Thursday, March 30, 2006


It's so nice to be home. I don't have pneumonia. However I have a mass in my chest that is wrapped around a bronchial tube. That is why it has been hard to breathe at time and it is why I have tightness and pain in my chest. I will have a biopsy on Wednesday. All I can do is pray until then. It is hard not to imagine the worst. It is hard not to give way to fear.

As I was praying and spending time with God today I continued to seek Him for what He is trying to teach me through this experience. I have no real definitive answer. But (and I am not trying to sound super spiritual here) I have come to a determination. A long time ago I decided to follow Jesus. And I am going to continue to do so no matter what. There is an old song that says the same thing. As one of the verses says, "Take this whole world but give me Jesus." That's my prayer for right now.

Thank you for all who are praying!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Divided Heart?

Psalm 86:11

Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

This was a part of my devotions today. In my long battle with this sickness I have in some ways developed a divided heart. A lot of things can divide our heart but once again, (I think we need to continually relearn this lesson sometimes), I am learning to be whole hearted. What I mean is that my priority must be seeking the Lord with my whole heart. Nothing else can take the top priority. Some of the things in my life that divide my heart are family, financial concern, wanting our church to grow, and wanting to be healthy again. Obviously these are all legitimate but when I pursue God with my whole heart they will fall into place. Two promises Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." And Matthew 6:33,34 "
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Health wise I am not feeling better but I have determined to work at least two hours a day no matter what. I hope that by doing I will regain my endurance and strength and I may begin to feel better. Thursday is my next chest x-ray. I have visitor letters to get sent out and follow up to coordinate. We had several visitors Sunday which doesn't happen often for us. One of my goals is to have visitors every week or at least several times a month.

We are also expecting snow tonight. At least I have an excuse not to shovel. My grandma already told me not to "be out shoveling snow with that pneumonia." Besides it should be in the fifties by Friday and it will all melt anyway.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


We had a nice time visiting with some new friends this morning. They are a newly married couple who are preparing to go to northern Africa to teach English in a Muslim nation. This country has been much in the news as a civil war has claimed thousands of lives. The government has covertly supported genocide. They will need God's grace and protection as they begin their married lives together. What an adventure! Of course we need to remember that any time we will follow God it should be an adventure. I think we too often make life boring.

I am tired. I am tired of a lot of things especially of being sick. I had a chest x-ray on Wednesday. My right lung is basically clear. I have pneumonia in my left lung now. I finished round four of anti-biotic today. I am also taking a powerful steroid for my lungs. I wish I could say I knew it was working but the last two days I have felt weaker and coughed more. It is not over yet but I know I will get better eventually. I hope to be able to preach without coughing by Easter. Thanks for praying for me.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


So I am recovering from pneumonia which followed bronchitis which was preceded by a sinus infection. I have been on antibiotics for 25 of the last 40 days. I am feeling better though I still don't have a lot of stamina. I can go for a few hours but then I hit a wall. I am preaching Sunday and since my alternate worship leader will be out of town I am going to lead worship. I think I can do it without coughing too much. I miss being able to sing. I also miss preaching without worrying about my breathing. I am excited about going to see Jeremy Camp next Tuesday in concert. That should be fun. It will test my endurance. I was talking to my friend Rich today. Rich has been sick but not as sick as I have been. He's a children's pastor and an energy guy but he's been losing his voice when gets too excited. He has tickets for the big ten tournament tomorrow in Indianapolis. He mentioned the same worry whether or not he had enough stamina to make the drive and watch all four games. I covet your prayers.

The hardest thing about the last six weeks (and these have been basically six of the hardest weeks of my life) is that I have struggled to study the Bible and pray consistently. The energy and drive to pursue has been missing. When I am sick I find it hard to really come into the presence of God although that is what I crave and need. I was talking to my friend BG yesterday and he said the same thing. When he is sick is when he really needs to press in to God the most but it seems we do it the least. I don't know maybe you are one of those who pray without ceasing when you are sick. This has really been a discouraging wilderness time. But I know that at the end I will find God and find that I have been made stronger in some way through Him.

Have you ever really craved being in the presence of God? I know I have and do right now. I have some thoughts on His presence that I hope to post in the next few days.