This is Mary writing for my husband. You may have heard that we both have COVID-19. Joel has it far worse than me. I just have a little cough and I feel fine. His started almost two weeks ago. He had symptoms that we thought were due to a new medication he was taking for foot neuropathy. On Sunday morning, 9/20, he almost fainted in church. We took him to the emergency department, where he did actually faint. It was discovered he had atrial fibrillation, and he tested positive for COVID. He was admitted to the hospital for one day. Thankfully, his heart went back into a normal rhythm all by itself. He is on a blood thinner and will follow up with his cardiologist when he recovers from COVID, Lord willing.
So, he has been healing at home for one week now. It’s a slow process. Little improvements are seen. We are quarantining of course. He is coughing, very tired, and occasionally lightheaded. He sleeps well at night and takes several naps during the day. We are blessed to be able to take 2-3 walks a day. Last week we watched the leaves change in all their splendorous glory in the woods behind our house. We ate more meals on the deck than we have in the past year. Joel’s vitals are good, and his lungs are clear. We are under the care of excellent doctors. Hydration, nutrition, and rest are our part. Healing is God’s part. We are trusting Him.
We want to thank you so much for all the love, prayers, and caring you have showered upon us. Joel is starting to do a tiny bit of work. I ask that you not call him, as talking brings on coughing. We hope you understand that he is not able to answer emails at this time. We covet your prayers for healing and strength. He was very encouraged by the two sermons preached in our church yesterday, Dr. Kuivenhoven on Matthew 11:28-30 “The Magnetism of Christ” (or “Come Here”), and Dr. Barrett on Psalm 46 “Calm Down.” “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18).
Have you ever grieved or fasted because of pride in your life? The Reformers said much about pride and often warned about it. In this video I explain that pride is a very dangerous sin that can lead to great destruction: https://bit.ly/36eeRAF
Just back from a four-generation, family birthday celebration for my very special, God-fearing father-in-law, Henry Kamp, who turned 88 this week. Here I caught him in a moment of contemplation as he looked out over dozens of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and no doubt was also thinking of all those who could not join us. I think I could read his mind: “Why and how has the Lord blessed me and my family so much when I am so unworthy of His covenant mercies? Who am I, O LORD God? And what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” (2 Sam. 7:18).
In this webinar, Scott Brown and I discuss another chapter of William Gouge’s book, “Building a Godly Home.” This chapter focuses on a husband’s gentleness towards his wife. Husbands need to be humble and tender towards their wives. https://bit.ly/3muWc9D
husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the
wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the
grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7).
Last night Mary and I had the privilege of attending the installation service of our friend, Dr. Sacha Walicord (back row, far right, with his wife Martina in front of him), as pastor of the United Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan. He came to Walker URC from being a professor at Dort College, Sioux Center, Iowa. Rev. John Vermeer from Doon, Iowa (back row, far left) preached the installation sermon (in front of him is John VanDixhoorn from Iowa, related to Chad VanDixhoorn). John and Stacey VanVoorst (second from left in both rows)—good friends of both the Walicords and us—flew in from South Dakota for the special occasion. (One of our seminary graduates, Rev. Greg Lubbers, gave the personal charge.)
After the service the eight of us enjoyed a few hours of great fellowship in the new home of the Walicords. Pray that God will bless Dr. Walicord’s ministry greatly in the Walker URC flock and beyond.