The surgery is getting close now…and a word regarding men’s speedos

We scheduled the surgery for the second week of February so that we might have time to process all the info thrown at us in recent months.  We  needed some time to think about it all.

But the main reason for scheduling it in the second week of February was so that I could attend the  Bethlehem Conference for Pastors in Minneapolis from Feb. 2nd -4th.  This will be my 19th year in a row and it trumps an earlier date for brain surgery.  It has richly and consistently fed my soul and that’s worth a great deal!

I’m thankful for the chunk of time we have had prior to surgery.  Initially, I thought that the days would drag on forever…as if in a holding pattern over Rochester at 20,000 feet.  Not so.  The days are flying by.  Karla estimates that she spends 63% of every waking hour with this on the forefront of her mind.   For me I would guess more like 73%… We’re not kidding here.

Neither are we living in fear.  One’s mind can be largely occupied without being filled with fear.  If I were on the Olympic Bobsled team and preparing night and day for the heat of competition it would be natural to have that as the dominating thought.

We have enjoyed great family time together in the past couple of months…time just hanging out together…just being together…doing puzzles, playing games, eating, and doing life together more intentionally than usual.  Every night I come home from work Jared (3) comes running to meet me at the door…not with a “Hi daddy” or  “I love you dad,” but “Dad, you play trains (sic) me?”   And I do.

Two weeks from today (Sunday) we leave for Rochester.  We plan to arrive on Sunday evening for a Monday morning physical. On Tuesday doctors plan to do the  embolization and clog up some of the bigger arteries and vessels in the AVM.  From that point on I will have to stay in the hospital.  The surgery is on Thursday.  Valentines Day is on Saturday.

Many of you have asked for specific prayer requests and we thank you for that.  We will try and get a list out to you by sometime tomorrow.

A few random pixels of information at the front end of a brand new week:

  • After church today we went to visit our longtime friends, the Wittenbergs, in Pella.  In the evening Craig, the leader of this pack of 10 (counting parents) organized a group of  men to pray.  Ten of us gathered for an hour or so.  Powerful and moving!  Thanks guys!
  • On Friday Karla and I were in a discount store when I spotted a book in the children’s section title “A Wizard’s Book of Spells.”   I looked inside and found that this was no child’s book at all but a serious book for those into the occult.  I didn’t want to buy it.  Neither did I want anyone else to see it.  So, I did what I could think of at the moment.  I took that evil thing and moved it to another part of the store behind a collection of toys that will probably never sell.  In retrospect I have no regrets and would probably only move it to an even more remote location if I had it to do over.
  • Karla and I also walked through Sports Authority.  In the middle aisle I couldn’t help but notice an entire display of Speedo men’s bikini swim suits.  Didn’t know they still sold them in the U.S.   They were selling for $33.  Sorry, but men’s speedo bikini suits at $33 a pop are wrong at every conceivable level….in every culture…at every point in time…at any price.
  • I have an idea as to how to get the U.S. out of the current recession.  Have the Girl Scouts sell their cookies 12 months out of the year rather than just one month…donate half of their profits to erasing the deficit or wherever it needs to go to get us out of this mess and we’re free and clear within 2 years.

Have a great week all!


8 thoughts on “The surgery is getting close now…and a word regarding men’s speedos”

  1. You had me laughing and chortling at your title. As a former competitive swimmer and swim coach during the stone ages when guys DID wear Speedos, I have to say I much prefer today’s body suits. Thanks for the chuckle. 😀

    On a more serious note, the Lord has been faithful to bring you guys to mind a LOT the last 10 days. I have been mindful to be more intentional and appreciative of our family time because of your situation. It’s so easy for me to take it for granted and squander it. Thank you for the reminder that it is indeed precious. We continue to bring you before our Heavenly Father’s throne. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of what God is doing and is going to do. May He get all the glory!

    In His grip,


  2. Even Michael Phelps knows NOT to wear a Speedo, and if anyone could, it would be him! I’m sure these two weeks will be intense, but you sound ready. Sometimes I wonder why it takes something so scary to make us want to live more intentionally. I am glad you are able to do so. Lots of prayers will be going up on February 12th! I hope it all goes perfectly. Lora


  3. Hi Mike,
    Joe and I are sitting here laughing at the men’s speedo remarks. We used to have a neighbor–not a particularly attractive fellow–who mowed his lawn in one of those “things” each week. More often than I liked, I happened to drive by on that day. Whew!

    Our prayers continue…


  4. Mike and Karla,
    I can really relate to your situation. Waiting for John’s surgery was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. You and your children are in my prayers.
    Kelly Bartlett


  5. The Cookie Racket – Yes that best describes the door to door selling of cookies. I made the mistake of buying cookies at the lake. Now every kid in Dalls and Guthrie country find my door bell. I had to replace it last year after the carnage was over. Even your crum crunchers have successfully rackaterred me. If I used the extoriton methods these kids use my new home would have bars and a public bathroom. Just got to love cookie sales.

    I too was on the swim team wearing a speedo. I’m sure looking back the chlorine clouded my mind, no was else to explain it.

    Thank you for sharing your soul with us, it’s been refreshing and resulted in spiritual grow for Kath and I. Praying day and night for you guys.

    In His Service


  6. Mike and Karla
    We have been praying for you. Brian and I appreciate you and your family. God is good, but life is so hard to understand at times. We know God has His best in store for you!

    Brian and Pegg Willard
    p.s. Nice accordian music on Van and Bonnie!!


  7. hi, 🙂
    Just wanted to give you a laugh…. I’m glad to know that someone else out there is as crazy as me…. well, maybe almost….
    I frequently pick up books in the library… such as you found in the store… and hide them… 🙂
    I figure, for these things, God rejoices!
    Blessings and prayers,
    Kim h


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