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Election results from a “stupid white person”

So was just reading some news about the election results, and once again I am reminded of why I avoid reading political stuff.  So only 2 years ago, a sweeping wave of victories was won by the Democratic party, including winning the Presidency with a far left candidate running on a moderate (outsider) platform, and the Democrats treated it as a “mandate from the people” to enact a very liberal platform.  Many of these articles (I’m not going to link them, just Google “2008 election mandate”) speak of it.  Right along side commentary that refers to it as “America coming to it’s senses” or “America taking a sanity pill”.

Now, 2 years later, they have done everything they can to enact and push forward that very liberal platform, and in doing so broken all their election promises.  An in the process pissed off the majority of the country, who now sees their true agenda, and they refer to the Republican victory as “America losing it’s sanity” or “a victory for stupid white hillbillies”.

So let me make sure I have this correct.  If I vote Democrat/liberal, I am a smart, rational, sane person.  But if I vote Republican, I am a stupid, insane, white hillbilly.  And these people call the religious right “stupid”, “ignorant” & “mean-spirited”?

Who is it that is calling the other side names? Who is it that is totally ignoring the massive wave of displeasure in the WHOLE country, not just “hillbillies”?

Oh wait, I guess that’s me since I’m actually pointed all this out. My bad!

House fire…

“You’re not gonna believe this…” my first words to my boss when I called him yesterday morning.  After two weeks in January sick and in the hospital, I had hoped that I had met my quota for rough stuff this year, or at the very least being sick.  But alas that is a silly notion as anyone who is or has suffered far more than me can attest to.  For those not on Facebook, to briefly recap.  Yesterday at around 2am our furnace caught fire, the fire spread to a mattress and box springs we had stored in the basement.  The family all got out safe, but our cat Holly didn’t make it out.  The fire damage was mostly contained to the basement.  The rest of the house suffered varying degrees of smoke damage.  All utilities to the house were cut off; some of the pipes in the basement had separated because the solder had melted.

Spent most of yesterday working with the Insurance company and disaster recovery company, house had to be boarded up and winterized. It will take an estimated 2-4 months to make the house livable again.  All of our belongings, clothes etc have be covered in smoke and or soot.  They are laundering a batch of our clothes to remove the smell for us today, so we should have a decent supply of clothes this afternoon.

I cannot begin to describe how grateful we are for the massive outpouring of prayers, well wishes, generosity and support we have received in the past 24 hours.  Yesterday started with the dread that we had lost everything we owned, it ended with tears of gratefulness and feeling inadequate and unworthy of the generosity that our church family has shown to use.

Everyone has been asking two main questions: What do we need? & Do you have a place to stay?  At the moment all of our immediate needs have been provided for.  As for a place to stay, we have several options open to us, and our biggest decision today will be to decide which option we want to go with.

I want to apologize to anyone I didn’t take a call from, didn’t call back or had to cut off in the middle of a phone call to take another one.  I’m guessing I spent 3-4 hours total on the phone yesterday, there was no way to keep up with all the calls.  I was having a hard enough time trying to figure out what I was doing minute to minute, having to make major decisions on how we were to proceed with all the issues related to the fire.

I’m sure I didn’t answer all the questions but I wanted to get some more info out there, if you have any questions please let me know via Facebook, I get Facebook updates on my phone.

“You’re not gonna believe this…” my first words to my boss when I called him yesterday morning. After two weeks in January sick and in the hospital, I had hoped that I had met my quota for rough stuff this year, or at the very least being sick. But alas that is a silly notion as anyone who is or has suffered far more than me can attest to. For those not on Facebook, to briefly recap. Yesterday at around 2am our furnace caught fire, the fire spread to a mattress and box springs we had stored in the basement. The family all got out safe, but our cat Holly didn’t make it out. The fire damage was mostly contained to the basement. The rest of the house suffered varying degrees of smoke damage. All utilities to the house were cut off; some of the pipes in the basement had separated because the solder had melted.

Spent most of yesterday working with the Insurance company and disaster recovery company, house had to be boarded up and winterized. It will take an estimated 2-4 months to make the house livable again. All of our belongings, clothes etc have be covered in smoke and or soot. They are laundering a batch of our clothes to remove the smell for us today, so we should have a decent supply of clothes this afternoon.

I cannot begin to describe how grateful we are for the massive outpouring of prayers, well wishes, generosity and support we have received in the past 24 hours. Yesterday started with the dread that we had lost everything we owned, it ended with tears of gratefulness and feeling inadequate and unworthy of the generosity that our church family has shown to use.

Everyone has been asking two main questions: What do we need? & Do you have a place to stay? At the moment all of our immediate needs have been provided for. As for a place to stay, we have several options open to us, and our biggest decision today will be to decide which option we want to go with.

I want to apologize to anyone I didn’t take a call from, didn’t call back or had to cut off in the middle of a phone call to take another one. I’m guessing I spent 3-4 hours total on the phone yesterday, there was no way to keep up with all the calls. I was having a hard enough time trying to figure out what I was doing minute to minute, having to make major decisions on how we were to proceed with all the issues related to the fire.

I’m sure I didn’t answer all the questions but I wanted to get some more info out there, if you have any questions please let me know via Facebook, I get Facebook updates on my phone.

Site issue

Hmm, seems I have an issue accessing previous pages of posts, til I sort it out, you can access older posts via the links on and under the calendar on the side.  Posts start last October (’09) if you are looking to start at the beginning.

-Bruce

Excellent article…

Here is really good short article that articulates some important cautions on how to interpret the Bible. The first point really captures the ideas around which I derived the name of this blog.

Article: here

Home from the hospital…

Here is a summary of the past two weeks and my adventures at the hospital.

If you want the short summary form, you can scroll to the bottom.

Two weeks ago today (Thursday Jan 14th) I came down with the Flu.

By that Saturday morning the fever had broken and I was feeling much better.

Saturday evening, took medicine to settle my stomach and relieve diarrhea.

Woke up Sunday morning with a stomach ache, thought it was from lack of food, etc.

Sunday night / Monday morning it seemed to get better.

As Monday wore on it got worse again, felt like my stomach was filling up and food wasn’t going anywhere. Threw up everything I’d eaten that day.

Felt better Tuesday morning, decided to stick to bread and water til my stomach felt better.  Tuesday night I started feeling like I had Monday night.

By 2am, I had finally thrown up, but still wasn’t feeling better, at this point I decided I better go to the hospital.

Went down to Miami Valley South, so I wouldn’t have to wait 5 hours to see someone. (was worth it, only waited 20 min).

They put me on some pain meds and had me start drinking contrast so they could do a CT scan.  Had the scan at about 5:30, results came in a little later and they seemed to indicate a bowel obstruction in my intestine which might require surgery so they admitted me and transported me to the main hospital downtown around 8am, where I was to be evaluated for surgery.

Much of the next few days were pretty blurry to me since they had me on very powerful narcotics, but with Bekah’s help and some of my Facebook notes:

Downtown they decided to do a follow up X-ray. And Observe me.

They weren’t convinced I had a blockage since I was still having diarrhea (something was getting through). They didn’t want to operate except as a last resort.

They hooked me up to an IV to make sure I didn’t dehydrate.

X-ray Wed morning wasn’t conclusive, so I waited. It did show that my intestines where very enlarged and inflamed, definitely something wrong, but not sure what. Very tough day, was still struggling with pain even though they had me on Dilaudid which I’ve been told is 7 times more powerful than Morphine.

Thursday (Jan 21st) morning X-ray again, this X-ray showed a slight improvement. And that my intestines were basically empty of food at this point.  They had increased my dosage of pain killer over night, so I was doing better pain wise.  They had concerns about my fluid levels so they cranked up the flow on my IV fluids.  As the day wore on my pain was much lower so I tried to get by on Tylenol since the narcotics hinder the digestive system and I needed it to recover.

Got to suck on some ice chips, first thing I’ve had to eat or drink since Tuesday.

Friday (Jan 22nd) morning X-rays again, this time showing more improvement. Sometime Friday evening or Saturday they decided they wanted to do a series of X-rays with contrast to get a better picture.  But they couldn’t do that until Monday because the hospital doesn’t do those on the weekend for some reason.

Friday I also got to try a popsicle to see how my system responded to it.  That went well, so progressed to Jello and apple juice that night.. Never thought a popsicle could taste so good.

Saturday (Jan 23rd) got X-ray’d again, this time it showed significant improvement.  Moved up to dry cheerios and crackers to go with the Jello, juice and popsicles.

Sat night was real rough, surprisingly up til now I hadn’t had any nausea to speak of, that changed big time Sat night, they gave me some stuff via the IV to settle it down and I got past that, but then I had to deal with a roommate whose IV pump kept going into alarm mode all night long.  Didn’t get any sleep that night.

Sunday (Jan 24th) had another X-Ray, and tried to catch up on sleep most of the day.  The afore mentioned roommate had been moved elsewhere for closer observation.

Sunday night the staff took pity on me of put my room in private status so I wouldn’t get another roommate so I was able to get a much needed good nights sleep.

Monday (Jan 25th) I had the X-ray’s with contrast, a process that was supposed to take 2-3 hours, ended up taking 7 hours because the contrast took so long to get through my system.  Still haven’t been able to eat much, got introduced to Boost energy drink, good stuff.  They are beginning to become concerned about my nutritional level since I haven’t eaten anything in a week now.  The Boost was a stop gap measure, pending the results of the x-rays.

Tuesday (Jan 26th) I got the results of the x-rays: No blockage, no signs of any kinks in the system, no indications of irritable bowel or Crohn’s disease.  They decided to have me try real food, and if I could keep it down and not have problems with it, they could discharge me to finish recovery at home.  I was able to eat some breakfast and lunch, so they sent me home that evening.

Final verdict is that most likely my intestines shut down as a result of the Flu and other circumstances, further checkups will determine if I have some larger condition to worry about, or if this was just a fluke occurrence.

—Summary of where I am at:

Two weeks ago, I got the Flu which led to my intestines shutting down, and spending a week in the hospital.

I’m home now, thankful for the Lord’s healing.  I still have much healing and recovery ahead of me.  The tests also showed a minor hernia that I will have to have fixed in the near future. Also I will have to go see a Gastro-Intestinal specialist, and they will probably have to do a colonoscopy on me.

Not how I expected my first month in my 40’s to turn out, but I am thankful to be out of the hospital and home.

I am also very thankful for my wife who has shown me such love and care during this time that was very hard on her as well.

Our thanks to many friends and family who prayed, stopped by to visit, called, sent notes on Facebook, etc.

May the Lord be blessed “For we know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord…” Romans 8:28

Double standard?

It has come out that Sen Harry Reid (D) Nevada made a comment about Pres. Obama that could be considered racist, and now the Democrats are falling over themselves to brush it under the rug.:  here

To provide some context, lets examine similar stories involving racial issues and how they press treated them:
1) Trent Lott’s comments that didn’t even mention race or anything like it, he just showed general support for a senator who ran on a state’s rights and segregationist platform in 1948 (yes, 60 years ago). here
2) Man has to resign from his job when he uses the work “niggardly” (means miserly or in today’s slang “tight-wad”) and has nothing to do with race whatsoever, just sound’s like a certain word that is. here

So you tell me, double standard or not?

“In the beginning was the Word…

and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”  This is how the Apostle John starts his Gospel, and it is a profound statement of who Jesus is and what his relation to creation is.

At the risk of generating some controversy, I am going to post a link to a video that I thought was a really tremendous message on creation.  It’s by Rob Bell, who I’ve heard described as everything from inspiring to heretical.  And while I have seen a few things of his that I find to be very questionable in doctrine, in this video I didn’t sense anything that was objectionable, there were a few points that he makes that aren’t exactly right when it comes to some of the science he’s talking about, but the overall point he is getting at is very good and truly helps to restore some awe in the majesty of creation.  Additionally the “Flatland” section is a tremendous analogy for getting across the message that we do not see things from the same perspective as God. If you take away a greater awe of God’s creation and a better understanding of our limited perspective on all things, then that alone will made it worth watching.  Personally, I also found many parts of it very entertaining and laugh out loud funny, except for a minor heresy about cats. J

View notes: the total length is about an hour and twenty minutes.  It’s broken up into 8 sections that are each about 10 min long.  The best version of it I could find had Spanish or Portuguese subtitles, but you can ignore those unless they interest you.  As you watch each one, the next one in order should be listed first in the related video’s section to the right; I will post all 8 links to be safe though.

(Right-click on them and open a new tab or window)

Enjoy, but above all, be in awe of God.

1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZvK4hdIzIU&feature=related

2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UEoR8uWiVU&feature=related

3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr915N3ThuU&feature=related

4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8ZZpRWLgqQ&feature=related

5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfVNfLljSlI&feature=related

6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdQ8D-wXmw4&feature=related

7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmoN7ZvwI6Y&feature=related

8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmoN7ZvwI6Y&feature=related

The end is near…

Well, I turned 40 yesterday, and for my Facebook friends, they saw me posting periodic laments about my age, prompting one friend to comment on what a sad puppy I was.  Then a friend from High School made a post that has really gotten me to thinking.  I’m not sure what his context was, but he stated that men aren’t worth a *darn* until their 40.  The more I’ve thought about that statement, and the more I’ve thought about where I am in my life today, for me that is very true.  I won’t get into a list of the failures and mistakes I’ve made in my life, but when it comes to being a real “man”, as defined by God, I am only very recently beginning to get my act together.  The Lord knows I still have a very long way to go, but at least now I know that I am headed in the right direction.  I marvel at the patience that God has shown me, and also some very godly friends over the years who I have to wonder how they didn’t ever want to smack me around at how dense I’ve been. Well, maybe they wanted to, but they never did.

The Apostle Paul states: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has passed away, behold the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17 for those who want the reference) and that, if anything, is my new year’s resolution; to put off the old and put on Christ.  An old school term for the transformation from unbeliever to follower of Christ was to say “Born again”.  In that context, there is a new beginning to life and therefore also an end to the old life.  So in that sense, I pray that the end is near.

Now to be fair, my bemoaning turning 40 was more for fun and silliness and because to a degree I felt it was expected.  In reality, I don’t feel any different today than I did a few weeks ago, aside from the fact that I’m out of my medicine that helps me sleep, so I’m a lot more tired the past week.  Physically I’ve “felt” 40 for a few years now, but that has more to do with how out of shape I’ve been for the past 15+ and the price I’m now paying for that.  Hopefully I will begin to turn some of that around in the coming year as well.

Why so long between posts?

Wow, time sure does get away from us some times.  Way too long since my last post.  Currently this blog is suffering from the same affliction that my desk and parts of my house are suffering from.  My own personal combination of OCd or as my boss refers to it CDO (I’ll explain later) and laziness.  It works like this, I am obsessive-compulsive, I use a little “d” because for me it’s not a “disorder”.  And because I am, if I’m going to do something, I want to do it a precise and very organized way, a way that is specific to how I would like it done.  The problem is, I am very lazy, so I don’t want to spend the time it takes to “do it right” so in the end I just don’t do it.  Case in point this blog, there are many things I would like to write about, but I haven’t had the time to sit down and spend the time it would take to get my point across on any of the subjects I wish to address.  Subjects include: Tipping, Calvinism, Theology in general, bible translations, etc, just to name a few.  Many of my posts thus far have been a general build up towards getting into some of the deeper issues of theology.  Hopefully in the next few days I’ll kick out my opinions on tipping.  Stay tuned (pretty please)

p.s. My boss says that OCD should be abbreviated CDO, which is the three letters in the correct alphabetical order.  I found that insight to be both very true and very humorous at the same time.

Thanksgiving

Wow, two weeks since my last post, been a crazy two weeks. First of them I was totally swamped and stressed over a final exam for school. I Got an A in the class by the way.  And then this past week was Thanksgiving, which brings me to the context of this post.  What am I thankful for?  Well, I could rattle off the obvious and cliché answers to that, but since a few of them are more profound than that, I’m going to spend some time talking about the bigger ones.

First up, I’m thankful for God’s grace and providence.  I’ve always had a problem with being consistent in my walk, choosing to spend time on the things I should instead of things that have no constructive purpose.  God has amazed me with the way he has used events in my life in the past year to steer me onto the right path, in ways totally opposite of what I thought it would take.

I’m thankful for an incredibly loving, forgiving and patient wife.  I can’t go into enough detail here to justify how much so, but trust me when I say she has loved, forgiven and shown patience far beyond what anyone would normally expect from a spouse.

I am thankful for the truly amazing friends God continues to bring into my life, old friends and new.  I have always been very dependent on good friends help keep my honest, and when most guys find it hard to have ever had one other guy that can completely confide in and trust, I have been lucky enough to have had several, and currently have more than one.   This has been even more apparent to me in the past several months when we changed churches from the church I consider “home” to a place where I didn’t know anyone.  It has been very difficult to leave a place where I have so many people that I very much looked forward to seeing each Sunday.  But the fellowship and new friendships we’ve found in our new church have made a very painful (for me) process, much, much easier on me.

I’m thankful for a great job, not just a “good job”, or “any old job”, but a great job.  Back in January I was laid off from the company I had been at for three and a half years due to the economic downturn (really bad time to be in a company associated with the automotive industry).  And then after over 5 months of un-employment, God lined up a short contract job in a work environment I had been in several years ago, and had always wanted to get back to, but while there it became clear to me why that would be bad for me.  And as soon as that realization came to me, I was offered the job I have now, which is the best job I’ve ever had.  All that during an economy when millions would be thrilled to have ANY job at all.

Having been trough some very tough times, I can speak with complete honesty to anyone else going through tough times, that when Romans 8:28 says “ALL things work together for the good of those who love the LORD…” that the “ALL” really does include tough things and tough times.  Before and during those times, I certainly couldn’t see how, but I clung to that verse which is one of my all time favorite verses in scripture.  And now, I can look back and see how those things have affected me for the better.