Archives For Life
The number one question people ask, which I greatly appreciate is, “how are you doing?”
The honest, raw answer is: I’m miserable! And, I’m blessed!
I’m miserable because:
- My brain is swollen and my head hurts.
- My whole body hurts like heck.
- I’m nauseated most of the time.
- I don’t sleep well.
- I feel like a burden to my family.
- I can’t drive myself anywhere.
- I can’t return phone calls, texts, emails, have appointments, etc., because I can’t keep up with it all and rest.
- And that just gets things started…
I’m blessed because:
- I am alive.
- I am making a full recovery.
- I have an amazing, incredible wife.
- I have the best kids in the world.
- I have great friends and a great support system.
My commitment is to:
- Bring God glory!
- In Psalms 106:20 it talks about how the children of Israel changed God’s glory into an idol.
- We change God’s glory into an idol when we make our story (our lives) about ourselves, and not about God’s glory!
- We do that when we are selfish during great times, and we do that when we are selfish in times of adversity.
- In neither of the above should we be more focused on our circumstances or comfort than we are on God.
- To take the time to heal for the long run, and not to feel pressured (by myself) to shortchange the healing process. There is a big difference between rehab and healing. I can set the pace of rehab (which we are rocking), but I can’t control the pace of healing.
By God’s grace, I have the opportunity to walk through this season of life! While God did not do this to me, He did, and does, share His grace with me to overcome adversity and walk in victory! While I would not wish this season on anyone, I will embrace what God is doing through it. I am doing my best to bring Him glory and count it an honor to endure it, if in the end, it serves to further His Kingdom and minister to others!
How to pray:
- Pray for God to be glorified!
- Pray for my family!
- Pray for continued healing! (which is happening)
- Pray for lives to be changed!
- Pray for Tyler B.! He is a 12 year old in our church that is on the liver transplant list. He is in PICU, on a vent, awaiting a liver. Every time I begin to feel sorry for myself, I pray for Tyler! I am blessed because this season will end soon for me and I will get to go back to everyday life!
Again, thank you for everything! For those who attend Journey, I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday! You will love my friend Pastor Herbert Cooper who will be teaching this weekend for me!
Good afternoon everyone,
Robin and I attended my first follow-up appointment with the neurosurgeons today and everything went great! We are blessed!
I try to share things that I know are facts and that have a clear path ahead. So, with that in mind, I had decided not to make it public information that they were not able to retrieve the whole tumor during surgery. While that was kind-of a bummer, the great news today is that none of the tumor looks malignant! The doctors are still conversing and we are still waiting for more pathology reports, but at this point it does not look like we will proceed with any treatment plan for this particular spot. This means no chemo or proton therapy for this spot and we will re-scan it every few months to make sure there are no radical changes.
Our tentative plan for the tumors in the ear canals is to treat them with Gamma Knife in the coming weeks or months. We'll probably wait another 4 to 6 weeks before laying out a plan. Gamma Knife is a very safe, easy procedure that will not take a big toll on me physically! So, another win!
Overall, the doctors are thrilled with my recovery. They mentioned several times that some patients aren't even out of ICU at this point, so the fact that I am able to walk into their office is a huge win! While it is a huge win, the doctors continue to caution me to remind myself that I had a major, intensive brain surgery less than 10 days ago, and to give myself some time to recover.
Besides waiting on more pathology reports, their only other area of concern continues to be my walking, balance, break dancing, etc. I will continue going to physical therapy several times a week to work on these things and am seeing huge progress!
Robin and I can't thank you enough for all your prayers, encouragement and support! We are tremendously blessed and expectant of all that God is doing! This Thursday I'll share 10 thoughts, 10 days after BS (Brain Surgery).
Clark has been home now since Sunday afternoon, and as you can imagine, is getting a little antsy! The doctors believe he is doing very well for only being a few days out of a major brain surgery. He began therapy today and will begin to go 3 days a week to help him regain his coordination, etc. '
How to pray:
Pray that God will continue to reveal Himself through this season and do deep work within our lives.
Pray that Pastor Clark's coordination, etc. will recover quickly. Helping him be able to walk, and function normally.
How to support:
Pastor Clark has been so encouraged from your emails, cards, flowers, etc. Keep sending him those things to encourage! If you will have things sent to the church we are taking everything to his house throughout the day.
Note from Pastor Clark:
Happy Tuesday everyone!
I hope your day has been blessed! As I have had the opportunity to work on things like walking, standing up, etc. I have been continually reminded of the faithfulness of God! Each one of us has a story & it is a story like no other! The problem is that when we get to a chapter that doesn't read so well, we begin to gripe.
My suggesstion: Stop your griping! We are blessed!
God is doing far more than you could ever imagine, ask, or request in your wildest dreams! Relax & trust Him!
Never shy away from a challenge, it is part of your story! Putting a challenge off won't change a thing, so embrace the miracle of the moment & believe in your Big, Big God! I'm pretty sure if He created the universe, that He can take care of your situation!
Love you all! I'll try to post a video message Thursday!
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity. – Ephesians 5:15-16
Words cannot even begin to describe all the emotions running through me right now! The only thing that comes to mind over and over again is – I am blessed!!! I am blessed with a wonderful God! I am blessed with a wonderful wife! I am blessed with a wonderful family! I am blessed with wonderful friends! I am blessed with a wonderful church! You get the idea – I am blessed!
As I stepped off stage this weekend, I stood amazed at all that God did! When they told me our attendance was a little under 8,000 people all I could do was give God honor! To think about how much what started 10 years ago, with 36 people has, grown, was truly humbling! But even more impactful was the thought of all the stories that are being shaped forever by the grace of Christ. I am blessed! What God is doing through Loveworks is stellar! All He has done in less than a year with the afterschool initiative is nothing short of miraculous! Again, I am blessed!
Over the past weeks, months and decade we have made the most of the opportunities in front of us, and as we have done so, we have been blessed! Now I, and we, will embrace the next opportunity in front of us. On Thursday, April 12th at 7:00 AM I will undergo surgery to remove the most concerning tumor. While it is a major surgery, which always have risks attached, one thing I know is this – I am blessed! The procedure is scheduled to take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, but obviously that can fluctuate. Because of the location within the brain where they will be working, the doctors plan for me to recover in ICU for a few days. The church will keep everyone updated at the JourneyChurch.tv Health Update Blog over the next few days.
Sunday we begin a new series called, “This is My Story.” It is a series you will not want to miss being a part of because of the work God will do in you! You have a great story to write, share and invite God to shape for your future!
On behalf of our family I want to say, “thank you.” We could not feel more loved or encouraged. We will make the most of the opportunities in front us because we are blessed!
Remember to check the JourneyChurch.tv Health Update Blog for further updates.
Best pre-surgery present ever! My family is praying for me.
So what is the party in your head?
Last week while working out I heard this song and thought, “what a great description of my life right now!” But, the more I thought about it, it’s actually an accurate statement for all of us. So, don’t feel left out – there is a party in your head!!!
The question is, who is your party host?
The Apostle Paul talks about it in Romans 8: 5-6
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…
Over the past days, since publically sharing about the party in my head, one of the most asked questions is – how are you walking through this with such peace and confidence? The answer is simple: I’ve made a choice about who is going to host the party in my head. I’ve chosen to set my mind on the things of the Spirit and not on the things of the flesh. When we do this, it breeds life and peace!
Here are some simple things I’m doing on a daily basis:
- I do not skip my daily Bible reading. I need it!!! When I read, pray and worship, I am inviting God to be the host of the party.
- I am spending time with a few of my mentors and closest friends that add life to me! You and I don’t need a bunch of worried, anxious, negative, life-sucking people in our lives!
- I am having fun with my family and understand that Robin and each of our kids are processing this situation in their own way. My responsibility is to love them where they are, which means sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry, but at all times we trust what God is doing!
- I am leading out of margin. The Lord has blessed us with a tremendous team that has the capability to lead.This allows me to lead in the things that only I can lead in during this season! It is an honor to serve in such a healthy culture.
- I am working out diligently! There are things going on with my body that are beyond my control, but the things I can control, I will be faithful in. I believe that working out is actually an act of faith, letting God know that as He heals my body, I will be a good steward of it!
We all have a party going on in our head. We all have challenges. Who is going to host the party in your head?
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians3:20 (the message)
Words cannot begin to describe the love, support and encouragement that we have felt over the past few days! Robin and I are beyond blessed to be surrounded with such compassionate people throughout our community, state and nation!
Today, Robin and I met with the tumor specialist to try and understand where things are and how to proceed in the coming weeks. We are blessed to be working with one of the best specialists in the country. Here is a quick summary of what we learned:
- The evidence from Friday’s test suggests that the spot is a low-grade tumor. While it is not conclusive, all things point that way.
- Because of where it sits, the doctors do not feel that a biopsy is a good solution. They have said if they are going to take the risk, they might as well remove the whole thing at one time.
- Their suggestion is to remove the tumor because, if not, it will become a high-grade tumor with a matter of time.
- Right now they feel like they can remove it and possibly get it all. Once it becomes high-grade level it would be hard to remove it all and control its’ effects.
- The recovery time depends on the success of the procedure and how much tissue is impacted. I have decided 2 to 3 days should be plenty.
- In the process, they have located a second tumor in my right ear canal. While there is no sign of it being cancerous, long-term it would cause me to lose my hearing.
- Due to their locations, they cannot remove both tumors in the same surgery. The second location in my ear is much easier todeal with and would have a much more predictable recovery.
- In the coming days Robin and I will pray, meet with our elders, seek the Godly wisdom of our mentors, and then choose the best strategy for how to proceed.
- I will teach this Sunday and will give a short update on the game plan at that point.
Again, words cannot express our appreciation to all of you! God is doing a deep work in our lives, in the heart of our church, and in the heart of our community. If you live nearby, please do not miss this weekend. God wants to do something great in your life! If you missed last weekend, when I shared with the church, you can view it online at media.journeychurch.tv. I don’t suggest this for you to hear about the opportunity for God to move in my life, but for you to hear from God about the opportunity for Him to move in your life!
We all have challenges, but God is always faithful! He is Shepherd, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, and Healer, just to mention a few!
I look forward to all that will occur in the days to come that will bring glory to our God!
Love you all,
When God was leading the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, he did not lead them on the shortest route to the Promised Land (Exodus 13). Scripture says that God brought them a roundabout way. Why would God not take the shortest route?
Sometimes the route that seems to make the most sense includes some danger that we may not see.
My dream, at 15 years old, was to have a church someday. As I got older, the dream evolved into a desire to lead at the church that I grew up attending. I joined the staff when I was 23 and it seemed the dream might become a reality! Then, in November of 2000, when I was 30, I received a call from one of the elders asking if I would be interested in the possibility of becoming Sr. Pastor! Are you kidding me? That was the dream!!!
Plus, it seemed like the shortest, safest route to what I wanted to do in life!
However, right after receiving the call, the Lord began to deal with my heart. Although that had been my dream, it was not His dream for my life! Over the coming days, weeks and months God widely opened the doors for us to plant a new church. While I grieved, and sometimes still do, about allowing the most logical route to my dream die, God knew exactly what He was doing! And today, I get to live my dream on a daily basis!
Our responsibility as God’s children is not to figure things out, but to simply follow Him! Even if the route doesn’t make sense to you, know that He is a good Shepherd! He will lead you into a healthy, life-giving place of influence in your life! Trust His plan and don’t force your own, even though it might seem like a shorter route!