Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No News is Good News, As News Goes

I haven't updated the blog in awhile and I apologize for that but we have officially entered into the (as the title of this blog indicates) "no news is good news" state. Karl is still going through chemotherapy cycles and will still have a periodic MRI/checkup but by and large he is healthy. The chemotherapy still fatigues him but that is obviously a minor issue compared to what Karl has gone threw over the past half year.

So again, we will use this blog to post any updates but if you don't hear from us be praising God that Karl is doing well!

One more thing, I'm throwing around the idea of interviewing Karl for this blog. I'll post it when it's done.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Psalm 139:14

Every single Krass child (possibly with the exception of Alan, I can't remember) had this wonderful 3rd grade teacher by the name of Mrs. Jackson. Mrs. Jackson is and was a legend. Not only was it a MUST to select her with the first overall pick in recess kickball (Her OPS had to be near .989) she was also rather liberal with her skittle distribution. But in addition to all this, Mrs. Jackson had her classes memorize and recite particular biblical passages each year. For whatever reason (insert the Lord) one of these passages popped into my head this morning.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; you works are wonderful, I know that full well."

-Psalm 139:14

We memorized the entirety of Psalm 139 and if I were offered enough skittles I could probably remember the hand motions and voice inflections. My favorite part of the chapter was this verse. We would say each word very slowly, with added exaggeration on the words "praise", "fearfully" and "wonderfully".

I am not intelligent or theologically savvy enough to speculate on what it means to be fearfully made so allow me to take a shot on the wonderfully made part.

We are wonderfully made. We are wonderfully and intentionally made. To me that suggests that the garbage that we inherit: the depression, the lack of self-esteem, the cancer doesn't minimize the fact that God looks at us and says, "Yup, I pretty much hit this one out of the park. I'm very pleased with how I created Karl Krass. Keith Krass, Alan Krass, Jennie Krass, Kevin Krass, Trish Krass, Kari Zawada, Shannon Zawada, Logan Zawada, E-Force Zawada (Ethan) Mrs. Jackson, Wilt Chamberlin are pleasing to me."

I'm not saying that God is somehow responsible for "giving" people terrible diseases. That issue is a book not a blog. What I am saying is that despite the diseases and stuff, God thinks we are wonderful. He didn't slip up in creating you and me.

Sometimes I have to remind myself this. Often times I have to remind myself this.

Awhile back I included a link to the song "desert song" by Hillsong. This morning I was also thinking about the last four lines in the song:

"This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow."

Karl has received some pretty good news over the last month or so. Which is awesome. But the refrain of this song is "I will bring praise, I will bring praise, no weapon forged against me shall remain. I will rejoice, I will declare, God is my victory and he is here."

I'm just trying to remind myself to praise him in every season, both good and bad...

Ps To Mrs Jackson: you are an amazing woman. Thank you for making me learn those verses as a 3rd grader. They do matter and they still do. I'm am literally eternally grateful.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back to school, back to school

Although Karl's return to school is significantly dissimilar to the fictional Billy Madison, I couldn't let the opportunity to include a picture and reference from a truly wonderful achievement in film just fall by the wayside. I may need to look this up, but I'm pretty sure Billy Madison won like 97 Academy Awards. Anyways, that is neither here, nor there*. If you are unsure what the "star" is doing following the "there" of that sentence, I haven't blogged in awhile so I'm feeling very spunky. The "*" is an indication that there is a footnote at the bottom of this blog. That's right. I take a little sabbatical from blog writing and I return with a new bag of tricks. I compare it to Jordan returning with a fade-away jumper. But that is neither here nor there...

But back to Billy Madison. Last week Karl returned to ZBTHS (Zion-Benton Township High School for those that are non-regional) to finish up his student teaching. As of right now he is just doing observations but will be teaching lessons soon enough. Karl is still getting fatigued and his legs will get tired from standing around all day but overall his health is very good. His stitches are now out from his past surgery as well. Below is a picture of Karl after his latest surgery.

Just kidding Karl...

So overall Karl is doing very well. He will still have regular check ups and despite the fact that they didn't see any cancer in his last scans, he will still have chemo treatments. They want to make sure that they get all of it.

One more thing, 99% of the population was peeved when Duke beat Butler to win the National Championship. Karl is part of the 1% that was excited about this. I have to admit, although I wanted Butler to win I'm happy for Karl. Karl is a HUGE Duke fan. I think he deserves for life to throw him a bone...

*Other expressions that I have no idea what they mean, "Have your cake and eat it too", "Well...yes and no", "It is really apples and oranges", "Don't put all your eggs in one basket".

Monday, March 15, 2010


Karl is now home (which is pretty cool to write). This week is going to be real boring, even more so than the past few weeks. If you think of it, it would be great if you could send him an email ( or better yet a card (40233 Adelphi, Beach Park, IL 60099) or even better yet stop by and see him (same address).

I know he would really appreciate it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010



You know when you're watching a baseball game and an outfielder drops a routine fly ball, how he immediately puzzledly (I just made up that word) looks at his glove like it's his gloves fault. You can almost see him mouth the words, "Is this glove regulation or what?" There is no way HE made a mistake. For lack of a better word, he looks like he is in a trance.

That is how I feel right now. Honestly, it is hard for me to believe the news. I mean, how can they not see the cancer? After 4.5 months of praying, worrying (sometimes the two blend) it is almost shocking that what everyone has been praying for ACTUALLY came true.

I've thought about this quite a bit the last two days (naturally). I should be having a mini worship service and celebrating like we just won the world series (I apologize for all the baseball allusions but the Cubs are going to win the world series this year and I am starting to get excited).

But instead, I have just felt a peace. I think we always wait for God to call down to us in a deep, verbose, 4x4 voice and say "I AM GOD!!!!!!!!!!" But instead, I've just felt a steady, calm and peaceful "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one." (Deuteronomy 6:4) God has just reinforced over and over again in my head that He is great, He is with us and he is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17).

What God has really put on my heart is that He (and I'm just going to be real honest here) wants people to see him through this. It's very easy to say that this was a medical miracle, or to use reason and logic to explain away why the doctors can't find any of the tumor. I agree that there has been significant advances in medicine and I am grateful for those but I know for a fact that there was "something" else at work during this whole process.

I don't really understand prayer. I don't, I'll admit it. I don't know how or why 3,000 people's prayers or any more "important" than one person's; and perhaps they aren't. But what I will say is that I am grateful for everyone that has been lifting Karl up in prayer. I am so grateful.

Colossians 3:15-19 says,
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over al creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether thing on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Here's the thing. God does have supremacy over EVERYTHING and I believe that he is using Karl's situation to bring people to Him. Now this may sound too "Christiany", and I may be wrong. But I don't think I am.

God has been with Karl, God has delighted in Karl and God is mighty to save.

Ps Karl is being released from the hospital today.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I have two observations on faith, well perhaps more specifically on prayer: 1) we pray and then are shocked when what we pray for actually happens and 2) we pray then when we asked for happens we assume there was a medical "miracle" or just a fortunate situation.

I think in doing so we minimize God. Allow me to explain.

Put plainly a miracle happened today. Now before I really get into this I should add this caveat, nothing is "official" at this point. Think of watching CNN's tracking of the presidential election, the CNN talking heads have a pretty good indication of who is going to win before they can officially call it. This is kinda like that.

Ok, here's a rundown of what happened. First, an individual from the neurological team evaluated Karl's MRI and it revealed tow things. 1) The area where they were supposed to place the plate was infected or damaged (or at least they thought). This was really discouraging. It was going to be an additional 8 weeks before Karl could then have the surgery to put the plate it. 2) The neurologist wasn't able to find any of the tumor. The neurologist wasn't able to find any of the tumor. Seriously.

Miracle. God miracle.

So they started the surgery and wouldn't you know it the spot they thought was damaged was actually just scar tissue. So they were able to put the plate in today.

Miracle. God miracle.

After the surgery my brother talked to our doctor that performed the surgery and he likewise didn't see any of the tumor. We are going to play this one conservative and not say that Karl is completely cancer-free but worst case scenario is that the cancer hasn't grown since his previous surgery. Best case scenario is that the cancer is no longer there.

Obviously, either way this is good news.

PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Karl is having surgery today, or perhaps better stated, is probably having surgery right now. The surgery is to graft a plastic plate unto the portion of his skull that was removed due to the infection that occurred after Karl's previous surgery. Our understanding is that as skull/head surgeries go this is very much a "cosmetic surgery". Obviously any time you cut open someone's head and attach things to someone's skull it is relatively complicated. Please pray that the surgery will go well and that Karl's recovery time will be as painless as possible. I will update this blog again later today with the results of the surgery.

Psalm 42:7