Saturday, August 31, 2013

What the Doctor Wrote...

What the Doctor wrote
Cancer Free!
I had a very unpleasant visit to my Doctor, but I left with some very good news.

The Doctor left something inside me, on purpose, to promote healing after my prostate surgery.

It was a a "stint," a coiled spring of plastic that anchors the kidney to the bladder so that it won't pull away and put stress on internal stitches. They put it in when I was under anesthesia. But when the day came for it to be removed, no such luck.

I was led by a young nurse into a room where I was asked to sit in a reclining medical table that had stirrups attached to it, similar to the hospital beds you see women give birth in. It looked very ominous to me.

What happened next, I will not divulge, other to say that I was asked to breathe and when it was all over, I did have something to show for my considerable pains.

The Doctor examined me, then looked over my lab results and wrote this on the bottom of the last page "Cancer Free!"

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Lullaby for Pastors and Missionaries

Ever find something by accident that was great? I glanced at a page on "Lullabies" and saw a Christian title. The song is really about taking care of a flock, and so has a great message, not just for parents of little kids, but for us pastors and missionaries as well. 


Shepherd, show me how to go 
O'er the hillside steep, 
How to gather, how to sow, 
How to feed Thy sheep; 
I will listen for Thy voice, 
Lest my footsteps stray; 
I will follow and rejoice 
All the rugged way. 

Thou wilt bind the stubborn will, 
Wound the callous breast, 
Make self-righteousness be still, 
Break earth's stupid rest.  
Strangers on a barren shore, 
Laboring long and lone, 
We would enter by the door, 
And Thou knowest Thine own.

So, when day grows dark and cold, 
Tear or triumph harms, 
Lead Thy lambkins to the fold, 
Take them in Thine arms; 
Feed the hungry, heal the heart, 
Till the morning's beam; 
White as wool, ere they depart, 

Shepherd, wash them clean.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Why I was Fingerprinted by the FBI and what that means...

The Civil Air Patrol was looking for a chaplain in Puerto Rico and I was looking for a new way to reach Puerto Ricans for Christ, so I applied.

Chaplain Whit Woodard, an experienced chaplain and a member of a supporting church, encouraged me and helped me navigate through the process.

Part way through the application, I was called by a fingerprint technician and had to make an appointment for rolling my fingers in the ink and smudging up an official looking card. They sent it all in to the FBI and had me checked out.

I passed their scrutiny and then had to be endorsed by an ecclesiastical authority. That meant contacting the group I was ordained through and passing a very long and thorough vetting on their end.

Now all I have to do is wait for the Department of Defense and the Civil Air Patrol to receive and give final approval.Sometimes  I think it would have been faster to enlist!

I really do appreciate their thoroughness. They are guarding a precious resource after all: the youth of today and the future defenders of America's future.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Building the Future of Our Church

After the service today, we had a small luncheon and were about to begin our business meeting. Jake, an 8 year old boy almost as big as me, came over by himself and said; " Pastor, Can I be baptized?"

I said, "Sure! That's great Jake!"

Jake's Grandfather laughed and was pleasantly surprised to hear the young man come to me on his own and ask to be baptized. We all were encouraged by his boldness and sincerity.

Baptisms are a big deal here in Puerto Rico. They are not just part of a Sunday service. We usually do them on a Saturday and outside at a swimming pool, river or even the ocean. This makes it also an opportunity to invite neighbors over and makes the church more visible in the community.

And since everybody has come in the afternoon to a body of water, we bring chairs, tables and provide a BBQ lunch and the meeting becomes a church picnic and fellowship time. After the baptism and picnic, we let the kids swim and the adults fellowship, play board games or just relax and sip some strong Caribbean coffee.

And why not? A baptism is more than just an individual's step of obedience. It is also a time when the church is encouraged by the addition of a new member, with new gifts, giving the church hope for the future. We celebrate important things like this in a big way and make a big deal about it, because it is a big deal to us.

Thanks Jake for taking a big step. We are happy for you and happy for our church because of you!

My Quick Cure for Church Gossip

 I Discover a Gossip Cure

Someone in the church came to me and excitedly began to relate a rather exaggerated and negative story about someone I knew.

I took the person aside and said "Really?? "

They nodded their head, and began to say "..and not only that, but..."

I said "Wow, Let's prayer for him!" and then I bowed my head and began praying. 

What I saw when I finished was a surprised look and a red face. What happened later was that person never talked to me again about anybody else. 

Sunday, August 04, 2013

What I Lost and What I Gained

Would you trade a body organ for some church growth? It happened to me and I am glad it did.
Missionary Steve Prelgovisk & Wilfredo Negron

Two months ago, I went in and had my prostate removed, due to the finding of a cancer in a biopsy that I had. I was in the hospital for a week, had a Foley bag (catheter and receptacle unit) for another two weeks and was generally housebound for a few weeks after that.

During that time I asked one of our deacons , Wilfredo, to preach for me. Wilfredo did a great job, but during my recuperation, the attendance really dropped low and alarmed him. He asked me if he could take the Wednesday night prayer meetings that had been suspended and start them up again as well.

I was delighted. I had always hoped that he would finish his training and take the church anyway. The last three weeks he has led the prayer meetings and the attendance has risen.

So I lost a prostate and got a deacon more involved in the ministry in return. So I guess it was worth it all.

P.S. I am also losing my recuperation time beard as well. Oh well, you can't have everything.