Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Monday, March 29, 2010

Passion Week Resources

If you are like most people and have a hard time following where the different events of the Passion week occurred, here is a map with the events located on it. (Of course, certain exact locations are unknown and so I believe this tool is utilizing the most popular traditional locations.)

I am also finding Justin Taylor's Holy Week series to be helpful during this time. In this series, he is capturing all Scriptural references to events that happened on each day this week in the life of Jesus Christ, using the ESV.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Out of Control at the Doctor

I had the pleasure of working from home today. It was a beautiful day outside and all was right with the world. I had been looking forward to this day for several weeks, as I was scheduled for an appointment with an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor to discuss the possibility of surgery on my deviated septum (broken nose).

I knew nothing about this doctor other than what I had read on the internet and wasn’t referred to him by anyone in any way. I just knew I wanted to see about getting my nose fixed and he was accepting new patients, took my insurance and was located close to our home. While this may not be the recommended method for choosing a doctor to operate on your face, I felt comfortable and confident in his abilities based on his credentials and past experience.

I arrived for my appointment 10 minutes early and filled out the necessary paperwork. I was called into the examination wing and directed to a small room, where I waited for the doctor to arrive. The doctor and I spoke briefly about what I was hoping to have done and then he examined my nose. The good news is that it appears that my deviation is at the tip of my nose, which should be fairly simple procedure.

I was beginning to get warm in this little room, so I took off my jacket while we were talking. The doctor was asking me different questions and making sure I knew everything I wanted to know about the surgery.

And then I was being shaken and had the doctor and nurse in my face.

Evidently, I had passed out while the doctor was finishing up his paperwork. One minute we were talking and the next minute he said my eyes were rolling and I was really pale. Needless to say, the doctor and nurse were quite shaken with this sudden development, and I wasn't that comfortable with it either.

I explained that I have a serious fear of needles and have passed out while giving blood and after getting an IV inserted, but that I had never passed out just in conversation. They both stated several times that they had never had anyone drop on them in a consultation. Well, I guess that makes me special.

After a minute or two of sitting there telling them this and drinking some water, the doctor and nurse went into the hallway to discuss what they should do with me. Suddenly, I felt the world closing in on me and couldn't muster up the energy to speak. This time I knew I was about to pass out. And I did.

So again I came to with them both in my face. A third lady was in the room bringing some smelling salts (which incidentally I could not smell at all). They were trying to find me a soda to drink and I was covered head to toe in sweat. This time they stayed with me and kept asking me how I was doing. I felt incredibly tired. It was determined that I would call Lisa to come pick me up, as they were afraid I might pass out on the ride home.

So I called Lisa and she was on her way to save the day. After I drank most of the soda and had stayed upright for several minutes, they led me out to the small waiting area outside the examination rooms. As I sat there trying to figure out what had happened, I noticed that my pants were wet. Suddenly, the embarrassment and shock of passing out twice in a consultation was no longer such a huge deal and was no longer my focus.

I was desperately trying to figure out if I had peed my pants while passed out. Could that happen?!? Of course it could, I suppose, since your body is crashing and relaxing all at once. Wouldn't it make sense that your ability to "hold it" might also take a break? Oh my word. How can I check to see if this is what happened?!?

I casually rubbed my hand along the wet spot and slyly snuck a sniff under my still-broken nose. I didn't smell anything! Happiness! Joy! Panic! I hadn't smelled the smelling salts either after passing out, so perhaps my sense of smell is still on vacation. Perhaps I am sitting in this chair smelling up the joint. Perhaps I smell as bad as a urinal in the 7th inning at the Cardinals game on a hot summer's day.

So, I checked again, using the same method. Nothing. How can I be sure? I took the can of Sprite I was finishing off and took a sniff. The smell of lime has never been more welcomed in my life. I was pee free! God had granted me mercy and had spared me this embarrassment! But why were my pants all wet? At this point I recalled that I was drinking a small cup of water when i had dropped the second time. The mystery has been solved!

So I sat in that space, in my wet pants, waiting for my wife to come pick me up from my pre-surgery consultation where I had just passed out twice for no reason and wondered what those around me were thinking. From my vantage point, it was clear that everyone in that area had been alerted to keep an eye on me. I was famous for all the wrong reasons and didn't like the peering eyes.

I also came to realize that although I knew why my pants were wet, there is virtually no way anyone else around me knew the reason. So, it would seem a natural conclusion to think 'Man, that guy passed out and peed his pants!". So not only was I the guy who passed out, i was also the pee guy. I was demoralized.

Finally, Lisa showed up and the doctor and nurse came over and talked about what had happened. At last, I was saved from the torture of staying in this place and we left for home. I had a hard time staying alert on the way home, as I was incredibly tired. When we arrived home, I went immediately to our room and crawled into bed where I promptly fell asleep. Two and a half hours later I woke up feeling a bit better.

This day that had started out so great, with such great expectations, had exploded on me in the most unexpected way. I was thankful to be home and, although the day's events had been a bit traumatic, I was still looking forward to getting the surgery done in two weeks.

I remembered seeing this video and felt that it was a good depiction of my doctor's visit. And then, incredibly enough, several other people mentioned this very same thing as well:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Economics and Health Care

I found the chapter entitled "The Economics of Medical Care" in Thomas Sowell's book Applied Economics to be incredibly informative and a helpful presentation of facts versus myths in the healh care discussion. For example:
Fourty percent of uninsured Americans are under the age of 25 and more than 60 percent are under the age of 35. Fewer than 10 percent of people over 55 are uninsured, despite the widespread political use of an image of old people who have to choose between food and medical care. This may be the political image of the uninsured, but it is hardly the reality. - p67

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Savior on Capital Hill - TuesdayTunes

Lyrics for "A Savior On Capitol Hill" by Derek Webb:

I’m so tired of these mortal men
With their hands on their wallets and their hearts full of sin
Scared of their enemies, scared of their friends
And always running for re-election
So come to DC if it be thy will
Because we’ve never had a savior on Capitol Hill

You can always trust the devil or a politician
To be the devil or a politician
But beyond that friends you’d best beware
’Cause at the Pentagon bar they’re an inseparable pair
And as long as the lobbyists are paying their bills
We’ll never have a savior on Capitol Hill

All of our problems gonna disappear
When we can whisper right in that President’s ear
He could walk right across the reflection pool
In his combat boots and ten thousand dollar suit

You can render unto Caesar everything that’s his
You can trust in his power to come to your defense
It’s the way of the world, the way of the gun
It’s the trading of an evil for a lesser one
So don’t hold your breath or your vote until
You think you’ve finally found a savior up on Capitol Hill

Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare Hullabaloo

Last night I watched the closing arguments for and against the Healtchare Reform bill in the Senate and wanted to capture a few of my thoughts.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Baby Announcement #2

This is what was happening at our kitchen table exactly 4 weeks ago at this exact minute:

Here's the 8 week ultrasound photos.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Money Makers

I posted the following FRED graph in April 2009, with this paragraph:
Reason #4 – The devaluing of our currency is an economic and moral nightmare.
The Federal government has pumped so much cash into the economy over the past 6 months that it would seem altogether impossible for this action not to result in inflation, at best, or hyperinflation, at worst. Either outcome is harmful to American and its citizens and should be avoided by all means necessary. At this point, the question is how to begin reducing the amount of currency in circulation and the answer is one that the Federal government refuses to accept: let the free market correct itself and determine the true value of the dollar. While such action will undoubtedly lead to tougher times ahead, this correction is necessary to overcome the mistakes of our past and ensure that we are standing on solid financial ground in the future.
To be clear, this is a graph of the amount of money that the Federal Reserve Bank has printed and is currently in circulation in the United States of America.
Here's the status as of today:
In order to bring more clarity to the ongoing devaluing of the dollar, below is the activity of only the last year, so we can see the atrocity up close:
Who says you can't spend what you don't have? Our government does just that and then prints more money to reduce the deficit between their spending versus available funds. I fully anticipate to see this line continuing to trend upward, much to my dismay and as an ever-increasing, impending threat to our nation's economic security.

St. Louis Sports Snapshots

If you are a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, or even baseball history in general, here is a collection of photos from 1940-194 and 1969 that you should check out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick and Snakes

Today is St. Patrick's day.
While thinking of everything going on in Washington DC, the following image was inspired:
St Patrick versus Washington DC Snakes
You are welcome.

Where's the Vote?

The Wall Street Journal has a great article about the pending insult to the American people that is being considered (threatened?) in the House of Representatives.
"We're not sure American schools teach civics any more, but once upon a time they taught that under the U.S. Constitution a bill had to pass both the House and Senate to become law. Until this week, that is, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi is moving to merely 'deem' that the House has passed the Senate health-care bill and then send it to President Obama to sign anyway. . . . "
(HT:Washington Post)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Politics of Economics

Because I have never taken a course in it, but have become more interested in it, I have recently begun reading through a book on economics. I picked it up at the library because I had a desire to learn more about economics. I knew nothing of the author and picked the book because it was praised for being easy to understand and readable. Not until I began reading the book did I discover that the very first chapter in the book is entitled "Politics versus Economics".

Home - TuesdayTunes

Lyrics for "Home" by Michael Bublé:

Another summer day
Has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home

May be surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
“I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky, I know
But I wanna go home
I’ve got to go home

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
'Cause this was not your dream
But you always believed in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
In even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
Oh, let me go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will all be all right
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

REALMnotes - Phillipians Week #1 (Humility) - 09MAR10

Last night we began our series in Phillipians, where we will cover a few of the overarching themes over the next few weeks. Below is the outline with basic points that I used to conduct the talk and generate the associated questions about the topic of Being Like Christ in our Humility.

Main text: Phillipians 2:1-11

Verses 1-4 give us instructions on how we should view ourselves and treat others, as a result of recognizing what God has done for us as Christians.

Verse 5 declares that our attitude should be like Christ. It's not an optional thing.

The following verses explain to us exactly what Christ accomplished and the attitude with which He conducted Himself during that process of purchasing our salvation.

There are three basic characteristics of humility:

Water Consumption on Ice

From this post:
The water utility in Edmonton, EPCOR, published the most incredible graph of water consumption last week.

Everyone waited to use the restroom until the periods were over! Simply awesome!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On My Cross - TuesdayTunes

Lyrics for "On My Cross" by FFH:

How wide is Your love
That You would stretch Your arms
And go around the world
And why for me would a Savior's cry be heard

I don't know
Why You went where I was meant to go
I don't know
Why You love me so

Those were my nails
That was my crown
That pierced Your hands and Your brow
Those were my thorns
Those were my scorns
Those were my tears that fell down
And just as You said it would be
You did it all for me
After You counted the cost
You took my shame, my blame
On my cross

How deep is Your grace
That you could see my need
And chose to take my place
And then for me, these words I'd hear You say

Father no
Forgive them for they know not what they do
I will go
Because I love them so

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

John 11 - TuesdayTunes

This is a favorite of mine.

Lyrics for "John 11" from the album "The Hymnal" by Randall Goodgame:

Friends I've lied more times than I've been caught
And too many times I take more than I give
And when I want my way the way I want I'm hopeless
Everyday I have to die so I can live

Sometimes I get angry I just scream and yell
I think I'd rather just go to Hell
But when I finally shed my pride
And let the Holy Spirit reach me from the inside

I rise up like Lazarus in John 11
Throw out my grave clothes
Put on the armor of the Lord
I rise up like Lazarus
Dry all the tears Mary cried
When I fall on my knees I rise

Oh sometimes I want to sing along
When the crow sings her nasty song
Like Mary and Martha
"Please don't let our brother die"
But how quickly I forget the story
The painful day before God's glory was revealed
And Jesus cried

I rise up like Lazarus in John 11
Throw out my grave clothes
Put on the armor of the Lord
I rise up like Lazarus
Dry all the tears Mary cried
When I fall on my knees I rise

So let the grace of God wash over me all my days
As long as skin and bone hold onto me
Lord I know till the day You free me from my sin
Your love will take me in
Just as I am not as I should be

I rise up like Lazarus in John 11
Throw out my grave clothes
Put on the armor of the Lord
I rise up like Lazarus
Dry all the tears Mary cried
When I fall on my knees I rise

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Small, Soft Touch

At the end of a busy, yet enjoyable weekend, I went to bed early last night with a migraine. A couple of hours later, I woke up as Lisa joined me and felt a lot better. Between 2 and 4:30am, Lydia was awake off and on, crying and basically wanting up. In the 4 o'clock hour, I brought Lydia to our bed with the hope that she would fall asleep. For the first few minutes she was lying next to me, she was rubbing my face and softly humming. For whatever reason, she found my beard to be interesting and was circling my face in the dark with her small hands.

A few minutes later she was wanting to stand up and roll around, so I returned her to her crib. She fell back asleep and so did I. I awoke this morning feeling incredibly blessed.

That little moment in the dark of night is still causing me to smile hours later.