors
are in a rush to get him on the transplant list
since he received the Federal risk pool insurance
(Obama care) on January 1st. We met the
transplant coordinator and he will be going through
a battery of tests very soon. If he has a major
stroke he will not be eligible for a heart
transplant. We are asking God for more time.We beseech each and every one of you to lift
him up in prayer to the Almighty Physician that He
will have time to receive a new heart if that is His
will. We ask everyone to make sure he is on your
prayer list at church, home, and work. Please pray
for him. We are running against the clock. He has
felt so poorly and I beg you to help me to petition
God to keep my husband. He has more work to do and a
great desire to continue to work for the church.
We will go back to UAB on January 31st.
We will see a neurologist, Advanced Heart Failure
group, transplant coordinators, and have tests and
blood work done. We are so glad to be close to
family and so many of our brethren. It has helped
We still receive numerous cards, phone calls, emails
and financial gifts. We are so thankful for all of
these. Since he has received insurance, we still
have medical expenses that are overwhelming.
Balances on bills and of course we have co-payments,
and deductibles to meet are all ways in which
financial gifts are being used. We do have an
account set aside just for the heart transplant.
Many of you have ear marked gifts to go to that
specific account. We are so humbled by the number of
brethren throughout the world that have encouraged
us and given of their means.
We pray that God will give us more time to be
together to work in His church. PLEASE, PLEASE,
PLEASE PRAY FOR US! We love each one of you. To God
be the Glory.
Please do not call Jim between the hours of 12pm and
4pm. This is when he is napping. He rests all the
time but this is his set aside time after lunch to
rest. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from
a hard fighting soldier on the battlefield,
I'm a hard fighting soldier on the battlefield
I'm a hard fighting soldier on the battlefield
I keep on bringin' souls to Jesus
By the service that I give
I've got a helmet on my head, in my hand a sword and
I've got a helmet on my head, in my hand a sword and
I've got a helmet on my head, in my hand a sword and
I keep on bringin' souls to Jesus
By the service that I give
You gotta walk right, talk right, sing right, pray
right, on the battlefield.
You gotta walk right, talk right, sing right, pray
right, on the battlefield.
You gotta walk right, talk right, sing right, pray
right, on the battlefield.
I keep on bringin' souls to Jesus
By the service that I give
Jim is doing
good. For the past several months Jim has been very
busy. He has been speaking at the nursing home, assisted
living home, senior center, doing personal Bible studies
(assisted in 8 baptisms in the month of April), spoke at
a Teacher's meeting for Glencoe church of Christ, spoke
at Waco church of Christ (Georgia), Rome church of
Christ (Georgia), spoke on the lectureship for Ironaton
where we attend, speaking at Talladega church of Christ
tomorrow...he has been very busy. He had a rough week
last week. He seems to be doing about normal now. He has
his good days and his bad ones.He has been in cardiac rehab but honestly the
past four weeks has been so busy visiting and working on
audio/video sermons (editing and putting them on the
website…you can see them on
) that he has not gone. The
physical therapist called to check on him and I told her
what he was doing. She was amazed and said we need more
people like that. Julianna has settled into school. She
was student of the month for April. She is making all As
usual. She is in gifted and has been inviting our
neighbors to church. She is a great worker for the Lord.
She is trying to start several little businesses..Doggie
Day Care and making bracelets. She loves making power
points on her computer. She has made several on people
in history but also made one on how to become a
Christian. She is taking guitars lessons. She is
learning several little tunes. She is a quick learner.
Cameron is growing. He is so tall. He goes to school for
speech twice a week. He is almost as tall as his
teacher. He has three jars that he carries around with
caterpillars (all of which are in "coons"). He tries to
collect bugs of all kinds and bring them in. He asks
everyday for a baby turtle, baby chicken and baby fish.
He loves being in the country. We registered him for
kindergarten. Wow, can’t believe it is time for him to
go to school. I have been able to volunteer at the
school and help out. It is great being there and meeting
new people. I pray that I will lead them to Christ
through the way that I live. We are always lights.
I have gotten a
part time job teaching accounting and business courses
at Central Alabama Community College just 10 minutes
from the house. I have been working in the yard. It is a
great way to relieve stress and enjoy God’s beautiful
creation. I write my own bible class material and draw
visual aides. It is very challenging and fun.
I have been
teaching 3rd and 4th grade on Sunday mornings. The
lessons and visual aids will hopefully find a home in
Australia where we have friends that are missionaries.
We attend a very faithful congregation of God's people
at the Ironaton church of Christ. The eldership is
outstanding. They lead the congregation with foresight
and discipline. The congregation has had 20+ new members
added and 16 +/- baptisms since the first of the year.
We love it here and feel very blessed. Life is simple
but the church keeps us busy as usual and we love it and
would not have it any other way.We do miss Philadelphia but we know that God has
given us a wonderful opportunity through this trying
time with Jim's health to be in a place where God's Word
is respected and people are eager to serve. We pray that
all is well with each one of you. Please continue to
keep us in your prayers.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast,
immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Wow, the summer is flying by. We have been so
blessed to be a part of so many things.We attended half of the AP week at ICYC. We
took part in many bible classes that proved the
existence of God and how animal and plant life work
together. Some of the information was very deep and
challenging. It was good to have been there.
Julianna then took part in Science Camp at Munford
Elementary School. She was able to make a parachute,
kite and learn about things that fly. We ended the
week by going canoeing at Camp Cosby near Talladega,
Then we had an AWESOME VBS at Talladega church of
Christ. For many years now, the Ironaton and
Talladega congregations have been working together
to have a successful VBS. The theme was “Believe It
or Not, It is in the Bible.” We learned about
Elijah, David, Gideon, Balaam, and Ezekiel. It was
so great. For part of the week, my nephews were able
We have been to Oxford Lake and the park, Bowling
and we have even had the pleasure of having the
teens over for a marshmallow roast. It was a great
time of fellowship, singing and playing games.
We also had the opportunity to go to the Diana
singing in Diana, TN. I believe this was their 42 nd
year. Hundreds of Christians the world over, come
out twice a year and sing praises to God all night.
It will make the hair on your neck stand up. It is a
piece of heaven on earth.
(The song you hear
playing was sung at Diana...listen carefully and you
will hear the train passing in the back ground)
We also were able to spend half a week at ICYC
during Billy Hayes’ week. It was good to see some of
our friends and to meet some new Christians. What a
shot in the arm! Thank God for ICYC!
We have been able to go to several congregations to
visit or because Jim has been invited to speak…to
mention a few…Talladega, Lineville, Piedmont, Hobb
Street, Bethel, Waco, Glencoe, Eastaboga, Logan
Martin, and Elmore. WOW! how God has blessed him
with so many oppertunities. Jim is still speaking at
the nursing homes, assisted living homes and the
community center. He has been extremely busy putting
sermons up on his new site
He has also been editing and making DVDs and CDs of
the sermons at the Ironaton church of Christ. He
does all this work on a volunteer basis. He only
receives reimbursement for the CDs and DVDs that he
buys. I am so proud of him for his sacrifice and his
desire to expand the borders of the Kingdom.
I know you all are wondering…how is he feeling? He
doesn’t feel good at all. The heat is extremely hard
on him. He is not able to walk up inclines at all
without feeling like he is going to pass out. He is
tired all the time. He could literally sleep all the
time. He can’t bend over or he will black out. He
has been dizzy. He has been able to lose some of the
fluid that has been building up. He went to the
doctor yesterday and his blood is too thick. They
are monitoring it every two weeks. He gets his ICD
checked in 3 weeks. He still looks good. You can
hardly tell anything is wrong with him. He hides it
because he wants to keep on keeping on. He doesn’t
want sympathy he wants to work as much as he can for
Julianna has been busying making bookmarks and bracelets
to sell. She is personally raising money to help Jim
with his medical expenses. She is such a help to me.
Cameron has been collecting every kind of bug from camp
or the woods. We have several jars on the book shelves
with some living bugs and some that have already gone
on. He prays for them and sometimes he prays that they
will come back to life.
have been blessed with a wonderful garden. Snake and
Cille Powers our neighbors have been showing us the
ropes on how to garden. We have tomatoes, okra, jalapeño
peppers, squash, watermelons, and corn. Several people
from church have been giving us bell peppers, cucumbers
job has been going good. I only have 3 more weeks in the
semester left. I know that I will really miss this group
of students. Teaching on Mondays and Wednesdays at CACC,
has opened many doors. One of my students is going to
try to come to church with me this Sunday. Lord willing,
he will have an open heart and hear some great
preaching. We have been working with our neighbors to
come to church. They have several children and they have
allowed them to come with us. We pray that soon the
parents will come.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers. We will
always covet them. We pray that each day we will seek to
do to most we can to help ourselves personally grow in
faith and in wisdom, to help the church grow, to
encourage others to do right and to help our
community...the world overknow about the church.
are a chosen generation, a
royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises of him
who hath called you
out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And Step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days
October 19, 2011
We've been busy...busy with soccer season. I have
been the assistant Coach for Julianna's team "Coach
M." I have enjoyed every minute of it. But we are
very tired. Cameron finished up his soccer season 5
and 1. He helped his team win the last game by
scoring all 3 points. They won 3 to 2. He defended
the goal and kicked out what would have been 4 goals
for the other team. He was so awesome. Parents in
the crowd were commenting on how he was running so
fast and how he had real talent. It made us so
Julianna has one more game next week. This week they won
both games 2 to 0. She looks like she is asleep the
first half, then the second half she is on fire. As she
is running, if she accidentally kicks anyone or they
fall down beside her, she helps them up and apologizes.
I've tried telling her that it is just part of the game.
As long as she is not doing it on purpose, she needs to
keep going and playing. But she has always been that
Jim has been busy teaching at the nursing home, visiting
and knocking doors this week. Cliff and Jim went out
delivering DVDs (Search the Truth and The Truth
About...etc). It has been a great work that Jim and
Chris Clevenger do every week. They also do a podcast
Journey with Jesus. This week is the blooper reel. It
will certainly make you laugh. I am so very proud of
Jim. Despite how extremely tired he is, despite how
short of breath and the limitations that his body puts
on him...he continues to press on.
I am half way through the semester at CACC. It has been
a great semester. I have wonderful students. I
have a couple of students that talk about the Bible and
their "church." We have discussed several verses and I
am trying to plant as many seeds as I can. I have also
enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer at the elementary
school as a math tutor. I love those kids. They are so
cute and eager to learn. They just eat up any attention
you give to them.
Hope everyone has a great day!
Why do they call today present? ...Because it is a gift,
so enjoy it!
Love ya'll....Jennifer Murrell
December 16, 2011
Wow, can't believe it is almost Christmas. Today
celebrates one year at our house. I can't believe it
has been a year since we left Philly. Julianna still
misses all her friends and talks about how the
school would have done this or it is time for this
at Philly. We miss the church and we pray that
people are faithful and spreading the soul saving
message of Jesus. Our thoughts are always with them.
I wish I could see all the children that used to be
in my Bible class. I really miss Megan Ingram. I
think about her almost every day.
Julianna is doing great in school. All As and she has
been doing several special activities with the gifted
group. Cameron loves school. His speech has greatly
improved and teachers are so impressed with him. He has
done some fabulous artwork in school. We plan on getting
it framed. The children are both so good at school and
teachers just brag and brag every time I visit.
Jim has been extremely tired. He falls asleep every time
he sits down. He has been doing a lot of visiting and
evangelist work with the other preachers at the Ironaton
church of Christ where we attend. He tries hard to help
and encourage others. He wears himself out to the point
where it is hard for him to spend time with his own
I have been doing pretty well. I am having a lot of
flare-ups here lately. I am probably just over doing it.
My semester ended Tuesday. I was blessed to have 3 great
classes. The students were so kind and several gave me
gifts for Christmas. I was shocked. No other class has
ever done that before. I will truly miss them. Classes
don't begin again until Jan 9th. I plan on knitting,
sewing, cleaning, coaching basketball, etc.
The children get out of school on Julianna's birthday
the 21st. She will be 10. Wow...my baby girl 10. I am
her basketball coach and we have lots of fun with that.
This is her first year to play. It is co-ed. She is
learning to get in there with the boys and be tough.
Sorry it has taken so long to write. Love....Jennifer
Julianna ended her basketball season undefeated or as
Cameron would say “undepeeded.” We had a great time
being number one in our division. 10-0…WOW!
This was my first time
coaching basketball. The children were so much fun.
Julianna came a long way from the beginning of the year.
She became aggressive on defense and scored a few
points. I am extremely proud of all of my players. They
maintained a good attitude no matter what other players
tried to do to them. Julianna was also in her
first beauty pageant the “Junior Miss Munford Pageant.”
We told her if we found a modest dress and we could
afford it, she could be in it. Well, we found one at a
consignment store. She did so great on stage. She was
nervous but walked so gracefully. She did not place but
it was overall a great learning experience. Special
thanks to Danielle Smith for doing her hair and make-up.
Cameron will be getting his cap and gown pictures taken
this Friday. He will graduate from kindergarten soon. I
know I am going to cry. He has changed and grown so much
since last year. He is reading so well. He is one of the
few students that have been allowed to bring home books
from class because he is reading so well. I am so
amazed. Cameron has also gotten into playing angry
birds. He and I play together and we jump up and down
when we finally beat a level.
Jim has been getting hurt a lot here lately. He has
broken his hand and bruised his leg real bad due to a
fall. He fell again and got banged up pretty good. He
smashed a finger where it was swollen 3 times its normal
size. We are sure he is going to lose his fingernail any
day now. He is so tired all the time. The Advanced Heart
Failure clinic is going to do another transplant
evaluation on him in April. His medicine has helped so
much. It has allowed him to continue up into this point.
I give the credit to God for all the prayers that are
lifted on our behalf each day. Jim recently compleated a
gospel meeting at
the Lineville congregation
(CLICK HERE for
audio from this meeting). He stayes very busy. He has been teaching the
morning adult Bible class at Ironaton church of Christ.
Right now he is with Chris Clevenger visiting at areas
hospitals in Birmingham.
I am giving my mid-term exams this week. I am in my 3rd
semester at Central Alabama Community College. The
students are so fun and challenging all at the same
time. I am so thankful that I am able to work as much as
I do and that I have a job. I have been having a lot of
flare-ups. I have met a new doctor. He has given me some
medicine that seems to be helping. It will be a battle
that I will face every day until I die but I plan to
fight every step of the way.
We don’t get as many cards as we used to but we know
that you are keeping us in your prayers and that is all
that matters. Thank God for you. No matter what may
come, we need to be thankful for each day and to be
content. May God help us all to do His will and help
ourselves and others to go to heaven.Please be faithful…He is faithful to His
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking
all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them
one by one, And it will surprise you what the
Lord hath done. Are you ever burdened with a load of
care? Does the cross seem heavy you are
called to bear? Count your many blessings, every
doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days
go by. When you look at others with
their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you
His wealth untold; Count your many blessings money
cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home
So, amid the conflict whether great
or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over
all; Count your many blessings, angels
will attend, Help and comfort give you to your
Count your blessings, name them
one by one, Count your blessings, see what God
hath done! Count your blessings, name them one
by one, Count your many blessings, see what
God hath done.
Great peace have they which love thy law:
and nothing shall offend them.
Time is starting to go by faster
and faster. Each week is passing as quickly as a
day. It is so urgent that we daily examine ourselves
to see if we are truly doing what God would have us
to do or are we carried away by the cares of this
world. We have been in the midst of trying to take
our 2 bedroom/1bath house to 3 bedrooms. We took our
office/dining room and turned it into Julianna’s
bedroom. It has taken us a while considering our
health and we have been busy going to gospel
meetings as well. One thing that has been bothering
me is our family Bible time. It seems as though we
are fighting a tendency to rush and we have so much
on our minds it is hard to focus at times. But do we
have problems focusing on Andy Griffith or the local
news…not so much. We are striving to do our best
with our children. Our health issues make is more
challenging. You can feel great one minute and the
next you have to go to bed. We are striving to do as
Deuteronomy 6 says and teach our children no matter
where they are or what we are doing. God help us to
We went on April 26th for
another transplant evaluation. They did another stress
test and echo. We then saw the doctor. We were there all
day. It was exhausting to say the least. The doctor
stated that Jim has declined since this time last year.
They want to do the reevaluation in 3 months to check
him again. We have been noticing more problems so we
were prepared to hear the news. He is extremely hard
headed and for the most part very upbeat. He will not
let how he feels affect what he wants to do. He preaches
from time to time. Churches have been contributing money
for our medical expenses. With insurance, tests, labs…we
spend well over $1500 a month. Jim will be eligible to
begin Medicare on May 1. I remember when he got on
disability and thinking 2 years is a long time to wait.
Thank the Lord he has made it and hopefully it will help
out a lot.
Personally, I have been having
numerous flare ups. I partly blame the stress of seeing
Jim decline and the other part on me being hard headed
and still trying to do too much. I don’t know when to
stop. I just want to do so much. I love working in the
yard, keeping the house straight, helping others,
teaching 2 Bible classes…I will have a meltdown one
day…but maybe it will be a while yet.
Julianna is about to finish fourth
grade. She is so beautiful and I thank God that she does
not like boys yet. Maybe that will be a long time away.
She has made all As all year. She has been on her best
behavior and she was also recognized for raising the
most money for the American Heart Association at her
school. She is a real go-getter. She is really into
listening to music, riding her bike and playing with Max
and Jesse, our dogs.
Cameron will graduate from
kindergarten on May 22nd. Every child gets to
say what they want to be when they grow up. Cameron says
that he is going to say “I want to be a hunter and a
preacher when I grow up.” He has been enjoying looking
at nature magazines, collecting caterpillars (watching
them turn into “raccoons”), collecting rocks and
following his big sister around.
I am so thankful for each day. I pray
that God will help me to continue to grow spiritually as
we walk this path. The road is quite difficult and bumpy
but I can always see the SON!
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near: (Isa 55:6)
Special thanks to:
Michael Shepherd for an outstanding
Gospel meeting, your enthusiasm for the Bible encourages
Jim and I so much. May God bless you to keep up the
Brandi Hayes for being an inspiration
to me. What a friend and a great example. I adore you.
Cliff and Chris your friendship to my
Jim has helped him in more ways than one. You keep him
laughing and your love for the truth and your desire to
preach the whole counsel of God sustain us. We love you
both and your sweet families.
Our Ironaton church family and our
brethren throughout the world, thank you for your
constant prayers. The Lord is so good to us. One of our
richest blessings is our extended church family. Thank
you for understanding and for your unwavering love.
John 9:4…We can do it!
I’ll Push On
Out of Breath, chest filled with pain,
Still I see the cross with blood stain.
Weak and dizzy, I can hardly stand,
I hear His words ringing with demand.
Feeble in body but spirit pushes on,
People must be saved, souls won.
Anger filled, down and out,
I can’t scream, I can’t shout.
My Saviour suffered more than me I know,
So on I must go, seed must I sow.
Time will come, when life will end,
Till then I will teach, reach, I will mend.
Dedicated to Jim, for your enduring faithfulness…love
Written on 9/5/2011
We are trying to enjoy being home.
Julianna and I were able to go to ICYC with Billy
Hayes as director. Brandi Hayes and Stacey Rogers
were Julianna’s counselors. They were awesome. I
worked in the kitchen. Wow, never really appreciated
what cooks do until now.Cooking dozens of eggs, over 250 hot dogs,
over 250 pancakes, my hat goes off to you Darenda
Stephens, Amy G., Eric of J’ville “TC”, Christina of
Hawaii “George”, Mac “Papa”, Sara Beth, Millie…you
all were amazing. So thankful to Billy for an
outstanding week. What a shot in the arm! Great
lessons, young people loving the word and responding
We came home
early to spend one night in our beds then off to
Virginia to help with a VBS. In Harrisonburg the
true church is very small and weak. Bob and Tammy
Horn have been working with a congregation (Central
church of Christ) for some time up there. It was so
great to see all the work they had done to decorate
the rooms, handmade visuals, posters, food was
brought and prepared. The congregation normally has
about 40 there on Sunday morning. Each night we had
58 or so there. It was a learning experience and a
real joy to be a part of that effort. The children
got to me the most. They loved being there. They
loved to learn the scriptures and they loved singing
“Pharaoh, Pharaoh, let my people go!” We stayed for
a whole week and we want to especially thank the
Horns for all the food and free room. Anna, you were
so gracious to allow us to use your room. If anyone
needs any artwork, Westin Horn is fabulous. Please
keep Bob and Tammy Horn in your prayers as well as
the congregations in that area those who seek to
teach and do what the Bible says.
leaving the Horns we stopped in Newport, TN to see
Patrick and Chantelle Swayne. They are in the
process of seeking support for their mission work in
Singapore. Patrick did a great job preaching, what
an inspiration to spread the gospel like we are
supposed to. Chantelle is such a strength to him and
she is bright light for all of us to learn from.
Please join my family in praying for them by name
every day and also seriously consider supporting
them yourself monthly. Ten dollars, twenty…is all
adds up to help. You can have a part in helping
others learn about Jesus.
We then made
it to Glencoe church of Christ. It was so good to be
with them. F.Y.I. It is possible to go to church on
Sunday when you are traveling. You have to be
determined to put the Lord first and make a few
phone calls if you have too. May more members of the
Lord’s church not take a vacation from services. God
never takes a vacation from helping you.
We made it
home and as soon as we opened the door, we knew
something was wrong. The air conditioner was making
a horrible noise and it was 89 degrees inside. The
fan burned up because some wires got caught in it
and the AC man couldn’t come out until Monday
morning. Cliff and Beth Goodwin offered to let us
spend the night with them but we really wanted to
spend the night in our own house no matter what. We
all took cold shower and slept in one room with one
sheet and two fans blowing right on us. When I woke
up the next day the repair man was already working
and before we knew it we had less money but a cooler
house. Thank God for AC.
Cameron have been enjoying the summer. They are part
of the reading program at the Munford Library and we
have been able to see lots of family and friends
already. I have seen my sister and Lord willing, I
should see my brother next month. We got to see
Jim’s sister and her family for several days. I
guess we won’t see Jerry and them for a while.
The heat has
been bothering Jim and I. I have had to really drink a
lot of water to keep from feeling so bad. I am still
having more flare ups than I would like. I am just
thankful that I have more good days than bad.
Jim has been
feeling rough the past week. He has been dizzy and
feeling like he is going to pass out more. We go to the
doctors on the 23rd. We will be there all
day. Blood work, tests, visits with docs, etc. It is the
transplant re-evaluation. We will let everyone know what
goes on as soon as possible. Thanks for your continued
support and cards. We just ask that you keep us in your
prayers. Mention us by name. We really appreciate it.
When someone goes before the throne of God in prayer and
mentions our names, what a privilege. Thank you and May
God bless each one of you as you faithfully serve Him.
Jim has just
been released after nine days in the UAB hospital. His
increased and fatigue and dizziness were of great
concern to us and the doctors. A new heart cath was
performed on Friday August 11th and revealed
what we had already feared. The right side of Jim’s
heart has become much weaker to the point the doctors
stated it was hardly working at all. Because of this
they immediately placed Jim on an IV medication 24/7
(via home health) that forces his heart to squeeze
harder. This medication is considered only a short term
treatment intended to extend his chances of survival
until transplant. This brings up the next important
milestone. The doctors have now agreed that now is the
time to proceed with transplant. Jim has been formally
be added to the list and will be awaiting the next
available donor match. This is something we have tried
to put off for some time but have taken the doctors
advise with highest regard and trust. Please pray for us
in the coming days as we will encounter the most trying
and expensive part of our journey.