Saturday, January 16, 2010

Like chasing a mirage...

It is Saturday. Taking a sick day. A lot has happened in the last couple of days and then again nothing really has happened or at least changed. 


Thursday was a very full day. Jake and I left here in the morning and had back-to-back appointments. I am amazed to watch his progress in therapy. His coordination, strength and stamina are at I would say 70%. I think what holds him back the most is that he is not able to fully use his right hand (he is right handed). It is still covered with a formed plastic splint to protect his thumb. In theory it should help him use it a bit more but it also gets in the way. Plus his fingers still feel weird. He was describing it has this continuous electric shock feeling. The fingers are sensitive. He is using it more and more - but still uses his left hand for most things - even chopsticks left handed! 


Thursday night was Aptos-La Selva Fire District awarding Captain Greg Hansen "Fireman of the Year". It was so wonderful to watch as the standing room only crowd gathered to appreciate this hero. I kept wondering what would happen with all these firefighters in the district board room as this crowd exceeded the fire capacity. As the representatives from the Aptos Veterans of Foreign Wars presented Greg with his plaque, I was surprised by a couple of things. First that he was being awarded this for saving Jacob. Okay that probably should not have surprised me but I assumed it was for other things. As we have been able to get to know Greg a little bit, it is without question that this man is a rock, a stable leader and true servant. But that is what led me to my next surprise: this is his third time being recognized as "Firefighter of the Year!!!!!" 


What led Greg to risk his own life is what defines his character - truly valuing human life. He saw Jacob lying their in excruciating pain and crawled on his belly to free Jake from the 21,000 volt power line. As you can imagine I wanted more than just a 15 minute presentation - I wanted a huge celebration with speeches and stories. I wanted his partners who were with him, Scott and Ryan, to share and to be recognized as well. Greg always quickly defers any attention that he gets to others - the sign of a true hero. These are amazing men and I am proud to know them. God had the perfect team together that night to respond to the 911 call. The greater reward for Greg is for him to see Jacob alive and healing and growing stronger - able to continue with his life. His sacrificial expression of love resulted in life. We need more "Gregs" in this world. 





It is good - imperative - to remember that we have life to be thankful for because often just dealing with things in life can be so discouraging. We received a phone call from the neurosurgeon' s office to reschedule the pre-op appointment that we had scheduled for next Tuesday. It was not surprising but so discouraging. Jake's thumb and the possibility of infection is delaying the head surgery. It feels like we are chasing a mirage. We can see it in the distant but as we move toward it it moves farther away. Yes we know still that God is in control and the reasons - very good reasons - for putting it off, but it is hard. The waiting period continues and continues and continues. Again I come back to what I can see is so limited - yet God's vision knows no boundaries. The shadow I see in the distant that seems to be clear is so small, so slight, so worthless. Yes worthless. I constantly run the danger of seeing things as how I want to see them. What I see in the distant - the mirage - the picture of what I think should be going on - should not be my focus. 


Keep your eyes on the goal; Jake's surgery is not the goal. At least it is not the primary all encompassing goal. God is the goal. His plan, His presence, His impact on our lives. But just like his disciples waiting for Jesus to come back after his resurrection, we can't just sit there and stare at the sky waiting. Wait with action. We need to continue to move forward and be faithful for what God has given us...and wait for what is next. 


So that brings us to Friday - Jake and I did some schoolwork and then went and saw Avatar in 3D. His first movie in a theater since his accident. We enjoyed our time together. Sitting at Armadillo Willy's Jake brought up his appointment on Tuesday. I had not told him yet that the pre-op appointment was postponed. I felt horrible as it sunk in with him and sat dumbfounded for words to console. We still wait and we keep our eyes on God. His plan is bigger, better and much clearer. 


It is now football weekend and I am sick...but so thankful to be here with Jacob and for his continual strength and growth. The best is yet to come. 


Grace and peace, 


Tom (daddy)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I needed this song tonight

Arms That Hold The Universe
by Fee

I know it seems
Like this could be
The darkest day you've known
But believe you me
The God of strength
Will never let you go
He will overcome, I know

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It's gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He's in control
He will never let you go

Through many dangers, toils and snares
You have already come
His grace has brought you safe this far
(And) His grace will lead you home

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It's gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He's in control
He will never let you go

You can hope, you can rise, you can stand
He has still got the whole world in His hands
You can hope, you can rise, you can stand
He's still got the whole world, the whole world in His hands

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It's gonna be alright
And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He's in control
He will never let you go

He will never let you go

(He's) Still got the whole world in His hands
in His hands, yeah
Still got the whole world in His hands



Got a call from doctor today...another week of anti-biotics...seems to just linger on and on. I listened to this song over and over again on the way home tonight as it encouraged my soul. We will not give up as God will never let us go.

Tom (daddy)

ps album, Hope Rising, is available right now for download at Amazon for only $5 http://feeband.com/

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Greg Hansen - Fireman of the year!

Aptos firefighter rewarded for saving teen: Capt. Greg Hansen pulled Jacob Kirdendall away from live power lines - Santa Cruz Sentinel

Quick update

Jake's appointment today was with the plastic surgeons that operated on his thumb - seems like so long ago. Debbie told me that they say it is 90% successful as a graft. The other 10% is that there is bone coming through on a spot and a string. They did some work on it and were able to get some blood which is an great sign - the blood vessels are filling in. So in time we are praying and hoping that the body will do the rest and fill in the last 10%.

Jake is a bit discouraged which is so obviously understandable. He wants to get on with the rest. Tomorrow is a blood test which we will talk to the infectious disease doctor on Thursday to determine if we continue with antibiotic or not. Remember getting the antibiotic is necessary to go ahead with Jake's surgery.

Waiting and watching is our continued place. We are so thankful that God is near and that you are still praying with us.

Grace and Peace,

Tom (daddy)

Monday, January 11, 2010

God is near...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:5-6

I pretty much failed at not being anxious today. I woke up in a panic filled with turmoil over a lack of income, a lack of time, a lack of purpose, a lack of having put away the Christmas decorations. I was "anxious about everthing and there was little prayer, little petition and definitely no thanksgiving as I presented my, hmmm, not requests, more like grumblings to God." And true to form there was little peace and so what would make sense from the above verse is that my heart and my mind was left unguarded. Nobody really noticed - just everyone around me - as I place my expectations, my lack of gratitude and my grumpiness on everyone else. What usually results is blame...my bad attitude is everyone else's fault. And the truth is everyone noticed and did not want to be around me. Around 3 pm I had the morning time with God that I was going to have at 7 as I got up early to start my day. Only I did not start my day early enough.

"In everything by prayer and petition with THANKSGIVING..."

Go back a verse to Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious..." Verses 5 and 6 are so often quoted and at least in my case I think they should always include verse 4. I say this because rejoicing - abounding joy - joy on display sure does lead to a lack of anxiety. Joy leads me into the belly of thankfulness. And catch that other word that found it's way into verse 4: "gentleness". Why in the world would Paul filled with the Holy Spirit of God write that our gentleness should be evident to all - surely that does not include my family does it?

The opposite of gentleness holds a lot of anxiety doesn't it? Can anxiety be gentle? Looking back on today - how I snapped at my family and grumbled about them not appreciating me - sure was not gentle. Gentle is not about being wimpy and letting everyone walk over you. It is a quality of maturity that is one who strives after peace and not quarrelsome. (See 1 Tim 3:3, Titus 3:2, James 3:17) The one who pursues peace is one who surrenders their attitude to God and strives for joy, thankfulness, gentleness as they trust God to care them and the burdens that they hold on to as they awaken. Pursuing peace leads us to peace.

"Rejoice in the Lord, always. Again I say: Rejoice. Let your your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:4-6

"The Lord is near." Wow. I got so caught up in what my attitude should be: joy, thankful, peace...I nearly left out that amazing little sentence that we have clung to so many times during Jacob's Journey. God is very near. God is in the midst of each moment. He does not have to be asked to show up. We do not need to go find him. I do not need to go anywhere special to be with him - for he is near. He is on top of us in this very moment - moments of sin and moments of glory - he is near. Does that not remove a bit of anxiety? I guess it might add a little for those times of sinning - but his forgiveness and grace and never away from him. His character is fully in tact all the time and he is present with me. No matter how big and harry the worry is - income, health, death - my loving, gracious Savior is near, available, receiving each request by prayer and petition. Ready and able to guard our hearts and our minds - there is peace.
Tomorrow as we take Jacob to have his thumb examined once again by Dr. Berger (11 am) would you be willing to say a prayer with us for recognizing the nearness of God - that we would not be anxious but be gentle and at peace. I think that would be an amazing prayer for each of us. Pray it for those other communities that we are watching.

God is near.

Tom (daddy)