Saturday, February 21, 2009


I'm sick. Very sick. Temporarily, maybe, but I hope not. Not physically sick, per se - excluding my gimpy arm - but, rather, internally fed up.

And I'll tell you why.

I am sick of seeing churches that pamper their members more than they care for those in need. Working in the homeless program at the Veteran's Affairs Hospital in Jackson, MS has made me aware of almost every resource available to homeless people in the Jackson metro area. I am astounded by the number of churches that offer to help the homeless through one meal, one day a week, i.e. lunch on Tuesdays. How is one meal in one week going to help significantly relieve a homeless man or woman's plight of homelessness? How will this help alleviate the other needs in his or her life? How will relationship be built in that one time meeting each week? Will it be as deep, lasting relatinoships are formed and maintained on Sunday mornings at so many church congregations (sarcasm noted)? All that to say I'm sick. I wish that we, as the church in Jackson, MS - for I can not speak for everyone everywhere - need to step it up and change directions. We as a church are becoming so inwardly focused that we're about to implode (the direction I believe the traditional Western church is headed very quickly).

I'm not sure of the answer, but I know that change needs to take place. It most first begin in our hearts with Christ. It must then be in our soul (mind, will, and emotions) through the renewing of our minds and the putting off of the old flesh. Then the matter comes to the action plan of change. That's where I would like us to brainstorm.

I think this painting is interesting. Not sure of my thoughts on it, but defintiely interesting. What are your thoughts (on this related topic or painting)?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ain't A That Good News

Welp, they did the venus doppler (and checked my arteries while I was there to save mone). The radiologists said they saw

no sign of a blood clot.

Praise the Lord!!! I spoke with my physician and he says the next step should be to speak with a vascular surgeon about the possibility of lymphedema. Well, I don't know that I'm going to do that right now. My wife and I think that my swelling is decreasing some, so we're going to keep doing what we've been doing. I'm going to keep up with exercise and taking aspirin each day.

I thank you all for your support and care in this and will continue to keep you updated as more develops or decreases. :)


So, I need a venus doppler and an arterial doppler completed. These test the blood flow through my veins and arteries. I have found a place to have the two tests done. Yesterday, I found out their machine is currently inoperable. There is hope that it should be fixed this week. Please join with me in prayer that the machine will be fixed soon and that I can employ its services while my health is still maintained.

My heart has been anxious the past few days as well. As with the possibility of a blood clot, I wonder if the slightest move will loosen the clot and it could go to my brain, heart, or lungs and that would be lights out for me. It's a grossly morbid thought, I know, but I must not be afraid to boldly face the possibilities that are in place. Pray that peace can reside within me instead of anxiety. Certainty, in the Lord, through this misty phase. Boldness in the place of fragility. Intentionality instead of wind blown.

UPDATE: As I was typing this my beautiful, lovely, and cherished wife called and said that they can get me in for one of the tests this morning in about 30 minutes to and hour, so I am off to the doctor. I will update as I know more information.

Grace and peace.
Glory be to God in all things.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blown away

That's what I am. blown away. I have been praying for the Lord's provision and He has surfaced Himself in very tangible ways today. A local church - which I do not attend, mind you - has offered to pay half of the costs for the two procedures I need to have done. This came about by me asking a ministry leader if she knew any resources for people without insurance. I was astounded at this news, especially by the fact that the church does not typically offer this type of benevolence to non-church members. Today, I have had two other cherished people in my life offer help with the medical expenses if necessary.

I am astounded by this response! It reminds of the first church and how they pooled their resources to care for one another. This is especially touching to me in light of the current economic situation of the nation. Please do not hear this post saying that people should offer us financial help, or others are better/worse if they did/do not. Each person should follow the convictions that Christ lays on his or her heart and nothing else.

I write only to say that my wife and I are inexpressibly grateful to all of you for this support, friendship, and love.

At this point, I am unsure whether we will need additional help with financing the medical care at this time. I promise to keep you all informed honestly and openly (in the true Obama presidency fashion) about our goings on and needs. If the Lord does lay it on a person's heart to give, I promise to do my best to lay my pride aside and respond with the deep appreciation and humbleness this is within me through this.

Again, thank you all for your support and love that you have offered in various mediums. The Lord is good and will be proved good no matter the outcome of me and/or my arm. Let the sole goal in this be: to God be the glory.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A change in status

As it seems, I likely do not have lymphedema. That's a praise! This hasn't been confirmed by anyone really, but it is unlikely. I do evidence swelling in my left arm, but I have no soreness in my lymph nodes which is pretty much a must, I think. My doctor thinks I probably have a blood clot in my left arm which has its own share of troubles. Thus, I'm trying to make my way to get some tests done as soon as possible (arterial and venus dopplers).

If the blood clot makes its way into my lungs or heart I could die instantly. This is incredibly sobering, and I'm not sure of its likeliness at this time. I do know that the fragility of life is becoming ever more aware to me. More accurately, the pre-existence of this fragility is hitting me. It's only by the grace of God we breathe our next breath, make that turn just in time, pull it together on that hydroplain, don't breathe too much of the carbon monoxide we can't detect, etc.

Strangely enough, I have peace. I have generally been fearful of death in my life, especially the rapture (if it is, indeed, to happen). Though, as I am faced with the increased possibility of death, I am at peace. I am concerned for my wife's well-being. I am concerned as to how I would be rememberd. I am concerned for those left behind. I wonder if those whom I have asked to perform specific tasks at my funeral/memorial will uphold the commitments I asked them to make.

On a more socially acceptable and positive note, I think I have found a place that can perform my needed tests without me having insurance and I will only be charged according to my income and/or how much money I have with me that day. I think I'm going to take the day off from my internship and see to this tomorrow. In thinking about it tonight, I should probably put this as a pretty high priority since it has lethal potentiality.

I have started exercising, and that seems to be reducing the swelling some. I have also started taking aspirin twice daily to keep my blood a little thinner to at least serve as a preventive measure concerning blood clots, if not a method by which to break down the possible blood clot in my arm.

Many prayers are still needed and appreciated.

What has made/makes you aware of the fragility of life, if you have ever been made aware of this?

Big Pimpin': Check out to see how they are being bled out for Christ.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Clinical Scare

So, I went to a health clinic yesterday to get my arm checked out. It seems that since my wife and I have been married and sexercising on a regular basis, my left arm has exploded. I mean, it is huge! My left arm - particularly my muscles - were markedly smaller than my right arm's; however, this is no longer the case. My left arm now almost dwarfs (ok, a little dramatic) my right arm.

My presenting symptoms:
My left hand/arm stays red consistently
My arm is, at times, sensitive to touch
It feels like fluid enters my arm but does not recede (like my hair, dang it)
I have a crazy amount of vericose veins around my left arm pit

So, the doctor checked me out and said that I have an abnormal swelling in my left arm, possibly lymphoedema. This frightened me. He said he has no idea why an otherwise healthy, young guy would have lymphoedema. My fear came when I remembered that my Dad had lymhoedema, but his was from cancerous tumors in his lymph nodes. The doc at the clinic did a couple of chest x-rays to see if there were any clots or anything showing there, but nothing. The doctor said that he wants me to see a specialist about it. That's great, except that I don't currently have health insurance.

To say the least I'm a little concerned. I have always been a little paranoid about cancer because so many in my family develop it, though most of it is from smoking.

Please pray that Sarah and I can determine the best course of action and have the resources necessary to complete those actions.

PS: This is pretty much what I look like.

OPERATION Graduation

As I am now working at a Veterans Affairs Hospital, I am
inspired by the vets' service in battle. Thus, I am beginning my own battle. I am naming it "OPERATION Graduation."

This battle will consist of 2 fronts, much like WWII.

Western Front: Graduate from the University of Southern Mississippi May 8, 2009 @ 15:00.

Eastern Front: Arrive at my target weight, 175 lbs., by the conclusion of this operation.

This is the war I have waged, and I am fit for battle. Please ask about my progress if I forget to update you all on it, though I will aim to update you regularly.

And knowing is half the battle.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Yes, I would jump off the Empire State Building. Thank you very much.

To the multitude (few) who have tagged me for weeks and I have not responded. Here are my 25 random nuggets.

1. I am almost compulsive about checking my e-mail, facebook, and blog for updates.

2. Working the graveyard shift has been a really interesting part of my life which I'm sure I'll tell people about when I'm in my middle or late life about how I worked like an alien to support my family, as any husband/wife should (if required and able to do so).

3. I type the way that I write which can be very sporatic and tangential. This lends itself to many grammatical fallacies in my writing as punctuation becomes pragmatic.

4. My wife and I are thinking about moving to the Portland or Seattle region.

5. I love to read but never do. I hope to remedy this upon the completion of school.

6. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from High School but will graduate with my Master's by the skin of my teeth. It's not the intelligence that holds me back, but definitely the discipline.

7. I love test taking. I loving giving presentations. I hate writing papers.

8. I have zero healthy and trusting male friendships in the state of Mississippi and my heart longs for it.

9. I love eating all greens except for cooked spinach.

10. Movies, arugably, help me reflect on life/my life and spirituality/my spirituality more than any other medium excluding human contact.

11. I am quite sure that Sarah and I will live overseas for some part of our lives.

12. My wedding day was the most peaceful day of my life.

13. I have been fearful of the rapture my entire life, and still struggle with that today; although it is much better than it once was.

14. I had no idea how much I struggled with envy until recently.

15. A few of our stray dogs' names, from when I was a kid, were: Dixie and Tracker (our beagles), Skipper, Black Mama, Red Man, and Atax (whom my sister gave bubble gum and cigarettes).

16. Suicide used to be a very real temptation for me, but is not so much anymore.

17. As I am less than one semester away from having my master's degree, I am thinking I would enjoy a technical job like being a mechanic or painter.

18. Infomericals hit me at a very soft spot. Oh man, I can not COUNT how many infomercial products I want....Debbie's green bags, P90X, 10 Minute Workout, JACK LALANE'S POWER JUICER, Mighty Putty, Sham-Wow, etc. Seriously, it's a problem. Not to mention that Target now has an "As Seen on TV" section now. Ugh.

19. I wanted to be on Star Search when I was a little boy.

20. My family frequently informs me of how horrible a singer I was as a child, but had incredible gusto for it. It took a LOT of hard work to get me where I am today.

21. I think I judge music ministers more than anyone else in the church. Just being honest. Our interim one looks like a game show host, but only when he's leading worship.

22. My Dad died when I was 15 and though I'm through with much of the grief process. I miss him and his dysfunction greatly, and feel his absence very strongly in my life.

23. I own several guilty pleasure movies of which I will only list the titles of two: Steel Magnolias and A League of Their Own.

24. Rogue is my favorite X-Man from the 1990s animated series. She BLEW in the movies though.

25. Hmm, this should be a good one, I got "saved" like 5 times before it really counted in 2002.

Well, I feel like I missed some of the randomness so I'll throw in a few extras:
(1) Rebecca St. James and Alanis Morisette hold very special places in my heart. honestly.
(2) I hate Mississippi.
(3) My name means "From the Land of Victory"
(4) I am plagued by the desire to be great at something, but am certain that I will likely only reach good at many things (due to the Lord's control) to keep my flesh from pride in myself. My flesh still desires the greatness though.
(5) Garden State moves me every time.
(6) Florabama will always hold part of my heart.
(7) I plan to buy "football for dummies" in the not too distant future to better fit in with society and Mississippi.
(8) I hate bottled beers, but I like beer on tap. *correction on 10/9/12: Stella Artois is beauty in a bottle.*
(9) Cheese from Dollar General tastes and feels like plastic.
(10) If I could have any mutant powers, I would want those of Beast - superhuman intelligence, superhuman strength, and agility. I would give up the virility gene giving me immense hair and blue skin though. I bet I'd keep trendy, nerdy glasses though.

Well, I think I'll stop there. Peace.

Picture Tag

My lovely scrapper friend, Sarah, tagged me in this picture tag game. Thus, I will honor her request (though I have not honored many of your 25 random thing ones...ha. It is to come though.). Here are the rules.

1. Go to where you store your digital photos and open the 4th folder.
2. Go to the 4th picture and post it.
3. Explain the picture
4. Tag an additional 4 people.

While I am not on a computer where I store my digital photos, I will consider my facebook pictures that computer. Thank you for allowing me to bend the rules. :)

This picture was taken on my wife's brother's Mac computer (which flips the images around and makes it appear that Sarah's ring is on her right hand, which is false.) shortly after she and I were engaged. I believe this was technically our first "engagement pictures session" on his Photobooth program. It just so happens this shot was my favorite out of all of them.
Ok, next up to follow this little game are (if willing and able) are Cary, Joel, Sarah in Seattle, and Aubrey.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New beginnings

As is common for me, I am unsure how to finish and/or fix situations, so I begin new ones. Thus, since I could not fix my old blog here I am with a new one.

I hope the content is insightful, encouraging, entertaining, inspiring, and lots of good things and few negative ones.

Thanks for following me here you devoted few.