It's one of my favorite times of year--final games before the conference championships. Our Mississippi State Bulldogs, both men and women, have played well this year. They haven't been outstanding as teams, but individuals have accomplished some personal bests. Jarvis Varnardo is the all time leading shot blocker in NCAA history--a nice record for a nice young man. Another player has passed a three point shot record in the SEC. The MSU women played Georgia tonight and beat them.
Yesterday I went to Memphis to a Committee on Ministry meeting that lasted five and a half hours. Fortunately, the interviews and issues were all different and the meeting never got boring. I learned about the ministry of an African American Presbyterian Church in Memphis that has an amazing, outstanding minsitry to the poor. The unfortunate thing, it seemed to me, is that there has been some difference of opinion as to what the Church really is. We tend to want all the i's dotted and t's crossed rather than to minister in the name of Christ to those who will perish without him. I don't pretend to know the answers to the church's problems, but I do know we need to be the Church and take the gospel to the people, not expect the people to come to us; we need to practice what we preach; we need to let the main thing be the main thing!
We got confirmation this week from Tom's brother and his wife that the brother has Parkinson's Disease. We have discussed symptoms and the possibilities of David having it for a long time, but in the last few months, I have talked with them more than ususal because of Tom's circumstances. David is four years younger than Tom; spent most of his adult life as an Army doctor, but was never in a combat zone. He and I have discussed exposure to chemicals as a possible contributing factor to Tom's illness. Currently, David is the Director of Family Medicine for the State of Virginia and has access to some really good medical opninions and facilities. We are not happy with his diagnosis, but are happy to know the root of some of the difficulties he's experienced lately. Who knows? This may be random and there could be some connection with both brothers having the same illness and the similarities between them.
This past week Tom went to Wednesday night supper at Humboldt with me. He was so happy to be able to go!! Our hearts were warmed by the outpouring of love expressed by so many. I'm hoping that he'll get to go to church on Sunday. I'm also hoping that I'll be able to stand up straight. I awakened this morning with bone pain in my lower back and have sat all day with heat on it. That helps, as does pain medication. That's the worst side effect of the chemo!
We continue to pray for friends who are battling serious illnesses; for our church at Humboldt to be led to the pastor God has for them and for them to find themselves ready to receive that special someone. We are never too old, nor should we ever be so satisfied with our lives and our traditions that we quit seeking the will of God in our individual lives and in our lives in the community we call our church. God gives us opportunity to partner with Him through prayer and obedience to Him.