Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Praying for 13 day old Rhett

This morning I received this email from Amanda, my sister-in-law, Rhett's mommy:
Last Sunday, I was taking a much needed nap in the afternoon and Jonathan was watching the three kids, when he suddenly came running into the bedroom telling me to get up and come and look at Rhett. I was scared immediately. I ran and picked him up and he was having a seizure. His little body would scream, shake, arch his head, throw his hands back behind his head in a tense way, and he had a foam like drool coming out of his mouth and nose. We were grabbing bags and were going to take him to the ER. It seemed as though the episodes were happening faster so we decided to call 911. My neighbor and Jamee Fouts came over to watch Rhys and Raegan as we left in the ambulance. We were so scared. They took us to Silver Cross in Joliet. By this time he had stopped with the seizure and had not repeated it. Mom, Dad, and Pastor came immediately to be with us. They did a lot of blood work(5 vials full) and they did a brain scan. After calling our doctor, they decided to send us to Children's Memorial in Chicago for further testing and observation. Children's came and picked up Rhett. Before we left they wanted him on I.V.s to start antibiotics immediately and they wanted a spinal tap for fluid. They did not get much fluid from him, he's so little. His veins are still beat up and bruised from his last visit to the hospital and they could not get an I.V. They tried 7 times, with a special light and even tried his head, (which they told me worked well on infants) and they couldn't get anything. They informed us that they might have to put an I.V. straight into his bone if they couldn't get it. We felt sick hearing that. They decided to go without the I.V.s. It was so hard to hear his little scream(he is not normally a screamer) and to watch them lift him into the little air vac baby holder. It was even harder to see the blood all over his bed from all of his sticks and procedures he already went through. I went in the ambulance and Jonathan followed. We got there around 12:30 at night. When we got there they started lots of tests, they did finally get an I.V. in after 2 more sticks and some heat and special lighting. This is one of my main prayer requests
right now. Please pray that his site does not collapse and that they can continue his meds through it. It's so hard to watch them stick him over and over. On Monday they did an EEG to test his brain waves and an MRI. They drew some more blood from him, (more pokes) and we got the news that the spinal was insufficient, they would have to do it again. That just broke us. Sometimes I just wanted to yell, "Enough!", yet we knew it had to be done. They are running every test they possibly can to rule out every possible reason for his seizure and his shaking. They are testing him for everything, including meningitis and mersa. It's nice to know they are being thorough, yet it's a lot to watch Rhett go through. Jonathan and
I were recently talking about how glad we are that our lives are not in our control or the doctors. It doesn't matter how much money, fame, or friends you have, you cannot change what God's plan is for your life. I guess we didn't realize how fast we would have to live this. Rhett is stable right now. He is eating normally. He is getting anibiotics and a viral medicine in case he has a virus. The main thing that is being done to him is lots of tests. Most of them take 48 hours to come back so he will be in the hospital for at least 3-4 days until they all come back. The main thing we need right now is prayer for Rhett.
1. That his I.V. site does not collapse.
2. That the tests will show where the problem is.
3. That it is fixable.We are doing as well as we can, we are extremely tired with this emotional roller coaster and not much sleep.
Connie is here to watch the kids for now and Jonathan is going to go back to work. (He's missed a lot already) I am going to Children's by myself tomorrow. I will try to keep everyone updated the best I can. I figure emails are the best way to tell everyone at once.

Thanks, Amanda
Thank you for the emails and Facebook messages I have received telling me that they are praying for Rhett!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Keep Praying...

Following up on my post this morning about what-does-my-eschatology-matter-for... My mom called me this afternoon crying and told me that Rhett had a seizure today and was taken in an ambulance to the hospital. My mom isn't one to cry at the drop of a hat and was clearly shaken. She headed up to Chicago to watch the children. We don't know any more information at this point. However, this is where the rubber meets the road in the life of faith. Will you believe along with me that this is a reminder of the effect of the Curse on us and that on the Cross, the reversal of the Curse was secured. However, while it was secured, it was not completed. Christ promised us that in these last days we would experience great tribulations. Yet, as John Piper wrote about a few days ago, there is purpose in it all: Suffering is meant to teach us about repentance (as "a call for us and others to turn from treasuring anything on earth above God"), reliance (as "a call to trust God not the life-sustaining props of the world"), righteousness (as "the discipline of our loving heavenly Father so that we come to share his holiness"), reward (as "working for us a great reward in heaven that will make up for every loss here a thousand-fold"), and reminder (to remind "us that God sent his Son into the world to suffer so that our suffering would not be God's condemnation but his purification").

Why Does It Matter What I Believe about the End?

During my time here in seminary, several areas of my theology have taken a more defined shape, some have just started to form, and others have actually changed. One area that has taken on more definition is that of eschatology (what I believe about the Kingdom of God, Israel, end-times prophecy, etc.). A good portion of the theological views I have now tend to be in conflict with most of the people I grew up with in church and have fellowshipped with over my adult years. I've told some friends that this unfortunately complicates where I will be able to minister when we are done with seminary. Some have asked me why my views of eschalology, for example, would really matter that much.

There are two reasons why this complicates things--one pragmatic and the other philosophical. First, while it is possible to have close church fellowship with brothers who differ on views about the place of Israel, for example, it can be very difficult to have differing views among the same church staff. Second, I have typically responded to people that your view on eschatology affects your life dramatically because it helps you think beyond the here and now and also about the here and now since it places your story somewhere within the Grand Story. In other words, it shapes your view of life, why you think you're here, how to think when bad things happen, and where this is all going. On Thursday in chapel, Dr. Mohler put it very succinctly: "Eschatology frames the reality of our life."

So why does it matter? Because it will shape my counseling, preaching, teaching, husbanding, parenting, and relating.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What Kind of a Friend

Relationships are incredibly messy. The deepest kind of friendships form—the strongest bonds solidify—when those closest to us hurt us and make us to want to return the hurt but in spite of our pain we step forward and love the other. Mark Heard said it beautifully: “What kind of friend do friends become when the heart says ‘kill’ and the soul says ‘love’?”
"What Kind Of A Friend"
What kind of a friend could pull a knife
When it's him or you and his kids need shoes?
What kind of friend would do you in
When the bomb goes off and the shelter's his?
What kind of friends do friends become
When the musical chairs get down to one?
What kind of friend could I become?
What kind of friend am I?

What kind of friend would tell you lies
To spare you from the bitter truth?
What kind of friend could stoop so low
As to shield your eyes from the mirror's gaze?
What kind of friends do friends become
When a blind eye turns on the damage done?
What kind of friend could I become?
What kind of friend am I?

What kind of friend survives the night
In a frightened sense of self-defence?
What kind of friend can take the ache
Of losing face for friendship's sake?
What kind of friend do friends become
When the heart says "kill" and the soul says "love"?
What kind of friend could I become?
What kind of friend am I?

Written by Mark Heard © 1991 Ideola Music/ASCAP

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Please Pray for Rhett

My brother, Jonathan, and his wife, Amanda, were blessed last week with the birth of their third child, Rhett Bradley. Little Rhett has had to be kept at the hospital because of some health issues that at this time aren't very clear. Reading this post from John Piper today reminded me to pray for Rhett's health to improve, but also for Jonathan and Amanda's faith to grow even more through this trial; that through this trial, they would cling more closely to Christ than ever before.


Sent to Blogger by fuller_paul via Google Reader:


via Desiring God Blog on 9/23/08

(Author: John Piper)

Recently I wrote that we seldom know the micro reasons for our sufferings, but the Bible does give us faith-sustaining macro reasons. It is good to have a way to remember some of these so that when we are suddenly afflicted, or have a chance to help others in their affliction, we can recall some of the truths God has given us to help us not lose hope.

Here is one way to remember. Five R's (or if it helps, just pick three and try to remember them). The macro purposes of God in our sufferings include:


Suffering is a call for us and others to turn from treasuring anything on earth above God.

Luke 13:4-5 - Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.


Suffering is a call to trust God not the life-sustaining props of the world.

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 - For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.


Suffering is the discipline of our loving heavenly Father so that we come to share his holiness.

Hebrews 12:6, 10-11 - The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.... He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.


Suffering is working for us a great reward in heaven that will make up for every loss here a thousand-fold.

2 Corinthians 4:17 - This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

Matthew 5:11-12 - Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.


Suffering reminds us that God sent his Son into the world to suffer so that our suffering would not be God's condemnation but his purification.

Philippians 3:10 - ...that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings.

Mark 10:45 - The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.


Things you can do from here:


Friday, September 12, 2008

Impressive Palin Interview

I have to say, I'm quite impressed with Palin's confidence, boldness, and strength at least in this interview. It's pretty funny to watch how perturbed Charlie Gibson is and as well how she seems to dominate the conversation without wincing.

videoPalin's TV interview debut

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

History In the Making?

Construction on the 17-mile long tunnel 328 feet underground began 14 years ago and has so far cost $5 billion.

What would drive someone to build a tunnel like this and for that cost? So they can figure out what happened at the beginning of time. Read about their desperate search here, here, here, and here, but you'll find the much more accurate answer to the question they've spent so much time looking for here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Power and Authority of the Word

Yesterday's chapel was one that will forever live in my memory and by God's grace will forever shape my mission.

Terry Delaney wrote his initial response here and as he said, words can't really describe what it was like. Listening to Dr. David Platt's message online may convey something of what happened, but it was clearly the Spirit of God speaking the Word of God powerfully through a man. If you listen to the first two-thirds of the message you'll simply hear Romans chapters 1 through 8. But what you may not realize is that Dr. Platt was not reading. He was speaking from memory the entire section, but not just quoting it. He spoke it with a power that seemed to be God speaking directly to us all. People throughout the auditorium were standing up, raising hands, and/or weeping. God was pressing on us the weightiness of the Gospel.

After Dr. Platt finished speaking Romans 1-8, he spoke verses 1-5 of chapter 9 where because of this great salvation in chapters 1-8, Paul tells us he is willing to be cast into hell for his people. Here's the point: • If we believe the content of chapters 1-8 then we bear the missiological burden of vv 9:1-5: it is impossible to have a Gospel theology without an urgent missiology. If Romans 1-8 is true, then 4.5 billion people stand today under the judgment and on the road to hell. We don’t have time to play games with church. We owe the gospel to the world.