As I was lying in one of the dental chairs at my office – yeah, looking up at the ceiling from the perspective of a patient – I was contemplating the fact that as I get older, my body is starting to let me know in more painful ways that I am not immortal. Not that I ever thought I was, physically at least, but I have sort of taken the relatively normal, painless, functioning of my body for granted. So it is easy to let good health practices slide. I eat things that are too high in fat or too high in carbohydrates. And yes, sometimes, I forget to brush and floss. I eat sticky black licorice that pulls off a crown – and post – and part of the poor old tooth. And I end up in a supine position with my mouth open suffering the consequences of fear and neglect from long ago when I accumulated a lot of big fillings.
I was also thinking of other parts of me that I now take pains not to damage. Steve, our youth pastor, is beginning to know about these things too. Welcome to the world of the walking toboggan wounded! I had a tobogganing accident back in 1995, crushing a vertebra. So I gave up tobogganing. I also fell x-country skiing and injured my wrist so I gave that up for the most part. At that time I found out that life and disability insurance companies don’t much like you if you have these little incidents. And that was when I needed the insurance the most, just starting up my own business. So now I stick to snowshoeing.
But as I was in my contemplative mood – being forced to lie still with my mouth open for a couple of hours I also realized that I am a whole lot less concerned about my physical self now than I was a few years ago. I’m going to a place where there is perfect healing for this tired old body so in some ways I am less attached to it, less inclined to worry about it. (Don’t worry, I’m not being morbid or purposefully neglecting myself.) And, since I figure that everyone’s teeth should be great up there in heaven, I am looking forward to long times of just sitting in His presence, worshipping and sort of soaking up the Son.
It’s done, it’s ready, voila!!
Thanks to Randall, I am going colorful.
The banner comes from a picture of one of our wonderful early winter skies.
Work was done and the sky was just changing as I drove home. Ran in, got the camera and recorded some of the beauty God created. The colours were incredible. This is winter but not dark and dreary or sad.
So when I wanted to come up with a new look to my site, this was my first thought. And Randall has taken it and from it pulled out background and font colours to tie it all together.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I was reading this morning from Luke 17 verses 5 to 10.
5One day the apostles said to the Lord, “We need more faith; tell us how to get it.”
6“Even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed,” the Lord answered, “you could say to this mulberry tree, `May God uproot you and throw you into the sea,’ and it would obey you!
7“When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, he doesn’t just sit down and eat. 8He must first prepare his master’s meal and serve him his supper before eating his own. 9And the servant is not even thanked, because he is merely doing what he is supposed to do. 10In the same way, when you obey me you should say, `We are not worthy of praise. We are servants who have simply done our duty.’ ” (NLT)
The disciples question just happens to be a question I am asking too. I want more faith – tell me how to get it.
And then Jesus, as usual, tells a story. Instead of saying follow these steps a…,b…c…, he says, I think, do what you are supposed to do. Do your duty and obey me and don’t look for praise for doing it.
My first reation is, “Well, what does this have to do with the question? How on earth will doing my duty increase my faith?”
I must confess, I do not understand this. Shouldn’t he have said study the scriptures, pray, spend time fellowshipping with fellow believers?
Is this one of those Naaman moments when I am looking for something more obvious or glamourous to do – more along the lines of what is expected in our churches – something I can do to improve myself? I don’t know. Somehow just doing what I’m doing dosen’t seem like much.
Wednesdays can be long days.
Gate Crashers prayer starts out the morning at 6:30 and of course I have to be up about an hour before so I am ready for work. But it is such a good way to start my day that I can’t imagine starting Wednesday without it.
Then every other week I start off my work day by sedating and working on little kids. Most of these kids are under three. All are in need of serious dental work. About half of what I do are extractions. And, although the kids are sedated, they can still make a lot of noise. One of the things that I have found is that as the sedation is wearing off, some of the kids get very irritable and angry. By that time their mouths are numb, they have had some dental work so are either drooling or bleeding, they have no idea what is going on since the meds cause amnesia, all they know is that they are in a place they don’t want to be. I am done my part and the poor parent picks up where I have finished – one woosy angry kid. It is nice to be able to send them home at that point. But often they have to wait for their taxi. Today we had a screamer in the office for about an hour after he was done. My front office staff were glad when he finally left the waiting room.
The cold and flu like illness is also travelling through the office. It was hard to be without one of my assistants today, and my other assistant was worried about her son who sustained a concussion in his hockey game on the weekend. He was home alone, throwing up. I managed to send her home a bit early at noon so she could check on him. But tomorrow looks like she will have to carry on alone again. And we are going to be very busy tomorrow.
Now it is late and I need to get some sleep. Tomorrow is another day. And I get to do the single parent thing again for a few days.
Today’s weather was weird and not nice weird. Woke up to -3 C. About an hour later the radio was talking +1 C. Then it started to snow and blow and tonight it is to go down to -23 C. I look across the river from my home and this is what I see. I can only imagine how bad it must be out on the roads, especially farther south where they are not surrounded by trees to break the wind. Needless to say, a lot of my out of town patients called in unable to come because of the weather.
Because of cancellations at the office giving me an extra free hour just before noon, I came home for lunch. Up pulled a car – my daughter and friends decided to see what they could scrounge up for lunch at my house. Today was early dismissal from school. I had a funny feeling that my daughter might decide to skip this afternoon’s classes as I headed back to work. Sure enough. She called later and wondered what to make for supper.
“So”, I said, “Did you go back to school this afternoon?”
“Well, no, not exactly” she told me.
Honest at least. Although I’m not sure just how “not exactly” works as a modifier to “no”.
She still hasn’t figured out how mothers know, just know, some things.
So a lot of little chores are going to get done around our house – starting with the cat litter.
Jordon linked to an article on the sermon.
No one likes to be preached to. But to have someone reveal to me what God is saying to them, especially when I see them modeling the sort of Christian life that I can see and relate to – that teaches me. That makes me want to follow them as they lead on down the path to knowing God more fully. And the parts of the service that don’t go perfectly – and then God visits anyway – well that just is an encouragement that I can do some things too, because I know that if I do anything it is not likely to be perfect.
So maybe church should be more like a jamm session. Having a really good musician leading us into the music, encouraging us to try playing and helping us to improve as we go. That would be fun and challenging – and it is.
Randall is doing some very nice stuff with giving this site a completely new look. I think it won’t be long till you get to see the changes. And I am excited about them. He’s designed a page that is exactly what I would have done if I had the smarts to do this kind of thing myself. Well, you will see – just wait.
Remember those old cards where you had to use a soft lead pencil to mark in the right circle so those big old computers in the far distant past could be fed the right data? That is the era of my youth. Now I can sit down and just type – using software that is so easy like this from Leighton at Prairie Fusion. It lets me do things I would never have dreamed of even a few years ago. And I find it a lot of fun, this getting creative with words and pictures.
So all you computer geeks out there – thanks – from someone who finds doing a root canal a lot easier than putting things into code!