A Note from Mike Parks
Jo and I are so humbled by the outpouring of love and concern you exhibited, during my recent heart attack episode. There are no words to express our gratitude for your many prayers, calls, visits, cards, social media posts, food, gifts, and expressions of kindness you poured upon us during this time. You have truly been the body of Christ in our lives, and we thank God for each of you.
I have always taken care of myself, eaten extremely healthy, tried to stay at my optimal weight, and have no family history of heart disease. So, of course, this episode came with no warning, and was a huge surprise to all of us. However, God was not surprised. He has known, from the beginning of time, what was going to happen at 1:40 p.m. on September 21, and was already WAY out in front of the situation. Dr. Judy Googins has never been a member of Highest Praise Choir, but this was her second visit. Dr. Charles (Butch) Cantwell and his wife, Jackie, joined our church in June of this year, and this was their very first visit to Highest Praise. There is no doubt in my mind that God placed Dr. Cantwell and Dr. Googins exactly where he wanted them for that particular moment in time. Our family is so grateful to them, and for their quick response in administering the medical attention needed to save my life. We are also thankful for our Worship and Church Staff, for their immediate involvement in this emergency process, but most grateful for the miracle of God’s grace in my life.
The response of our church family, in regard to my return to the platform this past Sunday, was overwhelming, and extremely humbling. We cherish the very special relationship we have with you, and so thankful that God has allowed us to serve Him, with you, in this place, for all of these many years. There are words to so many great songs I have sung my entire life, that have flooded my mind these past three weeks. However, none more appropriate than two of the songs we sang this past Sunday.
All my life You have been faithful. All my life You have been so, so good. With every breath that I am able, I will sing of the goodness of God.
On Christ the Solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand. No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand. ‘Til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
I do not know why God chose to spare my life, but obviously He has at least one more thing for me to do. Every single morning, I pray that whatever happens during the day, God receives all the GLORY from my life…. and I pray that in this situation. My friend, Dr. Jim Denison, has always said, “God redeems all He allows.” I pray that God will redeem this in such a way, as to advance the Kingdom, and draw people unto Himself.
Thank you for being the wonderful, loving, caring, and faithful church family you have been in our lives for the past 30 years. Jo and I love all of you, so much.