Diana’s Kidney

Diana entered the day hospital at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center yesterday to donate a kidney to my mom. My wife, since the beginning, has voluntarily pursued the chance to give her kidney to my mom. My wife’s demeanor and stature is absolutely remarkable during such a stressful situation. We are quite grateful that her pre-op tests did not come back like my own when I tried to donate my kidney in April. We had a great night with many visitors including Virgina Lakey, Donnie & Garnet, Dad & Mom, Clayton & Cynthia (Taylor & Logan), Rachel & Jordan, Micah & Judi (Lincoln & Emerson), Jon Sexton, and several nurses and doctors (Dr. Assimos).

 Diana and I has some alone time and took the extra time to pray for her and mom as the surgery approached.

I stayed in the room last night with Diana. Normally, she does not mind if I stay, but she didn’t mention that it would be fine for me to go home and get some sleep. I took that as my que that I needed to stay. Our rise and shine time was at 530. So we had a good rise and shine time. She jumped into the shower and I brushed my teeth. We had to laugh as she put on her hospital gown. The gown was such a cool 8th anniversary outfit.

 We took time to read I Corinthians 13 together, which is the passage we always read together when we were dating. Of course, this got both of us crying as we anticipated the surgery in less than two hours. We cried for a few minutes and then wiped away the tears.

Donnie and Garnet arrived just a few minutes after 600. Dad showed up about 610 this morning. We all talked until the doctors arrived at about 633 to take Diana down to the surgery staging room. At this point, I really did some crying, but God gave me much comfort as I walked with her to the staging room. I told Diana as we got on the elevator…”I thought we got all these tears out earlier this morning.” I guess not! Oh but God is so good.

 I then went back up and spent a few minutes with mom, dad, and Donnie & Garnet before going downstairs to the surgical family waiting area.

 We have had several visitors including Carol Smith, Sandra Nifong, Aunt Pete, Wanda Brewer, Doug Kinney (my uncle), Cynthia (and the 4 girls). Donnie & Garnet have been here the whole time and brought me breakfast from Bojangles.

I spoke with the OR nurse three times and the Diana was doing well each time. I spoke with Dr. Assimos about 1100 and Diana would be moving to recovery in about 20 minutes. She should be in recovery for about an hour before moving to another room.

 I can’t wait to see the love of my life! 

I love you babe!

II Chronicles 23: Jehoida Strengthens Himself

Athaliah had established her position of authority by killing the royal offspring. Fortunately, Jehoshabeath had rescued one of the royal offspring, Joash, and protected him in the temple of God.

 After some time Jehoida, the high priest, gained strength and prepared to contest Athaliah for the throne. He formed a coalition with Azariah, Ishmael, Azariah, Maaseiah, and Elishaphat. These leaders signed a contract with Jehoida that would help elevate Joash to his proper throne.

 Jehoida’s leadership:

1/3 of the priests / Levites shall be gatekeepers
1/3 of the priests / Levites shall be at the king’s house
1/3 of the priests / Levites shall be at the Gate of Foundation
 All shall be in the in the courts of the house of the LORD.

 Jehoida then gave King David’s spears and shields to the ones he had made contracts with to help protect Joash as king. After providing them with equipment they anointed Joash king of Judah & Benjamin. Soon after the triumphal entry began, Athaliah overheard the celebration and hastily rushed to the house of the Lord. Athaliah vehemently screamed Treason, Treason yet she was still forced outside the house of the Lord and killed.

 Jehoida then led Judah & Benjamin to reform by destoying the temple of Baal and killing the priest of Baal. The response to Jehoida’s righteous actions resulted in the city rejoicing. The text reads that since the death of Athaliah the city was quiet.

Great leadership requires…

Knowledge of what is right
Courage to do what is right
Persuasive in convincing others to do that which is right
Plan to achieve what is right
A willingness to carry out the plan by overcoming any fear.
A willingness to make things right and also to destroy that which is evil.

Many lessons we can learn from the leaders in the Bible.

II Chronicles 22: Like Father Like Son

Ahaziah, the youngest son of Jehoram whom the Arabs left living, became king for one year in Judah & Benjamin. Much to Ahaziah’s demise his mother, Athaliah, led his kingdom into wickedness. She continued to seek counsel from the wicked leadership of Ahab the king of Israel.  Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s son, must have made such an impression on Ahab that Ahab named one of his sons Jehoram. So Ahab’s son and Jehoram’s son make alliances like their fathers between Judah and Israel.  

God would use this alliance to inflict judgment on two kings who persisted on walking wickedly. God would use Jehu to execute His judgment on their lives. Jehu slew Ahab and all the princes of Judah including Ahaziah. Ahaziah’s mother promptly rose and destroyed the royal offspring in Judah so that she might have controls of the country. However, Jehoshabeath Ahaziah’s sister (wife of Jehoiada the priest), hid one of Ahaziah’s sons, Joash, in the house of God for six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.

Despite the passion of Satan to thwart the planned seed for the Messiah, God effortlessly protected His covenant and kept the seed through hands of a woman Jehoshabeath who potected Joash from his wicked grandmother.

II Chronicles 21: Jehoram’s Miserable Leadership

Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s first born, became king. After becoming king, Jehoram slew all of his brothers (Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azaryahu, Michael, Shephatiah). He soon made an alliance with Ahab, king of Israel, through marriage. This marriage and friendship with Israel promoted wickedness within his kingdom.

Despite the wickedness of Jehoram the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that was made.

Two groups revolted against Jehoram’s leadership, Edom and Libnah. According to verse ten they refused to follow Jehoram, “because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers.”

Jehoram made high places in the mountains for worship, he caused the inhabitants to play the harlot, and he led Judah astray. Jehoram’s unfaithfulness to Jehovah prompted damnable letter from Elijah.

Since you…

Failed to follow in the footsteps of his father (Jehoshaphat) or his grandfather (Asa).
Enjoyed walking after Ahab and leading the people away from the LORD
Secured his throne by killing his younger brothers

You will…

Be struck by the Lord with your wives and their children
Suffer sickness of the bowels, which will ultimately lead to your painful slow death.

After Elijah’s brash letter the Lord stirred up the Philistines and the Arabs (on the border of Ethiopia) to attack Judah. Two years after from the letter of Elijah Jehoram’s bowels came out of his body and died a painful death.

I find the comments at the end of his death very interesting.

“The people of Judah made no fire for Jehoram like they made for Asa or Jehoshaphat.”
“He departed with no one’s regret”
“…they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.”

A few notes on miserable leaders:

Miserable leaders are scared they will lose their position.
Miserable leaders take action to secure their leadership (killing his brothers).
Miserable leaders are self centered.
Miserable leaders make alliances with ungodly leaders.
Miserable leaders fail to remember the footsteps of their father and grandfather.
Miserable leaders lead people astray (literally away from the LORD).
Miserable leaders will face revolt for appropriate reasons (Edom & Libnah).
Miserable leaders must face condemnation from the messengers of God (Elijah).
Miserable leaders will endure tough calamities.
Miserable leaders are not missed when they depart.

II Chronicles 20: Victory Requires Trust

A remarkable chapter of a leader, Jehoshaphat, brining the people together to put their trust in God. Jehoshaphat recognized the need of someone much bigger then themselves to hold off the army marching towards Judah & Benjamin. They prayed, God responded through a prophet, the people were encouraged, and God defeated the approaching armies without Judah nor Benjamin using their swords.

 Unfortunately, after this victory Jehoshaphat chose to make an alliance with Ahaziah, the king of Israel. The alliance was to work together building ships that they could use to get to Tarshish. God did not like Jehoshaphat’s plan and sent Eliezer to inform the kings that the ships would be destroyed due to this alliance with a wicked king.

Nonetheless, Jehoshaphat made some great decisions in this chapter.

The leader in fear must always go to the Lord.

The leader must draw the people together to pray.

The leader must face his inadequacies honestly, “for we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming aginst us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

The leader must listen for the messenger of God, Jahaziel.

The leader must encourage trust, “put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.

The leader must encourage worship, “he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army, because they His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

The leader must be not lead the people into wrong alliances.

II Chronicles 19: Jehoshaphat Warned & Judges Appointed

Although Jehoshaphat probably learned his lesson while on the battlefield with Ahab crying for his life, the Lord still sent the seer, Jehu (Hanani’s son), to deliver a message. Jehoshaphat when you make alliances with the wicked you are inviting the wrath of God on you and your kingdom.  Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah & Benjamin, gives instructions to the judges he is setting up throughout the kingdom. 

1. When you render judgment it is for the Lord and not man so consider what you do.
2. Let the fear of God rest upon you.
3. God does not participate in unrighteousness, partiality, or taking a bribe.
4. Fear the Lord and perform your work faithfully and wholeheartedly
5. The judge is responsible for the lives of the people he oversees. If the judge fails to inform the people that what they have done has impacted their relationship with God then it hurts the entire city.
6. Amariah the chief priest is in charge.
7. Act resolutely 

Great leaders consider every decision they make because they are a representative of the Lord.

Great leaders enjoy resting in the fear of the Lord, which prevents decisions that are unrighteous, partial, or bribed.

Great leaders perform faithfully and wholeheartedly.

Great leaders understand they help protect the individual and the whole.

Great leaders act resolutely.  

II Chronicles 18: Jehoshaphat’s Unwise Ally

Although Jehoshaphat had secured his dominating strength over Israel, he felt obligated to form an alliance with Ahab the king of Israel. Jehoshaphat opted to marry Ahab’s daughter to secure an alliance between the two.  After the alliance, Ahab requested help from Jehoshaphat’s 1,160,000 valiant warriors to defeat Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat volunteered his assistance, but requested to hear from a prophet of God. The prophet of God in Israel, Micaiah, was brought before the kings and explained that Ahab would be killed in the fight and the Israelites would be scattered on the mountain side without a shepherd. This obviously did not sit well with Ahab and he requested that Micaiah be put in prison until his return from the war.  Jehoshaphat failed to heed the warning of Micaiah and went to war with Ahab against Ramoth-gilead. In the midst of the battle, when the warriors were pressing upon Jehoshaphat very hard he cried unto the Lord and the Lord delivered him. However, in the midst of the battle just as Micaiah had predicted, Ahab was shot randomly by an arrow. This shot delivered the fatal blow of the prophets message.  Great leaders must not form alliances with leaders who do listen to God.Great leaders must know that alliances can lead to disastrous battles. Great leaders put their life at risk in wrong battles when they make unhealthy alliances.