Things I Think…
1. I just got back from Portland…the result was not what I had hoped for. I did not qualify for a clinical trial to have non invasive heart surgery, so I will be scheduling open heart surgery soon here in Medford. While not what I wanted, the circumstances were prayed for by many and this is the will of God. There is a measure of peace in submitting to the revealed will of God…
2. I couldn’t wait to get out of Portland…I’m not a city person…and some of what I saw was shocking. It’s like two different cities…the old one I remember and a massive number of homeless people living inside the same spaces…I thought I’d never seen anything like it until I actually looked at my own city…it’s amazing and tragic how things we do not wish to see become invisible…
3. I live a very insular life, by necessity. Being forced outside my bubble has shown me that whether the Covid19 mitigations have been necessary or not, they have affected us socially and culturally in devastating ways that it will take at least a generation to recover from…
4. The politicization of both Covid 19 and the homeless issue leave us helpless to actually solve either issue…the church needs to plead for the creativity of God to bring Gospel centered actions to bear…
5. I’m forced to rely a lot on other people these days, which is …hard…for me. Submission to circumstances is a way of praising God and being grateful that He gave you people to rely on…still, easier said than done…
6. Sometimes… Gods answer to prayer is “no.”.. but let me help you”…..
7. I don’t think it’s just my age that makes things seem so unfamiliar these days…
8. God never stops breaking you to rebuild you in love…transformation will continue until we are completely transformed…and it sucks…but will be worth it…
9. Until the church realizes that our real enemies are inside the gate and not outside camp, we’ll never have the impact on the world we could…
10. Thank you all for all the prayers and kind words over the last week. Miss Kitty’s death and then my heart attack on Friday followed by this trip was a lot to process…but I’m still here and my faith has remained strong…God bless you all…
You have loads of people praying for you…
Sometimes I feel like a prayer hog…like I should share with others.:-)
I appreciate it greatly as it confirms in my mind that whatever transpires is indeed the will of God…and the prayers certainly upheld me in a tough week.
Michael-that’s so much in such a short span of time. But I continue to pray for you! As for being dependent, although my issue is just orthopedic (and I”m blessed since I was never supposed to walk, and I get around pretty well with the walker), I often need to ask for help. If I drop something and I don’t have my reacher handy, if it’s too heavy, too high up/too low in the grocery store…and on it goes. I’m very independent, but I have learned so much more about God because he has made me dependent in some really obvious areas. May you depend on him as you get ready for your surgery!
Thank you for the kind words and comments over the course of all these trials…I’m not always in a position to respond, but I have read and fed on them all.
We’re all glad you’re here.
This was a roller coaster to the end…at my consultation the surgeon was clear that couldn’t do the non invasive surgery because of the contours of my valve. I demanded he look at the new fangled pictures they had just taken and he was surprised to see that actually they could do it.
I was starting tears of joy when he checked again…and found I didn’t qualify because my risk of death from the surgery isn’t high enough.
I will just have to be happy that they think I have a 98.6 % chance to survive.
If you only have a 92 % chance…you’re good to go…
Sending prayers up for you, my brother.
Thank you, Nina!
I recall when our toddler son was dying we were attending a United Brethren church, a country church with a long history. It was a good sized church, rural salt of the earth folks and could they pray! ! !
I see some folk here that remind me of those people. Sadly, though, there aren’t too many of you left.
So very glad that dear Michael has you all praying for him. Hopefully, praying that God will say, ” Michael, your work on earth isn’t finished yet! ”
Praying with all here that the coming surgery WILL be a success.
Continuing to pray, Michael.
Thank you, Em!
Thank you, CK…praying for you too…I know you are familiar with suffering…
A “prayer hog”! Now that made me laugh out loud😂. Who among us does NOT need prayer?
Its funny and sad given the “theology” I have been poisoned with. I was tested for several issues due to some symptoms and I was terrified, not really of death, pain, any of that. I was literally terrified of being a burden, on anyone for even a second, even less then a second. It was so demonized when I was in faith communities to be a burden, outside of leadership. I am thankful my tests came back ok. I am sorry Michael U R going through this and know I am sending good vibes though I desire to pray I often think that will tick off God. But that is another post.
Ur correct about people who are unhoused. There are folks living all over the street in my area. I have tried to help for about 40 years with this particular aspect of our community and I believe I have failed miserably. I disgust myself that I cant do more. This nation is so divided, granted “news agencies”, political figures on all sides of the isle have made bank during this issue. That alone will always and I do mean always justify what ever they do and it always will. That cant change.
There is a more pathetic and disgusting side of me that thinks it can, how vile is that? Back to the phone calls and emails for advocating, I know doing so is utterly useless even stupid but its all I got now.
I should probably explain that…
I’ve spent a lot of time lately in hospitals…and saw thousands of homeless people trying to survive on the streets on this trip.
They don’t have a “platform”…and I wonder who prays for them as I am carried by so much from so many…
!Michael @ 12:02 that is convicting… Must remember to pray for those who’ve settled for being homeless….
brian, have you considered that the standard you’ve come to set for yourself can ONLY be met by God, Himself? ? ?
Thank you for the kind words…people are both better and worse than we think, but God is good all the time…
You’ve been in my prayers, and I will continue to pray for you….medical stuff is rough, but we lean on God and keep going.
Thank you, Sarah…we keep on going indeed…
Praying for you Michael..as I may have mentioned before, I feel as though I know you personally through this blog. I have gleaned more than you’ll ever know through your “make your own applications “. I also read them to my husband. You are in God’s hands…the best place to be. 🙏🏻
Thank you, pslady…we’ll all meet someday.
I think I may have missed it, but I wasn’t aware that you had a heart attack. Prayers continue. Like pslady said above, I feel like I know you well.
Very interesting thought number 6 is….normally I hear the typical “sometimes God says no” as if he’s standing there with his arms crossed and a stern look on his face. This is a nice visual you presented.
I didn’t understand what happened until later that night. Had a bad tachycardia attack…was pegging 220 with pain. They stopped my heart and restarted it with a shot…this one did some damage.
You are like an old friend and I’m glad of it…
Micheal, may God continue to hold you close as you continue on together.
Thank you, JD
Actually Em I always felt I held myself too a very low standard.
ahh dear brian, your posts make me wish i could talk with you, but…. you must accept that we all have shortcomings and not be discouraged by being merely human…. 🙂
Every time brian posts a comment I open a beer before reading it.
Michael…still praying for the best result for you. I sure get how having to rely on other people is hard, and yet such a blessing that God has placed those people in our lives. My hands are practically useless now, but I am so grateful for the people God has placed to open jar or turn a key, or who offer encouragement through the church.
Oh Linnea (i have a dear cousin with that name), i am so sorry. The thumb on my right hand has no strength in it. After reading your 7:22, i won’t feel sorry for mself anymore.
It’s tough and I’m sorry that you’re going through it.
It’s even tougher if you’re stubborn and proud as I can be…but it teaches reliance on God…who provides through His people.
Count me in too.
Mike, I know we are far from friends.
You have been brutal.
But we are brothers in Christ.
So, a word of encouragement.
I went through a heart attack and triple bypass 10 years ago in Miami.
The Lord has been gracious and I am better than ever.
Praying you recover for a long life.
I’m a hard man to surprise…but this shocked me in a good way.
Thank you for reaching out and encouraging me.
May the Lord bless you, as well…
Chip and Michael…….your conversation……This is what the kingdom of God should like like. God bless you both.
Just one of His lambs,
Newer readers won’t understand…but that was a minor miracle that occurred here yesterday…
Yes, it was!
Chip and Michael, my jaw is still hanging on the floor. Your exchange made my day!
That was a wonderful exchange yesterday and a total God-thing (pardon my evangelicality there).
Praying for you my brother.
Thanks, Deacon…good to see you again!