Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26, 2009

Today was a very rainy day here in Rochester, but Anne felt well enough for us to get out a bit. We started off at Autumn Ridge Church. We decided to drive instead of taking a free ride there so we couls do something afterward. The church is huge--and very beautiful. The lobby is large with many people milling around. My favorite part of it was the Christos Bookstore right off the lobby. Of course I had to buy a book--Chuck Colson's God and Government. Not that I need any more books--I could run a bookstore out of my house easily. I've been buying books since I got my first paycheck as a 16 year old. Problem is, I'm too busy to read the darn things. But I love them--if I was only allowed to spend money on one thing it would be books.

Getting back to Autumn Ridge. They have 3 services. They hold an Emmaus service on Saturday night with dinner to follow, an Adoration service Sunday morning, and a Celebration service that we attended at 10:30am Sunday. The service was very similar to Hopevale's--singing, praying and a sermon--can it get any better than that? Very different than a Catholic or Episcopal service--the ones I was most used to--without all of the pomp and circumstance--but just as powerful. To me the main thing is that you feel the presence of God as you sing His praises whether it be older hymns, older hymns set to a newer style, or contemporary Christian music, which I listen to all the time now (with an occasional country song slipped in). The service was titled "The Top Ten Things Christians Can Do for America-Part 2". I feel bad I missed part 1 because part 2 was excellent. Actually Part 1 can be heard or read on their website ( After church we met with Dr. Stephan Merry and his wife and "5/7" of his children, as he put it. He is a family physician at Mayo Clinc who I was introduced tt through the internet by Mark Reed from Hopevale. we had a nice visit with him and his family and met the pastor who gave the sermon--Pastor C. John Steer. We all prayed together before leaving. It was very powerful.

Tomorrow starts Anne's first day of chemotherapy. We're anxious to get started. She'll be on 4 different drugs--3 go in over a few hours and one takes about 46 hours. I pray she won't have any side effects (nausea and diarhea are the most common), but we will be prepared if she does.

One of the emails I got today was from Carol Van Kirk from back home. I've known her husband Bob for about 18 years I figure--he's a nurse anesthetist that I've worked with at Covenant and Mackinaw. Carol wrote a poem to us (for us?) that I would love to share with you:

Precious, precious children,
God knew this time would come
But do not be disheartened
Your life won’t come undone.

No matter where He takes you
Thru valleys dark or deep
Just rest upon His bosom
And sleep His peaceful sleep.

Keep ears attuned to hear Him
And eyes upon His face,
For His look is that of love
And His words are those of grace.

He is our caring Shepherd
He is our mighty King
So do not be afraid
Of what the days may bring.

Just shout your hallelujahs
And praise His precious name
As He holds you in His arms
All will see His holy fame.

I don't know what to say other than "awesome". Thank God for you, Carol--you have an amazing gift. It is definitely comforting as you had hoped. I hope it brings comfort to others who are struggling as well.

God Bless,


  1. Hey Anne and Tony,

    Thanks for sharing your experience at Autumn Ridge--it sounds like God has steered you into a caring Christian family out there! Also, thanks for sharing the poem that Carol wrote--it is absolutely beautiful. I am also something of a poet, so I appreciated you sharing it. I love Bob and I miss him because as you know he doesn't come to Covenant any longer. He is such a great guy. I will be praying for both of you today as well, that the chemo will go well without any side effects whatsoever. Hang in there, Anne. Love LeeAnn

  2. Beautiful poem. Your family are in our prayers daily.

  3. Tony
    I talked with Andy Cohen today, and he wanted to post a comment, but didn't have an acoount so he asked me to post his for him.
    "Michelle and my thoughts and prayers are with you and we are hoping for the best for you." I know I didn't get it word for word, but he want to make sure to have that passed on to you.
    Randy Swartz

  4. Dear Anne,
    I just read all the blogs. It was very interesting. I'm very glad to hear that you are doing well. Also, I am really encouraged to read Tony's words and see that his knowledge and his love for God has increased. That's really exciting to me. I just want to wish you all the best and give you all my love and good wishes. Hope to see you soon.
    Nancy Wittig

  5. Dear Anne and Tony, I just heard the sad news. I am so very sorry for you and the girls. I did not hear until late last week.I just returned from Florida last night. My mother fell in their pool and drown on April 13th. She did not ever learn to swim and was deathly afraid of water. She must have tripped while walking around the pool. My father was home but in another room and found her face down in the pool. It was a terrible shock for all of us. I will keep all of you in my prayers each day. I will follow your progress and I have faith that God will be with you through your journey.

  6. Tony thanks for sharing that poem. How awesome. It sounds like God is keeping you surrounded by some great people and keeping your spirits lifted. Anne good luck with your first day of chemo. I will continue to pray for you both. Phyllis O