The Miracle Baby


This story comes to us from

When Carolyn Isbister put her 20oz baby on her chest for a cuddle, she thought that it would be the ONLY CHANCE she would ever have to hold her. Doctors had told the parents that baby Rachel only had only MINUTES TO LIVE because her heart was beating once every ten seconds and she was not breathing.

“I didn’t want her to die being cold,” Carolyn says, “so I lifted her out of her blanket and put her against my skin to warm her up. Her feet were so cold. It was the only cuddle I was going to have with her, so I wanted to remember the moment.”

Then something remarkable happened: the warmth of her mother’s skin kick started Rachael’s heart into beating properly, which allowed her to take little breaths of her own.

“We couldn’t believe it – and neither could the doctors. She let out a tiny cry. The doctors came in and said there was still no hope – but I wasn’t letting go of her. We had her blessed by the hospital chaplain, and waited for her to slip away. But she still hung on.”

And then amazingly the pink color began to return to her cheeks. She literally was turning from gray to pink before our eyes, and she began to warm up too.

The sad part is that when the baby was born, doctors took one look at her and said ‘no’. They didn’t even try to help her with her breathing as they said it would just prolong her dying.

“Everyone just gave up on her,” says Carolyn.

At 24 weeks a womb infection had led to her premature labor and birth. Says Carolyn (who also has two children Samuel, 10, and Kirsten, 8 ): “We were terrified we were going to lose her. I had suffered three miscarriages before, so we didn’t think there was much hope.”

When Rachael was born she was grey and lifeless. Ian Laing, a consultant neonatologist at the hospital, said: “All the signs were that the little one was not going to make it and we took the decision to let mum have a cuddle as it was all we could do.
Two hours later the wee thing was crying.”

“This is indeed a miracle baby,” adds the doctor, “and I have seen nothing like it in my 27 years of practice. I have not the slightest doubt that mother’s love saved her daughter.”

Rachael was moved onto a ventilator where she continued to make steady progress and was tube and syringe fed her mother’s pumped breastmilk.

“The doctors said that she had proved she was a fighter and that she now deserved some intensive care as there was some hope,” says Carolyn. “Rachael did it all on her own – without any medical intervention or drugs. She had clung on to life – and it was all because of that cuddle.”

The cuddle had warmed up her body and regulated her heart and breathing enough for her to start fighting. At 5 weeks she was taken off the ventilator and began breastfeeding on her own. At four months Rachel went home with her parents, weighing 8lbs – the same as any other healthy newborn.

Because Rachel had suffered from a lack of oxygen doctors said there was a high risk of damage to her brain. But a scan showed no evidence of any problems and today Rachel is on par with her peers.

“She is doing so well,” says Carolyn, smiling. “When we brought her home, the doctors told us that she was a remarkable little girl. And most of all, she just loves her cuddles. She will sleep for hours, just curled into my chest. It was that first cuddle which saved her life – and I’m just so glad I trusted my instinct and picked her up when I did. Otherwise she wouldn’t be here today.” Rachael is now a happy, healthy 6 years old, and sibling to Samuel, 16, and Kirsten, 14.

I shared this to offer hope for others.

This story shows us: Let’s have faith, and hope, and believe in the best outcomes – whether it’s about health and a medical diagnosis, or our own lives, careers, aspirations. We DON’T know what’s going to happen – so let’s not project the fatalism of our past experiences – or others’ words – onto a future that hasn’t happened yet. Things can change for the better, and BE BRIGHT.

“What Cancer Cannot Do”

Mom and Daughter
Mom and Daughter

“What Cancer Cannot Do”

Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

 Author: Unknown

Lord, I come before you today knowing that all power is in Your hand. I know that you are the Lord and that you care for your people. Right now, my beautiful wife and her sisters are struggling with a difficult trial. I can see they are trying hard to not let their strength falter, and Lord, I know that you have all of the strength that they need.

I pray that you will reach down and touch them right now wherever they are at this moment. Let your presence fill the room where they are and let them feel an extra portion of your strength that can help them to get through this day.

They need you now, Lord, and I thank you in advance for meeting them where they are and shoring up their strength during this difficult time.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Heavenly Father Help Us


Today I pray;

Heavenly Father, help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

Heavenly Father please help us, Amen

Two Precious Doilies

photo via
photo via

There once was a man and a woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They talked about everything. They kept no secrets from each other… except that the old woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet that she cautioned her husband never to open it or ask her about it.

For all these years he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would never recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed it was time that he should know what was in the box.

When he opened it he found 2 beautifully crocheted doilies and a stack of money totaling over $25,000. He asked her about the unusual contents.

“When we were married,” she said, ” my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily.”

The little old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with joy and happiness.

“Sweetheart,” he said… “that explains the doilies, but what about all this money? Where did it all come from?”

Oh,” she said, ” that’s the money I made from selling the doilies.”

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32

Choose Your Friends Wisely

Walk with the wise

So I settled into my chair on the balcony with a cup of coffee this morning and decided to read through some old devotionals and I came upon this one and after reading it I just knew that I had to share it with all of you.  It is written by Andy Stanley and its about Proverbs 13:20: Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. I hope you enjoy this, God Bless you all, Jay.

We live in a culture that baits us to do things we have no business doing and then chastises us when we do them. It’s crazy. I get asked this question all the time: “Andy, is it a sin to . . .?” That’s the wrong question. The better question is: “In light of the fact that there is disaster out there somewhere, where should I place a guardrail?”

On a highway, guardrails keep a car from straying into dangerous or offlimits areas. Personal guardrails keep us from straying into regret. They’re standards of behavior that become matters of conscience. They help us to decide, “In this area of my life, this is as far as I will go.”

One area of life where it’s good to establish some guardrails is your friendships. At some point in your life, you are going to find yourself close to people whose lives are moving in the opposite direction of yours. When that happens, you will need the space that guardrails provide to keep from being swept in the wrong direction.

My wife, Sandra, and I have a good friend who told us this story.

When she was thirteen years old, she was dating a guy who was sixteen. She couldn’t understand why her mom wanted her to break up with him. He was cute and he could drive. It was like she had her own chauffeur.

Our friend was on the softball team at school. One afternoon during a game, her boyfriend was behind the backstop watching her pitch. She saw her mom slide up next to him and call him out. She knew what was happening. Her mom was breaking up with him for her. Sure enough, the boyfriend sat down with a sad look on his face.

Now, why would a mama do such a thing? Because mamas understand an important principle: our friends influence the direction and quality of our lives.

Think about it. Your greatest regrets probably happened when you were with friends. Some of the most addictive behaviors imaginable begin as pastimes with friends. Gradually, without noticing, you are involved in things that you used to criticize. If you could go back in time, you would reduce the influence of those friends in order to spare yourself regrets.

I don’t know of a place where this principle is stated more clearly than in Proverbs 13:20:

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

The first half of the verse is a promise. It states that wisdom is contagious. Wise people understand that what they do today influences who they will be tomorrow.

The second half of the verse is a warning. According to Scripture, a fool is a person who knows the difference between right and wrong but doesn’t care. The verse doesn’t say that you will become a fool if you spend time with fools. It says that if you spend your life with fools, you will eventually be hit by the shrapnel from the explosions in their lives, whether you adopt their way of thinking or not.

The best way to be a friend to someone who is moving in the opposite direction is to stay on this side of your guardrail so that when he or she crashes, you’ll be healthy enough to help.

So here’s my question: Will you do what you know you need to do when it comes to your friendships; will you establish some guardrails? Friendships are great, but they can also be dangerous because “he who walks with the wise will become wise, but the companion of fools will eventually suffer harm.” Your friends will influence and possibly determine the direction and quality of your life. It’s your move.

Faith, Cancer and Prayers

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Over the past few months I have been absent for long periods of time on 52 Sundays and my other blog Lincoln & Puppa and I want to take the time today to apologize and explain.  First a little backstory, the following is a letter I wrote to my grandson Lincoln last year on Lincoln & Puppa.

Dear Lincoln,

I recently wrote to you and explained how in that past few months we experienced 2 great losses in our family, great grandpa Buck passed away on June 28 and great great grandma Laurel passed away on August 7.  Now, just as most family members are beginning to adjust and move on with their daily lives, we found out yesterday that great grandma Boo has advanced cancer.  The doctors tell us that the cancer has filled 2/3 of her left lung and that the rest of her lung has collapsed.  She is only breathing with her right lung.  The cancer has also spread to her brain.  There is nothing that can be done for her, it’s too far advanced.  Next week after some more tests we find out how long she has left.

Great grandma Boo has spent the last few years caring for great grandpa Buck and she may have ignored how she left and probably didn’t go to the doctor when she should have.  The news was devastating to your Nana.  Her mommy and daddy mean the world to her.  It just seems so unfair right now and everyone’s questioning “Why God Why?”.  For some in the family, their faith is beginning to waiver.

In the Bible Paul tells us: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Over time that promise has become abbreviated to “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Like many others, I’ve derived comfort from these words, though I know God does not “give” me loss, pain and grief.

Let me stress that this verse does not imply that God won’t let you be stressed beyond what you can bear.
Or challenged beyond your ability.
Or pushed beyond your threshold.In reality, God gives you more than you can bear all the time. On purpose.
It’s only when you can’t bear the load that the strength of Christ kicks in…
and He becomes everything you need and more.

Count your blessings, we’re told, but it’s just not in our nature. We’d rather count our problems. Our species survived by reacting instantly to threats, and the ancient humans who stopped to smell the roses made easier targets for predators.

Today, the predators are mostly gone, but we’re still so primed to pay attention to bad news that we tend to ignore what’s going well. As soon as we solve one problem, we take the progress for granted and find a new cause for alarm. Every now and again it doesn’t hurt to take stock of just how good we have it.  I urge you to always count your blessings.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that there will be good times and there will be bad times in your life.  It will be up to you how you deal with the bad times.  For me I have learned to be thankful for what I have and not worry about what I don’t have.  I’m thankful for every minute I had with great grandpa Buck and great great grandma Laurel.  As I have told you before great grandpa Buck was the most influential person in my life, I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for him.  We will concentrate on the time we still have with great grandma Boo instead of dwelling on losing her soon.

You have been such a joy in all our lives, I treasure every minute I have with you.  Bear with us as we go down this path together again.  We will get through this as a family, with much love, understanding, and faith that we will all be together again.

I love you Lincoln, Puppa


After Grandma Boo ( my mother in-law ) went through all the testing and countless doctor appointments, we were told that she had about 3 months left to live, and that treatments would not prolong her life but would make her time left more comfortable.  What the doctors didn’t take into account is that Boo is a fighter.  She smiled at the doctors and stated that cancer better be ready for a fight, she wasn’t going down easy.

Boo wasn’t supposed to be with us at Christmas;

Boo enjoying every minute of Christmas Eve 2012
Boo enjoying every minute of Christmas Eve 2012


Boo wasn’t supposed to be with us at St. Patty’s Day;

Great Grandson Lincoln, Grand Daughter Haley and Great Grandma Boo.  St Patty's Day 2012
Great Grandson Lincoln, Grand Daughter Haley and Great Grandma Boo. St Patty’s Day 2012

Easter….not suppose to be there:

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Mom and Daughter out to eat on Easter Sunday, 2012


Since then there has been other great moments, cookouts, trips to the casino, and lots of family around.  Since last year my wife has spent a lot of time up north caring for her mom ( we live 2 1/2 hours away ).  Unfortunately in the past few months Boo’s health has steadily declined, cancer is starting to win the battle.  My lovely wife travels back and forth constantly, a day or two here to watch our grandson when our daughter has to work.  But other than that she is lovingly caring for her mom.  Boo, (mom) has told me more than once that Carol is her “Guardian Angel”.  I couldn’t agree more.

When I can get away from work I make the 5 hour round trip, even if it’s just for the day, so that I can help comfort her.  Mom and I have spent many early mornings in her little kitchen enjoying coffee, talking, and praying together.  She knows God has a plan and she is ready for what God has in store for her.  She is, and always has been, a strong and brave woman.

So, our days have been quite full the last year and especially the last few months.  My plan was to write every other day, to my grandson and on this blog, but God, as always, had a better plan, and that was to care for my family through this difficult time, comfort Boo, and love and support my incredible wife.

We know that time is slipping away and soon God will call Boo home.  Until then I pray every day for mom, my family and my wife.  Today I share my prayer for my wife;

Lord, when we are infants, you partner with our parents in loving and caring for us. Our loving Boo is now elderly and is fighting a losing battle with cancer and I ask that you partner with your daughter Carol in giving her the same tender loving care. Give her the strength to be fully present for her mother and lovingly tend to her needs and give her the wisdom to take time out to tend to own physical, emotional and spiritual needs as she cares for her. Amen.

“Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you.  Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness”.

Isaiah 41:10

I now look to you, my friends, I ask for your prayers, an encouraging word and understanding during this difficult time.

May God bless you, Jay


The Son

A wealthy man  loved to collect rare works of art. He had everything in his collection, from Picasso to Raphael.. He would often sit and admire the great works of art.

When the man died a great auction of his paintings was held. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of “The Son.”   This painting was of the old man’s son who had died in the Vietnam war.  The auctioneer pounded his gavel and yelled,“We will start the bidding with this picture of The Son.” “Who will bid for this picture?” Total silence.

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, “We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.”

But the auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? Anyone? $100.00, $200.00?”

Another voice angrily shouted . “We didn’t come here to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids. We want the works of art!”

But still the auctioneer continued. “The Son! The Son! Who’ll Take The Son?”

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long-time gardener of the man and his son.

” I’ll give $10 for the painting.”  Being a poor man, it was all that he could afford. “We have $10, who will bid $20?” “Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.” “$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20? $15?”

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice, SOLD for $10! “Someone sitting in the second row shouted, “Now let’s get on with the collection!”

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m sorry, the auction is over.”

”What about the paintings?” “I am sorry.”  Said the auctioneer.  “When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time.  Only the painting of “The Son” would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!”

God is waiting for you to take “The Son”, because “Whoever Takes The Son gets everything.”

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16