Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quiet Saturday

Not much to report. Jake has bee really quite all day. He woke a bit a couple of times during the day but overall he seems to be resting comfortably. His temp is actually now below 99 - very cool. All in all good day and although we expect him to be uncomfortable in this process right now it is not mandatory. He seems to be comfortable and to meds are continuing to come down. My wife tells me I put that too simply but she is on top of the drugs - my pea -size brain is unable to keep track.

Overall I am tired - we are all tired - exhausted in fact. Despite getting some sleep this is such a long process. Honestly it is easy to start the day out charged by my time with God and confident that I am going to depend on him and then the dreary constant reality of where we are at drags me down. It is like a big "6 Weeks" is a big blinking sign overhead - reminding me of the monotony. And yet we have been given 6 more weeks. Jacob is strong and improving and soon one day I will be able to write that he is awake and we have him back. Until that time we will continue to wait, pray, hope, irritate each other, ask for forgiveness and move on trying to focus on the prize - persevering - not giving up - seeking God to strengthen we who are so week.

Hear our Cry Lord - Save our boy.

Love and peace.

Tom (Dad)

Sat quick update

Jake's day is much different than yesterday. Perhaps he knows it is Saturday - sleeing in. Although he would have been up and surfing by now - on his way to Freeline for work - riding his fixie. Jacob would be starting school this coming week. Crazy how thing have changed. Yet he IS improving. He IS healing.

The Burn Unit doctors examined his wounds this morning and are pleased and amazed at the healing of his wounds. The head wound has begun healing nicely - there is new growth of skin around the edges - he will still need to have surgery at some point with the dead skull and such but it is so good to know that his body is healing itself. Also his index finger on his right hand which was badly damaged is healing as well. The doctor actually said it is healing better than it would have if they had done surgery on it. The credit this to him being young and healthy - I would like to alos add some divine intervention as well.

Blood tests show that there is still a yeast fungus and a bacterial infection somewhere in his body but it does not appear to be from any of the wounds. It is somewhere inside him. Some sort of continued healing needs to happen from internal wounds that we cannot see yet. But with all this his vitals are still good - fever has not spiked in the last couple of days and he is on antibiotics.

So do you get some specific prayers out of all of that?

He is starting to wake up a little so I am closing this out. Thanks so much for your prayers.

Love and Peace

Tom (Dad)

Grace and Rest

Debbie sent me a text a little while ago from the hospital - she usually gets going first - "Morning, our Jake slept mostly through the night and is still sleeping - a big goal met!"

Night and day is our goal - as we gently pull him awake - ease him to reality - welcome him back. A message from our friends the Kings tugged at my heart - "we miss Jacob". I do miss him so much and as we end this 6th week there is a gentle expectation growing - a building realization that we may soon have him back. And yet I need to hold on to that lightly for as we all know this roller coaster throws us back and forth up and down. And yet there is hope within an eager expectation as we keep our eyes on the ultimate goal -

Each time I pray for Jake now - I pray for Jessica - see the last post for a link to her story. I got a message last night from a former Jr High student of mine (now an adult) - who is connected to that family and I woke up thinking about her - so much of what that family is going through is what we are going through - God's story is moving encompassing both journey's.

In the midst of all of this we find grace...

"For the Word of God (Jesus - see John 1) is living and active, sharper than any double edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have such a great High Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Nothing is hidden from God - and yet like Adam and Eve hiding in the bushes, I try to keep my failure from God. God's grace is not fluffy light feathers and kisses that simply make us feel good. God's grace rips us apart and lays us bare in vulnerability. It opens up the wounds of our our heart and rips out that disease that infects us and festers. It is like the burn unit the first week needing to take Jacob into a bath stinging his wounds and scrubbing them - painfully necessary. Jesus the Word of God comes into our lives not to coddle us and allow us to be wounded but works with us to remove that which ruins our lives. Holding firmly to Jesus in the midst of this pain is not and cannot be a Sunday School picture of Jesus in white floating on a cloud. Jesus bring grace with a sword like a soldier removing the enemy that if we allow to remain will simply destroy us. In this strength of Jesus as high priest then we may approach his throne with confidence - grace has scrubbed our wounds and removed the damaged skin and we receive mercy - we awaken from our slumber and fall gratefully into the arms of our Savior - our God - our Master.

In this time of great need, we have grace, we have a High Priest who knows all about us, knows about pain and suffering - first hand, is trustworthy as he uses his sword, and longs for us to receive mercy. To get to mercy we go through grace - grace hurts much more than I thought it would or should but there is rest. Much like Jake I guess getting rest last night - he has to move through the pain to get there.

So thankful for continued unending support of so many.

Love and peace,

Tom (Dad)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pray for Jessica Huse too...

I heard this story today - another journey through fire...

Masked freaks and a note from Mom

Necessary pain - we try to keep that in mind right now as Jacob goes through so much discomfort. As they change medicine in an effort to help him start to be aware of night and day and to be on a schedule, he is most uncomfortable during the day. We still have to where gowns, head coverings, gloves and masks which makes it very hot and I wonder what Jacob actually sees when he opens his eyes - foggy masked freaks with shower caps.

Jacob stood up today - they had him in some sort of contraption before I got here and had him on his feet - limp but standing. Progress by simple progress waiting for Jake to emerge from this fog. Trusting that God is still now in control - seeing the spirit of God moving in others because of this and knowing that God's plan - his movement - is by far greater than all else. I told a friend tonight it is one thing to say these things it is another to live it - to put down the laptop and be who God has called me - to people, to family, to myself. I seem to fail so often to be what Christ wants me to be - I am so thankful for grace - for God's forgiveness and willingness to allow me to continue to work on being a little bit more of who he wants me to be.

God is not calling those who are perfect - for there are none to be found. He is calling us in the midst of sin, failure, bad choices - forgiving us, accepting us, restoring us to be his child. I am not really feeling like I am growing stronger...rather, thankfully, weaker...
1 Cor 1:25
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.
Not many of you were wise by human standards;
not many were influential;
not many were of noble birth.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
He chose the lowly things of this world
and the despised things—
and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,
so that no one may boast before him.
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."


Debbie handed this note to me a little while ago...

This Sunday marks 6 weeks since Jake's accident - Exhaustion doesn't really describe what we're all going through - weariness, rear, anxiety, resentment, anger, worry over the unknowns, helplessness, loneliness - did I mention helplessness, fear, lack of sleep, frustration, longing for this nightmare to be over - yet - 6 weeks ago I had no idea of how many people could so quickly show that they care so much - for Jacob, for Robbie, for Jensen, for me and for Tom. (Not to mention for our dog, Hope - thanks Papa and Lala)...there truly is a sense of wonder and awe as I hear about fund-raisers, as I hear about he hero who 1st pulled Jake to safety, as I think of Jake's friends who have worked so hard to show they care. I never felt so grateful for nurses, Dr's therapists... this is all just "too much for me" at times. But I have to remember this is not too much for the God who is able to do infinitely more than I can ever think, ask, or imagine. My prayer is for Jacob's mind to heal well but ever more so that we can trust God with whoever Jake wakes to be - to Him be all glory.



Love and Peace

Tom (Dad)
Trust is not easy - to say "trust in the Lord" is easy to say - yet there are times that it seems totally and utterly impossible. To totally trust one must release defensiveness, and I think that is one of the hardest things that we can do. I think that was part of Job's issue. As you read through Job and get to the end there is a sense of defensiveness - a lack of full release on Job's part. Vulnerability goes hand in hand with trust - leaves us open to woundedness. We sense it when we have a disagreement - we either go into fight or flight mode. Fight and flight are good instincts for survival in a dangerous situation where your life is at stake but it can ruin relationships in the normalcy of life. Vulnerability and trust are the foundation - the rich soil - of a relationship as non-defensive postures can lead to healthy conflict.

Yet vulnerability also leads to woundedness - as you open yourself up to someone you are trusting them with your heart - the very core of who you truly are. We need to do so in small amounts - testing the water of the relationship so that as we reveal a corner of our heart we can understand if this person is trustworthy with that treasure. That is a growing relationship: vulnerability and trust inching forward seeking to care about and understand the other person.

I say this because God meets us in the midst of brokenness - in the midst of vulnerability when we are not defensive - or as he calls the Israelites over and over again, "stiff-necked". God meets us and desires to love us to restoration - wholeness. I started reading Hebrews this morning and the author is talking about the sacrifice (ultimately vulnerability) of Jesus dying on the cross for our restoration: "for this reason he (Jesus) had to be make like his brothers (us) in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted he is able to help those who are being tempted." (Heb 2:17-18)

Jesus calls me brother - meets me in the midst of my vulnerability - trust grows deeper and stronger - not from miracles but from the God of miracles.

The rest of what is written here is from Debbie. She wrote it out on Tuesday night when Robbie, Jensen and I left for LA.

Love and peace

Tom (Dad)


What a terrifying, amazing, miraculous, difficult, nerve - wracking yet beautiful place this Burn Unit is - mostly because of those that work here - their lives seem so "regular" on the one hand and yet they are so committed to doing everything they can - not only to keep Jake's body alive and healing but to improve upon WHO he is - even while he's stoned out of his mind. He can still hear at some level, so they talk to him - treat him not just like an object but as a person.

At this point he can still "fight" or "thrash" but the nurse tonight did all he could to keep Jake from harming himself as he moved in agitation - at some level probably fighting to get out of bed. It is a battle for the mind at this point - which takes time and wisdom of doctors to choose medication that is helpful to waking Jake up more gently yet medication that won't cause his blood pressure/heart rate to go too high or too low and meds that won't cause more grogginess to his brain as they try to wake him.

He does have a "fungus" in his blood so he is back on antibiotics - concern is that they are not sure what the cause is - all wounds are clean and grafted wounds are healing amazingly well, so non of those are causing the bacteria in his blood - so please pray this bacterial/fungus disappears from Jake's body.

Through my off and on again exhaustion and stress, I do have knowledge deep down that we serve a God of miracles, so many He has shown me in Jake's life since the accident and so many He's shown me through people like you - friends, family, strangers. Speaking of miracles, tonight was the once a month meeting of Burn Survivors. Tom and I went to our 1st one last month and we were a wreck: crying, crying, amazed, crying at the people around the table - healed evidence of burns: face, hands, arms, legs, ears - such courageous survivors; functioning, caring human beings with wounds healed but unable to hide their hurts - scars everywhere - yet life showing through in their eyes...courage, hope. Oh they battles they have fought through. They show us being a burn victim is not an end to life - it is a new way - a new path...

So we continue to wait on God to awaken Jacob when HE desires it and I for one will take whomever God decides to have Jacob "re-birth" as - easy to say right no, I hope I mean it when he wakes. I pray that we all can surrender and trust God to re-birth each of us - that we'd be able to accept the changes He allows in our lives, good and bad.

"They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength - they will mount up with wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and they will not faint, for the Lord delights in strengthening His saints."

Throughout these days I tend to feel as though He has "clipped" my wings and I will never again be able to "fly" but I know that is a lie - as I trust in Him, he will strengthen me, He will help me "fly" and Jakey as well - somehow, some way, in His timing and for His glory.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Scooches to Shalom

It is so good to be home. Although weird because I drove into town and home is at the hospital. Jacob looks good. He is more active - trying to get out of bed - but not the hitting thrashing as before. He scooches (how do you spell that?) down and seems to know that if he can get his feet off the lower right of the bed he might be able to escape. His hands are secured in restraints so it is not possible but he actually almost had his lower half completely out of the bed several times. His fever was rising a bit and they gave him some Tylenol. As the fever subsided he slept. He is actually having more awake and sleep time. They told me that his eyes are open a lot of the time. They were for me until he finally slept. He seemed to recognize my voice when I came into the room. Good to be with him. Good to be home. He is healing. I am feeling peace.

Peace is not the absence of fighting. The word shalom in Hebrew that we translate peace is (I believe) more about restoration, completion, perfect - putting things back they way they are suppose to be - the way God intended. That is God's heart - that is his continual work of salvation - that is what Christ died for - to restore what is off - to put things back as they are intended.

The peace of God is increasing in Jacob's room. Restoration is moving forward. So many are praying. God is answering.

PEACE and love.

Tom (Dad)

Moments of restoration

Refreshed by the loving innocence of three beautiful children and loving friends, I am so thankful for God's small gifts. Of course praying for Jacob who is always on my heart. We are expecting a specialist on brain trauma to look at him today. I am heading back from Santa Barbara today and Jensen gets to stay here. They have dubbed it "We Love Jensen Week."

Grief is never far from my heart
ripping, pulling, tearing me down
gripping my heart and squeezing
sadness holds firm

This sadness rips apart my soul,
threatens my joy, hastens my song
each moment of every day
torture, torment knows no escape
In the midst of this despair I simply remember
in a moment where ever I am I return
sadness moves toward joy
clouds clear my view

My Lord, My God, I remember the vision
the encounter, the promise
slightly raising my eyes
you are there - hope, joy, arms open wide
In the depths of this deepest pain
you are there - restore my soul
turn tears of sadness to greater joy
restore, renew, engage my soul

Watch out, stand back and see
the love of God surrounds and longs
standing in the midst of this pain
restore me Lord to joy in your salvation
Thank you for praying today - my focus and perhaps if you would focus as well is on his brain. Amazingly the brain is so complex and wonderful. Pray that God would heal. Pray that God would restore. Pray that Jacob would continue to be touched by the loving hand of God in this moment of pain. Pray that there would be small recognizable moments of restoration today. Amaze us today in the wonder of you, our Lord and our God.
Love and peace
Tom (Dad)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

from Santa Barbara

Jensen and I are with our friends here in Santa Barbara tonight. Good thing and yet hard to be so far away still. Good to be in a place where we can just be... I spoke to my dad ("Papa") just a little while ago and got his account of the day. It sounded exhausting. It was a lot of effort to get Jake into the hospital chair and he did seem to like it and stayed there for about a half an hour. They are still working getting him to be more awake during the day and asleep at night. Once they got him back into the bed Jake was a bit wild. Our term has been thrashing. My dad holding his legs - trying to keep them down and Debbie his harms. He also was a handful for bandage changes. I just spoke to Debbie to and she was going back into Jacob's room for the next bandage change.

So the baby steps continue.

Ps 63
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
They who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God's name will praise him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.
Love and Peace
Tom (Dad)

in a chair!

Just hung up with Debbie. They were able to move Jacob into a chair just now. He is actually out of the bed and in a special hospital chair. He is still very heavily sedated and tries to keep his up but it flops back and forth. Hard so very hard and yet small steps forward. One of the thoughts is that he will be more comfortable...the other is to start to get him out of the bed. Still lots of buzz by doctors around the medications and what to do and they are watching him closely and making adjustments. But it is forward motion. Praise God who is continuing to watch over him and spread his loving arms around him - and us.

Jensen and I are finishing up our time with Robbie. He starts work soon and we need to leave him. Hard. So very hard and yet small steps forward. The right thing is not necessarily the easy thing.

Griped by grace.

Love and Peace

Tom (Dad)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thankful for community...

Robbie, Jensen and I made it to LA. We are enjoying our time together. Robbie has all his stuff in his room at Biola University and begins his job as RA (resident assistant) tomorrow at noon. They have two weeks of training before the rest of the students begin to arrive. I made some new friends tonight and connected with some old friends as well. (Sorry not old, "seasoned"). That was good for me - good to talk to one about future ministry and one about current ministry. To hear how God is moving in their lives and how they see the God's kingdom growing deeper.

Debbie and I have not talked live but from the text messages I understand that he has had a pretty stable day. They sat Jacob up for a while on the side of the bed and he opened his eyes. I also got a text that Jacob put up a good fight during bandage changes. Decent day all in all. Debbie was also able to go to the burn victims support group tonight. Amazingly supportive and encouraging community we have.

Okay bottom line. I miss Jacob. I miss being there with Debbie. It is hard to be so far away. Yet also so very thankful - for cell phones to stay connected with, for Jim and Sue who have been so amazingly consistent in their love and are always watching over us. Thankful for family support. Thankful for the growing community of support all over the world: Norway, Australia, Germany etc. Thankful that Jacob is doing well and that God is continuing to poor out himself into our lives. He is not done. We are not done. His kingdom grows deeper.

On the way down in the car, I was thinking about Abraham taking Isaac, his son up to be sacrificed. How excruciating it would be to take your son up knowing that God was asking for his life to be given. What depth of pain Abraham must have been going through - the agony, the anger, the fear. But I was not thinking about Abraham.

What was going through Isaac's mind on the way up wondering what they were going to sacrifice when they had no animal. Wondering what God would provide. What did Abraham tell Isaac? How did he answer the questions? How did Isaac react when his daddy placed him, raised the knife? But I was not thinking about Isaac.

Abraham, Sarah and Isaac were not alone on their trip. They traveled with an entourage. Servants, extended family, etc. What were they doing when Abraham ascended the mountain? What was Sarah doing? Did they know? Surely they at least knew that they were going, that no lamb was taken, that God was going to provide for the sacrifice. I wonder. Did Abraham ask them to pray? Did he set up a blog to keep them posted about their journey? Okay that was too far, but still what was going on in the community?

I know that I would struggle to willingly sacrifice my son. I am no Abraham and I struggle to even compare this to that. Abraham was willing to obey God to the point sacrificing that which was most treasured to him. But he did not do this without really understanding the heart of God. The writer of Hebrews 11:17-19 states: "by faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death."

Understanding the heart of God allows us to see beyond the confusion, pain, fear and to act in faith because we trust the one who holds our heart. Abraham was willing to look beyond the fear and trust that God would move and act in ways far beyond his understanding and our community grows deeper and closer to God. As we are transformed in faith we transform our community and it grows beyond where we are and what we are doing.

Though I hate all that is happening to Jake. I do trust the heart of God who has a hold of my heart. And I am thankful for God working in this community of support and faith.

Love and peace

Tom (Dad)

on the road...

We stopped for gas and breakfast. Making good time. Checking in with Debbie often. Jacob is getting his bandages changed and is doing fine. We are missing both of them but enjoying our time together We are knowing so many are praying and God is in the midst of all of this.

Love and peace

Tom (Dad)

Monday, August 3, 2009

"This is God's Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: 'Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.' (Jeremiah 33:2-3 The Message)

Jacob is calm and resting and looking good. I worry a bit because I know that part of the detox is going to make him less comfortable and he will not be like this forever. But for now it is calm. The plan is still to begin reducing the paralytic medicines but still at a slower pace. Fear of internal damage continues - including his brain. The fever though has even seemed to stabilize. His breathing is good, blood pressure good, heart rate good. It is amazing and we are so thankful as his skin continues to heal...

...and yet we deeply desire to understand the marvelous and wondrous things that God is directing them in. The verse in Jeremiah is right smack in the middle of prophecy and judgment. Even in the midst of horrible days he will answer, telling us marvelous and wonderful things. Providing understanding and insight.

The doctor this morning said that he was over his head and appealed to the other departments to come in and give insight and understanding. God holds the key to this - my prayer tonight is that he reveals that a bit more. That the doctors would have great insight and that God wound intervene. in the midst of this journey he is fully in control.

Trusting God with Jacob tonight

Tom (dad)

Missing Jacob

Jacob had a good night. Fever did not spike remaining low grade. He is peaceful right now. I'm in Jake's room just watching and praying. This is "packing Robbie day" and we are going to have a family send-off dinner. Knowing it is the right place for him right now but also realizing how much we are going to miss him. Jensen and I are looking forward to road trip with him.

-Tom (Dad)

This is now Robbie writing.... I wanted to post a few things this morning, but I will leave the medical update to my dad above.

Yesterday, for me, was a day lived in the Kingdom. In tune with the knowledge of the Body. It is glorious. It is not always positive and happy, but it is glorious. In my journal this morning I wrote "every little interaction with someone is a gift from God."
Here is a run-down of my day.
I am convinced that God forced me to go to our church gathering for the first time since this all happened, because it was a Sunday in which we really focused on "being" the church, not just going to church. We worshiped, had breakfast together and then had whoever wanted to share about where God is working in their life, where they need prayer, or where they see God showing up. It was an amazing, beautiful time that affirmed me of the presence of God coming through relationships with others, through these interactions.
Then I had just an awesome time with a fun friend of mine.
Then I went over to see Jake. I cried while I held is hand next to his bed, as all the thoughts of the unknowns and inconsistencies entered my thoughts, looking on his extremely calm and tired face. What if his injuries, which are being described as "evolving" due to the nature of electricity, evolve into something life-threatening again? What if he just flat-lines one day? What if he does have severe brain damage? What if he can never wake up? These were the questions in my head. I had to give myself permission to leave.
Then I finished registering for Biola with my dad. That was good.
Then I met with a friend who will be in the room next to me at Biola for coffee. We talked close to two hours, and it was amazing. While we were talking about how crazy and mind-blowing the Body of Christ is, how much more vast is the grace of God then so many within he Christian industry like to allow for, a lady who overheard our conversation came over and chatted with us. She had heard us mention something about the idea of existing in a relationship with God in the now being the most important thing, and she gave us a quick run-down of some of her journey, then gave me a title of a good book to read, and I gave her the blog url. My friend and I agreed, that was the Body of Christ. To me, that interaction there was so much more the Body of Christ, so much more the Kingdom of God than many "churches" seem to arrive at by having once a week gatherings.
Then I went home and chatted with a good friend on the phone until 12 30.
Sounds like a good day... but it was also incredibly hard. Hard to be with Jacob. Hard to want to engage this Body lots of the time. Hard to have motivation when you are tired and beat down. But it was a day lived in the Kingdom.

I am finding God arrive in the lowly, in the broken, in the earthly, in the simple, in the paradoxilly horid and debased things. Which is the whole idea of the incarnation - God debased himself into man - and intesnified with the crucifixion - this God-man became the very worst of human existence. Yet here is where we find hope, love, resurrection.

I wrote this the other day:

Oh Lord...

The Unsurpassable
Who was surpassed
The Unkowable
Made known
The Unattainable
Come closer than a lover
The high & lofty
Made filth & dirt
The transcendant
Made earthly;
Nay, less than earthly:
Hellish, horrid, the bane of our existence.
This is horrible. This is ugly.
This is paradoxical. This is tragic.
This is love.

I miss Jacob. Psalm 44
Rob (brother)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Afternoon

The buzz right now around Jacob is more about trying to figure out a game plan. Burn, ICU, and Brain docs are working together to decide the best course of action. The ICU doctors have talent the lead. You remember a couple of weeks ago that the pulmonary doctors took over when the lungs were the issue. Praise God we made it through that week. Now the ICU has taken over. Though they are on top of things there is still a lot unknown about what is going on inside Jake. Is there a bacteria? Is there a brain issue? Jake's fever last night was once again up to 102 but now is around 99. His vitals are still good and the meds are keeping him peaceful. He fought them through the bandage changes.

Day-by-day we watch and try to figure out what is good and what is bad. So much unknown. If I dwell on the unknown and try to figure out things that I cannot, I freak, cry, get angry...etc. If I focus on the known and on gratitude, I have hope and peace. Remembering where we have come; miracles of his very life from huge amounts of electricity. Thankful that he is breathing almost completely on his own. What is known now is such a blessing.

This verse from Deut continues to come back to me: 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

The Message puts it this way: God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It's up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation.

I am praying that God brings forward that which the doctors need to know. That which we need to know. And that when it comes we have the capacity and wisdom to know what to do.

And then Paul says this...

2Cor 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Eternal things are going on as well. Beyond our control, beyond our vision, beyond our understanding.

5 weeks into this journey we still move forward day by day - not sure what tomorrow brings. Focus needs to be fully on what is seen we are seeing not just physical/temporal but eternal/spiritual things going on. Connecting with God, returning to God, trusting in God. I hope you are reading the comments on the blog. God works through each of us not just pastors, priests, and rabbi's. Through Jesus death on the cross we individually approach God and are released to connect with God and minister to others in his name. Paul calls us a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2). We bring forth the love of God to those we come into contact with - revealing grace, hope, opportunity for forgiveness, change, repentance. That is what this community is all about. That is what is happening.

Robbie, Jensen and I went to church this morning. I realized driving there that we got there because it was the church Jacob wanted to visit. We stayed because we connected to a community and a family with a vision to "be" the church and not just "go" to church. Oh, what an amazing thing to think about unleashing the church to "be" Christ to those we connect with at work, school, home...

Day by day we step forward on what comes visible trusting God for what is not yet known. We do this with Jacob and we do this spiritually as well. Incremental changes to attitude; to love regardless of how we are treated; to forgive regardless of guilt; to be peace in the midst of turmoil. Asking God to strengthen in fill us with his spirit because we cannot do it on our own strength.

Monday begins week 6 - day by day we move forward; packing up Robbie for school; eager to have Jacob wake up; much more eager for restoration.

Jacob, I miss you. School is starting soon and you are not gonna make it to the first day. You are such a blessing, such a joy. We are not done yet. Thousands are praying, hoping, calling out to God. Your life is a blessing to others and through this God is working - in control - loving us.

Love and peace,

Tom (Dad)