My dear brothers and sisters, I hope this brief introduction finds you growing in your understanding of the person and work of Christ upon which the entirety of our hope and salvation rests. You may know that it has been an eventful several weeks for my family and me. On March 20th, I suffered a heart attack in my home. Before the paramedics could transport me to the hospital, my heart stopped beating on three separate occasions. I do not remember the first several days in the hospital; when I finally became aware of my surroundings, I was told that I had suffered a heart attack. As a result, I had also suffered temporary loss of short-term memory.
The days in the hospital were painful, but I could not have asked for better care from the doctors and nurses who attended me. I also praise God that I was afforded nearly countless opportunities to share Christ and hand out gospel literature to all within my reach. It is truly astounding how frail we are. I had been working out four times a week and was on a strict “heart-healthy” diet, yet I had a heart attack that could very easily have taken my life “permanently.” As my doctor reiterated: my lifestyle was “good,” my diet was “good,” but my genetics are “inescapable.” Almost all the men on both sides of my family have died of heart issues. As I continue to progress, I will rejoice in God’s special grace to keep me here a “bit” longer, and I will seek to submit to His common grace manifested in the wonderful doctors under whose care He has placed me.
After several more days in the hospital, I am glad to announce that I was able to return home, where I am now spending my days rehabilitating, reading, and writing. I have finally made my way through the sixteen volumes of The Works of John Owen, Sermons of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Thomas Vincent’s The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ, and Octavius Winslow’s The Precious Things of God. I heartily recommend them to anyone who wants to grow not only in their knowledge of Christ but also (and more importantly) in their esteem and love for Him.
I have also used these days to simply “watch” my family and delight in them as a true gift from God. My wife Charo is like a tower of strength, even though she is “too” severe with my diet and will not let me stay in my study as long as I would like. My sons Ian (15) and Evan (13) watch over me like guardians. My daughters Rowan (9) and Bronwyn (1) are simply a delight to behold. My family and I would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of you who have prayed for us and my recovery. Your kindness is a great encouragement. Thank you. I will return to the doctor in a few days to find out when I can return to the HeartCry office. I am afraid to stay away too long for fear that they will discover that they are better off without me! I know that even though I will be able to return to ministry, it will be a long and slow road before I am traveling to the other side of the world.
Pray that God will give me the grace to use my “down time” for His glory. I will be dedicating most of my time to several writing projects, and as always I will be in need of grace. Again, thank you!