Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A PP'sPs about Silverware

There are so many things that remind me of Christy; most remind me that she is no longer with me.

When I would do the dishes, I would always notice and be humored by the fact that there were always the same number of big forks as little forks. Because of her neck fusion and JRA in her jaw, Christy had to use little forks when she ate. I, however, being the big, strapping young man that I am, would always use big forks. There was always the same number of each.

A few days ago, I decided to do the dishes as it had been a while. When I was finishing up the silverware, it hit me that I didn't wash a single small fork. It hit me like a punch to the gut. I teared up right there, salinizing my now dingy dishwater.

Many of these moments are anticipated. I know that when I go to bed each night, she won't be there. I can prepare for that. It's the moments that sneak up on me, like the fork incident, that make this so blasted hard. Like when I was watching the finale to "The Biggest Loser" and Phil came out on stage. He had lost over 130 lbs! I sat up and actually said, "Christy, look..." I stopped. She wasn't there to share my shock at Phil's amazing transformation. But we always watched the finale together! Unfair! Oh well, I know that won't be the last of these moments. I only pray that future moments will hurt just a little less.

Dreaming of little forks,


Saturday, December 13, 2008

A PP'sPs about OCD

This is a strange development.

One of the things that I miss most about Christy is her OCD.
You see, I am not the most tidy person in the world. A pristine house is not a huge priority for me and never has been. It's never bothered me if dishes sat in the sink or if clothes were draped over the couch or if the bathroom sink was cluttered with toiletries.
Christy, on the other hand, was her mother's daughter. She was a neat freak. Even she would classify it as borderline Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Things out of place consumed her. Of course, the culprit for most of the disorder was yours truly. It was especially hard for her because she wasn't able to fix alot of the issues herself. She had to get me to do it.
Here is where it gets strange.
I miss that about her so much it literally hurts. When I walk by something that would have bothered her, it hits me in the gut like a ton of bricks. I yearn for the very thing that used to get under my skin: the boss setting me straight. I'm lost without her direction!
Here is where it gets stranger.
I mentioned that I get ill when I walk by one of those things that would have bothered her. Not only do I get ill, but some of the time, I actually fix the problem. She must have trained me well. For whatever reason, I try to keep the house close to what she would want.

I fall short, but I think she would be proud.

Desperately missing the boss,


Sunday, December 7, 2008

A PP'sPs about Hurdles

Well, I guess I got over another hurdle today...barely.

My church has a normally great tradition of hanging family ornaments on the Christmas tree in the sanctuary. Each family has a colored bulb with their name on it. I call each family name and a rep from the family (a child if applicable) comes up and hangs their ornament on the tree. It really is a fun and meaningful tradition.
However, the tree also has white bulb ornaments with the names of each of the members who have passed away over the years. This is where it got difficult!
In some past years, these names were also called during the service and a family rep put these on the tree. Luckily, it was decided that these white ornaments would be on the tree already and only the colored ones would be placed on the tree during the service. I would not have been able to do it.
Anyway, I purposely waited to place my ornament (a new one with only my name on it - very sucky!) on the tree last. Before the service I had located Christy's new white ornament and when it was my turn, I shakily approached the tree, placed my ornament gently next to hers, and proceeded to break down. I slowly made my way back to my chair on the stage, stuck my face in my hands and bawled my eyes out.
Buddy, the song leader, came up and led the congregation in a song while I attempted to compose myself. As soon as the song was over, it was my turn to preach! I honestly don't know how I even made it to the pulpit. But God took over and delivered His Word with clarity and conviction. To Him be the Glory!
I have a feeling there will be many more of these hurdles along the way. I only pray that God delivers me through those as well.

Hating the Hurdles,


Sunday, November 30, 2008

A PP'sPs about Holidays

Well, I guess I made it through the first holiday.

Thanksgiving itself wasn't too bad. It was good to be with Julie and the family even if it made me think about Christy the whole day; that would have happened anyway! Plus, I got to see Chico and his family for a while.

It was the next day that was so rough. On Friday, Julie wanted to put up their Christmas tree. This is something that I have been apart of for the last several years and usually a joy to do. However, this year, the mere thought of putting up Christmas decorations made me literally nauseous. I had to fight every fiber of my being not to run out the door!

You see, Christmas was Christy's favorite time of year BY FAR. She loved decorating the house, tree, and anything else she could get her hands on. She had collected the Willowtree Nativity Set and took great pride in setting that up every year. Thinking about doing any of that right now feels like getting kicked in the gut by a mule. Therefore, Friday was a tough day for me.

However, once we got into it, it became a blessing. Chris was outside putting up the icicle lights, so Julie and I were able to talk honestly about how all of this was affecting us. She, too, was struggling with decorating anything this year, but she knew that Christy would want us to do it for her. We talked about how God, in His own way, had been preparing us for what was to come. It was a further bonding of two lost, hurting souls that hopefully helps us both cope with these difficult days that are yet to come. I have a feeling we're gonna need all the help we can get!

Fighting the urge to run,


Thursday, November 27, 2008

A PP'sPs about Thanksgiving

So this is the day on which we are to give thanks for all of our blessings.

I must confess this is harder right now. Sure, I can acknowledge the blessing of the time I had with Christy and the blessing of the legacy she left behind, but that doesn't bring her back. I'm fairly confident that I would be considerably more thankful if I still had her with me. So, I may have to mark this down as the least thankful Thanksgiving I've ever had. Is that okay? I hope so, because it's where I am; not unthankful, just less thankful than I've been in a while.

I pray that God will open my eyes to the many blessings that surround me on all sides.



Monday, November 24, 2008

A PP'sPs about the Pulpit

I love to preach!

Yesterday, I was able to get back to doing something I love. Being back in the pulpit was a true blessing. Plus, I had been given an exciting word from God that had been festering in my heart for over a month. I thought I was going to explode!
Having the opportunity to share such a personal gift like that word from God with my church was awesome. Watching God work as I opened my mouth and He spoke was a great experience. Hearing the responses from those in attendance further confirmed the Author of the Word. God is Great and He is doing something great at Pleasant Green Baptist Church. I just feel honored to be able to be the pastor as God does His work here. I pray that I will have the energy and focus to help lead my church through this work of God.

Please pray the same.

Back in the Saddle,


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A PP'sPs about Kentucky

Well, I'm back home in Kentucky. I sure wish I could have the weather in TX here in KY! It's frickin' freezin' here! Oh well, it is the middle of November. I guess I can't complain.

It was great to see Chris & Julie again. I sure missed them. Julie even made me a chocolate milkshake with Blue Bell ice cream!!! She must have missed me too!

It was also awesome to see my cats again! They were pretty happy to see me as well. Petra won't shut up! Meow! meow!

I can't wait to get back in touch with all the church people as well. I've missed them and I hear that they have missed me too. Someone even "broke in" to the house and left several notes and artwork taped on the kitchen wall. Very encouraging! I'm blessed, even if I don't feel like it all the time!

Well, I'll try to continue to share my thoughts and feelings here over the next days, weeks, & months. It won't be easy or pretty, but I've found it to be fairly therapeutic. Thanks again for all the comments and prayers.

Home again,


Friday, November 14, 2008

A PP'sPs about The Next Big Thing

This morning (at 5 am while NOT sleeping!) I asked God to prepare me for whatever big thing He is going to do in my life and ministry as a direct result of Christy's life and passing.

I believe with all my heart that God is going to use this tragedy to bring something potentially ground-breaking and phenomenal into my sphere of influence...I'm just not ready.

I don't want the responsibility of being used by God right now. I just want to crawl in a hole and die. Not very inspiring, huh? Not very pastoral either. And so I ask you as my family, friends, and support system to pray that God will either do a miraculous work in quickly preparing me for whatever it is that He's bringing, or, that He will delay this monumental revelation until I can be restored. I thank you in advance.

To Him be the Glory,


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A PP'sPs about Going Home

Well, if you haven't already heard, I'm heading back to KY earlier than originally planned.

I had originally planned on staying here in TX until after Thanksgiving, allowing me to be with my TX family for that holiday. However, it has become very clear that I need to get back home (yes, I said home in reference to Kentucky, and yes, I'm just as shocked as you are!). I will be driving home next Monday, the 17th.

Don't get me wrong, it has been great being in TX with family and friends. However, this has allowed me to escape from the reality of what has happened in my life. That was okay for a time, but I can no longer prolong the inevitable. I must return to reality. It's gonna be bad. It's gonna be hard. It's gonna suck (pardon my language). But it has to be done.

Plus, I miss my cats! I miss my KY family, my church, my life, such that it is.

I must apologize to my TX friends and family who thought they would have me for longer. I wish it were possible, but I must go home. Thank you for understanding.

I must warn my KY friends and family. Some have already made their elation known regarding my return. I hope you know what your getting: a mess. Now you're the ones who'll have to clean it up! I pray you're up for the challenge.

I must thank all my friends and family all over the globe for your continued thoughts and prayers. They are deeply felt and much appreciated.

Between two worlds,


Monday, November 10, 2008

A PP'sPs about Side Effects

So here's a weird side effect to the grief that I am dealing with right now: I can't sing anymore.

I have been in three worship services since coming to TX and in each of them, all attempts to sing with a full voice with any kind of range have been thwarted. Each time I try and sing what would normally be a very attainable note, my voice cracks and the notes won't come. I've noticed the same phenomenon while attempting to sing in the car...no go.

I have two working theories as to the cause of this upsetting development.

One - During the first few days following Christy's passing, including the visitation and funeral, I was involved in some pretty guttural grieving that may have actually damaged my vocal cords, either temporarily or, less likely, permanently. I will call this my "physiological" theory.

Two - It's also possible that because of the deep pain and grief that has yet to be released and remains dammed up behind a strong wall of denial and escapism, my ability to fully express myself in song also remains repressed. I will call this my "psychological" theory.

If any of you have dealt with this phenomenon or have even heard of it and have a suggestion, feel free to share. If any one else has any thoughts about my theories or would like to propose a third theory, your input, too, is welcome.

Thanks again for checking in on me. In the words of the wiser-than-her-years Momma J, "I am what I am."

Making a less-than-joyful noise,


Thursday, November 6, 2008

A PP'sPs about Grief

Well, I don't know if anybody's checking this blog anymore, but I suppose I should post something in case anyone is.

I wish I could tell you what's going on in my heart and mind right now, but the truth is, not much is going on in my heart and mind. I am completely numb. I feel nothing. Do I miss Christy? Of course I do. But not in a break down and cry, rip my clothes, and put ashes on my head kind of way. That's what I would expect me to do. I guess that was my initial reaction and it continued through the visitation and funeral, but since then, I feel nothing. Am I a cold-hearted expletive that just wants to move on with my life? Surely not. But I don't feel much more than that. What a miserable existence!
I wish I was better at forcing myself to express my thoughts like Julie has been. In fact, her posts have motivated me to make this one, disjointed and depressing as it may be. I just don't have words to describe the numbness in my heart. Maybe it's a defense mechanism. What ever it is, it's starting to hack me off!
I sure don't look or feel like a grieving husband. I feel like a guy on vacation, visiting family and playing golf, eventually to return to his home and wife. That can't be right! And yet, it's all I got.
The worst part is, and here comes the true honesty, I haven't been talking to God alot about all this. I'm not mad at Him or anything, I just don't feel like talking to Him right now, or anybody for that matter. Sure, I can talk about the details of the past three months, even of that night. I just don't want to talk about how I feel about those details. Maybe that's a side effect of the numbness; not even emoting the relationships I have with family, friends, or even my God. In the words of Paul, what a wretched man I am!
All I can do is think about what's next in my life, almost denying the fact that there is a past that I have to deal with. I guess this is that stage of grief known as denial. It turns out it isn't just a river in Egypt! I can assure you that being able to label it and categorize it doesn't make it easier to deal with. It's awful!

Well, as I continue to struggle with this denial, hoping the next stage is around the corner, please have a few conversations with God on my behalf. Let Him know that I'm not mad, I'm just not in the mood to talk. I hope He understands.

In a trance,


Sunday, October 12, 2008

A PP'sPs about the Celebration of Christy's Life

The arrangements for Christy's services are as follows:

Visitation - 4pm-8pm, Tuesday, Oct. 14 @ Hagar & Cundiff Funeral Home, Nicholasville
Funeral - 11am, Wednesday, Oct. 15 @ Mt. Freedom Baptist Church, Wilmore

Thank you all for the kind comments. You are all a blessing to me.


A PP'sPs about Home

I'm not sure how I'm even able to write this sentence, but, at 8:45 Saturday night, Christy went home to be with her Lord. I have no words to describe my joy for her and the incredible loss for me and her family. I pray that I will have the strength to echo the words of Job:

Naked I came from my mother's womb,
Naked I shall return.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A PP'sPs about Knees

Well, Christy and I went back to the surgeon to look at the knee once again. We got good news!
He said that she could lose the brace! She is thrilled! He also said that she could begin trying to put weight on that leg and even move towards walking again! What a blessing. She is very ready to get back on her feet and back to work. He feels more comfortable waiting 3-6 months to worry about double total knee replacement, so that is on the back burner. We also feel better waiting so that she can gain some strength in both legs so that rehab will be easier when the replacement happens.

Christy also had an angiogram to figure out why her left foot is getting cold, turning colors, and forming blisters. It was determined that she has vaso-spasms (sp) which is the shrinking of the blood vessels in her feet, restricting blood flow and making them cold. She has been put on a vaso-dialator to improve this. The doctor is confident that this medicine will clear up the issue.

She is so strong! She has beat each of the issues that have tried to knock her down, by the grace of God! We are confident that God will enable her to once again beat these current issues and grow stronger than ever before.

Thanks again for each of your prayers and thoughts. May God bless each and every one of you!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A PP'sPs about Recovery

Well, we saw the orthopedic surgeon on Monday. He said that the broken knee is healing, but slowly. It's also not healing perfectly. The broken part has sunken a bit, causing one of the screws to start to push back. He didn't seem too concerned about that, but he did say that she could not put any weight on it yet. She will go back in 3 wks for another follow-up. He did say that she could start physical therapy, working on range-of-motion exercises.

We are optimistic, even if it is cautiously so. Her pain level is as low as it has been since her ordeal. We give God the glory for that. Continue to pray for healing in her knee so that she can return to work or have the replacement surgery.

Thanks again.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A PP'sPs about Injections

Christy was finally able to get her primary arthritis injection yesterday! Whoo hoo!
It will definitely take some time for it to take affect, but we are on the right track.
Yesterday was a tough day. She was in a lot of pain due to the arthritis. Hopefully, she will be feeling better soon.

Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

A PP'sPs about Improvements

Sorry again for not keeping up with the blog.

We had several appts. yesterday. Christy had an EEG just to be sure that all is well there.
Christy also saw her pulmonologist and he said that her breathing should continually improve, but it could take some time. He also prescribed some meds for thrush she has developed in her throat.

Her rheumatologist was able to up her pain meds so that her pain is more manageable. He also said that as soon as infectious disease says that she's in the clear, she can go back on her Enbrel, which is her main arthritis injection drug. We wait anxiously for that day.

Basically, we are in a waiting game. Waiting for her breathing to improve and waiting to go back on the Enbrel.

Please pray for patience as we wait.

With much love,


Thursday, August 28, 2008

A PP'sPs about Apologies

Sorry! It has come to my attention that I have been lax in updating my blog. My bad!

Christy has actually had a rough couple of days. She spiked a temp last night and hasn't felt well for two days now. The primary issue is her arthritis. It has been almost a month since her primary disease-controlling injection med which is beginning to take its toll. She is in a great deal of joint pain which could be the culprit for the fever and difficulty breathing.

We saw the infectious disease doc today and he thinks that it is the JRA that is causing the pain, fever, and breathing problems. She will finish her antibiotic regiment and then hopefully resume her injection med. Until then, we are hoping her rheumatologist can come up with a pain management plan. Please pray that she can find comfort through the pain. Pray for her nurse (me), that I can take the best possible care of her.

Thanks for continuing to check up on us!


Monday, August 18, 2008

A PP'sPs about Normalcy

We are finally getting back to a bit of normalcy here in Cynthiana. I was able to be back in the pulpit yesterday which was a joy for me. Christy is paying bills which is a joy for her (JK!).

We are slowly figuring out the best way to get Christy around the house with one bad leg and one badder leg :)

Her pain is manageable, her breathing treatments are helping, and her spirits are high. We are enjoying God's blessing at home, as are the cats!

Continue to pray as I know you will. Remember Chris Wells as he goes for surgery on Weds.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

A PP'sPs about Home

Christy's home! Christy's home! Christy's home!

We finally got her home at about 3:30 this afternoon. She is settled in and enjoying being back with her kitty cats.

She is still having some knee pain and moving around doesn't help that. We are learning the best way to move her around with minimal pain. It will be an adjustment, but we know God will guide us in this. Julie is here as well, helping us adjust. She will stay with Christy tomorrow while I go to church. Pray for Julie as she is now trying to help us here while preparing for Chris's back surgery as well. She is under tremendous stress. Pray for strength.

I will continue to post regarding Christy's recovery here at home. If you would like to visit, just call ahead to make sure she is up to it.

We look forward to hearing from all of you.


Friday, August 15, 2008

A PP'sPs about Daughtry

In the words of Chris Daughtry, "I'm goin' home!"

Christy will be discharged from the hospital sometime on Saturday! All of her docs are thrilled with her progress and agree that she can continue her rehab at home w/ Dr. Josh (stupid people!). She is feeling great this evening and looking forward to seeing her kitty cats, CJ & Petra. I talked to them this evening and they are looking forward to momma coming home too.

I cannot express my gratitude & humility at the amazing response of prayer and support from all of our friends and family. We have no way to fully return the blessing. Only know that we love all of you and pray God's bountiful blessings on you all.

Please continue to pray as Christy will have difficult days ahead as she rehabs her knee. She will have to rely on an amateur for a caregiver (me) which will add to her difficulty. We know that God has been faithful and will continue to be so. Only pray that we are patient to see Him through.

Your fellow servant in Christ,


A PP'sPs about Non-ICU Rooms

Christy is no longer in ICU!

We were moved to a regular room (5155) at around midnight last night! All of her docs are thrilled with her progress and signed off on her move out of ICU.

Although we are glad to be out of ICU b/c of the implications (out of danger, on the mend), 5th floor East is not exactly paradise! Not 30 mins after getting settled in our room last night, there was a very loud and intense code across the hall. It was much louder all night than ICU, so that will be an adjustment. However, we are more than willing to make that adjustment to see Christy continue to improve.

We do have another prayer request that we would like to make you aware of, if you are not already aware of it. Chris (Christy's stepdad) learned yesterday that he has multiple slipped disks in his back which have been causing him excruciating pain for a while now. He will meet with a surgeon today and discuss his options. He is very miserable! Please be in prayer for his pain level as well as his meeting today, that God's will is done and Chris finds relief.

Thanks again!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

A PP'sPs about Christy II

Good morning from ICU!

Christy had a bit of a rough night with a stomach ache and trouble sleeping. They've given her something for that so she hopes to rest this morning. Otherwise, she is doing quite well.
There is even talk of moving her to a regular floor room later today. That is a sign that she is out of danger. We are praising God continually for His healing hand.

I was able to attend our prayer meeting and teach Bible study last night which was a real blessing. I love to preach and teach and felt blessed to be back in the saddle! God is Awesome!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A PP'sPs about Miracles II

Christy had a great night! She was able to sleep through much of the night and felt rested this morning. She ate a decent breakfast and is in good spirits. She's pretty worn out from a bath and breathing treatment, so she is gonna rest for the remainder of the morning.

What a tremendous turnaround we have seen! What an awesome God we serve!

To God be the Glory!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A PP'sPs about Miracles

God's gettin' His heal on!

Christy has made tremendous progress today. She is more alert than she has been since the seizure! Her vitals are fantastic and getting better. (heart rate - 93, Pulse ox - 100%, BP - 125/65)

She told us about a dream she had that she was in a Cowboy Hospital where they made her swim with her surgeon and his children. So, when her regular rheumatalogist, Dr. Neal, came by and told her she was at Central Baptist (not a Cowboy hospital), she was relieved and told us that she thought we had been lying to her all along!

God is awesome and so are you all! Continue to pray for further improvement.


A PP'sPs about Updates VII

Christy was finally able to rest some last night, meaning that Julie and I were able to rest some as well. That is a blessing.

She is a little more aware this morning and talking a little more. She says she is hungry, so Julie is going to try and feed her some breakfast. Hopefully, we can get some nutrition in her and get her stronger.

She is not out of the woods by any means, but we are seeing improvement. The docs are still not sure if it is the pneumonia or the meds that have her in this less-than-lucid state. We are praying that as they reduce her med levels she will continue to become more and more alert and cooperative.

I am in awe at how many prayer warriors are out there. I think we've got the entire globe covered! What a blessing!


Monday, August 11, 2008

A PP'sPs about Surgery II

We just talked to the surgeon after the surgery. He said that they were able to sedate her enough to do the surgery. He was able to insert 4 screws and secure the bone. He was less than thrilled with the condition of the bone, but that's not a surprise, given her arthritis. He will keep her in a bent brace to keep it somewhat immobilized.

We give God the glory for the success of the surgery! We now ask Him for mercy and relief from the pneumonia and drug semicoma.

Thank all who have called and come by. I regret that Christy has not been able to be visited, but getting to see you is a blessing none the less. Thank you.


A PP'sPs about Surgery

Christy has just been taken to the OR to repair her broken knee. The surgery will be minimally invasive as he will create holes to screw into the knee and stabilize it. There will be no incision, no bandage, no brace. The only concern will be the best way to further sedate her so that she feels no pain during the actual surgery.

Pray for the anesthesiologist that he will have wisdom in this area. Pray for Dr. Nichols that God would guide his hands during the procedure. Pray for Julie and me that we don't go crazy.

That about covers it. I will post again as soon as she is out of surgery and we have consulted w/ the surgeon.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

A PP'sPs about News III

New update:

We saw Dr. Nichols (surgeon) this evening and since she is so sedated from the meds, he wants to go ahead and do the surgery on her knee tomorrow afternoon. The surgery will be minimally invasive and only require a local anesthesia (sp). She won't even have bandages or a brace. He said it would only leave a few "nick holes" after he puts 4 screws in the bone. More power to him!
This is, of course, dependant upon agreement from the other docs on the case. I suppose we will hear for sure sometime in the morning.

Pray that this surgery will somehow aid in Christy's recovery from this illness.


A PP'sPs about News II

Well, not much new news this evening. She has remained relatively the same all day: barely responsive but resting well. Hopefully, we will see improvement soon.

I took the time this evening to have my poison oak/ivy looked at. I went to the local urgent treatment center and got a steroid shot, oral steroids, and a fresh dressing. I pray that my drama will be over so that I can concentrate on Christy.

Once again, thank you all for your fervent prayers. They are a fragrant offering to the Lord (and they smell pretty awesome to me too!).


A PP'sPs about News

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

First, the bad. Christy has not improved as far as her responsiveness. In fact, she may be less responsive today than yesterday. She is hard to wake up, and when she is awake, she is not talking much at all. We are hoping that this is medicine induced.

Now, the good. We talked to the infectious disease doc a few minutes ago. Apparently, we now have a name for what's ailing her. They believe we are dealing w/ an atypical bacterial pneumonia. So atypical that it was only discovered as a strain in around 1987. This diagnosis will allow them to narrow the treatment and be more aggressive. We are praying that this more focused and aggressive approach will be effective in getting her well.

I forgot to mention in previous posts that to complicate matters, I apparently came in contact with either poison oak or ivy before the incident and am now fighting itching, swelling, and oozing (great word!) over most of my left arm and a portion of my left leg. I could go insane at any time!

Anyway, we give God the glory for directing the docs to this diagnosis. We now pray that God will work through the treatment and bring about a miracle! I know that you are praying for the same and I am eternally grateful for you. Keep on keepin' on!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

A PP'sPs about BIPAPs


We are now dealing w/ another doc. Tonight, a new pulmonologist took her case. And as you can determine by the title, he suggested that she go back on the BIPAP to help her breathing and potentially calm her down and allow her to rest. This seems to me like a catch 22. On the one hand, the mask doesn't fit well and it aggravates her to no end. However, on the other hand, her best day (Thurs.) came after a full day on the blasted machine! So, we are praying that another round on the BIPAP will bring similar results. Please pray similarly.


A PP'sPs about Me

I know I haven't asked for it and I know you are doing it anyway, but I need you to be praying for me.

Because we have seen little to no improvement in the last two days, I am becoming more & more discouraged. All of the devil's weapons, doubt, worry, fear, frustration, etc. are setting in. I hate to see my wife in this condition. It's not fair. I also hate seeing her mother have to face this too. She doesn't deserve it either. I am especially frustrated b/c Christy had such a good day on Thursday. Now, things have deteriorated. Why is she not getting better? Why can't the doctors find a solid diagnosis and make it better? Too many questions, too little time.

Anyway, as you continue to pray for Christy and her physical health, remember Julie and me and our mental & emotional health. This sucks! Pray that it sucks less soon.


A PP'sPs about Updates VI

Saturday morning update on Christy:

Christy had a mildly difficult night. She had some disorientation as well as some anxiety aound 3am which was dealt with through medication. She was able to rest pretty well after that. She woke up this morning with continued disorientation, trying to get out of the bed. I was able to calm her down and she is now relaxing again. They are doing a breathing treatment right now, so, hopefully that will continue to keep her calm and breathing easily. Haven't seen any docs yet this am, but will update when we talk to them. Hoping to see pulmonologist, internal medicine, & infectious disease.

More info later.


Friday, August 8, 2008

A PP'sPs about Updates V

An evening update on Christy:

We talked to the neurologist this evening. He said that the second EEG was "unremarkable" which is good. He also said that his impression of the brain MRI was also "unremarkable". He will wait for the official radiology report to be sure.

So, it seems more and more that we are dealing w/ acute pneumonia. She is still on multiple antibiotics as well as diuretics to help dispose of all the fluids involved in all the IV meds. She is very drowsy and somewhat disoriented, mostly b/c of the meds. If I didn't mention it before, her knee surgery will now be postponed until at least Monday while she continues to stabilize.

Once again, we are overwhelmed by your prayers and concerns. We are thanking God for you!


A PP'sPs about Updates IV

Well, Christy has had a better afternoon. Her vitals have been pretty stable and she has been more coherent than she was this am. She's even been a little feisty. While her mom was trying to get her to eat, Christy told her that they were "gonna roll" if she kept forcing her to eat! Anyway, things have been good today.

She just got back from a brain MRI to see if anything is going on up there. Hopefully, we'll hear something on that soon.

She's had a few visitors which is great. Visiting hrs for the ICU are as follows:

9am - 4pm
5:30pm - 6:30pm
9pm - Midnight

If you want to visit, call my cell (859-361-0858) and we'll get you back to see her if she's up to it.

Thanks once again for your constant prayers. God is faithful!


A PP'sPs about Updates III

Well, Christy had a less-than-stellar night. Her vitals became less stable as #'s that were supposed to be high went down and #"s that were supposed to be low went up. She had a bronchoscopy (sp) this morning which further aggravated her, spiking her #'s.

The lung doc said that the bronchoscopy showed potential acute pneumonia, so they are working with that as a possibility for her illness.

The infection doc said that her fluid levels were a little high which could have contributed to her rough night, so they are decreasing her fluid intake.

They are about to do another EEG, so I'm gonna go for now. I'll post again later today.

Keep praying.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

A PP'sPs about Updates II

Well, today was a good day. Christy has been in good spirits most of the day and has had good reports from the docs. Her O2 levels have been good since coming off the breathing apparatus.

After talking to the orthopedic surgeon, as long as Christy remains stable through tomorrow, he will perform corrective surgery on her knee on Saturday. She will remain in ICU until the surgery and then return there after for recovery. We don't have any idea when she will be released from ICU or from the hospital, but we are encouraged by the recent developments. Please continue to pray for her as she anticipates this surgery. Also pray for Dr. Paul Nichols, a godly man, as he performs the surgery on Saturday.

Thanks again for all the calls, thoughts, and prayers. We can't verbalize how appreciative we are.


A PP'sPs about Updates

God is Great! This morning, Christy was able to remove the BI-PAP breathing apparatus! Her O2 levels are holding at 96-100% w/o the breathing help. What a blessing! She is mostly responsive, even though she's still a little loopy! We haven't talked to any docs yet this morning, so we don't know any further prognoses regarding the infection or the knee. I'll keep you updated throughout the day.

Thank everyone for your prayers and thoughts! They're working!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A PP'sPs about Christy

Well, many of you (2 people) have lots of questions about Christy and her condition. I will use this blog to update you on her condition over the next couple of days.

For those of you just finding out, Christy went to Maysville, KY for a meeting Tues. am, even though she didn't feel well and had gone to bed sick the night before. Throughout the morning, she had the sweats and chills. Finally, at about 11:30, she dropped her head and went into a full seizure, shaking and all. Her legs locked up with her chair and when the campus nurses tried to remove her, her knee got broken! She was eventually rushed to the local hospital and treated for seizure and broken knee. She was eventually transported to Central Baptist in Lexington, closer to all of her regular docs.

She was admitted and ran through a bunch of tests. The neurologist even did a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. Much blood was taken as well as much drugs! The pain from the knee was the most intense I have ever seen her endure. The pain lasted into the night, which brought on further issues. Her oxygen levels began to drop despite multiple breathing treatments. Finally, it was decided that she would go on a BI-PAP breathing machine full time and be moved to ICU. The mask for the breathing device was, of course, too big and aggravated her to no end.

The final conclusion that the docs came up with for the seizure as well as the subsequent drop in O2 was infection, either viral, bacterial, or fungal. She is currently on as many as 5 different antibiotics to combat the infection.

As of 9pm Wed., she has begun to show signs of stabilizing. Her vitals have regulated, albeit with the aid of the breathing apparatus, and she is much more responsive. The knee is still painful, but is also stabilized. The surgeon said that as soon as she is full stabilized, he wants to do surgery to repair the knee fracture. This will more than likely delay the double knee replacement by as much as 3-6 mos.

Well, you're probably as up to date as I am. Julie (Christy's mom) and I will be staying the night in the ICU waiting room, so pray for miraculous sleep!

I'll post updates as often as possible. Thanks for all your prayers.

The Passionate Pastor

Monday, July 21, 2008

A PP'sPs about Joy

I apologize for anyone who heard this yesterday, but I keep thinking about joy. I hope that if I ever have to endure great hardship, whether it's poor health, traumatic loss, or even persecution, I will have the same joy found in the apostles in Acts 5, in Paul & Silas in Acts 16, and in my late friend, Pete, who endured a lifelong devastating disease. All expressed a joy that superseded any circumstances they found themselves in. I consider myself a joyful person, but how could I not be? I'm a strikingly attractive young man with great hair, loving parents, and I have great relationships with my siblings. I have the best job in the world and have had few traumatic events in my life. I have no excuse. I better be joyful! But what about the aforementioned sufferers? Where did their joy come from? But as I was listening to Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "What Kind of Joy", I heard the answer. He finishes his chorus with this line: "This is the joy of a soul that's forgiven & free." And so, it appears that when we surrender our lives to Christ and receive His forgiveness, all the joy in the universe is at our disposal! Regardless of our circumstances, we have access to His joy and have no excuse for our lack. Let us embrace His joy so that it overflows and impacts everyone we come in contact with.

Are you a soul that's forgiven and free?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A PP'sPs about Birthdays

Well, I'm another year older. I'm not sure what that means. Probably means I should be a little closer to actually growing up, but that's probably not gonna happen.

I got a chance to play golf w/ a pastor friend, Weiner Joe, and smoked him by 9 strokes! I also had a great meal w/ friends & family at Tony Roma's where I got a "vibrant" grilling apron which I promptly put on a modeled for the whole restaurant! I am such a child! (A sentiment quickly seconded by my wife!)

It looks like growing up will have to wait at least another year!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A PP'sPs about Peace

Apparently praying for peace actually works! In the midst of the most difficult and tense and tragic situation of my admittedly brief ministry career, I prayed for peace and asked others to be praying for peace for me as I preached the memorial service for a murder/suicide couple. And lo and behold, God responded! As I stepped up to the lectern, I felt a wash of peace that passed all understanding and God was able to speak through me and bless those in attendance.

There but for the grace of God go I!

p.s. Don't try it any other way!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A PP'sPs about Moms

It dawned on me this week that too often we underestimate the power of Mom and overestimate the power of cheese. (I have no idea.) Anyway, my mom was here this last week from Texas, originally for the purpose of preparing us for Christy's surgery. However, because Christy's surgery was postponed, Mom just hung out with us, blessing us with food, cleaning, laundry, groceries, and her presence. She was truly a blessing to us when we were down in the dumps, frustrated by the postponements.

After being away from home for college and then Kentucky for 15 years now, apparently I had underestimated the awesomeness of Mom. This was the most time I had spent with her for at least 15 years and was reminded how great she really is.

I'm further updating my Mom Estimation after two boys in our community lost their mom to a tragedy. I'm thankful to God for an amazing Mom and pray that never again will I underestimate her Momness!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A PP'sPs about Unintentional Compliments

I received an unintentional blessing last night! I was playing a game called "Compatability" with the fam. The game consists of several cards w/ pics. A word is given and you have to choose cards that represent that word to you, hoping to match cards with your partner. Well, one of the cards in the deck is of the cross of Christ. Here is where the blessing comes in (I know. You thought I was never gonna get here!).

As my wife and momma-in-law were explaining the game to my mom, they both declared that when in doubt, play the cross card when playing with me. "Josh always uses the cross." Now, they were being silly, but it got me thinking.

I do always play the cross because the cross and what it represents is vitally important to me and and my entire life is filtered through it. For others who are around me and know me to see that and acknowledge it was a huge blessing! They weren't trying to bless me, but I received it anyway!

May we who profess Christ ALWAYS play the Cross Card!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Passionate Pastor's Ponderings about Total Depravity

So, it appears that total depravity extends even to golf. As I evaluate my own golf game, I have come to the embarrassing conclusion that I am totally depraved! While the rules of golf can basically be summed up with the statement, "Play it as it lies", I find that I don't like submitting to that constraint. I (and other pastors I know) am a big fan of occasional mulligans (do-overs), the foot wedge, and always improving my lie.

Darn you, Depravity!

I find myself wondering if I should be asking God for forgiveness and maturity in my golf game. But, then again, that would drastically affect my handicap, and that is unacceptable!

Oh well, I will go on in my depravity and my 6.7 handicap!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Passionate Pastor's Persistent Ponderings about Faith

Why is it that when you finally reach a point of solid faith (as my previous post suggests), God tests it? This must be the pruning and refining that Paul was so fond of. My wife, Christy, has been anticipating double knee replacement surgery for awhile now. After having it postponed once already, the surgeon postponed it indefinitely today because of a slight infection. We were so confident that this was the time and place for this adventure; and now it has exploded in our faces! In my mind I know that this is part of God's plan, but my heart is pretty hacked off that I wasn't consulted first! My primary frustration is Christy's need for relief from this friggin' pain! Why can't that be easy? But, as we have discovered in the past, the process of pain relief is never easy or quick. As the psalmist says, when we wait patiently, He will pick us up from the miry pit.

And so we wait in the miry pit.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Passionate Pastor's Ponderings about Faith

As I think about Christy's impending surgery, several thoughts flood my mind. However, each thought or worry or question is answered with the reality that God is on the Throne! God has led Christy and I to this point in our lives and he has us here for a reason. He knows about our fears and worries and has the perfect response for each. He has equipped us to be able to handle what ever the outcome of this surgery may be. I really and truly believe this! I have seen Him guide me (and us) in the past and know that He will do it again. I give God the glory for His providence in our past and thank Him in advance for His providential work in our lives as this surgery approaches. May God give any reader of this post the same peace and confidence in His providence that He has instilled in me.

I don't anticipate that my future posts will be this spiritual. Those who know me would agree! However, the idea of faith has inundated me lately and I want the kind of peace I have to be available to all!