I have struggled with my weight for longer than I can remember. I’ve tried several approaches to dieting and my weight has only increased. I’m tired of losing my breath walking up stairs. I’m tired of struggling just to bend over and tie my shoes. I’m tired of barely fitting into theater seats. I’m tired of being restricted from doing some things because there is a weight limit. I’m tired of having to squeeze into restaurant booths. I’m just tired of being obese. Yes, at 322 pounds (my heaviest) I am morbidly obese and tracking for additional negative health issues and a shorter life expectancy. THAT greatly bothers me.

So tomorrow (Thursday, 12/20), I will head to Ridgeview Hospital and undergo a three hour surgery for gastric by-pass. This was and was not an easy decision. It was easy due to the fact that I’m tired of being overweight. It was not easy due to the fact of feeling like a failure at losing weight through dieting. However, I have several friends (you know who you are) both at Meadow Spring and from other friendship circles, who have had this surgery and they are now living life with full energy and motivation and loving every minute of it. And they all have said they would do it again in a heartbeat. They, along with Sandy, have been huge supporters of mine the last few months as I have been preparing for this.

I will be taking a few Sundays off of preaching. You will see me at church, but I won’t be doing any preaching for a few weeks. Preaching is physically demanding and I need to let my body heal. I am so grateful for John Pennucci and Pat Laeger who will be taking the helm in preaching for a few weeks. I have absolute and complete confidence in them and their leadership and ability to communicate solid messages.

I will be back preaching on January 14, when we kick-off a new teaching series called “When the Devil Knocks”. This is going to be a powerful series as we learn who the devil is and how he deceives, accuses, and attacks us more than we realize. And we will learn how to fend off what he deals out.

If you think of it, I would greatly appreciate your prayers over these next weeks. I have great confidence in the doctors and medical staff but knowing you are praying will be a huge part of a healthy recovery. And if you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to message me. Your words and prayers mean so much to me.