back in the saddle

I’ve written the last few blog posts about my journey of dealing with a vocal polyp. You can read all about it in previous blogs: “thoughts before my surgery,” “thoughts after my surgery,” “let my words be few,” and “eight long months.”

On June 29th, 2014, I returned to the stage to lead worship for the first time since my surgery on May 12th, 2014, and boy did it feel great! My voice was so strong and stable. I didn’t realize how much vocal gymnastics I was doing to work around the polyp on my vocal fold to keep my voice from breaking! Now, unencumbered by that nasty polyp, singing takes so much less effort! In fact, some who have had this surgery liken it to a retired NFL quarterback getting his high school knees back! From my experience, I’d say that is pretty accurate! I have my full range back and it is rock solid!

I am so grateful to God for healing and that I had access to the incredible level of care that the University of Michigan Hospitals has to offer. In fact, the U of M has one of only 4 professional voice centers in the country! My surgeon did a phenomenal job and my speech pathologist has helped me learn how to sing and speak more efficiently.

As a high tenor, I have always spoken at the bottom of my range for reasons that need no explanation! However, speaking (or singing, for that matter) in that low of a register has always tired my voice out quickly. Today, I had another follow up speech pathology appointment and we are now working to strengthen my lower register. I don’t have aspirations of singing bass any time soon, but I do hope that I am able to strengthen my lower range and keep the sound “more forward” (more efficient) so that I am able to resume teaching on Sunday mornings and leading discipleship groups without tiring my voice out.

Thanks for everyone who have prayed for me across the past 8-9 months! I am also grateful for those in my worship ministry, including my wife Suzanne, who have stepped up to lead worship when I was unable, and to the leadership of The Well for their patience during my incapacitation.

It sure feels good to be back in the saddle!

last days

It was with great emotion that I led my last worship service at Dogwood Church today. As Suzanne and I walked off the stage after the 11:00am service, we both broke down and cried. It has been a wonderful ride for 7 1/2 years. We are looking forward to what God has in store for us in the next chapter of our lives and ministry, but it was a sad day to see this chapter come to a close.

Next weekend, Al Denson will be leading at Dogwood and Suzanne and I will be singing along with him. Then on Friday, December 5th, the “Welcome Christmas” concert will be my last responsibility.

Several people have asked me if we will continue to worship at Dogwood until our church plant browns mill church begins holding services next April. Well, for over 13 years, just about the only church worship services we’ve experienced have been the ones that I have planned and led. So for the next several months, we will be visiting other churches, especially new church starts, and taking notes so we can expand our horizons a bit.

Last days are never fun, but in order for us to experience those exciting first days, they are a necessity.