Wednesday, January 30

Learning Contentment

Dear Friends and Family,
On behalf of my bride and I, we want to say a special thanks for all your prayers and gifts.  We are so blessed at this time and our Lord has been giving us continual grace through this season.  The letters, gifts, encouragements, and prayers that have been supplied are really keeping us strong and I know that we have such an incredible team in our corner.  All things are possible with our God!  

I remember a man once told me he put all of his trust in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."  I remember it being encouraging then, but like so much of God's words, the big picture of the passage is really where the secret lies.  The whole passage really lays out the eternal joy that is available to those who are trusting in Christ.  

Philippians 4:11-13:
"I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

Certainly we have room to grow in all of this, but the kindness that we are receiving from you all is really helping us daily.  Your love and support points us to Jesus Christ who is the foundation of our joy in any circumstance that He leads us through.  May our God be glorified!

Thank for all your love,
Mark & Anna Gronotte

Monday, January 21

First Day of Treatment

I am so glad to write an update. Radiation therapy started today, and I've begun trying to get victory over this sickness by God’s perfect grace. I have received so much love from my beautiful bride Anna, my loving parents, her parents & family, my sister, our church leaders, old friends, new friends, and all the more people serving us in many ways. I am too blessed! Please keep praying and I am excited to see the Lord’s work in all of this. Remember our days are short no matter if it’s 80 years or far less, but eternity is never ending and my hope is in Jesus. We need to be putting our trust in Jesus who died a perfect death 2000 years ago for all sinners who desperately need forgiveness. I know I am a sinner that has been set free by the grace of God. I pray all of you will seek comfort in our merciful God who sets sinners free through His Son, Jesus Christ. May God be glorified!  Peace and Love to you all!

James 1:2-4  “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trialsof various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Monday, January 14


Dear friends - thank you for your patience as I know many of you have been prayerfully awaiting this update. Mark and Anna, Mark's mom and dad and sister, and some friends from Immanuel met with Mark's neurological care team today. The meeting lasted for about four hours; Mark's doctors appear very competent and were both informative and sensitive during the meeting today. It seems as though he is receiving the best recommendations and care available. In time we will pass along more information.
Mark and Anna are trusting in the Lord. Please continue to pray for them and their families as they process what they learned today. Pray for healing for Mark and for peace for all of them. Pray that their confidence would continue to be in the Lord alone.

We know that many of you want to help, and we are so thankful for your desire to care for the Gronottes! At this time, we are only asking for help in prayer. We promise that we will make needs known as they arise, and that there will be an opportunity for you to serve our dear Mark and Anna. For now we simply ask that you be mindful of their need to take some time. Please continue to leave encouraging notes here and on Anna's Facebook page, but be mindful that too many texts could create a financial burden. The Gronottes are so thankful for all of your love and concern for them.

"But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds." Psalm 73:28

While Mark was having his biopsy, sweet M, Ali, and I ran ran some errands. In the car, this song from Sovereign Grace came on and my precious niece sang every word.  Anchor this truth in her heart forever Heavenly Father.

Saturday, January 12

Words from Mark

Mark updated his story on CaringBridge

Dear Friends and Family,
I want to give an update and also say thank you for all of the prayers and thoughts that you've shared concerning my situation. First, on the earthly level, I have a great medical team at Norton’s that has just begun the process of getting me better. There could be a variety of different treatment options, but for now the doctors want me to rest from the initial test; we will discuss the rest this coming Monday.

Second, I am so glad that I have such wonderful friends and family who are caring for us through this. Anna, my bride, has been incredibly brave. She is a gem to me, and I wouldn’t want to endure this without her. My parents, Anna’s parents, and all 3 of her loving sisters were here for the first days, unpacking our home and taking care of the kiddos. Incredible grace! My sweet sister Rebecca has been a gift of medical wisdom and care for us. Thanks to everyone at Immanuel Church. Our pastors have been on call and in touch to make sure we are provided for. Thanks to every one of my dear friends who have been more than ready to help and pray to our faithful Father! I can’t believe the care that the Lord is showing for us through all of you guys!

Most importantly, I am so glad to have God in Heaven who is faithfully protecting and guiding our family through this. I can have hope in the midst of this trial because my God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, as a baby to live a perfect life in my place and walk joyfully to the Cross to die a death I deserve. Jesus rose again from the grave, proving He is greater than sin and death and is alive now at the Throne of God! I have a hope that will not disappoint me because I am secure in the Hands of my God through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for my sin. Most of all, through this suffering we want to see the name of Jesus lifted high and for many to repent of their sin and trust Jesus to forgive them and give them eternal life with Him forever. By God’s grace, He has saved me and has given me a new heart that wants Jesus to be glorified in every area of my life! “To live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).” I am being taught to wait for the Lord. Anna read Psalm 27 to me yesterday and it was a sweet word in a due time:

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Wait for the LORD!” Psalm 27:13-14 ESV

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Love & Peace in King Jesus,
Mark & Anna Gronotte

Friday, January 11

Gather to Pray

Dear friends, this Sunday night, January 13th, at 6PM at Immanuel Baptist Church (1121 South Clay), we will gather for a night of testimonies and a time of praising the Lord. During this time we will also pray specifically for Mark and Anna, their children, and their families. Everyone is invited to gather with us to plead with the Lord for our dear brother Mark! If you are not in the area, would you join us in prayer from where you are? As those who have trusted in the Lord, we serve a mighty God who is able to heal!

Mark and Anna have an appointment with the neurologist on Monday the 14th to get the results of his biopsy and hear the doctor's recommendation for treatment. Please pray for this appointment; that they would receive encouraging news, and that the doctor would have a clear way forward.

Pray that all of the Gronotte family would be healthy. They have all had an annoying little virus. Please continue to pray for their children, that he Lord would comfort them. And of course, please continue to pray for Mark and Anna; that they would continue to trust the Lord and that their eyes would be fixed on Him!

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Tuesday, January 8

God's Promise

TJ Wilson shared this and it was so helpful for me!  
John Piper shared, 'Why Isaiah 41:10 is the most commonly used promise in my fight of faith.'  Read his encouraging words about these strengthening words here.

Monday, January 7

God is Our Shield

Lisa Newport shared:
Shield -a means of defense; protection.  

Here are some verses about God as Our Shield:
Genesis 15:1-7. "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." 
Psalm 3:3-"But You are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head."
Psalm 5:12-For surely, O lord, you bless the righteous; You surround them with your favor as with a shield."
Psalm 28:7-The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped."
Psalm 33:20-"We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield."
Psalm 91:4-"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."
Psalm 119:114-"You are my refuge and my shield, I have put my hope in your word."

Friday, January 4

Sisters Back to Texas

It's really hard for us to leave Anna and her family.  We came to unpack her home and make her feel settled.  We were able to do that and hugged on our niece and nephew lots.  It is such a huge blessing that Anna married a man with a really sweet family that are near to help when needed.  Last night we went up to the hospital and spent a little time with Anna and Mark.  As we left, my sisters and I gathered in a hug and prayed for God to care for every detail.  

Their faith continues to amaze me.  They feel honored and humbled that God would entrust with this trial and only want healing that comes with growth.  That doesn't mean they're not really really scared.

Sisters + Sweet Rebecca = Lots of Love

Thursday, January 3

Successful Biopsy

Mark came home from the hospital on Friday after a successful biopsy and overnight stay.  Mark's doctor said the biopsy was performed text book style -- boring and successful.  On January 14 the doctor will gather a team of doctors together to review options for Mark, based on biopsy results, and determine a plan for next steps.  Anna and Mark feel like they are really in good hands -- an answer to prayer -- with this doctor, who specializes on this kind of brain tumor. 
Please pray for this coming week as Mark rests and recoups from his recent procedure and together Mark and Anna make adjustments as they continue to place their trust in their living Lord, and are served by their church and family.  Pray also for Molly & Baby J. as they sense things are not quite the same, desiring love and comfort, which both Mark and Anna have abundance of for them -- drawing from the everlasting spring!  We all sense that our Lord will receive the praise throughout this entire experience, as the practical hands and feet of our Lord's body meets needs and provides care!

Wednesday, January 2

New Neurosurgeon

Dear friends - Mark and Anna, along with Mark's father and sister, met with a new neurosurgeon this morning. He proposed a different course of action, recommending a biopsy of the tumor be performed before any surgery to remove it is attempted. The biopsy would tell the doctors exactly what type of tumor Mark has, and would allow the doctors to treat him more appropriately. Mark and Anna have agreed with this course, and Mark will have the biopsy at 12PM tomorrow, Thursday, January 3rd.

Please pray for complete healing for Mark! Our God "is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20)! Mark will have an MRI before the biopsy - pray that the Lord would completely remove the tumor before then. And, if our Lord allows the tumor to remain, pray that Mark would be kept safe through the procedure and that Anna would have "the peace of God which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). Continue to pray also for their children and families - especially their parents and sisters who are serving them so faithfully.

Mark and Anna continue to be thankful for your love, support, and prayers!

Tuesday, January 1

Family Arrives

Poppy wrote:
Yesterday, my daughters (Ali, Aimee, & April) help set up Mark and Anna's new home that they had just moved into a few days ago. Mark is doing quite well, the family has decided to move Mark to a different surgeon that specializes in this particular kind of brain surgery. Mark will be checking out of his current  hospital today, seeing the new surgeon tomorrow, with the hope of having surgery in another hospital the end of the week. Everyone is feeling the weight of this experience, but doing well!  Pam & I have decided that I will not fly to China as originally planned, rather to remain here with Mark & Anna. Thanks for your prayers!