Saturday, April 21, 2018

Tony Has a New Liver! Amen!

One of my fears is that in my prayers I am ‘putting God to the test.’ Sort of, ‘Show us, God’.  I am aware of the somewhat related danger of using God as  the ‘great vending machine in the sky’, where we pray only when we need something, thinking that if we put in a prayer the answer we want comes out.  I try to stay away from that danger, not always with success.  I do try to follow the ‘ACTS’ model of prayer: Adoration; Confession; Thanksgiving; Supplication. It is based on the model Jesus gave us in the Lord’s Prayer. What comforts me is that Jesus prayed for outcomes too, hence his inclusion of ‘give us our daily bread’ and so forth.

In the end I believed that it was right to ask you to pray with all of those who were praying for Tony to receive a new liver.  In the course of several days Tony’s family was blessed with answers to prayers. First there was a shower of gifts, a downpour of love gifts, in the middle of a rare April snowstorm, which will relieve the family’s financial pressures. The women who organized the fundraiser saw their very hard work get rewarded in ways I am sure that exceeded even their dreams.

The second answer to prayers came a few days later when a liver became available and it was a match for Tony’s body.  The fact that a team of medical professionals can work 12 or so hours straight on a task which requires exact precision and unparalleled focus is another feat in which people with spiritual eyes can see God at work. The surgery was complicated, and there are many steps in the healing process yet to come.  Still, the hundreds, maybe thousands of prayers for Tony received God’s resounding ‘YES’!

It was a lifetime’s worth of miracles in the course of a week. I thank God for giving us this glimpse into his magisterial power and abiding love, for showing us that God does care for one person and one family in this way, and for letting us be reminded that God still uses human instruments, like you, to pray dreams into miracles.

To God be the glory. Great things God has done! Amen, Amen, Amen.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

"Tony Needs A Liver, Amen"

Tony needs a liver, Lord.  We are calling on you, God, to show us your Glory through the delivery of a liver for Tony so that he can live and glorify your Name in his life. We pray that you will answer our prayers with a powerful “Yes”. We rely on your Word, God, For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)

Many of Tony’s friends have been praying a version of that prayer. Tony is one of the most humble men you will meet. He is married. They have three boys, raised with servant hearts.  Now Tony needs a liver. “Tony was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) with Ulcerative Colitis when he was in the Army at the young age of 19.  He has annual follow ups (blood work) with his family physician.  He has been problem free for the past 23 years until this year.”  You can learn more of his story at .

A recent news article highlighted the need for organ donors.  It noted that “There were 35,000 transplant operations in the United States last year — a record number. Even so, more than 114,000 people across the country — and almost 2,300 in Wisconsin — are waiting for a life-saving transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
On average, 20 people die each day awaiting a transplant.”  If you are not yet a donor, I urge you to become one through your state’s organ donor registry.

The poet Maya Angelou wrote, “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”  I am asking you to be that rainbow by joining us in a prayer for Tony. If you want to help Tony and his family with the overwhelming costs associated with this disease and the months of work he will miss after the transplant, you can join the friends who are organizing a fundraiser on April 14. The details are here: If you prefer, please send a check to Hope Church, 612 Ontario Ave. Sheboygan, WI, 53081 Attn: “Tony Scherg Fund”.  We will present 100% of the collected checks to Tony’s fundraiser. 

…Tony needs a liver, Lord. Please send us Your ‘Amen’! AMEN!!