Friday, December 7, 2012

Dark Room

The last couple of days have been strange for me.  This feeling I have gotten once or twice before has come back and it is really indescribable.  I wonder if this is what it feels like to have no hope, or if it is what it feels like to be apathetic.  Is it a feeling that makes you want to say…”I am here, but why?”  It really weighted me down this morning going to work.  It is like being in a large pitch black room by yourself.   I wish I knew why I feel this way, or at least had a clue.  It affects my wife and my two boys; they can tell when something is going on with me even though my personality can change in an instant.   I wish they did not have to go through all of this with me.  I wish they would have a normal life, instead of the roller coaster that we are on.  I know God’s timing is perfect.  I wish though that He would show me why my life is headed in the direction it is sooner than when I get to that point.  I pray O Lord that You guide me to do only Your will in my life, no matter what it is.  I still pray for that amazing God given miracle in my life, no matter what the actual miracle is, as long as it points to you.
I am Yours God.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Favorite Meal ever

Today my pastor's lesson was on the Lord's Supper.  He spoke on the importance of eating in the bible, and how the Lord used meals as a time to teach us more about Him and bring us together and learn more about each other.  One meal in the bible that really had new light shed on it was the Passover.  I have heard about the Passover feast many times on my almost 44 years, but I had never realized that the Passover itself was God revealing what he was going to do for us in Jesus.  The blood of the Lamb without blemish (Jesus) was spread over the door post (Cross) to keep those inside from suffering from death.  Wow!  What an amazing foreshadowing of what was to come for all of us. God is amazing in using everything in His book to point to Himself and to also show us that He loves us.
The funny thing was that Pastor Dean asked us to think of the best meal we have ever had.  Most would think of the famous restaurant they have ate at...or the most expensive. Funny thing was that what popped into my mind wasn't any of those.  It was a meal that I had with my community group at Sir Pizza in Randleman when we had pretty much everyone there.  I remember standing at one end of the room we were in and looking at everyone interact.  It was a surreal feeling, like I wasn't there and watching everyone talk to each other.  But, I was there of course and enjoyed every minute of it.  Yes, this past Thursday, I ate Thanksgiving with my family and parents and was a great time, but my favorite meal so far in life was eating pizza with the rest of my family at Sir Pizza.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Amazing things God has done

It has been a few weeks since I have wrote anything in the blog so I thought I would share a few things that have happened.   Just to back track, I went for my latest 2 month check up and found that the tumor had slightly grown.  Also, they were concerned about an area inside the tumor enough to where they wanted me to start Chemotherapy.  As soon as the doctor told me this, I said I did not want to do that.  She asked me why and I said that I had already set out a timeline in which this didn’t fall into.  In my mind I did not think I would start any kind of treatment for another 4-5 years.  So for her to tell me that I needed to do this now, well, was unacceptable.  It took 45 minutes of arguing with her before she convinced me that I needed to start it now.  As of this Wednesday, I will have been on it for one month.  So far I have not had any bad side effects from the treatment.  The treatment is actually in Pill form and I take it every night before going to bed. I will have to do this a year total. 
 There have been some good and bad things that have happened because of this.  The bad…..I now spend $500.00 a month out of pocket for the Chemo medicine and the other medicines that I have been taking.  This is exactly $500.00 more than I have a month extra to spend.  But God has already started to show me that He will provide for me.  A few weeks ago a friend of mine called to talk because we don’t get to talk often and to see how I was doing.  We talked for a while when he asked what could he do to help me.  I told him that I was ok and there was really nothing he could help me with.  We started talking about other things and he asked again what he could do to help me.  I said everything is fine except the amount of money that I have to pay out of pocket for the medicine.  He told me he wanted to help me with that and two days later he deposited money in my bank account that equaled two months cost of medicine…..God is so awesome.  Another time a few days later I went to blow the leaves off of my lawn.  Already my riding mower and push mower had stopped working around August or September.  Now my blower would not start.  I posted on a group I started on facebook called “Buy Local” wanting to know if anyone knew of a good local lawn care company that could come out and remove leaves and mow the grass one more time.  The next day, my wife texted me and said a guy just knocked on the door and asked if this was the Elmore’s house.  Kara said yes and he said he was sent over to get my leaves up.  He did a great job and it took a little while to find out how he got there…a guy who I had not met, but was going to my church, found out that I needed lawn care service and sent his guy over to do it and paid for it.  I still have yet to meet him in person, but this was just another way God showed me that He is going to take care of me and my family. 
I don’t like to be the recipient of things like this, because I have always believed in paying my own way.  It is hard to accept….it feels like I am letting my family down.  However, God is showing me how he takes care of his Children.  As we have talked about at our church this weekend and in our building program we are currently going through, God doesn’t need our money to work, and besides that it is all his money anyway.  My family is going to follow Him in faith in our church’s building program…even though we know we do not have the money that we have committed to give to the program; we know that He will provide it to us just as He has over the last few weeks.  So if you are having problems with your finances, give it to the Lord with your whole heart and watch what He does.  It may not always be easy  but as long as you are doing it for His glory, in the long run it will be better.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Time is not your friend

Some of you have asked when I was going to update my blog again.  Well, I have finally decided to sit down and write.  Believe it or not, ever since I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in February, Kara and I have been the busiest we have ever been in our lives.  We used to be the boring people that sat together every night and watched TV.  Now we have something to do most every night and it has gotten to the point that we don’t have very much free time.  In fact I came home from work on Monday and put my pajamas on at 5:30. Kara asked what I was doing, I said I am going to go get in the bed and sit there till we go to sleep, and I did.   But during all of this hustle and bustle, both Kara and I have had time to talk to others about their lives, serve the Lord in ways we had never thought of before, and been able to get to know each other more. 
There is this thing that has been on my mind for several days that I thought I would share with you.  It is an analogy that hopefully will not be a wasted one and one that you cannot relate to so forgive me in advance if it does not make sense.  I was thinking about my life the other day and basically the time it has taken to get to this point.  So many days have passed since being born and so many memories formed some good and some bad.  I will be 44 on December 12, and looking back I see the biggest mistake is a pre-conceived notion of how long I have left in life.  I liken it to a gas gauge in a car.  We start out at full when we are born, then we base life choices on where that needle is on the gauge.  In our twenties, we look at the gauge and it may be around ¾ a tank.  So we say,” hey I can live like a college student for a while more.”  Then we get to around my age, in our forties, and see that the gauge is around ½ a tank.  We start worrying about having enough money to retire on, how to pay for our kids college (For those of us that had our children in our thirties) and we start looking at our life more seriously and wonder what life is really about.  If we are Christians, a lot of us start looking at maybe we should start taking our Christian life serious.  Start praying more, start serving more, and so many more things that we have probably only half-way did because we still had half a tank to go.  I know I have done this, and I regret it.  Know why?  Because the bottom half of the tank isn’t the same as the top half.  I have had many cars in my life, way too many.  But one thing I have noticed is how the gauge in the cars have all been different.  But one thing I have found on those cars is that the “top” half of the tank is never the same as the “bottom” half.  Most of mine had a larger top half than a bottom half.  This is true about life. Just because you are at ¾ or ½ don’t expect that to be a true indicator of how long you have left.  My father has become the oldest Elmore to live in our family lineage.  His father and grandfather both died in their 50s and 60s.  My father is now 79.  I have always kind of lined up his life with mine and thought I would follow right along behind him into my 80s.  This year I have found that out the hard way.  Where I thought I was at mid-life, I could actually be at end-life.  Those plans of serving God that I had for the future, when I had more time, could be wiped out.  The time I have spent to get to this point was more bench sitting than serving God.  Yes I am a Christian, but I did not serve as I should have.   Don’t let the needle be your guide, it is not correct.  You may or may not have the time you think you have.  Spend more time serving our Lord now, not later.  Spend more time with your family now, not later.  Pray more now, share your testimony now, visit your neighbors now……time is not on your side. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An update

Well, some of you may be wondering where I have been.  I have been busy….I have been frustrated….I have been depressed….I have been many other things.  The last few weeks or months, not sure how long it has been since I “blogged” last, have been very stressful to say the least.  I have been having seizures quite frequently which have led to depression and frustration.  Each time I have one it feels like a setback. When I have 2 or 3 a day it becomes very depressing because it feels like I am losing the battle against the tumor.  Of course the battle is not up to me.  God has a plan.  I still do not know all of the details in this plan, but He has given me and Kara chances to share our story, from my side as the person with the tumor, as well as her side having to watch me go through it.  I have been amazed at how well she has done this too.  With all of this, running has become her outlet to relieve her mind from all of this.  She told a friend that running is the one thing she can control so she does it to give her a sense of control in a life where everything else feels out of control.  During this time she has gotten very serious about running and has really impressed me with her determination and dedication.  She ran a 10 mile race while we were at Disney and finished in the mid 50s out of 5800 women and in the mid 200s out of almost 10,000 men and women.  I am very proud of her.  During the last few months people have changed in how they have conversed with me.  People that I thought would be there for me no matter what, have not.  Others that I would have not considered close to me, have called at the right time or sent me a message of encouragement when I needed it.  So I have been surprised and disappointed all at once.  I have never been one to be there for people in need because I was not comfortable with situations that involved terminal illness or death, so I am sure that has something to do with it and understand.  But now being on the other side of the fence, I have found it to be a necessity to do what I can to be there for people when they are facing an illness or maybe even death.  I am still not good at it, but God has given me an ability to talk where before I could not. 
Well I go back on October 17 for my next 2 month check up.  Please pray that the tumor has not grown, and while you are at it pray that it shrinks, but either way please just pray.  Along those lines, please do not feel  “afraid” to talk to me about  anything.  I know some people don’t like to talk about their illness, but I am just the opposite.  So if you are wondering how I am doing, then please ask.  I don’t want to go through this with just my family.  We need support, your support

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Whats really important

I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last few weeks.  Mainly on what is important in life. Of course we have ads bombarding us every day telling us what is important.  If I get an I-phone then I will be happier.  If I get a really nice car then that will be what does it for me.  Well we have let this bleed over into church too.  If   we go to a certain church and listen to the preacher tell us that God loves us and occasionally do something at church as our good deed of the day then everything will be fine and that will get us the chocolate bar with the golden ticket to get us in heaven and it will be ok.  The problem with our thinking today is that it is a load of crap.  Not a small dog turd, but a big elephant load of crap.  We are called to be different as Christians,  to step out of our comfort zone and help others.  Look at the bible, there are tons of examples that show us this.  Moses was a guy that could not physically talk in front of others.  But yet God used him to bring his people out of Egypt.  Noah was called by God to build an Ark when it hadn't rained...ever until that point.  People thought he was a lunatic, not just eccentric but certifiable. But Noah followed through with this anyway because God told him to do it.  So as Christians we should be different, but what does that mean?  Well it can mean many things.  But the main thing is to not be like the world.  If we look like, sound like, and smell like the world then what is the point?  Yes it is hard to do this.  But what is the point to be a Christian, if you are just like everyone else.  This doesn't mean to act holier than thou and to not associate with others that are not Christian.  It means to be genuine and give others something to long for.  This can be done without acting better than others.  This can mean to find ways to help others.  This means to be available to others, even if it is just to listen.  I have a long way to go on this.  I used to shut myself off from others because it is easier to do so.  Now I want every opportunity I can get to share with others, to listen to others, to help others.  I ask daily for God to put someone in my path to do something for.  Take an extra minute or two when you ask "How are you?" to listen and care what they say.  Make yourself available for this.  Invite your non-Christian friends to church, and live a Christian life in front of them.  If they don't go the first time, invite them the next time and keep inviting them.  DON'T GIVE UP!  I know this used to be just about me and my progress with the brain tumor I have.  God has given me such a burden for others over the last month or two.  A burden so powerful that I can't sleep a lot of the time.  I don't want others to waste their life like I have.  We have become consumers first but we need to be worshipers and doers for Christ.  It has taken 43 years to find a simple verse that is now the basis of life for me.  That is John 3:30 "He must become greater; I must become less."  Such a powerful statement in such a small verse.  But it has really instilled in me a new sense of purpose.  I hope you finish reading this and go away with a new sense of purpose as well.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Letters from the past...written for the future

One week from today is my 16th wedding anniversary.  It so happened that the card that Kara gave me 51 weeks ago today is sitting on my desk at work.  It has been sitting there for quite a while without being read, and basically invisible to me, until today.  Today, I saw it and picked it up to read again….then I cried.  She wrote this many months before we would find out that I have an inoperable brain tumor that would change everything about our life.  The thing is, it has now taken on a very new meaning.   There are a couple of things that stand out that God knew I needed to read today.  1) Kara wrote…”we have made it thru such hard times in the past few years.  Most couples would give up but it has made us stronger and more determined to come out on top.”   Yes several things happened in the previous years that were hard to bear but we made it through it and also grew closer together. Looking back, I can now see why God put those things in our lives; it was to prepare us for now.  If we had not gone through those trials, we could not have been ready for this…period.  Though it is still tough, God knew what the next step was and was preparing us for it.  2)  Kara also said, “I am proud of your determination and the fact that you never give up.”    Wow!  That meant so much to me to know that she sees me as a fighter.  Through all my failures (Which at this point I cannot list all of them, nor would you want to know) she saw that I did not give up fighting.  That gave me a boost I needed today.  I have had the symptoms come back over the last few weeks, though right now they are not there, but every time it was not that it was painful or even scary, it was defeating to me to have to take more pills. (I can’t explain why that is)  This letter to me though written almost a year before now, has given me the push to keep on fighting and to be here as long as I can for and with my family.  I am far from being the best husband nor am I the model father, but I want to spend as many days with my family as I possibly can.  Thank you Kara for writing me this letter a year ago, it meant a lot to me then, but not like it does today.  I needed this today and God knew it, long before you even wrote it. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Music Soothes the Mortal Soul

It has been a little while since I have wrote, not sure why but I just didn’t want to write something just to write it.  As most of you know I am very fond of music (to put it mildly) In high school I spent hours and hours driving around listening to it and all kinds of it, from Rock and Roll to Rap.  Not only did I listen to it but I memorized a lot about it.  The name of the groups, the story behind the song, and much more.  Music was my life. Well here I am over 20 years out of high school and music is still my life.  As anyone can tell you that has been around me lately, I still know music, and of course 80s music especially.  I can tell you what the very first video was on MTV ( Video killed the Radio star, by the Buggles)  I can tell you that Bye, Bye Miss American Pie was a song about Buddy Holly’s death and that Don McLean got to the point where he would not sing it because that was the only song he wrote that people wanted him to do. (He has since changed his mind).  I can tell you that the hit by the Eagles “Take it easy” was written by (At least started by) Jackson Browne and he couldn’t finish it so he gave it to Glen Frye of the Eagles and said finish it.  (It became one of their top songs)  I wont bore you with all the rest floating around in my mind (Which is probably why I can’t remember important things) but as you can tell music is still a very large portion of my life more than 20 years later.  The thing now is, the songs have started changing. About 8 years ago or so, I started going to a church where my Pastor now was music minister.  It had been a long time since I had picked up my bass guitar to play anything as it is not really fun to play bass guitar by yourself.  Somehow we got on to the subject and Dean and several others said that I should start playing again.  Well, unsure about it, Dean said just come to practice and play when you are ready to play.  It was not much longer, I was playing with the worship band at that church.  I stank then, and am not much better now, but it was a worshipful experience for me.  So I have continued playing and still do so at Northridge.  After being diagnosed with the brain tumor, things have changed a lot for me again with the music.  The words have been really speaking to me in many of the songs we do.   The reason why is that I am paying attention to the words and a lot of times, the Lord is speaking directly to me through that song.  For example one we have done recently is 10,000 reasons.  Here is the last verse:
And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore”

This so much speaks to my soul.  To know that even after 10,000 years of praising our God, that will be just a short time in eternity standing before the throne of God praising him.  We really can’t even fathom that since our lives are so tied to time.  I still enjoy the occasional rock song, but I have focused on listening to Christian music that pleases the Lord.  I don’t think everyone should go out and burn all their Justin Bieber CDs (Well maybe those you could ) but I think that listening to music that praises our God certainly will help you lift your spirits and in turn  maybe you will be exited about praising him.  Not that I want to leave yet, I cannot wait until I am standing in front of God and at the right hand , Jesus and with all my being praising them.  Picture that the next time you are at church and are singing Amazing Grace if you are old school or How Great is our God  if you are new school.  Close you eyes and focus on the Lord and focus on praising Him with your all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Two month Checkup

Well today I went in for the day long 2 month check up.  Actually I had to go get a MRI and then wait for them to read it then go see my regular doctor at the Cancer center all of this took pretty much all day....but I digress.  I am pleased to know that my tumor has NOT grown and has NOT changed types.  Yes it is unfortunately still there, but other than disappearing this is the next best thing for me.  I had lots of questions for my doctor today since I had started venturing out and reading some about the type tumor I have.  I asked about Clinical trials which right now I do not qualify for. But she did tell me about some things that are on the horizon for Low grade tumors....including a vaccination which could help me which was encouraging.  Overall, I am very pleased with the  appointment, now my next appointment will be August 15 for my next two month check up.
       I have been very burdened lately, not for myself, but for people I have met lately as well as others.  I tried to explain it Sunday in our community group and I don't think I really explained it how I feel.  I really want to point everyone I meet to the Lord and tell them how great He is.  I don't want others that are Christian to tread water and waste so much of life like I did just making it through the day, instead of enjoying all that God has done for us.  Serving others and helping others has become a priority for me as well.  I can't always help everyone but I can try to help as many as possible.  Taking time to listen to others and to share what is going on in my life and how the Lord has been working on me has come to the fore  front as I believe God has given me this tumor for a reason and I want to leverage it to help others.  God has given each one of us a "story" leverage it to point others to him.

Thank you for praying for me and my family, please continue to do so!

Friday, June 8, 2012

God's ability to put people in our lives just when we need them.

It is funny how God works in our lives to put someone in your life at just the right time.  I was at the hospital on Wednesday night visiting a friend, when we were waiting for the elevator at the parking garage.  A lady and two Teen girls walked up to get the elevator as well.  I happened to look over and one of the girls had a shirt that Said “Hope” with a gray ribbon and it also said the Robert Preston Tish Brain Tumor clinic on it as well.  I told her I liked her shirt.  Her mom chimed in and said that the girls dad had a brain tumor in 2008 or 2009 and they thought that he would not make it.  But he had surgery and chemo and radiation and the tumor is completely gone.  Then I proceeded to tell them that I have a brain tumor and was diagnosed back in February.  The whole family said “God is good!” and the mother told me that her husband’s doctor told him that he was a walking miracle, since they did not think that they would be able to do anything for him.  
            Kara and I talked on the way home and I told her that God has been putting strange scenarios in my life, and I am not sure why.  I said that I feel he put that one in my life as a comfort to us.  I told her that I am still not sure why the accident was put in my life on Wednesday morning, but I am sure He will reveal that to me when I need to know. I just pray that Marcus recovers well from the accident, please pray for him.  
            Also, I had several “episodes” yesterday.  It is disappointing when this happens.  Yes I know I have a brain tumor, but it is a lot easier to cope with it when I am not having any symptoms.  Please pray for me as I go this coming Wednesday to see if the tumor has changed any.  Please pray that it has either stayed the same or gotten smaller.  I am good with it being there as long as it doesn’t grow.  But I am also good if the Lord decides to work a miracle in my life and make it vanish.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What is wrong with us?

This morning I was on the way to work thinking about so many things that are up in the air in my life right now when I drove by a Jeep Cherokee sitting in the ditch on the other side of the road.  I looked as I went by and it was a fresh accident….but no one was stopping.  I drove down a little ways to the next driveway and watched in my rear view mirror as car after car passed but no one stopped.  I turned around and went back to the Jeep and got my umbrella and got out to see if anyone was in the car.  As I looked  in the car I saw someone slumped over the steering wheel.  I opened the car door and about that time someone had pulled up behind me (She had turned around as well) and came up to the car about the time I opened the door.  Thank God she was a Nurse as she  knew what to do, she checked his pulse and couldn’t find one and she yelled at the man and no response.  She dialed 911 and they walked her through questions and dispatched paramedics.  After about 5 minutes he started to come to.  She asked him his name and he said it was Marcus (At least that is what we made out) He said his back hurt really bad and he could not feel his legs.   About that time the paramedics came and she went over to fill them in on what was going on.  He started to try to move and I told him don’t move until the paramedics came over.  I told him that the most important thing was to not move yet. Strangely enough the next thing he said was “I am going to be late for work”.  I told him to not worry about work he wasn’t going today. I then thought, I should pray for him.  So I started to pray for him in a forced fashion, not a natural reaction as it should be. They got him out of the car and into the ambulance and that was that.
There are many things that have bothered me since I left.   The first, why have we gotten to the point to where we don’t help others unless it is convenient?  It was pouring rain, and people were hurrying to work, and everyone passed this car thinking, someone else will stop.  This time I did stop (And a nurse too) but how many times have I seen someone that needs someone, and did not take a minute to help them?  It makes me sick that even as a Christian I have this ability to not care inside of me.  Since I have been diagnosed, I have tried to make a conscious effort to help others when I can. I still fail all the time at doing this but each day I try to do better.  
Another thing that bothers me was that prayer was not the first thing I thought to do.  Marcus needed prayer, and from me it came as “oh yeah, I should pray” and then it was a struggle to do.  Again, it makes me mad that I am a Christian and have been for many years, and still it is not a natural thing for me to do.  I am sure I am not the only one with this problem, and that makes me sad.  What has gotten us as people to this point?  Our friends hurt and we do nothing because we have other more important things to do that it will interrupt. Others need us, even if it is to just listen to them so they don’t feel so alone.  The point is we need each other, and we should be there for each other, but yet we are not, not truly anyway.  You catch a glimpse of it here and there but on a consistent basis, we are not.  I am tired of being that way…you should be too.

Pray for Marcus, pray that he is healed.  He said his birthday is Friday, he will be 21.  Pray that he has a better future ahead of him. Maybe if you start by praying for him, the next time someone needs you, it will be easier to do, and each time will become easier until it is second nature.  I pray to God that I can become the person that when there is a need, they will come to me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


We go through life each day trying to please someone, whether it be our spouse, parents, a friend, a hopeful girlfriend or boyfriend.  We long to be looked highly upon by others.  We want to be remembered it is in our nature.  I am no exception, I have longed for others to recognize me and appreciate me.  I enjoy when others want to be around me and enjoy my company, when someone calls because they are thinking about me, when my wife does something special just because she loves me.  The thing is, even if I had none of these people, I would still have that one that wants to spend time with me, who longs to be with me, that wants my attention as well….that would be our Lord and Savior.  What’s even better is that His love is unconditional.  He loves us no matter what sin we have committed, whether or not we even pay attention to Him.  He loves us….period.  It is up to us if we accept Him and love him back.  It is a conscious effort that requires no work, no special ceremony, nor a Priest on our behalf to do so.  Just one genuine prayer from us expresses our love and our need for Jesus, and we give our lives to Him.  Many think it is too simple to be true, but it is not.  
     After thinking about this, and reading my daily devotional, I realize that while friends matter, the one true friend we already have matters much more.  When I am gone, I do want friends, family, and others to remember me, that I loved our Lord and was a Godly man, but what I want them to remember the most, is how much God loved me.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Perspective- a mental view or outlook.

I have always had trouble with this.  Many times I would dwell on the bad things, the things that happen to me and others that are “wrong” and should not happen.  Here are things that have happened to me and my family over the course of my life that seemed to stand out more than the good things.
  1. In the early 90s while working at Circuit City, I had a customer attack me and knock me out, and when I came to he knocked me out again two more times.  All because he didn’t agree with me that the battery in his car was defective.  
  2. When lifting into place the door on the house I live now, I ruptured two discs in my back from which came excruciating pain.  I have not had an operation to correct this and occasionally hurt my back because of this.
  3. Back in 2008, my wife was new to the Travel business and the company she was booking through quit paying her the commissions that were owed to her along with the IRS, Caesars Palace LV, and many other agents.  Kara was in the top 12 of  money lost.  $24,000 total in which a lot was already spent  (we had just started a bathroom remodel at the time) we never got a dime of it back, while the owner of the company and his wife purchased a million dollar house for his mom, he embezzled the money from the company. As far as I can tell, he has never paid for his crime.
  4. And now I have a brain tumor.

Sounds like a story from the book of Job doesn’t it?  Well not near as bad as Job, but the last one has changed my perspective.  I try not to dwell on the bad things that have happened.  There is no time to let that burden me and it does no good to do so.  Here are things that I want to dwell on.
  1. I became a Christian when I was I believe 9.  My mom took me to talk with the pastor of the church we were attending at the time.  I remember the drive over and pulling into his driveway to talk with him.  After he talked to me about what I believed, he led me in the sinners prayer.  I strayed away from the Lord during High School but when I was just out of high school, I rededicated my life.
  2. I have a mother who while I lived with her, took me to church and through every day led by example by leading a Godly life.
  3. The Lord saw fit to send me a beautiful, Godly wife.  A wife that can’t wait to see me each day when I get home, one that does special things for me for no reason, one that tells me she loves me every day…and means it, and especially stands by me and cheers me on in everything I do. All the while, serving the Lord beside me each day. 
  4. The Lord also saw fit to send me two boys.  Each one has such a great personality.  
Ean is very quiet in reserved as well as very, very smart.  He also knows so much about the bible, especially considering he is only 13, in fact he can tell someone things from the bible much better than I can.  Ean also is very obedient, if we ask him to do something he will do it, no questions asked. I have always felt that God is going to call him into the ministry.  May just be hopeful, but I believe he would be excellent in the ministry.   
Grant is such a people person, he loves to do things for people and loves to perform for others.  He is also fearless, he thinks he can do anything and no one can tell him otherwise, teach him 3 chords on a guitar and he will play those 3 chords with all his heart for anyone that will let him play for them.  He is also an excellent artist and draws much better than I did at his age.  He also has the entrepreneurial spirit that I do, he actually draws comics and kids he knows will buy them from him.  He is always trying to come up with a new invention or new idea that will be the next great thing.  I am sure he will go far in life. 

There are so many other things that have happened to me in my life that far outweigh the negative things.  I was able to be part of starting the church that we attend now.  There are so many things I have gotten to see God do through Northridge over the last 5 years that I am so thankful for.  There are so many people that I have met as well that I have gotten to share life with that I am thankful for as well. I am excited for the future of Northridge and impact on the community it will provide.
            I said all of that to say this….no matter what bad things are going on in your life, don’t let it be what defines your life.  There are way too many good things to worry about the bad.  If you find yourself focusing on the bad, change your perspective.  Dwell on the good.  Life will be much better if you do that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Random Thoughts

     I have had alot of random thoughts over the last few weeks.  One thing is God knew what He had to do when He sent Jesus to die on the cross to save us.  He knew there would be people like me that even though I know I have a clock ticking down the time I have left, which is alot less than I had hoped, I still revert to my self.  He knew that deep in our hearts we are all sinners and that it would require an offering on our part to bring us back to Him.  This sacrifice would have to be His own son, in order to redeem the sin of great magnitudes  that each one of us continually commit.  It hurts me that knowing my fate I still cannot measure up...but thank God that I don't have to in order to be saved.
     I also feel like I am just treading water sometimes, I wish there was more I could do but I don't know what to do.  I have made a more purposeful attempt to get more involved in others lives.   I want to be there for others and help and pray for them.  I am not sure why I feel this way, it just feels like what the Lord wants me to do right now.  I know I didnt do this in the past because it was easy not to.  I have also become more vocal in my beliefs,  I want others to know that I am a Jesus follower and I dont want to be an idle Christian any more.  Being diagnosed has made me more extroverted instead of introverted for some reason, and now I worry less about myself and more about others,  for this I am grateful that I have become this.  I just wish I could quit feeling like I am waiting so often.  It just makes me feel like I am wasting time.
     I know I have said it in the past, but I want each one of you to know that I appreciate your prayers, they are not "wasted" as I can tell that I am being prayed for.  I pray for many of you too, for your lives and for you to make a difference in others as you have made a difference in my life.  There are so many cool things that have happened lately, my brother in law was in a Physical therapist office the other day and I think he overheard them talking about a guy's blog, and long story short it was my blog.   So cool  (I think :)) I got mail the other day and it was a bulletin from a church in SC that is in a little town I had never heard of, and on the back page was a prayer list with my name on it.  Today, I was speaking to the head of the Arkansas School bus spec committee and he said I was looking like I was doing good, not sure how (Unless I told him and forgot) he knew but he told me he had been keeping up with me.  I have had so many people stop me and ask if I was Greg Elmore and when I said yes they said they were praying for me and my family.  God knows just the right time to send someone like that.  Amazing!
      Well, hopefully all of these random thoughts make some sense.  Kara told me that I need to write something about what is going on with me so people can follow how my life is going at the time.  Maybe it will help someone that has felt this way or feeling this way.  Please continue to pray for me, especially good results for my MRI and check up on June 13. 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Starting to see some purpose

     Well it has been a while since I have wrote, not much to tell on my health.  Last week on Wednesday and Thursday I felt strange and light headed.  Thursday morning I slept in til about 10 and that helped me feel better.  Other than that not much has changed. 
      I found out today that May is Brain Tumor Awareness month.  Never knew that it even existed.  Kind of hate that I had to find out by the fact I have one.  And along those lines, I have heard and met via email and facebook, alot of people that either have a brain tumor or has a loved one that does.  It is kind of like when you get a new car, and then all of a sudden it seems like everyone is driving one of them. Medical TV shows, the news and many other things have referenced a brain tumor alot lately. (Probably no more than they did before, but I tend to notice it now.)    Never in a million years did I think I would have brain cancer.  Now God has given me this to face, He has also given me a purpose through all of this as well.  Right now I think it is to encourage others that are facing the same thing I am.  Whether it is an encouraging conversation/email, prayer or to just be there for someone.  I have also challenged my community group to be that for our church.  Those that are not plugged into a community group already, but are coming to our church, I would like our group to be there for them in a time in need.  I hope we get many opportunities to fill in the gap when the need arises.  This is nothing new, this is just what God intends us to do, be there for each other. 
     Please continue to pray for my family and pray for me.  It was a great relief when we got the news that the tumor is slow growing, but it is still there.  Please pray for God to intervene in my life. Also, please pray that I get many opportunities to share my story with others as well as be there for those that are finding out for the first time.  Also, please pray for Natalee and also for Michael  both have brain tumors (Which are in worse shape than me) they both have a spouse and children.  They both really need our prayers. 
Thanks for reading, I appreciate each one of you it gives me strength knowing I have so many that care.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thank you

I want to thank everyone that has read my blog and prayed for me.  Your prayers have not gone unnoticed.  Many things have happened since February 24 that can only be explained as God moving.  God hears our prayers. I pray that I am the best I can be for him. I am not one to go around and quote bible verses to others.  That is just not me.  Yes, I do read the bible every day now and want to learn more about our Lord and Savior.  I just want others to see that God is working in my life.  I am not perfect by no means, I am only saved by the Grace of God.  You don't have to change before you give your life to the Lord, you only have to accept that you are a sinner and that Jesus is the path to redemption in the eyes of the Lord.  If you have not done this already, I pray that you will give your life to Him.
Please continue to pray for me.  Even though right now it seems good, unless God chooses a different path for me, it will eventually start affecting me.  Pray for devine intervention for me and also pray for my wife and two boys.  As I said in the beginning God is going to do something amazing....believe it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 42

Today was a great day... So much has happened.  I actually slept late today which was great.  Then I went and did what I said I wanted to a tattoo.  Again, I dont condone this for anyone else, but I wanted something permanent that would symbolize my love for God and His love for me.  So I got a "seal upon my arm" as I said in a past entry.  It was alot less painful than I thought it would be.  So let me get to the important stuff.  Tonight we went to our church's Good Friday Service.  The service was very simple but very powerful.  It incorporated the reading of the crusifixion account as well as some video from the movie Mel Gibson did on Jesus a few years back.  It was so powerful in portraying what Christ went through for us to complete His fathers plan.  Everyone left very somberly and sad, which we should be on this day for having to make God resort to sending His Son to die on the cross for us.  After we talked a while, Kara went on with the boys to the car while I told a couple of people bye.  When I walked around the corner I saw Kara hugging Grant in the parking lot and Grant was crying.  I thought he may had tripped, so I went to see if he was OK.  I asked Kara if he was hurt and she shook her head and motioned for me to come over. When I got there, Grant was crying and Kara was trying to get him to tell her what was wrong.  He said that he was scared, and I thought that he meant that the video scared him since it was so graphic.  But he said something that caught us off guard.  He said he was scared because he was not certain that he was saved.  He was younger when he prayed to get saved, shortly after Ean was saved, so we have wondered if he did it because his big brother did it.  We explained to him that it is ok to pray again if he was uncertain to make sure.  We talked to him again about what it meant to be saved and asked him if he believed this.  He said that he did believe this.  So Kara asked him if he wanted to pray again, and he said yes.  So she led him in praying to be saved and to confirm that what he believes is true.  He felt much better afterwards.  I am so thankful for our boys and their openness to talking to us about things like this.  I am thankful for a Lord that sent his son on this day to die for every one of this.   I just pray if you have never prayed that simple prayer in which you admit you have sinned and you believe that Christ died you, then I hope you will do it today.  Your life will be so much fulfilling and the trials that we go through in life become so much more easier to go through.  So today Mourn this day that Christ suffered for us....but it does not stop with that.  On Sunday, rejoice in the fact that he rose again....He did this all for You!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 41....

      Well God answered some prayers that people were praying today!  We went to Duke to find out what treatment plans were for me now and got to meet alot of special doctors today.  We arrived at 8 AM and were quickly taken back to our first stop.  The Doctor came in and started talking to me about the tumor and asked if we had questions.  First I asked him what the name of it was and he told me.  He said that is was a rare type of a Glioma that is special in the fact that it is one of the slowest growing ones, more slower than that of the most common Gliomas.  Then he said that there were markers missing at the #1 and #19 DNA chromosomes.  He then proceeded to tell us that this made the type tumor I have even better because of this.  Then finally he said that this tumor was tested and found to be very sensitive to chemo, which makes it even better because when they treat it with Chemo then it will not take as much to treat it.  Of course the best news would be that God removed it from my head, but this news was just as exciting to me...To have a rare kind of tumor logically would mean to me that it would be harder to treat, but in this case it is better to have and then all of the DNA items to line up on the best end of what they could be is also amazing.  God is so Good!  No He has not chosen to remove the tumor from my head, but I got the next best thing. 
     So the doctor said that the first option for this tumor would be surgery if it is possible to remove a large enough amount of it.  I am waiting for them to get word back from the Neurosurgeon to see if he feels that is a good option.  If it is not, then what they plan on doing is to have be go back every 2 months to get an MRI and see if it has changed, and if it has grown , then look at doing treatment.  If it does not grow, then other than surgery they plan on no radiation or Chemo, until it is needed.  So as of today they plan on watching it and not doing anything until it gets larger, and since it has favorable  characteristics, will respond well, they believe, if and when they do have to treat it.  One of the doctors said that they have a lady that has one in the same location and type and she has gone 5 years without doing anything but monitoring.  So God has been working through your prayers (and mine) Just please do not stop praying for me now I have good news.  I need your prayers each and every day.  Thank you so much for praying, I appreciate each one of you even the ones I have not met.

Here is a song I have recently heard that has taken on a special meaning from all of this, please read the lyrics and reflect on your releationship with God today...Happy Easter!
10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name

The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning
It's time to sing your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worshhip your holy name

You're rich in love and you're slow to anger
Your name is great and your heart is kind
For all your goodness I will keep on singing
10,000 reasons for my heart to find

Bless you Lord!

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Soon my soul will sing your praise unending
10,000 years and then forever more

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name

Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name (repeat 3x)

Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name (repeat 3x

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 38...

Not alot going on right now.   Just waiting for my appointment on Thursday.   Please pray for me as I will have to start making decisions on what to do about treatment.  It has felt kind of normal the last week, which scares me.  I don't ever want to get to the point of the "everyday" again.  I am not perfect by no means but I want to be my best for the Lord at all times.  As I sit here in Jackson, Mississippi tonight I realize how much I miss my family and friends right now.  I am travelling on business and will be in Mississippi for the next two nights.  It seems like forever.  Funny how just six months ago I was runner up on a position at work that would have had me travelling 50% of the time.   God knew what I needed and made sure that I didn't get that job or other jobs that I applied for over the last year.  He knew I would not be able to handle being away that much.  I have been overwhelmed a lot over the last few weeks.  Overwhelmed that God would want to use a person like me to point to Him.  I have had several opportunities to share about God from my circumstances and I praise Him for giving the opportunity. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 33...

Some great things have happened today I wanted to share.  The first was that the very first Neurosurgeon that I saw right after being diagnosed called the house this morning to see how I was doing.  Well I was not home but he took the time to answer questions that Kara had that we had not asked anyone yet or was unsure of the answer.  He spent 30 minutes talking to her knowing that we will probably not be coming back to see him.  So he actually was concerned with us enough to listen to Kara and answer her questions.  He also asked that we have our records copied and sent to him as well so he could keep up with me, and offer help if he finds something that could help me.  How awesome is that?? Then Kara went and picked up the boys from school and stopped by Cracker Barrel to look for something.  While she was there she ran into an old friend from a previous church and talked to her a few minutes.  After she was caught up on what has been going on with us, she mentioned that she had a customer that had a brain tumor that was discovered over 5 years ago that is still in her but they go in ever so often when it grows and shrink it enough to not affect her. These two things today came at the right time when Kara needed it.  She has been worried over the last week because things were not progressing how she felt it needed to.  This information really helped put her at ease.
   As far as the latest on my next step, I go Friday for my 3rd MRI and then next Thursday I go back to Duke to the Brain Tumor Center for my initial consultation with an Oncologist. Please pray that they will have a solid treatment plan that will be the best for me.  I appreciate everything that people have done for me and my family,  
prayers, food, spending time with us, watching the kids for us and getting them to school, all of this and more is very appreciated.  Thank you!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 32....

Well I know it has been a while since I have posted anything new.  And today is not much of an exception.  The Neurosurgeon’s office did call me yesterday to let me know that they do not feel they should try operating yet.  Don’t know if that means it is truly inoperable or if they don’t feel the risk is worth the amount that they can remove.  Also, the first doctor’s office from Duke called me to let me know that they have the information back from my Biopsy and they will be discussing with the doctor on when to bring me in there.  Not sure yet if it will be soon or if they will wait.  I should hear back from them this afternoon about that. 
            Just a thought that I have been thinking on quite a bit lately.  Why should I expect God to heal me above anyone else in the world?  I don’t feel I have ever felt like I was better than another person by no means, but I have had several people say that it shouldn’t have happened to me.  Well, why should it not?  Yes I am a Christian and try to follow the Bible as best I can, but that doesn’t put me in the short line to recovery.  In God’s eyes we are all equal.  This means I am equal to the guy that abuses his body with drugs, or the prostitute who sells her body.  He made us all equal, and loves each of us equally…period.  The better treatment you get from being a Christian is not in this life….we actually should expect worse.  The Devil hates a strong Christian and will try anything he can to screw them up.  Nothing is better for his cause than a weak Christian.  I should know, I have been there for a long time.  I have never talked to people I know that are not Christians because I didn’t want them to not like me.  In the past week I have felt compelled to speak with a few of those people…definitely not my normal self.  I didn’t preach at them, I just did as I should have done in the past…listen to them and then tell my story.  That can be all it takes.  In this world no one wants to take the time to listen to each other, they are too busy with life to sit down and just talk.  Everyone knows someone that they should just sit and talk with, to find out how they are and what is weighing them down.  Once you start talking about those things then inviting them to church or even possibly praying with them is not so hard.  (It is so funny that I of all people am giving lessons on “witnessing” something that I had not done in decades)  So if there is anything to take from this it would be to sit down with a friend or co-worker that is unchurched and listen…you may not be able to take it any further the first time, so do it again and again until their heart is receptive, you will know, and then just pray with them or invite them to your church.  The Lord will give you the words to say, but you have to take the first step.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 27....extra

I probably should not post this but for some reason I feel like I should.  I finally got a disc that I can view.  It is strange to look at knowing it is in my head.  Kara said to explain that the tumor is on the Right side but it is reversed in the picture for some reason.  It is the light colored area

Day 27....

Well, I thought I would I would just update you on the news I have gotten this week….OK I am done.  I have not heard back yet from the Doctor this week as of Thursday at lunch.  I have had many people ask why I haven’t updated my blog yet.  It has actually been a busy week with Ean’s 13th birthday and work.  Hopefully, I will hear something this afternoon or tomorrow so I will know the next step in my journey.  Thank you all so much for praying for me and getting your friends to pray for me.  God is still working hard and has really changed my view on life in these last few weeks.  The things that used to be important are not.  With our pastor’s sermon on Sunday, he spoke of the things that we try to achieve so that we will be happy.  A better car….a better spouse….a better house…yet it is all a carrot hung out in front of us that we will never reach, because when we get it the carrot moves back out in front of us again and the chase starts over again.  Be content with what you have!  Life is too short to be chasing irrelevant things.   

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 23...

Really enjoyed church this morning and it was kind of funny listening to the sermon.  The sermon was basically talking about my life up until recently.  Our pastor stated that if you are doing good and are content with life then listen up and he will tell you how to fix that.  Well I have spent most of my life trying to find the next "fix" to make my life better.  A better job...a different job...a different state....a better car...more money...and the list goes on.  As I listened today I chuckled to myself on one occasion because the things he listed are things that I already had tried over and over.  But I can say honestly right now I am the most content with my life than I have ever been.  It took a brain tumor for me to realize what is important and lasting.  I am honestly happy now.  Yes that sounds completely backwards but I am.  The Lord has taken all the crap that filled my life and showed me how meaningless it really was and all I have left is what I need.  Along with removing all the useless things, he has cleared my mind as well.  There are so many songs, verses, etc. that I have heard many times that now say something totally different to me...kind of like someone put glasses on me the first time after being without them for years.  It just makes it clear.  I didn't start this blog to say "look at how great I am" because I am not.  I started this because in the very beginning of this journey I knew that God has a story that He wants to tell through me.  He didn't tell me through a burning bush or an angel from the sky, I just knew the night I first found out I had the tumor.  I pray that I never hinder this story and that I will only point out that God is in charge, whether we like it or not.  We can either listen to Him and follow him and be content in life, or fight it all the way and be misreable...either way it is our choice.  I got lucky on Feb 24, 2012 by being given a point in life where I can either follow or fight...I chose to follow.  Don't wait for that point in your life.  Make the choice now.  You will have a much more enjoyable life when you quit fighting between your will and God's...God's is much better especially because he knows us better than we know ourselves. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 22....

Well sorry that I didn't finish yesterday, so much went on yesterday and this morning (Good things, that is)  So here it goes.
We checked in at 3:00 on Thursday at Duke.  It took 2 1/2 hours to check in. This included blood work and everything.  Everyone was so nice that we talked to at each point of the check in.  I was very impressed, as I never felt like one of the herd of cattle that I have felt in the past at a hospital.  They told me at the end that I had a room already so I didn't have to hurry to the main hospital, we could go eat dinner and then go back.  So we went to Costco and ate yogurt for dinner and walked around for a while.  So we went back to the hospital about 1 1/2 hours later and checked in the hospital.  Everyone along the way there too was very helpful and didn't act like we were bothering them.  I was very pleased.  After we had been there a little while, they took me to the MRI area to get my MRI done with the dots on my head that give them coordinates to reference for when they drilled into my head in the morning.  (They also outlined each one of them with a permanent marker in case they came off,  I am still trying to get the sharpie off my head)   At each place I had to answer questions and had to tell the symptoms that I had to get me to this place. Each time the people were so intrigued in the symptoms.  I am really surprised that no one has ever had symptoms like me.  (I guess I always try to be different...haha)  They had to start an IV before the MRI so when I got back they hooked me up to an IV and included steroids to help my brain not swell during the operation.  They said to not expect to sleep that night.  They gave me the steroids at 12 and I slept from 12:15 to 5:00 no problem.  (Kara didn't sleep well in her chair)  They came and got me about 5:15 and took me down to the OR waiting area.  The doctor came and saw me and talked to me (He had flew in the night before and drove straight from the airport to the hospital to meet me and talk to me)  then they rolled me back to the OR.  They said that they would  put me out and install  the Mayfield Clamp on my head  then wake me back up.  (I found pictures of it a little while ago and it looks like a giant C-Clamp with 3 point that they screw down tight on your head to hold it into place. )
They woke me back up and started installing the guide for the drill.  Once that was installed the Assistant said he was going to start drilling. As soon as he said drill, my heart rate went up pretty significantly. I told him  "see what you did?"  we laughed a second then he started drilling.  That was one interesting few moments of listening to that drill words can describe that. Once he drilled the hole, the doctor came in and I could see what looked like a skewer that they handed him.  He slid it into the guide and stuck it in my head  3-4 times each time deeper to get a sample.  Again, very strange.  They then had to go out of the room and make sure the samples they got would be good enough for pathology to use to see what kind of tumor it is.  That seemed like 3 days laying there in the Mayfield clamp, my neck starting hurting, and back from laying in that awkward position.  They finally came back and said it was all usable and then they took me out of the clamp.  When they got done unhooking me they took me straight up to my room.  I was in my room by 8:45 AM, and alert.  I felt fine.  Another assistant to the doctor came in and checked on me and asked me questions to make sure I was ok.  Kara finally was able to come see me at around 10:00  as the Doctor wants to speak to the family first before allowing them to come see me.  By the time she got there I had already ate breakfast.  Other than starting to get a headache from where the screws were tightened to my head I felt fine.  So after talking to everyone that was there waiting to see me, Kara and I spent time listening to "Always" which has become our anthem in our life now.  Then we listened to some other songs that had become favorites, one which will be done in church tomorrow.  (You won't relent) I have joked with Kara about getting a Tattoo on and off for several years and last year she said I could get one if I lost 20 lbs.  Well, that didn't work, so the other week she told me I could get one if I still wanted it.  (My dad reads this and will probably try to talk me out of it...sorry dad)  The one thing I never have told her is why I want one.  There is a verse in "You won't relent" that goes like this
"I'll set You as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm"
I want to to have a seal upon my arm to mark me unmistakably as God's...that is why I want a tattoo.  That is not for everyone but it is what I personally want to do.  Hopefully, I will get a chance to do it. Please don't take this as condoning this for everyone as I know it is not. 
So anyway back to the about 3:00 the doctor came in and told me what he thought the tumor was and he thinks it is a Grade 2 which is what we were told by the first neurosurgeon and I told him that is good news ( The best news would be not having it all)  he looked at me strangely and said..."yes I guess if you are going to have a tumor a grade 2 would be the best one to have"  I don't think anyone has ever said good news and tumor to him in the same sentence.  He said that it is still not a final diagnosis until pathology has looked at it but he said his average is being 85% right.  So we feel good that what he told us is going to be correct. 
We were released to leave about 4:30 and got out about 5:00 and Kara had not ate since Thursday so we drove to Ruby Tuesday and ate dinner.  Can you believe that I had, for all intensive purposes, brain surgery at 7:30 AM and was eating at Ruby Tuesday at 5:30?  What a great day! We then walked around the mall then went to check in the hotel.  We sat there til about 7 then went back to Costco for some more yogurt.  Then we went back to the hotel (I know this is so exciting, right?) and we crashed at 9:00 and slept till about 7:00, we were so tired.  Got  up, ate breakfast and drove home, then took a nap, and then went and got the boys from a friends house.  
God watched over us every inch of the way, he sent so many people to help us and we thank you all.  We actually had more people that wanted to help but we just didn't have enough for everyone to do.  (I am sure we can use use along the way...don't worry)  But, thank each and every one of you that did help this time, we couldn't have done it without you.  We appreciate all the calls, visits, dinner, driving the kids to their destinations, etc. You all are AMAZING!  It is a blessing to have so many people want to help.  
The next step is to get the results back from the Pathology lab and see how to treat the tumor.  So please continue to pray and ask others to pray.  God is already moving...just look at the week I have had and tell me He isn't..and this is just the beginning.  Keep reading my blog and watch as He does the extrodinary, you will be glad you did.

Friday, March 16, 2012

day 21....

Just a quick note.  I got out of the OR at 8:45 and ate breakfast shortly after.  I was awake while they drilled in my head which was interesting to say the least..  I will tell more later...please continue praying for me and my family...God is still good...and He has an amazing plan for my life.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 19

Well things have been pretty exciting around today.  This morning since it was supposed to be such a gorgeous day, I chose to ride my motorcycle to work.  I got about a mile from the house and was coming up on traffic.  There was a school bus coming toward me in the other lane and it turned it's amber lights on.  When it did this the first of two cars in front of me slammed on brakes, therefor the minivan in front of me did the same..  I was doing about 45 as I was approaching and I hit my brakes.  Well I got down to somewhere around 20 MPH and started skidding.  Now here comes the God thing.  I slammed into the back of that minivan dead center of the vehicle.  Anyone knows that an object in motion tends to want to stay in motion in the same direction.  Well, that is unless God wants something different.  When I hit that van I was thrown off of the motorcycle and went off at about 90 degrees from forward.  (God Intervened)I hit the ditch and rolled I dont know about 5 or six times and popped back up on my feet.  I immediately went to see if the driver of the van was ok.  She was sitting there holding on to the steering wheel looking straight in front of her.  This is conjecture, but I think she was scared to go back and see what happened to me.  Well I asked her if she was OK and she said she was and asked me the same.  We went back to the back of the van and talked and another guy on a Harley stopped and made sure I was OK.  He son helped me get the motorcycle back upright.  We exchanged information and I got the motorcycle started and went home.   I walked in the house and Kara started yelling "Is that you Greg?" and I said yes.  She kept asking me why I was back.  I did not answer until I got in the bedroom and told her I was in a wreck.  SHe got upset for a minute and then said "I knew it!"  I asked her what she ment.  She said when she was dropping the boys off for school something came over her and she felt that something happened to me... kind of strange but that has happened alot lately.  We hugged for a while and I told her that she wasnt going to be able to get rid of me apparently.  I got in the car to head to work and on the way it just hit me so powerfully....God used this to reiterate that He has a plan for my life...a BIG one!  If He did not have a plan for me then He could have just not saved me this morning.  It is obvious that it was else can it be explained that I flew off the motorcycle in the totally opposite direction than I was going and land in a grassy ditch.  When I realized this I was laughing and crying at the same time...God has a perfect plan for me  and a big one at that,  and He has a sense of humor as well.  He used a wreck to remind me that 1) He is in control 2) He has a plan, no matter what I do.
What an Amazing God we serve!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 16

It has been a great few days.  My youngest  son Grant turned 11 on Friday.  He had a party with his friends on Friday at Lazer tag.  He had a really good time.  Yesterday I got to spend some time with a close friend for lunch just the two of us and then later with both our families. What a great time.  Then today we went to the early service at church...which was such a great time in the Lord.  Then this afternoon, we had a party for Grant (Yes he got two parties) which was so our families could get together to celebrate his birthday with him.  Then, we had family pictures taken for the first time in years.  Finally, we ate dinner with another family  (Thank you so much, it was great, you know who you are) Wow, this isn't like us.  We typically are pretty low keyed and stay to ourselves.  What a wonderful time we had this weekend.  We got to spend time with so many friends and family, and spend time worshiping the Lord.  
     One thing has been bothering Kara and I the last few days and we have discussed this several times. At the end of the day, or just as we were doing things together it felt like.....a normal day.....and we felt bad for that.  We felt like nothing was wrong for hours at a time and we felt bad for doing that.  I really don't like that feeling. I never want to go back to the average day I have had in the past mainly because I don't want to lose site of what has been made important to me in the last two weeks. Even if/when the tumor has been taken out or I have been given a good prognosis, I don't ever want to take one second of my life for granted.  Life is too precious to do that.  I am sure that there will be many more days that are not normal than there will be of "normal " ones but it is still unnerving.  As I go through this journey, maybe this feeling will make more sense, but as of right now, I am not sure what to feel or think about it.  
      Gotta work tomorrow, I hope that I can concentrate more than I have the last couple of weeks on actual work.  So many things run through my mind while I am there, and I still have people that are just now hearing of this journey I am on so they will come by and talk to me about it.  Most people are scared to ask, thinking I don't want to talk about it.  However, it is the exact opposite,  I want to talk to others about it and ask them to pray for me.  I still believe in the plan that God has for me in this and I do want others to witness what happens.   I just want to jump up and down and point at God and yell "Watch this!" to everyone.  I want to talk to everyone I can and tell them this story...not so I can say hey look at me, but to show them how many things God has done already...He is so awesome!

Time to go to bed...but I do want to say thank you for reading this.  I have talked to so many of you that have read my ramblings and you have told me you are praying for me.  It is so humbling to know so many people are praying for Greg  I hope that through my story, God will work to change all of us to get rid of the non-essential and let us as Christians work on the essential parts of our lives, to glorify Him.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 14....

     Well today is exactly 2 weeks since I was diagnosed with a Malignant Glioma Brain Tumor.  So much has happened in the last two weeks in my life, it is almost like a light switch has been switched on and I can see clear now.  But through all of the last two weeks one thing has become clear.  God is in control.  I pray daily that I do nothing to get in the way of what God has planned.  That is very hard for me because I always have a timetable that I want to be on.  But, it has become very obvious that this never worked in the past, so I have relinquished everything over to Him.  Just wish I could have done it long ago.
       Well, on a more joyful note, my youngest son Grant is 11 today.  I got the privilege to go to his school and spend his lunch time with him.  He has been pretty giddy all week since his birthday was coming and today was no exception.  He did a birthday “dance” in the parking lot while he was waiting for us to get the cupcakes and his lunch to bring into the lunch room.  He is so cute and has such a great heart.  I pray that life doesn’t try to change him in this respect.  He is so much like me in the fact that he loves to joke and cut up.  I have always liked to tell jokes and make people laugh and he does too. Near the end of lunch all of the kids in the lunch room started singing happy birthday to him.  He loved the attention.  It made me tear up because I was able to be there for that little part of his life…and just a few weeks ago, it wouldn’t have bothered me to not go and have lunch with him. Hmmm…..again God showing me his priorities are always better.  Examine yours.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 13....

Well tomorrow it will be two weeks since I was diagnosed, three weeks since I had the first symptom.  A few things have happened since I wrote last.  I think by the course of how things happened God has led me in one direction as far as my treatment.  I received a call on Wednesday from the Neurosurgeon’s office at Duke yesterday afternoon.  They called to say that the Neurosurgeon wants to do the Biopsy on Friday March 16 as this is the earliest he could do it as he is not in town until Thursday night (I believe he goes to other hospitals in the country and performs operations there as well) So I will check in on Thursday to the hospital and they will make sure I am ok to take the surgery, then on Friday I will meet the Doctor the first time right before I get the biopsy done.  So after setting that up, 20 minutes later I get a call from Wake Forest.  They called to tell me that the woman that had my MRI on Monday was sick so the Tumor board did not review my case on Tuesday….so pretty much I was still stuck at the same spot I was last Thursday.  They also said they wanted to schedule a consultation with the Neurosurgeon tomorrow (Friday) this would be just to see him and discuss doing a biopsy, basically what was talked about last Thursday. So it seems they are dragging their feet while Duke has already got me scheduled and ready to go.  Duke has been decisive and direct while Wake has been the opposite…so pardon the pun…it is a no-brainer.
            This week God has pointing out things to me that I have missed all my life.  I will tell you about a couple of things.  One, is that all things in life point to God our one and only.  Think about all of the things that would have had to happen by chance in order for us to be here without a Devine Creator.  I don’t think anyone could logically argue evolution if they actually looked at the big picture.  I really was overwhelmed when I realized this the other day, every living thing was put here to point to the Lord, and we were especially put here to praise him.  We should quit ignoring the obvious and join in and praise the one true God.  Don’t wait till you are tapped on the shoulder like I was.  
 Secondly, one thing that I had long stopped believing was that people care about each other.  There were several times in where friends and others have hurt us and we got to the point where it was easier to a) trust no one b) rely only on each other.  We had decided that people inherently did not care about anyone but themselves.  This past week has changed this for us.  We have people all over the nation, who have never met us, that are praying for us, they actually care for us without ever spending time with us.  It has restored my belief in others that people want to do good, that they want to help others….that they care.  I don’t know why I was compelled to tell this today, and I certainly can’t believe what the Lord has laid on my heart the last week.  I am typing this but it is hard to believe that it is me saying this.  For the longest time I have just “shown up” to church.  Listen to the sermon, enjoy the music then go home without ever being really changed.  I still am far from being one of those people who you admire because of their walk with the Lord.  I still have yet to sit down and read the bible for hours, but I have started spending time with my family every night reading verses that people have sent either me or Kara and then actually talking about it with the family on how that should apply to our lives. But most of all I have spent hours praying to the Lord that His will be done.  I hope that this story never becomes the “Greg Story” I would much rather it be...”Do you remember that guy that had a brain tumor and God worked in his life….”  
Each one of us has a story, I pray that it is never as dramatic as mine, but you should share it with others.  Tell others what God is doing in your life.  You will be surprised how it will affect others.