Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Dear Friends - Six months ago today, with the help of a couple people much younger, I dropped a clicker on this blog. Since then, it has received 127,688 "hits." Thank you for visiting here some and for considering my rantings and ravings. Twenty-five days ago I left a desperate message as I ran out the door to head to Cook's Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth. Right now, most of that evening is a fog. I remember, as in a dream, hearing about the wreck, finding out that Chris was in it, later hearing that one of the children had died, gathering with the other families in a waiting room at Hendrick, being called by our friend who is an ER doc, looking at my boy and not recognizing his face, whispering in his ear, hearing that the preliminary CT scan was better than expected (given the trauma to his face), learning that he would be flown to Children's with one parent, and running home to pack a few things before Dickie and Becky drove me over there. It's just a dream . . . or a nightmare. I've forgotten most details. But I remember a desperate sense that I didn't have much prayer in me, so I stopped at my computer long enough to type out those few sentences. Within hours, there were responses from six continents (hey, what's with you people in Antarctica?) and from all over the States. Even now, I can't come up with words to describe what those prayers mean to Diane, Matt, Jenna, Chris, and me -- and to the other seven families. Some have commented that a sort of cyber-community has developed through the months. There are limits to what such a "community" can do, of course. But there are some things we can do. And prayer is clearly one of them. For the most part, I've been the recipient of your prayers. This morning I'm wondering -- are there things we can pray for you? I'd like to invite you today to leave a note here if you'd like other readers to be praying for you. If you just can't get the comments button to work (or are a bit technologically challenged and can't figure out how to get registered), I've created a temporary e-mail address, BlogPrayers@aol.com. If you'll send your prayer request there, I'll type it into the comments here. May the love of God encompass you, my friends, as he continues forming you in the Way of Christ.


  • Mike,

    First of all, I'm overwhelmed and humbled by your concern for US, in light of all that you and your family has experienced this past month. Though I don't know you personally, I've thought of all of you many times throughout this ordeal and am always grateful to read of Chris' progress and how the other people in the accident are doing.

    Right now I'm walking a path that is really foggy. I'd rather have clear skies, able to see for miles ahead what's coming down the road, but God is keeping plans hidden from me for right now. I'll admit, that's very frustrating. It's a testing and building of my faith but it's painful at the same time. I'm struggling with being at a place in my life that I don't want to be, and yet I know that I'm not here by accident--it's part of God's plan for my life. I guess the biggest prayer I have is for contentment and surrender to God, not wasting so much time and energy longing for a different path.

    Thank you for your concern--you and your family continue to be in my prayers.


    By Blogger Lisa, at 2/10/2005 05:29:00 AM  

  • Please pray for our unborn baby. Laura is due to give birth at the end of April. Our baby has a congenital diaphragmatic hernia along with a CCAM. We are fortunate to be in NYC where one of the leading children's hospitals is located. We are extremely apprehensive about the outcome. Your prayers are welcomed.

    Joe Hays
    My Blog

    By Blogger jch, at 2/10/2005 06:59:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    I discovered blogland at the beginning of January because my parents had a few that they read regularly. I have been richly blessed by the encouragement and challenge I have found in all those that I read. I contunally thank God for leading our family to Highland. For over ten years, my journey has been strengthened, encouraged, and edified by so many cherished people in that Body. I thank you also for your transperancy and grace throughout this season in the life of your family. My request for prayer today would be for Julie, as I found out last night that she returned home. Please pray that we may continue to be sensitive to the ways we as Christ's body, may sustain, surround, and encourage her.

    By Blogger Lauren, at 2/10/2005 07:17:00 AM  

  • Joe and Laura,

    You will be in my prayers during this time. I pray that God's family where you are is holding you close to Him. Keep Marla and I in prayers. She is 3 months into bedrest which is likely to last until close to her due date, probably sometime around the end of next month. Most of all, pray that our little boy will remain safe. But please also pray for Marla's strength, as she feels like a caged animal some days.

    May the peace of God be with both of you!

    By Blogger Trey, at 2/10/2005 07:43:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    I realize that we have never been introduced personally at Highland, but we have shared mutual "Hellos" in the hall, as well as a couple of hand shakes. I have been deeply moved and changed by the response to the events of 25 days ago, and I am very thankful to Almighty God for opening my eyes on different levels these past few weeks.

    If I may ask for prayer, it would be in two areas. First, I am engaged to be married to KMK in June and it is my hope and prayer to be the husband and friend to her that God wants me to be and also what she needs me to be. Second, I really want to become involved with the ministry at Highland. I have touched base with Dickie, but his schedule has been overwhelmed these past few weeks. So my prayer here is that I would take more steps into getting involved with what God is already doing at Highland. Thanks.

    By Blogger Donald Philip Simpson, at 2/10/2005 07:48:00 AM  

  • Mike you commented on the mystery of God on Tuesday. So much of the mystery is so difficult for us to understand. The "why's" that all of the families must still be asking.

    I read that minutes after standing before a group of 80-90 pre-school kids sharing with them the story of the power of God and how his son was even able to walk on water when he was on this earth. We shared briefly how the God who walks on water is there to love and protect us. And yet, I am looking into the eyes of at least two children I know of that have been living in abusive situations and I wonder what they must be thinking about the God who protects them.

    My prayer request for this community is for the kids we all know who live in situations, some of which we cannot even begin to imagine. My prayer is also continued healing for all of the Highland families impacted by the accident.

    By Blogger Farland Clark, at 2/10/2005 08:30:00 AM  

  • mike,
    i would ask that you pray for me to not be so selfish. i have been working on it for a very long time, but i slip back into it every once in a while.
    some examples of that selfishness are my keeping so busy doing "things" to prepare for the worship service, or prepare to teach, or prepare for "whatever" at the church that i do not spend any time with my family. they get the left overs. i also spend so much time working in the audio/video booth that i do not get to worship in the corporate worship service with my wife enough. when i do get to sit with her i am doing the mental critique of the audio and video portions of the service that i am not offering my true worship to God.
    just pray that i get my priorities straight, and i can learn to say no to some things that i am asked to do, and not feel guilty that they aren't done the way i would do them.
    mike, i just want to thank you for your heart, and your willingness to serve. i have only seen you once, and that was at stream in the desert, and i was happy that i was going to be able to see you again in april, but i will not be able to attend stream this year due to my daughter attending a teen girl thing in tampa with the other teen girls in the youth group.
    i am honored that you would ask for our prayer requests. thank you. you, your family, and those families envolved in the accident are in my prayers, as well.

    By Blogger k2, at 2/10/2005 08:46:00 AM  

  • Mike,
    Your blog has been such a blessing to me and I am grateful for this wonderful community that I snuck my way into.

    Your offer to post prayer requests seems to be an answer to my prays. My church is trying to start a senior high youth group. There has been nothing in the past and these amazing kids seem to just fall off the map. It almost feels like Field of Dreams. People keep saying to me "If you build it, they will come." Up to now, I have 5 kids (two of which are foreign exchange students who will leave us this spring) who come but only 2 of those are always there. We had a super bowl party for 2 kids. I'm terrified. I don't want this to fail. The kids NEED and DESERVE to have this. I'm not even sure how to pray for it anymore other than "please God make it work." Help!

    I have added all of you onto my prayer list.

    Grace and Peace,

    By Blogger K, at 2/10/2005 08:59:00 AM  

  • Mike and cybercommunity,
    Thanks for asking for our prayer requests and allowing us to share our stories a little bit. It has been so neat to hear stories and comments from all of the people all over the country and world over the past few months. It means so much.

    I am currently studying with the ACU Study Abroad Program in Montevideo, Uruguay. We arrived in Jan, and stay til May. It has been a lot of fun and a great learning experience so far. My prayer request is that God can stretch each person in our group over the next few months. That we will be put in places where we are uncomfortable, even unhappy, so that we can shine for Christ despite ourselves. I also need prayer that I can focus on being here and not on friends and family back home. My mom was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus last fall, and has been having a lot of complications, I also miss my friends and boyfriend (blasted Valentines Day coming to haunt again! :P).. Point is I love my family and friends, but really want God to help me take advantage of all I have here.. and the unique opportunities he has given me..
    Thanks again for the prayers... Lots of love!

    By Blogger Phyllistene, at 2/10/2005 09:26:00 AM  

  • Dear Mike!

    Since you don't have anything else on your plate, [yeah! right!] what does it hurt to add still another - thinking of us, when you have Chris and Diane to care for, as well as the families of the other kids and families involved in the accident. Bless you for having such a huge capacity for caring!!

    As usual, my prayer is for the baby ministry at Highland, the Single Parent Family Ministry (SPFM).

    Please pray that we are sensitive to God's will, guidance and wisdom as we work with these families - that we understand what He wants us to do to reach out to each and every one of these families, as well as others in our community. Pray for volunteer hands - those that would come along side both participants and leaders in this ministry, that the task be shared among many, rather than overloading a few.

    And please, pray for active role models for these families - be they of dads, moms, grandparents, fellow believers, whatever the need be. Finding active, involved role model mentors is one of the most difficult tasks and one of the greatest needs of any SPFM.

    You have no idea how I covet prayers for this ministry - not only here at Highland, but everywhere there is even one single parented family.

    You, your family and all those invloved in the accident remain in my heart and prayers. Bless you for opening this prayer thread.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 2/10/2005 09:37:00 AM  

  • Joe & Laura, Trey and Marla - you guys will be in our prayers - may God's hand fall gently over your babies.
    My husband David's job description has changed over the last 10 days to also encompass 95% of our church administration, while also being responsbile for Small Groups, Adult Ed and New Members - YIKES!!! Pray for us as he delegates out to other staff members and volunteers and become more of an overseer of these ministries while handling the administration and staffing issues directly. Thanks!

    By Blogger Arlene Kasselman, at 2/10/2005 10:30:00 AM  

  • I guess no one in Antarctica cares about anyone but themselves. Selfish penguins!

    I'd like to request prayers for "N." She and her three teen daughters are new Christians and new to our congregation. "N" is in dire need of a car and a job. She's had trouble getting one without having the other. Possibilities for each are on the horizon, but she's afraid to get excited since she's been let down so many times. Please pray for the car, the job, and a safer place to live for N and her girls. Also a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessing this family has been to our church and youth group.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 2/10/2005 11:41:00 AM  

  • Mike, My prayers continue for your family and all of the others involved in the accident.

    My prayer request right now would be for a dear friend whose marriage is in serious trouble. Please pray that God will use me to be an encouragement to her and bring her a message of hope and love from the Father. I would also ask for prayers for my family. We are in a time of transition and though the changes we're making are positive ones, I am unsure of all the ways it will effect our three small children. New job, new ministry, and a new home in a new state. As you know change is stressful. I am thankful for this blogging community of praying people! It's awesome to be a part of such a great family of believers!

    By Blogger Niki, at 2/10/2005 11:59:00 AM  

  • Thanks so much for honoring us with these prayer requests. A few have come to the temporary AOL account today that people asked not to be posted. But there are a couple others that have come:

    I wanted to ask for prayers for myself. I think I am in the middle of a desert on my spiritual journey. Everywhere I turn, I don't see God, I don't hear him, I don't feel him. I keep thinking it is me, something I have done wrong. I want to give up. I keep thinking it shouldn't be this hard. If God did make it so hard, then why do I want to continue. Somebody help! I read your blog and I am encouraged. I think to myself, "If I was at his church I wouldn't feel like this." I know that isn't true but when you are outside the bible belt you don't have too many growing, thriving churches. I don't even feel like I could talk to my minister and get any answer besides the old standard response of "stay in the word", "keep praying" "keep coming to church." I don't mean to sound so bitter and tired. I need prayers for strength to keep the faith. I have kids and a husband whose lives would be destroyed if I gave up.

    - - - -

    Mike, I just started reading your Blog at the time of the accident as several had mentioned to me what a blessing it had been to hear in your own words what was going on. Our family has been so blessed by your words and updates -- thank you for your openness and honesty throughout this crisis. My prayer today would be specifically for the players and families of the Cedar Creek little league. My nephew Houston Schoonmaker and Brody Bourland played ball together. We enjoyed many nights during the All-Stars games watching Brody pitch. He was an amazing pitcher -- a little guy with great talent. We were so looking forward to this season! Houston and he became friends and I have to admit -- going to Brody's funeral and seeing Houston break down at the casket was one of the toughest days I can remember. So hard for a little guy at the tender age of 10 to understand why his friend had to be taken so soon. His mom and dad have had to answer a lot of tough questions these days. But as baseball season gets underway -- not only do I pray a special prayer for Chris -- as I know not getting to play is very difficult -- I pray for this group of little guys who will come together to play for the first time without their star pitcher. The league is preparing many special things in honor of Brody -- but nevertheless -- he will not be there. So my prayer today is for the team, of course for the Bourlands -- but today specifically -- for all the little guys who lost a friend and are trying to come to terms with that. Seeing all of them at the funeral in their little league uniforms was something I'll never forget. Thank you for the opportunity to offer these prayers up as I have seen amazing things throughout this crisis and Christ has been at the center of each and every one of them. Michelle

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/10/2005 01:34:00 PM  

  • Another prayer request that came into BlogPrayers@aol.com:

    Mike - thank you for setting the example once again of how to truly minister by asking for our prayer needs. Two face me today that I could really use help on.
    Mark Palmer is a minister in Ohio who is battling rectal cancer. He is in his late 20s and has a young son, Micah. 19 months ago, he lost his wife to stomach cancer, and remarried this past November. He is truly confident in God's healing power, and in the fact that he is being used as a vessel to show that power to others. My request would be that God would show us His power without taking this little boy's father so soon after he lost him mother.
    My second request is for my husband. He is an elder at our local congregation, and is finding it so hard to serve as he feels a shepherd should along with our other leaders. They adhere to the "boardroom" eldership model, and he feels like he is butting his head against the wall. I would that he be given patience and that the other men would at least listen to some of his ideas. Members beg him not to resign, but he feels like he is not effective to the congregation at large, because things never seem to improve. Thanks again, AL

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/10/2005 04:26:00 PM  

  • Mike, what a graceful gesture! You know that we have been praying for your family and all involved in the accident and yet you ask us for prayer requests. God is truly working. May God be praised.
    All of you who have posted your prayer requests, you know that so many are praying right now. Joe, I have had you and Laura on my mind since I talked with Malissa Endsley about what was going on with your precious baby. I will pray as continually as I can. God is with you and that little one forming.
    grace, Julie

    By Blogger julie, at 2/10/2005 07:35:00 PM  

  • Thank you for offering your prayers, Mike. Please pray that God will give me greater strength to move away from the frantic nature of my ministry into a more peaceful others-focused ministry. I can't find enough hours in the day to do all I've overcommitted myself to do. It leaves me empty.

    By Blogger JD, at 2/11/2005 07:33:00 AM  

  • Having just completed an extended out of town job, Krl and I find ourselves exhausted. Physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally. Our prayer is for renewal. To have an outward focus rather than inward. I need to remember that GOD doesn't like a backseat driver anymore than I do. Thank you for your prayers and concern.

    By Blogger d, at 2/11/2005 08:07:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    Please be in prayer for my friend Andrea and the family of John Nestor. She worked with him at American Eagle. He and his fiance were shot in their apartment and burned. It's a terrible situation and Andrea has never had anyone close to her die.


    By Blogger Jared Cramer, at 2/11/2005 08:18:00 AM  

  • Hey Mike,

    The Wednesday before your son's accident, my Mom unexpectedly passed away. We did pray for all of those involved in the accident and continue to. She was a good, Christian woman and I know that she is happy and healed with Jesus. I'm still feeling a lot of deep regret that I didn't say some of the things that I wish I had said. I regret that I took her for granted far too much. I wish I had just quit being prideful and told her how much she meant to me. Five minutes would have been enough. I miss her in a new way each day. Please pray for me, my family, and especially my Dad who will be going through his first Valentines day alone in 38 years.


    By Blogger Ed Harrell, at 2/11/2005 10:39:00 AM  

  • Thanks for these prayer requests. May God's presence and nurturing hand fall on all of you. Here are a few other prayer requests that have come into the temporary AOL account.

    - - - -

    Please pray for Dan Sharp who has colon/liver cancer.

    - - - -

    Please pray for Chad and myself as we take on the wonderful, but challenging, opportunity of leading a mission campaign to Germany this summer. Pray for God’’s blessings over us in all of the logistics and fundraising, and pray for those souls He might reach through our efforts.
    Thank you,
    Stefanie Anderson

    - - - -

    What a thoughtful thing to offer, Mike....there have been hordes of people praying for you here in Austin...our care group has been keeping up with everything thru emails I send out after we have gone thru your blogs... which are amazing!!! praise God for you, Diane, Matt, his wife, and Chris....you have set the bar for all of us to get out of ourselves and put our whole self in God's hands!
    We have a major prayer request...our dear friends, Marc and Jenny are in court right now to make permanent the small child they adopted 18 months ago as a brand new baby....the birth father (age 17) is fighting them saying he wants this child....and without going into detail....it is possible this will go to the jury tomorrow. We were in court as support to them today and Jenny testified and it was evident the LORD had his arms enveloped totally around her....Specifically pray that the jury will award Marc and Jenny this baby permanently and that the judge will not "throw a monkey wrench" in the verdict (ie. DNA being stronger than what is logically best for this child)....
    May God continue to bless you and your family and thank you for keeping us informed about your son and your vulnerability....

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/11/2005 12:36:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    Please know that we in Central Illinois continue to pray for all involved.....

    I have continued to be struck by the wonderful story you shared of the other churches in Abilene calling wanting to come to Highland and pray and be with the body there.

    I would seek prayer for the church everywhere (and particularly here) to become more open minded and willing to think outside our docrinal boxes and embrace a community of believers much more expansive than we formerly allowed ourselves to fellowship with. Even within churches of Christ in our area, I pray for more tolerance from others for our body that has embraced change and is seeking to be a light in the community rather than inwardly focused and narrow minded.

    By Blogger Paul W, at 2/11/2005 01:53:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Paul W, at 2/11/2005 02:04:00 PM  

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    By Blogger Paul W, at 2/11/2005 02:05:00 PM  

  • Wow... Prayers-

    That God clear my mind of all this petty stuff and fix my eyes on Christ. I want Him right there in front of me all the time, but it just isn't working.

    I want to find the answer of how to make worship ministry be Christ centered and not technical centered, and just let all the creativeness, energy, ideas, and whatever else you can think about in ministry have one huge arrows that just says "CHECK OUT WHAT GOD CAN DO!"

    That the church learn that "JESUS IS BETTER" (Passion 05) and that we share that with the world, because we suck at doing that right now, especially here in the US.

    For the military that they stay safe. For single parents, may God let those children and parents find peace and let Jesus come into their hearts and be the other parent needed to fall in love with and disciple the children.

    For all those searching for the truth in this world filled with so many answers, that when they find Jesus, it's not religion or us, it's Jesus!

    Back to what I keep thinking these last few weeks... That we figure out how to tell the world "JESUS IS BETTER!" than anything we can list. And that he consumes us, overwhlems us, and that we die so that He can use us. "JESUS IS BETTTER!" an't that right?

    By Blogger Drew Battistelli, at 2/11/2005 07:53:00 PM  

  • Phyllestine,
    I believe my friend Quaid is also in Montevideo with you. I will be praying for all of you there, and for your mother. I am sure you will have an amazing semester.

    I could use prayers for my trust in God to continue to grow. I feel like I have lost a bit of the relationship I had with him before I left home for college. And though I know my faith will be eventually stronger for these trials, right now I still need to grow in Him quite a bit. I also am trying to get more involved at Highland, to find a church family there, rather than warming a seat and being a spectator of the members there. Thank you for offering to pray for us, and for your willingness to share with us as we pray for you. Allowing us to see these glimpses into your life through your blog, your openness and honesty...many of us have been blessed, and I thank you along with everyone else.
    God bless.

    By Blogger Tara, at 2/12/2005 11:06:00 AM  

  • This evening (Sunday) about 5:00 p.m., we received a call from our 20-year old daughter, who was returning to Abilene from a week-end in College Station (about a four and a half hour drive). She was having car trouble and the car had just quit running, somewhere between Temple and Gatesville. Those of you from these parts of Texas know that when you are between towns, it can be a long way to any services of any kind. We were on our way to meet with our Lifeteam, as we do every Sunday evening. A few phone calls later, she said she had been able to reach Gatesville. I was on the phone trying to locate someone who might know where she could get help. I first tried the phone numbers for a couple of churches of Christ in town, but got no answer. I called the police there and got some tips, and then went back to the phone book, calling every church of Christ. I finally got one where a member answered the phone. I explained our situation to the man answering the phone, and he inquired of our daughter's location, stating he would head there right away, even though that church was in the middle of evening services. I asked his name, and listened in amazement as he told me - his last name being my maiden name! We no doubt are related, having a not-so-common name and both coming from Kentucky. As I write this, my daughter is at this church member's home - waiting for her dad and one of our Lifeteam members to come get her and bring her home. What an awesome God we serve, that we can call a stranger - who is a brother - and find help for our need. Thank God for my brother Arnett in Gatesville TX.
    And to Tara - we would love to help you become involved at Highland. Call us at 673-5841.

    By Blogger P Watson, at 2/13/2005 07:58:00 PM  

  • My prayer request is for my prodigal brother to return to God. This has been prayer for over 12 years now. It is a prayer God has answered over and over for me as he has protected him and sent Christlike people into his life and mine when I have been most discouraged. He has convinced me by His word that he has not given up on Ran but rather continues to "devise ways" that he may not be "estranged" from Him. However, it is very discouraging when the answer is so obvious and the hurt he brings to my sweet parents so painful. Thanks for the prayers.

    - - - -

    Dear Mike
    My sweet friend Vicki is studying to take a real estate
    exam on 22nd of this month. Her life is not easy and she has had a recent robbery of her home. Thus focusing on her studies is a challenge. Presently she is living on government assistance
    and she desperately wants to improve her life. With no financial resources at all she has hopes of making a career in real estate sales. Please pray
    that she will be able to succeed in this venture and that the Lord will help keep her strong in her faith. I have had you and your family in my prayers with your recent tragic event. Anna

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/14/2005 05:02:00 AM  

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