Showing posts from 2011

Happy New Year 2012!

As we leave 2011 behind and begin 2012 it is a time of reflection, a time to be thankful, and a time to look to the future!

2011 was a year full of challenges but was also full of some amazing things.

Medically I hit my 1 year anniversary from having my Acoustic Neuroma brain tumor removed and Alexis had reconstructive knee surgery. Through both of this things we have seen God working in our lives. My recovery, has been nothing short of miraculous and the timing for Alexis' surgery was perfect. While these have been challenges in our lives, we are forever thankful for all that God has done. While I still have balance issues, get tired easily, and of course am partially deaf it could have been much much worse. I am able to live a normal life, I can do pretty much everything I want to, God has been good! While we wish Alexis did not have to have surgery, she has recovered completely and was ahead of schedule with every step!

In 2011 with all the challenges at work God still opened …

Breath Taking

My breath was taken away!

Normally we experience breath taking moements in life when we witness something beautiful.

(picture taken by my Mother)

Other times we might have a breath taking moment when we witness pure joy, like a kid getting the best present ever!

(another picture taken by my Mother, of me as a child)

While I see beutiful sunrises and sunsets every week over the lake by work, that was not what took by breath away.

I do have three wonderful kids, but my breath was not taken away by their pure joy.

No, my breath was taken away when I was cleaning out a folder and stumbled on this picture.

It was one of those moments that seemed like time stood still. As I opened up the folded pages and revealed the picture of what my Acoustic Neuroma Brain Tumor looked like back in Feb 2010. I stopped what I was saying, what I was doing, and just froze.

My breath was taken away!

Here was a reminder of that life changing event. As I have reflected on that momemt, the thoughts, and th…

Defining Oneself

Today is just shy of 16 months from my Acoustic Neuroma brain tumor removal surgery. Through the work of God and the medical teams at University of Michigan Hospital (Go Blue!) I have been given a new life. For over 18 months, having a brain tumor has defined who I am and much of my life.

When a person goes through something life changing like this, it becomes a major part of who they are.

Before my surgery I was a man with a brain tumor. This tumor was going to change my life and their was a chance my life could end. My life was filled with so much uncertainty, I had a hard time making plans for the future. My prayers were filled with asking God to allow me to return to a normal life, a life filled with Him, my wife, kids, and the rest of my friends and family. I prayed that He was not done with me and would bless me with being able to serve Him for many years. Even with these prayers, I was a man with a brain tumor.

While in the hospital and the first couple of months home, I was …

Juggling Anyone?

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that things were getting a little crazy around here, and it has only gotten more interesting. Juggling is quickly becoming a way of life around here.

Work has been pretty crazy the last couple of weeks. Our plant has 6 major product lines and it seems we are having problems of one sort or another on 5 of them. Business has slowed on our main product line, casting suppliers throughout the country our running out of capacity and can't seem to deliver on time, and our new product lines are struggling to hit the projected growth rates. Any one of these issues would be just another day at the office, but all of them hitting at once can be mind numbing. My juggling skills have really been tested at work. I love the challenge and am looking forward to when we will get past these struggles and things settle down a bit, as well as my hours.

Things at Ninth Street have been going great! We have a great group of believers who are coming along side of us and…

WOW it has been a while... a chance to catch up.

I have been real busy lately which probably explains why I have not posted since May. I know I am not alone in the busyness of life, but it is the only reason I can contribute to my lack of writing. Although it might have to do with reaching the end of my 1 year journey of AN recovery. Probably a mixture of both.

So what has been going on.

1. In May the family went to California for vacation. We hung out with family, went to Disneyland, had a great barbecue, and got a little sun burned.

2. In June Alexis had ACL reconstruction on her right knee. She is doing great now and has completed her physical therapy. She wont be running a marathon anytime soon but should be able to walk around the county fair in September.

3. We have finally moved into a real house! In July we moved into a nice 4 bedroom, 1 office, 2.5 bath home. We spent a couple of weeks packing and can safely say we are about 85% complete with our unpacking. It feels real nice being able to settle down and know we are not lo…

12 Months Post Op - An amazing journey!

Today after church we were talking with some people and a comment was made about how amazing it is to see all that God has done in our lives over the last 12 months. I guess for me it was just my life, so I do not always realize how amazing it is.

I know that God has His hand on my life, and I know that He was in charge of it all. I know that He healed me and has used everything that has happened to touch others. With all that I still get surprised when I hear someone say something about it. When you live through something, you remember what God does, but it also begins to seem normal. Like it is nothing major.

So here I am about to celebrate my first year post op and I have to stop and remember how far I have come. A year ago I was preparing to have brain surgery and not sure how many side effects I would have. Not sure if I would be dealing with major headaches, facial paralysis, vertigo, and much much more. Today as I look back if I was to say that God has restored me to where I wa…

Post OP Pictures

Here is a picture taken shortly after my surgery. Notice the angry red scar.

Below is one taken this weekend, the only sign left from a few feet away is within the hair line. It is where no hair grows, besides that when the hair grows out it looks normal.

Hard to believe it has almost been 1 year.

God is Great!


11 Months Post Op - From Healing to Living

This past year my focus has been on recovering from having my tumor removed and getting my strength back. While I am still not 100%, it is amazing how far I have come. The numbness I have had in my legs is continuing to improve and they do not hurt anymore. I do not experience the extreme fatigue as often as I used to, but it does happen about once a week. I would have to say I am not as far along as I would have hoped at this point in time, but I have no complaints.

In addition to the physical issues, my life has turned full circle. My new job is going great, God has opened a door for me to continue in Ministry, and we are getting back to enjoying life.

I am very thankful for this second chance I have been given by God!

Now that I have reached this point in my recovery my focus is going to be changing. No longer am I going to be focused mostly on recovering what was lost. Now it is going to be focused in another direction.

Going forward, I am focusing on enjoying life and making the mo…

A Full Circle - A Pastoral Call

A year ago things in my life were uncertain. I had recently been called to Pastor New Life Chapel in Michigan but I also found out that I had an Acoustic Neuroma Brain tumor. I was confident that God was in control, but was unsure about how things would play out.

God used the medical teams at the University Of Michigan Hospital to completely remove my tumor. Sadly I was having strength issues and was not able to continue as Pastor at New Life Chapel. It was a very difficult decision to step down, but I had no choice. I was not physically able to continue.

A few months later God opened a door for me to accept a new job here in Spencer, Iowa. Not ready to be a Pastor we plugged into our church, 9th St. They were searching for a new Pasotr and had just called a man to fill that role. As a church we were waiting for his arrival. Due to some medical issues for his newly born twins he had to make the tough decision to stay where he was.

Since then I have continued to help the church and preac…

Sermon April 10, 2011 God is in Control!

Audio File

Message title: Luke 18:1-8 – God is in control

The Big Idea for message: When you feel discouraged remember God is in Control

Sticky Statement: No Matter what God is in Control!

ME (orientation):
Good Morning!

This has been one of those weeks! It has not been a bad week, per see. Things at work have been good, I was home earlier than normal a couple of days this week, and I was excited to be preaching this Sunday.

But it was one of those weeks where no matter what happened, I was feeling discouraged. It was not something I could explain and even today, I could not tell you why. After all God has been at work in my life this last year.

He brought us to Spencer and here to 9th Street Baptist. He has given me a great job, He has healed me, and has even opened up the door for me to continue what He has called me to do.

I have a lot to be thankful for and discouragement is not something I really expected to be facing at this time. Feeling like I have all week is not something I was…

10 Months Post Op! Thanking God Every Day!

Last month I was feeling very thankful for all that God has done, this month it has continued.

About this time last year (March 30th) I was given my surgery date of May 26th. I remember not being sure how I felt about having an actual date. It made things very real and time was limited, but it also eliminated most of the anxiety of not knowing when things were going to happen.

I remember that while I was confident that Jesus was in control and that He would take care of everything, there were times when I was very nervous. Also this time last year, I was really begining to struggle with my energy level. My Acoustic Neuroma Tumor was impacting my life. While I do not have all of my energy back, I can tell you for a fact that I have more energy now than I did 1 year ago.

So 10 months post op, I have lost my hearing on the left side, the ringing can drive me crazy some days, still have some fatigue issues, and I still a little numbness in my legs. With all of that I can say I am better to…

Sermon March 20, 2011 - Jeremiah 29:11-14 God has a plan

No Audio file this week, but here are my notes.

Message title: Jeremiah 29:11-14 God Has A Plan

The Big Idea for message: Even when we do not understand why things are happening, during the good and the bad, God has a plan.

Sticky Statement: Seek God with all that you have and He will restore you!!

Misc: Before I get started this morning, I have a service announcement. Some of us have been using the NIV translation for up to 25 years now. Well Zonderzan, the publisher, is updating the NIV Bible. They are coming out with a 2011 version. I tend to be a fan of reading different Bible versions, but I want to caution everyone. The 1984 version of the NIV is a good Bible, a few years back they came out with the TNIV version which was gender neutral in a lot of places that was not right. In some places it referred to God in a gender neutral way, I do not agree with that. Now the new 2011 NIV is based more on the TNIV than the 1984 version of the NIV, so it has roughly 3600 gender neutral …

Sermon March 13, 2011 Acts 1:8 Reach out to others

Click here to download the audio file

Here are my notes from this week.

Message title: Acts 1:8 Reach Out to Others

The Big Idea for message: God wants to give us everything we need to be successful. That is to be successful in sharing His love with others, with fulfilling the Great Commission.

Sticky Statement: When the Spirit is at work, Lives will be changed!

Misc: Today we are going to finish up the series we have been going through on “God’s Plan for Sharing.”

We started by looking at the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”

As a church that is our number one goal! We are to make disciples, we are to reach the lost, share God’s love, and guide them as they develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We then looked in Galatians and talked about helping others bear their burdens, knowing they cannot do it alone. We also looked at sharing whatever God has blessed us…

Sermon March 6, 2011 John 15:4 Abide in Christ

Click here to download the audio file

Here are my notes from this morning.

Message title: John 15:4 Abide in Christ

The Big Idea for message: As Christ followers we need to be in a complete dependent relationship with Jesus for Him to really work in our lives. If we attempt to do everything on our own we will struggle, if we seek Jesus and stand with Him everything is accomplished together.

Sticky Statement: Abide in Christ and watch how He can use you!

Misc: This morning we are looking at the second section of ‘God’s Plan for Sharing’ as laid out by the Iowa Southern Baptist Convention. Last week we looked at Galatians 6:1-10 Hold to One Another. The two main points were bearing one another’s burdens and sharing our blessings. We talked about how we need to help each other through the tough times and lift each other up. We also looked at how we are told to use what God has blessed us with to bless others.

This morning we are going to be looking at John 15:4 ‘Abide in Christ’ and how we…

Sermon Feb 27, 2011- Galatians 6:1-10 Hold to One another

Here are my notes from last Sunday's message.

Click here to download the audio file.
Message title: Galatians 6:1-10 Hold to One Another

The Big Idea for message: As Christians we are to Hold one another up, to help bear one another’s burdens and to share in the blessings provided by God.

Sticky Statement: Lift up others when needed, and share blessings whenever possible!

Misc: Last week we talked about the Great Commission and I spent some time researching with the Baptist Convention of Iowa is suggesting. They have put together ‘God’s Plan for Sharing’ and have referenced 3 points of scripture to support this plan. They are:

Galatians 6:1-10 Hold to One Another
John 15:4 Abide in Christ
Acts 1:8 Reach Out to Others

I thought these would be great topics for some sermons as we look to find out what we can do to reach out to our community. So this morning we are going to start with Hold to One Another, based on Galatians 6:1-10.

ME (orientation): As I was preparing for this message I rea…

9 Months Post Op - Feeling Thankful!!!

It is so hard to believe that it has been 9 months since I was wheeled into that operating room. In some ways it feels like it has been years and in others I am amazed at the progress that has been made.

For no real reason at all, 9 months seems like a major milestone for me. I have spent an increasing amount of time Thanking Jesus for seeing me through this overwhelming challenge. I know if it was not for Him things could have turned out a lot worse.

Many people who have gone through Acoustic Neuroma surgery spend month if not years trying to live a normal life. Some face debilitating headaches for the rest of their lives, others deal with vertigo on a daily basis, and much much more. God has truly touched me. At 9 months I have next to no side effects. The numbness in my legs is getting better and it is very rare for me to get headaches any more. When I do get them they are very mild, I cannot remember the last time I took some ibuprofen to deal with a Acoustic Neuroma headache. I am…

Message - The Great Commission - Feb 20, 2011

You can download the audio file at the following link.

Updated Link... scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the green button.

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Text of the message....

Last week I really enjoyed Wes’ message and how he talked about us getting out of the boat. His encouragement to us to reach out to the community of Spencer is exactly what we need to do. Wes ended his message talking about how Jesus gave us specific direction of what we are supposed to do, the Great Commission.

Before we get into the Great Commission lets refresh our memory of where we are in the time of events. Jesus has already been crucified on the cross, buried, and has defeated death and risen. He appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary and instructed them in Matthew 28:10
“Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.” NASB
Now as we get into the Great Commission we find Jesus speaking to his Disciples in Galilee.

Matthew 28:16…


It has been a while since I have blogged about anything but my recovery from having my Acoustic Neuroma tumor removed. Today is a day to ramble a bit about different things.

2010 was an interesting year. Was called to be a Pastor of a great church in Michigan, found out I had a brain tumor, had the tumor removed, had to step down as Pastor, relocated for work, and much more.

While 2010 was exciting I think 2011 will be more so.

My new job is challenging and is everything I hoped it would be. I have team members to develop, sales increases to keep up with, and some unique opportunities.

We have had some major housing issues. Our house in MI did not sell as planned so we had to walk away from a house here in Spencer. We are currently living in a house that is less than half of the size and not as nice as what we had in MI. We are very thankful for this little house. It has kept us warm and dry throughout the winter. Looking back to when we left MI, we are thankful that we were blessed to …

8 Months Post Op - Just another day

Going into this week you would never have guessed that I am now 8 months post op.

Took a day long road trip this weekend, watched movies, and just hang out. Monday I took the day off, as I try to use up my vacation before I lose it, and had a great day hanging with my wife. We actually spent a few hours at the range shooting our rifle and pistol. Had a blast.

Tuesday was just like anyother work day, nothing major and today was the same. Actually spent the evening having a quesadilla from Taco Johns, getting my haircut, and shopping for a archery finger guard for Chris. Today was just another day.

If I had not thought about it last night I might have even forgot that today marked 2/3rds of a year since I came out of surgery. As I type it is roughly the same time of day that Alexis and my Mother were able to join me in post op. For having brain surgery I am doing great!

Today I spoke with a co-worker from corporate and she asked me how I was doing. Did not even have to think about it and to…