Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
A Texas Sunrise|
A friend, William Taylor, took this picture. He visits Surfside Beach with his dogs almost every morning, watching the sun rise while the dogs prance about at the water's edge.
This is only about ten miles from where I lived in Lake Jackson, Texas. Sadly, I only visited this beach about four times in the six years I lived nearby.
Each day is a challenge. A challenge to get by without thinking about the fibromyalgia pains. A challenge to stay awake when chronic fatigure wants to take over. And a challenge to navigate through fibro fog.
I haven't been writing as much as in the past. For years, I wrote at least 500 words a day. Now, I'm lucky if I write 500 words in month. Sigh.
For more information about what my day (or life) is all about with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pains, IBS, depression and everything else thrown in, check this out:
|I wrote part of an entry and marked it "keep private" so that I could finish it later, after I get back from volunteering at the church. I previewed the item. Then I hit "save and view." And...the item was gone. Makes me wonder, that's for sure. What I was writing about would not please the entire community.
Oh well. I'll try again later. For now, I'm off to the church.
|They do, you know. If I'm having a "grrrrr" or two during the day, if I'm open, I find there is at least one "yippeee!" too. Maybe that's even more true as I get older and as I'm not as healthy as I once was. God knows how much I can take...and how much I can't.
My "grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" today:
The doctor's office - AGAIN. Actually, someone from the doc's office called yesterday before the office closed, but I didn't hear my cell phone. She said I should call this morning, so of course I did.
Nurse: If you insist, Dr. V says she'll run the liver function tests in two weeks. Your prescription is waiting at Kroger.
Me: Excuse me? Does my file show the message I tried to get to Dr. V yesterday?
Nurse: I'm not sure. What was the message?
Me: (Sighing 'cause I've been through this - first two years ago when the doc said she would note my file and obviously didn't and then yesterday.) My doctor in Michigan said that my liver function test results were SO BAD after just two weeks of taking that drug that he said, "Don't ever take this again."
Nurse: So you're refusing to take the script? That's certainly your choice, but the doctor just wants you to know what she recommends.
Me: Really? Is she recommending that after learning that my last doctor said to never, ever take that drug again?
Nurse: I'll make sure she knows that. And you're refusing to take the medication, right?
Me: Well, yes, I am, but please make sure the doc knows why. And ask her if she has any other suggestions.
Nurse: Well, her suggestion was that you start taking the medication and be tested in two weeks and then again in six weeks.
Me: If a doctor told you to never take a drug, would you take it?
Nurse: No, probably not.
Me: Me neither.
Yes, this IS the same doctor who refused to fill out my forms for the disability hearing. I really need to work on getting a new doctor.
And the "yippees!".
First, I got a notice today that I can have four free movie screening tickets for the new movie Arctic Tale. The movie screening is on August 4, so Tiff will be with us that weekend. Should be fun. Of course, hubby will have to get up early on a Saturday. The movie starts at 10 a.m., but there's no guarantee we'll get in. We're supposed to arrive early. My son figures we should be there around 8:30 to make sure we get in. That means leaving the house between 7:30 and 7:45 so we can drive to Newport, KY and get a parking place, take the slooooooooooooooooooow elevator (remember my experience with walking the three flights of stairs? - over a week to recuperate?) and be there early enough to really get in.
There are mixed reviews about this movie. One said that it's a mix between The March of the Penguins and Al Gore's movie (Inconvenient Truth?). It's sort of a documentary and sort of not. I think it sounds like a fun family adventure. (Hey, I'm a true Scotsman. I love free things! They're even better than cheap ones. )
FYI, the movie's web site says that there are still free screenings available. http://www.arctictalemovie.com
How about this. Did you know that there's a ministry that will send up to 30 pocket Gospels to you every month? FREE. (Yes, they will/do accept donations, but they're not required.) You can even choose which version/translation you want to give out and what cover you'd like on your pocket Gospels.
For years, I've purchased Bibles at garage sales and estate sales to have to give away. I like being able to share God's Word when someone is ready. This ministry allows you to give out the Gospels - a really easy way to introduce someone to Jesus.
Interested? I'll send you the link if you are. You can check out the site's statement of faith and other things to make sure it lines up with what you believe.
I've already ordered my 30 Gospels for the month.
Look out! I'm "grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring" again.
The doc's office just called - AGAIN. The doc said she would "let me" take half of the dosage of the prescription and test my liver function in two weeks. I really need to do some research on this tonight. This time, I insisted on getting the numbers for LDL and HDL.
|I had my physical on the 13th, remember? This afternoon I talked to my doctor's nurse. I think she was surprised when I argued with her on the phone.
Back when I was still in Michigan, my doc decided that my cholesterol was a bit high, just borderline, actually, and put me on a drug to lower it. The doc scheduled me for more blood tests two weeks later, at which time my liver function tests came back looking really bad. That doc told me to never take the cholesterol lowering drugs again.
Two years ago when I had my first physical with my current doc, she said my cholesterol was a bit high, nothing serious, and tried to put me on those same drugs. I told her what the doc in Michigan said, and she changed her mind.
Today, the nurse called to inform me that my cholesterol was even higher than last time and that my doc had called in a prescription for me. I told the nurse that if the drug was in the class of drugs that lowers cholesterol, but affects liver function, I was not going to pick up the prescription.
I asked the nurse what would cause my cholesterol to raise, if I wasn't eating lots of fat (not much at all) and no one in my family suffers from it (it's not genetic). She couldn't answer that.
Since then, of course, I've been on the internet to see what causes it and what I might do to lower it by diet and/or supplements/vitamins. The next time I talk to someone at the doc's office, I'll have to find out what my exact numbers were. But even without knowing, what I determined - plugging higher numbers than my last readings into formulas I've found, it looks like my risk factor is low to moderate. So why the rush to medication? That really bugs me. The first - and usually only - answer for doctors today is to prescribe a drug. Gosh golly gee whiz. I already take so many medications. Grrrr.
Oh, I know that high cholesterol means that one is more at risk for having heart disease. But I also know I don't want my liver to be affected by taking a drug I don't absolutely need.
I have heard - on commercials (another grrrrr) - that there is at least one cholesterol lowering drug that does not affect the liver. I'm wondering...if they can make one that way, why in the world are they still selling the others?????!!!!!!
Yeppers, I think my doc's nurse was surprised that I didn't just say, "Yes, m'am. I'll run right out and get that other prescription to take." And you know what? If I didn't have fibromyalgia, I probably would have done just that.
Having something that some doctors still don't even recognize has a "real" malady has made me so much more aware of my own body and what it likes and doesn't like. I guess it's the same for anyone suffering a long-term/chronic illness, though. We sort of take control of our health, out of the hands of the medical people. And I don't think they like that. Oh well.
Did you see the news about canned meat products that might be connected to a botulism outbreak? When I logged on just now, my Yahoo front page had an update.
"Castleberry's Food Co. of Augusta recalled more than 80 types of canned chili, beef stew, corned beef hash and other meat products over the weekend, in addition to the 10 brands it recalled Thursday.
Brand names of the recalled products include Austex, Best Yet, Big Y, Black Rock, Bloom, Bryan, Bunker Hill, Castleberry's, Cattle Drive, Firefighters, Food Club, Food Lion, Goldstar, Great Value, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, Morton House, Paramount, Piggly Wiggly, Prudence, Southern Home, Steak N Shake, Thrifty Maid, Triple Bar and Value Time. The recall also includes four varieties of Natural Balance dog food."
Now, that's scary.
Here's the whole article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070723/ap_on_re_us/chili_sauce_botulism
|Howdy, howdy, howdy! Are you ready for an awesome week?
Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote the article about chain emails? (It's tucked away in my What's New? folder if you didn't read it. ) I also sent that article out to a few newspapers - the one I worked for in Texas, one in Pittsburgh (because I grew up there), and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Guess what! I heard from the editor of the Enquirer a few days ago. The article is too long for a letter to the editor (I knew that) but it's just right for a guest column or opinion piece (I knew that too.) The editor was writing to tell me they wanted to use the article and needed a picture of me and a few lines about me.
This is not a paid gig, mind you. But it is an opportunity for me to get a recent publication for my portfolio.
When I was in Texas, the 4 or 5 guest columns I did before working at the local paper were what got me my job there. I have also known freelance writers who ended up with contracts for weekly columns because they first submitted a few guest columns.
TexansBeatTheMiamiDolphinsBy3 tells me that she likes contest without entry fees. Well, here's one that you can enter with or without a fee. With a fee, the prize is larger.
SIXTH ANNUAL FUNDSFORWRITERS ESSAY CONTEST - SPONSORED BY NABBW.COM
FundsforWriters and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women announce the Annual FFW Essay Contest with the theme: Make Us Want to Be You! In 750 words or less, either send us a remarkable promotional plan for your writing project or tell us what you'd do with your writing career if you had a year to devote to your passion. As always with a FFW contest, you choose whether to pay a $5 entry fee or not. The first prize for the entry fee division is $200. The first prize for the non-entry fee division is $50. Deadline October 31, 2007. Winners announced December 1, 2007. Visit our sponsor at http://www.nabbw.com
By the way, in either her FFW Small Markets or Funds for Writers newsletter, C. Hope Clark included an article about writing for small markets by Nadia Ali . The writer said that in the summer, she doesn't like to write long articles or strict deadlines. She's trying to have fun in the summer months, so she concentrates on some of the small markets, where you can earn $10 for 400 words. Not a bad idea. For links to both of Hope's newsletters, just check the left side of my blog page.
|Poor hubby. One minute I was leaving the church service and the next he didn't know where I went. I went to pray with the women in my small group.
This week has been a bad one for my small group.
One of the women had an MRI on her back. It looks like she has a degenerative (another maybe?) disk.
Another was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She's rather young, I think. At the most in her mid-thirties. And she has at least two young children.
Another's daughter was just diagnosed with scoliosis - a curvature of the spine. The pediatrician was the one to detect the condition. The specialist cannot see the girl (teen) until October, so the family will be left wondering until then. Is it just a slight curvature? Or a more severe one? Will just watching it be enough, or will she need a brace?
Our small group leader said that the children's Sunday school lesson she taught to her class today said it's important that we take our fears and joys, our prayers, to God as soon we realize there is a need or celebration. Since Susan discovered all of these things today, she called our group together after the church service so we could pray together. She said that when she teaches her kids' class, she is often reminded of things we should be doing as adults. Like today.
My own aches and pains seemed rather small today. That happens pretty often. I may hurt, but the pains and afflictions I have are not life-threatening ones. That doesn't mean they are not there. It just means that I know how blessed I am.
You know...ever since the politicians started fussing and fighting about what to do about illegal immigrants, something has really been bugging me. I've noticed that a few columnists have written about this same thing.
If there were terrorits in our midst in 2001 who hated us so much and did so much damage, why in the world aren't our government leaders concentrating on securing our borders? It makes you wonder. There are some who think that they're not worried about our bordes because the 9/11 happenings were an inside job, not something the "terrorists" did. If that was the case, it would make sense that the country's leaders would not be worried about the borders.
I don't know what I think about all of that. But I do know that ever since 9/11 I have wondered why we haven't worked harder at closing the borders.
Remember FDR? He would have probably found a way to take the unemployed and send them to guard our borders.
Just some things to ponder.
|Sometimes I realize what a sheltered life I live. Not working makes for a much different world the the world of those who work.
Today I realized how long it has been since I visited a flea market. It was fun discovering again what kinds of things sell there.
For instance, I had no idea that my dish soap bottle and liquid soap bottles might be feeling ashamed to be naked. Seriously, I feel badly that I have not covered them. Each crafty-type booth at this HUGE flea market (and some other booths with not so crafty items) had coverings for dish soap and liquid soap bottles for sale. They were cute little apron thingeys to put on soap bottles so that they're more fashionable and matching one's home decor.
Great idea, huh? Except that when I buy dish soap and liquid soap, I go the dollar store and spend a buck. I really don't want to spend $4.95 to cover those cheap bottles! I think if I wanted my soap bottles to match my decor, I could spend a bit more for the soap bottles, right? I mean, I have seen decorative liquid soap bottles for the bathroom. Maybe dish soap doesn't come in decorative bottles, but I could a different brand to get a color to match my kitchen. But spending $4.95 to cover the bottle?
I'm don't do much sewing or crafting myself these days. But if I thought my soap bottles would feel better about themselves, I could take a scrap of material and make a mini-apron for them myself.
The other things that sell at flea markets haven't changed much. Every aisle had at least one booth selling knives, another selling sports stuff, one selling purses and one selling comic books.
We did find a booth with some good DVD's for only $2. Derek got the very first Benji movie. I got both the The World Trade Center movie and the one about United Flight 93.
Oh yes. The whole reason we went to the flea market was to see about a refurbished computer. There were a few guys selling them. One has an office not far from our house. His fixed up computers were impressive. He had one with 60gig hard drive for $355. His cheapest laptop computer was $155.
Derek and I were at the flea market for a big chunk of the day. But I was smart. I walked a while, then sat a while, then walked a while. I probably didn't see half of what my young'un did. Neither one of us braved the heat to check out the outside vendors...and there were a gazillion of them too. Perhaps another time.
The kid didn't rush into buying a computer. He's been checking prices of new computers too. Perhaps he'll just buy a Dell online. But I'm pretty interested in talking with that guy with the fixed up computers. Heck, he had towers - bigger and faster and better than what I have and with Windows XP - for as little as $119. That's doable.
About those soap bottle covers... How many of you are dressing your soap bottles? Inquiring minds want to know...
|I think I mentioned that my son has been sharing my computer with me. His is in the shop. It looks like it cannot be fixed. Our favorite computer repair geek is working to save what Derek wants saved on an external hard drive that Derek gave him.
Today, I took Derek to the computer repair guy to drop off that external hard drive.
Then I took him to look at some new computers. Next, Derek and I decided to stop at Gabriel Brothers. It's a really cool store with name brand clothes and accessories for cheap, cheap prices.
Don't you know they were having a sidewalk sale! Yippee. I bought two pairs of jeans and a bottle of cologne for....are you ready? $4 total. Well, plus tax, of course. Can you believe? The jeans were on the $3 rack, but they were 50% off that. What a find.
Derek found some pretty cool t-shirts for $1.50 each. One is from a restaurant and bar in Austin, Tx. When he was a kid, he hated that he was born in Texas. Now he kinda likes it. He also found one that says, "Southerners do it better." Hmmm.
We called hubby and told him to get over to the sale pronto. Hubby has been needing some clothes for work. Let's see... He didn't get anything from the super cheap sidewalk sale. But he did get...two pairs of pants, a pair of shorts, two pairs of shoes and about four shirts (I think) for less than $100. Besides those cheap t-shirts, Derek was able to find a pair of shoes, three pairs of jeans, a pair of shorts and two (I think) shirts. His total came to about $60. Not bad.
I tried finding more than I did, but none of the clothes really excited me. I saw a pair of shoes I would have loved having, but they had them in sizes way too big or way too small. Figures.
I think I forgot that I'm not a shop til you drop person anymore. Never really was, actually. But now? I'm hurting big time from doing too much.
Meanwhile, I need to be up bright and early tomorrow. Son and I are heading to the flea market. Supposedly there are some guys there who buy old computers and refurbish them. We'll see, I guess.
Poor hubby has to work in the morning.
Know what? The first time I was married it was on this date 34 years ago. I could have a kid ten years older than my son. Now that makes me feel really old.
Well, I better think about doing some snoring. Tomorrow is going to be another busy day.
|I heard the other day that the state of Massachusetts has passed a law that everyone has to have health care. I understand the laws about everyone having car insurance. But health insurance? It's soooooooooo expensive if you're not making a bundle of money. Unless everyone in Mass. is rich? I know the politicians are.
Of course, the only fine for not having health insurance is to pay an extra $220 a year in state income tax. Unless...I wonder if they've somehow made it so that hospitals don't have to treat those who don't have insurance? Anyone know?
What do you think of this?
"A couple of months ago, Saul Anuzi, chair of the Michigan GOP, petitioned to have Ron Paul banned from future debates. The reason, to summarize, was because he was doing better in polls regarding debate performance than any of the “top three” candidates. “I think Congressman Ron Paul … doesn't represent any of the Republican Party base” and is “getting in the way of the real debate of how to move our party” forward."
Read the rest of the article here: http://www.newswithviews.com/Takala/rudy19.htm
Back to health and health care. I know a lot of people are against socialized health care. But isn't that what our poor have - Medicaid? And isn't that what our elderly have - Medicare? The programs are not perfect, but they do get care. And most of the elderly folks I know get every test imaginable when they're sick or hurting.
Members of Congress certainly don't have to worry about health care. They have their own special program just for them and their families.
Rich folks don't have to worry. They might complain about what's not covered by their insurance, but they can pay for whatever isn't covered.
It's the rest of us - those who have insurance but have to fight to get care and then pay for what's not covered and those who are uninsured but unable to get Medicaid - who suffer by not having socialized medical care.
A few weeks ago, a member of our church died. He was only 58 years old. He had heart problems and a hernia. He went to the hospital with chest pains and it was discerned that he wasn't having heart problems. Knowing that it wasn't his heart didn't stop the pains.
He probably should have been admitted so they could find out what his problem was. I tend to believe that would have happened in Canada or France or Great Britian.
Instead (I think it was the next day), the man called 9-1-1, then his family, and he died on the way to the hospital. Cause? Strangulated hernia.
Should that happen in a country who boasts having the "best" medical care? I don't think so. The "best" care would have been to figure out the cause of his pain, not sending him home. They probably prescribed pain medications.
|I write, you read and comment and that's how we know we're communicating. Get it?
Sometimes when I visit other blogs, I'm amazed at the number of comments received. Of course, they're usually not writing about the same kinds of things. One blogger discovered that mentioning bad words got more views and more comments. Well, I'm not going to do that.
I did have to wonder if anyone read the entry I made a while ago with the pictures of the float our church entered in the July 4th parade. "July 4th parade pictures"
Oh, I'm not doing that badly on the number of views. I know that. In fact, as I'm typing this, I can see that I have had 5,297 views. That's not so shabby, especially since I didn't start blogging until last September. What's really fun is that I have almost caught up to hubby's fibro blog. His has 5,321 views at the moment, and he started it in November, 2005. If you check out the list of 100 most viewed blogs, we're now #58 and #59. Our buddy Budroe is #41 this morning with 7,457 views.
Okay. On to more important things.
I got my Reader's Digest a day or so ago. My mom used to make sure my sisters and I all had that as one of our Christmas gifts. Last year, my sister Karen (who now watches over Mom and has her in an assisted living center near her house) continued the trend of sending a gift subscription to each of us.
Did you know that Reader's Digest has a joke contest? This month, they've asked that jokesters finish this joke: A carrot walks into a salad bar and says... If you're good at making up jokes, you should send your joke to firstname.lastname@example.org - subject: August. Hey, if you win you'll get $100. Wish I could be funny...
Did you know that, "Moms whose preschoolers don't sleep well are in worse physical and mental health than other moms. Dads, on the other hand, are blissfully unaffected." So says RD. Well, duh. I hope someone didn't spend a bundle of money to figure that one out.
Love quotes? I know I do. How about this one...
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~ Scott Adams
Here are some scary quotations from a Reader's Digest article called "Super Deadly Bugs."
"People are bent out of shape about bird flu, but CA-MRSA is here, second only to HIV as a public health threat."
"A child can be playing with his toys in the morning and be dead from infection by bedtime that night."
That's scary. CA-MRSA stands for community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Here's the link to the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's information about CA-MRSA.
And here's the Reader's Digest story link: http://www.rd.com/content/methicillin-resistant-staphylococcus-aureus/1/
From Dr. Mercola's latest newsletter:
Your Family Could Be Eating Organic Food for the Same Price as Processed Foods -- or Less http://www.mercola.com/2005/feb/16/organic_food.htm
How to Shop for the Right Food in Your Regular Grocery Store in 10 Easy Steps http://www.mercola.com/2004/jan/31/healthy_groceries.htm
$75,000 Offered for MD to Publicly Drink Vaccine Additives http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/07/19/75-000-offered-for...
In case you didn't know, those additives can include: Thimerosal (a mercury derivative), Ethylene glycol (antifreeze), Phenol (a disinfectant dye), Aluminum, Benzethonium chloride (a disinfectant), Formaldehyde (a preservative and disinfectant).
I guess that's one reason my youngest sister refused to have her kids vaccinated. You can do that, you know. You just have to sign forms with your children's schools.
Oh yeah, here are a few more of my favorite WDC folks:
~Wind in my Wings~
Joy The Masked Ghoul
|"Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience." ~ Henry David Thoreau
"The act of writing is an act of optimism. You would not take the trouble to do it if you felt that it didn't matter." ~ Edward Albee
"A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket." ~ Charles Peguy
|Yesterday, I had the Travel Chanel on for some reason. I found a show that talks about regional foods.
My hometown - Pittsburgh, PA - was mentioned in the show and it really surprised me. Why, you ask? Well... It turns out that there's a special Pittsburgh sandwich that I don't think I've ever eaten. Or even heard about. Ever. The Devonshire.
The guy who first created it did so in the 1930's, so I should have at least heard of it. I didn't leave the 'Burgh until 1974 and my folks didn't move from there until 1984. My last visit was in about...1999. Weird.
What's especially strange is that the creator was Frank Blandi. There is a bunch written about the Blandis. The family's first venture in Pittsburgh was The Blandi's, a restaurant and nightclub in Fox Chapel. Frank Blandi also opened the Stratford Club in Oakland, where - by most accounts - Pittsburgh's Devonshire sandwich was born.
In the 1950s, James Blandi, Sr. owned the Fox Head Grill, Dormont, and was a partner with his uncle, Frank Blandi, in the Park Schenley, Oakland. He also operated the Lemont Restaurant in Mount Washington.
And my mother knew Karen Blandi. I'm not sure how she was related...I think the wife of either James Blandi Sr. or Jr. In fact, I think that my mother and dad attended Karen's wedding or wedding reception at The Lemont on the night before (or maybe the same night, I'm not real sure...) that my youngest sister was born.
Since I lived in Mt. Washington, and since my mother had some friendship with a Blandi, you would think that I would have at least have heard of this sandwich. Hmmm.
The original Devonshire was composed of crisp bacon and slices of turkey placed on a single piece of toast and then covered with a rich creamy cheese sauce and served bubbling hot from the oven. According to the TV show last night and the web sites that mention this sandwich, now there are variations with other meats and seafood.
Sounds yummy. And not very healthy.
In my internet travels I came across this list of other foods for which Pittsburgh is "famous." It includes Clark Bars, Heinz Ketchup, Iron City Beer, and Klondike Bars.http://pittsburgh.about.com/cs/diningtraditions/
I also found this page by the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review called, "Souls who enriched our lives, our region." The names include: Jimmy Stewart, Willie Stargell, Gene Kelly and Perry Como. Lots of others too, of course. http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/specialreports/10year/s_105329.h...
Okay, class is over. Pop quiz coming soon.
By the way...
I discovered that last month there were a few days when I had twice as many viewers as usual. The only thing different about those entries was that I mentioned some famous folks. And a few of our other WDC bloggers.
So, I've covered the famous folks - above.
About the WDC bloggers...do keep clicking on some of my favorites seen at the left:
Angela's Niece needs Praye
|I guess when I fell last week, I totally forgot about posting sermon notes. So, here they are now.
Turn Your Problems Into a Plus
Sermon Series: Faith Works (Part 2)
Imagine getting this as a letter. Dear friend...
James 1:2-3 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
Right. Imagine getting that as a letter from a friend. Some friend, huh? Yes, some friend.
Like someone said (well, my pastor for one): If you don't have problems, check your pulse.
Problems are part of life.
John 16:33 ESV
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Problems are not predictable.
1 Peter 4:12 NLT
Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
Problems are plentiful.
Problems are purposeful.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NJB
None of the trials which have come upon you is more than a human being can stand. You can trust that God will not let you be put to the test beyond your strength, but with any trial will also provide a way out by enabling you to put up with it.
Three Positives of Problems:
Problems purify my faith.
Remember James 1:2-3 above? "...you know that the testing of your faith..."
Job 23:10 NCV
But God knows the way that I take, and when He has tested me, I will come out like gold.
Christians are like tea bags. You really don't know their flavor until you put them in hot water.
Problems produce patience.
Again, James 1:2-3 above. "...the testing...develops perseverance."
Learning to be a follower of Christ is like learning to ride a bike. At some point, we're left to struggle on our own. We might fall and even get hurt. But we get back up and start over, knowing that our teacher is there if and when we need help. Eventually, we get the hang of it. Then we can ride off with our teacher and have some glorious times together.
Problems perfect persona.
James 1:4 NIV
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Have you seen the movie Evan Almighty yet? In it, there are some great questions about how God teaches (and provides) patience and courage.
Prescription for Problems
Check out James 1:2-3 again. "Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials..."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Note that it says we should thank God in our trials, not for them.
James 1:5 NIV
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV
Pray for wisdom. Do not waste any opportunity for growth.
For every problem a non-Christian has, a Christian will have the same problem. Why? So the world can see the difference in the way they react and respond.
You can use your problems for your growth and to His glory.
James 1:6 NIV
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 MSG
The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!"
Relax and let God be God. He has your back.
Needed to survive:
Wisdom to understand.
Faith to endure.
James 1:12 NIV
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
The devil uses problems to defeat.
God uses problems to develop.
|As I said, speaking in church was an experience, as usual. In the first service, I guess I sped through the sermon. The praise team was not prepared for that so our service ended up being only about 45 minutes. They got to go home early.
In the second service, I was a bit more at ease and didn't rush. And the praise team added some songs, so the service lasted an hour.
The pastor had already warned those of us who are working on the ARKAlmighty program (my sermon topic) that some would not embrace it as excitedly as we did. Sure enough, there were two folks in the early service who started scowling after the video clip explaining ARKAlmighty. At least I think that's when they started with the faces. Someone else suggested that some folks just aren't happy when the pastor isn't there, so maybe that's why they were scowling. Well, maybe.
Anyway...when I spoke at the second service I made everyone practice smiling at me first, 'cause it's really intimidating to have folks frown or scowl at you when you speak.
Each person who came up to me afterward (both services) was very kind.
In my message, I said that I am not a professional speaker. I admitted that I sometimes forget the things I learned at some public speaking classes I've had. I shared that I have had some Toastmaster folks come up to me after speaking and offer suggestions. The thing is, though, when you're supposed to speak for the Lord - if you let Him - He pretty much directs the whole thing.
Sure enough, though, after the second service one of our members came up and told me that she IS a professional speaker. She also said that she could forgive me for my speaking errors because she knew my heart was in the right place. I guess that's a good thing.
When I shut down the computer at about 6 p.m. last night, I crawled into bed under the covers, thinking I would watch the news with hubby. Well, that didn't work real well. I did fall asleep.
I sort of remember him asking me if Derek was working at about 8ish. I responded in the negative and went back to sleep. The next time I looked at the clock, it was 1:30 a.m. I thought about getting up, but didn't. I looked at the clock again at about 3:30 and then again about 6:40 and decided to get up. So, I've had plenty of sleep!
Perhaps I'll make another entry later. Perhaps not.
Oooooooooppppppppsssssssss. As I was reading hubby's blog "Our Fibromyalgia Blog Book" I realized I forgot to mention that I also took a nap Sunday afternoon from about 1:30 to 3 p.m. Lots of sleep. But I could probably go to sleep again and sleep the rest of the day away.
|I got up bright and early today so that I could pray and spend some time with God before getting ready for church. Today I had to preach 'cause my pastor was at his sailing regatta. As usual, that was quite an experience for me.
I'll share what I spoke about later on in the week. I think I forgot to share the sermon notes from last Sunday, so I'll be sure to do that too later in the week.
We're not having our women's small group tonight. And we're getting some pretty bad storms. Already there has been quite a bit of damage in our area. The news said that 1800 homes in our township are still without power, and it showed some of the damage done. None here on our street, thankfully. We have lots of trees here.
Anyway, I'm shutting down the computer and am going to nap for a while.
|Ta reminded me that I didn't come back after the visit to the doctor to report about my fall.
Here's the scoop:
My doc said that what I did was basically the same as getting whiplash from a car accident. That's the reason my neck hurts. My collar bone isn't broken, but it is tender. She said that made sense considering that I had a form of whiplash.
My leg is infected, so I'm faithfully putting the triple antibiotic cream on it, leaving it uncovered (except when I have to go out in public) and taking oral antibiotics too for ten days.
My head appears to be okay. Well, from the fall anyway.
I realized that the reason my lower back wasn't affected is that I did not land on my butt. What I did was go from a standing position to being flat on my back and I hit my head twice, 'cause it bounced. It could have been much worse.
I'm preaching tomorrow at two services. Today, I made sure I was at the praise team's practice, so I know what music they're playing/singing. Besides, that gave them an opportunity to pray for me.
The preacher's daughter informed me that while I'm talking, our media guy will be showing a power point slide show on the big screen. Usually, when the pastor is there, that's where they show our sermon note pages with the fill-in-the-blanks. The pastor did up some sermon note sheets for my sermon, but we didn't make any blanks for folks to fill in...just gave the Bible verses I'm using. So...I have no idea what the pastor has cooked up to show on the screen while I'm talking. Kelly told me that her dad said I should just ignore the screen and speak.
You know that my curiosity is going to get the best of me. And I'm going to want to watch the slides, which might get me all confooooooosled.
So your job, if you choose to accept it, is to pray that 1) my leg isn't too swollen to stand on it (like it has been the last two mornings) and 2) that I'll ignore the screen behind me and just speak. Hubby is planning on taping me, so he can make sure when he does that he gets the slide show in the video and I can see it later.
My son might or might not come to church on Sunday. I pray that he does, but we'll see.
On another note... The other day, my hubby's pocket decided to call me - on the phone. What, you say?
Hubby's old cell phone was one on which you only had to press one button/number to dial "special" phone number, like the home phone. Bumping it the wrong way could mean that he was making calls he didn't mean to make.
That phone died not long ago, and hubby got a new phone - a flip phone. He and I both assumed that having a flip phone would mean that his phone would not misbehave anymore. Not so.
About the time hubby should have been arriving in our township (based upon when he left the office), the phone rang. I answered it and heard a radio playing, but no one responded to my hello.
I checked the cordless phone, where there's a caller ID, and sure enough it was hubby calling. Only he didn't know it. I listened to the radio for a few minutes, then hung up. I guess because he was driving with the windows down, he had the music turned up more than usual. I think if the music had been softer, he would have heard me shouting from his pocket. "Hello, hello!"
Funny thing is that about ten minutes later, I picked up the phone and discovered that we were still connected. I decided to listen. I heard him use the self-check service at Kroger. I heard him comment on the gas price at one station as he passed it. "$3.12."
When he got home, I handed him the phone and told him that his pocket called and wouldn't talk to me. The really funny thing is that the conversation we had on the porch about his cell phone and what he bought at Kroger's then got recorded on our voice mail. Figure that one out.
|The only things in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead armadillos. ~ Jim Hightower
Middle of the road? Wishy-washy? Lukewarm?
Revelation 3:15-16 NIV I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
|For so long, we didn't have any rain at all. Now we're getting some on a daily basis. Or so it seems.
I have a doctor's appointment today. It's with the doc who refused to fill out my functional capacity form. I know, I know. I said I wanted to change doctors, and I do. But 1) this appointment was already made. It's for complete physical, which I haven't had for 2 years. And 2) that fall I took...well, I just need a doc to check me out a bit. My leg is really painful now and so are my collar bone and neck - which I didn't know I had injured at the time. Perhaps I hadn't. But they hurt and these are new pains, so they need checked.
I'll check in after my appointment at 8:45 this morning. (Can't have any coffee until after that, or food, of course. My tummy is not pleased. )
Meanwhile, y'all go check this out. What a nice gesture, don't you think?
|My headache (from hitting it yesterday) is gone. The boo-boo on my leg is rather ugly, and there's still a bump there, but I'll survive. I do wonder, though, if the pain in my collar bone and my neck have anything to do with the fall I took yesterday. I know when you have a car accident that the pains often show up the next day (or two). Is that also true for a fall? Hmmm.
Have you ever heard of Dr. Mercola? He's an osteopath who believes in natural healing vs. prescription medicines. I get a newsletter from him every day. I have to admit that much of his web site is there to promote his books and products. But he does find some great information to pass along.
Here's a black and white commercial showing a doctor promoting smoking. Dr. Mercola likens this to what docs today are doing by promoting prescription medications. http://v.mercola.com/blogs/public_blog/Are-Doctors-Still-This-Stupid--23254.aspx...
His newsletter today also had an article called, Seven Ways Your Body Tells You You're Hungry. http://v.mercola.com/blogs/public_blog/Seven-Ways-Your-Body-Tells-You-You-re-Hun...
Yesterday's video exposed a fast food chain whose strawberry milkshake contains no milk or strawberries, and the strawberry flavoring has 59 ingredients. http://v.mercola.com/blogs/public_blog/Fast-Food-Milkshakes-Exposed-27226.aspx
Dr. Mercola gets lots of mail about this video about the Town of Allopath: http://www.mercola.com/townofallopath/index.htm
I was a bit curious myself about Dr. Mercola, even though I've been receiving his newsletter for some time. Sometimes when I'm curious, I'll check Wikipedia, even though I know it's not the most reliable source of information. I was surprised at the amount of information about the doc there. The Wikipedia page on him shows lots about the criticisms about him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Mercola
'Nuff about that.
My cousin and I were talking about how most folks get their daily information doses - from the TV. Most folks pick one station to watch and don't ever venture out to see what another channel or other type of media is saying about the same thing. When something is questionable in my mind, I check a bunch of different news sources, including the BBC. I'll check conservative and liberal media to see where they differ and where they agree on the topic. I'll check print and internet media sources. But all of that takes time, something of which most Americans claim to have very little.
I talked about that in the very first sermon I ever gave. It was called, "If it's God calling, tell Him I'm busy!" I used that title because I had seen a cartoon using those words. Maybe I'll share that first sermon I gave sometime, and you can see how much I've grown in the last 15 years.
Busy? My mom was busy. At one point, she had three kids (6, 2 and infant with cholic), her mother who had just had a stroke and broke her leg, her 18 year old brother-in-law (who was building a stock car in the back yard) and my dad to "manage."
She typed insurance policies at home to keep her skills up and earn a few extra bucks for the family. That was back when there were manual typewriters and carbon paper. Some of the policies required that she type an original and six copies.
Since my baby sister had cholic, Mom hired teen sisters as baby sitters/mother's helpers in the afternoon so she could fix dinner. Their own house was teeny, tiny (really - one bedroom for parents and three teens, one boy and two girls!), so our basement playroom became their hang-out place late at night...with their friends.
And my friends - and their siblings - all congregated at our house. We had a huge back yard, a 3 or 4 car garage, two huge porches, and two play rooms. Our bedroom closets connected with "secret" passages and playing hide-and-seek in the house was loads of fun.
Mom always had time to chat with the mail man (it was always a man back then), the bread man, the ice cream man, the milk man, the garbage man, etc. That meant that the gossips in the neighborhood never let her alone. But with three kids and her mother as her constant companions, Mom wasn't doing anything but being nice. And offering each one at least a glass of water, if not a cup of coffee.
Our washer was a wringer washer. Lots of clothes were hung out to dry. Folks seemed to prefer that over dryers back then. Clothes were "sprinkled" and rolled and put in a plastic bag into the refrigerator until they could be ironed. Mom and Grandma (when she could) and I ironed sheets, pillow cases, table cloths (which we used all the time), cloth napkins (ditto), handkerchiefs (for both genders) and Dad's t-shirts. Plus the things we would iron today - dresses, skirts, pants and shirts. At that age, I was just learning to iron. I stood on a stool and ironed pillow cases and hankies and napkins.
Mom sang in the church choir and was the craft organizer for VBS each year. She was the Vice President of the PTA for a number of years. She wrote plays for the PTA and for church, and helped direct them. She also volunteered as a room mother at school.
There were no micro wave ovens back then or even crock pots. Meals took time, especially since there were few quick foods. Most things were made from scratch, including cakes and pies, break and rolls.
As we grew older, her activities changed but never stopped. She was my brother's den mother. She drove me to choir practice and took my brother to softball practice, and later took both of my sisters to band practice.
When I was in church youth group, she organized the moms so that we would have a good cooked meal every Wednesday night.
She made costumes for Halloween and for plays.
She wrote poetry for every organization and for every kind of event. She made goofy presents for kids (of her friends) going away to college or the service. She made wacky awards for folks to celebrate the strangest (or the ordinary) happenings in their lives.
When I was in high school, she organized a neighborhood watch because drugs were being distributed in the park next to our house.
Our house was called "Switzerland." I guess most families have fusses going. Ours was no different. The fussing parties would visit our house, but NOT the houses of those with whom they fussed. So just about every birthday party, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner was held at our house.
We also called our house "Mack's Motel." Out of town relatives and friends always stayed at our house when they visited Pittsburgh.
Busy? My mom was a busy person. I have never had to be as busy as she was.
Thinking about how busy Mom was has made me tired, tired, tired. Y'all go back and click on a few of those links above while I take a nap. Okay?
|There are reasons why everyone should make sure they always have money in a savings account and a credit card available for emergencies, especially if one owns a house. You never know when something might need fixed.
For months, there was a drip, drip, drip from the faucet in the basement laundry tub. Having a plumber come and fix that shouldn't have been a huge expense, except that the pipes are as old as the house. Once we have the money for a plumber, we really should get a bunch of things fixed.
Hubby did try to get a cap for the faucet. He was, wisely, afraid to try just forcing the drip to quit, since that might have broken the pipe. Last week he finally was able to get a cap and that drip (which had become more than just a drip over the months) has stopped.
About two weeks ago, I noticed that we were getting some water on the floor in the basement. It's coming from the air conditioning or something.
Today, I discovered that it's more than water on the floor. It's actually more slimy than water.
How did I find out? I FELL!
After I put hubby's clothes in the washer, I was at the bottom step ready to go up when I slipped on the slimy substance all over the floor. Down I went, with my legs under the stairs. My head hit the concrete floor.
Thankfully, my son was in the basement on his computer. He insisted that I sit a minute while he made sure my head wasn't bleeding. It wasn't. But I figured I'd have a bump on it later. One shin was bleeding and already getting a bump. The other was already bruised, but the skin wasn't broken.
So here I sit with an ice pack on my head and on one leg/shin.
We really should have had the leak fixed when it appeared. But...when there is no extra money... I guess when I'm feeling up to it, I better find a way to mop up that goo all over the floor. I had not realized how much was on the floor until I fell. It had just been a trickle before. Now it's more of a stream.
Keep praying about the judge's decision for the disability, okay? It surely will help our finances if I have some kind of regular income.
|Some things just don't seem right, you know? But if you read them in print or see them on the news you have to wonder.
For instance, I have heard for years that folks in Europe don't attend church as much as folks in the U.S. But I have never done any real research on that.
This morning, in my News With Views email, one of the articles said of European churches: "The churches are for the most part state supported and sanctioned. They have been secularized and made obedient to the state. Strict adherence to Biblical principles invites state censure and may subject both disobedient pastors and lay people to fines and incarceration." Really? Is that true? Here's the link to the whole article. It speaks of George W. Bush's membership in the Order of the Skull and Bones and that Bush serves them and not the people of the U.S. My son just watched a documentary about that. http://www.newswithviews.com/Schwiesow/jim27.htm
This morning on Good Morning America, they said that Sprint/Nextel has fired over 1,000 customers for complaining too much. GMA read a copy of the letter sent out to the customers they fired. It seems that they complained and Sprint/Nextel thought it best to cancel their service. Really? I wonder how many calls to customer service is too many? Will they tell new customers in advance that if they call too many times they might be dumped? Will they give them a warning before dumping them? "Dear Customer: You are coming close to the lifetime number of calls to customer service that our company allows."
My sister has been dealing with AOL problems ever since my parents first went to live with her. She originally set up my mother's AOL account and knows her password, but Karen was honest when she contacted AOL to cancel mom's account. She provided copies of the court order giving her complete control of my mother - her money and her health issues. AOL customer service said they didn't "recognize" that form and insisted that my mother needed to fill out their form. Really? AOL doesn't recognize a legal document that gives my sister complete control over my mother's health and welfare? AOL continued taking payments from my mother's checking account until my sister canceled it. Then they started sending collection notices to my sister's house. They're still trying to get money from my sister. Amazing.
I was reminded of this because GMA also showed a segment where a fellow argued with a customer service agent from AOL who refused to just cancel his account, which was what he wanted. The taped call was part of GMA's segment on customer service today. (That fellow was fired, supposedly.)
I remember when the saying was, "The customer is always right." That's surely not the case anymore.
A few months ago, I heard part of a conversation at a store's customer service desk. A young woman was trying to return a few wedding gifts. The company - one of our large discount retailers - has a new policy that no items may ever be returned without a receipt. The customer service person explained that and also said that the buyer(s) should have asked for a gift receipt. The newlywed explained that the gifts were from her grandmother and a great-aunt and they probably didn't even know there was such a thing as a gift receipt. She thought the sales clerk should have offered gift receipts to them, since both most likely made conversation (as the elderly tend to do) about the up-coming wedding. The customer service rep insisted that it's not a cashier's job to offer a gift receipt; it's the customer's job to remember to do so.
As I walked away, I realized what a different world it has become. The customer is not only NOT ALWAYS RIGHT, but is deemed MOST OFTEN WRONG.