Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Out of pocket for awhile

I have been preoccupied with family matters the last week or so, resulting in very little time given to the blogosphere. That will continue to be the case for the next week or two, as well.

Though I have often failed, I have consciously tried to live by a set of priorities that has served me well over the last 26 years. These priorities have been derived from asking myself a basic question, "What has God called me to be?" As I think through the answers to that question a series of fundamental commitments emerge rather clearly and in a very decisive order (see the article linked below). By God's grace, I try to live by those commitments.

Doing so has led me to cancel out of the upcoming Founders Conference next week in Oklahoma. It will the first one I have missed since its inception 24 years ago. My wife, Donna, was scheduled to speak to the ladies this year on, "Stand By Your Man as He Walks the Line" (thank Tom Nettles and the timing of the release of the Johnny Cash film for the title!). Some medical difficulties have arisen with Donna that need our attention close to home. It is nothing that is imminently life-threatening as far as we know, but it is requiring a full engagement with the medical community and I need to be by her side as we navigate this course. There is absolutely nowhere that I would rather be.

Thanks for your prayers. We are asking the Lord to provide us good counsel, wisdom to make God-honoring choices, favor with those with whom we consult and the ability to represent Him well at every step of the process. As appropriate, I will try to give an update in the future.

Here is an article I wrote about pastoral priorities several years ago. My convictions remain the same today.

32 comments:

Ray Van Neste said...

My prayers will be with you and Donna.

Steve Weaver said...

I'll be praying for your family in the days ahead (esp. Donna). Thanks for reminding me about your article on Pastoral Priorities. I remember reading it a few years ago and finding it very helpful. I look forward to re-reading it and re-implementing its principles in my own life.

Thanks for your ministry!

Andrew said...

It's good to see this example for aspiring ministers like myself. Thanks.

IN HIS NAME said...

DR. TOM
May GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS you and DONNA and give you the PEACE that HE alone can GIVE.
LOVE
A Brother in CHRIST

Christopher Redman said...

Tom,

My church and I will pray for you and your wife tonight.

scripturesearcher said...

To pray with and for the boy from Beaumont and his beautiful bride will become a priority for the many who love, admire, appreciate and benefit from your lives!!!

Kevin Stilley said...

You have our prayers.

Keith said...

Tom:

We'll miss seeing you and your family at Bethel. We'll be praying.

"Mathetes" aka Keith Whitfield

Paul Stith said...

Tom & Donna,

The Grace Heritage family will be praying for you. Thanks for ignoring lesser things as you attend to your dear wife. Conference attendees will miss your ministry, but many have already profited from an example of faithfulness.

Paul

sbc pastor said...

I will be praying for you, your wife, and your family during this time. May God's blessings be upon you all!

In Christ,
JLG

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Ascol,

I was enabled, by God's grace, to lift you & your wife up to His throne this morning. May His Fatherly care be ever so evident.

With that, I am...

Peter

Tom said...

Brother Tom, Joy and I will be praying for you, Donna, and the rest of your family as you attend to Donna's medical difficulties. May you all find strength and comfort in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

sparrowhawk said...

Praying the Lord's presence be felt during this time.

Tim said...

May God's mercy be upon yo und your wife Tom. Thanks for your example.

Ivan said...

May the peace of Christ be with you both. I'll be praying for you and your dear wife.

Yesie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
yesie said...

buenos dias pastor ascol, stew and i prayed for donna this morning and we'll continue to do so. Dios los bendiga, yesie for both of us.

Rev. S. Michael Huffman said...

Tom-

May the Graciousness of our Soverign God shine on you. I will be praying for you and Donna.

Thanks so much for the reminder of the Pastors priorities, as a Pastor I need reminding. Thanks, brother and God Bless

heath lloyd said...

Brother Tom: Know that we join you in prayer for your family. Thanks for the article as well, I needed that today. God bless you and yours.

C. T. Lillies said...

If there's room I'll jump on the prayer wagon too.

Josh

Your friends in western Kansas said...

We are praying for your family. We will miss you in Owasso.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. A,

We'll pray for you, and especially for Mrs. A.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

DOGpreacher said...

Brother Tom,

We will indeed miss you both at the conference, and yet we will be grateful that we can go to God in prayer for His servants. May God give you peace & wisdom in these times.

Stephen A Morse said...

Tom, we will be lifting you and your whole family up to the throne of our Father!

In Christ, my Rock

Mathew Sims said...

I will be praying for you, your wife and family

MBS
Soli Deo Gloria

Aaron L. Turner said...

Tom,

You and Donna are in our prayers brother.

I just put my wife on a plane to go be with her mother who has been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.

Our God knows,

Aaron

Timmy said...

Tom,

Your ministry is a gift to us, but your wife is the crown jewel. Thank you for not only faithfully presenting sound theology but also exhibiting godly living and modeling how we should treasure our wives in any and all circumstances. Of all the various things I have learned from your pen, I have much more grateful from the things I have learned from your feet. Please know that my wife and I will be praying for you and Mrs. Donna.

It is so encouraging that in moments like this where our God is so evident. More than theological abstractions and "systems," our God is personal and sovereign--and for this I am grateful. To this God who can do all things I lift up my prayer on behalf of you and your family. May He ground your assurance in His Word and steady your confidence in His work, and by His Spirit grant you peace and inestimable comfort during these times.

DOGpreacher said...

As we continue to pray for Tom & Donna, I would like to find out how many of you will be at the conference. Having never gone to one, and yet being familiar with many of you by way of your comments on this blog as well as others, I am hoping to be able to meet many D.O.G.bloggers face to face.#:) I am...grateful for grace.

The D.O.G.preacher

Matt Snowden said...

Ya'll will be in our prayers. I appreciate your writing about priorities. When I was ordained at the Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, MS a godly woman named Norma Davis shared the same list with me. Thanks for the refresher course.

ErgunIsMyHero said...

Dr. Tom

In Jesus' name, I pray that God may bless your home. May His angels provide a hedge of protection from the unrelenting attack of the enemy. May His peace pass ALL understanding in your lives. May He be Jehovah Jirah, THE ONE AND ONLY Provider. And may He be merciful and be Jehovah Raffa THE ONE AND ONLY Healer and Physician.

Imago Dei,
EIMH

Amicus said...

May our gracious God bless you and Donna with peace and healing. Thank you so much for being a blessing and an example, as well as a teacher and a leader, to us all.
David Rasmussen, Greencastle, PA

GUNNY said...

I got a lot out of that article when I first read it years ago. After a few more kids and a few more years of pastoral ministry under my belt, I appreciate it even more.

Of course, I want to be a doer and not just a hearer!

Thanks, Tom, and I pray God's blessings on your family.