Friday, March 19, 2010

Tonight Jessica Huse Concert

Tonight will be the benefit concert for Jessica Huse at 6:30 at Calvary Church in Los Gatos, featuring JJ Heller. If you do not know Jessica's story here is a link; she came into Valley Med while Jake was there and we have been following her journey ever since. They gathered in a waiting room just two floors below us and had regular times of prayer on the lawn outside her window.

In the midst of tragedy we find poverty. Everything is stripped away that matters when your child struggles through their ordeal. Yes we are reminded of what is important but it also corrects your vision as to the treasures we pursue and why we pursue them. So often our pursuits in life are about us moving forward and gaining in this lifetime. When I really dig deep and examine the deepest desire of my heart it is hard to get past the material. I want to honestly say that God is my deepest desire - to cling to his character and have mine molded to be like that - but so much gets in the way. Security, luxury, comfort, satisfaction, pleasure....etc, etc. So desperately I cling to the cloak of God when I am bleeding and alone - when I have nothing left.

There is a set of teachings by Jesus that we call the "beatitudes". Literally they are the BE-atitudes for the talk to us about dwelling in the Kingdom of God. A big part of Jesus' message was to open our eyes to the diversity between the kingdom of man and the Kingdom of God - it is a contrast that is a struggle as we try keep ourselves off the throne and allow God to rule. "Blessed are you who are poor for yours is the Kingdom of God." (Luke 6:20) "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God." (Matthew 5:3)

Rejoicing in my poverty keeps me dependent on the One who is rich, keeps me satisfied with a smaller ration, increases my gratitude for each provision. Luke sandwiched a parable between warning me against the greed that comes with possessions and the worry that I dwell in about having enough.

Found in Luke 12:16-21 we call it the parable of the rich fool.  "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'what shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, 'you have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Even Jesus did not "consider equality with God something to be grasped" (Phil 2:6)

The fruit that is produced from abiding in God's Kingdom (in his presence) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Far to often I play the game of being with God but it does not change attitude, my heart, my actions and reactions. I will get into an argument to position myself to win and be right rather than to be Godly. Patience takes a hike because I need... Kindness is optional if it goes my way... I will practice self-control until I can't wait any longer... Fear of others takes the place of fearing God.

I share all of this in thinking about the opportunity we have tonight to bless Jessica and her parents, Lisa and Don. They in so many ways are dwelling in the poverty of this tragedy and hanging on the Kingdom of God. They continue to trust in the hand of God though their journey is approaching a marathon. And we tonight have an opportunity to bless them, to love them, to worship God with them. The miracles continue to be poured out in abundance.

Some have asked how Erica is. Though she is no longer in ICU her journey continues. Here is the email that I received last night. Erica is still in New York. They found some blood clots in her lungs, so that needs to be dealt with before she can fly home. She is walking with a walker. She is anxious to get home and finish her rehab her. She is getting better every day. Thank you for the prayers. Erica is truly a miracle.

In the abundance of poverty, 

Tom (daddy) 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Stitches are out.                   Long pause.                         Yes, stitches are out.

I am amazed by the momentum from the last two weeks - okay tomorrow is two weeks since Jake had his head covered again. A plate put in to cover that valuable, undamaged-by-electricity, brain. The surgery that the doctors were giddy with excitement at how well it went. Jake's recovery has increased exponentially over the past couple of weeks. He is no longer on pain medications which is huge. So often the pain meds take over as a hardship for a survivor. Jake is agile and gaining strength each day. He still has limited use of his left hand and we are getting back into therapy but just try to tell Jake that he cannot do something and watch him go.

Jake is up and around is doing well.

He is also driving again. Now here is where dad (and mom, but mainly dad) needs to let go. That my fear of what might happen would not overtake me - or overtake Jake. He has been mainly patient with me as I told him that he needs to drive me around for a bit so that I have confidence in his driving - realized that my kids say I drive way to slow. (Why is it that we have to drive right at or above the speed limit? Leave a little bit early and enjoy the ride.) Again, Jake is doing well. So now Jake has a car and I do not. His 1998 Volvo is now my limousine as he drives me places.

I have been asked about Jake's school a lot lately. He has two more classes to complete through the internet that is supervised by the independent studies teacher at Aptos High. It has been great because Jake can set his own pace and as long as he finishes by their year end, he will graduate with his class. This provides him with flexibility to return to work at Freeline and do his classes.

I have also been asked about my job prospects. Yes I have been job hunting and am open to examining almost anything. My heart and passion is leading me to pursue a caring role such as a chaplain. I am going through the steps with a hospital in San Jose and trying to find connections with fire/police etc. It is mostly volunteer and so I am also working toward non-profit venture that basically comes alongside the community of families going through tragedy. Basically equip and enable a community to do what we have experienced through our community.

I wrote this in a book I was reading today: "...building communities that bear other's burdens, lighten other's loads, enrich other's faith...making trust, hope, peace and love a little bit easier to hold." (thanks Brennan Manning)

So many have provided so much and allowed us to focus on Jake - we have been blessed and want others to be blessed in the same way. That will all take time and the immediate need is that I find something to provide income. Debbie has already returned to her part-time job as a teachers aid. Jensen is eager to work but at 12 we are holding him back.

We will keep you posted - especially on Jake - as the momentum continues.

In hope,

Tom (daddy)