Thursday, June 7th 5:00 pm
Marty is still doing well recovering from the brain surgery. Yesterday he felt abdominal discomfort and this morning he had out-patient surgery for kidney stones; he is out of surgery and doing well. The following is from Marty a couple weeks ago:
Once again Jan and I are so grateful for a loving church! You have done so many things so well and we feel that we are surrounded by the incredible love of the Lord in great part through you. One of the signs of a healthy church is that when one staff member is knocked out, the others take up the slack and the church continues on. Heritage has done that, by God’s grace and the effort of a great group of leaders in our pastoral staff and elders and a great congregation. As I shared previously, I am still not out of the woods, to quote the neurosurgeon. June 12th is a pivotal date when I will have another CT scan and meet with the neurosurgeon to determine if a small hematoma that remains on the right side of my brain is being absorbed by my body or if he will have to do surgery again. We will gratefully accept whatever the Lord’s providence brings to us, and we would love to have you join us in prayer for the outcome. Once again, thank you very, very much for your loving and faithful prayers!
Tuesday, May 8th, 9:00am
Hello everyone. We wanted to tell you everything appears to be going well with Marty’s recovery. He even made his way up to the church for a brief hello yesterday. His days are filled with rest and visits to the doctors. There really isn’t much to say and that is exactly why we are writing.
Tomorrow we will be transitioning this update system away from the main page of the Heritage to other channels. If the need arises for us to go back to daily, even regular hourly updates, we will certainly put it back, but for now that approach seems like overkill.
Saturday, May 5th, 3:00pm
Good news: The Brown’s are going through the final process of being released. Marty is going home! He will get to sleep in his own bed… This is obviously a huge milestone, but the recovery is far from over. They will most likely not get home before 6:00pm, but they are heading in the right direction. Please be praying for a smooth transition and for the recovery to proceed. As if this really needs to be said: They are really excited.
Friday, May 4th, 4:00pm
Things have continued to go well today. Marty has been making laps up and down the hall. He is free of almost all his connections to machines and things that drip fluid into him. His spirits are high and that zest for life we have all seen in him has returned. Marty’s headaches are gone. He told me it is the first time in over a month his head has not hurt. He is making progress!
With everything in the head moving in the right direction, we are now praying for the things in the bladder to get moving as well. There is no going home until the bladder works properly. He will be tired after his marathon walk this afternoon, but all rings considered, he is making great progress. Oh… Whoops! I almost forgot. They took his staples out. He still has some stitches, but the row of staples across his head are gone. Praise God!
Friday, May 4th, 11:00am
Today, Marty’s head is doing great. No slurrring. No headaches Reading is a little slow, but he is making good progress. He has shown tremendous improvement since Wednesday when he could NOT put words together at all or put it on paper.
He is fighting off a potential bladder infection. Pray his brain communicates to the bladder to go! A Urologist friend is going to be coming in today to see what steps to take. If the bladder stuff gets better his improvement over the past few days gives them a chance of going home sooner tater than later.
And of course they want to go home… We praise God for the BIG improvement of his head. The only medication he is now on for his head are Kepra and Tegretol (for seizures) and Tylenol. Compared to the amount and strength of the medication he has been on, this is nothing.
Marty and Jan have continually mentioned their gratefulness for everyone’s prayers. Please keep praying. Though he is making progress he still has a long journey in front of him.
Thursday, May 3rd, 4:00pm
Jan just told me this has been a great day! She was very excited and thankful for seeing real, tangible progress. Marty has been alert and feeling better throughout the day. His speech has improved and he was even attempting to read out loud for a bit. Marty’s appetite has returned and he is regaining some strength. He is definitely not well, so don’t stop praying. And as has been mentioned here frequently, he has had good days followed by tough one’s, but this is encouraging.
Thursday, May 3rd, 9:00am
The results from the MRI were good. Marty had a good night and his speech has improved slightly. He was smiling this morning and excited for the day. His voice was strong and spirits were up.
This obviously has taken it’s toll on the family, but Jan is encouraged by that classic song “Stand By Your Man”. She is the hospital equivalent of Tammy Wynette, having shaved her head to match her husband.
There have been some rumors of seizures floating around. Doctors think this MAY be what is going on. Again, to the best of my knowledge no one has confirmed he is even having seizures. They are looking for what are called “mini focal seizures”. This is why they have put him on two seizure meds for now.
The doctors are planning on changing his meds today. He is currently on a number of serious medication and the hope is he can be moved off of a few of them. Marty is happy for this, but concerned the headaches will return.
For the record, Jan did not shave her head. The picture is not real. The other day she was joking about cutting her hair, so we made it happen. Please don’t let anyone cut their hair to support Jan.
Wednesday, May 2nd, 8:00pm
Marty had an MRI this evening and they are still waiting on the results. There will most likely be nothing until the morning. The hope is for this test to give a better look at what is going on. Let us be found praying for clarity, wisdom, healing, and improvement.
One other item I know Marty wants people to remember is how God will be glorified through this ordeal. We are praying He will be working in lives, near and far, through ways only the Lord can use. In our prayers and concern for Marty lets also plead for the souls of others, that God would rescue them from their spiritual death. There are Doctors, nurses, support staff, other patients, and other families we want to be praying for and Sharon with.
We will update as soon as there is more info to share.
Wednesday, May 2nd, 6:00pm
Apologies for the internet silence today, but enough about the Narrator. Marty has had a tough day. Again, the “Two steps forward, one step back thing”. He is on a slew of medications and some are working better than others. It is my (completely non-medical) opinion they are still trying to find the right medicines and right levels for his body. This could be clarified with more specifics from a Doctor who has knowledge of Marty’s condition, but as of 6:00pm I have not spoken with one.
Please keep praying. The slurring of speech has been present throughout the day. This is may not amount to much, but it is certainly frustrating for Marty and scary for Jan. Please refrain from visiting right now, even for Jan. It is not good for Marty to have visitors at this point and someone coming for her means she will have to leave the room, go down the hall and visit with people away from her husband. She does not like leaving him for more than a few minutes during the day. Your cards, comments, e-mails, texts, and calls are being received and they are a blessing. Her phone has been going off constantly whenever I have been with her. If you do not hear back from Jan right now, please understand she is under a tremendous amount of stress and it is understandably taking it’s toll. I’m sure she will be expecting a beach trip when they get through this…
Tuesday, May 1st, 5:00pm
Today has been a good day… Marty has eaten, walked twice, and for the most part spoken well all day.
He told me he got to preach to the Speech Therapist. Of course he thought it didn’t go we’ll, but all preachers think that. If you ask me, this was the best medicine or therapy he could have received.
I heard today that people can and do make complete recovery from this type of issue. One thing they stressed was that the patient needs rest. Sleep allows the brain to heal. There are still two spots that need to heal in his head and rest will go a long way toward helping. The family continues to ask for there to be no visitors and the nurses have now placed a sign on the door for anyone who forgets.
All things considered, this seems like good news, a good day, and a great step in the right direction. Marty looked good and sounded good. He was laughing about the red tint in his hair and eagerly anticipating the crab bisque he is having for dinner. All of it, including the food, sounds good to me.
Let’s praise God for encouraging news and keep praying for progress and healing.
Monday, April 30th, 7:00pm
As mentioned earlier, there are a few new Doctor’s on the scene. Forgive my lack of specifics on titles and roles, but suffice to say, there is a new neurological specialist looking into what is going on with Marty. They were thinking it was normal post-op recovery, but now that it has persisted they are pursuing other options. His continued headaches are troubling and a sign that something else may be going on. There is enough abnormality to take a new track, so this may have turned to more of a vascular issue… They are hoping to find out results from tests on his carotid artery, as well as, an EEG (to measure the brain’s electrical activity). As if that is not enough, there will most likely be a heart test in there as well.
The following from earlier today is still true.
MARTY IS STILL EXPECTED TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY. Issues with speech slurring after this procedure is not at all unusual. Not everyone experiences these problems, but none of the doctors have been surprised. What is less clear is how long these struggles will persist…
What has not been expected is for this to last as long as it has and for the headaches to still be so severe.
The family has asked that you be made aware of what is going on, so you will know how to pray. Marty is still in a great deal of pain and very uncomfortable. The good news is, when they isolate the issue, progress should be right around the corner.
Monday, April 30th, 5:00pm
Lots to update everyone on. They have just ordered more tests. Marty will be having tests run on the veins in his neck and another test on his heart to make sure everything is operating properly. There is also a chance of him moving to a regular room. So, let’s get to praying.
The day has been one steady stream of doctors, specialists, and tests. Both Marty and Jan are exhausted. Due to the storms last night, Jan woke at 4am and was up at the hospital shortly there after. We can pray she gets some rest. Marty is being assisted in his rest by medication, even though he is constantly be pushed and shoved by the hospital staff. Let’s assist Jan in her rest by asking the Lord to fill her up far more than any amount of sleep could supply.
Marty looked and sounded good when I was with him today. It is true he is experiencing periodic slurring of speech and moments where he cannot communicate. I have not been sharing this detail, because I was respecting their privacy and letting them release details on their timeframe. Yesterday, Jan posted the details of the speech difficulties. Therefore, it is now appropriate to give some perspective.
MARTY IS STILL EXPECTED TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY. Issues with speech slurring after this procedure is not at all unusual. Not everyone experiences these problems, but none of the doctors have been surprised. What is less clear is how long these struggles will persist…
Please be praying for the doctors to have clarity on what to treat and how to go about it? Please be praying for Marty to continue making progress and for his headaches to be removed and speech to improve. Jan joked with me
This afternoon that everyone should brace themselves, because he will be returning with a whole bunch of new sermon illustrations.
Monday, April 30th, 12:00pm
Directly from Jan:
Wow! It has been a long morning. Everything started around 6:30. Marty got a cat scan. It was stable which means it hasn’t gotten worse. The Dr said it actually had improved a tiny little bit. His headaches haven’t been as bad which we are very thankful for. Our biggest concern is Marty’s speech. His words are slurred and seem to happen more frequently today. We had a neurologist come by and evaluate him. He used some BIG word which I have already forgotten. So they plan on doing an EEG sometime today. They plan to move him to a regular room today but the Dr said NO visitors. They think he is getting a little over stimulated and needs more rest.
Sunday, April 29th, 2:00pm
The Doctor came through and looked at all the tests this morning. Praise God they didn’t show any signs of infection, however they said the CAT Scan looked the same as yesterday. I believe they were hoping it was a better CAT Scan and the fluid on the brain would have been more absorbed which it wasn’t. His speech has not been slurred any this afternoon and he hasn’t thrown up any more. We can be praying he gets his strength and energy back. They have him back on liquid IV, no food or water, and a Tylenol IV for pain. His head has been better this afternoon but the Dr said they are watching how he does today. If he doesn’t do well, they are going back in. Also, decisions will depend on the next CAT Scan. Please pray that won’t be the case. Sounds like Monday should be busy.
Sunday, April 29th, 7:30am
This morning got off to a rough start. Marty has been experiencing nausea and generally wrestling through the night. It sounds like they got his fever under control at some point in the night. Jan was concerned and asking for prayer. By the time I made it up to the hospital, he had already left for an impromptu CAT Scan. He was looking better than i expected and even in good spirit this morning considering the night he had.
I think this is clear by now, but Marty has a lot of recovering to do… From what they tell me, operating on the brain is a big deal. There will undoubtedly be good days and bad ones. The family is appreciative for all the cards and call, but is still asking people to hold off on visiting.
Saturday, April 28th, 6:30pm
The need to continue to pray is being voiced loud and clear. Marty has had a tough day with a return of a pretty serious fever, headaches coming back with some force, and some concern over Pneumonia. Apparently he has a history of Pneumonia. Please be praying for the family and of course with Marty’s recovery. They met with a Therapist today and will start therapy just as soon as Marty can handle it. They are tired and ready to see some real steps forward. Jan expressed her weariness this evening and just asked for all of us to continue praying. The tough thing is, it is just the beginning of a long road…
Saturday, April 28th, 9:00am
The word is Marty got a bit of his appetite back this morning, filling up on sugary cereal. Jan said he never gets that at home, so it was a real treat. His head still hurts a great deal, but the Doctors are saying everything is still making progress. We will update as more details become available.
Friday, April 27th, 9:30pm
They have decided to check on him every two hours tonight. Doctors have “up’d” the meds while watching for any signs of trouble. He ate a whole bowl of crab bisque and moaned as he ate, so his taste buds are working… Several of his grandchildren have been able to come by and visit for a short time. They found him walking the halls with Jan, but very tired. We have been asked to not stop praying. Recovery is a rough road.
Friday, April 27th, 11:30am
Well, what do they say? Two steps forward and one step back. That may be a bit of overstating things, but it does sum up the situation nicely. Marty had a great day yesterday. He moved rooms, walked the halls, ate a ton, and even got up and shaved. This morning it appeared the busyness took it’s toll. He was weary and struggling a bit. The Doctor gave him another CAT Scan just to make sure everything was doing well. Praise God the report was good. Marty is making progress. His pain is a bit higher today, but they should be able to manage it and he is currently resting.
Again, the family is asking for no visitors, but to use that time and energy to pray. You can pray for Marty, but you can also pray for Pastor Orhan in Riverland as Marty and I did this morning. While meeting briefly with Marty and Jan and praying for their situation, Marty asked that we pray for Orhan and his health situation. He is waiting on the results of tests for Cancer. Please lift Orhan and his family up, even if you have no idea who that is.
Thursday, April 26th, 1:15pm
Marty wanted to share this pic with everyone.
Thursday, April 26th, 10:15am
Marty is being moved to a “Step Down” room right now. He seems more alert, is talking and eating. Pray this move doesn’t take too much out of him and that he continues to make improvement.
Thursday, April 26th, 8:30am
Talking with Jan this morning was a reminder that this recovery is a marathon and not a sprint… Marty had a CAT scan last night and another this morning. He is experiencing what the Doctors are describing as normal reactions to brain surgery. Apparently, removing the fluid has left a void in his head. I will let all of you fill in the punch line, but this is something they are watching and something we can be praying about.
Yesterday, he had little to no appetite and was sleeping a great deal of the day. They are hoping to sit him up more today, so we can be praying this transition will go smoothly and for the move to a regular room.
The family is asking for there to be no visitors, but for people to continue praying. Marty is expected to make a full recovery, but it is a long road. It is normal for our attention to be focused on the day of surgery, but let us be people who remember to pray through the recovery as well.
Wednesday, April 25th, 8:30am
The Brown’s met with the Doctor this morning finding out the drains have been taken out and they plan on sitting Marty up late this afternoon. The plan is for him to remain in ICU until tomorrow, then move to a regular room for a few days. Marty mentioned feeling much better this morning which is a huge relief given how bad he felt yesterday. The family wanted to mention how grateful they are for the prayers and cards. They have repeatedly expressed how overwhelmed they have been by the love of the Body.
That being said, I came across an interesting article this morning that may be of interest to many of you since you are coming here to find out information on Marty and wondering how you can support him and his family. The article is from Ligonier Ministries and can be found here.
3 Simple Ways to Encourage Your Pastor
Pastors are human too. That means, of course, that they sin, but it also means that they have ordinary human needs. While no one joins the ministry in order to receive riches or accolades, honor or power, while shepherds are called to serve others rather than themselves, such doesn’t mean that they are not given to discouragement.
Most of us, most of the time, love our pastor, and are grateful for him. Few of us, however, understand that he needs encouragement. What even fewer of us grasp is how we can be an encouragement to him. Here are three simple ideas.
First, pay attention to his labors. Though we do not have a duty to be at the church every time the doors are open, one thing that discourages pastors is our unwillingness to simply avail ourselves of his gifts. When the pastor labors in his study to prepare a Bible study lesson, or writes a blog post, and the sheep under his care pay no attention, it is discouraging. It says to the pastor, “I do not value what you do for me and my family. Your efforts have no effect because I won’t even be bothered to read, or to listen. I will download the sermons of celebrities that don’t know me. I will read the wisdom of those with book contracts.” It’s not that your pastor is jealous of the gifts of others. It is instead that he is jealous for you and your growth in wisdom. A less gifted man who knows and loves you is far more potent in your life than a more gifted man far, far away.
Second, speak well of him to others. When you speak well to the pastor, if he is prone to discouragement, it might not have the impact you wish it to have. Such kind words can easily be written off as kindness rather than gratitude, as flattery rather than sincerity. But if word comes back to him, and it will, that you have spoken well of him, to others in the church, or even to those in your community, he will have to take your good word to heart. It might also encourage those with whom you speak to have a deeper appreciation for your pastor, and that’s usually a good thing. Of course the one you should be speaking to the most about your pastor is the Great Shepherd of the sheep. Pray with gratitude for the man Christ has given you, and the man will be encouraged.
Third, pursue godliness. Because he loves you, what your pastor wants more than anything else is for you to grow in grace and wisdom, to become more like Jesus. What is most discouraging for him then isn’t how poorly he may be treated, how badly he may be honored, but how poorly his sheep are doing. He is encouraged most, however, when you are doing well. When he sees your wife’s beaming face, he knows it is because you are seeking to be a godly husband and father, and is encouraged. When he sees you turning the other cheek in your relationship with your pew neighbor, he is encouraged to know that the leaven of the kingdom is spreading among his flock. When he sees you visiting the widow and the orphan, he knows you are practicing true religion, and rejoices.
Don’t, in short, tell your pastor how smart he is, nor how brilliant his sermons are. Don’t tell him how funny he is, nor how dignified. Show him how his labor in showing you Jesus is making you more like Him. That is the desire of his heart, because that is the desire of His heart.
Tuesday, April 24th, 4:30pm
The CAT scan simply showed post surgical changes. Jan didn’t really know what those changes meant, but as they said earlier “No news is good news.”
Both Marty and Jan slept this afternoon. Marty did have a slight temperature around 1:00 of 100.4. She asked everyone to keep praying for the pain to decrease, the Doctors to have wisdom, and for a speedy recovery.
Tuesday, April 24th 12:00pm
Jan just told us Marty is recovering quite well. She has asked for people to continue to pray for Marty’s pain. He is still hurting a great deal. They are waiting to hear from the Doctor and would appreciate prayers for clarity on what is next.
Tuesday, April 24th 10:00am
Pastor Marty is said to be recovering in ICU this morning and still experiencing some discomfort. This is to be expected given the nature of the operation and he will be closely monitored over the course of the next few days to see if there are any complications. We will update this page with more details as they become available.
The other day Marty asked us to gather some information on how we as believers should respond to tough news, to sickness, or to suffering. Well, it’s been a bit busy and we are just now able to make some of these things available.
This morning we want to remind you of James Montgomery Boice, Pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Pastor Boice was diagnosed with Cancer and ultimately died from it’s complications. On his final sunday before his congregation, he stood before his people in the call to worship and counseled his church to approach the issue with these precious words.
A number of you have asked what you can do, and it strikes me that what you can do, you are doing. This is a good congregation, and you do the right things. You are praying certainly, and I’ve been assured of that by many people. And I know of many meetings that have been going on.
A relevant question, I guess, when you pray is, pray for what? Should you pray for a miracle? Well, you’re free to do that, of course. My general impression is that the God who is able to do miracles—and he certainly can—is also able to keep you from getting the problem in the first place. So although miracles do happen, they’re rare by definition. A miracle has to be an unusual thing.
I think it’s far more profitable to pray for wisdom for the doctors. Doctors have a great deal of experience, of course, in their expertise, but they’re not omniscient—they do make mistakes—and then also for the effectiveness of the treatment. Sometimes it does very well and sometimes not so well, and that’s certainly a legitimate thing to pray for.
Above all, I would say pray for the glory of God. If you think of God glorifying himself in history and you say, where in all of history has God most glorified himself? He did it at the cross of Jesus Christ, and it wasn’t by delivering Jesus from the cross, though he could have. Jesus said, “Don’ t you think I could call down from my Father ten legions of angels for my defense?” But he didn’t do that. And yet that’s where God is most glorified.
One other thing many of you have done has been sending cards, and I want to say how much I appreciate that. My wife and I have been reading them all. There are far more than I would ever have believed could come. One person in the church said that he has taken out a special prayer concern for the postman that delivers the cards that he won’t develop a hernia, and I think that’s thoughtful. Many prayers should be made along that line.
I think, although I want to assure you that I’m reading the cards, I don’t envision ever being able to answer them all. And then some of you who are in a position to do so have said, “We would like to be of help in any way we can. ” And many have been already. Again, we’re overwhelmed with offers. We’ll never be able to take advantage of them all, but we appreciate all of those offers.
If I were to reflect on what goes on theologically here, there are two things I would stress. One is the sovereignty of God. That’s not novel. We have talked about the sovereignty of God here forever. God is in charge. When things like this come into our lives, they are not accidental. It’s not as if God somehow forgot what was going on, and something bad slipped by. It’s not the answer that Harold Kushner gave in his book, Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. God does everything according to his will. We’ve always said that.
But what I’ve been impressed with mostly is something in addition to that. It’s possible, isn’ t it, to conceive of God as sovereign and yet indifferent? God’s in charge, but he doesn’t care. But it’s not that. God is not only the one who is in charge; God is also good. Everything he does is good. And what Romans 12, verses1 and 2, says is that we have the opportunity by the renewal of our minds—that is, how we think about these things— actually to prove what God’s will is. And then it says, “His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Is that good, pleasing, and perfect to God? Yes, of course, but the point of it is that it’s good, pleasing, and perfect to us. If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you’d change it, you’d make it worse. It wouldn’t be as good. So that’s the way we want to accept it and move forward, and who knows what God will do?
The above quote was just an excerpt from his remarks that morning. To read the full transcript and to find out more about ht elite and ministry of Pastor Boice please follow this link.
Monday, April 23rd, 7:00pm
As of 6pm on the 23rd of April, Pastor Marty is doing fine and recovering from surgery. His wife Jan told us everything went well and they are expecting him to make a full recovery. The blood that had collected on his brain was drained and he is now resting in ICU. He will be having a CAT Scan tomorrow to take a better look at the area and make sure everything is recovering properly. The good news is he is moving his arms and legs, acknowledging his family and on his way to being much healthier. Obviously, his family is very relieved and praising God for the good report.
We will be updating this webpage with new information as it becomes available as a service to Marty and his family. Our goal is to lighten their load, help respect their privacy and give out up to date, accurate information.
As with all major procedures there is a chance of complications, so please be in prayer for Marty and his family and respect their wishes for no visitors at this time.
Has to stay flat on back for the next few days