Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ella Scare

It is hard to believe that just one week ago today we were about to experience such a scare with Ella. She had been experiencing a low grade fever since Friday evening, but she was not fussy and continued to be her normal happy go lucky self. We were to meet my mom and dad for lunch Saturday afternoon, and since she was not acting as if she was feeling bad at all, we decided to go ahead and meet them. Even on the way to meet them, she was in a playful mood, but soon after arriving, she began to get fussy and irritable. We decided as soon as lunch was over to head home to call her pediatrician. It was on the way home that Myndall noticed that she was not very active in her car seat. She spoke to her and tried to engage her by being playful and making funny faces, but Ella simply stared straight ahead. Myndall commented on this and continued to try to get her to respond. Then Myndall noticed that she was staring vacantly and was completely non-responsive. Ella began foaming at the mouth, and her right hand began twitching at her wrist. Myndall touched her, and she continued to be completely non-responsive. At this point, Myndall unbuckled and jumped into the back with Ella. Myndall said, "she's not breathing!" At this point, I was going about 90 mph on the interstate headed for Children's hospital ER. I called my mom whom we had just left(she's a nurse for those of you who don't know her). She gave me as many pointers on what to do as she could and told us they would meet us at the ER. Meanwhile, Myndall pulled Ella out of her car seat, and she still was completely non-responsive, as limp as a rag doll, and not breathing. Myndall turned her over and began giving her back thrusts. After doing this for 30 to 45 seconds, Ella finally threw up and gradually began breathing, shallow at first and then more normally.

When we arrived at Children's Hospital and saw the doctor, the prognosis for what had occurred is a febrile seisure. It occurs in 3% of all infants up to age 5. It is brought on by a sudden rise or fall in a fever. We learned several new things about how to deal with a seisure if it were to occur again in the future. The primary things are to put the child in a safe place where they will not hurt themselves if they thrash or go unconcious in the midst of the seisure, lie them down, and turn their head sideways in case they vomit(so they won't choke on it), and call 911. Basically, you just have to wait out the seisure.

A couple of neat aspects to the terrifying experience were that the on call nurse who called us back as we were riding in our car to the ER was a good friend of mine's wife who just happened to be the on call nurse that night. Also, my mom, who works at children's, was praying for a specific doctor to be the one who saw Ella and that was exactly who we got. Thank you to all of you who prayed for us and with us in the midst of this previous week. Your love and friendship is just one of the many things that remind us of the goodness of serving our God.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Who are you? Who, who, who, who? This is the famous line in a song by the band with the same name, The Who.

According to Eastern religions, “you” are an illusion because the self is simply one of the last great illusions to overcome before you become enlightened enough to realize that you are really a part of some huge interconnected, divine blob that includes everyone else also. (I don’t think they use the term blob in their official version of this teaching.)

However, we are given a very different understanding of identity in the Bible. We are not one with God or nature or with each other. God was the one who gave Adam his name. He also renamed Abram to Abraham, and He changed Jacob’s name to Israel. God does not only assign us individual names, but he knows us from our mother’s womb. He knows every detail about our environment we are born into, our genetic make up down to the last strand of DNA, our thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, attitudes, our favorite flavor of ice cream, and our favorite song. In short, God knows us better than we could ever know ourselves and certainly better than anyone else could know us.

Why then do we seem so willing to surrender our identity to those around us throughout our lives? We are willing to believe we are who they say we are. Depending on who “they” are, this common practice can be truly devastating to a person’s life. Even if “they” are loving and clear headed believers who love God and you, we are not to surrender this power to truly define who we are to “them.”

Here is another tricky one that you may have never thought of before. You are also unqualified to be the ultimate determiner of who you truly are. I know you are more familiar with your environment, genetics, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, attitudes, ice cream picks, and songs than anyone else(except God, of course). However, as profound as these things all are, even they do not ultimately define you. No, even your genetic make up DOES NOT define you. What does then? You ask. Ahhh….. I suspect you see where I’m going with this. Yep, God is the only true source of your identity. He gave you an identity, and He alone can fundamentally transform you into a different identity in mid stream like when he turned Jacob into Israel. Ultimately, we are guilty of doing the same thing that “they” do when trying to define our identity, we limit what it could be instead of pursuing God and discovering what He says it WILL BE. This is not to remove our role and responsibility in forming our identity, but we will never truly know the full purpose that God has for our identity until we release control of defining ourselves and allow Him to shape us.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

General Petraeus

PLEASE! Watch at least the first part of General Petraeus's opening remarks to Congress on September 10th. I have made this video available to the right. He is the top military commander in Iraq and SHOULD be, in my opinion, the most authoritative voice in America right now on the situation in Iraq. Here is the bottom line. Either the information he is presenting is accurate or not. There should be no room for personal attacks against him. Argue the data. If anyone can give me some good reasons to believe his information is corrupted(hating or not trusting Bush does not constitute "good reasons"), I will listen to what that person has to say, but I have NOT heard any so far!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Quote of the week...

"Prayer pops the bubble of pride that comes from a well oiled thinking mind. It allows God to counteract our gift of discernment with the humility of acknowledging we still ultimately depend on Him for our understanding."
-Jesse M. Guy


I haven't done a true thoughtful post in awhile. Hopefully, this will qualify as one. Prayer is a mysterious thing to say the least. It is clear we are told to pray to the Father, and I suppose I just have a few thoughts about that from things I've considered over the past couple of years.

I guess the short answer could legitimately be, "I don't know." However, there are some reasons that come to mind. First, it teaches us to live a life that is aware of our dependence on God. If we don't pray, it seems easier to fall into that silly illusion that I am responsible for the blessings I see around me. This reminds me of a quote from C.S. Lewis in his book Problem of Pain, "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." This is the kind of insanity and fundamental disconnectedness that we can fall into if we do not take the time to pray. Another reason I have seen in my own life is that praying for people helps me to remember their needs and care about them as three dimensional individuals more instead of the cardboard cutout relationship of saying hi/bye to our more casual relationships with people. Our prayer brings their reality as hurting people to the forefront of our minds, and this can help us to learn to deal with people more mercifully and lovingly. Finally, it could be that we simply cause the hand of Almighty God to move when He otherwise would not have.


1. A prayer list
-I was resistant to this for the longest time, but I cannot tell you how many little ways this has helped me to grow.....well, I could but then you would not have the joy of discovering that for yourself :) Just start making a list of people and stuff that you would like to pray for on a consistent basis and allow God to bring new things to your mind that you can add to the list. Then develop a faithful practice of praying for all on the list. It feels a little forced at first, but I promise that over time AS YOU GROW FAITHFUL IN DOING IT, God will open your eyes to positive fruits from it that you never would have thought of.

2. Start/End the day with praise and prayer
As early as you can begin thinking of it, develop a habit of "bookending" your day with saying a word of thanks, praise, and request to God. You will be surprised how this can set the tone for your entire day.

3. Develop a time of day for meditating/listening.
Begin by picking a time that you should be able to have a certain amount of uninterrupted and mentally alert time and then pray that God will open your eyes to the Scriptures. This can obviously go hand in hand with some time spent reading your Bible, but doesn't have to be back to back. I know God can show us things through people, nature, situations, etc. also, but I specifically point to the Scriptures here because I think we all need to gain a new passion for meditating on them and Lord knows He can open our eyes to Himself through them. One word about this practice that I have noticed over the years. Disciplining yourself to be a meditator/listener(a disciplined desirer to hear from God) has rewards that can be missed if you limit it to "hearing from God" only in the time frame that you have devoted to meditate. Many times I have spent time thinking about some specific scripture and haven't gotten anything out of it, but then later that day or week, I will see something remarkably clearly out of nowhere when I'm not focused in on Him or the Bible. I have noticed that when I am disciplined to meditate, I have these moments far more often than when I lapse into not disciplining myself to meditate on Him and His word.

Finally, a verse that I have incorporated into a prayer. Job 36:10, "You open their ears to discipline." I ask my Father to bring reminders to my mind to do these practices....not feelings to do them or give me the desire to do them, but simply reminders and then, by His grace, I develop the disciplines that will lead me deeper into abandoning myself to Him fully.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Blog Feature

I hope you will enjoy my new video feature to the top right of the page. All you have to do is click on one of the clips and it will play on my blog. I will be changing the video clip selection up from time to time to try to provide fresh and interesting materials for you to enjoy.

Check out a recent discussion I found very interesting

This is a series of video clips, but you won't need any software to watch them because they are built into the web site.

Scroll down to Our Great Speakers on the right side of the page, and then click on Deepak Chopra. Those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Chopra should know he is a New Age speaker and writer who has a fundamentally Eastern view of things like God, Faith, and especially Truth. You will find five clips, and you can click on any of them in any order to watch some interesting discussions between Chopra and a man named Greg Koukl. I hope you get as much out of these clips as I did!