29 December 2007

Are Antibiotics Useless for Sinus Infections?

I used to have sinus infections all the time, especially in my college years. I took antibiotics every year. I remember asking a doctor one time to "Please give me something stronger this time." So he wrote me a prescription for a more expensive antibiotic. I remember thinking, "This is getting ridiculous. My Microbiology professor keeps telling us about the effects of overprescription of antibiotics." I quit taking them from 1995 to 2003 and actually felt better. I read an article you can link to from the title or read below. First, there is an excerpt from the Journal of the American Medical Association and then Dr. Mercola's commentary that follows. I believe in taking control of our health rather than relying on quick fixes--especially ones that are both harmful and expensive.


Antibiotics are commonly used to treat sinus infections, but a new study found that they work no better than a placebo. Further, prescribing antibiotics to sinus patients may cause harm by increasing their resistance to the medications.

In the study, researchers followed about 200 patients with sinusitis. Of the 100 who received an antibiotic, 29 percent had symptoms that lasted 10 days or more. Another 107 received a placebo, and 34 percent had similarly lasting symptoms. The difference was statistically insignificant.

The effectiveness of a nasal steroid spray for sinus infections was also tested in the study, and found to work the same as the placebo (except among a group of patients with milder symptoms, when it was slightly beneficial).

The researchers suggested that the antibiotic did not help the sinus infections because it couldn’t penetrate the pus-filled sinus cavities.

Unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics has led to enormous problems with drug resistance. Antibiotics were recently found to be ineffective against ear infections and bronchitis as well.

The researchers say the results should encourage more patients to forgo antibiotics for sinus infections.

"With a little bit of patience, the body will usually heal itself," said Dr. Ian Williamson, the study’s lead author.

-Journal of the American Medical Association December 5, 2007;298(21):2487-2496
-Houston Chronicle December 5, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comments:
It’s been known since the last century that antibiotics have been proven to not help you recover from a sinus infection (sinusitis) any faster than a placebo.

Still, Americans spend nearly $6 billion every year on health care costs related to sinusitis, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Imagine if you could put some of that money back into your pocket and address a sinus infection from a foundational level.

How Sinus Infections Occur

Sinus infections occur when the mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses become irritated by a cold, allergy, pollutants or exposure to dry or cold air. This leads your membranes to become inflamed while stimulating your mucous glands to secrete more mucus than usual. As mucus accumulates in your sinuses, it can easily become infected.

But this is all on the surface.

All infections, including sinusitis, appear when certain health principles, such as eating a healthy diet, dealing with stress, and taking time to relax, are not followed.

This dampens the strength of your immune system and allows bacteria and fungus (another primary cause of sinus infections) to take hold in your nose and sinuses. And when it does, you can be left battling fatigue, sinus pressure, post-nasal drip, and thick mucus making it difficult to breathe.

Top Ways to Avoid Getting a Sinus Infection

1. Avoid eating sugar or grains, as detailed in my nutrition plan.

2. Consume good quality krill or fish oil, high in omega-3 fats DHA and EPA.

3. Eat coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. However, be careful with which oil you choose, as many coconut oils contain fungal toxins. This is because they are commonly made with copras, or dried coconuts, which are often contaminated with mycotoxins. So in order to fully enjoy the benefits of coconut oil, you will want to be sure that you find a company that uses only fresh coconuts to make their oil.

4. Avoid eating these top 10 mycotoxic foods.

5. Get proper sleep.

6. Get regular exercise

If you suffer from sinus infections and other sinus issues often, I highly recommend you also look into the emotional origins of this problem.

Emotions are directly tied to your physical health, and new advances in this field are allowing us to pinpoint very precisely which emotional challenges are spurring your physical ones.

For instance, Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer, the creator of German New Medicine, has shown that sinus problems are triggered by an emotional “stink conflict,” which could be a severe emotional reaction to an actual odor, or a symbolic feeling that “this situation stinks!”

The sinus infection occurs once you have resolved the emotional conflict, and is actually a part of your body’s healing process. So please do take the time to get to the bottom of any emotional problems that are ailing you.

Natural Treatments for Sinus Infections

If you’ve already come down with a sinus infection, you now know that antibiotics are probably not the answer. Taking them is unlikely to speed your recovery, and will definitely contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic-resistance.

Fortunately, there is a full arsenal of tools available at your fingertips that will soothe your symptoms and get you on the road to recovery. My past article How to Flush Away Sinus Ills details seven of them, and here are the first three:

1. Drink hot liquids, such as tea or hot chicken soup. It will help moisturize your mucous membranes, speeding up the movement of your cilia and thus washing mucus out of your sinuses more quickly.

2. Apply warm compresses to your face, three times a day for five minutes. A small towel soaked in warm water, placed over your face below and between your eyes, will help increase the circulation in your sinuses, which will also help speed up the movement of your cilia.

3. Irrigate your sinuses. (If you’ve never done this before, see the Nasal Irrigation Guidelines source link in the past article above.) Make sure you use a saline solution that does not contain benzalkonium. Benzalkonium is a preservative that can impair nasal function and might sting and burn. To make your own preservative-free saline solution, add one teaspoon of table salt to one pint of distilled water. Nettie pots are readily available and can help facilitate nasal irrigation.

17 December 2007

Letter from Ron Paul

December 17, 2007

What a day! I am humbled and inspired, grateful and thrilled for this vast outpouring of support.

On just one day, in honor of the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, the new American revolutionaries brought in $6.04 million, another one-day record. The average donation was $102; we had 58,407 individual contributors, of whom an astounding 24,915 were first-time donors. And it was an entirely voluntary, self-organized, decentralized, independent effort on the internet. Must be the "spammers" I keep hearing about!

The establishment is baffled and worried, and well they should be. They keep asking me who runs our internet fundraising and controls our volunteers. To these top-down central planners, a spontaneous order like our movement is science-fiction. But you and I know it's real: as real as the American people's yearning for freedom, peace, and prosperity, as real as all the men and women who have sacrificed for our ideals, in the past and today.

And how neat to see celebrations all across the world, with Tea Parties from France to New Zealand. This is how we can spread the ideals of our country, through voluntary emulation, not bombs and bribes. Of course, there were hundreds in America.

As I dropped in on a cheering, laughing crowd of about 600 near my home in Freeport, Texas, I noted that they call us "angry." Well, we are the happiest, most optimistic "angry" movement ever, and the most diverse. What unites us is a love of liberty, and a determination to fix what is wrong with our country, from the Fed to the IRS, from warfare to welfare. But otherwise we are a big tent.

Said the local newspaper (http://www.thefacts.com/story.lasso?ewcd=36475b4d132fc0a1): "The elderly sat with teens barely old enough to vote. The faces were black, Hispanic, Asian and white. There was no fear in their voices as they spoke boldly with each other about the way the country should be. Held close like a deeply held secret, Paul has brought them out of the disconnect they feel between what they know to be true and where the country has been led."

Thanks also to the 500 or so who braved the blizzard in Boston to go to Faneuil Hall. My son Rand told me what a great time he had with you.

A few mornings ago on LewRockwell.com, I saw a YouTube of a 14-year-old boy that summed up our whole movement for me. This well-spoken young man, who could have passed in knowledge for a college graduate, told how he heard our ideas being denounced. So he decided to Google. He read some of my speeches, and thought, these make sense. Then he studied US foreign policy of recent years, and came to the conclusion that we are right. So he persuaded his father to drop Rudy Giuliani and join our movement.

All over America, all over the world, we are inspiring real change. With the wars and the spying, the spending and the taxing, the inflation and the credit crisis, our ideas have never been more needed. Please help me spread them http://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate in all 50 states. Victory for liberty! That is our goal, and nothing less.



15 December 2007

Ron Paul and Political Paradigms

I read a short positive article on Ron Paul I wanted to share. Click on the title "Ron Paul and Political Paradigms" to be linked to the article.

I've been teaching/facilitating the teen class on Wednesday nights for several months now. We originally started going through the book of Acts. I believe the book of Acts is about the restoration of Israel. Israel was restored when, for starters, the risen Jesus became the eternal king/Messiah of the offspring of David (2 Samuel 7). However, though Israel was essentially restored at that point through the ascension and enthronement of Jesus the King/Messiah, the Apostles asked him, "Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?" What did Jesus say? He had already taught them about the kingdom in a forty-day seminar, hadn't he? Most of the people he came across in the book of Acts already understood the kingdom before he had even come along.

However, I've often heard it taught that those foolish Apostles misunderstood the nature of God's Kingdom. "It's a spiritual, not a political, kingdom . . . (blah, blah, blah)."

But Jesus didn't ridicule the Apostles for a misunderstanding this time. They understood that there had been the effective anointment of the true king of Israel and the world. They only wondered when the regime change would begin to transform Israel and the world. Hence their question's emphasis on time. And hence Jesus' answer's emphasis on time and the Father's will. He told them, "You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business. What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you'll be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world."

It is correct that God's Kingdom is spiritual, for the Holy Spirit initiates the regime change rather than some human-contrived political establishment. However, the Kingdom is a political realm. It is an eternal, political Kingdom already verified thru the King's resurrection. His power has already been demonstrated in the new Israel, in us, thru the Holy Spirit. Israel can now truly be a light to the ends of the world, not simply because they are scattered, but because God has appointed Jesus as Messiah by raising him from the dead. The Kingdom is being restored to this day, and until the King returns, each time we bow our allegiance to Jesus, the God-approved King.

In our teens class, we imagined that each of us was a national ruler. Some would be Presidents, others Prime Ministers, others Warlords, and still others Kings and Queens of Kingdoms. (I was Emperor of the Welsh Empire.) We imagined the first ten lines of our inaugural address in order to prepare for the inaugural address of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Then, we listened to Jesus' sermon on the plain where a congregation gathered around him both to hear him and to be cured of their ailments. Those disturbed by evil spirits were healed. Everyone was trying to touch him--so much energy surging from him, so many people healed! Then he spoke: . . .

I would encourage you to read the first ten lines of Jesus' inaugural address starting in Luke 6:19.

08 December 2007

Who Would the World Elect?

Check this out! Click on the link--http://www.whowouldtheworldelect.com/--and vote for your candidate of choice. Then, notice who has the most votes internationally! Do more soldiers support Ron Paul than any other candidate? Do his messages attract people in other countries more than any other? Or is it all a scam?

If you have not done so already, I ask that you watch some Ron Paul videos, read his views on Wikipedia, or read his articles from his website. You won't see anything about him on the television media and when you do they tend to lie. (For example, I have heard them say a number of times that he isn't really a Republican candidate because he's the only one who thinks we shouldn't have invaded Iraq. But in our history we have usually elected Republican Presidents to get us out of wars. Ron Paul is of the original Republicans, not of the Imperialist neo-cons.)

It really makes me wonder why the television news sources almost ridicule him while there is a sense on the web of a real fervor for Ron Paul. Rather than letting the present powers decide who is the most qualified or eligible candidate, I would rather let the support come from a grassroots movement. Perhaps that's kind of scary since it would include both saints and sinners. Surely support would come from greater saints than the ones in power right now, but it may also come from worse sinners.

03 December 2007

Ron Paul and Parkour

I'm sorry I haven't really been updating my blog. I'm constantly thinking of things I would like to post for encouragement, but we're pretty busy and sometimes I don't feel like I can put my thoughts down very concisely. So here are a couple of points I'll just put up for people to see . . .

First, I'm still happy with Ron Paul and his character and ideas. I don't know if America really wants him for President, but I do. I'm planning to send him some money to help spread his message. I remember hearing him say one time (and I've watched lots of his speeches and read his writings online over the past several months): "Americans are losing faith that the government can solve all their problems," and "I think people would like a government that has a good message."

Second, I'm considering a new sport/activity with my friend and former mission teammate, Jon Grizzle. He introduced me via the Web to "Parkour". Watching videos is probably the best description, but I would describe it something like this:

Rule #1: Don't hurt yourself: know what you can do.
Rule #2: Travel from point A to point B as though your life depended on it.
Rule #3: Learn to overcome obstacles through courage and discipline.
Rule #4: Let Parkour instruct your life.

Here are a couple of my favorite videos, a website, and of course the Wikipedia link:

Also, look at these two websites if you want to learn about Parkour: http://www.americanparkour.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour.

13 November 2007


I've had a lot on my mind recently. Visiting prospective partners who might send us to Australia for ten years . . . Nicole's Mum staying with thru Thanksgiving . . . leadership and power dynamics in my workplace . . . various asundry blog post ideas I never get around to posting . . . and, of course, what I may eat, drink, or wear tomorrow.

I've also been thinking a lot about Ron Paul. He's kind of messed my life up a bit by inspiring me to give up political apathy. I still have greater faith in Jesus of Nazareth's ability to rule the world than anyone else. He's the only rightful king. But Ron Paul's deep conviction and character remind me of this. I want to ask my blog readers to take time studying Ron Paul's personal history, views, and essays. I recommend watching YouTube videos of Ron Paul and/or reading Wikipedia's entry on Ron Paul. I have read summaries on almost all of Ron Paul's views and legislation and have found that every single one made sense.

So, now, added to all the other things on my mind recently, I'm wondering how best to take action. There are many other things that are probably more urgent for me to think about than to consider how I can support Ron Paul for President 2008. Still, I've decided to at least post this little entry to show my support and encourage people to learn about Ron Paul's consistent voting record and thorough knowledge of every issue and his youthful passion for being free and alive. If you take my recommendation, you will almost certainly become a better leader. I would love to read comments from my friends and family on this, too, especially if you have a negative view of Ron Paul's character or convictions. It will certainly make things interesting and remind us of what freedom means.

Oh, by the way, here's a quote from a 2003 article that I really like: "The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation’s history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government. This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people’s allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before putting their faith in the state."

01 November 2007

Nobel Moment

My dad sent me a link to this excellent article [click on this blog title for link]. The author, John Christy, calls for less presumptuousness and drama about global climate change and greater liberality where it counts. In fact, Christy's article encourages me to spend time and money on issues in ways that create 20 to 500 times the benefit of marginally limiting "global warming". I think one of my favorite parts of the article is here where Christy says,

" . . . It is my turn to cringe when I hear overstated-confidence from those who describe the projected evolution of global weather patterns over the next 100 years, especially when I consider how difficult it is to accurately predict that system's behavior over the next five days.

Mother Nature simply operates at a level of complexity that is, at this point, beyond the mastery of mere mortals (such as scientists) and the tools available to us. As my high-school physics teacher admonished us in those we-shall-conquer-the-world-with-a-slide-rule days, "Begin all of your scientific pronouncements with 'At our present level of ignorance, we think we know . . .'"

But the best part of the article comes in the final lines because it leaves us with the ability to respond to an undeniable moral imperative.

31 October 2007

Right/Left Brain

Click on the title "Right/Left Brain" to take a really quick, I mean, really quick test to see if you're predominantly left or right brain. The cool thing is when you can sense visually when you switch back and forth, left to right, right to left!

I'm predominantly right brained according to the test. I looked at the list and noticed that I do think with my "left" brain in certain ways. I'm glad my "brains" are talking. Below I've interpreted how well I think in the particular "area", from RARE to MEDIUM to WELL

Left Brain Functions:
Uses logic - RARE
Detail oriented - WELL
Facts rule - RARE
Words and language - WELL
Present and past - WELL
Math and science - math, RARE; science, WELL
Comprehension - MEDIUM
Knowing - WELL
Acknowledges - ?
Order/pattern perception - MEDIUM
Knows object name - WELL
Reality based - MEDIUM
Forms strategies - RARE
Practical - RARE
Safe - RARE

Right Brain Functions:
Uses feeling - WELL
“Big picture” oriented - MEDIUM
Imagination rules - WELL
Symbols and images - WELL
Present and future - WELL
Philosophy and religion - philosophy, MEDIUM; religion, WELL
Gets the “meaning” - WELL
Believes - WELL
Appreciates - WELL
Spatial perception - WELL
Knows object function - MEDIUM
Fantasy based - WELL
Presents possibilities - WELL
Impetuous - WELL
Risk taking - WELL

30 October 2007

18 October 2007

Holy Spirit Sustainability

This is an interesting article I thought I would share.

Monday, October 15, 2007
Holy Spirit Sustainability (by Brian McLaren)

According to the World Wildlife Fund, each of us needs about 2.5 acres of arable land to be sustained with needed food. Then we need to add another two acres or so - enough land to sustain the plants and animals that keep our ecosystem balanced and fertile. So, each of the 6.7 billion human beings requires, at minimum, 4.45 acres of fertile land.

But the math stopped working in the latter part of the previous century. The fact is, we're using about 5.44 acres per person on average, which exceeds the carrying capacity of our planet. And these numbers are skewed by our disproportionate ecological footprint as Americans - we require over 23 acres per person to sustain us at the standard of living to which we have become accustomed.

Perhaps we can be forgiven for developing this unsustainable lifestyle because we didn't know what we were doing. But now, as the information becomes available - and increasingly incontrovertible - we have a new responsbility and opportunity. And here is my firm belief: whatever the pleasures that come from living an unsustainable, and therefore unwise, life, the pleasures of living a wise and sustainable life will be far greater.

I was speaking on these topics recently, and a woman told me she wrote a note to her husband during my talk, saying something like, "You got me up at 7 a.m. to hear some guy make me feel guilty for being a successful American? Thanks a lot!" But she told me later, with some emotion, that by the end of the talk, she felt God had spoken to her. "The Holy Spirit washed over me," she said. She was genuinely excited about the chance to learn to live better, and to seek a higher kind of success than we have achieved so far - a wise success, a good success, a sustainable success.

This is true in my own life. When I was researching my most recent book, I kept adding some small choices to my life to adjust my lifestyle to what I was learning. For example, we set a moratorium on incandescent bulbs in our house. Whenever one blows, we're replacing it with a compact flourescent, and it feels fantastic to do so. I took about an hour and built a composting bin in my back yard, and it's really enjoyable to add biodegradable kitchen scraps to it each day. These are small things, but I think if you try them, you'll agree: this isn't drudgery and painful sacrifice.

As the psalmist said, "You show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore." I think it was Jane Goodall who said something like this: "You thought the age of reason was good? Wait until you see the age of love!" And I would add, "You thought the age of consumption and waste was good? Wait until you experience the joy of the age of sustainability and wise use!"

In Deuteronomy 15, God promised the people that if they lived according to the Lord's ways, there would be enough for everyone and "there will be no one in need among you." This is the dream: that we learn to live "in the ways of the Lord" so that there is enough for everyone and the planet is well-cared for, flourishing and green, full of birdsongs, and teeming with life, to the glory of God.

14 October 2007

Whaley Vacation

We went to the Smoky Mountains for a vacation with my family back in August. I posted pictures before, but here are some more. We hadn't been able to find our camera cord since we got back from the trip until Friday night. So now here they are . . .

View out our cabin:
Melissa about to hold a tarantula!

04 October 2007


Follow this link and watch the videos with friends: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/10/04/don-t-click-this-unless-you-want-to-laugh.aspx

29 September 2007

Animal Battles

Here's a boring Biodynamic Vineyard video. A doctor explains how tending his vineyard informed his care of humans and vice versa. He changed from using mostly medicine for putting "bullets" in disease to using homeopathic to support the living organism:

Here's a video of a tenacious animal with a high threshold for pain. (It must be the year of the . . .):

But this is amazing--the resiliency and tenacity of animals . . . "A battle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and 2 crocodiles at a watering hole in South Africa's Kruger National Park while on safari."

22 September 2007

There and Back Again

Approaching veiled Yale

Climbing above 13,000 feet

Looking back at the ground we've climbed

Atop Yale at 14,196 feet high: Shawn, David, Jeff, and Chris

You da' man . . . Gou da' cheese . . .

Mt. Yale view of the forboding Mt. Harvard

Mt. Yale view of Mt. Oxford

Overall Mt. Yale view of the mountain range to its north: see Mt. Harvard? and to its left is Oxford with another snowcapped peak between them in the background.

29 August 2007

Mt. Yale

I found out only recently that I'll be able to go with my friend/teammate, Shawn Griffith, on a trek. we're climbing Mt. Yale--over 14,000 feet! I am so pumped! I've been wanting to go really camping for a long, long, long time and was planning to go by myself in October. Now, I just have to take care of my checklist. I am so pumped! We'll leave September 14th and get back the following Friday. Man, I'm pumped! Click on the title to be linked to pictures of the mountain.

Here are some pictures from when we climbed the top bit of Clingman's Dome in east Tennessee near Gatlinburg:

20 August 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Max Weldon Whaley

It's hard to imagine how much love you've poured into my life. Thankfully, I don't have to imagine. I am in such an enormous debt of gratitude to you. Thank you for living your Jesus-following life in front of me.

Thanks for teaching me to love my wife by loving mom, being faithful to her, respecting her, and building her up. I have never worried that you would ever leave Mom because of your devotion to her. Thanks for teaching me to love my brother and sister--making me mean it when I said "Sorry" to Melissa and giving me the board when I hit Stephen. Thanks for hitting balls to me and letting me practice throwing them in to you at home.

Thanks for getting me to help you weave that soccer/volleyball net. Thanks for asking me if I wanted to be baptized while we did that. Thanks for putting up the tetherball pole. Thanks for letting me swing the sledgehammer against the post.

Thanks for pulling me out of the water on our first fishing trip together. Thanks for not letting the extended relatives drown me on our first camping trip together.

Thanks for demonstrating the true meaning of punctilious. Thanks for teaching me to buy shoes that fit well. Thanks for mowing a maze-path in the tall grass so I could race through it. Thanks for kicking my butt when I was being lazy while you were mowing. Thanks for racing me down Lakeview Road out in the country and trying to beat me, but still losing to me. Thanks for showing me that Tarantula, that King Snake, that opossum, and all the other animals. Thanks for showing me how to be calm around animals (and people) and for so many times helping me diffuse my out-of-control anger.

Thanks for having me read about Jesus' Resurrection and listening to what I thought about it while we sat on the back porch. Thanks for introducing me to all your coworkers and being so proud of me. A lot of people thought I'd never make anything of myself, but you did. Thanks for encouraging me to consider different vocations without pressing them on me too much.

Thanks for loving Nicole so freely and generously and gently and confidently. Thanks for praying such a beautiful prayer at our wedding. (And, by the way, thanks for teaching me about the vas deferens, too. ;-))

Thanks for playing the world's smallest violin for me whenever I would whine. Thanks for singing that song early on school day mornings--" . . . with egg on our places and bright shining faces, this is a good way to start a good day!" Thanks for letting me blow zerberts on your belly and letting me jump on your belly off the sofa. Thanks for letting me see you developing new skills (woodworking) late in life, too. Thanks for being an avid reader. Thanks for parking far out so other people could park up close and we could enjoy walking. Thanks for putting up with my long-winded theological lessons so graciously. Thanks for engaging me in theological conversations. Thanks for being willing to change your views--even later in life. Thanks for being patient--even when you were younger. You have always been like the young Timothy except that you're a father and now suddenly 60! "There is no one like you, who will show genuine concern for the welfare of others. You don't look out for your own interests, but those of Jesus Christ."

I love you, Dad. God bless you,

12 August 2007

Testimony to Brain Power

I am amazed at what the body can do "on its own" and in spite of all sorts of challenges. We don't often see the hidden abilities that may reside in each one of us, but take a look at people with autism and see how strong the ability to remember can be. Click on the title to go to an amazing story. How many points could a 17-year old, 5-foot-6-inch boy with autism make in his first basketball game? What if he had been watching other kids make the same shots for several years? Unbelievable! He's a wonderful kid, too. Although he can't play in the post-season games since he didn't play the rest of the season, he's excited about continuing to support his team in his usual role as manager. “I just want to win as a team, not individually,” he said.

11 August 2007


My "little" brother and me during a hike up a mountain in the Smokies.

In addition to hiking, we also played our 2nd annual round robin tennis tournament. Last year, the ranking went: Stephen-1, Nicole-2, and me-3. This year, it was close again, but Nicole was #1, Stephen #2, and me #3. My family left us two tennis rackets so Nicole and I can practice. We played this morning, the first to six wins. I won the first three. Then, Nicole won six in a row, barely! We have Stephen to thank for inspiring us to play tennis.

07 August 2007


25 June 2007

What a Royal Waste!

Here's a devotional I got in an email. I thought this was worth sharing.

As the Jewish leaders plotted to kill Jesus, a woman entered the room where he reclined at the table for dinner, broke a jar of costly ointment, and poured it on his head - a gesture recognized in that culture as conveying great honor and respect. The disciples were dismayed, perceiving this to be a waste when there was so much need around them. The ointment could have been sold and the money used to feed the poor. Jesus responded by demanding that they straighten out their priorities: "Why do you trouble this woman? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me" (Mt 26:10-11).

This rebuke to the disciples seems unfair, especially since it immediately follows Jesus' teaching that those who will inherit the kingdom prepared for them will be those who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner (Mt 25:31-45). He had just said that serving needs is the way disciples show their care for him: "Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me" (Mt 25:45). Aren't the disciples responding appropriately to the woman's wastefulness in the face of all the need around them? Wouldn't a follower of Jesus be expected to use such a resource to care for the needs of others?

Jesus' teaching about the costly ointment points us again to why we serve. We serve not just because the need is there, but because we love Jesus and want to communicate that love. Our service is to be motivated by our love of Christ, not just by the needs of our communities. The disciples had missed the point. They could serve Jesus directly as a sign of their ultimate loyalty and love. Later, they would serve the poor and the powerless as SIGNS OF THEIR COMMITMENT TO CHRIST. We serve through ministry with those who represent him in our midst - hurting and oppressed people. We are driven to serve by our mission, not simply by their needs. If we start with a focus on the need, then like the disciples, we will miss the point. If we serve only because the need is there, we will become discouraged and burn out, because the needs are so extensive. There will ALWAYS be family violence and divorce and inadequate parenting in this world; no mattter how hard and effectively we work, we will not make it all go away. We must stay connected to the source of our service, the vine of which we are branches (Jn 15:1-11). We serve because we love Jesus, and if we stay connected to that loving relationship, then we will not be overwhelmed by the enormous needs around us.

Jesus' description of himself as the vine, God as the vine-grower, and us as branches captures what happens if we forget that we are merely branches of Christ, expressions of Christ's love. We must "abide in the vine," otherwise we cannot bear fruit. When we lose focus on our connection to Christ and our service as expressions of that connection, we become disconnected: "Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned" (Jn 15:6). What a picture of burnout!

24 June 2007

The Greatest Fool

I just had some thoughts only a moment ago that might be worth sharing. I noticed a pattern in my life. When, say my wife, isn't putting her full confidence in, say my health expertise, I get hurt or angry or depressed. Or it might happen while driving. She says, "Where are you going? This is the long way." Then I say, "Trust me," or "Why don't you just trust me?" trying to coerce my wife to admit that I am right about my road judgments. It is difficult for me to entrust myself to others, yet I cannot accept it when they do not entrust themselves to my judgment or control. It seems foolish to trust someone else's judgment over my own. It seems irresponsible to entrust myself to the criticism and possible ridicule of others.

"A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others." (Mark 12; cf Matthew 21; Luke 20)

Is God the greatest fool? I don't comprehend how or why God's son took on flesh. God entrusted himself to untrustworthy human beings. The world that should have cried out in worship to him tore him apart and killed him. How backward I am! When God would trust the untrustable, I would demand that other untrustables trust me.

The end of the matter for me is that I can't trust myself. I must die to myself. I GET to die to myself. It's better off for me this way. It's better off for the world this way. I'm going to try to put this into practice this week, but I have a feeling it will be a constant battle with me trying to make others trust my judgment and advice rather than entrusting myself to them. I assume that God is pleased when I try to learn from and imitate him in this respect. If I am wrong in this assumption, please try to stop me. ;-)

21 June 2007

Trillion Dollar Health Scandal

Drug Plan Fiasco vs. God

After you read my comments, click on the title above ("Trillion Dollar Health Scandal") to read a brief summary and/or watch a 15-minute excerpt from 60 Minutes. I take the news piece as yet another sign that God will expose the powers of this dark world for what they are. I rest confident knowing that all creation looks forward not only to this exposing of drug lords, but also to the revelation of the children of God. I get a little excited when I see the foreshadowing of rulers and authorities getting their just desserts. What do you think? Anyway, that's why I liked watching the news piece via Dr. Mercola. By the way this is a portion of a quote from the 60 Minutes presentation: " . . . it has been one example of the incestuous relationship between Congress and the [Pharmaceutical] Industry . . ."

What is the point of sharing this information?

1. It's true. Truth is a valuable commodity for life.
2. Knowing about these kinds of evils in high places may encourage us to turn to God and trust the wisdom that comes from him.
3. Many people are enslaved by prescription and non-prescription drugs; at least they might be encouraged when they see the illegitimacy of their cruel master.
4. Accept your health and fitness as a gift from God and, ultimately, your responsibility--not your doctors or your drugs. Eat fresh! Exercise! Go, and trust pharmaceutical products no more!

Please note: Getting off addictions is tricky. Some people will die if they suddenly stop taking medications that they've been taking for years. Consider carefully how you can get off drugs and if it is possible for you. It's certainly easier to avoid drugs than to stop taking them. I don't know how people can stop, but there are lots of doctors (believe it or not) who know how. For example, my second cousin's grandson was having seizures from birth to about age five. The parents found "the right doctor" finally, who slowly removed the drugs and put the child on a strict, but fun, diet. The child hasn't had a seizure since and his brain has recovered remarkably. That is testimony to the power of God and goodness of the creation that he made!

One day I may take some kind of pharm product. I might be in desperation for comfort without the patience to endure. I may want to live longer (even if in slavery) so I'll take something to keep me hanging on. Still, I will hope in God's new creation that beats the hell out of the effects (and side effects) of drugs. And I will laugh when the rulers of this dark world fall.

04 June 2007

Memphis Workcamp

Above is a picture from last year's Memphis Workcamp. This is what Nicole and I will be up to this week. We'll be driving a big white van pulling a trailer with ladders, paint, and other supplies. Tonight there'll be dinner, orientation, and a praise service. Then, Nicole and I will spend the night with her friend (and mine, too), Kari Neiman closer to the meeting place for the kids we'll be driving to the supply tent everyday. This is the 19th annual Memphis workcamp. Last year, the 500th house was scraped and painted. We don't know yet our house or our work crew, but we'll learn of both tonight. I'm a little nervous even though this is my third year. I'm not nervous about the neighborhood, just about leading/serving a crew. They are the best of the best, volunteering like $60 not to mention free and cheerful labor. Keep us in your prayers.

Also, please pray for your neighbor whom we just met Saturday evening. Her nickname is "Pooky". She's an older woman and has a lot of cancer. She's taking 9 pills a day. Some of them are anti-depressents. She doesn't seem to like being treated like she is mentally ill (they put her in a mental hospital at one point because she considered not taking the chemotherapy anymore). Personally, I would consider giving up on the chemotherapy as well if it made me feel that bad (which the anti-depressent doesn't change). I think if I am feeling excruciating pain, it's only right to count the cost of dying. Anyway, Pooky really encouraged us and appreciates our prayers. It's good to make new friends.

Anyway, have a good week. :-)

28 May 2007


Do you know Lou Ferrigno? He played the Hulk in the tv show in the 70s-80s. I remember well seeing him on Mr. Roger's and learning about how the makeup/costume was applied. I also remember watching Pumping Iron my freshman year of college. My friends, Noel and Jason Green, got to meet Lou and eat with him in a restaurant. They got me an autographed photo of "the Hulk". Noel sent that to me while I lived in Japan. That was awesome. I used to watch the Hulk series from behind the kitchen bar in our house until I was four. I wouldn't let my parents change the channel even though I was scared somewhat.

Well, recently, we moved in to our new apartment. I set my framed Hulk photo on the top of my bookshelf. When two of our maintenance guys came in to fix stuff, they commented on the photo with great excitement. "Did you meet Lou?" We enjoyed talking about him for a few minutes.

Then, after the "assembly order" as my local church community calls it, Lou came up in my conversation with a recent newcomer, a semi-retired man who uses a device to help him hear prayers and sermons. I said, "Do you know who Lou Ferrigno is?" We had several minutes of enthusiastic conversation about this good man. I said, "Did you know he is practically deaf?"

There was another conversation, though I don't remember who with (Derrick?), in which the other person said in reference to Lou, "Man, isn't he good at reading lips!" This conversation may have been on Saturday since my friend of half my life, Derrick, has been bodybuilding for a couple of years now. (I'll post on he and Naomi later.)

I hope to hear more good things about Lou in the coming future. Some "facts" that I hear about Lou are probably inaccurate, but it seems most people like Lou better the Arnold. It is interesting, though unprovable phenomenon to me. Feel free to give your "Lou" reports or opinions anytime on my blog. I'm thinking of placing him on my mental board of trustees along with MLK jr and Song Sun, some of my other heroes.

P.S. Nicole, who will always be on my mental board of trustees, just said, "I will not sleep with Lou Ferrigno in my bedroom," referring to the framed picture . . . not having read this post. Sorry, Lou, I guess you're going to have to sleep in the closet or living room or something.

22 May 2007

Is Ritalin Right for You?

The most powerful symptom: "Often figits with hands or feet or squirms in seat."

Should everyone take psychotropic drugs? Many M.D.s believe ADHD exists, but that doesn't mean everyone who "squirms" has it. You should seek critical doctors before you take any drugs--in my humble, but passionate opinion. Especially when you are giving the drugs to your child.

No tests document ADHD, only symptom clusters . . . but treatments cause long-term and, at times, permanent effects on the brain. ADHD is an unproven disease, but treatments are proven to produce brain atrophy. Other side effects according to a young man prescribed Paxill in the third grade: "hallucinations, a voice telling me to kill people". Can you imagine a Mormon kid becoming violent, walking into school with a gun?

If an "expert" gave you choices of "covering" your child's hyperactive squirming: fresh foods, watching the Little Mermaid 29 times, electric shock therapy, or a magic pill . . . which one(s) would you choose. Would you go to prison for not medicating your kid?

Was Television your babysitter? At what age must a person stop squirming? Why must the energy be stifled? Shouldn't it be channeled? Are pills ways of raising proper kids?

Well, hopefully my questions will make good teasers for the video. Click on the title link to watch the video and read a commentary.

Why do I put things like this on my blog? I trust in God to constantly provide renewable energy, healing, and joy. I'm not perfect. I get depressed, sick, and mean-spirited. But I don't expect the solution, ultimately, to come from people who will make a lot of money from it (i.e., many drugs on the Western market). I don't want to bow down to anyone. It doesn't mean I won't submit to medical care; I will as long as it is "care".

If you suffer from depression, I would recommend several choices. You may not find the side effects from drugs acceptable (especially for 80% of people diagnosed with depression). So try some or all of these proven solutions that have mostly positive side effects and no debilitating ones:

Eat a fresh variety of food, especially plant food, without avoiding good fats like Omega-3s.

I think these have God's stamp of approval and the promise of his sustenance. Even if you are skeptical that God might work through natural living processes, at least be skeptical of specific technologically produced pharmeceuticals prescribed by an expert who may be indiscriminate, for example, psychotropic drugs. The person is not bad, but the prescription might be and, I would say, probably is.

15 May 2007

Dirty Guts

Click on the Title link to read some interesting information and commentating about negative effects of using antibacterial soaps and positive effects of building up the trillions of bacteria living in our guts. (Link courtesy of www.mercola.com. Photo courtesy of www.hpylori.com.au/)

Bacteria may be the immediate cause of . . . (ahem) . . . throwing up and such, but the loss of intestinal bacteria diversity is the cause of chronic diseases that prevent many of us from living vigorously.

12 May 2007

Death by Subsidies

"What’s at stake in our eating choices is not only our own and our children’s health, but the health of the environment that sustains life on earth." (excerpt from Michael Pollan's website)

Michael Pollan has researched and written on the modern history of the food industry for several years. Here's a review of his latest book: "Expanding on his articles for The New York Times Magazine, he lays out the many ways in which government policy since the Nixon era — to grow as much corn as possible, subsidized with federal money — is totally out of whack with the needs of nature and the American public."

I am convicted of the fact that people ought to pay attention to what they eat, pay for, and the ethics (or nonethics) of the systems they are supporting. In a NY Times article published on my birthday, Pollan writes:

"Twinkies are made from 39 ingredients, most of them requiring elaborate processing themselves, in addition to packaging and marketing.

But they, like many other processed foods, are cheaper than a similar quantity of carrots, which require no processing or marketing, and little or no packaging. How is this possible?

The answer is a piece of legislation called the farm bill, which is renewed every five years (including this year), and sets guidelines for the American food system -- including which crops will be subsidized and which will not.

Processed foods like Twinkies are made from carbohydrates and fats extracted from corn, soybeans and wheat, which, along with rice and cotton, are the products supported with $25-billion subsidies from the U.S. government.

But the farm bill does almost nothing to support farmers growing other forms of produce, such as more nutrient-rich vegetables. The result is a food system flooded with corn-derived added sugars, and soy-derived added fats. Meanwhile, the real price of fruits and vegetables increased by nearly 40 percent between 1985 and 2000, while the real price of soft drinks (made with high-fructose corn syrup) actually declined by 23 percent.

The farm bill has far-reaching effects on health, the economy, and the environment. A growing body of activists are becoming aware of the implications, and are pressing for changes to the bill, which has remained largely unchanged for decades."

New York Times April 22, 2007 (Registration Required)

10 May 2007

Whole Summer

If you're interested in health, you should regularly explore http://mercola.com. Dr. Mercola is an D.O., or doctor of osteopathy, which means he is " . . . licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery in all 50 states. But [osteopathic physicians] bring something extra to the practice of medicine. Osteopathic physicians practice a "whole person" approach to medicine, treating the entire person rather that just the symptoms. With a focus on preventive health care, DOs help patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that don't just fight illness, but help prevent it, too."

Dr. Mercola responds to scientific studies from various journals. You can find a lot of encouragement to live well and affordably. Here is an excerpt from a particularly basic article: " . . . the study very elegantly demonstrates that whole food sources are clearly superior to the supplement form of vitamin C. In whole foods, there are a variety of accessory micronutrients that work synergistically with the primary one. It is very rare where the isolated nutrient will perform better than the whole food version."

You should also search mercola.com for information about disappearance of honeybees. I think we should minister not only to the "whole person", but also to the "whole creation". The gift of the "breath of life" is not only a gift of metabolism, but a gift of interdependence with all other creatures who also have a gracious relationship with the Creator. In the beginning . . . God created creatures. There certainly are differences between humans and the other creatures, but we will have to deal with that somewhere else.

By the way, I graduated from Harding Graduate School of Religion last Saturday. I found I can't stop reading. I wondered into the library while babysitting Joshua on Tuesday and he led me to Mr. Turtle's guided research paper. I finished reading it last night. I also read the first chapter of Moby Dick last night. I don't know that I've been trained to read fiction, but I'll keep trying. I've definitely developed a thirst for knowledge, though.

I will be babysitting Joshua and doing grounds/maintenance work with the graduate school through May. Then, the first full week in June, Nicole and I will be doing Memphis Workcamp where we scrape, paint, and do minimal maintenance for low income folks in Memphis. The second full week in June I will probably begin working for Wagner construction. We need to find a cheap second car by then.

08 May 2007

Provisions Plus

Just thought I would post something since I haven't in a long while. These were photos taken on my third fastest birthday yet, my 30-second birthday. We had a team meeting and had a small party at India Palace.

I wanted to type some words from Isaiah 55 in the Message version:

"I don't think the way you think.
The way you work isn't the way I work."
God's Decree.

"For as the sky roars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don't go back until they've watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They'll do the work I sent them to do,
they'll complete the assignment I gave them."

So, let me ask you something. Do you trust God to provide? Do rich countries need to become richer before they will be capable of producing extra food? Or is God already providing enough food? Does it have to become cheaper for us before we can make it available to them? Do we trust God to provide?

09 April 2007

Penguin Humour

It's a liberal myth, Mildred. You're making a fool of both of us.
(Ann Onimus)

06 April 2007

Passover Experience

I have intellectually studied the Passover and the subject of Communion, . . . but that was different by far from actually experiencing Passover as a memorial and fellowship meal.

Tonight (Thursday) I participated in a Passover meal in which we remembered our misery, yet God’s saving actions. Mike White (I’m sure with the help of his wife and son) prepared the food, dinnerware, and script. Dwight, because he was the oldest male, served as “the father of the family”. There were about 30 of us there.

We listened to “the father” as he read from the script and at designated points we all read lines from the script. For example, we all blessed God together while we held up the bitter cup (actually it was sweet grape juice; we had to stretch our imagination here). One of the blessings was: “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” Then we all drank together.

After washing each other’s hands (it took several minutes to pass the only water bowl and towel around for that), “the father” held up a parsley sprig. Then he said, “The Passover holiday comes in the spring, when the earth turns green with new life. Only God can create life and keep it alive. This green parsley is the sign of life.”

Then he held up a small bowl of salt water and said, “But while the Israelites were still slaves in Egypt, their life was miserable. The salt water stands for their tears. We know our life can be miserable and full of tears when we live in Satan’s world. We dip our parsley in the salt water and eat it to remind us of our ancestor’s tears and of how miserable our own sin makes us. We also remember how God parted the salty [Reed] Sea to lead His people to new life.”

We ate bitter herbs and remembered captivity and slavery to sin while we tasted fresh salted parsley and took a bite of bitter/astringent fresh horseradish on a matzah cracker. We remembered how terrible it was while “the father” said, “ . . . let the bitter taste bring tears to your eyes. Remember with compassion the tears our ancestors cried in their slavery long ago, and remember the bitterness of our own slavery to sin when we do not allow Jesus to set us free.” Let me tell you, the horseradish brought tears to my eyes! . . . but Nicole had compassion on me. :-)

Then we dipped the matzah cracker with horseradish into some sweet dip that had raisins and nuts and honey and wine. That made the bitterness bearable. Right before we put it in our mouths we said, “We dip the bitter into the sweet to remember that even the most bitter things in life can be sweetened by our hope in God.” This was powerful for me. I recall when my grandmother had a massive stroke several months before she eventually died in 1996. It was kind of a terrible time for my family, a bitter time. But friends of my parents came into the hospital room with us around Zula, my grandmother, and prayed for her and for us. Their presence with us was a reminder of God’s presence and sincerely encouraged us. It is a sweet memory. This part of the meal will probably touch more things like this in my memory in the coming days.

Well, we heard and read more script and tasted other things that made us remember and bless God. Then we feasted! Mike and Dwight and a couple of others served up several other foods like matzah ball soup, lamb, chicken, asparagus with lime, carrots with raisins, this awesome fresh and dried fruit mix, and some other stuff. The food was so good! I joined in serving by passing food around and helping fill people’s glasses. Some of us moved around the table to visit with people on the far side.

Eventually, we moved back to our places, read more script, drank the fourth cup—hallel, the cup of praise, and blessed God some more. It was an unforgettable experience for me, having actually felt the tearful consequences related to bondage and sin, having actually tasted the sweetness that God provides in the midst of sorrow, and having joined in with my brothers and sisters to remember God’s actions and to bless his name.

25 March 2007

Climate Porn

I'm proud to say that I'm leary of outrageous and supposedly scientific hype about global warming. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe global warming is occuring as a direct consequence of producing carbon dioxide. However, I doubt hype and shock.

Listen to this: Bjorn Lomborg via Jared's blog

I don't watch tv anymore (Heroes doesn't come back on until April 23), but I do occasionally (almost daily) read Wikipedia. Here are just a small portion of quotes from there:

Sallie Baliunas, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: "[T]he recent warming trend in the surface temperature record cannot be caused by the increase of human-made greenhouse gases in the air." [15] In 2003 Baliunas and Soon wrote that "there is no reliable evidence for increased severity or frequency of storms, droughts, or floods that can be related to the air’s increased greenhouse gas content." [16]

Robert M. Carter, researcher at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia: "The essence of the issue is this. Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown." (Telegraph, April 9, 2006 [17])

George V. Chilingar, professor of civil and petroleum engineering at the University of Southern California, and Leonid F. Khilyuk: "The authors identify and describe the following global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate: (1) solar radiation ..., (2) outgassing as a major supplier of gases to the World Ocean and the atmosphere, and, possibly, (3) microbial activities ... . The writers provide quantitative estimates of the scope and extent of their corresponding effects on the Earth’s climate [and] show that the human-induced climatic changes are negligible." (Environmental Geology, vol. 50 no. 6, August 2006 [18])

William M. Gray, professor of atmospheric science and meteorologist, Colorado State University: "This small warming is likely a result of the natural alterations in global ocean currents which are driven by ocean salinity variations. Ocean circulation variations are as yet little understood. Human kind has little or nothing to do with the recent temperature changes. We are not that influential." (BBC News, 16 Nov 2000 [24]) "I am of the opinion that [global warming] is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people." (Washington Post, May 28, 2006 [25]) "So many people have a vested interest in this global-warming thing—all these big labs and research and stuff. The idea is to frighten the public, to get money to study it more." (Discover, vol. 26 no. 9, September 2005 [26])

Zbigniew Jaworowski, chair of the Scientific Council at the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw: "The atmospheric temperature variations do not follow the changes in the concentrations of CO2 ... climate change fluctuations comes ... from cosmic radiation." (21st Century Science & Technology, Winter 2003-2004, p. 52-65 [27])

21 March 2007

Mystery and Wonder

I started adding this tagline to my emails: " . . . they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Click on the title to read an interesting blog post the inscrutability of God and the inadequacy of science (and religion) to explain everything.

Fred Craddock once said something along these lines: I try not to preach with a tone the sounds like I've gone into heaven and taken polaroids of God.

I'm interested in how my family and friends approach God with his inscrutability in mind. Specifically, how do you consider scientific theories of both evolution and creation as explanations for how the cosmos exists?

19 March 2007


We've been hosting wonderful family and friends lately. Unfortunately, we only took a few pictures. However, someday (soon we hope) Hayli will email us photos she took w/ her camera while she and Kim were here.

My family drove up from Abilene, TX, weekend before last. They joined our team meeting and shared some good insights with us which reminded me that we need to be accountable to God and to one another. My brother and Nicole and I practiced running for the race coming up next month (not pictured).

Damien and Miranda drove from Abilene, TX, via the Gatewoods in Tulsa, OK. Nicole and Miranda cooked ANZACs. The ANZAC (Australia-New Zealand Army Corps.) biscuits, or "cookies" in Americanese, were delicious. As I type this I'm reminded that I spilled some of my ginger beer on my keyboard while the Damien and Miranda were with us.

Thursday night, before Damien and Miranda spent their last night with us, Josh came down so we could share our friends, Miranda and Damien, with him, too. (Kendra came down, too, as well as Emily and Corey.) Damien was my roomate for 9 months back in 1999 while I lived in Australia. Now he and Miranda are "older" students at ACU. We really enjoyed spending time talking with this young, vibrant couple.

After Hayli whipped all of us at her favorite card game--Nerts--we played a few hands of Texas Hold 'Em. Kim won. Just for the record, though, I beat Nicole in both games, albeit by one point. This was Kim's first time away from Australia. Hayli grew up there but lives in Oklahoma now. Hayli has been to inner city Memphis a few times before and loves to return, so she joined Nicole and I in sharing this blessed city's people and stories with Kim. Kim and Hayli began driving back to Oklahoma this morning.

08 March 2007

Not Insulin, but Exercise

If you or someone you love has Type 2 Diabetes, do not expect insulin to help them. In fact, expect it to ruin them. Song kept telling me that insulin was making things worse. I realize he was right. Yet his doctor(s) kept adjusting his insulin dosage even though he was Type 2. I wish things could have been different for him. I believe that they could've. Click on the title and watch the video.

On the other hand, if you have Type 1 Diabetes, realize that it is a completely different "animal". Don't stop taking insulin. Make sure to be monitored by a trustworthy endocrinologist.

God has the power to heal us, yet we often have the custom of blocking God's healing power.

04 March 2007

Porcupine Pins Bull Terrier

Click on the title to see the poor Terrier.

25 February 2007

Ecclesiastes observations

We read most of chapter seven today at the Curtis' house. Probably the most impacting to me came when I realized that our congregation is mostly full of people who are "too righteous" (7:16). We are missing the folks who are "too wicked" (7:17) although some of us certainly are. Basically, the main perception change for me was that "It's okay to make mistakes because #1. if we fear God we'll have success whether we're too righteous or too wicked (7:18) and, #2. no one is righteous anyway (7:20). I also thought of 9:7, that God has already approved of what we do. If he were already going to strike me down for not being rigteous enough, he would have done so a long time ago.

Others in our group said this:

Humility now or later.

There's really only one way: God's way.

Even though I/we make a mess of most everything, God can make something good out of it.

Moderation is important.

No matter how hard we try, we're still going to sin.

We're influenced by the company we keep.

Realigning with God should be the goal instead of just trying to be "righteous" or "wicked". If we're trying to be "conservative" or "liberal" we'll just end up going in circles, but if we realign with God he will make our paths straight.

- - -

I have to admit, Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books of all time.

21 February 2007

Shark! Danger

One of the main reasons I don't want to move to Australia. I got this picture from the Skyline Church of Christ's website. The congregation has begun to form friendly relationships with Christians in the Gosford and Sydney area.

Jaznic Pics

Which one do you like best? It's for our Aussie Mission packet. Thanks in advance for friendly input. :-)

16 February 2007

Blue-Collar Christianity

Dissatisfied with white-collar Churchianity? Try the blue-collar Christ: "Blue Collar Christianity", a recent article written by a University student.

14 February 2007

Aussie Church

"European expressions of worship have dictated the structure of the Australian church service throughout its history. Much like the European landscape, these forms have a sense of composed restraint and elegance, an ordered formality through practice and experience, as well as a balanced beauty in architecture--forms that are completely alien to the Australian bush."

I thought this was an interesting quote from Robert L. Gallagher. I'm not completely sure what "forms" this implies, but I do think it's going to be a relational and somewhat informal structure with the flexibility to adjust rather than a static and impersonal one. What do you think?

13 February 2007


I read this blog post this morning by Mike Cope"--"and started trying to catch up on the Heroes episodes. I'm excited about watching these. Our television is in the closet, but these days you can watch online. See www.nbc.com. I really like Mike's post. What do you think about it?