Saturday, November 26, 2005

Health update

First, the good news.....the MRI revealed no problems, so no tumours. Next step is a 2nd hearing test on Wednesday and then, I hope, a program to treat what looks like Meniere's Disease. If any readers out there have Meniere's or know someone who has it, invite them e-mail me ( and share their experiences.

More good marks 17 days without dizziness attacks of any degree, which is the longest run yet.

Not so good news.....Christine has bronchial pneumonia and is on antibiotics. We thought Aidan might have the same thing, but his cough is apparently viral and should pass without drug assistance. Aaron's the only healthy one in the house.

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement. Please don't stop.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Just when I think God's not listening........

Yesterday's post worried about the vertigo problems I have. Today, I was worrying about not being around to watch my kids grow up if the MRI returns bad news. All of this is, of course, stuff I have no control over. In the midst of this worrying, this devotional winds up in my inbox:

Why Worry When You Can Meditate?
by John Fischer

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)

I’m a chronic worrier. I come from a long line of worriers. A good deal of my conscious time is taken up with the act of worrying. According to Rick Warren, this means I would be good at meditation.

Meditation is focused thinking. It is not just for monks and clerics. David said that he loved to meditate day and night on the word of God. Now this was also while he was running a kingdom, fighting a perpetual enemy on the battlefield, and at times, running for his life. He didn’t have a lot of time to sit with his legs crossed and go “Ommmmmm.” That kind of meditation is meant to clear the mind of all thoughts. Biblical meditation is thinking focused on a particular aspect of God, a part of God’s word, or a reminder of what He has done for you.

Worry is focused thinking as well. It’s focused on what I can’t answer or solve about my situation. Worry, at least for me, is returning over and over again to a place where I am stuck. I must somehow negatively feed on that little flutter of panic each time I follow a path of worry to the same hopeless conclusion. These are thoughts that accompany me throughout the day. I don’t sit down to worry. Worry is nagging negativity.

It would stand to reason that if I can do this kind of professional worrying while I go about my tasks for the day, then I could choose to meditate on God’s word instead. Worry is usually all about what you can’t do anything about anyway. It’s never productive. Imagine all that attention turned to God and His truth.

I have a feeling that if I learned to turn my chronic worrying into meditation, then when I did actually sit down to do something about those things I’m tempted to worry about, I might be in a much better frame of mind to find a solution.

Try it today. If you catch yourself worrying, turn your thoughts instead to God and His word. Take a portion of scripture and turn it over and over in your mind. Remember what God has done for you. Be thankful. Why worry when you can meditate?

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship you
Oh, my soul rejoice
Take joy, my King
In what you hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Been a while.... why don't y'all set a spell and I'll catch ya up.

Well, the whole vertigo thing (read all about it at Pops 'n' Buzzes) hasn't gotten any better. I had another attack on Wednesday, at least as severe as the one that put me in the ER a few weeks back. Only problem this time was Christine was at work, so I had to ride it out at home while the in-laws watched the boys (neither of whom would, you know, NAP or anything). So there I was, full barfed out laying on the bathroom floor waiting for Christine the Gravol Queen to save me. Which, of course, she did.

Why is this here instead of Pops? Well, in the course of this ongoing vertigo war, I have come to appreciate something about my walk with God. I need to stop talking about God, spend less time reading/listening to others tell me what God is doing in their lives and pay more attention to how God wants to use ME. I had an MRI on my head on Thursday night (moved up from January 2006 after one of Christine's co-workers marched her down to X-ray on Wednesday to change the date) and the one thought that keeps coming back to me is...what if there's a growth in the ear? There's a history of cancer in my family. It killed my Dad (at 58), my Nana and my Grandpa and may have had a hand in killing my Papa and Grandma. I've already lived longer than my Mom (I think she was 34 when she passed away. Leigh, if you read this, correct me if I'm wrong) and this series of episodes the past 3 weeks has brought mortality to mind more than once.

Welcome to my latest personal Spiritual revival.

The Ministry of Mercy book is really a gift from God, brought to me at the right time. I am really motivated to start doing things, in my church, my family, my community and anywhere else God calls me. I dusted off my Promise Keepers' New Testament, which I haven't cracked in 3 years, and am committed to reading it twice in the next 12 months. My brain is percolating with new ministry ideas and I am prayerfully seeking ways to "fight a few fights" at my church that may be unpopular with some folks. I am also excited, at the smae time, about deepening my, and my family's, involvement in serving God and our church family at the ol' Fortress.

So, what else led to my own personal revival?

I recently sent an invitation to Steve Calverley, Al Baker and Pernell Goodyear to have coffee and swap stories and ideas. I am more and more impressed with some of the thinking of these three guys and, while I don't agree with all things postmodern, I can, through some of their (and others') commentaries, see some of the concerns postmoderns have when it comes to the modern church. I also see their deep love of Jesus and their desire to live their lives like him. I am also looking forward to building stronger relationships with some of my Philpott brothers and sisters and having opportunity to talk about stuff that runs far below the surface.

My revival also stems from the devotionals I get from Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life and some of the reading I have done on my own of late (for example, Bibby's Restless Churches and McLaren's Story We Find Ourselves In books. With McLaren, though, I caution that for every good point McLaren makes in these books, I think there are two or three that are absolute drivel). It also stems from a challenge from my stepmother, who told me that, instead of reading other's interpretations of the Bible, maybe I should go back and re-read it myself and let God open my heart to His teaching. Smart, Godly woman.

The next 12 months should be exciting.