This summer I started putting together messages to capture the lessons God has been teaching me over the past year. Click below to download a note taking outline for the three messages. The audio from the chapel talks at Columbia International University www.ciu.edu are also provided here. Please give me your feedback as I continue to refine and add other messages to this series.
Last Thursday I had a time of thanksgiving and celebration over my morning coffee. I was celebrating my 175 day since I entered the ER and was then transferred on the ventilator to ICU. If you want more of the story you can scroll down a few posts on this blog and find more of the story and a sermon I preached “Whispers of the Spirit in the ICU”.
Some lessons I continue to learn from my medical journey and continuing visits with excellent doctors and therapist:
1) Celebrate the good days when you sense you are gaining strength and being productive.
2) Celebrate the not so good days when you are surprised by the stalking companions Fatigue and Loss of Balance. Celebrate the grace to stop and think, take a nap, and getting up to go again.
3) When you take a walk focus on one sense at a time for a few minutes. What can you smell right now? What can you see right now? How does it feel to grip your walking sticks, swing your arms and feel weight going on to your feet as you plant them for the next step? What can you hear? Boy — have the wood peckers been going crazy on some mostly dead trees near our home. Hope they don’t like vinyl siding! After a hard thunderstorm you can almost taste the clean air and the gardenias.
4) Closing your eyes while you exercise also helps exercise your balance systems…but be careful where you are standing.
5) Cleansing breaths between exercises help you slow down the repetition, tighten your core, and be glad no one can see beneath your t-shirt. At least I don’t have to worry about flexing my muscles and ripping the shirt… not yet anyway.
6) I was walking and talking with God about several decisions and plans I need to make and I kept hearing the Jesus Spirit whisper to me, “Roy, it is about the heart. It is ALWAYS about the heart. I am ALWAYS more concerned about restoring your heart to its design to love than the parts of the decision you tend to focus on. It is your heart…”
7) I breath IN through my nose, OUT through my mouth. (a cleansing breath) and in the words of 2 Cor 6:11-12 — Is my heart opening or closing? Open to take in his love, his grace, his joy, his peace and open to release all he gives me.
8) Hey! That is a U-haul trailer at a house empty for several months, near our house. God what gift should we bring? That looks like a child’s toy in the yard. Jesus loves the little children. Help me love in your name.
9) I love the taste of vine ripened tomatoes, fresh strawberries and the first cantaloupe of the season. Isn’t our creative God amazing!
In celebration of my granddaughter Lilla Grace Rumsey’s First Birthday
March 17, 2012
A Prayer by Saint Patrick – He was taken from his homeland of Great Britain as a slave to Ireland. After escaping he returned to Ireland as an evangelist and church planter. Through his influence all of Ireland was touched with the Gospel. To the people who had held him in bondage he brought freedom in Christ.
I establish myself today in:
The POWER of God to guide me,
The MIGHT of God to uphold me,
The WISDOM of God to teach me,
The EYE of God to watch over me,
The EAR of God to hear me,
The WORD of God to speak to me,
The HAND of God to protect me,
The WAY of God lie before me,
The SHIELD of God to shelter me,
The HOSTS of God to defend me,
Christ WITH me,
Christ BEFORE me,
Christ BEHIND me,
Christ WITHIN me,
Christ BENEATH me,
Christ ABOVE me,
Christ at my RIGHT,
Christ at my LEFT,
Christ in BREADTH,
Christ in LENGTH,
Christ in HEIGHT,
Christ in the HEART of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the MOUTH of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the ear of every man who who hears me,
Confident in Christ.
This was my first time preaching in a church since my medical experience of November. It was delivered at Sandhills Community Church www.sandhillschurch.org where Pandora and I worship with Christ followers. Sandhills is a modern style, ethnically diverse congregation in North East Columbia, SC.
Wed Feb 8 – I am in the middle of my second week of working full time again. My schedule is about 40 hours a week for CIU and 16 hours of therapy and exercises spread over (Mon – Sat). I told Pandora yesterday that I felt very busy and was very tired by 8 PM each day but recovered well overnight and the pace seems sustainable. What is missing is my travel… Normal for several years has been at least 2 trips a month usually 3 to 4 days each and often over weekends. Add to that one or two International trips of 2+ weeks each and you add in quite a bit of planning travel, preparing messages and training, Skype and Phone calls to get to know the church, ministry or leader I was coaching, and it added several hours to every week. For 2012, because of blood clots and thinners to deal with them my travel is very limited. I have not been out of Columbia since the end of October — a record for nights home for the past 15 years.
But God surely knows what is good… because right now the work at CIU and therapy seems a full plate. HERE IS HOW YOU CAN PRAY FOR ME OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS!
Thurs Feb 23 – Speak in CIU chapel www.ciu.edu – Title – WHISPERS OF THE SPIRIT IN THE I.C.U. (10:50 to 11:40) open to everyone!
Sunday Feb 26 – Preach both services at Sandhills Community Church www.sandhillschurch.org (services: 9 and 10:45 AM) Title – LIVING THE LIFE GOD INTENDED FOR US! Both will be recorded and the audio will be available a few days after I speak for free download.
I continue to get calls or people coming by who have just heard that I had a serious medical stop out and they had missed it. They are very apologetic and want to know what has happened. So — here is my word to those folks AND just below you will find links in chronological order to the posts that will catch you up.
FIRST — let go of any guilt or disappointment that you missed out on this chapter of my journey. It is a very busy world and we all are living in our own story with the Father, Son and Spirit. We can simply not absorb everyone’s story that we may know or have served with at some point. My family and I were MORE than well cared for by God’s church. I am thankful there are ripples of some influence that have been granted by God’s grace to flow out through students, alumni and churches I have been privileged to give to of what God has given to me. But I don’t expect everyone to keep up with my rather fast changing complicated scene that the Father assigned to me. SO — relax..chill…and be blessed!
Here is the journey that started November 4 and will probably continue to influence my time and energy for most of 2012 — as predicted by my care providers.
Part Three (includes a pdf you can download of Scripture that has encouraged me)
Part Four (includes a devotional by Henri Nouwen)
Part Five (I received more comments and calls from this post than any I have made in the past year!)
Part Six (includes two photos taken by my son during my time in ICU)
I welcome any comments and advise!
Published in 2003 by IVP New Studies in Biblical Theology (series editor D.A. Carson)
This book explores a tension between blacks and whites in American in their perception of race problems. Dr. Isaac Mwase, a Black professor and pastor says the race problem is THE most important issue facing the Church today. In contrast Daniel summarizes the view of race by most white evangelicals (of which I am one) as 1) Still entrenched in inherited racism and only interested in the Bible if it reinforces their prejudiced views. 2) Many people assume the Bible simply does not speak to the race issue or 3) Many other whites are simply indifferent to the problem assuming the status quo is acceptable and the Bible supports their current practices. I was probably between descriptions two and three just 10 years ago. Reading this book is another step in seeking to bring racial issues under the authority of Scripture. I am seeking to answer the question, “How should a white man in the early 21st century express being a Christ follower?” Daniel Hays research helped me in my journey.
He confirms some things I had suspected in going back through Bible commentaries and surveys (written by white authors) that I had studied over the past 40 years..there were not only blind spots there was poor scholarship and errors being perpetuated. He also challenged me to read the Scripture with a more accurate perception of race and ethnic diversity that I had for the most part read over. His book follows a biblical flow with chapters covering sections of the Old Testament and then the New — ending with God’s vision of the kingdom found in John’s Revelation.
In his FINAL THOUGHTS he captures well what is becoming a frequent theme in my prayers:
“Most of us know the theological truth of racial equality, yet we waver and remain tentative. . . we still have strong ties to the old ways of our culture and we are reluctant to venture out in trust into new sociological areas, where all races are equal in practice and not just in theory. . . My hope lies in the next generation of Christians, aptly called ‘Generation X’. . . I am optimistic that they can sever the ties with the ‘old man’ from our culture and make some real progress toward the vision of Christian unity that the Scriptures present. . . What it needs is leadership: pastors, teachers, parents, and peers; people who will teach, challenge, rebuke, encourage, dream and weep until the church actualizes the unity that lies on the heart of our Lord.”
WILL YOU AND I BE SOME OF THOSE LEADERS?
My granddaughter and I would like to suggest you make Reggie’s new book MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES a read for this coming year.
BIG IDEA: From page 13 “A post-congreational culture requires a strategy of engaging people right where they already live, work, play, go to school, and pursue their hobbies and passions. It’s incarnational. It lets them live more intentionally, learning to love God and their neighbors more, making a contribution to their community, all with people they know and are known by. This is the recipe for a new church life form — missional communities.”
ONE FAVORITE QUOTE: What is the missional concept of church? From page 17 “the people of God partnering with him in his redemptive mission in the world.” He then goes on to unpack each phrase.
The majority of the book looks at various missional communities around the world in a case study style. 1) European missional communities, 2) Soma communities (primarily in NW USA but spreading, 3) UT Austin campus, 4) Future Travelers Cohort (two communities were the focus: Austin Stone Church, Austin Tx, and Community Christian Church Naperville, IL), 5) Mission Huston.
Leadership Network www.leadnet.org
OneHundredX (a global ministry with initiatives around the world www.100x.org
For Britain and missional communities check out FRESH EXPRESSIONS by Church of England and Methodists in cooperation
For churches networking to work at being missional communities see THE EXPONENTIAL NETWORK and NEW THING NETWORK
I have been blessed many times by the writings of Henri Nouwen. I receive e-mails from the Society continuing to circulate his writings after his death. I have read this one several times in recent days as God has been using my medical journey of recent weeks to expose and entice me to bring my weakness into the his peace filled presence of grace and truth.
Enjoy this short post and then below I give an update on my health.
© Henri Nouwen Society | P.O. Box 220522, 343 S. Kirkwood Rd. Ste 5 | St. Louis | MO | 63122 | USA
To help you prepare for Christmas, we will be sending you weekly meditations for Advent.
Join us in quiet times of reflection. Where Peace is Hidden - Third Sunday of Advent—December 11
Keep your eyes on the prince of peace, the one who doesn't cling to his divine power; the one who refuses to turn stones into bread, jump from great heights and rule with great power; the one who says, "Blessed are the poor, the gentle, those who mourn, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; blessed are the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness" (see Matt. 5:3-11); the one who touches the lame, the crippled, and the blind; the one who speaks words of forgiveness and encouragement; the one who dies alone, rejected and despised. Keep your eyes on him who becomes poor with the poor, weak with the weak, and who is rejected with the rejected. He is the source of all peace. Where is this peace to be found? The answer is clear. In weakness. First of all, in our own weakness, in those places of our hearts where we feel most broken, most insecure, most in agony, most afraid. Why there? Because there our familiar ways of controlling our world are being stripped away; there we are called to let go from doing much, thinking much, and relying on our self-sufficiency. Right there where we are weakest the peace which is not of this world is hidden. In Adam's name I say to you, "Claim that peace that remains unknown to so many and make it your own. Because with that peace in your heart you will have new eyes to see and new ears to hear and gradually recognize that same peace in places you would have least expected." Adam's Story: The Peace That Is Not Of This World, Henri J.M. Nouwen. ©The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. First published in Weavings, March- April 1988. Also published in Seeds of Hope, ed. Robert Durback, Doubleday Religion, a division of Random House, Inc
I am continuing with physical therapy three times a week in the gym and pool at Total Rehab Services. It has been excellent. On the days I do not have therapy I can do a couple of hours of exercises here at home or at Gold’s Gym. I am now in the cycle of visiting many of the doctors who saw me during my time in ICU and getting any follow-up with them that will help my doctor direct my care from this point forward. Pandora and I have been very encouraged by the cards and notes and hope to share plans for the next steps in my recovery after the holidays.
I deeply value your prayers and encouragement.Roy King