Work with what you have

Posted by glennis on Sunday, June 01, 2014

In 2007,  Scott & I began our web-site entitled deathvalleypromises.org to encourage countless people in the hope and security of having a relationship with Christ. God made a way for Scott, who could barely  speak, share His testimony and witness of Jesus Christ; right from our bedroom to around the world. Despite the terminal diagnosis, his cheerful heart became a medicine for him, consuming him with an abundance for life and he dispensed this prescription through this work.

Typing with his foot, Scott painstakingly drafted his messages and I helped co-author and finesse his manuscripts. We uploaded both journal and devotional posts to this site. He wanted to share the ways God encouraged him daily and these efforts gave him meaning and purpose for living. While his body progressively weakened, Scott’s ambition to share the Gospel was energized by renewal of his mind with God’s Word and the Spirit’s quickening. From his own desperation and dependence on his Savior, he wrote and encouraged many, bearing fruit in suffering as he gained perspective on the value God had for his own life.

Without our own strategizing, we realized how God had led the way to enter into a promise given Scott months after the diagnosis. A personal promise for him to minister the Hope of Christ to thousands and thousands of people! The Holy Spirit had guided Scott’s final years to leave a legacy that exalts Christ in the midst of adversity.

My husband, a great man of faith, believed God was looking to be glorified in desolate places. He ministered through the internet platform for several years and our website became a way for him to share God’s love and keeping power with the world. Christ is The Message for multitudes without hope, His Comfort is refreshment for those in the barrenness of their life’s situations. I pray the Holy Spirit will continue to use this website to encourage the faint-hearted.

Scott at Compw-audience 2010

 

From my Vantage Point

Posted by glennis on Saturday, May 31, 2014

S&G at Badwater Basin 8-20-2000 croppedThe following testament is to share the experience of God’s Faithfulness throughout my husband’s life and death struggle with ALS disease, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’ s disease. It’s a journey God took our family through for 16 years, but more specifically how He brought us through as a couple united in Faith.

I  gave my life to Christ at 21 yrs, and was married at 23 yrs to an man of faith, Scott Brodie. He and I met while we both worked at a health club. Two years after we were married, my husband started his own small business of mobile upholstery. By the time I was 31yrs, we were a family of six. Both of us were teaching Bible studies, attending Bible College and fully involved in Ministry Leadership. In addition to children’s school and sports activities, our family-life revolved around our Church community.  We were a happy, active young family.

Four years later, in 1997, my husband and I learned of the most devastating news to affect us. Scott was given the terminal diagnosis of A.L.S.; a slow nerve degenerative disease which causes the nerves throughout the body to stop signaling the muscles, causing them to atrophy so they can’t be used. The progression causes people to lose the ability to use their hands, walk, swallow, speak and continues until the person eventually loses their ability to respirate or die of lung infection. We were in disbelief how this could have even happened to us! Apart from a slight complaint of a weakness in Scott’s ability to press  a pen while writing, he now learns this disease is going to quickly take his life in 2-5 years and there is no cure or way to stop it.

Upon hearing the shocking news of Scott’s diagnosis, we were so thankful to know Who to turn to. God numbers our days is the only One who really knew what was going on with Scott’s health. My husband asked the Doctor what treatments there were for this health condition and he answered there were none. Scott then asked him what alternative therapies might prove helpful,  again the neurologist had no suggestions and seemed to discourage any attempt for us to take any action nor did he give us any hope. We were frustrated listening to this professional who’s manner was cold and clinical. From our view, the Doctor did not relate any compassion delivering this life defying diagnosis. Scott ardently blurted out that God could heal him, in belief  of God’s miracle working power doing the impossible when men say there is no way. Then the Doc visibly moved his chair and body direction away from Scott to talk to me to impress the gravity of the situation.

From that point on, Scott and I had very different roles which God entrusted each of us to carry out in approach to this ominous medical condition. Initially, I was gripped with feelings of fear and insecurity  within in my mind; giving me an anxiousness in my spirit.  Scott was immediately thrust into total reliance and utter dependence upon God. His battle was not only a fight in his mind and spirit but was beginning and projecting to be extremely physically reducing. I praise God that He trusted Scott with a particular gift of faith to confront every limitation he would face in the succeeding  years.

Together from God’s Word, we knew through prayer we could enter the Throne Room of Heaven and this is where we received  grace and confidence to remain hopeful. By having an assurance that God is for us and loves us as His cherished children, we were able to trust that He would not cause meaningless suffering.  Everything He permitted had a purpose, and still does. Specifically, that God will confound the logic and reasoning’s of this world through vessels of faith and display it for His Glory.

God took our family through many mountains and valleys. In the valleys we experienced natural insufficiencies, fears, demonic opposition and dry, wildernesses places, but God was always there.  In mountaintop experiences, we watched how God answered specific prayers by making a way, no matter our need and opened new doors of faith to us. We sensed the nearness of His Presence surrounding and equipping us.

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Throughout the succeeding years, we set out on countless alternative treatment protocols. I instrumentally  helped all therapies and we tried many hopeful alternatives; homeopathic, nutritional, invasive; even disputed treatments. We were optimistic that God might work through any of them or instead, He could supernaturally bestow a miraculous gift of healing.

In all our undertakings and research, we considered whether our treatment endeavors and monitoring could be used as a case study for other sufferers with this disease. We hoped that even if as a test subject, Scott might help to find a cure or beneficial treatment for ALS. I documented each avenue we took and retained copious records of Scott’s medical management.

The two-to-five year life expectancy markers past and it appeared God may have a different course for Scott; seemingly he was “holding his own”. However, eight years into his diagnosis, his speech, swallowing and facial muscles were being so affected that he was not able to eat enough calories to sustain his already decreased weight. He went from an original weight at ALS onset of 195 lbs and declined to 120 lbs. In 2005, Scott underwent surgery to get a feeding tube; this became his source of nutrition for the next 7 years.

As the years continued to progress, Scott’s nerve and muscles slowly weakened.  By this time we were less able to socialize and were more confined to our house.  The Holy Spirit was our constant companion,  enlarging our capacities and increasing our endurance to adapt to the continual  losses of  Scott’s disabilities. He became more and more dependent on me for his physical care. I was effectively his hands, feet, and his voice facilitating the majority of his ambitions. God gave me an inner strength to live out Scott’s daily life, as well as my own. I was his 24 hour soul-mate, help-mate and  care-giver. We both relied on the Truth of the Scripture, that our Hope is found in Christ. He would not give us more that we could handle but was the way of escape through the supply of the Spirit and God did supply practically, emotionally, and spiritually! Our part was to acknowledge the way He was providing with grateful hearts. Scott and I were growing in understanding that sometimes God allows a cup of suffering in our lives for us to share in the sufferings of His Son (Col 1:24). Christ’s sufferings do remain on this earth and have great purpose for the Church. He can use them as a way to transform our hearts and minds into Christ likeness.

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Constant accusations and projections from the adversary  into  Scott’s mind were never completely silenced although they did lose their dominating influence. The Word of God became the Refuge he confessed and believed. We held to the promise in 2 Corinthians 4:15 that if all things are for our sakes, then we can trust that God will use everything we go through for our benefit; even if we can’t see or understand it now.

There were many sleepless nights, life threatening infections and encroaching losses in Scott’s lung capacity. He continued to have the will to live out God’s purpose for his isolated assignment.  Throughout the day, through online sermons, internet studies, devotions, fellowship and conversations with others; Scott came to comprehend a significance and application for his life through Scripture. The metaphor of Christ as the Bread of Life, became a vivid depiction to me as I witnessed my tube fed husband truly satisfied and nourished spiritually; Scott was feasting at God’s Banquet table!

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As Scott’s breathing became gradually more labored, we were made aware of his options for having a tracheotomy to improve his respirations and were advised to consider the serious consequences that could result as well. Here is what we were told: 1) The surgery itself could be life threatening, 2) and if he survived the surgery, it still would not stop the progression of the illness 3) Scott would be vent dependent and no longer able to attempt to speak or smell and 4) it would create a financial burden, requiring 24 hour care registered nursing care. For a year we vacillated as we weighed out this decision, we prayed for God’s guidance and confirming peace to evidence to us whether Scott should undergo this life changing surgery.

In March of 2009, Scott contracted a viral infection and fever and was taken by ambulance to the local hospital. As he was there recovering; the question of the tracheotomy came up again. Scott let the doctor know he would have an answer for him in two days, we set our hearts again to keenly listen to the Holy Spirit. By Friday we had a settled peace and I, myself, had a simple unction that seemed to hit me on the head “he can’t breathe, get him some air”. We finally had the release and the permission we had been waiting for, we scheduled the surgery for the following Wednesday.

Recovery from surgery meant additional time for both of us in the hospital and also several weeks together in a Nursing Home, I didn’t dare leave him alone.  Myself, my daughters and another care-giver were all instructed for the settings on the ventilator, accompanying machines, supplies, prescriptions and care protocol.

The following months were unimaginably difficult and there were many adjustments to our entire family’s lifestyle.  In time, Scott recovered from surgery and his acute infection. Color came back to his face and his skin no longer looked sallow from lack of oxygen. His energy improved because of the ventilation and he could finally sleep better.  We were thrilled as he was able to get off  life support for increasing amounts of time and eventually only need the ventilator breathing support at night.

The life sustaining measures of Scott’s feeding tube and tracheostomy helped to extend his life until he passed away three and a half years later in November, 2012. Those last years were very intense but especially precious to our family.  The fellowship we shared was sweeter and each day was lived as if it might be Scott’s last. We gave everything we had, and then God gave us even more of His Grace for our endurance; just as He has promised in His Word to supply.

Scott’s main reason for living was to please the Father; knowing he would one day stand before Him and give an account of his life. His aim was to have no regrets when that Day came before the Holy Presence of God. As best as he understood the Will of God, Scott wanted a clear conscience. He pressed toward the High Calling of Christ with everything within him and determined not to limit God’s power to do the impossible in or through his life. I also ran this race, and neither of us gave up.  Personally, have no regret or misgivings for believing God had more available, if we could only believe. This had given us all the reason in the world not to hold back. God multiplied Scott’s allotted years and instead of giving him only the 2-5 years the neurologist had grant, The Lord multiplied it and prolonged his life 16 years. Significant benefits were made possible from the added amount of time. Scott purposely advanced the Kingdom of God, as heaven will one day reveal.

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To those who suffer through varied, harrowing circumstances; hold tightly to God’s Word and keep your eyes steadfast on the Hope of Christ. His Holy Spirit will perfect you and develop His Character within you. Throw yourselves on His Grace and live a life of Faith pleasing to God.

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;  and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

Praise from a Christian Widow

Posted by glennis on Sunday, November 17, 2013

brodie-family-fall-1997.jpgIn recognition of the first anniversary of my husband’s passing; I lay before you my heartfelt thoughts and admiration of the character of my better half, Scott Brodie, and the gracious God he served. The Lord has used the last year to comfort me in the finality of losing my spouse who now lives beyond the veil. Scott’s gallant race to the finish in natural life has helped me to keep perspective on my grief. Feelings of having been denied have evolved to an ever increasing appreciation of the freedoms he must now enjoy in heaven.  

Initially, the overwhelming sense of loss was his physical presence, especially in view of the ways our lives were so interwoven. Life, as I formerly had known it, ceased to exist and my everyday reality was drastically changed. His absence affected every part of my being. Thirty years of inseparability didn’t ensure me another day or retrieve Scott’s soul back from the grave; I could do nothing but accept God’s decided Will. I’m sobered considering the fleetingness of time and brevity of life. Surely we need to redeem each day for our generation while we still have breath.

I’m mindful of Scott throughout my day and dismiss feelings of leaving him behind. I resist hesitations of the “great unknown” in my future and wrestle with a slight sense that moving on betrays the plans Scott and I had made together. In the coming days, I have determined all the more to allow peace to rule my heart and protect and confirm my steps. The Comfort of God will give me assurance of His guiding hand.

I empathize with all who have lost a loved one, especially those who have experienced the death of a spouse. We grieve two losses; one of our soul mate and one of our marriages. The unwilling separation by death ends the godly union of marriage; divorcing lives from one another.  My precious husband was the center of my world in so many ways; it’s foreign for me to live without his companionship. I am consoled with the thought that although Scott is no longer accessible in the land of the living he is partaking of an immortal, heavenly estate. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of him, miss our conversations and accept his absence. The memory of him continually abides in my heart and mind. My consolation and firm belief is in my faith that the Word of God is true and I will one day see him again. I rejoice in the spiritual hope of the splendor of heaven; a Hope that will not disappoint.

Despite new and persistent battles we had faced in Scott’s 16 year health crisis; I witnessed the Holy Spirit quicken his human spirit with renewed energy for each day’s challenges. Throughout the difficulties, when his natural capacity was tapped, he kept himself from feelings of bitterness and pity. He determined not to try to figure out life by his own reasoning and decided against accusing thoughts, projections and condemnations competing to discourage him. When exhausted from the all-day struggle of mind and body; Scott clung to the promise of sleeping peacefully (Ps 4:8). Notwithstanding constant interruptions, he rested in God’s faithfulness to equip him and looked forward to fresh mercies in the morning.

As the Lou Gehrig’s disease progressed, the Holy Spirit developed Scott into a gentle soul. Without the use of his voice and with little ability to breathe, he still found ways to express love and concern for others. The demands of critical health became increasingly difficult both physically and emotionally. What Scott lacked in his own willpower he went to God for enablement. He resolved not to battle against his own limitations but trust in Christ’s supply. Irrespective of Scott’s physical dependence he grew in selflessness and patience. He daily bore a cross of suffering and vulnerability and defeated many enemies by the power of Christ Jesus. I imagine angels desired to observe this marvel of faith in action.

Years went by and Scott’s nerve loss and muscle function continued to decline. This caused a type of progressive paralysis that robbed all aspects of his independence. In his great need, he came to a fuller recognition that God was searching his heart to apprehend his inner man (Prov 20:27). Scott’s outward man didn’t impress God anyway and often became an interference in the pursuit of Christ’s call. By prayer for others and in identification with his Savior, Scott shared in sufferings that remain for the sake of the Church (Col 1:24) anticipating God’s purposes would (and will) be revealed.

In the last years of his life, the intensive demands of physical care required concerted efforts day and night for me, our children, and the help of a few devoted caregivers. Scott had always wanted to give, and was greatly humbled to be the one constantly needing to receive. He appreciated all of our efforts and wished he wasn’t a burden. We never considered him a burden and saw how much he gave. There was nothing I would not do for him and still cherished the man I committed my life to in sickness and in health. Even now, I highly esteem the godly leadership and precious contributions he demonstrated.

Despite the adversity, the Holy Spirit continued to enlarge both our capacities. Scott began to recognize his value in the plan of God and he grew in purpose.  I assisted behind the scenes to help him fulfill his ministry of encouragement. In no small measure, the impartation working in Scott was profoundly worked into my family and me. With the passing of their dad, our children face a distinct loss of their own yet have received a great heritage of faith in the Lord. I am confident our posterity will preserve Scott’s legacy and the testimony of his utter dependence upon the provisions of God.

Scott had received newness of life, late in his teenage years, through the belief of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. Born to new life, his soul had been crucified with Christ in identification with the Son. Grasping the exchange of realities from natural to supernatural is paramount to rising above our challenges and overcoming evil. By of our invitation, God makes His home in us and we become the Temple of God. Our flesh no longer has jurisdiction to dominate us, God has legal reign! We choose to allow the Holy Spirit to take control of our lives and multiply the witness of Christ’s love to the world.

 Battle of our Soul

Scott had always trusted and sought the Lord for a healing miracle. I believe Jesus was well pleased in his faith. If the Father’s sovereign will was for his visible, miraculous healing in this life; He would not have been limited by doubt or unbelief in Scott’s expectancy.  In fact, many miracles were carried out to deliver Scott from an earlier death. God prolonged his life eight times the prognosis neurologists gave him in 1997. I’m persuaded that Scott was entrusted with a specialized assignment; one that might cause many others to become offended and confused. The Father knew he could take this godly man through fires of affliction and he would come through as gold. Disease did not prevail against Scott by slowly taking his life but instead, by divine design, Scott amplified Jesus in the earth. God healed him entirely; giving him everlasting life and the promise of a resurrected body at Christ’s Second Coming. Friends, the enemy has been defeated, no longer having dominion over a believer, we are to have already reckoned ourselves dead to our flesh. The battle that reconciled us to the Father has already been won and the grave has no victory. By the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Firstfruit of the Resurrection overcame death and the grave. Hallelujah!

By accepting Christ’s substitutionary death, Scott had already been spiritually resurrected from sin & death at the point of his salvation. Beyond his natural ability, through prayer and seeking God, he accessed the joy of the Lord for his inner strength. Scott’s spirit, soul and body had to align with the Will of God for his life and be daily sustained by His Grace. Scott sincerely wanted to be able to stand before his Maker with a pure heart and no regrets. He yearned to hear the Father say “well done, thou faithful servant”.

There is something for us to examine in one’s knowing their impending death that shakes them out of the slumber of the world. Even as a devote follower of Christ, upon hearing of his terminal prognosis, Scott desperately aspired to please God, no matter the cost. We should all be so alert knowing our days are short. I remember those early years and know our journey took us through a perilous and desolate wilderness of heart. Time and again, we were supernaturally equipped for our challenges by His mercy and grace. God’s Word tells us He does not refuse a broken and contrite heart and hears their plea (Ps 34:18).  In turn, we have opportunity to delight the Father’s heart by our acknowledgment and praise of His work in our lives. Scott had a lot of time to contemplate the Life of Christ that enabled him. He would want you to fight the fight of faith with everything within you, believing God for His Promises.

 “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” Psalm 25:14

 An example of faith

 The Apostle Paul wittingly boasted in his infirmities to the Corinthian believers seeing they boasted in their flesh. (2 Cor 11:18, 30). Later the Lord told him “… my grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” therefore Paul was able to state “… I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (chap.12:9-10). We see in Paul’s example, although he was commissioned by God, he suffered many adversities. Consider the follow passage:

 “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—  always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.

…Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal”.                                                                                       2 Cor 4:8-12; 16-18

 My boast

In our private lives, I was a recipient and eyewitness to a particular outworking of inner strength and ability. By observing Scott’s personal fortitude and abundant life, my perception of reality has been altered in ways I cannot deny. I have come out from a wilderness leaning on my beloved Christ. I am passionately assured of God’s faithfulness regardless of how circumstances appear, and boast of the Lord’s delivering power through the Cross of Christ. Jesus will do more than you could ask or imagine when you commit your whole heart to Him. Believe for yourself, fellow traveler, God is the source of all life and an ever present help in the time of your need.

 

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Glennis’ Memorial Remembrances

Posted by glennis on Sunday, November 25, 2012


Although Scott fought a long standing battle against the slow progression of Lou Gehrig’s disease, he passed away unexpectedly returning home from a haircut. He was revived and given 6 more precious days with us before he went on to Paradise. I am confident that each of these days fulfilled both earthly and heavenly purposes, completing the number of days God had allotted to him.

Despite being diagnosed with this terminal illness in 1997, with which the medical field has no cure, Scott always held on to hope. Rather, it was his invitation to go deeper and farther in his relationship with God. Scott looked to his Savior, Jesus the man of sorrows, who was acquainted with grief sent to redeem the world. Scott always had his eye on the purposes and call of God to allow him to walk his own path of bodily humiliation. The Holy Spirit quickened him with strength and determination in his inner man. Scott held to the belief that all things were for his sake although his understanding could not comprehend why. He held to and applied the promises in the Word of God as his ongoing prescription and The Great Physician gave him medicine for his soul.  As the apostle Paul wrote “he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be a partaker of his hope.” Those that knew Scott knew that he was a partaker of hope in Christ’s salvation for his circumstance and was a sharer of the Good News of eternal life.

Scott was not beyond discouragement from the limitations and dependence imposed upon him through illness. He clung to God’s Word to deliver him from the projections that constantly tried to assail his mind day & night. He sought examples in the Word of God that exhibited total dependence upon the mercy of God. He often identified with the heart of the Psalmists, especially those of King David who encouraged himself in the Lord and said in Ps 56:3-4.

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word),

In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

Two weeks before he died, Scott had been having low energy and suffered a fall. Although he wasn’t injured, his mind warred against him. He considered the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 19. Elijah had run from Jezebel in fear into the wilderness and sat under a juniper tree. He asked God that he might die, saying “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers”. At this time after Scott’s fall, in anguish of heart, Scott asked the Lord “Isn’t it enough?” It would have to be the Lord that took Scott’s life because again and again he determined that he would not resign to death, it would be to him as if quitting his race. Scott wanted to go the distance and finish well by allowing God’s to fulfill His purposes for his life.

The scriptures tell us that Elijah was fed by an angel and went in the strength of that food forty days and nights to Mt. Horeb.  He stayed in a cave; then the word of the Lord came to him, and asked “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Scott identified with this cave of despair; he allowed the voice of the Lord to ask him what was he doing there. Why was he tempted in hopelessness? Scott knew this was not the place for his soul to receive abundant life from the Spirit. He applied this word to himself and his circumstance, allowing the Lord to challenge him and impart strength to his heart.

Scott had shared his recent fall with his friends on Facebook, who had been alerted to pray for him. He posted in the following days:

“When you commit yourself to the promises of God he will never put you to shame!” Oct 19th

One of the last posts he made just days before he died was….

“I desire to have uninterrupted intimacy with Jesus Christ that will carry me to the end of this life and take me all the way through eternity!” Oct 26th

Little did we know his desire was to be fulfilled shortly after this posting.

Scott’s greatest anchor throughout his illness was his encounter with the Lord months after diagnosis. In the communion he had with Jesus, he believed he would serve God in Arizona and that he was commissioned to give thousands and thousands of people hope. Scott’s vision was an anchor for him and it fueled him to go farther, to keep apprehending Christ. Scott had sensed something supernatural that was a mainstay for him; he went to Arizona a thousand times in his spirit not yet comprehending what it all meant. It was as if he was given a time release capsule that supplied an ample dosage to bolster his faith and energize his ministry for years. Scott’s desert land became a wellspring of hope for others. He feasted from the table God prepared for him and his soul was satisfied.

I will miss Scott’s Godly leadership and companionship. We were bone of each others bone and flesh of each others flesh; two who had become One.

All my Love, Glennis

 

Scott’s Memorial Service, Nov 17th, 2012

Posted by glennis on Sunday, November 25, 2012

One Hour With Hope Segun

Posted by Hope Segun on Monday, March 05, 2012

December 30, 2011

A conversation with Scott & Glennis Brodie about Scott’s Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) diagnosis, how he is living with it, living longer than the prognosis, life and everything in between …

Every year we take a trip or two out of the studio to meet our guests and this time we went to the home of Scott & Glennis in Puyallup, WA.  As we started the interview I pitched to them, “What attracted you, Scott to Glennis and vice-versa?” “We initially met in the health club in 1983. I was a fitness instructor there and Scott was selling vitamins and protein powders, working behind the juice bar.  He was very handsome, very fit and very tanned. I was very attracted to him,” his wife, Glennis, said.  Now it was Scott’s turn to respond but because of this disease and “the volume of breath that he’s speaking with”, talking has been very difficult.  When he talks, he rocks forward with each breath trying to get the words out and also writes “with his foot” for clarification.  To answer this question Scott said, “[You are] beautiful.” Like a very active family, the couple enjoyed “running and lifting weights [and even] Scott helped coach [her] on a fast pitch softball team with [their] church.” Glennis began laughing and we all joined when she added, “I guess it wasn’t fast pitch, it was slow pitch!” I could see Scott smiling, too. 

At this point in their lives, they were in “full swing of raising their kids, [being] self employed, very active members of [their] church, active with kids in sports, etc.” So, everything was going well according to plans until 1997 during Christmas time when they noticed that “Scott was having trouble pressing with a pen or pencil when he would write an invoice for a repair in [their] business.” The prognosis wasn’t what they were expecting to hear but other visits to neurologists also confirmed he had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Interview with Hope & Michelle Segun 8-14-11

This is a terminal, degenerative disease of the motor neuron system and doctors “don’t even know why it happens.”

At the age of 37, he was “given 2-5 years” to live.  As Glennis was still talking, Scott interrupted and said, “[I] was so frustrated with this doctor who sat on the other side of his desk, being very professional but there was no care or seeming compassion to deliver this news to us. It was hard news to receive. [I told him], well, God can heal me.” Then, the doctor noticeably turned his shoulder to talk to Glennis “and just wrote him off for being in denial.”

This changed the “outlook of what was to come” for them. I asked him, “What were the fears that began to develop?” He said, “It was a battle in my mind” and Glennis chimed in to say, “Because the projection of death just says, ‘you are not going to win. It’s going to take you. You are going to go in this slow demise. So, the battle is always in the mind. There is a physical battle but more so, it’s so much to do with you not entering into despair, or depression.  He does amazingly have the joy of the Lord and his spirit is strong but he has to go to God for that.”

As the disease tries to wear Scott down, he tries to stand tall, toe-to-toe, ika ese si ika ese, mano-a- mano, pound-for-pound to it.  In doing this, he spoke again through an interpretation from Glennis, “Romans 4:18 [Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed …]” Glennis would add that this has been their motivational verse in the sense that, “God is good and you can hope. No one can take that away from you. You can hope till the end. When you don’t know if you have the faith, you don’t know you have the means, you can say, I can always believe for something more and be hopeful. Especially, [those] early years, hope was just a foundation for us.”

Scott began blogging about his experiences on deathvalleypromises.org  and among these were visions and dreams he had about healing, many people who believed in healing for him, and also “that he would serve God in Phoenix.” The family has been visiting the Phoenix area every year since 1999 because of this vision.  I asked them, “As a person of faith, is your approach different in tackling this disease?” Before I completed the question, Scott already finished the answer (smile). That’s, “Yes, I think it makes all the difference.” Glennis added, “We trust that God is good. So, there is no blame and there is no bitterness. We believe He allows things into our lives so that we can draw near to Him and we can go for directions, for guidance. We can bring our cares to him, and He cares for us. Had this not happened, our family would be very different. We are so very dependent on each other now.”

“One Hour With Hope” Show

This is such a powerful, inspirational story to share because this family did not seem to be down but determined to overcome this obstacle.  I asked, “When the doctor says there is no cure for a disease, people of faith like you turn to prayer. How much has prayer helped in this situation?” “It’s the only thing that God hears when we go to Him,” he simply said.  Glennis also reiterated, “… I think it’s just always having our thoughts concentrated and … keeping our minds fixed to draw near to God.  Because, there is just so much for anyone, there is just so much going on these days, with adversity people face. And we feel like we have our own adversity but people suffer in many ways … Prayer is vital to the Christian life.”

These two make a great team. Glennis would read whatever Scott wrote with his foot or what he said softly.  According to Glennis, there are good days and bad days just like every other family but it’s very comforting for us to see the attitude that the Brodie family demonstrates in living with this disease. And seeing Scott’s can-do attitude firsthand, I was prompted to ask him, “How would you encourage someone diagnosed with ALS to not be discouraged?” He said, “Just to be in the Word of God, to draw near to God in His Word and to believe God over what you hear.” Scott has outlived the 2-5 year window that was given to him and just passed the 14 year mark this month.

When I asked Glennis how she understands what he’s saying, she responded with a smile, “I don’t always get it right. He thinks I adlib sometimes.  We have been married 27 years and I know him very well. We have fellowshipped together. We hear the same messages together. I share books I am reading with him. I know him well. I don’t get it right all the time, but he’ll always spell with his feet if I need more clarification.”

We talked about what kept their marriage intact for all these years, daily routines, impact of this disease on his spiritual journey, etc. As we were rounding up the interview, we decided to follow Scott into his office.  Glennis helped him up and slowly we all walked forward. As we were about to enter his office, we didn’t have to look too far to see a sign above his door that read, “Dad’s Office, OPEN FOR ADVICE” and inside a white circle by it was “24/7”. I am not done yet, fans! He sat down, and wanted to let us know that he is a big fan of our show, too. He used his foot to work the magic to navigate to our fan page on Facebook.  I was astonished! In saying good bye to him, I sat down on the floor, lifted my right foot up to his right foot, did a high five and we parted. It’s our prayer and hope that his healing will come soon!

 

 

Scott’s 40th Birthday Message, Feb 19th 1999

Posted by glennis on Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scott shared the following devotional thoughts at his 40th birthday party; thirteen years ago. This birthday was a cause for great celebration since doctors gave him a projection of only two–five years to live. This was his second year following his diagnosis of ALS in 1997. We rejoiced as if Scott had broken a type of time barrier given to him; the first of many to follow.

 

Glennis and I were devastated by the news of my ALS diagnosis. The doctor gave us no hope; I couldn’t imagine how I could ever make it through this time. The neurologist tried to dash my hope in God’s promises with an accusation that I was “living in denial”. Did he think I foolishly believed in a God who doesn’t hear, listen or answer His promises or his children’s prayers? I’ve held onto one truth since that day “against hope, Abraham believed in hope” Romans 4:18. When questions came, I just kept holding onto hope. God has encouraged me to never lose my hope; to never lose faith in Him. He promises us “those that wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings as eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).

A few weeks ago, I fell on my face and I thought “I guess it’s all over” but as discouraged as I felt, I just started clinging onto little promises that God had given me. God spoke to my heart to stand in faith against the accusations of hopelessness. I can believe God does do miracles. I plan to face my trials by holding onto Gods’ promises in faith, little encouraging promises and thoughts of other faithful believers. I kept thinking of people in the Bible that have gone through battles, those that have been valiant in truth; valiant in the Word of God. I determined that I can’t go by what I see, I can’t go by sight, I have to go by God’s Word. I can believe in God’s promises, believe against all hope. Glennis and I keep clinging to God’s promises, greatly inspired by the warriors of faith that have gone on before us, both in written and living epistles.

When the world says the door is shut, we can still believe that there is an open door.  God will keep it open for you and for me. In Revelation 4, regarding the church of Philadelphia, there is mentioned a door that nobody can shut. The Lord personally encouraged me that this door of faith, God has given me, no one can shut. The doctors, the naysayers or the doubters can’t shut it; God’s going to keep it open because it is a door of faith. God’s going to keep it open and show great us great and mighty things.

God will do amazing things when we ask and pray. He will build faith fields in all of us, walls of faith in each person. Recognize answered prayer, write it down and hide it in your heart (Hab 4). By reminding ourselves of God’s goodness and faithfulness we can cooperate to build strong walls of faith in our souls. Build your walls with God’s promises and individual acts that He has done.

As we go forward in the work of God, look to those who have gone before, those who have been courageous; those who, no matter the circumstance, believe and hold onto God’s Word.  As believers and children of God, we can choose to believe all things in Christ, we can go forward in the call of God with valiant hearts of faith.

“Being valiant for the Lord, Valiant in truth, clinging to promises God had given them and they have run with these promises” Hebrews 11:34

Sent Home to Die (Summary)

Posted by glennis on Friday, June 03, 2011

 Over the years, God has led Scott through many dark nights with the terminal illness of ALS. Traveling this path together hasdreamstime_9147169 taken us into Death’s Valley; a lonely and desolate place for any soul. In these shadowlands our footing at times has been unstable; the effort of each step has developed in us a deeper trust in God. In this barren land, we thirst, longing and desperately seeking for the refreshment of Living Water. In God’s unfailing compassion, He has made springs in our desert and has prepared a table in our wilderness. He is near; His Word revives and nourishes our souls. Exceeding great and precious promises are ours in Christ. Steadfastly we hold fast to our hope in the confession of our faith leaning upon our Beloved Savior for comfort.

This journey has required us to go beyond outward religious observances, performance or preconceived interpretations defining the ways of God. He does not take pleasure in being limited by unbelief but will not be restrained if we seek Him earnestly. As I look back since Scott’s ALS diagnosis in 1997, I can testify of our Father’s equipping provisions and wondrous works as He has lovingly kept us in His care. His Word has become more relevant and alive to us. Yes, God has had mercy on His afflicted giving Scott and I confidence to rest in His love by faith.

The following medical episode has become a significant memorial of God’s faithfulness in our lives. Related to several months of 2009 which became a crucible time of our faith, the specific account on the night of June 3rd chronicles what I perceived to be medical abandonment allowing for Scott’s closest experience with death. It has taken me some time to process the limitation of Scott’s medical care in the Emergency Room that night. I have sought to gain perspective instead of the incredulity and utter helplessness I experienced while trying to advocate for my husband’s life.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”  Lam 3:22-23 (ESV)

Emergency Room- June 3rd 9:30 pm

When Scott arrived to the hospital they ran a bunch of lab tests. They also did a trach exchange to replace the one that was ruptured. Once doing so, they inflated the cuff so the ventilator could more fully support his lungs and the air would not escape through Scott’s nose and mouth. I explained to the doctor that we had the test results from the recent sputum culture indicating heavy growth of pseudomonas bacteria (which can be extremely dangerous for people with poor lung health and weakened immune systems). I also informed the doctor of the ineffective tablet antibiotic Scott had just finished and a prescribed treatment of 2ml antibiotic aerosolized through a nebulizer (breathing the small dose of medicine) that he had begun that afternoon. I believed Scott needed something more immediate and powerful in his bloodstream to get him over the hump toward being able to manage this chronic infection by nebulization. The ER doctor acknowledged this approach. Scott has a P.O.L.S.T statement on file at this particular hospital indicating that he chooses all life sustaining measures (including antibiotics).[1] When the ER doctor telephoned the pulmonologist-on-call, he was advised that Scott should be sent home to continue the treatment he had begun with the aerosolized antibiotic. Without even seeing Scott, this pulmonologist maintained that with no other signs of infection from routine lab results, he only had a local lung infection.[2]

I asked the ER Doctor to please call the pulmonologist back to reaffirm this decision because I strongly believed Scott should receive intravenous antibiotics for expedient and thorough treatment. The ER doctor did as I asked but when he returned, he apologetically told us of his obligation to defer to the pulmonary specialist in this case and Scott would not be receiving I.V. antibiotics. He explained the concern of giving him the IV antibiotic that the bacteria could become more resistant to stronger antibiotics and eventually nothing would be left for Scott if he were to have Pneumonia in the future. I told him, I was more worried whether Scott could survive the night, not whether he would get a future pneumonia.

We were both stunned and in disbelief; trying to process the dismissal. We were helpless, in a desperate situation for survival, unable to appeal to other medical personnel in ER because the authoritative decision made (over the phone) by the specialist Doctor. Even though he was not present to ascertain Scott’s labored breathing while on the ventilator.

I could not comprehend that the hospital staff was restrained to help but instead were sending my husband home in this helpless state. I pleaded that Scott needed to stay. Seeing that I was distraught and attempting to console me, I was asked patronizing questions concerning my state of well being. Volunteering for me how exhausted I must be as the primary caregiver and inquiring whether or not I had additional help at home. I felt pitied and belittled since this had nothing to do with why I was so adamant that Scott receive healthcare. Scott was the one at the hospital for medical attention and he needed it urgently! When the ER doctor returned to the room I could sense that he had regret, he apparently was caught in the middle. He was the Doctor who had direct contact with us and could see that Scott was in a desperate state. He then suggested that he would place another call to the pulmonologist and that I could talk to him. I eagerly said I would surely speak on the phone to the pulmonologist, the ER Doctor left the room to place the call. He quickly returned in a change of manner and said abruptly; it had been decided; we were to leave and an ambulance was there to take us home. He then left the room.

The Charge Nurse came in to try to smooth over the situation explaining to me that the hospital was too full and that we wouldn’t be able to get into a room until morning anyway (it was already almost 3 am). He asked me persuasively if we wouldn’t “rather be home, wouldn’t that be what Scott would prefer”…had we not “already talked about Scott’s final wishes?….whether to be at home or ……?” His voice kind of trailed off, I think he read my face. He was trying to help but was making matters worse by implying Scott’s impending death. I was infuriated by his questions and told him that we had come to the hospital for help and Scott’s “final wishes” did not have anything to do with why we had come to have an infection treated. I knew then that the staff had given up on Scott.

Sent Home – June 4th 3:30 am

The ambulance drove us home early Thursday morning; Scott returning without having received the antibiotic intervention we we were convinced he needed I was in the cab of the ambulance with tears of disbelief. I could not comprehend the Emergency Room sending Scott home as if he didn’t merit any further efforts from the physicians-these are the qualified practitioners we all go to for assistance in times of health crisis. This experience was my first introduction to what is considered futile care “the belief that in cases where there is no hope for improvement of an incapacitating condition, that no course of treatment is called for”. [1] Wikipedia®, updated 29 May 2010

God Made a Way

Thank God for His ministers and servants! I contacted our family physician out of desperation as soon her office opened Thursday morning, June 4th. Dr. Paula was instrumentally used to dispatch a home infusion company to come out the following day. They accessed Scott’s port and began him on a 10 day course of IV antibiotics. I can’t begin to thank her and her staff for their empathy.

I administered Scott’s antibiotic every 8 hours around the clock for the following 10 days. Scott responded to treatment within the first few days and was able to get off the ventilator and out of bed. He was very unstable and weak at first, not too sure of his own abilities, so our daily routine went very slow. Scott didn’t get out of bed each day until 3-4 pm in the afternoon and could only manage to be off the ventilator for a few hours. Slowly, Scott began to recover in the following weeks. On Father’s day, June 21st the kids were able to honor their dad. In our trouble, God was with us and delivered us (Ps 91:15). In our desperate search during the years of Scott’s affliction, God continues to reveal His providential care.

Reflection and Application

I’ve now had a few years to gain perspective looking back to the perilous months before and after Scott’s tracheotomy surgery in 2009.  All hell seemed to be closing in to extinguish Scott’s life, to prevent him from being a light to this world and share the Good News of the Gospel. Scott’s increasing dependence upon others has rendered him powerless to control even his own breath. As we identified with Jesus, we confronted our own “Gethsemane experience to surrender to the Father; “Not my will but thine”. At times, we agonized in our prayers because God, for some reason, was silent choosing rather to hide Himself (Ps 42; 43; Luke 19:41-42).

I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” Jn 5:30 Ezekiel's River

I have watched God’s covering of protection see Scott through many close calls to praise the Lord another day. If the Lord had not intervened in mercy with deliverance and provision, Scott would not be alive today. At times we have felt as though we were drowning in our circumstance, floodwaters driving us beyond the borders of our capacity. God faithfully brings us through these waters too deep to cross (Ezek 47:3-6) taking us places we may not willingly go. His mighty river transforms death into Life by the flow of the Spirit carrying us the increasing current of the Lord; according to the will of God and not our own.

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God” Psalms 46:4

dadbday&park Spr2010Over the years, despite monumental opposition against the calling on Scott’s life, we have been compelled to walk ever closer to our Savior. As we incline our ears to hear His voice, we experience His Living Word, we are enlarged to grow and sow seeds of faith into the lives of others; walking as stewards of the manifold Grace of God.

“the things which happened to me have actuallyturned out for the furtherance of the gospel” Phil 1:12 

 

 

SCOTT BRODIE June 2009 Sent Home

Glennis tells of Scott being denied IV antibiotics and admittance to hospital

 

 

 


Footnotes:                                                                                                                              

[1] Scott had stayed at this same hospital for his Tracheotomy surgery just 2 months prior; on file they had the documentation of Scott’s Advanced Directives, Power of Attorney and P.O.L.S.T statement (Physicians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment). A checkbox within this statement informs medical personnel NOT to refuse antibiotics if life can be prolonged; Scott consented to all interventions, those were his wishes. Considered “Full-Code” his POLST was signed the month prior, incidentally, by the pulmonologist on-call who gave the orders to send Scott home without antibiotic treatment.

[2] Pseudomonas can become systemic throughout the bloodstream and can become fatal. The Cystic Fibrous populations consistently have to be treated with antibiotics because of the persistent and colonizing character of pseudomonas and other forms of bacteria that can be life threatening.

[3] Wikipedia®, 29 May 2011

what is it you ask?

Posted by Scott-Glennis on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why did Jesus ask the blind man, the lame man, and the leper what they wanted Him to do for them?

This was the same question Jesus asked me in the divine visitation I experienced while in Arizona in 1998, thirteen years ago giving me a life changing intervention of hope, purpose and future!

Overwhelmed in Jesus’ intensive love I somehow managed to answer His question “what is it that you want?” speaking through thoughts, not audible words, I gave Him my plea… “I want to be healed” Jesus immediately responded “Your healing has already begun.”  Initially, I thought this meant instant physical healing but have come to the awareness of Jesus wanting to give me a complete, thorough healing rather than the instantaneous manifestation of healing I was seeking. He wanted to heal my body, soul, mind and spirit beginning with my inner man; transforming my outer man. I had committed my life to God 15 years earlier and was growing in His Word but this thorough healing I barely knew I was in desperate need of.  God knows His own purposes for each of our lives and desires to glorify His Son in our heart and actions. I have always believed ultimate healing is found in heaven when we die and receive a new body. But healing reversals and deliverance does happen in the “now” while living on the earth. Praise the Lord, God is our healer!

We pray, believing that He is willing, in the communion of prayer, which includes listening, I must co operate with the voice of the Holy Spirit as He leads me. Those of us who have extended trials, are in good company with other biblical accounts such as Moses, Abraham, Joseph, Paul and other patriarchs & apostles. Countless other Christian disciples have waited with perseverance and endurance for their answer. We must not grow weary but need to keep our confidence, trusting God. He tells those who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him and He will give them rest for their souls (Mt 11:28). He describes himself in this passage as one meek and lowly. We often forget that our Savior God was a man of suffering acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53),  the chastisement of our PEACE was upon Him. We must strive to have the peace and rest of God; He calls us beside these still waters. For you who struggle, do you seek to know the Father’s heart and His thoughts toward you? He is touched by our feelings of infirmity. By sending His Son to reconcile the world to Himself, He has defeated the enemy and met the demands of His justice. We can come boldly to His Throne of Grace to find help in the time of need.

I continually sought God for relief from my circumstance. The enrollment in the school of patience and suffering began to materialize true substance of faith in my life. There was for me hidden manna for nourishment and sustenance feeding my spiritual hunger and living water to quench my thirst. God continues to provide for me a table in the wilderness where my needs are wonderfully supplied.  The Father’s ways are so completely different than our ways. Where we may have once depended on religious formulas or church doctrine; we now come to rely on our daily communion with Him. We learn to hear His voice saying “this is the way, walk ye in it” (Is 30:21). God is infinitely beyond our total comprehension, He deals with us uniquely, knowing His plans for us and the thoughts and intents of our heart. In our urgent and desperate need for answers during affliction and trials, we need to draw closer to hear His voice, not led about in confusion by every wind and doctrine. God will speak to our souls making His Word come alive, empowering us to many acts of faith.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” Heb 11:6ARIZONA'10-Bright-cropped

In my vision, I was also asked by Jesus if I had any additional requests. I answered that I only desired to serve Him. Jesus’ response has perplexed me ever since that day. He said “where?” I thought; “wherever you want me to Lord, you already know.” He again said, “Where”? I thought “wherever I can reach the most souls.” He again said, “Where?” Because the Lord had to ask me the same question three times, my spirit grieved within me. Then suddenly I understood that Jesus was initiating and referring to a physical location. As soon as I had this revelation in my spirit then I responded to His question, “Phoenix, Arizona.” I do not know why I said Phoenix, Arizona, but He seemed happy with my answer and gave an expression of agreement. Since that time in 1998, my wife and I have been to Phoenix three times and Flagstaff twice for short ministry trips of 3-4 days. We have also expanded our small service business into the Phoenix area in 2008. I have not been able to put behind me nor forget the words of promise and assurance that saturated my soul. The experience gives me cause to believe that there is something yet unfilled for me to effect in Phoenix.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him”  2 Cor 2:9

My wife and I are praying, purposing and planning to go to Arizona again this year. This time, we are intending to stay for an extended period of time to see how God leads. We want to see God’s potential through our lives if we cooperate and fully trust Him. The persistent leading of the Holy Spirit does not let me ignore or deviate from this call. I sense His conditional proposal to step out with a heart to reach the lost, my response in faith is required. Although I cannot physically make anything happen by myself, Christ can open the doors and make the way.  Having exercised patience to wait for God’s timing, I believe  restraint has been lifted and it is the time act.  Time to cast off any fear of our welfare and trust the Lord with all our hearts, not leaning on our own insight or power (Prov. 3:5,6). Intensely conscious of our total dependence on God for everything, we are preparing to take hold of this personal promise because He has given us an expectation in His love.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” Jer 29:11

Retah McPherson

Posted by scott on Thursday, February 24, 2011

Glennis,Scott,Retha-eveningOct20,2010It was a real blessing to finally meet Retah McPherson from South Africa  last October.  I had been corresponding with Retah and her office manager, Judike, for over 3 years by e-mail. Retah graciously decided to forego a much-needed rest in between flights from Dallas to Canada and stop in Puyallup so she could visit and minister. Glennis and I picked Retah and her friend up at the airport where instantly Retah began ministering to me by wiping my face from excess saliva and leaning over to hear my words. I’m aware that many people shy away from me because of how I look and talk but not Retah McPherson! Retah shares her story on her webpage www.rethamcpherson.com

I was very inspired  after watching a series of recent video messages that Retah and her son Aldo did. What strikes me most about these videos is the interaction between Retah and Aldo. Retah  patiently waits for Aldo to complete speaking a word or sentence before she continues teaching the Word of God. Also she said, “I learn so much from you Aldo!” This is a beautiful illustration of how our Abba Father lovingly draws us out from the world and sets us apart to serve only Him. He is patient and gentle creating within us a capacity to draw near to Him.

 “I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love” Ho 11:4

We are born into this world and naturally attached to it. Not seeing our need for Christ or anything in Him worth coming for. God supernaturally attracts and draws us out of our present state and circumstance to look to Him. Not against our wills by force and compulsion nor by mere moral persuasion but by the invincible power of His grace; sweetly working in us and attracting us. He does this by revealing Christ to us, in the glories of his person and in the riches of his grace. Sweetly alluring us by His tender mercies, by engaging our soul’s need for Christ we commit ourselves to him and enter into His everlasting love.

 “No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me…” Jn 6:44

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  Je 31:3