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9 posts from December 2018

I remember when I pinned a "bruised reed" on my oldest grandson just before we left Croatia

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I was saying goodbye to my then four-year-old grandson at the Split, Croatia airport when I pinned this on him.  I tried to tell him in a pre-schooler sort of way what it meant.  And then I pinned it on him and said "don't worry" if you lose it.  I had more, I told him.

Then I read the devotion this morning from Our Daily Bread about the birth of Jesus and how he wasn't born as a king in some sort of Trump Tower kind of place.  It was like the cow farms about a half mile down from us where in spring mornings you can smell the animals and all the poop they leave in the fields.

Right now, the world seems to be awash in sin.  Hate seems to be the favored four-letter word.  There's an answer and that's what we are celebrating today.  I have to remind myself everyday of the hope that he gives us.  It's the only real hope that sticks like Gorilla Glue.

I want my grandson Xavier to never forget that and I want to encourage him to talk about it with his siblings and his cousins, as well as his friends.  

By the way, the verse about Him not breaking a bruised reed is from Isaiah 42:1-4.

 

 


Here's the antidote when you feel that you don't measure up; "You Say" by Lauren Daigle

Because of circumstances I write about in other posts in this blog, I can really identify with the words in this song.  I had never heard of Lauren Daigle until I read an email devotion from the church we used to attend-Ada Bible Church just east of Grand Rapids.  The devotion is one I will print off and save and read often if not everyday.  

I remember Pastor Jeff Manion preaching about identity  from the same passage--I remember vividly his emphasis "Remember Who You Are."

This is a real Christmas gift from Him to all of us, including me.


Here's how to tell if you're getting old

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When we sitting on the couch eating lunch this afternoon while watching Everybody Loves Raymond, my wife caught this on Facebook.  It got me to thinking about my age and how pay attention to the location of the john when I'm out and around.  

I also pee a couple times during the night.  I've started to use that time to pray for my kids and grandkids and, of course, for my wife.  

Should churches develop prayer lists for their senior members to use when they go to the bathroom during the middle of the night?  God doesn't have hours, right?  We can't wake him up.  He's always awake and has a free ear to listen.

 


My favorite Promise Keepers picture was with my son in Las Vegas in 2003

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I'm going through old pictures from Yahoo's soon to be closed-down photo storage sight called Flickr and I ran across this gem from the 2003 Promise Keepers in Las Vegas.  Our son Justin was studying at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and needed a break, so he and I hopped a plane from our different locations and met in Las Vegas.

It was the ultimate guys' weekend where we spent our time hearing and talking about our relationship with God.  What a backdrop for a national men's Christian group.  After it was over we walked the strip, ate some food and talked about everything.  It was a God-given chance for a father and son to get to know each other on a more intimate basis.

We went together to 10 more PK rallies and grew that bond even tighter.  I thank God for that chance and that we were able to take advantage of it.

 


With my blocked carotid arteries, I'm not volunteering for a stroke

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Nothing like the threat of a major, catastrophic health event to make a believer in you for major changes like weight loss.  As part of my vision care after a cornea transplant about six months ago, I had a "CAT" scan which showed that I had one carotid that was blocked a hundred percent and the other was blocked around 20 percent.

Vascular surgeons said the risk is too great for a stroke on the artery that's completely blocked.  Only treatment that works is blood thinners.

At the time, I weighed 220 plus.  The scales above show what I weighed this morning.  My goal is 175.  How'd I do it?  Complete support of my wife and with the new and improved online version of Weight Watchers.  Do I feel like I've deprived myself in what I can eat?  Not really.

For instance, I love Greek yogurt.  Now I eat plain yogurt with some fruit on top and it's great.  Once a week, we'll have poached eggs with dry toast and that's great too.  Can I stay at it?  I've lost weight before.  This time I have potential consequences if I don't keep it off.

This all makes me wonder about how many other people have blocked carotids.  This all started because of decreased blood flow to my eye with the new cornea.  


Status report on making Trinity Church--Lansing-- our new church home

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Because of our move from the city of Lansing to the far end of a southern suburb and because of no easy access to freeways, we decided to give Trinity Church in Lansing a try.  For eight years, we had attended Ada Bible Church on the east side of Grand Rapids where we faithfully made the 50-mile trip each way every weekend.

As we--my wife and I--get to the end of another year, we are carefully evaluating what we have done this past year and what we want to change next year.  Church is right on the top tier of our list.  

What factors should we plug into our decision-making?  By going to Trinity we have a 15-minute ride.  That's certainly a consideration.  Are we growing closer to God because of attending this nearby church?  What else?


More pics from December: Fine needle biopsy, me and a grandson, big truck book and some fav meals

 

My life is pretty much chronicled in pictures taken with my cell phone.  A lot of them involve family, especially our grandkids, what we read and what we eat.

On the top left is a shot of me just before a doctor at Michigan State University took a fine needle biopsy of my thyroid.  They were checking for a malignancy on my oversized thyroid and accompanying goiter.  The many needles didn't hurt and "praise God" everything right now is benign, no cancer.

Right next to it on the top row is a picture of me and one of my four grandsons.  He and I had lunch together at a Pot Belly near his house.  The kid is a charmer.  Not much more to say about this one.  It speaks for itself.

In the middle row is a shot of one of my favorite meals, a black bean burger with half a baked acorn squash.  I loved it and I can't pretend to be a food snob.  For me, eating something without ketchup is being "hoity toity."  

The book on the right in the middle row is a Christmas present for my two year-old grandson who posed above with me.  He loves trucks of all  types, especially if they are big and make lots of noise.  I can't wait for he and I to read it together.

More food on the third row.  On the left is taco soup with lean white meat.  It's one of my favorites and next to it is a dish that goes back to my childhood.  Stuffed peppers has been a favorite of mine since I was a little kid.  My mom made it and it was great.  My wife's is better than my mom's.


My week in a few pictures-part one

 

Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Do you take many pictures with your cellphone?  I do.  I have thousands and I like looking at them.  I'm reminded everyday of how much God has blessed me.  

My first picture on the left is from my breakfast this morning.  Poached eggs and plain toast with strawberries without sugar.  It's one of my favorite breakfasts.  I'll see if I can find a picture of another favorite breakfast.  

I finally got tired of asking friends "what did you say" and "can you say that again?"  So as part of my recent medical experiences I went to the audiologist at my Ear, Nose and Throat practice and got my hearing tested and got some pretty decent hearing aids.  I had to pick out the type, of course.  But along with that, I picked out a color.

Next to that is a picture I found of my mom and dad taken after they were married.  In my study, there are several boxes of photos that I inherited from my mom.  I'm going through them carefully, trying to identify people and time periods.