Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was my father's 93rd birthday. Quite a milestone. Will it be his last? Only God knows. He's been in the hospital a lot this year, but right now is doing pretty well. Here's a couple pictures from our celebration yesterday.

You can see my father in the lower right. Going around the table counter-clockwise from there is my brother and his wife from Florida, my son, daughter #2 (daughter #1 couldn't make it up from school, though she tried!), my sister, my niece, her son, and her husband (also from Florida), and finally my wife. We were hoping for two more, another niece and her husband, but they couldn't get off from work in time. Even though my father doesn't do great with crowds anymore, he seemed to have a good time and enjoy having everyone there.

This picture was taken just a moment too late - it is my father meeting his great-grandson for the very first time. Just a few seconds before this, his great-grandson was looking up at him and staring at him as he was looking down - priceless! 

Sadly, my father will probably forget all this ever happened today. But we have learned to live in the moment with him and enjoy each moment as it comes. And each day that God gives.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Rack

Remember that Medieval torture device called the rack?

That's what I feel like these days! No, I'm not being tortured, but I do feel like I'm being pulled in four different directions: family, church, school, and district. All need my time right now. You see, my father is back in the hospital again. He was only home for a week or so before needing to return, and hasn't bounced back so far. I also should be studying for my school exams, and with everything else going on am falling behind. Problems in my district need my attention - more attention than I have been giving them. And then my church responsibilities - both the ongoing, regular ones, but also the special ones that crop up, like now having to help organize and fund raise for Bishop Omolo's trip from Kenya in May and June. So with those four things, I feel like each limb is being pulled in a different direction. Two limbs is great. Three I can deal with. Four is tough.

But I have a great family. My youngest is so understanding at all the upset with grandpa in the hospital and my wife and I being there so much. My sister came down to help last night, and that's a big help! My wife is amazing at all she does. My church has been incredibly understanding and has allowed my some reduction in my schedule to study for school. But the busyness, coupled with the emotional, creates a weariness . . .

One day at a time.

Monday, February 20, 2017

In the Hospital Again

My father went back into the hospital. I got the call very late Thursday night (9th) / very early Friday morning. Fortunately, my wife was working that night, and double fortunate that they were fully staffed and it was a slow night! So she was able to leave her floor and go down and check on him in the emergency room. She spent the rest of that night going back and forth. You see, with my father's dementia, he doesn't understand what is happening and so needs someone there that he knows to keep him calm and resting.

So that meant that for as long as he was in the hospital, I stayed with him there during the day, while my wife spent the nights with him. It's not easy duty! And after a week, we were wearing out. Fortunately they released him on the 16th, and when I visited him on the 17th back in his memory care unit, he acted as if nothing had happened at all! He didn't remember being sick, being in the hospital, or ever being gone. It was business as usual. :-) One good thing about memory loss, I guess.

The bad thing was that I lost a week of study for my school exams. I really can't afford to lose time, but family has to come first. I was able to do some work in the hospital, but not much. Part of the problem is that he doesn't remember that he needs help and cannot physically do what he thinks he can. So if he has to go to the bathroom, he'll just toss off the sheets and think he can get up and go - but he can't! He needs help. Then five minutes later, he'll do it again - not remembering that just five minutes ago he needed help. And so it goes.

I am so appreciative of the ladies in the memory care where he lives. They take good care of him and work really hard. Whatever pay they get, they do not get paid nearly enough!

Happy Birthday

My wife's birthday was last Monday. We couldn't celebrate it that day because of our having to be with my father in the hospital. So we celebrated on Friday night instead. My daughter and I made a cake, and I made her homemade spinach manicotti, but instead of manicotti pasta, the cheese was wrapped in crespelles - a crepe-like pastry. Spinach is not my favorite, but my wife loved it. :-)

Here are a few pictures:

The new bike my sister and I got her. So much better than the old clunker she had been riding!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Post Flurry!

I have had a bunch of thoughts for posts, but not the time to put them up. So, I'll try to throw them up in the next day or two. Here are the first three . . .  Enjoy!

Old Testament "Christians"

A thought spurred from my reading the other day . . .

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

“All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink.” 

What does Paul mean by those statements? That all the Israelites ate and drank the same food and drink in the wilderness? Isn’t that kind of an obvious thing to say? 

But perhaps what Paul is saying is this: 

“All ate the same spiritual food [as us], and all drank the same spiritual drink [as us].”

This would fit the context of the next verse, then, which speaks of Christ. And Paul is making an important theological statement: that Old Testament Israel received Christ in His promises just as the Christians of Corinth. 

Maybe that’s obvious to you, but how important to know this: that Christ is present in His promises; that we receive Christ in His promises, wherever, whenever you live. Old Israel or New Israel, where the Word and promises of Christ are proclaimed and given, there He is given and there is the Church. 

So yes, the believers in the Old Testament were “Christians.”

Politics, Part 1

I very rarely post about politics, but I heard an interesting theory the other day as to why the political left seems to fight much harder and better than the political right. Yes, I know they both fight, but why does it seem that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi get their way more, or fight better, than Mitch McConnell and John Boehner? 

It’s because for the left (according to this theorist), government is the answer. Government is the solution to the problems that plague us. So they need to be in power in order to do the good they want to do. And so it is a much more important fight for them than for the right which see things in a much broader and multi-faceted perspective, and where private industry and small business is as much a part of the solution as government. And so a small government, politically right-leaning representative will not see the fight as critical as a left-leaning, big government advocate. And so won’t fight as hard.

That’s an interesting proposition. I’m sure it’s not the only answer, but I think there’s some merit to it. And I don’t say any of this (left or right) pejoratively - it’s just a different way of thinking and philiosophy.