I had a "Giant Cavernous Aneurysm" behind my left eye. I went to Dallas for surgery and it was killed...however post op my eye is unresponsive. It is if I am looking out of a steamy shower door. Some days it is better than others. Please pray that my sight will be restored. God has been putting words on my heart that I feel I must put on paper. The following thoughts are those I feel that the Lord is speaking to me lately. Enjoy.

June 28, 2005

Post Op Update

I wanted to give a brief update on my head. I went last Thursday to see the nurse and she took out the 30 staples one week post op. Yes, there were a few that hurt, but surprisingly, most didn’t. I look much less robotic with my staples out and my scar seems to be healing. My kids are no longer scared of me…that’s a good thing.

Suzi and I went to see Dr. Duke Samson today. This was my first visit since my surgery (tomorrow will be 2 weeks post op). He gave us a good report and it was better than expected.

For those who don’t know, my left eye is still swollen shut and is unresponsive to light. This has been hard for me for the past week, and at times has been a little depressing. I didn’t expect this to happen post op, but happened due to the traumatic nature of the aneurysm. I can’t wait to not have to spell aneurysm again…I digress.

I only see out of my right eye…my left eye is swollen shut. It’s a dark world right now. The aneurysm dissected my optic nerve, so the deflation and physiology of the surgery took its toll on my nerves. Dr. Samson feels that my eyesight will return with time…although he does not say how much time might be expected. He feels that I will recover better out of the oppressive heat of Texas, so we are free to leave as soon as I feel able. It seems like a difficult 17 hour drive right now, but perhaps we’ll be ready within a week or so.

I want to thank everyone for your incredible hearts towards me and my family right now. Your prayers mean more than your know and I feel stronger every day.

God bless you and if you still have some prayers in you, please pray that the Lord opens my blind eye.

June 20, 2005

My Perfect Father’s Day

Yesterday was an incredible Father’s Day! I spent the day basking in the glow of my Father’s world. I found myself dismissed from the hospital around noon on Saturday…just in time to veg (literally) around the house for my special day.

As I sat around yesterday, I found myself increasingly aware of My Father’s World in which I live. I sit in awe today of a Father who loves me…every detail about me…unconditionally wanting me healed inside and out. What an amazing love for a Father to shower onto his children. I can find myself in His fields of grace receiving anything He chooses to shower upon me.

My arms and hands are stretched, my heart is open and my Spirit expecting. Lord, bring it. You’re the Healer. I receive your perfect will for my life. I pray that you bring healing to my head…my eye.

This Father’s Day was different from all the others. The focus was quickly taken off of me, and brought back to the perfect Father. I simply am in awe of a Creator who has such perfect plans in our lives. A Father who longs to see his children be all they can be. A Father who sets in motion a desired plan, longing for my acceptance of His perfect plan, so that my community with Him is ONE.

Imagine, if we as fathers, could attempt these same goals for our children. What a rich blessing for a generation who so desperately need it.

I write this looking like a rogue pirate. I have an eyepatch on my left eye and a wicked zipper coming down my head. My God is good…my head is ugly. My wife loves me unconditionally. My three boys have now come around to believe it looks kind of cool.

Thanks for all your prayers, and I pray that tomorrow you wake up looking for yet another Perfect Father’s Day.

June 17, 2005

Update From Surgery

So, here I am. My head looks like a zipper, and is a little uncomfortable to look at. But, here’s the good news. I’m doing great! My surgery went ‘better than expected.’ I was out of the ICU within 24 hours of surgery and am now in a private room.

I felt great today. I got up and walked around for a while. I took a shower and am
feeling pretty strong. The doctor said I may get to go home tomorrow depending on how I feel. That’s all for now. Thank you so much for all the prayers. The Lord is good.

June 12, 2005

Ultimate Healing

I nearly missed the forest for the trees. I sat distracted from the opportunity to passionately worship because I was too wrapped up watching the guy in front of me. He sat while everyone else stood. I noticed his crutches on the floor… he was unable to stand. Next to his crutches was a dog…a yellow lab. It appeared to be a seeing-eye dog, as he was wearing a vest that said, “Please don’t pet me, I’m working.” I began to feel sorry for this guy.

I then noticed his hands, his malformed hands. They were the closest things to a ‘lobster claw’ that I have ever seen on a human. His pinky and his ring finger were one. His middle finger and pointer were also one…forming a claw. I felt amazing compassion for this man. This man is blind, lame and malformed.

Questions began flooding my mind. What must his life be like? What does his life look like day to day? My compassion turned to irritation as I found myself distracted from dancing in fields of grace and instead had been directed at this man in front of me. God had a lesson in store for me.

His hands began to slowly raise towards Heaven...both of them. And then in an instant I felt like I was being jerked back into reality. I was reminded that I was in a church service and there was passionate worship surrounding me. His hands that resembled claws were raised before his King. A tear began to form in my eye.

As I became cognoscente of where I was and what I was singing, I realized that he extended his malformations towards Heaven as the song “Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord” began. Tears no longer formed, they were rolling.

Here was a man who seconds before I was feeling sorry for, raising his hands singing, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see you.” He longed to see his Dad. He longed to see anything. My guess is that he has seen his Daddy in his spirit more clearly than most of us. Light began to exude from a man who knows no light.

I began cheering for this guy. I imagined the day of his entrance before his Father…ushered into the presence of a God who reaches down and gently restores his hands, his walk and his sight. I began to imagine what that day would be like for this man.

Imagine having your eyes awakened for the first time, to see colors never seen before…eyes that will look into the eyes of your Savior for the very first time. Imagine holding the face of your Savior with restored hands…gently stroking the beard of your Father. I imagined him getting a feel for his new legs, dancing before the Lord…hands lifted spinning and spinning and spinning.

Imagine you doing the same.

June 09, 2005

Marvelous Light

I sat down at the computer this morning to write. I can’t get these lyrics out of my head. Every once in a while a song comes along with lyrics that penetrate your soul. This is one of those. Go now to iTunes.com and down load “Marvelous light” by Charlie Hall.

Into marvelous light I’m running,
Out of darkness, out of shame
By the cross,
You are the Truth
Your are the Life
You are the Way

I once was fatherless
A stranger with no hope
You’re kindness wakened me
Wakened me, from my sleep
You’re love it beckons deeply
A call to come and die

By grace now I will come
And take this life, take your life
Sin has lost its power,
Death has lost its sting,
From the grave you’ve risen, and victoriously…

Into marvelous light I’m running,
Out of darkness, out of shame
By the cross,
You are the truth
You are the life
You are the way

My dead heart now is beating
My deepest stains now clean
You’re breath fills up my lungs
Now I’m free, now I’m free

Sin has lost its power,
Death has lost its sting,
From the grave you’ve risen, and victoriously…

Into marvelous light I’m running,
Out of darkness, out of shame
By the cross,
You are the truth
You are the life
You are the way

Lift my hands and spin around
See the light that I have found
Oh the marvelous light, the marvelous light

This is who I long to be. I pray I realize that this God who pursues me is real. He longs to see me with my hands raised, spinning around, fully realizing the light in which I dance. The marvelous light, the marvelous light!

June 08, 2005

Who’s Your Daddy?

The term “The fear of the Lord” has always been confusing. I understand that as one who follows Christ I am instructed to have this fear, but I have always had a reluctance to want to be afraid of my God…so I just didn’t acknowledge this part of the Bible.

This morning I was reading about this “fear.” The more I read, the more was revealed to me about the real meaning of “the fear of the Lord.”

You must first acknowledge who’s your daddy. You have to be fully identified with the Lord. You must receive Him as your Father. You must accept that He is a good Dad, and wants nothing more than for you to experience blessing here on this Earth. You must recognize His power and His miracles. You need to walk closely with Him, realizing that every decision you make is made with Him and every blessing you enjoy is straight from Him. So, what’s the advantage of this “fear?”

The more I read the more I wanted it. Read along with me:

“I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days.” I’m in.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” I like it…I want it.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” I’m in desperate need for wisdom and knowledge.

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying our heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” I’m in love with this verse. I want it all.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” More wisdom and knowledge of God. Count me in.

"The fear of the Lord adds length to your life.” I’m up for living a long time.

“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.” Once again…keeping you from trouble. I’ve been there, and want to stay out as much as possible.

“…Through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.” Strength to make right decisions…sounds like a benefit to me.

“Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor to life.” Sign me up.

“…Salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” I’m treasure hunting, baby!

“…the church…was strengthened and encouraged…it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.” Look…a healthy church because they lived in a fear of the Lord.

Sign me up! It took 36 years, but I now officially embrace the fear of the Lord. To quote some goofball country song, “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.”

Your journey to finding the fear of the Lord begins by identifying, “Who’s your daddy.” Sign up today. Membership has its privileges.

June 07, 2005

An Amazing Man Of Compassion

Imagine my surprise as I pulled the mail out of the mailbox. There in my hand was a letter from Dr. James Dobson. It read:

Dear Bart:

I was sorry to learn that you are suffering from a brain aneurysm, and wanted you to know that your Focus family will be lifting you before the Lord as you await your next surgical procedure. I can only imagine the anxiety you and your family must be feeling, but trust God has been faithful to grant you extra measures of peace as you lean on Him. Judging by the comments on the Web site you’ve established, it’s clear you are maintaining a rock-solid faith in Christ throughout this ordeal. It’s my hope that the promise spoken through the prophet Isaiah will bring you added comfort: “So do not fear, for I am with you’ do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Keep us posted on your prognosis and treatment, Bart, and be sure to let us know if there’s something Focus can do to come alongside you. Meanwhile, may you, Suzi and your three boys sense the Lord’s loving presence in the days ahead.



James C. Dobson, Ph.D.
Founder and Chairman

P.S. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your wonderful and affirming words about me on your Web site. Thanks for your dedication to Focus’ mission!

I waited a week to post this because I wanted to attain permission to post this from one of Dr. Dobson’s closest friends.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Somehow Dr. Dobson found time to write me this letter in a week with Tim Russert, Hannity and Colmbs, and numerous other media outlets as well as spending the week in Washington at the White House for National Day of Prayer.

I work for an amazing man and an incredible ministry. I will continue to say so. I thank God for so many who daily pray for my family.

June 04, 2005

Sleepless In Childress

The morning sunlight was brilliant! As I opened up my eyes at the Super 8 Motel in Childress, Texas I was stunned that the sun had risen before I did. I had fully intended to get up and get the troops back on the road early. I laid there staring at the sunlight which was beaming in from the bottom of the room darkening shade. I planned in my head where the best restroom breaks would be from Childress to Fort Worth. I marveled at how great the boys did sleeping through the night in a strange Motel room. I was delighted at getting through the night without waking up with a headache, or waking up period. I starting questioning why my internal clock woke me up so much earlier than the alarm which was to go off at 6:30 a.m. I usually awake within 15 minutes of my alarm, and yet it had been some 30 minutes.

I got up to look at my cell phone/ alarm clock to confirm the time. It was 1:15 a.m.! So, what about the sunlight? It turned out to be my IPAQ (handheld daytimer) which was sitting on the wall mounted AC unit. It had turned itself on in the middle of the night and was facing the curtains giving the appearance of sunlight coming in from the bottom of the shades.

Great! It was 1:45 in the morning and I’m wide awake in the Super 8 Motel…so much for the restful night of sleep that I thought I had just achieved. I had just had a dream about an ice-cold Diet Coke and I was thirsty.

I figured that I would go check on Tyson, our Boxer dog. Being the frugal legalist that I am, he slept in the car. You see, it was an extra 10.00 to have him sleep in the room with us. I was unwilling to pay it, and reluctant to take the beating from my 6 year old for sneaking him into the room. So, my solution was to hang out with us all night in the motel room right up until bedtime…then it was off to the car for Tyson.

I headed out for a walk downstairs. Tyson was sleeping comfortably. I proceeded to the vending machines for a Diet Coke. It was the frostiest drink…equipped with ice crystals floating on the top…fantastic! Just like my dream.

I finally enjoyed slumber again at 5:30…just one hour before my alarm actually went off.

I’m so proud of the boys. They did great on the trip from the Springs to Childress, and slept through the entire night…unlike their daddy.

June 02, 2005

God’s Kid

My 4 year old, Luke, is amazing…he says the coolest things. I was beginning to pray for our dinner tonight when he stopped me. He reminded me to “Thank God for the mountains, and thank God that He sent His ‘kid’ to earth to die on the cross for our sins. Also remember to thank God that His ‘kid’ came out from behind the big rock, and went back to Heaven.”

For the record, on any other night Luke would have said “Jesus.” Luke talks more about Jesus, Angels and God more than any other child I have ever heard. But tonight he chose to refer to Jesus as God’s “kid.” I absolutely loved it!

As many times as I have thought about the enormity of the sacrifice made by God to allow His son to be murdered, I have never thought of Jesus as God’s “kid.” It changes things in my mind. It personalizes it for me…perhaps because I have 3 kids of my own. Seeing this from a child’s perspective was enlightening.

Often times we look at the crucifix and see Jesus hanging on the tree, and it is difficult to bring the man to life. The pictures and statues seem very formal and ceremonial.

Perhaps it would become more personal if we inserted the word “kid” or “child” into some of the memory verses we learned as ‘kids.’

“This is my beloved kid…I am very pleased with my child.”

“God loved the world so much, that He allowed His only Child to be killed for us.”

“In the beginning was God’s kid, and God was with His child.”

“God did not save His own child’s life, but delivered His kid up for us all.”

Sometimes it is difficult to allow Jesus to come out of the gold lined pages of our Bible and enter our day to day activities. Perhaps the reason is because we don’t fully recognize his humanness.

The key to closeness and intimacy with the Child of God is fully grasping and believing that Jesus is real. He is active. He is our peace. He is our ticket to Heaven. He is why we are spotless in the eyes of His Father.

He is God’s kid.

June 01, 2005

Skull Saws, Bone Dust And An Undeniable Peace

Have you ever noticed that God seems to come through at the exact moment that you need Him? This morning I received confirmation of my upcoming surgery. I guess because it is actually scheduled now, the reality hit me hard.

For the past 120 days, I have lived in a world that at times seems imaginary. I know that I have a huge blood-filled golf ball in my head…I’ve seen the pictures and dealt with the daily symptoms that accompany an irritated optic nerve. When the treatment consisted of a non-invasive groin maneuver, I was a hero of faith. But, when the nurse called and said that I was scheduled for the “real deal” in less than two weeks, I found myself in need of Imodium AD. My stomach literally turned…I was fearful.

I can say that throughout this trial, I can count on one hand the times that I have felt scared…this was one of them. The concept of my body being HERE, and a portion of my head being THERE, sort of freaked me out. What if they drop my head on the floor? I’ve seen a body part hit the floor in surgery before …it was a bad day.

The fact that my aneurysm is located in an extremely vascular area doesn’t help. The cavernous sinus is one of the most difficult areas to operate on because of the amount of blood the surgeon will encounter. From what I understand, I will be put on a machine that will slow my heartbeat down to almost nothing, and lower my body temperature significantly. This freaks me out. This is a serious surgery!

So, needless to say I was struggling. At that exact moment my phone rang. It was my cousin Waylan calling to share a scripture that Max Lucado had shared Sunday morning at his church:

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.” Psalm 57: 1-2

Perfect words…they were like water to a man dying of thirst. I thank God that He speaks today. Immediately, I felt the presence of the Lord, and the fear that had gripped me just moments ago was replaced with peace.

I take comfort knowing that as I lay on that table with saws blaring, bone dust flying, and the sound of bone cracking as they remove a part of my skull, my spirit won’t be there. While my skull will be in the hands of a very good physician, Dr. Duke Sampson, my spirit will be resting comfortably in the shadow of the wings of The Great Physician.

The surgery will be a 2-step process. I will go in on June 13th for the Carotid sacrifice. They will come up through the groin (man, my groin has been messed with a lot lately) and deploy a device that will cut off blood flow to the aneurysm. I will go the ICU to recover and will remain there until June 15th when the second procedure will take place. They will harvest a vein from somewhere in my body and create a bypass around the aneurysm. This will allow my Carotid Artery to once again carry blood up to my brain. This will last about 5 hours.

My soul trusts in you today, Father. I long to take refuge in the shadow of your mighty wings. It is here that I will remain until my healing.

Free Web Counters
Site Counter