ulcerative colitis update

I’m so thankful to all of you for the support and encouragement as I’ve expressed where I am in my journey battling Ulcerative Colitis (UC), and I thought it was time for an update.

After many years of subduing my body with pharmaceuticals, I thought it was time to take a different approach. I started seeing a naturopath in October of 2016 and began my journey equipped with food choices and supplementation. I began with a blood test and a 90 day elimination diet called the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP), eliminating all probable inflammatory food suspects [imagine if Paleo was on a diet… it’s like that].

My blood test came back with a CRP level [a measure of your body’s overall inflammation] of 6/10 [0 = fine and dandy, 10 = Snap! You should already be in the ER w an IV drip … so a 6 is not so hot.]

The AIP diet after 90 days didn’t prove to reduce my symptoms by much, but when my blood test came back at this point, my CRP levels had reduced to 1.8… which is absolutely astounding. Especially considering by the end of the 90 days I was no longer on any of my previous medication [I was fully medicated when I took my initial blood test @ 6/10 CRP]

So, at the suggestion of my naturopath, I’ve continued with a simple Paleo Diet, along with some light supplementation.

While my current experience with UC has not reached remission status, I am feeling much better than I have in over 3 years. I am continuing with the Paleo Diet over the next 12 months and then, depending on where I find myself, we will begin to think through next steps.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support, and know that I feel and experience you all in very impactful ways.

Cheers.

 

Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember

excerpt: On Knowing God – Exodus 33

So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33).

Find a quiet place away from distraction [whether a park bench near the office or a pair of headphones in a crowded cafe]. Read over this section from Exodus, and take a moment and reflect on a few questions: What do I like to do with friends? What do we talk about? Where do we go? What do we do?

Then, shifting gears a little, ask God [out-loud or in your thoughts], God, what do you like to do? What do you like to talk about? Where do you like to go when we talk? Allow yourself some additional quiet space to wait. Does anything come to mind? Does any place stand out to you in this moment? Plan some time to think through your next few weeks and see where you can incorporate some time with God in these places, doing these things [be sure to pick things from both your list and his].

Before you end your session, read over this passage from Exodus one more time and invite the Lord to bring you into deeper friendship with him.

 

Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember

The hidden prayer room

I had a conversation regarding Ember with a good friend several days ago  — where we are now and where we are heading. I communicated my hope for the seats around the table to continue to diversify, as we converse around how we pray as the church in our region.

While I know that the Lord desires his church to pray together in unity, whatever that looks like, I also know that we are at the front edge of that reality in our region. But the truth is, whether or not anyone else shows up to the table, the Lord has specifically planted us [Ember and a number of other people/organizations peppered throughout our region] in this place. He has specifically asked us to workout, in practice, the word — my house will be called a house of prayer (Matthew 21).

So here we are. Working out this questions: How will we pray? What will it look like? What does it look like to pray across multiple biblical perspectives? How do we do this together?

As my friend and I continued, our conversation went deeper in many places, but the thing I took away was that I’m glad to be building a culture of prayer for a region. In my heart of hearts, whether or not our staff ever grows beyond its current size or adds any more hours of prayer throughout the week. I can say that we are working out the prophetic word of the Lord that his house will pray. And I am confident that the prayers offered from this little ember will impact the people of Oklahoma and beyond, whether realized or not. We can celebrate in the wins and partner with the hardships, because we are experiencing them in an incredibly practical, day-in-day-out kind of a way. The prayers lifted and the aroma of worship wafted from this place is partnering with what God is doing, in people we know and in people we may never personally know.

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly (Matthew 6).

A wild, yet true reality.

 

Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember

 

excerpt: On Knowing God – Ephesians 1

may [God] give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened… (Ephesians 1).

Finding a quiet space in your day, read over this passage several times. See if you can commit it to memory. Create a personal prayer over the next season of time using this passage… [Example] God, would you give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so I will be able to know you in deeper and fuller ways.

If it would be helpful, set a regular alarm on your watch or phone to remind you to pray this prayer a few times every day.

 

Phil Rice — philrice.blog
Executive Director of Ember