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Pride Kills: Acts 12

Today we found out the diagnosis for Theodore. It is a genetic condition called Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome. It is extremely rare: there are only a few hundred known family cases of this disorder in the world today. The disease is marked by extreme muscle weakness and fatigue. That explains the difficulty Theo has had breathing for the first couple weeks of his life, and his present challenges taking milk orally. If this sounds familiar, it is because it is the same condition that our 3rd son Joshua had five years ago.
There is some good news in this diagnosis. We know what we’re dealing with. One of the most difficult situations is when the symptoms of a disease are clear, but the roots of it are not- therefore all doctors can do is treat the symptoms and hope the disease goes away. Theodore has been taking medicine to counteract this condition within hours of his birth. However, this is a lifelong condition, so unless the LORD chooses to miraculously heal him, we will do our best to manage this the rest of his life.

We won’t have to manage this alone, either. One of the great things about our country is that there are programs to help those who, like Theodore, have disabilities. Now we are in process of applying for support from the government that would include home monitoring machines, periodic home health care, and overall medical coverage for any sickness Theo has. We also won’t be able to thank you, our friends and church family, enough for all your support and prayers- we will continue to lean heavily on them in the months to come.

However, there is a sobering reality in this diagnosis of Theodore. This same condition claimed the life of his older brother Joshua at only 6 months old. The gravity and precarious nature of his condition weighs heavily on our hearts. Camilla and I have been fervently praying, researching, and strategizing with doctors regarding the best possible care we can give to Theo to give him the best quality of life and quantity of days. We are aware of the severity of the disease and will do everything we can to bring wholeness and healing into the life of little Theo. Knowing the disease is only half the battle.

I would like to take the same level of seriousness this weekend to examine a deadly condition that threatens all of our lives. It destroys relationships, brings anxiety and worry upon us, sets us in opposition against God Himself and has the capacity to bring about both physical and spiritual death. As the title of the sermon suggests- the disease I am referring to is “pride.” We all need to be reminded of the severity of this disease and commit to do everything we can to fight against its toxic influence in our lives. We cannot experience God’s wholeness and healing in our lives while simultaneously being infected by pride. (James 4:6) I’ll do something I never do this weekend, and wait until the end to give you a definition.

But first, we will walk through Acts 12 and see how the pride of Herod Agrippa I caused devastation in the Church and the government, as well as his own life.

I invite you to join with us this weekend as we study this fascinating chapter together. We will even see some videos I took in Israel from the sites mentioned in this chapter.  Our socially distanced service is Saturday afternoon at 3:30, and our Sunday morning service is at 10:15, where you can join us online if you can’t make it in person. We also have excellent Sunday School classes at 9 for all ages.

Have a great weekend and I look forward to pursuing Christ, Community, and the Great Commission Together with you soon!

-Pastor Nathan Rice

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