Sunday, September 07, 2014

benning Had An Owie

I must thank so many of you! Many of you donated money, money that will allow me to pay rent until January. By then I expect to be working and earning again! Thank you! Many of you sent cards or letters! I read them once I was freed from the prison of the hospital ( yeah, I'll 'splain that!) and could understand what I was reading. ;)

A surprise, to learn that writing folks remember me! :O

I appreciated the kind, supportive words, trust me. And the prayers and positive thoughts most definitely helped! Thank You!

I suppose some of you wanna know just what the heck happened. *sigh*

Well, on that Wednesday morning I experienced some awful pain in my chest. I wasn't doing anything. In fact I was sitting on the end of my bed. But the pain came! All at once, both sides, it ebbed, and flowed. 90 minutes of it. All I could do was whine, moan a bit, pray for it to stop, and wander back and forth. This was pain I had never experienced before. And when it finally did end, and I knew it wasn't simply taking a break, I took a shower, and went to work.

Dedicated, right? Yeesh!

That evening, after work, I ate a little, and sat down to read. And the pain returned. For 90 minutes, again, I felt as if my chest was being scooped out. Breathing was never a problem, but I concentrated on what was happening, this time.

Pains radiated from the tops of my shoulders, with a little trickle to the elbows. Pain radiated from my shoulder-blades, too. But nothing going up and down my left arm. No shortness of breath, and no cold sweat until it was almost through. But this time I couldn't tell myself it was just some kind of muscle thing.

When the pains subsided I did the thing I guess I shoulda done that morning - I showered (sweaty, 'member?), got dressed in my cleanest work shorts and clean shirt, and drove to the hospital. Smart, huh? *eyes rolling*

Well, once I mentioned pains in my chest to the receptionist, I barely had time to put my name on the clip-boarded paper I'd been handed. Out of a door came a charge nurse - she was indeed charging! - and said, "You come in here. Now." And so I did!

Up on an exam bed I went. She stuck a Nitro pill in my mouth, under the tongue, told me it might give me a headache, and started putting electrodes on my chest.

*sigh* Blood pressure, pulse, blood samples, and hooking up some li'l machine connected to my chest hairs. A suddenly busy room at midnight. A doctor entered, looked at the strip of paper from the li'l machine, and said, "I'm not sure but I think you've had an incident."

Ahhh, an incident! Okay. Huh?

Well, they did their blood tests and found indicators that, yep, I'd had a heart attack or two. So I was stuck. My folks expected me for supper on Thursday - Olive Garden! :D - and I was not going to make it. So I had to call and cancel, which means that now *they* knew. I managed to get them to stay home until the next day, but you are *never* going to keep your Mom from coming to see you in the hospital. No way. The urge to go through whatever this was, on the "QT", was over before it had begun.

At this point things get a trifle jumbled. I know I was in a room, and I had a Russian-sounding nurse. I know one evening I got three phone calls - my brother, then Joni, then Bob - and my cell phone was running down. But somehow, after the drugs used in surgery, my memories were partially wiped. I can now recall the fun of going down to a frigid room for the heart catheterization procedure. That's come back to me. The nurse marking my right foot with an "X" to signify the correct leg to use, the huge X-Ray machine moving around above me - I was slightly sedated for that, thank goodness - the removal of the catheter, and the docs telling me that they couldn't even get through one blockage. I remember the shakes overtaking me - "The contrast will be very cold." - and me unable to stop violent shivering. I've never felt that cold! Oy!

But so much is gone, at least for now. What I do remember is my attempts to escape. After surgery. The complaints of the nurses that my right foot would not stay in the bed. I never revealed to them that I was trying to inch out of the bed, to get away. Whatever they had used on me in surgery had left me a huge dose of paranoia! As well as some sort of time dilation. Talk about a confusing time!

Up to now my memories of what I did before surgery are fragmented. I know I was on my feet for some things - an odd chest x-ray where I stood facing a marked board - where the tech slid in an x-ray thingie. Is it a cartridge? I dunno. I 'member following him into a small room and watching the x-ray come up on his 'pooter. I remember having a sonogram-type thing in my bed, seeing my heart beating, my lungs expanding, contracting. But the rest seems to be missing.

I have no memory of pre-op, or being rolled down to Surgery, nor of being sedated, recovery, anything! I woke to a world that I did not recognize, and in which my voice sounded like that of an old man. All was threatening and scary. The nurses asking me where I was, what my nam was, and so on, took on a smarmy, taunting quality. When the nurses had to slide me back up in the bed - I was escaping, 'member? - it always felt as though they were practically tossing me up to the head. They were rough, and short-tempered. They did everything fast, and I was being treated horridly. I didn't dare tell my Folks that, when they visited. After all they knew nothing! They chatted with the nurses and doctors as if nothing was amiss! I had to escape!

Which, of course, began by sliding ly right foot out from under the sheets, and off the bed. Which I know drove the nurses batty. LOL

I was moved to different rooms at least twice, but didn't understand why, except perhaps they were on to my escape plans. My hallucinations had me thinking I was in a small hotel in Atlantic City, an old, small motel in a beach town in Florida, on the road, followed by a villainous male nurse, and a bevy of police cars. I spoke to a dead man I never remember meeting, and met all sorts of wonderful people on the road. And this may have lent me some ideas for writing. But at the time I was a hunted man, in my mind, and could not understand why It was so.

Once I was aware enough to not sound weird they allowed me food. Or somethings whipped and soft that they claimed was food! :D And that took a doctor having me tested for swallowing prowess. Which involved that stinking time dilation thing again. Honestly, did the tech have to shove that spoon into my mouth? The applesauce was heaven. But did she then have to shove that piece of graham cracker into my mouth? I chewed slowly, as I was ordered to, and swallowed. Yep, no inhalation, but an honest-to-goodness swallow. So I was allowed food. Of sorts. food that was soft. *sigh* Well, I guess a steak would've been beyond me, at that point.

The last toorm I was ensconced in is where I would start to walk with a walker. Not easy, but I realized this meant I would be released! So I tried it, assisted and kept from falling by an Indian doctor. And me being me, and still under the effects of drugs, made a terribly humorous comment about how dark he was. Well ... he *was* very dark! And exceedingly pleasant. And he did *not* let me fall on my face in the hallway. So maybe he's heard drugged jokes before? But I got used to the walker, and now it would be up to the doctors.

The last two nights I was in that slammer my odd auditory and visual senses remained in force. I had no way of knowing that no children would be brought into the hospital by the charge nurse, and allowed to run around. But that's what I heard! My dreams again were filled with weirdness. And then it was that final day. I had breakfast, and then lunch. Then my Folks were there, with some new shorts for me - Mom threw out my tattered, soft, clean work shorts! *gasp!* - and some undies, socks, and a new T-shirt. I dressed as fast as I could (took maybe a half-an-hour), and then it was time to wait. But eventually the last nurse read me the rules for leaving, handed me a pile of papers on the Care and Feeding Of a Paroled Patient, and I walkered out of the room, into the elevator, and down to the lobby.

Even here, the remnants of insanity kept me from saying anything egregious. No way would I give them a reason to lock me back up! But once in the Folks' car, I could relax. We were heading to my Folks' home, and there I stay to recover. And here I am. And most of the drug effects seem to have passed away. But my memory remains jumbled. And I guess it always will.

So that's the bones of my tale, Friends. Again ... THANKS! I appreciate all of you. :D

Thursday, May 22, 2014

God Is Not Replacing Anybody!

Have you heard of something called ‘Replacement Theology’? This posits that the Jews, or more specifically Israel, has been replaced in God’s affections by Christians, or more specifically The Church. The basic idea is that the Jews rejected Christ, the Son of God, and therefore were in turn rejected by God. So they are no longer God’s Chosen People. We in the Church were adopted by God, and have taken the place of Israel, or we are now the ‘true’ Israel, replacing the Israel of the Jews. 

This is what anyone familiar with the Old and New Testaments would call Heresy. Though it may have a certain appeal to folks whose knowledge of Scripture is patchy, it is in direct conflict with the Scriptures. When a Doctrine is espoused which runs contrary to Scripture it is a Heresy. 

In this case the Heresy is a particularly nasty one, one which has been around for a very long time, and has been costly in lives, history, and blood. Not to mention, I believe, Souls. 

If your church or congregation hews to this doctrine, you are in a heretical place, my friends. You need to abandon it, post haste!

Are you familiar with the parable of the Prodigal Son? Read it! Though the Son has lost his birthright, through his rebelliousness, he does not lose his ‘son-ship’. The father embraces him on his return, rejoicing greatly! Perhaps in human terms this is unfair, you may think. But God does not think in human terms. He never has; He never will! The son is not replaced and abandoned by the Father. He is forgiven, brought back into the family, and the father rejoices at his return. Christ taught this parable for a reason. Actually more than one. But one reason is to illuminate the tremendous forgiveness and love that God has for His own. The Jews, Israel, are His own. The Father loves them. He has not replaced them with the Church!

As Chuck Missler notes: Myth No. 1: Replacement Theology
There is a commonly held view that...
A) Israel rejected her messiah; therefore she forfeited the promises to her.
B) The Church, thus, replaces Israel, becoming spiritual Israel, etc.
1) The promises God made to Israel were unconditional; (she couldn’t forfeit these);

2) Paul, in his definitive statement of Christian doctrine called The Book of Romans, spends three chapters (9, 10, and 11) stressing that God is not finished with Israel - they have a very definite prophetic destiny;  
3) The Seventy Week prophecy of Daniel 9 outlines the prophetic role of Israel after the interval of the Church period. [The Church is not present in the 69 weeks, nor is it on the earth in the 70th; the interval between the 69th and 70th week (Dan 9:26) is the period of the Church on the earth.]  
4) Jesus has yet to fulfill the promise given to Mary to take David’s Throne, etc.
Israel appears 75 times in the New Testament. Each time, it refers to national Israel, including the solitary ostensible exception in Gal 6:16 thekai grammatically sets apart the Israel of God from the church and prevents synonymity. [Lindsey, p.268-9; Johnson; Fruchtenbaum.] 
From Augustine to Auschwitz 
Even after the adoption of Christianity by the secular leadership after Constantine, the notion that Jesus was to literally return to rule the earth to free it from Satan’s evil world system was not popular with the administration in power; it was not politically correct. Origen’s system of allegorical interpretation led to Augustine’s amillennial eschatology, which became a tradition that would dominate the church for over a thousand years. The contention that the church was the inheritor of Israel’s promises, and therefore must take ultimate authority over the political powers of this world, became the preoccupation of the Medieval Church. Even the Reformation, despite its effective focus on salvation by faith alone, failed to re-examine and return to a literal, pre-millennial eschatology. One of the tragedies of this replacement or reconstruction view is that it led to the anti-semitism that resulted in the Holocaust. These views led to the tragedies of the Crusades, the blood-libel hoax, the scapegoats for the Black Death, and other tragic misconceptions. The real root cause of anti-Semitism is, of course, the Red Dragon of Revelation 12, Satan. (There are a number of apparent motivations, not the least of these being the possible attempt to thwart the Second Coming by wiping out the Remnant before they can repent as required by Hosea 5:15, et al.) It is important to distinguish the origin and destiny of Israel from the origin and destiny of the Church: they are clearly distinguished in the Scripture.

As you can see the notes are meant to be part of a study. You can listen to Chuck here: "The Prodigal Heirs" and enjoy the seminar. Well worth your time and consideration!

From “Replacement theology may have an appeal to gentile racial or ethnic pride but it is not one that is based upon the higher gracious nature given to believers by Christ. We are saved by believing in God’s unmerited favor extended to us through faith in Christ based upon His unconditional promises, but replacement theology refuses to grant this same principle when dealing with God’s earthly people Israel, and the unconditional promise of future national salvation (see Romans 11:26) and their return to the land (see Ezekiel 36:24,25).”

Also: “We believe replacement theology is the epitome of the arrogance that the Holy Spirit warned the Church of through the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 11 verses 17 and 18: ‘But if some of the branches [Israel] were broken off, and you (all gentile believers), being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them [Israel] of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.’”

God the Father has generously adopted us into His family. He has not thrust out the rest of His family. Some quibble that Jews today are ‘watered down’ after millennia of inter-marriage with Gentiles. Utter nonsense! Read your Scriptures! Find the laws regarding adoption! 

Further: “Some who hold to replacement theology like to say that Israel today bears no genetic link to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They like to point out the differences between Ashkenazi Jews from Europe and Sephardic Jews whose ancestors never left the Middle East. It is funny that in the name of Christian theology they are willing to forget the genetic intermingling that occurred in our own dear Savior’s genealogy. Ruth was a gentile Moabitess and Rahab was one from Jericho! We don’t know what non-Jewish traits they may or may not have had.”

For me that family line is evidence of salvation to everybody! We are all eligible for adoption! But we do not replace the Jews. We join with them in the Family of God! Read your Scriptures!

At one time, when the Roman Catholic Church decided that the Bible could only be written in Latin, it can be understood that most people would have no way to know what the Scriptures actually said. But once that barrier was breached no Christian who could read had any excuse. None save an inherited hatred, or mistrust of Jews. And that is from the Devil. 

You can certainly find plenty of information regarding Replacement Theology, or Dispensationalism on the Net. Not sure about it? Go look. Don’t just take my word for it.

Replacement Theology is Heresy! Inspired of Satan himself! Don’t allow yourself to be a part of it!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


By now you’ve probably heard that California Chrome has won the Preakness Stakes. Having won the Kentucky Derby this means that the horse is now a possible Triple Crown winner, should he take the Belmont Stakes on June 7. The last horse to win this elusive prize was Affirmed, in 1978, the eleventh horse to ever do so.

Right now, as I look at my calendar, I have no work scheduled that day, so I’ll be able to watch the race! For the most part the only horse races I follow are those Triple Crown races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. I missed the Derby this year. Yep, I had to work! ;)

Though horse races can be exciting, they can also be frightening, if not heart-breaking to watch. And I don’t mean because of the betting, or the winning/losing of the races. For me, the placing of a bet makes the event less enjoyable. For me. I end up worrying about the money rather than enjoying the race itself. No, it’s seeing these thoroughbreds doing exactly what they were bred to do that is awe-inspiring.

 But that very breeding, which can produce such beautiful, swift animals, can also produce dangerous flaws in the physical bodies of the animal.

 The horse, designed by God to run, is beautiful, fast, awesome. As Man has tinkered with them, they have grown a bit larger, much faster, but infinitely more delicate than the original design. To see a thoroughbred break down in a race is heart-breaking. For the horse it’s the running that comes naturally to them. They have no idea that their very bodies may be flawed, fragile, awaiting just the right circumstance to betray them.
And yet, that breeding can also produce an animal such as Secretariat! Big Red, as he was called, was a big horse! As I noted in an old post - - size alone is not enough. And Secretariat may have been the very apex of horse-breeding. There seemed to be nothing delicate or fragile about him. In the Kentucky Derby he was actually accelerating as he crossed the finish line! Speed, plus amazing power. He set records in each of the Triple Crown races. Winning the Belmont by 31 lengths is simply unimaginable! Power! Speed! Size! That size alone would enable Secretariat to outrun the ‘average’ thoroughbred, just as a tall human runner would have the advantage in a race with shorter opponents.

 But, of course, there are those thoroughbreds which are quite fragile; where the breeding has created an animal that is beyond the limits of its design. When that happens the results can be devastating, and sad. Eight Belles collapsing, with two broken legs, had managed to come in second. Great heart! But she died on the track. A beautiful, but flawed horse.

Barbaro, who won the 2006 Kentucky Derby, and was a fan favorite, shattered a leg in the start of the Preakness Stakes, just two weeks later. As Wiki says: “Barbaro broke his right hind leg in more than 20 places:[4] a broken cannon bone above the pastern, a broken sesamoid bone behind the fetlock and a broken long pastern bone below the fetlock. The fetlock joint was dislocated, and his foot was left dangling loosely. Veteran jockey Edgar Prado immediately pulled Barbaro up, and brought him to a gentle stop. He dismounted and leaned his shoulder into the horse's shoulder to support Barbaro until track attendants could arrive.” I watched that race, and saw the replays of this. The poor jockey. Struggling to help his mount! The owner would perform heroic measures to save Barbaro, but ultimately he could not be saved, as his body failed, bit by bit, over the next few months, unable to survive the succeeding problems.

What will be the fate of California Chrome? His breeding, or pedigree, is a decent one, it seems. Inbreeding would seem to be less than that of other thoroughbreds. So he may have the strength of body that more inbred horses lack. I hope so! He is a fun horse to watch, though not as magical as Secretariat. Will he win the Belmont Stakes? Will he become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978?

Only time will tell. It would be a heckuva win for the owners, and for the fans of horse racing. It had been 25 years without a Triple Crown winner, when Secretariat won. Only five had passed when Affirmed won it. And now it’s been 36 years since Affirmed.

I can recall some smartie-pants whining in ‘73 that the thing was just too hard! Maybe the timing of the races should be changed, the rules changed. Hah! Typical. And you can hear the same stupid thing now, and have since Affirmed. Seems if something is difficult, there are always those who want to change the rules. And, yeah, that’s a perfect way to improve things, isn’t it? Yeesh!

If California Chrome is fast enough, strong enough, and better than his competition, he’ll win the thing. If not, he won’t. That’s how it works, in racing, as well as in life. In any event, I expect that horse will do his very best. And isn’t that all we can do?

PS: I found this bit fascinating, from Wiki: “At the time of Secretariat's death, the veterinarian who performed the necropsy, Dr. Thomas Swerczek, head pathologist at the University of Kentucky, did not weigh Secretariat's heart, but stated, "We just stood there in stunned silence. We couldn’t believe it. The heart was perfect. There were no problems with it. It was just this huge engine." Later, Swerczek also performed a necropsy on Sham, who died in 1993. Swerczek did weigh Sham's heart, and it was 18 pounds (8.2 kg). Based on Sham's measurement, and having necropsied both horses, he estimated Secretariat's heart probably weighed 22 pounds (10.0 kg), or about two-and-three-quarters times as large as that of the average horse.”

Yep! That was a big horse!