From: Tom Cook
To: Recipients
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 10:03 AM
Subject: Tom's praise update - November '07

Dear friends,

I'm so encouraged by the ways God is answering the prayers of so many of you, that I'm changing the subject my emails from "prayer update" to "praise update"! And as I've covered so much of what's happened already and there's not much else to say, subsequent emails *will* be shorter! I can hear some of you saying "Whew!" I'm saying the same thing!   :)

But I want you to know that I have not shared my July and Aug/Sep/Oct updates with you without meaningful counsel. A lady in my home group, Marjorie, has become special to me. After I shared with her my May email chain, she opened up to me *her* story of terror and near brush with destruction [suicide] 9 years ago, and she completely sympathized with me. She reviewed my 7/14 update and encouraged me and Eric to share it with our entire home group (in addition to the others I've shared it with) with the intent of helping them understand what I had meant when I said I was going through a terrible time. She also reviewed the one yesterday and made corrections and encouragements. With her permission, I share with you part of what she wrote me shortly before I finalized the email.

----- Original Message -----
From: Marjorie Murphy
To: tcmullet @
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 9:19 AM
Subject: FW: Tom's prayer update - Aug/Sep/Oct

Good Morning Tom,

I was able to read the email about 10:30pm last evening. Today, I've highlighted the areas that are particularly meaningful for me and am so glad that you commented /expressed them.


The email is long but you are much like me in how you express yourself; it's difficult for me to be brief whether it's about myself or others.

I would say, those who have the time will read all the way through; those who think it too long will still care about you and you just need to leave it at that... don't fret about it. In my opinion, you have vividly described the experience and sense of helplessness that some of us have known in what turned out to be a very "dark, dark night of the soul" and the very terrifying panic, anxiety, and fear associated with the adrenal imbalance and mental confusion... Nine years ago I was in that state for about 8 months and it was a hellish torment... Thanks be to God that, through the church, my own family, and various avenues, He brought me through it. Even though medicine may not be the first line of defense, I wouldn't discourage someone from taking it as it very well may be the way God will use to bring restoration and balance to their mental state so they can begin rationally thinking and living. I'm still taking Effexor XR daily (150 mg) sometimes every other day... but the alternative supplements are a great way to migrate to when a person is able...


May Christ's Grace continue to overflow in and through you Tom.


A friend with dyslexia who got my report said he has trouble reading anything longer than 3 paragraphs (which includes my emails)! I sympathize with him and suggest skipping toward the end and start reading with the paragraph that begins with "Over the months from May to August". That will cover some essentials as well as point to help in improving dyslexia! (S.R., if you want me to, I offer to read my letters out loud to you! Let me know.)

A young couple in my HG, Jeremy and Sarah W., has been going through some rough times lately. They've been greatly praying for me over these many months. Now *they're* going through a hard time, and I wanted to pray for them and encourage them. With their permission, I'm sharing this with you. Please do pray for them. But in writing to them, I found that what I wrote could not only bless them, but help you all to understand more of my trial, as well as rejoice with me about some further good things God has done for me that I couldn't fit into the last update.

> > From: (HG leader)
> > Subject: Please pray for Jeremy
> > Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 22:29:23 -0400
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I spoke with Jeremy very briefly this evening. He told me his grandfather
> > passed away today. Please pray for peace and sustaining grace for the
> > family and especially for Jeremy's father.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Eric W. Mendez
> >
> > "I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in
> > faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul."           -God

> On 10/23/07, Sarah W. wrote:
> >
> > Please pray for Sarah too...I just found out this morning that my mom has
> > kicked my dad out of the house (not without reason). They've been married 35
> > years but it has been rocky. Please pray that God will do a miracle in my
> > dad's heart and for wisdom and comfort for my mom, my younger sister and me.
> >

From: Jeremy W.
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 7:32 PM
Subject: Re: Please pray for Jeremy

hello again, all...
i wish that i could come to you all with some great news, but tonight i am definitely filled with sadness over an extremely depressing week. this afternoon around 2pm my step-father Theron passed away. needless to say, my mom is distraught and quite honestly, i feel the same. this has been an incredibly tough week with two deaths now and the situation with sarah's parents too. please, when the Spirit leads you, pray for me, Sarah, my mom Karen, my half-sister Lynda and my other sister Kim. thank you all and know that we love and appreciate you all.

i would love to hear updates on triny's family and on papa jacques when you all get time. may God bless us and bring us all closer together as we endure these times together as a big family.

jeremy (and Sarah)

----- Original Message -----
From: T Cook
To: (all in my home group)
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2007 7:24 AM
Subject: Re: Please pray for Jeremy (news/prayers from Tom)

Jeremy, Sarah,

I want you to know that you two (& families) are definitely in my heart and prayers. I lost my mother when I was 26, my father at 37, my last grandparent at 28, almost all aunts/uncles since then, and my two closest family members moved out of town in the last 2 years leaving me very alone. You and many at Metro have been my substitute family during this last terrifying year for which I'm very grateful. You two in particular have prayed for my strength during the anxiety attacks that have frequently overwhelmed me throughout this year. It has not always been clear what should be prayed for, but I'm so grateful to God for Rom. 8:26 that says that "we don't always correctly know what to pray for, but the Spirit takes our humble incorrect petitions and translates them into just what we need even when we don't know ourselves". We prayed so hard that I wouldn't have panic/anxiety attacks, yet I know now that they have been the necessary consequences of my breaking of God's laws. (Just like violating God's gravity law at 10 stories always kills.) So your prayers against my attacks have been continually answered "No, I'm not taking Tom's attacks away; he's suffering the consequences of breaking my natural laws that I've ordained. But I honor your intercession for him in that I have given him strength to endure. When his poisoned brain chemistry wouldn't allow him to sense my presence and he was desperately alone and afraid of the terrors in the night and in the day, you were showing my love for him through your care and prayers. And I was showing him indirectly by working circumstances miraculously against all odds to both lead him to Dr. Heise (who uniquely had the keys to save his life) and to keep him afloat during this horrible time of no job, no car, and dangerously precarious health."

...I just had to stop and cry a bit. Tears of gratitude that God really is looking after me through the storms...

I give a bit of encouraging news, which hopefully will cheer you up a bit, even though I know you're still going through deep emotional pain over the deaths and broken relationships in your families.

You know that each month in the days around the full moon, my parasites have been laying eggs like crazy causing great dumpings of poisons screwing up my neurotransmitters causing increased anxiety attacks. We know that the last full moon was not far enough into my 60-day treatment to prevent it. I'm happy to report that last night was a full moon, and just as Dr. Heise predicted, I'm far enough along in the anti-parasite battle that they're all dying off too badly to be reproducing! My mental and emotional strength has been strong all week, even yesterday when under very severe stresses! The most dysfunctions I think I've had have been severe insomnia all week, and last night deep, almost painful sighs at a job prospect that hasn't panned out as hoped. Wonderful things are happening, too many to describe here. A definite dysfunction has been the inability to feel happy when really good things are happening. It's a strong challenge to my faith to express thankfulness based purely on the logic; "When something good happens, you thank God even if you don't *feel* happy about it". But feeling emotionally neutral is still much better than feeling anxiety or terror! So I'm grateful for *that*!

The exceptions to this chemical inability are when some very incredible event occurs to show God's mercy toward my particular needs. I give you 3 examples.

Example #1: I strongly sensed that I was supposed to ask some people to help me get this [time-] limited availability '99 Ford Taurus, by asking for charity loans. Some could help, others I asked could not. One single friend, who I had not originally felt led to ask, I did lay the need before him. On Wed. Oct. 10, he wrote back to me in part, "Hey Tom, As I prayed about how I might be able to help you, the Lord put this text on my mind ... 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. ... [He copied in the whole passage, then said this...] The Lord has blessed me Tom that I may be a blessing. Thank you for making me aware of your need. As I have prayed over this, I want to share in carrying your burden. We are called to both carry each other's burdens and to carry our own burden (Gal 6:2-5). In this case, I desire to serve you financially. With great joy I want to give you $200 ... this is not a loan ... I'm giving it to you. For me to give you this, is an answer to prayer, for I have been praying for a means to become poor that others may be rich (2Co 8:9). I count this as a means for me to treasure up riches in heaven, so please do not feel obligated to pay me back. In fact, the only stipulation in me giving you this gift, is if you promise me that you will receive it without the "burden" of thinking that you must pay me back. Consider this like the gift of Christ ... free ... and for His glory. Your servant,...

The afternoon I read his email, I broke down and cried right then, tears of joy and gratitude, dripping on the phone as I called him to thank him.

Example #2: On 9/29 I received a group emailing from a friend I hadn't seen in 14 years. I would get group mailings from he and his wife every year or two giving updates of new email addresses & phone numbers. They've lived in AL since early 90s. He's 7 years younger than me. We became roommates in college (1977) and I had the exciting privilege of leading him to Christ within weeks. He spiritually grew like a weed in those early years, learning reformed truth even before I did. The day after he graduated (1979), he married a girl at his church and I was his best man. (I can show you the wedding photo.) He's been a successful laser engineer all these years. I visited them briefly in Huntsville AL in '94, but have had little contact in all these years, especially the last 5. I'm just at a stage where I feel I'm ready to inform some of those I've known in my Christian past of the horrible "book of Job" trials I've gone through this year. On 9/29, he emailed folks giving a new phone number. On 10/9, I reviewed it in my inbox and felt that maybe I should renew contact and let my special old friend know what has befallen me this year and solicit his prayers. I called and told him that some horrible times this year had nearly destroyed me, and would he read my 2 big emails and pray for me. He agreed, I sent, he read and we had a long talk on 10/13. During that talk it came out that I had a serious car need. I forwarded him the info as he said he'd consider helping. Early on 10/19, not having heard from him, I wrote asking if he & wife felt led to lend anything. Later that morning, he wrote back the following, "Tom: I just sent you a check for $1000 to put towards your automobile purchase. It should arrive around Wednesday, 24 October. The envelope may say that it is from Wachovia Bank. I would like for this to be a gift from me, and I do not expect or want repayment. Your brother in Christ..."

Again, a mercy of God so strong that even with my brain-poisoned weak emotions, I *instantly* broke down and wept tears of gratitude and joy!

Example #3: It was when I interrupted my letter earlier after reflecting on God's miraculous intervention in answer to your prayers.

What I'm saying by these examples is that it takes a *severe* manifestation of God working on my behalf to feel positive emotions now. When you all are experiencing great joy and enthusiasm at church on Sunday (positive emotions), the most I can feel is a neutral sense of peace. No happiness, no joy, but also NO (or small and fleeting) anxieties! And for me, that's a victory! But, I greatly look forward to the days when I can once again *feel* the joy and happiness over little victories as you all do and as I used to be able to.

I have greatly turned the focus off of you and on to me. But I hope my purpose can still be fulfilled. Namely, that during this horrible time of family loss and destruction, the way you and others have great ministered to me can be an encouragement to *you*... that if He can bring even ME from the clutches of fear and death, then he will surely see you through this rough time of family pain and turmoil.

Have been super busy 1) dealing with amazing car problems and solutions; 2) dealing with work situations very stressful but going slightly forward; 3) seeking to help others in desperate health crises with the same help that is saving my life. But while I'm running 18 hours almost every day, God is giving me the energy to endure (whether supernaturally or through the miraculous natural healing I'm experiencing). Between that and the fact that I now have this Taurus in shape enough to use, I want you to let me know if there's anything I can do for you, perhaps run an errand for you, or come over and pray with you. If you ask nothing, at least I will certainly pray for you frequently.

Caught in the bonds of His Love (and starting to feel it sometimes),
Your brother, Tom Cook