Friday, July 29, 2011

Some Things in Life Make Me Grumble in Consternation!

In March when a 14-year-old boy died in a Motocross race in Missouri, I thought to myself..."Aaargh! Parents who encourage their kids to participate in dangerous sports!" He was born in the city 35 miles up the road.

This morning I was saddened to read of a second death, another 14-year-old, a girl, who lived in that same city. She died in a Motocross race, the Ponca City Grand Nationals in Oklahoma.

Both these kids were experienced riders, and undoubtedly wearing all safety garments.

It's a sad time for the parents of this teen. I do not post this in an accusatory manner...but it bothers me enough that I want to say this...motocross is a dangerous sport. Fun, exciting, exhilerating...but dangerous. Deadly dangerous.

That's all I'm going to say about that.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Upon Which I Teach My Grandson How To Use a Rotary Phone

Sometimes I forget how old I am but this week my 15-year-old grandson pointed that out quite clearly. Oh, he wasn't intentional about it! He's too polite and loves his gramma too much to ever say an unkind word to her (me).

Background:: Our house was built in 1965. In terms of house age, that's not old. At least not ancient. Having lived in some "really" old houses, I consider this one "modern".

In the furnace room in the basement hangs an old rotary dial phone. It was there when we moved in. It's so old it's wired in. Even though we don't spend much time in the basement it's handy to have that phone there. So the rotary stayed.

This past weekend we had a great time with our daughter and grandson (thanks for making that 5-hour drive!!!). My daughter spotted the rotary and called DGS to come down and look at it. Then she suggested he call someone. His words???? "I don't know how!"

He's a quick learner, though, and as soon as he completed his call he announced that he wants a rotary of his own. convince him that I belong to the age of dinosaurs I told him that when we were kids on the farm our phone was on a "party line". Our phone number (yes, I still remember it) was 45J11. Other numbers on the line were something like 45J12 or 45J21. The "45J" was the line. The last digits represented the number of rings the switchboard operator would ring up. In our case she rang one long and one short. All parties would hear the rings at their home and know that it was our house and not theirs that was being called. We picked up. They did least, not until they were certain we had already picked up...then they might surreptiously pick up their phone and listen in on our conversation. It was wise not to gossip about the neighbors while on the phone!!

And THEN! I told him that in THOSE days we seldom made a long-distance phone call because it was too expensive. The cost? Ten cents.

Today, with our landline and our cell phone, we pay beaucoup bucks.

My grandson is right. I Really Am Old! *tearful smile*


Saturday, July 23, 2011

In Which I Publish a Photo of My Glow-In-The-Dark Freckles

Well, I managed to get a photo of my glow-in-the-dark freckles. (See my post of July 21 about my PET/CT scan).

You can click for a closer view. I had to darken the photo so the glowing freckles would show up better. (I do hope you know I am being completely facetious...not to be confused with infectious, of course. You'll have to get your own PET/CT scan if YOU want glow-in-the-dark freckles. You cannot be infected by mine.)

I like to think that my (imaginary) glowing freckles are a teensy slight foretaste of what our heavenly bodies will be like. What will that be? Scripture gives us these hints...our bodies will be like Jesus' resurrected body. Read on.

In the Gospel of Luke we read of three disciples seeing Jesus in his transfigured (changed) body prior to His death on the cross:
Luke 9:28-29 28 .... He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming.

The apostle John, who in his Gospel testifies that Jesus is the Son of God ( John 1:34 ) wrote the following:

1 John 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

and again he writes of his vision of Jesus in his heavenly body as thus:

Revelation 1:12-18 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me.....I saw one like a son of man (Jesus), clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Now we know that some language in the Book of Revelation is figurative, some is symbolic, etc. And instead of conjecturing from these verses that in heaven I will have a "glowing" body, I should just quote what Matthew Henry in regard to these verses. He's undoubtedly a much better theologian than I. Here is what Henry said:
  1. He (the Apostle John) saw a representation of the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of the golden candlesticks; for he (Jesus) has promised to be with his churches always to the end of the world, filling them with light, and life, and love, for he is the very animating informing soul of the church. And here we observe,
  2. The glorious form in which Christ appeared in several particulars.
  • He was clothed with a garment down to the foot, a princely and priestly robe, denoting righteousness and honour.
  • He was girt about with a golden girdle, the breast-plate of the high priest, on which the names of his people are engraven; he was ready girt to do all the work of a Redeemer.
  • His head and hairs were white like wool or snow. He was the Ancient of days; his hoary head was no sign of decay, but was indeed a crown of glory.
  • His eyes were as a flame of fire, piercing and penetrating into the very hearts and reins of men, scattering terrors among his adversaries.
  • His feet were like unto fine burning brass, strong and stedfast, supporting his own interest, subduing his enemies, treading them to powder.
  • His voice was as the sound of many waters, of many rivers falling in together. He can and will make himself heard to those who are afar off as well as to those who are near. His gospel is a profluent and mighty stream, fed by the upper springs of infinite wisdom and knowledge.
  • He had in his right hand seven stars, that is, the ministers of the seven churches, who are under his direction, have all their light and influence from him, and are secured and preserved by him.
Instead of worrying about what my heavenly body will be like, I am content to look forward to seeing Jesus, remembering again John's words in 1 John 1:2.

Blessings to all of you this weekend morning. May God's light shine in YOUR life!


Friday, July 22, 2011

A Simple Task Often Goes Astray....

This afternoon I....
  • Went to get a bar of soap from the bathroom to put at the kitchen sink...
  • While there I grabbed the towels and put them in the washer.
  • At the washer I noticed some bottled water that needed to be placed in the cupboard.
  • In the cupboard I saw some orange slices to put into jello.
  • Remembered I was supposed to make a phone call...took me 20 minutes to get a live person.
  • Checked my computer for email.
  • Went to the kitchen.
  • Remembered I needed to get a bar of soap from the bathroom.
Life often takes a detour. And the older I get, the longer the detour. *she said with a wry smile*

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Upon Which I Again Glow in the Dark!

Sooo! Again! I experienced Freckles that glow in the dark!

This time I took my camera along so you can see how I get my glowing freckles. (To read my previous post on this topic, go here.)

Periodically, every six months or so, I get a combined PET/CT scan to determine what my pesky ovarian cancer cells are doing. Last November the scan showed no activity whatsoever. That was good news, indeed! But for most of us, ovarian cancer is a chronic hangs in there, even when knocked down by chemo, waiting for a time when the cells will again begin growing. Some women attain remission for long periods of time. Most of us, however, will have short remissions followed by chemo and, hopefully, followed by another period of remission. Each individual is different, but one thing is certain...ovarian cancer is a nasty, deadly disease.

The PET/CT enables the oncologist to get a fairly decent assessment of progression (or lack thereof) of the disease.

So I presented myself to the clinic. No prep needed other than abstaining from food and liquids the prior evening and avoiding red meats and some other foods the prior 24 or 48 hours.

The procedure is simple. The nurse injects a small amount (doesn't look that small in the photo!) of radioactive material (tracer). As you can see the cartridge is rather large and I'm assuming the metal prevents radiation from emitting out the sides...but perhaps I'm wrong about that...after all, it still must surely radiate through the window of the cartridge.

Note the metal box at my elbow which is used to transport and store the cartridge. I can tell by how the nurse handles it that this is a heavy box...most likely, it is lined with lead which protects from radiation...I think.

The tracer travels through your blood and collects in organs and tissues, and particularly collects in actively growing cancer cells. Once you have received the injection, one must wait for about an hour for the tracer to travel throughout the body. A small waiting room is dedicated to this hour...they want you to be resting AND they don't want your radioactive body wandering around bothering other people with its radioactivity. Or at least that's my assumption. (The radioactivity dissipates in about 6 hours.)

After the hour, comes the test itself. Some people are intensely claustrophic while in this chamber but I find it to be quite relaxing, really, and usually catch a short catnap while undergoing the test. No Problemo!

When finished, I go home, turn out the lights and look in the mirror! Yep! Glowing freckles! Really! Truly! (I posted a photo

At the end of the day, the radiation is gone, and I am again a normal human being. One without glowing freckles. But still, one with cancer. This time two small lymph nodes that have previously glowed in the dark are found to be glowing again. Pesky things.

By the way, the nurse/technician who injects the tracer wears a badge that monitors and measures her exposure to radioactivity. I'm not certain I would like to have her job. Sure, I get radiated every time I do one of these tests, but if I were younger and thought I still had long life ahead of me, I'm not sure I'd be so care-free about receiving the radiation.

(My current chemo schedule is pretty easy....carbo/gemzar every other week. Pretty benign side-effects so far, for which I am grateful.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It Is a Very Good Thing That It Does Not Depend Upon My Works

Too often, as Christians, we speak of what "we" can do for "Christ". As if there were anything that we could do in and of ourselves for Christ. And we often think too little of the real work, of what Christ has done for us. Jesus is the doer. We are the recipients of his work.

I've begun reading volume 2 of The Triple Knowledge: An Exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism by Herman Hoeksema. I'm a slow reader and I'm not a deeply intellectual thinker. But I understand well enough and rejoice in the following quote (Vol 2, page 31) in reference to what Christ has done for us.

  • "As the mediator of our redemption He (that is, Jesus) "purchased" all things for us.
  • He represented us in all His suffering and death.
  • He took our place in the judgment of God.
  • Our sins He took upon Himself.
  • He assumed responsibility for our guilt. In that capacity, He became obedient unto death, yea, unto the death of the cross.
  • And by His perfect obedience, He, the Son of God in the flesh, blotted out the guilt of our sin, and merited for us eternal righteousness and life. This part of the work of salvation is finished.
  • All that are in Him have redemption in His blood, the forgiveness of sins, the right to eternal life, to all the blessings of salvation."

It's a very good thing that my salvation does not depend upon what I do. For if that were the case, I would be eternally lost.


Monday, July 11, 2011

A Couple Minutes On the Phone Will Reduce Your Unwanted Mail!

Are you tired of all those catalogs and other monthly mailings that arrive on your doorstep? Well, I was, too, so I decided to do something about it.

Recently I began calling the 800 number found somewhere in the mailed item and asked to be removed from their mailing list. To date I've eliminated sixteen mailings.

Some were solicitations for funds. Some were catalogs. Some were ads for such things as the symphony in the Big City to the north of us. And, of course, all those mailings one receives when one nears retirement age.

We no longer have mail coming to our house from these sixteen sources.

So! Tired of all that mail? Take the time to call their 800 numbers and ask to be removed. Be sure to have the catalog in front of you...they will usually ask for the address as printed on your mail.

They've all been gracious to my request. (They do advise that it may take a couple months to eliminate all mail from their office...sometimes mailings are planned a month in advance...but they do eventually stop the mailing.)

I think I've saved a forest. And eliminated some aggravating mail.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Upon Which I Quote Calvin Coolidge

Yesterday I stumbled across an editorial by Leon Kass (whom I had never read before) wherein he pointed his readers to a remarkable address by former President Calvin Coolidge. The occasion was the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1926.

The speech itself is quite long. I'm including only one short paragraph which follows.

"No one can examine this record (The Declaration) and escape the conclusion that in the great outline of its principles the Declaration was the result of the religious teachings of the preceding period. The profound philosophy which Jonathan Edwards applied to theology, the popular preaching of George Whitefield, had aroused the thought and stirred the people of the Colonies in preparation for this great event. No doubt the speculations which had been going on in England, and especially on the Continent, lent their influence to the general sentiment of the times. Of course, the world is always influenced by all the experience and all the thought of the past. But when we come to a contemplation of the immediate conception of the principles of human relationship which went into the Declaration of Independence we are not required to extend our search beyond our own shores. They are found in the texts, the sermons, and the writings of the early colonial clergy who were earnestly undertaking to instruct their congregations in the great mystery of how to live. They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image, all partakers of the divine spirit."

You can read the Coolidge's complete address here.

Before I conclude, and in conjunction with our Declaration of Independence, I want to recommend to you (we used Netflix) John Adams (HBO Minisiries) (2008). It's a fascinating biography of John Adams, our second President. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington are highly featured in the movie as well. It's quite long, a seven-part miniseries on 3 disks, but well worth the watch.