Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jake speaking at Faith Community

I have been "blogging" on www.kirkendallministries.com/blog - but I thought I would write a quick update here about Jake.


Jake is winding up his first semester at Cabrillo College where he is majoring in Fire Science. He has also been working part-time at Freeline Surf in Capitola. Overall he is doing awesome but the lingering challenges are the graft sites on his thumb and heel and the pain in his back. He has appointments this week with Physical Therapy and Podiatry. Last week we saw his plastic surgeon who did a little work on the small spot that is not healing well still. Jake nicked it a couple of months ago on kelp while surfing and the wound would normally take a few days to heal - but Jake's thumb has been through a lot and is delicate. The heel is challenging finding shoes that won't rub and cause sores.

Recovery just does not seem to be a definitive amount of time. I guess when one faces death, coma, 8 surgeries, etc, etc patience is still a necessity.

This Sunday, Jake will be sharing with Pastor Nick Hart at Faith Community Church. The subject is joy - how can there still be joy in the midst of...well if your reading this blog, you know. Faith Community meets at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz at 10:30. You should be able to download the podcast next week by visiting the site if you would like to listen in.

Merry Christmas.

Tom (daddy)

Monday, November 22, 2010

There was dancing.

We have a new website (kirkendallministries.com) with a blog in it but I wanted to post a few pictures here from the Burn Unit Gala 2010.


Last year, at Gala 2009 Jake was fresh out of the hospital. Last year Jake was accompanied by a wheelchair, helmet, pik line with medicine bottle, and two very tired and anxious parents. We had to leave early, before the dancing, because Jake was in horrible pain. This year, styling in a pinstriped suit, there was dancing. This year Jake shared his story and gave tribute to Greg Hansen for saving his life. This year we danced and laughed and hugged - nurses, doctors, friends - and we celebrated. And then two very tired and not quiet as anxious parents left with Jacob and Robbie still dancing. We are so very thankful.

Getting ready for the Gala I went to our favorite cleaners in Capitola to get my suit taken in. The owner was there and asked me what the special occasion was. She was tearful when she heard that I was Jake’s dad. Please continue to pray for our opportunities. In a real sense, Jacob’s Journey continues as we live out daily life in the community. When Jake speaks to a youth group or customer at the surf shop, when I go to the hospital, when Jensen and I serve a meal, we are able to share the story of a miracle.


You can keep following through the facebook page "Santa Cruz Compassion Network" and the website kirkendallministries.com. 

Grace and Peace - and Happy Thanksgiving.


Tom (daddy)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quick update and link

If you are interested in seeing a picture of the group of us at the World Burn Congress, click on this link to Pray for Jake Facebook page. It was an incredible trip. I wrote a bit on the blog on our website: Kirkendallministries.com

We are not really writing much these days here. Robbie is writing on his blogs and I am starting to do more writing again through the website. It feels good to be expressing ourselves through the paths that have emerged from Jake's trauma. What is coming out for each of us, in our own ways is about caring for others in the midst of their own hardship. In a huge way, you that supported us have inspired us to make sure that "none are alone in suffering."

Grace and peace continue...

Tom (daddy)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Blog Post

I just posted a new blog on www.kirkendallministries.com/blog

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Surf Texas: World Burn Congress

Jake and I recently found out that we will be attending the World Burn Congress. This is an annual gathering of more than 700 burn survivors, families, care givers, burn professionals and firefighters put on by the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. It is a forum of encouragement and facilitation of stories, support and increasing knowledge of burn recovery. For many it is the first opportunity to meet and share with others who have experienced burn trauma.

This year it is in Galveston, Texas, and though as a family we all really wanted to go, we do not have the finances to make that work. What a blessing it was when Scott from the the San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation called Jake and offered to send him and me. Jake and I are excited for a father-son trip... Jake did some googling and was excited to see it is a surf town.

Surfing Texas may not happen because a few weeks ago Jake got an infection in his thumb. He was surfing and hit it slightly on a rock. It was a good reminder that anything "normal" is not really "normal" around these injuries. Jake only has one blood vessel instead of two so infection is more likely. Plus he was in the ocean - not a very sterile environment. Debbie took him to the hospital and he was almost admitted. They had not seen a thumb like this before - grafted, fused, swollen, red... they put Jake on some anti-biotics and followed up a few days later with a plastic surgeon. Things are a ton better but as of yesterday he still has not been cleared for the ocean - suffering surfer! Today he is getting a new splint made to better protect his thumb when he is using it - have you ever tried not using your thumb for a day?




For me personally being able to attend the World Burn Congress is an opportunity to open up the ministry door a little wider as we continue to explore what God has for us. It is a humbling joy to weekly serve as a chaplain to the Burn Unit and other ICU's at Valley Medical. I get to visit nurses, doctors, therapists and patients in a place that was a significant part of this journey. I remember each time I walk in how hard it was to be there - how I could at times only stay in for minutes - while I watched Jake struggle for life. Now I get to engage in conversation with others on their journey. Though each story is different - there exists a bond in the suffering. The best ministry that we can have is by simply being present - showing up - listening - loving.

Recently in the burn unity I was able to visit with a woman who had been badly burned. The first time I visited her, she could not talk so I shared a bit why I was there which included a brief story about Jake. Each week as a came in - there was huge improvement. You know how it is when you do not see a friends kids for while - your amazed at how they have grown? Growth when we are up close seems so slow...we need to step back and remember. The last time I saw her she was in a wheel chair sitting up and smiling. I was so excited and told her so. We talked for a while and I honestly do not remember if I prayed with her or not and I went to the next room. As I was gowning up, her husband poked his head in the door: "you can come back anytime - that is the first time I have seen her smile in a week." I really did not do anything - I just showed up.

The best ministry that we can have is being present - showing up - listening - loving.

God continues to direct us in creating this Santa Cruz Compassion Network - not in our timing but in His. Stepping forward in faith is about being present - showing up - listening -loving. We are still in the development stage as we raise funds and engage in conversations, forming to what God is leading. But honestly, each day I remember what we have been given by the community and that leads me to a vision of providing that ministry to others. One step at a time.

Grace and peace,

Tom (daddy)

Monday, September 27, 2010

The patience of faith...

"Lord, grant me patience. But I want it now!"

I still remember that being on my mom's wall in her kitchen growing up. There are so many times that I think I am so incredibly patient only to realize that I am patient up to a point. I will pray and ask God and wait but then I either think it has been long enough and God should have answered by now - so I act. I have good intentions, I have technically prayed about it, but honestly it is me acting, not God.

It has been said that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. It has just been a year since Jake woke up from his coma. Patience is not about waiting a reasonable amount of time; it is about realizing that time, relative to God, is like a pinprick in the in the canvas of the universe. How dare I tell God, "time is up." How dare I try to push God into doing something because I can't wait any longer. Who do I think I am?

God is fully in control and fully loves me and fully cares about my life. He has chosen me, forgiven me, and longs to be in relationship with me. Yet I am not the cornerstone of his plan. His timing is right. His plan is right.

These thoughts are in me as I remember all that God has done over the years. I have been unemployed or underemployed for several years. I have questioned often what God is doing - especially when faced with Jacob almost dying. I have given my life to ministry for God and caring for others. I have wondered and questioned as I have been on my knees before God seeking for him to change things. I have rejoiced at miraculous. I have thought I was patient - but he continues to teach me I have a long way to go. So often what I think I am doing for God is really doing it for myself.

For several years know this vision of something new and different has been forming in me. I have made various attempts to move toward it and yet it seems that I was forcing it and it was about me. Patience is not about me. Over these last several years I have kept the conversation going and especially over this last year that conversation is moving into reality. God is setting up a mosaic and if I stand too close I only see the individual colors and they are pretty nice. But if I patiently take a step back I start to see how the amazing individual colors form quite a masterpiece.

Although Jake's accident turned our family upside down, we experienced the amazing love of community...so many of you provided a web of support carrying us into the presence of God. Our desire is to create a unified network of churches and individuals equipped, empowered and ready to respond to those in need. It has been said many times, we are blessed to be a blessing.

I am continuing to serve as a volunteer chaplain at Valley Medical (where Jake was in the Burn Unit). It has been a blessing to pray and care for those I encounter. I have also partnered with Faith Community Church to create the Santa Cruz Compassion Network, a unified response to those who are hurting. Our goal is to "unite, equip, and mobilize the collective Church in Santa Cruz County to be a proactive and responsive catalyst of Christ's compassionate love in and to our community."

Please continue to pray for us as we build this ministry. As Jake begins to tell his story and encourage youth and as we work to make sure that no one is left alone in suffering, our desire is to continue this community that began with Jacob's Journey. We are in the process of raising up partners who will support us in this ministry. I am so thankful that Faith Community is providing oversight and guidance and desires that this is not a ministry about one church but the collective Church - the people of God raising up and reflecting the love of Christ.

We have created a website kirkendallministries.com. The hope is that this is a hub to get information, blogs, etc related to our family. Also we are building a website for santacruzcompassion.com. There is a link on these pages as to how you can support this ministry us.

Faith is not trying to do a little bit beyond the reasonable - it is trusting in the God of miracles to do that which he has called us to do. We are called to reveal the Kingdom of God. The God who has done miracles - we have seen it...
  Heb 11:2      Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
  James 2:17   faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

  Gal 5:6         the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love...



"I waited patiently for the Lord, He turned to me and heard my cry." Ps 40:1

Grace and peace,

Tom (Daddy)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

...you still there?

It has been a much easier summer than last year. Is that the biggest understatement ever?

I wrote last that we really would not be posting here anymore. Yet I have had a few people tell me that they will check here anyway. Hopefully soon we will have a blog integrated with a website and newsletter. I have not really known what to write. That did not stop me before I just logged on and wrote. But then it was an, "I do not care what others think" as I was so focused on updates about Jake and calling to others for prayer. It was a time of desperation and woundedness that I have not felt in a long time. What is going on now for me is trying to make sure I step back and understand what God is laying before us and which path we should be taking. My barrier to writing is really myself.

My mom took me aside after the last post and was concerned that I was living in angst about what next tragedy might take place. How cool is it to have a mom that loves me enough to do that? I actually really appreciated that. The truth is that I am not living in angst but I am also not naive enough to think we have had all the tragedy already. People had already referred to me as Job before Jake's accident. In fact I remember sharing in a sermon once that with all else that God had allowed us to go through - he had been protecting my family. I was thinking about writing a book called "The Unsuccessful Life." Yet through all that has happened, God has been present - not just carrying us through but refining us and shaping us to be who he wants us to be.

Paul asked this question in Galatians: "Have you suffered so many things in vain?" (3:4) Then in Romans he says, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us." (3:18) We want so desperately to make perfect sense of the suffering that we go through. And really, ultimately we can't. We can see blessings in the midst of heartache - beauty come from ashes. But honestly there is still confusion and a lingering around the "why" question. Confusion or lack of clarity is okay on our part. Perfect understanding, though we seek it, is not something to rely on. I memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 in high school "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. But in all your ways acknowledge God and He will set your path straight."

God is present in the midst of our suffering. That is still the biggest take away from Jacob's Journey for me. Suffering hits without prejudice and no one' s suffering is greater or lesser than another. Pain is pain. Heartache is heartache. Loss is loss. Suffering is in vain if we resist it's shaping of our hearts and enriching of our soul.

I have had many conversations lately about the vision that God has laid on my heart. Conversations that bring feedback leading to both clarification and confusion. Some of the conversations are interviews and some are just brainstorming. But it seems that the path emerges just enough to know where to take the next step but not the next several steps. All are steps of faith. All are steps of provision.

I am still working two days a week as a volunteer chaplain at Valley Medical. I know that this is a time of refining and teaching me as much as it is for me to minister to others. And I long to be used by God for others to have some sort of greater degree of hope. So many asked us during Jake's trauma, "what can we do?" and we responded, "just pray." The only thing is so often the best thing that we can do: "pray". I get so frustrated because I feel like I have more to offer. I entered one room recently and that wife was crying and just shooed me away. That is the ministry that she needed on that day.

I often think of Jim and Sue bringing us burritos almost every night. The consistent love that was shown not in the big flashy help but the "burrito in the name of Christ" love that is bound up in a relationship. What can we do to provide practical love to those in the midst of trauma. That is the bigger vision that continues to press on my temple. I pray that we would see the Church unified - all these little churches, ministries and individuals that love Christ and deeply desire love others. As you all surrounded us, I want to see the church surround others - no matter what their faith is. How cool would it be for others to really see Christ in us as we care for and love others - compassion is action. That is what Jesus called us to and what Paul tried to help us to understand.

God continues to build me in that direction. I have been able to work for the US Census for a few more weeks than expected. I was rehired for two more operations. But that ended last week. So the income factor is a major concern and prayer. God seems to continue to provide just enough to make it each week.

We are getting ready to take Robbie back to Biola soon, Jensen will start Jr. High and Jake will be starting classes at Cabrillo College. Jake continues to struggle with some wound care issues on his heal and his back is continuing to hurt. We have a good handle on what he needs to do - basically strengthen his core muscles to make up for the missing and damaged muscles.

God is our refuge and strength,        an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
       and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
       and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
       the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
       God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
       he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
       the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see the works of the LORD,
       the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
       he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
       he burns the shields with fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God;
       I will be exalted among the nations,
       I will be exalted in the earth."
The LORD Almighty is with us;
       the God of Jacob is our fortress
. (Ps 46)

Grace and peace

Tom (daddy)

Jake still owes me a post here. So keep looking for that!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Altered State

It has been a while since I have written. Even now as I sit here I am having a hard time knowing what to write. I think most of all I wanted to explain what has been going on in our lives. Ministry continues to emerge for us: slowly, prayerfully, carefully. Robbie with writing and working at summer camp, Jake as an encouragement to all he meets, and Tom (me) as a chaplain/pastor in the community.

Having missed last summer, Jacob is truly enjoying this summer. June 28th was the 1 year anniversary of his accident and it was just a normal day - nice to be able to say that. We did not really talk about it being the 1 year anniversary - we didn't need to. Last Sunday was harder though. Debbie and I took Jensen up to Camp Hammer and dropped him off like we did last year - that was the night we got THE phone call that radically altered our lives. No phone call this year - Jake came home that night, Jensen and Robbie remained safe at their camps. 

Throughout his recovery, Jake has just wanted things to be normal. We have commented over and over again that "normal" has been redefined. Things will never be the same. Yet I realized recently that I am having a hard time accepting "normality". I want more. Our lives have been altered. How do I operate in this altered state? We have stood in the presence of miracles and have been forever changed. But now what? I have been waiting for the next bad thing to happen - the next tragedy - the next trauma. Debbie mentioned it and it woke me up to this underlying nagging pain in my heart that is waiting for the next time of alarm - the next phone call - the next hardship.
(Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that's triggered by a traumatic event. You can develop post-traumatic stress disorder when you experience or witness an event that causes intense fear, helplessness or horror. - Mayo Clinic)
Why is there guilt that Jake is doing incredibly well? He is surfing, driving, preparing for college, and working at Freeline again. He is able to be where he wants to be - with his friends (and sometimes gracing our presence too).  It is a daily discipline to walk with an expectation that God is going to show up and that no matter what happens - good or bad - he is in control and is present. Miracles by definition are not "normal" but supernatural alteration of normal. We are dramatically altered when God shows up and we abide with him. But we can also abide and in God and be altered in the "normality" of life - because God being present is never normal, never boring, never staying the same. Check out 1 John 3: God loves us and calls us his children and how we are right now is not how we will be in the future - he is shaping and developing us to become like him - we are in the midst of being altered.

Jake still has some altering to do - not just spiritually but physically. He is still dealing with wound care issues and back pain. At some point there are procedures to restore hair and free up movement on his arm. Most likely the back pain is due to the missing lat muscles and he just needs to intentionally strengthen the other muscles to support that valuable spine.

My path continues to be altered as well. Twice a week I am a "volunteer chaplain" at Valley Medical Hospital (where we spent almost 3 months). I am focusing my ministry here on ICU and Emergency Units. There is a tremendous need for spiritual care and it is a priority for the hospital and yet there is little funding. So I am in the process of raising financial support to allow me to do this as a ministry. Kind of crazy to me that this is where God is leading me. I was a huge cry baby when I was here last year. I remember through tears listening to doctors and nurses as they explained Jake's condition. My first visit as a chaplain was in the Burn Unit. Going to the Burn Unit first was intentional on my part but what was not intentional was that the first room I would go in was Jacob's room. I was intending to go into the one next door but after I gowned up (hat, mask, gloves, gown) the nurse whispered delicately showing me I was using the wrong cart. So I boldly, nervously walked into Jacob's old room. Strange how different it looked. Awesome to be able to make a new friend. Redeeming to know that life can come in the midst of ashes. 

I am learning that being a chaplain is mostly about "showing up, shutting up and staying out of the way." A co-worker shared that with me and it is constantly on my mind. I have called it "purposeful presence" and added "point out God." It is less about what I say and more about being there - being available - listening - being open to God's lead. Just showing up is huge. Like so many that visited us - showing up meant a lot.

I have thought a lot about the familiar story that Jesus shared about he man beaten and left for dead on the street. Religious leaders passed by but the lowlife, unclean Samaritan stopped and went out of his way to help. Though it was a parable or made up story - it happens and that man who was dying has a name. He is the man in ER who fell and broke his rib, overdosed, can't breath - Arthur. He is Peter who had been clean and sober for 3 years but took a drink last week - his father is dying, brother-in-law just died, lost his job and was trying to find a handle on hope. The bottle of whiskey seemed like it was a familiar friend and an easy handle but that hope disappointed. Peter is ready again to start at step one, day one to be clean and sober again. There are so many stories. I was able to be there last week to help Maria as her mom had just died. And to listen to Mark's explanation of why he was on drugs and why a stranger had cut him. There is so much tragedy at the Inn where the Samaritan brings the wounded.

The conversations continue. Jacob's story is still a source of encouragement - people amazed at the miracle. God continues to make alterations - snipping away - creating us into who he wants us to be. I pray that we will continue to abide in Him, hope in Him, look for Him.

Please continue to pray for us as our ministries expand. If God is leading for you to support us financially, I am partnering with MIC (Medical Institutions Chaplains). The donation information and address is on the left hand side of this blog. I will soon have a web site up and a newsletter available that you can choose to subscribe. I would love to have you continue to join our journey in prayer and conversation.

Also look for a post here from Jake soon.

In the Hope of His presence.

Tom (daddy)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Robbie's 1st Published work...

I know many of you will want to share in this as you have engaged with Rob's writings here and on his own blog (Liquid Religion). As a proud father, I wanted to share with you all this link:  Robbie's Article in Relevant Magazine

More to come this week....


Tom (proud daddy of 3)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stepping back to move forward

Jake went back. He has been to the Burn Unit on his own just to visit those that worked so hard to save his life and become so dear to us. It was good timing as this week has been especially difficult for the burn unit - they were encouraged to see one of their successes. Each of the people in this first picture were very involved in Jake's care and the second picture is of Dr. Karanas, head surgeon of the burn unit and Jill Sproul, the nurse manager. They are such a joy to us.

Last week Jake was a CIT (counselor in training) at a camp for children (8-15) who are burn survivors. It was an incredibly impactful week for him as he begins to give back and bless others.  Many of the counselors were nurses, doctors, and firefighters and Jake enjoyed the time he spent with them and gained insight into his continued care for his own wounds.


I am continuing to volunteer as a chaplain at Valley Med and build a support base to continue our ministry. Last week after doing rounds I went up to visit the Burn Unit and then sat outside at our old waiting area as I did some journalling and praying for those I had just visited. A doctor walked by and did a double-take seeing me sit there. He was one that I think was with the pulminary doctors who took over when we almost lost Jake due to lung damage. We had a great conversation and was so glad to hear Jake was doing so well. He had no idea.

This last picture is of Jake with Dr. Aaron Burger. He was at Kaiser and did Jake's thumb surgery. He and Jake had a great connection. Jake was able to see him today at the burn unit.

Monday will be the one year mark of Jacob's injury and the beginning of this journey. Though the journey will continue we have reached a place closure. The intention of this blog was to be an easy way to communicate to family and friends what was happening with Jake. It became so much more and has been an amazing experience. I feel that it is time to close out this blog. We are in the process of establishing a website to serve as hub for connecting to updates on our family and ministries. With that will be a newsletter that you can choose to receive (or not). I will post the connection here as soon as it is up and running.

More to come...

Tom (daddy)

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God." Romans 8:18-19

Monday, June 7, 2010

Christening of Robbie's blog!

Check it out and join in on the fun and conversation! http://liquidreligion.wordpress.com/

The current post (the only one so far) is an introduction of what I want to do with the blog. Real posts to come soon...

As the bottle breaks, here's to a crazy-awful year and all the glimpses of God within this tragedy, and the joyous miracle of Jake's recovery.

And thanks to all of you who encouraged me to pursue writing and continue blogging.



-Rob (Jake's bro)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Coach Charlie Wedemeyer

Coach Charlie Wedemeyer was an Inspiration (click for SJ Mercury article)
~ they should change the title to IS and inspiration ~ 


Several times during Jacob's Journey I thought of this family and their journey. He was my high school football coach and was an incredible man with an incredible gift and testimony. I thought of his wife Lucy who had hurt her neck and lifting her husband in and out of bed as we helped Jacob in and out of bed. We did it for a few months - the Wedemeyers did it for almost 30 years. What an encouragement to know that God's hand was on them and that in the midst of suffering God's presence sustained them.

Coach is walking, singing, running, throwing, loving in the Presence of the object of his faith.

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes... For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, "The righteous will live faith."" Romans 1:16, 17

Tom (daddy)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

He did it!!!


Jacob's Journey, as we have called this, took an incredible pause for celebration today. I got to the Cabrillo College stadium early. The Jr High graduation had just ended and I was totally confused by all the people. No robes, boy they look young. Ahh not seniors but 8th graders. I called Jake. "Where are you." I was hoping to connect and hang out before his graduation. "I am at the beach, do you have any food?" He wants to be on his own unless I am going to feed him. :) Typical teenager.

It was a great day. The principal summarized some of the accomplishments of the class: sports championships, academic accomplishments, and charitable contributions. He also mentioned something about Jacob Kirkendall being present to graduate. There was also the word miracle in there but I could not really hear as I was sitting in between Debbie and her sister Julie - the noise was deafening. I teared up a bit and almost lost my contact and as I tried to stand to join in the noise - I got whacked in the head. Nice, awesome, perfect. I will get the video.

It was incredible to consider - strike that - it is still incredible to consider all that Jake has gone through - all that we have gone through - where we still could be right now and yet he did it. He finished his senior year in the midst of over 4 months of hospitalization, several months of rehab, surgeries, etc etc etc. I guess you all know all that - in fact you are all so much a big part of this. I was so blessed today to meet more people for the first time that have been following Jake's journey and have been praying for us. Wow, what a privilege. I always feel so inadequate just saying thank you. There is so much more...so much to say "thank you" for.

Way to go Jake.


Daddy...(Tom)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Purple day?!

Graduation is imminent! I do not think that I have written in the blog that Jake has officially finished all of his class work and is graduating on June 3rd. We started late in the school year and I would sit down with him and help a lot. Over these last couple of months he has done it all on his own as he has weened me away from him. Looking back...the momentum is astounding. Just as a flywheel is very difficult to turn and get moving but as the momentum takes over the energy exerted to keep it moving is minimal.
-----
flywheel |ˈflīˌ(h)wēl| - a heavy revolving wheel in a machine that is used to increase the machine's momentum and thereby provide greater stability or a reserve of available power during interruptions in the delivery of power to the machine.-----
There is a lot going on: Jake turned 18, honored by the Red Cross, birthday party, finished school and then Graduation on June 3rd. Aptos High holds their graduation at Cabrillo College at 2pm. Aptos has been great in making sure he got a yearbook, cap and gown, etc. I realized I am going to have to create my own graduation announcement as we never order any. Secretly I like that idea. I am officially declaring June 3rd "purple" day in honor of Jake's graduation...I am going to get my family to wear purple to the graduation...any are welcome to join us. I found some cheap t-shirts at Target.
In the midst of this momentum, our family celebrations continue. Jensen turns 13 and will graduate from 6th grade. Robbie will be home soon and working up at Mount Hermon (a youth camp not far from us). Debbie's teaching aid job is coming to an end for summer, and I am transitioning from the temp job at the Census to chaplain ministry. 
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Grace and peace, 
Tom (daddy) 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hero Breakfast


Jacob Kirkendall and Greg Hansen honored as Red Cross heroes


That's the current newspaper headline.

This morning we were able to attend the "Santa Cruz County Red Cross Local Heroes Breakfast." We found out in April that Jake was nominated as youth hero and was asked if Jake would accept. The very cool part of it is that Jake would be awarded this along with Greg Hansen, our dear friend and Jacob Saver. Greg was recognized as the Rescue Professional Hero. Each recipient was interviewed on video with their story which was played just before they were recognized. Greg and Jake were interviewed together at the fire station, telling their story - one so many of us know so well. The tears came back for me as I am so thankful, incredibly grateful for Jake's life, his healing, friendship with Greg, and his future. I am so proud of him.

One of the things that I noticed this morning was a common theme among those honored. To one degree or another, each hero seemed to deflect some of the praise as they told of others that supported them, encouraged them, inspired them. So often we hold up individuals as heroes and yet as we have found over and over again - it is the community. Sorry if that seems to be a broken record but each step we take points this out again and again. As I pursue chaplaincy, I do not do it alone...I do not want to do it alone. I will get to be in the trauma units and ER with patients and families, being the hands and feet of and offering prayers of encouragement with a community behind me. Jake is going to be able to be a counselor at a burn camp for youth. But he does not go alone; he has this entire community behind him who have supported us and prayed for us and encouraged us. WE ARE BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING.

Check out the links below on the breakfast and all of the heroes.

Santa Cruz Sentinel Article Click here
Red Cross Heroes Page Click here


Grace and Peace,

Tom (daddy)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Jacob

On this day, May 17th 1992, Jacob Kirkendall was born.

The incredible thing about him turning 18 is the realization that he almost did not make it past 17. Here we are celebrating his LIFE...enjoying his LIFE...being so thankful for his LIFE. Andy Lewis, pastor at Faith Community Church, reminded me on Sunday that God desires for us to pause and celebrate, reflect, rejoice and remember the incredible way that he works in our lives...the blessings that we have received. Today I can honestly say that throughout this day I remembered. Jake and I went to breakfast - a father-son tradition since Rob, Jake and Jensen were toddlers. Just a normal day eating and sharing enjoying each other. Then Jake and I went about our day. But as I drove around for the Census I kept remembering the gift of Life we have been given. I went into the bank and told the teller that it was my sons birthday - not just any day - a birthday that he almost did not make it to - she had heard of Jake's story. Somehow this has shaped us and the story continues to come out. 

There is more to come over the next days as we celebrate together - birthdays and graduations - times to pause and remember, reflect and be so very thankful. 

I have said it so often but please know that we are continually thankful for each of you and the support, encouragement that you have shared with us. You have taught me what the Body of Christ is all about. You have modeled for me the ministry that I want to unfold for others - to surround those that are in the midst of their tragedy, praying for them, caring for them, and helping them to grip hope a little bit tighter. 

On Wednesday Jake will be receiving a hero award from the Santa Cruz Red Cross for attempting to put out the fire. Greg Hansen will also be recognized for rescuing Jake. They have a friendship - a bound that will continue as they continue to help others. Then on June 3rd Jake will graduate from Aptos High School. He had 5 classes to finish. He only has about 20% of 5th class left. It was done by computer as independent study. At first I was pretty involved in helping. Now Jake is on his own - even meeting with his teacher on his own. Then on June 11th Jake leaves for Champ Camp. He will be a CIT (Counselor in Training) for this camp for children ages 8 - 15 who are survivors. This is going to be an incredible experience for him. 

There is a lot going on as Jensen's birthday is coming up too (13) as well has his graduation from 6th grade. Amazing opportunities to pause and celebrate. 

So much to be grateful for, 

Tom (daddy)


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A letter from Tom

As way of keeping you all in the know, this letter explains the door that God continues to be widening. A ministry to those in tragedy. I sent this out today...

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Dear Friends -              May 10. 2010
As most of you know, on June 28th 2009, our family’s world was turned upside down as our middle son, Jacob, was severely injured by 21,000 volts of electricity (If you need more information, see www.journeythroughfire.blogspot.com.) There was but one thing we were assured of: this journey would be a roller coaster. Indeed it has been, as Jake fluctuated between death and life, recovery and set-backs. Looking back over this past year, it is difficult to fathom all that has happened, but we know God has been in the midst of it. 
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3
We have seen the hand of God move: healing Jake, sustaining each of us, and calming our hearts with the reality of His presence. The community that has grown around us has been such an incredible encouragement to us. Jake is basically back to “normal”: surfing, riding his bike, driving, finishing his senior year. Now it is time for the next faith step. 
“And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:4-5
Months prior to Jake’s accident, I was interested in becoming a hospital chaplain and was told to contact Larry Wildemuth, the chaplain coordinator and chaplain for MIC (Medical Institutions Chaplains) at Valley Medical Hospital in San Jose. Our first meeting, however, was not about a job, but was when Larry visited us in Jacob’s room in the ICU Burn Center. Over the last several months I have had conversations and interviews with Larry, other chaplains, pastors, as well as the board of MIC. God has prepared and ordained the steps before me and they MIC Board has been appointed me to be a chaplain with MIC serving at the same hospital we spent over 2 months.  
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind, for that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8
There is a tremendous need for trained, dependable chaplains in the hospital system. Though there is a mandate to care for the spiritual needs of patients, the funding is limited. MIC is a faith-based mission, serving these chaplains who raise their own funds. Would you prayerfully consider partnering with me as I walk alongside families, victims and communities in the midst of tragedy? During our journey with Jake, we received such a tremendous outpouring of prayer and support. God has uniquely guided our path for this opportunity. Hope can be so elusive, but in community we can gather around the hurting - helping them to find the peace and grace found in Christ.
“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes, so also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.” James 1:9-11
MIC is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization so your donations are tax-deductible. They will provide ministry oversight, accountability and guidance as I grow this chaplain ministry. This will also include additional training and certification to increase my ministry as a trauma chaplain. My vision is to expand the ministry into Santa Cruz County as I expand my connections with churches and emergency response services. As a family, we have also begun to create a non-profit that specifically ministers to families during their time at the Burn Unit at Valley Medical. 
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Each meeting that I have, each conversation I hold, even the books that I read, confirm that God is moving me in this direction. It is a step of faith, yes, but so is each day regardless of what we think will happen. God is the one who fully holds things together and will affirm and direct us. There is beauty that comes through the ashes as we move along this “journey through fire” with our eyes on the cross. 
In grace and peace, 
Tom Kirkendall
Chaplain
Medical Institutions Chaplains     

 Tax-deductible support can be sent to: 
       Medical Institutions Chaplains
       751 S. Bascom Ave
       San Jose, CA 95128
 Note on check: Kirkendall Fund

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Brief update...

I wanted to give out some quick updates. There is a lot going on as we move forward...


First: for those who have been praying for Michelle and Nick (see April 20th blog), Michelle is doing well and they are sending her home to continue rehab! Very cool. Here is a link to their church website which is keeping a blog update: Paseo del Rey Church

Second: I have been praying for a friend in our community who has been admitted to a burn unit. Please just pray for Lady X - God will know who she is...

Third: Family update...we are anticipating two graduations!
Jensen from sixth grade and Jacob from high school! Jacob is winding up his last two classes online and picked up his graduation robe last week. I went down and spent the weekend with Robbie - what a blessing it was - refreshing. I brought back his truck to borrow while I am working for the Census this month.

We are working toward this continuation of the journey - opportunities to continue to unfold the blessings we have received to bless others. "We are blessed that we might bless others." Working the Census right now is out of necessity to get in a bit of income. God continues to expand the ministry of caring for others in the midst of tragedy. (More on that soon.) Jacob was accepted as a counselor-in-training for Champ Camp which is a camp for children who are burn survivors. My sister Kirky will also be there as a counselor. Robbie will be working at Mount Hermon, a Christian camp, this summer on staff with their High School Camp. We are also working toward establishing a non-profit to come alongside those while they are in the burn center - to enable a community such as we have been blessed with.

There are moments that I stop and just shake my head in disbelief as to just how incredible life is when it is given back to you. Jacob doing so much of what makes Jake, Jake: surfing, driving, school, graduation, just being with his friends. I have been learning to let go. This is so difficult as it is an exercise in faith and in trust. God has brought us through all of this that we might walk with others on their journey. In so many ways we are not worthy of God's attention. In so many ways we fail each other and God and ourselves. Yet there is grace - the blessings that come in acceptance not because of our worth but despite the penalty that we truly deserve. This grace is received and is also a pattern for us to provide it for others in our life. That I would treat others with the same grace that I have been given.

So that is a brief update. Please continue to contact us as to how we can pray for you and for those that are going through tragedy.

In grace and peace,

Tom (daddy)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Back in the water!


Sometimes a picture just says it all!!!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Please pray for Michelle and Nick


IMG_1631
Link: Church Blog Update


Michelle and Nick Cannariato were married on Mission Bay Saturday afternoon, April 17. 
Soon after Michelle and Nick arrived at their hotel in San Diego for their honeymoon night, Michelle's speech began to become slurred and she became unresponsive. She had "seizure-like" symptoms. Nick called 911 and Michelle was taken to Kaiser Hospital at Zion and Mission Gorge Road. Because of Michelle's agitation, the staff was not able to complete a thorough CAT Scan or MRI Sunday morning.

Sunday night, Michelle was able, under general anesthesia, to undergo an MRI. A neurologist was present to read the test. At about 10pm he shared with Dan and Tammy (Nick had gone home to try to get a few hours sleep) that Michelle has suffered a stroke in a deep part of her brain, affecting her right side. As you could imagine, a stroke for a 20 year old is very unusual. Dan asked about the size of the stroke, and the doctor termed it "medium."

Tests on Monday have shown that Michelle has a benign (non-cancerous) tumor about the size of a golf ball in her heart, which they believe was the cause of her stroke. They also found a small hole in her heart. The cause of her stroke is important and good to know so they can work hard to prevent subsequent strokes. Of course it's never good to have a tumor in one's heart, or a hole. Possible open heart surgery--after she begins to heal
and recover from the stroke and it's effects--is difficult, with various complications involved--but we are hopeful. They also discovered that one of her carotid arteries is partially blocked. No dates for her possible heart surgery are known at this time and we would only be speculating to even guess.

The neurologist met with Nick Monday morning and shared that the road of recovery will be long for Michelle being that she has suffered a significant stroke.  He also shared that it is beneficial that Michelle is young, in good health, is determined and has a great support group of family and friends (and our great God!) all of which will aid in her recovery process.  Michelle has been somewhat more responsive Monday, although the stroke has affected areas of speech.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!
Amen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

another step toward normalcy

Debbie and I are wrapping  a couple of days away in Monterey (thanks to our family for the gift). We are sitting at Peets Coffee doing what we do: Debbie reading a novel and I with my computer open - reading about another friend requesting prayer for one in tragedy. It is Monday and I am anticipating the week. I have a tendency to talk schedules with my family - what is coming up, how we are going to orchestrate the cars, etc. It can be frustrating for them as settling down in the present can be difficult - but what I have come to realize is that it helps me to be present when we have a clear plan for the future. While planning is good, for me it is also a trust issue. On the way to Monterey on Saturday I started talking about this week with Debbie - she indulged me and actually started asking me questions - I felt so affirmed, so valued, so cared for. Crazy how something little that can be such a nuisance can also show that you care. Listening to someone holds value. (Thanks for listening here.)

This week is crazy. I accepted a temp job with the Census. I did it a year ago and really did not like it. I get to meet all these great people in our community and have to ask superficial questions - when so many are dealing with so much. But it is a such an answer to prayer - a provision of faith - as I transferred the last of our savings to our checking last week and have temp job next week. Tomorrow morning I will be speaking to a mission board regarding chaplaincy - I have already been approved as a volunteer chaplain at Valley Medical and hope to expand that to Santa Cruz. It is a step of obedience, a step of faith, a step toward God's calling - to minister to those in the midst of tragedy. I see it as an opportunity not to help tighten their grip on hope - to actually grasp my hand around their hand. God continues to increase each week conversations that provide a wind to my back knowing God is directing.

So for Jake, he was able to work on Saturday at Freeline Design - the first time since June 28th. What an amazing family Freeline has been to Jake and to us. What a blessing it is for him to work their again. What a blessing for Debbie and I to actually go away for a couple of nights and have Jake help take care of Jensen. Steps of normalcy that we have forgotten how sweet.

For those that are in the Santa Cruz area, this Friday is a county-wide worship concert. They asked me to  share a bit of Jake's Journey here is the link: INSPIRE

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Gotta run - there is probably more. Thanks for the continued partnership...

grabbing onto hope,

Tom (daddy)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

View from the Summit, part 2


It has been quite a while since I have posted here. In fact just now I spent over an hour writing and lost the whole thing - it auto saves so I have no idea how this blogger dumbed it. I hit post and it just disappeared. I think that God thought less of what I wrote than I did... so starting afresh. 


First, I wanted to share this prayer request that we received through facebook: 

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Michelle:  I have been reading all about Jacob; I am so proud of him and everything your family has done, not just for him, but for others as well. I have also been trying to help Jessica Huse, she graduated from my son's school. Now I have a favor, Lauren Jones, from Rocklin, was injured in a sledding accident. She has a fractured skull, a broken leg and four bruised ribs. She's only 10 years old and still in ICU in Rocklin. Could we all please pray for her? 


Her Caring Bridge site is:www.caringbridge.org/visit/sallyjones

-------------------------------------


To update you on Jacob.... he is where we longed for him to be while he was in a coma. He is with his friends as often as he can. He is driving his 1999 Volvo to meet them for pizza, to coffee shops to work on school on his laptop, to appointments and soon he will be back at work. And of course some day soon - back in the water. Can we please slow down a bit. This is tough on dad the most. I inherited my dads "I worry" gene. It is so great to be back to our normal 17-year old issues. Although I still hate these issues. :) Yes, so he is on track to graduate - two classes left and he will be done. He was also cleared by his doctor to return to work at Freeline. Jake still wears his splint on his thumb - I think it gives him more confidence and soon we will be increasing rehab on the thumb. We also down the line will be addressing hair and surgery to release tight skin grafts on his arm. But looking at Jake with his cap on his head - it is hard to tell he was jolted by a power line 10 months ago. 

What is next for me? I accepted a temp job with the Census Bureau for the month of May. I did some work with them last year and though it is not my hearts desire - we need the money. Though I continue to "job search", God seems to be unfolding opportunities for me to do pastoral ministry. I am talking to churches and other ministries and follow this desire to be a chaplain in the community. I had a great meeting with two seasoned chaplains today as they helped me narrow my focus. I will update you next week as I know more. 

We are also moving forward with a non-profit that will allow us to tell Jake's story and encourage others while we also practically raise money to help those in burn trauma. Conversations continue and plans are being made as God seems to be expanding opportunities. One of which is a friend that has gone through his own family trauma that has and great vision that speaks to my heart about a better way to provide an online community and communication format. An easy way to surround a family in midst of trauma and help meet their needs. 

For those that still desire, we are keeping the Bank of the West account open. We are still in need of funds to meet our expenses and to help start the ministries that God seems to be opening up. You can find the bank information on the left side of the blog. 

I read this last week. "Are you willing to be open to God's will for your life?"   - Richard Sterns

So often I get in the way of what God is doing. But God is not giving up. He brings us through circumstances to shape us but also to prepare us for what is next. 

"Christ has no body on earth but yours, 
       no hands but yours, 
       no feet but yours. 
Yours are the eyes through which 
      Christ's compassion for the world is to look out, 
      yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good
      and yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now."    - St. Teresa of Avila

God is less concerned about the form than about the heart. We see that in Jesus ministry. He reached out to the hurting, restored the wounded, loved those shunned - the unlovely. Jesus anger burned against those that used the form to define spirituality when the heart was rotten. We allow the form to separate us as we value appearance  over all else. A person in trauma - wounded, desperate, scared - cares little about form. They cling to life, long for hope, seek a sliver of relief. In the midst of our day we make it rain or make the sun to shine simply by the position of our heart. 

Still gripping hope...

Tom (daddy) 




Monday, April 5, 2010

Pray for Julie Brown

Please pray for Julie Brown, a fellow student of mine at Biola, who was in a car accident on Sunday with her brother. Her brother, Kevin, is out of the hospital and doing fine. Reports on Julie are positive, but she has some complications. This is the most recent update from her brother:

"Hey everyone, thanks for all your prayers and support. Julie and I were in a car accident near Gilroy on 101 driving back home for spring break early Sunday morning. Julie had had surgery on her legs and face yesterday, and so far reports are very positive.

Please pray that her breathing may deepen so that she will be able to come off respiratory support.

Also pray AGAINST infection in her legs and face.

MRI results confirmed that she has no brain or nerve damage! Praise the Lord!

I'll be posting updates to Julie's condition here."

You can follow this link, join the group and receive updates:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=110471605640313&ref=nf&v=info

Peace,
Robbie

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter morning thoughts...

It is a quiet Easter morning right now. Coffee brewing, boys sleeping. Robbie came home on Thursday and we have truly enjoyed the blessing of each of our boys. How thankful that we are to have a sense of normality to our lives. With normality comes the reality of life though - dealing with those same issues that seem to frame our lives - little things that cause conflict: selfishness, greed, insecurity, fear, doubt...etc. There are things that we are dissatisfied with, long to change, wish would be different. Those things are situations, people, decisions. I work to remind myself daily of the miraculous gifts that have been received - countless miracles. God has done so much for me can I also not trust him in daily "normality" of life?

And then there is Easter. Yesterday I finished reading Luke - the last three chapters which are the events surrounding Jesus' arrest, trial, death and resurrection. Through the last two weeks, my thoughts have continued to dwell on the heart of the Father as he watched those he created, those he loved, those that he is about to save. He watched them murder his own son. How God's heart must have grieved not only as he watched his son suffer but has he watched his creation act with such evil. God's holiness stands in utter contrast to our sinfulness: patient, kind, gentle, merciful, peaceful, forgiving, selfless, humble...

The resurrected Jesus came back. After all that he went through he came back and stood in the midst of creation. He walked with some women on a road that lead to Emmaus. "Jesus himself appeared and stood among them as they spoke and to them, 'peace be with you.'" (24:36) He ate some fish. He opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures.  "He told them, 'This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem.'" (Luke 24:46-47) There is something that blows me away in the simple fact that Jesus came back to the normality of life and gave them some assurance of what had happened (miraculous), what is happening (God's presence), and what will happen. The miraculous presence of God has not left you and will continue to unfold his plan - not just to you but through you.

Luke 24:48-49: "'I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.' When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And the stayed continually at the temple, praising God.'"

Everyone is up now. Jensen made me breakfast! The boys have searched out and found Easter baskets - with ants in the plastic eggs! So for me this morning I pray that God would sustain us to the peace that comes from his presence. That we would trust fully in the reminder of what he has done, what he is doing, and that no matter what tomorrow brings - he is there.

Remembering: Jesus came back!

Tom (daddy)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Onward, Captain!

Hello all,

Rob here. It has been awhile. I wanted to check in with a general update

As many of you know, Jacob is gaining more independence--driving himself, wanting to go to appointments alone, probably graduating high school soon. I remember back in July or August, I was thinking about what it would be like to watch Jacob recover. It would not be like setting a broken bone--one day, everything is just all better. It is a very gradual process. Thus, it is very unreal. I don't know at what point to say, "Praise the Lord, he's back to normal!" What is normal? Things are completely different. About every two weeks I get this pang in my gut as I think about what things used to be like--and realizing that I still haven't fully processed what has happened.

Then there's this blog. In talking with my dad, we agree that there is not much use in posting immediate updates about Jacob (well, I admit, all along updates on Jake have been saturated in our own thoughts and struggles). He is not in critical condition, he is on his own, maybe he can even start posting blogs about whatever he wants. However, we still see this blog as a good step toward creating a network of support for critical medical emergencies and families in those situations. So maybe it will become a type of forum website for support.

Whatever the case, I am in the process of starting my own blog, specifically related to some thoughts, ideas and conversations that have been brewing in my life.

I say this because all of you who follow this blog have a very special place in my heart because of the community and support found in expressing myself here this past year (almost). I want to include as many of you as possible in the conversations on my new blog.

I look back and see God's hand over this last year--in the midst of the strife, leading us to where he wants us to be. Jacob is far down the road to recovery... my Dad is exploring direction for his employment/family life... Jensen is exiting grade school (!)... my Mom is working at his school again... and I have no doubt that many of you find yourself in unique and exciting places in your own story--some of your stories inextricably tied to ours. Making a new blog is a "next step" for me.

Life ebbs and flows in phases, endless complexities. As the distance between the present and June 28th, 2009 ever increases, I have begun to embark into cautious optimism in the face of struggle, doubt and apathy, communicated well by one of my current top songs:

The Captain, by Guster

I've come down with something
I'm frozen, tied up, cast in lead
It's simple, so says the captain
Face forward, move slow, forge ahead

I'm earning a reputation
My conscience, mistrust, and regret
Courageous, just like the captain
Marching forward, with no doubt in his head

Onward
Onward
Onward
Onward

Blessings,

Rob (Jake's brother)

Friday, March 26, 2010

For the Glory of Your Name

Tonight at 7pm is the CD release concert for Josh Fox's "Radiant" album. Josh is a Pastor at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz. We were able to participate in their services the Sunday before Jake's latest surgery. One of the songs on the album, "For the Glory of Your Name" was written late one night in the midst of tears as Josh was reading about this journey and praying for Jake.

So it is a gorgeous day in Santa Cruz - so those that are able, I suggest a quick dinner on the wharf to check out the waves and then head to Vintage. It will be a great night. So far I-tunes has one song on the album to download but here is Josh's website where you can sign up for updates etc: www.joshfoxmusic.com

As for a Jake update. He is doing great as he does therapy on his own, meets with his independent studies teacher on his own, leaving me in the dust more and more. Awesome isn't it? I am having a hard time to know what to write because well it is all so "normal"! Next week we have an appointment with the neurologists but only to go over his EEG which they already told us was normal. We will set a schedule to get him off of one of his last two medications.

I wish I had a link right now for you to be able to download Josh's song. As I have listened to it several times now - I am taken back to the burn unit - I see pictures of Jake and remember the emotions that came, the confusion that hung and the comfort that followed. Though we have reached a level of normalcy - of course - we will never be the same. In reading this morning I was taken to this verse:
Isaiah 40:10-11...
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power and his arm rules for him.
See, his reward is with him and his recompense accompanies him. 
He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms 
and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

For the Glory of Your Name
by Josh Fox

let your presence rest in this place
let your presence rest like a sweet embrace
let your presence rest in this place
  like a sweet embrace

bring your healing power in this place
bring your healing let it fall like rain
bring your healing power in this place
  let it fall like rain - bring your healing power

we lift up our eyes to the one who can save
  come rescue us here Lord, for the glory of your name
we pour out our hearts to the ancient of days
  let your will be done Lord, for the glory of your name

let your freedom reign in this place
let your freedom reign through your saving grace
let your freedom reign in this place
  through your saving grace

bring your justice here in this place
bring your justice here let it break these chains
bring your justice here in this place
  let it break these chains - bring your justice here


we lift up our eyes to the one who can save 
  come rescue us here Lord for the glory of your name
we pour out our hearts to the ancient of days
  let your will be done Lord for the glory of your name


for the glory of your name - for the glory of your name
we will call to you and you will come to save (repeats x3)


we lift up our eyes to the one who can save 
  come rescue us here Lord, for the glory of your name
we pour out our hearts to the ancient of days
  let your will be done Lord, for the glory of your name 

What a prayer to pour out to God. Not a God who is far but a God who is near and knows your pain, your suffering, your woundedness. And the might powerful God comes with recompense as his companion, restoration his intention. 

Peace, 

Tom (daddy)