Friday, June 29, 2007

A Fun Blog for Moments of Creative Silliness

The lady who calls herself Word Imp hosts a game blog called Word Imperfect. It works like this: She chooses an obscure dictionary word, and you devise your own meaning. She picks her favorite three from which you can then vote for the winner. It's like playing Balderdash, and is a great way to be stupid for a few moments each day. So check it out.

Monday, June 25, 2007

You can take the Boy out of California, but...

If this gives you the same feeling it gives me, then you understand perhaps just a touch of what it means to be a from the coast of California. Let me know if you feel it. If it was Wales, I'd call it hiraeth, but it's a warmer beach (Australia actually), and I guess as a Californian I can only say, "duuuuuude."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blogging - Because I Feel Like it

This is a sign of blog addiction, or perhaps the need to have someone listen to me, or maybe it is a subconscious flight from the introspection of lying in bed and staring at the darkened ceiling. Maybe I am writing out of a passion for writing, or simply because I'm bored, but I really don't get bored too often.

The need to have someone listen to me might have some merit. Feeling like the last couple years have been so rough, I sometimes find myself sharing our story, or at least a little bit of it with people I am acquainted with. I wonder if I sound like a broken record, or if I have that "suck the life out you" power going on? I sure hope not.

Maybe I am writing right now because I checked out the blogger choice awards, and wondered how the leading religious blog got almost 1.2 million hits since April 2005. Heck it's just some guy from San Diego, and I came from the San Diego area. Then there was the lady who lives in Utah who says she supports her family off her blog, and I wonder if she's just kidding, but maybe not because she got voted #2 all time best blog.

Maybe I'm writing because I ran into an old friend with whom I had an extremely difficult church discipline situation with a few years ago, and I really like this guy, and wish I had not had to be the person in the middle of life's mess at the time, but, dang, sometimes life doesn't give us that option. And this idea has merit too, because seeing him was a really good thing, but with the singed edges of narrow escape still visible.

Anyway I am rambling, and not saying much, and maybe that's because this is all blogging really is anyway. Who knows.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Petr Chelcicky - More Quotes

"And, just as temporal government cannot exist properly with too great a number of lords, similarly and more so, Christian faith cannot stand and be preserved with a multitude of wicked hordes and a crowd of lords, so useless and destructive of faith, men who cause division, inequality, haughtiness, oppression, hatred, conflicts, and violence of some against others. Even though they boast of being of one faith, they are far behind the pagans in respect to unity, which is rent by their wicked machinations."

"To be sure, the wicked men have entered into all kinds of unions, but Christ’s disciples cannot be in them, since these unions cannot bear comparison with the law of Christ, which is based on true honest goodness and in which the people of God are ruled by the truth of his word, in faith and in grace, like the household of one husbandman, standing in true obedience before God aside from whom there is no other lord. There can be no greater unfaithfulness to the rule of God than the division and sundering caused by these factions and their arrogation to themselves of laws apart from His law. The law of God will not assent to their conflicting peculiarities; indeed, every horde tries to draw God down to itself, desiring to have its distinctive peculiarities sanctioned by the law of God."

Petr Chelcicky was a Bohemian reformer during the Hussite reformation. He was born in 1390. Today he is honored by uniquely differing groups - Anabaptists, and anarchists. This quote from his writing Net of Faith gives a clue as to why bioth these groups might like him. Want to read a little Chelcicky?

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Three Stooges, Kidney Disease, and Steve - my Little Tribute

Steve and his girlfriend walked Salem often. It was their way of getting out for some exercise in Steve's otherwise unhealthy existence. They liked The Gathering, and would visit us for our $1 movie nights on Fridays. They never attended a church service, and considered themselves pragmatists about life and death. Death was neither friend nor foe they would say, it just was.

We had discussed doing a Three Stooges series some upcoming month, and he was looking forward to The Gathering restarting the movie nights. Two weeks ago we began our movie night for the summer - 8pm every Friday, as we have done before. I expected to see the couple walk through the doors again. Tonight she came 30 minutes before the movie - without Steve.

Steve passed away on Monday.

She was up and about, because she had promised him that she would not languish at home if he died, but would live, and love, and be happy again.

Steve had tumors on his kidneys, and needed dialysis to survive. He was waiting for a kidney transplant. Steve and I had discussions about kidneys. He would describe the things he was going through, and give me information on what I could expect as my son's kidney disease progressed. We talked about life and death. We talked about what he believed, and of course we talked about movies he enjoyed.

Perhaps we need to show the Three Stooges this next month at The Vault. I'm going to miss Steve. I was honored that his girlfriend came to tell me that he was gone. We were acquaintances passing through this life, and He touched my heart in small ways - though I realize now, it may not have been so small.

Last week my son received his kidney transplant, and is doing well. This week Steve, who was in his sixties, and waiting for a kidney died. Steve never adopted my views of life, death, or faith in Christ, but if I offer such a small tribute as a short series of Three Stooges films at The Vault perhaps it can be as best a shallow offering of thanks as I can give.

Serfs are on Their Way! and they make me smile

I found this great website called Very Tasteful. In its list of songs I discovered this tune by Billy Reid called "Serfs are on Their Way." I love these oppressed people rising up themes. This song made me happy. Maybe it will put a smile on your face too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Petr Chelcicky - Can you guess why I like this guy?

Petr Chelchicky (pronounced Chelchitsky - gutteral Ch at beiginning) was a Bohemian reformer during the time of the far more famous Jan Huss. Here in the only writing translated into English he speaks of the transition of the church in the time of Constantine, and relates how Pagan rulers rule better without the influence of a powerful ecclesiastical political power.

"It is clear that a royal realm fares better among pagans than among these confused Christians, who have appropriated to themselves dominions. For among the pagans there are no such ecclesiastical lords, so increased in numbers and so useless as sores on a body, for pain is the only thing they give."

This guy is radical - isn't he? I love a balanced iconoclast. Wanna read a little Petr Chelcicky? Check out the Net of Faith.

High Tide, Late Night Paddling, and Observations on Motivation

Monday Jeff asked if I've been out on my kayak recently. "No, not since last year," was my reply. I have not been too keen on it recently simply because life has been too difficult, and discouragement has been too frequent. Between financial squeeze, and Elijah's illness and his need for a transplant, I've had enough just get up and take care of daily business. So the mention of kayaking was not particularly helpful, until 10pm last night.

We were driving home from Jeff and Diane's house, and as we passed down Bridge Street there was water flooding across the road. It was flooded as though it had just rained buckets. That section of Bridge Street always floods in a heavy rain. Yet there had been no rain. I wondered if perhaps a water main had broken, but I saw no gushing of water anywhere. Then I wondered the inconceivable. Could it be that the high tide had filled the North River Canal, flooded the dog park, and even came up to the road on Bridge Street?

As we came to North Street and had a good view of the North River I asked Bev, "Is the tide excessively high right now." I was watching traffic, and she looked to see that, yes, the tide was high. I glanced over to my left to the dog park to see it flooded.

That was all I needed. I was going kayaking. To pull my kayak in on the North River I need to coordinate my kayaking with the tide. Like those typical New England photos with dingys sitting in the mud, the North River becomes a sludgy mess at low tide, and the high tide fills the basin to a 10 to 12 foot depth. This was an exceptionally high tide, and I was determined to see how high it was by paddling around in it.

I learned something about myself. Okay, it wasn't anything I did not know before, but I did not realize how deep rooted it really was. I am motivated by adventure. Repitition tends to bore me. Surprises are generally good. Spontanaeity is a sign of life for me.

The exceedingly high tide was a unique moment, and one I wanted to be on the water while it happened. So I packed up my boat, my paddle, threw on my board shorts, and went down to the North River. I paddled around for about an hour checking out the shore line, and was happy to be there. What motivated me? Something new, something unique.

I'm not sure how good that is that adventure motivates me highly, but it is.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Elijah's Home Now!

Here's the latest news on Elijah and his Kidney.

Jason Rozen (the donor) went home about noon today. He was feeling fine, and he's our hero.

Elijah's rashes have subsided. They occasionally pop up, but not nearly as bad as initially.

Usually a kidney transplant patient does not go home until after the fourth day. Elijah spent three nights in the hospital, and was doing well enough to come home this evening. We ordered Lemon Chicken Rice Soup from Cafe Kushko, and they delivered it shortly after he got home.

He has named his new kidney Otis - as in "O dis ain't mine."

Bev and I ran around disinfecting everything - the doorknobs, the floors, the counters, Elijah's cat (okay we didn't really disinfect the cat, but we thought about it.) We had to send Crash (Elijah's dog) off to be baby sat for a few days, because Crash fulfills his name, and runs and jumps on Elijah's belly when Elijah is laying down. Crash will stay with Rhonda's sister for some time.

Elijah is upstairs playing his guitar and singing at this moment, and although it usually is a bit of a disturbance when he taps his foot on the wood floor above my head, it is a very comforting sound right now.

So, if you were going to visit the hospital - don't. Elijah's not there anymore.

I am sorry I have not been able to respond personally to every one of you who have sent your support, and questions to us. I've had hundreds over the last few days. I do want to thank you from the bottom of my heart however. Your prayers, and your concerns, and your words of support have meant the world to us.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, a gwyn eich byd,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Surgery Complete and Successful - Updated 11pm

Elijah is out of surgery now. The doctor says it went well. His friend Jason Rozen who was the donor for the kidney is doing well also, and should be awake soon. Elijah will be awake in a couple hours, and after that I will give another update.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Update: Elijah came out of surgery about 2:30om, and finally came to consciousness about 5:30. He is in room 1023 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and will be there for 4 to 6 days. He looks very good considering the stress a surgical prcedure places on the body. He is in good spirits as well, and telling jokes as is his typical style.

Jason Rozen (the donor) also is doing well, and is room 1011 on the same floor. Jason is our hero. Jason should be in the hospital for a couple days, and then be home and taking it easy for about a month.

Thanks for your prayers

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Day Before the Transplant Doings

Tomorrow morning Elijah goes into the hospital for his kidney transplant. Today I am at home. I am only doing a few things: praying (anytime I am not doing something else, and sometimes while I am doing something else), reading (I am bouncing between an online version of Peter Chelchicky's Net of Faith, The Truth War by John MacArthur, and The Last Word by NT Wright. I recommend the first and last. I will comment soon (perhaps in a series of posts) on the second. In all my reading, it is my praying which is taking the precedence. Many of you have let me know that you are, and will be praying and considering our son as he heads toward surgery.

For those of you who have not met him, check out the video he is in with his buddy Dan. They made it as a support Elijah Wyman kidney transplant commercial.

This is what Elijah has been up to. Someone donated some money for him to buy whatever he wants to have with him while he is in the hospital for the 4-6 days of recovery. So he rode down to Target on his Moped, and bought a Nintendo DS lite, and a Mario Cart game. He's been messing with it most of the day. We are going to visit one of his favorite places to eat - Tapas (which is a misnomer, because nothing comes in small amounts, but the food is good) at 3pm with Rhonda.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Elijah's Kidney Transplant - Wednesday Morning

Our son Elijah is going in to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston on Wednesday morning. Sometime around 9:30am he is scheduled to have the transplant. His friend Jason is donating the kidney, and will be in for the surgery about an hour before. Your prayers for Jason and Elijah would be greatly appreciated.

For those who have asked about donating to the Elijah Wyman Kidney Fund - click here.