Posted in Lessons Learned from Sickness, Tender Loving Care

Tender, Loving Care (TLC)

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 15: Tender, Loving, Care (TLC)

loving care

When we get sick, there’s only one place where we want to go – at the hospital.

It is because we are assured of the presence of doctors, nurses, surgeons, and the availability of medications, laboratory facilities, and other equipment needed for our treatment.

But not all people are satisfied with their own hospital experience.

I want to make an exception.

Fairly recently, I was confined to the hospital twice. The first was ten days long, the second was 11 days long.

Within those days I was subjected to lots of medical procedures.

  • I underwent ultra-sound guided thorasynthesis, CT scan, several x-rays, a CTT tube was inserted into my body, and pleurodesis.
  • I was treated by many physicians who were specialists in their own fields.
  • I lost count of the number of nurses and attendants checking my vital signs and giving me my medications.

But I didn’t forget their tender, loving care (TLC) and positive attitudes. I was blessed to be confined in a Christian hospital because that’s the way I perceived their treatment towards me.

Even how utility personnel cleaned my room daily, or my food being delivered by kitchen attendants during mealtime, I can observe their courteous demeanor and respectful attitude.

The regular visits and prayers of the chaplains were very encouraging and inspiring.

The comforting presence of the members of the Board of Trustees was likewise commendable. One of them even volunteered to act as the guarantor if we lacked financial resources to pay the bill.

Lastly, what will be more reassuring than the personal visit of the hospital director himself who came and give me and Mam Martha his comforting words?

It was to him that I first shared my favorable impressions and experience.

Like me, he was happy to know that his hospital is a dispenser of TLC.

Posted on FB: 8 March 2015 – 7:56 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

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Posted in Determination, Lessons Learned from Sickness

If There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 14: If There’s a Will, There’s a Way

determination
“If There’s a Will, There’s a Way”

We often heard the proverb, “Kung gusto, maraming paraan. Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan” (trans. “If you want to do it, you can always find ways to do it. If you do not want to do it, you always have alibis for not doing it.”)

This means that the accomplishment of something depends greatly on the intense desire of someone who wants to achieve the desired result.

I was able to affirm this truth in my sickness.

When my doctor was identifying a medication for my cough, he matter-of-factly remarked, “If we only knew somebody who can access this kind of medication in the US (he then mentioned a certain brand), then our problem can be lessened. You see, this brand is no longer available here in our country because it has been banned and regulated. You can only find this medication in the US but with all proper documentation”.

Mam Martha immediately replied, “Doc, we know somebody who can do it”.

The doctor then smiled and said, “Well, if that’s the case, then here’s the prescription. I hope that in the coming 3-5 days it will be here so that we can start dispensing such medication”.

Indeed, 5 days later, a big bottle of that regulated medication was standing at my hospital table, with my name on it, ready for the doctor’s final instruction.

The challenge of finding, purchasing, documenting, and delivering that medicine from the US to the Philippines ASAP was responded to by my youngest sister Lucy who’s working as a nurse in California.

With her deep concern for me, her intense desire and intention to ease my case, she did everything possible to deliver that regulated medicine in my hospital room in record time.

I thank God for her motivation, intention, and determination, three important elements of showing in concrete terms, her love and care for me.

Indeed, if there’s a will, there’s a way.

Have a blessed Sunday everyone.

Let us worship our God with gladness!

Posted on FB: 8 March 2015 – 12:11 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Ant by Charlie Stinchcomb via Flickr Creative Commons License

Posted in Lessons Learned from Sickness, Trusting God

Don’t Ask “Why me?” Ask, What Will I Do?

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 13: Don’t Ask “Why me?” Ask, What Will I Do?

Faith Hope and Love

I appreciate the outburst made by a close friend (a barangay captain or village leader) when he heard about my sickness.

He said: Why does it have to be Pastor? Why not druglords, addicts, hired killers, holduppers, swindlers, who just create problems and sow havoc to society?

I understand his sentiments but I hesitate to agree with him. It would be very presumptuous for me to think that I am exempted to have this sickness because I am a Pastor.

It is also wrong for me to ask God why it would be me and not others. I simply have no right to do that.

God is God, and he has every right to do his will.

I recognize that there are many things in life that we cannot understand, but we must trust God’s judgment and be guided by his hands.

So instead of asking, “why me?” I asked, “what will I do now Lord”?

And here I received new challenges and revelations daily.

Since I cannot do my previous functions because of my physical limitations, the Lord challenged me to explore doing new things – like writing these lessons in social media.

Many people favorably send me their feedback.

I also kept a list of prayer requests that I earnestly make intercessions during my prayer time.

I also read a lot of books because I have the time to do that.

Dearly beloved, let the direction of our lives be guided by God’s hands because he is our stronghold.

He knows what’s best for us. Have a blessed day everyone!

Posted on FB: 7 March 2015 – 12:55 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

Posted in Generosity, Healing Sickness, Lessons Learned from Sickness

The Mysterious Generosity of the Raven

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 12: The Mysterious Generosity of the Raven

generosity

In part 7 of these lessons, I have shared with you the creation of God’s Wallet which served as concrete proof of God’s sufficient grace – that in times of our greatest need – God never fails to send us his compassion and support.

A theological insight my sister Gina shared made us more hopeful in committing ourselves to God through this God’s wallet, for it’s up to his will and power (not on our own capacity) where to get resources for my treatment.

She referred our attention to the story in I Kings 17:1-6, the story of Elijah and the ravens.

According to her, ravens (they are similar with our crows in appearance and characteristics) by nature are selfish and cruel. Mother ravens were known to abandon their newly hatched chicks and left them to survive by themselves.

In the story of Noah, the raven was the first bird to be released to see if there’s any dry land where the ark can settle. But the raven just kept on flying back and forth and didn’t enter the ark.

This was because the raven was seeking carcass of dead creatures and wanted to gorge itself without thinking about the welfare of other animals inside the ark.

In other words, you can’t expect generosity, service, and concern from a raven.

And yet, in Elijah’s case, he was fed by ravens who brought him bread and meat every morning and evening. Here we find the “mysterious generosity of the ravens”.

Reflecting on it theologically, my sister confidently declared that God can touch the heart of people and WILL be able to make their heart generous!

In other words, God can generate resources that we need through His power – by His touch.

Even a selfish raven can be generous – when God touches him/her and make him/her a channel of blessing!

Posted on FB: 6 March 2015 – 9:55 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

PHOTO CREDIT: Monkey Boy via Flickr Creative Commons License

Posted in Healing Sickness, Lessons Learned from Sickness, Overcoming Trials

Stepping Inside Job’s Shoes

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 11: Stepping Inside Job’s Shoes

Our family is very grateful that trials coming our way made us closer to each other and made our faith stronger in the Lord.
Our family is very grateful that trials coming our way made us closer to each other and made our faith stronger in the Lord.

Gina, one of my younger sisters, greatly comforted me when the doctor revealed to me my sickness.

She’s a school teacher at Sum-ag, Bacolod City at present.

Many years ago, she encountered a very severe trial.

Her husband was run-over by an 18 wheeler truck resulting in his sudden death. She became a very young widow with 3 very young children.

How did she cope with the tragedy? She stepped inside Job’s shoes.

This is her testimony of God’s goodness, which also comforted and strengthened me. What does “stepping inside Job’s shoes” entail?

  1. Being aware that God has chosen you to be tested. Have you seen my servant Job? Test him. God is mighty proud of Job. If you are under severe trial, God is making you his showcase.
  2. Being aware that God is highly confident that like Job, we can surpass these tests. God is very sure of Job’s faith, that he will not waver while facing trials.
  3. Being aware that God is right there at Job’s side monitoring the whole thing. God didn’t abandon Job.
  4. Being aware that God did strengthen Job and greatly blessed and rewarded him after he has passed the test!

These convictions strengthened Gina’s resolve to overcome her fiery trials.

She declared, “I will not only pass these tests. I will pass these tests with flying colors!”

Our family is very grateful that trials coming our way made us closer to each other and made our faith stronger in the Lord. Good day everyone!

Posted on FB: 6 March 2015 – 12:42 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces was the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He, his wife, Martha and daughter, Ronamae have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he had lung cancer. He underwent chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny started writing his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness.”

On 9 July 2015, Pastor Ronny rested his earthly life.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles.

Posted in Healing Sickness, Lessons Learned from Sickness, Praying Together

Family that Prays Together, Stays Together

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 10: Family that Prays Together, Stays Together

praying together to stay together

If there’s an image of childhood which remained as a lasting imprint on what I remembered about our family, it’s the family altar.

Tatay and Nanay gathering ten of us children in a corner of our house to read the scriptures, and contribute a statement or two on what we need for God to grant us.

This was a nightly affair which we continue to carry in each of our individual families to which we have settled now.

This strong family prayer life sustains each one of us even when we are already separated by distance and geography.

For instance, my youngest sister Lucy who’s working as a nurse in California always makes it a point to communicate every day with me, our mother and her other siblings, especially in my sickness.

Her generosity knows no bounds and her sacrificial love knows no obstacles. According to her, she was blessed by God so that she can be a blessing to many of us as well.

I’m grateful to God for giving us our family. We stayed together because we are bounded by that strong cord of unity – to pray as a family.

You want to strengthen your family? You can do that by gathering under the altar of prayer.

Posted on FB: 5 March 2015 – 5:11 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces was the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He, his wife, Martha and daughter, Ronamae have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he had lung cancer. He underwent chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny started writing his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness.”

On 9 July 2015, Pastor Ronny rested his earthly life.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles.

Posted in Healing Sickness, Lessons Learned from Sickness, Love, Marriage Covenant

In Sickness or in Health

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 9: In Sickness or in Health

Rhonzy Maellen (daughter), Martha Mae (wife) and Ronny
Rhonzy Maellen (daughter), Martha Mae (wife) and Ronny

I’ve solemnized marriage ceremonies of many couples.

In fact, I have already lost count how many I had pronounced as husbands and wives to be united in holy matrimony.

But there’s never an instant in which I forgot to include in their wedding vows this statement – do you promise to remain faithful, to love, comfort and honor your spouse, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in SICKNESS or in health…?

And all of them said, I DO!

I’ve made the same vows myself with Mam Martha (we will celebrate our 25th anniversary this coming July 2015).

I discovered the true essence, meaning, and application of this vow in my sickness!

Without Mam Martha’s presence by my side, sacrificial service, in-depth affirmation of love and earnest prayers, I could have succumbed to hopelessness.

I was very vulnerable to negative emotions like fear, uncertainty, and confusion.

It was easy to issue denials, blames and complaints if only to ease my mind of these negative vibrations.

Mam Martha ensured that in sickness, our vows would be strengthened, our relationship would be closer, our love for each other more meaningful, visible and pure.

I get stronger every day because of Mam Martha’s consistent affirmation of our marriage covenant.

She’s there for me, in the moments I certainly need her.

I thank the Lord for giving me Mam Martha!

Posted on FB: 5 March 2015 – 4:24 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces was the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He, his wife, Martha and daughter, Ronamae have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he had lung cancer. He underwent chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny started writing his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness.”

On 9 July 2015, Pastor Ronny rested his earthly life.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles.