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Message From our Director of Missions: November 2015

When you listen to investment commercials, or talk to your financial advisor, the disclaimer always surfaces: “past results are not sure indicators of future results” or some derivation thereof. After the annual MSBA meeting Jana and I flew to Texas for a short visit to check up on her 90 yr. old mother in her DFW retirement center. She has recovered nicely from a broken femur earlier this year; Jana had spent many days with her in the rehab phase. While there I rolled my ankle at our son’s house on a curb and thought I might have broken or sprained it. I flew home the next day and knew it was getting worse. The next day I drove to the state convention (which was night and day from recent ones, positive, expectant, hopeful, and a time of new beginnings with Dr. Bill Henard as our new Ex. Dir.) and was on a cane when I met Jana at the airport. It got worse, so I went to MedExpress, thinking it was a hairline fracture in the ankle or foot. That proved to be negative, and the pain was all too familiar in the left leg; the same combo of numbness, strong unrelenting pain I had that led to surgery in May 2014 that year on L3 spine joint. That was day surgery, went home the same day, had the usual recovery time, and I have experienced relatively pain free days since. After a comedy of errors getting an MRI this week, even to my medically untrained eye it was obvious L4 had turned into a herniated disc and was protruding into the nerve. I returned to the back surgeon we used in 2014 thinking we were in for ‘second verse, same as the first.’ Oh, no. The surgeon took a short look and sent me straight to the hospital for immediate surgery the next day. Although the surgery itself was a success, there are complications that are each creating choices; some might result in additional surgeries. As we drove home today from a doctor appt., we received a call saying my 95 yr. old dad, who lives in his own apt. in Princeton, had fallen. We called 911 and arrived at his apt. at the same time. A trip in the ambulance to the ER revealed a broken femur in the same place as Jana’s mother. Surgery the next morning will reveal how he fares and our lives change. Philippians 4.13 says in most translations “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” If you go to and reference a verse, it offers to show every English translation of the verse. Several versions translate it as “I can endure all things through Christ.” It’s not about leaping tall buildings in a single bound; leave that to the comic books and superhero movies. In Psalms 23 God does not let us skip “valley of the shadow of death” but promises to walk every step of the way with us. In the oldest book of the Bible, Job declares that God gives and takes away, and in all cases “blessed be the name of the Lord.” I may not like His plan, and it might not take the same chain of events as previously; He is not bound by my expectations but only by His Word and Will. He never promises us invincibility but that He will never forsake us. Be especially thankful in this holiday season for your loved ones and your church family. I am grateful for those who have prayed for us and helped us in these uncertain days

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