Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Update on Shelley Burks-White

Below is the latest update from Judy Burks regarding her daughter, Shelley. Please remember to sign-up for the blood drive on May 17th from 9:30 AM-2:00 PM. All blood received that day will go toward Shelley's account. If you can't be here that day or you'd rather give another day, go to any Carter Blood Bank facility and tell them you'd like to donate for Shelley White - 047775. They'll get it credited to her.


"Today has been another busy Monday, but thank goodness. Shelley did not pass the swallowing test today, but just the fact that they gave it showed that she had improved enough to be tested. She is so very anxious to swallow well enough to have liquid. Physical therapist (three of them) sat her up in bed again today and held her there for 9 minutes. She had to have a Cat Scan because of belly pain, but the report came back as "good". The doctor said is showed fluid but nothing serious. She continues to have swelling in her right leg and foot, so they did a sonogram late this afternoon to determine whether or not there was a blood clot. Greg has gone back to the hospital tonight - hopefully he will learn something about that.
They have begun to talk about moving us the latter part of this week to Baylor Specialty Hospital. She will go there by ambulance and will continue to be on the ventilator there. We have real mixed emotions about the move. There, she will be placed in a 4-bed pod rather than a private ICU cubicle. I am not sure exactly what that will mean about visitation for us. We have built such a relationship with our nurses where we are that they have really begun to bend the rules for us - now we will be starting over in a new place. The Specialty Hospital is an extended care ICU. She may, after so much progress, be moved into either a semi-private or perhaps a private ICU room. At some point we expect that she will transfer to the Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation where she will receive intense rehab therapy.
Please pray specifically that Shelley will not become discouraged and will continue to fight toward her recovery. Pray for Greg as he is planning for a summer without Shelley at home to help with decisions regarding the kids. Greg and I are looking into everything available for the kids this summer (camps, day schools, etc.) Their church will be offering a lot of things for the kids to do and the Children's Minister is being SO HELPFUL in assisting us with the activities for them. We just want to keep them as busy as possible.
Thanks again for loving us.
I love you,
Judy"

Prayer needed for Valerie McLaughlin

Our friend and church secretary Valerie McLaughlin is in the hospital. She's going to be fine, but she's going to be out for a little while. She has some internal cysts that cause her excruciating pain. The doctors are meeting today with Valerie and Andy to determine what to do. Please pray for her healing and speedy recovery. As you probably know, their daughter Chelsea is a senior and preparing to graduate at the end of May. Pray that all of this is behind us by then.

The real moral of the story, however, is don't be a secretary at FBC - either you or your family will get sick!

Monday, April 27, 2009

How Bro. Darin fishes

I'm often asked why I took up golf instead of fishing. From now on, instead of answering, I'm going to simply show this video and let it do my explaining since I fish even worse than Bill Dance.

A leftover from Draft weekend

One of my most favorite comedians is Bill Cosby. Growing up with his "Fat Albert" show, the "Cosby Show" and his quintessential feature film "Himself", Cosby has been a staple. In the video below, University of Texas receiver Quan Cosby (no relation) waits to be drafted while sitting next to Bill Cosby (former Temple University football player) and Erin Andrews, commentator for ESPN. I could describe it but I think you're better off to just click and watch. Enjoy and Happy Monday.

We're back

We spent yesterday with our friends and family at Memorial Baptist Church in Corsicana, our home for almost 8 years. It was such a blessing to spend the day with them, renewing friendships and sharing our lives now. Bro. Jeff White, present pastor of Memorial, made us feel so welcome. We had a great crowd present and had dinner on the grounds. What a great way to spend the day.

We spent the afternoon with some dear friends, Elmer and Mandy Tanner and their kids, Allison and Dustin. We did nothing to speak of - and that was great!

A special word of gratitude is due to my friends, Duane and Kern. Thanks guys, for taking care of life here to allow us a day off.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting ready for Sunday

It's always a nice thing to get to go home. While we love our FBC family and consider it home, our friends at Memorial Baptist Church in Corsicana will always hold a special place in our hearts. We were serving there when we were married. We spent our honeymoon years there. It was my first pastorate (even if I did sort of back into it. They really just wanted Julie to play the piano, but they were willing to take me to get her!). We had our first home we bought there. I finished PhD work there - and they paid for it. That's why if you read the forward to my dissertation, you'll find them mentioned prominantly. We developed what I hope are some life-long friendships there. This is the first time we've had the opportunity to go back since we left there, almost two years ago and we're so looking forward to spending this Sunday with them. Pray for us as we go share this fun time of renewed friendships and fellowship.
As for our FBC family, I've spent some time this week helping Bro. Duane get ready for Sunday. Not that he really needed my help, but he humored me anyway. I believe you'll be be blessed by the message he'll share with you. Come ready to hear from the Lord.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Congratulations Tammy Bostick - Volunteer of the Year

Congratulations to Tammy Bostick, named last night as this year's Volunteer of the Year. Her efforts regarding our local "Square Fair" were a primary factor in her receiving this award. She has been a part of the leadership of Square Fair for more than 20 years. She also operates our sound board on Sunday Mornings. Take time to hug Tammy and congratulate her.

Congratulations Rick Stewart - Citizen of the Year

Our own Rick Stewart, Constable for Henderson County, Preceint 4, was named the Lake Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year last night! Better known as "Pops," Rick has long deserved the recognition of his faithful service and compassionate leadership in his office. Take time to hug his neck when you see him!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Update on Shelley White - April 20th

This update on Shelley's condition was received yesterday. Remember our blood drive for Shelley is May 17th - a short three weeks from Sunday. Please prayerfully consider joining the effort in whatever way you can.

"The weekend has been nonproductive toward recovery in that we have had no physical therapy, no change in ventilator settings, etc. That is not to say that the nursing staff has worked less (they are great!), but the plan of action just seems to slow down on the weekend. Shelley continues to need total support from the ventilator to breath and her kidneys have not succeeded. She was dialyzed Friday and Saturday and allowed to rest today. That really zaps her strength which she has so little of. She complains of constant pain. I think the goal for this week will continue to be to reduce her need for the ventilator and to push ahead with some muscle action to get her sitting upright in the bed. Speech therapist will begin tomorrow to test for swallowing capability, working toward reducing the need for the feeding tube.
She has experienced myopia and neuropathy, leaving her totally helpless at this time. The doctors shoot very straight with us and it is very hard to hear. However, they always end by saying, "There is the hope that she will recover."
Actually, the Transplant Team seems to be satisfied with her progress as far as the liver goes. She is not in rejection and has no infection. They have warned us that the immune suppressant drugs will make her very suseptable to viruses in the next weeks.
Pray that Shelley is able to rest free of pain tonight and that she will not contract any "bugs".
Love,
Judy

Friday, April 17, 2009

Update on Shelley White

Hardly a day passes that I'm not asked for the latest on Shelley Burks-White. Here's the latest update from Judy, her mother.

"We have had a better day today. Shelley's liver function remains stable and the word for her overall condition today was "stable"!
Her main issue is respiratory and getting her off the ventilator. She is able to "mouth" words now since she is breathing through the trach. She was very alert today and happy when I entered her room with pictures of the kids. The nurses had suggested that I do that.
She is now motioning with her eyes to the pictures as each doctor, tech, or whoever enters the room.
This afternoon she mouthed, "what day?" I said, "Thursday". She shook her head to let me know she was not satisfied with my answer and so I asked her if she meant the date. She nodded "yes" and I told her it was April 16th. Her eyes almost popped out of her head and she mouthed "TAXES"! She became very anxious and almost desperate. I kept assuring her that everyone had filed extensions and she was not to worry and that her employer had filed extensions. She settled down a little, but I cried because I knew she was coming back to us.
Pray that tomorrow will be another day of improvement. Pray that her lungs will breathe again on their own and that her kidneys will begin to function.
Love,
Judy"

Please plan to help us with the Community-Wide blood drive for Shelley on Sunday, May 17th from 10 AM - 2 PM. We're hoping for at least 50 units.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Blood Drive for Shelley White

Scheduled just this morning, we've got a firm date for a blood drive Shelley White. On Sunday, May 17th from 10 AM - 2 PM, we'll host a blood drive in our Fellowship Hall. All the blood collected will go to assist Shelley's account for what she has already used or what she will use in the future. Please prayerfully consider participating in this selfless act.

Did you know blood can only come from one source? People. It can't be artificially made. Blood must be given in order for it to be available. Please, join us as we help Shelley and the many others who stand in need of blood on a daily basis.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Behold! The tax man cometh!

Over the weekend, our wonderful CPA finalized our taxes for 2008. While our CPA did his best work for us, we still owed what was (to us) a significant amount of money. Fortunately for us, we had envisioned this sometime ago and had planned for just such an event. Nonetheless, please don't ask my opinion on the IRS or the government in general - I just might tell you and be quite un-pastor-like about it.
The events of the last couple of days have caused me to consider how our story would be different if we hadn't prepared ourselves for the IRS "storm." How many people are struggling with finances? How many people are struggling with cuts backs or layoffs at work? How many people are wondering how in the world God is going to show Himself in this circumstance? I don't know the answer to that. But I do know who to ask.
Tomorrow, April 15, is a perfect day to set aside in prayer for our nation. We've all been affected by the economy. It's time to take it to the one who can do something about it. Churches across our state are being asked to pray for at least five things:
  • Families facing financial struggles as a result of job loss and cut-backs
  • Churches to respond with sensitivity and compassion to those in need
  • Local, state and national elected officials to use wisdom in leadership
  • Opportunities to share the good news of Jesus clearly and effectively; and
  • Humility, repentance and true spiritual awakening in our nation
Jeremiah 33:3 says "Call to me and I will show you great and unsearchable things." It's time to ask!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A commercial worth seeing again

Normally, Julie and I will blister through commercial with our DVR. Why waste the time when you have a choice? But every now and then, there's one worth seeing. And seeing again. Take a look at this brand-new commerical from Gatorade. It features one of my most favorite leaders, Coach John Wooden of UCLA - winner of 10 consecutive NCAA championships. When he speaks, I listen. He's quoting a poem, but perhaps I'd do better to just say "click to watch"!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

2,500 eggs. . . and more!


Yesterday morning, our Lydia Ladies Sunday School class came to stuff Easter eggs for this Saturday's egg hunt. I think they had more than they bargained for. When Duane and I counted them on Monday, we stopped when we got to about 2,500. There were still several hundred loose eggs in a box. Wow. What's that old saying about "be careful what you ask for. . . "? Thanks to each of you who brought the eggs they stuffed yesterday and those who brought the candy to stuff them with. Now all we need are people to hide them and CHILDREN TO FIND THEM! We're hoping for around 200 children. Imagine what that would look like and ask the Lord of the harvest to bring it to pass.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

One Shining Moment

At the end of the NCAA Tournament, CBS puts together a musical montage that is always worth seeing. Despite the distinctive lack of Texas Longhorns in this video, I decided to post it anyway. In honor of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill - 2009 NCAA Tournament Champions.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

PRAYER NEEDED TODAY!

Shelley White is about to begin a 10 hour surgery for a liver transplant. Overnight, a donor was found and the doctors believe Shelley is ready. Please pray for the operation to go smoothly and quickly. Please ask the Lord of all healing to touch Shelley today in a powerful way. Please pray for strength for her husband, Greg, her 12 yr old daughter, Alissa, and her 6 yr old son, Reid. Please pray for Judy and Johnny Burks, her parents, and the rest of her family. I'll update her as soon as I receive word.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Prayer needed for Mayor James Gouger

This morning brought news that Frankston Mayor James Gouger had an averse reaction to some medication given to him for a routine CAT scan. His reaction was severe enough for him to be placed in the ICU Ward at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. Please pray for our mayor and his lovely wife, Kay, as they journey through this difficult season.

Update on Shelley White

So many of you have called about Shelley White, Judy and Johnny Burks daughter, I thought I'd give you a heads up. The news is better today. Shelley is doing better although still desperately in need of prayers. She is a candidate for a liver transplant so please pray one will come available.