By John Adams After Jeff’s recent sermon on the power of choices, it has made me think more about the choices I make everyday. Most often I notice that choices fall in the category of default rathe…

Source: Choices


From my church’s blog. Well said.


Note: Pastor Kurt is the children’s minister at my home church. God plants people and we are so thankful that He planted Kurt and Renee with us.


“Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” –  Matt. 4:19 Several months ago, my wife Renee and I were asked if we would be interested in spreading the gospel to kids in Albania. W…

Source: Albania

Struggling to find the joy 

Life, I have decided, is very much like a roller coaster. I vacillate between feeling the dread of upcoming dips, much as I used to fear the first big downhill rush of our local amusement park’s wooden ride nicknamed “The Nightmare”. The coaster would slowly crawl upwards, creaking and swaying, as it approached the crest crowned with a huge sign: “LAST WARNING: Do Not Stand Up, Sit Down!” (Yes, the sign was posted because someone lost their life doing just that.) 

So my current gut feeling is that slow crawl. I just know there is going to be a huge drop. An aunt died this week who lived in another state, and her funeral services are Saturday. But because my mother is having health issues and I am an only child, I am not comfortable leaving her here even for a day–Murphy has a heyday with my life. (And her maiden name was Thompson–so that corollary holds true as well for us. Murphy WAS an optimist.)

 A classmate and childhood friend died recently of colon cancer. He insisted on no funeral, wake, or anything sad. Instead, he wanted folks to have celebrations. So, in the towns where he lived and worked as a newspaper editor and publisher, they are planning celebrations this weekend. Our hometown cronies are planning one as well.  The one here will be attended by his two brothers who are still living and I expect there will be many in attendance. One of my cousins is emcee of this venture, having been asked by our friend to do this for him. A last hurrah if you will. 

But, there is joy. My aunt is reunited with my uncle, the love of her life, and with our Jesus. Even when she couldn’t voice her needs otherwise, she recognized both those names: Raymond and Jesus. So there is joy in that she is finally at peace and no longer struggling in a failing body. 

My friend Richard is no longer in pain. He had every right to complain bitterly as cancer insidiously ate away at his body. Instead he shared his journey publicly with humor and honesty. Our social media circle of friends mourn publicly, putting on brave faces but all the while missing his voice. It’s unnatural to be happy at such a loss. So for now I am going with the thought that his fight is finally over. 

As a Christian, I understand we are to be joyful because “we do not grieve as those without hope.” But as a human, my feelings are getting the better of me this season. I concentrate on being thankful for my current good health, my family’s love and concern, and the promise that faith will carry us through to the end of this wild ride. 

Fall Musings

Fall always makes me melancholy. I appreciate the cooler temps after roasting in the August heat (which this year extended into late September), but falling leaves remind me of the impending dark cold winter months.

They also remind me of all the times my dad would be in the hospital, the wind and mold infesting his deteriorating lungs with irritated inflammation that usually progressed into pneumonia. That is, until the year that it never went away. 1996.

I was pregnant with our second daughter, and after losing two previous pregnancies, I was struggling with the thought of losing yet another child. I was on bed rest for much of the first trimester, with our oldest at three and a half years not understanding why mom was laying on the couch all day. She would bounce on me trying to get me to get up. Well, the spotting/bleeding stopped, and baby and I both survived that tsunami of emotion in November.

Dad went into the hospital 10 days before Christmas, having various issues. Pneumonia and bowel problems. A scope revealed nothing in his lower gut, but I still felt an impending sense of doom. On Christmas Eve they did a CT scan, not understanding why his lungs were not clearing up. And at lunch Christmas Day, the woman covering for his regular physician strolled in with her entourage and announced to my father that he had cancer and it was already in his liver. As he stated, “that was a bit difficult to swallow with the pumpkin pie.” Said Doctor acted like it was no big deal and calmly stated they would be scheduling him for a bronchoscope the next day to confirm what the cell type was. His liver was full of marble sized lesions–the radiologist had extended the study when he saw “something” in the base of my father’s lungs. Instead of going up further in his lungs, the sneaky crap went down into his liver instead.

He lived a year, which was longer than anyone expected. Christmas will always be a mixture of happy and sad, and the fall weather continues to haunt me with memories. Our oldest daughter also battled these in her younger years, but now loves the fall colors and cool weather as her memories and anxieties of that time fade. Or at least did. Now a new memory will imbed itself in her psyche as her boyfriend’s father slowly fades like the fall leaves as he loses his physical battle with cancer.

Sadness permeates our days as we ache for the hurt we can’t prevent. Mature, strong from her own battles with loss and sadness, daughter struggles with what to say, as though her social work degree should give her all the answers. I hug her and tell her to just be there, reminding her of what she has already done while her love sits at his father’s side. Feeding his dog, being there to listen, and just keeping up with her won studies are enough for the moment.

In my alone moments, I pray for peace, for M’s pain to be controlled, for the youngsters to not lose their faith…because in the end, that is all we have left.

Outside, yellow leaves cover half the yard while others stubbornly stay green, refusing to change or turn loose just yet. I am the green. I don’t like change. But it will come, inevitably.

Changing With the Times

I was told just fresh out of nursing school that I would need to learn to be flexible, and that the healthcare world was going to change. Now, 35 years later, it has, and yet it hasn’t. The media is so full of talk about the Affordable Care Act, Congress, and the evils  of insurance that one wonders what the “change” really is.  But in nursing, and in the hospital setting, changes are big and not necessarily in the right direction. We talk about productivity instead of what we can REALLY do for our patients. Administration makes changes based on budgets and bottom line profit numbers, and yearly at the fiscal changeover we are threatened with job cuts and mergers because “we just aren’t making any money anymore.” 

So the actual number of beds are cut that we can place patients in. And yet the patients STILL come, and they are sick . REALLY sick. But we are still hearing “do more with less”. Patients and their families are angry when they get here because it has taken so long to get care–because they have been telling caregivers they don’t feel well, they feel they were not listened to.  And it still falls back on the staff, whose hands are tied. 
“Do more with less”…right. 

Tell that to the patient who just wants to feel like someone cares, and who wants to get well. 

Are Christians Supposed to Be Counter-Cultural?

A voice of reason in the calamity and chaos of today’s social media.

Pure Purpose

Counter-cultural was one of those trendy phrases a few years ago. I still hear it often, especially as a call to Christians to be counter-cultural.

I get it. Our lives are supposed to reflect truths and choices that run against the flow of the world, but…

We still breathe the same air, swim in the same water, use the same roads, work in similar places, and so on.

Many groups and movements have used the phrase counter-cultural through the years. Google it, and you’ll find it listed alongside words, people, and movements in history, such as Woodstock, Vietnam, race relations, middle class, and much more. At its very root, counter-cultural simply describes a subculture’s rejection of a mainstream way of doing things. In a sense, perhaps Christianity has always been counter-cultural, but we need to be careful in wearing it as a badge of honor or identity.

People already know…

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An Open Letter to Whoopi Goldberg….We most certainly WERE Listening

As a nurse still actively working, it warmed my heart to see such overwhelming support for a young nurse’s talent. This is one instance where we did NOT eat our young!

Rebecca's Ramblings

Since I saw The View’s so-called “apology” clip on social media, I’ve given this post a tremendous amount of thought. My first instinct and knee-jerk reaction was to sit down with my laptop and blast them with full force…unload my anger  and outrage onto the page…err…computer screen…so I could purge it and get all of that negativity out of my system. I’ll admit, I even got about a quarter of the way through that piece, when I stopped to re-read it. It was a scathing, searing diatribe that quite frankly, made me ashamed of myself. It sounded like something that the View Crew would say…it was petty, spiteful, angry and distasteful. That’s not who I am as a person, a writer or more specifically, a nurse. Quite frequently, I end my blog posts with a sentence urging my readers to be kind to each other. I am a tireless advocate for tolerance, peaceful coexistence and doing…

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