Friday, August 29, 2008

Who is Sarah Palin?

News is swirling that McCain has picked Sarah Palin as VP on the Republican ticket. She is the current Governor of Alaska.

Definitely a surprise, but apparently she has been pushed forward here and here. Check out where she stands here.

Follow the trail here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Obama-Biden & McCain VP Political Technology Theatrics

First off, this is NOT an endorsement of any candidate. It's just a humorous observation.

Most of us know, but few of us talk about, name searches on the web. The more visible and popular your name, the more important for you to buy the domain of your own name before somebody else does. No telling what others can do with your name.

Now, I haven't done much with this, but to illustrate this VERY popularly, click the following two links:

Joe Biden & Joseph Biden.

To me, FUNNY! Someone somewhere got paid a lot of money to strategize this all out for both McCain AND Obama. Someone sat at a computer a while ago, tried to buy and said &%#$*!!!!

From Beautiful Downtown Buellton

Arriving on Wednesday, we left town way later than I wanted. It's kind of my way I guess. Say I want to leave by noon and not get out till 3:00. Anyway.....

Left me only an hour or so of light to set up camp. Most campers don't think much of us RV'ers, and are probably boo-hooing my "set up camp" comment, but while it is WAY easier than tent camping, there's still a bunch of work to it.

Here we are having just arrived and the kids setting up their tent. What were we thinking bringing FIVE BOYS with us? I don't know!

While we are not actually IN downtown Buellton (home of famed Andersen's Split Pea Soup), we're right by it, enjoying Flying Flags Campground. It's a family favorite, and we haven't been here for a couple years.

We're staying in the last section of the property that has not been improved. Most of the sites have been vastly improved in quality and beauty. I highly recommend Flying Flags for those looking for a great family camping spot.

All in all, we're having a great time relaxing and being with each other. Josh has been a little slow because of his cast, but even he is having a good time. We've had the pleasure of some friends coming through for various amounts of time. It's been great.

This is the first actual vacation we've taken as a family this year. Colleen and the boys were gone for a bit at the beginning of Summer in relation to Colleen's upcoming new job and then 4th of July with her family that I wasn't able to get to. In that regard, this has been very nice.

The first couple days were wide open here, but the weekend packs out. So, being Sunday noon as I write this, people are clearing out. Which is why I am really glad we are staying till tomorrow. We can end our time with some relative quiet and space and not fight today's traffic. The kids start school on Wednesday.

Ahhh, campfires, s'mores, gentle breezes, and a REAL bed!

So, from beautiful downtown Buellton.....over and out!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Son's Answered Prayer

There's not much like your son's prayers actually being answered! I know, strange coming from a Pastor, huh?

We saw the Doctor on Monday morning for Josh's 2nd post-op x-ray and progress report. First since 3 weeks ago, and it's been 5 weeks now.

Remember, initially the Doc said he'd be in cast for 6 weeks, with a possible removable cast for last 1/2 of that time. Then, he said in cast for 8 weeks, mentioning he built the cast in surgery to last the entire 8 weeks.

At the first follow-up, he said he would most likely leave the whole cast on for the entire 8 weeks because they did 2 procedures .... fixed the fibroma with the bone graft AND drilled holes in the growth plate to arrest growth of that bone. He wanted to go slow with it.

Josh was bummed! His big deal was he didn't want to go to school with the cast or on crutches. Now (3 weeks ago), he was facing the first 2 weeks of school with cast AND crutches.

All through the last 3 weeks, preparing for this Doctor's appt, he's been asking God to let the cast come off. We began making plans to go camping this week. That ADDED to his desire for the cast to come off so he could at least get in the pool.

Being the great spiritual leader that I am, I was AFRAID his heart would be broken. So, I was TEMPERING his prayers with reality...."Josh, you know what the Doctor said, and we're gonna do whatever he says."

Few days before the appt, I say, "Josh, it never hurts to ask the Dr. After you greet him, ask him if the cast can come off and tell him that would be really cool. Just be ready in case he says no."

Monday comes, long wait in the waiting room, we finally go in, long wait in the cast room for the x-ray. When the Dr finally comes in with the x-rays, he declares everything is looking GREAT! Josh POPS the question! I was so proud of my kid!

The Doctor looks intently at Josh, at the cast, walks over to the x-rays, comes back to Josh, looks at us, and FINALLY says, "I think we can do that. We'll put him in a cam walker that will immobilize the foot. He can take it off in bed and for baths/showers and can get in a pool."


Here he is ......
He can walk on it more and more as he gets used to it, eventually leaving the crutches behind. He does have to leave this on for 6 weeks, rather than the 3, but he's OK with that since he can take it off and feel a bit more normal.

It was a HUGE day for him and for us. A huge day for me as a Dad too. My kid's prayer got answered. I am telling you, he prayed with focused intensity. Laser-like! And his prayer was answered! COOL!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pastor Glen Jackson Article

An article was in today's Ventura County Star about Pastor Glen Jackson. You can read it here. I encourage you to continue to pray for the Jackson family and for the Faith Christian Church family as they process their grief.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Long Summer's Night

It's almost the end of Summer, and I feel kinda tense about it. Not in a bad kinda way, but in a perplexing kinda way.

On one hand, it's been a really long Summer. An intense one with lots of crises to walk through with people. While it's tiring, when it comes down to it, I wouldn't have it any other way. I really do love the grind of day-to-day pastoring.

Personally, we had Josh's surgery and recovery. He's doing great by the way! His next check-up is Monday morning. It will be the 5 week point. They'll x-ray it to see how the bone graft is taking. The first appt 2 weeks ago went really well. Josh is tired of the cast and wishes it could come off, but all in all, he's handling it pretty well.

Church-wise, we've had a number of situations to work through, including two people who died (one expected, another unexpected). I've officiated three funerals in the last 6 weeks.

Then, Pastor Glen Jackson (see posts below) died last Friday night. His memorial service is Saturday at 2:00 pm. That will be THREE funerals THREE Saturdays in a row, all at 2:00.

On the upside, I launched my new blog, Pastor For Life, earlier this Summer, and it's been a hoot to see that grow, and to connect with other Pastors and Leaders around the country.

I've also been involved in the launch of the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Church-wide Initiative Kit. As of today, we have 14 churches across the US and Canada who are piloting this new, groundbreaking material this Fall and Winter. Including total orders for the Kits, there is the potential of 36 churches beginning this journey toward Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a lifestyle I very deeply believe in.

After Josh's appt on Monday, we plan to head to Buellton for about a week of camping. Looking forward to the down time and relaxation!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pastor Glen Jackson Memorial Service

Just received an email announcing that the Memorial Service for Pastor Glen Jackson will occur on Saturday, August 16 at 2 pm at Grace Brethren Church.

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations be made to Faith Christian Church for support of Solome Musisi, a missionary to Uganda, who resides in Simi Valley. Please make your checks out to Faith Christian Church and put Glen Jackson Memorial in the memo line.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Pastor Glen Jackson With The Lord

Tonight at about 6:00 pm, Pastor Glen Jackson was taken off life support and he died soon thereafter. Please pray for the entire Jackson family.

On top of that, hug your family tonight. Tell them how much you love and appreciate them, and do everything you can to make sure they know that.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Pastor Glen Jackson Update

The below is DIRECTLY from the family (Glen's daughter & son-in-law):

Hi Paul,

Most of that information is off a bit. Let me clear it up for you.

The cyst was a congenital cyst that Glen has had from birth. It had absolutely nothing to do with the bleeding. The cyst was drained to provide more room in the skull for the swelling.

An MRI was done on Tuesday and revealed that the bleeding had stopped. Apparently the bleeding has been stopped for a while but that had not been clearly communicated to the family (not really sure that the doctors knew that either). The blood in the brain that has been showing up on the CT scans is coagulated blood from the original bleed.

The coagulated blood will take 2-3 weeks to dissipate.

The doctors were interested in seeing Glen's condition in the 24-48 hours following the cyst drain.

His condition is still critical. Thank you for your prayers and concern, please keep it up! :)
Also, for those wondering who Glen is, here is a picture of him with his daughter, Erin, on her wedding day.

Pastor Glen Jackson Update

I have hesitated to post updates as 2-3 sources seem to be giving somewhat conflicting information. However, here is what I have heard so far that seems to be confirmed by the sources.

Tuesday night, a cyst on Glen's brain was drained, and seems to have been related to the bleeding. Bleeding on the brain stopped once they drained this cyst. However, there is coagulated blood on the brain now constricting flow of normal brain fluids. While doctors have said that could take "months" to dissipate, they have said Glen needs it to dissipate within the next 48 hours or so.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pastor Glen Jackson Update

The latest word tonight about Pastor Glen's condition is:

...the doctors were going to do an MRI (this morning). However, they did not do it this morning. They were able to keep all the equipment working while he was in the MRI machine except the piece of equipment that fed him the blood pressure medication to control his blood pressure. As a result they have spent the day weaning him off the medication to see if his body could control its own blood pressure. So far it seems to be working. If it continues to work, they will probably do the MRI sometime this evening.

Pastor Glen Jackson Update

Received an email this evening that stated:

The cat scan from this morning still shows that there has not been any change in the bleeding inside the brain. Be praying specifically for the bleeding to stop.

The pneumonia that was present last week is completely gone. Praise the Lord!!!

His white blood cell count has been elevated and that is now down to normal. Praise the Lord!!!

(T)here has been involuntary movement again.

Last week they tried taking him off the body cooling machine but his body temperature started rising. They need to be able to take him off this machine because there is a limited number of days that he can stay hooked up to it. Pray that when they disconnect this machine that his body will stay at 97 degrees on its own without assistance.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Pastor Glen Jackson Update, Etc.

Two update emails today have said that Pastor Glen Jackson's condition remains the same. There will be no tests done over the weekend unless something were to change considerably. Please continue to pray for a miracle in this situation!

It has been a long week! Knowing that Jackie Morris' Memorial Service would be today has been emotional for me. Not just in her sudden passing three weeks ago, but Colleen and I (especially Colleen) have a strong emotional tie to the Morris'. Jim & Jackie were childhood neighbors of Colleen's. Their daughter, Barbara, was one of Colleen's closest friends growing up.

Pastor Glen's circumstance has been wearing. I feel for what Nicki and their family are going through. Glen has been one of the true "elders" of our city as a Pastor here for more than 28 years. He has been a stalwart, faithful Pastor and a powerful unifier.

Then, yesterday morning, after the last few months of struggling with Congestive Heart Failure, Chuck Koher passed away in the early morning hours. Elaine called me about 7:00 am to let me know he passed away peacefully sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 am.

She said he was feverish about 2:00 am. She placed a cold washrag on his head and fell asleep beside him. She woke up about 4:00 am and discovered he had died. That is actually a very beautiful thing, as Elaine had labored so hard to make his last days so comfortable. For him to pass away so peacefully as she was sleeping beside him is just the way it ought to have happened.

Chuck has an amazing story of life and service. A World War 2 veteran, he served all over Europe. He fought in the infamous Battle of the Bulge and was the ONLY member of his unit to survive that fight.

So, next Saturday at 2:00 pm, we'll celebrate Chuck's life with his family, at NewHeart. If you know of anyone who knew Chuck and/or Elaine, please pass the word on!

In the morning, we have Mike Barker speaking. That will be a slew of fun! Mike is one of our former Youth Pastors, and is Pastor of CityLife Community Church in Austin, TX, a church he planted five years ago.

Time for bed. G'nite all!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Prayer for Pastor Glen Jackson

The latest update on Pastor Glen's condition, received at 5:00 pm today, is from his son-in-law, Lance:

Pastor Glen's condition is pretty much the same as yesterday. The doctors are finally using a consistent term to describe what happened, the are calling it a "bleeding stroke." His condition is still critical. Please remain in prayer.

Prayer for Pastor Glen Jackson

Thursday evening, I had the privilege of spending some time with family and friends of Pastor Glen. After receiving news that Doctors had asked Nicki if she was prepared to make the decision to take Glen off of life support, I was able to head over to the Hospital.

The outpouring of support for Glen at the hospital was tremendous. There were a number of family members, church members and friends present. I had the opportunity to spend some time with some of them, and it was extremely uplifting.

Near the end of my time there, Nicki came out from Glen's room. She shared that the Neurologist clarified that they are not asking for her to make a decision right away. He believes it is too soon to make those decisions. He encouraged her to wait through the weekend at least to see how he does over the next few days.

While the bleeding in the brain is persisting and is happening faster than it can be drained, Glen's body is reproducing the lost blood supply, which means he hasn't to this point needed any transfusions. On the other hand, the Neurologist also said that bleeding of this type usually does more damage to the brain the longer it goes on.

Clearly, the Jackson's really do need a miracle from God for Glen! Please continue to pray that God will bring healing and peace to Glen over these next days. Pray for peace for Glen's wife, Nicki, and their daughters, Erin, Ashley and Christina, as well as extended family.