Friday, July 31, 2009

Transfusion day

Yup, I needed a transfusion today. My haemoglobin levels were up from last week but not high enough to be able to skip a week.  I could tell.  I had been dragging around most of the week.  Hopefully this will top me up for a while.  Thanks again for praying!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Customer service

I am passionate about good customer service at the mission.  But every now and then you do feel like writing something like this:


Time for an update

I know that I haven’t updated you much on how my health is doing lately.  Quite honestly, there hasn’t been that much to update about, which I guess is a good thing.  I am pretty stable, although there are days like today and yesterday when I haven't felt so great. The humidity here in southern Ontario is probably to blame to that, as it really makes it harder to breath at times, even though we haven’t had much heat this summer to speak of.

My platelet levels continue to rise, praise God!  I did need a blood transfusion last Friday to top me up, as I had gone two weeks without one and my levels dropped below the 80 threshold.   We’ll see how it goes next week.  Again, if you have never donated blood, please do so. You could be saving a life. If you are O positive, it could be me!!

I am thoroughly enjoying working at home more often now, even though it means not having the personal contact with the staff as much.  Certainly not a long term solution to the leadership need of the mission for sure.

Thanks for your prayers.  I’ll try to update later in the week after my next appointment at Credit Valley.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

“Excited” to be cutting your level of service

I received the most curious letter today from the Mississauga Halton Community Care Access Centre. Here is a scan of it.


I have thought for some time now that the word “excited” has tended to be a bit overused nowadays.  I once heard a pastor use the phrase “we’re excited” well over a dozen times in one announcement a few years ago as he was describing the new fall programming. I’m sorry; maybe I am a dour, stick-in-the-mud but I don’t really have the emotional reaction of “excitement” to a lot of things.  Pleased or happy, okay.  Excited?  Much less so.

But this letter I received today is an absolute hoot. It is apparent from the content of the letter that the Mississauga Halton Community Care Access Centre is “excited” to announce that they are cutting back on their service of delivering my medical supplies to my home! Now, we will have the convenience of being able to travel across the city to one of three locations (none of which are anywhere close to our home) to pick up my medical supplies up ourselves and all of which are only open when we are at work.  This excites them!  Yikes!

I guess I don’t share their enthusiastic delight. I’d hate to see what gets them out-and-out thrilled!

The most important leadership lessons I have learned (so far).

One thing about having untreatable cancer is that it does tend to make one a little more reflective about the past.  Personally, I have found this really quite liberating on a number of levels.  Someone once said that an unexamined life is not worth living.  There is probably some truth there.

As I look back over my life and ministry, I won’t pretend that I have been the perfect leader. I am rather aware of my shortcomings, as are those who work with me at The Voice of the Martyrs.  Thankfully, they are a very gracious bunch.  But I  hope that I have modeled a commitment to the several different lessons that I have learned over the years that have shaped the way that I lead our mission. So here are eight of the most important leadership lessons I have learned (so far).

1. Promote the cause, not the organization.  I sincerely believe that most organizations blow it at this very point. Most advertizing by non-profits and missions seems to be committed to telling the public how wonderful they are.  The fact is, people often care very little about organizations, at least to begin with.  They are probably more likely to be interested in your cause or in those you are trying to serve.  At The Voice of the Martyrs, I insist that we talk about persecuted Christians first and foremost. At many meetings that I have spoken at, I have actually had people complain, good-naturedly, that they wish that I had said more about The Voice of the Martyrs. I suppose a little balance is required but I would rather error on the side of saying too little about VOMC and too much about persecuted Christians than the other way around.  In fact, I think that the public is getting tired of organizations that only put out information that is geared to promote themselves and ignore the work of others.

2. There is no pie! I think that part of the reason so many organizations fall into the trap of self-promotion is that they sincerely believe that there is only a limited amount of resources out there and that they need to compete with others to get their share, their piece of the pie. Have we forgotten Who our real source is and how infinite His bounty is?  There is no pie, in God’s economy.

3. Only say what you know is true.  This is a maxim in our Communications Team when it comes to reporting on persecution.  We would rather under-report something than exaggerate a story and report something that we are not sure about.  We will also not engage in promotional campaigns with slogans that are catchy and attention-grabbing but which we simply can’t support or say without hesitation are truthful.  I am not prepared to risk the reputation of The Voice of the Martyrs in Canada in order to attract new supporters if the means of doing so requires that we hedge on truthfulness.

4. Everything a person does either builds or undermines trust. My staff will hear me say this quite often. In missiological studies, it is called the Prior Question of Trust. I try to live by it.

5. A cross-centre gospel requires cross-centred messengers.  This the overriding theme of my book In the Shadow of the Cross and I believe that it has ramifications for all Christians regardless of where we live.  God’s purposes are always accomplished in a context of sacrifice, suffering, humility, and weakness.  Christ calls each of us to a life marked by these things.

6. Know your mission and stick with it unwaveringly. The mission of The Voice of the Martyrs in Canada is to glorify God by serving His persecuted church.  Straight-forward and simple. It tells us what we do and also what we will not do.  We simply will not get involved in otherwise worthy ministries that do not directly help us to fulfill this mission, even if it means turning away donors.

7. Leadership is influence.  Leaders are not leaders just because someone has given them a title or a position in an organization.  Leaders influence others to fulfill a shared mission in accordance with shared purposes and values.  I hope that I have done that well here at The Voice of the Martyrs.

8. Leadership style must be situational.  There is no one right leadership style.  I believe that good leaders must adapt their leadership styles according to the skill and motivation of those they lead, providing instruction and encouragement as needed in each situation.  Inflexible leaders who adopt one primary style can only lead some people some of the time. A good leader seeks to be able to lead all people all of the time just so long as the person is willing to be led or influenced.

I would love to hear from other leaders as to what are some of the most important leadership lessons that you have learned to this point in their journey.

A Prayer in the Wilderness.

It was 4:00 in the morning, January 2, 2007. A week earlier I had received a bone-marrow transplant to treat the leukemia that I had been diagnosed with in mid-2002. My throat felt like it was on fire. And the pain spread from there to my ears. It was excruciating. I felt as if I would lose my mind. Then unexplainably, my teeth started chattering uncontrollably. I was surprised by this because I did not have a fever and I wasn't cold. I wrapped my head with a blanket, hoping that the heat would provide some comfort from the unrelenting, throbbing pain.

As I hunched on the chair beside my hospital bed, I thought back to stories that I had read from Richard Wurmbrand. I seemed to recall of how extreme pain could bring about such chattering of teeth as the body responds in shock to the horror that it is enduring.

Huddling there alone in the middle of the night in Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, I managed to find a ray of comfort in the knowledge the agony I was experiencing was perhaps in magnitude, if not in nature, similar to that suffered by the persecuted during dark early mornings of torturous pain. The pain remained, but I was reminded that the God of Richard Wurmbrand was my God too. And I cried out to Him, trusting in His grace.

In the early 1990’s my family and I spent almost a year living in eastern Ukraine. This was just following the collapse of communism and life was hard for the people of the former Soviet Union. For many, it still is. Disappointment is a daily reality and pessimism is an art form.

One day our language teacher came to our home and told us of a discussion she had overheard while waiting for the bus. It seems one elderly man asked another how he was doing. The second man thought for a moment and replied, “Well, worse than yesterday but not as bad as tomorrow.”

Facing a seemingly hopeless situation, it’s hard not to feel that way sometimes. The present is nothing much to talk about but at least it’s not as bad as tomorrow promises to be, if the past is any indication. At times like that, the future is hidden in a thick fog of uncertainty and past events give us little confidence that things will get better. Loved ones tell us to look up but we don’t need hope that might disappear like a vapour. Simplistic answers, while well meaning, seem to mock the seriousness of our situation.

In 2 Samuel 15-16, we find David facing a time in his life when he was undergoing emotions like these. Like many of ours, David’s family life was not ideal. His troubles began with his son, Amnon, and then with Absalom. At the end of his life it was his son, Adonijah. Conflict and betrayal seemed to permeate the house of this man whom God said was a man after his own heart. But his sons…they were another matter.

The best answer I can come up with for why David had such troubles comes from the prophet Nathan’s words to him in 2 Samuel 12. Nathan declares, in the name of the Lord, that the sword would never depart from David’s house because of his act of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. He had destroyed a home and now God would never allow David’s home to be one of peace.

It doesn’t seem particularly fair, does it? Especially in this day and age when many seem to believe that all one needs do is confess one’s sin and then he/she can carry on as though there are no consequences for one’s decisions. But David’s life is evidence to the contrary.

God WILL forgive us each and every time that we confess our sins. This is true. But the consequences of our sins can follow us for the rest of our lives. And this God does not promise to release us from.

And so it was with David. And in 2 Samuel 15 -16, we find him in the wilderness of Judah, a hot desolate spot. He is not on vacation, heading south for a little sun. Rather, he is running for his life. And in hot pursuit is one of his sons, Absalom.

Absalom had a special place in David’s heart. He was many things that a father would want in a son. But after a number of unfortunate events with mistakes made on both sides, we find David fleeing for his life from his own son. Absalom had seized the throne and sent out troops to hunt down his own father.

Betrayed by his son and many of his dearest friends and advisors, David flees into the wilderness with a group of loyal followers, where he regroups and plans.

And prays.

Psalm 63 records the prayer of a heartbroken father. A father who has no idea where to turn and whom he can trust. And so he turns to the only secure place he knows. He turns to God.

Lord, My Desire (verses 1-4)

David begins by looking around at the wilderness to which he has fled, far from the comforts of his home, and he cries out,

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

wilderness“Oh, God, I need you” is how we might summarize his cry, “My soul is like this wilderness. I feel dry. I feel empty. Oh Lord, turn to me. I need You.

“I remember how it was when I was still in Jerusalem. I saw You in Your sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Lord, because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.

“I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands (verse 4).”

In the midst of his emptiness, rather than doubting his relationship with God and forsaking his worship of Him, David knows that this is the time to run into God’s presence. “I will turn to You in my time of need because I know who You are. You are my desire. I will earnestly seek you. I am dependent upon You. You are the only one I can turn to.”

Witnessing the faith and courage of persecuted Christians around the world prepared me to face cancer. Does that surprise you? The day I was diagnosed with cancer, as I lay in bed that night, my thoughts took me to the young people whom I had met in Ethiopia, men and women who lived in abject poverty because of their decision to follow Jesus. I had heard them share how Jesus meant everything to them and how they needed nothing else but Him. Their lives and testimonies had touched me so deeply. And I said to God, “Lord, if they can trust You, so can I. I will not deny You through this!”

I held onto to that throughout the wilderness years that followed when I had no idea what God had in mind for my life. I had decided that I would trust the God of the persecuted. If He loved them and could keep them faithful to Himself through their affliction, this same God could hold me to Himself as well.

Throughout the scripture, we find that there was something about the wilderness that reminded God’s people of their need for God and their dependence upon Him. Our “wilderness” experiences, our times of sorrow and insecurity, ought to do the same.

But for many of us, our wilderness experiences become times when we doubt and seek for other solutions. In Jeremiah 2:12, we find the Lord making this observation about His people, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

Water in the wilderness is life. In my travels to Sudan over the years, I’ve come face to face with this reality. If you lose your water in Sudan, you’ll probably lose your life. This was a real concern for us when, during one trip, rebel soldiers began to steal our water bottles. They want to use them to make home brewed alcohol.

If we had been trapped in the wilderness of Sudan, we could not have turned to these soldiers and asked for the alcohol to keep us alive. Quite apart from whether Christians should drink alcohol, this foul stuff would have dehydrated us at the very time when we needed moisture to replace what the heat and sun was sucking out of us. Just drinking liquids wasn’t enough. It had to be the right kind of liquids.

You can look elsewhere to try to find the solutions to your problems. You can try to fill the ache in your heart by drinking what the world promises will satisfy. But it’s home brew. And at the very time you need it, it’ll let you down.

When you’re in the wilderness is not the time to doubt God’s goodness and turn to other places to fill your thirst. It’s tempting, but it’s a cheat. We need to turn to Him with the same earnestness of the Psalmist; “Lord, You are my desire. I need You. I earnestly seek You.”

Will you say that to God today? Even if it’s with a heavy and desperate heart, will you acknowledge your dependency upon Him, crying out, “God, You’re my only chance. I acknowledge that and I seek You today.”

Lord, My Delight (verses 5-8)

In verse 5 of Psalm 63, we find the hope of the psalmist expressed as he prays, “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”

“Lord, You are my delight,” he says. “In my time of need, You are everything I need.”

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

He clings to God in his time of need and he finds security there.

There is security in knowing that once you have committed a situation to God, it is no longer in your hands. As a songwriter said, “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.”

David learned early in his life that the safest place to leave one’s problems was in God’s hands.

The apostle Paul learned the same thing when he wrote in Philippians 4:4-7:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In everything, Paul says, “present your requests to God. Tell Him your needs, your heartbreaks, your fears, your hurts.”

Does that mean that your problems will disappear or that your circumstances will immediately improve? You already know the answer to that, don’t you?

Sadly, even in the situation facing David at this time did not result in the reconciliation with his son that I’m sure he so earnestly desired. His son was murdered in cold blood as he fled the battlefield.

But when you turn to God in the midst of your situation, you can have the confidence that comes from clinging to God, knowing that you are being upheld by His right hand. You have the assurance of knowing that He is there with you in the midst of the pain and His strength can be yours in the midst of weakness.

Sometimes, He will deliver you, change your situation and lift you out. At other times, He chooses to give you the wisdom, the grace, and the strength to go through the situation.

One is not necessarily better than the other or more of an answer to prayer. Nor is it a matter of accepting second-best. It is the assurance of knowing that whatever comes into your life, it must first of all pass through the sovereign hands of God. It is an expression of His grace being demonstrated in the way He chooses to work in your life.

There is security in knowing that God is working on your behalf, even when it might not immediately feel like it. Cling to that knowledge. Don’t let it go. “God, You are my delight. I am satisfied with You. You are all that I need.”

Lord, My Defense (verses 9-11)

In verses 9-11, David’s mind turns to those whom he knows are pursuing him, those who have been sent by his son to destroy him and he says,

They who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God's name will praise him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Perhaps in that last phrase, David was thinking of his most trusted advisor, Ahithophel, who turned his back on David and joined in Absalom’s rebellion. There are few things more devastating than betrayal by a close friend.

William Tyndale holds the distinction of being the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language. Convinced of the need for God’s people to read the Word of God in their own language, Tyndale translated the New Testament and the first five books of the Old Testament into English, despite having to flee to Germany due to threats on his life. It was in Germany that the first English scriptures were printed in two sizes; one large and one small. Like Bible smugglers today, he reasoned that he might be able to hide the smaller ones better. Stashed in barrels covered with cloth and articles for sale, in bales of cloth, in sacks of flour, and in a number of other ways, Tyndale’s Bibles were smuggled across the English Channel from Europe. For years he had to hide from the agents of the English king and clergy who were determined to kill him. Then in 1535, while living in Antwerp, Holland, he met a fellow Englishman named Henry Phillips who presented himself to Tyndale as being sympathetic to his cause. Unknown to Tyndale, however, Phillips was plotting with the emperor's magistrates to arrest him. Over a period of time, he gained Tyndale’s trust and friendship.

tyndale1aOne day Phillips invited Tyndale out to dinner. But Phillips had set a trap for him.  Upon leaving his residence, Phillips identified Tyndale to a group of soldiers who had been waiting for them. He was arrested and after a sixteen month imprisonment, an ecclesiastical panel convicted Tyndale of heresy and turned him over to the secular authority. In October, 1536 William Tyndale was executed, being first strangled and then burned at the stake. As he died, his last words were, "Lord, open the king of England's eyes."

Within two years his prayer was answered as The Great Bible, an English Bible based upon his work, was approved by the king and all churches were obligated to provide copies of it to their congregants.

When David learned about his friend’s betrayal, he too prayed: “"O LORD, please turn Ahithophel's counsel into foolishness" (2 Samuel 15:31).

Like Tyndale’s prayer, David’s prayer was answered but not quite as David might have expected. Rather, Ahithophel gave Absalom some great advice, advice that would surely have destroyed David, had Absalom listened to it. But instead, Absalom ignored it and David was saved as a result.

The mouth of the liar WAS silenced…no one would listen to him.

God can do the most amazing things in the process of leading His people through the wilderness experiences of their lives. He can bring victory out of apparent defeat, and turn disadvantage into strength.

There is one catch; will we trust Him to do His work in His own way? Will we find confidence in the face of uncertainty, insecurity, helplessness and discouragement, not in psyching ourselves up or thinking positive thoughts, but looking reality square in the eye and confessing that God is in control?

  • When we feel weak we can count on His strength.
  • When we feel uncertain, we can count on His guidance.
  • When we feel alone, we can count on His presence.

The wilderness can become a place of worship, as we declare our desire, our satisfaction, and our confidence in our God, praying with the psalmist,

“Lord, You are my desire. I earnestly seek You because I need You.”
“Lord, You are my delight. I know that You are everything I need.”
“Lord, You are my defence. I am safe with You. I can trust You.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oh joy, oh bliss

Our family lived for a few years in Winkler, Manitoba where I was the associate pastor of a church there.  These were among the happiest years of our lives.  We felt so at home there and made some very good friends, some of whom we are able to keep in contact with. One of our favourite things about Winkler was the absolutely fantastic farmer’s sausage that you could buy there.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to Winkler sausage. I have often wished that we could get it here in Ontario.

Well, last week, a friend of mine was in Manitoba on vacation and was kind enough to stop and buy us four packages of this magnificent meat, this stupendous sausage, this king of kolbasa, this most excellent of eats!  Like the soldiers who heard King David long for the waters of his village (2 Samuel 23:15), Goldstein heard my sighs when I learned he was going to Manitoba and sacrificed some of his time (though, unlike David’s soldiers, not his life) and brought me back the object of my yearning.

But unlike David, I am NOT pouring it out on the ground!!

No, indeed.  Tonight my wife cooked the first of this rich bounty and I swooned in delight.  I truly do not remember if and when the taste of food brought such joy into my life.  I savoured every morsel. As I said to Denita, it is very possible, given my health, that this will be the last time I will ever taste Winkler sausage in my life!

*Sigh* and *smile*

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Support Team “Llamas with Hats”!

My niece, Alicia Fox, is heading up a team that is looking to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada again this year during their Light the Night event in Calgary on the evening of September 26.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk is the North America's night to pay tribute and bring hope to people battling cancer. Walks take place in communities throughout Canada, typically in the fall. On these special nights, thousands of participants carry illuminated balloons and raise funds for vital, lifesaving research and patient services.  Funds raised through Light The Night Walk support the search for better therapies and cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

I am deeply touched that the team is doing it in my honour again this year and have named themselves after my favourite YouTube cartoon “Llamas with Hats” (I know… it’s weird).  They have a goal of raising $2000 this year.  Can I encourage you to support this worthy cause, as Team Llamas with Hats seeks to “lend a hand (or two)” for those with cancer?  Please click here for more info and thanks!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Government funding of things we don’t like

I have to confess that when I first heard that the federal government had given $400,000 to Toronto’s Gay Pride parade (to used primarily to increase accessibility for people with disabilities who wanted to watch the parade), I wasn’t terribly impressed.  That shouldn’t come as to big of a surprise to anyone who knows me. I am a social and religious conservative.  I believe that homosexuality is biblically and morally wrong and I make no apology for that conviction.  However, I didn’t feel a real compulsion to get on my high-horse about it because government funds go for lots of things that I am not too terribly impressed about.  My own convictions on the matter are basically that if special interest and/or minority groups want to do things like have parades, hold events, make films, or promote their cultures, etc., that they can do so on their own time and on their own dime.  I guess that this doesn’t make me much of a supporter of government-funded multiculturalism and the like. So be it.

But getting back to the issue of the Toronto Gay Pride parade, I was a little surprised when I learned that the Minister of State for Tourism Diane Ablonczy, who was responsible for giving out the cheques, will no longer do so and that one of her caucus colleagues says it is because of her office’s decision to give some of the money to the Gay Pride parade.  First, I didn’t think that the Tories would actually want to be seen as taking such a conservative stance regarding the Gay Pride parade, given their drift to the political centre in recent years. Second, the action seemed a little over the top in terms of severity and party leaders had to have known that this would go public (Ottawa is no place for secrets to be kept).  Third, I was surprised to read that most of Ablonczy’s colleagues were apparently unaware of the decision to send such funding to the Gay Pride parade and that this action had come as an unpleasant surprise to them.  Given past funding of this event and also its controversial nature in many conservative circles, it is amazing that it could have flown under the radar like this.

Did I say surprised to learn these things?  I probably should say I am sceptical that there really was as little knowledge of this funding decision as is being portrayed. More likely is that the Conservatives underestimated the backlash that they might receive from those who would oppose federal funding going for such an event that blatantly promotes the homosexuality in its various forms. The fact that the Minister was photographed with a group of drag queens when the funding was announced probably didn’t help either. 

My concern, however, as stated above, has more to do with government-funding of any kind of special interest group’s event rather that targeting those that I find morally or biblically wrong.  As I said before, the government funds all sorts of things that I disagree with.  Where are we going to draw the line?  This is, in effect, the response of Monte Solberg, a former Conservative Member of Parliament of Medicine Hat, Alberta and Cabinet Minister (and I believe, an evangelical Christian) in his blog from Wednesday.

I don't know all of the facts on the Gay Pride Parade issue but it's clear that my friend Diane has been treated very unfairly.

The truth is that, for better or worse, the Conservative Government has provided grants for this kind of thing in the past. It was the Liberals who initiated them but it was Conservative Ministers who attended and bragged about the government's support for the Gay Games. That's because half the conservative caucus has a libertarian bent and the other half comes from the more conservative side.
So you can either scrap all grants for all parades, or you can fund the thing like you always have and devote your efforts to fixing the three or four other things that really do make a difference, none of which involves parades, costumes and nudity.

My ideal is to let everyone raise their own money to hold their parades and the police can be there to make sure that most of the people, keep on most of their clothes most of the time. That's never been a problem at the Rodeo Day parade in my town but then again it's usually cold in Alberta at the beginning of June.

Whatever. The bottomline is that after all the years Diane has contributed to building the conservative movement in Canada she deserves better then to be ratted out by a colleague on an issue that is a complete loser for the party.

Well said.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Transfusion tomorrow

Went for my weekly check-up and blood test today. First the good news: my platelet counts continue to rise, which means that my bone marrow is still working.  Praise God.  The bad news isn’t too bad.  My hemoglobin levels were down below the threshold where the doctors like to do a blood transfusion but that is not really that surprising given that I have gone two weeks without one.  So tomorrow I will go for a couple of units of blood, during which time I will also meet with my COO, Floyd Brobbel and Jeff Myers of Passing the Baton International.  Jeff is involved in training leaders who are committed to training the next generation of leaders.  We are wanting to see if and how he can integrate some of our teaching on persecution into his material. Could be interesting.  Bet it’ll be his first time having a meeting in a cancer clinic!  Talk about a paradigm shift!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Working from home more

I am spending more time working from home now that I have my home office set up. I find it really comfy and a great environment for creativity.  Here’s a peek.




Like many people, I find myself feeling a little guilty for working at home; like I am not doing my job quite as well than if I were at the office itself.  But quite frankly, my staff have been around long enough that they don’t need me looking in too often and most redirecting and encouraging can be done using Skype, the telephone or by email.  I do want to keep going in 1-2 days a week; I really do want to keep in touch with people. I find it a little too easy for me right now to retreat from folks.  I think that part of it has to do with knowing that my role is changing in the mission and I am ready for it. Ready to take more of a backseat but I can tend to go too far in that direction if I am not careful.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The twouble with Twitter

For those of us who do “twitter”, this video is probably more true than we like to admit for a lot of the tweets we read (but hopefully don’t send).  For those of you who don’t or won’t tweet, it’ll be like preaching to the choir.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Discontinued Sympathy Cards

Since people learned I am fighting cancer, I have received many notes and cards of encouragement that have been a real blessing.  Here are some that I would rather not get.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

No transfusion this week

I am delighted to report that I do not need a blood transfusion this week. The fatigue I had earlier this week lifted yesterday. Thanks for your prayers!