Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We're Back

I’ve been away from the blog for a long time. Truth is, I was wearied with the subsequent dialogue between blog commentators on each post. What I intended to be informational (with an edge to it) developed into extended battles between those outside my blog. I’ll try something different.
I’ll start again, this time with stricter controls on comments. I had previously blocked anything that used inappropriate language or attacked people other than me. From this point on, I’ll be far more discriminating. What I’m most concerned about is extended debates. Enough is enough.
What’s changed since I last wrote?
· I have a new cat, Max (best cat in the universe, google “bombay cats”).
· The Kirk is still in the legal process, almost in the same place as last reported. We have a short hearing with the judge late in November, asking him to require the denomination to respond to our discovery requests, as we have already with theirs.
· The Kirk has had the best year in its history by every way in which we measure.
· My granddaughter, Emily, is a LOT taller than last year and she’s become an ace volleyball player on her mid-high team.
· The Kirk and pastors are now full members of the EPC. We feel a new sense of freedom and a wonderful sense of welcome.
· My daughter, Audrey, finished her internship and is now a resident at OSU Medical Center, Emergency Medicine.
· Dan Bair finished his D.Min., so four of us five pastors have doctorates. (I wonder who’s left??)
· The Kirk has renewed our mission relationship with our sister church in Zelenograd. Three Kirk pastors met with Pastor Pavel, Zelenograd church members, and even an official from the Presidium of Moscow regarding work we can do together.
· I’ve lost a lot of weight.
This last item brings up a big event for me. My weight loss, in part, is due to a problem with my esophagus and stomach. I had a fairly common surgery in 2000, designed to control severe reflux. The surgery was successful but, in the last couple of years, I’ve had to deal with the effects of scar tissue and a constriction of my esophagus. It’s been hard to eat and, at times, very painful.
The reconstructive surgery for this condition is not a common one, so I’m going to have it done by the Head of Surgery at USC Medical School (Los Angeles), a surgeon renowned for this kind of repair. The surgery is scheduled for December 3rd. I’ll be in the hospital for a week to ten days and then in recovery for a few weeks. I’ll be out of my regular schedule until early 2008.
I’ll blog on until then and hope to continue it through the recovery. I treasure your prayers.


Pamela said...

I wondered if you had gotten ill. I'm glad to see you back. I'm also glad that you are FREE from the PCUSA.

As one that is not Presbyterian (I'm non-denominational) I have taken your battle to heart. I sincerely prayed when I attended the vote to leave the PCUSA. I have lived here for 30 years and have had friends over the years that attended The Kirk. I'm so glad that your congregation is pressing forward.

Hopefully the conversations will be more focused on the topic this time. I'm sure it can get tiring.

Chris said...


It was great meeting you in Sacramento. My son suffered from reflux as an infant (we were able to solve it through chiropractic... a fact that stunned us as well!). We'll be praying for you, and looking forward to how God is going to use your blog to bless us and the sheep entrusted to you by Our Shepherd.

Cameron Mott said...


Welcome back and praying for your speedy recovery.

Phillip J. Owings said...

I am so glad to see you blogging again. I have just this week heard about your impending surgery and the severity of it. I will pray for the sugeons, your family, our fellow believers at The Kirk and most of all you.

I know that in the past you have had some severe physical issues with which to deal that created suffering and pain, however I see a meekness and humility in you that only God through His Holy Spirit could produce. It's hard to understand how God goes about equiping us for His good pleasure and service, but He always does all things well and complete. We have the confidence that He will do so again in your next bout.

Get the Trojans back on track while you are in Southern California.

Your brother,
Phil Owings

@lici@ said...

Thanks for blogging! Now that we've moved far from Tulsa, it's good to hear news from home. I caught up on the current sermon series last week, as well, and it was nice to hear your familiar voice all the way in Maryland. We are thankful for the leadership and teaching you provided while we were at the Kirk and wish you all the best.

Best wishes on the surgery. We'll remember you in our prayers.

john said...

Hi Tom...Following your posts a bit. What book are you reading or have read (outside Scripture) that has lifted, bothered, challenged you?

Anonymous said...

Hey, welcome back!

I am glad to hear of your life and your good news and sad to hear of your struggles, but am overjoyed to see you free and still preaching the Word!

Looking forward to more great blogs that give God the glory,