Living With Leukemia

Amy chronicled her battle with leukemia, and showed how to fight the battle with a warm, loving, patient, Christian heart. We will all go to be with our Lord someday; Amy’s day was yesterday. You can read her entire battle from Amy’s first post

I wholly believe my journey through leukemia began from the foundations of the earth. The Lord has had this fully written in His plan for my life. Though we will never know the exact moment a single cell of my DNA acquired a problem, the doctors feel my body has been under attack for months. As I look back, I see the many ways God has been preparing us for this — He has truly gone before, and for that I must be grateful.

through the struggle

With that on my mind I’ve been trying to focus on the Cross instead of wallowing in self-pity. And believe me, I have my moments. I’ve been struggling especially with my nursing staff lately. I talked to the doctor about it yesterday morning and just about threw something when once again I was assigned the troublesome nurse that night. For the third night in a row. So I fought self again last night, got in the shower, and found out my hair is definitely falling out. So I cried. Again. And felt sorry for myself, again. And then I made myself start to sing praises. I told Brandon sometimes when I start singing I don’t feel like it at all. But somewhere along the way my worship becomes genuine, and God draws near, or feels near, I know He is always near regardless of my emotions. I started thinking about the Cross, and how much my Savior suffered for me. And how He has gone before me in even what I view to be my most ultimate suffering. I had pain from a bone marrow biopsy, He had nails driven into His hands and feet. I am losing my hair — painlessly, yet His was torn from his head by those who mocked Him. How can I complain about these momentary trials, when He has suffered so for me? I fell asleep pondering these things.

to the last from her husband Brandon,

As someone else said on another blog when their dear one passed away, I never knew one could be at so much peace and have such a broken heart at the same time.

when Amy went to see our Creator.

I can’t begin to offer her family the right words of comfort, but I can help share Amy’s story. I think she would have liked that.

Living with Leukemia

*via Rocks in My Dryer

Christian Carnival CLXXXVI

Christian Carnival #186 is up… here! Chasing the Wind is humbled to host the Carnival this week. Without further ado, here are this week’s best Christian blogging.

Oh wait, here’s a little more ado. I’ve divided this week’s post in sections with a brief description about how this relates to Christian living. Ok, *now* we’re out of ado…

CHRIST. No Christian blogging would be complete without pondering our Lord and Savior and what He means to us. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Doug presents Christ at Creation posted at Bounded Irrationality. Doug examines how Jesus could be present as man and God before creation.

This week at Light Along the Journey John considers what is exactly The Right Thing to Say.

JR Madill presents The Public Spectacle posted at Theology for the Masses.

CHRISTIAN LIFE. It’s one thing to study and pray (well, ok, that was two things), but it’s another thing entirely to live the Christian life. How do you apply and think and live as a Christian?

Patricia presents 30 Ways to Instantly be a Better Parent posted at A Better You Blog.

Stretch Mark Mama presents Passing on Perspective posted at Stretch Mark Mama.

Chad Dalton at The Minor Prophet considers Abraham’s Tradition. Thoughts on Abraham’s burial of his wife Sarah.

Jody Neufeld presents The John Webb Winter Golf Tournament posted at Jody Along the Path. Reflecting on the experience of coordinating this event that raises money for children hospitalized with serious illnesses.

blue skelton presents Simpsons Porn, Funny or Immoral? posted at Production Blog. An article that asks, Is it still a sin to watch pornography if it is a cartoon. We are looking for a other Christian’s Viewpoint on this issue.

BIBLE STUDY AND PRAYER. While the glory of the cosmos practically scream out the power and majesty of a creator, to truly know *the* Creator requires study so that God’s Word can speak to you, and it requires prayer so that you can speak to God.

William Meisheid presents Wholistic Salvation posted at Beyond The Rim…. An attempt to look at salvation in a more wholistic [sic] manner.

Ian Spencer presents Dispensationalism and the Interpretation of Scripture Part 2: Prophetic Literature posted at Philosophical Orthodoxy. The second part of a continuing series critiquing dispensationalist methods of interpreting Scripture.

Richard H. Anderson presents Assembly of Yahweh posted at dokeo kago grapho soi kratistos Theophilos.

Tom presents The Remarkable 19th Psalm posted at Thinking Christian. With our modern Christian and scientific viewpoints, we might easily fail to notice what this psalm does not say. It’s an appreciation of the sun, a joyful one at that. And yet–there is not a hint of sun-worship in it. Remarkable.

Ann Shorb presents GOD HAS ME posted at Christian Counseling & Educational Services.

Henry Neufeld presents St. John Chrysostom on Hebrews 6 posted at Participatory Bible Study Blog. St. John Chrysostom gives a comprehensive and interesting view of Hebrews 6:4-6 and the impossibility of restoration for the apostate.

Lingamish: The Lord of
Rage
Somebody’s knocking at the door. But it’s not who you think.
Lingamish looks at Nahum’s vision of an angry God and finds a hidden place of
safety.

CHURCH. When two or more are gathered in His name, He is there. As a group of Christians, we are the bride of Christ, His church. What do we believe and how to we implement it?

FMF presents How'd You Like to Be Taxed for Going to Church? posted at Free Money Finance. How would you like to pay a tax to go to church?

Steven Krager presents Have you lost faith? | faithdoubt posted at faithdoubt. This is a posting in response to an article about an LA Times writer and his Christian faith journey. It is about problems in the Church and losing faith.

Diane R presents Deacons posted at Crossroads: Where Faith and Inquiry Meet. What are deacons exactly? And why don’t most churches have them? What are they supposed to do? In my church we have one of the best deacon structures I’ve ever seen so our church members won’t fall through the cracks when in need.

Brian Russell of the Real Meal blog
wrote Thinking about
Natural Disasters
. In the middle of another hurricane season, it is critical for clear theological reflection on natural disasters and the preparation for a missional response to those who suffer.

RELIGION. Sometimes we study what a Christian is. How does it differ from other religions? How do we see it in public, in politics, in others?

Sammy Benoit presents Islamic Hatred of anything Christian posted at YID With LID.

thomas robey presents “Christian Faith and Reason” posted at Hope for Pandora. “Christian Faith and Reason” is a new magazine that seeks to engage Christians and skeptics on topics of science, politics and faith. The Christian blogging community should check it out and consider contributing a piece for publication.

Ali presents An alternate solution to the American Civil War? posted at Kiwi and an Emu.. Considering, many years too late, how Christians in Northern and Southern parts of the United States could have agreed on the subject of slavery.

Weekend Fisher at Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength discusses Security, Apostasy, and Knowing Christ. A Lutheran’s-eye view of the debates over eternal security and whether apostasy is real, and how Christ is often left out of the debate.

John presents Richard Land and Moral Agency posted at Brain Cramps for God. There’s a new meme in the abortion argument.

Jeremy Pierce presents Barack Obama on faith and politics posted at Parableman. A look at Barack Obama’s thoughts on faith and politics, Part III of a three-part series (the first two looked at John Edwards and Joe Biden).

Mark Olson presents Western Eyes posted at Pseudo-Polymath. Religious toleration, a artifact of the Enlightenment, or might it not be from much earlier.

The Fine Print of the Immigration Bill

Fortunately, the Senate gagged on ramrodding (which is different than “Hillary Ramrodding”) the immigration bill down The People’s Throat. It’ll give us more time to hoot and hollar and threaten to vote for the other party. James Lileks offers these highlights of the immigration bill this morning, and it’s amazing what they thought they could slide by us. Bah. Put the Hokey Pokey back in, you nimrods (which is different than “Hillary Nimrod”):

6 (1) (D) Undocumented Xenonationals who have been in the country since noon March 16, 2004 (this language reflects a compromise between the hardline “AM” faction and moderates who wanted to extend the deadline to 4:57 PM) will have to report to a government office to announce they are departing. This is the HIMBG Provision, or the “Hello, I Must Be Going” provision. Immigrants will have to return to the Mexican border, put their left foot in, put their left foot out, put their left foot in and shake it all about. (Language requiring that the applicant then “do the hokey pokey was removed over an inability to define the exact nature of said action.) The immigrant is then required to return to the place where he announced he was leaving, present a notarized photograph of himself sticking a portion of his body into Mexican airspace; at that point, he will be eligible to receive a “Q” visa, which enables him to start the process towards a “Z” visa, which estabishes a legal framework towards a “path towards citizenship,” although applicants who have paid 67% of their adjusted tax burden over the last 14 years, minus inflation, will be put on a “jogging path” towards citizenship.

The entire process will take no less than seven years, during which the applicant may not work, but must stand absolutely still in a small room while reciting the Constitution. (Spanish is permitted for the boring Amendments.)

I. (7) (3.14) There shall be a fence stretching 356 miles. The fence shall be three feet high. Paper mache crocodiles shall reside on the other side, arrayed in a threatening manner ($400,000 shall be appropriated to determine the optimum angle of the opened jaw; the final crocodile shall represent a consensus among herpetologists, and reflect a crocodile who is defending his position but showing his teeth to warn off, and not necessarily threaten violence.) Every nine miles, there shall be a sign that reproduces the FBI warning that precedes all DVDs and videotapes and warns of criminal liability for breaking the copyright law. (It has worked so well thus far the language might as well be used intact.) The fence shall be raised to four feet in the event the population of any state becomes 51% undocumented Xenonationals. The fence shall be raised to five feet in the event GOP presence in the Senate drops below 4 seats. The fence shall be raised to ten feet after a nuclear device is smuggled in from Mexico, providing the yield of the bomb is at least 4 (four) kilotons. A bomb with a yield between 3 and 3.99 kilotons will be a sufficient trigger to raise the fence only if the attendant radiation is carried by prevailing winds a distance greater than 20 miles.

T. (t) (t) $779,000 shall be allotted to create Inez, a mascot who provide a welcoming and comic presence to the INS offices.; $3.2 million for an ad campaign that raises awareness of Inez; $2.9 million to be put in escrow from the inevitable sexual harassment suit after Woodsy Owl learns about here; that bird can’t keep his wings to himself; $1.2 million to buy out Woodsy’s contract

7 (b) (f) (f) The government shall, at its discretion, ignore the hell out of any of this

II. 5.6 All legal immigrants will be required to go through the entire process again, just to rub their noses it in. Mark Steyn shall sit in his car on a bridge between Canada and the United States until he learns his place.

R. R. (x) Any illegal immigrant from a state known to sponsor terrorism will be required to renounce terrorism by an oath of utmost solemnity. This act shall also supply funds for translators to determine the equivalent of “pinky swear” in other tongues. The translator will work through the world’s languages in reverse alphabetical order.

XX (vi) Employers found guilty of employing illegal aliens must perform the crying aria from Pagliacci.

F. (U) This bill shall be passed before anyone can read it.

Chris Byrd

Chris ByrdChris Byrd, IBF Heavyweight Boxing Champion, was at our church this weekend and briefly shared his firm belief in Jesus Christ with us. He was funny, too. “First, I beat them up, then I pray with them.”

I admire a man who is in the public spotlight that openly proclaims his faith and thought I’d express a note of appreciation.

Benny Henderson Jr.: You are very open with your beliefs. How does your faith in Christ play in your career?

Chris Byrd: Oh, it is major, my faith in Christ is just huge, it is everything. It is my first love then it is my wife and then my kids. I give all my praises to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ because he allowed me to be in this heavyweight division to represent him. And I represent him as champ because it is more exposure I get to represent Christ even more. This isn’t about me it is about him. And people may love it or lump it, but this is who I am and while I am here this is my mission field to let Jesus shine and let him get all the glory and praise.

Barack Hussein Obama: Self-Described Christian

Barack Obama: Self-Described Christian Barrack Hussein Obama describes himself as a Christian and the New York Times is almost besides itself with glee. Notice the picture and how holy Obama appears.

I like Christians, I really do. I happen to be one. But those people that routinely exhibit their Christian faith are routinely trashed by the New York Times. George W. Bush, for instance, would never get a glowing NY Times article abut his faith. Instead, we get scare stories about upcoming theocracies and how important the separation of church and state is. So why does Obama get special treatment for his faith? If the New York Times trashes most Christians but praises Obama, then it’s likely Obama is not like the other Christians. My hackles of suspicion are raised.

I repeat my repetition: liberals are going to try to split the conservative Christian vote by portraying themselves as Christian. Conservative Christianity is bad (separation of church and state! we don’t want a theocracy!) while liberal Christianity is good (wow, Obama is practically a saint!) according to liberal media.

“Be strong and have courage, for I am with you wherever you go,” Mr. Obama said in paraphrasing God’s message to Joshua.

Now, I’m all in favor of liberals quoting scripture. In fact, I’m all in favor of liberals quoting the entire bible. I think liberals (and conservatives, for that matter) that selectively quote scripture to support their position ought to be challenged by scripture the candidate doesn’t like.

As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama is reaching out to both liberal skeptics and committed Christians. In many speeches or discussions, he never mentions religion. When Mr. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, does speak of faith, he tends to add a footnote about keeping church and state separate.

What I’ve seen in the news recently is more than just a challenge to church and state; it’s a downright hostility to any public policy that mirrors faith. The recent decision by the Supreme Court to uphold partial birth abortion – a decision Obama “strongly disagrees” with – was decided 5-4 justices. All the justices that upheld the ban had Catholic upbringing; those that voted against it did not. This same New York Times that praises the most holy Barack Obama also decries the influence of Catholics in the partial-birth abortion ban. As if any belief that a Christian might hold is automatically suspect, and Christians are OK only if they actively vote against Christian principle in order to demonstrate their progressiveness.

Color me unimpressed with the New York Times hypocrisy.

Washington D.C.

Last week I wrote about Christian Submission to authorities so it seemed only right that a trip to Washington D.C. was in order. The wife & I planned a little mini-vacation to stay with a Russian friend in Alexandria, Virginia, just a piece up the ways (man it feels good to speak Texan again) from the capital. Capitol? Kapital? I’m pretty sure it’s “capitol” but that was one of those words I stumbled over every time in English papers.

We arrived Friday afternoon and unpacked and went to the Russian friend’s grandmother’s house for homemade something. I don’t know what it was, it looked like a gigantic chicken pot pie but it had ground beef and potatoes and Russian spices in it. Babushka (the grandmother) didn’t speak a lick of English, but she sure was a lof of fun, full of smiles and hugs. Afterwards, the Russian friend (let’s call her “the ex-wife of somebody named Boris” or TEWOSNB) took us to a Russian disco with her friend Igor. We didn’t particularly want to go to a Russian disco, but she was driving and was determined we should go. This sort of set the tone for the weekend as TEWOSNB was apparently ex-KGB or Russian mafia or something and made unilateral decisions frequently about how we were going to spend our time. We tried to make the best of it, but if you were going to Washington D.C. for the weekend, would disco dancing with Russian people who did not speak English be high on your sightseeing wish-list?

The next morning, up and out early to see the Smithsonian which of course cannot be viewed in a single day. Lot’s of activity going on; there was a kite festival on the Washington Mall as well as the Cherry Blossom Festival, so parking was scarce. We parked in Baltimore, I think. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History took most of the day; we saw the ice age exhibit, the geological exhibit and the Hope Diamond, and a fabulous orchid exhibit with hundreds of live orchids. I don’t know how they keep them all alive and blooming simultaneously. And then quick visits to the Mammal exhibit and the Sikh exhibit.

On the way back out, a walk around the White House which is no longer open to visitors except for pre-planned tours, so we had to setle for looking through the fence. I asked the security guard which was the best fence for jumping over, and he said the north side. Good information to know. I saw a few protestors outside demanding our troops be brought home from Iraq; out of a few thousand visitors during a festival week, there were maybe a half-dozen protestors. The mainstream media makes it seem there are thousands of protestors all the time.

A stop at the Post Office to ride to the top of the tower, the 2nd largest structure in Washington D.C. after the Washington Memorial, and then our day was complete. We walked back to Baltimore to fetch the car and home for dinner, then out to a play called Condensed Mikado, a shortened version of the comedic libretto Mikado. It was only an hour long and absolutely hysterical, I thoroughly enjoyed it. TEWOSNB slept through it, I think.

Sunday, breakfast at Babushka’s for Russian pancakes and then to church at the National Cathedral; the (priest?) gave a sermon on the horrors of war. I guess he was protestor number seven. I don’t know what denomination thich church is and I’m too lazy to look it up, but the structure was like a Catholic Church without the word “Catholic” written anywhere. Episcopalian? Lutheran? I don’t know, but the wafers weren’t as good as the Catholic Church and the wine was real wine but very bitter.

Afterwards, we walked around the Washington Mall, and a long walk it was. We started at the Lincoln Memorial, walked around the lake to enjoy the cherry blossoms, through the Vietnam Memorial and Korean Memorial, then the Teddy Roosevelt Memorial and then the Jefferson Memorial. Anybody that tells you that this nation isn’t founded on a belief in God has never visited these memorials; these great men praised their creator for His great gifts.

Then out to dinner with TEWOSNB and a different friend, Mark. Mark was an absolute delight; he was friendly, funny, knowledgeable, polite. Not at all a good fit for TEWOSNB, but since she was Russian and he worked from some secret government agency (he avoided even direct questions about it), it was like being out to dinner with international spies. Dinner was fabulous; TEWOSNB complained the wine wasn’t expensive enough.

Mark joined us Monday morning and took us up to Arlington Cemetery, and Mark turned out to be quite the military history buff, explaining various military events when we saw famous tombs, explaining the various insignias and so forth. Then up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (which actually says “known but to God” on the side, not “unknown”) to watch the changing of the guards and the changing of the memorial wreath. Amazing precision and I was quite impressed. TEWOSNB said her feet hurt.

Mark then took us on a special treat – he had a security clearance for the Pentagon and could escort visitors, so he took us to lunch *inside* the Pentagon. Wow. We felt incredibly privileged when the couple in front of us were turned away, but *we* had an *escort* and were permitted entry. TEWOSNB said restaurant wasn’t up to her standards and wanted to leave, but we were having none of it. OK, so lunch wasn’t exactly haute cuisine, but hey, it was inside the Pentagon. We even got a tour of the various halls and saw were the 9/11 attack occurred (all repaired, of course). Department of Defense newspapers, the Pentagon newsroom, the office of the Secretary of the Army, very cool.

And back home again. And even though I didn’t get to vote on anything while I was there, I had a fabulous time.

Early Voting

I’m off to the polls this evening to vote early. Here is the sample ballot for Harris County.

Just in case you wonder, I’m almost voting straight Republican. In most cases, I don’t have a choice since the Republican nominee is running unopposed. For Governor, I’ll hold my nose and vote for Rick Perry, then go home and wash my hands. For Lt. Governor, there’s not enough soap for me to vote for David Dewhurst, so I’m just going to sit that one out.

I’m also going to sit out the State Representative District 136. Beverly Woolley voted against appraisal caps and then passed that horrendous small business tax. She might as well be a Democrat.

Proposition A‎ means more road construction. Haven’t we had enough road construction? It’s everywhere already. I’m voting against.

Proposition B‎ means more police and fire. I’ll support that. Somebody needs to arrest the Katrina hoodlums.

Proposition C‎ means more parks, and I’ll vote for that. If I don’t, they might as well pave the rest of Houston and just make it one big slab of concrete.

Proposition D‎ is “general improvement,” whatever that is. And as much as I would like to be generally improved, I’m voting against.

Proposition E‎ is for libraries. Why do we still have libraries? I’m voting against.

Proposition F‎ is for affordable housing. City-sponsored slums? I think not.

Proposition G‎ allows the city to raise taxes higher than cloud 9. I think not. This another of Mayor Bill White’s devious schemes to get around the limits on taxes we voted for last year when Proposition 2 passed.

Proposition H‎ is a trick question. It says, “Shall the City of Houston be authorized to collect and spend ‎$‎90 ‎million for increased police‎, ‎fire and emergency medical services without raising the property tax rate‎?‎” The *rate* hasn’t changed in years because they won’t pass appraisal caps. Liars, cheats, politicians. I vote no.