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Archive for July, 2010

Inception

If you haven’t seen “Inception” yet, then get a babysitter and take your spouse to see it. It’s not a date movie. However, it is the best film of the year thus far. Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight) has made an amazing film that will have you second guessing reality when you walk out of the theater.

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Coming Home!

We are coming home! We’ve decided to come home with the cecostomy which we will irrigate twice a day and we will put a tube in Luke’s bottom once a day. It’s not going to be an easy transition for us, but we will endure. Two years ago, we never thought we could manage a child with an illestomy, but we were able to do so. This is a process and we are rounding first base on on our way to second. We are not on our way to home base, but hopefully, before Luke begins his first year at Appalachian State playing football, this process may be over.

Many of you have asked if you could help us in any way. I’m not sure yet how to answer that question. Folks are bringing us meals for the next few days, so that will be good. We would like visitors, but call us or send us an email first instead of doing what Seinfeld calls the “pop-in”.

Many of you have written us amazing emails and left encouraging comments on the blog and Facebook. I would like to quote one that was helpful to me. I haven’t asked permission from the individual to quote, so I will quote her anonymously:

“My dear friends Amy and Scott, it is amazing how our Loving God is truly the Hound of Heaven. Even when I can not speak to Him because my heart is so weary, and all I can do is groan, I know I am prayed for by the Holy Spirit. Even when I do not want to speak to Him because I am so angry and can not understand why this is happening in my life, yet I know He loves me. Even when I am filled with doubts and know I am not trusting Him, yet I know He will not let me go. Maybe I do have animated one sided conversations with God…shouting “Why God, why?” But I know I would rather be honest with my Heavenly Father than go back to a fake piety, a religiousity that looks good on the outside but is hiding all those questions anyway…besides He know our hearts better than we do…we are after all His children. So I am encouraged by your honesty and thank you for sharing. I will keep you and Amy in my heart prayers that you will be given all the wisdom you need to make this decision and for
Luke’s healing….Didn’t C.S.Lewis say in regards to miracles that you have to be in the train station to see the train close-up?”

In light of our going home today, here is one of my favorite bands from the early 90’s, Cinderella.

Perhaps a little Daughtry may be a better fit.

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Cecostomy Not Working



It’s been three weeks since Luke’s surgery and we are still here at the hospital in Winston. The docs are now saying that the cecostomy is not working like they had hoped it would. The idea behind the cecostomy was that we would irrigate it once a day and then a few hours later, Luke would have a bowel movement. After three weeks of irrigations, Luke’s body just doesn’t want to cooperate.

When we heard the docs say, “Cecostomy not working,” it made me think of the season three finale of “Lost” when Charlie wrote on his hand, “Not Penny’s Boat” (clip below). Needless to say, it was hard news to hear. The docs were able to get Luke’s poop out by sedating him and inserting a tube into his bottom.

So, as we look forward to what’s next, we have some options:

1. Luke goes back to the illestomy (what he had before we got here).
2. Luke keeps the cecostomy and we irrigate it once a day and we insert a tube into his bottom to get the stool out.
3. Luke has another surgery which would remove part of his colon or remove his rectum.

Pray for Amy and I as we make one or a blend of those decisions. Two years ago, we couldn’t fathom taking care of an illestomy, but we managed and it became our “new normal”. Perhaps the same will happen if we return home this week and we have to stick a tube into his bottom every day. If we do that, please pray for Luke. No one likes something stuck in their bottom, especially an 8 year old boy.

This past week was spiritually hard for me. We were supposed to be on vaca on the oily shores of Destin, FL with Amy’s family. I had hoped to chill on the beach and read and allow the Lord to refresh my heart. I probably need to repent if I think that my heart can only be refreshed by the gospel while chillin’ on the beach. I am learning that Jesus ministers to me wherever I am or whatever my circumstances are. I have felt distant from God, but He has remained close to me by coming to me in the form of His Body here on earth, the Church. The Body of Christ has been present in our lives and has come alongside us in tremendous ways these past three weeks. The Body of Christ has dropped by to visit us in the hospital, provided food for us (one of our friend’s here in Winston brought Luke and I food from Moe’s!), provided financial resources for us, given Luke and Jack lots and lots of toys, and most of all, the Body has given us their prayers to Jesus for healing and encouragement. Amy and I (and Luke and Jack) are so grateful for all that the Body of Christ has done for us. When I do not desire to engage with Jesus, He still pursues me and warms my heart to Him. He is the “Hound of Heaven” and I am thankful that I worship a God that pursues me even when I would like to spend the whole day in bed.

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Ecclesiastes Sermon Series

This past Sunday, I began a new sermon series at Grace Foothills on the book of Ecclesiastes. You can listen to the sermon by clicking here.

I also used a few clips to help illustrate the main themes of Ecclesiastes. They are below.

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“The Waiting is the Hardest Part”

Tom Petty wrote a song called “The Waiting”. That is essentially what we are doing back here in Winston. We’ve been here since last Thursday (in addition to the 10 days we were here beginning June 25). Here is the lowdown. Even though Luke had two huge bowel movements on Friday, he still needs to have significant and regular bowel movements after each irrigation of the cecostomy. The Docs are working on a process of the irrigation that is trial and error until they find the right formula and the right medication to wake Luke’s colon up. He is now eating solids, so that is a good thing. Now we wait.

Many have asked how we are doing throughout this time. It depends on the day, but I have struggled. My feelings for God have been all over the place. Anger. Indifference. Child-like trust. Confusion. Joy. Anger. Faith. Exhausted. Anger. Desperation. Child-like trust and dependence. Sometimes I have felt that prayer doesn’t really matter, but then my heart is warmed by the gospel and I begin praying again. Anybody relate to any of this?

One of my seminary professors at RTS-Charlotte, Dr. Frank James, lost his brother, Kelly, in the 2006 Mt. Hood tragedy. You may remember it. It was all over the news for two weeks. Three hikers were lost on Mt. Hood and all three died there. They found Kelly James in a snow cave 300 feet from the summit. Before he died of hypothermia, Kelly James removed his glove and extended his ring finger with his signet JKJ ring prominently displayed, which some have interpreted as a signal to his family. In an interview on CNN, Frank James, said that his faith was being refined. I believe the Lord is doing the same thing for us. I really believe suffering in any form is a gift. It forces us to depend on God and it forces our faith to be continually refined. So, cling to Jesus, along with us, as we sit here in this hospital room on the 8th floor and wait.

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Back to Winston…

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We Are Home, But….

We came home yesterday from an eleven day stay at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital in Winston. We didn’t exactly leave with lots of hope. Amy and I felt like the away team that got spanked by the State Champions and we had a three hour bus ride home. Let me explain. Luke’s surgery went as planned. The recovery went a lot longer that we had expected. The whole goal of the surgery (a cecostomy) was to move things through his small intestines and through his large intestine (the colon) and then out his bottom, you know a good old fashioned bowel movement. So, we have irrigated his cecostomy with lots of liquid (called “go lightly”) that should produce a bowel movement within an hour or two. As of today, Luke has still not had a significant bowel movement. There has been a little poop coming out, but not what you would expect from all of the irrigation that he has received in the past 4 days. The doc did say that we might take a few steps back before we can take a step forward. That might mean Luke goes back to the hospital this week. Amy and I are somewhat discouraged and wondering if we did the right thing for Luke. At least that is how we feel today. Next week could be totally different, either more confusion and despair or perhaps the cecostomy will function as it is meant to do.

All that to say, please continue to pray for us. In the midst of all of this, I still have to come out and say that God is good. Without Him, we would truly be even more confused and hopeless.

In light of us feeling like the away team who just got beat by the home team, I need me some inspiring speeches by actors playing coaches, warriors, etc. Of course, I do realize that my true comfort comes from Jesus, but these clips are good for my heart as well.

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