A little personal news

Many in our church family are aware that my dad has been having some health issues lately. Instead of copying and pasting information for a long list of people, please allow this post to suffice.

Long story short, several weeks ago a spot was discovered on my dad’s lung. That discovery led to a PET scan and a biopsy, all of which was conducted in the past few weeks. His follow up appointment was Monday, and we received news that, while expected, was not what we wanted to hear.

Tests have confirmed that my dad does have cancer in his lung. There are three areas of concern in that lung, one of which is quite large. Surgery is not an option.

Until now he has been dealing exclusively with his pulmonologist. The next steps are to consult with his oncologist to determine how to treat the cancer and to explore a few more options and possibly conduct a few more tests.

What I preach behind the pulpit about hope and comfort isn’t just a bunch of words to occupy some space in a sermon. These are realities for which we are thankful, knowing that for the believer, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I’ve reminded myself of one of my own words that I have often spoken: the worst days we face on this earth are as close to hell as a believer will ever experience. Our future and our eternity are sure, and that truth brings us great hope and comfort today.

Please continue to pray for my mom and dad in the days to come, as well as the specialists they will see.

I live 505 miles from my parents, so I have been unable to be with them during many of these appointments and procedures, though my siblings have been great to be there. I’m thankful to have a congregation that is willing to give me the time and space needed to get away when I can.

If you’re reading this and are a member of FBC, I need you to know about a group of people who have worked behind the scenes to be a blessing to me during this time. I traveled to Arkansas “under cover” a few weeks ago when we first received word of these developments. A week later I returned to Arkansas with Mandy and the kids for Christmas. I had planned to drive yet again for this appointment, knowing we would have some definitive results from previous tests.

On New Year’s Eve I received a call from our two most-recent deacon chairmen. Long story short, a group of deacons grew into a group of men who gathered up some funds to buy a plane ticket for a quick trip that helped me avoid 18-20 hours of driving. They gathered around me after the service Sunday morning, prayed for me, and offered their support. Their names won’t be plastered on a plaque, and they didn’t do any of that to receive praise. But I’m thankful for them and wanted to bring their behind-the-scenes generosity to the front of the scenes as a testimony to the hearts of the servants at FBC.

God is good, all the time, and in every situation. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:17).

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