John Darcy Leeder


Born, October 11, 1964

Entered GLORY, October 15, 2021.


"Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Master.”

John Leeder Memorial Service

Saturday, December 11, 2021


Livestream Link



We invite you to join us via the livestream link (above) if you have not previously RSVP'd.


A Memorial Service for Pastor John Leeder will be held at 10:30 am on December 11, 2021

at Pacific Hope Church, 3550 Afton Road, San Diego, CA. 


 

Directions

Pastor John Leeder

Dear Friends and Family, 

Thank you for your continued steadfast and fervent prayer for our beloved Pastor, John Leeder over the course of his prolonged illness.  Please "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving," as we remember in prayer John's faithful wife, Roxi and the whole Leeder family.  Continue to pray for each other, our leadership and our church, that we will continue to shine with the Light of life, bringing Glory to God alone.

  • This is not a solicitation, but rather a response to those who have expressed a desire to contribute financially out of goodwill, esteem and kindness for our Pastor's family.  Thank you so much for your  help in this practical way. All gifts will be donated for expenses and family needs.


    Gifts


    

  • Friday, October 15, 2021

    From Roxi, 1:12 pm


    "John just entered Glory."


  • Our church body was hit with Covid the last week of July, 2021.  Of all the families who were affected, the hardest hit has been our beloved pastor, John Leeder, who was hospitalized on August 7 after over a week of illness at home.  He was moved to the ICU on August 11, and on August 14 the decision was made to go forward with an induced coma and placement on a ventilator.  As of August 27, he was moved out of the COVID ICU to the regular ICU. A tracheostomy was successful, allowing repositioning of the respiration tube from out of his mouth and throat.


    As of September 2, John was moved to a long-term acute care facility, still on a ventilator and with a feeding tube.  He remains in ICU at this time for observation, with the goal to move him to a private room for healing and recovery for all aspects of his function.


    Roxi is with him daily, which is surely a vital part of his recovery.  His road forward is expected to be a long one, but we are grateful that the Lord has continued to sustain him.

  • Thursday, October 14, 2021

    From Roxi, Noon


    "Beloved,

    "Much has transpired since my last post. The past 20+ hours have been filled with extremely difficult moments, as well as with the Lord’s provision and much to praise the Almighty for!


    "The LORD has made it very clear to all John’s doctors, nurses and to me that His will is to call His servant home. 


    "Beloved, I well know how hard this is to not only hear, but to receive.  It is in the most difficult moments like these that we are faced with a choice:  Are we going to react in the flesh, focus only on ourselves and accuse God of being unfair?  Or, are we going to respond in the Spirit, lift our hands up high, giving rightful praise to our merciful Father for the time and gift we have all received through the life and ministry of our Under-shepherd?  Is it easy? Absolutely not!  Nevertheless, for the child of God, we must choose the latter!


    "How do we get through something like this?  We lean NOT on our own understanding. We stand firmly on the Rock. We cling to the Truth, and we take a step back to open our eyes.  Beloved, look at how the LORD has prepared us for this!  See the LORD’S provision throughout all of this!  Ask the LORD to pull back the curtain so that you are able to see a glimpse of His work in the midst of our trial,

    and be filled with joy for our Pastor who will soon receive the words we all long to hear, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter in to the joy of the LORD!'


    "Beloved, as I sit beside my husband speaking Truth to myself, refusing to see John’s outer shell his reality and choosing to embrace God and His Word, this is where there is the peace that surpasses all understanding.  Soon, our pastor will be in the presence of the LORD!  Our beloved will be in paradise!  Our prayers will be answered!  John will soon be healed. Only the LORD knows for sure how long we have left with him.  Our family is on their way here today and tomorrow. 


    "Beloved, it is well with my soul!  I am praying that it will be with yours as well."

    ______________________________________________________________

    Wednesday, October 13, 2021

    Today's Post from Roxi


    "Good Morning Beloved Family,

    "One of the best things you can do for your child before they head out into the world and begin their day is to offer them good advice and encouragement. I'm sure I probably mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again: John would always say to our children before he dropped them off at school, "Remember who you are and Whose you are!"

     

    "This morning, the still small voice of my Father caught my attention through the lyrics of a hymn and a Commentary on the book of Psalms by Dane C. Ortlund.  First the lyrics from, 'Lord, From Sorrows Deep I Call' [from Psalm 42, words and music by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell]


    "'Lord, from sorrows deep I call
    When my hope is shaken
    Torn and ruined from the fall
    Hear my desperation
    For so long I've pled and prayed
    God, come to my rescue
    Even so the thorn remains
    Still my heart will praise You
    Storms within my troubled soul
    Questions without answers
    On my faith these billows roll
    God, be now my shelter
    Why are you cast down, my soul?
    Hope in Him who saves you
    When the fires have all grown cold
    Cause this heart to praise You (oh, my soul)
    And oh, my soul, put your hope in God
    My help, my rock, I will praise Him
    Sing, oh, sing through the raging storm
    You're still my God, my salvation
    Should my life be torn from me
    Every worldly pleasure
    When all I possess is grief
    God, be then my treasure
    Be my vision in the night
    Be my hope and refuge
    'Til my faith is turned to sight
    Lord, my heart will praise You
    And oh, my soul, put your hope in God
    My help, my rock, I will praise Him
    Sing, oh, sing through the raging storm
    You're still my God, my salvation
    And oh, my soul, put your hope in God
    My help, my rock, I will praise Him
    Sing, oh, sing through the raging storm
    You're still my God, my salvation'

    "There is not much  of a change in John's critical condition to report.  The major concern right now is the fact that John needs three very strong medications to keep his blood pressure from dropping, two of which are already at the maximum dosage.  In addition, it seems the antibiotics are doing little in the battle to fight the pneumonia John has.  Because of John's fragile state, there is little more they can do to help him.  One of his main doctors, (who is usually the most optimistic of all of them) said, 'He needs a miracle!'  Beloved, let me remind you (and myself) that the LORD God Almighty is absolutely a God of miracles!  Either way this storm takes us, He will heal John!


    "The doctor has ordered another blood transfusion for John in hopes this will give him some additional support.  Never has it been more clearer that life is in the blood!

    "Lastly, the commentary I spoke about. It's a paraphrased quote in reference to Psalm 6:
    'Amid the storms of life, we cannot look out at our circumstances. 
    Nor inward at our own internal resources.
    But up, to the Lord of mercy!'

    "What a sweet kiss of encouragement  from my Father to better equip me as I face the growing opportunities of the day.  Be encouraged, beloved!  Without doubt, the Lord is at work, and this is all part of His divine plan.  The child of God is not called to understand. We are simply called to trust."

    _______________________________________________________

    Tuesday, October 12, 2021

    Morning Post from Roxi


    "Good Morning Beloved,

    "We continue the difficult dance, taking one step forward and two steps back. Regardless of the circumstances, I believe we are all forced to patiently learn the steps to this dance, along with many other life lessons along the way. 


    "John's fragile state will not allow him to continue with the breathing exercises he was doing so well with the other day.  Nor is he able to tolerate dialysis right now, which is resulting in fluid buildup again in his arms and legs.  John's infectious disease doctor just changed his antibiotic again because he continues to battle a bacterial infection that has been resistant to treatment.  He remains on three different blood pressure medicines to keep his blood pressure under control. The good news is that the internal bleeding seems to have somewhat subsided for now.  Unfortunately, even though John's eyes are open, he is pretty unresponsive and unable to focus.


    "I praise the Lord that John does not seem to be in a lot of pain. Considering all that is going on with his body, that is a grace gift that I do not take lightly.


    "The pulmonary doctor was just here and was very pleased to see that things have settled down a little bit.  They are treating John with a medication to help stop the bleeding if it was caused by an ulcer or gastritis.  The doctor told me that John's body is most likely in a state of shock and that it is not good that he needs to be on three very strong medications to keep his blood pressure under control.  But thankfully, John is not in the state of crisis today that he was in yesterday.


    "I wish I had better news for you all.  Nevertheless, our hope and peace rest securely in our Great Physician, the Prince of Peace--the Son who was stricken and forsaken by the Father so that we could one day experience paradise, where there is no more sickness and pain.  Hallelujah, what a Savior!  In all things we praise the Lord...no matter what.  Amen"


    ________________________________________________________________

    Monday, October 11, 2021

    Afternoon Update from Roxi


    “The plans of the heart belong to man,

    But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

    The mind of man plans his way,

    But the Lord directs his steps.”

    ~ Proverbs 16:1, 9


    "Good Afternoon Beloved,

    "This morning I was awakened by a call from Kindred Hospital.  John was having some internal bleeding and the [blood measurement they use to make a decision about the need for transfusion] had dropped to 5.7.  They needed my permission to give him a blood transfusion. Thank you all for your faithful prayers!  


    "Today is my husband’s birthday.  He has never been very keen on birthdays because he does not like the attention or spotlight. 'Plan A' for his birthday this year was to go RV camping again with our grandsons. We were all very excited about it, and I reserved the spot almost a year ago.  We had been talking about it for months before John went into the hospital on August 7.

     

    "[When it became clear 'Plan A' was not going to happen] we came up with 'Plan B,' which was to treat the hospital staff with some of John’s favorite foods--McDonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffins for breakfast, KFC for lunch and raspberry white chocolate Nothing Bundt Cakes for dessert.  However, the Lord’s plan for John today was to get a blood transfusion and two units of blood from the blood bank for his birthday.  I am grateful to report that John’s body reacted well to the new blood and [at this writing] his internal bleeding seems to have subsided.


    "In the midst of my crazy ordained morning, I had to make yet another very difficult decision regarding John’s care: if his internal bleeding continued, the only way for them to truly find out where it was coming from to stop it would mean transferring him back to Sharp Memorial for testing and possible treatment.  After speaking with both of John’s main doctors, we all agreed it would be best for John not to be moved due to his fragile state and overall physical circumstances.  I cannot begin to express to you how hard it is making decisions like these!  Thankfully, our merciful Father has stopped the bleeding for now, and my heart can beat a bit more calmly. 

     

    "John is currently on three blood pressure medicines to keep his blood pressure in check and for now he is stable.  John did not have to do dialysis today for obvious reasons.  In addition, it seemed John was focusing more today than the past two days.  I saw him, and more importantly, I know he saw me.  I hated leaving him this evening, but with already shot nerves, I did not want to risk driving in bad weather. (For those who do not know me, I do not enjoy driving.)


    "For now, we can all rest comfortably knowing that our pastor is in very good hands at Kindred, but most importantly, he is assuredly safe in the Great Physician’s hands!  Again, thank you all for your prayers and faithfulness!

    To God be the glory forever!  Amen!

     

    "P.S. And 'Plan B' did happen for the staff!" 


    Morning Update


    Dear Family and Friends, 

    Roxi is currently at the hospital with John.  He will be receiving a blood transfusion today, which will take about four hours from start to finish.  Please pray fervently for our beloved Pastor as he undergoes this process in his fragile condition, and also for some concerning issues that are contributing to the need for transfusion.  


    Roxi will give an update later today when the doctors know more.  Please continue to pray for comfort and strength for Roxi, as well as for wisdom and discernment for the doctors and medical staff as they care for John.


    "I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well." 


    ~Psalm 139:14


    _____________________________________________________________

    The LORD's Day, October 10, 2021

    Exodus 17:12

    "But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."


    Today at the Rock Church. . . 


    MOV_2425.mov


    Afternoon Post Script from Roxi:


    "Beloved, 

    "This afternoon’s visit with John ends on a 'clean' note! The nurse that allowed me to help her bathe John last time, asked me to help her with his bath again today, which was a little more extensive in that it included wound care and a shampoo.  In fact, John ended up getting two baths! (Don’t ask!)  I think we are all exhausted now, including my hubby.  Therefore, I leave today with a full heart, blessed that I was able to help him in this small way. I am thankful to our Great Physician above all, and to these nurses who do such an amazing job!  Thank You LORD!"


    From Roxi. . .


    "Blessed Sunday Beloved, 

    "What a joy and privilege it is to be able to gather with the body of Christ, to be equipped through sound teaching of the Word, uplifted and encouraged by the beloved [body] and reassured through Christ-centered worship!  It truly is a grace gift on so many levels.


    "John is pretty unresponsive today. He continues to battle the blood pressure issue, and the medicine he is on to control it is at a pretty high dose.  He is still borderline on the need for a blood transfusion with a lab result of 7.1:  if drops to 7 or below he will need a blood transfusion. 


    "Another concern that I ask you all to pray for is John's open wound on his lower back. I spoke to the wound care doctor the other day and she told me that it is about the size of a large bird’s egg.  Life truly is in the blood! The blood carries oxygen to every part of the body, including the skin. Unfortunately when a patient has so many critical areas in need, the skin is not a priority for the blood supply and begins to die. That is what has happened to John’s wound. The skin is completely black and dead.  A big part of the concern in this is to keep it from getting into the bone, so that is part of the focus in treating this wound.  Nevertheless, we keep our faith planted firmly in the Great Physician! He is Jehovah Rapha: 'The Lord Who Heals.'


    "On the positive side, John has been successful with every PEEP setting session. He has been able to do his own breathing with very little help from the ventilator during each two-hour session.  He has had three sessions so far, and will have another one this evening. 

    Between that and his blood pressure issue, I am guessing that is why he’s not very responsive today. His respiratory nurse told me that it’s like a major work out for him.  At least he looks like he’s resting pretty comfortably right now.


    "Finally, beloved, I ask that you please pray for the other patients [in the ICU] and their families.  A couple of the families have captured my heart and I hurt alongside them.


    "Thank you to the worship team for choosing this month’s Hymn of the Month, 'Whate’er my God Ordains is Right.'  It has been a blessing to me personally." 



    (https://sovereigngracemusic.bandcamp.com/track/whate-er-my-god-ordains-is-right)

    ___________________________________________________________

    Saturday, October 9, 2021


    “It is good to give thanks to the Lord

    And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;

    To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning

    And Your faithfulness by night,”    ~ Psalm 92:1-2


    Roxi writes. . .

    "This morning John has taken the first big step of many towards getting off the ventilator! Approximately 45 minutes ago, they changed his vent settings to PEEP (positive end expiratory pressure) or CPAP, which cuts back the ventilator output so that John has to breathe more on his own. It is a a workout for him, but he is doing great thus far!  They will do this twice a day, for up to 2 hours if he can handle it. If he continues to do well, they will gradually lower the settings and if not, they will go back to the last setting at which he did well. Unfortunately this causes him to cough more but, I am told it's a good thing.  It's just hard to helplessly sit by and watch.

     

    "Another big step in the right direction is that he is not requiring any more suction from the side tube they had put in when his lung had collapsed and was leaking air into the body. Now that the lung is more inflated and beginning to heal, there isn't anymore leakage. Right now the tube is there to make sure that no air gets in. If the lung continues to get stronger, they will take the tube out.  Medical technology is amazing!



    "Praise You LORD for Your merciful favor!"

    _____________________________________________________

    Friday, October 8, 2021

    This Morning from Roxi


    "Beloved Family,

    "Today is dialysis day--never a really great day for John.  I am told that it is very draining on the strongest of outpatients going through these treatments, but much more so for someone in John's fragile state.


    "John has been able to acknowledge the doctors and me with his eyes, but just for a second or two; then his eyes drift off. He wasn't able to look over at me today like he did yesterday when his pulmonary doctor told him to.  John's blood pressure is really low, even on the medicine. Being on dialysis doesn't help that situation. The doctor said with his blood pressure so low, that's possibly the reason he's not as present as yesterday.  Usually worship music soothed him, but not so much today.


    "I decided to play him a few videos that I have for him.  To my surprise, he stayed pretty focused on three of them!  The first was from Debbie and Miles McPherson. The second one was from his friend, Dave Mustaine.  And the one he responded to most was of our grandsons! He loves those boys so much, as do I!


    "They are in the process of taking him off of dialysis now, and then will probably clean him up. I will go back in in a little bit to see how he's doing.  I'm guessing he will be very tired.


    "One last word about our pulmonary doctor: He wanted to confirm with me that John is a pastor and what church he teaches at. I told him a little bit about our church and gave him the website. He said he wanted to listen to John's sermons!  This is why we continue to count it all joy because we know the Lord is working mightily in the midst!   We praise You Lord, for Your ways are not our ways and Your will is perfect!  Amen."


    Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


    ~ James 1:2-4

    __________________________________________________________________

    Thursday, October 7, 2021

    Today From Roxi


    "Good Morning Beloved,

    "We are called to count it ALL joy, but how much easier it is to do so when the "all" gladdens my own heart and desires, or when I [perceive] something to be good!

     

    "Today John acknowledged and somewhat responded not only to me, but to every doctor that saw him this morning!  His primary hospitalist doctor was so encouraged that he put in an order for a physical therapist to start coming in to help with John's muscle tone!   His pulmonary doctor told John to look at me on his right side, and he did! This is the first command he has been able to follow!  The doctor did caution me that in critical illness patients like John, the physical rebuilding of his body will take a long time.  He called this condition polymyoneuropathy.


    "One of our new elders sent me one of John's sermons, which we listened to this morning. (Thank you Matthew!) I could tell that John was trying to pay attention, and so were some of his nurses! One nurse even mentioned how nice it was to hear his voice:  I agree!  It is definitely a Holy Spirit-led, powerful sermon!  ["Follow Me!" Link to Sermon from May 22, 2016].

     


    "The head nurse comes in every [day] to check on John, and today I got to witness to her. This is huge for me because I am not the bold proclaimer of Truth that our beloved under shepherd is!  To my shame, I have allowed too many opportunities to pass on by, but not today!  Thank You Jesus!  And thanks to our Pastor for his faithfulness to the preach the Gospel.  I am sure that it was due to listening to the sermon this morning that gave me the boldness!"

    _____________________________________________________________

    Wednesday, October 6, 2021

    Afternoon Update from Roxi


    "Good News!  I just got back from lunch and John does not have to have a blood transfusion today!  They reran the blood test and his numbers increased 0.3 over the marker they use to make that decision.  They will rerun the numbers tomorrow,  but for now our beloved gets a break."


    This Morning's Post from Roxi

    “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints."  ~ Ephesians 6:11-18

     

    "This morning I am reminded of the importance of daily putting on our full armor in Christ and I am thankful that I took the time to do so this morning!  I confess that is not always the case.

     

    "This morning has been very rough for John and difficult for me to witness.  Though I am truly thankful for dialysis (for John could not survive without it) his fragile state makes it especially hard on him.  John has been having a lot of secretions which cause him to cough a lot. That alone is very difficult to watch. In addition he has had a rapid heartbeat. Combined with the problem of trying to regulate John's blood pressure, this caused major issues with dialysis this morning.  Lights flashing and alarms sounding from a couple different monitors brought the dialysis tech, the respiratory nurse and John's main nurse all running to John's bedside.  Within a few minutes (which seemed like forever!) they had everything in control and then resumed John's dialysis treatment. Unfortunately, they had to give him a mild sedative.


    "John's doctor spoke to me the other day about the possibility of John needing a blood transfusion. That day has come.  He will be given one unit today over a period of four hours.


    "John and I spent all morning being ministered to by Christ-centered worship. Even though John was not able to focus much today, I could tell that the worship music soothed him.  I know that had I not been prepared and dressed in God's full armor this morning, I would have been swept away in the storm.



    "A friend sent me this song a week or so ago. I remember listening to it a lot when the Lord took John's little brother, AJ, home.  I just listened to it again today and again I was reminded of God's  sovereignty in all situations.  All I am called to do is trust in Him."


    https://www.smule.com/sing-recording/76836279_4168925527

    ______________________________________________________

    Tuesday, October 5, 2021

    Roxi writes. . . .


    "Good Morning Beloved Family,

    "Even though John has another new confirmed battle with pneumonia, I am praising our mighty King for the neurologist's report this morning!

    Soon after I got here, John open both of his eyes and he seemed to be trying to focus on me, as well as the stuff going on around him.  As I was talking to John, his neurologist walked in and asked me how it's going. I told him what I saw.  He then examined John and confirmed that he believes John is somewhat trying to track and focus.


    "John is still not able to follow any commands, like close/open your eyes or stick out your tongue, but the doctor said he believes John can hear us. Therefore, he has encouraged me not to discuss John's medical condition with any of the doctors within earshot. Any conversation done around John needs to be done with the understanding he is hearing it. The doctor does not want him any more stressed out than he needs to be and I agree!


    "I have been playing a special recording of Amazing Grace done by a good friend, along with some other hymns, which clearly and perceptibly  soothe him.  [As I talk with him] I am also encouraging John to focus only on the vast amount of Scripture he has hidden in his heart and mind, and not to worry about anything that's going on around him, because the Lord will take care of it all.  The Lord continues to extend His amazing grace in the midst of all this!"

     

    Amazing Grace

    by John Newton


    Verse 1

    Amazing grace! how sweet the sound

    That saved a wretch like me!

    I once was lost but now am found,

    Was blind but now I see.


    Verse 2

    'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

    And grace my fears relieved;

    How precious did that grace appear

    The hour I first believed.


    Verse 3

    Through many dangers, toils and snares,

    I have already come;

    ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

    And grace will lead me home.


    Verse 4

    The Lord has promised good to me,

    His Word my hope secures;

    He will my shield and portion be,

    As long as life endures.


    Verse 5

    Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

    And mortal life shall cease,

    I shall possess, within the veil,

    A life of joy and peace.


    Verse 6

    The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

    The sun forbear to shine;

    But God, who called me here below,

    Will be forever mine.


    Verse 7

    When we’ve been there ten thousand years,

    Bright shining as the sun,

    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

    Than when we’d first begun.

    _______________________________________________________________

    Monday, October 4, 2021

    This Morning from Roxi


    "Good Morning Family,

    "Our beloved continues to fight this uphill battle!  John is currently on dialysis. The technician is supposed to remove liters of extra fluid, but because of John's low blood pressure issue, he will be lucky to get one.  John remains on norepinephrine (Levophed) for his blood pressure.


    "The kidney doctor came in just a bit ago and asked me if I had any questions. I told him that it was my understanding that John's kidneys are not working at all. He confirmed to me that was true.  I told him that I honestly do not know what to ask him. He paused for a minute and looked down, and then said, "We have been doing dialysis for several weeks now with no improvement, therefore, we continue until you tell us to stop."  

     

    "John has a couple new small battles to fight as well. He has a small amount of blood and mucus being eliminated from his bowels. This is being tested to find the cause.  His other battle is another small open wound on his neck, which is being treated.

     

    "The good news is that his ammonia level has once again dropped down to 70 from 100. The normal is 0 to 30, so they will continue with medicine to control it.  Other than that, all else remains the same.

     

    "I continue to play worship music to him, which seems to sooth him and is definitely a comfort to me!  It is so easy to fall into satan’s lures and begin the downward spiral to discouragement, loss and hopelessness. BUT GOD!  I continually remind myself of God’s Truth, which is that either way the LORD’S will plays out, our beloved will be healed."

     

    “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,”  ~ Philippians 3:8


    __________________________________________________________

    The LORD's Day, October 3, 2021

    Roxi writes,


    "Beloved Family,

    "I am just leaving John now [4:00 pm]. They had to put him back on the blood pressure medicine last night around 10pm. They have tried to taper it back down several times, but every time it begins to drop again.  When I first walked in, John was resting peacefully. The nurse tried again to lower the drip amount and within minutes, his blood pressure began to drop again.  It was clear this was affecting him physically, so I started playing the hymns in hopes it would sooth him.   After I began playing the music, I saw him try to focus on me. The whole time we were playing music I saw him struggling to stay present.  It is amazing how much can be said without a word spoken. Although only John's left eye has been able to somewhat focus, he seemed to be saying to me, 'I'm trying but I am so tired.'  This continued through about six songs. It has been a very difficult day."


    [Note:  Roxi confirmed that John has been fading in and out of consciousness.


    Lord, we continue to lift up both John and Roxi in this battle, and rely on You alone, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).  Bless them with your peace, we pray.  Amen.]

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Saturday, October 2, 2021

    A Post Script from Roxi


    "Beloved,

    "I want to share with you all a small but sweet moment . . .


    "For the last few hours, I have been privileged to share with our pastor a wonderful time of worship!  Many thanks to Teresa, who has blessed me with a small catalog of rich worship music. It is an added blessing for John to hear a familiar voice!  Until I began playing the songs our sister sent me, John has been drifting mostly out, versus tuned in. Soon after I began playing these songs of praise and worship that my hubby knows so well, both of us were ushered into the throne room as we worshiped together!  I felt like he was more present the entire time! It was such a sweet gift to my soul and his.  Thank you sister!  Thank you, Abba Father!"


    This Morning from Roxi 

    "Good Morning Beloved,

    "I have neither good nor bad news to report to you today.  John is still having a lot of secretions from his tracheotomy site. I saw the hole for the first time today. It is much larger than I thought. His respiratory nurse said that they may have had to make it a little bit bigger when they changed out his ventilator because the new one is a bit larger, which John needed.  When I first walked in and saw John this morning, he did not look as good to me as he has the past few days.  His blood pressure is a little bit low and the ventilator was doing most of his breathing for him. 

    John’s nurse just returned and cleaned him up. Then his respiratory nurse changed out some vent parts, suctioned all his secretions and increased his oxygen flow just a bit. He looks a lot better now!


    "Dave [John's brother] has been such an amazing brother to John and me on so many levels!   In addition to being John’s #1 coach/cheerleader, Dave has helped me with so much around the house, including fixing both my car and our toilet!  Unfortunately he and his wife are flying back home today. He assures me that he can be back in a snap…which he has already proven twice!


    "I have been praising the Lord for so many things in the midst of this most difficult, but sovereignly ordained season. Allowing me to see little glimpses of my Savior’s work during this time has not only sustained me, but increased my faith in the one true God who causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  This I know is true: John is called and continues to be called, and God is so good.  Thank you, LORD, for you alone are worthy to be praised!"


    _________________________________________________________

    Friday, October 1, 2021


    Luke 18:1-7

    "And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, 'In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’' And the Lord said, 'Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them?'"  


    Roxi writes . . . 


    "Good Morning Beloved,

    "Praise the LORD for GOOD NEWS!  Though we are still waiting for the lab results on John's ammonia level, I was able to see most of my hubby's doctors, including his neurologist, who told me that the latest EEG is showing very subtle and slight brain activity, which is an improvement over the first one!  In addition,  John is showing some very slight physical reactions to the pain tests done to his head and face.  Unfortunately, he is still not responding to voice commands or pain tests done to his nail beds.  The neurologist continued that he cannot say whether John will mentally improve beyond this point or not but, if he does improve, it will be a very long and hard road back to recovery.  The neurologist continued, "You asked me to tell you whether or not you should continue with treatment. Because John has no past health issues and is young, I say we continue with treatment for now and see how he does. If John were an 80-year-old man, my advice to you may not be the same."

     

    "John's pulmonary doctor is in the process of giving him a new ventilator, as the one he is on right now is old and outdated and is causing John to have a lot of secretions and discomfort. Apparently it is it easy and quick procedure [to switch ventilators] which the doctor is going to do himself because of John's delicate condition. (They are doing this procedure while John is on dialysis. I know they know what they're doing but I think that's a lot for John to deal with it one time.)   Nevertheless, the combined consensus from all of John's doctors that I talked to this morning is that our pastor is not only stable, but leaning in the right direction!"


    ______________________________________________________________

    Thursday, September 30, 2021

    Roxi's Morning Post


    "Good Morning Beloved,

    "Though our under-shepherd continues to have major battles before him, we are back to being cautiously optimistic!  John’s vitals are not ideal, but he remains stable. Moreover, his blood pressure is at a level that does not require the toxic medication he was on.


    "The most hopeful news is that John’s brother and I both believe John is beginning to fade in and out of consciousness. This may or may not have been confirmed by the fact that John opened his eyes during his second EEG last night. (Apparently it scared the technician!)  John is still not responding to voice commands or to the daily pain tests, nevertheless we remain hopeful!  The pulmonary doctor ordered a second medication to help battle the ammonia issue. Once that is cleared out of his system, the hope is that John will wake up!  John’s doctor should have the test results from the new EEG reading along with the ammonia level results by tomorrow morning.


    "To close,  I would like to share a devotional I read this morning from In The Lord I Take Refuge by Dane C. Ortlund.  This book of 150 daily devotions through the Psalms was given to me by a couple ladies from the worship team.  Thank you ladies!  It has truly been encouraging."


    A Response to Psalm 3

    "This is the first psalm with a title.  David wrote this psalm, we are told, as a response to the heart-wrenching experience of being violently pursued by his own son, Absalom (see 2 Samuel 15-16).  We see in this psalm how a man of God models genuine faith in the midst of dire circumstances.  What must it have been like to be murderously hunted by his own child?


    "David felt utterly overwhelmed by the sheer weight of opposition: 'Many are rising against me' (Psalm 3:1); 'Many thousands of people . . . have set themselves against me' (v. 6).


    "What strengthens David, however, is not strength mustered up from within.  What stabilized him is not self-generated optimism.  David knows that earthly help is worthless when the tidal waves of life threaten to overwhelm and drown us.  Instead he looks to God: 'But you, O LORD, are a shield about me' (v.3).  This is the posture of faith.  Only in this way does David's internal frenetic anxiety die away so that he can sleep in peace once more (v. 5).  Self-divesting trust in God is the channel through which the deliverance and power of God may flow.


    "What threatens to overwhelm you today?  We have an even greater source of calm than David did, for there is One who did not strike God's enemies on the cheek (v. 7) but instead let Himself be struck on the cheek.  Indeed, He experienced the ultimate rejection, being nailed to  a Roman cross.  Jesus allowed himself to be truly overwhelmed by his enemies.  The result is that believers can be confident that every overwhelming experience they face is from a loving Father to help them."



    _________________________________________________________________

    Wednesday, September 29, 2021

    This Morning's Post from Roxi


    "Good Morning Beloved,

    "Thankfully there is no new bad news, other than the fact that John is coughing a lot, which is not only hard on him, but distressing to us all.  He is still battling the ammonia, which is a mystery to the doctors. Usually ammonia is a result of liver disease, but John’s liver has been cleared for cirrhosis.  He remains on antibiotics for the bacterial infection. They have also given John a new bed because he has a skin ulcer on his lower back.  John is currently on dialysis, which leaves him looking very drained.


    "The good news is that they were able to take him off the blood pressure medicine early this morning and he is still doing well, even on dialysis!  He is producing a tiny bit of urine and they’ve also been able to decrease the ventilator settings. All positive signs!


    "Waiting for John to wake up is hard, only because I know he needs to! However, at the same time I am very thankful to the LORD for His merciful gift, knowing that it is sparing John much stress of disorientation.  The Lord truly has been doing so much in and through us all in this time of waiting and watching.  Thank You Abba!


    "Together we stand in praise and thanksgiving!  Amen."

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Tuesday, September 28, 2021

    This Morning from Roxi


    "Good Morning, Beloved,

    "After such a very difficult day yesterday, neither John's brother nor I were really looking forward to coming today. For the past few days, it seems like John has been dealing with one thing after another. We left yesterday wondering how much more can be thrown at him, but God, in His great mercy has blessed us both with the gift of renewed hope!


    "John is doing a little better on a couple different battle fronts!   Moreover, our Great Physician has blessed His under shepherd with a solid, Christ-centered nurse these past few days, who has been reminding us of the Gospel without any concern of his coworkers hearing him.  He said, 'These doctors look at these machines, read the numbers and offer their best educated analysis based on their experience, but we know that it is the blood of Jesus Christ that saves and it is He alone who decides to give or take life.'   He also said, 'Our souls live in these bodies like we dwell in our houses.  You continue to talk about the power of prayer.'  He told us he was praying for John.


    "He also told us that he plans to listen to one of John’s sermons and said, 'Maybe we will ask him to come preach at our church!'  John’s nurse attends an Ethiopian Church called Maranatha.  John used to drive an International Scout truck painted in zebra stripes, with the word 'Maranatha' printed backwards on the front of it so that when people saw him in their rearview mirrors, they would read the word 'Maranatha!'  John’s brother broke down crying tears of joy and thanksgiving to our most gracious God for this encouragement.



    "Thank You Father for continuing to sustain us through this most difficult season!  Amen."

    _____________________________________________________________

    Monday, September 27, 2021


    "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion, says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him.'” ~Lamentations 3;22-24


    Today's Post from Roxi

    "Good Afternoon, Beloved,


    "The LORD has given me a lot to filter through His Word today.  John has been given more battles to fight, which he continues to do.  Please forgive me, but I am too emotionally spent and raw to go into details.  The important thing to know is that we serve an awesome God and even though we do not know what tomorrow holds, we can rest in the fact that the Almighty indeed does!"


    ______________________________________________________

    The LORD's Day, September 26, 2021

    Today's Post from Roxi


    "Good Afternoon Beloved,

    "What a blessing to be back in the house of the Lord this morning and to be able to worship with our church body!  Yesterday a dear brother said to me that our church is filled with “fat sheep because our under-shepherd has been pouring into us for all these many years.”  That statement couldn’t have proven more true as we saw through this morning’s order of service and sermon. The fruit of our pastor’s labor continued to spill over throughout the whole message.  What joy it brought to my heart!


    "We are here at the hospital now. There isn’t anything new to report on John, as he remains the same.  Yesterday brought new patients to the ICU and the eight-bed occupancy is nearly maxed out. The evidence of being under-staffed and overworked is clear to see in all the nurses. Please pray for these nurses, their patients and all the families going through these most difficult days. 


    John's brother, Dave, told his big brother that soon Kindred’s driveway would be filled with the body of Christ who will be gathering to pray just for him. Knowing how much it blessed my husband when many of the saints gathered outside his Sharp Hospital window at the beginning of all this, I can honestly say on his behalf, 'What a blessing and thank you' to you all!"


    ________________________________________________________

    Saturday, September 25, 2021

    Today's Post from Roxi


    "Good Afternoon Beloved,

    "Our shepherd, John, has contracted a multi-drug-resistant organism, which means he has a bacterial infection that is hard to treat because it is resistant to so many drugs. This is the second time he has had to battle this. It also means that we need to gown up because it is contagious. Unfortunately, none of us saw the sign they posted for families to take this extra safety precaution before we already had been touching John. The respiratory nurse noticed the sign and told us about a half hour after we had been there. 

    Thankfully, John is on an antibiotic that they are hoping will work to fight this off.  They have lowered his oxygen flow down to 40%, which he has been able to tolerate fairly well. 


    "Dinara, our grandsons' mama, is on her way down now to come see John. I am looking forward to seeing her. We love her like our own daughter and I know that it will bless my hubby for her to be here!


    "That is all for now, beloved.  Please do not lose heart.  We serve a merciful God, and nothing is outside of His sovereign control!"


    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
        will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
    I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
        my God, in whom I trust.”

    For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

        and from the deadly pestilence.


    ~Psalm 91:1-3

    ______________________________________________________________

    Friday, September 24, 2021

    Morning Post from Roxi


    "Good Morning Beloved,

    "Wednesday was an extremely difficult day.  The neurologist came in to see John again while I was there.  He better explained to me in person that which he had reported to me on the phone Tuesday night.  He explained that there are two main things that affect the brain to function properly:  the primary cause is an injury or infection/disease to the brain and the secondary cause is when the body’s organs begin to fail.  In John’s case, he is battling both.



    "He continued by telling me that most of the body has the ability to repair itself when it is injured. Unfortunately when the brain is damaged, it cannot. Furthermore, the longer John remains unresponsive without showing any signs of cognition, the more likely that he will not wake up.  Obviously, this is VERY HARD news to receive.  Nevertheless, there is still hope for John to recover.  The doctors are still in the process of eliminating possible causes of the decreased brain function, and EEG readings can change.  I saw his main doctor this morning and he ordered another ammonia test to see if they were able to eliminate all of it out of his body.  Meanwhile, John's vitals are back to being stable.



    "John's brother is here and on a mission to wake John up!  Moreover, we know that the Great Physician needs only to speak a Word for John to wake up and be fully restored!


     

    "Beloved, at times like these, it is easy to be led down the wrong road.  There is the road of despair that pulls at us to walk downward.  The road of discouragement whispers in our ears to come rest in it.  The road of regret wants to take us back in time.  And the road of the unknown is filled with terrifying visions, skewed perceptions and gut wrenching pictures of the future.  Nevertheless, there is only one narrow road for the child of God to walk down!  We must filter every thing received through the Word of God.  We must take every thought captive, and speak God’s Truth to our souls!


    And, as my husband would say, we must remember who we are and Whose we are!"

     


    “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.”   2 Thessalonians 3:13


    __________________________________________________________

    Thursday, September 23, 2021

    Morning Report


    Dear Family, 

    Roxi is at the hospital with John this morning, waiting for a procedure to release built up air pressure from around his lungs. Roxi reports the results of the liver scan showed good function with no liver damage.  Further conversation with the neurologist confirms that John's brain function is decreased in both hemispheres, although they continue to eliminate possible causes for this.


    The Elders were able to go and pray with John yesterday afternoon, as we also persist in prayer, believing.  Roxi continues to wait on the Lord, relying on His grace and strength to sustain her.  John's brother is flying in later today.  In all things, our hope is not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.  



    "I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God."   ~ 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

    ________________________________________________________________

    Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    This Morning from Roxi


    "Good Morning Beloved,

    "I have been seeking the Lord and His Word nearly all night to know how to best represent Him as I relay last night’s report from the neurologist.  He brought to mind a little devotion I did for the women’s leadership meeting a few weeks ago.  I hesitated to share this because I never want you to look at me in any of these post, but only to the Lord.  Then I read this morning‘s Spurgeon in his Morning & Evening devotional.  I encourage you to read it, but for now, here are a few highlights:


    “'. . . . knowing that He is everlasting should always be a theme of joy, as we consider that we wither as the grass.  Knowing that He is unchanging should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour. . . The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were inclined to think much of God’s actions, and to have a song considering each of them.  So let God’s people now rehearse the deeds of the Lord!'

     

    "The Bad News:

    "The very brilliant, but ever so kind neurologist had this to say about the report on John’s EEG scan:  'Both sides of John’s brain are not working at normal capacity.'  I asked if the ammonia issue could be the cause, and he said it could be a possibility, but not a strong one.  He said that the lack of proper oxygen to the brain is more of the concern for him.  I asked him if this was irreversible, and he said, "possibly, but first he needs to eliminate all the possibilities and pinpoint the cause.”  He continue to say that the longer John remains in this comatose state the less his chances are to come out of it.

     

    "The Good News:

    "The doctor said there were no signs of a stroke or seizures and that EEG readings can change.  He said we need to wait, and continue to evaluate.

    He then apologized for the delay in being able to get back to me. He told me that this is hard news to hear, and not news that he likes to give, but he must give me the truth.

     

    "Beloved, believe me, I know that’s a lot and hard to deal with.  Nevertheless, the children of God must rehearse the deeds of the LORD and keep their eyes upon the Him, rejoicing in Him always!   As I’ve mentioned before, one of the last things my husband said to me when I told him that I could not do this alone was, 'The Lord will sustain you!'


    "In an effort to keep my head straight, that is what I did my devotion on for the women’s leadership.  This is a poem/song  based upon these scriptures, in addition to others: Psalm 55:22, Matthew 11:30, John 1:3, Isaiah 12:2,  Psalm 91:2,  Jeremiah 50:34,  Habakkuk 3:18, Psalm 18:46, Romans 8:18:

     

    The LORD Sustains

     

    The Lord sustains, yes the Lord sustains!

    Through the fears, the sorrows and pain.

    No burden too heavy, no trial too long, upheld in the darkness, the Sustainer remains!

     

    Never left forsaken, Christ is my strength and my song! 

    My heart’s Refuge and Fortress, 

    My soul’s Redeemer, mighty and strong!

     

    O God of my salvation

    Blessed be my Rock!

    In all things, I will praise You! 

    For eternity is my clock!

     

    Oh, how the LORD sustains!

    Yes, He alone sustains,

    Through my fears, my sorrows and my pain!

    My burdens, He carries,

    My trials, He ordains,

    Holding me through the darkness, my Sustainer remains!

     


    "I am headed to the hospital soon and will update you later if there is anything to report.  Stay strong in the Lord and steadfast for His glory alone!"


    ____________________________________________

    Tuesday, September 21, 2021

    Afternoon Note from Roxi


    "Good Afternoon Beloved,

    "Some of the greatest advice I received from another pastor’s wife when John was installed as a pastor, was to “be flexible!”  Whether dealing with small or enormous matters, this has been priceless advice!   I got to my doctors office this morning only to find out that my appointment is for tomorrow.  Another growth opportunity in the Truth that we make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps!

     

    "I did not go to the hospital today as I planned.  On Sunday, I got my first dose of the (Moderna) COVID vaccine, [to be able to continue to visit John after the 90-day window].  Last night, besides having a really sore arm, I experienced normal side effects from the vaccine (fever & chills). I still had a low-grade fever this morning and wasn’t feeling quite myself by the time I left my day early doctor appointment.  Therefore, I decided to call the hospital to check on John versus go all the way there and be turned away in case I had a fever.  (In case you’re concerned, I feel fine now!)

     

    "As for John, he had a dip in his blood pressure when they did the liver sonogram last night. They had to give him a little BP medicine this morning to stabilize it, but all is well now.  I hope to get the report on his liver in the morning.  I still have not spoken with the neurologist with the report from the EEG. He will call me when he has time.  Patience is my best friend right now!

     

    "I am told that the Permacath for the new dialysis site is scheduled to be put in tomorrow.  Please be praying specifically for this procedure. Although it is a very minor procedure, John is clearly in a very fragile state if his blood pressure drops from simply doing the in-room sonogram.

    Nevertheless, I well know that the Lord is in sovereign control!  The doctors here are very good and I know they would not move him to the OR downstairs if they did not feel John was stable enough.


    "That is all for today beloved. We wait and continue to pray! I love you all."



    This Morning from Roxi


    "Good Morning Beloved,

    "I don't have news this morning, but I will report any updates I may receive later today.  In the meantime,  I want to encourage you and let you know it blesses my heart to hear how greatly the LORD has used His servant, my husband, to impact your lives. I, too, now realize the massive impact he has had on my life.  Since the day the Lord extended His salvation to my husband, John’s face has been set like a flint for Christ and His Gospel. He even used to sign our anniversary cards, “Love, your brother in Christ.”   I definitely wasn’t as appreciative then as I would be today. I did not realize or want to believe that he is the Lord's and not mine. For John, being my husband is second to being my brother in Christ.

     

    "As I’ve talked to some of you, many have been asking the LORD, “Why?”  I want to encourage you to instead ask the LORD, “Show me," and "How?”:  “LORD, please show me how You are using this for Your glory.”  The Lord has shown me many things that He is doing in the midst of all this.  I know that this is not about me or about John, but all about God’s glory and preparing His little ones for eternity!  Ask the Lord how He can use you in the midst of all this.  I’ve seen so much growth in many of you!  What a praise to our Savior!


    "Even the receptionist at the hospital told me as I walked in on Sunday morning, “I listened to one of your husband’s sermons today!”  I believe, like Bobby said on Sunday, that the love our church is showing to one another and those at the hospital has much to do with provoking a desire in the not yet regenerate to seek the hope and peace we have in Christ.

     

    "I also encourage you to ponder the words of this song, which has ministered to me greatly. I truly love you all!"


    Still, My Soul, Be Still

    Still, my soul be still

    And do not fear
    Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
    God is at your side
    No longer dread
    The fires of unexpected sorrow


    God, You are my God
    And I will trust in You and not be shaken
    Lord of peace renew
    A steadfast spirit within me
    To rest in You alone


    Still, my soul be still
    Do not be moved
    By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
    Hold onto His ways
    With shield of faith
    Against temptation's flaming arrows


    God, You are my God
    And I will trust in You and not be shaken
    Lord of peace renew
    A steadfast spirit within me
    To rest in You alone


    Still, my soul be still
    Do not forsake
    The truth you learned in the beginning
    Wait upon the Lord
    And hope will rise
    As stars appear when day is dimming


    God, You are my God
    And I will trust in You and not be shaken
    Lord of peace renew
    A steadfast spirit within me
    To rest in You alone

    I rest in You alone
    In You alone.



    By Keith Getty, Stuart Townend, Kristyn Getty


    _____________________________________________________________________

    Monday, September 20, 2021

    Today's Post from Roxi


    “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  ~ Romans 5:1-5

     

    "Good Afternoon Beloved,

    "No bad news today! 🙌🏼  I was with John all morning.  His vitals are all stable.  Now that they have been able to get a lot of the fluids out of his body, his lungs and kidneys are less stressed.  He is even producing a small amount of urine, which means his kidneys are starting to work.  His culture came back negative, which means there are no signs of another pneumonia!


    "They will do a sonogram of John’s liver tonight to see how it is doing. Those results will be back probably tomorrow afternoon.  His kidney doctor is planning to move the dialysis tube from his groin area to just below his collar bone which is easier to keep from getting infected. The reason they did not do this for him in the first place is because his body was in such distress. However, now that his body and vital signs are more stable, he is in better condition to be wheeled down to the OR to do the procedure.


    "Finally,  I told one of his main doctors what the heart doctor said to me yesterday and I could see in his eyes the compassion he felt for me as he imagined the impact of that kind of news on me. He told me that he would never tell a family member anything outside of his expertise. He will text the neurologist and ask him to call me about a John’s EEG results.




    "Therefore we continue to wait, pray and praise our merciful Savior for it all…no matter what."

    ___________________________________________________

    The LORD's Day, September 19, 2021

    This Afternoon from Roxi


    "Yesterday I woke up not really looking forward to another one of my 'new normal' days. But what was different about yesterday was that it was a day of celebration for a very dear brother in our Pacific Hope Church family.  This was a wedding day both John and I had been looking forward to for months. In addition to celebrating this wedding--one of the greatest days in a couple's life--together with our good friend, this was a Middle Eastern wedding!  (If you’ve never been to one, let me just tell you that they really know how to do it up right!)  What I didn’t realize was how many traditions they have that mimic the ultimate wedding between Christ and His Bride, the Church. What an honor and privilege to be able to attend such a beautiful event.


    "Anyway, I wasn’t planning on going. I did not want to take away anything from this joyous day for this couple by attending. I knew that if I went, people would look at me and be reminded of John. Then some of the focus would be wrongly misplaced. So I packed my bag for the day and off to the hospital I went.


    "If you read yesterday’s post then you know that my morning was far from routine, but after everything calmed down I kept thinking about the words my husband said to one of our other dear brothers some years ago.  You see John had been flying back and forth in the midst of preparing for this wedding because his youngest brother was dying.   In fact, John was getting on a plane to go back to be with his family the very next day after this wedding.  When this brother asked my husband how he could be celebrating and doing all this while his little brother was struggling for his life, John simply answered biblically, as he always does. John reminded him of the passage in Scripture where we are called to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and to weep with those who are weeping.  I never knew about these words until a few months ago when a brother told me what John had said to him on the day he officiated at the wedding of another brother.  My husband was living out a very difficult scripture for anyone to do when faced with both extremes. 


    "I couldn’t get my hubby’s words out of my head, so I decided to just go to the wedding, sit in the back and hope that I wasn’t too big of a distraction. I had no plans to go to the reception for the same reasons, but after the beautifully officiated ceremony, some sweet friends talked me into it. (In all honesty, I really was hoping somebody would!)  After arriving at the reception, I discovered that our names had been removed from the guest list for obvious reasons. (Now I can officially check off 'wedding crasher' from my bucket list!)

    Thankfully there were other people who didn’t come so I was able to fill one of their seats.  I do feel that my presence may have been a bit of a distraction, but for me personally, I have to tell you that it did my heart and soul good to be able to rejoice with my friends!


    "Sorry for the long story, but I wanted to share that with you all before I continued with this afternoon’s report. 


    "This afternoon has been very difficult. I spoke with two different doctors before I left the hospital today. The first is one of John’s two main hospitalist doctors. He is gentle, kind and always extending hope in the midst of uncertainty. The other is the heart doctor, who is a very matter of a fact kind of guy with little to no bedside manner. 


    "John's first doctor just confirmed the ammonia issue, which he is not concerned about because the medication will flush it out within the next few days.  In addition, he gave me the EEG results. This report shows that John has a severe diffuse encephalopathy. According to the doctor, what this means is that it confirms what we are seeing in John: unresponsive unconsciousness. This could be caused by the ammonia but they won't know until it is eliminated from his system. 


    "The heart doctor came in a little while later and I heard him asking the nurse if John’s EEG results were in. I turned around and told him that it was and that I had a copy of the report. I could tell by his facial expression when he read it that his opinion of what it meant was not going to be good. I will spare you the blunt truth of what he said, but he followed up by telling me that I needed to talk to John’s neurologist because it’s not his [the cardiologist's] area of expertise. I think he should have kept his opinion to himself if that is the case because it was very difficult to handle.


    "As I’ve been trying to filter both doctors' responses through the only Truth that matters, more words from my hubby have been brought to the surface to help me navigate through this latest storm of emotional uncertainty:  'You must speak Truth to yourself and refuse to listen to yourself!'  It is hard enough to battle all the different voices in your head, let alone real life voices from educated men who are caring for your husband.  Nevertheless, the children of God must train themselves to listen only to His voice of Truth and Life! 

    Therefore we will choose to trust in our Great Physician, plead our case before our merciful King, and wait on upon our Savior’s perfect will.  Soli Deo Gloria."


    "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18


    "May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." ~Romans 15:5-6


    Morning

    Roxi writes,

    "I just spoke with John's nurse and she informed me that John's ammonia level is at 100% (the normal is 0 to 30).  She explained to me that this tends to cause confusion and can even place the patient in a comatose state. This is controlled with a medication that flushes the ammonia out through the bowels.   John's heart rate and blood pressure are a little bit high, but not too high to put him on any medication right now. 



    "Nevertheless, our man is holding tough!  They have reduced the oxygen flow to 45%, meaning he is requiring less oxygen from the ventilator. His vent nurse just said that he is making good progress on her end!  She also said that the dialysis has greatly helped by taking all that fluid pressure off the lungs. John's limbs look so much better!"

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Saturday, September 18, 2021

    Roxi's posts for today.


    "Good morning family, 

    "I've been here since 8:30, but none of John's doctors have shown up today as of yet. Nevertheless, it was quite an eventful morning!  The power went out and it took a few seconds for the back of generators to come on. The charge nurse had given John's nurse a break, so there was only she and another nurse and me in the room with four patients on ventilators. Thankfully everything turned out OK, but the charge nurse told me that I was about to be put into service had it continued any longer, which of course I would have wasted no time in following suit in what ever they were doing!  It was definitely a heart stopping moment for everyone!  About an hour after that, there was a possible CODE BLUE call put out, but then retracted a few minutes later. Last week there was a man out in the main part of the hospital that coded, and it was amazing watching everyone in action as they brought the guy back here to ICU and got him stable once again.  I am truly grateful to the LORD for John being here!!


    "As for the EEG and the lab culture for the possible pneumonia, I am guessing that I won't get the results back from those tests until Monday or Tuesday.  Thankfully, all of John's vital signs are remaining stable! And still no fever! All good signs!!  I had spoken to John's nurse about the condition of his ear, so she put in a call for wound care to check it out. I see that they have been here and have put a new dressing on both his ear and his cheek! It looks so much better! The wounds on his face and ear were from when he was being proned (put on his stomach).


    "John will have another dialysis treatment around noon. He still has a lot of fluids in his arms and hands but nothing compared to what it was!  All in all, with the exception of him still not producing much urine, I would say he's doing OK.  He has shown some small signs of consciousness. Yesterday I was wiping his eyes and he had a natural facial response to me messing with him.  He is coughing more which means he's more aware of the ventilator and irritated by it. And this morning when they were turning him, he had a little frown on his face because of the discomfort.  Honestly, it is much easier for him like this than when he was trying to deal with all of this in a more conscious state. I am thankful for his sake. 


    "On a personal note, I took a huge step of faith and notified my daycare families that I could no longer continue to provide daycare. I simply cannot be in two places at once, and I need to be with my husband more than anything else. The Lord has always provided for us before, and no doubt He will continue!  As my wise neighbor who is caring for her husband that had a stroke earlier this year reminded me just the other day, all this is just stuff!  In the words of Job,  “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there."

    It is all the Lord's. Whether He chooses to give or take away blessed be the name of the Lord!"


    Afternoon Note . . .


    "John's doctor just came in. He doesn't have any results from any of the test as of yet because of the weekend. But he was glad to hear that the EEG was done. We don't know if there is an anything new to tell you from his report but that we continue to wait, hope and pray!  They are getting ready to do dialysis on him  now, so I am leaving for the day." 

    __________________________________________________________________

    Friday, September 17, 2021

    Afternoon


    Roxi writes,


    "More praise to our most gracious and merciful LORD!  John's amazing nurse from yesterday is back with him today.  By far she outshines the others in my opinion!  Even though one of the other more seasoned nurses (only five years away from retirement) advised against it, this nurse allowed me to help bathe my husband.  In addition to teaching me how to do it, she taught me little tricks to help make the job easier.


    "In this life, no child grows up thinking about the fact they may one day have to bathe, clean and care for their parents or spouse  the same way they know they will have to care for their own babies. Nevertheless, it is indeed what the LORD has for many of us.  I have been blessed to be an understudy to many of my good friends who have been given the job of doing one or the other, if not both.  Now I, too, have joined this unexpected club. I have been a caregiver to both my mom and now to my husband.

     

    "I praise the Lord for all the years of caring for children and for the loving testimonies of some very amazing sisters, whom I've had the privilege to watch, sitting on the sidelines, as they so lovingly press into our Savior for strength, choosing to serve Him in the process of becoming true care givers to their loved ones.  Both have helped prepare me and are now aiding me to take on this unexpected new season in my life.

     

    "Lastly, as I sit here pondering the Lord's ways in this pleasant little courtyard while they hook up my husband for his dialysis, John's nurse just came out to tell me that the guy just got here to do the EEG.  I will come back early tomorrow with hope that the doctor will have had time to read the outcome.

     

    "Trying to consider it all joy!"

     

    “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”


    ~  James 1:2-4 


    Morning

    Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

    But trust Him for His grace;

    Behind a frowning providence

    He hides a smiling face.

     

    His purposes will ripen fast,

    Unfolding every hour;

    The bud may have a bitter taste,


    But sweet will be the flow’r.


    ~from God Moves in a Mysterious Way, by William Cowper


    Roxi sends this update today:


    "Beloved Family,

    I begin with sincere love & appreciation for you all!  Words cannot express how utterly humbled & grateful I am for each of you!  I am far from being a Moses but your prayers and encouragement have been like Aaron and Hur supporting me in this difficult battle!  Thank you.

     

    "I have learned that if I get to the hospital early, I am able to talk to most of his team of doctors, so here is what i learned this morning.


    "The bad news . . .

    Today’s collective concerns are that he is still not producing much urine, he is still not showing any signs of consciousness, his white blood cells are slightly high and 2 of his doctors heard a little rumbling in his lungs. The concern with this is that John is such a high risk for multiple pneumonias. Thankfully he doesn’t have a fever! 🙌🏼  Nevertheless, they have order a test to make sure he is not developing any new infections.

     

    "The good news…

    We give praise to our Great Physician that John’s CO2 levels have dropped a bit, meaning that his lungs are working better at exchanging the gasses.  We praise Him further that even though John’s blood pressure dropped too low last night, he was able to get back to a normal level on his own without medication.  Additionally, John is maintaining at 50% on the ventilator. Slightly higher than yesterday, but still at a good level according to my hubby’s doctors.

     


    "Bottom line:  John is a fighter!   The LORD is indeed sustaining us both!"

    __________________________________________________________________

    Thursday, September 16, 2021

    Afternoon

    "O Lord, I call upon You; hasten to me!
    Give ear to my voice when I call to You!
    May my prayer be counted as incense before You;
    The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering."

    ~Psalm 141:1-2

    Roxi writes . . .

    "Beloved Family, 

    Please forgive me for the late report. I had some errands to run this morning, therefore I just got to the hospital. 

    John has a beautiful new nurse, both inside and out! I like her a lot! This is her first day with John so she's not completely familiar with his whole history, but she did tell me that he is pretty stable considering his condition.  The bad news is that he is still unresponsive to the doctors and they are a bit concerned about that.  Honestly, having seen him in and out of sedation a few weeks ago, knowing how very difficult that was for him, perhaps this is a kind mercy & blessing from our Great Physician to spare John all the trauma. 


    "The good news is they have dialed back his oxygen flow to 45%, which means he is able to breath more on his own! This is the lowest it has been since he's been in the hospital!   Praise our gracious LORD!


    "Unfortunately, he is still not producing much urine and he is still very puffy, even though they have been able to take a lot of the fluid out of him through dialysis. They just hooked him up for his 8th straight day on dialysis. Every other day they do full treatment dialysis on him, (3 and a half hours) which means cleaning his blood and taking fluids off of him. The alternate days treatments are focused only on fluid removal (2 and a half hours). 


    "Many of you are asking WHY and HOW this could happen to a man as healthy as John?  Do you know that in the nearly 35 years that we have been together, John has not once missed a day of work due to sickness! Pretty incredible!  Beloved, the answers to your questions are hidden within the sovereign will and plans of our merciful Savior. It is not the clay's place to ask the Potter, “Why have You made me like this?” or “Why have I been taken from the table where I was so useful and placed upon a shelf?”  The vessel must learn to trust in the Potter. Perhaps the vessel has been placed upon the shelf in order to allow other vessels the opportunity to discover their full potential of service.   Only the Master Potter knows for sure, but we can rest in His good and perfect plan for each of our lives. 


    "One last word of encouragement…

    I am told that attendance has been way down since our Sovereign King has removed our under shepherd from service. It is hard for me to encourage you all to go when I have not been there myself. To be honest, at first I did not go because I knew I would not be able to handle it both physically and emotionally.   Now, I am more concerned with John waking up to me not being there to comfort him. 

    Nevertheless, if we were to ask ourselves what our under shepherd would say to his frazzled little flock, I believe we would all clearly know the answer.


    "In fact, we just need to replay one of his past sermons in which he strongly exhorted those who were forsaking the fellowship and gathering of the saints due to Covid, to come back to the blessings of the sheep fold. We all know exactly what my husband would say about the gathering of the saints: 'It is not about the music style or the messenger, but solely focused on the sound proclamation of God’s Word preached!'”


    I do miss you all and hope to return soon.


    My love to each of you!"


    ______________________________________________________________

    Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    Later Morning


    Morning update #2 from Roxi:


    "John's primary hospitalist doctor was just here.  Praise God that John's numbers improved so that he does not need a blood transfusion!


    The doctor confirmed that John's CAT scan came back normal, although the doctor feels that John should be more awake by now because he has been off the sedation meds for several days.  This morning, John did not respond to the doctor like he did the other day.  We continue to pray, wait and hope!"


    "Remember your word to your servant,
        in which you have made me hope.
    This is my comfort in my affliction,
        that your promise gives me life."

                              ~ Psalm 119:49-50


    Early Morning

    Roxi writes this morning . . .


    "Good Morning,

    Thus far we've had encouraging reports!  We have seen John's infectious disease doctor, who reported that his sepsis pneumonia is under control and he is doing well with the new antibiotic he is on.  His pulmonary doctor turned his oxygen down to 50% and he is holding well with the lower oxygen flow. The doctor also told me that the CAT scan came back normal.  He is still scheduled to have an EEG sometime this week.  



    "John is on dialysis right now, and he is having this done every day. He is still not producing any urine, but his blood pressure is maintaining. The primary hospitalist doctor should be here soon."

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    Afternoon

    Roxi reports there is nothing new this afternoon.  She wasn't able to speak with any the other doctors today, but hopes to get their updates tomorrow.


    "I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary."  ~Revelation 2:3


    Morning

    Roxi's report from late this morning:


    "Family, I am with John now. He had his CAT scan at 9 AM this morning. I asked the nurse how it went, but he doesn't know, as we wasn't with him at the time.  John is still unresponsive and very swollen.  However, they have lowered his oxygen flow to 50% though.  I missed the reports of his doctors this morning, but I'm hoping to see another one to get a better update."



    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Monday, September 13, 2021

    Afternoon


    Family, here are the updates on Roxi's conversations with John's doctors today. . .

    "I just spoke with John's main hospitalist doctor.  Unfortunately, John did not respond to a pain test when the doctor pressed his fingernails, but he did try to open his eyes twice when the doctor told him to do that.  John is on the borderline of needing a blood transfusion. They are going to monitor him for another day to see if he needs it. 


    "The neurologist was just here at the request of John's hospitalist.  The neurologist performed a number of physical tests, and unfortunately, John was unresponsive to any of them, which was very difficult to watch. The neurologist has put in an order for a CAT scan to monitor his brain activity, which they will do tomorrow." 


    In the meantime, John has had several dialysis treatments to help remove the excess fluid from his body.  He is undergoing a dialysis treatment today, with another round scheduled for tomorrow.


    Please keep Roxi lifted up, especially now as her family has returned home.  


    "He heals the brokenhearted
        and binds up their wounds." ~Psalm 147:3


    Morning


    Roxi writes. . . 

    "Good Morning Family,

    I am at the hospital early today because I had to drop my daughter off at the airport.

    I just spoke with the infectious disease doctor. She is going to change the antibiotic he is on to narrow down it's effect and  better target the specific bacterial pneumonia John has.  She said he's definitely not out of the woods but he has made some small improvements regarding his white blood cells.

    Unfortunately, he is still retaining too much CO2 in his blood because his lungs and kidneys are not working well.  I am hoping to see his pulmonary doctor and primary hospitalist doctor this morning as well."


    We will post another update today after input is received from John's other doctors.  


    “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart." ~ 1 Kings 8:23


    _________________________________________________________________

    The LORD's Day, September 12, 2021


    Today's update from Roxi is simply, "We continue to wait."


    "Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. . . . 

    "As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful."  ~James 5:7-8,10-11


    ____________________________________________________________________

    Saturday, September 11, 2021

    Noon


    Roxi's post from this morning. . . 

    "Good Morning Family, 

    John is on his third day of dialysis and tolerating it well.  His blood pressure and oxygen level have remained stable.

    He still hasn't regained consciousness, even though he's not on any sedation meds. I know that was a small concern of the doctor yesterday.  I'm hoping to talk to the weekend doctor this afternoon to get more specifics.  I am resting in the fact that John is in our Great Physician's care!"


    "Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
    Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    And forget none of His benefits;
    Who pardons all your iniquities,
    Who heals all your diseases;
    Who redeems your life from the pit,
    Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
    Who satisfies your years with good things,
    So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.


    ~ Psalm 103:1-5


    _______________________________________________________________________

    Friday, September 10, 2021

    Afternoon


    Roxi just spoke with John's primary doctor who told her that John is doing well today, and he is "cautiously optimistic"!  Thank you, Lord, for this hopeful ray today!


    Morning


    John had an uneventful night last night.  They have stopped the sedative medications, although he currently remains unconscious.  His oxygen has been turned down a bit to 60%.  His blood pressure is somewhat stable, and he is still on dialysis.  We continue to pray for mercy and thank our sovereign God for His mighty hand on the life of our beloved Pastor and brother.


    We pray also for strength, comfort and patient endurance for Roxi and each one in this family who is dearly loved by so many.   We ask for God's grace in each heart, according to His good measure.


    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 


    ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

    _________________________________________________________________

    Thursday, September 9, 2021

    Afternoon


    John's doctors have decided to move forward with dialysis to begin this afternoon.  Please pray that this intervention will aid in his stabilization and recovery as built up waste products and fluids are eliminated from his body.  John continues to need oxygen at various flow settings; at this writing, he was receiving 70%.    


    John's status continues to be closely monitored, while Roxi and family are relying, moment by moment, on the  grace and strength that come only from our sovereign Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Please pray especially for comfort for their daughter.


    Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
    Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
    Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
    Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.


    ~ From the Hymn, Moment by Moment by D. W. Whittle


    Morning Encouragement


    Dear Church,

    As we wait for today's update from the doctors, here is an encouraging reminder of to Whom our beloved Pastor belongs (not to us!) and of our reality in Christ, as He completes His work in us.  CityAlight - Christ Is Mine Forevermore (Lyric Video) - YouTube


    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Wednesday, September 8, 2021

    Afternoon


    Here is Roxi's latest report, received this afternoon.


    “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27:14


    "We continue to wait upon the LORD in the midst of this valley with pathways obstructed by potholes and mountains of various sizes.

    John’s pulmonary doctor spoke with us a bit ago to tell us that they have stopped the paralytic medicine, and reduced the amount of blood pressure medicine by half.  John has also been able to tolerate a lower oxygen setting than yesterday’s.


    "Our family is grateful to the LORD for today’s path in this valley.


    "The doctors are continuing to monitor John‘s kidneys. Right now, due to this second bacterial infection, John’s body is in a state of septic shock, and his kidneys are at a concerning point.  We are hopeful they will be able to gain strength back on their own without the use of dialysis.  The doctor says we should know what direction they will go within the next couple days.  Therefore we continue to wait upon the LORD.



    "Our family greatly thanks you all for your loving and continued prayers, support and wonderful food!   What a blessing you all are to us!"

    ____________________________________________________________

    Tuesday, September 7, 2021

    Noon


    Roxi writes . . .

    "Good Morning Beloved, I just spoke with one of John's many doctors (his pulmonary doctor I believe) a very kind man.


    "Our pastor always says to give the bad news first, because the good news cannot be fully embraced if the bad is not understood. Therefore, the bad news is that John's kidneys are being greatly affected by another bacteria that is attacking John's body. They are battling this bacteria with antibiotics, which have already helped with his fever. The doctors are closely monitoring these increasing numbers. The hope is that the numbers will go down, but if not, the next step is dialysis, which may happen with in the next couple days.


    "The other major issue John is having besides his damaged lungs, is his blood pressure.  Right now it is being regulated by medicine, but because it's so low, it is not able to properly help his kidneys and other organs.


     "That's a lot of bad news...but God!  Love hopes all things! And John's doctor is hopeful that he can get back to a more stable place.  The doctor told me this is just the next step of treatment. Maybe he will need it, maybe he won't, but it doesn't mean it will be forever.


    "Therefore we pray!  Along with John's doctors, we hope!


    "And we wait to see what our Great Physician's ordained plan of action will be for His servant John.  And in it all we give thanksgiving and praise."



    "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:16 (NASB 1995)


    _______________________________________________________________

    Monday, September 6, 2021

    Early Afternoon


    Some of John's family will be arriving today.  Please pray for safe travels and that their hearts will be prepared and strengthened to see their brother today. John and Roxi's daughter may be coming as well, so please pray for courage and strength for her also. 


    John's lungs took a downturn last night, and he is being treated with increased oxygen flow. One of the doctors said that John's lungs and kidneys are not doing well and he is very sick.  We continue to implore the Great Physician for healing for our dear Pastor, at the same time we pray for the Lord's will to be done. We know that whatever God's will is for John,  "It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” ~John 11:4b


    _____________________________________________________________________

    The LORD's Day, September 5, 2021

    Noon


    Roxi reports that John is still heavily sedated today and in the process of being slowly weaned from the paralytic, once more.  His oxygen flow has been reduced to 55% (a good thing) but he is still in the prone position for at least one more night as he continues to stabilize.  Once he is off the paralytic, they will look at reducing the two sedation medications as they monitor his oxygen levels.


    Some of John's family will be coming in at intervals this week, so we thank the Lord for the support and encouragement of family, both to John and to Roxi.  Pray for safe travels, and for the hearts of this family to be strengthened and knit together in love and faith.  We also continue to pray for our dear sister, Roxi, and praise the Lord for her strong testimony as she navigates these deep waters in total reliance on the Lord.


    May we all continue to seek the Lord and give thanks as His hand guides every detail in this time of great testing.

     

    "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  ~ James 1:2-4

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Saturday, September 4, 2021

    Noon


    After some setbacks in John's condition yesterday (due in part to having been moved to a new facility), Roxi's report this morning is encouraging: 


    "I just got to the hospital.  The good news is that they were able to lower his oxygen flow level down to 60%! He was at 85% yesterday. 

    His fever is gone and he seems to be stable once again, though he is still heavily sedated and in the prone position. 

    Another praise is that when they turned him over yesterday to put him on his back, he was still able to maintain the lower oxygen level- a very good sign! Usually patients in his condition have to have their oxygen turned up again.


    "A great thing about this hospital is that every area has a specialist, so it's a team that works together to best care for him.

    I really like his nurse today, as well as his respiratory nurse.  I just talked to the wound care nurse and they are watching and caring for a red spot using all the right foams to cushion him so that it doesn't open up."


    We continue to pray for the Lord to restore John’s body to full health and function, and praise Him as we know John is engraved in the palms of His hands.

     

    “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,  to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” ~Ephesians 3:20-21


    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Friday, September 3, 2021

    Apologies, but the posts from Thursday night and Friday reporting on John's safe transport to Kindred Hospital, the long-term acute care hospital, and Friday's note about his status changes were lost.


    In summary, the Lord has continued to strategically place people around John, from the woman at the ambulance company who was able to give John VIP status in transporting him to the new facility and providing text updates the entire way so Roxi was informed every step of the way, to the attending physician at Kindred with whom there is a personal connection through one of our Pacific Hope family.  We are so grateful for the Lord's intimate and ongoing mercies and lovingkindness.


    _____________________________________________________________________

    Thursday, September 2, 2021


    "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

    ~Deuteronomy 31:8


    The Lord continues to show His grace and mercy in so many ways, not the least of which is the news this morning about Pastor's transport to the next level of care at Kindred Hospital, the long-term acute care hospital where John will go when he leaves Sharp Memorial.


    We had an email late last night from someone who has been following John's progress, and works for the ambulance provider that will be transporting John from Sharp Memorial to Kindred Hospital.  She is in a position to place John on their VIP list and has directed that he get the best critical care crew to transport him.  She has requested a nurse who is known to be calming and reassuring to attend him during this transition.  In addition, she added positive confirmation about Roxi's choice to move John to Kindred.  That was her recommendation based on familiarity with both facilities, as well as having had personal experience with her husband recovering there after a long stay in ICU on a ventilator.  Roxi will also have more latitude for visiting John at Kindred.


    Roxi learned from the nurse this morning that John still needs suctioning of secretions from his mouth, and his oxygen flow was increased to 70% last night.  He also had some fever and need for blood pressure medication, although he did not have fever this morning when Roxi spoke with the nurse.  Please pray that he will stabilize once more, and that the Lord will get him into the environment that will be most healing for him.


    We are not sure when John will be moved, but our "ambulance angel" will let us know when John is scheduled for transport. We lift high the name of Jesus and acknowledge this sweet blessing from the Lord as we continue in prayer with thanksgiving.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Wednesday, September 1, 2021

    Afternoon

    Roxi looked at the two facility options for John this afternoon.  These are long term acute care facilities, which are a step below an acute care hospital (like Sharp Memorial), but still provide a much higher level of care than a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility.  (Apparently there are only two facilities available for this level of care in San Diego.)

     

    The places we looked at are specifically equipped and staffed for patients who are coming from long stays in ICU, particularly those who are on (or have been on) ventilators. They address not only the physical needs, but the emotional and mental considerations needed to treat "post-intensive care syndrome" as well.  They have an MD on site 24/7, and the nurse-to-patient ratio is the same as an acute care hospital.  The goal will be ideally to get John off the ventilator, remove the trach tube and transition to home—possibly 6-8 weeks from now. The primary focus is healing and recovery, rather than pushing for rehab.  Roxi had a clear preference for the facility she feels would be a better fit for John, and for her. Praise the Lord, she just learned that they have accepted John.  


    He will be moved as soon as a room opens for him at the new facility, which could be in the next day or two.  We will keep you posted when we learn when the transition will happen.


    Roxi also asks that we continue our encouragement and witness to the staff caring for John at this new facility with care packages and maybe make some fresh, encouraging signs for John's room.  We will provide info on how best to do that soon.  In the meantime, we are so thankful for the Lord's provision and for the continued guidance He is providing along this difficult path for John and Roxi.  Thank you all for your continued prayer and support.


    Noon - Prayer Request

    I  just talked with Roxi and we are going to go look at two rehab hospitals this afternoon.  (Apparently the rehab floor at Sharp is not the right kind of facility.)  Please pray for wisdom and the Lord's hand in opening a bed in the place that is best for John, and that Roxi will have peace about.  Thank you, Saints!


    Morning

    We praise the Lord for His mercy and amazing grace in bringing our dear Pastor "safe thus far," as we pray for continued healing--physically, emotionally and mentally.


    Roxi spent time with John into the evening again yesterday.  When it was time to go, she could tell he didn't want her to leave. Please pray for strength and faith for her as she perseveres in caring for her husband. The next leg of this journey is to find placement in a desirable rehab facility.  Please pray specifically with Roxi that the Lord will open the door to place John in one of the few available beds in the Sharp Memorial rehab floor.  We know the Lord is in charge and trust Him for the best placement for John, as we petition Him to allow John to stay at Sharp.


    Pray that John will have a very real sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit to strengthen, comfort and bring courage to his heart and spirit.  Please pray for protection against spiritual forces of evil, and pray that John will be reminded to put on his spiritual armor, and that his mind will be enlivened with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.


    Through many dangers, toils, and snares,

    I have already come;

    'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

    And grace will lead me home.

    ~ John Newton, Amazing Grace


    ______________________________________________________________________

    Tuesday, August 31, 2021

    Afternoon

    The insertion of the feeding tube for John went well.  Thank you, Lord!


    One of John's nurses reports there is some concern about secretions and blood in his mouth, which they have been suctioning.  (It doesn't appear to be coming from the tracheostomy, so that's a good thing.)  Please pray for healing of whatever the source of this is.


    Again, Roxi asks for prayer for John's mental and emotional healing and peace.  He continues to experience anxiety and disorientation about where he is and what has happened to the normal functioning of his body.  


    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ." ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5


    Morning

    Roxi was able to spend several hours with John again yesterday afternoon into the evening.  He was slightly more sedated to keep him from being too anxious and disrupting the ventilator.  Again, please continue to pray for the Lord's peace to envelop and keep John's mind filled with "every promise of His Word." 


    John is scheduled to have a feeding tube placed today, although Roxi doesn't know the time yet.  Please pray for this procedure to go smoothly,  with no complications or clot formation from taking him off blood thinners to be able to do the procedure.  Once this procedure is done, they will wean him off narcotics over the next 2-3 days.  


    We'll keep you updated once the procedure is completed. 

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Monday, August 30, 2021

    Afternoon

    John is scheduled to have a feeding tube placed tomorrow, so please pray for this procedure to go smoothly.  Pray there will be no complications with blood clots as they take him off blood thinners to be able to do the procedure.  After this, they plan to wean him off narcotics so he will be sedated only with non-narcotic medications in the next 2-3 days.  


    Roxi has been able to be with John this afternoon, thanks to a sister who is certified for childcare and is able to fill in for a few hours this afternoon.  Please continue to pray for the Lord's direction and provision for Roxi's daycare business going forward.


    Morning

    Roxi was able to spend a long time with John yesterday, just being present with him.   It was very difficult for her, as she sees his diminished condition and he is only minimally able to communicate.  Since John's physical body has been out of commission for many weeks, he will require extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain its function, and it may be a long road ahead.


    In addition to physical healing, please pray especially for John's mental and emotional state, as his mind and body try to make sense out of what has happened, and his inability to function as he is accustomed.  Please pray that the Lord will continually bring to John's mind His Word to calm and sustain our brother in his distress.


    Please pray also for wisdom, understanding and provision for all the practical considerations and decisions that must be made at this juncture.  The nurse has told Roxi it would be good for her to be with John as much a possible, so pray for her as she makes decisions about how to handle her daycare business.  


    We continue to come alongside John and Roxi in prayer, believing, for the Lord to restore him fully and quickly.  And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. ~James 5:15a. 


    Post from Roxi on FaceBook this morning:

    "For Better or for Worse, In Sickness or in Health…"

     

    "Good Morning Friends & Family,

    Yesterday was one of the most difficult days of my life! The man lying in that bed barely resembles my husband. I cannot begin to tell you how much it hurt my heart to see my strong man so frustrated because I could not understand what he was trying to say to me. Thankfully his nurse is much better at reading lips. Unfortunately much of what he was trying to tell me was when she was out of the room.  On several different occasions, his nurse expressed to me how vital it is to his recovery that he have those who are closest to him present as much as possible. I’m sure that’s why she allowed me to be there from just after 10am until almost 6:30! (Visiting hours are usually only for two hours at a time and over at 6 PM.)


    "With this said, I am going to ask all of you who want to follow his recovery to please go to our church website. The dedicated web page is https://www.pacifichope.com/welcome/pastor-status-updates. John’s assistant, Anne, will update it continually as we continue down this long road to his recovery.  I hope you all understand that I just cannot continue to post on FB anymore. It’s just too much right now.

     

    "I praise the Lord that his mind is still intact and strong!

    I praise the Lord that even though I was told yesterday that my hubby is “not out of the woods yet,” he has continued to sustain John’s  life and given us all hope for the future!

    I praise the Lord that the hospital is close!

    I praise the Lord for all of you who have been supporting us through this horrible ordeal!

    I praise the Lord that even though the doctors and nurses are all telling me what a long hard road this will be for both of us, it is only a grain of sand in the hourglass of eternity!

    Our Sustainer is faithful to sustain!"

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    The LORD's Day, August 29, 2021


    Afternoon

    Thankfully, Roxi's test was negative, allowing her to visit John.  As of 12:45, she is with him.  She says it is very hard, so please be praying for strength and grace and peace for her, as she is present with John for the first time since August 7.  Pray for the Lord's continued hand of healing on our beloved Pastor, and for the peace of God that passes understanding as he gradually reorients to where he is and what has transpired over the past four weeks.


    Lord, we thank you for bringing John through this storm safely thus far, and pray your continued grace and mercy on the next leg of this journey.  Amen.


    Morning

    Some good news!  John has been moved out of the COVID room, into a regular ICU room.   Roxi had a Zoom with him last evening, and John was able to recognize her.  We are praying this morning that Roxi is able to go see him after a negative COVID test.  She is trying to get a rapid test this morning so she can go be with him, and hopefully watch the livestream of our church service together this morning.  Praise the Lord for this move toward recovery!  


    (A couple of notes:  Roxi will be able to visit for 72 hours from receiving a negative COVID test, so she will continue to need rapid testing every three days.  Also, the hospital protocol on visitors is that he is allowed one designated visitor, so our visits will have to wait!)


    _______________________________________________________________

    Saturday, August 28, 2021


    Afternoon

    Roxi's post-surgical report from the nurse:


    "The [tracheostomy] surgery, which was done bedside in his ICU room, went well.  He had minimal bleeding, praise the LORD!

    They will most likely do the feeding tube surgery next Monday. (That one is not done bedside, unlike what I was told previously, and will need to be done in a different department.)


    "The nurse said that John already seems much more comfortable.  She had just finished brushing his teeth, washing his hair and getting him all cleaned up.

    "So thankful there were no complications!! Thank You LORD!!"


    Morning,  August 28, 2021

    John is scheduled for a tracheostomy and feeding tube insertion today.  Roxi's update will be posted after the surgeries. 

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Friday morning, August 27, 2021

    Update from Roxi:  

    "I spoke to the night nurse this morning. It looks like they’re going to do the surgery on Saturday.

    His blood pressure has been going up and down throughout the night due to anxiousness.  The nurse said that was very common considering that they are trying to wean him off of the sedation medicine.  John goes in and out of levels of consciousness due to the meds and it causes him a lot of anxiety to be more awake and realize he has a tube down his throat!  (I didn’t get to zoom with him yesterday because the nurse never called me.  The nurse left instructions for them to try and set up a zoom later if they believe it won’t cause too much anxiety for my hubby.)

     

    “The nurse also said that the hymns they are playing in his room seem to calm him!  Thank you all for praying! Please to continue to pray for his healing and for the Lord to calm his anxiety.

     

    “It is my heart's desire and prayer that John would do so well that he doesn’t need the tracheostomy and feeding tube surgery!


    Abba Father, please miraculously heal Your servant, my husband, and our under shepherd!  Please Lord!"


    ____________________________________________________________________

    Afternoon Update from Roxi, August 26, 2021


    More Good News!

    I just spoke with the doctor, who was very kind!  He patiently explained every single thing to me regarding what's been going on with John, where he's at and what they want to proceed with.

     

    Dr. David Shaw said that John has been showing really positive signs over the last 24 hours and he believes that John will be able to get off the ventilator eventually.   He said this could change tomorrow but as of now he is hopeful for John's recovery.

     

    Because John has been on the ventilator for 12 days now and showing positive signs, he wants to do a couple small surgeries that will help him in his recovery:

    • The first is a tracheostomy. This will make it easier for them to take him off the ventilator and will be more comfortable for John. It will also reduce the risk of damaging his vocal cords! Right now the breathing tube is lying against his vocal cords and once a patient has been on the ventilator for a couple weeks, (John has been on for 12 days) they run into a risk of damaging the vocal cords as well as infections from the breathing tube.
    •  The other small surgery that they will perform is inserting a feeding tube. Right now John is being fed through a tube that goes in through his nose and down into his stomach. Their goal is less sedation and a feeding tube will make it much easier for John than how they are feeding him now.

    He hopes to do these surgeries tomorrow.

     

    I am so grateful to the Lord for this good news. However, to say that I am not in a bit of shock about the surgeries would be untrue!

    Nevertheless, I am choosing to trust the Lord in every step of John’s care!

    _____________________________________________________________


    Morning Update, August 26, 2021


    I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
    And in His word do I hope.
    My soul waits for the Lord
    More than the watchmen for the morning;
    Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

    ~ Psalm 130:5-6

    I Will Wait for You (Psalm 130) (Official Lyric Video) - Keith & Kristyn Getty - YouTube

     

    Dear Church,

    Here is the latest post from Roxi this morning. . .

     

    Good morning Family and Friends!

    I spoke to John's night nurse early this morning and he told me that they stopped the paralytic medicine and are adjusting his sedation enough to keep him comfortable with the ventilator [and intubation] but not completely under. I will probably zoom with him later if they think it's ok to do so.

    I believe this is good news!

     

    Roxi also said that John responded to some commands once off the paralytic, which is very positive. 

    We are so grateful for this report and pray that this is another step towards complete healing and restoration of our beloved brother and pastor.