Update on Tiffany’s brain surgery 11/24

I want to give you the latest update on Tiffany so u can pray.

Monday she had her staples removed from her head. Pretty non-eventful until Tuesday when fluid began to leak out of some of the staple holes. The neurosurgeon asked us to come in and ascertained that the incision was leaking spinal fluid. He then put 2 more staples into her head with no pain killer-yes, imagine a staple gun put on your head and getting 2 staples shot in-that’s it in a nutshell what he did.

We drove home and when we got home leakage began at two other places. The neurosurgeon told us to go to ER so off we went. They admitted her last nite (tues) and I got her settled in at ab 1 am. I stayed in a hotel nearby for a long nap. Today she had a 2-fold procedure: reopening the incision and resutchering it and putting a small tube in tiffany’s back to drain spinal fluid.

Here’s the issue. After so many surgeries, tissue does not heal as tightly, thus spinal/brain fluid can leak. They are hoping that within 3 days on this spinal shunt the newly tightened incision will have time to heal tightly. So, 3-5 more days in the hospital-tiff is in great pain tonight (we’d nite). sherryl and I will alternate soening the nite to help her.

If this does not work, another brain surgery to put a shunt in her brain.

Here’s how we need prayer: pray that her body’s healing properties will be strong enough for this incision tightening to “seal the crack in the dam.”



Sent from my iPad

Charles Stone | Senior Pastor

Ginger Creek Community Church | gingercreek.org

www.charlesstone.com | Blog: http://charlesstone.com/blog

The Annual Vision Message: a creative approach

Each November I bring an annual “vision” message to explain the big picture for the coming year and hopefully motivate buy-in.

I seldom look forward to it because I feel incredible pressure to bring a message so inspiring that people will be willing to take on hell with a water pistol. Much of the pressure I know is self-imposed. But I also know that some people expect me to bring, as one leader put it, the next church growth “killer app.”

I’ve pastored a church for two decades, have delivered 20 vision messages, and have usually come away disappointed, until this year. I’m finally at peace with myself about this talk for two reasons. I’m right-sizing the change one sermon can bring to a church. And, this year I asked the rest of our staff pastors to help deliver the message.

We chose 3-D Living as our theme for 2011 to capture the three major objectives that all begin with the letter ‘D’.

  • Disciple Believers
  • Develop Leaders
  • Deepen our Passion for the Lost

In this year’s vision message, I spoke the first 10 minutes and explained our “3-D plan.” As I wove together three pieces of rope, I illustrated the metaphor the writer of Ecclesiastes used in 4.12, “a triple braided cord is not easily broken.” Each strand represented one objective.

The message’s most meaningful part, however, came when each pastor took several minutes to share a story that illustrated how we had/will achieve our objectives.

Including these guys enhanced the vision in these ways.

  1. We visually communicated our unity behind it as we all sat on stools together on stage
  2. We reinforced the vision with heart-felt stories from various ministries
  3. We connecting with more people than I could have alone because we used multiple voices
  4. We avoided the ‘talking head for 35 minutes’ thing
  5. We had fun with each other in front of the church which helped endear them to us
  6. I helped the staff ‘own’ the vision by inviting them to participate

We received great feedback and I plan to use this format in the future.

How have you creatively given a vision message?

Related posts: Strategic Planning for Dummies

An Attitude of Gratitude

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s a good time to check how thankful we are.

Answer these questions and based on your answers, how would you rank your Attitude of Gratitude?

  1. Do you say “thank you” less than once a day?
  2. Do you often spend time wishing/dreaming that things would be different?
  3. Do you often find fault with others?
  4. Are most of the words that come out of your mouth critical/negative or positive/affirming?
  5. Do you have a demanding spirit, more often looking to others to meet your needs rather than looking to meet other’s needs?
  6. Do you blame others for your problems?

The Psalmist often speaks about a thankful heart. We as leaders must do our best to model a attitude of gratitude for those we serve.

Psalm 69:30, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”

Psalm 95:2, “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.”

Psalm 100:4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

What has helped you keep a thankful spirit?

Related Posts: 8 Indispensable Qualities Every Leader Needs