8/11/22 – The Goodness of God

Good morning!

I have been in a reflective mood this week, as Tuesday was the 1 year “anniversary” of one the scariest events in my life.  What follows is a slightly edited version of an email that I sent out after it:

God is great and God is good.  He is always both of those things at the same time. 

So, what happened?  Well, I went to bed feeling just fine Sunday night, but immediately after waking up Monday morning I started to feel some pain in my stomach.  Thinking it was just the stomach bug that has been going around, I laid in bed for most of the morning.  By mid-afternoon the pain had significantly worsened, and we decided to head to Urgent Care.  We were then sent directly to the ER.  By now the pain was almost unbearable.

After having bloodwork done and a CAT scan, the doctors determined that surgery would be necessary to remove my appendix.  We were told that the surgery would happen around midday on Tuesday, and so Mary went home around 2 am and I was transferred to a room in the hospital.

Between that time and 6 am my body absolutely crashed, which I think caught everyone by surprise.  I was rushed to the front of the surgery line and was moved to the surgery prep room by 6:30 am.  The nurses called Mary at 6:45 and told her to come quick.  I will never forget the look on the face of the anesthesiologist when he came to check on me in the prep room.  That’s when I knew I was in real trouble.

God is great and God is good.  He is always both of those things at the same time.

I was rushed into surgery the moment the surgeon arrived and by God’s grace and mercy they got the appendix out just in time.   I’m still a bit light on the details of what took place in that operating room but I am confident in this – God was there directing everything.

Due to my advanced levels of dehydration and a fever that spiked to dangerous levels during the surgery, I was in the post-op recovery room for a long time.  Although I (incredibly) felt pretty good, my blood pressure was extremely low and causing the doctors a lot of concern.  They were also concerned about my kidney function.  I was eventually transferred to the Intermediate ICU, and again by God’s grace my blood pressure stabilized, and my kidneys are fine. I came home Wednesday around lunch time.

God is great and God is good.  He is always both of those things at the same time.

On Saturday morning I taught the morning Bible Study at Rawlinsville Camp Meeting and I spent much of the time looking at Hebrews 12, which is a passage that is focused on Jesus being our only Hope for salvation and that because of Him, we believers are on a march to Zion, the beautiful city of God.  As I was talking about all the wonderful things that await us at Zion, I remarked that while I couldn’t wait to get there, I wasn’t ready yet because I want to see how God works in lives of Greg, Abby and Trent.  Looking back now…I’m not sure I’ll put things quite that way the next time I teach on Hebrews 12!

God is great and God is good.  He is always both of those things at the same time.  But friends I’m not repeating that because He spared me on Tuesday morning.  I will be forever thankful that He did, but if He had decided to call me home, He still would have been great and good.

God is great and God is good because in His greatness and goodness He has provided a way for every man, woman and child to have the blessed assurance that they will be with Him in heaven someday.  That way…the only way…is through repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Friends, if you have yet to place your trust in Jesus Christ, I desperately want to talk to you.  Every day is a gift, something that I understand now more than ever before. 

I’ll close with some of the lyrics to “The Goodness of God,” one of my favorite praise songs that has been playing in my head throughout this entire ordeal:

I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In the darkest night
You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a Father
I’ve known You as a Friend
And I have lived in the goodness of God

And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God


Have a great weekend living in the goodness of God, everyone.  I’ll see you soon.

I later found out that my appendix had starting leaking infection into my body, causing the fever to spike and my body to go into distress.  The doctors were very concerned that I was on the edge of going into sepsis.  Friends, tomorrow is not guaranteed.  Let’s live each day in the goodness of God, and let’s work hard so that as many people as possible come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Here’s what’s happening, as always there is a lot going on:

  1. On Sunday, August 21st ABCF missionary Charles Smoker will be with us.  Charles will be sharing about the Smoker family ministry in Japan during the Sunday School hour and giving the message during the worship service.  We would encourage you to come and support Charles with your presence.  Adult and youth SS classes will all be meeting in the sanctuary that morning.
  2. Men’s Breakfast on August 27th at 8 am at the world-famous Hometown Kitchen.
  3. Bible Adventure Ministries (formerly known as Released Time) are starting back up in the Solanco School District. They are looking for volunteers to help at Bart, Clermont, Quarryville and Providence Elementary schools.  If you are interested in learning more, contact Tammy Brown (Solanco Coordinator) at tammyjoyel@gmail.com.
  4. Thank you to everyone who turned in a service survey on Sunday. This is already incredibly helpful.  If you didn’t get a chance to do so, please fill one out and place in the wire basket by offering box this Sunday.
  5. We are in the final editing stages of a new church directory! A draft of it will be in the lobby on Sunday, please take a moment to proof your entry before we send it to the printer.
  6. 8/28 is “Back to School” Sunday at the Bridge. We’ll be having a special time of prayer for all of our students.
  7. The church corn roast is set for Sunday, September 11 after church at Lloyd and Mary Lois Kreider’s home. More information to come but save the date now.  I am told that only the Solanco Fair rivals the corn roast as the social event of the season!

This Sunday we are going to be looking at 1 John 5:1-5.  In his letter John has talked a lot about loving others, and in chapter 5 he turns his attention to what it looks like to love God.  John doesn’t pull any punches with this passage!


Looking forward to Sunday,