Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Hero, Paul Niswander

This is Paul Niswander.
He is a good looking guy, right ladies.? And single. Holler at me if you want his number :)

Paul was my hero on Dec 2. When I told Paul I needed him to "come now", he ran, in a full suit no less, from the cafeteria to our apartment. He drove like a pro from Wilmore to the hospital, arriving just after the ambulance did. Honestly, he was beating the ambulance at one point. Paul is the man who let me cry on him when I thought Abby was dying, theman who at one point had 4 cell phones in his hands as he called mine and Abby's family to let them know what was going on. He answered our phones and updated people he didn't even know. His service of updating people was a huge blessing. I couldn't do it. It was too hard to talk about it. I know it wasn't easy for Paul to talk about it either. Abby and Paul are good friends. I am sure it was incredibly hard for him to continually describe to friends and family the dire situation his friend was in. But he did it, knowing that knowledge helped people to pray and calmed the fear that inevitably arises due to the unknown.

Paul stayed with me until family arrived. He stayed until the situation was under control. I can never thank him enough for what he did for us and due to our intense experience together Paul will be one of the few people to receive Uncle status with Eli. Thank you Paul.

An interesting note: When Paul and I were alone while Abby was being prepped for the c-section, he said to me, “We have come a long way from you not liking me, huh?” My reply, “Yes we have. From me not liking you to you being the first person I thought to call."

The story behind this is that when Abby and I were dating Paul stopped by Abby's apartment to visit her. At some point he says, "So I hear your dating a new guy. Well, lets go. I want to meet him." Abby said sure, put on some shoes and got in the car to come see me. Paul told me later that what impressed him most at that moment was that Abby made no attempt to put on nice clothes or pretty herself up in any way. She just got in the car in her sweats and drove over. This apparently proved to Paul that Abby felt completely comfortable being herself with me. So, Paul and Abby arrived at my house and we start talking. Paul has an interesting story and I was enjoying listening to it. Then as our visit starts to wrap up, he tells me, "I want to let you know, Abby is special and if you hurt her, I am going to have to hurt you." WOA! Red flags! Warning signs! Who the crap does this guy think he is, saying this to me. He is not her brother, he is not family, and he is threatening me (or so I felt)! Oh heck no dude, you and me are officially not friends. Or at least that is how I felt at the time. Over the course of the next two years I came to learn that Paul just comes on strong some times, that he really is a caring and kind guy, and that all he was trying to do was jokingly tell me how much he cared about Abby. So, that was my bad initial impression of Paul. And, hopefully through my last two posts, you see the shining impression I have of him now.

Eli, meet your Uncle Paul (sorry man, I just had to use this picture):photo.php.jpg

The Story of Dec 2

I sat down on Thursday to write down the story of Dec 2, 2010 to the best of my ability. It was really hard for me to write but I so appreciate all the prayers and support we have recieved and I believe that each of you deserves to hear the story. Many of you have heard bits and I am sure you want the gaps filled in. Be warned, this is long and is not an easy story to read.

On Thursday, Dec 2, Abby woke up and had severe swelling in her face. We had been awake for about 20 minutes, going through our regular routine and she said, “Aaron, look at my face.” It honestly looked like she had been stung by a bee. We had a doctor’s appointment planned for the next day but Abby decided to call and have it changed to Thursday. The appointment was set for 1:30 pm. I went to work like normal and so did Abby. (Abby is Resident Director for Asbury and thus works in the building we live in.) I was planning on having lunch with my friend Joey that day but Abby called me at 10 am to tell me that she had thrown up and I decided to go home for lunch so I could take care of her little and then drive her to the doctor.

I got home at 12:30 and found Abby in the bed napping. I work her up, told her I was home and she asked me to wake her up when I finished eating lunch. I ate lunch, finished and went to wake Abby up. She acknowledged that it was time to get up and get ready for the doctor and I went back into the living room to get my dishes. Within seconds I heard the loudest snoring I have ever heard. Our living room is two rooms over from our bedroom and our TV was on, but I could still hear it clearly. I went back to the bedroom, somewhat amused that Abby had fallen back asleep and was snoring. I got to the bedroom and started calling Abby’s name. She didn’t wake up. I saw a pool of saliva and blood on her pillow. I started shaking her and calling her name louder. She didn’t wake up. I started shaking her very hard and screaming. No response. She was having a seizure (though I didn’t know that at the time. I thought people shook a lot during seizures and Abby wasn’t doing that.) I grabbed my phone and called 911. A lady answered, I told her what was happening, she told me an ambulance was on its way and that she would stay on the phone with me until the ambulance arrived. Her main concern was Abby’s breathing, telling me that if she stopped breathing I would have to do CPR. For the next 11 minutes I waited for the ambulance. Abby’s seizure stopped about three minutes after I found her. Mainly I knew that because she stopped snoring and was somewhat responsive to me. She would look at me when I called her name but did not know who I was. This terrified me. Mainly what I did for those 11 minutes was keep her awake. She wanted to close her eyes and I kept calling her name and telling her to keep her eyes open. Thank God that she listened. I also spent a part of those 11 minutes running back and forth from our bedroom to our front door, trying to see where the ambulance was and asking a student in our building to grab friends and go outside to direct the ambulance.

Finally, the ambulance arrived. The EMTs were completely clam, which helped calm me. They took her blood pressure, did the flashlight/eye thing, etc. When they started asking her questions she responsed, which was great. None of her answers were right, which scared me.

EMT: Do you know where you are?

Abby: Central Baptist (Wrong).

EMT: Do you what today is.

Abby: No.

EMT: Do you know what year it is?

Abby: No.

EMT: Have you eaten anything

Abby: I don’t remember.

EMT: Have you felt the baby move today?

Abby: I don’t know.

EMT: When is the baby most active

Abby: Girls. Girls. No, Boys. (This is the one that really scared me and almost pushed me over the edge.)

While the EMTs were there I texted our friend Paul Niswander, who is also an RD at Asbury. Here are our texts:

Aaron: Taking Abby to hospital. Might have had a seizure. Riding in an ambulance. Pray.

Paul: Praying hard. What hospital? Should Lisa, Brad, Casey, me, Joe come?

Aaron: Central Baptist. You will need to come later to pick us up

Paul: K

Aaron: I need you to come here right now. I am at Kresge.

Paul: On my way.

This all happened in about a minute. While texting I was talking to the EMTs and realized the situation was serious and I wanted someone with me. The EMTs took Abby to the ambulance and told me I had to ride up front, so I got in the passenger seat. Paul was there about the time we got outside and I gave him my keys and asked him to follow us. We rode to the hospital with the lights and horn blaring. The EMT tried to reassure me that all was fine and that they were only running the lights because she was pregnant, that she had high blood pressure and that is why she had a seizure but that it was under control.

I was shocked at how hard it was for the ambulance driver. For over a mile we followed a semi truck that would not get over. Later we were continually honking at a car to get over and it was obliviously. The driver handled it all calmly. On the ride I prayed simple, desperate prayers: “Jesus, please let Abby be okay. Please let the baby be okay. Please Jesus.” Over and over. I also sent a few texts while riding. One to my mom and one to Abby’s mom letting them know what had happened. My mom immediately called but I didn’t answer. I was too emotional. I didn’t want to talk. When we arrived at the hospital and the EMTs rolled Abby out on the stretcher, she was fine. She knew who I was again and could answer questions. Frustratingly, the people at the hospital were not expecting us. They looked confused to see us though the EMT called our situation in. We were directed to an elevator that opened on both sides. We started to get in but on the other side was a nurse with an old man. He was clearly fine and Abby clearly was not but the damn nurse decided to try and share the elevator with us rather than let us get in alone. This took time. Precious time. So we finally get to the 2nd floor and I am directed to the business office to sign Abby in and give them our insurance card. (Side note: Paul did an amazing job following us and arrived only a minute or two after we did. By the time I got to the business office Paul was there.) I do the quick paper work and then go find Abby.

I am in a hospital room with Abby and one nurse. It seems that everything will be fine. I am sitting in a chair, trying to recover. Suddenly there is a commotion and the nurse is struggling to keep Abby on the bed. Abby is having another seizure. I leap up and ask if I can help. The nurse says yes but does not tell me what to do. The nurse has Abby on the bed but starts yelling for me to hit the code button. I do not know what a code button is or where it is. The nurse yells for magnesium. An EMT is in the room but doesn’t help the nurse. She stands still, almost frozen, crying. The nurse gets Abby on the bed and runs and hits a button on the wall and screams for magnesium. I sit back down in the chair. I grab my hair with my hands and feel totally helpless. The ambulance driver asks me to come outside with him. I look back at Abby as I leave and she is gray. I see Paul. I walk straight to him, grab him and break down for the first time all day. I wail. No words. Just sobs.

My mind races.

Is Abby going to die? Abby can’t die. I can’t live without her. Where will I live? I live in a girl’s dorm. Will the baby be okay? What if they both die? What is they ask me to choose which one lives and which one dies. Abby can’t die. I don’t want Abby to die.

Paul takes me to another room where, surprisingly, Abby’s old boss (and still current friend) Lisa Harper is waiting. I sit down. I think, “I need to call Abby’s mom. I need to call my mom. There is no way I can talk to either of them. I will just wail. I will ask Paul to call them.” Without me saying a word Paul asks, “Is there anyone you want me to call?” I say yes, dial my mom’s number, she answers, I get out one word, “Mom” and then hand the phone to Paul. (Later, my mom told me that when I called and only got out that single word, it broke her heart. She could feel all my pain in that one word.) Paul explains the situation to mom and then asks if he should call Abby’s mom. I say yes but don’t know the number, that someone needed to go back into the room Abby was in and get her purse. The chaplain (who showed up at some point) did this for us. Paul calls Abby’s mom.

I decide I am stable enough to go back to the room Abby is in. There are about 15 people in the room. The guy is charge is a doctor named O’Brian. He explains to me what has happened, that Abby has eclampsia, something about the placenta not attaching right and creating toxins and high blood pressure resulting in seizures and that the only way to stop this is to deliver. Abby’s OBGYN is there with the “Oh sh*t I really screwed up this time” look on her face. I think, “If Abby dies, I am coming at you with all my anger and pain lady.” I am standing next to Abby. She is unconscious. The OBGYN tells me they need to prep for an emergency c-section and that Abby has to have an epidural. I don’t want her talking to me about this so close to Abby. I am afraid she will hear what we are saying and it will upset her. I am right. The word “epidural” brings Abby conscious. The doctor tells Abby they have to do an emergency c-section. She weeps as she says, “Its too early.” This kills me. It is hard enough watching her go through this physical pain. The emotional pain she starts to feel is like a knife in my heart. I look at her and tell her everything will be okay. She just sobs. At some point she becomes unconscious again. I go out of the room to tell Paul and Lisa what is about to happen. Now Joe Bruner, Abby’s current boss, and Abby’s co-worker Paul Stephens are in the room. Lisa asks if we can pray. Paul wisely asks the chaplain to pray, knowing full well no one in the room will make it through a prayer. I go back to the room Abby is in. They take her away to prep her for the c-section. I am alone. I text Paul, asking him to come sit with me. He comes. We sit.

Eventually I am taken down to the room Abby is having the c-section in. I am not allowed in due to the amount of people but sit outside the room. They leave the door open so I can see in. The chaplain sits with me. I wait. At 3:51 I hear my baby boy let out two small cries. This is music to my ears because I know that for baby’s born premature, their lungs are the biggest concern. I am let in to take pictures. I talk to Abby. I tell her he has her nose. They wheel Eli so Abby can see him and then take him to NICU. I follow him out. A nurse who has been with me since we arrived (she is the emergency nurse or something, but was not needed and was assigned to follow me around and make sure I am okay) takes my phone into the NICU to take pictures. She comes out to tell us that he is 1 lbs and 15 oz and there is a chance he may go to UK due to his small size. It was about an hour before I could see Abby or Eli. I stood in a hallway with Paul and Lisa just waiting. At some point I went to the waiting room to thank all the people who came. I don’t really remember the next part in order, but I know I got to see Eli, I know that Mark Troyer, the VP of Student Development at Asbury, and Katie Blair were waiting outside the NICU for me at some point and I know that Abby was moved to a new room. At this point Abby’s family was close (they were driving down from Indiana) and Paul finally left the hospital after being my HERO for about 6 hours. Some very sweet girls brought some clothes and toiletries for us from our apartment. I slept at the hospital in a chair that folds into a small bed, spending all night watching and checking on Abby to make sure she was okay.

So, this is the story of Dec 2 as good as I can remember it. Some additional notes:

*The anesthesiologist came to check on Abby Thursday night and asked to look at her chest, saying she had to do chest compressions on her and wanted to she if she was bruised. I do not know why she had to do this. There are conflicting reports from doctors as to whether or not she flat-lined.

*The t-shirt Abby was wearing was cut off of her as was her bra.

*The doctor explained that when someone codes (which is what the code button is for), it means they are dying but that Abby never really coded because there was not point when the baby was not getting all the of the nutrients/air/blood he needed. I don’t know if this is true.

*When I was deciding whether or not to propose to Abby, I fasted and prayed over the decision. A big part of that story is that I felt like God said to me, “I saved you for each other. I saved you from other relationships so that you could be together.” On December 2 God saved Abby for me again.

*December 2 is Abby’s brother’s birthday.

*December 2, 2001 is the day I gave my life to Christ.

Lastly, I want to point out one miracle that happened. Dozens happened, but this one sticks out the most to me: I was home at 12:50 when Abby’s first seizure started. I was not supposed to be home. I was supposed to be at lunch with Joey. If Abby had not thrown up, I would not have come home for lunch. If I had not come home for lunch, Abby would have had her seizure with no one there to find her. She most likely would have died, taking Eli with her. Praise God I was home, and I mean that literally. Praise God. It was a miracle that I was home and I believe He orchestrated it all the way.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Review: Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment. Written by the great Dostoevsky. (Or so I am told that he is great. This is the first book I have read by him and thus do not have a fully formed opinion.)

I did not read this book. I listened to it on CD while I drove long distances. It is a book that philosophizes through the narrative and thus requires more reflection than can be given while driving and listening to it constantly. It is a character driven novel, definitely not plot driven. In fact, the plot is so meandering that at times it is maddening. I did not really enjoy the plot. I didn't really love the book as a whole. I liked certain characters, such as the main character's friend Razumikhin, and the character that pulls at your heart strings like no other, Sonya. But the main character, Raskolnikov, drove me crazy. And that, in retrospect, is fitting as he was driving himself crazy throughout the book. The most interesting thing about the book is that it is A. not predictable and constantly making you wonder what this mad man will do and B. is a fascinating study of a deranged mind. Raskolnikov never does what you want him to. He is frustratingly odd. However, all his oddities stem from basic human nature and the truth is I could easily see myself becoming as mad as he.

Was I bored at times? Yes. Was the plot incredible? No. I can't even say I would recommend it. However, Dostoevsky does do an amazing job at reveling the human psyche. I enjoy talking about this book with others who enjoy Dostoevsky more than I enjoyed listening to it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lion Furniture

Driving down the road the other day I passed this little beauty (don't worry, I was driving and my passenger took the picture):

That's right. Those are amusement park ride cars being transported. Monkeys and bears. It was so funny to see this.

Just two minutes later Joey and I pass a certain semi truck. This truck's trailer had a large piece of art on it. Since we were passing it, we naturally saw it from back to front and slowly had the whole piece of art reveled to us as we passed the truck. This is what we saw: a large, Sams club sized parking lot with cars in it. At the end of the parking lot is a massive store. Somewhere it said the name of the store. I don't remember the name but it was a furniture store. #1 If you are a furniture store, why not have pictures of furniture on the truck instead of a large parking lot. I guess the idea was to show how large the store was. Anyway, the kicker is this: at the front of the trailer is an image of a lion laying on a grassy hill which over looks the furniture store. WHAT! How do these two things relate? Joey and I immediately start to mock this, creating fake ad slogans that might explain the trailer's art. "Do you like lions? Do you like furniture. Us too!" & "Have you ever been on safari? Do you use furniture? Us too!" & "Buy our furniture or this lion will eat you!"

We were tired. It was insane. I laughed until I cried. It still makes me laugh.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weird Coincidence

When I am on the road I listen to books on tape. They help pass the time, keep me mentally engaged, help me become more well read, etc. (So far this travel season I have finished Crime and Punishment, Grace Eventually, and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. My thoughts on each coming soon.) Yesterday I started listening to Moby Dick. This is a book that has always been presented to me as long and boring, the death toll of high school English that I somehow avoided. This, so far, has not been true. It has been quite good. The only negative is that the reader at times sounds like Will Ferrell's professor character that is always in a hot tub.

Anyway, what this post is about is the weird coincidence that happened. Not long after I got on the road, I saw this:

Whalin! What are the odds of seeing a truck like this while listening to a book about whaling? Slim. I just love the little surprises life gives.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Story from the Road: The Vulture

I do a lot of fairs. Graduate Fairs. Career Fairs. Job Fairs. Combos of all three. You start to see certain figures that come to these fairs. My favorite, and at times least favorite, is the Freebie Vulture.

The Freebie Vulture is the man or woman who walks through the fair and takes every freebie they can. It might be a squishy car from Enterprise. It might be a Frisbee from Waffle House. It might be chap-stick. ANYTHING. They will take it. I don't do give-aways so they usually ask me if they can have one of my pens. The one thing they DON'T take is your materials. They do not care who you are, what you are their for. They unabashedly are there for the free stuff.

The Freebie Vulture

Monday, October 18, 2010

Story from the Road: Sweet Tea

The Moody Bible Institute fair was fantastic. One of the reasons it was fantastic was that they gave every recruiter one free drink at their coffee shop. I had just finishing setting up my booth and found the room rather stuffy and hot. I felt like I needed a cool drink to refresh me so I went and got in line. As I am waiting, I peruse the menu to find that perfect cool drink that will restore me to sanity before the fair begins. And then I see it. On their menu is "Southern Sweet Tea." I think, "Is it possible for them to have actual SOUTHERN sweet tea here in this coffee shop in Chicago?" But my desire for the nectar of the gods that is sweet tea outweighed my skepticism and I ordered. The girl behind the counter takes my order and asks where I am from. "Kentucky," I answer. "Oh, well then you will have to let us know if our sweet tea measures up," she replies. I wait. She grabs a pitcher out of a refrigerator and pours me a tall glass. She hands it to me and I take a swallow. My taste buds rejoice to find that this, indeed, does measure up to what I was hoping for. Not exactly my wife's sweet tea, but good enough. The cold tea cools restores my body to a proper temperature and the taste of the tea makes me feel at home. I am happy and am ready for the fair. Bring on the students.

Friday, October 15, 2010

On the Road pt.1: Where I've Been

I have not been posting because I have been traveling so much. I am the Coordinator of Admissions and Marketing for Asbury University’s Master of Social Work program. What this means is that there is a period of time each Fall, and to a lesser extent each Spring, that is my “travel season”. All admissions persons have this, but I have made mine especially intense this year. When I signed on to do this job, the MSW program had only been around for a year and really was just beginning to get on its feet. I committed, if only to myself, to stay in the position until the program was absolutely full, so that we were turning people away. Obviously I want that to happen as soon as possible. I travel as much as I do simply to try and connect with as many people as possible, to grow the number of people who know about Asbury’s MSW program.

So enough prologue. My travel season started Sept 28. This is what I have been up to:

On Oct 28 I left Wilmore, KY and drove to Waynesburg, PA. At Waynesburg I met Chyrul, a middle age African American lady whose table was set up to mine. She happened to also be in social work and we made small talk about jobs, family, etc. It is always nice to have these types of encounters on the road. The fairs I recruit at can be long and tiresome and it is nice to have a kind person set up next to you who can help pass the time when the fair is slow. The next day I did West Liberty University and Bethany College. These schools are either in West Virginia or Ohio, I don’t remember which. There I met a guy who recruited for the Kaplan testing system. I think his name was Brian. We mainly chatted about marriage as Brian was 21 and getting married in 9 weeks. Again, nice to make a friend. Brian actually ended up charging my TomTom for me the next day.

Bethany College

Day 3 was Wheeling Jesuit University and Franciscan University of Steubenville. Franciscan was beautiful! We (recruiters) were placed in an art gallery and the art was awesome. While there I met a woman who has her Ph.D in library sciences and has a specialty in children’s libraries and literature. I asked her about how to get published (I have written a children’s book) and she gave me some wonderful advice. It is these chance encounters that really liven up the road experience.

A stone barn chapel at Wheeling.

So, if you are counting, that is 5 schools and 3 states in 3 days. I got to be at home for 3 nights and then headed out to Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. I love Asheville. I went to college and hour away from Asheville and just love the whole hippy vibe they have. The College served beef from cows they raised and vegetables from their own garden. When you put away your tray in the cafeteria there was a section for food waste they used for compost. I love it. Sadly I didn’t get to spend any time in the city and had to hurry home. The next day I did a Career Fair at Morehead State University in KY and that evening left with Joey Styron, the Asbury Seminary recruiter, for Malone University in Canton, OH. The fair at Malone was a total bust but I did see a professor friend there who had me come speak in his class, which made the trip worth it. When that ended Joey and I got in the van and drove to Chicago. Yep. From Ohio to Chicago. Over 6 hours. (In case you are wondering I have logged right around 56 hours driving in the last three weeks). Chicago was a neat experience. We got dinner at a great Italian restaurant (Maggiano's Little Italy: 516 N Clark St.) that gave you both your in house meal and a to-go meal for $12.95. Crazy right?

The next day we were at Moody Bible Institute. I didn’t know how this would go for me and I was extremely surprised. Many students were extremely interested. I met a professor there who is a social worker and pushes his students to get an MSW. A great connection for sure. I left Moody to go to a huge Chicago area fair. It had hundreds of recruiters, boasted 30 co-sponsor colleges, and had 1200 people come through. Surely I would make come good contacts here right? Nope. I only talked to 1 student and he was from a school I was planning to visit in a few weeks anyway. It is weird to think that out of a pool of 1200 I only got 1 but at Moody I got 8 or so from a pool of maybe 200.

I hit the road again Monday to go to Kentucky Christian University, about 2 hours from where I live. KCU is a great connection for us and two of our current students are from there. The next day I drove to Ashland, KY (2.5 hours away) to speak to a group of students. That night I had to leave for Murray, KY (4.5 hours away). That means that on Tuesday, Oct 12th, I was in the car for 9.5 hours. Ridiculous. Yesterday I went to Transylvania University in Lexington, KY which is a short drive away. Their Director of Career and Calling is this VERY energetic lady named Susie who hugs everyone and just loves everyone. Her assistant’s husband went to Asbury Seminary and thus was pretty excited about us being there. Another great connection.

So that is what I have been up to so far. Maybe a boring post but it gives you the gist of what my life has been like. Next post: Stories from the road (including a very strange picture, I promise).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Video of New Hymn

I said I was going to post a video of that hymn I wrote. Here it is. Please know that I am not a fantastic singer. By the way, this thing needs a title...lets call it "Behold, He is coming."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Hymn

This is a hymn I recently wrote. It began as a project for my "Song Lyrics and Theology" class when I was in seminary. I am still a novice but about a week ago I decided to try my hand at writing a song on the mandolin. I picked out a basic chord progression I liked and then starting thinking of what would fit lyrically. I started flipping through the songs written for the Song Lyrics and Theology class and this one fit nearly perfect. I started playing with it, altered the chord progression slightly, and then began writing a few more stanzas. I ended up with five, went over them with Abby, one got cut and this is what I ended up with.

I added in the chord progression above the first stanza. I also added the Bible verses that inspired each line. (I think this was part of the original assignment and it naturally carried over into the rest of the writing process.) Some of the lines are direct quotes from the verses and some simply served as inspiration. You will see 2 lines have no Bible verse attached. Though I could probably find some verse that was related to these 2 lines, these lines were not actually inspired by a specific verse but by my experience. I hope to do a little video blog recording of it (with Abby singing perhaps, hopefully?) and post it so you can hear the melody.

Behold, He is coming (Rev 22:7)
He whose voice is like the sea (Rev 1:15)
Em C Em C
His eyes, they blaze like a consuming fire (Rev 1:14)
Em C D G
And from this fount doth spring the tree (Rev 22:2)

This world is full of darkness
But he will make all things new (Rev 21:5)
In His hand He holds every star (Rev 1:16)
And with this hand, He holds mine too

We hear every nation (Rev 7:9)
Cry holy, holy thrice to thee (Rev 4:8)
He is who was, and He is to come (Rev 4:8)
The one and only Almighty (Rev 4:8)

His leaves will bring all healing (Rev 22:2)
and in the swaying join the tune (Romans 8:22)
as the Spirit and Bride cry, "JESUS COME!" (Rev 22:17)
He replies, "I'm coming soon." (Rev 22:20)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Double Rainbows

There have been a ton of remixes, parodies, and tributes to the "Double Rainbows" video. I mean, the guy got his own Kodak commercial. But the one below is by far my favorite. Enjoy.

If you don't know what this is reffering to, shame on you and go watch it right now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Infinitely Short Lifespan of Technology

In 2003 I graduated from high school, was preparing for college and my parents bought me a killer laptop. 2.4 GHZ, 512 MB of RAM, 40GB of hard drive space, and it only weighed 7.1 lbs!

You read the above and it makes you laugh! 40GB of hard drive? Today 250GB is the standard and 500GB isn't even blinked at. 512MB of RAM? Ha! 2GB is the standard and 4GB isn't even a problem.

Now consider this: When my parents bought that laptop, it probably cost around $900. It might have been $600, it might have been $1,200, I don't remember. Today, I sold that computer for $50. That might make you laugh. I sort of teeter between laughing and sadness. Think about the swift decease in value this piece of technology experienced. I used it hardcore for 6 years before I bought a new one. It worked fine. The thing that doomed it was that it had become slow and I was tired of putting up with it. Had the computer changed? Not really. It might have lost a step but it wasn't much slower than the day I bought it. It was just slower by comparison to what is out now.

Anyway, that's what I am thinking about this morning. Bought a comp for $900 in 2003, sold it for $50 in 2010.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Ocho

In the movie Dodgeball they showed the dodgeball tournament on ESPN8, The "Ocho."

I got such a huge kick out of that. I am an ESPN nut and loved that they were poking fun of how many channels ESPN had. I mean, seriously, do we need this much sports TV?

Then last night I realized that ESPN almost has 8 regular TV channels!

2. ESPN2
3. ESPNews
5. ESPN Classic
6. ESPN Deportes

Those are 6 normal channels you can get on cable. If you include, which is an online site where you can stream live video (and they are pushing really hard right now) they are up to 7! Please, please let them make one more channel and actually call it "The Ocho."


I just did a little wikipedia research. ESPN has tons of channels I didn't know about. ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Plus, ESPN Brasil, ESPN International, ESPN Australia. Then there are all their HD channels. You can technically count ESPN2 and ESPN2HD as two separate channels. Wikipedia actually lists 22 different ESPN channels. Wow.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Amazing Video

This video is ridiculous. The things this guy is doing in a car are unbelievable.

Here is the full article describing what the video is about. The article describes the ridiculous nature of the last trick and how dangerous it was (as if everything he did wasn't dangerous!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hey you, with the mouth! Watch it!

The chronological reading list has me reading straight through Proverbs. Reading chapter after chapter has helped me pick up on one of the major themes of Proverbs, watching what we say. Proverbs again and again mentions our mouths, lips, words, etc. It is clear that the author thought it was important that people that people be careful with the words they say. Here are just 10 of the "watch what you say" proverbs from chapters 10-15 with commentary in italics:

10:11 - "The mouth of the righteous is a foundation of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked."
I appreciate the imagery here. The words of the righteous nourish and give life to those around them while the words of the wicked are violent. I picture demons and devils pouring from the mouth of the wicked.

(A truly wicked mouth)
10:14 - "Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin."
We all know that our words can ruin us. Clamp down on that tongue! Think before you speak!

10:19 - "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."
This is so powerful, driving home the point that our loose tongues bring down sin upon us.

10:21a - "The lips of the righteous nourish many..."
This states point blank what I was saying about 10:11. Our good words nourish others. At the same time...

11:9a - "With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor..."
Our words can also destroy. A lie, a secret told that is no ones business but the owner of the secret, a half-truth, a false accusation can destroy.

11:11 - "Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed."
Words are so powerful that they can bless or bring down an entire city (or even a nation).

11:12 - "A man who lacks judgements derides his neighbor, but a man of judgement holds his tongue."
Now this one is really important. I think of deriding someone as talking bad about them. Just like, "I can't believe so-and-so said that (says the gossip, ironically)" or "I can't believe so-and-so did that." If you can't say something nice...

12:22 - "The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful."
BAM! God DETESTS lying lips. Hates them! Don't lie! You want God to love your lips (just like Larry loves his)

13:3 - "He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin."
Your LIFE is tied to your words. Wow.

15:4 - "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit."
Again, the power of words, but just to destroy but to bring life. The tree of life is a powerful image, found both in Genesis and Revelation. This isn't a throw-away line.

(A different Tree of Life, the one found at Disney's Animal Kingdom.)
I know I need to get better at holding my tongue, at keeping my mouth shut and not saying bad things about people. I know that when I do it, it is to make myself look good. That is selfish, it is sinful, and it has to stop. Please, if you hear me doing anything like this, if you hear me use my words to destroy instead of to bring life, please take me aside and correct me. I don't want to be the person who people think, "I wonder what he says about me when I'm not around." I want to be the man, that when I die, people say "I never heard him say a bad thing about anybody."