Archive | December, 2009

Dad’s Condition: aka A hard Christmas

31 Dec

I am blogging this today because I KNOW all my Twitter and FB friends have got to be tired of my posts by now. On behalf of my family, thanks for all the prayers that have been said and those still going up. The events of the last 24 hours leave us not knowing what the future will hold, but we DO KNOW Who holds the future. And so does my dad!!

When Diana, Krissy, Drew and I left here on Monday Dad was doing pretty well. Really starting the turn the corner. Our plan was to come home, get a couple of things done, repack, and return on Thursday. Elaine (my little sis) was here until late Wednesday afternoon and it seemed like a good plan. But while Dad seemed to be progressing on Monday, Tuesday found him talking less and less and sleeping more and more. On Wednesday morning, Dr. Gardner decided he would operate again to drain more fluid and would adjust the shunt (which I thought should’ve been done on SUNDAY). He is concerned that Dad is not waking up. (So am I!)
So … although I’d already planned to do Prayer Meeting and come up afterwards, our plans changed. We ran a couple of errands, packed as quickly as we could, and hustled up here. And Dad was still in his room. And we waited. And waited. And waited. And at 7pm, Doc came back in and told us he wanted to wait until this morning to do the surgery. And that Dad’s scans all looked good, so he was really unsure IF it would even make a difference. He told us he is concerned about all the sleeping too, because it makes him think Dad had a stroke at some point. Mom asked him if Dad would recover from all this … He answered “We really don’t know” (or something like that).
So here we are. In the room, waiting to hear something about when this surgery will take place. And wondering …

So much has happened

28 Dec

Wow! Where should I even start with this … Especially since I haven’t had coffee yet …

Okay, here goes:
Most of my friends have probably heard me talk about the condition my dad was diagnosed with a few years ago: NPH. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (I think thats right). In layman’s terms, he has too much spinal fluid in his brain cavity. It causes Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s type symptoms. Four years ago a neurosurgeon put a shunt in his skull that drains excess fluid into his stomach. Things have gone pretty well with that procedure. Until Christmas Day, 2009.
Dad fell on Christmas morning getting out of the shower. He doesn’t normally fall. There was no visual trauma to his body, and he said he went down “soft.” Mom, Drew, and I got him back up and into the den. All seemed okay. Throughout the day he didn’t say much and seemed to be getting worse. I wondered if this was a result of the fall, or the fact that he was tired (he’d been up to 11pm, something he NEVER does, for the past two nights). Diana, Krissy, Drew, and I had to go to Diana’s family Christmas, but we didn’t hesitate to leave because Dad seemed fine.
About 5:30pm I got the word that they were taking him to the ER at Greenville Memorial. That was the first big hill on this rollercoaster. They found him to have a subdural hematoma (yeah, I have no idea if I spelled that right, and right now that is fine with me) on BOTH SIDES on top of his brain. Pools of blood had collected. The ER doc seemed insistent this was due to a trauma to the front of this head within the last two weeks. Problem was, he hasn’t fallen in MONTHS before the morning fall.
His neurosurgeon looked at the cat scan and other tests and determined the bleed was due to small blood vessels in the top of his head tearing as his brain floated down (as spinal fluid was removed). Dad has had NO PROBLEMS with this shunt for four years, but two months ago they adjusted the flow. (No one will address if that was the cause of this).
On Saturday afternoon the neurosurgeon decided he needed to go on in and relieve the pressure by drilling in. He did that and we saw immediate good results. Saturday night / Sunday morning was not a good time … He was very nauseated and became less alert, and could not move his right arm as much. The morning CAT Scan showed the surgery to be a success, but Dad could keep nothing on his stomach and was losing movement in his right arm. Some of the problems with this are attributed to the fact that fluid was drained and now there is air until the brain pressure is restored. He had a rough day, and as the day went on, eventually lost movement in his right arm.
His nurse was increasingly alarmed. She finally got the word to take him RIGHT THEN for another CAT Scan. This was sometime Sunday afternoon. When we heard from the doc, he said the afternoon scan looked even better than the morning scan. And here we sit: He can’t move his right arm, he can’t squeeze his right hand, he DOES feel things on his hand. And that is where we are. Few answers and told that time will help.
I spent the night up here last night and he had a good night. Slept steady. Still is alert enough to talk to the nurses and he says he remembers watching Clemson win last night. Has he turned the corner?? I am not sure yet, but he is a whole lot closer this morning than yesterday …
And I am so fortunate to have good friends that pray. And on behalf of my family, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! You will never know what it has meant to us!! KEEP PRAYIN!

Read this and HAD TO POST

22 Dec


In chemistry, He turned water to wine.
In biology, He was born without the normal conception.
In physics, He disapproved the law of gravity when He ascended into heaven.
In economics, He disapproved the law of diminishing return by feeding 5,000 men with two fishes and 5 loaves of bread.
In medicine, He cured the sick and the blind without administering a single dose of drugs.
In history, He is the beginning and the end.
In government, He said that he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace.
In religion, He said no one comes to the Father except through him;
So. Who is He? He is Jesus! The greatest man in history.

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
He had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
He had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
He had no army, yet kings feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Christmas Week

21 Dec

Tis the season … Tis the WEEK!! Are YOU ready?? If you asked Diana that question right now, she would have a breakdown. I guess you could say we are NOT ready at this moment. But we will get there.

We had a great day of worship yesterday at Ebenezer. Lots of family and folks visiting from out of town. Many folks in worship yesterday that don’t make it out on a regular basis. And it was good to see them all!! My hope and prayer in the coming weeks is that we will see them more and more.
Christmas week is a great week. A crazy week. A busy week. Two families have already been touched by death, with another at the brink right now. And in the midst of all the Christmas preparation, hustle, and bustle, stress levels are at an all-time high. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Christmas stress levels as high as I’ve seen this year. We all know the economy is bad, and we all know people who’ve lost jobs. And we all know people who’ve lost loved ones and face a first Christmas without someone special. And it is tough.
And, at the end of the week, the most wonderful time of the year will be here. And somehow most of the stress and hurt will cease for a little while … At least, that is my prayer for you guys!!
It might seem like rambling, but I write all of this today to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!! Know that in good times and bad YOU are prayed for, loved, and appreciated. And no matter what comes down the road, God loves you and HE really is the reason for the season!!

Important Memo from the North Pole

16 Dec

Press Release


Today’s global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” subsidiary:

The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance.

The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost-effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are therefore eliminated.

The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French.

The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call-waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked.

The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks appear to be in order.

The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be more productive.

The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. Their function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore enhance their outplacement.

As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring, or a-mulching.

Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.

Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords plus the expense of international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congresspersons. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we expect an oversupply of unemployed congresspersons this year.

Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down to the bottom line.

We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and other expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.

Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney’s association seeking expansion to include the legal profession (“thirteen lawyers-a-suing”), action is pending.

Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to stay competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the most efficient number.

(Yeah, this was also from

An Acts 2 Church

15 Dec

Is YOUR church an Acts 2 church?? Take the test and see!! (From Acts 2:42-47):

  • They were devoted to the teaching of God’s word
  • They were devoted to fellowship with each other
  • They were devoted to celebrating communion together
  • They were devoted to prayer
  • They were “awed” by God
  • Many wonders and miracles were done among them
  • They helped each other as each had need
  • They continually worshiped
  • They liked spending time with each other
  • They praised God
  • The way they lived attracted others to life in Christ
  • And God was SAVING OTHERS through their work
And I am thankful that Ebenezer IS an Acts 2 church. We are NOT PERFECT, mind you, but in so many ways I see the Acts 2 church over and over. And I LOVE IT!!!


12 Dec

This week has been a wild one. And at the end of the week I find myself very disappointed in some folks. And that’s all I really can say about that.

On one hand, as the Body of Christ we have a RESPONSIBILITY to each other to live after God’s own heart. So, there is a part of every one of us that should STRIVE with all our might to not let each other down. On the other hand, people are human, fallible and imperfect. And they will make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes require results that are hard and less than desirable. But such is life.
And as I write this I know there are times when perhaps I’ve let some of you down. If so, I am sorry. Just like you, I’m imperfect. But we press on towards the goal!!
My prayer for you tonight is that you will have a great Christmas season and I pray disappointment will leave you alone for a while!!!


10 Dec

I had to use this from today for TWO REASONS:

1. It is funny!
2. I’ve had one of those weeks FULL of things that I can NEVER blog or tweet about!!

So, here goes:


1. Paint a few white and place them outside on the grass so people won’t park on your lawn.

2. Use it as building material. (This is actually what the Ancient Egyptians used to build the Great Pyramids.)

3. Keep one under your pillow for home defense.

4. Send one to the junk mail company with a note asking them to take you off their list.

5. It’s colorful, use it as a Yule Log.

6. Carve the Presidents’ faces in one and submit it as a science project.

7. Give one to your boss and tell him it’s a life preserver.

8. Use it as a base for flower arrangements.

9. Donate to the local airport for use as airliner wheel blocks.

10. Grind a few up and give it back to your in-laws in a bag marked “lawn fertilizer.”

11. For a community project, sink a few in the ocean and build an artificial reef.

12. Tie one to each foot when you walk through deep snow to keep your feet dry.

Saw this on

8 Dec


10. Rudolph The Insurance Adjuster

9. Mary, Joseph, and the Donkey’s Wet, Hacking Cough

8. It’s an Above Average Life

7. A Charlie Brown Parole Hearing

6. Frosty 2: The Revenge

5. It’s a Claymation Hanukkah!

4. The Whoville Seven

3. Live from Las Vegas: The Grinch IS Elvis!!

2. The Innkeeper’s Dental Appointment

1. The Night Santa Snapped


Copyright 1997 Dave Tippett ( Permission is granted to send this to others, but not for commercial purposes.

Thank God It’s Monday!!

7 Dec

Only a minister could even understand THAT. Yesterday I was talking to my friends and the topic was the overuse of TGIF!! I told them TGIM!! I think they understood…

Sunday is the PINNACLE of the Christian week. And the most stressful for the CHURCH STAFF!! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Sundays. But after pouring myself out on Sunday, I feel like a Mack truck hit me head on EVERY MONDAY. That is why many pastors take Mondays off. I’ve found there is more going on Monday than on Friday, hence my choice of the END of the week as the day off. Yes, today will drag. Yes, I will feel like I got two hours of sleep. But TGIM!

Today I will get some administrative work done. Today I really won’t focus too much on Sunday’s sermon. Once I start that process on Tuesday, I work on it every day until Sunday … Today is kind of a MENTAL day-off for me. And some of you thought I was on a permanent mental vacation!!!! (Sometimes I believe that, too!)

So today I will deal with a broken computer. Helping to put the church back together after the Children’s musical last night (WHICH WAS PHENOMINAL!!) Visiting a couple of people in the hospital. And caroling tonight, followed by a Christmas party with Diana.

(By the end of the night I might be uttering TGI TUESDAY!!)