On a Personal Note…

November 20, 2010

I am writing to you today with a mixture of faith, fear and trembling. I have been in the hospital this week, undergoing extensive tests to try to determine the cause of a series of fevers that I have been struggling with for months. One of the things that has been discovered is that the mitral valve in my heart has been significantly damaged.

I have been blessed by the care of some great physicians who are being guided by the Great Physician. The doctors have told me that my valve must be replaced as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage to my heart and the possibility of clots breaking off and going into my brain. They have scheduled me for open heart surgery to replace this valve next Wednesday, November 24.

I would appreciate your prayers for healing and guidance, especially as we seek wisdom regarding the root cause of this problem. It might be caused by bacteria that they have been unable to detect so far. Knowledge of the cause allows their treatment to be specific and give us the best chance of long-term success.

Because of the extensive nature of this surgery and the recovery time it will require, the elders of Living Streams and I have asked David Stockton to step up and become the teaching pastor during our weekend services for the next couple of months. David has had real fruitfulness in his teaching ministry for years. His insights into the Word of God consistently demonstrate a gift the Lord has given him to build the body of Christ. Lance Rauhoff, our executive pastor will continue to provide his excellent leadership for our pastoral team and staff.

I want to thank those of you who have been praying for me during this challenging time. I really feel loved by our Living Streams family. I feel privileged to be a part of a church where so many people love each other and use their gifts and talents to serve the Lord. I am looking forward to returning to ministry as soon as I am able preach and teach with effectiveness. Kristina will post updates on my condition after my surgery on the Pastor’s Blog on our church web site: http://www.livingstreams.org

Living Streams has always pulled together during times of crisis and stress in the past. I believe this will once again prove to be a situation where the Lord will show his glory and manifest grace to us in a challenging situation. My heart has been partially broken, but I know the Lord Jesus heals the brokenhearted.

These verses from yesterday’s reading in the One Year Bible spoke to my heart:

In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The  Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. (Psalm 118:5-7a)

I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. (Psalm  118:17-18)

My prayer is that the Lord will speak to your heart and fill you with grace and peace in a deeper way than ever before.

One Response to “On a Personal Note…”

  1. Mark Barrentine Says:

    Mark,

    You most certainly are in my personal prayers, and you will also be in the corporate prayers of my congregation.

    Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. And, may the favor of the Lord our God rest upon you.

    Your brother in Christ, and nephew in faith (via Greg Escher),
    Mark Barrentine


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