Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Update on Serena's Dad, Denny Brown

So many of you have asked for an update on Serena’s dad and how you can be praying, so we wanted to update everyone with the most recent information. 

  • Thank you so much for caring and reaching out. We preach that relationships make a difference, but we have been witnesses of this truth in the last 10 days.
  • Over the last few months, Denny had been having some bouts of confusion, but many of us do. It is becoming apparent, as we help sort through things, that Denny knew something was going on because he began finalizing his personal affairs early this summer.
  • Two weeks ago, Denny was walking an hour each day, lifting weights every other day, and enjoying retirement, but on July 21 he became very disoriented and nauseated. He called his internal medicine doctor who asked him to come to his office immediately but, as soon as the doctor saw Denny, he sent him directly to the hospital.
  • After a week of tests in the hospital, including two spinal taps and finally a brain biopsy, it was determined that Denny has a Glioblastoma Multiforme. John McCain has helped this type of cancer become more well-known lately, yet the significant difference is our “Papa’s” cancer has spread throughout his entire brain whereas Senator McCain’s was a singular central mass. Surgery, chemo, and radiation are not options for Denny.
  • After careful and prayerful consultation with many doctors, Denny was moved to a hospice facility yesterday. It appears Denny will be meeting Jesus face-to-face within the next couple of weeks. His mind and health have decreased significantly in the past two weeks because of the fast growth of the tumor but when we shared with him the results of the biopsy and what the doctors said about treatment, he said he understood and he’s ready to meet Jesus whenever that time comes. It’s a very sad time but Denny’s very evident faith in Jesus and heaven gives us hope.

Continue to pray for Denny and our entire family during this difficult time (his wife, Sharon; his son, Sam; and our boys, Jackson, Mac and Peyton). 

P.S. It has been interesting to watch so many friends come by to visit Denny. He has been president and CEO of several large companies throughout his career but, what is interesting is, not one person has been talking about his business expertise, instead, every person comments on how he made them feel and their special relationship. RELATIONSHIPS really do matter. 

Tell someone you love them today and enjoy every minute.

Thank you so much for praying for us and loving us. 

We love you,
Ken & Serena 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Thoughts & Recap

Ø  There were first-time decisions for Christ in every service, at every campus! Never forget our main thing is seeing people come to Christ in a personal relationship and then taking steps to walk and grow to become more like Him. It all starts with a decision to become a follower of Christ!

Since this past weekend, I can’t stop singing (in my head) I ran out of that grave!

Ø  We could not have served over 8,000 people without all of our AMAZING VOLUNTEERS! Thank you for serving in such a way you helped shape eternity.

Ø  We all have a Next Step to take. As incredible as last weekend was, today is a new day and God has new things in store for us to experience with Him. Sometimes memories haunt us and sometimes memories hold us back because they were so good. Take steps to heal from the hurts and allow the good memories, like last weekend, to propel you to take the steps that need to be taken on your journey.

Ø  I invited a friend and he didn’t make it. It’s ok. I care about him and I will continue to pray for him, and love and build the relationship.

Ø  We get to celebrate all over again in a matter of days! Every day we live in the hope and power of the empty tomb.

Ø  There were a bunch of people who came to church who had no response to the message of Christ’s love. It’s ok…keep loving and encouraging them to return. Trust God’s perfect timing. It may take more faith on your part than theirs.

Ø  I still can’t get over God’s Amazing and Relentless Love for us! There really is nothing else like it in the entire world. I am thankful for all of you who have committed your life to grow in His love and to share it so freely with those in our world who have yet to personally encounter it. 

Pastor Ken

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Terminal Cancer...yet it was the greatest gift he had ever received

“Hi, my name is Tom. I have terminal cancer and I’ve been given eight months to live.”

It seemed like a rather abrupt way for someone to introduce himself to me being a complete stranger but, in fact, we were family. I just hadn’t realized it yet.

Let me share the rest of the story…

I was recently studying for a sermon in the café of a Barnes & Noble bookstore when I noticed a young man near me reading a C.S. Lewis book. I asked him if he was enjoying the book and a conversation ensued about the church he attended, how he came to faith in Christ, and the campus ministry he was involved with. 

About 20 minutes later an older gentleman, who was sitting a few tables away, made his way over to where the young man and I were sitting.

The older gentleman introduced himself…“Hi, my name is Tom. I have terminal cancer and I’ve been given eight months to live.”

I replied, “I am so sorry to hear that.”

“Oh, don’t be. It turned out to be one of the greatest gifts I think I’ve ever received.” Tom said. He then went on to share with us how he couldn’t help but overhear our conversation about faith in Christ and our involvement in church. 

Tom shared that the day after he received his diagnosis, he felt the Lord impress upon him to begin praying a certain prayer.   

He said, “I began praying for FIVE friends that I would want to spend forever with in heaven. I then poured myself into building relationships with them so they would come to know Christ and we could be together forever.” Tom went on to say, “When you know your time is about up, it really helps put things in perspective. I’m about out of here but there are so many others that I want to join me in heaven.”

This next part is where Tom blew my mind. He explained that after a couple months of praying and pouring into his FIVE, he began to ask the Lord how he could have an even bigger impact on eternity in his remaining days. Tom said he felt the Lord asking him to expand his list and find 20,000 people who were willing to put FIVE people on their list and thus, encourage 100,000 people to join him in heaven. Tom said this had become his new purpose in life.

Tom asked me and the young man I was visiting with if we would consider joining him in reaching FIVE and being a part of his 20,000!   

“Consider it done, Tom,” we said.

So, I am committed right now to reaching FIVE people and doing what I can to make sure they are in heaven someday. If you are reading this, I am extending an invitation to you to join me in reaching FIVE people to make sure they know they will be in heaven with us one day.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

I’m in. How about you?

Pastor Ken