Having just lost my wife (Susan) a month ago, I will now face another issue where I have an opportunity to trust  the Lord I have walked with for 64 years.

On Monday, July 1st at 10.30a PST, I go under the knife to have a “Thymoma” removed from my chest. It is sitting under my breastbone. Its not certain if it is malignant or not and the only way to know for sure is to remove it. You can google “Thymoma” if you want to find out more.

It’s a procedure that is supposed to take around an hour or so. The Surgeon, Dr. Chino, will open up my chest (like they would for open-heart surgery) cut my breast bone with a surgical saw and remove the puppy. I may be in the hospital for 3-5 days (praying for shorter than longer) and then sent home to recover. I’m telling people I’m ready to go (If it’s my time to be with Jesus) but not eager to go.

In my heart of hearts I believe (even at 84 years of age) that He still has some things he wants to do in me and through me.

When you’re  84 years old and facing a surgery like this, anything can happen. Obviously I’m praying for a successful surgery and a quick recover time and ask you to join me in this.

Many of you know that I try to memorize a new verse, or couple of verses, each month. My verse for the month of June has been:

“But none of these things move me, nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with Joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” ~ Acts 20:24 NKJ

Here are some thoughts the Lord has given me as I have been prayerfully meditating on this verse:

  1. Paul was warned that he would be facing some significant dangers if he traveled back to Jerusalem–maybe even death. But all these thing which  could happen are not moving him off his vision and calling received from the Lord.
  2. Paul didn’t put too much emphasis on his own comfort or convenience or try to protect himself from potential negative circumstances. Obedience was more important to him than his own life.
  3. If I focus on letting things move me in a wrong or unhealthy direction or count my life too dear to myself, I will more than likely not finish my race with joy, but could finish it with: Frustration, anger, disappointment, regret or bitterness–none of which I want.
  4. I want both to finish my race with Joy and also complete and fulfill the ministry which I have received from Jesus, which in my case is to pour into leaders–pray for them, coach them, resource them, weep with them, so that they finish their race well.

I want to be able to say at the end (if it comes on July 1st,  or whenever it comes)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith–2 Timothy 4:7 (ESV)