Saturday, September 25, 2010

Update 17 days after surgery

I know. It's been awhile since the last update. Honestly, there is not a lot of new to add each day as most days are like the one before or the one after. Things continue to progress as well or better than I expected. I can walk the distances each day the doctors require. I can still get tired easily, but the pain is minimal. God's sustaining grace continues to provide. I am so grateful for minimal pain and the energy I do have. I have taken a trip to the mall to walk a short distance as the heat outside has not allowed me to walk outside. I have also gone to the grocery once with my mom in order to get some walking in.

These first 2+ weeks post surgery have been a bit of a blur but I am beginning to feel a little bit "normal" as the pain meds are reduced more each day.

My family and I continue to be blessed as so many of you continue to minister to us and especially those who continue to pray for us. We have said many times since this began, "I would not want to go through this without the church family of ClearView."

Thank you all so much for your love and concern. I will see you all soon.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Week Today

I don't have a great deal of strength, but thought I would post. Today is one week ago I had surgery. I think I am a bit ahead of the curve for recovery.

God is SO good. He has been gracious to take me through a challenging and complex surgery. He has been gracious to help recovery start well to this point. He has been gracious to provide me with more brothers and sisters in Christ praying for me than I could have possibly imagined.

I will never be able to thank all of you enough for prayers and other support given. I will write more, but it will probably be a week or so before I do. Still gaining strength, but so far so good. Doctors and nurses have been amazing. I am grateful for their job well done. But we know, all they can do is support the body as it heals. More than that we know it is God who does the healing. Thank you for your continued prayers in asking God to do what only He can do.

You are all incredible. I love you!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Update: Monday 9/13 - GREAT NEWS

Great News: This is John Duval for Mark. Mark was able to go home this afternoon from Vanderbilt. He looks great, but is very tired. He was told that even though he was going home he is still under the care of Vanderbilt. Please pray that his recovery continues to progress as well as it has the past few days. Also, pray that his immune system will remain strong being in a new environment.

Mark, Leigh Ann and the family are so thankful for the continued prayers. Tracey Parker, Pastor’s Ministry Assistant, is collecting cards and notes of encouragement that will be delivered to Mark. Those can be sent to: Mark Marshall, 537 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN 37069, emailed to or comments sent to the blog.

Verses to ponder: Psalm 121:3-8 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
3 He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.
4 Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep.
5 The LORD protects you; the LORD is a shelter right by your side.
6 The sun will not strike you by day, or the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life.
8 The LORD will protect your coming and going both now and forever.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 4 - Update 9/11

Update: Saturday, September 11, 2010
This is John Duval for Mark. Mark has had a very good day and his progress is right on schedule. Today is Leigh Ann's birthday and they have enjoyed their time together as a family. Sometimes it is not where you are or what you are doing to celebrate, but that you are together with those you love the most…in sickness and in health.

As a church, ClearView will gather together tomorrow for worship and Bible study, but we will also continue to rejoice in how God has been with our Pastor this week.

The dr. continues to request no visitors for the next 48hrs to ensure the recovery continues as planned.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 3 Update - Friday, September 10

This is John Duval for Pastor Mark. Mark is doing well, but in great pain today. White blood cells up slightly. He began rehab today by walking on a treadmill.

Besides Leigh Ann and the girls by his side, Mark is very fortunate to have his father, Rev. Carl Marshall and his mother by his side. His parents are a great source of Godly encouragement for their son and the whole family. Mark encourages so many of us through his preaching and words of affirmation, but it is good to know that during these days his family is a great source of spiritual encouragement. I have seen firsthand how God’s word has been the foundation for Leigh Ann, Tiffany & Brittany. Thank you for your continued faithfulness in praying for Mark’s healing. He is doing very well.

Dr. has extended no visitors for next 72 hrs. in order that his recovery will stay ahead of pace. I know he would love to have a roomful around him, but right now he needs the rest. I know you understand.

" LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me." Psalm 30:2

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 2: Update on Pastor Mark - 1:00pm

This is John Duval for Pastor Mark: Update 1:00pm/Thursday, September 9

The doctor just visited with Mark and his family. He said that Mark is doing exceptionally well and affirmed the success of the surgery. He explained that it was a very complicated surgery, but expects a full recovery. Mark did sit up in a chair for 4hrs earlier this morning and they will attempt to walk with him later today. He will be moved to a step-down unit later as well. With that said: Mark is in some pain and the doctor has requested no visitors (except family) for the next 48hrs so that his energy can be used to recover. Please continue to pray for him, Leigh Ann and the family during these days.

We all rejoice for the answer to our prayers for a successful surgery and now we pray for the physical healing. In true Mark fashion he was already witnessing to one of his nurses and inviting her to ClearView.

“Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.” 1 John 5:14-15

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Surgery went perfect...God is great

This is John Duval – 3:12 pm update on Pastor Mark: God is good, God is great! The doctor just spoke to Leigh Ann and the family to let them know the surgery went perfect. It was a very difficult surgery that did require the circumvent procedure and required the use of some of the donated blood. But, it was successful. Mark is now in recovery. Around 5pm – Leigh Ann will be able to see him. Thank you for the prayers – it was just what we had all prayed for – perfection. These next 3-4 hrs are critical in recovery – so your continued prayers are needed. Thank you, Lord.

1pm update on Mark

This is John Duval - 1pm update on Pastor Mark: he is still on the by-pass machine; vitals are good, surgery going as planned. Please pray during these critical hours. Thank you.

Surgery has begun...

This is John Duval for Pastor Mark: Mark arrived at the hospital at 5:30am this morning. They started anesthesia around 8:15am and surgery began around 10am. We have been told to expect a 7 hour surgery. Please continue to pray.

Leigh Ann shared the following with family: “I have a scripture I would like to share with you. I have always found the PSALMS to be of great comfort, but especially so through these last few days.”

'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help , Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
Psalm 27:1

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Final Pre-Op Post

Well, tomorrow is the surgery. There are certainly lots of thoughts that run through your mind once inside the 24 hour window. But honestly, I have such a peace. I wonder how much better life would go if I could learn to completely let go of control to the Lord 24/7 like I have regarding this surgery. You see, I don't have an option. I can't do the surgery on myself. I can't control the recovery and healing. It really is all in His hands.

I have thought ALOT about life after surgery. It will take me a few months to back to complete strength. I will count this as my mid-life crisis. Most men (or women for that matter) are not given the opportunity to push the pause button at 48 with the incentive I have been given to consider ... really consider ... what is important during the second half of life. I have been given just such a privilege.

No doubt, I will not be the same. I have said a few times I was afraid I would not be the same after this surgery. Now, I would say, I would fear being the same. I want to walk through all the changes God has for me. I want to be in a position for Him to use me more than before. Why else could I or would I ask for health beyond September 8? The only reason I desire health is to be better able to serve Him.

To all of you who read this who are part of the ClearView family, we are blessed to have capable and Godly staff who will continue to lead in my absence. I thank God for all of them. In order for me to heal as quickly as possible, I must trust them to continue leading. I do so without hesitation!

I thank God I am pastor of such a great group of people. If a guy has to walk through this kind of situation he could not ask for more support and prayer than I am receiving. We have heard from many of your personally and I know there are many more. We are being lifted up in prayer by churches and individuals all over the world. I have heard from Africa and from Australia, as well as many around the USA.

You should continue to have updates posted here in the days ahead. Thank you all for your prayers. Thank you for the support we have been and will continue to receive.

You will hear from me again as soon as they will let me back on this thing :-).

I love you!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Greatest Fear

I would be lying if I said I have had no anxiety at all about this upcoming surgery. I have had some of the thoughts and feelings you might imagine. I have had some of the "what-if's" any human being might have.

Of course, one of the initial thoughts was, "There is a chance I don't make it through surgery". But as honest as I know to be with myself, I have dealt with those feelings and death is not a threat for a Christ follower. Would I want to die? No. I have the same desire and drive to live as anyone! Do I fear death? Absolutely not. Just so I am clear, I am going into Wednesday with no thoughts of not coming out of surgery.

So, do I have any fear(s) going into this "procedure" and recovery? I do. My greatest 'fear' (if that's what it would be called) is that I would fail to learn all God has for me to learn as I walk through this. This is the biggest opportunity for growth in my life (to date). God is sovereign. This test was custom designed for me from before the beginning of time. After all, I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I don't want to waste it. I surely do not want to repeat this one :-).

What do I need to learn about God? What do I need to learn by experience that I currently only know intellectually? How can this make me a better husband? Father? Pastor? Preacher? Obedient follower? Most of all, how can I learn through this to bring great glory to God?

1 Peter 1:6-7
6 You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials 7 so that the genuineness of your faith —more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

What trial is distressing in your life? It will prove the genuineness (or lack of genuineness) of your faith. It will drive you to what God has for you ... or away from Him. Ultimately, as Christ followers we want our trials to result in praise, glory and honor of Christ.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Grace for today

When most people think of grace they think of saving grace. That is, it is God's grace that saves us. True. And for those of us who have trusted Him for that salvation, what a truth it is!!

But there is more to God's grace than the moment of entering His Kingdom. It is called sustaining grace. It is the grace we need to walk through the difficulties of life. Paul spoke of it when he said in 2 Corinthians 12 he had a thorn in the flesh he had asked God to take away 3 times. This was God's answer: 2 Cor. 12:9 "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'"

Can I just be honest and say I would prefer God's power be perfected in some other way than my weakness? But, I know it to be true: It is when I am the weakest I become most aware of His power, because it is at those times I am most dependent on it. It is at those times I experience God's sustaining grace that gives me the strength (power) to see see Him do His greatest work in me.

I was reminded a few days ago in a piece written by John Piper in his book A Godward Life that you and I are only given enough grace for today. We are only given enough resources for today. This is why it is foolish to worry about tomorrow. We haven't been given those resources yet.

Now within 5 days of surgery, I know I will need more of God's sustaining grace each day before me. If I try to jump ahead and worry about tomorrow today, I am not given that grace yet, thus leading to anxiety. I am grateful for the grace of God in my life to allow me enough for today. I will have what I need each day that stretches out before me.

Lamentations 3:22-23
22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Whatever you are anxious about facing in the days ahead, you can know God is already there and He is waiting with all the mercy and grace needed to face your challenge. Trust Him in this and you will find a supernatural peace that goes beyond understanding.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Game Slows Down

Sports announcers and coaches often talk about the game slowing down for their quarterback. The more playing time a player gets, the more he understands the game and he can see things develop around him. It certainly doesn't mean the other players play at a slower pace. It simply means the quarterback has a different perspective and he can see things more clearly than before.

Well, my diagnosis and pending surgery have slowed the game down for me. Suddenly, there are things that might have distracted me a few weeks ago that do not seem like a big deal any more. My thoughts seem clearer. My focus is sharper. My time with the LORD is sweeter. My prayers are more God centered. My Bible study is more meaningful.

I think maybe part of what God is doing in my life through this detour is slowing the game down for me.

I pray for this kind of clarity of mind and focus to carry through beyond recovery.