"God showed up – and then He showed off," Slick commented on his day-long planning retreat with the leadership of our church, First Baptist Cloudcroft (FBCC). Not only did all the invitees actually show up, but God did as well, leading the whole group to agree on a new mission and mission statement for our church: "Christ Followers, Committed Family, Compassionate Friends" in record time!

Somewhat ironically our FBCC small group, for which we asked you to pray last month, has been discussing the Kingdom of God, not just as it relates to the future, but as it has already begun here on Earth. Little did we know that this month would find us walking beside two men for whom this Kingdom suddenly has vivid clarity.

Howie, deep in the life-threatening throes of bone cancer, observed that church is like the flight simulator where we learn and practice the little daily things of life. If we crash, the screen just turns red and we reset the sim; that is, we ask God’s forgiveness and get back on the proverbial horse. But cancer and other drastic events are actually combat and how you’ve trained in the daily grind, comes out in painful detail: are you ready for the real deal or not? How does what you really believe play out? We thank God for the way Howie has inspired us by coming through with such flying colors. He prepared well in the simulator of the church and in daily life.

Closer to home, doctors discovered leukemia in Donna’s dad on his second trip to the ER in as many days. He’s begun his chemo journey, but much remains uncertain about his prognosis or future treatment. Combined with Mom’s stage 2-3 congenital heart failure, there is much room for prayer! Amazing generosity of help from their church family however, has been a huge testimony to friends and family. Please pray for wisdom, both the family’s and the doctors’, as we navigate this new curve in life. And for endurance and courage for both Howie and Dad and those closest to them. And most of all, that those who witness these struggles would clearly see and be drawn to Jesus who is at the center of both of these men’s lives.

Thank you for walking this road with us and echoing our prayers before the Almighty King. Please let us know how we might do the same for you 🙂

We so appreciate the work of the Master Artist in His desert sunsets.

PS: For those more interested, Dad has Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), of the Erythro variety. Not very common and therefore difficult to give a prognosis on. He finishes his first round of chemo on 10 April and we will know more after that.