Sunday, December 16, 2018

CHPP Our "Tiny Tim" Christmas Sunday, December 16, 2018

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970

Our "Tiny Tim" Christmas

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."
(Matthew 2:10)

United in the Kingdom of God . . . under the Cross of Christ


Introduction: "Wrestling with our Lord"

Thoughts from Sara Ballenger, President
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners

Have you ever had a time when you wrestled with our Lord . . . for an extended period of time?

Well . . . this has been my own position for some time now, as I have struggled to come before each one of you, to share the burden of my heart in this annual report to our members.
You see, this year, I have had two choices in how to present the work of this ministry to the Body of Christ:

I can either give you our "Good Ship Lollipop" report, where all is "hunky dory" and life is good, or . . .

I can instead let you peek "behind the door" and see some of the personal struggles I have encountered this past year, even as CHPP has moved forward with great strength, enjoying the continued blessing of our Lord.

As I have been weighing these two options before our Lord ("all is well" versus "the really real"), Abba continues to impress upon my heart that He is the GOD of the "really real," and that only by speaking truth can I satisfy His will. And, in order to do so accurately, I must share a bit about my wonderful husband, Jim.
So . . . here goes:

My Husband's Story

My Husband's Story

About ten years ago, "out of nowhere," my husband, Jim, was diagnosed with diabetes. Because no one in his family line had suffered from this disease, we thought it strange that Jim suddenly developed these symptoms. For the next 8 years or so (until early this year), Jim was able to manage this disease by following doctor's orders, and carefully monitoring its progress, if any.

During this past year, however, Jim began to experience a series of falls. At first, these episodes were infrequent, but by end of May, they were becoming much more frequent. In early June, when Jim almost fell down the stairs, my son and I decided it was time to take action. We took him to a nearby hospital, where he was admitted for a series of tests (which proved inconclusive). That was followed by almost three weeks in rehab, ending in early July.

In the end, after all of the tests that were done, etc., we still had no real clue about why Jim fell . . . and now he began to fall more and more often after we got him home.

We were walking (so to speak) in a "maze" of challenges, with no solution in site. We were referred to an excellent neurologist, but it took us months to see him . . .

In the meantime, while Jim was away, a friend arrived from the Midwest, and we worked together to transform the first floor of our home into "living space" for Jim. I am so grateful she came out to help me, because this was a hurculean task. But working together, we got it done. Praise the Lord!

When Jim was released from the rehab facility in early August, all was waiting for him -- on the first floor of our "newly remodeled" home!
Happily, too, our own core team of CHPP intercessors and Daily Brief editors knew what was going on, and everyone pitched in WITH JOY to keep the ship afloat! Our numbers continued to grow; funds kept coming in; and we remained networked with other national ministries as we all prayed over the Midterm Elections, which loomed just ahead. . .
Praise God! He was holding my hand all along; and the work He has called me to has continued, nonstop!

His Grace IS sufficient! Amen!

The Verdict is Rendered

The Verdict is Rendered

On Tuesday, November 11th, we finally were able to consult with a neurologist who had been highly recommended to us as far back as June . . . "Dr. P" It actually took us this long to get that appointment with him!

In about 5 minutes flat, Dr. P told us the cause of this affliction: AGENT ORANGE.

My husband, who is a Purple Heart veteran, had voluntarily served in Vietnam in the late 60's - long before we met. When he was released from the service (after a lengthy period of recovery from a leg injury), Jim was told that his unit had not been exposed to AGENT ORANGE.

Today, we know better. Jim WAS exposed to AGENT ORANGE and now, almost 50 years later, is feeling its impact in his aging body.
(Indeed, the government recently has revisited this verdict, so that benefits are now available to all who served in Vietnam -- most of whom WERE -- either directly or indirectly -- exposed to AGENT ORANGE. This involves hundreds of thousands of men who are now suffering quietly at home, in nursing homes, in assisted living sites, or in hospitals. ENOUGH!)
Back to Dr. P: He stated that diabetes causes neuropathy -- a condition whereby the nerves in one's feet "go dead" and do not function. In this case, Jim's neuropathy had now progressed so that he was losing feeling in his legs as well as in his feet. THIS WAS THE CAUSE OF HIS FALLS.
(By now, I am in a state of shock! I literally did not see this one coming!!)
OK: here is the direct quote from Dr. P:

"This condition is called 'peripheral neuropathy.' I wish we could reverse Jim's condition, but the bad news is . . . we can't do anything for him. Jim needs to use a walker from now on."

POW! I was stunned! The roof collapsed on my head, and the floor went out from under my feet. . . . But then, somewhere from the depths of my soul, I remembered THESE WORDS:
Whose report do we believe?

> > > Right then and there, in front of that doctor, I silently agreed with the promise of our GREAT PHYSICIAN, forgiving him and CANCELING HIS WORDS WITH THE WORD OF THE LORD - THE WORD OF TRUTH.

About Agent Orange

A Prayer Strategy

You know what??

Our God is an AMAZING God!
At the beginning of time, the Great Physician wrote His Word, transcribed for all of us now and into eternity.
For those who suffer from exposure to AGENT ORANGE, beyond the baseline of diabetes, two symptoms will begin to manifest over time:

blindness - cause by macular degeneration

or weakened legs - caused by peripheral neuropathy
> > > SO: out of ALL the SYMPTOMS that our Great Physician would address for healing in the end-times, He reached down from Heaven and He chose:
"The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk . . ." (Matthew 11:5)


" . . . if they drink any deadly thing, [i.e. AGENT ORANGE!], it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:18)

Please agree with me now in prayer:

Father God, we thank You that You are GOD and there is no other. We thank You for the provision and the promise of Your Word that, in the latter days, the LAME SHALL WALK and the BLIND SHALL SEE. AMEN!

We thank You, too, that it is written that " . . . if they drink any deadly thing, [i.e. AGENT ORANGE!], it shall not hurt them; AMEN.
And we thank YOU, Lord Jehovah, that it is also written that:

"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
(Isaiah 55:11)
Lord God, we repent that our government utilized AGENT ORANGE in the time of the Vietnam war. We ask You to forgive those who were implicit in doing this, as well as the authorities at Monsanto Corporation, who produce this deadly stuff.

Our Lives Today

Our Lives Today

As of today, and in the relatively short time of about six weeks, my life at home has been transformed into an assisted living center! Jim managed to fracture his ankle a few weeks ago, but it is healing nicely. (The podiatrist was stunned at how quickly this is happening, but I am not! Dr. Jesus, once again!)
Meanwhile, Dr. P ordered a visiting nurse for us, as well as a physical therapist and others . . . so my home is now a scene of planned chaos, as everyone attempts to work out a schedule that works for all . . . and as I find time to squeeze in work on the Daily Brief!
Most dramatically, when Jim and I do go out, we move at two completely different speeds: SLOW and FAST. (I think you can guess who is who!) He is also wearing a big, heavy boot on his left leg while his ankle heals, slowing him down even more so. This, too, shall pass . . .
Through it all, I am also happy to say that our marriage is now stronger than ever (43 years last August), and our love for each other has grown even deeper. There is a real peace when I am able to help Jim through his days, or just sitting quietly together watching endless reruns of Blue Bloods . . .
And finally, our two sons have also been VERY SUPPORTIVE for both of us, in real, tangible ways. What a treasure they are!
And so, this is our life now . . . walking in the peace of our Messiah . . . and definitely moving together, one step at a time.
"By the yard, it's hard . . . but by the INCH, it's a CINCH!"
One day at a time . . .

Finally, Back to CHPP

Finally, back to Capitol Hill Prayer Partners!

Again, this ministry continues to GROW and to THRIVE, even as I have had to cut back quite a bit in being actively engaged with this amazing team of prayer warriors!
Indeed, for you 5,000 out there, I believe this testimony speaks for itself . . . had I not obeyed God and chosen to share the changes in my private life with you, I doubt you would have suspected that anything was amiss!
How amazing it is to see that, when the "head" of a ministry team needs an extended "time out," the ministry continues to thrive and to grow! THIS IS A TRUE INDICATOR THAT CAPITOL HILL PRAYER PARTNERS IS THE LORD'S WORK . . . NOT THAT OF ANY MAN . . . SO TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR THIS TESTIMONY! Amen!

We do appreciate and need your offerings, dear friends, so that CHPP can continue to function and to grow into the New Year. Information about how to send in your gift, either online or via check, is included at the end of this message.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts
As I have now found the courage to leave The Good Ship Lollipop, and to instead be transparent with you about the "really real" that is happening now, I trust that my small testimony has encouraged you all in your own walk in Christ.
No matter WHAT we are going through, Christ is there with us, holding our hand and walking through these difficult seasons with us.
Indeed, we have come to understand the depth of this famous promise:


In closing, in a season where the Ballengers' lives (for now) have been temporarily "crippled," I am reminded of the words of another "cripple" on Christmas Day, Tiny Tim, who said many years ago: "God bless us, one and all."


And I am also reminded of the verse uttered by St. Paul, where IT IS WRITTEN in Acts 14:22 -

" . . . We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."
In the Amazing Grace of God . . . Merry Christmas!

Sara Ballenger, Founder and President
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners

We Welcome Your Gifts!

We Welcome Your Gifts!

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners (CHPP) is a 501(c)(3), tax- exempt, faith-based, ministry, dedicated to praying for our leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-4). CHPP relies solely on the gifts of our readers to continue this work; thus we greatly appreciate your help in supporting this publication. Offerings may be sent to: Capitol Hill Prayer Partners, P.O. Box 5152, Herndon, VA 20172-1970. Please make checks payable to: CHPP. THANK YOU!

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