Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, July 30, 2011

How to Choose a Super Power, Part 2

Okay, so maybe I do have a super power and maybe it's the ability to leave people on a cliff hanger, making me not so much a super hero as a super villain (insert diabolical laughter here). If you missed last week's column, I was trying to choose which super power I would pick if granted the choice. The buffet table of options was becoming so long and complicated, I was about to throw in the towel and settle for life as we know it. Then I moved away from the buffet and discovered what I believe is the pièce de résistance on the dessert table.
     It's this: the power to hear only truth. Think about it.
     Now, I'm not talking about knowing all truth. That would be omniscience and would make me God. There is much that is true that I don't need to know and would only break my heart. It's just as well I don't know how many people use my column to paper train their puppy.
     Likewise, there are things that are true that would simply bore me to sleep. Like what the score was in last night's game or the gas mileage of a Ford Fiesta.
     Here's what I'm talking about. Imagine if every time you heard someone speak, whether aloud or your own thoughts, only what is true would register. Anything false would simply not be heard.
     Imagine the possibilities.
     You're watching TV and an ad for a new vehicle comes on. Instead of receiving the message that owning this vehicle will make you deeply contented and irresistible to the opposite sex, you hear that it will make you deeply in debt and irresistible to auto thieves. Truth.
     You tell yourself "I need a smoke," but your mind hears "I can skip this one and it will be challenging, but I'll be just fine." Truth.
     You're flipping through a fashion magazine. Instead of the gorgeous, air-brushed model no one will ever look like, you see a photo of yourself with the caption, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). Truth.
     You're on coffee break with co-workers and someone says "that jerk thinks he can waltz in here and demand service as though he's the king and we have to do as he demands." You hear, "that poor man was so mistreated as a child he has no idea how to relate to others with consideration and kindness." Truth.
     Can you imagine the ramifications if such an empowered person were say, a judge? A counselor? A police officer? A medical doctor? A parent? A school teacher?
     I happen to think this would be the best super power of all. No lies penetrating my brain or my heart. It would change my life, and I would have so much more to offer you. It could really set us free, couldn't it? Even more than that hair-growing thing.
     Guess what? Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31 & 32).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Here's Proof

Here's proof that my family was all together in the same place at the same time, however briefly. Spent Monday up at Clear Lake enjoying fabulous weather, the marsh walk, a picnic, and a cruise on The Martise. Mindy was brave enough to ask a random stranger to snap this for us.

L to R: Jill (Reuben's girlfriend), Reuben (our youngest), Jon, Keegan, Kevin (Mindy's husband), Allistar, Nate (our eldest), Me, Dara (Nate's wife), Mindy (our second). Keegan and Allistar belong to Nate & Dara. Their little brother is coming in October.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How to Choose a Super Power

Here's a question for ya: "If you could pick any super-power, what would you choose?"
     It occurred to me I didn't have an answer to that question myself, so I began to ponder it. All I could think of, though, were flying through the air, spinning spider webs, and heaving automobiles at the bad guys. None of these seemed particularly practical for my present position in life. Clearly, I needed to do a little research.
     Wikipedia offers a super-sized list of super powers, including the fictional super heroes and villains upon whom these powers have been bestowed. I couldn't believe the options, each with its own set of definite advantages. Decisions, decisions. Did I want a physical or a mental type of power? What about some type of energy manipulation or time travel abilities--how cool would that be? How about mental domination or mind control? That could come in really handy in my job at City Hall.
     Some of them are no-brainers. X-ray vision? No thanks. I don't need to know what goes on behind other people's walls or under their clothes.
     Super human intelligence? Got that one already and it's not all it's cracked up to be, especially since no one else acknowledges it.
     The ability to rise from the dead? Don't need that one, either. I already know someone who has that power and he's promised to do the same for me one day. (See John 11:25.)
     Breathing under water? Nope. These days I have a big enough challenge just breathing out of the water.
     Which leads to one intriguing possibility: "Accelerated Healing, the ability to recover quickly from any injury and even slow the aging process." Hmm.
     This leads to "Body Part Manipulation, the ability to replace one's limbs or body parts with those of another." This could really assist my hubby who has been getting along without his right arm since 1995. Of course, that would only work if I also had the power of "Power Bestowal" so I could grant him that power. This is rapidly getting downright complicated!
     And if I get to pick two, I should consider combining "Power Bestowal" with "Prehensile/Animated Hair, the ability to lengthen or animate one's hair." I could make my fortune charging bald guys big bucks to bestow this power upon them.
     Then there's "Matter Ingestion, the power to consume any sort of matter without any ill effects on the user." Well, that's sort of inviting, though I suspect even quantum vats of chocolate would lose their appeal after awhile.
     Hey, it's possible.
     In the end, I came up with one power not yet bestowed upon any fictional hero I know of. This power could truly change the course of life on this planet, and not just for the one on whom it's bestowed. It could put an end to crime, addictions, poverty, injustice, obesity, poor self esteem, gossip, and run-on sentences.
     Alas, I have already surpassed my word limit for this week. Guess this particular column will have to be a two-parter.
     To be continued...!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On the off chance...

On the off chance there is still a single person somewhere on the planet who is not bored to tears with tales of Terrie's's a little update. I'll try to keep it short, if not sweet.
     Good news: bronchial washing tests are all coming back negative - no cancer cells, no bacterial infection. One culture is still marinating. Or incubating, or whatever it is they do.
     Bad news: we still don't know what it is.
     Good news: my regular doc said it's a shot in the dark, but he put me on some powerful antibiotics to see what happens. At least it's a try.
     Bad news: Pretty sure this powerful antibiotic is already taking on the good bacteria in my body, meaning ten days of intestinal fun while the kids are here visiting.
     Meanwhile, the specialist ordered another CT scan to see if there's been any change since the one three months ago. That was done today.
     It would be awesome if the meds work, although I won't hold my breath. Pardon the pun.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pianos and Prayers and Perfect Plans

I have been praying for a piano. The reason I have not had one in my house for the last ten years is a rather ugly story I don't like to tell because I am definitely not the heroine of it. Lately, though, I've really been missing a piano in the house. We have lots of space for one now, and I remember times when some of my best praying was done at a keyboard with an old hymnbook in front of me.
     So I began to pray for one. I had as a figure in my head maybe $200 that I could spend, but didn't know where I'd ever find a piano for that.
     A month or so ago, my daughter-in-law found one on Kijiji, for free, and sent me the link. When I investigated, I discovered it was about two blocks from my house! I figured this must be God's answer to my prayer. It was pretty, too.
     I went over to have a look. The sound was anything but pretty. It was downright gruesome. Not that I'm exactly Billy Joel, mind you. But still. At least Steinway never came down and wiped his name off the piano whenever I started to play. (That's an old Bob Hope joke.)
     I don't know enough about pianos to know if it was reparable, and it was a heavy brute. I'd hate to go to all the trouble of lining up muscles to wrestle the thing home and then spend a fortune on something that may never sound right. I made a half-hearted attempt to call the piano tuner, but didn't really have peace about pursuing it further.
     Meanwhile, my pianist friend Julianne recommended an electric one with weighted keys. They play like an acoustic, but are much lighter, smaller, and don't go out of tune. Sounded great, but that put me back in square one with my impossibly small budget.
     Until yesterday. My friend Tracy put an electric piano, with weighted keys, up for sale on her Facebook status. The price? $200. Long story short, here it is in my living room.
     I pulled my old hymnbook off the shelf and purposefully selected the very first song I would play on it: In My Heart There Rings a Melody!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This 'n That

THIS: So it's Wednesday and I haven't posted since about Thursday which breaks all the rules of good blogging.

THAT: Stopped at the Bargain Store after work today to see if they had any of those cute little ten dollar dresses left they were advertising. They did. I tried on four or five and found a super cute one. Unfortunately, when I got to the cashier I found out it was $25 so I said no thanks and came home empty-handed. It's not like I need another dress. If I had a wedding to attend or something, I definitely would have bought it. I would have posted a picture, but now I can't do that either. Nada for the ol' blogerolla.

THIS: Thought by now I might have an update from my lung doc, not that everyone isn't sick of hearing about it. But no. Just another lame blogging moment.

THAT: Mindy and Kevin arrive in a week. It will have been nearly a year (Aug. 7) since I last saw my daughter and I wonder how I will avoid hugging the stuffings out of her. Maybe her big hunky policeman husband will have to protect her. Maybe somebody will snap a photo or shoot some video and I can post the moment on my blog for the world to see. Or not.

There, I blogged today. Gosh I'm good at this. And that.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to Float Your Coke.... or, the Lung Saga, Part 2

My deepest apologies to my devoted readers who have been sitting on pins and needles with bated breath and white knuckles on the edge of their seats and every other cliché known to man. I left you hanging awhile back with the saga of my ailing lungs. But then Father's Day came, and graduation, and Canada Day, and a blogger can't let those things go by unwritten. Hopefully no one jumped off a bridge for relief from the suspense. A suspension bridge, get it?
     I wish I could tell you the bronchoscopy was as much fun as it sounds. While the nurse stuck an IV in my hand, the doc sprayed this stuff down my throat to numb everything. It made me cough and gag, which is ironic because the whole goal is to paralyze the gag reflex. Suddenly I realized I couldn't swallow, an unnerving sensation. I imagine my eyes got pretty big. That's when the good drugs kicked in and the next thing I remember, it was all done.
     17 days later, I went back to find out what the specialist learned. Did you know that a can of regular Coke will sink in water, but Diet Coke will float? This was one of the bits of trivia on the scrolling slides in the waiting room. It's about all I learned, and I'm not convinced it's even true.
     When the doc pulled up my info on his computer, no test results appeared. He left the room. When he returned, he informed me the results were not in yet and advised me to call him in two weeks if I haven't heard from him by then.
     "Are you kidding me?" I said. "How can I tell my anxious readers that? Have you no idea how anticlimactic that is? This story does not have an engaging plot, Doc. You're putting me in a really tight spot here. My column is due. Can't you at least make something up?"
     Okay, maybe that's not quite what I said. I did get a couple of questions asked and answered--enough to know he's reasonably confident it's some sort of chronic infection he simply cannot treat without those test results.
     I left in tears.
     A third of a year since this journey began, and still in the dark. Who would have thought? I guess this is my initiation into the wonderful world of medical care. I had this naive notion that if there were no results, I'd get a call saying "don't bother making the trip." I don't want to complain and criticize, especially not in ignorance. I want to understand, and I'm certain if I could spend a day working in one of those offices, I would get it. If you are one of those folks, would you drop me a line? I need enlightenment here. Your job must really bite and I don't envy you one bit.
     I'm learning God seems to operate on a "need to know" basis. Apparently, I still don't need to know. And as much as I want answers and solutions, there are things I want more. Things I might not achieve any other way. Like maturity and patience. Like learning how to ask better questions. Instead of "why is this happening to me?" I could ask, "What if this is necessary in order for me to be prepared for the next important chapter in my life?"
     I have no idea what uncertainties you might be facing today, but if the question fits, feel free to empower yourself with it.
     And if not, there's always that Coke thing.