Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Foundation of Food

The world we live in, although a beautiful place, is also a broken place. Beneath the beautiful facade, we see bits and pieces of evidence that show us that not all things are as they should be. We do what we can to keep the broken pieces from crushing us.

The more noble among us do what they can to help others from being crushed.

Our very good friends, Jason and Nichole, fall into this category.

At an very young age, their daughter was diagnosed with FPIES. Here is what that is:

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome
is a rare, severe food allergy of the gut. Classic symptoms to this allergy are delayed following food ingestion (~2hrs or more) and include profound vomiting (often to bile), diarrhea and dehydration. These symptoms can quickly lead to lethargy, change in body temperature and blood pressure, and in severe cases, sepsis-like shock. Immediate medical attention is needed for IV hydration and monitoring.

Since FPIES is very rare, and the medical community as a whole knows very little about it, is has been life changing and crushing for them to deal with watching their daughter nearly starve to death because every food was making her violently ill.

As they have navigated through it, they have also connected with other families that are walking the same road. Together, these families have determined to start a foundation to help others that are facing this issue.

Here is what Nichole has to say about why they are a part of this:
"The unknown can be crippling for parents, as well medical professionals. We were met repeatedly with 'we just don't know' and 'there are no studies'. After nearly watching my 18 month old starve to death, I resolved that no parent should experience the pain or fear of navigating FPIES alone. There is hope, there can be healing, and you are not alone."

Here is the link to their new foundation: The FPIES Foundation

Here is Nichole's retelling of her daughter Ellie's story: Ellie's Story (from birth to GAPS)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Farewell Friend

I first met my friend Andy when I was beating around Northern California. We had him play at our Church a few times then even retained him for a while as an "artist in residence."

At the time, he was the worship leader for Spirit West Coast (a Christian Music festival that also doubles as a place to wear all of your obnoxious Christian T-shirts) and an associate artist for World Vision (helping needy kids get sponsors).

When I moved out here, we were able to get him to show up a couple of times to play a couple of services at a couple of Churches. This all while he still lived in California.

A few years ago, I was pleased to hear that he was moving to Arizona. Even though we weren't able to see him and his awesome family as often as we liked, it was nice knowing that they weren't too far away. Because, besides enjoying his music, we enjoyed their company.

Recently, he announced that they are up and moving to Oceanside. Wow. Only a 7 hour or so drive, but it seems a world away.

So, Andy and Pam, we will miss you guys!

On the bright side, we do get out that way at least a few times a year (much more often than we dare to go to Phoenix), so maybe we will get to see you more often now that you are farther off.

If you are so inclined, please join me with prayers for their family.

Here is his website, if you want to know a bit more about him: Andy Allen

And here is a recent performance he did of the song "Beautiful Things" by Gungor:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Not political, just pondering

I recently received my primary election ballot in the mail and took the time to fill it out and send it in, since our elections this time around are strictly by mail.* Since I am in the city and I am a registered Republican, there was only one office that I was voting for in the primary, the office of the Mayor (or, Alcalde, as the ballot pointed out to non-English reading Spanish readers).

Since the only candidate the party is fielding is a write in candidate, the ballot was blank and I had to fill in the name of the write-in guy, making sure I spelled it correctly. Fortunately I was able to read either Spanish or English so I could do so. If I was an Amharic or French only reader, I would have been disenfranchised. Why the elections board does not consider that, I do not know.

I am curious why our party was only able to field a write-in candidate. Did the elections kind of sneak up on us? I am sure there is a good explanation. I just haven't heard it yet.

Of course, this is the same local party that disappointingly brought us the guy that thought we should all make a living as drug smugglers, as the party chairman.

He was in the military, has a pretty wife and and nice family.

I was in the military, I have a pretty wife and a nice family. Maybe I can be the chairman. Does it pay?

*Unless you, like everyone else, forgot to fill out your ballot and mail it in. They will still have seven different polling places around town where you can go vote. Take your ballot with you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just a few more and we should all be fine.

A case for increasing government regulations in every area of our lives.

"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."
-- U.S. Supreme Court in American Communications Association v. Douds.

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation."
President James Madison (1751-1836) speech, Virginia Convention, 1788

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government."
Thomas Paine

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wear it!

A word from the wise elder to the young warrior:

Make sure you always wear your vest.
Credit to Demetri Martin for inspiring this guy's video.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I walk the line

Those of us that have been to Sunday School have been told not to take the Lord's name in vain, and many have been whacked, scolded or lectured if they were heard to throw out an Oh My G--, J---- H. C----, or something like it.

It certainly borders on disrespect and a lack of reverence to throw around God's name. But here is what I think is a better definition of taking the Lord's name in vain.

It has been said that taking the Lord's name in vain is attributing something to him that he never said. An example might be God told me this or that, when God didn't really have anything to do with that particular statement.

Remember the crazy Irish guy from the movie Braveheart?

When we see him in different scenes in the movie, he is always taking a time out to talk with God. Here is a little dialog from the scene when we first meet him in the movie:

Stephen: [starts laughing] Him? That can't be William Wallace. I'm *prettier* than this man!
[to the sky]
Stephen: Alright, Father, I'll ask him.
[to William]
Stephen: If I risk my neck for you, will I get a chance to kill Englishmen?
Hamish: Is your father a ghost, or do you converse with the Almighty?
Stephen: In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God.
[to the sky]
Stephen: Yes, Father!
[to Hamish]
Stephen: The Almighty says, "Don't change the subject, just answer the ... question."

I am afraid that sometimes those of us that are believers come across a bit like the crazy Irish guy. People wonder if we are nuts if we say God told us something. And if we say he told us something that he didn't, we probably are nuts.

But, I believe God really does speak to us.

As you can see, there seems to be a fine line between following God and nuts. and both sides of the line look surprisingly similar, if you look at some of the lives of people in the Bible.

How can you know if you are following and hearing God in your life, or if you have slipped across the line?

Here's a couple of ideas:

1) Don't go it alone.
In other words, have some other people you trust hear your thoughts, ideas, especially when you think they are from the Almighty. We can get very weird when we are alone.

2) Check it out
If we believe in God and his word, we can check and see if we are rolling towards crazy or if we are in line with what he has already said. of course, it is easy to twist things to fit our own view, so please reference #1 above.

I spent the day at church, so please excuse if you think I sound too preachy today...:>).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You don't know me, but you make me so happy.

Music can have an odd effect on us.

When we first moved back to Tucson, I was at a meeting with a group of Church Planters (code for pastor guys who work to form up new Churches), when someone or something reminded me of the song Jenny Jenny/867-5309 by the band Tommy Tutone.

Since the meeting was going slow, and everyone tried it back in the 80's, I dialed up the number, 867-5309.

The message on the phone was something to the effect of, 'Hey you idiot. it is no longer the 80's and this is not Jenny. Try doing something else with your life and stop calling this number!"

The voice on the line was that of a young lady tho. I think it really may have been her.

The number, at least the one here, has sadly been disconnected. At least it was when I tried it the other day.

Try it in your area and let me know if she answers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Anyone else a fan of Serenity?

I think I will go to this screening, and not because I really want to help the charity. I just like the movie.

Can't Stop the Serenity: screening of Serenity and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog

Performance Date: 9/24/2011, 6:00 pm

Can't Stop the Serenity is a multi-national effort by fans of Joss Whedon's series Firefly and subsequent film Serenity to raise funds for Joss Whedon's favorite charity, Equality Now, a foundation dedicated to promoting equality for women throughout the world. The event here in Tucson will be hosted by the Arizona Browncoats and Fox Theater and will benefit not only Equality Now but the Southern Arizona Women's Foundation as well, serving women and children throughout southern Arizona.

The screening will start with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog followed by Serenity.


For those that have been waiting for a true tale of a small town church, here is the first of 'em:

Disclaimer: These notes are not intended to "bash" the Church or denigrate anyone in particular. I believe in people and I believe in the Church. They are going to be shared point out how far off base our "spirituality can get, both individually and corporately, when we are left to our own devices. And so you can have a little fun. These things really happened and most of them were really funny.

I had just turned 25 when I was asked to come take the helm at a small church in a small town. So small was the Church that I was later informed by the D.S. (District Superintendent, kind of like a Bishop of an area, but more protestanty) that he was all ready to shut down the Church, but then heard that I was coming, so he thought he would just let me hang around for a while. Ask me, I will tell you all the reasons why he wanted to close it down.

My first week or so in, one of the older fellows drops by my office. I knew him, because when I was up in front talking he would let off noises if he agreed or disagreed or wanted me to say something he agreed with or noticed someone did something he didn't agree with.

He always sat in the back and we would all hear loud "haaawwww!"'s and "waaaaacks"'s coming from him at various times in the service.

So, on this day, he comes by and tells me he has a sermon he would like me to deliver. He proceeds to hand me this typed up thing talking how people were hugging in Church and he was just disgusted. He called it fondling when people would hug for more than three seconds and it was filled with all sorts of other nonsense. I think I might still have the document around somewhere, but I am not sure of that.

He then pulls out a fifty and says that he knows my family is short on money since we just moved there and all and he would like to help us out.

"I've just been bribed", I thought.

So, I graciously accepted the bill and proceeded to ignore the entire conversation. I figured he would need to throw quite a few more fifties my way before I repeated anything he said in the paper he handed me.

Before I was able to collect any more of his money, he and his wife left the Church in an angry tizzy and started attending the Baptist Church the next block over.

Since I was friends with the Pastor there, he happily shared with me how he took the time to make sure this old fellow was watching when he gave a hug to some gal in his Church. The fifty dollar fellow then shot the over the shoulder parting salvo of, "I abhor Pastor's who hug." My friend promptly jumped in front of him and said, "Then you need to find a new Church!"

He didn't, but he was quiet from then on out.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Shout Outs to My Children

Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands. - Psalms 127:4

Just want to take a moment to brag about my kids. Hopefully, you will be inspired to brag a little about yours.

Here they are:

Thomas. currently deployed to Afghanistan as a Human Intel collector for an infantry unit and with a wife and young son of his own at home, Tom is shouldering some heavy burdens. We are proud of his service and glad of the years we had together. Hope to see him soon.

Emily. Like a race horse tensely pawing at the earth as it approaches the starting gates, this one eagerly waits to charge out into the world. She is creative, naturally talented and studious. We love you Em, and we enjoy your company.

Abigail. She is Always glad to have us around, which makes us glad to be around her. Not everything comes as naturally to her, but she also works more diligently than any of us to get things right. We love you Abby and we like you too.

Ethan. Stronger than he probably should be, this guy is naturally adept at mechanical things and is able to lighten the atmosphere (at least for himself) in most any situation. we are proud of you and look forward to seeing the man you are becoming.

There, be inspired.

Saturday, August 6, 2011