Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Could He Have Failed? I Don't Think So. And Scripture Backs Me Up!

Recently I visited a Christian blog that was reviewing a book by a noted theologian.  No, I am not going to name the book...suffice it to say that one of the chapters began with a statement in regard to the temptation of Christ (wherein Satan offered him the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would only bow down to him).   

Now I want to say that I have not read the rest of this book and am not going to name the book.  You can find it easily enough if you google portions of the following sentences therein.

The topic of the book is "how to deal with temptations" (or at least that's what I got from the review).  The author used the following  impossible scenario as an intro.  

"If Jesus had accepted it (the devil's offer of the kingdoms of the world) Satan would have surrendered his reign of terror.  Jesus could have directed the kingdoms of the world however he wanted.  No more babies would be miscarried. No more women would die in childbirth. Ended immediately would be all human slavery, all genocide, all disease, all poverty, all torture, and all ecological catastrophes."

This scenario IS IMPOSSIBLE, theologically speaking. 

The author's premise of what might have transpired IF Jesus HAD accepted Satan's offer is true only IF following are true:
  1. ...if Satan is NOT a liar and can (or even will) deliver what he promises
  2. ...only if Satan is willing to forego the TOTAL destruction of humankind, sinners or no, and allow man to live in "earthly" peace once Jesus stepped back from his appointed, fore-ordained, all-empowered work.
  3. ...ONLY if Satan has full power over the things of this world. We know that he does not (Job Chapter 1).  He can do only so far as God allows. There is nothing in the Bible that infers Satan has full control over earthly matters, including kingdoms, neither then nor now. God is the One who sets up and tears down.  Yes, Satan works and works mightily. My point is that the kingdoms were not HIS to GIVE!
  4. Lastly, it is true only if it were POSSIBLE for God's ordained plan of salvation to fail. God is all-powerful. What He ordains, He brings about. And He ordained that the Son would not fail.
None of these four prerequisites is possible. NONE!

Could Jesus have failed? Could He have yielded to Satan's temptations?  Let's take a look at what Scripture tells us.
  • Luke 22:22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined.."
  • Acts 2:23  "this man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge  of God, you (men of Israel vs.. 22) nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put him to death." 
  • Acts 3:18 "But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
  • Acts 4:28 "...to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur." 
  • Acts 10:42 "...this is the One who has been appointed by God a Judge of the living and the dead."
  • Acts 17:31  "He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
What God ordains He brings about.  He does NOT TRY something only to have it fail.  He sent the Son into the world, knowing that what He planned the Son would accomplish.  It was foreordained (ordered from the beginning) and predestined (destined to happen exactly as ordained).

To think anything less is to question the complete sovereignty of God and to denigrate His redemptive power to nothing.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Ears That Hear

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  Every woman knows about breast cancer.  Very few know the  symptoms of ovarian. Last month I was a guest blogger at the Scope Blog published by the Stanford School of Medicine. I've printed my column almost in its entirety.  Please read on.

Several years ago we moved back to the Midwest, and I needed to find a family physician. I opted for a female doctor, hoping that as a woman she might be more tuned to my aging female body and to its potential health problems. Potential, I say, because I thought I was in good health.  (Disclaimer...my new doctor was practicing in the Bigger City, not here in our hometown.)

I liked my new doctor and enjoyed my annual physicals and other visits. But looking back, I wish she would have listened more closely to my seemingly minor complaints. I may have been ignorant about the subtle and near-silent symptoms of ovarian cancer, including rib pain and the frequent need to urinate, day and night, but my doctor should have known. I expected her to know.

It was in 2007 when I first mentioned nightly pain under the edge of my bottom right rib.   I told my Doc I couldn’t sleep on my right side. Six months later I mentioned it again, and in late 2008 I once more mentioned the nagging discomfort. During that visit my doctor did a two-second rectovaginal pelvic examination and, as part of my physical, a full blood work-up. The results were still at the lab so before I left I asked her to send me a print-out.
Several days later my blood results arrived in the mail. Three pages. At the top of the first page my doctor had written, “Looks great!” endorsed by an inked smiley face. I casually scanned down the first page. Everything looked normal. But when I got to the third page I noticed my alkaline phosphatase reading was abnormally high, and I did what any normal person does these days: I Googled. Possibilities included problems with the gall bladder or liver and that dastardly word “cancer.” (Note! Always ask for copies of blood labs and other tests and read them.)

Naturally, I opted to think it was a gall bladder problem and asked for an ultrasound, which showed a large gallstone that I went in to get removed. 

My gall bladder surgeon was the one to give me the bad news. As I came out from under the anesthesia, his face swirled in the white light above me while he told me he had found cancer in my abdomen and on my liver (right where I had been experiencing pain). I remember distinctly the photos he showed me. Still under the influence of anesthesia, I replied quietly, “That is not good news.”

Fortunately for me, my surgeon referred me to a Gyno/Onc who debulked me, removed 95 percent of the cancer, tied my intestines into little “animal balloons” (I jest only slightly), returned them to my ab cavity and put me back together with 43 metal staples. I had just endured the “mother of all surgeries.” It was a brutal surgery but without it I would be long dead. The official diagnosis was ovarian cancer (stage III-C), and chemo followed. And followed. And followed.

Three and a half years later, I’m on my 5th chemo regimen. All things considered I’m doing fairly well: I lead an active life, do some volunteer work, take care of my home. I’m grateful to be alive. (Yes, I've been bald. Three Times!)

But I can’t help but think that if my doctor had listened more closely, more sharply, with “ears that hear,” to my ongoing complaints about rib pain, or if she had provided me with a simple informational brochure so I would been more knowledgeable, perhaps I would have been diagnosed long before Stage III-C.  

Every woman knows about breast cancer. But very few know about the symptoms or diagnostic tests associated with ovarian cancer – which could be why most of us are diagnosed late in the game, when statistics for survival are grim. Awareness is the most important piece of diagnosis – awareness by both the medical professional and the patient – and so I ask doctors to educate themselves and their patients about this deadly cancer.


Perhaps it was unfair, but I "fired" that female doctor. Now I work with a family practitioner in our small town.  He watches over my overall health and follows my progress (or lack of it) in regards to my chemo. I like it that he's one of my neighbors and now and then I catch a glimpse of him riding his bicycle home after a long day at the clinic. Without using his hands on the handlebars!  Yikes! I like it even more when he takes the time to sit and really listen as we discuss what is going on in my "health".  

And those "silent symptoms" of ovarian cancer?  They can be easily mistaken for digestive and other problems.  But if symptoms are persistent, YOU be persistent with your Doc. Symptoms can include:
  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain (including under the bottom right rib)
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Need to urinate urgently or often (day and/or night)
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach or heartburn
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual changes
  • (in my case, a mild anemia with no known cause)
If symptoms persist daily for more than two weeks the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition advises you to ask your physician for a combination pelvic/rectal exam, transvaginal ultrasound, and CA-125 blood test.  Tell 'em I sent ya.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Betcha Never Found Anything Like This While Out Walking!

Remember when I mentioned saving lotsa folks from having flat tires...by picking up stray nails during my walks around town?   Well, look what I found this week.  I believe these are blanks from a starter gun.  There were originally ten bullets.  I found only nine.  The nail was found during the same walk.

It didn't seem like a good idea to leave them in the street.  They would make an awful pop if someone ran over them in such a way that they might "fire".

And it didn't seem like a good idea to toss them in the garbage either!  Just think of the garbage truck exploding the caps as the truck compressed my garbage bag!

So I took them to the local police station and let them deal with the disposal.

Betcha never found anything like that on any of YOUR walks, now have ya!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Spaghetti On the Floor? Or How I Recycle an Electric Blanket

Aww, it only LOOKS like spaghetti.

These strands are the wires pulled from a non-functioning twin-size electric blanket.  The blanket was in good condition, less than a year old, but the "electric" part quit working.  (I would think electric blankets should last more than a year...but, whatever!!!)

I discovered it's a simple task to snip around the connecting unit, then begin pulling wires. When I could pull no more, I cut the wire and found another to pull. It took several efforts to get at all the wires. The finishing touch was to stitch down the cut area and toss it into the washing machine.  

(Don't use your best sewing scissors to snip wires...find the clutzy pair that resides in your handy-dandy tool box.)

Next month this "new" upcycled cream-colored blanket, freshly laundered, will go on our church's "free" garage sale.  Hopefully, some child will be a bit warmer this winter. 

The "spaghetti" went in the trash.  I suppose I could recycle the copper but I don't know where. And the wire is so tiny, I don't think it's worth a lot to anyone. 

Nonetheless...if someone sets up mining operations someday in our landfills in order to harvest the metals we have tossed away, perhaps these wires will contribute to future recycling.  *smile*