Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Father's Decision

My mom sent me an email this morning. Usually I don't get on my computer before I go to work, but I wanted to check the weather and I saw mom had sent an email so I looked real quick. Wrong move!

A Father's Decision

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church's pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and before he gave his sermon for the evening, he briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening. In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service.

With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak. "A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the pacific coast," he began. “When a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.”

The old man hesitated for a moment; making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.

The aged minister continued with his story, “grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw the other end of the lifeline. He only had seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian, and he also knew that his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out, 'I love you, son!' he threw out the lifeline to his son's friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered.”

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister's mouth.

'The father,” he continued, “knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus... Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son's friend.”

“How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us. Our Heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take a hold of the lifeline He is throwing out to you in this service.”

With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal.

Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side. “That was a nice story,” politely stated one of them, “but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.”

“Well, you've got a point there,” the old man replied, glancing down at his worn bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face. He once again looked up at the boys and said, “It sure isn't very realistic, is it? But, I'm standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up his Son for me. You see... I was that father and your pastor is my son's friend.”

Now dry YOUR eyes and get yourself back together. I know I didn't need a cry before I had to drive to work. Thanks mom! But what an amazing and moving story.

6-Month Oncology Checkup

I had my 6-month checkup with my oncologist... he told me my radiation doctor was doing incredibly well. He was t-boned by a commuter bus over the holidays. My checkup was good, did the normal bloodwork, visually checked my body for anything that looked out of sorts, then he physically feels my abdomen, arms, legs, neck, and lymph nodes for any lumps or bumps. Nothing found. The PET scan didn't show any other cancer lurking in my body. At this point in time, I now know I don't have any breast cancer to be worried about. The PET scan would have showed it if there was. Good to know. So, other than this lymphoma that's continues to hang out around my upper arm... I'm good to go.

I saw the lady at the hospital's finacial aid office. I currently owe over $4,000.00 to the hospital, not counting other outside services they use. She was able to bring it down so that all I will have to pay is $1000. If I do get laid off, I have to call and let her know and she'll be able to totally wipe out my debt. That was a huge relief. Having that kind of debt in these times is very stressful!

Friday, January 23, 2009

NC Snow Pics

Here are some pics I took the day of the snow.

Missy's First Snow - I took a handful in for her to check out.

These three pics I took when I got up for work. I was checking out the situation, trying to decide how long I should wait before venturing out into it. I have a 45 minute drive to work, thank God my boss told me not to come in.

These pics were taken later in the morning.

My bird feeders that dad put up for me.

Looking out my office window.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Bridge - w/scenes from "Most"

I came across this on GodTube... very moving. The video here is a visual summary with clips of the short film, "Most". I would love to purchase the movie when I get a chance.

"It features scenes from the short film "Most", the story of a bridge operator who is forced to choose between the life of the son he loves dearly and a train filled with people."

The Bridge

PS - I hope it brings you to tears as it did me. If it moved you too, I hope you support it by ordering a copy at the official movie website. They are currently offering a 2 for 1 special, give one to your church as a gift. They also offer bulk pricing.

"Most" -

The 44 Presidents of the United States of America

Thought this was pretty neat.

George Washington To Barack Obama - A Long Way

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Breathing A Sigh Of Relief...

It's been a stressful week... I found out, as I was leaving work last Friday, that the company I work for is out of money and I wouldn't be getting paid this week. Kept me in panic mode all weekend. I had a heaviness in the center of my chest, I was breathing heavy like I was constantly out of breath. I was nauseous.

All these things that needed to be done were swirling around in my head so fast. I was in such a panic that I couldn't figure out what to do first. I ended up standing still, majorly overwhelmed. I eventually gave it over to God, because it was pretty much out of my hands, why should I be stressing this hard over something I couldn't do anything about. It's hard to do when you're in the middle of that kind of panic.

When I went to see the doctor for my radiation follow-up Tuesday, my blood pressure was 177. Not good! It's never been that high.

I'm happy to report that last night before I left I was informed that we were getting some money from the investors. So I will get paid... might be a few days later, but I will get paid. Whew! Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Week Update

Let's see... went back to work Monday. Dead tired! About 2 AM Sunday night/actually Monday morning, I guess Jackie Cat (Jackson) attempted to jump from the counter to the top of the refrigerator to get on top of the cupboards to hide or get away from Missy Bug. What exactly happened and why... who knows for sure! All I do know that I was in bed and heard a horrendous crash. Not something where you roll over saying, "I'll see what it was in the morning." Kind of like when I hear Jack throwing up in the middle of the night, I'm not jumping out of bed to clean it up, it'll be there in the morning. Just make a mental note to watch where I walk when I do get up!

This was big-crash-need-to-check-out-NOW noise! I didn't see anything in the livingroom, or the spare bedrooms, but as I come back out through the little hall... I see stuff all over the kitchen floor. And Jack barely able to walk. I whisked him up and and laid him on the bed; gently started pressing around his leg and foot. He was making alot of noise, I knew he was in some pain. Jack has had bad injuries before but never growled at me. I was afraid he may have broken something. His leg felt like knotted muscles or something. I thought maybe torn muscle or charlie horse... you know, panicky thoughts when an animal gets injured in the middle of the night. No one to call, unless of course, you feel it is a very real medical emergency and call the vet for an outrageously high-priced emergency room visit.

Well, I attempted to put ice on it... but my ice bag was old and sprung a pretty big leak. I tried draining the water out and just put the bag of ice on it - lightly. He was having nothing to do with that. So I gave him half a diazepam then just held and petted him. Gave him a back and shoulder rub. I heard that purring causes some chemical stuff to release in their brains helping to soothe them and dull pain or discomfort. (Never assume that a purring cat is happy, he may be injured, nervous, or scared.) After about an hour and a half, we finally got to sleep.

In the morning he seemed a little better. He was limping pretty good but was walking. When I got home he was sleeping on my bed, which is pretty much where he's stayed for several days. He's much better now, slightly limping if he over exerts.

Now Missy Bug... when I came home Monday night, she was back to her rip-tearing self.

Tuesday afternoon I received a call from my radiation doctor's office. I had an appointment for this coming Monday. They needed to reschedule it because my doctor was in an accident over the holidays. He was hit buy a transit bus. I guess they were unsure about his condition there for awhile. He is doing better now, out of the woods, but he will not be able to come back to work for a few months. They had to reschedule me with another doctor. Totally blew me away. How awful for him... and his family.

On Wednesday the office had, much to my surprise, a belated birthday lunch for me. Wanda ran around getting everything. She stopped at Olive Garden and picked up a big salad, dressing, and garlic breadsticks; Food Lion, I believe, for one of those roasted chickens and some drinks. She picked up plates, silverware, cups, a tray of dessert cakes. My oh my! It was really nice.

Last night... really funny. Ever have a burp pop out, literally out of nowhere, leaving you thinking, "Where the heck did that come from? Excuuuse me!" Well I had an explosive loud one burst out last night... Missy hit the floor, honest-to-God, she's laying flat, hugging the floor, ears back, looking around for the attacker. It was hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing.

While I was sorting dirty laundry, she was diving, jumping, and snagging everything I threw. I toss a sock over to the white pile and she would come flying through the air arms flailing to snag it. Pants, shirts, bath towels... she goes after it all. I even have to fight her off to get dressed. Do you know how hard it is to get your pants on when you have a cat hanging onto the other end of them? I now sit down to put them on so I don't lose my balance and fall. She is definitely entertainment. I told my mom she's like having a puppy.

This morning I saw something laying on the floor at the foot of my bed. I'm thinking, "What the heck is that?" When I pick it up... it's a chunk of ceiling! My heart jumps, I start running around to see where my ceiling was falling in. We just had some bad storms go through the area. Then I realize, the flat edge has popcorn stuff on it. I had my ceilings scraped before I bought it. It was a chunk from when they did the repairs. She must have found it somewhere... probably on top of the cupboards. A good-morning jump start for the heart! LOL

And Simon is finally letting me pick him up freely. I even turned him over on his back to inspect the bottom of his paws. Whoohoo! Breakthrough.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy Birthday... to me!

Yes, today is my 41st birthday.

I have been off work since the day before Christmas... took Missy Bug to get spayed and shots last Tuesday. She's been quiet, sleeping all the time, and wanting me to constantly hold her since.

Have recently made contact with an old friend. She just got hooked up online again. A big shout out to ya... "Hey Sharon!"

Gotta pay some bills and go get a shower... heading to mom's for a family birthday dinner tonight. Having boiled dinner. My sister is making her bread pudding. We'll also have cake and ice cream.