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Archive for the category “Family”

The Serenity Prayer in Action

Serenity Prayer

I will likely be posting a little less than normal, even for me. To cut to the chase, I am currently in the middle of battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which is essentially bone marrow cancer.

So far the plan of treatment I am in seems to be working well, and I should know soon what the next steps are. I’ve been in the leukemia center at Northside Hospital in Atlanta for the last 2 weeks. I’ve completed the first round of chemotherapy, and I am tolerating it well.

What I really want to convey today, is the reality of God’s power and His love, as evidenced by events over the last 4 months or so.  I discovered I had this disease thanks to two bad sinus infections, and a family doctor who refused to take those on face value. There is obviously more to it than that, but that sums it up. I will try to explain it all at a future date.

I could have gotten angry, or done nothing, or panicked. Rather than do any of that, I chose to live this wonderful prayer.

God has granted me:

Serenity to accept the things I cannot change. I have leukemia; I don’t know how I got it, but I have it.

Courage to change the things I can. The medical team has a plan to beat it. I am in, doing what they tell me when they tell me, plus some.

Wisdom to know the difference. I can’t really explain this part. But it’s there. God is there. And His love and the love of my family and friends sustain me.

 

To avoid duplicate effort I am posting a lot on my Facebook page. Please join me there. For now, I welcome your prayers.

 

 

 

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Thoughts on the Confederate Flag

Confed Flag

I was born in Georgia, which, for those born abroad or on Mars, was at one time part of the Confederate States of America. I had relatives on both my father’s and mother’s side of the family who fought for the CSA, and in fact, my mother’s grandmother’s uncle died in the war. But we never owned slaves, and no one in our family ever talked about the war being about anything other than defending our home.

Growing up less than a hundred years after “Reconstruction,” there was still quite a bit of attention given in my home town to this period in our history. In fact, playing in the woods behind our home, we came across wide ditches, which we found out later were entrenchments.

Now, it’s not like my family were living in some Olde South bastion, where we recalled the grand old days. It’s just that this was our heritage, and we thought about it, and talked about it. And some time growing up I acquired a Confederate Battle Flag. It wasn’t any symbol of defiance as I remember, I just got one.

It wasn’t a big deal.

Soon, I was studying chemical engineering at Georgia Tech, and I took the opportunity to join the Co-op Program, which allowed me to essentially work as a full time engineer every other quarter, then come back and study. My engineering job was at an oil refinery in Kentucky, and I spent 6 months a year away from home. Now, despite the southern heritage of our neighbors in Kentucky, there were not many Southerners participating in the Co-op Program, and to show my Southern ass heritage, I took to flying the Battle Flag draped over the curtains in my bedroom in the apartment where I stayed. The Yankees from Purdue and Michigan State and Ohio State all gave me hell for it, and I strutted even more my Southern Pride.

Then, one quarter, a strange thing happened. I had a black roommate, from nearby in West Virginia.

Soon he and I became friends, and we shared our faith, and he shared some really good food that his Mom would send back with him after a weekend at home.

But after a few weeks, he came to me one afternoon, and asked me why I had the flag in my bedroom. I told him, honestly, that I had it for a while, and that I displayed it mostly to confound the Yankees in the other apartments.

Then he, quietly, told me about what it meant to him. Segregation. Hate. Violence. He told me about growing up black, and how he knew what it meant to certain whites, who meant him and his family harm. He told me, too, that he suspected that I had it just because, and not as any symbol of hatred, because I never showed him anything other than respect and friendship. But, he still got those feelings every time he saw it in my room, and he felt he needed to tell me.

To be honest, I had heard that before, but to hear it first hand, from someone I knew, was different.

Jesus taught that we are to love one another as He loved us. And He taught us that, if our hand causes us to stumble, or to be an offense, then we are better off to cut it off, than to risk the offense.

So, I took down the Battle Flag, and I have never flown it again.

Be Prepared, Part 12 – Keeping the Get Home Bag Up to Date

Be Prepared, Part 2 - Getting Home

 

This past Sunday was beautiful here in Kennesaw, and I took the opportunity to clean out and check our Get Home Bag. In this case, I took heed of some family changes in the last couple of years that have changed the needs of the bag somewhat.

First, my wife normally is the one away from home, although certainly on a family trip we would all be involved. In any case, we both went through it and agreed on what to include.

Second, we took into account last year’s snow storm, and what my wife might want to use from the bag.

Here is what we have in the bag, with the changes indicated in bold:

  • Granola bars (we are going to find some energy bars or fruit bars as well)
  • Water
  • Change of clothes (2 shirts, sweat pants, and 2 pairs of socks )
  • Work gloves
  • Ball cap and sock cap and woman’s ear covers
  • Poncho
  • Shoelaces
  • Bandana and shemagh 
  • Rubber jar opener (to make a makeshift sink drain plug if needed)
  • Cell phone battery charger
  • AA Batteries
  • LED flashlight
  • Light sticks
  • Ammo
  • Lighter
  • Candles
  • Purel
  • Germicidal wipes
  • Bedroll and fleece blanket
  • A towel
  • Space blanket
  • Hand Warmers
  • Entrenching tool
  • Multitool
  • Trash bags
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Pen & paper
  • Rope
  • Drugs – Aspirin, Immodium, Sudafed, Antacids

In addition, I have a first aid kit and fire extinguisher that would be added.

Of course, we did the usual maintenance – fluffing the blankets and towels, and replacing the granola bars.

Now we are all set for the winter to come!

++++

Epilogue:

See other GHB posts from Linoge and Erin.  Good stuff.

 

Merry Christmas

Angels

Remember – the angels sang at the birth of Jesus, not because of Christmas . . .

Christmas

but because of Easter!

The-Empty-Tomb

Wishing you and your family a safe and merry Christmas!

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