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Showing posts from July, 2011

Update on Abigail’s kidney

Here’s an update Natalie wrote last night explaining Abigail’s kidney condition and the expected treatment...We are encouraged because it appears at this point that most of Abigail's kidney will be able to be saved. This morning we left the house just after 8:00 am. Stephen and the kids dropped Abby & me off to check in at the Loma Linda Hospital at 9:30. They went to the park, did a couple errands/explored until we were done. Abby’s appt. was at 10:00 and we were expecting to be done no earlier than Noon, but were done by 11:30 -- no waiting -- YIPEE!! :) They inserted a catheter for the duration of the test. That went so smooth -- hardly a wince this time! Then the IV. Finding a vein is not such an easy task on a 5-month-old. They tried and failed once and switched limbs and were successful in her right arm. (Same thing happened in the ER.) Then, as she lay on the table, she was wrapped up like an Indian papoose -- on a body board with the heavy x-ray-apron-material enclosin…

Palm Springs Tramway

Last week, I took Natalie to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to celebrate our anniversary. Here are some of our favorite photos…

Here’s a view from the base of the tram station. It’s one of the steepest tramway ascents in the world, rising almost 6,000 ft. over a span of 2.5 miles.



Halfway up, we are met by a tram descending on the other side of the cable.



We had a beautiful view looking to the east, over the Coachella Valley and Salton Sea 30 miles away.



We took a nature hike up at the top and some some pretty wildflowers still in bloom. This one is lupine.



Standing at this outlook on the Desert View Trail, we could hear a waterfall and caught this magnificent view of the foothills leading into the San Jacinto mtn. range.



Creek and meadow just a short walk from the upper tram station.



Happy 11th Anniversary, Sweetheart!

“Might” have eternal life?

In our weekly Greek class, we’ve been learning the basic mood known as the “indicative.” It is the most common verbal mood and deals with what is real, taking the form of either a statement or a question. Other Greek moods include the subjunctive (a probability), imperative (a command), and optative (a wish).
In a sense, the subjunctive mood is one step removed from reality, and often deals with what “might” or “could” to be. Sometimes, it deals with probability. But not always.
We haven’t gotten to the subjunctive mood yet in Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek yet (see ch. 31), but a student raised an interesting question last night about might/should/will in John 3:16 and our promise of everlasting life.
Greek: “μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ ̓ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.”
NASB: “shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
ESV: “should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Is there some uncertainty here? No. Apparently, the subjunctive mood was used by John out of grammatical necessity. The subjunctive is used …

Atlantis blasts off

If you haven't seen it yet, here's the final blast-off of Space Shuttle Atlantis on Friday, July 8. The "shuttle view" camera is mounted to the orange external fuel tank. Be sure to watch until the rocket boosters disengage about 3 minutes in. Very cool.

When Atlantis touches down next week, it will mark the end of the Space Shuttle era. All shuttles are being retired and will be moved to space museums across the country.

With over 2.5 million parts, the Space Shuttle has been called "the most complex machine ever built." Interested in learning more? Check out this infographic.

Great news

Praise the Lord, the cardiologist met with Natalie this afternoon and said that Abigail’s heart is PERFECTLY NORMAL.

The color change in her skin is apparently just a phenomenon that some kids have. But her heart looks great, all tests came back negative, and oxygen level is very stable.

The echocardiogram did reveal a tiny hole in her heart, but about 20% of all people have this, and it is no cause for concern. It is not causing any vascular problems.

We could not be more thankful and relieved. Thanks for all your prayers!!

Still waiting

"In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity,  consider: God has made the one as well as the other"  (Ecclesiastes 7:14)
In this life under the sun, God is teaching us that He is the sovereign ruler who gives both blessing and suffering.

Abigail is spending her five-month-old birthday in the hospital today. She has been undergoing tests since Friday, and Natalie has been staying with her. The night nurse briefly saw some purple in Abby’s leg on both Friday and Saturday night, and agreed that it looks abnormal. The pediatric doctor and original ER triage nurse also said they may have heard a faint heart murmur through the stethoscope, but it’s really hard to tell. 
So far, the pulse & oxygen meter, her blood pressure, blood sample, urine, x-ray, and EKG have all come back normal. Perhaps today or tomorrow we'll hear back from the cardiologist about her echocardiogram (ultrasound) results. She is also undergoing a pneumagram test which will monitor her…

Be still my soul

Heard a peaceful instrumental version of this song playing on the radio last night. It was a good reminder as Abigail undergoes testing at the hospital for a possible heart condition...
Be still, my soul—the Lord is on thy side!  Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;  leave to thy God to order and provide— In ev’ry change He faithful will remain.  Be still, my soul—thy best, thy heav’nly Friend  thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul—thy God doth undertake 
to guide the future as He has the past;  thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake— All now mysterious shall be bright at last.  Be still, my soul—the waves and winds still know  His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart, 
And all is darkened in the vale of tears, 
Then shalt thou better know his love, his heart, 
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears. 
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay 
From his own fullness all he takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is has…

Health concerns for little Abigail

Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed our five-month old Abigail's skin sometimes turning purple/grayish instead of a healthy pink. It's been especially in her legs, and now it seems to be worsening. After holding her just a brief time, her legs darken as though her circulation is being restricted.

Natalie took Abby to the doctor last week and they didn’t see anything, but took her again this afternoon, and after a couple tests he was able to see she has “delayed capillary refill” (her blood capillaries are not refilling at the normal rate).

She's not in any immediate danger that we know of, but we are instructed to take her to the ER immediately if she develops trouble breathing or her skin begins to turn blue (this has happened twice in the past 3 weeks when we fed her and apparently held her in one position for too long). Otherwise, we will just try not to cut off her circulation, and will take her to the cardiologist just as soon as they can fit her in.

This appears t…

Highlights of the 2011 Southern Baptist Convention

Here is Al Mohler's recap of highlights of the 2011 Southern Baptist Convention. As expected, he gives a helpful analysis of what transpired in Phoenix two weeks ago.

On a personal note, this was the third year I've attended the convention, and the first time it was feasible to bring my family (since it was in the Western U.S.) It was wonderful to have my bride with me and to put the kids in the children's program, but I probably won't haul the whole family out to another one of these conventions until 2017, when the convention is back in Phoenix again. It would be far too much effort and cost to bring them to New Orleans in 2012, for example.

The other highlights of the convention were all the breakout sessions: the IX Marks at 9 Discussions, the Baptist Twenty-One panel, the Founders Breakfast with guest Wayne Grudem, and the great Re:verb Workshop sponsored by IX Marks on Wednesday and Thursday at Trinity Bible Church. The convention was a necessary part of 'tak…