Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Won't it hurt?

Several years ago our church was conducting a service at a nursing home. There was a rather elderly gentleman there who appeared to be somewhat developmental disabled (we used to use the word retarded). He raised his hand at the invitation and wanted to talk to someone about getting saved. The gentleman who does our service took his Bible over and sat down and talked to this guy for a considerable length of time. Finally, Mr. K. came to me and said that the man wanted to get saved but every time he was asked to pray, he would say no. I went over to talk with him and when he resisted praying, I realized that I had used the expression "ask Jesus to come into your heart". I asked him why he didn't want to do that and he said, "Won't it hurt?" I reworded it and he went ahead and prayed. Bless his heart! He wanted Jesus in his heart but he didn't want him to come busting into his heart! It certainly caused me to be more aware of things being taken so literally.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dog confusion

Yesterday I went to the Alzheimer's unit at a local nursing home for my regular visit. A lady was visiting her mother and had brought her little apricot poodle. One of the other residents there has one very similar dog. For some time she lived off the unit in the general nursing home and had her dog with her. She would carry him around, then she began wheeling him around on a wheelchair. Then they required her to keep him in a carrier while wheeling him around. They had to eventually ask her son to take the dog home and keep him. J. had gotten too confused to deal with it. She was moved onto the secure unit. So, concerning the visiting dog, J. seemed to understand who it belonged to, however, when the lady got up and started to leave the room, J. got upset, wanting to know where she was taking her dog. The aide there apparently didn't know how to deal with it and just said, "it will be all right." Well, J. knew it wasn't all right because someone was taking her dog. Reality orientation doesn't always work with dementia victims but in this case it was necessary. I explained to her that this was not her dog Nickie but his name is Spider. I told her several times that her dog was with her son and that he was taking care of him. She finally said, "Well, I guess my son would let me know if something had happened to my dog." And then she was fine. She basically reconciled her own mind with just a little help. Bless her heart. She knows something is wrong with her but she doesn't know what. Sometimes it's a blessing when they reach the point where they no longer know that something is wrong with them.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Conservative or not....?

There have been several comments about being raised in a conservative church. I have seen it all in our church, from legalistic to "loosey goosey anything goes". I personally prefer more conservative to the "loosey goosey anything goes stuff". That brought in some false teachers and an attempt to destroy the Baptist tradition of the church. However, the extreme legalism would be very difficult to go back to. For the most part, our church is somewhere in the middle, with no compromise of the Gospel, standing on our foundation, some hymns, some praise songs, some older people, some young people, modest dress, friendliness, welcoming to all who come, and a loving spirit. Some things are good and bad about conservative and "loosey goosey anything goes". With the one we have negatism and rules about every aspect of life, i.e. entertainment, music, dress, hair, etc. With the other, we have people wearing torn jeans, short shorts, and halter tops to church; rock and rap music; couples openly shacking up; false doctrines being taught by allowing anyone who wants to teach (after all, can't exclude anyone from ministry).
Yes, I know that under grace, we are supposed to let the Holy Spirit tell us if we're doing something that will shame the Lord. But I don't think everyone is dedicated to obeying the Holy Spirit's urgings. The definition of worldly is certainly open to interpretation, unless the Bible specifically says, "you will not do...". There are definite no's, definite yes's but most stuff falls in the gray area. That is where we trust the Lord to either convict us or give us peace about a decision. If we have been convicted about an activity once, it's probable that we can stay away from that the next time, too.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A favorite memory

This is one of my favorite memories of one of my late brothers-in-law. His son had some Bantam chickens that the boy was very fond of. There was a sow with new babies and we had been warned to stay out of the pen because a mother pig can be very protective of her kids. Well, about three of those little chickens were in the pen and T.E. was bawling like a banshee for fear that the sow would hurt his chickens. Mind you, this pen had a fence about four feet high. Big T. went in the pen, grabbed the little chickens into his arms, and the sow took after him. Big T. ran with those chickens in his arms, leapt that fence and never dropped a chicken. I was almost hysterical! Afterwards, he realized he could not have leapt that fence under ordinary circumstances, only under an adrenaline rush.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Part of the Birth Story

After my lovely daughter was born, and I had been taken to a room, I developed a terrible headache and stiff neck. My back hurt between my shoulder blades, probably from all the fun activity. Well, it turned out that I had reacted to the saddle block injection. When I would sit up, I had the sensation in my neck of water wings expanding. Isn't that bizarre since I had never seen water wings. I was to lie flat on my back but it hurt between my shoulders. I begged for them to let my chiropractor come and help me with that. They refused, of course, but had someone come up from Physical Therapy. She gave me the lamest back rub I had ever had. So gentle. I wanted one of those muscle squeezing massages. It didn't help. I had an I.V also. In fact, when my father-in-law walked in, he almost fainted. In his day, an I.V. was a last resort and it usually meant impending demise. I don't remember how long I stayed there flat on my back, but when I went home, I had to take muscle relaxants for a couple of weeks. That meant bed rest and my wonderful mother-in-law came and took care of me and my baby during that time. I slept a good deal of the time from the medicine. Mom would bring in the baby for nursing whenever necessary. I wonder if my daughter had any lifelong effects from that medication? She was probably pretty limp. Remember, that was 1966 and doctors weren't too much in agreement that stuff we ingested could affect the breast milk.

I just read in an old nursing book that letting the patient lie down too quickly after the injection might cause the anesthetic can rise too high in the spinal canal. Hum! They had to lay me down pretty quickly that day. Makes me wonder now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


This isn't what I had planned for my next blog, but... I found a book at the library titled "Discovering America's Past" (Reader's Digest) and found a story about Spam. "Meat packer George Hormel had several thousand pounds of leftover pork shoulder, so that was transformed into a unique product, a canned, minced pork and ham loaf that required no refrigeration.". That was in 1937. Tens of millions of pounds of SPAM was shipped abroad during WWII to the
GIs. Many of the GIs remember it as the "ham that didn't pass its physical". This information is directly from the above mentioned book. Mr. Hormel offered a $100 prize for a catchy name, and the winning entry, SPAM. won. So now we know!

Happy Birthday!

Forty-two years ago today (noonish. our time) my lovely daughter was born. I doubt anyone other than family will be interested in this blog but bear with me.
We lived in a mountain town 25 miles from the hospital. I started having "pains" in the evening of April 8. I called the doctor and he said to wait until the pains became stronger and closer together and regular. Well, I went to bed and kept looking at the clock. The pain increased somewhat but, even though the pains got sort of closer together, they never became regular. I had gotten up (again!) and my water broke. I called the doctor again and told him and we headed to town. By this time, my hubby was trying very hard not to act nervous or anxious (It was our first baby) so he drove very carefully and slowly down the highway. It was probably the first and last time I told him to drive faster. They put me in a room where I slept in between contractions and then moved me to another room. The doctor came in and examined me and determined I was a "2" and said he would see me in about six hours. Six hours? Keep in mind these contractions were not terribly severe as far as I could determine and had not become regular. Minutes, just minutes, after he left the room, I had a totally different contraction. I hadn’t screamed, cried or anything, but when that contraction hit, I said, "Oofffuuh." I turned on the call light and told the nurse that I had had a "push pain" and she said, rather condescendingly, "Oh no, dear, you couldn’t have. You’re only dilated to a 2". I had another contraction and she examined me and ran out of the room. They took me to the delivery room and sat me up on the table to give me a saddle block. I was sitting on my daughter’s head because she had crowned. The doctor came flying into the room, throwing his jacket to one side. I wanted to watch but the mirrors were messed up and I couldn’t see. The doctor was telling me to push and I was telling him that I am, and he is telling me, "no you aren’t", and then I heard him say, "Oops." Well, that is what I wanted to hear! He explained that she was turned sideways a little but he used a forceps to turn her a little and then everything was fine. My beautiful little white-haired daughter was born the day before Easter. The next day, all the babies had little bonnets and hats. I probably had a total of 5 actual push pains. Nothing like the ordeal women go through on television shows, with all the screaming, crying and grunting. I felt very fortunate to have an easy time.
Continued next post.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

An example of voice tone offense

Some years ago we had a lovely family in our church. They had four beautiful blond daughters. This was during a very stressful time in our lives, some family members had been burned and eventually died. One morning at church, before the service started, V. said something to me and I answered her. At the evening service she came up to me and asked if she had done something to offend me. I said, "No, of course not! Why do you ask?" Well, she gently explained that I had been gruff with her that morning. I was devastated that I had hurt her feelings and apologized profusely. We hugged and everything was okay. I think that was the perfect example of going to the one who offended you and clearing it up, instead of pouting and being hurt by it and holding a grudge, etc. I am so thankful she came to me. I used a tone of voice that had nothing to do with the immediate situation or with her.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tone of Voice

I was wondering the other day about the different tones we use when we talk to other people and animals. Why do we do the singsong baby voice with our cats and dogs, etc? We have a certain way of talking to parrots and other types of house birds. One of my cats comes more quickly when I call her that way than if I call in a normal voice. I think we sometimes are unaware of how we may sound to others. Some people always sound like they are chastening you, some sound like they're patronizing you or talking down to you, some sound like they think they're wasting time talking to you. Some people are really difficult to visit with over the phone because they have no inflection in their voices, or sound totally disinterested, all the while they may be very happy to be visiting with you. Know what I mean? On the other hand, some people sound so gleeful and joyous that they seem to not be aware of the bad things in life. Oh well.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


This past Tuesday my church's nursing home ministry provided a lunch at the church for the members of my Bible study group, which I do weekly at their center. These people are mostly in their 40s, 50s, 60s and are mostly diagnosed with schizophrenia. I love them tremendously and thank God that he gave me this ministry.
The activities people brought 17 people and we had several of our folks there to help. We served them bologna and Spam sandwiches. Horrors, you say! Well, let me explain, We've been doing this at least three times a year for about 10 years. We have served hotdogs and hamburgers, Mexican food, hotdogs and chili, and various forms of these things. This time when we were discussing it at the center, I said, "Well, it will be on April Fools' Day and I can serve you bologna sandwiches if I want to!" "Yeah! That would be good." "How about Spam?" on and on. So I talked to the administrator and she said that would great because they love Spam sandwiches but it is expensive to serve in such large quantities. So we did it. And guess what? They loved it! We had fried or not fried bologna, fried or not fried Spam, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, baked beans, corn on the cob, pop, chips, apple crisp, spice cake and ice cream. You know you have to have that squishy white or wheat bread to make it right. A guy played the piano, another guy played his guitar and had a little sing-a-long with them. One of the residents used to be a pastor and he also plays the piano. He played and sang and it was so sweet and touching. He hopes that his wife will bring him there to church, but I don't know if that is possible or not. I don't know their circumstances or why they are there. I just want to treat them the way they want to be treated, and they just want to be treated like any normal person.