A Head Cold

January 16, 2011

Not to worry. It isn’t Mark with the sniffles. He is as healthy as a bull in a china shop. He went to a fellow pastor’s church for a visit today and then hiked up the mountain behind our house. I slept in for nearly 12 hours. It must have been catch-up time for me.
Sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to do nothing. To sit on the sofa with a cat on my lap and the football game on is just what the doctor ordered. The problem is that I don’t always take my own advice and so here I am.
Mark has gotten hundreds of wonderful emails from all over the world. I am encouraging him not to worry about replying to each and every one. Your prayers and supportive notes have meant a great deal to both of us and we have appreciated them very much.
~ Kristina

An Update from Mark!

January 13, 2011

I wanted to give you a quick update on my condition and plans. By the grace of God and thanks to the prayers of many of you, I continue to heal every day. I have needed to delay my return to Living Streams this month because I literally get so excited being around a large group of people I love, that my newly repaired heart starts racing beyond what is healthy for me at this time.

On Monday I received the go-ahead from my cardiologist to start driving for the first time since early November. It has been very different for me to be a stay-at-home guy for the last two months. In many ways it has been good for my soul and our marriage for me to slow down and spend more time reading and washing dishes.

I plan to return to Living Streams the first weekend of February to lead communion and then I’ll begin preaching again the following weekend. I really have appreciated our elders giving me permission and encouragement to stay home so I can heal from the inside out. I’ve heard many good reports about what has been happening at Living Streams over the past couple of months. There is no more encouraging report that a pastor can hear than that the church is growing and prospering when he is absent. This is a tribute to the gifted men and women on our staff, as well as the maturity of our church.

I have really benefited from many messages of encouragement, as well as the prayer support that has given me grace since my weeks in the hospital. I want to thank you all for your love. There is nothing better in life than to be a part of a spiritual family that loves one another.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in February so we can continue to fulfill the ministry God has given us.

May the Lord bless you richly with grace and peace,

Mark

I wanted to give you a quick update on my condition and plans. By the grace of God and thanks to the prayers of many of you, I continue to heal every day. I have needed to delay my return to Living Streams this month because I literally get so excited being around a large group of people I love, that my newly repaired heart starts racing beyond what is healthy for me at this time.

On Monday I received the go-ahead from my cardiologist to start driving for the first time since early November. It has been very different for me to be a stay-at-home guy for the last two months. In many ways it has been good for my soul and our marriage for me to slow down and spend more time reading and washing dishes.

I plan to return to Living Streams the first weekend of February to lead communion and then I’ll begin preaching again the following weekend. I really have appreciated our elders giving me permission and encouragement to stay home so I can heal from the inside out. I’ve heard many good reports about what has been happening at Living Streams over the past couple of months. There is no more encouraging report that a pastor can hear than that the church is growing and prospering when he is absent. This is a tribute to the gifted men and women on our staff, as well as the maturity of our church.

I have really benefited from many messages of encouragement, as well as the prayer support that has given me grace since my weeks in the hospital. I want to thank you all for your love. There is nothing better in life than to be a part of a spiritual family that loves one another.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in February so we can continue to fulfill the ministry God has given us.

No news is good news.

January 10, 2011

Today is the National Football Championship. The Oregon Ducks will face off the Auburn somebodies. Yes, we are Duck fans. It is a high holy day of football. However, the morning began with Mark and I meeting with his cardiologist. It is the last time I have to drive Mark anywhere as he has been given permission to sit in the front seat again and do the driving himself. Freedom for both of us!

Mark can also start playing real golf in 4 weeks but no real weight-lifting for 6 months.  Mark was aghast when his doctor said six months. The doctor later offered to play golf with him and that certainly made him feel better. Mark has been able to putt but no real swinging yet. Since he can lift light loads

The other great news of the day is Mark has made it to another birthday. He is a very young 61 and looking forward to the turkey roasting in the oven and the chocolate cake that is waiting on the counter-top. I think he is hoping I will make gravy for the mashed potatoes too. He has no food limitations or changes in his diet. He is very blessed and taking advantage of all the years of healthy eating.

Since I last posted we have lost a dear and precious friend, Ed Reed. He and his family have been with Living Streams for a long time. It was very difficult to not be able to attend his funeral.  We love him and his family very much.

We also said good-bye to Philip, Moriah and our grandsons, taken Christmas down and are trying to get our house back together after their very fun visit. We have a little box containing a single tiny shoe, Lego pieces, a few stray socks, and a few other items left behind nearly ready for mailing.

Over all of this, our hearts are heavy with the recent murders in Tucson. Since the media has reported on this extensively, I will only mention that little Christina Green’s death weighs heavily on our hearts for her parents and senseless loss. We continue to pray for Gabby Gifford recovery and the family of Judge John Rolls as well as the others involved. It is just too terrible for words.

Thank you for your prayers too!   ~ Kristina

Walking and waking…

December 28, 2010

Lately Mark has been hearing little voices wandering out to the kitchen calling for Papa Mark. As he is the first one up and can be easily found over a cup of tea and the paper, grandsons Matisse and Soren are the first to ask for pancakes.

Although Mark goes for long walks in the neighborhood he is avoiding the crowds that we found last night at the McCormick Railroad Park. It is just too stimulating for him. He is still having to limit his visitors as he becomes very drained still.

Thursday will be Mark’s last day for antibiotics. He will have the PICC line removed. The doctors feel sure that the infection will not return or they wouldn’t be ending the medication. While he will still need to make sure he doesn’t get too run down, Mark is healing well and continues to get stronger every day.

Thank you for your notes and continued prayer. We both feel very loved and cared for! ~ Kristina

Post-Christmas Mess

December 27, 2010

We have Philip and Moriah and their two little boys here for a week. Our granddaughter Ava has gotten to spend a little time with us. Our house is a delightful mess. We step carefully because Legos hurt our bare feet. The furniture gets rearranged to make room for wooden train tracks. We have run out of clean mugs for hot chocolate several times. The washing machine runs as often as the dishwasher. Turkey and soup leftovers are eaten at any time of day. Mark sits on the sofa playing Scrabble against our daughter Kathryn and Moriah, each on their own laptop or IPad. We all know he doesn’t like to lose so we won’t discuss that here. The post-Christmas mess is in full swing and we are delighted!

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2010

We have had a wonderful day with our family. Thank you all for your love and prayers. It has been another good day for Mark. Bless you all ~ Kristina