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Showing posts from September, 2011

Wagon ride

Last night, Abby felt well enough to take a wagon ride down the hospital hallway. She seemed to enjoy the change in scenery. Here's a video of our brave little girl!

Clinging to God

As I write this article, my wife and I are getting ready to take our seven-month old daughter Abigail down to Loma Linda for surgery on her right kidney. We’re thankful that little Abby will get excellent care and has a high probability of success. But even more importantly, we’re thankful she is in God’s loving hands.

Life is not easy. We often have to live by faith, and not by sight. One of the ancient prophets who learned this was Habakkuk. His name in Hebrew means “the clinger,” and that is precisely what God taught Him -- to cling to the Lord every day.

Habakkuk lived in turbulent times. There was famine in Israel, and the army of Babylon was approaching. Hungry and outnumbered, the Israelites trembled. After all, Babylon did not have a reputation for showing mercy to their prisoners of war.

But as the chariots thundered closer and the infantry kicked dust high into the air, Habakkuk gathered his composure and wrote a beautiful poem of trust in God:

“Though the fig tree should n…

The road to recovery

Thanks to all who have been asking about Abigail’s surgery. It’s been a long two days, but we’re thankful to report things seem to be improving.

Abigail’s surgery was at 9 am on Monday morning. The operation was done around noon and then we were called back to meet with the surgeon. He said the procedure went very well, and that we would likely go home the next day. However, the Lord had other plans.

Yesterday evening, Abby’s pain grew worse, and her tummy became quite distended. Even morphine was not calming her down. There was a chance she was having constipation or even internal bleeding, so they moved her over to the pediatric ICU unit this morning.

No one could get a needle into her to check her blood, so they had to do a pick line IV, which is a special kind of IV that runs up through her vein and into her main vein near her heart. They had to give her a sedative and then finished that early this afternoon.

Thankfully, Abby’s vitals look good, and today’s blood test showed hem…

Abby's surgery

Our seven-month old daughter Abigail is scheduled to have surgery next Monday, Sept. 26, at 9 am on her right kidney/ureter. While still in the womb, she was diagnosed with ‘hydronephrosis,’ or fluid on the kidney. As a result, her right kidney drains very slowly and is now almost twice the size of her left one.

The surgeon will make a small incision on her side, remove a piece of her ureter where it joins to the kidney, then reconnect the ureter to the kidney. The operation will take place at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and should take 2-3 hours. If all goes well, most of her kidney will be saved, and she could be discharged as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Here are some ways you can pray for our family:

Thank the Lord that doctors noticed her condition early, that she is not in any pain, and that her right kidney still has a lot of healthy tissuePray that she will stay healthy, as she has been fighting off a cold and allergies this past weekAsk God to guide the hands of Dr. Chamber…

SBC might change its name

Baptist Press announced earlier this week that the Southern Baptist Convention will consider a name change to the denomination. I don’t have a strong opinion on this one way or the other, but I also don't see how it would hurt for a Task Force to revisit the idea.

I highly respect our current SBC President Bryant Wright and agree when he says, “With our focus on church planting, it is challenging in many parts of the country to lead churches to want to be part of a convention with such a regional name.”

Almost immediately, Dr. Alber Mohler responded with some reasons it may be time for a name change.

But for me, the most surprising statistic comes from Ed Stetzer, Director of Lifeway Research:
“The Southern Baptist identity simply does not resonate as well with adults age 18 to 24. More than 40 percent of respondents in this group said knowing a church was Southern Baptist would negatively affect their decision to visit or join the church.” That statistic is staggering. I wonder w…


It’s overwhelming to consider all our family has been through in the past year, but God has sustained us. In just twelve months, Natalie has endured her third pregnancy, three UTIs, a kidney infection, 15 weeks of early contractions, child birth, severe postpartum bleeding, two DNCs, two blood transfusions, chest pains, emergency gallbladder surgery, internal bleeding, and a second exploratory laparoscopy.

In addition, Dylan was rushed to the ER with a head injury in December, I went to the ER with chest pains in May, and Abigail was diagnosed with hydronephrosis (fluid on her right kidney) while still in the womb. Abby also went in to the hospital for several days this summer for unusual skin color and a possible heart defect which was eventually ruled out. On September 26, Abby will have surgery for her hydronephrosis, which we hope will fix her right kidney and allow it to drain properly. This procedure has a very high success rate, but we know she is ultimately in God’s hands. We…

Incredible deal on World Magazine

World Magazine is offering an incredible deal on new gift subscriptions for only $5.
If you're not a World subscriber, you should be. They offer top-notch journalism from a biblical perspective. I am always impressed with their depth and quality of reporting.
A one-year subscription would make an excellent gift for pastors, teachers, businessmen, recent high school and college graduates, and well, pretty much everyone else too. 
Below is their announcement. This deal will only last for one week, so act fast! WORLD is about more than news. A Christian worldview message and mission are at our core, and we seek to produce the kind of journalism that shapes the public conversation.
All around us, the mighty are falling - newspaper bankruptcies, newsroom layoffs, indifferent audiences, and plunging ad revenues are roiling the news business. That's why we believe now is the time to build a stronger, Christian news organization - one that recognizes a sovereign God at the center of all th…

Focus 21 Task Force Report

Last fall, I and eleven others were appointed by the California SBC to form the Focus 21 Task Force. It has been a real honor and I’ve learned so much. We’ve traveled from across the state to meet nearly every month, and are finally ready to share the results of our research.

The intro to our report has just been released. It explains our purpose and rationale. You can read it here.

The full report should be posted later today. These changes are significant, but we believe they will bring greater focus and keep moving us forward in the 21st century.

Here are some ways you can help:
Read the report after it is released on our Facebook page.Post your comments and click “like” on our Facebook page to help spread the word. We’ve deliberately chosen Facebook to encourage feedback and dialogue.Tell others through Facebook, Twitter, or email about the report. Every California Southern Baptist has a vested interest in these recommendations.Pray for unityand wisdom among our convention entities…