Today is Saturday, November 18, 2017. Day 21,800.
Five more days until Thanksgiving (and four day weekend)!
Margaret Atwood, who was born on this date in 1939, said, “I was warped early by Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe. I was very fond of Franz Kafka.”
The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is nonbook, a noun, meaning, “a book without artistic or literary merit or substance, especially one that has been developed primarily to exploit a fad or make a profit quickly.” The first thing that comes to my mind is books hurriedly written on the coattails of successful movies.
Today is Mickey Mouse Day. Pretty much everyone knows who Mickey Mouse is, and today is a day to celebrate the iconic mouse and the “kingdom” that was built around him.
Last night was an interesting night. Actually, it started earlier in the day. C had trouble sleeping Thursday night, and when she got up Friday morning, she didn’t feel well. She had a low-grade fever (99.6), and was having trouble breathing. When her therapist showed up, she recommended that C get to a doctor. So she got an appointment for 3:30, yesterday afternoon. When I offered to leave work early, she said she would get her niece to take her. But her niece had a job interview, so C said, “I’ll be okay to drive.” I said, “No, let me come take you.” So I used my last three hours of PTO and left work early.
They checked her over, and didn’t see anything immediately wrong, but they did some blood work and checked something called “d’dimers.” This, apparently is an indicator that could signal the presence of blood clots. They said that if this test came back positive or elevated, they would call in the evening, and direct us to an emergency room.
At about 8:30 last night, we started getting ready for bed. I was tired, even too tired to play on the Playstation! I had just laid down when C’s phone rang. The d’dimers was elevated. So we got dressed again and headed for the closest hospital (at least the closest one that wasn’t North Hills Medical Center). We checked into the ER at around 9:10, and proceeded to wait for triage. Emergency rooms are interesting. There was a lady sitting across from me who was obviously in tremendous pain, and was holding her hand up to her jaw the whole time. I felt really bad for her.
We were finally called back at around 9:45-ish, and as the nurse was doing the triage, when C described what was going on, he said he had a room for her. So we weren’t sent back out to the waiting room. I think the magic words in that scenario are “blood clot.” Over the course of the next three hours, C had a chest X-ray, an ultrasound on her surgery leg, a CT scan on her chest, and some blood work. At the end, the attending doctor came in and said he had good news. There were no blood clots detected. Apparently, there are a number of things that could cause d’dimers to be elevated, but, since one of them is blood clots, they don’t want to take any chances. I’m fine with that.
What they did find was a very small aortic aneurysm and a small spot on an upper lobe of one of C’s lungs. The doctor indicated that neither one was cause for immediate concern, but should be watched closely. He recommended a vascular surgeon to check on the aneurysm, and getting another chest CT scan in three months, which can be done by C’s primary physician. We were sent home with those reports, and got home around 1:30 AM.
I slept until around 10:45, and C just got up about fifteen-twenty minutes ago. This is why my blog entry is later than usual for a Saturday morning.
I don’t have any other news, than to mention that Angus Young, co-founding member and guitarist for AC/DC, has reportedly passed away this morning. He was 64. There has also been a report that Charles Manson has died. But only one source was seen reporting that. Most other sources state that he has been hospitalized, and that his condition “remains a mystery.”
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
(From The Divine Hours)
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old.
They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground,
a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants.
He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water.
And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in;
they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield.
By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish.
When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks.
The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth.
Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.
Dear Father always near us, may your name be treasured and loved, may your rule be completed in us-may your will be done here on earth in just the way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today, and forgive us our sins and impositions on you as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don’t put us through trials, but deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one in charge, and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours-forever- which is just the way we want it!
The Lord’s Prayer, paraphrased by Dallas Willard
(From The President’s Devotional)
Today’s reading is called “Plunging In.”
Joshua DuBois makes note of two different approaches to the “risen Savior, a King who has triumphed over death and brought us to life.”
In John 21, the disciples are out fishing. Jesus had revealed himself in risen form to many of the disciples. There is no indication of how much time had lapsed before this particular encounter. Jesus appeared on the shore and, once again, gave them helpful advice as to where to cast their net. Once they realized it was Jesus, Peter put on his outer cloak and plunged into the sea to swim to the shore. The rest of the disciples rowed back in the boat (along with all the fish).
“Peter couldn’t hold himself back – in his excitement, he just plunged in!”
If we look around us, we can see that God is still moving in our world, “raising dead and broken things to life.” This knowledge should not be “mundane to us, should never feel ordinary.” It should build excitement within us, to the point that we, like Peter, should want to simply plunge in.
I’ve been reading a book by Frederick Beuchner, called, The Magnificent Defeat. It’s a series of short messages, on different topics. Last night, while waiting at the emergency room, I read one about the resurrection. Essentially, it was about what the Jews were afraid would happen after Jesus had been crucified and entombed. One fear was that the disciples would come steal the body, and then claim that he had risen from the dead. This should not have been a serious fear, though, because had that happened, the phenomenon would have eventually died down and faded away. The other fear, perhaps more real, was that exactly what Jesus claimed would happen, would happen. He would, indeed, come back to life.
Which is, of course, what really happened. The big question for us is, what do we believe happened on that “Sunday” morning? What do we really believe? There’s a lot to think about here, because if I believe what I say I believe, I mean really believe it, then what effect does that have on my life? I do believe that Jesus rose from the grave. I believe that the Biblical record is truth. My life needs to indicate this better than it does.
I need to plunge in, like Peter.
“Dear God, light a fire within me when I see your healing manifested in the world. Help me greet evidence of you with excitement and great joy. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)
Father, give me the willingness to “plunge in,” whenever I see you at work. Increase my excitement when I see evidence of you in this world. I’m not talking about external excitement, such as when my favorite team wins. I’m talking about spiritual excitement that is consistent and alive, that drives me toward a closer relationship with you and my fellow believers; a truth that gives me life and peace and hope in this fallen world, and the willingness to share that with the people around me.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.