Sunday, October 21, 2012

Law School

     Law School is going really, really well. I usually have enough time to get most of my work done over the weekend, and I can review during the week before class. I just finished a really big writing project even though it's only worth about 12/100 points.
     School is everything I was hoping it would be. We just had two practice midterms and I'm glad they were practice because I was probably just around average. I'm taking torts and contracts, and a research and writing class. Torts is the civil side of the law. It's private citizens suing private citizens over battery, assault, trespass, or negligence and such. Good stuff. Contracts is much more difficult as it is very theoretical about what makes the contract and when are they binding or not.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Well, it has been a while, and for that I apologize. I would like to say I was too busy, or didn't have time, but that isn't true.

     I left off back in February after I went to the doctor and discovered I may have had pneumonia. I mentioned how I should have felt better a couple of days later. A couple of days came and went and I felt worse if anything. I checked into the hospital March 3. That day was pretty crazy because each time the doctor came back in the room there was more startling news. Turns out I did not have pneumonia, but it eventually was determined that I had an extensive infection in my abdomen related to the pacer wires which in turn had led to two abscesses of infection just under the lungs, there was some fluid buildup in the space between the lung and the chest cavity on my left side, and it was suspected I had some bleeding from a vein in the lower stomach area.
     The first issue to be tackled was the bleeding. It was potentially life-threatening so they did an angiogram to find it and wrap a coil around it. The surgery took a long time but eventually when they found the problem, the vein immediately cauterized itself. This was an answer to prayer and God is good.
The second issue was for me to begin on antibiotics once they had taken a sample of a superficial infection where the pacer wires enter my body just below the sternum. There isn't much more to the antibiotics part, but I just got off of them within the past few days.
     The abscesses of infection were in tricky locations because of the various organs surrounding them, so after a few days in my local hospital, it was determined I should transfer to a large hospital in Chicago. Within a couple of days a doctor drained the fluid from the left side of my lung area. This fluid had been causing a significant amount of pain for many weeks. Almost immediately after the fluid was drained I did not feel the pain anymore.
     The immediate concern from the teams of Chicago doctors was that when there is an infection related to a foreign object in the body, antibiotics may suppress the infection, but the infection could return once the antibiotics stop. The infectious disease doctors thought there was no way the wire could stay in, while the thoracic surgery team, who have dealt with pacer wires a handful of times, knew the risks and the complicated recovery of taking out the primary breathing device of someone on a pacer. After I had been in the hospital a total of just over two weeks they decided to do an "exploratory surgery" to see the extent of the abdomen infection, and what the two abscesses of infection looked like. If they found the infection to have not progress, then they would take out the pacer wires. This became an immediate cause for prayer, even though every issue big or small is a cause for prayer. I'm sure many were praying, but my small group leader, a man from my church, my mom and I prayed the Wednesday before the Friday surgery specifically that in God's gracious healing will He would take the infection from my body. I came out of the surgery a few hours after, (which is such an amazing feeling going from extremely drowsy to waking up with that feeling only a couple of seconds has passed by) and as I was coming out of the anesthesia I felt that my breathing was weak, BUT it was because I was still on the pacer – the pacer wires did not have to come out. The doctors said that the wires look "pristine" with no infection, and there were no signs of the abscesses. Their official diagnosis was that they had read the CT scan wrong… Yeah, right. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and as He healed in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and through prayer in the church age, so he healed my body. As soon as the doctor said there was no infection, my mom and I, and the ones we had told knew exactly what happened: God had miraculously healed the infection in my body through His gracious character. There is absolutely no way around this truth. I felt much stronger each day after until I was released from the hospital five days later, and the reason I felt stronger almost immediately after the surgery was not because the doctors do anything – God did. 
     I still had antibiotics running through a PIC line, and I needed ventilator assistance with the pacer, but I continued to get better.
     Unfortunately, about two weeks after I left the hospital I developed some pressure sores, (which had not happened since early on in my initial hospital stay after the accident), because a small screw found its way into my bed, and on top of that, the seat cushion for my wheelchair was too hard which allowed pressure sores develop. I spent the next month and a half in bed turning from side to side in order to keep the pressure off of the initial sores and subsequent minor pressure sores which had formed due to the constant need to reposition.My time in bed was longer than in the hospital.
I've only for the past week and a half been getting back into my wheelchair now that the sores have healed up pretty nicely.

     This whole ordeal was frustrating at first because, selfishly, I thought that I shouldn't have to go through difficulties. Not because I felt like I had already gone through so much, but just because we misunderstand God for who He really is and forget what He says in His word.
"When times are good be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him." (Ecclesiastes 7:14 ESV)
And also, "for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."(James 1:3-4 ESV)
I'm not looking for some specific "reason" of why this happened, but I'm certainly open to how God would allow me to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is not some bad parent who sends His children to their rooms "until they figure out what they did wrong." God is not vague and His word is not ambiguous. If there is a sin issue or something, if you ask him what's going on, He would simply tell you. This wasn't the case for me with a sin issue, but maybe someone needed to read that.
I responded extremely poorly early on when I didn't know was going on. This was a growing experience because in many ways I know how to not respond. Much good has also come.

     On a different note, I have been accepted to law school and I will be attending Northern Illinois University this fall. There are many things to work out in terms of finances and personnel, but God has graciously brought me this far, and I know he will continue to provide. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thanks for asking, Dale. I'm doing okay, and I suppose there are a few new things.

I've actually been feeling sick for about a week and a half. I found out today I have pneumonia. I'm glad I found out what it is because now it can be treated. Thankfully there is no fluid buildup in either lung, just some inflammation near the bottom of the left lung. That was making it difficult to breathe so I'm glad some antibiotics will knock it out.

I've narrowed my decision down to two law schools, and I will visit the remaining one in the near future when I'm not sick.

Friday, January 20, 2012

180 movie

This is an amazing film about abortion. Ray Comfort has an incredible ability to engage people. Take 30 minutes and watch it. There is graphic content at times so be advised. (Liberals and moral relativists may find the message offensive.) :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Walk with the Spirit

This is a passage from A. W. Tozer's book Mystery of the Holy Spirit.
    Always remember that you will know the Spirit more intimately as you make more of Jesus Christ the Lord. For Jesus said the Holy Spirit would take the things of His and show them unto us. We walk with the Holy Ghost when we walk with Christ. For Christ will always be where He is honored. The Holy Ghost will always honor the one who honors the Savior Jesus Christ the Lord. Let us honor Him by giving Him His right title. Let us call Him Lord, let us believe He is Lord, let us call Him Christ. Let us believe He is Christ, and let us get away from this cheap Jesus dear kind of stuff that pulls Christianity down to the world of erotica and makes it half-sexy. Let's get rid of that whole silly business and remember, "God has made this Jesus, whom ye crucified, Lord and Christ; and set Him at His own right hand and put all things under His feet and made Him to be head over all things of the church; and He shall reign from the river to the ends of the earth." This is the Christ we adore and let us be careful to honor Christ; always honor Christ. Honor Him by obedience, honor Him by witness, honor Him by testimony; and as we all honor Christ, then we will fellowship with the Holy Ghost.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christ for real

This is an excerpt from Christ For Real by Charles W. Price.
          If you would stretch your imagination, suppose I wanted to travel from London to New York by air, but after consulting a travel agent I become unhappy with the information given me. The cost is too great, and the weight allowance too small. However, I really do want what the airline is offering so I decide I will have it on my own terms. Imagine that I then go to London airport, write out a ticket myself on a piece of paper the same size as a genuine ticket, being careful to include all the detail you would find on the real thing. I then take my place in the line and with a warm smile on my face hand the ticket to the man at the check-in desk. He would probably look at it, look at me, look at it again, and then hand it back saying, "I am sorry, but you cannot travel with that." "Why not?" I protest. "It says 'London to New York,' it has the name of your airline on the top, it has the correct flight number and departure time written on it, and the correct price written on the bottom right hand side." "I am very sorry," he might say. "The information may be correct, but the ticket is not valid and you cannot travel." Imagine I then write across the back of the ticket in bright red felt pen that this particular airline is the greatest. The agent would probably smile, say, "Thank you—not many people say that. But you still cannot travel." Suppose I take the ticket back and this time I put it to music and sing it to him. Then I teach him some new songs: "Amazing plane, how sweet the sound, that carries a wretch like me. I once was walking, but now I'm flying, was at home but now I am free!" I then invite him to join in and we sing it as a round, I start off and he joins in halfway through and we really have a good sing-along. At the end of the song he will probably turn to me and say, "Thank you so much for coming and cheering me up. I haven't had such a good sing for quite a while. But I am sorry, you cannot travel. Here is your ticket, would you please now go away!" Why would I not be eligible for travel? Is it because my ticket says the wrong things? No, it may say the right things. Is it because I express the wrong sentiments? No, they might be very impressed with my praise of the airline. Is it because I sing the wrong songs? No, they might like my songs and even ask to use them in their television commercials. There is only one reason why I cannot travel, and it is a very simple one. My ticket is issued by the wrong authority. The only ticket that is valid is the one issued by the airline in response to the right conditions being met, and anything short of that is invalid. 
People can express all the right sentiments about Jesus Christ, sing the right songs, go to the right church, and use the right vocabulary, but unless they are living on God's terms, where He has issued the "ticket" and the right conditions have been met, they will have a Christianity that just won't work. They will discover that when they want to "fly," the ticket will bounce at the check-in desk. There will be no power in their lives, no consciousness of God, the Bible will remain dry, prayer will be a chore, and no one will ever see a living God being active in their lives. The terms of Christian living are not up for debate or for negotiation. I live the Christian life on God's terms, or I do not live it at all. Therefore our business is to find out God's conditions and be very careful to meet them.
There you have it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

True repentance

I was going to leave this as a comment but it was too long.
Repentance is being reconciled to God and it is the starting point of a truly regenerated person. As I went back and found this summary of what Thomas said about repentance, I also picked up on some things I didn't notice my first time reading through the book. I will read the book again maybe soon, maybe not.
My quick explanation of true repentance is to emphasize the difference between just saying something and actually being something. A lot of people say they are Christians, but that doesn't mean they've been truly transformed by Jesus Christ. Another quote by Ian Thomas is, "If this repentance is real, it will result in a Spirit produced 'hunger and thirst' to be like Jesus." A true Christian will exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
A super simplified way of thinking about it is this: a lot of people out there claim to be Batman. The truth is, however,  they don't own a bat-suit, they don't drive the Batmobile, and they don't fight crime. So guess what? They aren't Batman! 
This simple analogy does not take into account true Christians who are living in the flesh (I posted about that a few months ago). Only God can see someone's heart. I don't mean to make anyone doubt their salvation either, but I would much rather be guilty of that than to not have warned people from entering eternity, thinking their destination was secure, only for them to hear, "depart from me I never knew you."

A great place to find out about repentance is the Bible. Start in the gospel of John. Then go to 1 John. Then probably James. And then Romans. Not necessarily in that order, but maybe.