No news is great news!

Actually, that’s not always true.  But I haven’t posted anything in about 2 months because I don’t have much to report!  Back in September, I was privileged to have my parents (Ronald and Sue Ann) and my brother (Michael) and sister (Suzanne) up to Michigan for a quick trip from the South to visit me and my family.  In the photo along the shore of Lake Michigan, you’ll see from the family photo, my acorn didn’t fall very far from the tree!

Medically Speaking…

I’ve had a few follow-up doctors’ visits.  For now, my cancer numbers continue to be basically at zero (or barely detectable) thanks to the chemo and transplant this summer.  I’ve resumed a maintenance dosage of Revlimid (one of the chemo drugs I was on last Spring).  I still have several other meds that deal with ongoing peripheral neuropathy, anti-bacterial and anti-viral pills to help protect my immune system, and a host of other pills to “help” with other issues.  I go back to Ann Arbor to follow up with the transplant doc in December, back to my oncologist in February with various blood tests in-between visits.

Physically speaking…

For the most part I”m doing real well.  I may have one or two days a week where I just crash and need to sleep a lot.  I still have occasional nausea and don’t feel like eating much (although I gained 7 pounds last month! 🙂 )  I’m back to work in the office several mornings although not exactly full-time yet.  I”m still not doing many home or hospital visits yet.  I have preached a few times but continue to share the pulpit with our most capable staff!

Family speaking…

There’s always change.  Another kid has graduated and gone off to college.  Another kid gets a BB gun for his birthday.  Another kid is waiting to take driver’s ed.  Another kid is ready for “the talk”.  In spite of my crazy experiences this year, the people in our family don’t stand still. There’s always motion.   While the number of people around the table for supper seems to be dwindling, it seems the amount of food they’re consuming continues to increase.  We miss Abby and Simeon (in Mississippi) Josh and fiance Jessica (Indianapolis), Paul (Zeeland, MI) and Thomas (Spring Arbor Univ near Jackson, MI).

Mentally speaking…

I think for the most part, I’ve been “up”.  However, if I say something funny, my family says it’s the drugs.  If I’m wide awake, my family says it’s the drugs.  If I’m sleepy, my family says it’s the drugs.  If I’m mean, my family says it’s the drugs.  Therefore, I’m not sure what normal is anymore!  I have enjoyed being back to work. I didn’t realize how much I missed the work and calling that I have.  While I’m not mission critical for what gets done in our church, what we’re doing is missionally important.  I’m really glad to be serving in the local church.  I get the privilege to deal with things that really matter in peoples’ lives.  It’s a great place to be (whether you have cancer or not).

Spiritually speaking…

I haven’t had any boxing rounds with God lately (I’d lose anyway).  I’d like to say that during this summer, I had some real spiritual mountain top experiences while I was away from work/church.  The truth is, this summer was so exhausting and nauseous, I rarely left the base of the mountain.  Right now, the staff and I are preaching through a series on Prayer (based on Mark Batterson’s book The Circle Maker) on Sunday mornings…mostly because I need it.  At the same time, I believe our church will benefit from this.  On most days, I’m encouraged in my faith and I have this awareness that regardless of how I feel, God is never far away.  Every experience (whether happy or sad or mad) is an opportunity to test my faith and see if it’s really authentic.  In the movie “Facing the Giants”, the coach kept reminding the team that “we praise  God when we win, we praise God when we lose”.  Theologically, it’s about the same as what Job said, “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).  When I can praise God during the bad days, that’s a sure sign I’m growing!  Of course, anytime I read this passage in Job, I hear the (now old) song “Blessed Be The Name of the Lord” by Matt Redman.

Thanks so much for checking in!  Blessings!




  1. Chris Conrad

    Steve, so WONDERFUL to read this! Thanks so much for this update. I will continue to pray for you, for the Jones family and for BWC. I LOVED your line, “What I do at the church is not mission critical, but what our church does IS.” That’s true for all of us friend. Super grateful for you!!

  2. Rebecca JOUNG

    So glad to hear that you are steady in so many ways. I think of you guys and pray for you every so often. Thank you for the update! Becky Joung

    • Steve

      Thanks Rebecca for your comments and your prayers. I hope you and your family are doing well these days. I’ll tell Beth that you replied.

  3. Robin

    Great to get an update from you! If you guys ever head to Indy to see Josh, we’d love to see you! We are in Noblesville! Robin Fleming

  4. Nikki Perez

    Oh how I love that family! Wonderful memories with them! So glad they all got to come out for a visit! Praying for you and loving you!

    • Steve

      Thanks Nikki. That was a cute picture the other day of mama kissing her boy. Yep…lots of great memories (was thinking the other day about all of the invites your family gave us to Ono Island!)

  5. Elaine L Harrell

    I agree, no news is definitely good news in this case!!! I have been wondering but was trusting things were going well. you are all still in my prayers.
    Cousin Elaine

    • Steve

      Thanks so much Gene. I trust you and your family are doing well. I see Tina’s Facebook comments occassionally. Looks like she and Wes are in South Carolina. Blessings!

  6. Margaret Faulkner

    Hi friend and thank you so much for your update. I really needed it today. Not sure if I have mentioned it lately, but I sure do miss you and your precious family. Bless you ALL in the name of the Lord :0)

    (((HUGS))) from ALABAMA & ROLL TIDE

  7. Dawn Heasley

    What a testimony Steve! I continue to pray for you and your family! I really appreciate what you do for the church.
    Dawn Heasley

  8. gardenfreak444

    Steve, I’m not sure which son is at SAU, but we pastor right near by at Cascades Wes in Jax, and have a few kids from SAU come to our church. We’d love to have him come, too, and possibly feed him at times, too 🙂 If you can let me know, I’ll try to make contact with him and we’ll go from there. Barb Heyd

  9. Steve

    Hi Barb, I take it you must be Clive’s wife! Our son’s name is Thomas Jones. He’s a blond-haired, six foot guy who could empty your cubbard in a hurry! 🙂 We think he’s a great guy! He’s also friends with Jeremy Thompson. I’ll send his cell-phone number to Clive’s Facebook inbox. Thanks. Steve

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