Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Trip of a Lifetime?

I feel like I am about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. Seriously, what am I thinking?

Next Wednesday, June 6, after my son's DARE graduation, I'm hitting the road in my little 1989 Honda Prelude with some munchies, some changes of clothes, and a few good books and mags.

I have no idea what the week in Texas will be like ... somewhat of a strained family reunion. My little brother just arrived there, having moved with his girlfriend for a fresh start in life. My little sister will be there for a part of the time, and we're awkwardly relating these days (long story). My older sister already lives nearby.

All of us there to spend time with Mom as she prepares for her high risk surgery on June 15. I guess this could be kind of like my New York trip back in March that many of you "came along on" via my blog.

I'll blog about the journey, pics and all, if you want to join me. It'll be a good way to stay connected and share what's happening day by day.

All in all, I'm writing this entry tonight to just share that I am not sure what I'm getting myself in to. I am praying, of course, for my Mom's health. That she'll make it through surgery with flying colors and recover well. I am also praying for peace, for Mom, for Dad, for siblings.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mom's upcoming surgery

The long drive from here to Texas is in the works. One of the interesting factors of the last few weeks was the discovery that my Mom's Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm has now reached 5 cm. That's the size they use to determine whether or not they'll go in to repair it. If it's smaller than that, the risk to your life is greater as a result of the surgery than if they just leave it alone and monitor it.

Monitor they have, and it's now at the 5 cm. An added complication for my Mom is that she only has one kidney, and the kidney she has needed a bypass done on it several years ago. The aneurysm is located right at the area of the bypass. That means that for 30-60 minutes during surgery, she will have to go without blood flow to the kidney. They'll do all they can to preserve it, but she could survive this life-threatening surgery and have to be on dialysis for the rest of her life as a result.

For now, we are putting the matter in God's hands, and she has decided to do the surgery on June 15. As it is a high-risk surgery, I am making plans to spend some time with her before the surgery just in case the worse happens.

For now, I plan to depart Wednesday afternoon, June 6 and arrive in Galveston on Friday. There, I'll get to connect with my nephew, Matt, who is in the Navy. His ship, the USS Kidd, is being commissioned in Galveston on June 9. His mom and great-grandfather (who served in the Navy in WW II) will also be there.

On Sunday, June 10, I'll drive north to Royse City (where my parents live), and spend the week with them, enjoying each other and getting ready for mom's surgery.

One uncertainty should begin to iron out next week. Dad (who has 2 artificial hips) sees his orthopedist on Tuesday, May 29 to find out if he will have to have surgery on his right hip for some muscles that are detaching. If he does, they'll have some difficult decisions to make on who is having surgery when. That may play into my plans some. We'll see. I'll keep you posted!

Still catching my breath

Well, this week has been a bit slower than the last few, and for that I am thankful. But boy, I'll tell ya ... catching up doesn't happen as efficiently as maybe 5 or 10 years ago!

The weeks began with a good Sabbath on Monday. A good day of STOPPING (did you know that's the real meaning of the word "Sabbath"?). Got some good rest and relaxation before hitting Tuesday at full force.

Extra work is being done discerning the issue of filling the spot being left by the soon-coming departure of John Cox from our Staff. He's served full-time the last four years and has been a great support, covering the areas of Worship and Youth so well.

Now, he is fulfilling a life-long dream of going full-time with his ministry, called Over The Top Ministries. He'll be available to travel and speak at churches, youth camps, family camps, and other evangelistic events.

He will roll off staff on June 30, so there's a few weeks left of trying to tie up some loose ends and say the farewells.

The cool thing is that while he is going off of our Staff, he's not going anywhere geographically. The Cox's remain committed to having NewHeart be their home church. Even Johnny will be available to serve on our Teaching Team still from time to time.

Meanwhile, we are in the process of conversation with one couple who we hope to meet at church on June 3. After church, we'll spend the afternoon getting to know each other and determine if it would be good to move ahead in further conversation from there.

Please be praying that the Lord brings the right person to serve alongside us as we further advance God's plan and purpose for us in reaching our city.

Change can be hard, but it can be good as well. Without it, we don't stretch, grow and fully become all God intends for us to grow into. Listen, none of this change takes God by surprise. He knows what He is doing and this is in reality His church, not ours. He will bring the right person to help grow us, both individually and corporately.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I don't know about you, but sometimes I just feel like life gets dog-gone overwhelming! Strike that...I KNOW you find that too!

I haven't blogged in the last two weeks because of what the PRIOR two weeks were like. Three Chaplain call-outs (2 of them REALLY intense), the death of a church-connected person, and some tough health news on my Mom and Dad - all within 10 days.

An old story talks about a Western businessman who wanted to go on safari deep into Africa. Upon arrival, he hired a crew of nationals to be his guides. Being the Westerner he is, he drives the nationals at break-neck speed, wanting to get where he is going NOW!

A few hours into the journey, the group stops for a break. Moments later, the Westerner wants to move on, but for the life of him, he CANNOT get the guides to move from their place of rest.

When he asks the Leader of the guides why they won't move, the Leader responds, "Sir, we must let our souls catch up with our bodies!"

That's what life gets like sometimes. And for me, sometimes, while my soul is catching up with my body, I have to lay some "to-do" things down. Otherwise, I remain disconnected. And no one can do that very long.

So, while I've missed sharing life with you here, that's where I've been. I hope to pick up (and maybe even catch you up) over the next few days. It's quite something to me that life has been like it has for the last four weeks or so...right when I am preparing to begin a teaching series on SABBATH!! Go figure!